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m43 first signs of death - hopefully not!!!

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Olympus kills the PEN-F line, actually a very nice camera that I have been waiting for in it's second incarnation - that will obviously now never happen.

https://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/olympus-kills-the-pen-f-line-first-victim-of-a-shrinkingg-market/

Hopefully this does not mark a general trend for m43 ....
The Pen F, like the GX8 and GM5, were too expensive for what they offered, and probably didn't sell all that well. It's not the death of MFT, it's the death of expensive rangefinder style MFT cameras. Apparently, most people want something that looks like a DSLR and is relatively cheap, like an E-M10 or a G95.
 

marlof

Member
I have both the Pen-F and a GX9. Although I love using the Pen-F with 12 / 17 / 75 metal premium primes (why the 45 never got that lovely exterior is a riddle to me), the GX9 is my workhorse. With a Laowa 7.5 or P15, P20 and P42.5 it's my throw in the bag camera. The Pen-F needs a beauty case. The few hundred lower price of the GX9 brings ease of mind.
 

Internaut

New member
The GX9 makes something of a joke of recent Olympus marketing decisions. It can often be had for not a lot more than the E-PL9 (which itself is somewhat inferior to the older Panasonic GX85). Panasonic got the balance right and won the argument. Pity it’s come to this; the Pen F is the nicest camera I’ve used.

As for the rangefinder style, Fuji seems to do pretty well.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
The GX9 makes something of a joke of recent Olympus marketing decisions. It can often be had for not a lot more than the E-PL9 (which itself is somewhat inferior to the older Panasonic GX85). Panasonic got the balance right and won the argument. Pity it’s come to this; the Pen F is the nicest camera I’ve used.

As for the rangefinder style, Fuji seems to do pretty well.
Exactly, and let's have a look at the figures:

X-E3 with 18-55mm: $ 999
GX9 with 12-60mm: $ 798
E-M10 III with 14-42mm $ 799
Pen-F without lens: $ 999
Pen-F with 25 and 45mm lenses: $ 1,899!

The Pen-F can be as nice as strawberry ice-cream if you want, but for most users, the others can do exactly the same, take photos, at a lower price. I think it was also a mistake to mostly bundle it with one or two primes. That's great for a small group of enthusiasts, but the volume market wants zooms. They could have made a compact 12-60mm or thereabouts. They didn't. Panasonic did.
 

Paratom

Active member
Without saying that price would not matter, I am still not sure if 100 $ more or less should be/is the deciding factor when buying camera equipment for 1-2k (assuming one will want more than 1 lens)

However I am also someone who prefers the user interface of the EM1 over that of the Pen-F, because it works well with small but also with bigger lenses. And in m43 world the Oly 12-100 is my most used and most useful lens. This lens alone is one of the few reasons I still own m43.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
An observation:
The GX8 and the PEN-F were both rather expensive enthusiast cameras and they are both gone without being replaced. The alternatives are either larger, more advanced cameras like the G9 and E-M1, or cheaper, less advanced alternatives like the GX9 and the E-M10.

Both of those categories have their place. The cheap ones because they are cheap and can be used with the tiny prime and zoom lenses made for MFT, the advanced ones because there are enthusiasts and professionals in need of equipment that is much more compact than the full frame alternatives. Making compact full frame cameras is no problem, professional grade lenses not so easy.

The middle ground however, is more complicated. Take the Canon RP. When compared to other full frame mirrorless cameras, it's not much to brag about. Compared to a GX8, which is more or less the same size, it's a different story. It's a much better camera, plain and simple, for a price very close to what the GX8 originally sold for. The PEN-F is of course much smaller, but not much less expensive, and it kind of falls into the same trap.

Later, there will be a Nikon Z5 or something, and Sony already offers cheapish alternatives to these cameras.

My MFT setup now consists of small primes (8, 12, 25, 45... 75 will be added) and a long telephoto zoom (100-300). This is what MFT is best for. I'll use the GX8 bodies till they break. Then they'll be replaced by smaller bodies and/or bodies more specialised for video, like GX9 plus G95. In addition, I'll buy a simple full frame setup for occasions when that kind of quality is needed, most probably Nikon or Canon, since that gives me the possibility to work with digital and film using the same lenses.

I don't think MFT will die, but some niches will disappear. My prediction is that they will mainly be left with small/cheap (GX9/E-M10), compact enthusiast (E-M1/G9 plus E-M5/G95 for those with less money) and professional video (GH5/Blackmagic/Z-Cam etc.). I also think that Olympus will enter the full frame market. Rationally, they should use an existing mount, but knowing Olympus, they'll probably invent their own.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
The only Pen line camera I have is an E-PL7 that I bought on a lark to get a nice compact camera that could use my existing lenses. It does a good job, but I found I never used it ... It's too small for my hands. I had the same impression when I picked up my buddy's PEN-F in the UK last summer: Too small for my hands.

The E-M1 is the smallest form factor that works for me. I'm giving my E-PL7 to my niece because it will fit her hands nicely and she wants a camera to learn photography with.

G
 

iiiNelson

Active member
An observation:
The GX8 and the PEN-F were both rather expensive enthusiast cameras and they are both gone without being replaced. The alternatives are either larger, more advanced cameras like the G9 and E-M1, or cheaper, less advanced alternatives like the GX9 and the E-M10.

Both of those categories have their place. The cheap ones because they are cheap and can be used with the tiny prime and zoom lenses made for MFT, the advanced ones because there are enthusiasts and professionals in need of equipment that is much more compact than the full frame alternatives. Making compact full frame cameras is no problem, professional grade lenses not so easy.

The middle ground however, is more complicated. Take the Canon RP. When compared to other full frame mirrorless cameras, it's not much to brag about. Compared to a GX8, which is more or less the same size, it's a different story. It's a much better camera, plain and simple, for a price very close to what the GX8 originally sold for. The PEN-F is of course much smaller, but not much less expensive, and it kind of falls into the same trap.

Later, there will be a Nikon Z5 or something, and Sony already offers cheapish alternatives to these cameras.

My MFT setup now consists of small primes (8, 12, 25, 45... 75 will be added) and a long telephoto zoom (100-300). This is what MFT is best for. I'll use the GX8 bodies till they break. Then they'll be replaced by smaller bodies and/or bodies more specialised for video, like GX9 plus G95. In addition, I'll buy a simple full frame setup for occasions when that kind of quality is needed, most probably Nikon or Canon, since that gives me the possibility to work with digital and film using the same lenses.

I don't think MFT will die, but some niches will disappear. My prediction is that they will mainly be left with small/cheap (GX9/E-M10), compact enthusiast (E-M1/G9 plus E-M5/G95 for those with less money) and professional video (GH5/Blackmagic/Z-Cam etc.). I also think that Olympus will enter the full frame market. Rationally, they should use an existing mount, but knowing Olympus, they'll probably invent their own.
I believe the enthusiast and pro video market is precisely why M4/3 won’t die. It’s become something of a 4th popular Cinema Mount after PL, EF, and E Mount.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
I believe the enthusiast and pro video market is precisely why M4/3 won’t die. It’s become something of a 4th popular Cinema Mount after PL, EF, and E Mount.
Yes, there is a selection of cameras and accessories for MFT in that market that is remarkable. The latest Chinese wonder, the $2,000 Z-Cam, shoots 120fps 4K and 10 bit ProRes. Apparently, it's selling like hotcakes.

http://www.z-cam.com/e2/

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1442842-REG/z_cam_e1503_e2_professional_4k_cinematic.html

The 4/3 sensor size, particularly with the 10MP sensor often used for 4K now, seems to represent a very good compromise between light sensitivity and DOF.
 

iiiNelson

Active member
Yes, there is a selection of cameras and accessories for MFT in that market that is remarkable. The latest Chinese wonder, the $2,000 Z-Cam, shoots 120fps 4K and 10 bit ProRes. Apparently, it's selling like hotcakes.

http://www.z-cam.com/e2/

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1442842-REG/z_cam_e1503_e2_professional_4k_cinematic.html

The 4/3 sensor size, particularly with the 10MP sensor often used for 4K now, seems to represent a very good compromise between light sensitivity and DOF.
Z-Cam offers larger sensors too but yes the E2 is a nice option for many. They also seem like a legit company with some distribution through B&H. That’s more than what one can say for many companies. Blackmagic Design also uses Micro 4/3 in their smaller cameras but EF/PL in their larger ones. The point being that the biggest Micro 4/3 growth is on the video and not the photo side. It’s why I’m a bit concerned for Olympus’ long term future as a company. Sony has to bail them out a few years back and the industry wasn’t nearly as competitive as it is now. I do feel like they should consider a FF option whether that is to join L-Mount alliance (if nothing else than for lens sales) or to partner up and adopt Sony’s E-Mount as it’s an open design provided you go through the NDA processes. In any case it would provide an option for Sony users and a strong base and ecosystem for Olympus users. Just my opinion though.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Z-Cam offers larger sensors too but yes the E2 is a nice option for many. They also seem like a legit company with some distribution through B&H. That’s more than what one can say for many companies. Blackmagic Design also uses Micro 4/3 in their smaller cameras but EF/PL in their larger ones. The point being that the biggest Micro 4/3 growth is on the video and not the photo side. It’s why I’m a bit concerned for Olympus’ long term future as a company. Sony has to bail them out a few years back and the industry wasn’t nearly as competitive as it is now. I do feel like they should consider a FF option whether that is to join L-Mount alliance (if nothing else than for lens sales) or to partner up and adopt Sony’s E-Mount as it’s an open design provided you go through the NDA processes. In any case it would provide an option for Sony users and a strong base and ecosystem for Olympus users. Just my opinion though.
I wonder if Olympus has the knowledge needed to make a really great hybrid stills/video camera. From what I've see, the E-M1X is pretty good, but they still have a bit to go before they are on GH5 level.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
I wonder if Olympus has the knowledge needed to make a really great hybrid stills/video camera. From what I've see, the E-M1X is pretty good, but they still have a bit to go before they are on GH5 level.
IMO Olympus is far away from a great video camera that pros or enthusiasts want and need. Both the EM1.2 and the EM1X are great still cameras with adding some good video features and for occasional video they are ok. But above that they simply are not relevant.

A GH5 or a GH5s are definitely much more capable in the serious video area although they still have the DFD focus pumping issues. The Fuji X-T3 or Sony most of their current A series FF models are highly relevant in that game especially also because of their reliable AF. Maybe Nikon with a Z6 plays also well.

I have lost my confidence in Olympus WRT serious video features also for the future. They had their chance with the EM1X but they failed. And maybe, yes maybe a EM1.3 would be better but as I said I gave up my hope and also my patience. And quite frankly I fear they have not the money/resources left to make serious future video happen at all.

So one needs to look elsewhere I would argue!
 

iiiNelson

Active member
IMO Olympus is far away from a great video camera that pros or enthusiasts want and need. Both the EM1.2 and the EM1X are great still cameras with adding some good video features and for occasional video they are ok. But above that they simply are not relevant.

A GH5 or a GH5s are definitely much more capable in the serious video area although they still have the DFD focus pumping issues. The Fuji X-T3 or Sony most of their current A series FF models are highly relevant in that game especially also because of their reliable AF. Maybe Nikon with a Z6 plays also well.

I have lost my confidence in Olympus WRT serious video features also for the future. They had their chance with the EM1X but they failed. And maybe, yes maybe a EM1.3 would be better but as I said I gave up my hope and also my patience. And quite frankly I fear they have not the money/resources left to make serious future video happen at all.

So one needs to look elsewhere I would argue!
My feeling is that it all comes down to perspective and expectations.

For hybrid use i think most cameras are fine. The A7S and GH lines (the XT, XH, and Z6 to a lesser extent) offer the most control for hybrid shooters with a videocentric focus without a doubt but that doesn’t make the other cameras bad. I think the problem comes from the expectations that some people wanting hybrid cameras to do things that only dedicated video cameras generally do. I still say that if a person is mostly a video shooter or has serious video aspirations - they’re better off with investing into a dedicated video camera. A hybrid - ANY hybrid is going to be focused and geared towards photography... and I also think it’s crazy to hold hybrid cameras to an unrealistic expectation that we don’t hold video cameras with stills modes to.

I agree with you though in that if you don’t believe in the direction of the company than perhaps you should look elsewhere.
 
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