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

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions
rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,023
Re: Why would Full frame Mirrorless affect M4/3?

Lenses would still be big right???

Seems like 2 diffferent markets.

They can make smaller lenses if they take the mirror out : the lens register would become smaller inducing smaller lenses. There were much smaller lenses and bodies for range finder during film times. However there were problems with digital until now, because with shortere flange distances the light was striking the sensor at a too steep angle creating problems Especially in the corners. It is not a case if untill recently there were no digital successors to range finders.

Hopefully the technology is evolving and those problems will be overcome, at a fairer price than the Leica M9s.

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rrr_hhh

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amalric
amalric Forum Pro • Posts: 10,839
The problem with the OP troll...
1

Is that he ignores that m4/3 and FF can be had one next to the other one. Pro photogs already do it.

FF mirrorless might even accept m4/3 lenses in some future.

The two formats have distinct advantages but the trend is towards multiformat. Only a film retarded would think in terms of either...or.

Am.

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rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,023
Re: Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43

35 seems to be the eternal format.

35 is the standard in both photography and also cinema. Both formats are now attempting to recreate 35 in the digital form as well. With photography being ahead of film for a while now.

keep in mind every time we look at a lens, we'd have to say what the lens mm is in 35 format. for example this is 20mm in MFT but really 40mm in 35mm.

35mm is THE format.

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

A couple of questions

As full frame is a term based upon 35mm cameras does that mean that 35mm was the perfect media. What would full frame be if there had never been 35mm?

If you could achieve the same, results, (which to most people they can), with a smaller ergonomically friendly body would you really want a big weighty camera.

I've just spent 5 days on the tourist trail in Berlin with my G5 and it was a joy to have with me.I probably will never want anything larger.(I don't particularly want anything smaller either).

35 MM is a MYTH. It is no more the ideal size than m4/3, medium format, 1", or any other sensor size. It is not THE format based on merit of any kind- it is merely the de facto format, clung to by brands like Canon and Nikon who benefit most from clinging to the past- if nothing changes, their leadership in the camera industry remains unchanged. For those brands, old is good, and 35mm is old.

Right now, 35mm does have technical advantages over m4/3, but sensor tech will inevitably improve, and those advantages will matter less and less. Ultimately, the only difference that may remain constant is DOF. Some prefer the thin DOF offered by full frame, but others actually prefer wider DOF, and for them, m4/3 will always be better in that respect.

you are forgetting one important element : whatever the pixel density is, a bigger sensor request less magnification than a smaller one. This gives a special  quality to the results which is difficult to describe with words (at least for a non native English speaking like me) : the tone transitions are smother; a portrait will always show a better "modelé" on a larger sensor. Ths was one of the reason why portraits photographers were using medium format (6x45, 6x6 or even more) instead of 35mm film. Look at all those typical actors portraits shot for Hollywood movies in B&W : their special character came not only from the lighting, but also from the use of bigger camera format.

As time marches on and sensor tech advances, it is the SMALLER format that will become more accepted as being good enough by a wider range of users, not the larger. At one point, 35mm WAS the smaller format. Now, we have progressed. 35 mm is the older, larger format. So where do we stand?

I think that you are right when it comes to consumer products : people ar already happy with their phones anyway. But there is more than just DOF and pixels number in what accounts for the character, the particular look of a picture.

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rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,023
Re: Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43

There have been many formats. Many that are larger than the "full frame" 135 format. 35mm film cameras became widely used and kind of became the de facto standard. The term full frame has just become kind of an arbitrary reference. I'd be pretty surprised if Panasonic releases a FF camera. It would require developing an entirely new line of lenses. Just don't see either Oly or Panasonic going down that path. But I'm certainly not an industry insider.

Olympus explicitly told that they weren't considering FF in a recent interview, not even in a compact body a la RX1 (I think it was published by DPreview at the beginning of this year).

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rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,023
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" http://www.dpreview.com/articles/0336328811/cp-2013-interview-with-canons-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).

Well, I'm not sure why you say that MFT was/is a failure for Panasonic. The are still there and selling quite a lt of cameras, even if that is less than Olympus. Their mft lenses R&D ls selling well. I wonder whether you aren't confusing with FT instead, where Panasonic saw a failure coming and where they jumped out earlier than Olympus.

LI don't think Panasonic is going to abandon mft any soon. I'm less sure that the rumor concerning their entering in FF is credible.

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,143
Re: Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43
3
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.

The fatal flaw in your argument is that you're assuming an M43 system has to perform as well as an FF system.   M43 buyers understand that it's a compromise and are quite willing to live with that in exchange for the smaller bodies and lenses it allows.

ProPhotoDude
OP ProPhotoDude Junior Member • Posts: 43
good points (n/t)

No text.

ProPhotoDude
OP ProPhotoDude Junior Member • Posts: 43
additional info and observations
3

reading the replies above, as usual a lot of people get the fact that the FF future is unavoidable, but some people seem to have confused that this rumor meant to imply an imminent change at Pana.  As mentioned this has come out of their long term planning and chances are you won't see this change in at least 2 to 3 years.  The best guesstimate is an announcement in fall of 14 for 2015 release.  So, this is a long term agenda.

some of the posters don't seem to understand that because FF is expensive now it will remain expensive.   In fact the price of FF sensors are falling and a 1500 FF DSLR from the top brands is a reality in 3 years.  Basically the APS-C and M43 will eventually be replaced by FF.  and Compacts will go away for the most part as people prefer to shoot with their phones.  Keep in mind phone cameras will continue to become more sophisticated.

There was a story last week that Pana is planning to close their Plasma TV plant to focus on OLED.  That's the next technology in TVs.  Change is part of the game in technology.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,982
Re: Why would Full frame Mirrorless affect M4/3?

Lenses would still be big right???

Nope, it's a common misconception. Compare, for instance, 35-100/2 on 4/3 and the 70-200/4L IS on 35mm FF. The size of most lenses is determined by the amount of light they need to collect, the same amount light - the same size of the lenses, no matter what the sensor size is: http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/#2

Except the fact that F4 is slow. The main reason for an F2.8 or faster aperture is to achieve faster shutter speeds. As someone who owns a 70-200/4 and 70-200/2.8 L, I can tell you there is a huge difference in size, and for many things that extra stop of light from the bigger lens is a godsend.

That's because you don't understand the laws of physics, that f/2 on m4/3 sized sensor is fully equivalent to f/4 on FF sensor -- you'll get identical pictures in both cases. Follow the link.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,982
Re: Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43

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: http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/#2

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.

That's what I thought before, but I'm not so sure any more. What is the smallest FF 90/4 lens? Even if somebody were to make a small 90/4 FF lens, what would the advantage be compared to an M.Zuiko 45/1.8 on an MFT body?

Even though equivalent lenses are similar in aperture size and weight, the FF lenses are easier to design and manufacture, which you can trade for better quality or lower price. FF lenses need to provide twice lower resolution, they are less sensitive to imperfections in glass, coatings, less sensitive to temperature effects, mount and assembly tolerances can be bigger.

Finally, I think next crop of sensors will have variable pixel density: higher at the center, lower at the corners. It can be done with pixel binning as well, like the large 41MP Nokia phone sensor. That would match lenses better both in resolution and in angle light is falling on micro-lenses, and will allow better digital zoom and accommodate lenses with smaller image circle. Take such FF camera, set it to m4/3 crop, attach m4/3 lens and you've got exactly the same result as from a native m4/3 format.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,982
Re: Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43
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.

The fatal flaw in your argument is that you're assuming an M43 system has to perform as well as an FF system. M43 buyers understand that it's a compromise and are quite willing to live with that in exchange for the smaller bodies and lenses it allows.

I made no such argument, you really didn't understand my post, and looks like you've read the provided reference.

FF system simply removes the limitations of the smaller sensor, it doesn't bring any disadvantages (other than a higher price, which is going away). FF system gives you a flexibility to be as small as m4/3 with the same quality, the same parameters, or go with bigger lenses and achieve better quality, better performance, etc. -- a decision made by the photographer, not the camera.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,143
Re: additional info and observations
3
some of the posters don't seem to understand that because FF is expensive now it will remain expensive. In fact the price of FF sensors are falling and a 1500 FF DSLR from the top brands is a reality in 3 years. Basically the APS-C and M43 will eventually be replaced by FF.

You don't seem understand that mid-sized sensors provide enough performance to satisfy a lot of people too.   M43 is already a successful format despite the fact that many APS-C cameras are cheaper.   This is because M43 provides enough performance and is able to bundle it in a small package which many people prefer.

It's not all about the very best performance at an affordable price.   M43's combination of performance and compactness addresses a market that isn't going to go away.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,982
Re: additional info and observations

reading the replies above, as usual a lot of people get the fact that the FF future is unavoidable, but some people seem to have confused that this rumor meant to imply an imminent change at Pana. As mentioned this has come out of their long term planning and chances are you won't see this change in at least 2 to 3 years. The best guesstimate is an announcement in fall of 14 for 2015 release. So, this is a long term agenda.

If Panasonic thinks they have 2-3 years they really underestimate the market. With sensor prices falling down (with acceleration) they have 1-2 years max to set their foot on the market or be underdog for years. Sony tested FF solutions and rushing FF mirrorless either this year or early next year. I would assume Canon, Nikon, and Pentax are feverishly working on that too. The first comer will have huge advantage in this market, which is expected to explode soon.

I was thinking that the fastest way to lock on the customers for the major manufacturers would be to keep existing FF mounts. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony can take the FF DSLR designs, remove the mirror, OVF, and shave off unnecessary bulk reducing the size and weight of the body to around 400g. They don't even need to work on new lenses right away. With hundreds of great FF and APS-C lenses available that will provide immediate gratification for demanding shooters. The market will explode and provide ample capital for R&D. Then they can start redesigning existing FF lenses making them slower and smaller. The crop sensor market like m4/3 showed that people don't mind using f/4 or slower lenses for everyday shooting, which means that consumer FF lenses don't need to be faster than f/8 -- those can be small and light and cheap to manufacture.

some of the posters don't seem to understand that because FF is expensive now it will remain expensive. In fact the price of FF sensors are falling and a 1500 FF DSLR from the top brands is a reality in 3 years. Basically the APS-C and M43 will eventually be replaced by FF. and Compacts will go away for the most part as people prefer to shoot with their phones. Keep in mind phone cameras will continue to become more sophisticated.

There was a story last week that Pana is planning to close their Plasma TV plant to focus on OLED. That's the next technology in TVs. Change is part of the game in technology.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,982
Re: additional info and observations
2
some of the posters don't seem to understand that because FF is expensive now it will remain expensive. In fact the price of FF sensors are falling and a 1500 FF DSLR from the top brands is a reality in 3 years. Basically the APS-C and M43 will eventually be replaced by FF.

You don't seem understand that mid-sized sensors provide enough performance to satisfy a lot of people too. M43 is already a successful format despite the fact that many APS-C cameras are cheaper. This is because M43 provides enough performance and is able to bundle it in a small package which many people prefer.

It's not all about the very best performance at an affordable price. M43's combination of performance and compactness addresses a market that isn't going to go away.

You don't seem to understand that people will take better tools for the same price even if they don't need it. The same argument was frequently made about computers for the last decade, that people don't need anything faster than what existed. Guess what, faster and better computers were manufactured and they cost the same or cheaper than those before them and people are buying them even those who don't need extra performance, but also many found that they can use that extra performance for tasks they never did before.

danijel973
danijel973 Contributing Member • Posts: 853
Re: additional info and observations

reading the replies above, as usual a lot of people get the fact that the FF future is unavoidable

Yes, we will eventually all switch to 8x10" view cameras, because those half-format 4x5" just don't have the full frame image quality the big boys want and need.

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ProPhotoDude
OP ProPhotoDude Junior Member • Posts: 43
Re: additional info and observations
2
You don't seem to understand that people will take better tools for the same price even if they don't need it. The same argument was frequently made about computers for the last decade, that people don't need anything faster than what existed. Guess what, faster and better computers were manufactured and they cost the same or cheaper than those before them and people are buying them even those who don't need extra performance, but also many found that they can use that extra performance for tasks they never did before.

Amen! More will always win if the price is right... And in this case the product will not get that much bigger anyway.

ProPhotoDude
OP ProPhotoDude Junior Member • Posts: 43
Re: additional info and observations
2

If Panasonic thinks they have 2-3 years they really underestimate the market. With sensor prices falling down (with acceleration) they have 1-2 years max to set their foot on the market or be underdog for years. Sony tested FF solutions and rushing FF mirrorless either this year or early next year. I would assume Canon, Nikon, and Pentax are feverishly working on that too. The first comer will have huge advantage in this market, which is expected to explode soon.

Sony is hot on the mirrorless FF market.  and they of course released one in 2012.  But I don't think Pana can make the shift sooner than '15.

Also I don't think Canon and Nikon are focused on mirrorless FF, they are going to change the mid level DSLRs to FF.  Basically switch from APS-C to FF on $1500 range cameras.

So the competition for the FF mirrorless may be 1st Sony and then whomever will be next, maybe Pana.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,143
Re: additional info and observations
1
some of the posters don't seem to understand that because FF is expensive now it will remain expensive. In fact the price of FF sensors are falling and a 1500 FF DSLR from the top brands is a reality in 3 years. Basically the APS-C and M43 will eventually be replaced by FF.

You don't seem understand that mid-sized sensors provide enough performance to satisfy a lot of people too.

You don't seem to understand that people will take better tools for the same price even if they don't need it.

Not if it means a lot more hassle lugging around larger cameras and lenses, even if they do give better results than they really need.   Some may, but the fact that people are already choosing M43 cameras and lenses over cheaper APS-C alternatives shows that your assumption is far from universal.

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 4,982
Re: additional info and observations
some of the posters don't seem to understand that because FF is expensive now it will remain expensive. In fact the price of FF sensors are falling and a 1500 FF DSLR from the top brands is a reality in 3 years. Basically the APS-C and M43 will eventually be replaced by FF.

You don't seem understand that mid-sized sensors provide enough performance to satisfy a lot of people too.

You don't seem to understand that people will take better tools for the same price even if they don't need it.

Not if it means a lot more hassle lugging around larger cameras and lenses, even if they do give

Why do you need to repeat this misinformation? It was mentioned multiple times in this thread that there is no (or insignificant) size/weight impact.

better results than they really need. Some may, but the fact that people are already choosing M43 cameras and lenses over cheaper APS-C alternatives shows that your assumption is far from universal.

rpm40
rpm40 Senior Member • Posts: 2,411
Re: additional info and observations
2
some of the posters don't seem to understand that because FF is expensive now it will remain expensive. In fact the price of FF sensors are falling and a 1500 FF DSLR from the top brands is a reality in 3 years. Basically the APS-C and M43 will eventually be replaced by FF.

You don't seem understand that mid-sized sensors provide enough performance to satisfy a lot of people too. M43 is already a successful format despite the fact that many APS-C cameras are cheaper. This is because M43 provides enough performance and is able to bundle it in a small package which many people prefer.

It's not all about the very best performance at an affordable price. M43's combination of performance and compactness addresses a market that isn't going to go away.

You don't seem to understand that people will take better tools for the same price even if they don't need it. The same argument was frequently made about computers for the last decade, that people don't need anything faster than what existed. Guess what, faster and better computers were manufactured and they cost the same or cheaper than those before them and people are buying them even those who don't need extra performance, but also many found that they can use that extra performance for tasks they never did before.

...and your argument falls flat because it oversimplifies "better". There are many different views of what is better, not just based on pure IQ per dollar. If that was all that mattered, no one would buy m4/3, but people do.

To borrow your computer analogy, everyone should still only use desktops, because they provide the most performance bang for the buck. Sure, laptops are more portable and versatile, but what about raw power?? They'll never last. And just look at the puny processors they put in tablets and smart phones. Who would ever buy such feeble devices? They're clearly doomed.

Your thinking on this whole issue is just too rigid. In the very near future, yes, FF will continue to get cheaper, and will continue to offer better IQ than smaller formats. In the long term, you just won't need a big sensor anymore to deliver the goods.

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