M4/3 vs APS-C vs FF vs Medium Format

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M4/3 vs APS-C vs FF vs Medium Format
7 months ago

In my search for a camera/lens to take sweeping ultra wide landscape photos (and printing sizes like 12 x 18" and occasionally 2 x 3 ft) I've asked questions on forums and read lots of discussions and reviews. I'm still puzzled about the importance of sensor area (in real world applications).

In general, there seems to be a consensus that the area of the sensor is very important for collecting the photons. (It seems to me that physics and common sense support this consensus).

Therefore medium format would be best except for the fact that it is cost prohibitive, is too large and heavy, and requires too much in computer resources.

The same arguments are used for ff vs aps-c. However the differences in cost, size and weight etc between ff and aps-c are not as great as medium to ff. Therefore there are folks who do use ff and who recommend it.

What about aps-c vs m4/3? As in the other comparisons there are advantages of the larger sensor area of aps-c vs m4/3. However, the medium format vs ff and ff vs aps-c sensor area arguments no longer appear to be very important (they are rarely mentioned in discussions).

And in the aps-c vs m4/3 comparison there is rough equivalence in cost (in some cases m4/3 is more expensive). The size and weight is more equivalent (after all, you still can't put m4/3 in your pocket).

I am leaving out smaller sensors since practically no one recommends them for my purpose (probably because there areas are too small to do a good job).

Why is it that the sensor area advantages tend to be downplayed in the aps-c vs m4/3 discussions when these same arguments become so important in medium vs ff vs aps-c discussions and the small sensors are ignored entirely?

There must be some trade offs that clearly favor the m4/3 size and make the sensor area advantages less important.

What am I missing here? My attempt at logical analysis fails me. Thanks for your input...I do want to make a good choice an am open to all suggestions.

(I'll also post this question on the Landscape forum.)

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