Thom Hogan: Impact of mFT on Nikon DX line

Started Sep 20, 2013 | Discussions
technic
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Re: Thom Hogan: Impact of mFT on Nikon DX line
In reply to Anderton, Sep 21, 2013

Anderton wrote:

With respect to IQ, what matters is the sensor area (supposing everything is equal) and APSC is only 30% bigger than MFT sensors. Since the lens offering is far from stellar for the NEX, the difference could well be columned by the superior lenses line. And don't forget the extraordinary 5axes IBIS. In the end I'm nit sure whether the IQ would be very different between the two systems.

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rrr_hhh

Sensor size as in the imminent release of full frame sensor on the NEX line, the image quality will more than likely be very different between the two systems.

price and size/weight (especially the lenses) will be very different as well ...

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TrapperJohn
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Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to sderdiarian, Sep 21, 2013

Nikon hasn't made any big leaps and bounds since the D3... unless you count the D90's video (a first, building on Oly's live view in the 330)... but that's also true of the dslr in general. It isn't seeing the big leaps and bounds of functionality that were evident in the mid 2000's.

The D7100's greatest competition isn't the EM1. It's the D7000. The D7100 didn't improve on it all that much, so Nikon lost much of their largest potential customer base: D7000 owners. Not so much a Nikon problem as an industry problem. Canon's sales of 5DIII were lower than expected for the same reason - many 5DII owners decided that the improvements didn't justify the expense. In both cases, the global recession didn't help matters any.

Sony... until Sony learns how and especially why to build good lenses, and lots of them, they'll remain a perennial also-ran. It's the most common reason people choose µ43 over NEX: not much glass, and what little they have is quite large.

What Nikon faces is what any camera company heavily vested in the dslr design faces: stagnation. The design has been pushed about as far as it can go. Sensor tech is at the point where further improvement does not yield much in the way of tangible results under typical photo circumstances, so the large sensor advantage isn't nearly what it once was. The optical viewfinder might get better with digital overlays, but it's expensive to do that, and still doesn't deliver the preview and review modes of the EVF. The only real improvement that can be made is - size. And the dslr's VF, legacy film lens mount and registration distance limit how much it can be improved there.

The dslr has also lost the enthusiasm and excitement that drove much of it's booming sales in the 2000's. Where are those great leaps and bounds happening today? Right here. Look at the dpr top ten clicked list today: two high end compacts, three dslr's, and five mirrorless. Including one, the EM5, that's been on that list since January, 2012.

That enthusiasm may not be reflected directly in current sales, but it's pretty unambiguous handwriting on the wall. That's where things are headed.

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technic
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to TrapperJohn, Sep 21, 2013

TrapperJohn wrote:

good post, but a few comments ...

The optical viewfinder might get better with digital overlays, but it's expensive to do that, and still doesn't deliver the preview and review modes of the EVF.

I think this could be relatively easy with the new transparent OLED screens (not sure if the optical quality of those is good enough to allow critical focusing, but maybe that would no longer be required with a good overlay). Just not something for entry level models.

The only real improvement that can be made is - size. And the dslr's VF, legacy film lens mount and registration distance limit how much it can be improved there.

look at the Canon SL1, there is lots of room for improvement there. I'm still waiting for a FF DSLR the size of my FF OM-2, and with a viewfinder that is just as big and high quality. I don't see why it can't be done.

That enthusiasm may not be reflected directly in current sales, but it's pretty unambiguous handwriting on the wall. That's where things are headed.

all the more reason for the camera companies to start innovating

But even in this recession Canon still seems to do well milking the market with mostly infinitesimal upgrades to their cameras. I think we will have to be patient to see real innovation.

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sderdiarian
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to TrapperJohn, Sep 21, 2013

Nice summary, Trapper John.

I enjoy landscape and wildlife photography, and for the latter have at times looked at Nikon DSLR's for their excellent AF systems, PDAF tracking abilities, superior DR and greater cropping ability (24MP sensor).

But I ultimately come back to mFT. The D5200 has a miserably small OVF and is crippled in various ways, while the D7100 is, by mFT standards, large and heavy. And while the D5200/D7100 24MP sensor has better DR and detail, is it enough for me to really notice? After comparing sample images, I've decided not.

And, yes, I'd simply love the D5200/D7100's tracking ability along with the performance of their faster long lenses for BIF (birds in flight). But the E-M1 now shows mFT is at least on the trail of decent tracking ability, and those fast/long Nikon lenses cost a fortune and weigh a ton.

The ultimate decider? The size to performance ratio. Cameras like the E-M5, E-M1 and GX7 have closed the gap in all aspects of performance to APS-C DSLR's while providing take-anywhere bodies with excellent build yet weighing only about a pound. Add in my ability to take a nice selection of excellent lenses in my pockets when out on my photo jaunts, and I just can't go back.

Olympus and Panasonic have also quietly built a very nice combined system of lenses, which they continue to build on, the latest being the 12-40mm f2.8 zoom. This has become their trump card for me when comparing systems, along with knowing they're committed to continuing to grow the selection.

With the E-M1, Olympus has leapfrogged the already excellent E-M5 in many ways: much improved AF tracking ability, fast AF of HG/SHG lenses (effectively greatly expanding their lens line-up), a built-in class leading EVF, 1-step better IBIS, 1/8000 sec shutter, auto CA correction, focus peaking, Wi-Fi, more buttons to minimize menu diving and improved handling.

Where else do you see this amount of energy in innovation in both bodies and lenses? With Olympus and Panasonic continuing to push each other forward in camera design/performance and expanding their shared lens system, I don't see this energy abating anytime soon.

What I feel is needed now is a D5200/700D priced body with many of the E-M1's capabilities in a small non-weathersealed body combined with a genuine advertising campaign. With the success of the E-M5, DPR's 2012 camera of the year reader's choice poll winner, the words already clearly out.

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YouDidntDidYou
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Re: D7100 v. E-M5 on flickr
In reply to onlooker, Sep 21, 2013

onlooker wrote:

YouDidntDidYou wrote:

E-M5 users have uploaded 250% more photos suggesting that E-M5 users are getting more out of their cameras.

I think that's reaching a bit. The only direct conclusion one may draw from it is that there are more active Flickr users among E-M5 owners than D7100.

both have about 600 daily users, so the D7100's are sitting on the shelf lowering it's "value" to the photographer even more....

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TurboElephant
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Re: Impact of mFT on Nikon DX line - probably not in the USA market
In reply to kodachromeguy, Sep 21, 2013

Well put and you can add (most of) the European market to this as well.

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YouDidntDidYou
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Re: Thom Hogan: Impact of mFT on Nikon DX line
In reply to Sean Nelson, Sep 21, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

justmeMN wrote:

If Olympus had been aggressive in pricing, the D7100 would have been toast this Christmas.

Oh please. Here (USA), Olympus can't even get their product on store shelves, and have virtually no advertising.

I think that getting stock into stores is the bigger half of the problem. If they price the cameras competitively then I think retailers would be a lot more inclined to stock them. But right now it seems like Panasonic and Olympus are both skimming the cream from the enthusiasts who are willing to pay a premium for their gear.

Canon and Nikon are able to offer North American retailers more margin with various methods ,longer payment terms and take more risk than what Oly and Panny can, but Canikon might get their fingers burnt in the USA if any of the retailers file for bankruptcy like Jessops did in the UK leaving Canikon £20 million out of pocket...

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jim stirling
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to sderdiarian, Sep 21, 2013

sderdiarian wrote:

Nice summary, Trapper John.

I enjoy landscape and wildlife photography, and for the latter have at times looked at Nikon DSLR's for their excellent AF systems, PDAF tracking abilities, superior DR and greater cropping ability (24MP sensor).e advertising campaign. With the success of the E-M5, DPR's 2012 camera of the year reader's choice poll winner, the words already clearly out.

If i was an APS landscape shooter one of the 24mp options along with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 would make a wonderful choice. There were some rather underhand tactics to gain votes for the E-M5 such as some people trawling other internet forums to attempt to get people to sign up to DPreview just to vote for it :-). Not that I would take such polls very seriously anyway.

Jim

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Sergey_Green
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And I was wondering ..
In reply to rrr_hhh, Sep 21, 2013

rrr_hhh wrote:

It isn't as simple as you make it : the real question is how much more weight and bulk people will accept for the marginal IQ they would gain and that marginal IQ increase (which many people didn't really need) comes along with a huge size/weight increase (often the total gear weight is twice as heavy).

Four times the area of the imager will produce marginal IQ increase, you serious? Ok, how about that; for the same camera, same focal length, and the same money (one to one), which lens would you buy, f/2.8 or f/5.6? And why? We are not even talking about DR and MPx, the difference should be marginal anyway, right? So just DoF and the total light, on the same system, which would it be?

And yes : some people are willing to pay more (or the same amount) for less. And it is way less in bulk and wheight but very few less in IQ and possibilities.

Some people do whatever, why should you care?

And I'm using both a FF and MFT.

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technic
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Re: D7100 v. E-M5 on flickr
In reply to YouDidntDidYou, Sep 21, 2013

YouDidntDidYou wrote:

onlooker wrote:

YouDidntDidYou wrote:

E-M5 users have uploaded 250% more photos suggesting that E-M5 users are getting more out of their cameras.

I think that's reaching a bit. The only direct conclusion one may draw from it is that there are more active Flickr users among E-M5 owners than D7100.

both have about 600 daily users, so the D7100's are sitting on the shelf lowering it's "value" to the photographer even more....

before you know it people are judging the value / quality of a camera from the amount of use it gets on FB...

Maybe D7100 users are doing more useful things with their camera than posting on Flickr?

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technic
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to sderdiarian, Sep 21, 2013

sderdiarian wrote:

What I feel is needed now is a D5200/700D priced body with many of the E-M1's capabilities in a small non-weathersealed body combined with a genuine advertising campaign. With the success of the E-M5, DPR's 2012 camera of the year reader's choice poll winner, the words already clearly out.

A much lower priced body with those features could change the situation, but how likely is it that Oly wants to or even can compete on price?

If Canon comes out with a slightly upgraded version of the SL1/100D (e.g. with the 70D sensor, technically no problem), and maybe with a few more compact EF-S STM lenses, they are going to steal Oly's lunch.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to rrr_hhh, Sep 21, 2013

rrr_hhh wrote:

There were long waiting lists to get one : I had preordered one in early March but only got one at the end of August inspite of the fact that in our country Olympus is better distributed than it appears to be in the US.

My take on it is that it can only mean this camera is/was not well distributed (supplied) in your area. Say 5 people ordered and only 3 cameras arrived, Olympus miscalculated there would be 2 people more. Perhaps.

I have seen the same with Nikons, you could walk into the store and buy the most popular camera on the day they arrive, D300 was a good example. Yet, you would need to pre-order the model that is in lesser demand, and been around for a while.

Also Olympus managers have declared it several times : they were themselves surprised by how well the E-M1 was selling. Also here since its launching the price of the E-M5 has remained very stable, loosing less than 10% With respect to its launch price

Well, you see, that's why they distributed only few from the beginning. Like I said, it could mean something entirely different from what you think it is.

By well selling I meant if you have figures, that show this camera did indeed bring profits back to Olympus. You will not find such. Therefore it did not sell well at all.

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Sergey_Green
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It's like you would say, ..
In reply to technic, Sep 21, 2013

technic wrote:

And if people chose option 1 and just want a basic setup with 1-2 zooms, they can buy a Canon SL1 kit which is nearly the same size/weight as the E-M1 or E-M5, but at 2-4x lower price. If you compare E-M1 to a Canon 7D it is indeed small and light, but how many m43 users really need those 'pro' features?

Here is the money, I need no more, keep the rest of it. I say, it is admirable ! Keep them happy!

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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to jim stirling, Sep 21, 2013

jim stirling wrote:

If i was an APS landscape shooter one of the 24mp options along with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 would make a wonderful choice. There were some rather underhand tactics to gain votes for the E-M5 such as some people trawling other internet forums to attempt to get people to sign up to DPreview just to vote for it :-). Not that I would take such polls very seriously anyway.

Jim

The fact that people went to those levels to recruit voters and the fact that people were willing to be requited shows how much enthusiasm there is for the camera.  Besides, politicians do the same type of thing when trying to get elected.  Are those elections then not valid?

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dgrogers
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to technic, Sep 21, 2013

technic wrote:

sderdiarian wrote:

What I feel is needed now is a D5200/700D priced body with many of the E-M1's capabilities in a small non-weathersealed body combined with a genuine advertising campaign. With the success of the E-M5, DPR's 2012 camera of the year reader's choice poll winner, the words already clearly out.

A much lower priced body with those features could change the situation, but how likely is it that Oly wants to or even can compete on price?

If Canon comes out with a slightly upgraded version of the SL1/100D (e.g. with the 70D sensor, technically no problem), and maybe with a few more compact EF-S STM lenses, they are going to steal Oly's lunch.

Is Canon going to take mirrorless seriously?  Their bread and butter is DSLR.  No doubt there are internal forces doing everything they can to keep Canon mirrorless from imposing on Canon DSLR sales.  Kodak had the same issues with film and digital.  I'm not saying Canon will go out of business, but companies like to ride what has made them successful.

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jim stirling
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to dgrogers, Sep 21, 2013

dgrogers wrote:

jim stirling wrote:

If i was an APS landscape shooter one of the 24mp options along with the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 would make a wonderful choice. There were some rather underhand tactics to gain votes for the E-M5 such as some people trawling other internet forums to attempt to get people to sign up to DPreview just to vote for it :-). Not that I would take such polls very seriously anyway.

Jim

The fact that people went to those levels to recruit voters and the fact that people were willing to be requited shows how much enthusiasm there is for the camera. Besides, politicians do the same type of thing when trying to get elected. Are those elections then not valid?

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I think your signature line rather clearly explains why you think this to be a reasonable action Though to put it into your political comparison it would be akin from going to one county and asking people there to sign up for living in another county just to sway a vote.

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Re: I am not really sure if they are skimming the cream either ..
In reply to rrr_hhh, Sep 21, 2013

rrr_hhh wrote:

Sergey_Green wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

justmeMN wrote:

If Olympus had been aggressive in pricing, the D7100 would have been toast this Christmas.

Oh please. Here (USA), Olympus can't even get their product on store shelves, and have virtually no advertising.

I think that getting stock into stores is the bigger half of the problem. If they price the cameras competitively then I think retailers would be a lot more inclined to stock them. But right now it seems like Panasonic and Olympus are both skimming the cream from the enthusiasts who are willing to pay a premium for their gear.

Here in EU ( and forget about dX )

Nikon D600 (SLR) Gehäuse (VBA340AE) ab €1418,78

Olympus OM-D E-M1 (EVIL) Gehäuse schwarz (V207010BE000) ab €1499,

Canon EOS 6D (SLR) Gehäuse (8035B022) ab €1515,04

I already asked the same question somewhere else, what would you buy for the same money;

  1. the camera that is easier to carry
  2. the camera that will take better images

Many, and those who know what to do with it, take the second option. And so the stores are hardly making any profits on the first. In fact, Olympus imaging division themselves have been losing money for quite some time now, and OM-D is not helping much either.

It isn't as simple as you make it : the real question is how much more weight and bulk people will accept for the marginal IQ they would gain and that marginal IQ increase (which many people didn't really need) comes along with a huge size/weight increase (often the total gear weight is twice as heavy).

To be fair that same argument can be put forward for one camera solutions such as the RX100 which is notably closer in sensor performance to the E-M5 than the E-M5 is to the D800e {all selected for being best in each sensor size} The RX100 has almost exactly the same colour depth and DR as the E-M5 while being a fraction over one stop poorer in high ISO. The D800 on the other hand has a full 2.8 stops colour depth advantage along with, 2 stops DR and 1.7 stops high ISO advantage over the E-M5 along with the extra resolution, I think I would say that is more than a marginal gain.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/812|0/%28brand%29/Sony/%28appareil2%29/793|0/%28brand2%29/Olympus/%28appareil3%29/814|0/%28brand3%29/Nikon

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happypoppeye
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to TrapperJohn, Sep 21, 2013

TrapperJohn wrote:

Nikon hasn't made any big leaps and bounds since the D3... unless you count the D90's video (a first, building on Oly's live view in the 330)... but that's also true of the dslr in general. It isn't seeing the big leaps and bounds of functionality that were evident in the mid 2000's.

The D7100's greatest competition isn't the EM1. It's the D7000. The D7100 didn't improve on it all that much, so Nikon lost much of their largest potential customer base: D7000 owners. Not so much a Nikon problem as an industry problem. Canon's sales of 5DIII were lower than expected for the same reason - many 5DII owners decided that the improvements didn't justify the expense. In both cases, the global recession didn't help matters any.

Sony... until Sony learns how and especially why to build good lenses, and lots of them, they'll remain a perennial also-ran. It's the most common reason people choose µ43 over NEX: not much glass, and what little they have is quite large.

What Nikon faces is what any camera company heavily vested in the dslr design faces: stagnation. The design has been pushed about as far as it can go. Sensor tech is at the point where further improvement does not yield much in the way of tangible results under typical photo circumstances, so the large sensor advantage isn't nearly what it once was. The optical viewfinder might get better with digital overlays, but it's expensive to do that, and still doesn't deliver the preview and review modes of the EVF. The only real improvement that can be made is - size. And the dslr's VF, legacy film lens mount and registration distance limit how much it can be improved there.

The dslr has also lost the enthusiasm and excitement that drove much of it's booming sales in the 2000's. Where are those great leaps and bounds happening today? Right here. Look at the dpr top ten clicked list today: two high end compacts, three dslr's, and five mirrorless. Including one, the EM5, that's been on that list since January, 2012.

That enthusiasm may not be reflected directly in current sales, but it's pretty unambiguous handwriting on the wall. That's where things are headed.

How about some wide primes? The one point I disagree with on your post is that the "design has been pushed about as far as it can go". m43 has many short end primes ...Nikon/Canon have none, zip, nadda, zero. Nothing under a 36mm equivalent.

This is just clearly an ignoring of some basic wants/needs of their biggest user base ...so wtf?

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dgrogers
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Re: Missing the mark, somewhat
In reply to jim stirling, Sep 21, 2013

jim stirling wrote:

I think your signature line rather clearly explains why you think this to be a reasonable action Though to put it into your political comparison it would be akin from going to one county and asking people there to sign up for living in another county just to sway a vote.

I have no doubt Scotland has its share of outside influence when it comes to elections.  The US certainly does.

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rrr_hhh
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Re: And I was wondering ..
In reply to Sergey_Green, Sep 21, 2013

Sergey_Green wrote:

rrr_hhh wrote:

It isn't as simple as you make it : the real question is how much more weight and bulk people will accept for the marginal IQ they would gain and that marginal IQ increase (which many people didn't really need) comes along with a huge size/weight increase (often the total gear weight is twice as heavy).

Four times the area of the imager will produce marginal IQ increase, you serious? Ok, how about that; for the same camera, same focal length, and the same money (one to one), which lens would you buy, f/2.8 or f/5.6? And why? We are not even talking about DR and MPx, the difference should be marginal anyway, right? So just DoF and the total light, on the same system, which would it be?

you have postponed the debate : the original poster was speaking of APSC format. Hence my reference to the marginal increase in IQ. Also for those shooting Canon whose cameras don't have the best sensor, yes the IQ increase is marginal. You get twice the weight but far less than twice the IQ, and if you are going for those heavy fast zooms and lenses, I bet the weight would be three time as much.

And yes : some people are willing to pay more (or the same amount) for less. And it is way less in bulk and wheight but very few less in IQ and possibilities.

Some people do whatever, why should you care?

Because I'm one of those people. Everyone is different has different needs and different priorities. And everyone has the right to care for what he wants.

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