Why MicroFourThird (Olympus, Panasonic etc.) at all?


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That E-2/3/whatever was just a hunk of painted balsa wood. What worries me far more than the form of the E-2/3 is whether there will ever be an E-2/3. I have NO inside information of any kind, but I do keep wondering if Olympus bought the farm when they went with the 4/3 sensor size, and have discovered that they simply can't cram 10-12 mgp - which are required now for a pro camera - onto that small a sensor and still get the low noise levels that are required today. I sure hope I'm wrong, because the lenses are terrific, and the current body form - and construction - are wonderful. But it is now Feb. of 2007, and the E-1 is for all intents and purposes four years old. And in that time Canon and Nikon have brought out how many generations of pro and semi-pro cameras?


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Rob: For me, the darkroom is a Zen place, a refuge. It's not all enlightenment, of course, but I enjoy it. Lots of folks don't, and all the issues you mention are real; I've had my share of stellar prints that are hard to repeat, screw-ups, etc. But still, it's a place I like. A really good silver print is hard to beat.

BD: If I didn't know better I'd swear you have some sort of financial interest in me buying an E-1.
But yeah, I should probably do that, though I'd require the MA-1 or similar adapter. I just can't go cold turkey ...

All: I too am concerned (worried?) about the E-1 successor and what I feel is the 4/3s corner. It's starting to feel like the Pen ... but without the short and mid-term success. I dunno.


Earl, I have a lot of respect for where you're coming from. If the wet darkroom is your Zen place, good for you.

Re: the future of E system and the E-1 successor....I'm pinning my hopes on this...

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If Oly don't come through for me at PMA I'm an abandoned follower.


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Rob: Thanks for the link to that article...

"OLY: In the sense of overall planning, we’d always had high hopes of introducing a smaller model separate from the orientation of the E-1 professional model"

This raises a concern ... will smaller mean not "professional"? Will a pro series (single digit E system, a la single digit OM) be separate from smaller, amateur/prosumer bodies? The statement later about E-400 innovations being the foundation of next generation E system single digit body, etc., isn't totally reassuring. That's a wait-and-see for me.

There's lots else there that is interesting....

"With respect to E-1 users, we have heard some pretty severe criticisms regarding making them wait for too long, but the E-1 successor to be announced next year we will be able to deliver it without making people wait for very long."

"At PMA, the impression will be so clear that anyone will be able to say with conviction, “THIS IS FOUR THIRDS!†"

Show me the money!


To BDColen and Rob Smith:

I may be a "boring" "kid" to you guys, but I love taking pictures just like you guys do. And since we are in the Olympus-user forum, we share a passion for their wonderful cameras.

I apologize if whatever I've said tickled you guys the wrong way. I'll move on and I will disagree with you guys on some issues, but let's discuss things that are more fun.



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Wow! Where have I been - absolutely nothing anyone said on this thread has tickled me the wrong way. Did I say something nasty? I don't even know when I do it. ;-)


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Everyone: B.D. and I agree!!!

Seriously, that little teaser over on the Olympus Europe site showed two bodies with a form factor that is more reminiscent of an OM in size and design. Of course, we can't really tell anything from shadowy images. Luckily March 5 is not far away.


I here because I want to learn more about the Olympus Zuiko wides for use on my Canon 5D.


In 1979 I was looking for a camera to take on a trip to Europe. I was looking at Pentax, Olympus and Canon. It finally came down to the OTF metering, shutter speed ring, compact design and OM system that drove me to buy the OM-2n with 50mm, 1.8 lens for $460. That was a ton of money for a consumer buy at that time. Nikon was out of the question since an F body alone cost much more. I couldn't afford Zuiko lenses until I was older, so I bought third party lenses. I did buy the Winder 2, the T-45 flash and leather case. I use the winder all the time, the flash is busted and the leather case doesn't work with accessories attached. I had John Hermanson do a cleaning several years back.


I copy here two postings which I made in the MFT forum in another thread. But since this is a general subject, I do think it is worth it to copy these two postings also in this thread for those of you, who are in the decision making process pro or contra MFT:

Start quoting:

I had the exact same problem like you when I was looking for alternatives to my other systems in 2016 and tried to understand the line-up of Panasonic and Olympus and what the differences are between the models and the lenses.

What might also help is to see in real life how big or small the differences are between the bodies & lenses within the different systems and diferent sensor sizes.

I used to have Olympus many years ago already with the E620 and the "normal" FourThird system (with mirror). But I sold it again and now that I looked at MicroFourThirds (=without mirror) in 2016 closer, I was trying to find out, what kind of value the MFT system could add to my photogear-needs.

As I mentioned before, I came from fullframe (Nikon D800 and Sony A900) and was looking to size down my gear to have it easier while travelling. So I started as probably everybody else did with the 1 inch sensor compacts (Sony RX100, Canon G7X, Canon 9X) but found out soon that they can not beat my beloved Ricoh GR (APS-C sensor) and that I also need something with an interchangeble lensmount system.

So I tried the Nikon V1 and J5 (the so called "Nikon 1" system) with almost all their lenses. I liked them a lot, but was missing more FFL and it seems that Nikon does not continue that line anymore. So I was looking for alternatives in similar size & weight classes.

For larger sensors, I decided already for the Fuji X-system to replace my Nikon D800 system. But with Fuji, as soon as you want to have telezooms or wideangle zooms or at that time FFL, the lenses became big and heavy for an APS-C sized sensor system ( i.e. teh Fuji XF23/1.4, XF56/1.2, XF50-140/2.8) etc.

So Nikon 1 was too small and has maybe no future, Nikon fullframe was too heavy and too big and even Fuji X in most cases too big and heavy (this changed recently with the new Fuji FF lenses 23/2.0 WR, 35/2.0 WR and 50/2.0 WR).

There was only MFT inbetween. And if you pick carefully your lenses in the MFT system, you will get the same sizte and weight advantage of the Nikon 1 system with its 1 inch sensor, but with a significant larger MFT sensor inside.

This is why is trated with the Lumix GM5, which has the exact same size and the Nikon J5, but the GM5 has an EVF! look at the size comparison I have done between Nikon 1, MFT, Fuji X and Nikon fullframe:




Always in the order from front to back: Nikon J5, Panasonic Lumix GM5, Panasonic Lumix GX80/85, Fuji X-Pro1.
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Even more interesting are the differences in lens size & weight- I sold already my D800 and some lenses, so I could not add anymore the Nikkor 70-200/4.0 etc. to show the size differences:


Above: View from top to see the differences in filter size.


Above: Sorted by focal lenght and whether it is zoom or FFL. So if yu wnat to have focal lenght i.e. 35mm in fullframe terms, you can see what kind of size and weight the lens of another system has to cover that focal length.
The difference are sometimes huge. From left to right:

A. wideangle zooms


- Smallest Panasonic Kit lens 12-32. It is kind of a pancake lens.
# 2 is the Nikkor 6.7-18.
#3 Olympus 9-18mm.
#4 is Fuji XF10-24.
The Nikon fullframe 18-35G was sold already, but is significantly larger than the Fuji.

B. Wideangle FFL


- Second row is wideangle FFL between 28mm and 35mm.

Winner here is Nikon 10/2.8 (Nikon 1 system). I do not have a Lumix WA FFL yet, so I do not know how big the i.e. 15/1.7 is
#2 is the new Fuji Xf23/2.0 WR (on the left side of the 10mm lens)
#3 is the Fuji XF23/1.4 (right side of the 10mm lens)
#4 as expected Nikon fullframe 35/1.8G ED.

C. Short telephoto FFL


And this comes now at a surprise for me. Although the Nikon 1 systems covers the smaller sensor size, the 90mm FFL is bigger and heavier that the MFT fFL.

Winner is here the Panasonic Lumix 42/1.7.
#2 is the Nikkor 32/1.2.
#3 is Fuji XF56/1.2 but surprisingly very close to the Nikkor fullframe 85/1.8G.

I know these lenses have all different apertures. But If i want to achieve certain shallow DOF, I have to use sometimes F1.2 which I achieve easily already in fullframe with F1.8 or even only @F2.0.

D. Normal Telezooms


This is a mixed comparison only focused on lenses which I do use in real life. I tried for example the Fuji XF55-200 but did not find any advantage over the Fuji XC50-230. So I sold it again and therefore my benchmark for Fuji is this XC50-230 and not the even bigger alternatives. I would never carry a XF50-140/2.8 around for travelling. Same approach with other lenses.

So in this category, the Panasonic Kit lens telezoom (35-100, on the left side) is by far the smallest one and therefore the winner.
#2 is the Nikkor 10-100 for the Nikon 1 system.
#3 is a really great lens, the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 HD telezoom. This is a lot larger than the Kit zoom, but it delivers and if you want to have more shallow DOF than the Kitzoom, you need even @200mm still F2.8
#4 is the Fuji XC50-230. Only slightly bigger than the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 HD, but for shallow DOF the Pana beats easily the Fuji. Converted to APS-C sized sensor, tha Pana has the DOF of a F4.0 in the APS-C world @200mm. The Fuji give you F6.7



And here you see what it means, if you use the lenses in real life. You want to have a longer focal lenght with your telezoom? Have fun with zooming out the lens. Only the Pana 35-100/2.8 HD stays the same size.


This summer, I purchased the Olympus 75-300 MKII specifically to shoot surfers on holidays. So made this comparison later to see how big the differences are, if you want to go as far as 600mm in fullframe terms.


So the Olympus is @600mm smaller than the Fuji XC50-230 @345mm


Also the filtersize of the Olympus is very attractive for a 600mm lens.

This compariosn does not mean that MFT is the best. Since the new WR FFL 23/35/50 of Fuji, the size advantage of the MFT shrinked a lot and is basically only existing woth telezooms and wideangle zooms. But still it is good to know the real life facts instead of comparing product sheets ;)

I enjoy MFT a lot. But I will keep my Fuji system, because I like it also a lot. If you stick with MFT or decide to enter this MFT system, make sure you check which lenses and bodies you want to buy. An Olympus EM1 MKII with Olympus Pro lenses is bigger than the Fuji X-System without having the bigger sensor. Food for thoughts...


Why micro 4/3 at all? Simple, it's been all I've needed to make my living as a full time pro photographer with since I gave up my FF Canon gear in 2013!

Starting with two GH3's and the 12-35 and 35-100 2.8 zooms, and now with GH5's and a few other bodies, and a cabinet full of lenses for every occasion. I shoot for publications, advertising, marketing, the web, and lots of video.

The size and weight is the perfect balance of performance and image quality. I've had files blow up to 40 ft wide wall wraps, billboards, and 30x40 inch prints without any issues.

The reality is, I don't need more megapixels for what I do.

For me it's the do it all camera system with the most complete, and affordable, set of lenses the one can imagine. It is more than sufficient for my needs.