What will be the next step for m4/3 format ?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Bhupinder2002, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi Guys :smile:
    I was just casually reading about new EM10 and Olympus 25 mm 1.8 lens . I started to think what will be the next step in further development of MFT?I understand that MFT still lacks fast telephoto primes but body wise what will be the next thing ? Bump in megapixels ? Essentially when manufacturers run out of options they simply increase megapixels , add few more gimmicks and release a new model . Please share ur thoughts .
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I'm not a long lens user (no real interest in sports or wildlife), but I can see that high quality longer lenses are a missing element in u43. However, to make the best of them, AF performance on moving subjects needs improving a lot. The E-M1 promised a lot here, but it seems from talking to owners and from reading threads on here and elsewhere, it's only partially delivered.

    As regards sensors, I think the next logical step is not more Mp, but lower noise. The 16Mp sensors on the current bodies are very good, but there is visible noise even at ISO 200; and if you want largely grain-free prints at moderate enlargement size, I still think you need ISO 800 or less (but I accept that ISO 1600 and 3200 are still very usable if you're not being über picky).

    On body design, I think the biggest issue is usability and support; things like:

    - A really good support and repair service in the main regions around the globe (important for pros)
    - Ability to save and restore camera settings to a PC
    - Improved battery life
    - Tethering support
    - Easier customisation (C1, C2, C3 positions on dial for example)

    Oh and finally - a 7 or 8mm wide angle prime would be nice!
  3. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    I think that we have entered a period where we will see smaller, evolutionary changes. The EM-5 and GH3 WOW'd when they were released as did some lenses like the P12-35, O12, O75, etc. However, the bones of the system are now in place
  4. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    relatively affordable rectilinear ultra wide? like 400-500$? the 7-14mm is quite steep for such a niche lens
  5. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    Good 150/200/300mm primes. High quality zoom, either 100-250 or 100-300 (constant f4 should be doable). Since I own the GH3, I'd really like to see all of them stabilized....

    I'm disappointed in the lack of weather-sealed lenses, especially primes. I can't believe that the Nocticron is not weather-sealed for that kind of money.... A long zoom at a minimum needs to be weather sealed.

    Weather-sealed tele-converters would be nice too..... If specially made for certain lenses, they would cost very little in IQ and be very useful for occasions when you need longer reach. Start with a 1.4x

    I would like to see some lenses compete with 7mm and 7-14mm as well.

    As long as the sensor tech improves, more pixels can also mean less noise if you downsize to 16MP. I would like to see 24MP (but don't want a step back in OVERALL noise levels).
  6. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Real Name:
    Patrick Kristiansen
    I'd say the system needs options in wide and tele, as mentioned, as is tethering.

    I think though, that the areas with most room for improvement is batterylife and c-af. Sure the em1 is good, but not up there with the big boys in c-af. May or may not be important to you. But batterylife could surely be better. Circuitry and displays with less consumption is the way to go. If an m43 camera could hit 1000 shots on one charge without any user tricks and workarounds, I'd say it's a significant improvement.
  7. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
  8. Muntjack

    Muntjack Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 26, 2010

    Obviously we need a B&W only EM ala the Leica Henri.
    I would love to see that - with massive high isoability!

    • Like Like x 1
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    First up, the GH4 will come out - 4K video but no major changes for stills.

    Next, there are the various promised lenses - first the Panasonic 42.5/1.2, Olympus 25/1.8, Olympus 14-42EZ, then the Panasonic 15/1.7 and 35-100/4-5.6, then the Olympus 40-150/2.8 and perhaps the promised Olympus wide-angle zoom and super telephoto, although I suspect the last two will come in 2015, not 2014. I doubt we will see any lenses not already 'previewed'.

    Several models are due for an upgrade. Olympus will be replacing the E-PM2 and E-PL5 with modestly updated versions that add WiFi, but likely little else. I'm less sure about the E-M5 - whether it will simply fade away now that the E-M1 is anchoring the high end and the E-M10 is at the low end, or receive an upgrade. If it is upgraded, I'd expect WiFi and a bigger EVF, but no PDAF (that will remain an E-M1 exclusive). Panasonic's GF6 and G6 should also see replacements - I'd expect to see IBIS in the G6, and better video in both, but otherwise few changes. If we're lucky, there may be a move to improve C-AF tracking on the G6, either through faster read-out or PDAF on the sensor.

    Beyond that, the obvious things are:
    1) Global shutter. Panasonic likely wants this mainly for video, so I'd expect it in the successor to the GH4 first.
    2) Rollout of PDAF. Long-term I think this is the only way that C-AF tracking can be made genuinely good. The E-M1 is a good proof of concept, as are some of the newest Sony cameras.
    3) More fancy video features. I expect 4k video will get a lot more buzz going forward.

    Honestly, what I'd like to see is a more rapid rollout of the missing lenses and of PDAF, but I expect both to be rather slow. Most of the low-hanging fruit is gone, and Olympus and Panasonic both want to see if sales are going to justify further investment in the format.
  10. Kingsfan

    Kingsfan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    highland park, CA
    Real Name:
    this would be amazing, but i'd prefer it in a Pen or GX body.
  11. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ciaran Reilly
    Foveon-sensored body. That would be the one thing I'd spend lots of €€€ for.
  12. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    What about that Fuji-Panasonic partnership on sensor development? Maybe that will be a giant leap in image quality.
    I would also like to see a lower end Panasonic body with a hot shoe, to take Lvf2, and newest Gx7 sensor. I am not holding my breath , since Gx7 now costs about what Gx1 coston release, so they will not want to cannibalize their own sales with a new model just yet, but if that never happens and leaves my Lvf2 an orphan product for m43 bodies I will be seriously pissed. I mean, wtf Panasonic, Olympus can have 3 different Pens with newest sensors and hot shoes, so what's the problem ?
    Also, hoping for a true Em5 successor with WR and top of the line Evf. Again, probably will not happen any time soon, as Olympus will want to sell of remainder of Em5 stock and move as many Em10s as they can to early adopters before bringing out a better spec model that will not cost much more.
    In terms of lenses, I would like to see small primes. I am encouraged by the small 12-32 and Olympus new kit. Maybe some of that tech can go into a small prime like 20mm. J wonder if telescoping prime like on the Nikon and Ricoh APS models is a possibility.
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Panasonic is about to release the next step in bodies - 4K video. Of coarse this is a niche product for semi-pro and pro video shooters.

    I do hope that the next lenses are #1 more telephoto lenses{primes and/or zooms} and #2 a decent rectilinear ultra-wide{9mm/10mm/11mm}.

    The other thing I would love to see is more involvement.

    First off from companies like Tamron, Tokina and Sigma, both are part of m4/3. Sigma has 3 good lenses but they were designed for aps sized sensors and adapted for m4/3, they need to make some lenses just for our system. Tamron has only announced one lens and is taking forever to get it out. Even then it is a redundant travel zoom, a good lens I am sure but both panasonic and Olympus had this covered already! Tokina has only one lens and it is a crappy 300mm reflex lens.

    Second I want to see more companies join in and make full lines. Kodak is coming but they are slow and it will be entry level. Still a good first step for newbs to join m4/3. There is a rumor that Sigma might build a m4/3 body and more lenses, that would be great if they did! There are some patents from Konica-Minolta for m4/3 lenses, wish they would produce them.
  14. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Real Name:
    On my wish list are smaller MF lenses with at least a max aperture of f/2.8. Specific focal lengths of 9mm, 12mm and 17.5mm. I don't want the ultra fast Voigtländer u4/3 lenses - too expensive for the amount of use I would get out of them. I doubt that there will be many purely manual lenses built for u4/3, but Cosina might do some. Look at what they have done for their line of film RF cameras and lenses.
  15. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I can't really see the next "step" coming, I think m43 has already made all the steps, it's now a well-established camera system with a solid lens base. I don't think we're going to get many very long FL lenses though. I think that the step was starting the system, maybe achieving well performing AF was the next big step.

    I think this will continue being a stream of gradually adding features everyone in the market does. NFC and WiFi came and are now standard for new kit, 4k is the next thing coming. Sensor wise, Probably one or two more years with 16MP until the E-M3 and next GHs. We would all love clean high ISO, but until some revolutionary technology comes in, m43 will still be a step behind bigger sensors in that respect, but making up for this with best of class stabilisation. Still doesn't help with low ISO noise and long exposures, but hey, that's the limitation and we accept it.

    The two main brands have established their flagship lines - GH and EM - the standard 24-70 / 70-200 has been covered (bar the Oly 40-150 but it exists, just hasn't been released yet). They will keep doing some experiments here and there with random small bodies, some very good ones will come I'm sure. Maybe more quality ultra-wides will come, whatever, the standard churning of lens generations will continue with the occasional gems, oddities and dogs. Other brands (outside the filmmaking side) like your Kodak, are largely just noise. I think mu43 is well usable now for a working photographer not doing billboards.

    On the video side we have Blackmagic and Lumix, and an ever-growing range of rigs, converters, adapters and lenses for video. This will obviously keep growing.

    So - no steps I think, just rolling steadily with a good momentum.
  16. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    From the top of my head: 1. Built-in ND-filter. Much more important on m43 due to necessity to shoot wide open outdoors more frequently than with larger formats 2. Electronic shutter to support native high speed flash sync 3. 120 fps (slow motion) video. Less important but nice to supplement sports photography 4. Revamp wireless flash system to include built-in radio trigger rather than obsolete optical system Overall, the system is getting surprisingly mature and offers some benefits not found on other systems. The biggest issue is marketing. m43 is a very niche system as is, with a tiny user base. I'm not sure if this user base is expanding...
  17. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Well I would go along with everyone who is saying longer lenses and wider lenses, I would think the next biggish gap would be a 100mm and then 150mm. A set of f4 constant zooms say 12-75 and 40-150 would be a good alternative to the f2.8 ones. I am taking that the 4k video is a given now, perhaps a move to a 20meg sensor for stills, I would like a body with two card slots. The options as they are now are pretty good though, a good set of primes and zooms, some quirky options too.
  18. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I would be interested in the f/4 constant zooms. Especially a 24-105 or 24-120 equivalent. While 12-75 sounds great! 12-60 is more likely and exist in 4/3 as a f/2.8-4, I would love to see that in m4/3.
  19. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I agree, there is a big gap in predictive focus tracking. Also a huge gap in mid prices zooms. You have cheapo kit zooms and pro grade, nothing in between.
  20. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Real Name:
    Jan (John) Kusters
    Looking at the new pancake zoom, I expect a new E-PM3 in the not to distant future. Probably a bit smaller but with the same 16mp sensor that is now widely used, and only small improvements over the MP2. In a way, as far as bodies go, we are pretty much there, and only small improvements are to be expected until a new generation of sensors pops up (and I do not expect any large jumps even then, I think sensors are good enough now to make further improvements less spectacular).

    The lens range can be beefed up with wider angle primes, longer primes and perhaps some specialist lenses like tilt and shift or more macro focal lengths. But again, by now they have a solid base available, and I do not expect earth shattering new additions.