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Old 13th November 2018
super_claret super_claret is offline
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Re: Tony Northrup believes micro-four-thirds is dead

For anybody interested, I wrote to Olympus about these rumours to ask what their opinion was...

Good afternoon

Many thanks for your email and for voicing your concerns.

I have to tell you, firstly and without doubt, Micro Four-Thirds is not dead, not even close.
We have no need or concern to jump into a format change, especially the saturated FF market like Panasonic have done with Sigma and Leica. The MFT format holds an excellent and ever popular niche which we support generously.

We have invested heavily for many years (since the 70's) in building the smallest cameras with the best possible quality.
Our OM's were smaller than other 35mm machines, our C system were developed with size in mind, the Four-Thirds (or E-System) cameras were as small as we could get D-SLR's and now we have spend the last 10+ years developing and refining the Micro Four-Thirds format.

The last model (E-M1 MKII) out performs most D-SLR's and is comparable with the top FF cameras of this time for IQ, Noise and Dynamic Range when paired with our lenses.

I also enjoy watching Tony and Chelsea, I find them very 'entertaining', however, they are not affiliated with any one brand and tend to shoot more often than not with heavy, expensive gear.
I don't think I've ever seen them out on location where they don't have a 4x4 (SUV) to lug all their kit around and I don't even think they're that knowledgeable when it comes to the technical side of the MFT system.

So I will give you the same advice I give my team; enjoy watching, listen to what they have to say, but never take it as divine rule and always with a pinch of salt. The Youtube channel is at the end of the day a personal opinion blog.

This being said, he did get one thing right and it is across the board, with any company providing any consumer goods; "no-one will ever know what the future holds", not even the developers.
However if we look at historical data, you can see the movement of mounts and systems has drastically slowed down (for most manufacturers).

Since the 60's you can see the following system releases:

Canon - 8 mounts - 3 in the last 10 years
Fuji - 7 mounts - 2 in the last 10 years
Nikon - 4 mounts - 2 in the last 10 years
Sony - 3 mounts - all in the last 10 years.
Olympus - 4 mounts - 1 in the last 10 years

So long story short; no-one will ever be able to give you a certainty about what the company is working on, or what is to come, but I can assure you, everything I have heard and spoken about with the management here, is that there is no interest in moving to FF or any other sensor size.
We're happy with MFT and our feedback from customers shows they same. I trust you'll also continue to enjoy the system. For many, many years.

Kind regards,

David Munns
UK Customer & Technical Support Manager
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