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Thread: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    Hi

    I just got an Olympus 9-18mm lens after spending time looking at wide angle options. Of course I also needed an adaptor.

    Looking at it and the adaptor on the G1 made me think "wow" how much is the design of this lens influenced by the need to clear that mirror..

    The "focus by wire" works very nicely in the EVF (as indeed does the kit's lens) and I'm quite sure it will work quite nicely as a tripod mounted landscape lens

    But all this has made me wonder, given how well the micro 4/3rds works what is the niche that regular 4/3rds occupies?

    Is it simply for those who prefer / have benefits in pure optical view finders? Surely that will polarize people more towards the APS and Full Frame offerings from Canon / Nikon as to my mind at least those systems have a better lens lineup for telephoto lenses.

    After shooting last weekend with both my well worn and comfortable EOS 35mm film SLR I can't seem myself wanting to go back to that after using the EVF on the G1 (although I quite like the subtle grid I have on the technical focusing screen I have on my EOS, much less obtrusive than the grid on the G1)

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    I know exactly what you mean... I have a pair of D300s and associated zooms and primes, but they only get used when I want to have the additional dynamic range and ISO performance. The G1s are just so easy to carry and use.

    Cheers,

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    Member slosync's Avatar
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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    I agree also pellicle.... except for a nagging question I keep struggling with.

    I shoot with the G1 and a Nikon D200 (and accompanying lenses). I am seriously contemplating selling the Nikon gear as it has become a bit of a drag because of it's size and weight. However, I just love the responsiveness of the DSLR's OVF, especially when out shooting birds or my nimble granddaughter. But, what to replace it with is the nagging question. I like the idea of having a very light two camera outfit with the ability to share lenses, however I want to retain the OVF responsiveness of a DSLR.

    Since I have the G1, I'm contemplating the Oly E-620 as a possible solution. I haven't confirmed that the E-620's OVF functions in a way that's similar to my D200. I haven't found a store in the area to try it.

    So, to try to give you my rationale for the need for a 4/3rds (OVF) system, would be to have both a small lightweight DSLR with a responsive OVF and share lenses with the m43 EVF system. Of course if they ever solve the EVF responsiveness (aka. blackout), then the need for the 4/3rd DSLR will diminish - IMO

    I just don't know if there are anywhere near enough folks out there with the same needs to maintain a niche..... sigh.

    Cheers,
    Don
    Last edited by slosync; 3rd July 2009 at 13:52.

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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    The bigger question is- how long will the reflex finders last?

    Once there are cameras with OLED displays (EVF or 'LCD') with >100000:1 contrast ratios, mirror reflex system, long camera registry, etc will fade away into oblivion.

    Yes, in the immediate future, m4/3rds will rule over the bigger weightier versions.

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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    Well, I am interested to see the progress, but how far do we have to go before that happens Vivek? As it is today, light travels REALLY quickly through the lens, then off the mirrors and prisms into your eye...just under 300,000m/s. Of course, the brain is much slower, but until the technology in an EVF becomes as fast, as detailed and as sensitive as human vision can detect, there will still be room for OVF's. I am excited for better displays and EVF's too, but one of the reasons why mirrors and prisms are still in heavy use today is because they do their job very very efficiently -- they have exceptional clarity and speed, they are fairly cheap and easy to make, and they of course consume no power, yet are always on. Getting an EVF to improve on all (or most) of those advantages will take some doing.
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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    For consumer cameras, this will happen very fast. I haven't yet had the opportunity to try a G1, but from what I understand, the EVF is much larger than the one in the D60/E-420 etc. kind of camera. The disadvantages aren't that important to most consumers, and technology development will advance with the speed of light once the volume, and thereby the profitability rices.

    For professional use, it's another story, but look at professional video cameras. It's a different ballgame, but many of the challenges are the same.

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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    Ultimately, I expect that the SLR camera will become a sideline for those specialist activities that need what an optical reflex viewfinder provides that no EVF or LCD can provide, much like the coupled rangefinder has become a sideline specialist camera. How fast this will happen is hard to guess, but it will happen if the coalescence of still and video capture equipment continues. And probably faster than most dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists expect.

    Right now my answer is my speculative expectation. When Olympus or Panasonic announce the first professional-grade micro-FourThirds body, the handwriting is on the wall. And I don't think it's going to be that long until one of them reaches that point.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    Morning gents ... (and ladies)

    lots of good points raised, and its nice to have some reminders of things which I understand but are out of my foreground thinking ...

    Quote Originally Posted by slosync View Post
    However, I just love the responsiveness of the DSLR's
    OVF, especially when out shooting birds or my nimble granddaughter.
    ...
    I like the idea of having a very light two camera outfit with the ability to share lenses,
    Agreed in low light and long telephoto I think that the OVF is better, especially when coupled with a faster lens. I've found the G1 a little lacking in this area. However there are some things which the EVF works well at like manual focus confirmation when using either fully manual or focus by wire touch up .. for some reason my post exposure view in the EVF hass better color than my framing view ...

    But will you be able to share lenses? Unless development on micro4/3rds lenses stagnates they won't be mountable on regular. Comparing (say) the Panasonic 7-14 to the Olympus one (for regular 4/3rds) there is a distinct size
    advantage in the newer shorter flange distance lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Ultimately, I expect that the SLR camera will become a sideline for those
    specialist activities that need what an optical reflex viewfinder provides
    that no EVF or LCD can provide, much like the coupled rangefinder has
    become a sideline specialist camera.
    yeah, quite smaller than I used to imagine (back in the 80's). I used to struggle with rangefinders before I bought an SLR, but having used a digital in photomicrography I can say that the digital works better. Even regular macro photography the EVF or swivel screen works better in my experience

    When Olympus or Panasonic announce the first professional-grade micro-FourThirds body, the handwriting is on the wall. And I don't think it's going to be that long until one of them reaches that point.

    this is something I'm wondering about ... will Panasonic or Olympus try to do what say Olympus did with the launch of the Pen series or the later OM series? Seems a huge investment in tooling up. I think they would be far more likely to be conservative and build a system and following, slowly pulling people like me away from Canon (or at least diversifying).

    I'm quite comfortable with the cost / benefits of the G1 and now that I've sold all my Canon digital stuff it would take a commercial need for me to justify a 5DII or similar.


    About the only thing which would pull me back to full frame is the introduction of a dual photo site system (such as Fuji's super CCD) which gave me a 40% extended range (at the expence of outright pixel density).

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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    ... About the only thing which would pull me back to full frame is the introduction of a dual photo site system (such as Fuji's super CCD) which gave me a 40% extended range (at the expence of outright pixel density).
    With the quality I'm seeing out of FourThirds cameras and lenses, I see zero need for "full frame" for my photographic endeavors at this point in time. I prefer this format, frankly.

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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    I am unsure as yet, the EVF does have the advantage of easily providing 100% coverage and that in the G1 I handled recently was quite good.
    I do know from using my e410 and 510 that 4/3 of any stripe image quality is very very good indeed. We'll see if the promise of smaller cameras with the same sensor is fully realized; the G1 is not that much smaller or lighter than my e410.
    I do really like the jpeg engine in the Oly's BTW, so I am watching the EP-1 with great interest.
    Last edited by Lili; 3rd July 2009 at 23:23.

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    Re: will regular 4/3rds disappear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Well, I am interested to see the progress, but how far do we have to go before that happens Vivek?
    It has already happened to me, Stuart. Despite all the shortcomings, the G1 with a 12.5/1.4, 25/1.3, 42/1.2 accompanies me everywhere.

    For the nostalgic bits, my Leicas (film, RF) and Nikons (mostly digital, with a big system set-up) are relegated to that special purpose use.

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