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

F/Stop

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thanks for everyones comments! i will add some vital information to the O.P.
 

Ray Sachs

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I just read this. I think everyone has pointed out the flaws here, but I'll just second the analysis. M43 is a system with some very serious strengths and some weaknesses. Full frame is the same. If somehow a full frame Nikon or Canon system (not just the bodies, but the whole system) could be shrunk down to m43 size at similar costs, I don't think there are many people who'd actually choose m43. Full frame image quality is THAT much better IMHO. Which doesn't mean you can't make equally beautiful images with m43, but when it comes to dynamic range, high ISO capability (which can affect more than just extremely low light shooting - it can also extend what's possible in terms of shutter speed and aperture combinations in even moderate light), AND the shallow DOF that so many have mentioned here, full frame just beats the pants off of m43. And APS as well - I don't think there's a lot of difference between m43 and APS, but there's a BIG jump between either and full frame. And when it comes to processing your images, working with a raw file from one of the best of today's full frame sensors is simply a revelation compared to APS or m43. So, you can make equally great images with m43, but you can make them in a whole host of more difficult circumstances and with more flexibility and margin for error with full frame. That matters!

That said, full frame's downside is its size and weight. Particularly with the lenses. The bodies can apparently be made pretty small, as Sony is showing again with the A7 and A7r. And a basic 28-50mm prime lens can even be made reasonably small and still have really nice characteristics and be pretty fast. I have an RX1 and that little camera is a marvel - simply amazing. But it's as small and as good as it is because it's a fixed lens with the lens built well into the camera body and with an impressive system of micro-lenses bending the light from that particular lens onto the sensor in just the right ways. Trying to make a full frame system with wider angle and longer lenses, particularly as any sort of fast apertures, is where physics has to take over and force larger lenses. I shot with a friend recently who had a Canon 6D along with a wide angle zoom (I think it was a 16-35 or 17-40 - within the range of the m43 7-14 or 9-18) and the setup was HUGE and HEAVY. Even if you assume you can shrink the body down to A7 size, there's only so much you can do with the lenses. So Full frame has a downside too.

So, yeah, it's totally apples and oranges. I'd LOVE to shoot with full frame for almost everything except street photography (where I value MORE depth of field rather than less and the best possible IQ isn't all that critical), but no way I want to haul all of that gear around - I did it in the film days and no way I'd want to go back and do it again - and its bigger now! So m43 meets me where I live in terms of tradeoffs for a lot of shooting. I have an RX1 and a Nikon Coolpix A for most of my mid-wide prime shooting, but for anything really wide or even somewhat long (35-100, 75mm) I use m43 because of the size/weight/performance tradeoffs that work well enough for me. But there is no "equalizer", just tradeoffs...

-Ray
 

RT_Panther

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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.

No more further questions required..
 

itikhvin

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As far as FF having so many more lens choices (especially with wide angle).... I was disappointed with a lot of the lenses on FF. The D800 requires the VERY best lenses that are heavy such as the 14-24. The 16-35 never had good enough corner performance... neither does the newer Nikon 18-35 (I've owned them).The Tamron 24-70 VC copy I had was disappointing with focusing and corner sharpness.


DOF issues are a complete PITA... when you are shooting portraits in low light for example.


The 7-14 Panasonic is an outstanding lens.... ok it's only crop sensor, but I have no issues with sharpness whatsoever

I am very happy I sold the D800 and didn't haul it to New York with me.... the camera that really interests me is the A7R, but not going to buy it until Sony comes out with a full frame wide angle
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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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.
This does come across in your article.
It really doesn't read as someone who owns and uses both m4/3rds and 35mm digital, and that's a real shame.
There wouldn't (for example) be any trouble taking a picture in the middle of the road as described with any number of full-frame digitals, and that bit's been responded to already.
The lens-list is what really bugged me too.

I guess it's weird being on a m4/3rds forum and receiving criticism for (in a sideways way) denigrating full-frame systems, but there's fannism and there's reality and the two may not meet right here.
 

F/Stop

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This does come across in your article.
It really doesn't read as someone who owns and uses both m4/3rds and 35mm digital, and that's a real shame.
There wouldn't (for example) be any trouble taking a picture in the middle of the road as described with any number of full-frame digitals, and that bit's been responded to already.
The lens-list is what really bugged me too.

I guess it's weird being on a m4/3rds forum and receiving criticism for (in a sideways way) denigrating full-frame systems, but there's fannism and there's reality and the two may not meet right here.

Ok. I would like to hear what lenses you would like to see listed.
 
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This does come across in your article.
It really doesn't read as someone who owns and uses both m4/3rds and 35mm digital, and that's a real shame.
There wouldn't (for example) be any trouble taking a picture in the middle of the road as described with any number of full-frame digitals, and that bit's been responded to already.
The lens-list is what really bugged me too.

I guess it's weird being on a m4/3rds forum and receiving criticism for (in a sideways way) denigrating full-frame systems, but there's fannism and there's reality and the two may not meet right here.

OK,I actively use both types of cameras. It is not a matter of taking the Canon 5D MKlll or the Panny GX-7 or what have you. I practically always carry both. I think the writers have fairly covered the technical differences. The way I end up using them is that the only lenses I use on the Canon are telephoto, except for a few fast wide angle Canon lenses. To ask one to choose would be like asking which of your children you prefer. To be brief the Canon yields contrastier pictures with richer colors while the Panny shows finer detail. I know this is partly the way the camera is set up and is all adjustable in PP. I prefer micro 43 for general photography but full frame for action photography and nature photography. Some people think micro43 can compete and can show good examples but they are wrong. Nothing grabs a flying bird better than a full frame camera. One reason I like micro 43 is the lack of narrow DOF. When I take a picture of a flower I often want the whole flower in focus,not just one petal. Both kinds of cameras are capable of taking both good and poor pictures. I get a very high yield of technically good pictures with micro43.
 

flash

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The advantages of 35mm are:

More dynamic range. Except if you shoot Canon which has less DR than m/43.

Significantly shallower DOF. Unless you shoot Nikon where you get a half stop (50mm 1.4 vs 25mm 0.95). Canon users get a whole stop. Awesome.

Better CAF. As long as you're prepared to purchase better than kit bodies AND lenses.

Wider range of native lenses. Except half the Nikon legacy lenses won't work on half the current bodies. But they will work with IS on an EM5 using a $10.00 adaptor.

Using lenses at the focal lengths they're supposed to be at. Tell that to the medium format guys. They're howling with laughter at your puny sensors.

Better wide angle lenses. Umm. No. 7-14 anyone.

m4/3 users write these things because they have feelings of inadequacy. 35mm users respond because they're compensating for lack of size in other areas. And yet none of them are out taking photos. They're too busy telling us about what they can do with the cameras they're not actually using for photography. The differences are small. Not "huge". Not "significant". peace in the Middle East is significant. If you fall into the extremely narrow band where the differences make a difference, great, But for 99% it's just argument for arguments sake. CAF may be better on a 70D but how many people shooting the Kids rugby actually flick that switch, I wonder. Most of the ones I see are using the rear screen and live view on their sexy new D7100. And if we all got a little better at the craft we'd be a lot less reliant on our fancy CAF and ISO ten trillion.

Gordon
 

arad85

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The differences are small. Not "huge". Not "significant". peace in the Middle East is significant. If you fall into the extremely narrow band where the differences make a difference, great, But for 99% it's just argument for arguments sake. CAF may be better on a 70D but how many people shooting the Kids rugby actually flick that switch
Yes. Exactly.
 

HappyFish

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Gordon you have a chance to shoot your new E-M1 at a wedding yet ? I don't have one till end of month ? going to try to get out ahead of that at a buddies just to see how it does excited to see how much better the focus is will be trying C-AF to check out the new focus pixels :) but more likely be in S-AF which at the one party I shot was I think better than my E-M5 :)
 

rezatravilla

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Hmmm forgot to mention AF performance :smile:

That's why i still keep my DSLR (even now days i'm rarely use it except for hunting sports and landscape) :biggrin:
 

flash

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Hey Chad!

Not yet. Next wedding is Friday week. But I'll say this. While the EM5 is an extremely capable camera the EM1 seems to have addressed nearly every gripe I had with it. I almost wish i had two of them now. They're easy to get here but I want to see how this one performs in anger. But I don't need two for more than a few minutes each wedding so I may get a GX7 if it does OK with the Panasonic 7-14 (although the rather stunning 4/3 Olympus version is real tempting). I was building a small Fuji system but that's on hold now while I redesign my AF needs around the EM1. It's really re-invigorated my enjoyment of m4/3 and I am seriously considering paring back some of my Leica gear.

Gordon
 

itikhvin

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The advantages of 35mm are:
Better wide angle lenses. Umm. No. 7-14 anyone.

what are those lenses you are talking about? With Nikon, the only great wide angle is 14-24 f2.8. The others are not that great (I've tried them) and not better than 7-14.
 

HappyFish

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whats funny is I read it as FF has better wide angle and he is saying UMMM NO !
and then saying 7-14 anyone meaning its a really good wide angle ? and those that say FF is better have no clue about the 7-14 :)

not sure but he will clarify I am sure :) hahaahahah

one thing I am stoked on getting is the OLY super wide zoom when it comes out :)




what are those lenses you are talking about? With Nikon, the only great wide angle is 14-24 f2.8. The others are not that great (I've tried them) and not better than 7-14.
 

itikhvin

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whats funny is I read it as FF has better wide angle and he is saying UMMM NO !
and then saying 7-14 anyone meaning its a really good wide angle ? [

You are right! I think I misread that... while Nikon does have a lot of lenses, there are only a handful that are REALLY good enough to be used for D800 IMO.
 

HappyFish

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yeah :) I was pretty stoked got to say if you were like me first time I looked through the EVF of the E-M1 I had this laughing grin on my face and did a double take grabbed my D600 and compared and kinda chuckled to myself

and yeah the handling :) everything is so much nicer for me I am going to end up with a full set of there PRO zoom lens

my plans are ping ponging all over :) ahhahaha
I am thinking of getting some voigtlander glass ? maybe 50 1.1 the 35 1.2 and the 75 1.8 they have and seeing about getting a sony a7r ? but might hold off and get the next version :) could also use them on the OMD of course
I was going to hold my E-M5 for second body but going to get it up ASAP on the sale and put the money elsewhere I think

been playing a lot more with peaking and I am really liking it so going to get the 17 voigt I have been holding off on and still might wait for the panny 42.5 1.2
and see what the fuji pro X2 or whatever it is going to be called is like
going to be doing more portrait this year and debating about getting out of weddings ? so after 13 years of doing weddings I have a hard time getting out of the wedding way of thinking of what I need in a camera :) the weddings I am going to keep shooting I am going to go back to my older way of shooting them I think to which is wider lens style and more angles again not sure how I drifted from my early stuff ? but it happens :)



Hey Chad!

Not yet. Next wedding is Friday week. But I'll say this. While the EM5 is an extremely capable camera the EM1 seems to have addressed nearly every gripe I had with it. I almost wish i had two of them now. They're easy to get here but I want to see how this one performs in anger. But I don't need two for more than a few minutes each wedding so I may get a GX7 if it does OK with the Panasonic 7-14 (although the rather stunning 4/3 Olympus version is real tempting). I was building a small Fuji system but that's on hold now while I redesign my AF needs around the EM1. It's really re-invigorated my enjoyment of m4/3 and I am seriously considering paring back some of my Leica gear.

Gordon
 

HappyFish

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You are right! I think I misread that... while Nikon does have a lot of lenses, there are only a handful that are REALLY good enough to be used for D800 IMO.

yeah I hear ya on good for the D800 :)

I do wish we had a really good 7 or 8 prime for the M4/3 something at least as fast as 2.8 and quality
when the OLY super wide zoom comes out I will be happy and dump my nikon super wide and just have the 35 and 85 prime for my nikon

no more zooms for FF anymore for me the M4/3 are so nice


for those curious I have had the canon 24-70 L and the nikon equiv and the Panny IMHO beats both of those in some ways sharpness into corners only place it falls behind is CA which is not a big issue corner sharpness and clarity I give to the M4/3 and I can fix CA can't fix smear and softness :) can't wait to try the new OLY out :)
 

HappyFish

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you also forget M43 were not smooth (noise) compare to DSLR

one thing I find I like the BW out of my OMD better camera jpg are very nice tone something about them :) but even raw converted the noise character I prefer BW out to my OMD over my FF gear :)

color wise I agree I think the noise is smoother in FF
 

flash

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what are those lenses you are talking about? With Nikon, the only great wide angle is 14-24 f2.8. The others are not that great (I've tried them) and not better than 7-14.

My English isn't that good sometimes. One day i'll have to learn another language to see if I can get that one right.... :smile:

I meant the Panny 7-14 is as good as what the big three have to offer, purple blobs aside.

Gordon
 

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