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Author Topic: Olympus Lenses are Awesome  (Read 6831 times)
fike
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« on: November 14, 2013, 08:30:14 AM »
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I posted these images from the Olympus 50-200 in a different thread this week, but they illustrate some of what Michael talked about in his article.  These Olympus Four Thirds lenses are fabulous.  Here is the kicker on the images below: I used the lens with a 1.4x teleconverter.  For wildlife work, I also think there is a unique-to-mirrorless benefit of having zoom focus with the EVF.  Any traditional DSLR with a telephoto lens is very difficult to focus through the branches and grasses that are so common with bird and wildlife photography.  Overall, I am very impressed with this lens, and it makes me tempted to try the 11-22 or the 12-60 lenses with the E-M1.  

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/10783667694/in/photolist-hqUvh6-hqUvrV-hqUvPt-hqUEvs-hqV6Ms-hqUETw-hqUEZo-hqUFgq-hqVPfg-hqV7Ej-hqV7H5/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/10783664584/in/photolist-hqUvh6-hqUvrV-hqUvPt-hqUEvs-hqV6Ms-hqUETw-hqUEZo-hqUFgq-hqVPfg-hqV7Ej-hqV7H5/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/10783550325/in/photolist-hqUvh6-hqUvrV-hqUvPt-hqUEvs-hqV6Ms-hqUETw-hqUEZo-hqUFgq-hqVPfg-hqV7Ej-hqV7H5/



The rest of the test set can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/tags/50200/
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 11:34:51 AM »
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I've kept my 300f2.8 lens mainly because it's just a great lens. A little slow moving the elements around due to the older technology motors but optically it's just a great lens. I've now shot several thousand images with it and the EM-1. The biggest disappointment with the new "system" is the marginal performance of C-AF functionally with native 4/3rd lenses. You may have read both positive and negatives regarding CAF performance, but having used this lens with the E-3 and two E-5's I can tell you that if CAF is your thing, look somewhere else. 

S-AF is fine, and the upgraded sensor as well as the new stabilization system has enabled a new way of shooting low to the ground/water shots. Add in that you can now have over/under exposure or histogram on screen means that if your exposure is off then you were not paying attention :-)

In the "old days" in order to get a shot like this you would need to lower your tripod and use a 90 degree adapter. (Or lay in the mud). Same with a ground pod.  These shots were taken with a ground pod and the LCD flipped up which allowed me to sit up and look down. Using C-AF + Tracking allowed me to move the camera around and keep focus. The advantage here is that you don't need to focus and recompose or keep moving your focus points. Tracking will keep the bird in focus while you position the composition to your liking. You could do this with the EM-5, but focusing was so slow that it was just too frustrating. Tracking is not foolproof, and even with slow moving wading birds it will jump off to something else but works well enough to be useable.

Olympus EM-1, Zuiko 300mmf2.8


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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 12:30:04 PM »
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Nice shots.
I have some old OM glass, which is also impressive quality.
Am getting more tempted by m4/3rds.
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 08:52:58 PM »
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Olympus have always had a deservedly good reputation for optics, and I can vouch for that myself in years past some really excellent offerings.
On the other hand reading Michael's article leaves things wide open in other areas.

I for one remain unconvinced that Olympus (or Panasonic) will be able to compete with APS-C or FF rivals longer term (with a mirror or not)
Whilst I agree the sensors have improved (DR and low light), and there is a size appeal for some users. I can't see any hope of micro 4/3 making any significant impact on the pro market, none at all actually.

And yes I am aware there are some pro's using micro 4/3 (rather few I would think). I predicted a few years back 4/3 would not be able to compete with APS-C rivals in the DSLR business, that turned out to be the correct analysis. Bar the size aspect (it is a mistake to assume smaller is always more desired) micro 4/3 has a disadvantage in DOF control of about 1 stop to APS-C and 2 stops to full frame. You can counter that with very fast glass to a point..

Grim reality is, micro 4/3 nice enough as it is..OMD-EM1 the well rounded beast it might well be. I believe that the sensor size is going to be a disadvantage and spell the same problem for micro 4/3 as 4/3 had. I can match and exceed the OMD's performance at low light and DR and DOF, at a fraction of the cost with an APS-C body. And I have to say..Olympus are smoking something if they think the can charge £1300 for the EM-1, even more so since the A7 arrived at the same price point.

Nice stuff or not, I think the A7 will be the grim reaper calling to micro 4/3, even though I'm not overly interested in that model marketing talks and FF just sounds so much more appealing than a sensor 1/4 the size. Looks to me that Olympus has for the second time picked the wrong sensor format, only time will tell on that one.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 09:31:08 PM »
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It may well be the case that m43 won't make it in the long run. If so that'll be a shame...but it won't stop me from enjoying m43 cameras & lenses right now and, frankly, for as long as I choose to keep using them. What pros use doesn't mean a flying rat's ass to me. (Sorry to the pros who contribute here...but, hey, they don't much care what I use either. Nor should they.) "Full frame" doesn't mean a flying rat's ass to me either. 30% actual need, 70% fetishist bullshit IMO. I've got my Pentax when I want the Big Sensor Experience. And I can mount my Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 or 135mm f/2.0 on my m43 cameras via Metabones SpeedBooster and hold my own with anyone should it come down to some idiotic shallow-DOF circle jerk contest.

Sorry for the vitriol...but I think it's both sad and pathetic that so many people seem so unwilling to explore the full range of photo-related options available to them. Trying new things, and different gear, is fun! And I'd rather have fun than conform any day.

-Dave-
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tom b
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 10:35:52 PM »
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Grim reality is, micro 4/3 nice enough as it is..OMD-EM1 the well rounded beast it might well be. I believe that the sensor size is going to be a disadvantage and spell the same problem for micro 4/3 as 4/3 had. I can match and exceed the OMD's performance at low light and DR and DOF, at a fraction of the cost with an APS-C body. And I have to say..Olympus are smoking something if they think the can charge £1300 for the EM-1, even more so since the A7 arrived at the same price point.

Nice stuff or not, I think the A7 will be the grim reaper calling to micro 4/3, even though I'm not overly interested in that model marketing talks and FF just sounds so much more appealing than a sensor 1/4 the size. Looks to me that Olympus has for the second time picked the wrong sensor format, only time will tell on that one.

If you asked me before the GH2 was released I would have agreed with you. But not now…

In 2011 I got a job transfer near to the CBD and I wanted a walkabout camera. I have a 5D mkII and wide, normal and tele L lenses. I wasn't going to drag them into the city so I was looking for something that I could carry around that was "good enough". After Michael's GH2 article I bought one and it has been good enough.

The Pro photographers won't go for MFT but there are groups that will. The first group is the boomers, the group that was brought up using viewfinders with fast primes. I just bought a GX7 with 14mm, 25mm, and 45mm primes to compliment my 14–140mm zoom. It's a great little camera and if you put one in an ex SLR user's hand and showed the the results you can get, I'm sure it would be a soft sell. Size, weight and quality are key for this group.

The other group that will help are the video users, the GH2/3 phenomenon has been a big bonus.

Anyway time will tell…

Cheers,
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John Camp
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 10:43:17 PM »
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I for one remain unconvinced that Olympus (or Panasonic) will be able to compete with APS-C or FF rivals longer term (with a mirror or not)
Whilst I agree the sensors have improved (DR and low light), and there is a size appeal for some users. I can't see any hope of micro 4/3 making any significant impact on the pro market, none at all actually.

And yes I am aware there are some pro's using micro 4/3 (rather few I would think). I predicted a few years back 4/3 would not be able to compete with APS-C rivals in the DSLR business, that turned out to be the correct analysis. Bar the size aspect (it is a mistake to assume smaller is always more desired) micro 4/3 has a disadvantage in DOF control of about 1 stop to APS-C and 2 stops to full frame. You can counter that with very fast glass to a point..

Grim reality is, micro 4/3 nice enough as it is..OMD-EM1 the well rounded beast it might well be. I believe that the sensor size is going to be a disadvantage and spell the same problem for micro 4/3 as 4/3 had. I can match and exceed the OMD's performance at low light and DR and DOF, at a fraction of the cost with an APS-C body. And I have to say..Olympus are smoking something if they think the can charge £1300 for the EM-1, even more so since the A7 arrived at the same price point.

Nice stuff or not, I think the A7 will be the grim reaper calling to micro 4/3, even though I'm not overly interested in that model marketing talks and FF just sounds so much more appealing than a sensor 1/4 the size. Looks to me that Olympus has for the second time picked the wrong sensor format, only time will tell on that one.

I disagree with most of this. I think m4/3 is doing just fine, especially in Asia. I think APS-C is probably toast, because it's neither one or the other -- it doesn't have quite the quality of FF, nor does it have the size advantages of m4/3. I am possibly biased in this, since I have both m4/3 and FF systems, but I suspect that the camera companies are tending the same way -- that may be the reason there are relatively few lenses for APS-C systems: none of them (as far as I know) match either full frame or m4/3 for native offerings. The only place I ever really liked APS-C was when shooting from choppers in Iraq, I used a D300 as a backup for a D3, and it was excellent for that purpose.

In my opinion, the only real advantage to m/43 is size, and its good-enough-ness; but those are huge advantages. Most of my photography is street, and I really value the small size of the GX7 and the optics that go with it. Michael has mentioned his good success with the Panasonic 100-300 for street shooting; I personally have a Panasonic G f2.8 35-100 (70-200 equiv) practically welded to one of my GX7s. The lens is ~4 1/2 inches long and can be cradled in one of my hands. With the flip-up LCD, I have become quite adept at shooting *sideways* with it. I also have the Nikon f2.8G II 70-200 to go with my D800. The lens is 9 inches long, and as close as I can tell, 10 inches in circumference at the fat spot. It's a great lens, but so is the Panny, and the size difference is not only huge, but critical: there are many places where I can somewhat comfortably shoot with the Panny that I'd never think about going with the Nikon.

As for shallow depth of field, you don't usually want that when shooting moving targets; it's mostly for relatively static portrait style stuff...and for that I have quite a nice Voigtlander f0.95 42.5mm (85mm equiv.)

Edit: If I were ever to go back to a place like Iraq, I would take an m4/3 system, and maybe three bodies, probably the new Olympus. When I was in Iraq (gee, almost eight years ago now) I took Nikon's Holy Trinity of zoom lenses, plus an 85. I got *nothing* from those lenses, in terms of publishablity, that I couldn't just have just as conveniently gotten from a much broader and more flexible m4/3 system. When people talk about "pro" quality, I think they must mean fashion shoots for poster-size prints or super-high-res magazines, because you could take the best D800 shot, and the best GX7 shot, and when you publish them in a newspaper or a news magazine, there is *no* discernible difference.      
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 10:54:38 PM by John Camp » Logged
barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 05:37:52 AM »
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I always find it humorous when 4/3 fans predict the demise of APS-C, which has unlike it film ancestor very successful and has proven to be "the sensor of choice" for so many cameras. If success is somehow a failure then I'm all ears as to that one. APS-C seems to have been accepted by most as the acceptable compromise for a crop sensor.

I don't know if full frame will replace APS-C across the board (probably not at the low to mid end but we shall see)
And I'm not dismissing micro 4/3 as a very decent and valid choice for those who want more compact bodies and lenses, and yes it's going to be great for some people.

Problems are..

-Olympus have not turned a profit on imaging for some time, if they ever do only time will tell. If you had a shop open for 5 years and end of year 5 were still making a loss, then you might consider it logical to question the validity of keeping the doors open.
-Not everyone is on the "must be really small" bandwagon, if they were micro 4/3 would have done some decent damage to traditional DSLR's, there is no evidence they have thus is seems they are not a hugely sucessful product.
-Things changed quite a bit once a ILC FF turned up recently, well a lot actually
-FF models are sure to get cheaper and cheaper and likely even the DSLR's will have sub £1000 bodies soon, I'm not sure how a micro 4/3 offering at a this price can last.

There is a place for micro 4/3, but Olympus have awful EU pricing on bodies, ILC's have not done that well in Europe of the USA (ie the bulk of sales for DSLR's)
And as noted so many times before, many APS-C users have some full frame lenses too. You have people there waiting to jump on the FF bandwagon when the price is right. They can use FF lenses on APS-C (an important point often overlooked) Micro 4/3 well 2x crop not so great for 35mm lenses, no upgrade path to full frame.

It's not about what's good enough, APS-C and micro 4/3 are def good enough.
But everyone I talk to..it's all about "full frame" that's where the army of APS-C Canikon users want to go. And marketing as it is, more pixels, bigger sensor it's easier to sell that concept (right or wrong)

There is a place for micro 4/3, but they will have to price their products at more appropriate levels.
I've said before one of the problems with mirrorless is quite a simple one. Less parts, smaller bodies, quicker to make and. Well where's the "better price"? Nowhere..ILC's are as... if not more expensive than traditional DSLR's, and until makers pass on some of those cost savings they will continue to have a hard time selling the concept.

That's the great failing of mirrorless, it's been about cost reduction without price reduction for the end user. One reason the industry is having a really hard time lately. Everything has a place in the market, at the right price!

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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 07:35:35 AM »
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Full frame will never be very inexpensive.  Semiconductors are priced by area.  Unlike processors, going to a smaller process node doesn't make the size (area) of the full-frame sensor smaller and therefore doesn't decrease price.  Thom Hogan has a recent article that mentions that phenomenon: http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/tough-camera-questions.html

As for APS-C versus MFT.  I don't think there is a lot to differentiate them, but one important thing to remember is MFT sits between Canon and Nikon in the smaller-sensor image quality heirarchy.   Put another way: the latest MFT sensors have higher quality than the latest Canon APS-C sensors.  The latest Nikon (sony) sensors are better than the latest MFT sensors.  Truthfully, there is little to differentiate MFT from APS-C from an IQ point of view.  There is a difference, but it is small.

Lens size is the most substantial difference between current APS-C cameras and mirrorless MFT cameras. The ability to have a short flange distance AND a smaller imaging circle makes MFT lenses much smaller than the APS-C lenses on cameras with mirrors.  Some of the mirrorless APS-C cameras (NEX and Fuju) have closed the gap, but there is a limited selection of smaller APS-C lenses that are dedicated to these bodies. 

Smaller bodies of the MFT format is great, but smaller lenses is even better.  There are two advantages to the smaller lenses.  The first is obviously they are smaller and you can carry more lenses for the same weight.  The second advantage is that because of the smaller imaging circle, you don't need to manufacture as large a chunk of excellent glass to make an excellent lens.  This meas less scrap material and better quality in manufacturing.

I don't think APS-C or MFT are going away.  I think mirrored APS-C and MFT are probably going to become a niche product....though this may take many more years.  The only application for APS-C with a mirror is wildlife and sports photography where you like the crop factor for its "increased reach" effect.  This advantage may be eliminated when full frame pixel densities exceed those on APS-C, but even with the D800 that hasn't happened yet. The system that will exist between the phone cameras and the full-frame DSLRs will be smaller sensor APS-C and MFT cameras, some with interchangeable lenses, but all with EVFs. Price will come down in this category as they have with DSLRs. 

As for the financial solvency of the camera industry and most notably everyone except Canon and Nikon: Large multinational companies like Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus don't stay in businesses only for direct profit.  There are two other things at issue: they can't ignore what they see as a lucrative market that they might be able to capitalize on in the future, and they see their investment in the business as having benefits to other parts of their company.  For Olympus this is trickle-down technology from consumer cameras to medical imaging (their real profit center).  For Sony and Panasonic this probably involves their interest in maintaining hegemony in their very profitiable video camera markets with the coming merge between the still and video camera markets.  Of course, there may be other reasons to stay in less-than-profitable markets including things like public relations and marketing, maintaining their corporate identity, or a true belief in the vision of their leadership.  Finally, remember that Canon and Nikon's camera businesses haven't exactly been growing by leaps and bounds either.  I believe that Nikon lost money in the last quarter and has been up and down lately.  Canon, of course is highly diversified (like sony or panasonic) into printers, copiers as well as their cameras. 

The whole industry is contracting.  It will be painful.  Some companies will leave the market, but if this is your business, you fight to stay in it.  Olympus and Pentax will probably struggle, but this is what they do and they remain pretty good at it, so don't count them out.
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 08:00:54 AM »
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Smaller bodies of the MFT format is great, but smaller lenses is even better.  There are two advantages to the smaller lenses.  The first is obviously they are smaller and you can carry more lenses for the same weight. 
This.
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 08:54:45 AM »
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Full frame will never be very inexpensive. … Smaller bodies of the MFT format is great, but smaller lenses is even better. … I don't think APS-C or MFT are going away.  I think mirrored APS-C and MFT are probably going to become a niche product … though this may take many more years.
I think this a good summary. It does not make sense to me to be predicting the complete demise of a particular sensor format, given the obvious advantages in both directions (bigger vs smaller) and the different trade-offs that make sense for different photographers and different purposes that can lead many competent photographers to use systems in multiple formats.

But if I were to predict the disappearance of any current option, it would be "OVF SLRs" [as opposed to Sony's SLTs with a mirror but no OVF] in formats smaller than 36x24mm, eventually. I can see mirrorless systems becoming dominant in all smaller formats, for the sake of the size and weight advantages that often motivate the choice of a smaller format. The cropping advantage for sports and such might keep some "APS-C" DSLRs around, but the combination of increased pixel counts in 36x24 and TCs used with 36x24 format could take care of the super-telephoto needs for high-end users. Note that all the latest high-end sports/PJ bodies from Canon and Nikon are in 36x24 format. One other indication: only Canon and Nikon (plus MF systems) are offering "OVF SLRs" anymore, and both seem to be diminishing efforts at lens development for their "APS-C" format SLRs and shifting emphasis from high-end APS-C to low-end 36x24 format for their SLRs.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 09:02:29 AM by BJL » Logged
Isaac
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 11:20:01 AM »
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Sorry for the vitriol...but I think it's both sad and pathetic that so many people seem so unwilling to explore the full range of photo-related options available to them. Trying new things, and different gear, is fun! And I'd rather have fun than conform any day.

I so enjoy Mr Reichmann's evident enthusiasm for all-manner-of-things photographic!
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 11:44:08 AM »
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I'm not buying FF will never be inexpensive.
Reason is..APS-C was expensive once, not now though.

If FF sensors are so much more expensive it's pretty amazing Sony can price the A7 at the same price in the UK as the EM-1 don't you think?
Also..as said above, and this applies just as much to Sony as other ILC makers.

Sony's SLT's have not had the impact the company expected or hoped. Pulling mechanical parts out of a camera (aka SLT design) and not offering a cost incentive to buyers has resulted in not a lot happening for Sony. In the same way the enthusiasm for mirrorless has dived in recent years. Again the same problem...if mirror less offered cost reasons to look at it then more people would consider them, as they don't that's why they've essentially hit a brick wall and can't grow as they had hoped.

Consumer electronics has proven one things...stuff gets cheaper over time, much cheaper. Same applies to cameras, in a few years I'll revisit this thread and put a link up to the next budget FF DSLR that arrives at below £1000, and it will fall in price even more.

If Olympus, Sony, and other makers can't get their head around less parts, smaller bodies and better prices, then they're in for a rude awakening.
Ditto with Panasonic, the GM1 could have been a really decent chance to push a smaller compact micro 4/3 body out there, heck even I'd have looked at one for a "better quality camera" and an alternative to a premium compact.

£600 though? What's wrong with these makers do they actually think buyers are that stupid?
Price gouging is even more rampant in mirrorless than it is in DSLR land!

Fast forward 2-3 years and it will be impossible for any micro 4/3 product to be priced above £800, yes small lenses..but then are people hand over fist dumping Canikon for this? Not from what I can see
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 11:58:09 AM »
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I'm not buying FF will never be inexpensive.
Reason is..APS-C was expensive once, not now though.


Let me extend my comments...Full frame will never be cheap. I don't think you will see $500 or $700 full-frame DSLRs.  I admit that the 6D certainly has proven that there is room for the price to come down.  In addition to the realities of semiconductor manufacturing and pricing, I wouldn't think the manufacturers will be interested in starting a price war on their most profitable camera lines. That would hurt everyone equally, and right now, when I say EVERYONE, I mean Canon and Nikon.
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 11:58:28 AM »
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Consumer electronics has proven one things...stuff gets cheaper over time, much cheaper.

Has demonstrated that the technology at each price point becomes more advanced but vendors try to maintain the same range of price points.
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 12:10:38 PM »
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Off the top of my head and in no particular order, here some high-tech things that remain pricey (I won't speculate why)
  • Lenses
  • Audiofile-grade stereo equipment
  • High-performance enterprise servers (not really a consumer electronics commodity)
  • Medical imaging equipment, particularly MRI machines (also not really a consumer electronics commodity)
  • Watches

Are full frame cameras a consumer electronics commodity? Are they a professional tool?  Are they a luxury.  If yes on either of the last two, then I think prices stay high.
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 04:07:06 PM »
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I'm beginning to regurgitate whenever I see or hear the bl00dy word-virus "awesome".

Since this thread seems to have overlapped with the "APSC vs M4/3" debate I thought I'd throw something into the pot. For personal context I currently have an E-M5 with a couple of native Olympus lenses (notably the excellent 45mm/1.8 ) * and a few Panasonics. I still have a D200 (now a paper-weight) and a D700 - a potential stage-weight when combined with any of the 2.8 zooms. Mostly I use the M4/3 gear for the same reasons eloquently expressed in some of the previous posts. I've never yet had the nerve to bill anyone whilst using M4/3 though.

However when wandering about contemplating the mess that the world's rapidly becoming I notice that most of the people I see snapping with cameras rather than mobiles are using entry level crop format DSLRs. My take on this - and it's just a guess - is that this is because these people haven't spent hundreds of hours grazing on photography websites and consequently simply don't understand what the alternatives are capable of. In a sense DSLRs are a safe bet: as in "No one gets fired for buying Canon/Nikon". And of course they look "serious", "cool" or maybe even "awesome"...

Roy
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 04:12:50 PM »
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I'm beginning to regurgitate whenever I see or hear the bl00dy word-virus "awesome".

Since this thread seems to have overlapped with the "APSC vs M4/3" debate I thought I'd throw something into the pot. For personal context I currently have an E-M5 with a couple of native Olympus lenses (notably the excellent 45mm/1.8 ) * and a few Panasonics. I still have a D200 (now a paper-weight) and a D700 - a potential stage-weight when combined with any of the 2.8 zooms. Mostly I use the M4/3 gear for the same reasons eloquently expressed in some of the previous posts. I've never yet had the nerve to bill anyone whilst using M4/3 though.

However when wandering about contemplating the mess that the world's rapidly becoming I notice that most of the people I see snapping with cameras rather than mobiles are using entry level crop format DSLRs. My take on this - and it's just a guess - is that this is because these people haven't spent hundreds of hours grazing on photography websites and consequently simply don't understand what the alternatives are capable of. In a sense DSLRs are a safe bet: as in "No one gets fired for buying Canon/Nikon". And of course they look "serious", "cool" or maybe even "awesome"...

Roy


Its even worse.

My dealer (who is awesome by the way Tongue) told me recently many people want to get rid of their high resolution DSLRs (24 MP upward)and are unhappy ....
... why ...
...Huh ...
... because they bought shit glass in the first place ....

Theres a reason why people rave about the scalability of 16 MP Fuji X files ....

.... well ... carrying owls to Athenes here probably ....

Getting the awesome glass in the first place makes happy - be it M4/3, FF whatsoever ...

Cheesy
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John Camp
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2013, 05:41:53 PM »
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I always find it humorous when 4/3 fans predict the demise of APS-C, which has unlike it film ancestor very successful and has proven to be "the sensor of choice" for so many cameras. If success is somehow a failure then I'm all ears as to that one. APS-C seems to have been accepted by most as the acceptable compromise for a crop sensor.

APS-C has in the past done well because at the beginning, it was essentially the *only* choice if you wanted to go digital with your oleo Nikon/Canon lenses. Nikon only went FF a few years ago -- the D2x was still APS-C. FF may never be inexpensive (depending on what "inexpensive" means) but the price will fall. I think my first D3 cost something like $5,000 -- now a D800 is about half that. Although they will never become inexpensive, eventually, cost-wise, FF sensors will crowd the cost of APS-C to the point where, for a relatively few dollars more, you could go FF. That's where APS-C will be in trouble. I don't think APS-C cameras are bad cameras -- I liked shooting my D300 better than shooting the D3, because it was smaller and felt better to handle. But I just don't see the economic space for these cameras -- they're just too close to FF. The essential difference comes down to cost, and that difference is shrinking.

People keep trying to argue that m4/3 doesn't have the "quality" of APS-C or FF. And they're right. That's like saying a bicycle isn't as good as a motorcycle because it doesn't have a motor. But the point is, they're different machines. For all practical purposes, an APS-C is a FF camera with a cropped sensor: the lenses are just as big, most of the bodies are large, and when you do get a small body like the NEX cameras, they're not well balanced on the end of those large lenses. And besides, what's the point of putting a large lens on a small body? Because you save a few ounces? You've still got a big machine out in front of you when you're shooting, it's just mostly lens, instead of half-body, half-lens. In other words, it's the same kind of machine as FF, it's just not as good. It's like comparing a small slow motorcycle to a big fast one. But the m4/3 is different in *kind.* It's a different machine. It's like the bicycle compared to the motorcycle. The whole point of m4/3 is size, not IQ. The IQ is excellent -- good enough for most publication and all normal web purposes -- but it's **size** that makes it the different machine. I can carry a whole two-body *system* in a briefcase-sized bag, and for a person who travels, that's a huge advantage. M4/3 I would argue is *better* than FF for street shooting, if you want to shoot with any discretion at all, and in situations where quality is most often compromised anyway.

It's possible that FF EVF cameras will eventually eliminate everything, I suppose, but I think not. I think cell phone cameras will eventually take out most of the compact cameras, but there will still be room for a sophisticated small-camera system between the cell phones and the FF. The big threat to m4/3, I think, is not APS-C system cameras, which I think will go away (and may be the reason that you're not seeing a lot of native APS-C lenses) but cameras like the RX100 -- compact cameras carrying larger sensors with excellent zooms. There are fairly serious photographers already using these high-end compacts as backups, or even as main cameras. 
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 07:54:44 PM »
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Not so sure about crop lenses being as big as full frame ones

Canon 28-70mm f2.8, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and a Sony 18-135mm thrown in for measure (it's about the size of the Tamron)
Def quite a lot smaller than the Canon lens

Of course not micro 4/3 small (yes they are small lenses no question, though smaller sensor is the reason obviously)

How small is small?

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