Sustainability of µ4/3 long term....

piggsy

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 2, 2014
Messages
1,470
Location
Brisbane, Australia
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.
 

Jonathan F/2

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
5,013
Location
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!
 

wjiang

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
7,368
Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
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.
 
D

Deleted member 20897

Guest
I appreciate the sentiment, but in all likelihood, I'd be surprised if more than a tiny fraction of today's cameras will take pictures at all in 20 years. Consumer electronics have made amazing things possible, but longevity is not really part of the equation.
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.
 

tonyturley

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
912
I would also say "Don't worry, just enjoy it now."

I use the 14-54 II lens on the E-M5 & E-M1 & have recently bought a (used) ZD50-200 SWD lens, but I also have the M.ZD75-300 lens which is light & compact (especially with the modified lens hood from the 40-150 lens) & it's quite sharp, just needs good enough light. So with that I have a choice on what I want to photograph & how much walking I'll be doing.
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.
 

tkbslc

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
7,536
Location
Salt Lake City, UT, 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. !
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.
 

tkbslc

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
7,536
Location
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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.
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.
 

WT21

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
6,565
Location
Boston
As I sit here 1.5 years after I made the decision to jump into µ4/3 (specifically with Olympus gear) I still have the same and perhaps biggest concern as I did before buying, how long can or will the mount survive and produce new product that is competitive and exciting with both Olympus and Panasonic losing money every year on it? I justified my purchases at first with the knowledge that since I was buying used if I didn't like it I could just sell and get something else, but I loved it and jumped on in and now having invested what is a significant amount of money for a hobby (in my mind at least) and can't help but worry about whether or not my chosen system will have future support in 5+ years. Am I the only person that has these concerns? I know the immediate future has cameras and lenses being developed and sold, but when I'm ready to buy my next camera in a couple of years will the future of the system/mount be worthy of a further investment?

I don't regret my decision one bit, but sometimes you just wonder. Even if the mount died today I would shoot the heck out of what I have and love it until it broke or didn't meet my needs. I wouldn't feel like to this point I invested poorly because I have gotten many shots that I wouldn't have with µ4/3 that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I would be interested in how the rest of you feel on this subject

-Eli
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.
 
D

Deleted member 20897

Guest
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.
 

tkbslc

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
7,536
Location
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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.
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.
 

WT21

Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
6,565
Location
Boston
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.
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.
 

tonyturley

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
912
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.
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.

Tony
 

GBarrington

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
634
Location
Springfield, Illinois
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.
 

Darren Bonner

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
1,084
Location
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.
 

usayit

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
2,964
Location
Some call it the arm pit of NYC.
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.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
1,896
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.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom