Is M4/3 being left behind ? Features-wise

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Louis_Dobson Forum Pro • Posts: 27,361
What a long speil!

As far as I can see, cutting out all the flannel, you seem to be saying:
1)  Oly won't implement PDAF
2)  Other brands have more features.
3)  Smaller sensors put MFT at a disadvantage.
Um, wrong.
1) Oly said there would be a camera coming this year that fully uses FT lenses.  Although Oly always like to make this stuff sound like The Second Coming (radical new technology, working on it since 2009, etc etc) you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see it will be a Sony sensor with PDAF in an OM-D with built in grip.  So, PDAF will be with you shortly.  PDAF will be useful, but it isn't that big a deal though.  Compare the Zuiko 7-14 to the Panny 7-14.  I have both.  I won't be using the Zuiko one on MFT, that's for sure!
2) Oly / Panny have hordes of rare and clever features, as do Sony, Nikon etc.  Oly's five exis IBIS is particularly nice, as is Live Bulb.  Over time all the brands nick each other's features and then new ones appear.
3) Smaller sensors mean smaller lenses for a given quality.  As sensors become less and less important, if anything the MFT sensor is too big.  Sony's NEX lenses are huge - defeats the point.  Long term, Nikon may have it right.

amvrvd wrote:

I'm sure many of you have been checking the news about CES and the many announcements made recently by competitors. As you may know, by now almost every other mirrorless system has sensor based phase detection AF, yes, not only Nikon, but Fuji, Sony and Canon, all have implemented this technology, not only allowing them to shorten the distance to M4/3 AF but also giving them access to their existing lens catalog. This means that this technology has been acknowledged as the industry standard by pretty much everyone.

The questions is (as always), why are Olympus and Panasonic so stubborn and continue to reject this feature ?

It's true, AF couldn't be any faster , the GH3 and OMD are complete AF beasts already, making it any faster wouldn't be that noticeable IRL, but continuous tracking AF, FULL compatibility with 4/3 glass, all this could be achieved in one swift move: just include PD AF in the sensor. We already know Olympus is using Sony sensors so a deal could be made to include this feature (and focus peaking perhaps ?) in the next sensor update (E-M7 ? E-P5?), Pany has been promising sensor revolutions such as global shutter for years, yet we only get fairly mild sensor updates, this could be a nice middle step in that direction (towards some kind of leap).

I seem to remember some officials from (perhaps) Oly that completely dismissed the option of PD AF when asked about some type of merging of 4/3 and M4/3, I wonder if they still think that way and they'll continue to ignore the industry and user demands, much like they still ignore how the top selling competitors all have seen huge success with their RF-looking models in their line-up.

I love Panasonic and Olympus to death, they changed the whole game but gosh is it hard to cheer for them...We're getting kicked on the ground in terms of features and gimmicks, I mean, art filters just don't cut it anymore, where's our version of sweep Pano, HDR modes, one button BKT, focus peaking, etc...You're right, these are just gimmicks, but they do make a difference when trying to convince the consumer at a shop, so far the only gimmick that M4/3 has in it favor is multi-exposure (although pentax and fuji also have it ).

Competition's lenses are getting smaller, brighter, faster, cheaper and more diverse, soon that advantage will be a moot point and competitors will feast on the sensor size issue like hyenas on a paraplegic zebra, M4/3 needs to stay competitive, weather sealing was a nice start with the OMD and GH3 but you can't weather-seal every camera and lens, you need more that that, as bare minimum you need to offer the same as Sony and Fuji do, and then more, much much MORE. We cannot rely just on primes, the common user knows nothing about lenses let alone primes and those who do are a niche, M4/3 cannot corner itself into a niche (like 4/3 did), users care about bodies, they wanna hear about features, no DXO rankings and MTF charts.
It's a long wait until CP+, that's for sure!

What are your thoughts ? Should PanOly concentrate on features too or is M4/3 competitive as it is ?

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