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John Perriment

Set to conquer the world

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Looking around other forums it is apparent that Micro 4/3 is buiding up a real head of steam. People are buying into the format for any number of reasons but they are all agreed on two things; they love the small size and are impressed, even surprised, at the image quality.

There are compact users who have longed for better quality but did not want the inconvenience of carting a DSLR around. Many rangefinder enthusiasts have bought into the concept (some experiencing digital for the first time) because they can still use all their lovely old glass. Candid and street specialists are adopting because it is more discreet and less conspicuous.

Last but not least there are DSLR users who have often wished for something smaller and lighter as a second camera. This group are often the most surprised by the IQ. Many Nikon and Canon owners have assumed that they were making a compromise in this respect as the pay-off for a more portable system, which they only ever expected to use when the need arose to travel truly light. Many of them have been astounded by the quality and have even sold their D700 or 5D as it was relegated to gathering dust.

This is quite significant, not only for Micro Four Thirds, but also for Standard Four Thirds. Why? Because at last the myth that Four Thirds is a tiny sensor incapable of yielding professional type IQ is being dispelled. A lot of APS-C users, and even full framers, are saying that they cannot, or can barely, tell the difference!

Whether or not Standard Four Thirds will eventually be overwhelmed by MFT as the technology advances is hard to say. In fact, I think that during the next few years MFT will take a large slice of the high-end camera market and this could present a serious problem to the major DSLR players unless they counter with similar products. It could also be the death knell for "serious" compacts such as the Canon G series.

One thing is certain, the future looks very bright for both Olympus and Panasonic.

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  1. AndyElliott's Avatar
    Given the dxo mark comparison between the 7D and the GH1 (and if you put in the Nikon D300s too), there really is NO difference... (perhaps even making the GH1 best in some ranges). I've made some comments about the disparity between dxo and dpreview on the dynamic range results - basically, if the noise thresholds are about the same, the dynamic range comparisons between dxo and dpreview are valid, otherwise forget it...

    It's very easy to feel 'unloved' as an FT (now seems to be referred to as 'Classic FourThirds') user given the hype surrounding mFT. This doesn't worry me...

    - It explodes the APS-C vs fourthirds myth nicely
    - It demonstrates the virtues of Olympus in general to sceptical CaNikon users, some may even take up FT cameras as well!
    - It gives Olympus and Panasonic and nice wodge of cash to bolster both the FT and mFT kit.

    Whilst I like the idea of small, the performance in terms of AF isn't there yet. I also want a camera body that balances the heavier lenses better too - so it will be FT for me for a while yet.

    But then I do drive an A8, so maybe I just like big things!

    Andy
  2. John Perriment's Avatar
    Hi Andy. Yes, I think MFT is proving to be something of an eye opener for many users of other brands who believed all the rubbish they heard about Four Thirds. However, I do agree that, in it's present form at least, MFT is not a replacement for a DSLR in many applications. But MFT cameras don't have to be small; there's no reason why the future shouldn't bring us a full size, full spec camera in the E-3 mould but mirrorless and with a MFT sensor. If that is indeed the shape of things to come for high end pro cameras, at least this time Olympus will be in the vanguard rather than having to play catch up!
  3. AndyElliott's Avatar
    If they can get the phase detect AF working when in liveview mode - and why not, the E-330 did it - then having ditched the mirror would be excellent.

    Imagine a viewfinder that could always be bright, even in low light. Imagine also it previewing areas of highlight clipping.

    The lack of mirror would also potentially allow for faster burst rates and a quieter camera.

    Andy
  4. petrovich's Avatar
    John and Andy

    I feel a camera exactly like the E620 but with a top lcd display as per E-1, E-30 and E-3 would be a killer unit and then the next developement to be mirrorless would position Olympus at the top of the pile.
    High ISO and the other gimmics mean nothing to 85% of camera (DSLR) owners they just want a mid priced camera that looks professional and produces good images. It is so simple it amazes me that no one has done it yet.
    I handled a E-620 with grip the other day and even with the 70-300 it was a delight. Small and compact, reasonable viewfinder all the features you could ask for and cheap. It just lacks that pro look that some people require to say "hey look at me".
    My two pence worth. Oh and yes I will be purchasing one soon, not to replace the E-1 though.

    Regards