Why m4/3rds is declining in the US.

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
AndyGM
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Re: Why m4/3rds is declining in the US.
In reply to Adrian Van, May 1, 2013

Adrian Van wrote:

Rmark wrote:

Actually I believe EVF are much cheaper than a well engineered pentaprism and mirror on optical viewfinders.  I don't think optical viewfinders will be buried any sooner than windshields in cars are replace by digital displays , or windows in houses replaced by CCTV and widow sized monitors.

Very true, OVF systems are the format of choice of Pro photographers and semi-pros as they still outsell any EVF systems year to year currently.

Sony has EVF with SLT (transluscent mirror design) in their DSLRs but the other major camera makers still use OVF in DSLRs: Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus (DSLR E5). Some pros have adopted the Sonys. The other manufacturers are still making OVFs in DSLRs because most pros want OVF or bright viewfinders of natural images to view in my opinion. Supply and demand.

Mirrorless while getting better all the time doesn't offer all the high speed advantages of advanced DSLR and fast phase AF detection. Not yet anyway. Even ask OMD users how their camera will compare to a D800, D3, D700 or a 7D or Canon FF for sports coverage in low light.

The unique design of the Sony may be the only exception for great EVF and AF capture in their latest FF.

I think someone else had made the point already that EVFs are (currently) more expensive to develop, and OVFs including the mirror mechanism have been perfected for decades so the R&D costs are minimal. However, to make and manufacture, if you want it bright, with 100% view, and able to handle a high burst rate, OVFs are way more expensive.

I'm not aware of any APS-C DSLR with an 100% view OVF, and none of them can support the burst rate of Sony's SLT system. They are also unique among "DSLRs" that you can shoot video using the viewfinder. Have any of you checked out the EVF in the A77? If you turn off the additional shooting info, so it just shows the image, you have no idea you are looking at an electronic display.

Sony, with their years of making pro TV cameras and Digital Cinema cameras, already have more experience of building EVFs so it is not surprising they were the first to go this way and play to their strengths. There is a rumour that the next generation of Alpha mount cameras will not even have the light loss translucent mirror, it seems they think their on sensor PDAF is now good enough to take over.

Personally, I think Canon and Nikon will move their APS-C DSLRs to an EVF setup like the Alpha cameras. They will have to. Yes, I know there are concerns about battery life, that EVFs are battery powered and OVFs are solar powered (I did like that comment). But going this way will be too tempting for them. EVFs that look so sharp you cannot tell they apart from OVFs already exist. They are cheaper to make so you improve your profit margins. They are always 100% view. You can (cheaply) have >5fps burst modes with them. You can shoot stills and video with them. They can "gain up" in the dark so you can still compose.

I expect Canon to be the first of the two to go this way, because they also have existing tech in Pro TV Camera EVFs. Having said that, Canon and Nikon are known for being very conservative in their product planning, so I really don't see them going this way for their FF cameras like Sony has with the A99. The issues with the cost of manufacturing high quality OVFs don't really exist in the FF DSLR market, the consumer price sensitivity isn't there. You can charge two grand for a FF DSLR and people will happily pay it.

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