M4/3 vs The World Locked

Started Feb 29, 2020 | Discussions thread
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Skyler King
Skyler King Regular Member • Posts: 162
M4/3 vs The World

I have been wanting to make a video like this for nearly a year. I started doing serious research into the various aspects and talking points about two months ago, then spent the last three weeks trying to get the information to translate well into a video.
Unfortunately, after 8 attempts at making the video and trying various approaches and styles, I realized that I was just unable to make the video shorter than two hours while still going into the level of detail that I wanted to.
So, I tossed my hands up and decided to simply "touch and go" and various aspects, keep things much more simple, etc., and ended up being able to condense it into a lightning fast... 37 minutes 😒--

Anyway, in case you want to read some of the quick points;

1) Sensor size
"Micro Four Thirds sensors are too small"

-Many will argue that APS-C is just as professional as full frame, these days (thanks primarily to Fujifilm, in recent years) but will then say that M4/3 is too small and cannot be taken seriously, is not capable of professional results, etc.
-Ironically, M4/3 is nearly the same size as APS-C, while Full Frame is shockingly large compared to APS-C.
-An APS-C sensor is only 1.6x larger than an M4/3 sensor (most of that size difference coming from the sides via aspect ratio) while a Full Frame sensor is 2.3x larger than an APS-C sensor. In fact, if we switch our focus to the smaller Canon APS-C sensors, we see that the Canon APS-C is only 100mm² larger than M4/3, where as a Full Frame sensor is 540mm² larger than a Canon APS-C sensor

2) Pixel Size/Pitch
"Those little m4/3 sensors have tiny 'eyeballs', where as my Full Frame sensor has HUGE freakin' eyeballs!"

-This is a key piece of information; the total surface area of the sensor itself does not determine the performance of a sensor (low light, dynamic range, etc), the size of each pixel does. 
-An m4/3 sensor with 16mp has the exact same size pixels as an APS-C sensor with 26mp (hello, Fuji), a Full Frame sensor with 61mp (so, about that A7Riv), a GFX sized sensor with 100mp (hello again, Fuji), or a Phase One sized sensor with 150mp (take a look at the IQ4).

3) Resolution
"Those m4/3 cameras just don't have enough detail, I need a bare minimum of 24mp"

-1080p is only 2mp, 4k is only 8mp, and a still frame from a 4k video will not look nearly as good as a 2mp RAW photo. So, when talking about RAW photos from professional cameras, there has never been any evidence in any scenario to suggest that anything above 12mp is actually "required". 
-When wanting to find the perfect balance of camera performance to image quality (and options in post), the professional standard has been 20mp for quite awhile. A $6,500 flagship camera (from Nikon or Canon) has had 20mp for years, and will for years to come (Nikon D5 and D6, Canon 1Dx ii and iii).
-m4/3 cameras have a great party trick called "high res shot mode" where insanely high levels of detail are achieved (80mp RAW files from a G9, for example).

4) Print Sizes 
"You know, I might consider m4/3 cameras but I do a lot of large prints"

-Print size is not determined by sensor size, it is determined by viewing distance. As print size increases, so does viewing distance. Apple has made billboard sized prints from photos taken with an iPhone. 
-YouTube is full of examples of professional photographers printing huge, gallery quality prints (for actual galleries) from even old and outdated m4/3 cameras.

5) High ISO & Low Light 
"Sorry, but I need a camera with better low light performance"

-Again, pixel size is the determining factor, not sensor size (assuming all other factors are equal). Since m4/3 cameras share pixel sizes similar or the same as larger sensor cameras, there is no disadvantage in this case. 
-Since many other aspects also determine sensor performance (hardware related as well as computational aspects) we see that modern m4/3 cameras perform better in low light than older Full Frame cameras. 
-The reason why photos from an m4/3 camera may appear more "noisy" at high ISO when compared to a Full Frame sensor is because the Full Frame image does not have to be enlarged as much as the m4/3 image when viewing it on a computer monitor. Think of it this way; If you took a photo from a Full Frame camera and then zoomed in 400% so that one corner (25%) of the photo filled your screen, it would suddenly appear noisier. Well, since the surface area of an m4/3 sensor is nearly 1/4th that of a full frame sensor, this "zoomed in" view is what you are always looking at when viewing an m4/3 image on your monitor.

6) Dynamic Range 
"I could never give up the dynamic range of a full frame camera"

-Once again, dynamic range has nothing to do with the surface area of a sensor, its the size of the pixel that matters (as well as the computational aspects, obviously) 
-Many m4/3 cameras have better dynamic range than various APS-C and full frame cameras. For example, a Panasonic G9 has better dynamic range than a Fuji X-H1, a Canon 5Ds, a Leica M-Monochrom (262), a Nikon D5, etc.

7) Weight savings & Money Savings 
"Woah, these new m4/3 cameras and lenses are just as big and heavy as full frame" 
"That is way too expensive for an m4/3 camera/lens, that's full frame money"

-A "holy trinity" setup from Nikon weighs 3.5kg and costs $5,700 
-From Canon, it weighs 3.07kg and costs $5,300
-From Fuji, it weighs 2.46kg and costs $4,800 
-For m4/3 (Panasonic, in this example), it weighs 0.98kg and costs $2,600

8) Specs and Features
"I mean, I just don't see any advantage to m4/3"
"...if only Sony would give us a fully articulating screen" 
"...if only Canon/Nikon would give us dual card slots"

-Many of the most useful and desired specs and features available in any camera, today, started out with m4/3
-When you buy a professional m4/3 camera they give you everything that they are capable of making. Not a single spec or feature is removed. Seriously, try to think of a single thing that a G9, GH5, E-M1x, E-M1iii, etc, does not offer in terms of specs/features...

9) Ruggedness and Reliability
"those are little toy cameras, they aren't up to the task of pro work"

-Go to YouTube or Google and look into this. m4/3 cameras are known to have industry leading build quality and weather sealing 
-Where Canon, Fuji, Sony, etc, offer just a One Year warranty, Nikon started offering a Two Year warranty. Panasonic laughs at them from atop its Lumix 3 Year Warranty pedestal.

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