Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/03/08

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Subject: [Leica] Re: 4/3 cameras
From: lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin)
Date: Thu Mar 8 07:58:18 2007
References: <>

On Mar 8, 2007, at 7:35 AM, wrote:

> My point was: why are the 4/3 cameras and lenses as big as the  
> other ones - because, at least in the beginning, the 4/3 system
> claimed to be more compact?
> I strongly doubt that the 4/3 system is becoming a significant  
> factor in photojournalism, especially sports photography. Sounds more
> like wishful thinking to me. The Oly and Panaleica lenses, as sharp  
> and fast they are, the slow is their autofocus.
> The trend for DSLR cameras clearly goes to bigger sensors, not  
> because of the backward compatibility to older lenses, but because
> they deliver better quality than smaller ones - period. The sport  
> photographers I often meet in the hockey stadium are glad to have
> high pixel counts - allowing them to crop more off a picture and  
> still keeping enough details. THAT'S ONE OF THE NEEDS, MARK. Have
> never seen them using something else than (many) Canons and (a few)  
> Nikons.
> Larger 4/3 sensor: very unlikely. This would break the system into  
> subsystems. The so far produced lenses are made for exactly that
> 4/3 sensor size, would not cover a larger field. Bigger sensor =  
> new lenses = new system = probably the death of the old 4/3.

I hate to admit this but I am old enough to remember when exactly the  
same argument was used about 35 mm cameras in photojournalism. The  
film size was too small to stand much cropping. It was slow. There  
was too much visual noise (grain). Small Leicas and Contaxes would  
never be competitive with Rolleis and Speed Graphics. Miniature  
cameras were only suitable for amateurs, not working professionals,  
etc., etc. Sharpness and even flash lighting were the order of the  
day, HCB and Capa were criticized for their blurry and grainy images.  
Baseball pictures were taken with Graflex SLRs. Who cared what the  
Europeans were doing? Real men carried big cameras.

Doubt me? Go to your library and check out bound copies of photo  
magazines from the 1940s era.

Larry Z

Replies: Reply from montoid at (Montie) ([Leica] Re: 4/3 cameras)
Reply from phamard at (Philippe Amard) ([Leica] Re: 4/3 cameras)
Reply from ricc at (Ric Carter) ([Leica] Re: 4/3 cameras)