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Micro four thirds vs. 1 inch?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by drd1135, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    This is interesting:


    Let's suppose that FF does eat up a large piece of the APS-C market. That means the smaller system market will be between 1 inch and mu43. Both have the advantage of smaller lenses and we can see the 1 inch sensor moving through the compact market. As sensor tech advances, both could easily be good enough for most of current enthusiast photography. Mu43 is arguably there now. It's not impossible to imagine a market dominated by FF and 1 inch? What think ye?

    Obviously, this is just a bar conversation so no life and death issues here. :drinks:
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I would agree that 1" can move in to the "good enough" category for many of us (that m4/3s thrives in today).
  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    So far I think 1" really only provides the advantage of being more practical in fixed lens "compacts" The mirrorless systems themselves have not shown to be appreciably (or at all) smaller or cheaper. So to me, I don't see the advantage.

    I don't know where to fall on the sensor size debate. Bigger is better, but we've all decided to compromise somewhere or we wouldn't be shooting 2x crop. But how many "it's only about a stop difference" hops down are going you going to justify before you are at 1/3" iphone sensors? I was okay jumping from APS-C to 4/3 because the image quality was near parity and the lens selection has options that can make up for the DOF control differences (mostly due to poor lens options on some APS-C systems). But dropping down to 1" and suddenly I need very expensive and uber-fast lens options to even get a little DOF control. Nikon 32mm f1.2 for example. That's a $900 lens that is essentially the equivalent of a 42.5mm f1.7 on m4/3 (which is already a little expensive at $400 vs the SLR 50mm options).

    On the other side of the coin, though, 1" sensors pretty much have the IQ and ISO ceiling of APS-C sensors from 8-10 years ago. So if you don't care for thin DOF control and are a 100-1600 (with 3200 in a pinch) shooter, then 1" is actually quite amazing. Certainly any RX100 is as good as a DSLR + kit lens from the end of last decade (with more resolution and way better video).
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    I totally agree that 1" sensors (well, specifically Sony's 20MP BSI sensor) are at the "good enough" threshold for the majority of applications.

    However, I do find that the 24-70mm range of a fixed compact like the RX100 accounts for a shockingly small portion of the shooting I actually want to do. I always want wider, longer, faster, or macro. If I'm using a "kit lens" I'm only ever going to use my 14-140mm because of its flexibility. I'm just not sure I could be satisfied without an interchangeable lens system.

    And right now, none of the 1" ILC systems (I'm speaking mostly to the Nikon 1 system, since it's more fleshed out than the Samsung NX Mini) have good enough lenses or sensors, and they're priced badly. Sony might be able to make a go of it, but I don't think they have reason to unless they want to produce an ultra-compact 1" ILC system. And really, I'd be a little surprised if they could beat out the GM1 + pancakes.

    I can imagine that people will feel that if they're going to invest in a dedicated camera that they "might as well" go with FF. But I find that there are more compromises associated with that than I'm willing to deal with right now. I'd be totally happy with mirrorless APS-C or M4/3, but M4/3 has substantially better user experience (specifically touch screen implementation) than any of the APS-C competition, in my opinion.

    Given that M4/3 can already achieve image quality beyond any 35mm film camera and any APS-C camera older than 5 years, I think the need for FF will continues to be relegated to professionals and those who print large - or, perhaps more critically, those who like to think they will print large.
  5. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    As a compromise, the GM5 with the 12-32 and/or the small 35-100 is hard to beat. 1" ILCs are not much smaller. Or much cheaper. I think we are moving towards a three tier world: phone cameras with really sophisticated software for good enough, at least outdoors; m43 for enthusiasts; and FF for pros and well-heeled enthusiasts. I think everything else will become very small niches. Shame on CaNikon for castrating their APS-C lens lineups - that's what is killing the enthusiast market there.
  6. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The new Nikon J5 has a 20mp sensor and it's probably the same sensor as the RX100. The Nikon 1 system has been hindered by sensors not as good as the Sony compacts. I checked out the DPPR comparison of the J5 and the RX100 IV and the nikon looks a little better.
  7. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    I doubt Canon and Nikon and everyone else originally thought of smaller sensors as anything other than a stopgap solution. I think it just took longer than anticipated to get affordable 35mm sized sensors.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    Timely news: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7224213078/sony-reportedly-shifting-focus-to-full-frame-cameras

    Canon and Nikon have pretty good lens APS-C DSLR lens selection. THe only thing missing is fast and wide primes. Is that your definition of "Castrate"? There are a lot of segments where the FF lens is as cheap and small as the APS-C lens, so no need to reinvent the wheel (i.e. 50mm f1.8, 100mm macro, etc)
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    More interestingly, it sounds like Sony might well be leaving (or not significantly upgrading) their APS-C line. If I'd invested in Nex, I'd be mighty upset at that!
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    Especially after they all but abandoned the A-mount just prior. Bumpy ride for Sony fans.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    i really like m4/3--i had the original ep1, an ep2, the em5 and now an epl5. and ive had a bunch of the 'run of the mill' lenses, like the 14, 17, 20, 45, 60 and the kit zooms. i also have a fuji x10, which i think is a 1" sensor. honestly, for most situations, i dont see enough of a difference to choose my m4/3 gear over the fuji, which is more compact and has better ergonomics for me. now i,m not saying that the latest sensor coupled with the most expensive lenses m4/3 has to offer won't provide better results, sure they will. (they will also provide the same much bigger profile vs 1" cams that FF requires over m4/3). but run of the mill m4/3 cam/lens combos vs 1", no i dont see it. of course, others views may rightly vary.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Despite their astounding sensor tech, I don't think Sony can be trusted just yet in the camera system market. Too many changes of direction and too many customers being left in the position where they have to sell at a massive loss.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  13. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    When i was poor about 2 years ago, i sold all my M43 gear to get the Nikon V1 set up (1" sensor). At first i liked it but then i really missed the DOF - which felt significantly different - plus the lens line up was quite limited. Back to M43 I am and love it. I tried a NEX too - way better DOF but lack of good lenses. It's not just the sensor but the whole system also. I think M43 really works for a certain kind of enthusiast - I'd hate to see it go, leaving a 1' or FF options only - that seems too big a gap to me - not matter how amazing the sensor is in other ways.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    That was the other system I considered before jumping into m43. At the time, the NEX system had as many bodies available as lenses, and Sony does have a history of orphaning tech, so I went m43. I certainly feel like I made the right choice.

    At this point, m43 is fairly mature, and a 1" system (even the Nikon 1 system) would have a lot of ground to make up to be able to compete.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I will admit a camera like the RX100 series is fairly tempting, specially as someone who does own m4/3 and even aps-c equipment. I think it has to do with the camera size and lens it comes with(even with slower tele end on the older models).
    Who know what the future stores for us, but maybe 1in(or at the very least 2/3") will catch on in mobile. We already have Panasonic phones with 1in sensors and two different Nokia phones with 2/3"+(1020 is 2/3" and 808 is a bit larger than 2/3"). One can only hope that larger sensor phones catch on(hell I'll be even fine with 1/2" sensors like a few Fuji EXR models offer).
  16. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Yeah, the "1" sensor is the future. For my eyes sees it, the IQ really good.
  17. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    For me, mFT hits the spot for everyday shooting needs - I do own a FF camera, but I have been invested in that system since my film days, so it was kind of natural, but it still took me a long time to find a camera I really click with. On the other hand, the E-PM1 convinced me right from the start (I owned a APS-C DSLR at the time that I was hardly using), and the E-M10 is still one of the most satisfying cameras to shoot with that I've come across. IQ-wise, though resolution might seem a bit limited, it's enough most of the time (for my needs). I own a Nikon V1, and while I like that camera for street shooting (with a 50mm equiv. prime), it's no match for the mFT cameras, neither in handling nor IQ nor system maturity. I think the J5 is getting closer, but as long as they refuse to offer a real replacement for the V1 (i.e. with built-in EVF - and at a reasonable price), the game's up in my eyes.

    As far as the Sony 1" compacts are concerned, they're great cameras, but simply not as versatile as I want my system(!) to be. I can't put a 120mm (equiv.) f/2.8 on a RX100 III or IV, and though they offer f/1.8 at 24mm (equiv.), they don't offer it at 35mm (equiv.). I have that covered with the very good Sigma 60mm f/2.8 and the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 - both very good lenses I love to shoot on my E-M10 (and the 17mm more or less lives on the E-PL7 if I've got the 12-40mm on the E-M10).

    Bottom line? I hope mFT is here to stay, and it certainly looks that way after the release of the 20MP sensor in the GX8. If mFT can match 1" for resolution and beat it in terms of high ISO performance, it'll probably win or at least keep a strong enough position in the market.

  18. imahawki

    imahawki Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2014
    I don't miss the depth of field compared to the larger sensors I've used in the past. The only thing I really miss is better noise performance. That said even though I've dumped a lot of money into MFT in a relatively short period of time, I did find myself looking at Sony's FF mirrorless lineup this week. What struck me was, body cost aside, the cost and size of the lenses made me glad I took the route I did with MFT.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    The same reason i choose stay on mirrorless M43. The Sony A7II no doubt really high tech camera but then what about the lenses's size? since it's FF the size will be huge and heavy.
  20. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    I kind of feel like we've experimented with and found the smallest practical size for a system camera and lenses with the m4/3 system. You'll notice not any 1" has gone smaller than the GM1 and 14mm f2.5 and 20mm f1.7 are about as flat as you can practically make an AF removable lens.

    That's why I think m4/3 is the sweet spot. You still get a lot of the big sensor advantages, but you get a kit that is as small as you can really go. Likewise, I think 2/3-1" is kind of a sweet spot for fixed lens compacts. After seeing the performance of the FZ1000 sensor, I almost wonder if the LX100 wouldn't have been better if they made it a little smaller and used a 1" sensor, rather than cramming a 4/3 sensor under a lens that doesn't really cover it and makes optical compromises as a result.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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