There’s been a few worry warts around the camera community about Micro Four Thirds ending, but, I highly doubt this will be the end. There’s a lot invested in the system and both Panasonic and Olympus have already confirmed they will be continuing on Micro Four Thirds. Companies aren’t a stranger carrying two different camera formats. Canon, Nikon, and Sony all have Full Frame and APSC models. Fuji has APSC and MEDIUM FORMAT. So, they can have both and prosper. They even introduced a new Leica 10-25 f1.7 which sounds amazing. I don’t think there is a Full Frame or APSC equivalent to a 20-50mm Wide Angle Zoom. They claim it’s truly equal to having five prime lenses because IQ for each focal length was strictly controlled. I don’t know what that all means but I really want it.
Where in the world is Sony and Olympus?
We didn’t get a peek at the Sony A7SIII at Photokina like I expected. I’m assuming it’s coming out this year but I’m not sure and the year is almost over. Frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t heard anything from the Sony camp about the A7SIII, this camera is very popular amongst filmmakers and the fans of this series’ model is growing very impatient. Some are even going to Panasonic for their camera purchase addictions. Check out Ariel Martinez and Anthony Seratelli at iFilmmaker.tv so you can see what they have to say. Spoiler alert, they LOVE it!
With Panasonic finally offering a Full Frame camera, what’s Olympus’ next move? Without Olympus we wouldn’t have 5-Axis IBIS and Live View Preview and they helped pioneer the mirrorless movement. So, I really don’t want to see them go.
Olympus where art though
I initially expected more of a split offering between both Panasonic and Olympus rather than Panasonic offering two cameras. I Honestly did think Olympus would have the high-resolution photo-centric model and Panasonic would have the great video-centric camera akin to what they’ve done for years. But, I’m not sure if the introduction of the G9 kind of broke that partnership and it’s kind of a shame. I love their cameras. They started the retro look with the Olympus EM-5 and EM-1 and I still really enjoy how their cameras feel.
This Survivor style alliance makes it clear that Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma will be working very close and that doesn’t sound like a lot of room for Olympus. According to an interview at Cinema5d with the CEO of Sigma Kazuto Yamaki, they will be killing off their current mount in favor of the new L-mount and will be creating a Full Frame Foveon camera soon. The alliance now consists of cameras that will aim for the luxury photographer, the working photographer/videographer, and the art photographer. What’s Olympus to do?
Now, if I were Olympus and I decided to join the Full Frame market. I would just take all the features from the Olympus EM-1 Mark II, it would be an amazing camera. Keep the sensor around the 24-30mp range to keep low light shooters happy. Give it sensor shift with the ability to go higher than 100mp for the product and food photographers. They already use a Hybrid autofocus system which I find to be more reliable for fast motion photography over DFD. This would be perfect for sports and bird photographers. I’ve always favored their color science over Panasonic, so just imagine that in Full Frame. They should also update all their cameras to use both Phase and Contrast detection in video to have it perform as good as Sony and Nikon. This will give them a leg up over Panasonic if this is was Full Frame and if they can package this around the $2-2500 price point this can easily go against the Sony A7R series, the Nikon Z7, the Canon EOS R and win!
Hell, since Panasonic is using the L-mount and if they decided to create an alliance with these other companies, I would search for my own alliance. Maybe jump over to Nikon or even Canon and see if they’d be down for a collab. Both Nikon and Canon have NOTHING to really go against the A7R series. The Nikon Z7 is not going to beat the A7RIII, Canon is running around like a fucking idiot. Olympus has a lot of tech that can be used in better cameras.
Kasey from Camera Conspiracy had a video where he thought Panasonic was creating a Full Frame camera with Samsung. I thought that was a great idea. Obviously, that didn’t pan out that way, but it is still a really great idea and it would be interesting if Samsung decided to step up and help Olympus a little bit. The NX-Mount isn’t being used for anything right now and it’d be a waste of money trying to create a whole other mount. The Samsung NX-1 was a camera that was WAY ahead of its time and as Kasey pointed out, they dropped out of the race because they didn’t see the value in it. The NX-Mount size is roughly 42mm and has a focal distance of 25.5mm. That’s smaller and further than the current Full Frames that’s coming out, however, I think that’s enough of an opening to create a Full Frame camera or maybe a APS-H. Regardless, Olympus has a strong following and awesome tech that can be utilized and I’m ready to get whatever they make back into my hands. If it’s comparable and priced accordingly.
Olympus dream camera and upgrading
While we are on the subject of dream Olympus cameras, one day I hope they make an XA-D. A digital version of the XA Series camera. This was a pocketable camera from the late 70’s to early 80’s and was one of the favorites amongst street photogs and I do think it would be as popular as the Ricoh GR. So, Olympus please make some moves soon.
Even with all these new cameras I don’t think I’ll be selling my G85. If I do upgrade, I’ll probably go to a Panasonic G9. Unless Olympus can get the video features on lock the EM-1 Mark II. I used to have an Olympus EM-1 Mark I and upgraded to the G85 because it’s everything from the EM-1 Mark II that I want but less than half the price.
I’m still on the fence about upgrading to a Full Frame Mirrorless camera. The biggest reason I left the Full Frame Camera world was the size. It just isn’t fun to lug these things around all day. Especially, if it’s just photography for me and my own personal enjoyment. I understand for more professional work it’s going to be different. But, for what limited work I do and for pure photographic enjoyment, I don’t think I can ever go back.