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Olympus brings down the curtain on the Four Thirds system
Old 03-10-2017   #1
danielsterno
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Olympus brings down the curtain on the Four Thirds system

So your opinion? In memoriam: Olympus brings down the curtain on the Four Thirds system

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/98...-thirds-system
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Old 03-10-2017   #2
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But, apparently, their micro 4/3rd stuff continues on. Right?

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Old 03-10-2017   #3
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Things change. Something new is always just around the corner. I have found some peace of mind with film related stuff being a less changing scene compared to digital.
I am sure that something new and better will pop up.
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Old 03-10-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
But, apparently, their micro 4/3rd stuff continues on. Right?

Jim B.
Yes.

The original 4/3rd cameras were SLRs, not mirrorless, like m4/3rd.
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Old 03-10-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Things change. Something new is always just around the corner. I have found some peace of mind with film related stuff being a less changing scene compared to digital.
I am sure that something new and better will pop up.
Camera-wise the film scene is a dead pool of water. We may never see any "serious" manufacturer releasing a "new" model again.

Hard to tell which is better.
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Old 03-10-2017   #6
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Gone but not forgotten. I love using my 4/3rds Oly 11-22mm & 70-300mm on my m43 Oly E-M1.
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Old 03-11-2017   #7
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Not suprised. I had an e-410 and an e-3 and the E-3 in partcular was ergonomically lovely, but the same size as a 5d body. The olympus lenses were far too slow and optically worse than the canon ones, and the sensor was just too small for the size of the body. Plus they never made proper primes for that system.

From the year that I used that e-3, I don't have 1 photograph I took with it that I actually like.
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Old 03-11-2017   #8
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Really, the 4/3 system has been dead for some time now. Olympus abandoned it years ago in favor of Micro 4/3 designs. The last E-system models had (I think) the 12 MP sensor of the first Micro 4/3 models so there's been no movement in the design for quite some time.

Personally, I much preferred the Olympus DSLR system over the early Micro 4/3 equipment I owned. The cameras were ergonomically superior in every way and the basic lenses were optically better. Although I mainly shot with Canons, I fell in love with the "E-volt" cameras, especially the E-620 which just seemed to put all the controls in the right places and be sized right. And the zoom lenses were pretty incredible. While some were too big and heavy, others were smaller and lighter and faster (and usually optically better) than APS-C and full frame equivalents. I particularly liked the 11-22/2.8-3.5, 12-60/2.8-4 and the 14-54/2.8-3.5. All very sharp lenses. Some of my best photos were done with these cameras and lenses.

While I initially bought the Olympus as a lightweight alternative to my Canons, I found myself using Olympus more than Canon after a while. What I never got used to was the format--I usually cropped to 3:2 instead of the 4:3 format. Later, I moved to Fuji...APS-C, small, light, excellent optics. It replaced Olympus.

I never got rid of the Olympus gear. As the Canon gear sees less and less use, I can see eventually using the Olympus system again despite its age.
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Old 03-12-2017   #9
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Old 03-12-2017   #10
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I love my Olympus E-400. Billed as the smallest dSLR on its arrival, I've yet to see any suitable replacement in terms of size. I look at the huge Canons and Nikons which people tote about with them and wonder how they can put up with the bulk and weight. I'm sure the image quality has much to recommend it, but ...
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Old 03-12-2017   #11
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No small cameras? What about the mirrorless APS-C competition from Canon, Fuji and Sony?

Where I live, not every retail dealer markets Fuji or Olympus. I know that Olympus has a head start with regards to a complete lens line up - but Fuji looks to be taking this market seriously, while Canon has a ginormous distribution capacity, i.e. which is distribution at the big box stores.
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Old 03-12-2017   #12
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After years of stagnation in 4/3 development this is not suprising. The Olympus E-1 was my first serious DSLR. I got it because it was relatively compact and weathersealed body for use in wet dusty places. It proved to be very reliable, had great ergonomics and produced excellent images. I still have and use that camera. Although I never upgraded to the E-3 or E-5, those cameras seemed to lose the spirit of 4/3 compactness and always lagged the specs of other manufacturers. Now I use a lowly Panasonic GF1 in those same hostile environments and it too has been very reliable. My next upgrade will be to the new Olympus OM-D EM-1 II, which will permit use of my legacy 4/3 lenses. The old E-1 body is not worth selling, but it's a keeper for the fun-factor alone. The lenses will live on! Sad to see the system go? Not really. The goal of high quality images in compact bodies is much better executed in the newer OM m4/3 incarnation than in the old E 4/3 system.

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Old 03-14-2017   #13
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Let's face the reality: The Four Thirds system failed in the market.
Because it could not deliver what was promised.
The performance ratio of camera/lens size and quality has not been convincing.
m4/3 is better in that respect.

The interesting question is, whether m4/3 can survive in the future: The DSLM market is very small, declining, and overcrowded with lots of strong competitors.
And does have m4/3 really (enough) siginificant advantages compared to APS-C DSLM cameras?
Will the future market for m4/3 remain big enough for two, for both Olympus and Panasonic?
Or will one of them give up?

I don't know, we will see. But is quite clear that m4/3 will have the most pressure on it in the market of the coming years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
Camera-wise the film scene is a dead pool of water. We may never see any "serious" manufacturer releasing a "new" model again.
The film market is increasing again.
We've seen all the statements and new product announcements from the manufacturers like JOBO, Bergger, Adox, Kodak, Film Ferrania, Foma, Bellini, Tetenal, Fujifilm, ars-imago, Ilford etc. confirming this.
The manufacturers are investing in new and modern production capacities (e.g. Adox is doubling its factory in Germany, and they recently just acquired parts of the former Ilford Imaging factory in Switzerland).
Demand for used film cameras is also rising for lots of models. That will continue in the coming years. Therefore new film cameras will have increasing attraction for film shooters in the future.
And at the same time the demand for digital cameras has collapsed by 80% in the last years (and there is no end in sight for this trend). The camera manufacturers are now selling much less digital cameras than film cameras during the 90ies.
Therefore new market segments and increasing niche markets will become more important for the camera manufacturers in the coming years.
We will see a very similar development with new film cameras as we've seen with mechanical watches and turntables:
A strong comeback with lots of new models.
I expect new film cameras on the market in the next 3-5 years.
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Old 03-14-2017   #14
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I'm guessing that the m4/3 mount has one of the largest number of native (i.e. without adapter) lenses of any digital system, and given the trend to smaller cameras and lenses, I think it's too early to predict the demise of m4/3. Also, I'd think that having two manufacturers sharing the same mount is an advantage to both.

Having said that, the digital market appears to be in free fall on the way to finding a new lower level of stability, whatever that will be. Nikon is putting its eggs in the "high quality" basket, but Olympus seems to be already heading in that direction with the EM-1 II.
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Old 03-14-2017   #15
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"Let's face the reality: The Four Thirds system failed in the market.
Because it could not deliver what was promised.
The performance ratio of camera/lens size and quality has not been convincing. m4/3 is better in that respect."


Probably true in some senses but I still think it was not given enough of a chance. It was all about timing and not really anyone's fault of course. Because the M4/3 and other so called EVIL camera technology became available shortly after the original 4/3 system came out the older system never had a chance to evolve, mature and prove itself, sadly. It kind of fell between two stools of full DSLR systwms on the one hand and the m4/3 system on the other.

I had and still have a Panasonic L1 (the Leica Digilux 3 I think) and still get it out now and then. But I regularly use the 4/3 system lenses designed for that camera on my various m4/3 cameras with an auto focus 4/3 to m4/3 adapter. The three I use are the Panasonic 25mm f1.4, the Panasonic 14-25mm kit lens that came with the L1 and an Olympus 35mm f3.5 macro. All are superb lenses even on an m4/3 camera with adapter. And I would generalize and say that there were quite a few very successful 4/3 system lenses from that era that are well worth investing in.
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Old 03-14-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
Camera-wise the film scene is a dead pool of water. We may never see any "serious" manufacturer releasing a "new" model again.

Hard to tell which is better.
I would have thought there were quite a few "serious" manufacturers releasing new film cameras, especially (but not only) in larger formats but perhaps you are thinking they are not serious or (more probably) not "new".

But of course you could say the same of the majority of digital cameras, they are just variants on established models/types.

RIP Four Thirds, 18 years was not a big innings.
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