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(FT3) Fuji talks with m43 group. But what’s the result?


Yesterday we reported the rumor about Fuji making an interchangeable lens version of the X100. A few hours after I received a message from one of my best sources. He told me a short and interesting story. He said Fuji met some of the m43 group members back in October-November 2010. Fuji was evaluating the advantage and disadvantages of joining m43. The company that is working very hard to find new members is Olympus. He also said that unlike Panasonic, Olympus is pushing a lot to find new m43 members. So what about Fuji? He doesn’t know if Fuji will join m43 but he believes the chances are low :(  Hope he is wrong!

P.S.: Image has been taken at

P.P.S.: J&R is accepting Fuji X100 preorders -> “will be coming soon” (Click here to preorder on J&R). And Digitalrev says “Usually ships in 1-2 weeks” (Click here to order on Digitalrev). There are a few X100 on auction on eBay (Click here).

  • Joining 43 == buying sensor from Panasonic. I doubt Fuji would do it. (Presumably, after selling their own factory, Fuji now uses Sony sensors.)

    • Mr. Reeee

      Isn’t M4/3 as much about the lens mount as the sensor size. Why exactly would Fuji, or any other possible M4/3 member, be forced to use Panasonic sensors? It is possible they could use whatever sensor they want provided it works well with M4/3 lens specs.

      The sensor in the GH2 seems to be excellent and a big improvement over the 12MP sensor used by the majority of Panasonic and Olympus M4/3 cameras. Too bad Panny seems unwilling to share it as this point.

      • Trevor

        No, 43 and by extension m43 has always been largely about the sensor, in particular the sensor diagonal. While the lens mount is created as a standard around that, the driving force is a 2x crop factor.

        This is what has hog-tied 43 and m43 and why Olympus is looking for partners. They probably want alternative sensors, but Dummy00001 is very right, at least as of right now, joining m43 means Panny sensors (and not the GH2 sensor as they won’t let that out the door).

        I would imagine this would prevent something like an APS-C sensor only using the image circle of 43 to ever be considered 43 or m43. I could see that as the reason Fuji would not agree.

        • bonzoo


        • emde

          As you said (m)FT is all about the diagonal, but in no way about the sensor. For the first years Olympus was bound to using Pana sensors, but this in no way in the standard specs. In addition it was rumoured that Olympus is no longer tied to use Pana sensors and there could be competition on the sensor sector too.

          • Trevor

            My point is that it’s largely about the sensor spec as opposed to the lens mount (as evidenced in the white paper). Who manufactures the sensor is irrelevant (although I don’t know how they would feel about their spec being used by someone who doesn’t join 43/m43).

          • bonzoo

            Sure but who is going to provide these sensors at what price? I guess Sony would IF Oly could meet the price ;)

        • Isn’t the multiaspect ratio sensor in the GH cameras a unique sensor size (no the traditional 4/3rds size)? That would seem to argue against the sensor size being a strict criteria for inclusion in m43.

          • Trevor

            Yeah, I found that interesting too. The explanation is that the diagonal of the image used is always 43 (a 2x crop) regardless of aspect ratio.

   read “Multi-Aspect Sensor”

            Maybe that would open the door to APS-C being used as 43/m43.

        • Mr. Reeee

          I guess I was unclear.
          Sensor spec yes, but NOT Panasonic as the sole supplier.
          And of course, the lens mount spec.

      • mahler

        It is pure speculation that Panasonic is *unwilling* to provide the GH2 sensor to others.

        * others may not be interested in
        * others may lack the technology to cope with larger pixel amounts in a small camera package
        * the sensor might not be appropriate for the image processor of the other
        * the other may not be able to buy large enough quantities to have an economic package

        It is strange that Panasonic sensors are always bashed here. So far the competition has failed to show that similar IQ can be provided with such a small sensor in a mirrorless system.

        • Trevor

          It’s not pure speculation. Panasonic won’t give the 16mp sensor to others (until they have something better) 43rumors covered it.

          Sven Dabelstein, Panasonic’s European Senior Product Marketing Manager for Consumer Imaging told DSLR Magazine in an October 2010 interview when asked why the GH2 sensor was not in the E5

          “It is true that we supply for some time the sensors to Olympus, and we have entered into a partnership towards the establishment of the Micro Four Thirds protocol, but beyond that, it is undeniable that we are competitors in the same market, and it seems sense that each firm should reserve a space to develop differentiated products with unique technologies.” (Spanish translated by Google)

      • Mk7

        Panny-Oly sensor agreement has ended. Maybe that’s why Oly is actively seeking new members, and Panny is not!

    • Mk7

      Kodak 16MP + electronic shutter = m4/3 eat Fuji for lunch?
      One problem is that Kodak sold off its CMOS technology a few days ago!

      • Inge-M

        Yes, for 65 mil.$ to OmniVision

    • Nothing forces anyone to use Panasonic sensors. Both Panasonic and Kodak have created sensors that are specifically 4/3, and rumors have it that Fujifilm prototyped and sampled one, too.

      The issue with sensors is cost. Turning the crank on a fab and producing a specific large format sensor isn’t a “no cost” situation. It’s not even clear whether Fujifilm used their own sensor for the X100 (given the lack of specific mention, I think it’s safe to say they’re using someone else’s sensor). Thus, for Fujifilm a sensor decision would be about how many units they think they can sell. Too few? They’d license someone else’s sensor, as has Olympus. Lots? They’d crank their own fab.

      Creating sensors of different sizes isn’t all that difficult from an engineering standpoint. Once you have a good sensel design, it can both scale in size and you can run different grids (sensor sizes) of it. The questions for Fujifilm would be “which sensel” and whether that sensor fab might be better used for some other product. Remember Fujifilm is making millions of smaller sensors for their other products.

      • > given the lack of specific mention, I think it’s safe to say they’re using someone else’s sensor

        Many say that they use Sony sensor in X100.

        > Creating sensors of different sizes isn’t all that difficult from an engineering standpoint.

        Engineering standpoint – yes. Manufacturing standpoint – my experience in semicon industry tells otherwise. It is expensive to change anything in the manufacturing. Simple thing like test equipment might not be suited for the larger/different sensor size – and for that simple reason building different fab might be required.

        Also, swapping manufacturing process between different chips is expensive too: more production lines one has, better. If Pannay has only one line dedicated to the 43 sensors, than that too might explain sparse availability of GH2: the manuf process was swapped once, some quantity of the 18MP sensor was produced once and the process was swapped back to the 12MP sensor. And now Pannay simply slices carefully the chunk of 18MP sensors to hide the fact that they simply do not have any large stock of it and do not know when it would make economical sense to swap manuf process again to produce more of them. That’s norm of life to semicon industry.

        Thom, do NOT write off the semicon manufacturing. It is filled with trickery, know-how, custom engineering and could be VERY expensive.

        • And don’t write off Fujifilm. They’ve pulled off some very complex sensor manufacturing before, and in relatively low volumes. The real question for them is whether they have the executive buy-in to make the investment, not whether or not they have the engineering or manufacturing skills. Note that they DID NOT have the executive buy-in for producing a sensor for the X100, mostly because it was considered to be a low-volume product.

          So the real question is this: how many m4/3 cameras would Fujifilm sell? Given that they thought they’d sell tens of thousands of X100’s, I doubt Fujifilm would think they’d sell more than the low hundred thousands of m4/3 bodies lifetime. That’s probably not enough to get management buy-in on building their own sensor.

          To me, Fujifilm has been on the bubble since even before the cancellation of the DSLRs. The Imaging group’s numbers just don’t look all that viable and healthy to me. You can’t make good profit just selling compact cameras, and there’s no growth to be had if all you do is compact cameras. In Silicon Valley, we called such entities Walking Dead, meaning that they weren’t bad enough financially to go out of business, but they weren’t well enough financially to consider putting more investment into. THAT’S the real reason why you don’t see Fujifilm making a m4/3 sensor or a DSLR or expanding their camera line significantly: it doesn’t bring enough ROI. Remember, Fujifilm is a huge company in which imaging is now one of the smallest parts. If they have money to invest, they’re going to invest it elsewhere than Imaging. The X100 was a skunkworks project. Any m4/3 entry would almost certainly be a skunkworks project, too.

  • Miroslav

    Fuji topped many “who do you want to join m4/3” polls here. Surely, a third big/mainstream manufacturer would bring many more users to the system and more weight to it in trying to turn it into a standard. With no legacy system to protect, they could surely bring some new things to it. It would be useful to them as well: make a body and kit zoom, and your customers already have 20 more native lenses at their disposal.

    But will they do it? I hope, but I doubt it. X100 shows the way they’re heading. Although, last couple of years do not show they have clear goals. They keep on making new product lines and then discontinuing them quickly.

    • Fujifilm didn’t think the X100 would sell all that well. They got hammered in the DSLR business. Their board thinks that the Imaging Group can’t produce the numbers or growth they expect and thus aren’t investing in them. In other words, the folks in corporate think lowly of them, and the folks within the group think lowly of themselves (low self esteem at the moment).

      Making a play at m4/3 would be a huge decision for them. They’d have to know that it will pay off and turn around a lot of their numbers. The problem for the Japanese companies is that they’re rarely entrepreneurial, and thus don’t take huge risks. They tend to design me-too products because that looks safe. But when other, larger companies are already executing well in an area (Nikon, Canon, Sony in DSLRs, Sony, Panasonic in mirrorless), it’s difficult to come up with the high self esteem that says that you will knock those players off UNLESS you’re entrepreneurial.

      So what happens is this: Japanese camera companies rarely try the Big Risk, Big Reward play (Nikon did with the D1, obviously, and there have been other examples). Instead, they all tend to come in simultaneously or near simultaneously once one proves that there’s a huge market for something. As much as we’d all like to say that mirrorless is a “huge success,” it isn’t yet. It’s a modest success and it’s unclear if it will ramp big (“big” would be 10m units/year or more), let alone have hockey stick growth (e.g. 50% or more/year). If those two things were to happen, everyone would be doing it.

      As it is, we see a lot of sample-and-churn in mirrorless. People are trying it, and that’s built a million/year or more sales rate, but it’s not doing that snowball thing that you look for in emerging tech. I get far too many “I tried it but…” emails.

      That said, Fujifilm would be in mirrorless in a moment if we ever got to the “I tried it and dumped my DSLR” stage.

  • GreyOwl

    Fuji: please join m/43, the advantages must outweigh the disadvantages (IMHO), and everybody would gain from the move.

  • It would be too nice.

  • i love the banner !! awesome

  • CRB

    One word:sensor….fuji has a MUCH better performance than ANY m4/3 camera. It would be a step backwards…unless fuji can produce a smaller sensor…than oly also would be benefited….

    • I beg to disagree. Fujifilm at one time had equivalent or better sensors. Slowly but surely they’ve let that slide, for whatever reason. The S5 Pro was a very good example: it was a 6mp sensor at a time when 12mp was starting to establish itself. What most people reacted to was that Fujifilm created nice looking JPEGs from that sensor, even resized. They looked mostly at the color. But deep down instead, Fujifilm’s 6mp sensor was “noise free” mostly due to NR, not due to underlying sensel ability. True, they had that highlight-preservation gimmick with the 6mp extra small photosites, but even that had issues, as it tended to bring noise up into the blend point of the mid-tones.

      I’ve since tested Fujifilm’s best small sensor compacts, and I’d say they haven’t progressed like I see Sony progressing (or even Panasonic for that matter). Thing is, they just might not have the sensor sales volume to justify the R&D. Fujifilm tried to sell their sensors to others a couple of years back, but they wanted to much money and delivered too little compared to the competition. Thus, the only user of Fujifilm sensors is Fujifilm. If they’re not careful, that’s a bad spiral in the wrong direction (sensors don’t get better fast enough so cameras are subpar so they sell less so they can’t spend money on making the sensor better…). Fujifilm needs a breakthrough in sensor development. Their organic 3-layer idea has proven difficult to get out of the labs, I hear.

  • This is just a thought (or reality check?):
    Companies compete against one another to make money. That is a fact. How can we expect them to work together on the same idea. The market is based on competition.
    Reality dictates that a Micro 4/3 Co-Op just isn’t possible because it flows against the corporate mentality which is to MAKE LOTS OF MONEY. (“you want me to cooperate with my competitor?”).
    There are benefits to the above reality…affordable products with good quality, but I don’t see how we can expect the competitors to “truly” cooperate.
    That is a great banner, graphically speaking, though. :-)

    • bonzoo

      I guess Oly is looking for a company that will sell them a decent sensor. In my opinion it is pretty obvious that Pana wont sell the GH/GH2 sensor to Oly. This way they can provide the “state of the art” M4/3 body.

      Oly had to use an old sensor in their E-5 flagship… As long as Pana doesnt sell Oly a better sensor (or Oly finds another source) we won’t see a new M4/3 body. After all it it would be a pain in the ass to market/sell a body that has virtually the same IQ as the first pen camera ;)

      The FourThirds standard has always been held back by its sensor. Take a look at Sony. They are selling APC/FF sensors to anyone… and boy the sensors are improving with each new generation :/

      • WT21

        I think you are right, which makes me a bit sad. I may be clinging on to m43 irrationally. I don’t like Panny. I like Oly, but they might never get a good sensor.

        Too bad.

        • But even if Olympus gets a better sensor it will just show us how 2nd-rate their micro 4/3’s glass is. (Olympus can make better lenses..but they clearly have not for their Micro 4/3 cameras…their lenses are less expensive, but also lacking in sharpness and f/stops). So, in Olympus’ case…I don’t think it is just all about the sensor.

          • bonzoo

            Are you comparing the M4/3 to the “consumer” 4/3 lenses? Of course there are “better” lenses for 4/3… but have a look at the price tag as well. Besides that Oly has to devliver lenses that “fit” the body… I don’t think a 35-100mm 2.0 glass would look “right” on a pen camera ;)

        • Cornflake

          And What if… Oly’s waiting for new 14MPx sensor? There were clues in the interview posted on january or february — they quoted someting like 12MP is nearly enough for m4/3.

          You are right indeed, partners in alliance should cooperate. Make complementary products not substitutes as we see in lens offerings.

        • And what if… Oly’s waiting for new 14MPx sensor? There were clues in the interview posted in january or february — they quoted someting like 12MP is nearly enough for m4/3.

          You are right indeed, partners in alliance should cooperate. Make complementary products not substitutes as we see in lens offerings.

          • bonzoo

            Sure… Eventually Oly will get a new sensor. My point is they don’t get the GH2 “high-end” sensor but probably the “G3” sensor. In that case Oly’s top-modell will basically have the same IQ as the G3 :/

            Of course Pana is not gonna let Oly die right now ;)To me it looks like after the move M4/3 Pana and Oly switched positions… Pana is the main player while Oly is providing the “Hey we have more than one company supporting M4/3” advantage.

      • I mentioned the price in my post.
        That being said …Olympus’ M4/3 sensor is perfect for their M 4/3 lenses. Right?

      • Mr. Reeee

        There are plenty of ways oth Olympus and Panasonic could improve their M4/3 offerings beyond just sensors.

        Iinterface design, especially in Olympus’ case.
        Lens offerings.

    • Japanese companies work differently than American companies, though both have over the years picked up a few tricks from the other. Japanese companies have long had what some of us used to call Coopetition (cooperation and competition). You see some very obvious examples of that (Nikon using Sony sensors and helping improve them, Olympus using Panasonic sensors, etc.), but in the intellectual property realm you don’t see there’s a ton of coopetition going on in Japan. It’s a cultural thing: it’s considered better for the country to dominate an entire industry by having everyone on the same page and executing pieces of the puzzle that everyone shares, than it is to try to build a Lone Ranger company from scratch. Some of this derives from the cooperative company groups that formed. Nikon uses Fujitsu CPUs and software, for instance, and Fujitsu sometimes uses Nikon glass when they need it for a product.

  • I am firmly in the camp of believing that the sensor is the primary limitation of the current m43 cameras. There needs to be a competitive sensor available in one of the “PEN” styled cameras at a reasonable price point.

    Would it be possible to make a m43 camera with a modern APC sensor (from Sony)? Would that comply with the m43 format? Does anybody know what the available megapixels would be? Anyway, this possibility seems interesting to me… especially as a way for Olympus to be more competitive.

    • bonzoo

      Would it be possible to make a m43 camera with a modern APC sensor (from Sony)?

      Probably. Though it would be rather “funny” – “Hey look M4/3 is the best mirror-less system out there. We just have a hard time to find somebody to manufacture a modern sensor so we have to stick with a APS-C sensor… but nevermind! M4/3 is still the better standard, ok?” ;)

  • The Other Chris

    Hey, guys… Fuji makes their own sensors. Even if they didn’t make an interchangeable-lens X100, even if they didn’t make any lenses, just having an option other than Panasonic for Olympus to buy its sensors from would be a godsend.

    • bonzoo

      Sure. They could also provide a M4/3 sensor… for one customer: Oly. Pana will continue to make their own sensors and would probably compete with Fuji. So this all boils to down to the question: Can Oly pay the pay the price Fuji is asking?

  • John

    Now, I may be wrong on this, but isn’t the X100 already “mirrorless”? The admin needs to watch his wording.

    • admin

      Touchè. I now added mirrorless with interchangeable lenses. :)

  • cbr09

    Using an APS-C sensor would actually make quite a lot of sense with m43 if you are interested in a multi-aspect ratio sensor. See explanation at:

    Although GH1/2 have a multi-aspect sensor, it still does not make maximum use of the diagonal coverage that you get from m43 lenses if you want 1:1 ratio. An APS-C sensor would be pretty ideal (height 15.7 compared to the 15.3 needed for a square m43 image). The only thing that is ‘wasted’ is some of the length of the sensor (max usable width is about 20mm against 23.6 on the APS-C).

    Rather than engineer a special sensor for m43 for multi-aspect use, it would probably be much more cost effective to use a Sony 24MB sensor and just use up to 15MB of the pixels for different crops.

    In addition, some smart engineer may even be able to use some of the ‘wasted’ pixels at the edge to help with focus tracking and electronic image stabilisation, even if they are not included in the main image.

    The extra size/weight may make IBIS a bit more difficult though.

    • frank

      This seems to be an interesting idea! But I don’t get the “m4/3 sensor is crap” attitude here. I made hundreds of pictures last weekend in bad indoors lighting at iso800 and although in RAW there is quite some noise, the in camera JPG conversion does a very nice job with the sensor data and the pics have turned out really nice.

    • TR

      I agree with idea about the advantages of a larger sensor. In fact, I think m4/3 should really use a square sensor to take maximum advantage of the small image circle. This would give extra advantage to having an EVF because there would be no need to turn the camera on its side to take a vertical photo. Just add a button to scroll the aspect ratio and orientation and you could easily consider different alternatives while frameing.

  • @Admin: I hear the site design is being changed. Minor request: some information, e.g. nicknames, is displayed using inline images. Is it possible to have an option to display them as text instead? So that when I adjust text size in the browser, the text would be also displayed properly. (E.g., in FireFox, View > Zoom > check the Zoom Text Only, now press Ctrl-+ several times.)

    Optional. Rants. I hate the failure modern web design is. (I did it 10+ years ago myself, speaking from experience.) The designers fail consistently at usability by using default font size which requires a microscope to read comfortably, often hardcoding some text in pictures. (I know, I know, PhotoShop UI uses even worse fonts – but that’s not a reason to copy-paste that everywhere else.) I could have also ranted about widescreen support, but I know that easy way of doing it is implemented only in the not-so-widely-adopted HTML5.

  • Judging by the number of acclaimed cameras that Fuji has brought to market in the last few years, I would say that Fuji’s imaging division is in greater need of a partner than Olympus is. Olympus quite wisely partnered with Panasonic at the dawn of the mirrorless ILC era. As far as I can recollect, Olympus was losing money with their 4/3 DSLRs before that.

    There’s a lot of talk about Olympus not having access to Panasonic’s best sensor technology. Do we know that for a fact? Or is the GH2 sensor simply not suitable for what Olympus wants to achieve (too large for IBIS, processor intensive, etc…). There must be something, otherwise it seems strange for Olympus to continue using Panasonic sensors if they were such unsuitable partners.

    And even if Fuji joined, I don’t think will add new 4/3 sensors into the mix. Whatever happened to the fabled “SuperCCD” and why don’t we see a new version of that in the X100? So I doubt we would see a Fuji 4/3 sensor in a Fuji MFT body, even if they did join.

  • Nathan

    I don’t know that micro four thirds is “crap”. I use standard 4/3 (Oly E-30) and get good results from it. Certainly as good as I need for 8X10. However, I stick to the HG and SHG lenses for the speed I need.
    Micro Four Thirds’ problem is that there’s no really fast glass range available. The 17mm Panasonic isn’t bad.
    I would love a smaller camera, but the larger bodies simply balance better with long lenses than a tiny body will.
    At any rate, I have seen lovely photos shot with the Canon G10, and if that can be used, with its tiny sensor, I would figure that a sensor with 8 times the area would be even better…
    At any rate, people discuss Full Frame as if it was medium format. 35mm is small format photography still. Someday I may have need of a Nikon D700, but as the number of megapixels is identical between the D700 and the E-30, I still won’t gain printable resolution, really, and I’ll spend double what I’ve spent so far to get it.
    From the measurements I’ve been able to make, APS-C is about 1 stop better in sensitivity and dynamic range than 4/3. That’s significant, but not a deal-breaker. Full frame is about 1 stop better than that.
    The shots I used to take at F8 I just take at f5.6 and get an identical shot. Who cares? Most of the time, I’m looking for MORE DOF, not less. On medium format, the struggle for depth of field becomes a serious issue when doing macrophotography or landscapes. Tripods are a must for nearly every shot, and it sucks the fun right out of it.
    I’m getting better shots from an E-30 than I used to get with 35mm film. I can shoot in lower light with less grain than I could with fast film in my Nikon F-1 or Canon FT. Only once in a while do I miss the Contax 645 and those shots are really rare.

    • deniz

      im with you on the ‘more dof’ stuff. i just dont get all the moaning about dof with m43.

    • Michael Devitt

      Classic Four Thirds system has great lens categories; Standard Grade is affordable lens selection, High Grade is weather sealed mid-end class, and Super High Grade stands for true high-end optics without compromises. This categories should Olympus bring into Micro Four Thirds too (obviously SHG mZD lenses require a proper ILC and time to develop into that point). In my opinion Olympus should focus on compact fast primes with image quality at least of HG ZD series even though DSLRs era relied on zooms, mFT with nice glass can return rangefinder simplicity into this digital world.

  • mahler

    Honestly, I don’t think that Fuji would be a significant contribution to m4/3, at least if they would provide an X100-like body to the system. We already have enough of this retro style body concepts – it is time to move on. Despite of its shiny surface, the X100 has major ergonomic design flaws, and the hybrid view finder isn’t a superior solution to a good EVF.

    The real pitty is that Pentax hasn’t joined. I don’t care about Fuji, except if they would bring their sensor technology into the m4/3 system.

  • snowflake

    What I would love to see is Fugi offer their X300 with interchangeable lenses with two versions.

    One with a APS-C sensor, the other with a m4/3 sensor.

    The extra engineering would be minimal beyond just chaining the lens mount. Use a wider pixel spaced sensor for less noise and faster speed on the APS-C model and on the m4/3 sensor use a denser pixel spacing allowing the use of lighter lenses. The net pixels/photo would be the same, allowing the same software and hardware processing of the image.

    This would be a real test of the viability of the m4/3 system.

    I think they would sell more m4/3 mostly because it would compliment one of the features of the x300, size.

    Besides, I would love to see another provider of high quality sensors.

  • Mk7

    What exactly would Fuji bring to micro 4/3? The X100 has a SONY sensor. The EVF is nice, but Panny/Oly could easily integrate existing EVFs into future PENs and GFs. Best thing about Fuji is secret, magic high ISO noise reduction formula, ever since the F30 and now in the X100.
    That, and lusty retro design.

  • calxn

    Olympus made a business bet that went bad. The sensor business is consolidating. Oly should have followed Pentax, Fuji, and Leica and adopted Sony’s aps-c sensors. The sensor business require a certain scale in order to fund future development, and Sony is the only player other than Canon with that kind of volume. As long as Sony has Nikon’s volume, I think they will end up being the last man standing in the 35mm market. Even Canon is falling behind in performance.

    I’m curious if Olympus ever attempted to try and make a mirrorless APS-C camera before creating m43. It’s almost as if they never learned anything from the normal 43 mistake. Volume defines standard not ideas. Volume makes the cost of components cheap. VHS beat betamax because of volume. In the photo biz, the volume is with APS-C. An idea may be good technically, but it doesn’t make for a good long-term business. APS-C has Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Pentax, Leica, Samsung, and even Sigma in their camp.

    Sorry guys, you own the betamax of sensors, but in this case, the VHS of sensors actually outperforms your sensor.

  • Inge-M

    The so give VHS popular is, 90% of all new movie come on VHS ;-)

  • you know my name

    I think these messages are related
    Mr. Reee
    >”Isn’t M4/3 as much about the lens mount as the sensor size.”
    T Hogan
    >”The questions for Fujifilm would be “which sensel” and whether that sensor fab might be better used for some other product”

    So what are the conjoined possibilities
    1. Fuji joins micro and solves its lens acquisition problem by using M Zuiko and Lumix G, gains instant access to existing micro lens owners in a ready and willing market that generally appreciates Fuji’s capabilities.
    2. Olympus acquires access to Fuji sensor tech and the AF license, which is the way out for them in curing the ‘what to do with 4/3rds’ ever growing problem. Where current SLR owners would have a viable pathway instead of the threat of 4/3rds simply ending.

    Fuji gets the lenses it doesn’t have for a ICL X100 with the use of the micro mount while it adds to sensor procurement volume, that gets them out of a jam.
    Olympus gets sensors (at last some independence from the unpopular Panasonic)and the use of Fuji contrast detect autofocus ending its 4/3rds worries enabling it to place a mirrorless 4/3rds body in the pipe.

    Assuming Fuji has sensor capacity to trade with its own 4×3 design, sounds like a good deal both ways to me.

    • Inge-M

      +1 :-)

    • Boooo!

      I’m not really sure if Fuji can produce good sensors. I think Olympus is one foot in the grave, and they’ll fold within a year. The only question is who buys them, and what happens to Zuiko glass. It would make for some very expensive door stops…

      My bet is on Fuji siding with Sony. They use their sensor in the X100, and the lenses will come as well on the E-mount by the end of the year.

      What does Fuji gain from m4/3? Absolutely nothing. The current lenses (save for maybe one) suck. What does Fuji gain from 4/3? A set of lenses from one manufacturer. That’s just not enough.

      4/3 is dead. m4/3 is fully Panasonic’s turf.

      The things that could save Olympus are an E-650, an E-50 and more 4/3 lenses. Nothing else. They aren’t even making progress in the mirrorless market.

  • Nathan

    We know that Olympus is looking to build PRO lenses and PRO bodies for micro four thirds. It is possible that PRO lenses could have a larger image circle. There has been talk of Super Four Thirds, possibly an APS-C addendum to Four Thirds or Micro Four Thirds.

  • you know my name

    >”My bet is on Fuji siding with Sony. They use their sensor in the X100, and the lenses will come as well on the E-mount by the end of the year.”

    from where ?

    >”What does Fuji gain from m4/3? Absolutely nothing. The current lenses (save for maybe one) suck. What does Fuji gain from 4/3? A set of lenses from one manufacturer. That’s just not enough.”

    erm, there’s 2 manufacturers, more than 1 lens seems rather nice, and then there are the MF lenses with the mount and the adapted types + four thirds lenses

    only slightly more than one yes,

    • you know my name

      I think that is far more likely to happen to four thirds than to micro four thirds. There is reliable information that they have experimented with this and a Kodak 16MP sensor.

      • Inge-M

        Question is what be willing OmniVision do, after buy up sensor patents to Kodak, comes OmniVision by (Micro)Four Thirs.

    • Boooo!

      What do you mean “from where”, Rriley? From Sony, Tamron, Sigma, Zeiss and Cosina. By the time Fuji wants an interchangeable lens camera, the lenses will be there, make no mistake about it. Sony is already #1 in the mirrorless market; Panasonic is close, Olympus is a distant third (which, coincidentally, is also last).

      As for 4/3 lens manufacturers, there is only one: Olympus. Sigma is out and has been out for years, Panasonic only produced three Leica-branded lenses, and that’s it.

  • penembak4/3

    I think Fuji have left their dSLR line. The last dSLR camera from the company is S5 Pro (2006).
    It’s possible they joined micro4/3 with their Sx dslr strategy (body only with F mount), if it has good sell, maybe they would make their own lenses.
    With this strategy they’re nothing to lose.

    The plus point for Olympus : they could use the sensor (Sony I guess).

    On the other side, Oly could also use Fuji/Sony APS-C sensor to make a fixed lens camera like X100. This is what Oly should make in my opinion. Cmon, premium fast Zuiko lens on a ‘rangefinder style’ camera,with TruePic engine. Well maybe a digital version of Olympus 35RC?

    As a 4/3 user I still want Oly to continue the dslr line, but I guess it won’t happen

  • you know my name

    >”The plus point for Olympus : they could use the sensor (Sony I guess).”

    I think they could do that anyway, at least I cannot think of a reason why they would not if that is the direction they wished to go.

  • Lourdes Benedicta
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