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Old Mar 17, 2009, 12:38 AM   #1
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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 ?
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 3:55 AM   #2
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The 4/3 system has fewer lenses available than any proprietary mount, except the mount used by Sigma dSLRs. M4/3 will likely always have an evensmaller selection. It's a Catch-22. No one will make lenses for a camera that hasn't sold well, and few people will buy a camera for which there isn't a reasonable selection of lenses.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 7:41 AM   #3
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Interesting reply TCav.

How many lenses are you going to buy for any particular system? Probably not more than two or three. I suggest you look into which system fits your needs. The 4/3 system (Olympus) does sell well (admittedly not as well as C & N's) and has quality optics . But then again so do the other systems. Each has their strong and weak points. Find the one that fits you.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 7:53 AM   #4
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Fair comments both.
My concern I guess is that I got sort of caught out with Minolta dropping the MC/MD mounts in my youth, I had an X-700 and really did great things with it. I had a very nice setup of gear. All fairly useless now, except I can now use the MD lens with 4/3 or M4/3 adapters (all manual mode).
That advantage aside, I just don't want to jump on a new system and then find it's dropped in two or three years again.
Martin
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 2:22 PM   #5
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mr.sneezy wrote:
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Fair comments both.
My concern I guess is that I got sort of caught out with Minolta dropping the MC/MD mounts in my youth, I had an X-700 and really did great things with it. I had a very nice setup of gear. All fairly useless now, except I can now use the MD lens with 4/3 or M4/3 adapters (all manual mode).
That advantage aside, I just don't want to jump on a new system and then find it's dropped in two or three years again.
Martin
There is no guarantee any mount will continue indefinitely. All the major players have changed mounts at some point in their history. The real issue that limits 4/3 is the lack of dynamic range and poorer high iso performance that is inherent with a smaller sensor. That's not to say they are bad systems. You just have to understand limitations and you can get quality results. Also, because the higher end market seems to be drifting towards full frame, the 4/3 system will never capture that market. Even if they did, the 4/3 lenses won't work with a full frame sensor (at least at full resolution). So for aspiring pro's, the 4/3 system has less of a desirable upgrade path.

That being said, I think 4/3 will persist and survive at least somewhat into the future. They have done a great job with small, lightweight , full featured DSLR. I just got an E510 as a lightweight alternative to my heavier Nikon gear, and have been happy with it's performance.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 3:14 PM   #6
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Old Jim wrote:
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How many lenses are you going to buy for any particular system? Probably not more than two or three.
Actually, I have five lenses (I just sold3 others), two teleconverters (I just sold 2 others), and two extension tubes. Plus an assortment of miscellaneous accoutrements.

Old Jim wrote:
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I suggest you look into which system fits your needs.
Excellent advice. Almost exactly what I tell others. "Buy the camera that has the lenses that will work for what you want to shoot."

The M4/3 system has two lenses, a standard zoom and a telephoto zoom. The odd thing is that they are made by Leica, and as such, are extraordinarily inexpensive. That makes me wonder if maybe Panasonic is subsidising their manufacturer so they can get some market penetration. If it works, they'll make big money, but if it doesn't, people, including possibly the OP, will be left with a white elephant. It may do some things well, maybe even very well. But what happens when they want to try macrophotogtaphy or shoot indoor sports?
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 5:20 PM   #7
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The other issue with micro 4/3 is that the big boys (Canon/Nikon) could develop a micro APS sensor system, with all the advantages offered by micro 4/3 plus the benefits of a larger sensor. I just don't ever see any of the 4/3 format ever capturing a large part of the market. Again, there is nothing wrong with the 4/3 system...i own one and like it. I just would get whatever system suits your needs the best right now. I like the idea of micro 4/3. I just need to see more of it before I would even consider it at this point.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 8:10 PM   #8
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TCav wrote:
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Excellent advice. Almost exactly what I tell others. "Buy the camera that has the lenses that will work for what you want to shoot."

The M4/3 system has two lenses, a standard zoom and a telephoto zoom. The odd thing is that they are made by Leica, and as such, are extraordinarily inexpensive. That makes me wonder if maybe Panasonic is subsidising their manufacturer so they can get some market penetration. If it works, they'll make big money, but if it doesn't, people, including possibly the OP, will be left with a white elephant. It may do some things well, maybe even very well. But what happens when they want to try macrophotogtaphy or shoot indoor sports?
Actually, the micro 4/3 lenses by Panasonic are NOT Leica lenses according to the front of the lens info!!
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 8:22 PM   #9
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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. They may push the idea of the ability to fit older manual focus lenses via an adapter as well.

I think Panasonic will do well with micro 4/3, cornering the market on sub DLSR sized interchangable lens cameras for those who find even the smallest DSLRs too large.

And I think Olympus will do well with compact micro 4/3 cameras and lenses.


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Old Mar 18, 2009, 2:23 AM   #10
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Old Jim wrote:
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I suggest you look into which system fits your needs.
My current shooter is a Fuji S6500fd and it does fit my needs well, and I find the telephoto and macro range equally useful. So I guess if 4/3 is more popular than M4/3 currently then something like the E-520 and a pair of lenses will be needed.
The Fuji now has a nuisance fault which is why I'm looking at replacements, with more options to reuse lenses into the future (not the Fuji's of course). If the new body dies I'd like to be able to reuse good glass...


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