Is four-thirds dead ?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by x, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. x

    x Guest

    Is four-thirds dead ?

    It seems that only Olympus is pursuing seriously. Panasonic came out with
    one body only... And both Fuji and Sigma just came out with new bodies but
    they weren't 4/3.

    Is the whole concept dead ? Is it just Oly format now ?
    x, Sep 28, 2006
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  2. They are new in this business - what do you expect? Is Konica-Minolta
    dead, because Sony released only one camera?

    At Photokina, there are three new FT cameras:
    - Olympus E-400
    - Panasonic L1
    - Leica D

    In 2006, Olympus released the E-330 also. So I don't think this is a
    sign for a dead system.
    - Fuji: one body
    - Sigma: one body
    No. Look at the new bodies I mentioned, and look at the glass - 2 new
    LEICA lenses for FT, 3 new Sigma lenses, 2 new Olympus lenses ...

    No - FT is still alive.

    Clemens Dorda, Sep 28, 2006
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  3. x

    Pete D Guest

    Mmmm, that E400 looks like a nice little travel camera, where can I buy one
    in the US?
    Pete D, Sep 28, 2006
  4. Sorry, but:
    "Statement regarding E-400:

    It is not uncommon for products to be available in select regions. In
    the Americas, we chose to focus on the Evolt E-500 and Evolt E-330 due
    to their overwhelming success. Both products have won multiple awards."

    So I think the answer is "nowhere", at least for the next few months.

    Clemens Dorda, Sep 28, 2006
  5. x

    Jan Böhme Guest

    Clemens Dorda skrev:
    Two and a half. It isn't reasonable to regard Panasonic L1 and Leica D
    as completely distinct dSLR:s.
    No. But it still is something for Oly and their playmates. Oly and
    Panny collaborate sort of, Panny and Leica collaborate intimately.

    4/3 is said to sell well in Japan. But here in my neck of the woods I
    don't know anyone who owns a 4/3 camera.

    As far as I am concerned, the point with a system with a smaller sensor
    would be that it could use lighter and cheaper fast quality lenses. But
    I don't think that Oly has capitalised much on that theoretical
    advantage - in particuklarly not as far as "cheaper" is concerned.

    So with lenses just as expensive as anyone else's, everything else
    being equal, one is left with the smaller, and thus noisier, sensor
    without any real extra benefit. And now their unique selling point, the
    dust removal, has been pinched by the other manufactures as well.

    The point of the system as per now isn't obvious to me.

    Jan Böhme
    Jan Böhme, Sep 28, 2006
  6. That's right, but in detail there are differences (different RAW format
    I think it is not very realistic to measure 4/3 sellings with Canon or
    Nikon. I think, the 4/3 companies should concentrate to sell more
    cameras as Sony and Pentax first, then they are on the right way.
    Yes, the "cheaper" thing didn't become true until now, but lighter and
    smaller (see E-400) is coming.
    Hmm, I can't agree with that. Look at the E-330, the noise is comparable
    with Sony and Nikon, and close to Canon (although not as good as Canon),
    and it offers LiveView (one thing I like very much on my E-330, great
    for macros and tripod shots)
    In the first moment - yes. But the Sony-system failed in several tests,
    and the Canon system has to proof its usability first. It looks usable,
    it's very similar with the Olympus SSW, but we'll see if it works as well.

    Clemens Dorda, Sep 28, 2006
  7. x

    Tony Polson Guest

    Olympus took an entirely different direction. They chose to
    concentrate on making near-telecentric lenses, something that was only
    practicable because of the smaller sensor.

    The result is a range of top quality lenses that are optically
    outstanding - there is not a trace of colour fringing with the top
    range Zuiko Digital lenses.

    But the Kodak-made Four Thirds sensors are not up to the quality of
    the lenses. Only the Panasonic-made 7.5 MP sensor measures up, with a
    very good performance at higher ISOs, something that could never be
    said of the Kodak sensors.

    But 7.5 MP is not competitive when so many new entry-level models have
    10 MP.
    All true. The future of Four Thirds depends on the E-1 successor, but
    after several false starts with Kodak sensors this is still many
    months away from production. The sensor will be made by Panasonic and
    needs at least 12 MP to be credible.
    Tony Polson, Sep 28, 2006
  8. x

    Pete D Guest

    Why am I finding it very hard to believe that using a tiny little screen to
    focus is better than using optical focusing??? Sorry don't believe you!
    Noise almost as good as the Canons and Nikons??? Sure it is!
    Pete D, Sep 28, 2006
  9. x

    x Guest

    But, still, from the spec I could find the E-400 is about the same size as the
    Pentax K100D, which has a much bigger sensor. I agree with the other poster,
    this is another area where 4/3 has failed. "" says that Olympus
    had the OM-1 in mind when they designed the 4/3, but all the bodies out there
    are much bigger than the OM-1.
    x, Sep 29, 2006
  10. x

    x Guest

    Yes I agree. As I said in my original post, the other companies (eg: Sigma and
    Fuji) who had "commited" to 4/3, are producing new SLRs, but no 4/3. It looks
    like THEY don't believe in it, which means it has become a Olympus + Panasonic
    format, but far from a standard.
    x, Sep 29, 2006
  11. I think his point was that if you are shooting low to the ground or at
    other awkward angles, having a movable LCD display is very useful. The
    330 does have a very usable true optical VFas well, even if it is not
    quite up to the best of the DSLRs...
    Canon's noise performance is in a different ballpark, but the 330 is
    not all that different to the Sony and Nikon efforts. There's a
    comparison here with the 350D and the R1:

    I would agree that the 330 is 'comparable', but not quite as good as,
    the Sony/Nikon efforts. With the efficiency of noise reduction
    software nowadays, I don't think this is anywhere the problem some folk
    allude to - but of course it all depends on what you shoot.
    mark.thomas.7, Sep 29, 2006
  12. That's the point! I use the optical viewfinder for about 80% of my
    shots, and LiveView for about 20%. But in these 20% situations, I'm very
    happy to have the LiveView option.
    I totally agree with you.

    Clemens Dorda, Sep 29, 2006
  13. I think you shouldn't compare the body itself - compare the body with
    the glass attached. Compare the E-400 + 40-150mm (new version) against
    the K100D + 50-200: the Pentax has equal width, is 1.5mm higher and
    11.5mm deeper. And it is 220g heavier than the Olympus E-400 with
    40-150mm lens attached.

    Clemens Dorda, Sep 29, 2006
  14. x

    Jan Böhme Guest

    If we set aside Canon, with their proprietary sensors, Pentax is the
    dSLR system to beat when it comes to noise. Pentax have managed
    considerably better than Nikon - let alone KM - in the noise
    department. As far as I can tell without sacrificing more detail.
    Noise reduction isn't a panacea, though, and the result depends largely
    on how it is done. (For an extreme case, look at the special "high ISO
    sensitivity" mode in many of the modern more expensive point 'n
    shoots.) And all noise reduction must lead to loss of some low-contrast
    detail - the question is only how much.

    I'd actually prefer not to have my camera fiddle with such things at
    all, but leave it to specialised reputable programs, such as Noise
    Ninja or NeatImage, when needed.

    (Would be good if PS had a useful noise reduction function, but they
    don't - yet, anyway.)

    Jan Böhme
    Jan Böhme, Sep 29, 2006
  15. x

    Jan Böhme Guest

    Tony Polson skrev:
    Is this due to stronger noise reduction or to the sensor itself? The
    reason I ask is that there are lots of people over at the Panny forum
    of who complain about the new FZ50 and say, yes, it has
    les noise than the FZ30, but it hasn't any more detail, if anything,
    rather less, despite its pixel advantage. I realise that there are
    quite a few specific FZ30 fanboys and fangirls over there, who are wont
    to criticise every other camera, but it still seems as a rather
    widesperad complaint.
    I suppose it isn't when it comes to competing for first-time DSLR
    buyers. But that's silly, really. I mean, I wouldn't dream of switching
    from my 30D to a 10 MP camera to get more resolution - because I hardly
    get more at all. If I'll switch to anything, it certainly won't be to
    get from 8 to 10 MP. And it can't be all that much more to gain from
    7,5 MP.
    But then it _will_ push the noise limit for such a small sensor. As
    Roger Clark is capable of arguing much more competently than I, there
    is no way beating the laws of physics.

    Jan Böhme
    Jan Böhme, Sep 29, 2006
  16. Jan Böhme wrote:
    Paint Shop Pro does include a rather good noise reduction function, and
    it's lower cost than PS.

    David J Taylor, Sep 29, 2006
  17. x

    Lourens Guest

    Actually it is. The screen is big and you can zoom in 10x on the part
    you want to focus on. I use it all the time with the tripod-shots.
    Because it uses the image from the real sensor, focusing this way is
    100% exact. (unlike optical focusing)
    There are some tests on the web that show the E330 has LESS noise than
    the Canon 350D and all other competitors in the pricerange.

    I have been in the situation to actually compare E1 and E330 images
    myself, with D2x, 1D mkIIn, 1Ds (mkI), Fuji S2, S3, and a few other
    camera's, and the difference with real-life images isn't as big as you
    think. The E330 is very good actually, clearly better than some of the
    others I mentioned.

    Best I can advise you is to keep an open mind and judge for yourself.

    Lourens, Sep 29, 2006
  18. x

    Pete D Guest

    Right angle finders are available for most D-SLR's.
    Pete D, Sep 29, 2006
  19. x

    Pete D Guest

    And you are saying optical focusing is not? Well damn, what was I thinking.
    Thats interesting, "some tests" yet all the others show it the other way,
    mind you I have seen some shots taken of the moon where the person was
    trying to show how good his shots from his 1DsMkII were and to be honest I
    have taken better hand held shots with a Pentax DS.

    Good advice, I have been getting some of my shots printed at 12x18 recently
    and have had to question if I really need to "upgrade" to a 10MP D-SLR from
    my 6MP D-SLR, deal is that the 10MP is not the driving force here (it will
    be nice of course).
    Pete D, Sep 29, 2006
  20. x

    Pete D Guest

    I would be worried about a very light SLR camera moving when the penta
    mirror/prism moves out of the way.
    Pete D, Sep 29, 2006
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