Upgrade!, but where to next?

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Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,849
Upgrade!, but where to next?
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Upgrade!, ...where to next?

Many on the m43 forum say the cameras need to improve to stay relevant. But I think it's more a case of that they need to 'change' to remain in business.

For the last few months I have been trying to organise my 64 photo hard drives which span Fromm the year 2000, to 2021, from lots of very tiny HDs (some only just over 1gig) on to a couple of 4 Tb drives (plus 2 backups).

The first few digital cameras I owned produced images that were less than 800 pixels tall ! ... But in the right conditions they still made good small prints.

The 5mp Minolta 7i an 8mp A2, started to feel like digital was really getting somewhere and although the 7i could be a struggle, images from the 8mp Minolta A2 were very impressive, and could be, and was, used commercially.

Sony launched the 'at the time' minblowing A100 DSLR. It was an apsc camera which had 10mp, ibis and a self cleaning sensor. ... Canon/Nikon eat your heart out. Lovely colours, fast to respond, but ISO at 400 was marginal noise wise and was seriously not good in UK winter light. ...and I hated the tiny optical viewfinder which only showed a part of the image. Plus I learned about front and back mis-focus, which DSLRs all suffered from!

Then came the saviour in the shape of a diminutive 12mp from Panasonic, their wonderful mirrorless G1. .. fitted with their superb 14-45mm lens Wow what a revelation.

Looking back at all these photos From over 10 years (many of which I still haven't processed yet!), I have found many fantastic images of superb quality, which begged me to ask, what have we really gained?

Well I really fell in love with the G1, but it had 3 major issues that were essential to address:

1. The highlights blew out far to easily, so more dynamic range was definitely needed.

2. ISO up to 400 was very good, but more was essential for winter action photography in the UK.

3. Shutter lag was very noticeable. The G1 was my first mirrorless which had a mechanical shutter and as a sports and action shooter the fractional delay was extremely frustrating and caused me to miss many decisive moments! My earlier D7i and A2 Minolta's had electronic shutter's with instant response and so did the Sony DSLR, so I hadn't expected or anticipated this issue.

I thought if Panasonic could address those early m43 mirrorless issues, what a perfect camera world we would be living in!

Well here we are 12 years on from the G1 and what have we got:
Terrific dynamic range, unimaginably good dynamic range allowing us to shoot in incredibly dark situations - and hand held. Non existent shutter lag, incredible burst shooting speeds, plus a myriad of other mind blowing features that many haven't even started to experiment with. And I forgot to mention that noise is down despite going from 12mp to 20mp.
...and this is why I haven't felt the need to upgrade from my Olympus em1-mk2 for the last 4 years.

When I was able to take wonderful images that make huge canvases with 10mp, I do struggle at some people's need, or use, for more than 20mp, And for pro work that does, medium format would possibly be the preferred option.

I do not believe a few extra megapixels is going to keep Olympus in business. So what direction is a manufacturer to go in to enthuse and encourage new buyers and more sales?

Although I have no need for it, younger people crave connectivity, and the Olympus em1-mk3 I believe introduced both blue tooth and wi-fi.

So my question is, when cameras already offer everything, what possible direction can an m43 camera company turn to to make sales and survive?
Of course maybe their is no where to go, have m43's reached their zenith, this may be the finale!

PS. Full frame still has a way to go to catch up on features, so I believe their sales will continue for a few years.

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 Adrian Harris's gear list:Adrian Harris's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Sony SLT-A77 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 +1 more
Nikon Coolpix A100
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