Has 4/3rds delivered on its 2002 imaging promise?

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rfsIII Regular Member • Posts: 195
Has 4/3rds delivered on its 2002 imaging promise?

A decade and a half ago, the members of the 4/3rds consortium promised a breakthrough in performance from their system because (they claimed) its design allowed them to project light rays in a straight line onto the sensor.

So, in your opinion as engineers and scientists, has their "telecentric optical system" achieved the outsize performance vs. DSLRs that its creators told us it would?

Specifically, have time and experience proved that that the basic design really does have an advantage over DSLRs (and other non-telecentric designs) when it comes to ghosting, flare, vignetting, CA and other aberrations? Or was it all just wishful thinking?

The question has relevance for stills shooters, but with the release of the GH5s and the upcoming revise of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, it becomes an important issue for micro- and low-budget filmmakers as well.

Thank you

2002 was a long time ago, so here's a recap of what they said and a couple of  the original graphics. The translation is a little repetitive but I didn't want to change any of their words.

  • The foundation for the high picture quality of the Four Thirds system is the lens mount, which is about twice the diameter of the image circle. This extra headroom allows much more freedom in lens design and ensures sharp, clear imaging performance.
  • With the Four Thirds system, the diameter of the lens mount exceeds the sensor size and the digital-dedicated lens design allows all the light (even on the periphery) to travel perpendicularly to the surface of the image sensor. The result is a sharp, clear image reproduction throughout the image plane.

The biggest problems facing typical D-SLR cameras are the image degradation of peripherals and the appearance of ghosts and flares. Picture quality problems such as resolution loss, chromatic aberration, and shading in peripheral areas are particularly noticeable when a wide-angle type lens is used. Ghosts and flares are produced when the light reflected on the image sensor surface is reflected again on a lens surface.

Many of the current interchangeable-lens D-SLR cameras using traditional 35 mm film camera lenses are very susceptible to loss of sharpness, chromatic aberration, and shading of peripheral areas. Wide-angle type lenses are especially problematic since oblique light inclined at a large angle tends to enter the peripheral areas.

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Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Panasonic GH5S
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