DXO: m4/3 vs. FF -- we have it good!

Started Sep 4, 2019 | Discussions thread
John Mason
John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 6,088
Re: This ^

Gnine wrote:

Raist3d wrote:

Jeff wrote:

Raist3d wrote:

Doug Janis wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Henry Richardson wrote:


...for so many in the form of the smartphone -- a trend that Canon predicts to continue for at least two more years. So, yes -- many are very happy to leave the larger formats for a smaller format that matches (and even exceeds) the IQ and capabilities of larger formats in the past. But far more are going "all the way down" to the smartphone.

And they aren't stopping at m43 for any compromise.

The major issue is that current m43 sensors aren't cutting it against similarly priced competition. They need another stop and a bit more resolution.

This is a key issue and why going big camera body will make m43rds go the way of 4/3rds. It's to be expected the competition should have, with a bigger sensor and current tech, better image capture characteristics. The issue then becomes how does m43rds differentiate?

Making a big body at similar prices is not the way to go for m43rds.

For me, the EM1x is a brilliant piece of kit. I can fit a full system, from UWA to extreme telephoto ... a system that is weather sealed, rugged, affordable, and complete ... into a modest backpack that I can carry in a boat, flip into an airline overhead, on my back for a hike, even on a bike ride.

I am happy that you are happy with your EM1X, but I don't think you are in the majority of the market of this system.

If you're happy with a FF system, great. I'm happy with mine, too, likely for different reasons than you.

I don't shoot FF. I don't own FF. I plan to buy no FF.

We make choices. There's no right or wrong here.

Yes, but that's irrelevant to whether m43rs is going in the right direction with the bigger bodies or not. Sure, the market will make choices, and those choices will benefit m43rds less and less if this keeps going. Of course, my opinion.

The real kicker though is price. They are 25% the size of the FF competition, so adding in capacity like 60fps, pro and high res, etc., is just masking the overall sensor issue. All mirrorless can or will have exactly this same features eventually if the market demands.

That means that m43 has to be lower priced than FF mirrorless, or Fuji, and that's not what we are seeing. We saw the EM1.2 come out at a way too high price, get hammered in the media for that, and Olympus were compelled to drop the price almost immediately.

Here's the thing though. Who says FF bodies will remain small and uncomfortable? Let's look at mobile phones. They went from bricks, to ridiculously small items that you couldn't hold properly of comfortably. Where are they now? Back to a reasonable size for normal human hands. I think that once the novelty wears off, 36*24 cameras will probably grow again. Have a look where Panasonic went with their 36*24 cameras, and they're the Masters at shrunken tiny cameras.

Now let's look at m4/3. They've gone through all the phases too. They seem to be settling on a size that is actually comfortable for a normal human being to actually hold and use. We even see certain posters here in this very forum, adding grips and what nots to their tiny cameras, so they can actually comfortably hold and use them. Olympus and Panasonic actually do this for you, straight off the shelf. They're called the G9, GH5, EM1, G95 etc etc etc. Sure there's the odd outlier such as the EM1X, but that's the exception, rather than the rule. The way certain people carry on in here, you'd think the only cameras available in the m4/3 world, are the size of small cars. It's actually embarrassing to watch the pathetic crying and grizzling. The manufacturer will make what the market buys. They've tried tiny, and where are they now?

In various sensor formats small to large body choices abound.  Where the sensor size correlates to overall system size the most is not the bodies imo, but the lenses.  Once you are on a trip and bringing a set of lenses to cover a range of needs, the smaller sensor system starts to have large size advantages.
This is offset on the 35mm sensor size in that the more light sensitive sensor can get away with F4 vs F2.8 for instance closing that gap somewhat.  But overall the total system size will follow the sensor size.  As sensor tech improves the range of photographic needs that can be handled by a smaller sensor system improves.  Add computational photography to the mix and we'll see a quantum leap (mostly towards phones I'm afraid) to the smaller sensor systems.
The OP is spot on and more so when you consider the output need required.  It's rare I get a practical advantage from my FF stuff over my m4/3 stuff in terms of the end use of the image.  Sure, it's comparing to older FF sensor tech, but that does not change the premise.  
These are fun little 'popcorn' threads

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John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana USA

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