Olympus still hopeful. Is MILC a serious alternative for DSLR?

Started Jan 11, 2014 | Discussions thread
MichaelKJ Veteran Member • Posts: 3,466
Re: Focus on the strengths

HappyVan wrote:

MichaelKJ wrote:

With the arrival of the A7/r, we now have MILC cameras with sensors that range from the 1/1.7" Pentax Q to FF. However, you rely on data that overwhelmingly reflect sales/shipments of the small MILCs made primarily by Olympus, Panasonic & Sony.

Smaller sensor MILCs have a size advantage that, at a minimum, will allow them to continue to survive as an option for those of us who place a premium on size and weight. However, the companies making these cameras are going through a difficult time and it remains to be seen whether this segment of the market will blossom or be relegated to serving a niche market.

The question of whether DSLRs will eventually be replaced (for the most part) with FF MILCs is a different question. At this point, sales/shipment data are lacking and meaningless for attempting to answer this question.

Each format and form factor has their own inherent strengths. MILC's strength is its compact size. Therefore, it makes sense to use FF MILC with a few prime lenses.

The small DSLR is the better camera for big lenses and for heavy duty work. Their inherent strength lies in their larger batteries and VF. As well as the proven high end AF systems.

Sony now has a very formidable product line against M43 because they have a full product range. FF and 1" sensors. Compacts and systems. Rangefinder-types and DSLR form factor. I would expect Sony to take 50% of MILC.

I agree that Sony has taken the lead in innovation. However, I doubt their cameras are profitable and they seem to be having trouble deciding how to position their MILC lineup.

Sony started from a confused position ("it's both an Alpha and a NEX") and has moved to a position that can be as confusing to those who aren't paying close attention ("everything is an Alpha, there is no NEX"). I'm hoping that Sony will finish this transition fast and that the naming of Alpha models will be clear. That said, we now have a DSLR-like A3000 and a not-at-all-DSLR-like A5000. Something still seems very wrong with this new naming approach.


While the A7R is an exiting development, the initial enthusiasm is now being tempered by concerns about lack of lenses. Ming Thein had many positive things comments in his review of the A7R, but he also noted that while the A7R unquestionably raises the bar when it comes to the quality/ portability equation; yet it has an extremely limited shooting envelope because of its demands on stability/ shutter speed, and very limited native lenses – just 35mm and 55mm so far – that can make the most of that potential. ...One assumes that systems generally grow and thus populate their lens lineups with time, but the problem is that we haven’t really seen this happen with the NEX system; frankly I’m a bit concerned that the lenses I want won’t ever exist, or will come so late that there will be a second generation body to go with them. http://blog.mingthein.com/2014/01/08/sony-a7r-review/

The A7 was 53rd in Japanese sales rankings last week (down from 36th the previous week), and the A7R was 165th, down from 99th.  http://bcnranking.jp/category/subcategory_0008.html

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Sony RX100 III Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +1 more
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