Light, fast, zoomable. Pick two.

Started Dec 21, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Louis_Dobson
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Light, fast, zoomable. Pick two.
Dec 21, 2011

I still wonder what the point is of these MFT cameras with kit zooms.

The lenses are so slow that in dim light you have to whack up the ISO, the resolution is nothing special, so what's the advantage over a good compact with an f2 lens?

The fact is that once you make the sensor larger, then to get the same lens quality as a compact you need more glass. If you don't have more glass, you have a dog slow lens that eats up the larger sensor's DR advantage by forcing you to up the ISO.

Basically, taking money out of the equation, and assuming optical quality is good, lenses have the three desirable qualities:

Speed (ie a wide maximum aperture).
Compactness (and lightness).
Zoomability (of which a prime has none).

Pick two. You can't have three. A small fast lens will be a prime. A fast zoom will not be small. A small zoom will not be fast.

So to me MFT only really makes sense with primes. Slow zooms throw away the advantage over a compact (more DR) by forcing you to up the ISO and stripping out DoF control. Fast zooms (which don't exist yet anyway) throw away the compactness advantage over a dSLR.

I'm very happy with my E-PM1 and GH2. So happy in fact it looks like the D3 has been sold. But I have never even mounted the 14-42 that came with the E-PM1. It is a paperweight as far as I am concerned. Useless. The only possible reason to use it is if one is not prepared to pay for something better (which is a very good reason, I might add, not all of us are photo fanatics).

Nikon D3 Olympus PEN E-PM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
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