PetaPixel

Cooperation Wins Out Over Confrontation in the ILC Market

sonyilc

For travel shooters and those looking to keep their kit light, new Interchangeable Lens Compacts (ILC) have been a major boon. But the real beneficiaries of the rise of this new system — still less than five years old — are the companies that make them. However, in order to maximize those benefits, manufacturers of ILCs need to establish the format as viable and resilient. For some, that means working together rather than against one another.

lumixg1Even the earliest ILC cameras arose from a multi-company partnership. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, the first modern ILC, was released as a part of the Micro Four Thirds format developed through the combined efforts of Olympus and Panasonic.  Since that time, five more companies have allied themselves to the Micro Four Thirds format, the most notable of which are probably Kodak and Blackmagic. The resulting cameras share more than a form factor. They use identical lens mounts, meaning that lenses produced by one company can be used on another’s cameras.

But not all ILCs are Micro Four Thirds. Sony uses a more traditional 2:3 form factor, and larger sensors in their ILC cameras. Even then, the degree of separation isn’t that great. After two years of secrecy, Olympus revealed this year that the sensor of their widely praised OM-D is manufactured by Sony, a supposed competitor.

While this fact isn’t exactly revolutionary on its own — Sony supplies CMOS sensors for other companies’ cameras too, such as the Nikon D800 — but it’s important to keep in mind the business alliance agreement forged between the two companies last year.  Olympus gave us a taste of what that alliance will entail in its press release on the subject.

The two companies also aim to enhance their competitiveness, primarily in the area of compact digital cameras, by exploring opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions and collaboration between their respective camera businesses, including the supply of Olympus technologies such as camera lenses and mirror cells to Sony, and the provision of Sony image sensors to Olympus.

Affiliation with Sony has already created clear benefit for Olympus. The OM-D with its Sony sensor gained popularity in large part due to its strong imaging chops.

Sony reached another partnership agreement with Hasselblad, long known for their medium format cameras and high-end professional equipment. While seeking a low-cost way to enter the consumer market, Hasselblad chose to adapt existing Sony cameras rather than spending large amounts of time and capital to innovate their own line of consumer grade cameras. The first of these efforts was the Hasselblad Lunar, a retread of Sony’s NEX-7 ILC.

By this point, we’re likely talking about a network of cooperation that covers many, perhaps even a majority, of the ILCs produced so far — especially considering that Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony have been building them for longer than most. With billions of dollars on the line, why are these companies acting more like companions than competitors?

There are, of course, a variety of reasons, some of which are not related to cameras at all. For example, Sony also partnered with Olympus to manufacture medical imaging devices. However, the specifics of the ILC market likely play a large role as well. In order to compete against the well established EOS and F systems, both of which have massive lens catalogues and extensive user bases, ILC manufacturers need to convince buyers to pick an ILC over a DSLR. They can worry about which ILC they’ll pick later. When a buyer chooses to buy an ILC, it’s a victory for all ILC manufacturers.

This is easiest to see when considering the Micro Four Thirds coalition. A buyer of a Panasonic ILC body, for example, may still buy Olympus lenses, which benefits both groups. But even without lens compatibility, Sony benefits when consumers buy other company’s ILCs, because stable sales and solid reviews affirm the viability of ILCs as an imaging system. That’s a big step forward for a technology that hasn’t yet reached its fifth birthday. Additionally, cooperation on research and development leads to faster technological advancement, which also helps to convince DSLR users to make the switch.

The commitment of this group to ILC systems is further evidenced by their withering DSLR offerings: Olympus currently only manufactures one DSLR, while Sony appears to be shifting away from mirrors even in their Alpha mount and Panasonic doesn’t make DSLRs at all.

Canon and Nikon haven’t ignored the rising competitor to their DSLR empires. Both came out with their own lines of ILCs, the Canon EOS M and Nikon 1, respectively. But neither came out until three years or more after the first Micro Four Thirds ILCs started appearing, and neither has seen much success. Nikon itself admitted that its ILC offerings failed to meet sales expectations, and while Canon didn’t say as much explicitly, the company hardly seem confident in the EOS M. Canon’s latest annual earnings report only mentions the camera once, and does not cite it as a source of increased sales, while prominent online vendors now list it as discontinued.

Manufacturers of ILCs demonstrate an uncommon willingness to work together. It seems likely that this interesting phenomenon stems, at least in part, from the present condition of the photographic equipment market, in which the competition is just as much between camera styles as camera companies.


Image credits: Photographs by Zhao !, Brett Jordan, Daji Hirata and Bengt Nyman/em>


 
 
  • citricsound

    major boon.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    On the flip side, is it really wise for several companies to place their eggs in one basket?

  • frayne

    What I’m waiting for is for Nikon to release a mirrorless DSLR that accepts my existing lenses. I think Nikon miscalculated by releasing instead the Nikon 1, which only increases the amount of equipment you’d have to carry.

  • gordo

    what lens is on the nex-6?

  • Eugene Chok

    well i for one am far more interested in potential canon medium format then a eos m, and canon has its video camera line as well as printers etc, nikon makes excellent binoculars and some microscopes etc, thats not really all eggs in one basket?

  • JoeNoName

    10-18 f/4

  • Rob S

    Sorry but I think the “diversity” of M43 is its greatest weakness. Companies are not getting stronger through cooperation, they are killing eachother.

    How many models of E-Pen cameras does Olympus have? E-P, E-PM, E-PL. According to the Olympus the 1, 2, 3 and 5 versions of those are all current (what happened to 4?). Now line them up and explain the differences. Now Panasonic with the G, GF, GH and GX, also with multiple numbers all in production. Now add in all the discontinued modes that are still available. That is a LOT because its not uncommon for Olympus to replace models in 6-9 months. In 3 short years have have introduced 12 different M43 bodies. Panasonic has 15 since 2009. This glut of bodies causes two issues:

    1 – Consumers get stuck in an “upgrade or wait” cycle because they dont see major improvements from one model to the next.

    2 – Having waited they see the next model come out and the price of the previous one slashed. Right now you can buy a one or two generation behind Olympus in the $250 range that is functionally comparable to the brand new $600 model. What do you think people are going to buy?

    It seems both Panasonic and are trying for the razor/razor blade model with lenses as their blades. As a result M43 lenses from body manufactures are significantly more expensive than from third parties. While this is true of traditional lenses, the gap in the M/43 market is huge. As an example a 60mm f/28 lens will set you back $500 from Olympus while the same 60mm f/2.8 is $240 from Sigma. The closest Panasonic is a 45mm f/2.8 and it is $720. Sigma is not trying to subsidize body production so they can sell their lenses for much less. Not a whole lot of those $250 body buyers are going to be buying extra lenses and its unusual for someone to spend significantly more for a single lens than the body they put it on.

    Finally, what is the advantage of M43? Size? The top of the line GH3 is slightly larger Pentax K-50 despite having no mirror and is lighter only because of lacking a prism. Why is it so “big”? Turns out there are limits to how small you can go before a camera is hard to handle with anything other than a pancake lens and if they dont sell those bigger lenses, the model falls apart. Initially M43 had an advantage with video but that ship has sailed. The smaller sensor that was initially a strength has turned into a liability because it will never had the high ISO or video performance of a larger sensor. At the same time cell phone cameras have taken over the “pocket camera” space.

    Not going to beat cell phones in the small camera space.
    Not going to beat a DSLR in the ultimate quality space.
    Cant make money off bodies.
    Cant sell lenses to low end customers.

    If M43 makes it 4 more years I will be very very impressed.

  • Furunomoe

    I have to agree that m43 has a really expensive lens lineup. Well, maybe not compared to professional grade Ls, Nikkors, and Zeiss, but their lens is really what keeping from investing in m43 system.

    Their body is really cheap, but in comparison, their decent lens are pretty expensive. For example, the Olympus 75 1.8 is about $900 here. And it’s the fastest portrait tele I can get in the system (not counting the MF Voigtlander 0.95). With Canon, I can get a 85 1.8 for $300.

    I think the main target of this system should be enthusiast that won’t spend a lot of money in a system, especially full frame one.

    But with that kind of lens pricing, I can spend the same amount of money and get full frame system, the 5D classic is still pretty good I believe, 2nd hand 5D II or D700 isn’t really expensive compared to an OM-D either.

  • Chris Carson

    Yeah. They need to cooperate as Fuji eats everyone’s lunch. ;)

  • YS

    Same old tired argument over camera size with regards to the GH3′s size. It’s system size and weight that you worry – the GH3 is positioned as a system camera.

    Then there’s the cherry picking of facts: Only the GH3 is that big. Everything else is smaller.

    Won’t argue with the rapid iteration, but new tech in unsettled market tends to be like that.

  • YS

    I hesitate to enter this argument, because it’s going to bring up the dreaded equivalence thing, which I absolutely hate.

    So I’m going with how I see things as a photographer.

    I was looking at changing away from the D300, partly thanks to Nikon dwadling with the D400. I was looking at both FF and m4/3. Both actually offered an upgrade in image quality (FF more so). I needed the standard wide-angle zoom, the mid-range zoom, and short-telephoto zoom.

    In short, the m4/3 system was the cheapest way to go. The main thing I really felt I lost out, was in low light capability – no ISO 6400 photos for me. Good thing for now, I don’t have a need for it. Oh, and AF tracking. Also a good thing I don’t shoot sport other than for leisure. But I gained an incredibly light and small system. Everything fits into one small bag that weights 4.2kg with the tripod!

  • http://whoispete.com/ Peter Waterman

    I hate to be pedantic, but every single mention of ILC / Interchangeable Lens Cameras in this article should be changed to MILC / Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras. I was thoroughly confused at first by the incorrect use of terminology.

    All DSLR’s and, well, any camera where the lenses can be changed, is an ILC.

  • Rob S

    True, the GH3 is the biggest but the OMD is about the same size as the new Canon SL1. The G6 is almost identical in size to the SL1 and only slightly smaller than the K-50 and the D3200.

    I think you even help make my point – the GH3 is a “system” camera – one that will work well with a wide range of lenses – as opposed to most M43 that are almost unusable with anything bigger than a pancake. Zooms in particular are hard to use if you dont have enough camera to grip. This is not a problem unique to M43 – the NEX has the same issue as does the K-01.

    So the very market M43 makers need – the person who buys an expensive (relative to the others) body and lots of lenses – goes against the biggest advantage of the format – size. And that person who is looking for a system is also the most likely to demand high ISO performance, a large range of fast lenses and a full lineup of accessories (strobes, battery grips, etc) – all areas M43 is lacking.

  • gochugogi

    “a mirrorless DSLR”? DSLR = Digital Single Lens Reflex. Reflex refers to the reflex mirror that flips up and down. I think you meant mirrorless with F-mount?

  • gochugogi

    I sure see a lot of Japanese carrying M43. Women especially like the white models. Not as popular stateside but they may be perceived as too small for larger hands or serious work. Nevertheless, most DSLR shooters buy M43 as a supplement to their other gear, not as a replacement. For me, my GX1 and E-P3 replaced my iPhone and S90 (always in my messenger) but my 5D MKII gets used as much as before.

  • gochugogi

    ILC was adopted by Popular Photography 4 years ago when the M43 system debuted. ILC actually stands for Interchangeable Lens Compact (not camera) and was meant to distinguish these petite cameras from DSLRs. ILC didn’t catch on much beyond journalists. I’ve not seen MILC too often but photo forum junkies seem to refer typing out the entire word “mirrorless” over acronyms. My fav acronym is EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) and it gets a little more use than ILC. None of the names or acronyms are perfect, hence the varied usage and confusion.

  • frayne

    The “reflex” doesn’t refer to the mirror’s flipping up and down. Twin-lens reflex cameras don’t have mirrors that flip.

    Nevertheless, your point is well-taken. What I should have said is that I want a mirrorless DSLR-form-factor camera with F-mount capabilities.

    Would it be so difficult for Nikon to use their smallest-form-factor DSLR and remove the mirror and mirror mechanism?

  • t k

    I still think of micro four third as a digital half frame camera! As the original Olympus pen was a half frame, and the format is approx half of a full frame digital

  • MattB81

    Rob have you actually done any research into the M43 cameras other than looking at their names. Let me address every one of your issues here:

    1) Every camera owner is in a upgrade or wait cycle. It does not change between my Nikon gear or my M43 gear. As for improvements my Panasonic GX7 is a good deal better than my GX1 – to keep it short and not list out every single improvement feel free to just look up a review or 2. This is true for many of the steps up, some have minor improvements while others make some significant steps forward, of course the same happens with Nikon and Canon with their DSLRs.

    2) Sure you can buy an older generation cheaper, just like I can buy a D300S for significantly less than what I paid for it when it came out. This happens with all technology and as such is never a valid point. While pro lenses hold their values the bodies do not.

    3) You wanted to compare lenses based solely on price, well ok, but lets really look at your comparison of the Olympus 60mm and the Sigma 60mm. First the most significant difference is that the Oly is a macro lens with an MFD of 7.4″ compared to the Sigma which is a standard 60mm with a MFD of 19.7″. Macro lenses traditionally cost more, and to go further I would suggest you look at the reviews of each of the lenses before you compare them on price alone.

    As for the small sensor and it’s video capabilities you perhaps should have a word with Black Magic then. While they are not the only one M43 is not exactly a horrible option for video and has a healthy dynamic range. Now is it true that a full frame sensor is better sure, but look even at the point and shoot market – Fuji sells a lot more X100S cameras than Sony’s RX1.

    What you really fail to look at is that the cooperation has these manufacturers working together to offer great options without stepping on each others toes in most cases.

    Finally yes size is a great difference, it takes a large backpack to carry my Nikon D800, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4 and 12-14mm compared to my very small sling bag that easily fits my GX7, 12-35mm f/2.8, 35-100 f/2.8, 25mm f/1.4 and 7-14mm f/4. No that’s not all my gear in either instance but those are the more common items I take with me when I go out somewhere. Are there larger M43 bodies sure, there are some with a larger form factor because they found that there were different consumers with different desires – some wanted the smallest body while others wanted something bigger that was not quite as big as some of the larger DSLRs.

    Truth be told I did hold out hoping that Nikon would make a decent entry into the mirrorless market but they didn’t so I decided to go with M43.

    Also while you compare M43 you seem to be forgetting the Sony E mount and the Fuji X mount which also both have some nice lens options including third party support.

  • MattB81

    You really need to remember the crop factor here, my Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 (70-20mm eqv) was $1400 compared to my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 which was $2500. The 24-70mm for my Nikon was $1800, my Panasonic 12-35mm was $1100.

    Even buying a used D700 to have both lenses and the body is going to run you $5800 for the body and both lenses as compared to the Panasonic GX7 $3500. .

    As for a portrait lens the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 is $400 which makes a great choice.

    Remember M43 is a 2x crop.

    Also M43 is not the only option for mirrorless, the Sony E mount has some good options too.

    That said you can’t really compare these just on price you have to determine what you’re shooting with them. Both systems have their benefits, for that reason I actually have a small M43 kit with a GX7 and of course all of my Nikon D800s with everything I’ve accumulated for that over the years. I use them at different times – when I am covering a race or doing commercial work I use the D800s however when I am out with friends, vacation, on the motorcycle or bike I prefer to carry the M43. And then of course I also have a Fuji X100 that also comes with me.

    In the end there is no one set to rule them all, so you really have to look at it based on what you’re using it for. That said – all 3 options give me great prints and great quality photos.

  • MattB81

    I use a 12-35mm f/2.8, 25mm f/1.4, and 35-100mm f/2.8 on my GX7 and before that my GX1 with no issues at all.

    It’s interesting that you say that there are no fast lenses as more than 2/3rds of the MFT lenses on the market are f/2.8 or faster, true there are not grips but then I really don’t want a grip on it since the idea was something smaller than my D800, for the ones with hot shoes you actually can attach on camera lights as well as triggers for off camera strobes.

    What I will agree with you on is the ISO, my D800 is far superior to my GX7, That said I use them both for different things at different times (ok sometimes the same time). Why would I expect my $1000 GX7 to have the same ISO performance as my $3000 D800?

  • MattB81

    I usually say that wouldn’t be wise but then none of them are actually doing that. Panasonic is still making their point and shoots as well as their network cameras and they camcorders, Sony is still making their point and shoots (including their full frame RX1). They each of other income runs not just overall through the company but also in the photography industry itself.

  • Ya!

    MILCs are still a “rising competitor”? According to what research?

  • Ya!

    P.S. it looks like the future of mirrorless outside of Japan is to be simply and exactly as ubiquitous as a japanese tourist.

  • Rob S

    I will freely admit that I have never given M43 serious consideration for use/purchase. To me the sensor size is just too limiting. That is why my original comments were geared toward the M43 business model, not the photographic performance.

    While every purchase has an “upgrade or wait” cycle the compression of the M43 format is pretty extreme. The D300S you gave as an example was on the market for 3 years before it was replaced by the D600/D7000. The differences in price/performance/feature between the D300S and its replacements are clear and easy to understand. The fact that the D600 was replaced by two cameras was pretty unique. Its safe to assume that Nikon will continue with a top of the line APS-C with a DXXXX sequence and bottom of the line Full Frame in the DXXX sequence.

    During the same time span that Nikon marketed the D300S Panasonic and Olympus introduced 18 different M43 cameras. Because they all take the same lenses they are competing against each other. So in the middle of 2011 the Olympus E-P3, E-PL3 had to compete with Panasonic G3 and GH3 while trying to show more value/features than the 6 month old E-P1s, E-PL2 and GH2.

    During the life of the D300S Nikon introduced 10 cameras

    D3
    D4
    D800
    D800E
    D7000
    D5000
    D5100
    D3000
    D3100
    D3200

    The first 4 were Full Frame cameras that represented a clear difference in price and performance.

    The last 6 were all APS-C but only the D7000 came close to representing a comparable system. No one decided to replace their D300S with a D3200. The reality is only the D800 “competed” with the D300S during its life. And yes, I know Canon and Pentax introduced bodies during that time but changing systems in a different decision than getting a new body to match your current lenses.

    The biggest difference between the 21 M43 cameras during that time was the EVF or lack of and the body size. Looking at the first and last in that time you can see a difference in sensor performance but the gap between each in the series is very slight. The result is that new body introductions decimate the price of older ones while showing very little difference in actual performance. Not a good business model.

    Yes there are difference in the lens example I gave but I believe the overall point is valid. M43 lenses from body builders are high compared to third party lenses.

    Again, I am talking about the M43 business model, not the goodness of the equipment. I did not mention it before but the arrival of Chinese body makers will put further pressure on Oly and Pany. They can produce bodies (cheap) without any need to invest in lens production (expensive). They will take the low end buyers and force Oly and Pany to go after high end alone. The dirty secret of the high end camera market is that low end buyers subsidize those high end models. Without that subsidy I dont see high end M43 surviving.

  • Rob S

    Um, I didnt say there were no fast lenses. I talked about a full range of fast lenses. And again, the whole point was that the GH3 – which is positioned as a system/pro/prosumer camera is as big as a smaller APS-C without the “system” range of one of those comparable sized cameras.

    Its not that the $1000 GX7 should be compared to the $3000 D800. The problem is that its ISO performance is behind the $800 Pentax K5 or Nikon D7000. Or the $300 K-01. Or the the $500 Nikon D3200. You are paying al lot for body style. Once you get into the body style market you are at the whim of the next style.

    I will say it one more time – this is about the M43 business model. I dont think it is sustainable. I might be wrong.

  • Adam Sanford

    This story is a bit myopic in that businesses’ first goals aren’t to make our lives better through cooperation; they exist to profit and grow. It’s hard to do that when you commoditize your hardware. If you don’t have a proprietary / exclusive mount, third parties will undercut your prices and reduce your profit margins, plain and simple. I don’t *like* that, but that’s sort of how business works.

    Case in point: why did Apple go to the Lightning power socket instead of the ubiquitous micro-USB socket that everyone wanted? Because they could. Now they make money on every cord sale. That profit (which is staggering, btw) pumps more money back into R&D, sourcing agreements, licensing IP, etc. so that their future products can be better. In effect, using micro-USB would have simply been leaving a large pile of cash on the table. Again, I don’t like it, but that’s how business works.

    As a photographer, I fear a world where Canon and Nikon (not a fanboy to either, btw) are priced into offering a lower-quality products. Some of the reason first party lenses cost more is name, of course, but they also cost more for useful design options like internal focusing, better build quality, weather-sealing, etc. Forum fanboys who tout the holy trinity of sharpness + max aperture + IS as the only attributes that should price all lenses often miss these considerations.

    There *is* an argument for smaller companies (who lack a solid bullpen of lenses) to latch on to a standard mount. But the big boys will never do it for the aforementioned reasons.

  • MattB81

    You are using the products features pricing and releases as part of your method for comparing the business model and I’m merely trying to point out it’s actually on par in most respects with everyone else in the other lines.

    That said you also use incorrect info to do it, the Pentax K-5 had a max ISO of 12,800 now if you mean the K-5 II or K-5 IIs sure they are both higher at the 25,600 mark they are also $100-200 more not $200 less. The D3200 which will hit 12,800 in it’s boost mode, really craps out on performance at 6,400. The GX7 has a max of 25,600 (does a comparable APS-C have less noise at the same ISO – sure – that said I have never pushed it that high to compare).

    Also correct you did not say there were no fast lenses (I’m sorry for my misspeaking there) what you said was that someone would prefer a solution with a large number of fast lenses, I simply intended to point out that there are a good number of fast lenses. While it’s true there are fewer options than say Nikon has; the M43 is also a newer line up.

    To the comparison of the business model, with your earlier point in another comment that Olympus & Panasonic together released 18 cameras in a period in which Nikon released only 10 is actually off as you forgot both the D3X and D3S models (so 12) in a time period in which Canon also released 12.

    Now sure with those 18 cameras if you’re just looking at the MP and screen size then you would say there is not much of a difference. When you compare those together, Panasonic and Olympus have been bouncing back and forth playing off of each other – the model forces them to compete. Now sure if Olympus and Panasonic were the same company you could say this was bad because they are competing with themselves and in that atmosphere I would agree with you but that’s not what they’re doing here. This is the same process of Canon and Nikon going back and forth with the exception being that the fight to push even small improvements is greater in M43 because you’re not tied to a bard as closely since your invested gear can be carried to the other.

    I personally feel the model works, are there massive stride between each release, not really but that happens in Nikon and Canon as well (example the D300 – D300S which was a very marginal improvement).

    It’s also not like they are not making some decent improvements in the whole range, example the GX1 was replaced after 21 months by the GX7. Jumping the ISO sensitivity from 12,800 to 25,600 as well as a larger screen, better battery life, better (and more) controls, faster shooting speed, in camera image stabilization, better and faster focusing, in camera shooting options that didn’t exist before and thankfully a view finder.

    All that I’m trying to illustrate with all of this is that their model for business only has one real difference, the increase in direct real threatening competition forces more continuous development and product releases. I think this model will keep the two working in what has so far proven to be a successful symbiotic competition.

    It does have it’s down side, yes the older models loose value quickly so you will have some who go buy the older model to save some money and make whatever compromise in the product they choose at that point. Really though while your pro-sumer market seems to be real good at looking for best value the average consumer is more likely to want the latest and greatest, often having no idea what came before and this is what the model banks on.

    Also in that we are only covering the bodies themselves, and where this has become an interesting situation to go back to the articles point – you can buy any M43 body, at some point everyone’s going to get at least some portion of your investment. I have Panasonic bodies for M43 for example yet 2 of my lenses are Oly and one is Voigtlander.

    Where they have to fight is the body because if the next time I look to upgrade the Oly is better, then that’s the way I’ll go. Comparing it to say Nikon’s model, I have so much invested there that it would take a massive miracle for a huge disaster for me to make the switch to Canon.

    I don’t know if looking at it more like this changes anyone’s opinions, but these are where and why I have mine. Sorry for the long replies lol….

    Worst case we just agree to disagree ;)

  • Rob S

    Lets see…Im looking at my K-5…yup, ISO 51,200. K-5II..yup same thing.

    Yup, I missed the variation on the D3.

    Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Sony release modes that are generally on three paths – low, middle and high. They also have small/mirrorless. What happens with M43 is that each maker – Olympus, Panasonic and now Generic Chinese are making models meaning there is ALWAYS something new. Worse, the M43 lines are generally based on size and style more than performance. Long term, I dont see that as sustainable.

  • MattB81

    It’s base ISO goes to 12,800, it hits 51,200 in it’s boost expanded mode. Have you ever used those? I have and every time it’s been crap, just something nice to put on the box and in the list of stats.

    In fact most reviews on the expanded/boost modes I’ve read tend to say they’re not worth using. Much like the D300S was great up to 3200 but push it into it’s boost 6400 and I may as well be adding a grain filter in post. It’s like saying my camera zoom is better because the digital zoom goes further, forget that its quality gets worse when it does it.

    Yes there is always something new – welcome to the tech industry. Every few months there are new phones, yet that market seems to thrive too.

    Further the M43 line is not just based on size and style which again goes to the point that you don’t actually look at the full specs or reviews on them. They’ve improved multiple features along each individual line, maybe you should use one – BorrowLenses has a few you can rent for a few days for a small investment, hell if you’re anywhere near the Tampa or Washington DC areas I’d be more than willing to let you test around mine.

  • Antzkiwi

    Apple has also been losing massive ground to android partly because everyone knows now they are going to get ripped off with all the required accessories and be locked into the apple product range. That is the main reason I and many people I know jumped ship.
    Canon and Nikon are missing out big time because lets face it, who wants to buy into yet another line of proprietary gear. There are a ton of companies that make lenses that fit their SLR cameras, and that is by no means hurting their business.
    I’m keen to buy a couple of ILC cameras to supplement my gear, but there is no way I’m going to lock myself into one of those dead-end proprietary avenues. I’ll probably go with M4/3 models simply for long term compatibility.

  • delayedflight

    Actually yes it’s more complicated than it looks. If you’ve developed a product or system then you should know the work required it’s not simply attacking the camera with a hacksaw.
    You have plenty of other concerns such as what sort of market is there, regulations, designing the camera’s firmware, design, setting up manufacturing ect ect

    Also you have the concern of building a whole line of lenses to suit that particular system. Using a mirrorless F-mount body would be pointless if you planned to use your F-mount lenses as you’ll still be bogged down with bulky lenses anyway (a la A7R).