How would you rate the MFT market position today? - Printable Version

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How would you rate the MFT market position today? - Klaus - 06-14-2023

I'm a bit wondering what to do with MFT, TBH.

PERSONALLY, I can only reiterate that I like the system.

However ...
* one of the biggest retailers here in Oz has stopped selling them
* Sigma said that they won't come up with new stuff for MFT anymore
* The lens release rate is down to 1 per year per Oly/Pana
* OM system has reduced its camera lineup to just 2
* Panasonic is basically a GH6-only seller now plus almost ancient cameras at discounted price tags.
* Panasonic's claim that they are working on something is half a year old with nothing to show for even on rumors sites
* OM system is silent regarding new cameras. A new OM-10 V is overdue. The PEN lineup is history.

And it's probably a safe bet that Panasonic's life is now shinier for them on the L-mount side.

Furthermore - even if I reboot the MFT section - it doesn't make too much sense to do that at 20mp. The difference from 16mp is negligible.


RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - wim - 06-14-2023

I like the system too.

I would actually continue to invest in the system, if I had the funds available. Unfortunately, since the start of COVID it has all gone downhill for me.  The Oly 90 mm Macro sounds very interesting for one, as do the long Oly lenses.

Personally, I do think there is a significant difference between the 16 MP and 20 MP models, but that is from a photographic PoV, not so much testing.

In the current market, I understand that releasing new cameras, certainly for what appear to be niche markets, is slow.

I think it is a bit like the Sony Vaio laptops several years ago. They were really good, and innovative, but the lines weren't profitable enough for Sony, so they sold it off as a separate brand, to an investment company like the one that is holding OM now The result is that they still exist, and do well, but are only available in Japan, really. It looks like that is what is happening to MFT in general, and OM in particular.

I would love for you to continue with MFT, but if it isn't feasible .... In the end it is up to you, really.

Kindest regards, WIm

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - thxbb12 - 06-14-2023

The points you enumerate are all valid, unfortunately.

The futur of MFT is not very bright I think. Pany is video-centric and more invested in FF.
OM probably doesn't have the required budget and it seems unlikely newcomers to photography would go the MFT route.
I suspect most people are looking at FF options. MFT might have some futur in the drone market though. The sensor is big for drones while optics can still made quite small. It's very niche however.

For your personal needs, I guess Sony FF makes more sens. An A7c mk2 with better EVF would make a lot of sense IMO. There are very compact and fast primes in FE mount and somewhat compact zooms are also available. Finally, long lenses shouldn't be such an issue. With 60MP bodies, cropping gives you the same magnficiation ratio and results as current MFT systems.

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - Rover - 06-14-2023

How many unreviewed lenses are left? :-)

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - joachim - 06-14-2023

Oh well, I am still on the original E-M10.  Am currently contemplating whether or not to upgrade to an OM-5 or E-M10 MK IV.  Have a few mFT lenses and don't see the point in starting over with a new system, despite having a soft spot for Fuji.  I can get good A3 prints from a 16MP mFT sensor.  How big do you want to print?  

Regarding the E-M10 MK V, you might want to read https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2023/04/07/omds-qa-at-cp2023-om5-details-em-going-away-90-macro .  David seems to be told that the E-M10 line has hit the end of the road.   There is not much market left regarding "entry level kit".

Regarding the lenses line up, what is missing?  Olympus was early regarding the move from DSLR to mirror less.  They have a pretty complete line up of lenses.   What is missing?  Most primes are available in two speeds and most zooms in "normal" and "pro".  I am honestly wondering whether the key sales driver in Canon and Nikon land is "removing the mirror" - finally.  Upgrading folks from SLR to mirror less.   Olympus earned that money years ago.

I find in Chris Niccolls' video review of the OM-5 the sections around 11 minutes and around 12 minutes quite interesting: https://youtu.be/J-pvQ5VKQZM?t=661, https://youtu.be/J-pvQ5VKQZM?t=738 "It is a fun camera to use", despite his criticism.  Looking at Klaus's recently reviewed 50/1.4 full frame monsters: I just don't see how you can put these monsters into the face of a person you want to photograph.  

I recently asked here, and a few members came forward that they use mFT as a second system.

Regarding lens tests, there is a bit of a back-log by now regarding lenses you haven't reviewed yet: the 20/1.4, the 90 macro, the 40-150/4 to name a few.  Regarding 16 to 20 MP, that is the same as 4 and 5 MP, which mattered quite a bit at the time, when these were "top specs".   Have you ever tried to use the high resolution mode of an Olympus body for your needs?  As others said, in the end is up to you how you spent your time.

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - MatjazO - 06-14-2023

Based on sales stats, MFT obviously is not doing great. Neither by new gear releases as they are very few nowadsys. Out of what is missing, there are two for me:
i) AF that would be closer to state of the art of Sony, Nikon and others. Particulary tracking performance,
ii) and I would love some of it in a smaller body.

In certain use cases (sports, basketball games for example) of course limitations of smaller sensor are clear and in such FF is better tool. But in most situations MFT does what is needed.

I have a (pretty big :-)) system that I do enjoy fully. Lenses from 8-400mm, 6 primes, 5 zooms, 4 bodies, and a flash. Plenty combinations of portabilty (important to me) and performance for all but very special cases. But this also makes me not a best customer anymore, as there is not much I foresee I plan to buy. Sorry, Pana or Oly.

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - Klaus - 06-14-2023

You argue rationally why the system makes sense, but for me, it's about sustainable reader numbers (=cost recovery) - or in other words, whether people are investing in it.
I hoped that Panasonic would release a new camera to boost the system - at a higher MP count. After all, they've got their 25mp sensor on the GH6, but the GH6 itself is way off price-wise.
That's one of the reasons why I'm in waiting mode.

Regarding some of the other comments:
* it may be that the lens lineup is complete, but you also have to move on by releasing new versions
* the rest of the gang is still releasing low-end stuff (Z30/50, R50/100, ZV-E10) - so that's hardly an argument
* pixel shift mode for testing - that's just not practical
* MFT today just isn't good value anymore, really. e.g. a Z5 costs as much as an OM-5.

Given the recent developments in AI tooling, MFT makes more sense than ever in my book. High ISO is almost no problem anymore except for DR.
But this seems to be ignored by consumers. Bigger = better seems to be in our genes ...

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - mike - 06-17-2023

I tend to use things, anything, until it breaks! Of course, I really like the MFT system. I'll use it until it breaks. I think it's more phycological that it's not more popular as it probably meets 99% of the needs of the majority of folks who are buying FF or APS-C.

For me, I'm pretty happy with my setup. I don't really need any more lenses for my purpose. Which is mostly street/travel photography. One of my Pen-f bodies was stolen, so from time to time I check the used market for another body like an em-5 III. However, used are selling so close to the new price I can't see buying one.

The Pen-F was released 7.5 years ago. Sensor-wise nothing has changed in that time. In fact, there's been very little of anything released during that time. One may argue more has gone away within the system!

Other pros and cons:

Cost of MFT has always been too high, IMO.
Agree, I don't think I've used pixel shift since I was originally playing around when I got the camera.
It may never fill some niches adequately. This is mostly in pro territory.
Is it going away tomorrow or the next day? Not that this changes anything if you have a system.
3rd party never really supported it.

Small and light weight. I can fit a whole kit in a bag smaller than my GF's purse. With APS-C or FF, this took a good size backpack.
I can use it in places where they tell people with FF/APS-C cameras to put them away. In this regard, people view it more as a phone camera.
In general, people don't get upset when they see you pointing the camera their way.
I'm sure there's a lot better, but I have no real issues with DR and higher ISO ranges.
All the lenses I really need are there.
It's a camera you can take with you everywhere and everyday if you so choose to. It's easy to take a body and lens on a crazy adventure.

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - Klaus - 06-17-2023

I fully agree.

The E-M5III/OM-5 w/12-45 (or even 12-40) is heaven on earth when it comes to hitting the road for adventures.

During my last JP trip, I took the A7R II w/24-105G - and this was almost too heavy/bulky at times ... but the results were also stunningly good.

FWIW, the G9 is dirt cheap - at least locally. The other day, it was listed at 860AUD at Amazon/OZ (just over 540EUR/590USD) - new, that is.
That being said ... the G9 is also big - defying the MFT idea.

RE: How would you rate the MFT market position today? - MatjazO - 06-17-2023

Klaus, I fully agree with comments. I feel like a geek when am saying I like smaller size or grip. :-)

One comment you make is very interesting, IMO. :-) That is AI in MFT. Why in MFT? Based on what AI does in phones in way smaller sensors, it would be fascinating to see technology at work on a sensor “only” 4 times smaller than 35mm. As MFT has never been about “absolute” results, it should be perfect fit for AI enhancements. Which is exact reason why 35mm sensor might not be best fit, as lenses, sensors and image pipeline are mostly about no “compromises”. So could Panny do it? :-)

Regarding testing, if you would reconsider, I would love to see Sigma 30 and 56 fast primes tested. :-)