Full Frame vs Micro 4:3

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
FingerPainter Forum Pro • Posts: 10,272
Re: Full Frame vs Micro 4:3

Michael Piziak wrote:

I viewed this 2018 video, to get a perspective of how much smaller the Olympus cameras are than other cameras... The video actually compares the micro 4:3 to a full frame camera when it comes to image quality.

Any comparison that claims to see no difference when it doesn't examine prints of the same scene shot under the same conditions is bogus.

Fortunately, there is a tool right here on DPR that lets you compare like to like: the Studio Scene Comparison Tool.

Are you claiming you cannot see the difference between the E-MI II and the 5DIV in these shots?

The top pair of shots reflects the ISO settings that the video's host probably used in his shots: base ISO on each camera. The bottom post shows the difference when low light has forced an increase in ISO setting.

This old video compared a FF dSLR to a MFT MILC. Since that time Canon and Nikon have shifted to MILC production. Here is a comparison of the size of a current MILC from Canon, Nikon, and Olympus. Most of the size difference has been eliminated.

Now you might be tempted to say, "Yeah, but the MFT lenses are much smaller." And they often are, But most of the time that's because the MFT lenses have a much smaller shooting envelope - they cannot cover the same range of DOFs for the same ranges of angles of view. When you compare lenses with equal shooting envelopes, the FF lenses are often smaller.

Here's a comparison of the popular Olympus 12-100mm f/4 PRO to the Nikon 24-100mmf/4-6.3. The Nikon covers the same diagonal angles of view and all the same DOFs as the Olympus lens. It also covers some shallower DOFs that the Olympus cannot get. Despite the Nikkor covering a larger range of DOFs and larger image circle, there is essentially no difference in size. This particular Nikon combo will produce sharper images than the Olympus combo, at the same DOF.

I have neither, as I've only owned APS-C DSLR's.

While I am impressed by the size of the micro 4:3, I actually came away with a conclusion that, just perhaps, all the talk about image quality advantage of a FF camera, perhaps, just perhaps, may be a bit of "hype."

No, not all of the talk about the IQ advantage of FF is hype. FF usually has an IQ advantage both with respect to noise/DR and to sharpness. The question is whether that advantage is large enough to matter. I'd suggest there is no objective answer. Now, with FF MILCs having shrunk the size gap, the question also arises as to whether the remaining size advantage of MFT is large enough to matter. I'd suggest it is only when  you use lenses with significantly smaller shooting envelopes.

Sometimes the FF advantage may be overstated. When both shutter speed and DOF are constrained, a larger sensor provides no noise advantage. In practice, in these situations, the MFT sensor my perform fractionally better. But such shooting constraints occur in only a minority of all shooting situations. For much landscape shooting, shutter speed is not constrained; for much wildlife sports or event shooting, DOF is not constrained.

The video:


To jump straight to the image comparison, you can click to about 8:50 in the video.

Thank you for providing a timestamp. I wish  more people did that.

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