Is M4/3 being left behind ? Features-wise

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
SirSeth Veteran Member • Posts: 9,910
Man, my perspective couldn't be more different.

Not that yours is wrong, but here is mine polar opposite perspective.

Features can be gimmicks and things that seem like gimmicks can turn out to be killer features. For example, Canon and Nikon people said the Olympus super sonic wave filter (which virtually eliminated dust starting in 2004) was cited as a gimmick until Nikon and Canon stopped ignoring the problem years latter. Still nothing is better than the SSWF. Talk about added value because it was done right the first time.

There seems to be a couple of things you point out as evidence that Olympus is "behind": one of them is PDAF on the sensor. You seem to think it has added tremendous value? But what value? The real value of PDAF for Olympus would be that the 4/3rds Zuiko zooms (which have all but been orphaned) would be fully compatible on a micro4/3rds body. These DSLR lenses were made for PDAF. But if that's the main perk, Nikon has nothing to gain. People are not clamoring to slap their large AF Nikkors on their V1 and J1 bodies are they? Is that even possible? Besides, Nikon hasn't orphaned their Nikkor lenses--they are still making new DSLRs like the D5200.

This week Fuji suddenly has PDAF. Great! But it's not to put DSLR optimized lenses on it right and their AF has been so slow compared to Oly and Panasonic that even if this brings them up to current OM-D and GH3 standards for AF speed, it's unlikely that Fuji will be wiping the floor with Olympus now that they suddenly have PDAF. If anything Fuji is going to catch up. That's it. The recent PEN and GH series have some of the most competitive AF in any system to produce a mirrorless camera in the past 2 years.

It doesn't mean I'm against PDAF on sensor. It's just that Olympus will do it right the first time and it will result in tremendous added value as suddenly people will be able to AF fast with their 4/3rds zooms on an enthusiast or pro mirrorless body. There is really very little added value for Nikon, Fuji, Canon, or Samsung to add PDAF. Now Sony is a different story. Do they have PDAF on sensor with NEX? I wasn't aware. They do have a SLT adapter to mount their A mount lenses. I've not heard that that's a great experience, but I could be wrong. My feelings on that are that the native NEX lenses are already to large for the NEX bodies in the first place. Adding a large adapter and large A mount lens doesn't look like a great solution. However, I think if Olympus made an OM-D Pro with vertical grip that I could mount my 11-22mm, 14-54mm, 50-200mm, it would be killer. Almost like an E-620 size with native 4/3rds lenses.

Ok, and this is just one example. Sure there are features that Olympus doesn't have like PDAF.... yet. But they will and it will add value like no one has been able to do as of yet. People also harp on focus peaking. Sony has the corner on that right? Does everyone else do focus peaking? I don't think so. Olympus would if they could without patent lawsuits. They have focus magnification. Sure I want focus peaking, but hey Canon, Nikon, Samsung, and Sony don't have 5-axis IS or the lens catalog that Olympus/Panasonic has. Man, that's added value. Focus peaking is small potatoes. I agree it's not a gimmick, but other things are more important and not having focus peaking doesn't mean that Olympus is falling behind.

I could go on and on, but basically, nothing holds a candle to the OM-D for performance, versatility, lens selection, and actual added value features that matter to photography. The same could be said about Panasonic and large sensor video. They are cleaning up and the folks that really know what matters (and not just what looks good on a spec sheet) are voting with their wallets.

That's my perspective only. For me Olympus offers the best mirrorless system right now--and it's really no contest. Nikon and Canon mirrorless are totally innocuous because they don't have the guts to cannibalize their DSLR offerings. Sony is kicking with their NEX6 and NEX7 only imo. Fuji has a nice little niche (are trying to be Leica-like) but it's not all a bed of roses there either. Olympus is hinting at their OM-D Pro and my money is on that being a winner.



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What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

 SirSeth's gear list:SirSeth's gear list
Olympus E-1 Sony Alpha a7 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5 Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +4 more
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