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New micro four thirds format
seehund 
5/8/08 3:53:00 PM
Hero
Titan


http://www.dpreview.com/news/0808/08080501microfourthirds.asp

Olympus and Panasonic have announced a new, mirrorless format / lens mount based on (and compatible with) Four Thirds. The Micro Four Thirds system uses the same sensor size (18 x 13.5 mm) but allows slimmer cameras by removing the mirror box and optical viewfinder. The new format has three key technical differences: (1) roughly half the flange back distance (distance from mount to the sensor), (2) a smaller diameter lens mount (6 mm smaller) and (3) two additional contact points for lens-to-body communication (now 11 points). Removing the mirror mechanism allows this shorter flange back distance, meaning lenses for the new mount can be considerably smaller than current Four Thirds designs. The format will require framing to be carried out using Live View on either the LCD monitor or an EVF. Existing Four Thirds lenses can be used on Micro Four Thirds cameras using an adapter. Neither company is as yet making product announcements (we expect some more news in this respect closer to Photokina).

Phil: This is without doubt the most exciting digital photography announcement this year. It's fair to say that this "extension / addition" to the Four Thirds standard is finally able to deliver on the original promise of that format; considerably smaller and lighter lenses and bodies. Olympus are however keen to stress that this in no way replaces Four Thirds which will continue with new Four Thirds bodies and lenses in the future.

Micro Four Thirds facts and features

* Same Four Thirds sensor size (18 x 13.5 mm)
* Flange back distance half that of Four Thirds (20 versus 40 mm)
* Lens mount diameter 6 mm smaller (44 versus 50 mm)
* Contrast Detect AF is implied (passive would require an external sensor)
* Lens to body electrical contact points up to 11 from 9
* Lenses of same focal length and maximum aperture considerably smaller than Four Thirds
* Enables slim and compact lens-interchangeable digital cameras
* Lack of mirror well necessitate a high quality EVF (or an EVF/Viewfinder-less design)
* Current Four Thirds lenses can be used with an adapter


I'm hoping this doesn't mean we'll have to buy all new lenses...but a smaller format SLR? Yes please!

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------------------------------------
Mr. Hyde: Ever killed anyone, Benjamin?
Benjamin: Not personally. I have people.
Mr. Hyde: You're missing out. It's like sex. Only there's a winner.

drago13666 
5/8/08 7:03:53 PM
Titan

It kinda stops them from being slr's though (no reflex) maybe you could call them SRL (single removable lens) cameras or RLC's (removable lens compacts)

it would mean you could use the lcd as a viewfinder though which would be kinda cool.

but if you were going to make them smaller go all the way and make them look like slightly oversized compact cameras

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"while tibetan monks prey for two weeks befor their mandalas to transform them into 3-dimentional floating palaces of light, with virtual reality one only need to press a button..."

Truth suffers from too much analysis

moz 
5/8/08 7:16:03 PM
SuperHero
Titan


Oh fuck...

*Current Four Thirds lenses can be used with an adapter?

Why am I buying Olympus again?






Edited by moz: 5/8/2008 07:16:13 PM

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Look at that... A bear... mining for coal.


Athiril 
5/8/08 7:34:21 PM
Titan

Hmm, this is very tempting, such a short registration distance... you could adapt every single 35mm film lens made to this very easily... hello cheap Canon L FD mount prime lenses...

edit: eg http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Canon-U-S-Navy-Issue-FD-800mm-1-5-6-L-F1-A1-FTb-T90_W0QQitemZ120289384567Q


Edited by Athiril: 5/8/2008 07:42:41 PM

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Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

moz 
5/8/08 8:06:08 PM
SuperHero
Titan


So, you are saying this is a good thing?


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Look at that... A bear... mining for coal.


stadl 
5/8/08 9:00:27 PM
SuperHero
Titan


Losing most of the performance benefits of an SLR to gain removable lenses in a compact form seems an interesting option.

I guess it does create a market space for low noise compacts using the larger sensor size but retaining a compact form-factor.

But without a mirror & prism it means the main sensor and image processor will be required to perform all the focus, metering, scene recognition etc prior to performing the image capture, so you'll be back to P&S shutter lag and AF tracking performance.

I wonder will this new market for interchangeable lens compacts steal from the consumer DLSR market space or the superzoom compact range (of which Panasonic and Olympus are amongst the big players)

I don't see adaption of MF lenses from a variety of mounts to be particularly attractive, despite having the technical potential to support a huge range. A compact camera is not a big bonus for tripod work, and tripods are where you'll be for using a MF lens with a rear LCD for viewing - I can't hand-holding a MF lens without a decent viewfinder... especially at arms length :) Again I don't think cross brand MF adaption will be a major consideration for the compact consumer camera that fits between P&S and entry DSLR.


Edited by stadl: 5/8/2008 9:00:56 PM

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...so brilliant in fact, that by simply harnessing the power of one live frog, it.. it.. uhh.<poke> <poke>
World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.

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Athiril 
5/8/08 11:20:57 PM
Titan



And if you look at the link i gave you stadl.. it's a sharp 800mm f/5.6 prime so far or under $1k, if you put it on a tripod, the lens will be on the pod, not the camera ;)

If I can grab that 800mm lens, i'll be keeping it tucked away for one of these camras (if no adapter is made, i can make my own), that and my school has a FD mount film SLR i can borrow.


Quote by moz
So, you are saying this is a good thing?





To me its a good thing, the sensor will be capable of the same image quality as the olympus dSLRs, id love a franken-setup for wild life/tele work, i dont hve $10k for the sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 i want..


Edited by Athiril: 5/8/2008 11:22:50 PM

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Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

stadl 
5/8/08 11:59:02 PM
SuperHero
Titan


One person with an 800mm lens and a tripod does not make a market.

I'm not dismissing the technical value of being able to fit a huge range of lenses to it. I just don't think the overlap between users with lots of odd lenses that want to adapt it and the implied consumer compact nature of the body will add up to much of a market.

It may end up a specialist camera used by people who already have a main camera but need this for a special task. That's a perfectly reasonable commercial decision for a product, but somewhat unusual for it to be the goal of a standard with no product as yet.

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...so brilliant in fact, that by simply harnessing the power of one live frog, it.. it.. uhh.<poke> <poke>
World domination has encountered a momentary setback. Talk amongst yourselves.

Waffles, Lots of Waffles... And Chips...

Athiril 
6/8/08 12:32:24 AM
Titan

Meh, I dont care about their market, I dont work for them.

If all works out, I'll get one before they go bust with that product line :P

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Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

Mademan 
6/8/08 10:09:18 AM
Disciple
Are there seriously that many people who thought the nikon d40 was too large?


Edited by Mademan: 6/8/2008 10:09:34 AM

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Intel q6600 | Gigabyte X38-DQ6 | 2GB Kingston HyperX 8500 DDR2 | MSI nx8800GT | Logitech G15

"Oh, I don't mind...but the government probably will"

LordBug 
7/8/08 6:04:28 PM
Immortal

Heh, I love Thom Hogan's take on it. Especially love the name ;)
From http://www.bythom.com/index.htm :

EVIL on the Horizon
Aug 3 --Olympus and Panasonic have announced the Micro 4/3 initiative, which essentially marks the first EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) SLR camera specification. In traditional SLR cameras a mirror is used to deflect light to an optical viewfinder, and to exposure and autofocus sensors. The mirror mechanism has one key drawback: it increases the lens mount to sensor distance, placing a restriction on the size camera you can create. You also need space for the optical finder. An EVIL design, in theory, can be much smaller for the same sensor size, resulting in mini-DSLRs that fall somewhere between compact camera and DSLR sizes.

The drawback of an EVIL design is that it has no dedicated parts for focus and exposure, which makes for big challenges in cutting shutter lag and providing high-speed focus. In addition, you need a high quality LCD in order to get good viewfinder performance (certainly possible, but no current camera has one that's good enough, IMHO).

The thing that strikes me is that Olympus is essentially back to where they started with DSLRs: announcing a new acquisition size and lens mount and claiming that it'll allow for smaller cameras and lenses. When 4/3 was originally announced, it was going to produce smaller, lighter DSLRs due to the smaller sensor size. Nope, didn't really happen. Now, in announcing Micro 4/3, they reveal why: "oh, by the way, using mirrors in 4/3 produced cameras that are 20mm thicker at a minimum than we can now produce with Micro 4/3."

The problem for Olympus is that they haven't really changed the problem they had in the first place: they keep bringing a knife to a gun fight. How much you want to bet that we see a Micro APS initiative from one or more makers? As far as I can tell, Micro 4/3 wouldn't have any real camera size advantage over Micro APS, yet it still has the smaller photosite size issue that 4/3 has been fighting all along. Rumors of an upcoming APS Coolpix now take on a new meaning. Were Nikon to match the interchangeable lens aspect of Micro 4/3, Olympus will find themselves once again with the smaller sensor issue they've been fighting in DSLRs.

Overall, I like the EVIL idea: smaller through-the-lens cameras with interchangeable lenses that are barely bigger than compacts (and should even be smaller than some so-called bridge compacts, such as the Fujifilm S1000FD) but have much better sensors. This makes for a useful travel and carry-everywhere camera that isn't plagued by yet another super small sensor and its accompanying problems. But it seems to me that Olympus is still fighting an uphill battle. If Micro 4/3 is good, Micro APS should be better, all else equal.

Analyzing the strategic point of view, my assessment is that Olympus keeps looking for empty short-term niches that are unprotectable long-term. I just don't see how you get enough momentum and critical mass to hold any gains you make, though. The original 4/3 initiative resulted in sales that are now almost an order of magnitude lower than APS. What's to stop that from happening again? Nothing that I can see.

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I love you Sharleen *)

seehund 
7/8/08 7:36:13 PM
Hero
Titan


I love this idea...for me it'll make traveling with a decent set of lenses in a fairly non-descript format a reality, rather than lugh around an SLR and a bunch of lenses. Less obvious and hopefully less chance of being knocked off.

Also reduces the weight...ooooh, I do like that.

I could have taken so many, much better shots last year if I'd had a decent wide-angle...

...<dreams>


Edited by seehund: 7/8/2008 07:37:22 PM

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------------------------------------
Mr. Hyde: Ever killed anyone, Benjamin?
Benjamin: Not personally. I have people.
Mr. Hyde: You're missing out. It's like sex. Only there's a winner.

Athiril 
7/8/08 8:23:33 PM
Titan

*strokes his 12-24mm*

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Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

seehund 
7/8/08 10:09:20 PM
Hero
Titan


Quote by Athiril
*strokes his 12-24mm*



*strokes your 12-24mm*

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------------------------------------
Mr. Hyde: Ever killed anyone, Benjamin?
Benjamin: Not personally. I have people.
Mr. Hyde: You're missing out. It's like sex. Only there's a winner.

Mademan 
8/8/08 7:33:06 PM
Disciple
In all honesty I agree with you seehund. I'd like to see a Sigma DP-1 style range of compact cameras with interchangeable lenses, not crappy screw on converters, given Olympus's capability with high quality pancake type lenses. A true digital rangefinder.

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Intel q6600 | Gigabyte X38-DQ6 | 2GB Kingston HyperX 8500 DDR2 | MSI nx8800GT | Logitech G15

"Oh, I don't mind...but the government probably will"

hlass 
9/8/08 5:06:26 PM
Hero
Titan



If it leads to a family of Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1/Digilux 2 style cameras I am all for it.

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Well that's great, that's just fuckin' great man. Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now man... That's it man, game over man, game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

Athiril 
9/8/08 8:15:47 PM
Titan

Quote by seehund
Quote by Athiril
*strokes his 12-24mm*



*strokes your 12-24mm*



=O

>_>

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Welcome to the eternal hell of my world, where it is Christmas, all year round.

Starring Jet Li as Santa Claus.

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