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Why is m43 doomed after A7s?

Started Dec 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Why is m43 doomed after A7s?
Dec 2, 2013

*please don't take a cartoon opinion too harsh, this post is only to a educational one to clarify some of the points that were posted in the Sony NEX forum and it seems that they were lost in this part of the crowd*

It is undeniable that the new A7s shook the photography world. A 24 or 36 megapixel camera in this size of body it is truly a technological jump.

And with that the competition was left scrambling to find selling pieces of their offerings.

The system most in danger is without a doubt m43.

So let's list the perceived advantages m43 had in comparison to other full frame systems.

1. Size (and sensor size)

2. Price

3. Lens selection and weather sealing

4. Auto-focus speed


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1. Size (and sensor size)

This is pretty much a moot point now that Sony new cameras are out and they are small. So small that an E-M1 looks big in comparison.

If you can go around with an E-M1 you can go around with a A75

Since this argument was debunked now it seems that their fans can only talk about "who needs that much resolution", a poor man justification of how tiny the toy sensor really is. As if no option for using less resolution exists in camera.

So here comes the opposite: What if I want *MORE* resolution in a m43 size system? Well with the current offerings in m43 there is no option whatsoever. At least with Sony you can choose 24 or 36 full frame size goodness.

2. Price

At Amazon.com

-E-M1: $1,399.00

-A7: $1,698.00

At $300 of difference it doesn't make a difference if you are going for the top of the line of each system. At this price point they are not intended for the mom and paps point and shoot.

Yes there are cheaper m43 offerings but even when an E-P5 costs around $899.00, cheap m43 cameras seem to be a dying breed.

And most probably Sony won't be stopping with these 2 cameras. There will be cheaper options.

3. Lens selection and weather sealing

At this right moment, admittedly, lens selection is short on the Sony system. There is a more or less mediocre zoom , kinda like the ones Olympus puts out, and the superb 35mm.

But what is the lens roadmap? Well in January the 55mm comes out and in February the 28-70mm zoom will be out. And since the majority of camera owners won't buy more than 2-3 lenses, 2 primes and 1 zoom, Sony has, at least, much of important focal range covered there. Unless you are in dire need of owning 4 lenses at launch date you will be fine by February.

And let's not forget all the legacy lenses that can be used with their correct focal length. On m43 camp we will have do with a 2x magnification: a M-mount 75mm portrait lens will become a telescopic 150mm on m43.

Oh did I mention that *ALL* offerings by Sony are weather sealed? Can't say the same about the ones on the other side of the fence.

4. Auto-focus speed

This is an area that I would say m43 has the slightest of the edges and only when using specific lenses. It is well known that not all lenses in m43 are born equal and even the famed "interoperability" only goes so far with many Panasonic lenses not focusing as fast on Olympus bodies and vice-versa.

With the lenses out there for Sony the focusing is quick and precise. At least I didn't experience the dreaded "focusing-stops-focusing-stops-focusing-snaps".


And we come to the stabilization point of. Which can be translated as necessity for longer lenses or photographic crutches for the shaky hands and bad form.

This is the last drum that m43 die-hard jihadis try to impose on others as a unique selling point. Yes, Sony does not offer IBIS but it does offer stabilization on lenses, just as Panasonic, and a superb sensor that lets you ramp the ISO and have virtually no noise when compared to the tiny noise prone sensor in the m43s.

How did anyone take sharp pictures before IBIS is beyond me. Must have been some Herculean task to be stable for the moment one presses the shutter.


It is a pity that this entire post is going to be misconstructed as a m43 hater job but if you take the hate hat for a second and read all my points, you will see that I am right.

m43 had it's time and it is becoming clear that the future will be reserved for systems like the Sony one (maybe not even Sony). All of the points raised by the m43 crowd are valid but they are far from being exclusive to their system and it is clear that if you have not handled or used the A7s you.

Of course not everyone needs a killer camera like the Sonys and some of them, specially the DSLR users, use the cameras in a different way than most of us. DSLR users will continue being DSLR users, smaller systems like m43 will be gobbled by the new Sony (and future ones) and point and shoots will continue being point and shoots. There is no space for m43 in the horizon.

The new Sonys are a breath of fresh air for everyone that wants ultimate quality in a small package and sadly it seems that it angered a bunch of fans everywhere.

Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN E-P5 Sony Alpha 7
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