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    Default Kudos to Panasonic

    Panasonic, a company almost without any photographic pedigree or "baggage", has done what the giants of photography are incapable of doing-reducing the bulk and size of the camera body to make cameras more portable with their new Micro Four Thirds System.
    As we may know the Four Thirds System was a bold move to make the dslr, which has of late become monstrously large and heavy, smaller and more portable. Now Panasonic has gone a step further by further reducing the Four Thirds body, reducing the sensor to lens flange distance by half and reducing the diameter of the throat mount. This not only makes the body even smaller and lighter, it now allows lens designers to design much smaller and better lenses because they are now free from having to resort to inefficient retrofocus lens design imposed by large bodies. This new system has a body that is about the same size as the old school Panasonic FZ18 but the two are miles apart in performance.

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    Regular Member ctjcad's Avatar
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    Default Panasonic is not the only one..

    ..it's good that they are coming out with this new system, but most likely it'll be used mostly by regular people. Not pro sports photographer.

    This camera uses the Micro Four Thirds System:


    Btw, Olympus is coming out with one of their own as well.

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    Moderator drifit's Avatar
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    G1?
    i am waiting how is the G1 X perform. will consider if the new version is great.

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    GH1 suppose to come out too, it has different sensor compared to G1 and does high def movie (I heard its even better compared to 5D2's movie). Im seriously replacing my G9 for GH1 for backing up my dslr but the price at the moment its just too high. The AF is good too compared to other camera compact or p&s camera (however do not compare it to slr camera)

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    It is best to wait a little longer. Olympus will surely jump in too. So will Leica but at a premium price. Once Olympus comes in with Micro Four Thirds, Panasonic will be forced to be more competitive by reducing prices.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    Now Panasonic has gone a step further by further reducing the Four Thirds body, reducing the sensor to lens flange distance by half and reducing the diameter of the throat mount. This not only makes the body even smaller and lighter, it now allows lens designers to design much smaller and better lenses because they are now free from having to resort to inefficient retrofocus lens design imposed by large bodies.
    someone pointed out something and i think it is a really good point.

    the advantage with reduction in flange distance is misleading.

    they might have halved the flange distance compared to say a full frame DSLR, which on distance means that they are able to make smaller and more optically efficient lenses, esp for wide angle lenses.

    however, what they also done is they have reduced the sensor size by a factor of 0.5.

    what this means is that to get the same coverage as a say 20mm focal length lens in full frame, they have to use a 10mm focal length lens in micro 4/3.

    sure they have halved the register distance, they have also halved the overall focal length, negating any effect of retro-focus reduction.

    the good thing is the overall size of the lens will still be smaller as they have reduced the image circle onto a smaller sensor. but that come at a cost of smaller sensor site and increase in noise.

    so in other words, there is no free lunch until we have a small flange distance + larger sensor like the Leica M series.

    i went and look at my dad's Leica lenses. they are absolutely tiny. the 50/1.4 is so small it is unbelievable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun View Post
    someone pointed out something and i think it is a really good point.

    the advantage with reduction in flange distance is misleading.

    they might have halved the flange distance compared to say a full frame DSLR, which on distance means that they are able to make smaller and more optically efficient lenses, esp for wide angle lenses.

    however, what they also done is they have reduced the sensor size by a factor of 0.5.

    what this means is that to get the same coverage as a say 20mm focal length lens in full frame, they have to use a 10mm focal length lens in micro 4/3.

    sure they have halved the register distance, they have also halved the overall focal length, negating any effect of retro-focus reduction.

    the good thing is the overall size of the lens will still be smaller as they have reduced the image circle onto a smaller sensor. but that come at a cost of smaller sensor site and increase in noise.

    so in other words, there is no free lunch until we have a small flange distance + larger sensor like the Leica M series.

    i went and look at my dad's Leica lenses. they are absolutely tiny. the 50/1.4 is so small it is unbelievable.
    This is all about format size, just like in films where they used to have half-frame like the Olympus Pen-F, 35mm format, 425 format, 6X6 format, 6X9 format, and then larger formats with single sheets of film of many large sizes.
    Today's digital cameras are no different with format sizes (sensor sizes) from the P&S, four thirds (called the half-frame in films), many various size sensors from four thirds to full-frame (35mm), and then on to the new Leica S-2 with larger sensor than full-frame 35mm on a smaller body, 425 size sensors and even larger ones. Of course the larger the sensor the higher the quality.
    It is always a trade-off between size and performance. Current P&S size cameras account for perhaps more than 80% of all digital cameras sales. It strength is its small size, its weakness is its poorer picture quality. But this is about to change.
    The industry is poised to put a half-frame (four thirds) size sensor onto a camera that is of P&S dimension. King of the current P&S is the Panasonic LX3. But Olympus is coming out with a four thirds camera that is about the same size as the Panasonic LX3, called the Olympus Micro Four Thirds with a pancake lens. It measures a very P&S like dimensions of only 120 mm x 60 mm x 32 mm. This is smaller than the Canon G10! It can also record HD video too!
    One step up is the many format sizes from slightly larger ones than the Four Thirds to the full-frame. Other than the full-frames all the others with cropping factors from full-frame to half-frame that allow them to use legacy lenses are badly thought out. There is nothing worse than to use a full-frame lens on a camera with a sensor that is not full-frame. Lenses designed for 35mm will introduce glare and flare into a camera with smaller sensor. But the weakest point in this group is that almost all these cameras have relatively large bodies, lenses, and still using sensors no larger than 35mm. The Leica S-2 is a wakeup call to all Nikons and Canons to start worrying about competition from below (Micro Four Thirds with P&S body sizes) and from above (Larger than 35mm sensors in a body that is significantly smaller than a full-frame Nikon or Canon).
    BTW, despite its sensor being only half that of a full 35mm sensor a Micro Four Thirds quality is closer to 90% of the 35mm full-frame instead of 50%. This is because of the relatively large diameter lens mount/throat to sensor size of the Micro Four Thirds. In contrast the 35mm cameras cannot boast of having a throat diameter that is twice the size of its sensor.

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    Olympus has on the 50th year anniversary of the halfframe film Pen F launced their Micro Four Thirds E-P1 camera. This is a real gem, spotting a zoom lens that can be collapsed into the camera body, and with its P&S dimensions it can be carried in your pocket. Even with a f2 100mm lens (f2 200mm equiv in F/F) it can still get into your pocket.
    One of the major camera chains in Hong Kong has made me an offer to buy my old Olympus Pen F halframe film camera for quite a good price. I wonder why this sudden interest in an old small camera that has not been used for close to 30 years.

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    There is a preview by pdreview.com of the Olympus E-P1. even before they actually got hold of the camera. But from the preview you get a rough idea of the size madness that have modern 35mm dslrs seem to be afflicted with, without regard to their extensive end use. If they get any bigger you may need a cart to bring your gear along. Surely, this will limit, not increase, the number of photographers.

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    Regular Member red00ecstrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    One of the major camera chains in Hong Kong has made me an offer to buy my old Olympus Pen F halframe film camera for quite a good price. I wonder why this sudden interest in an old small camera that has not been used for close to 30 years.
    One of the camera chains is gonna buy your little Olympus halframe camera? That is interesting! Can u tell me which one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by red00ecstrat View Post
    One of the camera chains is gonna buy your little Olympus halframe camera? That is interesting! Can u tell me which one?
    I think it is a Pen FT with 38mm lens. I hope I can still find it amongst my many boxes of old cameras and lenses. I am sure I did not sell it. The only half-frame camera I remember selling was a Robot Royal that had a mechanical winder that enabled one to shoot pictures like a machine gun.
    The Pen F used to be my companion when I was on business travel because of its small size. That little thing was actually a slr camera. It is perhaps the smallest slr camera I have ever seen.

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    Moderator drifit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by red00ecstrat View Post
    One of the camera chains is gonna buy your little Olympus halframe camera? That is interesting! Can u tell me which one?
    if not mistaken, dear red00ecstrat is asking which camera chains and not which camera....

    dear master red,
    please forgive me if i am wrong.

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    Regular Member red00ecstrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drifit View Post
    if not mistaken, dear red00ecstrat is asking which camera chains and not which camera....

    dear master red,
    please forgive me if i am wrong.
    thanks drifit! that's what i meant! and please forgive my clumsy english guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    Olympus has on the 50th year anniversary of the halfframe film Pen F launced their Micro Four Thirds E-P1 camera. This is a real gem, spotting a zoom lens that can be collapsed into the camera body, and with its P&S dimensions it can be carried in your pocket. Even with a f2 100mm lens (f2 200mm equiv in F/F) it can still get into your pocket.
    One of the major camera chains in Hong Kong has made me an offer to buy my old Olympus Pen F halframe film camera for quite a good price. I wonder why this sudden interest in an old small camera that has not been used for close to 30 years.
    It must be only due to marketing reasons.

    The system is very interesting. Can you imagine walking into wimbledon with only a tiny camera and getting SLR quality pics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    It must be only due to marketing reasons.

    The system is very interesting. Can you imagine walking into wimbledon with only a tiny camera and getting SLR quality pics?
    Before anyone gets carried away, has anyone even tried how a M4/3 camera ? I've looked at a friend's G1, I wouldn't compare the pict quality, other than the clarity for that of a 'true' DSLR. They look very flat at best. There is very little of that 3D DOF effect with much bigger sensors. Heck, comparing to a APS-C it is a lot of difference! And compared to a FF... its totally worlds apart!

    The contrast based AF of the camera is decent but not quite good enough for sports or fast action as far as the samples I've seen. This friend of mine has tried taking cycling race shots with very low rate of keepers. (not sure its the skill or the camera though) But from what I've tried, its not near the speed you can get with a true blue DSLR AF system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
    Before anyone gets carried away, has anyone even tried how a M4/3 camera ? I've looked at a friend's G1, I wouldn't compare the pict quality, other than the clarity for that of a 'true' DSLR. They look very flat at best. There is very little of that 3D DOF effect with much bigger sensors. Heck, comparing to a APS-C it is a lot of difference! And compared to a FF... its totally worlds apart!

    The contrast based AF of the camera is decent but not quite good enough for sports or fast action as far as the samples I've seen. This friend of mine has tried taking cycling race shots with very low rate of keepers. (not sure its the skill or the camera though) But from what I've tried, its not near the speed you can get with a true blue DSLR AF system.
    Thanks Gladius this confirm what is on my mind.

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    Actually Olympus is the real giant in miniaturization of the micro four thirds camera. Panasonic is the "Walmart" of the system. Leica may come in later with even better lenses but at a high price. A significant jump will come when Sigma decides to make micro four thirds with foveon sensors.
    Let us wait for more indepth reviews by the photographic world on the Olympus micro four thirds E-P1 when the camera hits the market.
    To put things in perspective, the differnce between the best 35mm full frame dslr and an Olympus E-P1 will be much less than that between a 645 sensor back of a Hasseblad and the best 35mm full frame dslr. The size and weight difference between a 35mm full frame dslr and an E-P1 is significantly bigger than the difference between a Hasseblad's 645 dslr and a 35mm full frame dslr. I will bet with anyone that the quality/weight and size of any format will probably put the 35mm full frame dslr format in a very poor position. If one were to use a quality/useability indicator, the E-P1 will win any time. I would not be surprised that future news and events will be covered by the micro four thirds that are of P&S size. At least they will produce much better picture quality than current handphones whose pictures seem to flood the internet and even major world news.
    Don't you see there is a major turning point here? If I were an owner of a dslr system, I would seriously consider selling my gear now before it is too late.
    This is serious food for thought.

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