Why no mirrorless 4/3 body?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Offriver, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Offriver

    Offriver Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2011
    I was wondering why Olympus doesn't make a mirrorless four-thirds body to support their old four thirds lens lineup.

    Am I missing something - it just seems like a no brainer. There are some really great lenses that are a pain to use on micro four thirds w/ adapter (focus speed and handling wise) and a native mirrorless 4/3 body would solve the problem, right?

    Initially I loved the smaller size of micro 4/3, but I seem to be buying more and more of the mid-grade 4/3 lenses these days....and just recently caved in and bought an old 4/3 body so that I could get better use of them. But, it is just not as much fun to use as my e-pl2. The best part of mirrorless systems is the full time live view and evf! WYSIWYG!
  2. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    Why would they want to make a mirrorless body when the 4/3 system is built with the mirror box in mind? I mean, the lens already has to be that extra distance away from the sensor, so why not have a mirror and a proper optical viewfinder? What would mirrorless achieve exactly?
  3. Offriver

    Offriver Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2011
    After using micro four thirds bodies - I actually prefer not having a mirror box and ovf.

    I like evf and direct to sensor full time live view (I might be in the minority). I like instant feedback on the adjustments that I am making while taking a photo. I also think that seeing the actual image as I am shooting makes composition more fun and lets me be more creative.

    A mirrorless 4/3 body, with built-in evf, that can quickly auto-focus pdaf lenses (e.g. 12-60, 50-200 etc.) is what I want. :) If they end up making these lenses in micro four thirds mount they will likely be insanely expensive and out of my reach. Whereas a body would be a better investment - but have a size tradeoff vs the pen cameras.
  4. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    If it were mirrorless then it wouldn't be able to do pdaf, which would mean the regular 4/3 lenses would be slow just like on the current mirrorless cameras. You need a mirror of some sort to do pdaf.
  5. Offriver

    Offriver Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2011
    Ahhhh Ok thanks...that's the "something" that I was missing! Makes sense now why it doesn't exist. Bummer...
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    What I want is an adapter so I can use m43 lenses on regular 4/3rd bodies.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Not me (I know that's impossible to make anyways). What I want is a new PEN body with on-sensor PDAF like the Nikon 1, to improve the use of Four-Thirds lenses on my PEN. They wor fine now as they are, but I would certainly not mind something better.
  8. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2011
    Real Name:
    That's not going to happen (I could mod your 4/3 body though, I have a pair of pliers and a hacksaw ready and waiting.....)
    4/3 lenses are way better than their m43 counterparts anyway so why bother?????
    I regularly use 4/3 lenses on m43 body even though the 12-60 won't af.
    the regular m43 (20mm and 14mm0 come into their own when I want a pocketable alternative, otherwise the 4/3 lenses usually rule.
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Not necessarily...

    Fuji and others have ways of doing PDAF without the mirror.
  10. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It's not just the phase detect AF problem. As others mentioned, a 4/3 camera has to be the same size as the current 4/3 cameras, because 4/3 lenses require the sensor to be over 1.5 inches away from the lens mounting flange. Removing the mirror would just mean that there's a ton of dead space inside the camera, for no reason. You accomplish nothing over just using an m4/3 camera with an adapter. The whole point of m4/3 is to be a mirrorless 4/3 system.

    What it seems that you're actually wanting is discussed a lot on this forum: midgrade and prograde zoom lenses for m4/3, plus a body like an Olympus version of the GH2, if you take the multitude of people who immediately glue a handgrip onto their PENs (if you're going to do that for ergonomics, might as well take advantage of the increased size and allow for a larger/2nd battery, etc). As we've seen so far, Panasonic and Olympus haven't felt that it was worth investing in. Considering the direction that Nikon has gone with the 1 system as well, it seems that the camera companies have decided that those who don't want to put up with the size are willing to settle for more optically mediocre lenses. Although, there are rumors about Panasonic 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses, probably f/2.0 or f/2.8. We'll see how they sell. It would be interesting to have an m4/3 version of lenses like the 12-60, though.
  11. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    ...and that's always how I've described my PENs. With no adapter it's a micro four-thirds camera. Pop on an adapter and voila! It's now a four-thirds camera.
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    By itself no. But using an approach like Sony did with their A55/A77 SLT models, you can significantly shrink the body, include a large VF, and allow fast AF with all existing 4/3 lenses.

    Basically, think of an E-620 with a VF larger than the E-5.

    Moot point though as 4/3 development has stopped.

    Sensible thing today would be to either enable off-sensor PDAF on m4/3 (Fuji and Nikon both do this), or add a translucent mirror and AF sensor to the adapter (like Sony does for the NEX).