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Sustainability of µ4/3 long term....

Discussion in 'Back Room' started by emorgan451, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Perhaps this is just me bringing my computer experience into another area but I have been trained (by many platform failures) over the years to never, ever buy something on the promise of what it the parties involved might do eventually, only ever buy stuff that does the exact thing you want right now. If everyone walked away from m43 tomorrow and the companies involved decided to make animatronic singing fish instead, it would be fine with me.

    Personally I think given the number of partners in m43, even in the case of terminal failure of the two majors involved, there would still be enough valuable bits of the carcass left for some of the other players in it to get bigger and continue forward doing something with it.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    My mirrorless kit so far consist of M43 and now Sony. With Sony churning out so many new cameras, buying a generation or two back is really cost effective. Saying that I really do love my Olympus cameras as they have a more photography oriented interface, the NEX-6 I just picked on the cheap is a technological marvel, but it doesn't really excite me, I'm using it mainly as a MF rig.

    Little things like the 9mm Body Cap Lens are just so cool about M43, something that Sony would never release!
  3. Photography products are not designed and built like they used to be. I'm not sure who apart from maybe Leica still does it like before. Olympus tried to do that with their 4/3 lenses, and though technically extremely good, business-wise it seems a bit questionable in hindsight. Everything fully native in just about every system is now an electronic gadget, rather than a mechanical/optical masterpiece. IMO buying the latest camera gear as a financial investment doesn't make sense, in the same way that buying a flash new car as a financial investment doesn't make sense. Either be prepared for the depreciation hit, or buy used. Once you've got it, get the most utility value out of it that you can.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  4. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    While I can appreciate your sentiment, most people would never really know as they tend to replace their cameras more often than they do their underwear. I don't think it is an issue of the product not lasting so much as it is the current market attitude is that an upgrade is "needed" after 2-5 years.
  5. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    I changed my mind about the 50-200. I had arranged for a trade-in with Amazon, but after thinking on it for a couple of days, cancelled the deal. It is not the best lens for walking around with the E-M5, but the IQ is very good.
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    Same can be said of m4/3, too, though. Pretty much every camera that isn't current generation can be found for under $400. Some under $200. And even slightly older current models (like the GX7 and E-P5) can be found for roughly half of what they cost 18 months ago.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    I like to think of it like it is film (Even though I never shot film seriously). I used to take a half dozen rolls of film on vacation with my minolta compact. I paid about $3 per roll for the film and about $6-8 per roll to have them developed. Lets call that $10 per roll altogether. My camera could squeeze 26 shots out of a 24 shot roll. That works out to about 38 cents per image.

    Based on what I just paid for my kit, as long as I get about 6000 images with my gear, I'm good. I break even with what film would have cost me on a $100 compact. I don't pay for development, I only print the keepers, and I have MUCH better gear and image quality. I am sure I will get at 10-20x that many shots if I wanted to. Imagine all the people that bought expensive systems in the past AND had to keep buying all the consumables.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    You bought into the Samsung NX system and you're worried about m43?
    • Funny Funny x 2
  9. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    My question is how long ANY of this gear lasts? Mirrorless equipment is just a bit overall cheaper than it's DSLRs cousins. Also, for ANY of this newer equipment, it's all chips and silicon, which don't last, and they speak specific programming languages to the bodies. If any of the vendors decide to drop that, then the equipment is worthless.

    And the bodies themselves seem to start collecting serious faults after a couple of years (like 3-5).

    I really, really doubt that nearly any of the equipment you currently own will be functional in 10 years. Maybe 5, but my planning assumes not much more than that. That's just my opinion, though.
  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I have a friend I sold my Nikon D50 to, which I bought new in 2005 when it was released. Still going strong - no issues. I have 2 other friends that still use the Nikon D70 bodies they bought new in 2004 - no issues.
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    I don't see why the lenses shouldn't have a multi-decade life if treated well. Canon has had a fully electronic system since the late 80s and most of those lenses still work great. Lots of them were built to low-price and consumer-grade build, too.

    Camera bodies, sadly, all fade into obsolescence and near zero value within 5 years and I can't imagine that changing anytime soon.
  12. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Excuse me but Leica digital are probably the worst quality/reliability of all the manufacturers!
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Oh, the Canon 18-55/2.8 was known to break apart. The Canon 50/1.8 lasts a couple of years. The Canon 50/1.4 has a well known fault with it's AF drive. There are other lenses, though, that you can find still working years and years later. The EF70-210/3.5-4.5 is one that is remarkable for it's age.

    I am not convinced the P20, O45, kit lenses, Sony 16, Fuji 35/1.4 are built to last. Again, just my opinion. I am assuming the Oly 12-40 is built better, as an example.

    But I still think the m43 mount is likely to outlast any individual piece of equipment you might have right now.
  14. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    As it happens, the only camera that's broken on me through regular (not harsh) use has been a Leica digital!
  15. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    Indeed. Prices are plummeting. I paid <$500 each for my E-M5 and NEX-6 at the time of purchase. Amazon is offering <$200 on a NEX-6 for trade-in. Both of my cameras are still working great. Although I considered purchasing an A7, economy and practicality lead me to keep my cameras and just save for the day I'm ready for an upgrade. I always buy a camera that is at least one generation behind the latest.

  16. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    This is a non issue for me. I've been abandoned twice by Canon (FL and FD systems), and once already by Olympus (4/3s DSLRs). In all three cases, life, and photography, went on. Trying to predict what technology in general and photography in particular is going to be like 10-15 years from now is a fool's mission. I'm taking the photos I want right now and I'm reasonably content with what I have.

    I'm good, I guess.
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 3
  17. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    My father in law uses my old Canon 3iS, that must be around 10 years old now, but it's still going strong. I've had a look on ebay and there is a few 4/3 camera lenses on there that have been advertised as in good working order. There are also batteries still for sale for those cameras.
    Some of the cameras will last longer than others, but I think M43 will be around for a while. As far as I am aware there are 5 different manufacturers using the mount and 7-8 lens manufacturers.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Maybe I'm more optimistic, but I think m4/3's future looks promising.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  19. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Arguably Pentax was in worse shape. Even though the company itself is gone, the brand, lenses, and bodies are still being produced.

    Something for Konica-Minolta. It was purchased by Sony....A mount continues to live on.

    Leica too. Leica was on the verge of bankruptcy until Andreas Kaufmann purchased it. Its still around.

    As long as there is value in the company within its customer base, more often than not the company gets purchased and the lineage continues.

    In the camera world, we've seen more dead mounts than dead product lines.
  20. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    We live in a world where you buy the latest and greatest if you can and so far there has been incremental improvements. I look back with nostalgia on that old Nash,that Brownie Hawkeye and that old RCA 15in black and white TV. I guess they were poor investments since they are no longer made. I hope technology improves ad infinitum,but in the meantime just enjoy yourself.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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