Is Four Thirds the next prosumer?

Started Jan 27, 2006 | Discussions thread
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isit D Regular Member • Posts: 183
Re: Is Four Thirds the next prosumer?

nnowak wrote:

History shows that silicon chip prices are continually dropping
while performance/capabilities are continually increassing. With
that in mind, a 35mm full frame sensor should be cheap enough in
just a couple of years that a camera similar to the Canon 5D should
cost only $1000. My personal impression is that four thirds was
designed around currently available technology with little room for
future developments in sensor technology.

The four thirds system has locked itself into a format that has
roughly one fourth the imaging area of a full frame 35mm sensor.
Obviously small sensors are capable of producing nice images, but a
larger sensor will always be able to capture more light and/or
resolve more detail. Hypothetically we could see a 25MP 35mm full
frame sensor with clean 3200iso vs a 12MP 4/3 sensor that is only
clean to 800iso. Although current equipment in the four thirds
system can easily compet with APS and 35mm full frame equipment
using currently available technology I just can't see this
continuing to be the case.

Does this scenario everntually relegate the four thirds system to
"prosumer" status? Or, does this mean that eventually we'll see
full frame 60mm X 45mm medium format cameras that are affordable
enough to supplant 35mm full frame?

-- hide signature --

Nick

I believe it is much less a question of what is theoretically possible at some point in the future. If silicon wafer production or sensor manufacturing methods experience a sudden revolution any of the current formats could look obsolete in technical terms. Instead of placing a sensor in a film body, Olympus sat down to design a system around digital technology. On paper it sounds convincing, beside the question if the sensor size it requires is a 'lock in'. The point is that this system has to prove it's advantages in real life. Are Olympus cameras smaller and lighter? Are they cheaper? Is the image quality better than what the competition produces? Are the lenses smaller and cheaper? I fail to see a real difference.

There is dust removal, and the E-1 had a better build quality than similar priced products when it came out. But by now this body is outdated, and no replacement in sight. There are premium lenses, but like everywhere else one has to pay premium money for them - not really the stuff for an entry level body. Unless Olympus demonstrates soon the ablilites of its system in a professional grade product, there's not much of a reason to chose this brand over others - except perhaps for someone who was satisfied with his previous Olympus digicam, and looks at a E-330 as the ultimate monster to own. ---> Prosumer.

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