Sensor size "battle" on Mirrorless cameras ? Who will win

Started Jul 23, 2012 | Discussions
Aleo Veuliah
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Sensor size "battle" on Mirrorless cameras ? Who will win
Jul 23, 2012
  • Well Canon was the latest brand to announce a mirrorless camera, now we will see if the market are really going to accept well the mirrorless cameras, for now it seems that yes, but how long it will take to Mirrorless (DSLM, Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) to surpass the DSLR systems ?

  • And in Mirrorless cameras who will lead in the future ?

  • There are more brands with APS-c sensor than with Micro 4/3, and we most consider the Nikon 1 System with a smaller sensor, and Pentax with an even smaller sensor, but I continue to think that Micro 4/3 with all the cameras and lenses choices is going to continue to lead . (I am counting wth Fuji X cameras)

  • Panasonic Lumix and Olympus continue to improve and have good sensors similar in quality to the APS-c mirrorless cameras, and the sizes on Micro 4/3 are much nicer.

  • But the mirrorless APS-s brands have strong offers and good image quality, the only thing is that they are bigger and don't have many lenses, but it seems that there are a lot of users that don't care about this.

  • What do you think ?

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Don Karner
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Re: Sensor size "battle" on Mirrorless cameras ? Who will win
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Jul 23, 2012

APS-c lenses are simply not small enough to make a big difference. M4/3 has an advantage in lens size if one is looking for a smaller, lighter camera.
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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Sensor size "battle" on Mirrorless cameras ? Who will win
In reply to Don Karner, Jul 23, 2012

Don Karner wrote:

APS-c lenses are simply not small enough to make a big difference. M4/3 has an advantage in lens size if one is looking for a smaller, lighter camera.

I think the same specially on lenses with longer focal lengths, but the APS-c sensor gives them a small advantage on image quality, and on the number of pixels they can put there.

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Thorgrem
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Who will win
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Jul 23, 2012

I don't know. And I don't care.

What I do know is that I will be using my fine Olympus gear and if it needs replacement I will buy new Olympus gear. Why? Because it's just perfect for me.

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amalric
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Are you so clueless as the rest?
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Jul 23, 2012

Did you choose 4/3 by accident?

You can still get another format since you have few lenses. Why feed the doubt?

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Who will win
In reply to Thorgrem, Jul 23, 2012

Thorgrem wrote:

I don't know. And I don't care.

What I do know is that I will be using my fine Olympus gear and if it needs replacement I will buy new Olympus gear. Why? Because it's just perfect for me.

Well that is what matters, and it is an answer, it indicates you are pleased with Micro 4/3 even with the competition

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Are you so clueless as the rest?
In reply to amalric, Jul 23, 2012

amalric wrote:

Did you choose 4/3 by accident?

You can still get another format since you have few lenses. Why feed the doubt?

Am.
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I understand you view, and I will answer, not of course it was not by "accident", in fact when I moved from DSLR I have take a good time to decide, but know the parameters of choices are different, at the time Micro 4/3 also had just a few lenses like some mirrorless systems have now.

I really can not tell if I had to make the choice now with all brands having mirrorless systems the decision will be the same I had some years ago, but maybe yes. Maybe I will decided again on Micro 4/3 that now have a great lens choice.

But there is a difference between the users here on the forum that in majority are well informed ones, and the user that is new to the mirrorless and went to a site or to a physical shop to buy.

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mring1
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The dirty little secret is...
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Jul 23, 2012

Sensor size is largely irrelevant.

Let's face it...five years ago Oly owners bought cameras even with a dated sensor and inadequate autofocus. They bought Oly because of the quality of the "package" and really good glass.

All the other owners bought their gear for their own perceived advantages.

FF aside, m4/3s and APSC sensors are very similar now, with differences being largely one of distinctions, as opposed to genuine differences. People on this forum - which is a very unrepresentative cohort of the general public - will buy for a different set of reasons, although there is a subset of fans who will buy their brand because it's their chosen brand.

I guess what I'm gently suggesting to the OP is that I'm not sure it matters, at least not technically.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: The dirty little secret is...
In reply to mring1, Jul 23, 2012

mring1 wrote:

Sensor size is largely irrelevant.

Let's face it...five years ago Oly owners bought cameras even with a dated sensor and inadequate autofocus. They bought Oly because of the quality of the "package" and really good glass.

All the other owners bought their gear for their own perceived advantages.

FF aside, m4/3s and APSC sensors are very similar now, with differences being largely one of distinctions, as opposed to genuine differences. People on this forum - which is a very unrepresentative cohort of the general public - will buy for a different set of reasons, although there is a subset of fans who will buy their brand because it's their chosen brand.

I guess what I'm gently suggesting to the OP is that I'm not sure it matters, at least not technically.

Reading your point of view, I have also doubts now, but I guess there will be always well informed photographers and those will choose Micro 4/3 for certain, but you have reason when saying that there are people who just buy the brand they like without even get information from the other brands

Thank you for participating, it is from the good discussion that the light will come out

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Bob Meyer
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Re: Who will win
In reply to Thorgrem, Jul 23, 2012

The question of "who will win?" implies that everyone else will "lose." That's probably not the case, though. The market is big enough for multiple "winners." The P&S market support at least a dozen brands, you can get good DSLRs from at least 5 players, and mirrorless from many more.

Even if Canon becomes the largest, by sales volume, vendor in mirrorless, there's probably a big enough market to support Sony, m43, and others, too.
--

I've told myself to stop using "equivalent" focal lengths on m43. 25mm is what it is, and what it might be similar to on some other format doesn't matter to me any more. We need to learn what to expect from our current equipment, not keep mapping it to the old. No one refers to their 50mm FF lens as "equivalent to 80mm on MF."

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John Mason
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still matters - but not as much
In reply to mring1, Jul 23, 2012

I shoot FF and m4/3rds.

I just did a sporting event where my sag driver who up to that point had only ever stot with PS cameras was using my 5d3 with 100-400 lens and snagged this shot of me.

It's about 1/8th of the frame

That would a tougher crop no the em5

However, if you're not cropping, the EM5 has better colors than the Canon and here is another shot taken by my sag driver of his dog on the EM5.

And finally a shot of me leading a pack up a hill back with the Canon and this is about a 1/4 crop. I'm in the center of the real frame even though in this crop I'm on the far right.

(all shots from this past Saturday's Ride Across Indiana 160 mile ride)

So, from my point of view, for general shooting I prefer the EM5 but for specific situations like shooting sports with long lenses where I might have to do heavy cropping, I prefer the FF sensor.
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Kuppenbender
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Too many variables to make any kind of valid prediction
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Jul 23, 2012

Too many factors involved.

Logically it should just be a case of "brand A offers these features, this lens line up and will give you excellent IQ" compare to "brand B which has these features, this lens line up and gets you pretty much identical IQ (for web use, small prints etc...)".

As usual ignorance and disinformation will play a large part.

There already seems to be a trend on some gadget sites to lump m43 with the Nikon 1 system as small-sensor systems versus the larger sensors offered by Sony and now Canon. If people buy their first serious camera (for themselves or others) by walking into a shop and asking for a decent camera, they're likely to walk out with a Canon or Sony.

As for those replacing/adding to existing systems, Canon have an obvious advantage also. If they take the mEOS system seriously and churn out a range of bodies and a good selection of lenses the mirrorless race is theirs to lose.

If

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Everdog
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NO winners,Canon = secondary cameras too.
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Jul 23, 2012

After decades, Canon never "won" the DSLR market. They do lead with Nikon, but Sony, Pentax, etc are all still in the game and still relevant.

There will be NO "winner" in the mirrorless market either.

What is interesting is both Nikon and Canon look at mirrorless as secondary to their DSLRs. Their cameras are made to get people to buy into their DSLR systems.

Not so with Sony, Olympus and Panasonic. All have high-end bodies, and may soon have "Pro" mirrorless bodies. This approach makes more sense. Who wants to be stuck with the old larger DSLR lenses in the future?

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Elemental Photography
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Re: still matters - but not as much
In reply to John Mason, Jul 23, 2012

If you are cropping that much, why not cut to the chase and put the same focal length lens on a crop body?

Which is not to say there aren't any good reasons to own multiple systems. Continuous/tracking autofocus, for example, is still better on high end DSLRs than on most mirrorless cameras. Ultimately, heavy cropping is more a symptom of lens choice than sensor size.
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eagle2a
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Re: still matters - but not as much
In reply to Elemental Photography, Jul 23, 2012

I feel that m4/3 is the best bet as they started from scratch with the original 4/3 format. I have to believe that all along they were thinking about m4/3, do to the reduced size advantage. It is like a "clean sheet of paper" approach to designing a camera system. The fact that Oly and Panny went together in this endeavor was a good deal.

At first the smaller sensor was a disadvantage compared to the larger camera sensors. But as electronics have evolved, particularly with the E-M5, m4/3 is looking like the clear winner in this race it seems to me.

Small size of body and lens with comparable image quality.
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TrapperJohn
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Between APS and M43, does not appear to have been a major factor
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Jul 23, 2012

While there is a noticable IQ difference between APS and M43, and the very small sensors of the Nikon One and Pentax Q, this doesn't seem to be evident in the top tier mirrorless cameras.

Arguably, Fuji seems to have a bit of an IQ edge with the XPro1, but it's not really decisive, and Fuji is almost outside the mainstream mirrorless due to specialized design and price.

Otherwise, the IQ difference between the big sensor mirrorless: EM5, GH2, NEX7, K01, isn't substantial enough to be a major factor to anyone other than a spec memorizer.

What does appear to be decisive are other factors.

M43 is rising based on the diversity of both glass and body styles, all the way from very small mini rangefinders to mini-dslr. The One and Q bodies are almost too small, no room for external controls that enthusiasts like to have. NEX, especially the NEX7, is interesting. K01 is an oddball. Samsung... should be doing better than they are, I rather like their body designs.

Lens availability? Compatibility with legacy glass is present on all the mirrorless systems, but most of them face the same problem: Big lens on small body is just plain clumsy. Only the EM5 seems to have a handle on this with the battery grip, but it's still large.

M43's extensive native mount glass selection, and the presence of high grade native mount glass, appear to be a decisive sales advantage. It's a common reason cited by people who move to M43 from another mirrorless system, especially those coming from NEX where native glass support is not strong right now.

Forum pundits notwithstanding, it's almost easy to forget that two companies are working on M43.

Lens size? Certainly the One and Q glass is very small. Sony APS glass is quite large, but we don't know yet whether that is the nature of APS glass in general, or whether Sony's design causes this. Given the very thin nature of the NEX bodies, I suspect they're 'adding' registration distance in the lens itself, which could be why their glass tends to be longer. Why it's thicker is another matter.

Samsung and Fuji have done far better with their APS lenses, but they're making mostly pancake primes. If you can't make a pancake small, you aren't trying.

Canon appears to have done well with it's 22 2.0. The 18-55 isn't too bad in size, but it's an 18-55, a lens that on Canon dslr's is notorious for the speed at which it has you running for a B&H catalog.

So, right now, the deciding factor seems to be the most complete selection to choose from. Two basic body styles with several variations, plenty of lenses, and now some very high quality lenses, give M43 the edge.

Whether it stays that way remains to be seen.

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Bob Meyer
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Re: still matters - but not as much
In reply to John Mason, Jul 23, 2012

Of course, that lens mounted on the OM-D would have required only half as much crop. And manual focus, of course.

But I agree, and have said many times, no system is perfect for every purpose. Every system involves compromise, even full frame. Even m43. If you can only manage one system, then you have to choose the one with the compromises that best fit what and how you shoot. But there are certainly legitimate reasons to use different kinds of systems.

John Mason wrote:

I shoot FF and m4/3rds.

I just did a sporting event where my sag driver who up to that point had only ever stot with PS cameras was using my 5d3 with 100-400 lens and snagged this shot of me.

It's about 1/8th of the frame

That would a tougher crop no the em5

So, from my point of view, for general shooting I prefer the EM5 but for specific situations like shooting sports with long lenses where I might have to do heavy cropping, I prefer the FF sensor.

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I've told myself to stop using "equivalent" focal lengths on m43. 25mm is what it is, and what it might be similar to on some other format doesn't matter to me any more. We need to learn what to expect from our current equipment, not keep mapping it to the old. No one refers to their 50mm FF lens as "equivalent to 80mm on MF."

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: NO winners,Canon = secondary cameras too.
In reply to Everdog, Jul 23, 2012

Everdog wrote:

After decades, Canon never "won" the DSLR market. They do lead with Nikon, but Sony, Pentax, etc are all still in the game and still relevant.

There will be NO "winner" in the mirrorless market either.

What is interesting is both Nikon and Canon look at mirrorless as secondary to their DSLRs. Their cameras are made to get people to buy into their DSLR systems.

Not so with Sony, Olympus and Panasonic. All have high-end bodies, and may soon have "Pro" mirrorless bodies. This approach makes more sense. Who wants to be stuck with the old larger DSLR lenses in the future?

Maybe yes, there will be no winners, and the good competition will provide us better and better cameras.

I already don't need a second system, and I think DLSR sales will be similar to the Mirrorless in a near future.

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Imagination is more important than knowledge.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Between APS and M43, does not appear to have been a major factor
In reply to TrapperJohn, Jul 23, 2012

TrapperJohn wrote:

While there is a noticable IQ difference between APS and M43, and the very small sensors of the Nikon One and Pentax Q, this doesn't seem to be evident in the top tier mirrorless cameras.

Arguably, Fuji seems to have a bit of an IQ edge with the XPro1, but it's not really decisive, and Fuji is almost outside the mainstream mirrorless due to specialized design and price.

Otherwise, the IQ difference between the big sensor mirrorless: EM5, GH2, NEX7, K01, isn't substantial enough to be a major factor to anyone other than a spec memorizer.

What does appear to be decisive are other factors.

M43 is rising based on the diversity of both glass and body styles, all the way from very small mini rangefinders to mini-dslr. The One and Q bodies are almost too small, no room for external controls that enthusiasts like to have. NEX, especially the NEX7, is interesting. K01 is an oddball. Samsung... should be doing better than they are, I rather like their body designs.

Lens availability? Compatibility with legacy glass is present on all the mirrorless systems, but most of them face the same problem: Big lens on small body is just plain clumsy. Only the EM5 seems to have a handle on this with the battery grip, but it's still large.

M43's extensive native mount glass selection, and the presence of high grade native mount glass, appear to be a decisive sales advantage. It's a common reason cited by people who move to M43 from another mirrorless system, especially those coming from NEX where native glass support is not strong right now.

Forum pundits notwithstanding, it's almost easy to forget that two companies are working on M43.

Lens size? Certainly the One and Q glass is very small. Sony APS glass is quite large, but we don't know yet whether that is the nature of APS glass in general, or whether Sony's design causes this. Given the very thin nature of the NEX bodies, I suspect they're 'adding' registration distance in the lens itself, which could be why their glass tends to be longer. Why it's thicker is another matter.

Samsung and Fuji have done far better with their APS lenses, but they're making mostly pancake primes. If you can't make a pancake small, you aren't trying.

Canon appears to have done well with it's 22 2.0. The 18-55 isn't too bad in size, but it's an 18-55, a lens that on Canon dslr's is notorious for the speed at which it has you running for a B&H catalog.

So, right now, the deciding factor seems to be the most complete selection to choose from. Two basic body styles with several variations, plenty of lenses, and now some very high quality lenses, give M43 the edge.

Whether it stays that way remains to be seen.

Thank you for your opinion John, well explained and I agree on some points.

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God is the tangential point between zero and infinity.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

God always take the simplest way.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: still matters - but not as much
In reply to John Mason, Jul 23, 2012

John Mason wrote:

Thank you, and just to say that is a nice dog, and a good picture

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Imagination is more important than knowledge.

God always take the simplest way.

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