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


ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
When a film format dies, there is a market momentum that drags on for a while until the pretentious facade of "business as usual" eventually crumbles.
Kodak stopped making 110 format films in 1982 and stopped making 110 format cameras in 1994.

The same will happen with MFT. It will die.
In spite of what Panasonic said ........ in the past.

Yosuke Yamane of Panasonic said on 17 March 2020:
"As of now, we have no plans to enter the APS-C market, because we know that Micro Four Thirds and full-frame can coexist without any cannibalization. If we moved into APS-C, there might be some overlap between Micro Four Thirds and APS-C, and between APS-C and full-frame, so I don’t think we’ll go in that direction."

But after 24 Jun 2020 (when Olympus announced the collapse of one half of the MFT universe) Panasonic may have NEW plans to enter APS-C.
What he said means that once Panasonic enters APS-C, they will kill MFT.

As for APS-C co-exist with full frame, Canon, Pentax, Sony, Nikon and Leica have proved they can do so.
Thus it is proved to be not an issue.

Leica and Nikon have APS-C mirrorless ILC models (TL2, CL, Z50) on their new mounts as a way to ease lower budget entry into the system.
This is very wise. It locks the new buyers into your new mount/system. In near future they will upgrade to the full frame models.

Maybe Canon will stop the EF-M and introduce a M60 or M6 Mk3 with APS-C sensor in RF mount.

Panasonic L mount models have an autofocus problem due to lack of phase detect AF.
Panasonic needs to cure this or else their L mount models are much degraded.

After 24 Jun 2020, MFT only has Panasonic.

Because MFT and APS-C sensors are close in size, the natural question to ask is why not rationalise and just have 1 production line?
Why have 2 different formats that are just slightly different in size from each other?
It does not make any sense at all.

The problem for MFT is that it has a close neighbour named APS-C, that will eat its lunch.

Currently more manufacturers make models for APS-C

Canon: EF-S, EF-M {M6 Mk2}
Fujifilm: X-Mount
Leica: TL { Leica CL and TL2 }
Nikon: DX {Z50 mirrorless}
Pentax: DA
Sigma: DC
Sony: DT, E (APS-C if not designated FE)
(Lenses only )Tamron: Di II
(Lenses only )Tokina: DX

So if you are a manufacturer of sensors, which sensor format has economies of scale?

Sony 6400, 6500 bodies are smaller than some MFT bodies.
 

Last edited:

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
Today 2 Sep 2020 a new full-frame mirrorless camera LUMIX S5 will be unveiled at 14:00hrs Coordinated Universal Time UTC.

This is entry level full frame by Panasonic.
With a suitably lower price. But maybe needs to improve the AF to include Phase detection in future.

During the S5 launch Panasonic may make a side comment about MFT, in passing.
Maybe. Maybe not.

After 24 Jun 2020, Panasonic would have convened internal meetings to discuss its future plans for cameras manufacturing.

It would have been easy for Panasonic to call a press conference or arrange interviews with camera magazines to clarify and affirm its stand to continue making MFT for a long time.

It has been 70 days from 24 Jun 2020 to 2 Sep 2020.
As far as I know, after 24 Jun 2020 Panasonic has so far been SILENT on its plans for MFT.

Silence is also an answer.

Silence can mean no change from previously stated policies.

Silence can mean Panasonic is thinking about it and will let you know in due course.

Silence can mean consumers should be intelligent enough to interpret what Panasonic intends to do.

Silence can mean forget what we said before 24 Jun 2020 - that was the past; instead watch what we DO in our actions from now on.

Panasonic representative had previously said APS-C is too close to Full Frame and thus it would prefer making MFT and Full Frame.
I used to think the same previously and obviously the market has proved that this was wrong.

That slot (in terms of price and sensor size widely separated from Full Frame) is taken by up mobile phones and compact cameras (nowadays some with 1 inch sensor).
Not by MFT.

APS-C is needed by Panasonic precisely because it is close enough to Full Frame, so they can share the same L mount.

The APS-C body becomes an easy entry stepping stone to coax the consumer into the camera brand's Full Frame system. And keep them in the system and away from rival brands.

Sony, Nikon and Leica have this very successful APS-C → Full Frame business model.

Sigma announced the launch of three fast prime F1.4 lenses for L-mount APS-C cameras at focal lengths 16mm, 30mm, and 56mm DC DN.

The question for Panasonic is - what are you waiting for?

If Panasonic wants to nurture L mount then it needs to do this. Start to make APS-C models in L mount.

Will Panasonic start to make APS-C body in L mount?
Wait and monitor.
What will that mean for Panasonic MFT? Don't know.

Their old GH5 has been quite well received by consumers.
Rumours say GH6 and GH9 around the corner.
 

Last edited:

Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
221
22
18
54
Nikon, Canon, Sony and Fujifilm are the early movers to APS-C, which by now is pretty saturated.
I think it will be difficult for Panasonic or any other manufacturer and to now gain a foothold in the APS-C sector.
Panasonic has done a good job gaining a foothold with their m43 GH series for videographers.
If Panasonic is to abandon the M43 and move to APS-C,, will its M43 users follow?

Even M43 lover like myself will not do that, unless Panasonic can display
some unique selling points to woo me over the already established brands with
a wide range of lenses and accessories.

Will Panasonic start to make APS-C body in L mount?
Wait and monitor.
What will that mean for Panasonic MFT? Don't know.

Their old GH5 has been quite well received by consumers.
Rumours say GH6 and GH9 around the corner.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
Canon is rumoured to be stopping EOS M line and releasing APS-C RF mount model.
It is risky for Canon to kill a cash cow.
But looks like Canon is looking at long term and what its rivals are already doing.

Sony, Nikon and Leica have very successful (One Mount) APS-C → Full Frame business model. For respectively Sony E mount, Nikon Z mount and Leica L mount.

Apparently Canon wants to join this "One Mount" philosophy.
The future Canon APS-C body with RF mount is a way to bring consumers into Canon's Full Frame RF system.

Separately, Sony is rumoured to introduce A7c.
c for Compact.
A Full Frame sensor mirrorless ILC in small body.

What is this Sony A7c aimed at?
Probably taking aim at Panasonic MFT line.

Wait and monitor.
 

Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
221
22
18
54
Another brand is coming on board M43.
Looks like M43 lenses, accessories and even camera bodies is going to stay.


A 8K camera is 33mp, which means that if the sensor is available to other brands, M43 is only to have new models
of 33mp camera bodies very soon. :cool:
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
Sony will always be credited for introducing full frame mirrorless in the A7 series in 2013. No one can take this merit way from Sony.
It created a new paradigm that full frame can be mirrorless.

The A7 series achieved a large slice of the full frame pie.
This forced Canon and Nikon to start making mirrorless full frame.
If Sony had not done so, Canon and Nikon would be happy to sell consumers DSLRs with mirrors for many years.

.......................

Now in 2020, Sony is set to create another NEW paradigm.
That full frame ILC cameras can be Small and Light.
Sony created the A7C (C for "compact") for this purpose.

Maybe Sony wants to break the MENTAL PRISON of mass consumers that full frame cameras must always be Big and Heavy.

To cure the psychological toxin that very small sensor mirrorless ILC camera manufacturers have been feeding consumers for a long time since 2008.

Of course the next argument by detractors, will be that full frame lenses are big and heavy - even if the body is small.
This is true to a certain extent.

Probably Sony will make a set of small and light lenses of moderate apertures (e.g. F2.8) and moderate focal lengths.

Will Sony succeed with this "compact" full frame?
Not sure.

And if Sony succeeds, what will happen to Panasonic MFT sales?
Seems quite obvious but wait and see the show.
 

swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
622
26
28
davophoto.wordpress.com
*cough Leica M9 2009, FF and mirrorless *cough
*cough Sigma fp.. it's tiny and FF *cough

Anyways, the 33MP 8K sensor in the Sharp implies it is in 16:9 for the m43 diagonal. So it'd only be suitable for other video m43 cameras rather than stills unless you don't mind shooting all your stills in 16:9 too.
But other 4:3 8K capable sensors exists eg. https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products/common/pdf/IMX492LLJ_LQJ_Flyer.pdf
This takes the pixel density way out in front equal to approx 164MP FF, 73MP 1.5X APS-C and even slightly more than the current 20MP 1" sensors. So m43 could maintain their niche pixel density advantage with such a sensor for applications such as macro's and wildlife.

As for Panasonic, reiterating what I wrote previously I think there's a good chance they might bring APS-C to L-mount.
It's just more economical if they're playing in more than one sensor format and more importantly their existing partners in the alliance already offer APS-C products for the L-mount.
But I can still see ways Panasonic m43 can progress, either via adapters or just co-developing identical cameras in both L and m43 mounts using the same APS-C sensor.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
Good news for anyone wishing to buy MFT equipment in SG or US.
After 24 Jun 2020 the expected price drop is happening. These are brand new items.
Buy 1 get 1 free - at the steeply discounted price.
Agents, wholesalers and big retail shops need to sell their stocks.
Heard from a friend today, that many rushed to buy up stocks in SG and then immediately resell on Carousell SG.
To make money.
Now if price of brand new items is much reduced like that, then it impacts resale prices of second hand/used items.

80299
80300
 

Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
221
22
18
54
There are some rumors that JIP that took over Olympus are going to streamline and focus on the higher models,
which helps them to sell lenses (the most profitable division for any camera manufacturer).

So it is no surprise that they are now clearing stock for all the E-PLs and told their dealers to do so.
There are a few photographers who carry EPL as a spare camera since it can be attached to all the lenses.

Good news for anyone wishing to buy MFT equipment in SG or US.
After 24 Jun 2020 the expected price drop is happening. These are brand new items.
Buy 1 get 1 free - at the steeply discounted price.
Agents, wholesalers and big retail shops need to sell their stocks.
Heard from a friend today, that many rushed to buy up stocks in SG and then immediately resell on Carousell SG.
To make money.
Now if price of brand new items is much reduced like that, then it impacts resale prices of second hand/used items.
[/QUOT
 

Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
221
22
18
54
I have Canon EF and EFS system and I dont find it practical to use EF lenses on EFS Cameras.
And same for my friend with Sony A7 and 6500.

Physically you can do it, but why would you pair a lenses meant for a larger body on a more compact one,
unless you are using the compact body as a back up.

eg. I would use a 18-135 lenses on my EOS 80D (which is pretty small).
THis is equal to about 24-200 on my FF EOS 5D.

But it is ridiculous to put a EF 16-35mm to get about 24-50 (although you can)
or a 24-105 lens which gives you 36 - 150mm? I find it hard to find a focal range
I am used to when I put my EF lenses on EF-S camera.

To me, there is no point having a 1-Mount system for different sensor size.


*cough Leica M9 2009, FF and mirrorless *cough
*cough Sigma fp.. it's tiny and FF *cough

Anyways, the 33MP 8K sensor in the Sharp implies it is in 16:9 for the m43 diagonal. So it'd only be suitable for other video m43 cameras rather than stills unless you don't mind shooting all your stills in 16:9 too.
But other 4:3 8K capable sensors exists eg. https://www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products/common/pdf/IMX492LLJ_LQJ_Flyer.pdf
This takes the pixel density way out in front equal to approx 164MP FF, 73MP 1.5X APS-C and even slightly more than the current 20MP 1" sensors. So m43 could maintain their niche pixel density advantage with such a sensor for applications such as macro's and wildlife.

As for Panasonic, reiterating what I wrote previously I think there's a good chance they might bring APS-C to L-mount.
It's just more economical if they're playing in more than one sensor format and more importantly their existing partners in the alliance already offer APS-C products for the L-mount.
But I can still see ways Panasonic m43 can progress, either via adapters or just co-developing identical cameras in both L and m43 mounts using the same APS-C sensor.
 

Last edited:

swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
622
26
28
davophoto.wordpress.com
I have Canon EF and EFS system and I dont find it practical to use EF lenses on EFS Cameras.
And same for my friend with Sony A7 and 6500.

Physically you can do it, but why would you pair a lenses meant for a larger body on a more compact one,
unless you are using the compact body as a back up.

eg. I would use a 18-135 lenses on my EOS 80D (which is pretty small).
THis is equal to about 24-200 on my FF EOS 5D.

But it is ridiculous to put a EF 16-35mm to get about 24-50 (although you can)
or a 24-105 lens which gives you 36 - 150mm? I find it hard to find a focal range
I am used to when I put my EF lenses on EF-S camera.

To me, there is no point having a 1-Mount system for different sensor size.
For the consumer it’s more so for the telephoto ranges.
For telephoto lenses the bigger determinant of size is the actual focal length and f-number. Eg. a 300mm f/4 lens will be similar sized no matter if it’s built for m43 or FF (not counting special lens tech eg. Canon’s DO or Nikon’s PF elements).
I agree on the wider end it’s beneficial to have separate lineup for different format sizes especially for zooms.

For the manufacturer, I think there are cost advantages to maintaining less vs more mounts.
Generally there would also be less confusion about what lens is for what system and you do away with adapters.
That’s why I think Canon will default to RF Mount for APS-C, FF as well as moving their Cine line which might include other standards like Super35 to the same RF mount.

For Panasonic, like I said b4 there are other factors particularly the fact that their alliance partners already offer APS-C products in the same mount so they’re somewhat tied to APS-C one way or another. Otherwise I agree that m43 sensor size is a better spacer to FF.
In an ideal world I think m43 would be in L-mount with 2 format sizes spaced 2 stops apart.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
It is 5 Sep 2020. The MOA is due to be signed on 30 Sep 2020.
Olympus held two interviews in July 2020.
15 July 2020 Setsuya Kataoka + DPReview
17 July 2020 Mr. Ayataka Kiyomiya (AK) + Dave Etchells from Imaging Resource.

Many things were said.
The following are 2 excerpts.

What's actually happening, is this a sale or a joint venture?

AK: Let me explain about this business transfer clearly. With this transfer, the Imaging business will be split from Olympus to become a completely standalone company. It will not be either a partnership nor a joint venture.

Observations:
No further explanation required.
...............................................

What will become of the Olympus brand?

AK: Yes, our camera brand names such as "OM-D", "PEN, and "ZUIKO," will continue to be used. In terms of Olympus brand name, it is currently under discussion but there is no plan to stop the Olympus brand immediately after the transfer.

Observations:

Olympus brand name on camera and lens products will not immediately cease after transfer to JIP.
How long will it remain? 1 week or 1 month or 1 year?
Don't know.

In the longer term it may cease.
Just as the Vaio (Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer) computers now sold by JIP do NOT have the "Sony" brand name on it.
Likewise it is expected that Olympus will NOT allow JIP to use its main brand name "Olympus" on products made by JIP.
However sub-brand names like "OM-D", "PEN, and "ZUIKO" may be allowed to be used by JIP.
 

Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
221
22
18
54
What will happen to the Olympus brand is no longer relevant.

Olympus users now know that they can use their current equipment for at least the next 3 years.
In fact, telephoto shooters have rushed to buy the newly launched 100-400mm lenses (first batch sold out).
Any time longer is a bonus. And as long as the equipment is not dropped or malfunction, it will probably
last much longer.

By then, nobody can predict what happens.....
Canon may have done away with EOS-M and Pentax may call it a day too.....

For Current M43 users or even new M43 users, enjoy what we have at the moment if we
think M43 is the system most suitable for us..........

For me, FF is not for me and smaller formats like EOS-M has no guarantee that it will last
longer than M43.

What will become of the Olympus brand?

AK: Yes, our camera brand names such as "OM-D", "PEN, and "ZUIKO," will continue to be used. In terms of Olympus brand name, it is currently under discussion but there is no plan to stop the Olympus brand immediately after the transfer.

Observations:

Olympus brand name on camera and lens products will not immediately cease after transfer to JIP.
How long will it remain? 1 week or 1 month or 1 year?
Don't know.

In the longer term it may cease.
Just as the Vaio (Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer) computers now sold by JIP do NOT have the "Sony" brand name on it.
Likewise it is expected that Olympus will NOT allow JIP to use its main brand name "Olympus" on products made by JIP.
However sub-brand names like "OM-D", "PEN, and "ZUIKO" may be allowed to be used by JIP.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
New trend in cameras - MUCH bigger sensor + MUCH cheaper priced entry level body

Olympus OM-D E-M1X introduced in February 2019 had a launch price tag of US$2,999

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III price tag at launch in Feb 2020 was US$1,799

{Rumour only}
Canon new entry-level Full Frame EOS RF mount camera would be announced in 2021 with a price tag that comes in under US$999.

This is an incredibly smart thing to do. Most important factor is that it must be CHEAP.

Never mind if it does not have all the bells and whistles - like 20 frames per second.

It has potential to attract legions of consumers into the Full Frame RF mount system.

Sony and Nikon probably have roughly similar ideas.
Sony plans a very small and light Full Frame that may not be cheap. But it may be successful.

If Panasonic MFT bodies (GH series) continue to be big and expensive, they could be in trouble.
 

Blu-By-U

Senior Member
Aug 2, 2006
1,704
13
38
Selangor D.E.
Why are you comparing Top of the range to a bottom of the range?

Entry level EM10 mark iv @ US 799 for a kit.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
As requested.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III launched Sep 2017 at US$650
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV expected launch Sep 2020 at US$700


Pure speculation only in this video. Skip to 12:30 and then 14:08. Have fun.
I will delete the link to the video after a few days, to keep the forum neat.
{afternote: Youtube link is deleted but you can Google for it by typing [ Canon's $900 EOS Rc Full Frame mirrorless will KILL EOS M ] }
 

Last edited:

swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
622
26
28
davophoto.wordpress.com
m43 has never really been considered mass-market. Ok.. at its peak (which was a bubble market frankly) it can probably be considered mass-market but m43 has always been a bit more niche. As long as they play to their strengths there will be niche buyers who like what they cater to. They may loose out in a general all-types-of-photography sense but targeted products should mean they do better at their targeted niche.

Some possible areas:
- High performance, high on features (all the bells and whistles) and high pixel density but they still need to find a way to keep a lid on the cost/price.
- Macro
- better heat dispersion for the same size body (becoming an issue as video specs advance)
- smaller IBIS mechanism for the same stabilisation performance leading to smaller bodies with good IBIS.
- videography
- Absolute system size. There's no advantage for equivalent gear but not everyone wants the FF equivalent or the fastest system possible so m43 can still cater for a smaller system on a practical basis.
 

Pitachu

Member
Sep 18, 2019
221
22
18
54
This is not the first time ricohflex used the E-M1x to compare with budget DSLRs.
His intention and prejudice against M43 is clear.

The Canon new entry level Full Frame RF is targeted towards EM10 Mk4 users.
I won't be able to say which is better, I guess for me it still depends on lenses
and features avaiable and choose the one most suitable for me, if I am hunting
for a new camera.

But a few years ago, I did balked at the Canon RF system for their lack of lenses
even though their first few lenses and the body are damn good.

New trend in cameras - MUCH bigger sensor + MUCH cheaper priced entry level body

Olympus OM-D E-M1X introduced in February 2019 had a launch price tag of US$2,999

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III price tag at launch in Feb 2020 was US$1,799

{Rumour only}
Canon new entry-level Full Frame EOS RF mount camera would be announced in 2021 with a price tag that comes in under US$999.

This is an incredibly smart thing to do. Most important factor is that it must be CHEAP.

Never mind if it does not have all the bells and whistles - like 20 frames per second.

It has potential to attract legions of consumers into the Full Frame RF mount system.

Sony and Nikon probably have roughly similar ideas.
Sony plans a very small and light Full Frame that may not be cheap. But it may be successful.

If Panasonic MFT bodies (GH series) continue to be big and expensive, they could be in trouble.
 

ricohflex

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
3,640
39
48
sing
For those who missed the recent {Buy 1 Get 1 free} offer of specific Olympus MFT body.
Not to worry.
Two big online sales events coming up.
Tomorrow is 9 September
also known as 9.9 sales

Later on 11 November
1111 also known as {singles day}
Alibaba typically breaks sales records on this day.

There may be offers to clear MFT stock.
Good luck hunting.