Apples To Oranges: A real life "full frame" Vs. Micro 4/3 Comparison

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by F/Stop, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Real Name:
    Brian Y.
    Good afternoon to all. I have been working on this article in my free time between home and work. I wanted to write this to make a complete comparison between 35mm DSLR's and Micro 4/3's systems to help people understand the pro's and con's of each, the price difference, and common misconceptions. This is not intended to become a flame war, just an article for people to refer to before making any significant purchases.

    Im not a serious blogger by any means but i do enjoy writing about many things. I thank you in advance for bearing with me while reading.

    I know i left some things out, and i am asking for your help to add to this article anything that you deem pertinent. please take the time to read it and proof read and criticize anything you think needs to be changed. i thank you in advance.

    If you would like, you could leave comments and opinions here on my blog-post Full Frame Vs. Micro 4/3 On Leading Line Photography

    Apples to Oranges

    And here we go..The never ending debate. Full Frame Vs. Micro 4/3. Which is better? Who Wins? Which format has better IQ? I can only be a professional if I have a "FF" Camera with a big lens right? Can a "small sensor" compete against "full-frame"? Can a camera that is so small provide great results?

    Well in this blog post i will have an answer to these questions, list pro's and con's of each and also price out the two systems side by side in as most "equivalent" way as i can. And not to mention, put a myth or two to rest. Such as Full-Frame. What the hell is full frame? Micro 4/3 is "full frame" its a full size 4/3 sensor. There are many different image sensor formats and none of which can be respectively called "full frame". So from now on, i will be referring to the Nikon D610 as 35mm Sensor Size.

    This question is bound to show up in every one of your camera forums you visit each day. Listed in the highest post count threads because the topic is beaten to death and troll infested. I am going to compare these two systems from a realists point of view.

    Unlike others, i admit and acknowledge that there are other camera makers out there and not one is the overall "best". This review doesn't have graphs, or really any sample images, but it does give you a different point of view as to overall performance and how much money gets you how far in each system.

    I am going to price out and compare to systems. The Olympus OM-D EM-5 & Nikon D610. Bother deliver great IQ, but two different animals. The kits range from 16-150mm in 35mm Eq. FOV.

    Micro 4/3 System - Equates to 24-150mm (35mm Eq.)

    EM-5 Body $999
    12mm f/2.0 $799
    17mm f/1.8 $499
    25mm f/1.4 $525
    45mm f/1.8 $399
    75mm f/1.8 $899
    TOTAL: $4,124.00 With an Average Aperture: f/1.7 & DoF: f/3.5 (35mm Eq.)

    35mm Format - 16-150mm

    Nikon D610 $1,999
    16-35 f/4 $1,256
    50mm f/1.4g $439
    85mm F/1.8g $496
    150mm f/2.8 $1,099
    TOTAL: $5,288.95 with an Average Aperture and DoF @ f/2.5

    So, now let's average the Aperture and DOF of each system:

    35mm: Average of f/2.5

    u4/3: Average of f/2.6 (total light gathering divided by 35mm Eq. DOF)

    So there, with u4/3 we have faster glass overall, but in terms of DOF there is MORE, as we know, when compared to 35mm systems. But, when we look at the whole picture the two systems are ALMOST EQUAL in terms of average DOF and overall Light Gathering ability.

    High ISO Performance in The Real World...

    If you want to spend $1,164.85 more, you can have a 35mm system with a full stop less DoF but less "light gathering" and Better IQ when looking at prints larger than (16x20" IMHO) and better high ISO. But here's the kicker, what about High ISO when comparing the two systems. Well there is no-doubt that 35mm sensors provide clearly better images in higher ISO situations. But can this gap in performance be narrowed to the point where there isn't a clear advantage? Sure, it can. Its IBIS of u4/3 systems, namely the EM-5 and EM-1.

    IBIS , the great equalizer.

    For example. Every lens you put on the EM-5 is stabilized around 4 total stops. In my experience with The EM-1 it's closer to 5 stops, with handheld 1-1.5 sec exposures turning out sharp with a steady hand. So any prime lens or zoom you attach has stabilization, a feature missing in Nikon And Canon land. For example, you're not going to benefit from any IS until you're in the 70mm range with the 70-200mm lens from either of the Big Two.

    So this means that in the 14-69mm range, there is NO Image Stabilization for Nikon OR Canon, where as in micro 4/3 there is, not to mention, faster overall lenses. This means in times where you're bumping up the ISO on a 35mm DSLR to achieve a hand holdable shutter speed, you might not be doing so (or as much) with a IBIS model 4/3 camera to achieve the same shot, keeping the u4/3 camera in the "sweet spot" lower ISO's. Although ISO 6400 is plenty usable with the EM-5 and EM-1 IMHO, coupled with the fast prime lenses, you might never need 6400.

    So for example, you're using a Nikon 50mm 1.4g to shoot a subject in low-light and no flash, another individual is using a Pana-Leica 25mm f/1.4. The pana-leica is equiv. to 2.8 DoF in 35mm. The nikon shooter is bumping up the ISO to use f/2.8 (to keep the subject 100% in focus) and achieve a fast enough shutter speed to be hand holdable. Meanwhile the u4/3 shooter is using the lens wide open @ 1.4, maintaining subject focus, not bumping the ISO, and shooting hand-held to achieve the same result. Now, I'm not saying that the u4/3 user would have a better print that the 35mm user, just that the two systems are closer than one would think. Sure, if you stare at graphs all day then one would pick the 35mm DSLR, but unfortunately,there's this thing known as the real world.

    Lenses Galore

    Another HUGE benefit of the Micro 4/3 system is the ability to use a plethora of lenses from the Native u4/3 system all the way to adapted film lenses such as the OM-Zuiko line from the 80's. The native u4/3 prime lenses are hard to beat against any 35mm lens as far as overall sharpness, edge to edge and corner to corner performance.

    Even with zoom's, the new Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 is already being praised for its performance across the frame and when compared to the 24-70 Nikon, the Olympus is hands down the winner in overall IQ.

    The lenses with the u4/3 system are usually better performers than their comparable aps-c and 35mm lenses because of their size and design. For example, u4/3 lenses do not have as big of an image circle to fulfill as do bigger sensor format lenses. Its easier and cheaper to make a faster, sharper lens on u4/3 than bigger formats.

    Size and Weight for a compromise?

    This is the reason that many make a switch from APS-C or 35mm sensor size to Micro 4/3. The Nikon weighs in at a whopping 1.67lbs. for the body alone. Couple that with the 70-200 (3.39lb.) you're carrying a 5lb kit. Now, on the other side of the ring is the EM-1 (1.09lb) and the 35-100 Panasonic (.79lb) you have a comparable kit weighing a mere 1.88lbs. Just .21lbs heavier than the D610 body alone. Ask yourself this, How many times will i actually lug around my 24-70 and d610 on local adventures? let alone travel!

    I recently took the em-1 and 25mm Pana-Leica to the local farmers market and wondered what it would be like to carry around a bigger body and lens? Well , i probably wouldn't have taken it with me.. Sometimes i even throw the camera in the woman's purse from time to time and she doesn't complain, try doing that with a big bulky DSLR. In the end of this battle, the u4/3 camera gets taken everywhere! Even places where cameras wouldn't normally be allowed since you can throw a pancake lens on the body and put it in your pocket.

    EVF Vs. OVF

    Another highly subjective and debated feature of the micro 4/3 lineup. Personally, i find the EVF as an amazing tool. It allows you to see exposure adjustments and DoF live BEFORE you take the shot. It's hard to say that the OVF is "better" than the new generation electronic viewfinders such as the VF-4 found in the Olympus OM-D EM-1. When looking through the finder, sure you can tell its digital. But it is crystal clear and HUGE. At .74 magnification, it rivals the D4 and D800's. Sure, it lacks the DR of an OVF and i agree, but to me the EVF is fantastic. As technology increases, I'm sure the next-gen EVF's will be even more amazing.

    DoF & "Bokeh"

    Ah yes, i knew you were waiting to read my thoughts on this. I touched on it a little while talking about higher ISO shooting. Its a known fact that u4/3 has more DoF vs. 35mm Sensors this is due to the physical aperture opening of the lens for a 35mm is 2 times the opening of u4/3 lens at any given f/stop. This results in more preferable Out of focus rendering known as "bokeh".

    Can you achieve great Bokeh with u4/3? Yes you can. You can buy a 45mm f/1.8 and even better 75mm f/1.8. The longer the focal length and lower the f/stop, the better OOF rendering you will get.

    Now this is all very very subjective, some think that if you cant obliterate the background in a portrait, it deems picture worthless. Well, sure a great OOF background is fantastic i will not disagree, but i do like the entire face and upper body to be In Focus.

    So this leads me to this, where more DoF can actually save your ass. Most smart 35mm users will stop-down their lens from maximum aperture to achieve critcal focus. So that 50mm 1.4 you're using suddenly becomes at least f/2.8 to be able to achieve proper focus, sure distance from the subject matters ,but lets just use this as an example. So, with this you also just lost about 1.5 stops of total light, and in extreme cases, possibly even lowering the shutter speed into tripod territory unless you bump the ISO.

    Remember that Pana-Leica 25mm f/1.4? A u4/3 user would be able to take the same exact DoF @ f/1.4, not lose any light, and render the OOF areas quite nicely with bokeh.

    In terms on landscapes, the DoF difference is actually an advantage again. Typically i shoot landscapes on u4/3 @ f/5.6 ( f/11 on 35mm). This allows around 3 stops more light to hit the 4/3 sensor vs. the 35mm. Making landscape shooting a breeze, all while keeping the ISO low and achieving the overall same DoF.

    u4/3 Pro's

    Great IQ
    IBIS (every lens stabilized)
    Small and Portable
    EVF (for me it's fantastic seeing what you get)
    Bulb Mode (ability to watch exposure happen live)
    Use nearly any lens with an adapter
    Wi-Fi Built-In
    1/8000 Shutter (only found in D800 and Pro-Level models)
    Huge RAW Buffer of 51 @ 6.5fps or 40 @ 10fps (comparable to pro D4 & D3)
    Weather Sealing that rivals D4 etc.
    81 AF Points
    10 FPS
    1/320 Flash Sync
    tilt screen
    4:3 Aspect Ratio, better for printing IMHO
    Viewfinder Magnification ( same as pro level 35mm DSLR's)

    u4/3 Cons:

    If you want razor-thin DoF, not going to happen unless you have 0.95 lenses
    Print Size, printing larger than 16x20 might want to get 35mm Sensor
    Battery life not anywhere near that of DSLR's

    35mm Format Sensor Size Pro's:

    Highest IQ
    Less DOF for great Bokeh
    Plethora of Accessories since its a mature system
    Better High ISO
    Optical View Finder ( very subjective)
    Tracking subjects (u4/3 still not quite on this level)
    High Battery life

    35mm Format DSLR Cons:

    Need a tripod for shooting lower shutter speeds
    Less portable
    Oh-Look-At-Me! No stealth or fitting in with the croud
    1/250 sync
    Lower Fps @ 6.5

    Pro-Level shared features:

    1/8000 shutter
    Weather Sealing
    RAW Buffer
    High Resolution Monitors (EM-1: 1,037,000 vs D4: 921,000
    High FPS (10fps EM-1)

    Final Thoughts...

    While on my way to my day job this morning, I drove through quite the picturesque scene with the leaves in the middle of the road, fall foliage at its peak, sun rising, yet slightly dark in the shadows of the woods. I found my self thinking, what would I have to do to take the shot if i had wanted to? Which was to stand in the middle of the road, at a low angle, get the curvature of the road and the sky starting to catch fire, all while watching for traffic...

    Well put it this way, with the OM-D EM-1, I could have simply pulled to the side of the road, got out and took the shot with the new 12-40 f/2.8 M.Zuiko without any worrying of a blurred image and got back in the car before i turned to road kill. Now, if i had a 35mm DSLR or even an APS-C camera, with a 24mm-70mm. The same image would have required me to setup a tripod or find somehow to brace the camera to get the shot.

    So I asked myself, what were the chances I would have even grabbed my bag if I had a big DLSR kit? More than likely it would have been left on the table. Secondly, if I HAD brought the camera along, i wouldn't have been able to set-up the shot without the use of a tripod.

    So ask yourself this. Is the IQ advantage of 35mm DSLR worth spending the extra money ? Do the hassles of lugging around your gear and the need to use a tripod ( for most lenses in darker situations) worth it? Will the camera be with you most of the time?

    In the end. The camera is still a tool. There is no "best" camera in general. The best camera is the one that suits you, you're style and the camera that you BRING with you. Because if you don't have a camera, you don't have the shot.

    I insist that you leave your thoughts and opinions in a comment, as well as any information that you think will be pertinent to add to this article. Happy Shooting!
    • Like Like x 15
  2. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    Real Name:
    Very well written article Brian. Should be useful for newcomers to the m4/3 and photography world in general.

    Consider writing more often, I enjoy your writing style.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. barbosas

    barbosas Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2013
    Very good overview of things.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    My D600 + Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC beg to differ.:tongue:
    • Like Like x 2
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Question: do you actually own and use a D610 and/or any of the lenses you listed? Or are you an m4/3 user only?
    • Like Like x 2
  6. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Recently, reviews of the Sony A7 and A7r complained that getting subjects in focus was very difficult when recomposing. I infer this to mean that when shooting wide open, the razor thing DOF makes it difficult to get sharp images.

    What's the point of fast glass if you have to stop it down all the time just to encompass your subject in the DOF?
    • Like Like x 1
  7. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Real Name:
    Brian Y.
    I do not own any Nikon body. Only micro 4/3 and lenses. I was just using the d610 as it was the newest FF DSLR camera.

    If you have anything to add, you can say it.
  8. dfreezy

    dfreezy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Real Name:
    Thanks for taking the time to share. I think you were trying to sound impartial to either system, but your post sounds quite biased. For example, calling IBIS an 'equalizer' or replacement for high ISO wouldn't really hold true for wedding photographers or those who shoot indoor sports.

    I think you overstate the pros for m4/3 and understating the pros for FF (every section is about why m4/3 is as good or better). There really isn't anything wrong with this, but to me makes the entry read more like 'Why I choose m4/3 over full frame' than a "full frame and micro 4/3 comparison".
    • Like Like x 5
  9. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    Although I'm not a pro and not hugely picky. I've had several of my pictures printed in 20x24 and they came out great. So I guess I would say that it would depend on what you are planning on doing with your printed pictures. I have gotten a lot of compliments on them, granted they are from people that really don't know anything about photography but that doesn't matter IMO. Might they be a bit crisper looking if I had a FF camera? Probably but I am completely happy with how they came out. I don't think I would try printing anything any bigger than 20x24. But I don't know maybe someday I will try just to see how it looks. Just my 2cents on it.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    Agree. I've printed 16x24's with 6 and 8MP 4/3rds cameras and could have gone larger. I'm sure with the OMD they'd be even crisper maybe...then again, I probably couldn't tell the difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I was just curious, because I read the post the same way dfreezy did.

    To me, it came across more like a theoretical list of pros and cons written by an m4/3 user, rather than one based on experience with both systems.
  12. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Real Name:
    Brian Y.
    i agree 100%. maybe i should change the title as stated in a couple posts before. I would have more information if i had a nikon 35mm dslr but i do not. so this is also why i posted here because i want to hear input from both sides. thanks Jay.

    I will take your advice into consideration. I would like a bigger list of "pro"s for FF. thank you
    Like i said i would like for this to become the "definitive" go-to article. So your help is greatly appreciated.
  13. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    This is more likely user error.... Certainly, one should have a sense of what its like to shoot with a narrow DOF and understand the impacts of focus re-composition for a given focal length. It improves with practice. I do this routinely with a FF attached with a 50mm f/1. With modern cameras, its even easier. You can simply move the focus point over the subject rather than recomposing from center. This should eliminate the error. Certainly, one can do this without stopping down the lens.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    not sure about m43 winning the "lens galore" section. sure most focal range is covered, and by very good lenses, but Nikon users have 3-4 NATIVE choices for every focal distance you listed. and that's not counting the very popular 24-70mm and 70-200mm constant zooms (not sure why they are not part of the comparison, too orange-y than 16-35mm f/4?), which comes in both stabilized and non stabilized version from all major lens makers, and also in f/2.8 and f/4 flavors as well.

    one can easily take the m/43 budget, and get a kit of D600, 24-70mm 2.8 VC, 70-200mm VR that gives you constant aperture and DOF of 2.8, fully stabilized, and still have money left over for a 50mm 1.8G or 1.4D for low light.

    now whether one wants to carry all that around all day, and whether one can operate the combo with the same nimbleness and efficiency as a m43 kit, that's another story.
  15. hookgrip

    hookgrip Mu-43 Regular

    May 21, 2013
    IBIS is great and all...until your subject moves
    • Like Like x 3
  16. FlatSix

    FlatSix New to Mu-43

    Sep 10, 2010

    well written.

    I think could be useful to add another m4/3 'great equalizer' for low light photography: the larger depth of field.
    As every real FF user (not forum geeks that discuss about gear they don't own or don't use outside their dining room...) cannot avoid to admit is the fact that FF thin DoF often is a problem in real life.
    The typical direct comparison between shots taken at same ISO (like shown in DPReview or Imaging Resource tests) are almost useless, because they never involve DoF.
    They always show almost flat subjects or subjects on a singe plane, with the camera focal plane perfectly perpendicular: how many times it happens in real shots with real subjects?

    For every situation where FF thin DoF is desiderable and pleasant, there is another situation where m4/3 larger DoF is not only desiderable but a must.
    Portraits of people groups, larger subject to keep in focus, subject not perpendicular to focal plane: all these situations benefits from m4/3 larger DoF.
    When people says that FF has an advantage of 1 or 2 stops on high ISO compared to m4/3, they always 'forget' to mention that m4/3 has an advantage of 2 stops in DoF in low light situation.
    When you are obliged to shot with FF at f5.6 or f8 to keep subject in focus, with m4/3 you can shot at f2.8 or f4: this completely eliminates the FF high ISO benefit.

    The myth of FF Bokeh and thin Dof is the typical Internet forums WDM (Weapon of Mass Distraction) and Canikon marketing warhorse, but in real life the large/small DoF debate is a typical situation where more often than not you rob Peter to pay Paul.
    Sometimes FF wins, sometimes m4/3 wins.

    And when software will apply in real time the $ 11,000 FF Leica Noctilux f0.95 bokeh to perfectly clean ISO 102,400 $ 99.99 smarphones' camera sensor, even m4/3 will be considered a quaint heritage of digital photography prehistory.
    Don't laugh... It could happen sooner than expected :smile:
    • Like Like x 4
  17. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    good balance write up :)

    a few things the 10FPS downside won't be focusing ? zone focus over comes that but the D4 or 1DX smoke it :) but then again price etc.. kids sports ? not a pro shooter I would still say M4/3 higher F stop zone it let it rip you will get your shots :) just thinking out loud :) AND you can get a nice long lens CHEAP that does a very good job and will be stabilized !

    sync speed ? flash the FF gets a HUGE lead way more options way better setups for HSS and many other things so IMHO the lead goes to FF still :) and sync speed with OCF is the same in the end

    ditto IBIS its awesome but unless for me wedding portrait guy it does not equalize as much as it offers me some things I like so I really think that is a separate feature that is nicer than in lens makes every lens stabilized not sure wording wise but don't compare to ISO equalizer compare to every lens is stabilized ! so lens can be less money better quality optics and smaller ! look at Leica :)
    IMHO the ISO is close enough that is its own thing and only a stop to two behind the better FF IBIS has nothing to do with ISO :) IMHO at least :)
    dof beaten to death double edge sword :) often shallow used as a crutch for bad photography technique :) and I don't shoot my FF on the largest aperture that often unless I am wanting that look which is not often :)

    sound !!! love the fact M4/3 are so much more quiet ! even as a working pro weddings in churches ! nothing like firing off a 1 series to get attention :) or getting ready its nice yeah you are there but makes the girls much less aware when you are taking shots ! even in a home etc.. or at any event with kids inside things they do I love how quiet things are
    the tilt screen and touch to trigger shutter HUGE HUGE benefits !!!! goes hand in hand with quiet waist level shooting is easy over head super low angles composing the shot not guessing hit right on who you want to have in focus etc..
    man pro cameras are really missing out

    old portrait folks know the importance of connecting with the subject and you can't do that behind the viewfinder ! the tilt screens and touch make this A HUGE bonus IMHO over FF gear and live view on FF is not so fun to use laggy and stuff !

    honestly unless you are a working pro these days I see no reason to get a FF unless you really know WHY you want a FF and not because the files are better
    nature ? yeah D800E
    sports sure a used D3 ! that kinda thing
  18. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    funny thing :) I don't think it even matters about clean iso and bokeh and everything look at M4/3 sales ? pretty sad I hope it gets better :) but look at P&S ! reality is smart phones are what I use a lot ! even with a ton of gear at my disposal ! the iPhone 5 is pretty good and records the moment I often have my phone on my every moment so its there and handy and more important instant send to who ever I want to share with !

    I think its already happened :) in many ways people are off cameras ! and ditto your points on bokeh etc.. :) my thoughts also :)

    I do groups with my M4/3/ and love it :) can bring my lights down two stops faster recycle etc.. dof awesome tilt screen over head shots better angles now when it gets dark and dancing starts my FF comes out :)
  19. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Real Name:
    The prose is well titled, Apples to Oranges. This is devils advocate point of view (the other side of the coin) of what you wrote, not intended to start any arguments. Size, weight, cost, enough excellent lens choices, good enough IQ, and being able to meet a vast majority of my needs is why I have u4/3s. However my 35mm is not going away - it fulfills many needs the u/4/3 cannot. Quite simply 35mm offer more choices an many areas where u4/3s is not competitive - but it does come at a trade off in size, weight, and expense.

    The comparison of lenses is an apples to oranges comparison. You seemed to be saying that 2 x 35mm focal length are u4/3s are equivalents, they are not. Considering spatial relationships and aspect ratios are just the beginning arguments for or against one or the other. It is a very broad avenue for comparing apples to oranges though.

    You totally skipped the point about the 35mm cameras 16mm - 24mm field of view differences in favor of the 35mm (based on the 2x crop factor for the 12mm u4/3s lens). Which in itself can be deal killer for many all by itself.

    35mm does not have less "light gathering" than u4/3s. That is fallacy.

    IBIS is only the great equalizer, IF your subject is not moving or you do not mind blurs for whatever is moving! There are great positives to the E-M5 an E-M IBIS, however it is not the great equalizer.

    DoF- In your comparison of the Nikon 50mm F/1.4 to the Pana-Leica 25mm f/1.4, the u4/3 lens cannot achieve the same control over DoF that is possible with Nikon 50mm! These are not directly comparable as you will have two images with different spatial relationships in the images. You only considered a very narrow range of EV values where photos are taken.

    Lenses galore - another fallacy. 35mm simply trumps the u4/3 in lens choices. Especially wide angles and super telephotos. Since you used Nikon as the comparison, Nikon has more lens choices than the OM, 4/3s, and u4/3s lenses combined. The Nikon F mount was introduced in 1959 with hundreds of native Nikon F mount lenses avaiable not to mention the F mount lenses produced by such companies as Angénieux, Fujifilm, Hartblei, Horseman, JVC, Kenko, Kiev-Arsenal, Lensbaby, Samyang, Schneider, Sigma, Sinar, Tamron, Tokina, Vivitar, Voigtländer, and Zeiss - all without even using an adapter. Now add adapters into the situation and you have many, many more lenses to mount on the 35mm.

    And there are less than two dozen Olympus 4/3s and u4/3s lenses that compare with the best of the 35mm lenses, which significantly out number the best 4/3s and u4/3s lenses.

    Your list of Pros and Cons is fairly valid!!!! However
    - shutter speeds - 1/8000s exist in other than pro level cameras such as the D300, D300s, D7000, D7100
    - the 1/320th X Sync speed on the E-M1 is only valid for a couple of flash units on only the E-M1 at this point
    - you should also add FP flash and wireless flash as pros.
    - The EVF is an iffy pro as optical viewfinders still provide a better viewing alternative, although the VF-4 and E-M1 are getting very close
    - Aspect ratio to print sizes, you're still going to crop images for most standard sizes of photographic prints so I do not see that a pro
    - I also disagree with the "printing larger than 16 x 20 you might want to consider the 35mm sensor". I have some great large prints from cameras with half the resolution of those available today. And if one does not make prints and only show their photos on monitors or the web, much of all resolution of any camera today is not used to the best effect.

    You totally neglected the dynamic range and color depths obtainable in 35mm format exceeding the 35mm cameras.

    All to often there is not a best, just different, yet good enough for many situations.
  20. tbyork2012

    tbyork2012 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 14, 2012
    Oxford, UK
    I agree with many points made for the benefit of M43 - the weight, the lens selection etc.

    The 5-axis IBIS of the E-M1, E-M5 and E-P5 may be useful for allowing handheld photography with slower shutter speeds, but I think the main benefit of the IBIS is when using manual focus lenses, as the subject is stabilised in the EVF while trying to accurately adjust focus in magnified view - I really like this ability.

    Another point which has not been mentioned (I think), is the benefit of the very fast and accurate contrast-detect autofocus of the M43 system (unlike in previous Sony/Fuji mirrorless which are not as fast) vs the slightly less accurate but very fast phase-detection autofocus which may need some user adjustment to achieve optimal results. The previous advantage of speed of focus of the phase-detection AF compared to contrast-detect AF is no longer there as Olympus cameras have really improved on this. But PDAF still wins on C-AF for sports photography.