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03-12-2017, 01:28 AM   #16
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It's amazing that the original four thirds lasted this long, though I doubt they've sold much in the last five or so years. The system suffered to a much greater extent the problem that continues with micro four thirds - the much smaller size of the sensor was not reflected in smaller cameras or prices when compared to APS-C (or even some FF) alternatives.

03-12-2017, 02:46 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I really wonder, in the long run, if bigger is better is where the camera market is going.to be in, say, 5 years.
Just my own subjective feeling but I get the sense that the next generation may be moving to smaller, lighter, faster more responsive and sophisticated gear.
Sheer raw visual technical excellence, while important, is not everything especially for the next generation.
I think there are a couple of things.

First of all, most people who are seriously interested in photography want to see a range of sensor sizes that they can move into. I have a feeling that most still start with APS-C, but then will move up to full frame if they continue to enjoy taking photos. This was a serious knock on Pentax for a long time, "They're a nice company, but do they have full frame?"

The problem is that we have reached the point where improvements in high iso and dynamic range performance from generation to generation of camera sensors are getting smaller and smaller. The easiest way to get improvements in these things is to bump up sensor size. If you want to shoot with really shallow depth of field, or really high iso, or want to maintain dynamic range above base iso, you end up having to go with a larger sensor. And people find these things out as they begin to shoot and push the limits of their gear.

Beyond which, none of these cameras is pocketable once you include a decently fast zoom. They are almost always picture with wide-ish primes to emphasize the fact that they are small (and they are), but a KS-1 is small when you stick a DA 40 or DA 70 on it. Stick a f2.8 zoom and you will need a decent sized carrying case to go with it.

In the end people want options. They do want small, but they also want better image quality and often those two things are in conflict.
03-12-2017, 07:08 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I lack your sense of certainty - time will tell...
Its not really a sense of certainty. Its more a reflection of the historical trend. I remember reading about a how new film emulations were going to allow 35mm to level the field against medium format. But the new emulation was also offered in MF and the same advances were applied to the larger format for even better results. The same thing still happens, but in sensor technology. Printing is making a comeback and people are moving away from canvas (which hides noise and resolution) and metals, glass, & acrylic are becoming possible which allow for really high resolution printing.

Yes there is a trend for smaller high quality cameras, but you reach a point where they are too small to really use. One reason I have not gotten a Fuji is the cameras are just too small for me, but for many people I know the Fuji X100 is the perfect size pocket camera. Personally I like M4/3 and I think having a M4/3 and a FF 4/3 format (2x) makes more sense than having APS-C and FF.
03-12-2017, 02:22 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Rather than thinking in terms of gear I was thinking more in terms of the over-all culture, or gestalt if you will, of photography - it's changing.

I think it might have something to do with phone cameras. There are many serious photographers that are also using their
phones for quick and dirty informal shots and are beginning to wonder if it's really necessary to have something the bulk and weight of a toaster hanging off their neck to get decent work done - "if I can get this at 6mp what could I do with a 1" 20mp sensor?"- something like that.

Don't get me wrong I get quality - I'm probably one of the few on the forum that has actually used an 8x10" view camera, developed and contact printed the shot - with that gorgeous tonal range that only large format can give you (at least so far) but there is more to photography than just technique.

One thing I would predict - optical VFs, as presently implemented, are doomed. It's time to move on away from Rube Goldberg 19th century mirrors and prisms.

Taken with the original 1/2,3" Q sensor at 560mm at a distance of a bit over 40 feet.


Last edited by wildman; 03-24-2017 at 01:07 AM.
03-12-2017, 03:36 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Rather than thinking in terms of gear I was thinking more in terms of the over-all culture, or gestalt if you will, of photography - it's changing.

I think it might have something to do with phone cameras. There are many serious photographers that are also using their
phones for quick and dirty informal shots and are beginning to wonder if it's really necessary to have something the bulk and weight of a toaster hanging off their neck to get decent work done - "if I can get this at 6mp what could I do with a 1" 20mp sensor?"- something like that.

Don't get me wrong I get quality - I'm probably one of the few on the forum that has actually used an 8x10" view camera, developed and contact printed the shot - with that gorgeous tonal range that only large format can give you (at least so far) but there is more to photography than just technique.

One thing I would predict - optical VFs, as presently implemented, are doomed. It's time to move on away from Rube Goldberg 19th century mirrors and prisms.

Taken with the original 1/2,3" Q sensor at 560mm at a distance of a bit over 40 feet.
Fine shot! In London, the Tube/metro is plastered with quite pleasing and very large stills saying "Taken with an iPhone 7" so it's pretty clear where the research and marketing millions are going. But perhaps cameras will have to go large in order to make themselves sufficiently different.

For myself, I find M43 a great general walkaround system. Most folks these days don't print and for screens m43 is already way over the bar so far as I can see. And for video folks, it must be a very good system too.

I've read that some of the Olympus original 43 lenses are optically superb and really quite special. So maybe they will continue a long life as valued legacy items much as many older Pentax lenses do today.

As M43 is now a mature system I suppose Olympus do have the question of what next?
03-13-2017, 07:49 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
As M43 is now a mature system I suppose Olympus do have the question of what next?
Considering their experience with small I would suggest a high quality 1" sensor version rather like the OM-D E-M1 Mark I
03-13-2017, 08:08 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Rather than thinking in terms of gear I was thinking more in terms of the over-all culture, or gestalt if you will, of photography - it's changing.

I think it might have something to do with phone cameras. There are many serious photographers that are also using their
phones for quick and dirty informal shots and are beginning to wonder if it's really necessary to have something the bulk and weight of a toaster hanging off their neck to get decent work done - "if I can get this at 6mp what could I do with a 1" 20mp sensor?"- something like that.

Don't get me wrong I get quality - I'm probably one of the few on the forum that has actually used an 8x10" view camera, developed and contact printed the shot - with that gorgeous tonal range that only large format can give you (at least so far) but there is more to photography than just technique.

One thing I would predict - optical VFs, as presently implemented, are doomed. It's time to move on away from Rube Goldberg 19th century mirrors and prisms.

Taken with the original 1/2,3" Q sensor at 560mm at a distance of a bit over 40 feet.
That's a great shot, but probably something that is beyond a lot of folk's capabilities with that size sensor. I about have to use a tripod to shoot DA 55-300 on a K3, not to mention the difficulty of getting the image in sharp focus.

03-13-2017, 09:06 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
That's a great shot, but probably something that is beyond a lot of folk's capabilities with that size sensor. I about have to use a tripod to shoot DA 55-300 on a K3, not to mention the difficulty of getting the image in sharp focus.
I hear you.
I never do bird shots at less than 500mm so I always use a tripod but if I was going to go as short as 300mm I would still use a tripod. It's enough work to just get a bird in the frame only to loose it due to camera shake. I know my limits and my gears limits. Frame it, adjust Ev for a perfect ETTR RAW file, pull the trigger and worry about the rest in Photoshop.

A shot with the 1/1.7" sensor of the Q-S1

Last edited by wildman; 03-24-2017 at 01:07 AM.
03-14-2017, 09:44 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
As M43 is now a mature system I suppose Olympus do have the question of what next?
Given that Olympus' imaging division has not made a quarterly profit since 2008, maybe what they really should do is figure out how to make their current line of m43 imaging products profitable.

The older 4/3rd line was doomed by the smaller sensor and the huge size of its quality glass. The SHG glass was superb but very large and heavy. Moreover, Olympus never provided a 4/3rds sensor that was good enough to fully take advantage of their high-end glass.

Olympus has gone smaller with m43, but have they gone small enough? Olympus seems to think that if they provide an f2.8 trio of zooms, that they can appeal to professionals looking for a smaller system. And while that f2.8 trio is significantly smaller and lighter than an FF DSLR f2.8 trio, Sony's mirrorless FF provides an f4 trio that's not much bigger and is matched with a sensor that is almost four times larger. How is Olympus supposed to compete with that, long-term?

Price-wise, Olympus struggles to compete with APS-C DSLRs. Adding in 3rd party options and used glass, there are so many more options at attractive prices in the APS-C world. And if you want to use prosumer or better zoom glass and you don't require fast apertures, the APS-C DSLR lenses often weigh less than the comparable Olympus glass. My DA 12-24 weighs about 100 grams less than the Oly 7-14/2.8. My DA 16-85 weighs less than the Oly 12-100/4. The Pentax lenses also cost less. Nikon and Canon APS-C DSLRs offer even more choices at significantly better prices. If you're not saving all that much in terms of size or weight with the Olympus gear, why not just go with a cheaper APS-C system? Perhaps Olympus needs to concentrate on keeping their system compact and light, rather than their (probably) futile attempt to attract professionals with the big, heavy pro zooms. Leica understands this with their APS-C cameras, which they've matched with compact, high quality lenses, making whatever sacrifices in lens speed necessary to achieve this end. Why can't Olympus figure this out?
03-14-2017, 01:10 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Given that Olympus' imaging division has not made a quarterly profit since 2008, maybe what they really should do is figure out how to make their current line of m43 imaging products profitable.

The older 4/3rd line was doomed by the smaller sensor and the huge size of its quality glass. The SHG glass was superb but very large and heavy. Moreover, Olympus never provided a 4/3rds sensor that was good enough to fully take advantage of their high-end glass.

Olympus has gone smaller with m43, but have they gone small enough? Olympus seems to think that if they provide an f2.8 trio of zooms, that they can appeal to professionals looking for a smaller system. And while that f2.8 trio is significantly smaller and lighter than an FF DSLR f2.8 trio, Sony's mirrorless FF provides an f4 trio that's not much bigger and is matched with a sensor that is almost four times larger. How is Olympus supposed to compete with that, long-term?

Price-wise, Olympus struggles to compete with APS-C DSLRs. Adding in 3rd party options and used glass, there are so many more options at attractive prices in the APS-C world. And if you want to use prosumer or better zoom glass and you don't require fast apertures, the APS-C DSLR lenses often weigh less than the comparable Olympus glass. My DA 12-24 weighs about 100 grams less than the Oly 7-14/2.8. My DA 16-85 weighs less than the Oly 12-100/4. The Pentax lenses also cost less. Nikon and Canon APS-C DSLRs offer even more choices at significantly better prices. If you're not saving all that much in terms of size or weight with the Olympus gear, why not just go with a cheaper APS-C system? Perhaps Olympus needs to concentrate on keeping their system compact and light, rather than their (probably) futile attempt to attract professionals with the big, heavy pro zooms. Leica understands this with their APS-C cameras, which they've matched with compact, high quality lenses, making whatever sacrifices in lens speed necessary to achieve this end. Why can't Olympus figure this out?
My guess in part is that a mantra has taken hold in the camera industry: go up the market and go niche. So everyone is racing for positions higher up the ladder. There's not enough room at the top for everyone, unfortunately, and in any case some market niches are in fact black holes. As it happens I think that Olympus may well attract some "professional" photographers to their f2.8 range although today that term probably applies 95 per cent to unscrupulous dentists and lawyers lucky enough to have avoided incarceration rather than to old-style pro photographers. Olympus don't have to sell heaps of these items, just enough of them. Whether that will happen is anyone's guess. After that? Pretty well Oly's only option apart from sitting tight is FF on the grounds than a 1" sensor is too close to M43 and to smartphones.

As to the future, who knows and to be honest I've given up caring. Almost every day another massive thread about the future of cameras appears on one forum or another. I've bugged out. I do know that I'd prefer to major on modern mirrorless and avoid the horror of owning a Sony camera at all costs. I suspect that in the end, M43 will run into the basic problem that folks just don't want to spend $$$ on lenses or bodies for an M43 sensor because it is "just" an M43 sensor. For bigger sensors sure, but not for M43. It's a mismatch and upward pressure on pricing just makes it look worse. The only exception is video where M43 seems to have a great rep, so things might turn out well for Panasonic. I suspect eventually I'll head for Fuji after majoring first on M43 primes, but not the f1.2 monster ones. The M43 system has a huge amount of things to like about it and I have enjoyed my photograph far more after passing up toting a full-on DSLR more than once in a blue moon. So I'm grateful for M43 even though I don't see it as a complete solution.
03-14-2017, 09:15 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
So I'm grateful for M43 even though I don't see it as a complete solution.
I wonder it that isn't part of the problem - the idea that there is a "complete" solution rather than different strokes for different folks with different purposes. There is no one ideal format even for the individual photographer.
Speaking only for myself I do get tired of, FF shots on Flickr, that push the ideal of technical perfection to the point of banality - they have captured the "perfect" image and it is dead.
03-15-2017, 03:10 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Given that Olympus' imaging division has not made a quarterly profit since 2008, maybe what they really should do is figure out how to make their current line of m43 imaging products profitable.

The older 4/3rd line was doomed by the smaller sensor and the huge size of its quality glass. The SHG glass was superb but very large and heavy. Moreover, Olympus never provided a 4/3rds sensor that was good enough to fully take advantage of their high-end glass.

Olympus has gone smaller with m43, but have they gone small enough? Olympus seems to think that if they provide an f2.8 trio of zooms, that they can appeal to professionals looking for a smaller system. And while that f2.8 trio is significantly smaller and lighter than an FF DSLR f2.8 trio, Sony's mirrorless FF provides an f4 trio that's not much bigger and is matched with a sensor that is almost four times larger. How is Olympus supposed to compete with that, long-term?

Price-wise, Olympus struggles to compete with APS-C DSLRs. Adding in 3rd party options and used glass, there are so many more options at attractive prices in the APS-C world. And if you want to use prosumer or better zoom glass and you don't require fast apertures, the APS-C DSLR lenses often weigh less than the comparable Olympus glass. My DA 12-24 weighs about 100 grams less than the Oly 7-14/2.8. My DA 16-85 weighs less than the Oly 12-100/4. The Pentax lenses also cost less. Nikon and Canon APS-C DSLRs offer even more choices at significantly better prices. If you're not saving all that much in terms of size or weight with the Olympus gear, why not just go with a cheaper APS-C system? Perhaps Olympus needs to concentrate on keeping their system compact and light, rather than their (probably) futile attempt to attract professionals with the big, heavy pro zooms. Leica understands this with their APS-C cameras, which they've matched with compact, high quality lenses, making whatever sacrifices in lens speed necessary to achieve this end. Why can't Olympus figure this out?
I do think crop cameras in general are going to be a tight place for brands to make money. A few years ago, Falconeye predicted that camera brands were going to stop generating as much revenue from the crop side of things and I didn't really believe it. But in a world in which "entry-level" full frame cameras are selling for just over a thousand dollars, it is tougher to sell crop cameras in that price range. The biggest way is if you can have some kind of high end, sports/wildlife camera like the D500, but certainly that hasn't rescued Nikon's financial woes.

People do talk about small size of gear a lot, but then they seem to want f2.8 zooms, which sort of defeats the purpose.

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I wonder it that isn't part of the problem - the idea that there is a "complete" solution rather than different strokes for different folks with different purposes. There is no one ideal format even for the individual photographer.
Speaking only for myself I do get tired of, FF shots on Flickr, that push the ideal of technical perfection to the point of banality - they have captured the "perfect" image and it is dead.
I guess I don't really understand where you are coming from. I own and use a K-1 and it is just another tool. A little better dynamic range and high iso, but otherwise just a camera with a little larger sensor. And when it comes to landscape images, I can't even tell just by looking whether an image is from a crop camera or a full frame one. Northcoast Greg shoots with crop cameras and has amazing captures. There are plenty of other folks who shoot with full frame who have less impressive results.

My guess is you don't like certain post processing styles which are prevalent on Flickr, but those have more to do with software and processing choices than with format size, in my humble opinion.
03-15-2017, 04:37 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I wonder it that isn't part of the problem - the idea that there is a "complete" solution rather than different strokes for different folks with different purposes. There is no one ideal format even for the individual photographer.
I agree, it's all a compromise. Few people are in a position to run multiple systems. A couple of days ago I listened to a podcast by a professional fashion photographer who calmly pointed out that a decade ago he was taking magazine double-page spreads on a Canon 5D with only 12 mpx, a primitive beast by today's standards. These days he is doing the same with an M43 camera which delivers 20 mpx and no one is complaining.

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Speaking only for myself I do get tired of, FF shots on Flickr, that push the ideal of technical perfection to the point of banality - they have captured the "perfect" image and it is dead.
Ah yes, for me this means the modern style of smooth, over-saturated images taken using an ND filter and then Photoshopped to the nines with pastel shades et al dropped in. Internet photography. It does nothing for me. I do a lot in black and white these days partly as a reaction against it all. I much prefer some rough edges, imperfections and above all some emotion. A really strong composition usually knocks the Photoshop crowd out of the park anyway. Which is why the camera doesn't really matter all that much.
03-15-2017, 04:48 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I guess I don't really understand where you are coming from.
That's a fair observation - it was really more a half formed speculation than anything else - just sort of thinking out loud.
Having said that it does seem to me that a lot of folks let technique tell them what the final image should be rather than the other way around.

Last edited by wildman; 03-15-2017 at 04:59 AM.
03-15-2017, 09:27 AM   #30
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I was heavily invested in the Olympus 4/3 system around 7-8 years ago, owning the SGH lenses 14-35 f2, 35-100 f2 and the 150 f2, and saving up for the 300 f2.8 + tc's.
Then the Pen camera's took over, and Olympus' priorities shifted. Olympus lost faith in the possible success of 4/3 and on top of that were plagued by a financial scandal.
I and quite a few others still believed in the 4/3 system, mainly due to the spectacular SHG lenses and the still wonderful and affordable HG lenses, but what really drew the curtains on the 4/3 system as far as I am concerned, was that Olympus got hold of a Sony sensor too late. The 4/3 Dslr system's users had already mostly left the system by the time Olympus finally got out of the strangehold by Panasonic, that kept their best sensors from Olympus to be able to compete with them.
Had the Sony sensor come sooner, things might have been different: I would for one most certainly still be shooting the SHG lenses. The Panasonic sensors were a disaster, the E3 was a hopeless camera due to its inferior sensor, and the E5, with basically the same underperforming kind of sensor, came at a point when Pentax already had the wonderful 16mp Sony sensor.
I feel that Olympus 4/3 could have been a dream system for tele shooting such as birding and wildlife, but the new 300mm m4/3 lens, however good, just does not produce the same magic as the 4/3 300mm f2.8, and I for one did not like the idea of shooting mirrorless for birding/wildlife.
Others had different reasons for liking 4/3, but it needed a state of the art 16mp sensor and that sensor came too late, when Olympus had already given up on the system, and so had most of its users.
I moved to Pentax literally the month that the EM-5 came out, and Olympus finally confessed, that there would not be another 4/3 Dslr body

Chris
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