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Micro Four Thirds Discuss the newly announced Micro Four Thirds addition to the Four Thirds system family here.

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  #31  
Old 5th August 2008
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by bully74uk View Post
Im not so sure about the this system being an upgrade from a Bridge Camera.

If one owns a bridge camera like the Panasonic FZ50 that I owned before upgrading to my E510 then size is obviously not that important as most of the higher end bridge cameras are much bigger than a compact and not far off the smaller DSLR's.

So why would I, as a bridge camera owner want to 'upgrade' to another bridge camera (effectively) that would require interchangeable lenses ?
Yes it would be smaller but as already mentioned I don't believe this would be a concern to most bridge camera users.
The image quality would be better as the new system will use the same size 4/3 sensor but surely the natural progression (for most) would be from Bridge Camera to DSLR ?

Personally I don't think this system will be the natural choice for people looking to upgrade from a Bridge Camera. I think like me, a DSLR would be the next choice, But........

What I can see is Panasonic/Olympus marketing this to replace their existing range of Bridge Cameras, the FZ18 and the FZ50 for example.
I used DP reviews Panasonic forum quite a lot when I owned the FZ50 and there was always debates on what was coming next to replace the FZ's and what people would like.
Bigger sensor with less noise was pretty much always the main response (not surprisingly) with quite a few mentions of more focal range as well.
So this system could IMO provide all that.
A bigger sensor than the current range, and interchangeable lenses to suit individual requirements.

So now here's where I see it could get good.
As a compact P+S owner who is looking to progress to a bridge camera I am presented with a camera that is not much bigger than my P+S but has image quality similar to that of a DSLR. I can also buy different lenses for it to suit my needs and development. I look at the competition and all they have are big bulky Bridge cameras with smaller sensors. What am I going to choose ?
A no brainer I think.

Then I decide that I want to take my photography to another level and purchase a DSLR. Well Ive already bought into the 4/3 micro system so if I go down the same route with a 4/3 DSLR, I can use the lenses on my 'bridge' camera if I want to and everything is compatable.

Could be a very clever way of introducing more people into the 4/3s system.

Any thoughts ??????
Well, there are big and small 'bridge' cameras. I know some people who own bigger varieties and who have become fed up with the size and weight, so Micro Four Thirds would definitely be of interest to them. With the smaller bridge cameras, lack of features and flexibility would also seem to make Micro FT and obvious consideration.

I actually wonder if a fully compatible Four Thirds non-reflex body is a possibility?

Ian
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  #32  
Old 5th August 2008
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by HughofBardfield View Post
I find this, on balance, worrying.

If they are aiming at the "bridge" market, they will have to up the number of MP and go-faster stripes to compete. The bridge market, it seems to me, is largely driven by specifications and marketing cr*p, not IQ. Our views of the products, as enthusiasts, are largely irrelevant in mass-market terms.

I do hope this is not going to be APS all over again.

Olympus have said they are committed to things before - like 35mm SLRs when they stopped developing the OM4 (an excellent camera but outdated long, long before it was discontinued). If they don't demonstrate commitment by producing a substantial upgrade to the E3 in the next 12 months or so, I, for one, will start feeling the need to look at other options.
You are absolutely right. Olympus and Panasonic must demonstrate commitment to the long term future for Four Thirds, and without any hesitation. The press release is a good first sign - read it and you will see there is unequivocal confirmation that development of Four Thirds continues.

Quote:
I read an interesting theory on another forum that basically said this might well be principally driven by Panasonic using their compact/bridge expertise to best advantage. If so, well and good. What Olympus do next in terms of developing the DSLR end will prove whether or not their "commitment" to the enthusiast / semi-pro market is genuine.
The press release is a joint statement by Panasonic and Olympus. But I see more of Panasonic's technology featuring to start with. But there is nothing unusual about this as, to date, Panasonic's DSLRs have been largely based on Olympus DSLR chassis.

Ian
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  #33  
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by andym View Post
All very interesting.

I wonder what type of memory card it will use.Let hope they dont go for XD
Panasonic will use SD/SDHC, just as they already do. After all, they co-invented the SD Card!

I'm pretty sure Olympus will continue with their dual slot CF/xD support, but this is totally a guess on my part.

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  #34  
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Who's_E View Post
Interesting. I was just trying to work out how to fit a smaller, good quality action-suitable camera into my backpack. Maybe I have a route if the AF and EVF are up to the job.

I do have a concern about the price given that an E-410 twin lens costs about 300 these days...

Good on them for trying, I seem to remember Ian writing something about Olympus (and other companies) using the 4/3rds format as a stepping stone to greater things. It seems that electronic miniturisation is on the move again.

Nick
I am on record as saying that Olympus could be the first to produce an DSLR-style camera, with interchangeable lenses, ever since the Olympus E-10 and E-20 fixed lens DSLRs from 7-8 years ago. It makes even more sense now than it did back then

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  #35  
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Invicta View Post
I have similiar thoughts to HughofBardfield.

The press release states:

Like any company Olympus does not have an infinite Research and Development budget so as Olympus is developing a new range of cameras, lens and accessories then development of the E-system must be impacted.

I was just about to purchase another E-system accessory so I have cancelled this and will wait to hear more on Olympus's road map for the E-System.
Don't forget that Panasonic and Olympus are collaborating, so there are two sets of R&D resources at work here, and it's my guess that Olympus will be doing more of the DSLR work while Panasonic do more of the Micro FT development - certainly to start with. When Panasonic Lumix entered the DSLR market, its Olympus-based cameras usually followed Olympus releases and I expect that it could be the other way around this time.

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  #36  
Old 5th August 2008
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
You are absolutely right. Olympus and Panasonic must demonstrate commitment to the long term future for Four Thirds, and without any hesitation. The press release is a good first sign - read it and you will see there is unequivocal confirmation that development of Four Thirds continues.

Ian
The problem is Prime Ministers declare total support for a minister, just prior to sacking them.

Olympus need to demonstrate the way forward for 4/3'rds if they expect consumers to keep buying.

It's not enough to say my lenses may fit this new camera; I bought/buy lenses in a belief that I was buying into a fully fledged dslr system which would grow/develop in line with developments in technology and compete (at least in general terms) with the best there was.

If anything, the suggestion that this is a long thought out development makes it worse. Was I made a fool of two years ago?, if I was then any new money will be unlikely to follow the Olympus route.

I don't want to have a sour taste in my mouth, currently I'm swallowing hard to stop it getting there.

Can I take it that there will be a Press Release tomorrow spelling out a 5yr roadmap for 4/3rds. Next month would be late, possibly too late.

Nick
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  #37  
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Don't forget that Panasonic and Olympus are collaborating, so there are two sets of R&D resources at work here, and it's my guess that Olympus will be doing more of the DSLR work while Panasonic do more of the Micro FT development - certainly to start with. When Panasonic Lumix entered the DSLR market, its Olympus-based cameras usually followed Olympus releases and I expect that it could be the other way around this time.

Ian
Having read in more detail

Quote:
The new Micro Four Thirds System also incorporates a greater number of lens-mount electrical contacts, enabling support for new features and increased system functionality in the future.
It does raise a question on the long-term plans for the E-System. Olympus need to give a clear road-map on the future of the E-System DSLR.

Last edited by Invicta; 5th August 2008 at 03:34 PM. Reason: typo
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  #38  
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Invicta View Post
Having read in more detail

It does raise a question on the long-term plans for the E-System. Olympus need to give a clear road-map on the future of the E-System DSLR.
OK, just got off the phone with a senior person at Olympus UK. He's seen the E-System DSLR roadmap for the next two years. It's also my understanding that a good chunk of this roadmap will be revealed at Photokina next month.

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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
OK, just got off the phone with a senior person at Olympus UK. He's seen the E-System DSLR roadmap for the next two years. It's also my understanding that a good chunk of this roadmap will be revealed at Photokina next month.

Ian
Thank you Ian.

I appreciate that you are not 'Olympus' and are caught as a messenger between the concern of 4/3rds users and the announcements that Olympus have chosen to make.

Nick
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
OK, just got off the phone with a senior person at Olympus UK. He's seen the E-System DSLR roadmap for the next two years. It's also my understanding that a good chunk of this roadmap will be revealed at Photokina next month.

Ian
Thanks Ian, appreciate all your replies in this thread. I will wait to see what is annouced at Photokina before I re-order the E-System stuff I cancelled today. Having been burnt in the past by a different camera manufacturer I am some what sensitive to changes in lens mounts.
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  #41  
Old 5th August 2008
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
OK, just got off the phone with a senior person at Olympus UK. He's seen the E-System DSLR roadmap for the next two years. It's also my understanding that a good chunk of this roadmap will be revealed at Photokina next month.

Ian
While that is (hopefully) excellent news, Olympus's progress along the existing roadmap has been somewhat erratic in terms of lens development. Perhaps not a Middle East peace "roadmap" - at least not quite...

What is needed from them is action, not words. Having spent much of my working life writing news releases, I am very conscious that it is deeds, not words or diagrams, that count in the minds of consumers. Olympus's marketing people seem to forget that many DSLR users have been around since film days and despite our rapidly decaying faculties, have excellent memories covering the long, slow demise of OM.

Actually, the timing of this announcement is a bit weird IMHO. Why now, when most of the western hemisphere (and, indeed, Japan) is in the midst of school holidays? I can understand they wouldn't want to wait until Photokina when everyone will be announcing "ground breaking" or "revolutionary" new developments...

Nothing personal Ian: as Nick says, your position is rather invidious! It is much appreciated that you are clearly passing on the concerns you hear to Oly's senior echelons.
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by HughofBardfield View Post
While that is (hopefully) excellent news, Olympus's progress along the existing roadmap has been somewhat erratic in terms of lens development. Perhaps not a Middle East peace "roadmap" - at least not quite...

What is needed from them is action, not words. Having spent much of my working life writing news releases, I am very conscious that it is deeds, not words or diagrams, that count in the minds of consumers. Olympus's marketing people seem to forget that many DSLR users have been around since film days and despite our rapidly decaying faculties, have excellent memories covering the long, slow demise of OM.

Actually, the timing of this announcement is a bit weird IMHO. Why now, when most of the western hemisphere (and, indeed, Japan) is in the midst of school holidays? I can understand they wouldn't want to wait until Photokina when everyone will be announcing "ground breaking" or "revolutionary" new developments...

Nothing personal Ian: as Nick says, your position is rather invidious! It is much appreciated that you are clearly passing on the concerns you hear to Oly's senior echelons.
To give Olympus some credit, everything they have promised in published roadmaps has, eventually, been delivered.

I think the announcement is the start of a build up to Photokina - which is only about 7 weeks away.

Indeed, I certainly emphasised to my Olympus UK contact all the concerns of those who expressed fears regarding today's news and the possible negative impact on the existing platform.

Ian
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

What a surprise to find Olympus news on all my bookmarked sites upon my return home from work. I certainly did not see the news of a new format coming, but at least we now know what Ian saw on his recent trip. I will have to have another good read of all the information to digest the news. Like others, my first worry was that this new format might have big implications for the current four thirds format.

It will be very interesting to discover how well the new smaller sensors perform given the press perception of noise problems assoiciated with the current four thirds format.

Interesting times!

Chris
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by CaptainD View Post
It will be very interesting to discover how well the new smaller sensors perform given the press perception of noise problems assoiciated with the current four thirds format.
Chris
But they'll be a lot bigger than the "bridge" cameras they'll be competing against, so in the quality stakes they should win hands down... I actually think the battle will be won or lost on the playing fields of specifications and megapixels rather than IQ. "Which?" won't like it if the numbers aren't big enough
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Re: Micro Four Thirds system announced

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Originally Posted by HughofBardfield View Post
I find this, on balance, worrying.
If they are aiming at the "bridge" market, they will have to up the number of MP and go-faster stripes to compete. The bridge market, it seems to me, is largely driven by specifications and marketing cr*p, not IQ. Our views of the products, as enthusiasts, are largely irrelevant in mass-market terms.
Im sure you are correct in your assumptions.

To my knowledge the largest sensor used in a bridge camera is 2/3" that Fuji have in their latest model.
They claim 11.1 MP as the spec.

If the Micro 4/3's will be a replacement for the current range of bridge cameras then I am in no doubt either that the MP will be higher than that of the Fuji in order to compete.
Its sad that people have been duped into thinking "the higher the better".

If it succeeds though and takes the market in bridge camera's from the likes of Fuji then surely this has got to be a good thing ? More people using the 4/3's format who may progress to the full 4/3's DSLR ???????
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