MU-43 Now Is Directly Comparable To Full Frame Of What Year?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Carbonman, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    There's a lot of heat regarding 4/3 mirrorless not performing as well as current full frame (24x36) DSLR. Disregarding DoF differences due to differing format sizes, how many years back do we have to look to have state-of-the-art FF DSLR sensor dynamic range, resolution, pixel count, maximum frame rates etc. just match or begin to exceed mu-43 cameras available in stores right now?
    This will be a bit of a history lesson for me because I've only had an interchangeable lens digital camera for less than 2 years. I'm trying to gain some perspective on the progress Olympus and Panasonic engineering teams have been making and possibly what they've been aiming for.
  2. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    There's really "a lot of heat" about m4/3s vs FF performance? Who in the hell expects it to be on par?
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  4. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah.. By DXO testing E-PM2 is top m43 camera in Sports category!

    But it's OK, since by them, EM1 is kicking every FF's butt in Landscape category!

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
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  5. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    It's directly comparable to a box brownie

    Advantages of Box Brownie:
    Large light sensitive area (Larger than a "full" frame camera!).
    Fast focusing.
    Works without batteries.

    Advantages to MU-43:
    It's an internet forum.

    You can compare completely different objects and the result will still be a valid comparison.
    Current micro four thirds bodies can be compared to full frame cameras which have not even been released yet, they will lag in some areas however they will also have advantages in others. I doubt anyone is going to argue against the advantages of newer full frame cameras in a studio setting (just as it should be conceded that medium format will trump full frame) however I question the sanity of those who don't prefer a smaller m4/3 kit while doing something like hiking.

    Difference in output depends more on knowledge, processing and technique than equipment used. A professional will produce higher quality and more interesting work with 'inferior' gear than someone who does not practice and doesn't listen to feedback. Listening to feedback and learning from mistakes will improve your pictures to a far greater degree than any camera, remember that every picture you have ever seen was taken with a camera made in the past - Fancy equipment won't make up for not being familiar with the process.
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  6. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 23, 2015
    From the sensor point of view, new M43 cameras (16Mpix sensor 2012) are comparable or better than first generation of FF cameras
    in most of parameters.
    First fully successful FF digital camera Canon 1Ds (11MPix) is from the year 2002, 16Mpix M43 sensor came in 2012 so ~10 years difference.
    I don't expect major breakthrough in the M43 field as sensors are already very mature with quantum efficiency ~60% and low read noise levels.
    FF cameras have inherent advantage in much higher full well capacity - number of photons which one pixel cell can detect before overfilling.
    Luckily IQ of M43 cameras is excellent already.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
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  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    10-12 years or so in terms of sensor rating on dxomark.
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  8. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    I don't really get the appeal of full frame. If I was going to dedicate the money/weight to carrying around a better sensor, I'd go all in and just go medium format. When all is said and done though, I really like my smaller camera bodies, 2x depth of field, EVF, etc.
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  9. Hendrik

    Hendrik Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 27, 2015
    Wayland MA
    Sensor-wise, if DXO are to be believed, the current m4/3 offerings are essentially equivalent to Canon's first offerings and lag behind all of Nikon's. I regularly shoot a Nikon FF, a Nikon APS-C and E-M5 (I & II) and I regard the FF/all-else controversy as largely fanboy fodder. FF has its use, certainly. So does APS-C. By this time, my m4/3 bodies probably take over half the images I shoot in a year. In fact, given how many more APS-C cameras are out there than FF, perhaps the more relevant comparison is between m4/3 and APS-C. In that matchup, current m4/3 seems to be directly equivalent to Canon's most current offerings and Nikon's pre-2010 bodies.

    The major, glaring deficit that m4/3 has not erased is AF action performance. That, to my mind, is potentially more hobbling than sensor performance since it's much easier to lose a shot to missed focus than to a modicum of manageable noise.
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  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I had a Canon 5dii before I moved to u43 with the E-PL5 (16Mp sensor) and there was very little between the sensors. In some ways the Olympus was better (better highlight recovery, no banding when pushing shadows); in others the Canon pulled ahead (noise at high ISOs).

    As per other comments above, the difference between u43 and FF image quality isn't that big a deal in the real world - especially if you print. The difference is there though - there's no point denying it. However, the power of u43 bodies, the range of excellent lenses and the size/weight of the u43 system are huge advantages that make more of a difference to me than IQ alone.

    As for AF performance - I think it's clear that Olympus, despite top class SAF are lagging most other mirrorless cameras in CAF these days. The new GX8 looks a worthwhile step up though.
  11. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    I'm expecting EM-1 mk2 to erase the CAF deficit. I expect it will have a new processor and a gazillion PDAF targets. Is there any reason why it wouldn't?
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, the Pen F looks like it's a bit of a dud, so who knows!
  13. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Oly claimed the em1 II will be a game changer, but they have a huge shoe to fill with all the new offerings from other Mirrorless makers. I also doubt that the tracking or c-AF will be DSLR quality to pull potential clients away from canikon. In the "Camera Store" video from last year Chris said the gh4 was ALMOST as as good as the D4. If that is true, why can't Olympus use the tech from Panny? I'll be happy with hand holdable hi Rez shots. If not I'll just get a refurbished em5II for landscape shots.
  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm just curious why the hell anyone cares? To the OP, I mean, do you really care how well your sensor compares to a FF sensor from God knows how many years ago? I get that it's winter time and people generally don't get out and shoot as much as they would during the summer (which is BS IMO, because I've realized that shooting in the winter is actually really interesting), but sitting around and dreaming up questions like this is truly pointless IMO.

    If all you care about is what numbers your camera makes on DXO, then maybe m43 isn't the system for you and you should go buy a Nikon or Sony so you can partake in the measurbation competitions that go on over at DPReview (because lord knows Canon's sensors aren't competitive with the most recent Sony ones).
  15. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Well, I used an E-M5 and a 5D Classic beside each other for about a year. The E-M5 was superior at base ISO, but the Canon was better at high ISO, assuming you metered right--pushed exposures and lifted shadows produced banding. I dropped the Canon when the A7 arrived, however: smaller and usable with far more legacy lenses.
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Fighting talk! ;)
  17. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    not the same but feels on par with 5D Mark 2
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  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Haha, I obviously know that a FF sensor performs better than the one in my GH4's. I've even contemplated picking up a used A7 to use with some Canon FD glass. I enjoy reading about other user's perspectives who run multiple systems with Sony A7 or Fuji X cameras. I have no problem with discussions about differences between systems.

    But this topic? Seriously? It's purely the result of cabin fever where someone has run out of topics to discuss. It does not matter what your FF camera your m43 camera performs like, because it's not going to inspire you to shoot, give you better images, make you think of places to travel to photograph, etc. All of those things can/will result in better images and making you a better photographer. Knowing that my GH4 performs just as good as a 5D Classic from 2000 whatever makes no difference to me. Figuring out where I can shoot to gain a new vantage point or what I can do to improve my photography skills does.
  19. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    By this guy's testing, in the real world a contemporary M4/3 camera is probably a bit better than a 1Ds II.

    Micro 4/3 vs a Full Frame Legend - Admiring Light

    He found that a GX1 / GH2 had similar noise and resolution after processing, but worse dynamic range. The newer generation of 16/20MP M4/3 camera have a lot more DR than those older 16MP sensors. fact, in terms of DR, they actually are as good or better than any Canon camera on the market. And in the neighbourhood of the Nikon D3-generation. Obviously not competitive in terms of noise with those cameras, though.
  20. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
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