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Micro 4/3s and APS sensor cameras - is there much of difference?


22 May 2013 5:24AM
The first commercially successful 4/3s seemed to come from compact camera manufacturers, not present at the time in pro-summer DSLR market. Later, the grands like Nikon picked the trend up. Some of them, like Canon, appear to struggle to accept 4/3s format till now - while being heavily present in premium compact market. Do you see 4/3 as a logical development of compacts or like a mini-DSLR ?

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22 May 2013 8:06AM
It depends in part what you mean by "difference".
One of the considerations often missed in the cost/size discussion is a smaller lighter cheaper 24-70 f2.8 on 4/3 has an angle of view similar to a much larger and heavier 70-200 f2.8 on 24x36. The difference between 4/3 and a a crop sensor body is smaller, but still very much reality.
Crop sensor bodies may be better suited to advanced photographers who want an "advanced system" with a huge range of lenses and flash units similar to Canon or Nikon, but not all (maybe most) photographers not need such a wide range of kit.
Technology is moving fast and anything under discussion is likely to produce better overall, though different, results to film.
What you can use if you are fit enough to climb to the top of Mount Everest is different to the equipment you might choose for macro working from a tripod.
There is now far more choice. If what is out there suits your current needs why not consider it?
22 May 2013 8:45AM

Quote:... smaller lighter cheaper 24-70 f2.8 on 4/3 has an angle of view similar to a much larger and heavier 70-200 f2.8 on 24x36.

Crop factor of 4/3 is 2, therefore 24-70 is somewhat "similar" to 48-140mm lens on 24x36. To get anything like 70-200 on 4/3 one will need 35-100 lens. On the other hand, it would be not easy to find a 4/3 "analogue" of Canon 17-40mm EF lens. And 40mm Canon "pancake" is not much bigger than 4/3s 20mm lens. There is definite win in overall system weight at long focal distances, but an ordinary superzoom that costs about half of 4/3 body only does even better.
27 May 2013 12:51PM
One aspect of 4/3 cameras which does not appear to have been considered is that they use an electronic viewfinder rather than an optical TTL. For me this is the big differentiator between APS-C / 35mm cameras and 4/3.

I use both types but much prefer an optical TTL rather than an electronic viewfinder as I still find them lacking in contrast / colour definition.

Interestingly when my son in law was looking at getting a "real" camera I lent him a Panasonic G3 and a Pentax Kr. Both my daughter and my son in law preferred the Pentax because of the viewfinder and purchased one.
27 May 2013 2:39PM
I guess there are advantages and disadavantages in both OVF and EVF. I rather like the very easy to see and read symbols and info superimposed on the EVF screen and the 100% view of my Sony A37. The Fn button information in the view finder and being able to adjust settings while up at the eye is superb [for me].
In dim or low light the OVF has many advantages, but even there some are not as good as others, with Olympus 4thirds E cameras it was like looking down a tunnel which was not very good. The latest Pentax DSLR's are particuarly good.
EVF DSLR cameras are also lighter and probably cheaper to make.
As for sensor size, they are all a compromise but my hunch is the APS-C is the best all round compromise untill some thing new comes along to replace it.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
27 May 2013 4:08PM
There is very little physical difference between APS-C and 4/3, especially if you like using a square crop, there is barely any difference at all.

I prefer evf`s these days, they show you so much more information than an optical viewfinder and the much better in low light.
27 May 2013 9:15PM
Quality EVF seems to be a factor limiting the size of camera body - at least in it's traditional shape. Example - Fujifilm X-S1 has very nice bright and detailed EVF in a body actually larger in size than some entry-level DSLRs.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
28 May 2013 12:15AM
Its also has a body that is just as big as a DSLR but with the advantage of a lenses that covers 600mm in quite a compact form.
28 May 2013 6:19AM
That is one of advantages of compacts and 4/3s - by not having a mirror and thus having a backfocus distance considerably shorter than DSLRs they allow to make lenses more compact axially. And smaller sensor contributes to the lesser lens diameter. But that makes the cameras very "selfish" - as their optics fit only the same type of a camera Wink. As for EVFs - I think Fujifilm hybrid "randefinder"- type viewfinders of X20 and X100 get it just right quality and body size wise.
lemmy e2
7 2.1k United Kingdom
28 May 2013 3:07PM
The answer to the OPs original question depends very much on which examples of the cameras you take.

There is a great deal of difference in size between the largest APS cameras and the smallest M43s. There is not much difference between the largest M43s and the smallest APSs.

On any normal computer monitor there is no difference in quality since with both formats you discarding more pixels than you are using. For printing there can be a difference theoretically at least because some APS sensors have a smaller pixel count than some M43s and vice versa but this would only be a factor with quite large prints.

So, yes there are differences but whether they amount to much depends on the cameras and the use to which they are put.
ChrisV e2
8 889 26 United Kingdom
28 May 2013 4:11PM
If you look at the current best of each format you will get a bit more resolution and a bit better high ISO performance from the current best APSc cameras over the current best m4/3s. This will only be useful at very large print sizes and toward the extremes of the cameras' low light shooting capability.

For equal AoV there will likely be a not inconsiderable weight/size saving with the m4/3s format. [I assume we are talking about cameras that have interchangeable lenses]. For me personally this latter easily outweighs the former. To use the internet cliché YMMV...
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
28 May 2013 5:31PM

Quote:So, yes there are differences but whether they amount to much depends on the cameras and the use to which they are put


This is just another of those what is best threads, fine if you spend all yours days going over test charts instead of getting out and taking pictures, so all pretty pointless really.

For many applications today a point and shoot can be just as good as a DSLR for the end result.
28 May 2013 9:10PM

Quote:
This is just another of those what is best threads...


This is not, rather an attempt to understand 4/3 phenomena. What makes these cameras so popular - with optics and sensor relatively similar to entry level DSLRs and overall interface borrowed from compacts? But if you wish - you may see it as "what is the best?" thread.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
28 May 2013 9:45PM

Quote:This is not, rather an attempt to understand 4/3 phenomena. What makes these cameras so popular


Its not so much the format that makes one better than the other, most people over look the sensor and this plays an even bigger part, some of the entry level pens perform better than some of the higher levelled crop dslr`s.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/839|0/%28brand%29/Olympus/%28appareil2%29/816|0/%28brand2%29/Panasonic/%28appareil3%29/619|0/%28brand3%29/Canon

For me M4/3 is the best platform by far for the hybrid shooters amongst us, dslr`s were never designed with video in mind.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
28 May 2013 11:30PM

Quote:
This is not, rather an attempt to understand 4/3 phenomena. What makes these cameras so popular - with optics and sensor relatively similar to entry level DSLRs and overall interface borrowed from compacts? But if you wish - you may see it as "what is the best?" thread.



What makes them so popular is simple - a quality that matches DSLR in a much smaller package, and so one you are more likely to take with you. Ironically, MFTs are aimed at entry level photographers who are still of the opinion that 'I want quality so I will buy DSLR', and they are 'popular' only because experienced photographers have cottoned on very quickly to how good hey actually are and buy them for those days they don' want to lug their full kit around.


Quote:
with optics and sensor relatively similar to entry level DSLRs


You really don't seem to be able to grasp the concept that that is why they are so popular. With the smaller size as a bonus.



Quote:overall interface borrowed from compacts

You say that like its a bad thing.



Quote:you may see it as "what is the best?" thread

As in 'the best camera is the one you have with you'. And for me that is more than likely gong to be the MFT - the Canon 7D tends to go out now for wildlife photography because of the superior focus tracking or when I am feeling 'serious' about what I am going to shoot (even though deep down I know the MFT will do just as well 90% of the time).

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