Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,965
Re: Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43

The future seems to be Full Frame sensors in all kind of bodies, from standard DSLRs, to compacts such as Sony RX1 and to mirrorless being planned by Panasonic and also perhaps Sony.

Canon's Masaya let the cat out of the bag when he said that semi-pros will go FF in near future.
"There will be a Canon EOS 70D, but the future of semi-pro DSLRs is probably full-frame, says Masaya Maeda"

There is a rumor going around that in a Panasonic long term planning meeting they announced that M43 is ultimately transitional product and the next big thing for them is to offer the "CFF" or Compact Full Frame mirrorless cameras.

The plan is to offer FF in as small and light bodies as possible and to develop brand new FF lenses to also be as light and compact as possible.

Just a few years ago, if you wanted FF, you had to spend 7000+. Now you can get them for just about 2000. Next they'll be offered at the $1500 price point.

Since in the short few years Canon and Nikon will offer $1500 FFs, this would create even a larger gap that currently exists between M43 sensors and the APS-C. Keep in mind that M43 started when FFs were still out of the reach of most people.

Pls don't ask me for my source and I am sure everyone at Pana will deny this, as it will affect the sale of the current M43 cameras. This is just a rumor, but makes real sense to me.

Makes a lot of sense really. That was my feeling for a few months that Panasonic would bail out. Not only because the move to FF compact mirrorless is inevitable, but also because in m4/3 playing field Panasonic was a failure, losing to Olympus badly. God forbid, some Chinese company enters m4/3 with cheap offerings and Panasonic will be completely done away with. So they lost m4/3 battles, but unlike Olympus they haven't been deeply invested in the system, so they will cut the losses short and will jump into FF, where the battle only starts. The next five years will be fantastic, all major manufacturers will be fiercely fighting for domination in the FF mirrorless market. That will bring new designs and lower prices. I predict within 5 years FF mirrorless bodies for under $1G (discarding inflation).

I agree. I'm sure we will see a lot of attempts to create a mirrorless FF market quite soon. But I'm not sure that it will kill m4/3. But what will happen to APS-C?

If Canon and Nikon decide to create mirrorless FF consumer cameras they probably will give up the APS-C format. The question is what Samsung, Fuji and others who are deep into APS-C will do. Sony has already started the journey into FF mirrorless with the RX1 and nest step is probably a FF NEX. I wouldn't be surprised if APS-C fades away. Lenses and bodies for APS-C dslr are as big as many FF dslrs. If there are consumer-oriented mirrorless FF cameras with same size and weight as an entry-level dslr why shouldn't one choose one of these?

Ok, lens size can be an argument against it. FF lenses are big, APS-C kit lenses can be quite small, but the better ones are as big as FF lenses. With IS is in the body they could be made smaller, but Canon and Nikon will hardly go that way I guess, they seem to be committed to in-lens IS. A short register distance to the sensor makes the lenses shorter anyway, if not thinner.

Why will m43 survive? If APS-C is abandoned by the great marks m43 will be the serious smaller alternative to FF. Size still matters, and to many photgraphers that don't listen to the FF sirens seductive temptations and regard the m43 IQ as fully sufficient, m43 will still be an ideal match of size and quality.

The Achilles' heel in your argument is the assumption that FF system has to be bigger and/or heavier than an equivalent m4/3 or APS-C system. That doesn't have to be the case:

Both APS-C and m4/3 will not survive FF onslaught in the long run. In the short run they will compete on the basis of prices and maturity.

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