Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sean Nelson
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Re: additional info and observations
In reply to rrr_hhh, Mar 22, 2013

rrr_hhh wrote:

I think that due to the competition of mirrorless (APSC and MFT) the big two will try to push FF and to diminish their cost so as to keep a competitive advantage in matters of IQ. Mirrorless APSC a la Sony, or MFT will keep their size and convenience advantage. Due to the actual size inconvenient of FF, there will be tentatives to reduce their size, but the size advantage of smaller sensor cameras will always be there and in matters of interchangeable lenses systems, the MFT stands at a sweet spot. The smartphones will eat the compact market, no question.

That prognostication rings true to my ears.  It's appearing more and more that Canon and Nikon have no interest in competing in the mid-sized mirrorless sensor market (well, Canon's got the EOS-M, but so far it doesn't seem to be serious about it).   It may be that they've consciously decided that M43 and Sony have too big a head start and it's not worth their while, and the EOS-M was a marketing test to confirm or deny this.  If Canon and Nikon really do try to move their customers up-market to FF, then it leaves the mid-sized market wide open for the existing mirrorless manufacturers.

I'm not at all convinced that the compact market will disappear.  Compacts still offer size advantages over system cameras and capability advantages (better zoom and/or low light capability, for example) compared to phones.  I agree that smart phones will erode their sales considerably, but I think there will still be a niche for people who are interested in that particular portion of the size/quality spectrum.  You can see manufacturers responding to this challenge with large-sensor compacts.

So I think the spectrum will range from phone cameras, through compacts, compact mirrorless system cameras, and larger DSLR cameras for the medium to long term.  Phones will dominate in terms of numbers, with market penetration decreasing with each step up to the next quality/capability tier.

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