WHATS NEXT FOR M43, after Olympus, what future is left?


ricohflex

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Nikon and Canon were slow to go AF mirrorless full frame. Their original 2 bodies each, were a bit off the mark.
But both reacted fast to make R5, R6 and Z6 II, Z7 II - if these fail, then Nikon and Canon are in trouble.
Maybe Canon and Nikon have succeeded to overcome the initial teething problems.

It is all a matter of choosing what to include in the design and giving the customers what they want.
For example, for Nikon they put in Z6 II, Z7 II - Dual Card Slots (one CFexpress and one SD).

If the 4 bodies succeed to win market share, it means they have turned the tide.

Then it is Sony's turn to worry.
The user bases of Canon and Nikon are powerful factors in camera sales.

Fuji is not full frame. Not sure if they want to remain APS-C forever. Fuji does have medium format.
Pentax is still not full frame mirrorless. It seems they do not plan to.

Panasonic L mount full frame needs to find its market niche.
Panasonic CANNOT sell its AF mirrorless full frame L mount bodies at prices close to the corresponding Leica body prices.
Because if a person wants to pay that kind of money, they will usually opt to buy the Leica and not the Panasonic.

A few of my friends have bought TL or TL2 or CL or SL or SL2.
Only 1 has bought the Panasonic S1.

In my opinion the main reason for choosing L mount is to be able to use Leica Lenses.
The top Leica lenses are terrific. You get what you pay for.

A person can buy a Panasonic S1 or S5 to use Panasonic lenses or Sigma lenses in the mean time.
Maybe the idea is to use the affordable Panasonic and Sigma lenses first.
But with a long term view to eventually get a few Leica SL lenses.
At least the option is open to future gear buying because the L mount is the same.
 

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Pitachu

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Sep 18, 2019
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This is an interesting article of the M43 scene currently unfolding.

I think Panasonic is only half correct.
Panasonic G9 is a worthy alternative to Olympus EM1 Mk3. The G9 (658g) has very similar specs to the EM1 Mk3 (580g) but about 78g heavier.
So, Em1 users may move to Panasonic if JIP fail them.

I am a EM5 (414grams) user, so the G9 is too heavy for me. The EM5 has almost all the specs of the EM1.
I probably am not prepared to move to Panasonic unless Panasonic realize it. Just like it realize that its
S1 is to heavy and bulky and come up with the S5.

For Olympus Pen users, the Panasonic GX8 and GX9 are excellent rangefinders so Pen users may move to Panasonic
if they have invested in a few lenses. If they are single lens users, they may just move on to Sony 6000 series, which I think are excellent buys.

In short, if Panasonic wants to woo Olympus users, it will need to come out with
1) A lighter version of the excellent G9
2) A more updated version of its GX range finder series as the GX9 is getting a bit old.

But having said all that, I don't think JIP is going to jump in to take over Olympus, even for a song if it does not see any chance of keeping the company as a profitable going concern after the Pandemic. JIP is smart to cut off the lens manufacturing in Japan and outsource it as this is probably one of their most expensive divisions (high cost of labour in Japan). This is a burden to Nikon too. WIth the established high performance of Olympus Premium Lenses, all it takes is JIP to maintain the quality control when it is being outsourced.

So we may be seeing a lean and mean Olympus Imaging at more competitive prices after it has been streamlined. :)
 

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ricohflex

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Olympus moved its factory in Shenzhen in China to Dong Nai in Vietnam.
Nikon has a factory in Thailand.
Sony has a factory in Thailand.

Maybe production cost savings trumps the need for brand management.

Top of the range camera and lens products are not in the same product genre as instant noodles or sneakers (track shoes).

Brand owners have to careful not to damage/destroy their brand image that was painstakingly built up over past decades.

For example, due to brand image management reasons, Vacheron Constantin will probably not wish open a watch factory in India.
Regardless of the low labour cost savings.
Regardless of how many Swiss staff they post to India to do "QC".
Potential customers may reject assurances that the quality of a Vacheron Constantin made in India is exactly the same as one made in Switzerland.
For luxury genre products, this is a NO NO.

In my opinion, Olympus brand image suffered massive long term damage by moving camera + lens production out of Japan to China and Vietnam.
Can forgive if making SGD $200 low end compact cameras. But not for high end ILC.

There is a latest 2020 trend to move high end model camera production back to Japan.
The Canon brochures for R5 and R6 emphasise firmly "MADE IN JAPAN".
Ditto for Nikon Z6 and Z7. The proof of [Made in Japan] is visible once you tilt the screen out.

Credit : KenRockwell.com


Leica SL2 and the 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm F2 APO Summicron lenses are Made in Germany.
No such thing as "made in Vietnam" for top range Leica lenses.
For brand image management reasons.

Which leads us to the next thing - the price.

The labour cost of Vietnamese workers is very much lower than that of China workers - which in turn are lower cost than workers in Japan or US.

However, manufacturers make extremely high profits by charging consumers the same price as if the product was made in Japan or US.
(provided the big IF - if customers actually buy the product)
(which in the case of Olympus with a 2% world wide market share in 2018 - proves that potential customers REJECT it for various reasons)

Thus we see expensive Olympus MFT cameras and lenses made in Vietnam.
Thus we see expensive Sony cameras and lenses made in Thailand.
Thus we see (some) expensive Nikon cameras and lenses made in Thailand.

I just saw a certain brand pair of made in Vietnam sneakers costing about SGD$250. To me that is profiteering.

Manufacturers are NOT passing the production cost savings (sweat shop factories in 3rd world low labour cost countries) to consumers.
 

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swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
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davophoto.wordpress.com
This is an interesting article of the M43 scene currently unfolding.

I think Panasonic is only half correct.
Panasonic G9 is a worthy alternative to Olympus EM1 Mk3. The G9 (658g) has very similar specs to the EM1 Mk3 (580g) but about 78g heavier.
So, Em1 users may move to Panasonic if JIP fail them.

I am a EM5 (414grams) user, so the G9 is too heavy for me. The EM5 has almost all the specs of the EM1.
I probably am not prepared to move to Panasonic unless Panasonic realize it. Just like it realize that its
S1 is to heavy and bulky and come up with the S5.

For Olympus Pen users, the Panasonic GX8 and GX9 are excellent rangefinders so Pen users may move to Panasonic
if they have invested in a few lenses. If they are single lens users, they may just move on to Sony 6000 series, which I think are excellent buys.

In short, if Panasonic wants to woo Olympus users, it will need to come out with
1) A lighter version of the excellent G9
2) A more updated version of its GX range finder series as the GX9 is getting a bit old.

But having said all that, I don't think JIP is going to jump in to take over Olympus, even for a song if it does not see any chance of keeping the company as a profitable going concern after the Pandemic. JIP is smart to cut off the lens manufacturing in Japan and outsource it as this is probably one of their most expensive divisions (high cost of labour in Japan). This is a burden to Nikon too. WIth the established high performance of Olympus Premium Lenses, all it takes is JIP to maintain the quality control when it is being outsourced.

So we may be seeing a lean and mean Olympus Imaging at more competitive prices after it has been streamlined. :)

They appear to be streamlining their product line so it will likely be leaner and meaner. But probably not cheaper since it's the higher end they're going after.
But maybe we can finally get some co-opetition with shared procurement of a higher end sensor for OMD and Panny.
 

Pitachu

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Sep 18, 2019
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I think times are different now as companies are now are able to control their quality quite well through the use of technology to monitor production.

My Apple iphone and ipad (made in China) is always able to last me for 4 years or more compared to my Samsung Phone and Tablet (made in Korea)
which broke down after 2 to 3 years.

Toyota Cars made in Thailand are also more reliable than American and German brands. I think it is more of a company benchmark and culture rather than the country where the factory is located.

If JIP believes in maintaining a high standard of quality, I think it still can do it in Vietnam or any outsourced partner if it want to do it. Only time will tell.

Olympus moved its factory in Shenzhen in China to Dong Nai in Vietnam.
Nikon has a factory in Thailand.
Sony has a factory in Thailand.

Maybe production cost savings trumps the need for brand management.

Top of the range camera and lens products are not in the same product genre as instant noodles or sneakers (track shoes).

Brand owners have to careful not to damage/destroy their brand image that was painstakingly built up over past decades.

For example, due to brand image management reasons, Vacheron Constantin will probably not wish open a watch factory in India.
Regardless of the low labour cost savings.
Regardless of how many Swiss staff they post to India to do "QC".
Potential customers may reject assurances that the quality of a Vacheron Constantin made in India is exactly the same as one made in Switzerland.
For luxury genre products, this is a NO NO.

In my opinion, Olympus brand image suffered massive long term damage by moving camera + lens production out of Japan to China and Vietnam.
Can forgive if making SGD $200 low end compact cameras. But not for high end ILC.

There is a latest 2020 trend to move high end model camera production back to Japan.
The Canon brochures for R5 and R6 emphasise firmly "MADE IN JAPAN".
Ditto for Nikon Z6 and Z7. The proof of [Made in Japan] is visible once you tilt the screen out.

Credit : KenRockwell.com


Leica SL2 and the 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm F2 APO Summicron lenses are Made in Germany.
No such thing as "made in Vietnam" for top range Leica lenses.
For brand image management reasons.

Which leads us to the next thing - the price.

The labour cost of Vietnamese workers is very much lower than that of China workers - which in turn are lower cost than workers in Japan or US.

However, manufacturers make extremely high profits by charging consumers the same price as if the product was made in Japan or US.
(provided the big IF - if customers actually buy the product)
(which in the case of Olympus with a 2% world wide market share in 2018 - proves that potential customers REJECT it for various reasons)

Thus we see expensive Olympus MFT cameras and lenses made in Vietnam.
Thus we see expensive Sony cameras and lenses made in Thailand.
Thus we see (some) expensive Nikon cameras and lenses made in Thailand.

I just saw a certain brand pair of made in Vietnam sneakers costing about SGD$250. To me that is profiteering.

Manufacturers are NOT passing the production cost savings (sweat shop factories in 3rd world low labour cost countries) to consumers.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
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Apple and Toyota are good examples. Both are highly successful.

Thailand is the motorcyle, car and truck assembly hub of South East Asia.

Toyota Motors, Isuzu, Honda Automobile, Nissan Motors, General Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Suzuki Motors, BMW Manufacturing, Tata Motors, Ford Motor and Mazda have a presence in Thailand.

These vehicles are assembled in Thailand - Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Triton, Holden Coloroado, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Ford Everest, Holden Colorado 7, Toyota Fortuner, Isuzu MU-X, Ford Fiesta, Suzuki Celerio, and Honda’s Civic, Jazz, City, CR-V, and HR-V.

But Apple is careful not to say Made in China on their phones.
The phone says [ Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China ]

Bloomberg has an article titled: { Your IPhone Is Already Made in America } You may need subscription to read.

MacDailyNews has an article tiitled [ Apple’s iPhone isn’t made in China — it’s made everywhere ]

Apple phone is unique because of Steve Jobs. Before the iPhone, the whole concept of mobile phone was clunky and not user friendly.
That is why Nokia and Blackberry died. Both were among the top market leaders at one time.

Back to JIP and Olympus. It seems JIP will be allowed to use the Olympus name for a while only.
It will cost more to rip off the Olympus name from the cameras in the warehouse and fix a new top plate showing the new name.
Watch how JIP can fulfill its promise to make "NewCo" profitable within 1 year.
When Olympus could not do it for 12 years.
And if JIP cannot do it, then will they axe the whole "NewCo" company?
 

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ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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Petapixel article dated 7 Oct 2020.
Quote the title
[ JIP to Ditch Olympus Name, Focus on ‘High End’ MFT Cameras: Report ]
EndQuote


The title is wrong.
It was Olympus that forbade JIP from using the "Olympus" name in the long term.
JIP could only use it for a short while.
Primarily to sell items already made with the name plate "Olympus" and kept in the warehouse.

Thus JIP was never in any position to "ditch" the Olympus name.
JIP would have loved to keep it for the next 100 years if allowed to do so.

Olympus knew that JIP may fail to make quality products. The subsequent products emanating from JIP may be low quality rip offs that live off the name recognition of OM or Zuiko. Thus there is no way Olympus can allow its name to be associated in the long term, with these embarrassing junk.

Sony knew that too. And the Vaio made by JIP are poor cousins of the original Sony Vaio. Wisely, Sony did not allow JIP to use the "Sony" name.

JIP promise to make the new company OM Digital profitable in 1 year.
I guess this means the usual pay cuts, massive layoffs, retrenchments, firings and culling the manpower costs - to boast an immediate mirage of "returning to profit".

Maybe they all misunderstood JIP when it said it will focus on "High End" MFT cameras.

JIP may be meaning to say, they will make MFT cameras for DRONES which will by their nature fly high in the sky.
Or JIP may make MFT CCTV cameras for surveillance and these will be fixed atop tall poles or high up on the walls of multi-storey buildings.
Thus the nomenclature of "High End".

If instead JIP meant making a USD$10,000 MFT camera body for consumers to buy, then they need to find buyers for this "High End" MFT camera.
When competitors are planning Z9, A9 Mark III, R1 for 2021. How to compete? Zero chance.

JIP seems to be a corporate graveyard for failed and horribly mismanaged companies/divisions.
 

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Pitachu

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You may be right on the first part, that it is Olympus that does not want JIP to continue to use their name on the long term.

However, I must say the rest of your post are bias opinions and prejudice preconceived nonsense.

You had an Olympus Camera before and I am sure you should know which are the High End MFT cameras......
Just go B&H Website and search for Micro Four-Thirds Camera.
Hint: Those above USD$1000 are considered High End for Micro Four-Thirds.

Don't let your imagination run too wild and think that JIP will be looking at $10K cameras!
Where did you get that wild idea from? Even Sony and Canon highest end DSLRs dont cost
that much!

Before JIP even come out with anything, you already accused them of coming out with
low end rip offs! Obviously, you have totally no interest in M43 anymore!

It is also obvious you totally do not understand or appreciate what M43 is about,
by comparing it to A9 Mk3 or R1. You are like a rich spoilt brat with a Ferrari
raining insults on Toyota owners here. Pls move on and buy the Sony A9 Mk3
(Mk2 is already US$ 4498 body only) or the R1 (the R5 is already US$3389 body only).
M43 is not for people like you.

I built my M43 system with 6 lenses and a flash for less than US$4498!


Petapixel article dated 7 Oct 2020.
Quote the title
[ JIP to Ditch Olympus Name, Focus on ‘High End’ MFT Cameras: Report ]
EndQuote


The title is wrong.
It was Olympus that forbade JIP from using the "Olympus" name in the long term.
JIP could only use it for a short while.
Primarily to sell items already made with the name plate "Olympus" and kept in the warehouse.

Thus JIP was never in any position to "ditch" the Olympus name.
JIP would have loved to keep it for the next 100 years if allowed to do so.

Olympus knew that JIP may fail to make quality products. The subsequent products emanating from JIP may be low quality rip offs that live off the name recognition of OM or Zuiko. Thus there is no way Olympus can allow its name to be associated in the long term, with these embarrassing junk.

Sony knew that too. And the Vaio made by JIP are poor cousins of the original Sony Vaio. Wisely, Sony did not allow JIP to use the "Sony" name.

JIP promise to make the new company OM Digital profitable in 1 year.
I guess this means the usual pay cuts, massive layoffs, retrenchments, firings and culling the manpower costs - to boast an immediate mirage of "returning to profit".

Maybe they all misunderstood JIP when it said it will focus on "High End" MFT cameras.

JIP may be meaning to say, they will make MFT cameras for DRONES which will by their nature fly high in the sky.
Or JIP may make MFT CCTV cameras for surveillance and these will be fixed atop tall poles or high up on the walls of multi-storey buildings.
Thus the nomenclature of "High End".

If instead JIP meant making a USD$10,000 MFT camera body for consumers to buy, then they need to find buyers for this "High End" MFT camera.
When competitors are planning Z9, A9 Mark III, R1 for 2021. How to compete? Zero chance.

JIP seems to be a corporate graveyard for failed and horribly mismanaged companies/divisions.
 

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ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
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MFT has its strengths and its weaknesses.
The mistake Olympus made is to want to break out of its advantageous area in a vain attempt to compete with Sony, Canon, Nikon full frame.
MFT should ideally be Affordable, Small, Light.
Is there really a need to make expensive F1.2 lenses for MFT?

It should be a budget set that is affordable and gets the job done reasonably well.
No need to compete with the BEST in the world.

Olympus forgot their market niche.
Most buyers just want a camera they can afford, easy to use, to take photos once in a while.
They may buy maybe, 3 lenses. Not everyone buys 30 lenses of a system.
Use the set for about 5 to 10 years before changing to a newer and improved set of same / or other brand.

MFT has an inherent advantage in long telephoto due to 2x crop.
Some will buy long telephoto MFT lenses.
But not a high percentage of camera users are into Africa safari or bird photography.

In these times of economic hardship due to Covid-19 effect, photography hobby is recognised as a non-essential.
Thus [Cheap and Affordable] is important for the foreseeable next few years.
Olympus cameras and lenses are not cheap if you check the pre-24 Jun 2020 prices.
That is the problem.
Users ask themselves, if they are willing to pay this kind of high price for MFT, then why don't they buy Full Frame?

If Olympus wanted to compete with the big players, it should have gone Full Frame by 2010.
Someone in other website forum commented that Olympus staff pleaded with their management to get into full frame many years ago.
Technically, Olympus is more than capable if it wanted to go full frame.

Some Olympus decisions are strange.
Like purposely making a lens with filter thread of 37mm - so that users are likely to buy the weird sized filter from them.
Or charge separately for lens hoods for some lenses.

When a company makes these money grubbing decisions, it usually ends in failure.
Remember the abnormal Minolta flash hot shoe that forced users to buy a flash from Minolta?
Instead of being a smart money making idea, it killed the company.
 

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Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
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You really need to look at the overall characteristics of a system before taking that stand point that make it look as if Olympus does not offer other much lighter weight lenses.

My usual travel kit is the EM5 Mk3 with the Panaleica 12-60 F2.8 - F4, Panaleica 8-18 F2.8-4 and sometimes the Pana 45-200.
And I can put this together with a flash all in a waist pouch, including the camera body!

This is a far cry from what i used to carry in a huge backpack with my Canon 5D mk2, 24-70, 16-25, 100-400!!!!!!

MFT do not give very good bokeh effects as the 2.8 lenses bokeh are similar to 5.6 bokey on Full Frame, and I personally believe this is the main reason why Olympus come up with F1.2 or F1.4 lenses. Of course the lenses do offer 1 to 2 stop extra light but I think the application is quite limited.

Also, the Olympus 45mm F1.2 lenses only cost US$ 1149 (on B&H website) and weights only 410g.
The Sony 85mm F1.4 cost US$1798 and weights 820g!!!!!

On the practical side, I bought the Olympus 45mm F1.8 at SGD $200 Brand new when a number of users
got it as some purchase lucky draw and have no use for it :)

Olympus did not make a mistake making F1.2 lenses. Every manufacturer knows that there are always some users who do not mind spending more to expand their system (including Sony and Canon).
And Olympus needs to find ways to keep its users happy and spend more money when its customers want to spend. Otherwise, its users may move to other systems just to get better bokeh for example.

You just have to be aware and don't buy them if you have no need for them. But there are enough users that bought them and I think it does more help to Olympus during the hey days than brought it down as these are high profit items mentioned in their financial reports.

MFT has its strengths and its weaknesses.
The mistake Olympus made is to want to break out of its advantageous area in a vain attempt to compete with Sony, Canon, Nikon full frame.
MFT should ideally be Affordable, Small, Light.
Is there really a need to make expensive F1.2 lenses for MFT?

It should be a budget set that is affordable and gets the job done reasonably well.
No need to compete with the BEST in the world.

Olympus forgot their market niche.
Most buyers just want a camera they can afford, easy to use, to take photos once in a while.
They may buy maybe, 3 lenses. Not everyone buys 30 lenses of a system.
Use the set for about 5 to 10 years before changing to a newer and improved set of same / or other brand.

MFT has an inherent advantage in long telephoto due to 2x crop.
Some will buy long telephoto MFT lenses.
But not a high percentage of camera users are into Africa safari or bird photography.

In these times of economic hardship due to Covid-19 effect, photography hobby is recognised as a non-essential.
Thus [Cheap and Affordable] is important for the foreseeable next few years.
Olympus cameras and lenses are not cheap if you check the pre-24 Jun 2020 prices.
That is the problem.
Users ask themselves, if they are willing to pay this kind of high price for MFT, then why don't they buy Full Frame?

If Olympus wanted to compete with the big players, it should have gone Full Frame by 2010.
Someone in other website forum commented that Olympus staff pleaded with their management to get into full frame many years ago.
Technically, Olympus is more than capable if to wanted to.

Some Olympus decisions are strange.
Like purposely making a lens with filter thread of 37mm - so that users are likely to buy the weird sized filter from them.
Or charge separately for lens hoods for some lenses.

When a company makes these money grubbing decisions, it usually ends in failure.
Remember the abnormal Minolta flash hot shoe that forced users to buy a flash from Minolta?
Instead of being a smart money making idea, it killed the company.
 

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Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
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Speaking of Olympus wanting to break out of its advantageous area in a vain attempt to compete with Sony, Canon, Nikon full frame, the ironical thing is that it is actually Sony who wants to step into M43 space with the A7c (tiniest full frame body).

Don't get me wrong, the A7c is a camera with a great sensor, caught my attention and I actually went down to a Sony store to test it out.
Initially, with the 28-60 lenses, I was surprised & disappointed with the image quality. I knew something is wrong and requested the sales person to let me try the A7c with the 24-105 & 24-70 GM Lenses and wow! With the 24-70 GM lenses, the details it capture really blew me away! And with the 24-105 GM lenses, it looks very good as well. You don't have to take my word for it, go down to any Sony shop and test the camera with the 28-60 kit lens and compare it to Sony other FE lenses GM series.

Now, back to the point, Sony trying to woo users who prefer a lighter weight setup, squash up a kit lens which the quality is really below my expectations of a full frame camera. You can't really have a compact lenses for Full Frame (law of physics) without compromising on the image quality. It really do not do justice to its full frame sensor. But if I have to pair the A7c with a GM lenses, then why do I even want the A7c. The Sony A7 or A7R is only very slightly heavier when compared to the weight of GM lenses you are pairing with.

I did not bring my Olympus with my PanaLeica 12-60 lenses, but I have shot similar set up (with toy robots and trees on a table) with my M43 setup and I am quite sure the image quality beats the A7c with the 28-60 kit lenses. And I am also not shy to admit that the A7c paired with the super expensive 28-70 GM lenses is really sharper and more detailed than my M43 setup. But the Sony 24-70 GM lenses (S$3199) with the A7c (S$2499) cost about 2.5x of my EM5 + Leica 12-60, so not really a fair comparison :)

My conclusion is that as long as I can shoot what I need with my portable M43 system I will stay with it. If I ever need better resolution, dynamic range etc, i would go all the way to get a A7Rx with corresponding GM lenses. The Sony A7c will not work for me.
 

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ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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1975 Kodak employee Steven Sasson invented first portable digital camera
1990's Kodak stock price US$95 a share. Kodak had 85% market share.
2010 Kodak stock price US$2.50 a share. Kodak had 7% market share.
2012 Kodak stock price below US 50cents.
19 Jan 2012 Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
It had more than 100,000 creditors, with debts totaling US$6.75 billion.

A succession of Kodak CEOs clung on to film and could not let go.
Very similar to Olympus and Panasonic clinging on to MFT and refusing to let go.
Panasonic finally adopted full frame in 2018, in a small way but continued with MFT

Collapse of a company/division does not happen overnight.
There are many warning signs over a long period of many years, all of which were deliberately ignored.


An American reviewer recalled a Panasonic management rep scolded him very fiercely, when he suggested Panasonic adopt full frame.
Panasonic management rep insisted MFT was good enough and no one needed full frame.
But a few years later, Panasonic joined L alliance and made full frame cameras.

If this was the way Olympus and Panasonic management treated outsider reviewers, then how much worse did they treat their employees who dared suggest that the company move away from MFT and into full frame?
The ROT in the company starts from the head down. Top management is to be blamed.
You may have brilliant engineers in Olympus and Panasonic. Just like Kodak had Steven Sasson.
And in spite of that, what happened to Kodak?
 

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Pitachu

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Sep 18, 2019
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1. Kodak did not clung on to film. Did you know that Kodak did introduced the Kodak DCS-14 (Full Frame DSLR) with Nikon Mount and stole some limelight from Canon 1DS. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/kodakdcs14n

2. From the horses mouth, Kodak downfall is because of their pension scheme. One of the managers lamented to me that "1500 staff supporting 20,000 retired kodak employees. After Kodak sold off all it's patents for billions of dollars, it was gone in less than a year paying pension. That is how draining it's pension scheme can be and rob Kodak of funds for further R&D and marketing to forward it's digital technology.

3. Panasonic has introduced Full Frame, and even tied up with Sigma and Leica and L-Mount lenses. How much success did it had? Is Panasonic woes over?
Is Full Frame the solution to every manufacturer's problems?

4. Why did Panasonic continue to release the G100 camera for vlogging and the BGH1 for video professionals (both using M43 instead of Full Frame)? Do you think they spend 100s of millions to invest in 2 new production lines without doing a market survey on market requirements and preference?

Never imagine you are a genius and criticize companies on their directions from your armchair.

Companies did lots of marketing survey to find out what the market want before they began manufacturing.
I was fortunate to have taken part in a few of these surveys and was surprised the manufacturer actually produced so many mockups of their mobile phones for us to try and test before deciding on those models to begin manufacturing. (Just look at all the iphone leaks months before and you realize they are actually bouncing out ideas to the market).


1975 Kodak employee Steven Sasson invented first portable digital camera
1990's Kodak stock price US$95 a share. Kodak had 85% market share.
2010 Kodak stock price US$2.50 a share. Kodak had 7% market share.
2012 Kodak stock price below US 50cents.
19 Jan 2012 Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
It had more than 100,000 creditors, with debts totaling US$6.75 billion.

A succession of Kodak CEOs clung on to film and could not let go.
Very similar to Olympus and Panasonic clinging on to MFT and refusing to let go.
Panasonic finally adopted full frame in 2018, in a small way but continued with MFT

Collapse of a company/division does not happen overnight.
There are many warning signs over a long period of many years, all of which were deliberately ignored.


An American reviewer recalled a Panasonic management rep scolded him very fiercely, when he suggested Panasonic adopt full frame.
Panasonic management rep insisted MFT was good enough and no one needed full frame.
But a few years later, Panasonic joined L alliance and made full frame cameras.

If this was the way Olympus and Panasonic management treated outsider reviewers, then how much worse did they treat their employees who dared suggest that the company move away from MFT and into full frame?
The ROT in the company starts from the head down. Top management is to be blamed.
You may have brilliant engineers in Olympus and Panasonic. Just like Kodak had Steven Sasson.
And in spite of that, what happened to Kodak?
 

felixcat8888

Senior Member
May 8, 2005
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
I used to own the Olympus m43 system a couple of years back. Starting in 2014, got the OMD-EM5 MKI with only a 45/1.8 lens. Sold that away as well as my Sony A7II and lenses as I wanted to purchase the Pentax K1, which we Pentaxians had been waiting for more than 10 years.

Did you know that there were always people saying that Pentax is dead since 2008? Even as recently as last week, my friend was cycling around Punggol Park and he talked to some photographers who told him "Pentax is dead". He laughed and told them, it is very much alive as I a good friend and others are still using and buying into the system.

Pentax under Hoya came out with new and exciting APS-C DLSRs instead. Then Hoya sold the Pentax camera division to Ricoh, BUT kept the Medical and precision glass divisions for themselves. Ricoh then came out with the FF K1 MKI in 2016 and the MKII in 2018. We are also expecting a new APS-C camera this year, BUT with the pandemic, it is also delayed.

Just this year I decided to get the m43 system again for travel purposes. I have the lenses I need to use with the K1 but I will not want to carry that load on a holiday. Most of my lenses are from F1.2 to F2.8, meaning that they are pretty heavy to lug around. I managed to get my hands on a New Old Stock Panasonic Lumix GX8 with a Panasonic G 12-35/2.8 at a cheap price of $990. I even bought extended warranty for both items. This is during May 2020 in the middle of the pandemic mind you.

You all may ask WHY? I also know that Olympus sold the camera division away BUT that does not stop me from buying into the m43 system once more. I also have the Pentax KP, APS-C camera, which my son uses and the Pentax Q7, which my daughter used in her elective class in the Poly. The lecturer was impressed with the photos taken by a small 1/1.7" sensor. This is a crop of approximately 4.5X and here people are complaining that the m43 system at 2X is not professional. To produce wonderful photos, it is basically the skill of the person behind the camera, which is just a tool to present to others what our eyes interpret.

Since when does it say that only professionals use the Big Canikony systems only. I personally know of 2 professionals who use Pentax as their daily workhorse. In interviews on Youtube, Ricoh-Pentax has clearly stated that they are committed to making cameras in the long run but are concentrating on the APS-C model for now.

We all need to take a step back and enjoy photography, and not worry about whether a system is dying or whatever. If we keep on worrying, we WILL NEVER enjoy this hobby we chose, whichever system we are using.