EM1 iii Mk3 DPR Review Very Fair and Balanced

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,260
2) MFT vs APS-C. Canon is using smaller sensor that has less than 1,5 times the image area of MFT and rest of the manufacturers have a ratio of around 1,7. Here the latest sensor technology plays a large role. Without latest 32MP Canon APS-C and Fuji X-Trans 4 sensors, IQ difference between MFT and APS-C would depend more on the lens and processor FW quality than sensor potential. Unfortunately MFT is a couple of generations behind here as well on top of the area disadvantage.

MFT sensors date back from the time when Sony 6300 was released and as usual, Sony reserved the latest technology of the time for their own product. Despite this, Olympus M1 Mark II was more than a match to Sony 6300 in all areas, including IQ when it was launched in Septermber 2016. Problems started only when the next model, M1.3 was hitting the stores with the very same sensor in 2020.
I think the 20mp, 60fps capable sensor is unfairly maligned. It punches above its weigh class, especially when the respective APS-C sensors have a slower electronic shutter readout (and/or with penalities like 1.25x crop or bitrate reduction):
DPR comparator.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

PtP APS-C Micro Four Thirds.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161
I guess Sony needs the MFT camera manufacturers to commit to a certain quantity before producing a new sensor. Given the recent developments, it's possible we will never see another Sony MFT sensor. Panasonic recently divested itself of its sensor fabs so they're not going to make a new sensor either.
The scary part is the fact that sale of semiconductor business was just the first step of a larger plan to perhaps get rid of all consumer electronic products altogether. Panasonic is not likely to leave MFT in favor of FF cameras but to shut down the whole camera unit without a warning.

PetaPixel 29.11.2019:
"The all-cash deal includes the TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor joint venture (excluding Tower’s stake), and it’s expected to close by June 2020.
Panasonic, which launched the S1R and S1 full-frame mirrorless cameras this year, is working to get rid of all of its perpetually unprofitable businesses over the next few years and focus on its profitable divisions such as batteries and technology for cars."


TowerJazz joint venture did not disappear, just changed hands and since the sale was completed only one month ago, it sounds likely that this was the place where Panasonic was planning to get their next generation MFT sensors as well. It's even more worrying that Panasonic has not launched rumoured three GH6 products or even confirmed that they will ever do so.

TowerJazz seems to be the only foundry in addition to Sony who is selling their FF sensors to third parties as well. They have indicated that the FF sensor inside Nikon Z50 is actually their product.

Sony has publicly admitted that their target is to become the number 1 in ILC business and to that end they are reserving all new sensor technologies for their own camera models first. Only after they have gained competitive advantage of at least year, they will sell same sensors to third parties like Nikon. Sony has absolutely no intensions to keep these proprietary Olympus/Panasonic MFT sensors (only IMX269 is a commercial product) in production longer than they are contractually obilged to. And these contracts were signed some five (?) years ago...
 

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161
I think the 20mp, 60fps capable sensor is unfairly maligned. It punches above its weigh class, especially when the respective APS-C sensors have a slower electronic shutter readout (and/or with penalities like 1.25x crop or bitrate reduction):
You are forgetting the fierce mirrorless FF price war that just started.

Previously MFT had to compete only against APS-C cameras because FF was howering in another price range and APS-C has only 1,5-1,7 times the sensor area which isn't enough to give significant advantage over MFT. This is visible in DPR comparisons if you select only MFT and APS-C cameras. There is not enough difference to claim that APS-C is better than MFT.

Today, even Nikon Z5 and Z6 are cheaper than OM 1.3 so it has ended up in the same price range as FF cameras which have 4x sensor area. Do the same comparison but with Nikon and Canon mirrorless FF models instead and results are not that encouraging any more.

You just can't compare 1600€ M1.3 against 740€ Canon M6 II any more. They are just not in the same price category and don't compete against each other. Panasonic G9 has almost identical IQ but it is selling well below 1000€ as well.
 
Last edited:

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,260
Today, even Nikon Z5 and Z6 are cheaper than OM 1.3 so it has ended up in the same price range as FF cameras which have 4x sensor area.
You just can't compare 1600€ M1.3 against 740€ Canon M6 II any more. They are just not in the same price category and don't compete against each other.
They have completely different featuresets and capabilities. You might as well compare the E-M5III instead, which has the same sensor but with Olympus implementing a limit on the upper end on the drive mode. It has the same 20mp sensor, which was the point of my post.

You also conveniently fail to mention the X-T4's pricepoint which is still higher than the Nikon Z5 and said nothing about the Canon RP, which undercuts all of the aforementioned cameras. Regardless my point is that the latest APS-C sensors "are not that different" from the unfairly maligned 20mp sensor we have today. If anything, that 20mp sensor is a little ahead on the tech curve but unfortunately that is all that we have right now.

Sensor size and price aren't the only thing that matters and my post was about APS-C performance, especially with the latest sensors going up against the "old" high readout speed 20mp Micro Four Thirds sensor. Why are you changing the goalposts and tangenting off to bring up a completely unrelated matter of pricepoint?
 

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161
You also conveniently fail to mention the X-T4's pricepoint which is still higher than the Nikon Z5 and said nothing about the Canon RP, which undercuts all of the aforementioned cameras.
I did: " Do the same comparison but with Nikon and Canon mirrorless FF models instead and results are not that encouraging any more. "

Canon RP actually sucks if you compare high ISO performance against any other FF camera but it's still waaay above MFT - and APX-C for that matter.

Real problem is Nikon Z5 and Z6 though because they have all the features and pretty much the best low light performance of all FF cameras at the moment thanks to low pixel count. And yet Z6 is a lot cheaper than M1.3.

I didn't need to say anything about X-T4 because that was a valid comparison as was Sony A6600 even though the latter one is some 300€ less expensive.
 

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,260
Canon RP actually sucks if you compare high ISO performance against any other FF camera but it's still waaay above MFT - and APX-C for that matter.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I actually had a RP to try out for a while:
https://www.mu-43.com/threads/eos-rp-first-impressions.103029/

It isn't as stark and vast as you believe it to be.
 

Lcrunyon

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 4, 2014
Messages
2,054
Location
Maryland
Real Name
Loren
We all know the sensor is getting long in the tooth, and we all know that there are better technical IQ bodies out there. The failure of most reviewers and most of their audience is that they don't understand (or appreciate) the complete context. That being... when it comes to all of the things that make up a good image, sensor performance is at the bottom of that list, and had already surpassed most people's needs a long time ago. So, yes, Olympus gives up some in that area to make up ground in other areas that some people find more valuable (and with excellent lenses). Olympus is a company for photographers, not tech hounds -- innovating in ways the most other companies don't to improve the photography experience, not the spec sheet. This is why so many of us find it completely wrong to compare basic full frame cameras to Oly's flagships. Yes, full frame systems have a better sensor, but they have no where near the same features or user experience, and in every way except the sensor (which Oly users consider to be a minor advantage that they are willing to pass on) the full frame camera is inferior. Others may have different opinions or needs, and that is fine. No one in M4/3 land (well, almost no one) says there is no place for full frame. But its sad that there are some very aggressive full frame sycophants that can't seem to abide there being a place for M4/3. The reality is that there is a market for both. People who come to a M4/3 site to persistently espouse full frame don't seem to understand that we already know the strengths and weaknesses of our system and made that trade-off a long time ago.

I think its fair to say that Olympus' failures in their strategy was 1) lack of a marketing campaign to explain their value and 2) not being able to secure a source for new sensors. But what is often glossed over is that those newer sensors provide such a negligible increase in IQ that it was more cost-effective to stay with the same one. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony also started playing harder ball with Olympus in attempt to cut them off. So, I think both of Olympus' failures were about marketing to maintain confidence. Users want to see progress, even if that progress is incremental, to invest in a system. This is a criticism I agree with -- along with continuing with outdated EVFs too (which was probably a cost-cutting measure). But these complaints only manifested in the past several years (once the successors to the E-M1 MkII started coming out), and don't really have much to do with the quality of the system. People seem to forget that Olympus (and Panasonic too) was fairly consistently winning Camera of the Year awards earlier on in the M4/3 life cycle.
 
Last edited:

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161
Great my keyboard switched all by itself to another language so let's try again

Your chart is about dynamic range but the reason why 3200 is generally considered to be the maximum rating for MFT is noise.

I happen to live in the north and also like sports photography and video so for some 7-8 months every year I have to struggle with out- and indoor sport venues which have very "economical" lights.

But I have managed to use MFT thanks to very inexpensive but fast lenses. I do have friends who shoot with FF and I can't avoid seeing the fact that MFT is way behind any FF camera under low light conditions. And now I talking about real world IQ, not some dots on a chart. FF is just way much better in terms of noise so above 3200 so why would anybody even try to deny the obvious?

Under reasonably good light this FF advantage disappears and you need some serious pixel peeping to actually even see the stated 2-3 step dynamic range difference. MFT has really disadvange in situations where you just need to go beyond 3200 to capture fast movement and in most parts of the world this might not be that big issue (or no issue at all if you only shoot something stationary)
 
Last edited:

John King

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
793
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Your chart is about dynamic range but the reason why 3200 is generally considered to be the maximum rating for MFT is noise.

I just can
Rosa, at ISO 6,400 f/6 @ 1/20th taken with the really disgusting 12-50 macro ... OoC JPEG.

E-M1_JAK_2016-_2112448_Ew.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Taken with the noisy 16 MPx Panasonic sensored E-M1 MkI.

Terrible noise ...
 

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,260
Your chart is about dynamic range but the reason why 3200 is generally considered to be the maximum rating for MFT is noise.

I just can
I think you're going to have to examine the Photos to Photons PDR chart again. Those lines pretty much match up with realistically negligible differences. I only found realistic differences in my own personal tests when I had to push into the upper limits as I already linked to said post. ISO 25600 is hot garbage and that's the "2 stops" of difference over 6400 based purely on sensor area.

ISO6400 is the upper limit on the circuitry in the E-M1II to boost the analog signal. Anything past that is multiplication. The RP doesn't do that much better (realistically the upper limit is 12800) and you're going to be shooting at higher ISOs on it because of a lack of good stabilization when you're light limited. The R5 and R6 are a different story so far (depending on how well the body side works, combined with the lens seems to be pretty good for once) but they also have different price points that are higher than an E-M5III (which also has great stabilization).

Meanwhile the Z6 is maybe 1-2 stops of IBIS and the A7RII in my experience is 1, at best. If not near 0 (as in you shoot at 1/FL for nonblurry shots). They're fine cameras if you're in a situation where stabilization doesn't help and you need around 1 to 2 stops of advantage but that advantage isn't always there. When you're DoF limited it doesn't exist because you'll be restricted by your aperture.
 

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161
Meanwhile the Z6 is maybe 1-2 stops of IBIS and the A7RII in my experience is 1, at best. If not near 0 (as in you shoot at 1/FL for nonblurry shots). They're fine cameras if you're in a situation where stabilization doesn't help and you need around 1 to 2 stops of advantage but that advantage isn't always there. When you're DoF limited it doesn't exist because you'll be restricted by your aperture.
I use mostly Sigma 56mm f/1.4 for indoor sports and it covers even a reasonable area of football (soccer) field if I stand close to opponents goal. Since this lens is very sharp full open, it it possible to extend range slightly by cropping but unfortunately there just isn't a zoom lens I could use in some of the dimly lit arenas. F2.8 is just not enough in MFT camera and I have not seen suitable zooms with F2 or F1.8 speed rating which would just about make it.

DoF does indeed become the limiting factor since at F/1.4 it is annoyingly shallow. It's hard to see whats going on when only the player who has the ball is in focus at any given moment and video becomes practically unusable if CAF is not up to it's task. Individual players just blink in and out of focus like Christmas lights in the rough center of the image are.

Better mirrorless FF do not have these problems because as far as noise is concerned, they can give same or better real world results at 12 800 than what MFT gives at 3200.

And yes, this is not a problem at all for most camera buyers but it still doesn't mean that it isn't a very true handicap for the MFT system.

Biggest problem for everyone is the fact that if nobody has developed new sensors for MFT since 2016, it doesn't really sound like this system is going to be around for much longer. Let's hope that GH6 lineup changes all that in 1-2 months.
 
Last edited:

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,260
unfortunately there just isn't a zoom lens I could use in some of the dimly lit arenas. F2.8 will just not do in MFT.
Then shoot with a f/1.2 or f/2.0 zoom. See my avatar for the f/1.2 zoom if you absolutely need a 64mm f/1.2 lens for low light. Funnily enough, the same lens works on APS-C too- oh, wait...

You can also get around the cropping problem by giving up a little bit of aperture for the Olympus 75mm f/1.8, which gives you a bit more reach.

...Or go buy another camera system for when you need dedicated lenses on it. Nobody stops you from owning one system.

Biggest problem for everyone is the fact that if nobody has developed new sensors for MFT since 2016, it doesn't really sound like this system is going to be around for much longer. Let's hope that GH6 lineup changes all that in 1-2 months.
A system does not equal a sensor. A system is the coupling of the lens to a camera that is then put into the hands of a user. The user is the one that determines what can be gotten out of said system that they can afford to own or to physically bring to a location and damn well if pros didn't shoot better shots than a lot of forum punditry types using an ancient 4mp D2Hs blown up to a 30x20 print. Some people do the same with a second hand D2H and D2X to this very day.
 
Last edited:

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161
A system does not equal a sensor.
Well ,then try to go ahead and build MFT cameras after your sole supplier, Sony tells that their contractual oblication to manufacture IMX 270 or IMX272 has finally ended and they are not even going to discuss about extension.

When you are 100% dependent on one supplier, sensors are no longer just a technical problem. The whole business will end belly up if something happens to this supply chain. This is the reason why it's so scary that nobody has released new MFT sensors after 2016.

In this case the sole supplier happens to be a camera manufacturer who has stated that their goal is to dominate the camera market in addition to sensor business where they have a de facto monopoly. Sony is currently a bigger threat to ILC manufacturers than smartphones.
 

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,260
Well ,then try to go ahead and build MFT cameras after your sole supplier, Sony tells that their contractual oblication to manufacture IMX 270 or IMX272 has finally ended and they are not even going to discuss about extension.

When you are 100% dependent on one supplier, sensors are no longer just a technical problem. The whole business will end belly up if something happens to this supply chain.

In this case the sole supplier happens to be a camera manufacturer who has stated that their goal is to dominate the camera market in addition to sensor business where they have a de facto monopoly.
My post to this thread started as: "The much maligned 20mp Micro Four Thirds sensor isn't beaten by the latest cutting edge APS-C sensors. If anything it punches above weight."

Your posts that avoid my point: Trying to argue that Micro Four Thirds is doomed because Sony will choke off the sensor supply because reasons and constantly bringing up 135 format.

I don't have further time to waste on bad faith arguments that go in circles.
 

BDR-529

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
161
My post to this thread started as: "The much maligned 20mp Micro Four Thirds sensor isn't beaten by the latest cutting edge APS-C sensors. If anything it punches above weight."
Good, because you are repeating the same point I made.

APS-C sensors have just 1,5 times the area so they have not beaten MFT sensors despite having also later generation technology.

It would still be silly to claim that they are not better than MFT when taken into lab. Because they are. Improvements in technology are very much true even when they don't exactly blow older ones out of the water.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
1,100
Location
Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
Well ,then try to go ahead and build MFT cameras after your sole supplier, Sony tells that their contractual oblication to manufacture IMX 270 or IMX272 has finally ended and they are not even going to discuss about extension.

When you are 100% dependent on one supplier, sensors are no longer just a technical problem. The whole business will end belly up if something happens to this supply chain. This is the reason why it's so scary that nobody has released new MFT sensors after 2016.

In this case the sole supplier happens to be a camera manufacturer who has stated that their goal is to dominate the camera market in addition to sensor business where they have a de facto monopoly. Sony is currently a bigger threat to ILC manufacturers than smartphones.
It was Olympus’s and Panasonic’s choice to sole source Sony. Canon and Fuji can make their own sensors. Yes, the 20mp might be the end of the road for such tiny market share.
 

Reflector

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
2,260
Fuji can make their own sensors.
AFAIK Fuji uses Sony for their sensors and continues to do so. The 26mp sensor is likely related to or a heavily customized IMX571 (Bayer -> X-Trans). They have been using Sony for their sensors and have recycled them across the same generation of cameras. There's 3 distinct sensors which are the 16mp, 24mp and 26mp sensors.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom