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02-23-2011, 08:23 AM   #346
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QuoteOriginally posted by uccemebug Quote
What use a 'me-too' product unless it offers real distinction?
This is why I wish Pentax would just join m4/3's or work on a deal with Sony to use the E-Mount to take on m4/3's. As far as mirrorless mounts go I really don't see what they can improve on. Both of those are well thought out mounts. The E-Mount supposedly designed so that it can even cover 35mm sensors if they choose to go large some day. 2.5x or a 2x3 ratio 2x sensor (like Canon is rumored to be working on) is just a waste of time as far as bringing a benefit to the customer. Will 2.5x cameras be smaller than m4/3's? Perhaps, but m4/3's is already plenty small for me.

I simply have no use for a camera any smaller than a GF-2 or NEX-5. The E-PL2 is really the sweet spot for me personally; large enough to actually use without getting carpal tunnel syndrome, yet small and light enough to put in a backpack for a very long hike without weighing me down. My iPhone 4 is fine as a pocket camera.

02-23-2011, 09:22 AM   #347
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
work on a deal with Sony to use the E-Mount to take on m4/3's.
Having two standards around which to rally would be better for the market than having only one. Especially if Nikon, Sony, and Hoya/Pentax are in on it together and Hoya can get solid commitments from Sony regarding new sensor technology etc.

Of course, Hoya's joining the E-mount brigade would put the K-mount into the same listing, leaky boat that the alpha mount currently enjoys. But in reality it's probably already there.

(Then we can all start pining for re-issues of old K favourites on 43 or E).

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
vhs
Chortle!
02-23-2011, 09:48 AM   #348
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Aristophanes, allow me to disagree with your view on this, as it is quite inaccurate.

QuoteQuote:
Film is a standard. ISO is a standard.
Film is a sheet of plastic. Different film formats are standards.

ISO is an organization that maintains standards.

QuoteQuote:
CMOS is a standard. CCD is a standard. They have defined engineering and manufacturing principles (and patents).
CMOS and CCD are technologies.

QuoteQuote:
m43 is a closed system. Oly's firmware makes them a subsystem of m43. K-mount is still a subsystem of the APS-C system.
m43 is a standard. A standard for a system of interchangeable lenses and bodies to mount them on.

Everybody (Wikipedia article, their own homepage, random press releases, etc) refers to it as a standard.

K-mount is a standard. APS-C (when used in the context of sensor sizes) could be argued to be just a format, not a standard.

QuoteQuote:
The difference is the boundary.
Elaborate, please.


Overall, just because something is a standard doesn't necessarily make it open, nor does it make it popular.
02-23-2011, 10:06 AM   #349
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QuoteOriginally posted by uccemebug Quote
Having two standards around which to rally would be better for the market than having only one. Especially if Nikon, Sony, and Hoya/Pentax are in on it together and Hoya can get solid commitments from Sony regarding new sensor technology etc.

Of course, Hoya's joining the E-mount brigade would put the K-mount into the same listing, leaky boat that the alpha mount currently enjoys. But in reality it's probably already there.

(Then we can all start pining for re-issues of old K favourites on 43 or E).
The market history and current profits argue precisely *against* shared mounts between brands. Profit margins are made from glass, not mid- to low-end bodies. Canikon make the majority of their gross revenues from mid- to low-end body sales, and all their profits from glass and higher-end bodies.

Canon and Nikon (and Pentax, and Leica and Olympus) flourished precisely because they differentiated and locked consumers into their lens ecosystem. That dynamic has not changed and is still the basis for all profitability in the industry to date.

The advent of the $199 MILC body will actually place more financial emphasis on optics, not on bodies. Sony has given license only for 3rd party lenses and adapters (thanks to the short focal length flange) and I strongly doubt we will see Sony allowing anyone else allowed to license the e-mount in a camera body. Fuji went nowhere with the F-mount.

m43 was different in that 43 was d-e-d as it was unable to compete with APS-C. Making a closed system for 2 players gave Olympus the economy-of-scale the system needed to keep 4/3 production going, and got Panasonic into the MILC market where its DSLR line prior had fallen flat. It was as much a move of market desperation for Olympus as it was a chance to leverage the MILC concept being first to the start line. They've had good success to date but still fall far short of the profitability of the current DSLR market.

When the $199 MILC body becomes ubiquitous, the market will compete on brand identity, glass, and sensor size. Backwards compatibility will be huge as it ties all 3 market elements together (which is precisely why Sony "opened" the e-mount to 3rd parties). For that reason alone Canon, Nikon, and Pentax are almost sure to create closed mount systems. It's a formula that still works (Leica S-System).

02-23-2011, 10:14 AM   #350
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Those who will perceive themselves as strong will create their own standards. Those who perceive themselves as less strong, will form partnerships or join existing standards.

Some or even many of those who create their own standards will fail, but would have succeeded if they had joined an existing system.

That Olympus joined Panasonic on m43 was probably a very good decision for them, they wouldn't have made it otherwise. Pentax would be wise to do something similar; whether with m43, NEX or Nikon can be disputed.

Systems which are supported by multiple vendors will generally be better for the consumer. Vendor lock-in generally benefits the vendor, but not the consumer. That's a strong point for m43 btw.
02-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #351
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
Aristophanes, allow me to disagree with your view on this, as it is quite inaccurate.
QuoteQuote:
Film is a sheet of plastic. Different film formats are standards.
Film is base + emulsion. That's why it is called "film". Technically it was not all plastic and the earliest and some unique films (some still made by mad analog scientists) had no plastic in them at all.

Are you sure you're a photographer?

QuoteQuote:
ISO is an organization that maintains standards.
I know. I am certified

QuoteQuote:
CMOS and CCD are technologies.
They are technologies boundaried by patents and those define standard methodologies covered by the IEC SSB and technical sub-committees therein.

My remembering of APS is that it was originally a Kodak film patent and technology that became an ISO-governed format because Kodak entered into royalty arrangements with multiple producers including Fuji. As with most film formats, there were both statutory and industry standards regarding design (perforations, thickness) and warranties. Some jurisdictions (the EU in particular) legislate standards. If not legislated, they only become standards in law if there is broad, entrenched market acceptance and recognition in jurisprudence. Lots of WIPO debate there.

QuoteQuote:
Overall, just because something is a standard doesn't necessarily make it open, nor does it make it popular.
Generally, a standard is defined by a market, statute, or voluntary consensus by a majority of suppliers. The latter is the rationale behind the creation of the ISO and other SSB's. 2 brands' lens mount concept does not an industry standard make, not be everyone's definition, and certainly not by many legal ones. It's marketing. Like EOS or Nikkor are. Is EOS a "standard"? Nikkor? Highly contestable.

m43 can call itself whatever it wants. It's a "standard" to those who buy in, but not to the market as a whole. It's just a system with specifications which are internal to those who buy a license from the patent holders. It is not subject to a broad industry technical committee like ISO (or MPEG or JPEG or a dozens of other standard setting bodies under ISO). There is no industry SSB for lens mounts (the IEC for sensors) so m43's patents on lens mounts are related only to its own system.

The argument here is whether m43 is an "industry standard" and that is highly debatable as a general statement. 43 definitely was designed as a standard with many parties buying in through disclosure and license, but few followed through. m43's evolution is deliberately less standardized and supplier accepted than 43. Between Nikon and Canon entrenching their own sensor fabs, m43 shaving off the best from 43 while abandoning the original multi-supplier standard, Leica developing its S2, developments in MF (the 645D is a perfect example)and so on, there is actually *less* standardization in the industry now that there has been for a long time.
02-23-2011, 12:50 PM   #352
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Film is base + emulsion.
These days the base is generally plastic.

But whatever, that wasn't my point. My point was that film, per se, isn't a standard, which makes your earlier statement false.

QuoteQuote:
Are you sure you're a photographer?
Elaborate, please.

QuoteQuote:
I know. I am certified
And yet you just called it (ISO) a "standard".

QuoteQuote:
They are technologies boundaried by patents and those define standard methodologies covered by the IEC SSB and technical sub-committees therein.
While there are certainly standards followed in the manufacture of CCD and CMOS sensors, I don't think you can find a standard which defines CCD or CMOS as such, therefore your earlier statement that they are standards is false.

QuoteQuote:
My remembering of APS is that it was originally a Kodak film patent and technology that became an ISO-governed format because Kodak entered into royalty arrangements with multiple producers including Fuji.
APS film format is a standard. APS-C sensors aren't unless taken in the very widest sense of the term, otherwise Canon's wouldn't be smaller than others.

QuoteQuote:
Generally, a standard is defined by a market, statute, or voluntary consensus by a majority of suppliers. The latter is the rationale behind the creation of the ISO and other SSB's. 2 brands' lens mount concept does not an industry standard make, not be everyone's definition, and certainly not by many legal ones. It's marketing. Like EOS or Nikkor are. Is EOS a "standard"? Nikkor? Highly contestable.
First, you are now switching the discussion from "standard" to "industry standard"; the semantics of those are different.

Second, EOS and Nikkor are brands and not standards. EF- and F-mounts are standards.

QuoteQuote:
It's a "standard" to those who buy in, but not to the market as a whole.
Google searches:
'"micro four thirds" standard' = About 13,500,000 results
"micro four thirds standard" = About 373,000 results

That's a lot of buying into m43 which we see here (your words, not mine).

QuoteQuote:
The argument here is whether m43 is an "industry standard" and that is highly debatable as a general statement.
Actually, you're the only one debating whether it is an "industry standard", no one else used this term before you in this thread.

The argument is whether it is a "standard", and it appears most people think it is one, along with K-mount, F-mount and so forth. Or is the K-mount not a standard in your view?

If we revisit the start of this fairly boring and useless discussion we see that it started with the following:
QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
It is no standard in the sense of an ISO approved standard but it may indeed become a de facto standard.
... and you apparently disagreeing with that saying m43 is a system, not a standard.

That is what the argument is about, and not whether m43 right now is a widely used industry standard.

Please don't resort to straw-men. Thanks.
02-23-2011, 01:16 PM   #353
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juu, you don't get it.

I just invented a new "standard" in soap called "Sudsy Kitty". It's a standard because I say so. It's marketing.

It has no factual test, no standards body, etc.

Neither does m43.

It's only a standard because the m43 owners of the patent market it as such.

EOS (EF) as a lens mount or Nikkor (F)as a lens mount is as "standard" as m43. Tamron, Sigma, and so on reverse engineer it to create a market system, but there is no validation from a governing body nor any offical imprimatur there there is a standard closer to ISO on the continuum than to my Sudsy Kitty marketing effort at the other end of that same continuum.

I have never heard F-mount or EF-mount referred to as standards under any market terms ever. Quite the opposite in fact. Canon goes out of its way to prevent reverse engineering and jealously protects its mount from ever becoming accessible to other parties, even those who want to provide adapters taking advantage of the shallow flange. Nikon is not quite so protective, but neither license their lens mounts to anything resembling a standard. They are resolutely proprietary and are the crown jewels of their market base.

You are 100% in the wrong calling something totally proprietary a "standard".

There's no standard definition of a standard when it comes to lens mounts. There is for ISO.

Where does m43 stand on the continuum? Much closer to Sudsy Kitty than to ISO.

ISO is both a de facto and de jure standard because it is referenced in statutes (though not uniformly or ubiquitously).

m43 is a technical specification and a marketing concept. It's as much of a standard as Sudsy Kitty.

02-23-2011, 01:24 PM   #354
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Sony has given license only for 3rd party lenses and adapters (thanks to the short focal length flange) and I strongly doubt we will see Sony allowing anyone else allowed to license the e-mount in a camera body.
I'd missed the detail that the body side was off-limits. I wonder if it will stay that way. Certainly, it'd be easier to persuade some lens manufacturers if they saw this as more than just Sony's playground. There wouldn't seem to be any Playstation/DVD trick by which Sony could get their way, this time.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
...43 was d-e-d as it was unable to compete with APS-C. Making a closed system for 2 players gave Olympus the economy-of-scale the system needed to keep 4/3 production going, and got Panasonic into the MILC market where its DSLR line prior had fallen flat. It was as much a move of market desperation....
It may have been born of desperation but their execution was brilliant. Enough, certainly, to spawn a new way for everyone to think about cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
When the $199 MILC body becomes ubiquitous, the market will compete on brand identity, glass, and sensor size.
Sensor size would seem a good deal less important than the mount. In the era of the $199 camera, the lens line is really the only consideration left when it comes to laying out for gear. Protecting one's purchases means the same in $199 MILC land as it does in DSLR land. I expect that for the majority of buyers larger sensor size will be "what you get when you spend more".

Frankly, I'm already at the point of disregarding sensor size; the G12's having a tiny sensor doesn't bother me.
02-23-2011, 02:08 PM   #355
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I just invented a new "standard" in soap called "Sudsy Kitty". It's a standard because I say so. It's marketing.
The differences between m43 and your "Sudsy Kitty" (SK) are:
* m43 is supported by (or in the process of being supported by) five large global companies and some other smaller Chinese manufacturers of which two support it fully, and a subset of others manufacture lenses for it. SK is supported by just you, and you don't even make any soap.
* m43 has a defined (although not publicly available) specification and test methods for compliance, while SK has none of these.
* A huge number of different sources, both related and unrelated to the companies supported it refer to m43 as a standard. Only you call SK a standard.
etc.

QuoteQuote:
It's only a standard because the m43 owners of the patent market it as such.
And also the other things listed above.

Overall, it appears, there aren't really that many people besides you who do not consider it a standard.

QuoteQuote:
EOS (EF) as a lens mount or Nikkor (F)as a lens mount is as "standard" as m43.
Actually, not really. EF- and F-mounts are each supported by a single company which doesn't even provide the option of licensing the mounts for other vendors. That would indeed make them less of a standard than m43.

QuoteQuote:
Where does m43 stand on the continuum? Much closer to Sudsy Kitty than to ISO.
Well, I think here is where we will have to disagree.

To me the continuum goes approximately like this:

ISO 518:2006 (flash hotshoe) ->- 4/3 -->-- m43 ----->----- F-mount -------->--------- GXR ------------------ --------------------- > --------------------- ----------------- Sudsy Kitty

QuoteQuote:
ISO is both a de facto and de jure standard because it is referenced in statutes (though not uniformly or ubiquitously).
You appear to value ISO and similar standards very highly. Do you have your house wired in IEC 60906-1?

In any case, no matter how much we'd like to take a purist approach on open standards (such as using IEC 60906-1 in our homes), it is not always feasible. Or to put it more bluntly, in reality de facto standards actually used are more important than ISO standards which aren't.

In case of m43 it is the closest to a widely used 'de facto' mirrorless standard, although NEX could catch up to it in that regard.

To claim it's not a standard because it is not sufficiently open, while admirable from the perspective of promoting open standards, is still quite inaccurate.

QuoteQuote:
ISO is both a de facto and de jure standard because it is referenced in statutes (though not uniformly or ubiquitously).
For the second time, ISO is an organization, and not a standard. I presume you are being imprecise and are actually referring to ISO 12232:2006. By my interpretation of DxOMarks results it appears that if Olympus and Panasonic would follow the m43 standard with the same accuracy as different camera manufacturers interpret that standard, the lenses would not be compatible . So much for international standards.

Also, how familiar are you with ISO/IEC 29500?

P.S. Why did you ask me this:
QuoteQuote:
Are you sure you're a photographer?
Just a random personal attack unconnected to the discussion, or would you like to elaborate?

Last edited by juu; 02-23-2011 at 02:28 PM.
02-23-2011, 03:38 PM   #356
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This is getting ridiculous, you can't just call one of the small camera mounts an "industry standard". Why m4/3 and not one with a larger market share?
Btw, every proprietary mount has a specification. And... people reciting ad nauseam Olympus marketing materials (which are more wishful thinking and outrageous lies) can't be used as an argument.

The marketing department can't decide that something is a standard. Oly started this lie hoping people would buy it (and many did); but it's still a lie. Are you telling us that we should pursue marketing lies?
Now I'd guess some people here likes to call m4/3 a "standard" in order to promote the idea that Pentax should jump in. Isn't it true? it would be bad to start supporting a competing format, but if it's a "standard" everything changes...

Sorry, but again: m4/3 is not and it will never be a standard. It's just yet another proprietary mount, owned by 2 companies and licensed to few others.
Either this, or every camera mount is a "standard". Your choice.
02-23-2011, 06:22 PM   #357
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
This is getting ridiculous, you can't just call one of the small camera mounts an "industry standard". Why m4/3 and not one with a larger market share?
Btw, every proprietary mount has a specification. And... people reciting ad nauseam Olympus marketing materials (which are more wishful thinking and outrageous lies) can't be used as an argument.

The marketing department can't decide that something is a standard. Oly started this lie hoping people would buy it (and many did); but it's still a lie. Are you telling us that we should pursue marketing lies?
Now I'd guess some people here likes to call m4/3 a "standard" in order to promote the idea that Pentax should jump in. Isn't it true? it would be bad to start supporting a competing format, but if it's a "standard" everything changes...

Sorry, but again: m4/3 is not and it will never be a standard. It's just yet another proprietary mount, owned by 2 companies and licensed to few others.
Either this, or every camera mount is a "standard". Your choice.
Precisely.

I would caveat it's not a lie to those who buy in to their system. That's the whole point. Oly says m43 lenses are smaller and that's a truth. It still does not make m43 a standard to anyone but someone who bought m43!

From an objective industry position or for any regulatory body (and I work for one that deals routinely with building science ISO standards) there is no lens mount "standard" outside of marketing trade talk. They are all proprietary.

The micro four-thirds standards organization is 100% owned by Olympus. 43 is owned as a patent outright by Olympus as well. The copyright on both are all Olympus.

As an aside, when 43 and then m43 came out there was a lot of talk about why Panasonic simply did not buy Olympus. Barriers in Japanese business mergers and divergent lines of non-retail business were seen as an impediment, as was Panny's long-term deal with Leica. Almost anywhere outside of Japan, the much smaller Olympus would have been M&A'd with the much larger Panasonic and m43 would be as proprietary a system within one corporation as F-mount is to Nikon. It's really only a business convenience that 2 companies offer the mount. This is quite unlike the original 43 concept where the deal was for Kodak and maybe Fuji or Sigma to be sensor suppliers to variety of manufacturers, but Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax took a market dominant position based on digital re-adaptation of the old film APS system, which is kind of ironic because Kodak started APS!

This line gets me from juu:

QuoteQuote:
* m43 is supported by (or in the process of being supported by) five large global companies and some other smaller Chinese manufacturers of which two support it fully, and a subset of others manufacture lenses for it. SK is supported by just you, and you don't even make any soap.
You could say the same of Canon or Nikon and the slew of third party products for those brands whose lens mounts are proprietary and protected like the crown jewels of QE2. Just because someone makes LensBaby does not make EF-mount a "standard". But thanks for trying.

Or this one:

QuoteQuote:
In the case of m43 it is the closest to a widely used 'de facto' mirrorless standard...
Definition: fanboy.

So all of "mirrorless" cameras are now a standard. And m43 is the de facto? Have you informed Leica? It will set their market department scrambling. Poor Fuji. Did you tell them? They have this new camera coming out....

Careful about throwing that "standard" word around. It comes back to bite......

And maybe I do make Sudsy Kitty soap and it is the international standard because I say so and is dominant in sales of a worldwide kitten washing consortium. At least as a photographer I know that film is not just a "sheet of plastic".

I have noting against m43 as a system. Each to their own. It's a vast market. Back to the OP, m43 has a marginal size convenience wrapped around a sensor inferior to APS-C, which is why I think Pentax should not downgrade to that standard.
02-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #358
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
This is getting ridiculous
Yeah, who dared first use the word 'standard', have his membership stripped!

Whether it's marketing lies or not, I know several photographers who have simultaneously come to realize that in the 43 set of products there's a viable alternative to lugging their overbuilt APS-C and FX gear around. I suspect that Pentax (and Nikon) would have a hard time doing the same, again.

Pentax has made a lot of right moves of late. But things are moving quickly, now, and it will take more than incremental improvements to stay relevant. Let's hope that their forthcoming rangefinder/mirror-less endeavor is done with the same skill they've been showing.
02-23-2011, 09:31 PM   #359
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QuoteOriginally posted by uccemebug Quote
Yeah, who dared first use the word 'standard', have his membership stripped!

Whether it's marketing lies or not, I know several photographers who have simultaneously come to realize that in the 43 set of products there's a viable alternative to lugging their overbuilt APS-C and FX gear around. I suspect that Pentax (and Nikon) would have a hard time doing the same, again.

Pentax has made a lot of right moves of late. But things are moving quickly, now, and it will take more than incremental improvements to stay relevant. Let's hope that their forthcoming rangefinder/mirror-less endeavor is done with the same skill they've been showing.
Its the overuse of the word or its misallocation through hyperbole that makes for a laugh. It's a common tactic in marketing to develop one's own standard as a marketing device. The world is littered with them. Enter m43.

I've not said lies, nor would I because that's not true. But m43 is nowhere near being a "de facto mirrorless standard". Not everyone can even agree on what mirrorless is and is not. By definition all P&S are mirrorless and m43 competes with G12's and superzooms, some of which are in the same price point (and I see a *lot* of superzooms in tourist season). There's no "standard" save marketing here because no one can agree on basic terms:

Samsung NX: A New Camera Standard


...this is followed by:

The NX Series cameras are redefining what it means to have a digital camera and what it means to be a photographer.

Samsung NX Series: A New Camera Standard

Really? A new standard? Yet another one? Go Samsung...go.

An ISO standard is simply something that an industry or segment cooperatively or statutorily agrees on. There's none of that with m43 because it's owned 100% by Olympus with a license to Panasonic as a means of bulking up market to catch up to Canon and Nikon. That's all. They use the word standard as marketing, same as Samsung.

In some ways m43 is more proprietary than the APS-C DSLR mounts because the firmware issues make it nearly impossible to reverse engineer with equivalent functionality. That's why some small lens makers looking for niche expansion have to pay royalties. They do not have to do so with EF or F-mounts, or K-mount yet my Tamron's and Sigma's work just fine with EXIF all accurate.

There's zero industry consensus on lens mount standards as the entire industry formula for product differentiation in a crowded marketplace is a proprietary lens mount. That shows signs of becoming more of an issue with lens firmware, not less. No one wants to be a generic brand, commodity $199 body while the optics guy gets all the glory and profits.
02-23-2011, 10:43 PM   #360
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