Monday, December 5, 2011

A Big Reason For Staying With Micro 4/3

Obviously, I have made no bones about my dislike for the way Olympus and Panasonic are handling the Micro 4/3 system, but that doesn't mean that I am going to be selling out of the system just yet.

I pointed out how desperate the situation for them is when I said that the only reason for my staying with the system is not anything being done by those in the system, but by other companies. I want to buy into Sony's E-Mount, and possibly A-Mount, but I'm waiting on what Fuji may have in the pipes. I must admit, Pentax is also very interesting now that it has the financial backing of Ricoh, but it's Fuji that has my curiosity most peaked.

That was the negative, the positive is that Micro 4/3 still has the best entry-level video camera on the market: the Panasonic GH2. Almost everyone I know who is involved with online video production, or any video production that doesn't need to exceed 1080p, is using the GH2. It's penetration into the video market has been profound. As regards its significance, I consider it second only to the Canon 5D MarkII.

UNFORTUNATELY, this has nothing to do with Panasonic! The GH2 must be the most hacked digital camera on Earth. The enthusiast community that has developed around the GH2 is enormous and includes some of the most illustrious names in film production. Every software flub that Panasonic did, either by purposely crippling the camera or simply being stupid, has been corrected by the online community, providing video quality and resolution that is only bettered by the likes of ARRI and RED.

Combined with a growing lens collection that works wonders with film, I doubt that I will leave the Micro 4/3 system anytime soon. My amount of video production is only going up, and with the community around the GH2, it is simply to valuable to abandon. That said, this has nothing to do with Panasonic. It has everything to do with the things that Panasonic is not doing. That is bad. Canon did the same thing with the 5D Mark II. That camera was turned into the second coming of Christ by no action of Canon, but by all of the professionals who jumped all over what the 5D could do.

I expect Panasonic to actually have a part in making its market vibrant and viable. Having the core of your chosen system be a company that is either disinterested or incompetent is no system to be in. But, as it stands, it's the best system that there is.

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