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Thread: 4/3 system: Would you plunge into it now?

  1. #1

    Default 4/3 system: Would you plunge into it now?

    Hi,

    Just want a feel for those who know this system or those who have gone for the launch on Wed, 22 Oct 03.

    Would you plunge into this new system, in consideration that: it deviates from the masses (Minolta, Contax, Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Fuji, Pentax); it may/ may not receive support from other manufacturers to join the 4/3 lens mount.

    Put simply, what do you think:

    1. 4/3 system is the way to go.
    2. No. Full frame 35mm sensor is the way to go. One day it will be affordable. I do not want to buy the 4/3 system and end up isolated in future with only Zuiko lens.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernLights
    Would you plunge into this new system, in consideration that: it deviates from the masses (Minolta, Contax, Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Fuji, Pentax); it may/ may not receive support from other manufacturers to join the 4/3 lens mount.
    There's nothing wrong with deviating from the masses. There is safety in numbers and popularity, so Olympus might struggle to sell cameras (although their E10 and E20 cameras did fairly well), but in essence there's nothing wrong with being different.

    The 4/3 system was developed jointly by Kodak and Olympus, so that's at least one more menufacturer who will take it up. There are others who have indicated interest, including Fuji, so there is certainly promise on the horizon.

    2. No. Full frame 35mm sensor is the way to go. One day it will be affordable. I do not want to buy the 4/3 system and end up isolated in future with only Zuiko lens.

    I for one don't think 35mm is the way to go. I think smaller sensors to an extent are the way to go. From early results from the Olympus, it could be argued that the technology level isn't there to help with the noise levels inherent in the smaller sensor yet. Hopefully one day this will improve. But at the same time, the idea of a 600/2.8 effective lens is amazing, when most people will never even come close to a 600/5.6 in 35mm terms, which takes you back to being able to shoot with a quarter the sensitivity in the E1 as you would with, say, an EOS1Ds.

    Being isolated with Zuiko lenses. Look at the lens lineup. I think Olympus have done a good job with the lenses they've announced for this and next year. They will cater to the vast majority of photographic needs. Have a look at your own needs, if you can live with the lenses Olympus has put out and intends to put out, then this really shouldn't be an issue at all.

  3. #3
    tomcat
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    I do not think at this stage it is time to make a switch over to 4/3 format, unless you are one of those to whom $5K is just pocket money and like to be a forerunner in every new technology that emerges.

    In the analog world, APS was suppose to take over from 35mm but did it? Is anybody still buying APS SLRs?

    For DSLRs, smaller sensors mean more noise for the small image resolution. Unless there is a quantum leap in sensor technology the use of 4/3 sized sensors would tend to result in noisier images compared to 35mm format sensors. Olympus is not even using CMOS sensors which are supposed to be less noisy than CCD ones generally. While the prices of full format 35mm DSLRs will eventually drop to more affordable levels, one can only hope that 4/3 format sensors can become less noisy AND keep pace with the drop in prices.

    Then there is the effect of dust particles. In reality, dust particles do not care if the sensor is bigger or smaller and will be attracted to and fall on both with equal probability (more so on CCD than CMOS sensors it seems due to higher electrostatic charges generated by the former). The same sized dust particles would theoretically cover more pixels on a smaller sensor format of the same resolution since more pixels would have to be squeezed onto the smaller sensor for the same resolution. The effect of dust particles on sensors would therefore be more apparent on a smaller format sensor ie the dust particles would look larger in the images formed.

    It is good that the new Olympus 4/3 DSLR has a built-in dust removal mechanism but I wonder where the dislodged dust particles could go in the small confined space with the lens already mounted on the camera body.

    The availability of a 600mm/f2.8 lens is great news as long as it's affordably so. So far Olympus accessories have not had a reputation of being very affordable (to the masses I must qualify) compared to other brands.

    I for one like to dapper in new technologies and gizmos and would love to be able to afford to try this out. But I think I would sit back and wait for the 4/3 format to prove itself to be popular and hence cheaper and to improve further and for more parties to come on board to supply equivalent and cheaper lenses and accessories before I jump ship from the 35mm format.

    ... but then these are only my opinions
    Last edited by tomcat; 25th October 2003 at 11:07 AM.

  4. #4

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    Waste of money... unless Oly gives me a 120% return on my existing Canon equipment Even then, I have doubts about the resale value of the 4/3 system... so I guess I wouldn't buy it.

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