Are m4/3 cameras too expensive when you…

Started Apr 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
pcb_dpr Contributing Member • Posts: 838
Re: Are m4/3 cameras too expensive when you…

You're making some pretty extensive generalizations, seemingly without much experience with the type of equipment you're generalizing about. Kinda hard to pick this all apart, but I'll start with:

1. Very few lenses in any format are equally sharp corner to corner, especially wide-open, and the ones that are tend to be very expensive telephotos. Look at any MTF curves for any prime or zoom lens, then look at the curves for a Leica M 90/2.0 APO-Asph. Very few lenses have flat response curves, especially wide-open, like the 90/2.0 APO-Asph. It's a tele lens, which is easier to design, and it's a $4k lens.

2. Many/most zoom lenses have varying performance at all focal lengths. Again, pick any high-end zoom and check out the MTF graphs. Some are more consistent than others, none are perfect.

3. Sample variation exists. Back in the day retentive photographers would test multiple samples of any lens they wanted to buy, and pick/keep the one that delivered the sharpest negs. Today lenses can come off the line with decentered elements, or other out-of-tolerance assembly, that degrades image quality. Today you can check for that in minutes, no need to wait to process film. Return it if it isn't right.

4. Your "fixed lens cameras" were absolutely weaker in the corners than the center, but since they had tiny sensors and immense depth of field, maybe you didn't see it. Or maybe it was there but you didn't see it. But it was there. Assuming by "fixed lens cameras" you mean a point-and-shoot compact digicam.

5. I doubt you'll find any data anywhere to support that weak corner response is somehow worse with m4/3 optics than other formats. Or decentered lens elements. Or variable zoom performance at different focal lengths. M4/3 optics are not more imperfect than any other.

6. You will find many more users happy with their high-end/fast m4/3 glass than users unhappy with the performance. I'd say the same for users of high-end NiCanSony glass. High-end lenses are mostly well-designed and worth the $$, nit-pickers will pick nits, but the lenses keep selling and people keep making outstanding images with them.

7. Mirrored cameras have additional issues with front-/back-focusing due to phase-detect sensors that do not exist with mirrorless contrast-detect focusing. Search some forums and you'll find high-end users having to tweak their DSLR focus settings for their fast glass, some send their cameras/lenses to techs regularly for tweaking. Doesn't happen with m4/3, or any other mirrorless system.

8. Whatever compact camera you're using now, any current m4/3 camera will handily outperform it, despite imperfect optics. Even without "spending thousands of dollars on very expensive lenses."

9. A good photographer can make great images with middling hardware. A middling photographer can make middling images with great hardware.

tron555 wrote:

… Consider how many expensive lenses are absolutely needed, just to cover your basic needs?

...very advance photographers (unlike myself) are spending thousands of dollars on very expensive lenses....these lenses are only sharp at certain apertures and focal lengths...getting sharp images from corner to corner throughout the focal range is basically impossible on any m4/3 lens! I understand that is also true of all other types of interchangeable lens, but it seems even prevalent with m4/3 lenses. It has made me reconsider...purchase of the E-PL5. Coming from fixed lens cameras in the past, I have never experienced these kinds of issues, costs and probably aggravations when not getting sharp images....

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