Why no mu-43 sensor fixed-lens specialty camera?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by CarlB, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    Why only the full-frame, APS-C, 1", or smaller sensors being used in fixed-lens enthusiast cameras?

    I would think Oly or Panasonic or whomever could have a field-day with a mu-43 sensored, fixed-lens prime or zoom camera.

    Something as nearly pocketable as the RX100, but with the nearly twice as large EM-5/GH3 sensor?

    Or something as cool as the Fuji X20 or Canon GX1, but faster autofocus and performance?

    I'd think there'd be quite the gap filled in with the mu-43 sensor size ...
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  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    this may sound like joking but it's probably because the m4/3 lenses are too fantastic to not be made interchangeable. I think the m4/3 products are very proud of and focused on being serious tools in a smaller scale, as well as they don't have the leadership as APS-C has yet, so we don't see such products there. but with 5 companies newly joined the m4/3 world, things may change vastly, at lease will bring lots of fun on interchangeable lens cameras.
  3. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Solder a 20/1.7 on a pm1 and you've got your wish. :wink:
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  4. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    The Canon G1X sensor is about the same size as m4/3.
  5. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    Physics would make it pretty impossible to have a m4/3 sensor sized camera as compact as the RX100, unless one reduces the zoom range or replaces it with a fixed prime, but you already have the E-PM2/GF5 + 20/1.7 option as mentioned above.

    The Fuji X20 has a tiny sensor, so it's not a direct comparable, whereas the Canon G1X is about the same size and weight as an E-PM2 + kit lens, or a GF5 + kit lens, so it doesn't seem to make sense for either Panasonic or Olympus to come up with a fixed lens alternative, especially when the E-PM2s or GF5s are marketed as upgrade for P&S users...

    Fuji launched the X100 to test the water for its own interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras, and launched the X-Pro1 after the X100 was well received by consumers. M4/3 is already a much more popular system compared to the Fuji mirrorless cameras, so again, I don't see the incentive for Panasonic or Olympus to go backward and launch a fixed lens m4/3 camera...

    Having said that, I don't mind seeing the rumored XZ-10 using the 1" Sony sensor in the RX100!
  6. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    Heh! Interesting perspectives. :)

    Here's what I think would be neat:

    Something E-PM2 sized, with that sensor, stores no wider than with the 15mm body cap, with either:

    1) Fast, sharp corner-to-corner, great contrast. Much like the 20mm, but that adds too much thickness and it has slow autofocus. Built-in optical viewfinder would be great for this. Would be noticeably smaller than the Fuji X100.

    2) Limited zoom, perhaps similar to the 14-42 Vario X, but folds pretty much into the body. Would be noticeably smaller than the Canon G1X. (I don't think Canon pushed as hard as could be on small packaging for the G1X.)

    There's a lot of space between the m43 sensor and the beginning of the lens optics - a fixed-lens design could take advantage of that for storage.

    Either would slip nicely into a pocket like the E-PM2 with the body-cap lens. (But the 15mm body cap lens isn't high IQ, has slow aperture - and an internal viewfinder would still be desired.)
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    X100 has shown how small a prime lens can be, when purpose built and fit in properly.

    RX100 has shown how small a zoom can be, when reliant on SW correction and willing to give up the corners.

    No one really expected either camera, so I would think if someone was so inclined, they could do a miracle work with m43. Just not sure either vendor wants to, as they are probably enjoying lens sales and new body sales.
  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    The E-PMx is pretty small as is with a lens like the Oly 17 2.8. How small could a fast fixed prime really be? Look at the XZ-1 and how big that lens is for a 1/1.7 sensor.
  9. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Compare the depth of the Canon G1X to the Panasonic GX1 + 14-42 X at the bottom of this page.

    Canon PowerShot G1 X Review: Digital Photography Review

    For both cameras being essentially the same depth, G1X: Larger sensor, a very sharp 4x zoom lens, plus a fully articulated screen mechanism. There has to be some advantage to being able to collapse a lens into the body. Even a pancake prime lens could be smaller. It may be possible for a lens with the same optics of the 14mm pancake to be virtually flush when retracted.
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'd be all over an X-E1 or GX1 sized camera with a m4/3s sensor and a 24-105 equiv "fast" lens. Of course, how fast is the question. I think that's where physics rears it's ugly head.

    There is a reason why the GX1 only sports an f/2.8-5.8 lens. The m4/3s sensor would help a little, but how much?
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    ^^ Probably not a whole lot. The G1X sensor size is shown relative to m4/3 at the bottom of this page.

    Canon PowerShot G1 X Review: Digital Photography Review

    I think the limit of a genuinely fast zoom lens and compact size is going to be with a 1" (a la RX100) sized sensor. Could someone make a camera no deeper than the G1X but with say, a f/2-f/2.8 4x zoom lens?
  12. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    The G1X has almost all of what I'd want for a large-sensor zooming compact. The only things keeping me from buying the G1X -

    - Slow auto-focus.
    - Slow shot-to-shot time (well this is more of a nit).
    - Sensor now 1-gen behind EM-5.
    - Could be shrunk further, especially in the height and storage lens-front-to-camera-back millimeters ...

    With the above addressed, I could see a new Canon G2X having the chance to lock-up a market segment here.

    I've been alternately kicking-around:

    - waiting for a "hopeful Canon G2X."
    - waiting for a Fuji X20 (1/2 sensor area of Sony RX100, but so cool).
    - Buying an RX100 (could slip right into the pockets).
    - waiting for Panasonic or Oly to surprise everyone.
    - wishing for a lower-cost ($700-800?), smaller, m43-sensored X100 type "fixed prime," but with a faster lens (with m43 sensor size, could definitely be done).

    Yes, I know there are two separate classes of cameras here. But I can only obsess about buying one at a time. Whichever is available and causes the first "must buy now!" response. :tongue:
  13. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    This ... wasn't it:
    <img src=http://3.static.img-dpreview.com/files/news/8794590339/520/XZ-10_1.jpg?v=1929>
    ^Olympus XZ-10 with 1/2.3" sensor^
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    If you look at the size this is probably not a joke.

    The E-PL5 with the 14mm or even the 14-42 is smaller than the Sony DSC-RX1, Fuji X100s, Canon G1X. While I'm also disappointed the ZX-10 was not a :43: fixed I'm also not surprised that there isn't one.
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    I had about 10 different cameras on that compare when I was looking at. Love that site.
  17. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Getting back on topic though....I'll take a full fledged fixed-lens µ4/3 sensored real range finder though :cool:

    Even though I seriously doubt that this will ever happen....:biggrin:
  18. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Real Name:
    My biggest problem with the Canon G1X, no EVF and a useless OVF (nothing against OVF's).
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I always thought one of the main advantages of an interchangeable lens system was the interchangeable lenses, not the sensor size. Maybe I'm just weird. ;)
  20. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    How are you liking your Pentax Q ? :smile: