Sensor size differences even out when it comes to IQ. Why?

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Ontario Gone
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Sensor size differences even out when it comes to IQ. Why?
4 months ago

One word, Glass. Now lets get the dirty part out of the way. This only applies within a certain range of comparison and only within certain sizes, because there is a sweet spot for lenses. There are no F/0.25 lenses with god-like IQ attached to 1/3.2 sensors. It would seem that the sweet spot is right about where MFT sits. They are fast, they are very sharp wide open, and they are affordable.

Looking at the lenses and how the charts test out, here is what would seem to be the case. Comparing MFT to FF, at even DOF/apertures/SS/gain, MFT still has a slight lens IQ advantage for lenses of competing specs, such as the 85mm F1.2, or 50mm F1.4 versions (42.5 and 25mm for MFT). In this scenario, noise, DOF, DR, color, and IQ are equal, with a slight edge going to the MFT side in lens sharpness.

85mm FOV top row, 50mm FOV bottom row. MFT on left compared to multiple Canon FF lenses.

For those claiming FF has an advantage because it CAN go faster if it wants, here is the alternative, shooting them wide open with the MFT using two stops higher ISO. SS will be even, DR noise and color will be two stops worse on MFT, but lens IQ will be significantly worse on FF. FF will have two stops thinner DOF, good for some, bad for some. So the real tradeoff is MFT will have much better lens IQ but two stops worse sensor numbers.

FYI, the Nikon equivalent lenses tested worse, so i compared Canon here.

So the real question is, do you prefer more noise, less DR, and sharper lens, or do you prefer poorer lens performance (in some cases, much poorer), but better noise and DR? If those were the only factors involved, one might call it a tossup, unless they insist on the thinnest DOF. There are other factors however, including price and size/weight. Feel free to call it how you see it, that's what a public forum is all about 

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