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Old Mar 18, 2009, 6:10 AM   #11
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dnas wrote:
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I tend to think a little bit the opposite....

I think that Nikon and Canon will adopt full frame on MOST of their DSLRs within a couple of years. This is just starting to happen now. The exception may be one model each at the bottom end for APS-C.e.g. the models following Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS / Kiss F), and the Nikon D40x/D60.

Canon only make less than 10 APS-C lenses, and none of them is "L" glass, so I think they will leave APS-C to the low end, and concentrate their efforts on the full frame lenses. Nikon will do similar

As a consequence, I think 4/3 DSLRs (mainly Olympus)will corner the market on small sized DSLRs with full features, and increase market share.
I don't agree. I think APS-C is here to stay, and that Full Frame is the new Medium Format. FF dSLRs are outside the financial grasp of most people, and even as the prices for FF dSLRs drops, so, to, will the prices of APS-C dSLRs. And there are so many APS-C Lenses out there, that many people will see the larger selection (all the same lenses that FF dSLRs can use, plus all the lenses that are exclusively APS-C) that FF will be a distant second in sales.

And while the 4/3 and M4/3 are small and light, some people may see them as a simple and inexpensive step up from P&S digicams. But the people that shop around will see the larger selection of lenses that APS-C dSLRs have to offer and choose one of those instead.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 5:51 PM   #12
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I shoot with both C and N, but I'm very envious of the 4/3 and Micro 4/3...
I'm into birding and the 4/3 format offers very compelling reason with long lenses since everything is muliplied by 2 and the weight saving is not something to be ignored - Oly lenses are also a bit brighter too (and quite sharp from what I've seen)!

Here are some of my observations:
1. Has anyone priced how much a 400mm f/2.8 costs lately?
... and how portable is it vs a 70-200 f/2.8 on a 4/3?
2. Can you find a 600mm f/2.8?
... again how portable is it (if it existed)?
3. I used to love my Minolta A2 because of the real-time histogram on the EVF so Micro 4/3 suit me just fine. Beside if I need a real viewfinder (or high ISO) I can always go back to my C and N
4. As a 'universal' mount camera to use all the older lenses then 4/3 it IT: http://www.cameraquest.com/adapt_olyE1.htm

-> and this is the best part my 'affordable' Bigma becomes an image-stabilized super-tele (100-1000mm) that one can only dream of in C and N (only if you can afford it or carry it on a kayak trip)!
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 8:27 PM   #13
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I don't know about the standard 4/3 system but I think the micro 4/3 system is very appealing. As I see it, these cameras would appeal to three types of people.

1.) Someone who does not want to lug around a DSLR and a bag full of glass. But who do want something a little more control an IQ than a P&S or super zoom. For these people a couple of zoom will do. They are not likely to buy fast primes etc. anyway.
2.) Someone who already has a DSLR and a bag full of glass but wants something smaller and lighter for those times he/she is asked to photograph uncle Joe's 90[sup]th[/sup] birthday party or whatever. Again a couple of zooms will do. To have a bunch of lenses would defeat the purpose. And if they needed a fast prime. An adapter is most likely available for the DSLR lenses they already have.
3.) Someone who would love to have a DSLR and a bag full of glass but just can't afford it. The fact that these cameras can be adapted to almost any kind of lens including rangefinder lenses and even C-mount. Opens up a lot of possibilities. I for one, am waiting to see if anyone makes a shift tilt adapter like the ones Zork makes for medium format lenses on 35mm cameras. The flangeback difference should allow this.


I am also interested in seeing if other camera makers fallow suite here and make their own micro4/3 or better yet microAPS-C systems like the Samsung NX. As I look at the back of my Nikon AF-S lens I see that the only mechanical linkage left is the stop down lever. Every thing else including focus is achieved vie electronic contacts. If Nikon were to make a micro system, this should make it a simple matter to adapt AF-S lenses to it and maintain full function. Making such a camera the perfect complement to an existing Nikon DSLR system, as well as a good started camera.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 9:30 PM   #14
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tjsnaps wrote:
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I am also interested in seeing if other camera makers fallow suite here and make their own micro4/3 or better yet microAPS-C systems like the Samsung NX. As I look at the back of my Nikon AF-S lens I see that the only mechanical linkage left is the stop down lever...
There's a reason why a regular Canon or Nikon APS-C lens can not be used as a micro APS-C unless another lens mount type is created - This is why: http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/

-> The flange distance to the sensor is much shorter which mean using existing lenses required an adapter on a micro APS-C making this camera larger (and not smaller), just like a 4/3 lens requires an adapter on a micro 4/3 camera.

The way C and N are pushing for full-frame dSLR is counter productive for them to yet introduce another mount (with even lower 'high' ISO)
Oly went the other way, they start with 4/3 first and realized the benefits and then improved it with a smaller micro-4/3
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 11:25 PM   #15
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NHL wrote:

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There's a reason why a regular Canon or Nikon APS-C lens can not be used as a micro APS-C unless another lens mount type is created –
I assume that would be the case

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-> The flange distance to the sensor is much shorter which mean using existing lenses required an adapter on a micro APS-C making this camera larger (and not smaller), just like a 4/3 lens requires an adapter on a micro 4/3 camera.
That's what is so great about it. You cold have and use the smaller lenses. But the smaller flange distance to the sensor makes using other lenses possible if needed.

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The way C and N are pushing for full-frame dSLR is counter productive for them to yet introduce another mount (with even lower 'high' ISO)
Not at All. The full frame cameras are very expensive and therefore aimed at a small portion of the market. The vast majority of advanced camera buyers are enthusiast with a smaller budget. Remember the Nikon FM? It was a bottom of the line camera when released, aimed squarely it the beginner. It ended up being one of the most popular cameras of all time.

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Old Mar 19, 2009, 3:54 AM   #16
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The problem for olympus has never been quality. For the market segments they compete in, they do quite well. As far as lens selection, while it is something that does matter to the enthusiast, and gives nice margins to sellers, the vast majority of people who buy a dslr only buy the lens kit, so I dont think that is what holds it back

Similarly, for all the talk of full frame cameras, the data just released on marketshare shows that there is not a single one of them in the 20 top selling models.

The point being not that one system is better than another, but if you want to know about the future potential of any system, it is not at the quality that you need to look at, but marketing.

The main problem with Olympus has always been marketing. And this is an issue throughout all phases of marketing. They simply don't have the cash to compete in ad space with nikon and canon, and dont have the resources to match the margins these manufacturers offer, or the training for sellers, or the freebies to get more shelf space. or anything like that.

Now, does this mean that 4/3s is going anywhere? Not likely, at least short to medium term. Olympus market share has remained steady, between 4 and 5%, not good but not terrible. Nothing like pentax's market share, which has plumetted in recent years, or sony's, which has risen steadily.

With regards to micro 4/3s, the key there is that panasonic seems to be putting its weight behind it. Canon and nikon are much bigger than olympus, but panasonic simply dwarfs all of these companies combined.


The result is that despite the fact that the G1 was released in Japan in october, it already outsold all other 4/3s cameras (and all pentax cameras, too). If they keep pushing it and market it well, it could very well be a very big thing. We here talk about the cutting edge of dslrs, but the fact is that dslrs are a fraction of the point and shoot market, and among dslrs, entry level cameras make up the vast majority of it. So the G1, if well marketed, could bridge the gap currently occupied by superzooms and still grab a nice share of the entry dslr market.

Point being that these two manufacturers are still releasing new cameras and lenses, and have a roadmap for at least the next couple of years. So I would say it is very unlikely they will go anywhere withing the next few years at least.

Make your decision based on what fits you best. Nothing in the foreseeable future indicates that 4/3s is going away.
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Old Mar 19, 2009, 5:19 AM   #17
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DPLIN, the other members replies were very good and well balanced. Yours however was outstanding in my view, thanks very much for that. I suspect that if you aren't a technology journalist, then you should be.

Enough of blowing smoke up your you know what ;-)

The fact that Panasonic is so large did pass me by completely until you mentioned it. I think my best course may be to sit on the fence a little longer, or wait till either Oly or Panasonic make some deals that can't be refused !

Martin
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 9:39 PM   #18
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TCav wrote:
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dnas wrote:
Quote:
I tend to think a little bit the opposite....

I think that Nikon and Canon will adopt full frame on MOST of their DSLRs within a couple of years. This is just starting to happen now. The exception may be one model each at the bottom end for APS-C.e.g. the models following Canon EOS 1000D (Rebel XS / Kiss F), and the Nikon D40x/D60.

Canon only make less than 10 APS-C lenses, and none of them is "L" glass, so I think they will leave APS-C to the low end, and concentrate their efforts on the full frame lenses. Nikon will do similar

As a consequence, I think 4/3 DSLRs (mainly Olympus)will corner the market on small sized DSLRs with full features, and increase market share.
I don't agree. I think APS-C is here to stay, and that Full Frame is the new Medium Format. FF dSLRs are outside the financial grasp of most people, and even as the prices for FF dSLRs drops, so, to, will the prices of APS-C dSLRs. And there are so many APS-C Lenses out there, that many people will see the larger selection (all the same lenses that FF dSLRs can use, plus all the lenses that are exclusively APS-C) that FF will be a distant second in sales.

And while the 4/3 and M4/3 are small and light, some people may see them as a simple and inexpensive step up from P&S digicams. But the people that shop around will see the larger selection of lenses that APS-C dSLRs have to offer and choose one of those instead.
The "bottom end" Full Frame Nikon D700 is around 75% more expensive than the "equivalent" APS-C D300. However, prior to the release of the D700, the Full Frame D3(same release date as the D300) was 200% more expensive than the D300.

Nikon have four ranges of DSLRs: Top end (FX), the upper mid range (D300, D700), mid range (D80, D90), and low end (D40x, D60).

In my opinion, this is the first step towards cheaper Full Frame DSLRs from Nikon. Look at the number designation.... The D700 the same number series as the D300 !!!
I think Nikon will release one more APS-C camera in the upper mid range series (say, D400) this year, and after that, the upper mid range will ONLY be FX.(say, D800, maybe early 2010) The price of FX sensors has been coming down to the point where this sort of upper mid range DSLR will fall some where between $1500-$2000 USD, within the next 18 months.

Look ahead 3 years.
In my opinion, Nikon will have the following line up:
Top end FX ($3500+)
Upper mid range FX ($1600+)
Mid range FX ($1000-$1100)
Low end APS-C ($500)

And with even fewer APS-C lenses in its line up, Ithink Canon will follow in a simialr way, but perhaps 6 months later. For example, I think Canon will introduce an FX upper mid range DSLR within 6 months. (EOS 80D, or something similar)

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Old Mar 22, 2009, 7:16 AM   #19
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dnas wrote:
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The "bottom end" Full Frame Nikon D700 is around 75% more expensive than the "equivalent" APS-C D300. However, prior to the release of the D700, the Full Frame D3(same release date as the D300) was 200% more expensive than the D300.
Apples and oranges. The D300 is Nikon's 'Top of the Line' APS-C dSLR, while the D700 is their 'Low Ball' FF dSLR. This is like comparing a 'Top of the Line' GMC Sierra 3500HD Pickup with a GMC C4500 Medium Duty Truck. The Pickup costs more, but the C4500 can do some things a lot better.

'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'. Get used to it.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 11:14 AM   #20
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mr.sneezy wrote:
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Anybody got any insight into whether new 4/3 lens system cameras will decline, and Micro 4/3 increase in offerings ?

I'm looking at replacing my mid-range Hybrid, and want to avoid buying a system that's going to be short on new lenses coming to market...

As the M4/3 is so new I can't see any trend yet. Anybody got a prediction ?
I don't have a prediction, other than the paradigm is shifting.

We have seen Panny's initial thoughts, and they have done well with the EVF and contrast detection AF. They have fell short in the lenses in my opinion. I'm not excited about the two dim zooms, but the new 7-14 might be interesting. I'm also not thrilled with the superzoom look alike body.

Olympus doesn't have the Panny's EVF, and I'm guessing their initial offering may be without the viewfinder. I'd not be interested. Oly has always excelled with the glass. I'm in hopes they give some insight into their plans in with the introduction of lenses. I agree that the success of m4/3 WILL be dependent on the available lenses. I disagree with Tcav in the "number of available lenses" being the determining factor, but it is necessary to supply enough lenses covering enough vital areas to make the system viable.

The one thing that you have not brought into the mix is Samsung. They are a powerful company that may produce the system I'd be most interested in. My vision is a compact system. Why zooms? Olympus is zoom oriented. Panny seems to be leaning in that direction also. When the design constraints of retrofocal lenses are removed, primes can be very compact, even in very bright f-ratios. A look at the Leica M series can give a very realistic idea as to what can be done. I hope Samsung will develop with that vision in mind. Imagine a camera and four primes in a velvet lined wooden cigar box. That's what I'd like to see.

Greg
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