So m4/3 is now established in it's own right. To a large extent though I feel that the constant releasing of minor and often meaningless upgrades dilutes this. It's obvious that this new Olympus model is virtually identical to the E-M10 and not much different to the last Pen. Plus how much of what it offers could have been included in firmware? Fuji are showing the way with this. All of a sudden I have a new better viewfinder in my X-E2. From a firmware update and free. So who is the company I'm going to feel well disposed towards to in the future? The one who support and improve the camera I've already purchased (and I have to get this in, the one who include lens hoods with their lenses at no extra charge!!!) or the one who is constantly bombarding with me new models that in fact offer very little new.
And the fact is that when I talk about my m4/3 outfit these days, by that I mean Panasonic. Because that's what I use, apart from a couple of admittedly very nice Olympus lenses. Now I'm sure it seems I'm always having a pop at Olympus. That's because I am. I pretty much see them as the followers in this partnership. Panasonic are the innovators, the technicians and the driving force behind this format. Olympus are the stylists, the ones who make the pretty cameras and a few great lenses. But for me it's Panasonic who are pushing this format into becoming a serious professional tool. I've never had any desire to buy an E-M1, apart from it looks nice, but the GH4 is a camera I'm going to have to fight hard to resist, assuming I want to. And that's because it has so much more of what I want and what I can use.
For me the great advance in m4/3 has been the lenses. That 14-45mm kit zoom was a great lens, but now there are lots of great lenses. Again I have to say that the majority of these are made by Panasonic. Yes the 45mm f/1.8 and 75mm f/1.8 are top class but that's about it as far as I'm concerned. I do really like my 17mm f/1.8, but a great lens it's not. The Panasonic W/A zoom, superzoom and kit standard zooms are all better as far as I'm concerned. Plus the Panasonic fast primes apart from the two I mentioned above are also my preference. Then you have the 2 power zooms which are incredibly useful for video. And of course there is lens OIS, my preference over IBIS and making the Panasonic lenses that have it provide IS on both Panasonic and Olympus cameras, something which can't be said for Olympus lenses.
So m4/3 has come a long way with regard to some things, not so far with regard to others. It seems that it has made inroads into camera markets all over the world with the exception of the U.S. But then that's their loss!! In a world becoming increasingly dominated by electronic publication the 16MP limit is probably not going to hold the format back and Panasonic have put their cameras at the forefront of the video hybrid market. I'm as enthusiastic about the format now as I was when I first tried out my G1 for the first time and even though I use other systems and sell off lot's of my m4/3 gear from time to time, I keep coming back to it. I still think that it has the highest quality per pixel ratio of any format out there which can be seen by how the latest sensors compare to APS-C ones. Plus that sensor allows for some extraordinary lenses that are still light and small. I have been worried about where the system is going in the past, but these days I have far less misgivings. The future is bright, the future is m4/3.
Please note that opinions expressed in this blog are just that, opinions. What is written here is at no time intended as a recommendation or otherwise of photographic gear or practice. This is a personal blog written 'in the moment' and is primarily intended as an entertainment. I would also point out that this is not a review site and not intended to be so and the Google+ groups where you can post comments are not forums. I am the sole moderator and I will remove any post (and poster) if I think fit.
Plus the Soundimageplus blog is 100% independent. No-one sends me gear to review and I have no relationship with any manufacturer or retail outlet. I buy all the gear I use and write about. The advertisements that appear on this site are generated by Google and I have no control over the content, which differs from country to country. I do make a small income from them, which covers expenses and some small recompense for the time I take to write this, but no more than that. If you like what you read and would like to help me to continue to keep buying stuff to write about then clicking on a few adds will earn me a few fractions of a penny. It will cost you nothing and you don't have to buy anything to contribute a (very!) small amount to my coffers.
N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.
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