Why m4/3rds is declining in the US.

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
AndyGM Contributing Member • Posts: 698
Re: I take it you are aware...

Richard wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Richard wrote:

I have been thinking it over. After seeing rattymouse post some figures how m4/3rds was declining in the US and how DSLRs crushed m4/3rds, I contemplated why. I came up with a good answer.

For a Canon t4i body price on B&H is $650
For the Oly OMD it is $950

Weight Canon 1.2 lbs
Oly just under 1lbs (15oz)

Standard lens Canon 50 1.4   $400 on sale right now $310  10 OZ

Zuiko 45 1.8  $400 on sale right now $350   4 OZ

A savings of $340 and 9 OZ more weight, neither fit in your pocket.

For the average use the Canon is the better deal. Sure a niche market person may pay extra for the oly but not the masses. This is not to say the masses are the smartest consumers but I know the canon works well enough for the average user.

I am thinking this is a good reason for the decline.

How many people buy a 70-200 2.8? Many only purchase the kit lens. Both can take great photographs on vacation, of the kids just about anything accept pro level stuff.

...that there are smaller, lighter, and less expensive mFT bodies, yes?  I also take it you are aware that many of the mFT lenses are smaller and lighter than their APS-C counterparts, making the mFT system smaller and lighter, still.

That said, I think the greater the diversity, the better it is for everyone.

I agree with you. I actually want m4/3rds to succeed, competition drives the industry forward and makes it better for consumers, m4/3rds, APS-C, and FF.

I am more curious as to why in the US there is a decline and why not in other countries. there must be a reason. Hopefully it is not the mine is bigger than yours reason.

Hello Richard,

The poor showing on m43 in the US compared to the rest of the world concerns the crowd in the m43 forum as well. Here are a few of the theories I have seen banded around (bear in mind that I live in Europe so these are suggested theories I've read from others that live in the US).

- Olympus US and Panasonic US could not market their way out of a wet paper bag (compare the Nikon 1 ad campaign, no matter how annoying you find Mr Kutcher, with anything from O & P)

- Other brands offer better sales commissions (this accusation has been levelled at Sony in particular)

- Panasonic US supply chain is woefully poor. The 20mm pancake lens is one of the most popular lenses for the system, and most people in the US report it is permanently out of stock in stores there, so when it is in stock, you only ever see it full price (it got so bad that people were selling their second hand ones on eBay and they were going for more than the full price). This is despite the lens being readily available in pretty much every outlet in Europe that stocks Panasonic m43 cameras, and regularly at a discount.

- Olympus US supply chain isn't much better. Many have reported never seeing an E-M5 in a store, anywhere they have been in the US, ever.

- These last two points has a knock on effect. If a customer comes into a store and asks "what do you recommend", part of the answer might be swayed by commission, but as someone mentioned in a reply to me on another thread, they are likely to recommend something they have in stock !

- Americans like their team sports. A lot. Probably more than anywhere else in the world. You can get to college because you are good at sports rather than just on your academic background. A lot of parents push their kids into sports teams, seeing it as a good thing for the kid. While there are plenty of examples of good shots of sports taken with m43 if you go looking, it is my opinion that you will get more keepers with a camera that has PDAF.

- Lastly, there is the "pro by association" factor. Pros use stuff like an EOS 1D. An EOS Rebel looks like a smaller version of a 1D. So if I buy a Rebel, a bit of the halo of the 1D rubs off on me. Other people will take me more seriously.

I have experienced this last one first hand on my last vacation. People taking a shot of the outside of a Cathedral I visited have others avoid them, walk around them or "duck under" the view (I don't think the duck manoeuvre ever successfully avoided getting out of shot, but at least they were trying). Me, with an Olympus PEN and the Oly superzoom (4th largest lens for the system)... people just walked past oblivious I was even waiting to take a shot!

Maybe I have found m43's niche - stealth shots

 AndyGM's gear list:AndyGM's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-PL3 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 +4 more
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