Micro Four Thirds has a golden opportunity

Started Sep 27, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Nic Walmsley
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Micro Four Thirds has a golden opportunity
Sep 27, 2011

In my opinion m43 has been presented with both a serious challenge and a golden opportunity.

The latest NEX cameras have raised the benchmark considerably, and m43 has to lift its game to compete. Luckily there are real flaws in the NEX system, and by exploiting them m43 can turn the challenge into a golden opportunity.

The NEX flaws are both real and perceived: the NEX lens lineup cannot match m43, there are quality control concerns with the latest Sony cameras (stories of overheating, clicking noises, and a long list of bugs on the production model of the flagship A77), and there is a concern the 24 megapixel sensor on the NEX 7 may be, if anything, too big for its own good.

This is not to dismiss the real achievements of NEX – it has set a new and impressive benchmark. But if Olympus and Panasonic can meet the new standards, and directly address any flaws in the NEX system, m43 can end 2012 as the standout leader in mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

The formula seems painfully simple:

1. A body that can compete with the NEX 7
2. A sensor that can compete with the NEX 5N
3. A body-only price point of under US $1000

Bring these 3 elements together with the best-in-class m43 lenses and you have a system that can beat NEX and all other mirrorless competitors.

More importantly, you have a camera system people can honestly sell: “This camera takes the best of all the other systems and combines them in one simple, high quality package”!

Of course there’s more bells and whistles that need to be added. Full HD video (24p, 1080p – not i) with manual controls. Improved dynamic range, high ISO performance and general IQ. Inbuilt electronic viewfinder. A reasonable number of manual controls on the body (drop the PASM dial though, it’s a waste of space – a single button could be used to scroll through shooting modes). Weather sealing. Silent shutter (electronic shutter). Some new tricks to compete with System 1. I’m sure there’s more.

But primarily it needs to negate the appeal of the NEX 7 body and the 5N sensor.

The fact that m43 can do both of these things in one single camera is the golden opportunity that Olympus and Panasonic would be mad to miss.

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