MFT vs Mirrorless

Started Apr 7, 2018 | Discussions thread
NowHearThis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,768
I want you to answer this for me:

lds2k wrote:

Why go to a MFT when today's APC mirrorless camera body and lens combination are the same size or smaller than the current high performance MFT?

I guess it depends on what you call "high performance".

Background: Once upon a time MFT was the answer to the bulkiness of APC/FX DSLRs with their flapping mirror boxes that significantly contributed to the size of the camera and the size of the attached lenses. I started with MFT in 2012 with the Olympus EM 5 and although it produces terrific images I used it less and less. I originally went to MFT because I got tired of lugging around my Nikon D800 for day to day shooting. As it turned out I used the Nikon for special occasions. As someone said in this forum you don't see MFT at the Olympics.

Then along came the serious mirrorless camera by SONY (I think). The camera was much smaller and the physics of lens design made many of the lenses smaller as well. However, over time this advantage started to diminish as mirrorless camera lenses got faster and faster (f2.8, f4).

Then came the current crop of mirrorless APC camera and lenses and once again the size is as good or better than the current MFT offerings.

No, most are not even close to MFT. (That's even more true with any that I would consider using).

So, Why go to a MFT when today's APC mirrorless camera body and lens combination are the same size or smaller than the current high performance MFT?

Here's my question I want you to answer:  Why the heck can't I get the two basic lenses I need from Canon, Fuji, or Sony APS-C?

All I want/need for 95% of my shooting is a fantastic 24-120mm lens and an 85mm portrait prime. Why can't I get one without having to resort to adapters and bigger lenses?

FF cameras have these, in fact Canon and Nikon have multiple versions of these. Sony FF just added a 24-105/4 because it's a highly popular lens that offers a lot of versatility without the need to swap lenses frequently. (Infact the 24-105/120 is such a popular length that they're bundled with many FF cameras.) So why, why after years and years can't I get those two basic lenses with AF & OSS/VR/OIS for APS-C mirrorless?

Sony only has:

Wide - Short Telephoto Zoom

  • 16-70 (24-105) but it's optical performance is mediocre away from the center. After a series of thorough tests between this and other lenses. I just could never be ok or satisfied, let alone happy, with that lens. Biggest lens disappointment of all time.
  • There is a new 18-135 that looks promising, but it doesn't go to 24mm it really a 27-202mm lens, lacking those 3mm is a deal breaker for me. While I'm sure it will be good, I'm sure it won't be the equal of something like a Canon 15-85, Panasonic Leica 12-60mm in terms of IQ, but I'm looking forward to testing it out myself to confirm this.

Portrait Prime

  • 50/1.8 is all they've got natively. It's a bit short, but I could get by with that, at least it's good optically and not a junk lens like Canon's nifty 50. This lens is sharp out to the edges at F1.8 where most 50's fail at that aperture. Still I would prefer a 60/1.8 and I don't want to fork out the cash for the FE55/1.8. Which is much bigger and heavier too.

So Sony is out for me.


Fuji only has:

Wide - Short Telephoto Zoom

  • 18-55, while good, it's got a little field curvature at 18mm and doesn't go long enough, I'd have to bring 3 lenses to accomplish what I want to do with 1 from others.
  • The 16-55/2.8 is fantastic but lacks OIS. The only thing I would use this on is the larger, more expensive X-H1. The range is too short for me on the long end, but I won't fault it's IQ. This lens and the 18-55 are out for me for that reason.
  • 18-135, I haven't seen great shots from it, there aren't many positive reviews, even if it's good, the 18-55 is likely better and my current lens is better than the 18-55 so this lens is out. (It too is also not wide enough.)

Portrait Prime

  • 50/2 Similar to the Sony in the fact I could get by using it, but unlike Sony it lacks any stabilization (the other primes I list here also lack that feature as well). I have a natural handshake (thanks medicine) and OIS or IBIS is a mandatory feature for me.
  • 56/1.2 (2 of them): the right Focal length, the wrong price, and no OIS. 1/3 = dealbreaker.
  • 60/2.4 macro = could be useful as the 90mm Equiv FL is fine for me. Macro would be a plus, but no OIS

So Fuji is out for me


Canon only has: (tl;dr: not much)

Wide - Short Telephoto Zoom

  • 18-55
  • 15-45
  • 18-150

These three are just kit lenses, they're pretty good but nothing that even approaches the IQ of the Fuji 18-55 optically. 2 of them are two short to begin with, and two of them don't go wide enough.

Portrait Prime

  • Nothng.
  • You have to buy an adapter and use a bigger lens. The Canon the EF 50/1.8 is not good enough to be used, I hate the IQ of that lens overall. At least anything from F1/8-F2.8 is too soft away from the center. Certainly not a "high performance" lens by any stretch of the imagination.

So Canon is out for me.


MFT on the other hand has several options for me.

Wide - Short Telephoto Zoom

  • Olympus 12-100/4 - Great lens, Clutch MF makes it extremely useful for many applications.  The Stabilizer when used on the EM1.2 can enable shots being hand held at 5 seconds or more without blur.  Some on the MFT forum has even done longer.  This lens is actually lighter than the Canon EF 15-85 lens.
  • Panasonic 12-60/2.8-4 - Another great lens.  Very light (ligher than the Fuji 18-135 and only 20g heavier than the Fuji 18-55 and better than both. On many Panasonic bodies, this lens can uses the Dual IS which offers better OIS than Sony, Canon or Fuji.
  • Olympus 12-40/2.8 or Panasonic 12-35/2.8 - Both are great optically too, but they're not for me because of the shorter range, but again, they're very sharp.

Portrait Prime

  • Olympus 45/1.8
  • Panasonic 42.5/1.7
  • Olympus 45/1.2

All three are great, each is sharp from corner to corner.

So I have lots of choices to start with MFT which I don't with all the APS-C mirrorless.  Then I can grow and get other great lenses.

For me I don't care how much hype is around how good a sensor is, if there aren't great lenses in the Focal Lengths I need.  That supposed great sensor camera is completely useless to me and I'll never buy it.

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 NowHearThis's gear list:NowHearThis's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7 Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 ASPH
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