What's Keeping Other Companies From Joining Micro Four Thirds?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by G.Sal, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. G.Sal

    G.Sal Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    The Philippines
    Samsung, Fuji, and Pentax could have easily piggy-back on the popularity of Micro Four Thirds if they have joined the consortium but why they opted out and went with the APS-C sensor instead?

    And why do they have to create proprietary mounts instead of the open format which I think is the driving force behind the success of Micro Four Thirds?
  2. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Samsung made APSC sensors for Pentax, so it was natural to make a APSC sensor camera for their mirror less. Pentax wanted to keep backwards compatibility with their K mount lenses so it made sense to use a APSC sensor.

    Fuji wanted to compete at the higher end with Leica so their sensors are large as well.
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    From a lens point of view, I think there just isn't enough volume. We do need more lenses though, just to be competitive. Sigma is doing what it always has done, make lenses for APSC and slap on a mount and call it a day. Not really a solution IMHO.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    m4/3 is not an open system, it is a shared system. The mount is just as proprietary as any other from the other manufacturers.
  5. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    I don't think Canikon execs would stomach Panny/Oly exec's derisive, "See, we told you so - nya, nya, nya, pbbblth!" :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  6. asaulo1

    asaulo1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 21, 2012
    I read somewhere that Tamron is actually going to be making m4/3rd lenses that are specifically designed for it.... that should be a welcome addition to our system.... hopefully, Tokina and the other lens manufacturers would take note and start on that movement as well...
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Variety is the spice of life. Individuals have different equipment requirements. :smile:

    "Success" of Micro Four Thirds is dominant in Japan & Asia. Europe, UK, & US are still behind Japan & Asia in sales.
  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have to say APS-C won as the standard small sensor format. Saying that I think M43 makes more practical sense design-wise maximizing the image circle by using more of the lens while keeping lens size down in comparison to APS-C specific lenses.
  9. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Real Name:
    The goal is to invent a proprietary platform and then sell a smack-ton of expensive lenses. Why would Canon and Nikon switch when they have their customers fully captive?

    Oly and Panasonic must have thought they'd gain more than they lost by joining. Maybe Samsung, Fuji and Pentax probably should have joined but we'll see what happens. If any more were added it might cannibalize margins. We can already see the price of M-4/3 camera bodies plummet as so many new ones are released.

  10. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Initially, was an unproven concept and Sigma failed with the DPx series of getting any real traction due to limitation of the Fovean sensor and also sluggish performance overall.

    Since.. the trend has been to go to APS sized sensors.

    The only real option now moving forward is a big player to make their own m43 sensor as there is little room to differenitate yourself as Pana and Olympus have done a decent job of keeping their lines different.

    Canon has already decided to build a slightly bigger sensor and go it on their own.
    Nikon decided to go smaller and go it on their own.
    Sigma are sticking to their own Fovean iterations.
    Everyone else is jumping to larger format APS.
    Fuji are pleased enough with the X10 that their focus will remain on APS sized variants.

    On the lens side, Panasonic and Olympus have done a very very good job, with very few holes in their offerings. Updates to a couple of current lens would be very welcome as well as a fast, long tele. Now its more speciality lens to fit certain crowds ie macro, teles, different range zooms (12-50/60) & 12-35s etc.

    Simply... there really isn't a significant enough market share for a new entrant to come in and attempt to compete with Panasonic and Olympus all the while develop and manufacture their own sensor as everyone would moan loudly if they simply used the Panasonic 12mp or 16mp ones. Plus, I don't think Panasonic and Olympus are necessarily warm to the idea to have a new entrant into the group. Enough competition competing amoung themselves and eeking out market share from the other guy. Why lose out on sales to a 3rd party???

    I think people even here sometimes don't realize how mature and awesome m43s is today. Considering film, the quality of photos that consumers are getting today with the EP3 and G3. OMD may set the bar even higher. I don't see the m43 consortium needing any new entrants - except with some 3rd party manual lens.
  11. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I would say there's room for Sigma or Tokina to make some m43 glass. The problem is it would be extremely expensive for them. It's cheaper to just slap APS-C glass onto an m43 mount and say they joined. Not exactly ideal.
  12. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    As long as it's a lens designed for a ML system it's not too far from ideal. APS-C is only 25-30% bigger than :43: (linearly) so the image circle difference doesn't have a big impact.
    Biggest downside from my point of view is that it's very unlikely that we'll get an ultrawide prime.
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Olympus & Panasonic simply could not compete in the DSLR market. Thus the Micro Four Thrids format make absolutely perfect sense. (i.e. create a market where you can compete & lead in)
  14. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    All the people doing aps-c already have a lot invested in a aps-c tool chain. Making sensors is not small feat, especially in the larger sizes. M43 is the same, the 43 format already established the coverage size. All the majors players have already been making lens, bodies and systems around the larger sensors. It's not surprising to see Nikon and Pentax jump to a much smaller sensor size, borrowing more from their p&s line than their dslr line.
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Excellent point in that the MFT sensor already existed in the Four Thirds body. (Which was the "DSLR" that couldn't compete with the big guns)

    Thus the Mico Four Thirds body style was/is a logical extension/continuation of the Four Thirds sensor.
  16. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
  17. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Of all the companies talked about Samsung is the only one that I could have seen actually joining. The big japanese brands would never join forces unless they got bought out. They have always been very competitive!

    Samsung has not had the best results with their NX system. The reviews are mixed and sales not great. Partly it is because they are the new guys on the street and partly the system seems to have some drawbacks. I have never used one so I can't say for sure but I have not been impressed with what I have read and seen. I think they chose to go APS because they wanted to prove themselves as good as the established brands.

    Pity they didn't join m43! Just imagine if they had and produced the same number of lenses and bodies. I think there are 3 bodies with a 4th coming and 9 lenses with more on the way.
  18. nseika

    nseika Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Real Name:
    Talking about features, how much can be added to the mount design ? Especially the electronic communications.
    And could it be image problem for new body maker to join in late ? Olympus and Panasonic has been the founding members there and anyone joining later would just be followers.

    Just random, like making of T-mount lenses to fit various camera mount, only this time with crop factor and electronics added to the equation :p
  19. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Real Name:
    My opinion, it was an easy choice for both Panasonic and Oly.

    Oly had come up with 4/3 and it wasn't a big stretch to make it Micro-4/3. But alone they couldn't take on Canon & Nikon so starting a group was a good move.

    Panasonic had already mastered the P&S manufacturing process, in essence Micro-4/3 is a P&S with a removable lens. A little help from Leica, or at least renting their name couldn't hurt.