The state of micro 4/3 in 2016

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by pdk42, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I've been playing with an A7R these last few days and in the end have decided it's not for me. However, in doing so it's made me appreciate better just how good m43 is.

    - The u43 system is very mature with a great range of lenses and bodies. You have cheap primes, expensive primes; cheap zooms, expensive zooms; coverage from fisheye to 800mm effective fl; bodies ranging from compact GM1s through to chunky high-feature bodies like a gripped E-M1. Aside from tilt/shift lenses there are no serious holes in the system.

    - The lens quality is mostly first rate (for a given price). Most of them are smaller and lighter than comparable optics from other systems.

    - The bodies offer first class usability and features including IBIS good to 4 stops, focus-stacking, 4k video, live composite, uber fast AF that works in very low light, hi-res stacking etc.

    - Despite the growth in size of the higher end bodies and the release of bigger and faster "pro" lenses, compactness is still excellent. I can pack my E-M1 in a small Bellingham bag with the Panasonic 7-14, 12-35, 35-100, Olympus 17/1.8, Samyang fisheye, small flash, filters and batteries. That's a serious bit of kit that will cover most things I need it for when travelling.

    - m43 is pretty affordable. Since I've been dabbling with the A7 I've been looking at prices in that system and there is a significant difference.

    - IQ is pretty darn good. I've been doing some serious pixel peeking against the A7R and of course the A7R is better. Noise handling is the big difference and there's slightly better tonal response - but you know, having printed A3 prints from both cameras I can promise you that the difference is very, very small. I doubt the A7 would make an image worth keeping that the E-M1 would miss.

    - I can be sure however that the A7R would miss shots that the E-M1 would get. Why? - because the Oly is faster, easier to use, quicker and more reliable to focus, allows sharp shots at much lower shutter speeds thanks to IBIS, and lasts longer between battery changes. I find nearly 100% of my shots with the Oly will be technically right.

    - The only area where m43 leaves me wanting is better noise handling. Having seen what the NX1, RX100 and A7Rii can do with their BSI sensors I'm feeling very disappointed with the new 20Mp u43 sensors which seem to offer little notable improvement.

    So, my plea for Olympus and Panasonic in 2016 is this: m43 is a great system, probably the best for many serious amateurs, but to stay there you need to make a step up in sensor technology. I know there is potential for organic sensors, stacked sensors, global shutters etc, but these seem some time away from commercial exploitation. In the meantime, can we just get some of the current latest technology?
    • Agree Agree x 3
  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    ... Waiting for this thread to go down hill :)
    • Funny Funny x 4
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    @pdk42@pdk42 I'm really pleased you got the A7, I thought it was the only way to find out for yourself. It's what I'm going to do as well as I'm a bit curious myself to see exactly what difference (if any) to me FF will make compared to my mountain of M43 gear. However, instead of replacing my M43 setup, I'm thinking of getting a second hand D610, which can be supported by a cheap lens or 2 (cheap as it's not Sony), just to sit there in the corner to be brought out every now and again. Personally, I find the noise issue to be manageable in M43, particularly with PP but I'm sure issues such as this will be addressed in the future, it can't not be.
  4. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Apr 7, 2015
    This reply is in my "state of m4/3 2016".
    I need/want the rumored new prim line F1.2.
    At current lens-lineup, I`ve "only" got GAS on 75mm 1.8 and 2 flashes and somewhat the pro prime 8mm 1.8.
    It saves me money though that they can`t offer me other lenses I want. :D
  5. Mattyh

    Mattyh Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 14, 2013
    I've been down the A7 route myself, but what the A7 offered in IQ, m43 offered me in a whole system package.

    The grass isn't always greener, the A7R was a nice camera, but what little lenses were on offer I couldn't afford and the ones I could afford were big and heavy.

    The AF was good but not m43 great, the files the A7R produced were stunning, but the sizes of those files were massive, which meant spending more on upgrading my computer and SD card collection, so even less money for lenses.

    I find m43 offers me more for less, that's why I'm sticking with it, I'm not a professional anymore and I don't produce massive prints, so I have no need for the hassle or cost of FF.

    As for 2016 ? More affordable consumer lenses and for third party manufacturers to get on board m43 and produce soom nice zoom lenses.
  6. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    That would really help M43.
  7. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    Thread after thread of E-M1 mk2 predictions has convinced me it's not going to help my problem with fast moving subjects indoors. So I think if A7S3 has touch AF and a little more fps, I'll probably buy one. An AF 85/1.8 is all I'd need. I'll still have my E-M1 gear, so I won't be losing anything, just plugging the one hole that's frustrating me. Otherwise, I can easily see using my E-M1 another three years or longer.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  8. dweller

    dweller Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 14, 2012
    London, UK
    just an observation, I was out and about for Chinese New Year in London, I saw lots of generic point and shoots, mobiles.
    a few basic canon DSLRs and noticeably this year there were plenty of Sony A7 varieties.
    Didn't spot any micro43rds this time.
    Usually I see a few.,
  9. mpresley

    mpresley Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 13, 2012
    Wolfe City, TX
    I picked up a nice used a7 a few months ago to be the body for my MF lenses. I enjoy shooting with it, but outside of low light situations, and the differences in DOF for any given FL, I don't see any quality advantages, as long as there's enough light. I still like to mount the same MF lenses, using a Lens Turbo, to my GX7. I'll keep both, it's great to have choices!
  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Thank heavens we're moving away from this FF vs mu43 stuff. Now we can get back to fighting over Olympus vs. Panasonic as it should be.
    • Funny Funny x 6
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I keep telling people these cameras are like cars made for different race environments. My E-M5 II is a rally tuned car with a turbocharged boxer engine made to drift through muddy dirt roads, while my A7 is a big V8 made to tackle the quarter mile while doing crazy burn outs at the drag strip. Top end DSLRs are like Formula 1! :D
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  12. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    I sold all my Nikon FF stuff last year, and am contemplating selling the Fuji gear. I am shooting m43 exclusively right now. The possible issues with that as of today:
    1. Still not great with fast moving subjects (The E-M1 is OK for my BIF needs, but would not be my first choice if sports was a primary focus)
    2. High ISO - shooting available light in darkness is not something I do much of. DXO PRIME works wonders, but if doing events in dark venues without flash was a big part of my work, m43 would not be my choice
    3. Limited options for certain minimal DOF portraiture styles - not my thing usually but I still have the Fuji w 56/1.2
    Given that I am currently doing mostly landscape, architecture, still life, macro, cars, trains, travel, wildlife etc and not sports or portraiture, m43 with the current stable of lenses (I'm including the upcoming 300/4 here) is entirely adequate in IQ and capability at a considerable cost and weight savings. I rarely print larger than 18x25 (and have printed larger than that from 12MP D700 files), find the dynamic range close enough to FF to work with and usually find the increased DOF more of an advantage (landscape, macro) than a liability.

    The Fuji stuff is a huge tradeoff of capability and features (and even IQ) and the Sony lens situation sucks, so m43 is where I'm at for the foreseeable future.

    The noise levels would be the biggest problem for me (even at base ISO) without DXO PRIME. I use DXO as my first stage raw converter to take advantage of the PRIME NR, basic exposure adjustments and lens profiles, and then go back into LR with TIFF's for the rest. This workflow has completely eliminated my m43 IQ concerns at this point.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  13. sriracha

    sriracha ballistic photons Subscribing Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    m43 market is not an attractive market for third parties to pursue...

  14. onewheeltom

    onewheeltom Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2015
    Cary, NC
    Tom Karches
    I would think that m43 would be a good choice for a manufacturer wishing to establish themselves in the photography market, like a Samsung.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  15. sriracha

    sriracha ballistic photons Subscribing Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    market size is small which makes it hard to recoup capital investments made unless the company prices high. however, since Oly and Panny have established scale and cost advantages pricing high will be difficult
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well thankfully it hasn't! Interesting that the new Sony A6300 hasn't got BSI sensor tech either.
    • Funny Funny x 1