- Oct 29, 2000
I had absolutely no idea mirror less cameras were even a thing.We've talked about Elon Musk and Tesla plenty of times in here. I don't see what the problem is. This is one article you can easily scroll past. Not every piece of tech news is for you.
Not to denigrate, but I'd say you're not looking much in the space then. Sony basically has had the top spot in mirrorless systems for about a decade. Now it's basically Canon and Sony at the top fighting for mirror-less which is basically the only segment that matters. DSLRs are dead. The Nikon D6 was DOA. And as powerful as the Canon 1DX III is, it's clearly the last of its kind (which is why the Canon R series is Canon's real future).
Nikon is still "there", but despite how powerful their Z6 and Z7 are, it's not selling nearly as well as Sony and Canon's competition.
For people just shooting straight photos, the major contenders are Canon, Sony, Fuji, and Nikon. (Which some niche cameras from manufacturers like Leica, Phase One, and Hasselblad).
If you're looking for hybrid systems though, then it's Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and Nikon. (With Fuji lagging and trying to enter the space).
I follow camera tech and industry news pretty closely. I would say despite Olympus closing, there is better and more competition than ever before. More options than ever before. And it's increasingly hard to "buy a bad camera".
Despite this, u4/3 has limited life in the future. The whole point of it was to have really small, really inexpensive cameras that were convenient and shot nice pictures for amateurs. This was more relevant when u4/3 started, because so much of the cost of digital cameras was originally in the size of the chip. That market as you noted is dying because of cell phones and increasing u4/3 features to keep up with people with s35 or FF frame sizes makes no sense as less of the cost of a camera is tied in sensor size. No soccer mom is spending $2000 on a GH5 and even if she could why wouldn't she rather use a full frame Sony A7III instead (for the same cost)? In other words Olympus just didn't have the resources to transition out to stay in the game. The only other major u4/3 player as I just noted is Panasonic, but even they know that their future is way more tied to their cameras like the S1 series (which are full frame) rather than anything else u4/3 that came before it.
So what am I saying in short? Olympus' writing was on the wall. They didn't have the resources or the foresight to get out of the markets they were in in order to compete with other players that consistently have stayed more relevant. When even the Japanese aren't buying your PEN system, you know it's bad. They had a good legacy. Hopefully there is another company like a Sony (which bought Minolta, and that is how they started their camera division) can buy Olympus and give them the cash infusion to make those changes. And then Olympus can live on. If another visionary company, like a Sony, doesn't or can't buy them, then frankly they need to die because they aren't relevant.
Sony buying Minolta was successful because Sony had the divisions and the resources to make that acquisition successful. They essentially took Minolta's mount and lenses and their engineers who do optical design and married them to their sensor department to engineer new systems that made sense in an increasingly digital age. Minolta themselves didn't have the resources to really create a successful digital camera. And Sony of course didn't have optical engineers or people who had experience designing camera bodies. So it made a lot of sense. Whoever buys Olympus (if they do) will have to solve Olympus' sensor size and tech issues as well as build out their tech (like much better auto-focus and the ability to shoot nice video) in addition to a myriad of other problems. They won't be able to just keep going with a cash infusion, they'll need real change like Minolta did.
I have only ever been into SLR's and whenever I see photographers they are usually carrying SLR's.
But as I mentioned before, I've been away from the hobby for maybe 8 years now. Just haven't had time.