Make no mistake! We can be pretty sure Olympus and Panasonic will not launch any new system with larger sensor in the near future. There is still a lot to do in the m43 world to defend the primacy also against the future Canon mirrorless system. But the Full Frame battle just restarted after a long time of silence. Today Canon announced the Canon 5dmarkIII ($3500 at Amazon) and Nikon announced the Nikon D800 and D800E a couple of weeks ago.
So just for fun I made a short list of advantages and disadvantages of a hypothetical “Macro Four Thirds” system with FF sensor
- Currently only Leica are offering a Full Frame digital mirrorless system. But the Leica M9 is incredibly expensive (Click here) and there is plenty of room below that price range.
- You could make Full Frame lenses backwards compatible to the m43 system. One lens to rule them all -> Disadvantage the lens would be bigger
- Marketing: It gives a kind of magical and professional aura if you can offer a Full Frame system. Sounds stupid but it is not. I know of many people that buy new and more expensive cameras just to feel like a “hero”.
- It’s expensive to build up a new system. And Panasonic/Olympus have limited resources.
- Also the service has to be improved to satisfy the professional needs.
- The profit margin is larger on small sensor systems than on Full Frame camera systems.
- Lenses would be bigger and one of the main advantages (size!) over the FF DSRL market would be less visible.
Now it’s up to you to let us know what you would do:
My two cent: 99% of us don’t need Full Frame. If you need absolute image quality for special work like studio photography or big prints than it may be better for you to go medium format. Or if you want that nice 3D depth of field feeling than buy a camera like my Mamiya 7.