GH2 vs Sony Alpha 55

Started Mar 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: GH2 vs Sony Alpha 55 -- Had both returned A55

SHood wrote:

This is a general problem with APS-C cameras. There is a limited selection of quality APS-C lenses expecially at the long end. There is a large difference in weight and size between m43 and FF lenses.

HankK wrote:

I am a still shooter. I had the A55 for a time and found that to get decent quality lenses you are back to getting full size DSLR lenses so you are back to big size kit and heavy. I have a Canon 5D2 and did not want another DSLR kit.

The GH2 is just so much better size and weight wise. I also found the GH2 with the proper choice of lenses yielded better quality photos for me. I do not shoot above 1600 and mostly at 160 to 400.

I don't think a better selection of APS-C lenses would do much alter the balance compared to m43 when it comes to bulk and weight. This is especially true at the long end. Tele zooms like 70-300 or so wouldn't be much smaller, lighter, better or cheaper if they were APS-C specific because it's pretty easy to expand the image circle to cover FF without a whole lot of concessions. I am sure that's the reason why these zooms continue to appear as FF lenses although most of them certainly do not target the pro or near-pro market segment, and are bound to end up on APS-C camera in virtually all cases.

The m43 advantage in terms of the bulk and weight of lenses essentially comes down to two things: the crop factor and the shorter flange distance gained by getting rid of the mirror. With respect to the crop factor, APS-C is mid way between m43 and FF. With respect to the flange distance, APS-C is in some ways even worse off than FF because a greater proportion of lenses (everything from normal lenses downwards) have to be retrofocus designs, and more so than functionally equivalent FF lenses.

When APS-C was introduced, the camera makers might have chosen to design a new mount with shorter flange distance (of course with adapters to allow the use of FF lenses). But they didn't and that makes the problem even worse than it would otherwise be. One partial exception here is Canon, which retained the flange distance but allowed the rear lens elements to protrude further into the camera for APS-C than for FF. That's why Canon APS-C lenses cannot physically be mounted on FF cameras.

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