Why m43 system needs MUCH better long zoom native lenses

Started Dec 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Why m43 system needs MUCH better long zoom native lenses
Dec 17, 2013

Just yesterday I had nothing in particular to do. So, out total boredom I decided to compare an apple with an orange...

The apple being Panasonic GH2 with 100-300mm lens set to maximum zoom (600mm equivalent, f7.1). The orange being Panasonic FZ30 set to maximum zoom with Nikon TC-E15ED attached to it (420*1.5=630mm equivalent, f3.7). Both cameras on a tripod. Multiple shots taken.

The test scene shot was from a distance of about 4 meters across the living room. It was poorly illuminated by an ordinary 60W table lamp. The tin figure is Aragorn...

And now the funny stuff. Central 100% crops. GH2 on the top and FZ30 at the bottom. Interesting to see. Is there in fact more detail on GH2 shot? I am not so sure!

And, finally, GH2 shot downsampled to match 8 MP shot taken with FZ30. (GH2 on top, FZ30 at the bottom).

All images were processed in RAW and tuned little bit in the photo editor to match each other.

My own conclusion is that FZ30 (technology of 2005!!!) held its ground with honor! Yes, the nasty noise can be seen to the right in the shadow, but that was expected at such poor illumination. Also, there is some PF and CA introduced by the Nikon, I forgot to treat it in the RAW editor. But look at the headband on the painted figure. There are four distinct red tone variantions visible on FZ30 shot while the 100% GH2 crop has then quite smudged (confirming that Panasonic 100-300mm is quite soft at 300mm).

So, it is a victory for GH2 + 100-300mm, but only by a whisker.

Meaning.... Panasonic and Olympus! Listen! We need better zooms! 500-600mm! Sharp ones!

How could it be that recent bridge zoom cameras (such as FZ200) can give us comparable or even better long zoom results than m4/3 cameras and lenses? How come my old FZ30 can give me a competitive result to GH2+100-300?

I really hope Panasonic unveils much improved  Panasonic 100-300mm II lens in 2014. I really hope so.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
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