Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sanveer

Olympus Full Frame

Recommended Posts

I noticed some very interesting developments in the last few months. 

 

 

From 43rumors.com

https://www.43rumors.com/panasonic-says-olympus-did-not-share-their-same-full-frame-vision/

"Lesnumeriques interviewed Panasonic manager Yosuke Yamane and these are some of they info:

• Eight years ago Panasonic had the idea to go Full Frame but at the time there were technical and commercial challenges

• Two years ago they started to look for an alliance around a Full Frame platform. At the beginning of 2018 they approached Leica and Sigma.

• Why is Olympus not on board with this? Yosuke said “we do not really have the same vision. Our directions ARE DIFFERENT NOW, 'ON THIS FORMAT' (Capital added)“

• The new AI autofocus system works on the question of “where to focus”. For example we use deep learning to track flying birds or human eyes

• Panasonic has abandoned the smart phone project and there will be no follow-up of the CM1 (here on Amazon).

• Panasonic does not think the smart phone market is a threat for MFT" 

 

And 

https://www.43rumors.com/the-seven-full-frame-lenses-patented-so-far-by-olympus/#disqus_thread

"I went through all the most recent Olympus patents. Here I recap the seven Full Frame lens designs patented by Olympus in 2016-2017.

• 17mm f/1.4

• 20mm f/1.4

• 24mm f/1.4

• 28mm f/1.4

• 28mm f/2.0

• 35mm f/1.4

• 50mm f/.4

It might be that Olympus is just playing with the idea to go Full Frame but never actually will do the step into making a real product."

 

There appear to be too many things wrt to what roadmap Olympus is on. 

From the 2 posts above, from 43rumors above, it appears that:

1. Olympus has patented 7 Full Frame lenses upto 2017, meaning these were in development atleast 2-3 years before that. So it's almost 5 years since now, that the Olympus Full Frame project has been in effect. Since Olympus doesn't make lenses for other manufactureres outside the M43 system, these lenses were, therefore for its own FF system. One of those lens patents also mentioned various technical aspects like DRAM built into the lense (WHICH I thought wad pretty interesting). 

2. "OUR DIRECTIONS ARE DIFFERENT NOW, ON THIS FORMAT", means Panasonic is Aware that Olympus has a Full Frame roadmap, and that they (Olynpus) were unconvinced about the new L Mount Partnership for whatever reasons (I am guessing it may have to do with mount issues). Panasonic would obviously not have asked for licence fee, and it may not have to do with only full frame sensors being outside consideration for Olympus.

3. If Olympus is indeed on a Full Frame Roadmap, it would have obviously consisted many things including mount size, plane distance etc etc. IBIS would be huge on their list of things to do among other design considerations.

If Olympus is INDEED looking to launch a FF Camera system, I hope they get a few partners on board Before they go ahead. They already make some of the best lenses around, and they are the pioneers of IBIS, High Res Image Stitching etc. They would benefit Greatly from collaborating with someone for video. Maybe Blackmagic and they could explore BRAW to outsmart other FF competitors, since neither has anything to lose and a lot to gain from such a collaboration. There are already a plethora of Sony Sensors being used by anyone and everyone (except perhaps Canon), and if Olympus can just Skip 10-bit internal recording and move to well compressed 12-bit internal recording (12:1 BRAW), maybe they could be back with a bang.

It's also sad that the 10-year M43 partnership of Panasonic and Olympus has ended before they could decide on a Full Frame Camera (mount) Format. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Interesting info. IMO it would be beneficial for Olympus to be a lens maker for one or some of these mounts rather than making its own system.  Unleas they plan on making a camera that is truly remarkable that stands out from the crowd 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To understand Olympus's position you have to go back and look in recent history.

1) In 2008 its digital imaging was profitable and had annual sales of US$3bn. In the following 10 years sales have shrunk 85% to US$550m and the imaging division has lost money in 9 out of the 10 years.

2) For the current year Olympus forecasts a loss of US$70m which equates to US$150 on every ILC it sells.

3) So realistically management cant go to shareholders and say - we started the 43 format, lost money and closed it down - we started the M43 format and lost money. But we have a great idea - lets get into FF and directly compete with Nikon, Sony and Canon.

So where does this leave them? Well they can stick with M43 and hope it comes good. But Panasonic seems to be looking elsewhere (whether that is a good idea is another question)? (I am not really sure that Olympus has much faith - they have released 3 cameras in the last 2 years.) So they could exit the business altogether. 

Alternatively, they could turn themselves into being purely a lens manufacturer (more along the lines of Zeiss (cough, cough)) for existing mounts. This is where their value added/expertise really lies(and has synergy with their highly successful medical optics business. They could eradicate their massive (relative to the size of the business) sales, marketing, administration and service overhead of their camera business. Furthermore, the industry seems to have a very large amount of new mounts desperately short of native glass.

Now, of course, some of these new mounts are fairly proprietary but there is nothing to say that Olympus couldnt design and produce lenses for other brands (and already might do as far as I know.) All conjecture but I dont see an Olympus FF mount on the horizon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too many mounts! 

There is no way all these eco systems to be financially sustainable for many years, and quite obviously everything moves to full frame (or maybe medium format for Fuji and Pentax) at the top, and a smaller sensor (APS-C or m43) at the lower tier.

Olympus will need someone to partner with, going alone in this new world is scary, they may have a 3-4 years advantage in their R&D departments, but they are last to the party (if they are, at all), Sony and Canonikon (the biggest players) already have a presence in the markets.

The trend is definitely full frame format and we will see video cameras too, as they could handle cooling (heat is the enemy-not processing power) much better than water resistant small mirrorless bodies.

Prices have gone down, and competition will bring them lower and lower. New mounts could possible bring lighter and smaller lenses too (pancakes, small PZ), bodies are already small enough (too small in some instances and for longer zooms and some pro work), if they can work around lenses designs could bring smaller sensors to extinction.

We only have to see Olympus and Pentax and then we have all the picture.

Worst move so far is from Canon, their next mirrorless cameras will surprass this one quite easily, and as soon as next year probably, the fact that they finally did their move is the key factor here, they are the industry leaders by far, they can afford to stay back a bit technologically, for now..

Nikon proposals seem quite ok to me, so far Z6 seem like the best option in the new world, they need a year or two to go all in also.

PanaSigmaLeica will give as much as they can next spring, no doubt about it, and we have to see what Fuji will do. Even though they have the best Fuji ever, in X-T3, in this year of the new mounts, maybe this camera isn't enough to move the needle drastically. 2 years ago it would have been the hit of the market, in 2019, not so much.

Everything is going the mirrorless way, in a couple of years all these mounts will have at least a cheap model, a high resolution one, and a pro model for sports photography e.t.c Maybe add a smaller body to carry around (and replace smaller sensored cameras) and maybe a curiosity (or video specialized hybrid) here and there, and we will have at least a dozen of full frame mirrorless bodies to choose from!

The deciding factor for me will be the native lenses, I want to see a few pancakes, native fish eye, and a few innovations (maybe a smaller 24-70 as a workhorse lens, or ideally a 16-50mm 2.8f, or a 16-70mm 2.8f with no focus breathing e.t.c).

Olympus could do that, but they need a strategic partner to offer them technology and processing power, Sony has all that in house and something like 5 years a head start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sanveer said:

2. "OUR DIRECTIONS ARE DIFFERENT NOW, ON THIS FORMAT", means Panasonic is Aware that Olympus has a Full Frame roadmap, and that they (Olynpus) were unconvinced about the new L Mount Partnership for whatever reasons (I am guessing it may have to do with mount issues). Panasonic would obviously not have asked for licence fee, and it may not have to do with only full frame sensors being outside consideration for Olympus.

3. If Olympus is indeed on a Full Frame Roadmap, it would have obviously consisted many things including mount size, plane distance etc etc. IBIS would be huge on their list of things to do among other design considerations.

If Olympus is INDEED looking to launch a FF Camera system, I hope they get a few partners on board Before they go ahead. They already make some of the best lenses around, and they are the pioneers of IBIS, High Res Image Stitching etc. They would benefit Greatly from collaborating with someone for video. Maybe Blackmagic and they could explore BRAW to outsmart other FF competitors, since neither has anything to lose and a lot to gain from such a collaboration. There are already a plethora of Sony Sensors being used by anyone and everyone (except perhaps Canon), and if Olympus can just Skip 10-bit internal recording and move to well compressed 12-bit internal recording (12:1 BRAW), maybe they could be back with a bang.

 It's also sad that the 10-year M43 partnership of Panasonic and Olympus has ended before they could decide on a Full Frame Camera (mount) Format. 


But who could Olympus partner with?

I don't think parternship with BMD would help, as BMD is too niche in the filmmaking world and has zero appeal in the broader photography world. 

Olympus can't possibly go this alone. Too little, too late, to try that now.  They must partner with at least one other major company, plus perhaps also an extra one or two smaller/new/niche players like BMD or Yi. 

But what major companies remain?? Fuji won't go into FF, they're instead doing a play above (Medium Format) and below (APS-C). I reckon Pentax is the only notable player left to join with Olympus on a new mount (which they'd be foolish to do! Better off joining L mount). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big fan of Olympus. I don't see why they would have to enter 135. Love their cameras and especially the lenses. Smaller sensors have plenty of advantages. The question is when camera companies are going to fully embrace more computational corrections. With the faster read out and less heat, smaller sensors will always have the advantage in this area. I find AWB better in my iPhone than any camera I've ever tried. 

Smaller lenses is a real advantage. In time image processing should be able to make up for disadvantages like lower DR or low light sensitivity. An m4/3 sensor is quite a lot bigger than what's in a phone. 

135 should become the new medium format. There is no reason for the average user to carry heavy and expensive lenses. The perfect camera for me would be the Hasselblad X1D but I can't afford it. It has plenty of disadvantages like being slow et c. But its strong points are unbeatable - being very compact but with a huge sensor. Likewise there will be plenty who needs a super fast camera with small lenses. The smaller the sensor, the faster the camera. 

The current 135 craze will subside, like all trends. 

It's laughable when you see someone argue that one particular system, or format, is the best for everyone. I would guess these are typically photographers with very little experience of different kinds of photography. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been a member of this forum since 2013 and not once have I heard anyone argue that one system or format was best for everyone. I guess we are lucky not to have all those inexperienced photographers cluttering up the threads with such silly comments.

What I do find astonishing however is someone claiming that FF mirrorless is a craze that will vanish as quickly as it appeared.

Or saying:

There is no reason for the average user to carry heavy and expensive lenses.

It certainly sounds to me like you are the one dictating what photographers should and should not be doing. ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kisaha said:

(...) and we have to see what Fuji will do. Even though they have the best Fuji ever, in X-T3, in this year of the new mounts, maybe this camera isn't enough to move the needle drastically. 2 years ago it would have been the hit of the market, in 2019, not so much.

They will surely release their X-H2 to expand their X-Trans IV introduction now; you'll pay 400 bucks for IBIS from Feb/March on, my best bet earlier than the 33mm f/1 bomb will be added to their lineup one year later: f/1.8 FF or 35mm equivalent without mention focal reducers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujifilm_X-Trans_sensor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread.

I think not having an L-mount on there is going to be a mistake, but maybe they have data from their 10 years in the Micro Four Thirds consortium we're not aware of and it apparently makes sense to break from Panasonic entirely and go their own way.

I can't see Sigma being too excited about making glass for their camera though, if that's what's going to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Interesting thread.

I think not having an L-mount on there is going to be a mistake, but maybe they have data from their 10 years in the Micro Four Thirds consortium we're not aware of and it apparently makes sense to break from Panasonic entirely and go their own way.

I can't see Sigma being too excited about making glass for their camera though, if that's what's going to happen.

Good point. Sigma is exactly the kind of company they'd be analogous to as a third party lens manufacturer - focus on quality and sharpness, with innovative designs. These days I'd wager that despite the legacy of the brand, Olympus means less to the average Canikon/Sony buyer than Sigma. They're not the company they want to pit themselves against as the market consolidates.

Will there even be much room for third parties with Sony and Nikon trying to lock them out of their new mounts?

If Olympus are not to join the L-mount, a partnership would be a nice feather in Sony's cap. It could potentially carry over the Oly fanbase and strengthen Sony's position as 'the winning team' in mirrorless, but does Sony need such a partner alongside Zeiss?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jonpais said:

I’ve been a member of this forum since 2013 and not once have I heard anyone argue that one system or format was best for everyone. I guess we are lucky not to have all those inexperienced photographers cluttering up the threads with such silly comments.

What I do find astonishing however is someone claiming that FF mirrorless is a craze that will vanish as quickly as it appeared.

Or saying:

There is no reason for the average user to carry heavy and expensive lenses.

It certainly sounds to me like you are the one dictating what photographers should and should not be doing. ?

You’re misreading what I wrote. I expressed the opinion that I see a sentiment that Olympus is somehow doomed because they haven’t launched a 135 system. I see the notion that all one needs is an A7 or a Z6 because if you put a small lens on it’s a small camera. 

It surprises me that you haven’t noticed this in comments sections everywhere. It’s true it’s less of a problem here since this is a video-centric forum where sensor size is discussed differently. I have no idea why you took it personally or even why you think I was talking about this forum?

135 is clearly a trend in 2018. I didn’t claim 135 as such would disappear, merely the sentiment that it is the end all format will change. That was my main point.

Besides, I don’t understand what reasons you have for your fucked up attitude, that I witness again and again on this forum, but I hope your day gets better and that you find a more constructive place to deal with your frustrations. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m genuinely surprised myself for not noticing the unmistakable sentiment running throughout numerous threads in various forums that full frame is the ‘be all and end all’ format as well as for not seeing the overwhelming consensus that Olympus is doomed if they don’t embrace full frame. How foolish of me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Inazuma said:

Interesting info. IMO it would be beneficial for Olympus to be a lens maker for one or some of these mounts rather than making its own system.  Unleas they plan on making a camera that is truly remarkable that stands out from the crowd 

That's what everyone said about Panasonic's advent into Full Frame. If one doesn't take risks, there is no purpose for entering a business. 

 

7 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Olympus could do that, but they need a strategic partner to offer them technology and processing power, Sony has all that in house and something like 5 years a head start.

I agree that Olympus needs atleast 1 strategic partner. Sony's earlier cameras were better on paper than in real world use (quite correctly pointed out Tony Northup). And I feel, it's only after the A7iii that they are poised for market domination, by having the perfect balance of features and price. 

 

7 hours ago, IronFilm said:


But who could Olympus partner with?

I don't think parternship with BMD would help, as BMD is too niche in the filmmaking world and has zero appeal in the broader photography world. 

Olympus can't possibly go this alone. Too little, too late, to try that now.  They must partner with at least one other major company, plus perhaps also an extra one or two smaller/new/niche players like BMD or Yi. 

Olympus needs to partner with someone, I guess, that is the common consensus. I guess if the Olympus EM1 Mark ii had some kickass video quality with atleast 8-bit 4-2-2 LOG pushing around 12 stops and good autofocus, the GH5 wouldn't have been as successful. The video on the Olympus isn't that bad, but it isn't great either. 

 

4 hours ago, Castorp said:

Big fan of Olympus. I don't see why they would have to enter 135. Love their cameras and especially the lenses. Smaller sensors have plenty of advantages. The question is when camera companies are going to fully embrace more computational corrections. With the faster read out and less heat, smaller sensors will always have the advantage in this area. I find AWB better in my iPhone than any camera I've ever tried. 

Smaller lenses is a real advantage. In time image processing should be able to make up for disadvantages like lower DR or low light sensitivity. An m4/3 sensor is quite a lot bigger than what's in a phone. 

135 should become the new medium format. There is no reason for the average user to carry heavy and expensive lenses. The perfect camera for me would be the Hasselblad X1D but I can't afford it. It has plenty of disadvantages like being slow et c. But its strong points are unbeatable - being very compact but with a huge sensor. Likewise there will be plenty who needs a super fast camera with small lenses. The smaller the sensor, the faster the camera. 

The current 135 craze will subside, like all trends. 

It's laughable when you see someone argue that one particular system, or format, is the best for everyone. I would guess these are typically photographers with very little experience of different kinds of photography. 

Actually Computational Photography needs at a more processing power than companies as other realise or want to admit. Also the algorithms are still in the very infancy stage. So that is going to take a while. 

 

2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Interesting thread.

I think not having an L-mount on there is going to be a mistake, but maybe they have data from their 10 years in the Micro Four Thirds consortium we're not aware of and it apparently makes sense to break from Panasonic entirely and go their own way.

I can't see Sigma being too excited about making glass for their camera though, if that's what's going to happen.

Sigma won't make Olympus glass. They make equally good glass and both are extremely innovative. And sigma won't bring anything new to the table. A collaboration with Samsung would have been ideal. Their weakness is PDAF and Video Codec, and they could do with 14-bit in photo. Their body design, weather proofing, menu layout, IBIS, lens quality and design, photo quality etc are all pretty amazing the way they are. 

 

2 hours ago, Chrad said:

If Olympus are not to join the L-mount, a partnership would be a nice feather in Sony's cap. It could potentially carry over the Oly fanbase and strengthen Sony's position as 'the winning team' in mirrorless, but does Sony need such a partner alongside Zeiss?

Except for the Sony Sensors, there seems nothing else adding to the Sony partnership. But the sensor division is a different company (wholly owned subsidiary of the parent company with different management teams), so it doesn't really matter there. PDAF could be a benefit of a collaboration between the two, but that too is unlikely. And the XAVC codec is hardly open source, so no benefit in the video department either. Plus if they made lenses for Sony Zeiss would throw a fit. 

 

I agree that Full Frame needs to down size literally. The bodies are way too large. If a Hasselblad  X1D can stuff a Medium Format sensor in that body, there is no reason to carry such enormous bodies around, except perhaps for way longer video recording (battery size) and 10-bit internal (heat dissipation issues).

 

Also the Nikon Z has opened up a Pandora's box, regarding the importance of choosing the right mount size and flange distance, since the majority of Full Frame sensors are just off the shelf products (with minor adjustments made either in-house or during the fabrication process) and exactly the same size in height and width. 

 

The GH5 was introduced one and a half years ago and ILCs are still stuck with Limited Recording Time and No 10-bit internal codecs. Plus the single SD Card slots in both the Nikon and the Canon is just criminal. As is the crop factor on the Canon.

I believe M43 sensors and cameras are still very far from their full potential.

Not importantly, this years Full Frame Mirrorless releases have shown that the Full Frame market had been mostly disappointing in everything except perhaps PDAF. Everything else is Only a minor or incremental improvement. There have also been regressions with removal of an SD slot and no limitless recording in yet another iteration. The FF market too has space for a new player and Olympus should find a partner to try and enter the market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Olympus is in a tough position, as pointed out, they're not exactly setting the world on fire from an earnings standpoint. Like Fuji they're a small niche brand with a tiny market share. And most reports show Instax is keeping Fuji's imaging division afloat, if you removed Instax would a small volume system like the GFX even exist? Olympus has no cash cow like Instax and they're painted into a bit of a corner by having nothing outside of m43 and compacts. The lack of cooperation between Panasonic/Olympus is a big failing, they should have worked together on things like lens compatibility to strengthen m43, instead they both went their separate ways and fought over a minuscule amount of market share.

The most likely scenario for Olympus to add to its lineup outside of m43 is joining another mount. I just can't see how they can justify the expense/risk of a new mount when m43 isn't really helping the bottom line. The L-mount makes most sense, they could do FF, or pivot away from the $3000+ FF bodies and do APS-c. But a larger sensor version of the EM1.2 would be significantly more than the EM1.2's $2k launch price - again painted into a corner by their non-competitive pricing.

They could make lenses for other mounts like the EF, F and E-mounts along the lines of Sigma/Tamron/Tokina, but that doesn't seem likely. A few of those FF lens patents sound awesome, but given Olympus pricing, they all sound like $1500-2000 primes, and that's not a very large market either.

In a 2-3 years everyone outside of Pentax will be heavily into mirrorless, in a declining market some will really feel the pinch. IMO Fuji (when Instax hits the saturation point and sales fall off a cliff) and Olympus will be hit hardest since stills shooters are still the main driving force behind high end cameras - and the IQ just isn't at FF levels. That combined with the fact top end m43 pricing is moving into FF territory, its easy to see why the a7III has been such a runaway success.

Quite frankly, its tough to see where Olympus can grow or even keep their current volume levels if they stay m43 only. But its also tough to see where they can move forward without partnering with someone else.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Trek of Joy said:

Olympus has no cash cow like Instax and they're painted into a bit of a corner by having nothing outside of m43 and compacts. 

I have no idea if it is a cash cow but they also make cameras and optics for medical purposes. 

(BTW, a tiny bit of good news for Olympus. I atended a funeral in Finland today. 150 people. I saw two "real" cameras in addition to the smartphones. One rx100iv and a OMD EM5. At least it's something ;) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

I have no idea if it is a cash cow but they also make cameras and optics for medical purposes. 

(BTW, a tiny bit of good news for Olympus. I atended a funeral in Finland today. 150 people. I saw two "real" cameras in addition to the smartphones. One rx100iv and a OMD EM5. At least it's something ;) )

I was only speaking to the imaging division, obviously medical devices and things that are not OMD's are Olympus' main business these days.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

In a 2-3 years everyone outside of Pentax will be heavily into mirrorless, in a declining market some will really feel the pinch. IMO Fuji (when Instax hits the saturation point and sales fall off a cliff) and Olympus will be hit hardest since stills shooters are still the main driving force behind high end cameras - and the IQ just isn't at FF levels. That combined with the fact top end m43 pricing is moving into FF territory, its easy to see why the a7III has been such a runaway success.

I actually think Fuji is positioned to do very well. APSC ILCs currently make up about 75% of ILC sales and Fuji is the only company that has a focused strategy and complete system in this format. Canon, Nikon and Sony seem to give scant regard to this format and are busy chasing the 'pro' FF market.

In terms of image quality, yes you can get better image quality with FF but only if you are prepared to go for heavy and very expensive 2.8 zooms and 1.4 primes, a route many people dont want to go down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

I have no idea if it is a cash cow but they also make cameras and optics for medical purposes. 

(BTW, a tiny bit of good news for Olympus. I atended a funeral in Finland today. 150 people. I saw two "real" cameras in addition to the smartphones. One rx100iv and a OMD EM5. At least it's something ;) )

I am amazed camera company's even make any cameras anymore. They ought to be making Smartphones. Like I said in a thread a few weeks ago. I live in a small College town and I am the Only dumb bastard that even has a real camera in the whole up town square. Even when their parents come they have Smartphones.

When I set up my rig on a tripod I feel like I am some person in the old west when he set up a 8 x 10 View Camera 150 years ago LoL. I draw a crowd, I really do. People are interested, but they sure as hell are not going to go out and buy a real camera I can tell you that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...