What is it with M43 folks?

analoggrotto

EOS RP
Aug 27, 2016
265
154
I was at a photographic society meet once (something I will never bother with again), the speaker mentioned Full Frame and APS-C in some context. Of a few hundred people, a guy in the back shouted "M43" is smaller and better. Ever present DPR seems littered with people dedicated to reminding the world that this smaller format exists.

Has anyone else noticed this?

I'm not bashing M43, but now Canon has answered the call with such lenses as the new can sized 70-200 F4L, the F11 duo and the impossibly compact R5 itself; these folks must feel all the more evangelical.
 

Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
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Market wise, m43 is in the same bracket as EOS-M. Main difference is m43 manufacturers aren't limiting themselves to small & light, so they have 200mm f/2.8 & 300mm f/4 primes, and zooms that go to 400mm. Canon hasn't announced a camera 7DmkII owners could upgrade to, so maybe they'll go m43.

The R5 is expensive, and the f/11 primes are expensive. I can see why some people would prefer m43.
 

Joules

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m43 manufacturers aren't limiting themselves to small & light, so they have 200mm f/2.8 & 300mm f/4 primes, and zooms that go to 400mm.
Like the Panasonic 100-400 mm 4.0-6.3?

These discussions around sensor formats basically boild down to equivalency. The crop factor simply has to be considered for DoF and light gathering, so these 200 mm 2.8 you mention are equivalent to 400 mm 5.6 on FF, the 300 mm is equivalent to 600 mm 8.0 and that zoom is a 200-800 mm 8.0-12.6.

Canon has shown that it is beginning to offer lenses like these, that trade off some aperture for size. The 600 mm f/11 and 800 mm f/11 are on the extremes of this spectrum, but I would fully expect some more moderate options to become available in the long term.

M43 and EF-M can maintain an even smaller size and weight I think. But how much of an advantage this is will be may shrink. And especially in terms IQ, sensor size and physical size will remain a tradeoff. M43 does not have an advantage because you can make a 2.8 or 4.0 lens much smaller - you have to factor in the sensor size.

As for the Psychologie behind it, I think there are two issues that goad each other. As photography is a hobby and can involve some large amount of money, I believe it is easy to become overly protective and emotionally invested in gear of a certain 'fraction', if you will. We've seen this also at play with Sony vs Canon. And the other aspect is another side of the same coin: a willingness to belittle a fraction. This becomes conflated with legitimate criticism easily.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each system. If they were all the same or one was superior to another in every aspect, the market would have gravitated to the cheapest manufacturer or the best long ago. Instead, we have diverse camera offerings that all have a value for respective niches in the market. These offerings and the size of these niches are currently changing, and so it is only natural that it creates some friction both between customers and manufacturers, as well as customers among each other and manufacturers among each other.
 
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Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
1,137
315
Like the Panasonic 100-400 mm 4.0-6.3?

These discussions around sensor formats basically boild down to equivalency. The crop factor simply has to be considered for DoF and light gathering, so these 200 mm 2.8 you mention are equivalent to 400 mm 5.6 on FF, the 300 mm is equivalent to 600 mm 8.0 and that zoom is a 200-800 mm 8.0-12.6.
The same applies to the 7DmkII. And 600mm f/11 isn't better than equivalent to 600mm f/8.

And the price of super teles are a text book example of why compromises are necessary. I don't know a lot of people who could buy an EF 400mm f/2.8L or 800mm f/5.6L.

As for the Psychologie behind it, I think there are two issues that goad each other. As photography is a hobby and can involve some large amount of money, I believe it is easy to become overly protective and emotionally invested in gear of a certain 'fraction', if you will. We've seen this also at play with Sony vs Canon. And the other aspect is another side of the same coin: a willingness to belittle a fraction. This becomes conflated with legitimate criticism easily.
I 2nd that.
 

old-pr-pix

EOS RP
Dec 26, 2011
422
64
I have been a Canon user for decades who got into M43 years ago when I bought an Oly OMD E-M5 instead of a 7D to add to my collection of various bodies. Since then I have found M43 extremely versatile, light weight, very well weather-sealed and durable. Serious phtogs can argue equivalency all day but for me and what I shoot M43 works just fine. I've had various pix shot on M43 published in a national magazine and used in state agency publications - never did anyone complain my sensor size was too small. Sometimes having greater DOF is an advantage, not a curse. Of course I still have a lot of Canon gear and prefer it at times, especially subjects that 'need' the wider 3:2 aspect ratio.
 

usern4cr

EOS RP
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
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For the last 3 years, I have enjoyed only the (M43) Olympus EM1_II with the 12-100 f4 IS pro and 300mm f4 IS pro. They are spectacular *handheld* lenses for travel (where lightweight compactness is king), landscapes (where DOF and sharpness is king), and flower & insect photos (where telephoto high magnification & sharpness is king). The 20MP sensor took wonderful photos when used with DXO Photolab to remarkably denoise and adjust the images. During that time Olympus had the best waterproofing, and handheld dual IS of any camera system (only partially surpassed towards the end by Sonys eye AF tracking).

Unfortunately, Olympus always tried to increase their sales by saying those lenses are "equivalent" to a 24-100mm f4 and 600mm f4 lens, and many M43 users believed this and still shout it out now. I never believed this, as I saw proof that they were equivalent to 24-100 f8 and 600 f8 lenses - which was fine with me, as I saw how spectacular they were for their purpose. But their small sensor would forever have much less background blur than FF sensors, particularly for traditional portrait use, so I wanted to get into a FF system. I almost got into the Sony Alpha system for that, but I couldn't stand buying a camera without a fully articulating screen, which I relied on heavily for all kinds of photos including portrait ones shot from waist level, and Sony had no cameras with that type of screen.

I resisted getting into the Canon FF system because I wanted more than their initial R mount bodies offered, and I eagerly waited for them to come out with their 2nd generation body to go along with their spectacular RF lenses. When the R5 came out I jumped in with both feet and now have it with the RF f2.8 trinity and 800mm f11 lenses, with the 100-500 on order. Now that DXO Photolab4 supports the R5 and the RF 2.8 trinity lenses I am extremely happy with everything that I have. In the future I hope to get more lenses and a second body when they come out with their next R mount body that I like.

I don't like having 2 different systems with different menus (to be honest, I don't like the menu system in either of them), so I will be giving my Olympus system to my brother - but I will miss it dearly - it was so comfortable & lightweight in my hands. Now I have the R5, which is a moderately heavier body but it is still so comfortable in my hands. The RF 2.8 trinity lenses are heavier but are still acceptable for handholding and take stunning photos, far better than what my EM1_II could. When my RF 100-500 is delivered, I expect it will take even better pictures than the Olympus 300mm f4 (600 f8 EQ) lens. I'm delighted that Canon is coming out with so many new RF lenses that everyone can choose from, but I hope they come out with something like a RF 17-70 f4L IS or a RF 24(or less)-200 f4(or so)L IS lens.
 
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john1970

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Dec 27, 2015
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I purchased an Olympus EM1_II along with their 60 mm macro and twin head macro flash. For $1700 total cost is if a very compact and lightweight macro system. Much easier to carry around than the FF equivalent. Moreover, the increase DOF (see above post) is beneficial for macro.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Mar 25, 2011
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As long as there is a market for a given camera, it will be marketed. A M43 may indeed be the best camera for some users. Claiming a camera format is the best does not make sense without qualifying it as best for " "

I can certainly see why people like smaller cameras, if you can easily carry one with you, that is a advantage for vacations or lots of casual uses. As sensor sizes increase, so does lens size. We may see some breakthrough's in lens size using different technology but so far I've only seen theoretical new lens inventions.

A camera that can autofocus with less light as in the R5 / R6 will allow for smaller lenses and for some, that will be just what they want. A 1 inch sensor camera that autofocuses at f/22 could have very small lenses so it could be a 400mm equivalent that was very easy to carry.
 

AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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As long as there is a market for a given camera, it will be marketed. A M43 may indeed be the best camera for some users. Claiming a camera format is the best does not make sense without qualifying it as best for " "

I can certainly see why people like smaller cameras, if you can easily carry one with you, that is a advantage for vacations or lots of casual uses. As sensor sizes increase, so does lens size. We may see some breakthrough's in lens size using different technology but so far I've only seen theoretical new lens inventions.

A camera that can autofocus with less light as in the R5 / R6 will allow for smaller lenses and for some, that will be just what they want. A 1 inch sensor camera that autofocuses at f/22 could have very small lenses so it could be a 400mm equivalent that was very easy to carry.
I have a 1" sensor camera that has an f/4 220mm lens which gives 24-600mm equivalence. f/4 is the diffraction-limited aperture for a 20 Mpx 1" sensor and so f/22 would have a rather diffraction degraded image. Maybe a low Mpx sensor would be better.
 

Eric Potter

I'm New Here
Nov 8, 2020
13
4
My tuppence.

I use Canon 5D2 for stills. For the kind of hobby stuff I do there isn't anything that would make any kind of economic sense for me to 'upgrade' to. I also have an M100, which is an amazingly capable wee pocket camera for stills. If it had AEB I think it would be just about perfect within reasonable expectations for the money, and quite a bit beyond the money.

I have 3 M43 cameras which I use exclusively for video. If you don't want to spend EOS C kind of money, and want 4k, there isn't really any other choice... I have f1.7 primes, a tascam and it all fits in a rucksack. I should say at this point I do corporate and third sector video work as my job. The stills from the pannys just don't come anywhere close to my Canons. Even my previous canons, original M's. 7Ds, 20Ds etc.. Canon noise handling and colour is just waay superior.

I also have a Pansonic FZ2000, which is very video orientated and has great video IQ and a very useful lens.

I don't go in hugely for ridiculous levels of depth of field, the 1" sensor and long lens give me plenty of options if I get my perspectives right.

From a video context, I would say that if you are spending GH5s money, there really is nothing better. Blackmagics maybe.. but not without their bugs or caveats.
 

Czardoom

EOS 90D
Jan 27, 2020
135
316
What is it with M4/3rds folks? They like their camera and lenses, and are probably a bit annoyed at the internet influencers who for the past 2 or 3 years have been bashing the system - and perhaps - helped lead to the downfall of Olympus.

Personally, I have most recently owned both M4/3rds (Olympus e-m1 II) and FF (Canon R). I use the Olympus system far more often due to the size and weight advantage. Not to mention that for less money, the Olympus is a pro level body with 2 card slots, better weather sealing, and has features like hand held in-camera focus stacking that I use and don't have with the R. Although I have sold some of these lenses of late, my systems were:

Olympus e-m1 II: 574g, wide angle lens: 9-18mm 155g, 2" long, standard zoom: 12-45mm pro 254g, 2.7", all-in-one zoom 12-100mm pro 561g, 4.6", tele zoom 75-300mm 423g, 4.6". Total weight: 1,967g. Total lens length: 13.9"

Canon R: 660g, wide angle EF 16-35mm L 615g, 4.4", standard RF 24-105mm L 700g, 4.2", all-in-one zoom RF 24-240mm 750g, 4.8", tele zoom EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 II 710 g, 5.7". Total weight 3,435g. Total lens length: 19.1".

While the lenses are of course, not exact equivalents, both systems have 2 pro level lenses and 2 consumer lenses. There is a huge weight and size advantage to the m4/3rds system that I think is quite evident. And as I mentioned on amother thread, the wider DOF can also be advantageous, depending on what you shoot. I shoot a lot of flower pics where I need an aperture of f/13 or so to get the entire flower, or a few flowers in focus suing my M4/3rds lenses. I can not get the same pic with my FF Canon.
 

analoggrotto

EOS RP
Aug 27, 2016
265
154
What is it with M4/3rds folks? They like their camera and lenses, and are probably a bit annoyed at the internet influencers who for the past 2 or 3 years have been bashing the system - and perhaps - helped lead to the downfall of Olympus.
Thanks for answering that. I did not know Oly was being bashed to such a degree.
 

old-pr-pix

EOS RP
Dec 26, 2011
422
64
I have an OLY. It deserves the bashings and the thrashings. Horrendous EVF, insipid menus, terrible ergonomics, etc. ...
OK, the E-M5II wasn't the camera for you. Get a grip... no, literally. Did you try the add-on grip? Makes a huge difference in how the E-M5II feels and handles. Since you clearly enjoy portraiture I can understand your preference though. It takes some really expensive lenses on M43 to match the bokeh in your shots. I, too, love the look from the 135L.

Despite the bashing, Olympus has brought a lot of technololgy to the camera world: industry leading IBIS (recall Sony bought into Olympus to have access to this technology), in-camera focus stacking, pre-shot buffering (Pro Capture), live composite, nearly unlimited customization and button reprograming (hence, more complex menus), etc. Olympus optics are fantastic - just check the MTF charts.

Let's hope that Olympus continues to contribute new technology to the photo industry under the JIP arrangement. It's not likely since the goal of the new company will be to drive higher profits not R&D investment.
 
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usern4cr

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OK, the E-M5II wasn't the camera for you. Get a grip... no, literally. Did you try the add-on grip? Makes a huge difference in how the E-M5II feels and handles. Since you clearly enjoy portraiture I can understand your preference though. It takes some really expensive lenses on M43 to match the bokeh in your shots. I, too, love the look from the 135L.

Despite the bashing, Olympus has brought a lot of technololgy to the camera world: industry leading IBIS (recall Sony bought into Olympus to have access to this technology), in-camera focus stacking, pre-shot buffering (Pro Capture), live composite, nearly unlimited customization and button reprograming (hence, more complex menus), etc. Olympus optics are fantastic - just check the MTF charts.

Let's hope that Olympus continues to contribute new technology to the photo industry under the JIP arrangement. It's not likely since the goal of the new company will be to drive higher profits not R&D investment.
I agree strongly with what you mentioned above!
I'd like to add that they also offered their neutral-density software feature, which is fantastic (I wish Canon had it!)
Their EM1_II (and now EM1_III) are wonderfully comfortable in hand (which is the key ergonomics to me).
Their EVF could be better (or "much better"), but it is "adequate" to get the job done.
Their menu system is not the best, but neither is the R5 menu system.
In fact, the R5 menus have so many more items, fairly randomly distributed, so that it's a step down from the Olympus in that regard. However, the R5 does have a beautiful display of their menus with good touch screen interface.

In my opinion, Olympus died because they banked on a small sensor which has limitations relative to a FF sensor. When FF sensor cost dropped then it was no longer a compelling reason to get M43 bodies. When FF lenses snowballed in popularity and choice (through Sony Alpha mainly) and became smaller and more affordable then there was much less reason to get smaller & lighter M43 lenses.

I think Olympus would have been wise to start developing lenses for FF in Sony Alpha and Canon RF mounts. They are superb at building great lenses, and would have succeeded there, and would have rivaled Sigma if they had tried to do it early enough.
 

CanonFanBoy

Real men single speed.
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OK, the E-M5II wasn't the camera for you. Get a grip... no, literally. Did you try the add-on grip? Makes a huge difference in how the E-M5II feels and handles. Since you clearly enjoy portraiture I can understand your preference though. It takes some really expensive lenses on M43 to match the bokeh in your shots. I, too, love the look from the 135L.

Despite the bashing, Olympus has brought a lot of technololgy to the camera world: industry leading IBIS (recall Sony bought into Olympus to have access to this technology), in-camera focus stacking, pre-shot buffering (Pro Capture), live composite, nearly unlimited customization and button reprograming (hence, more complex menus), etc. Olympus optics are fantastic - just check the MTF charts.

Let's hope that Olympus continues to contribute new technology to the photo industry under the JIP arrangement. It's not likely since the goal of the new company will be to drive higher profits not R&D investment.
No grip is gonna fix the problems I have with the OLY. Olympus might have contributed technologically, but usability trumps a lot of that. I just hate the camera. Some love it. I'm cool with however people feel about it. My wife likes it, but she's 4'11" and 98 lbs soaking wet. She always shoots in auto.

The fact remains, though, that OLY committed suicide by putting all it's tech prowess into M43. My opinion, anyway. I might like it more if I truly took the time to memorize it's maze of menus... but I doubt it. It is not a good fit for me, grip or no grip.
 

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Del Paso

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No grip is gonna fix the problems I have with the OLY. Olympus might have contributed technologically, but usability trumps a lot of that. I just hate the camera. Some love it. I'm cool with however people feel about it. My wife likes it, but she's 4'11" and 98 lbs soaking wet. She always shoots in auto.

The fact remains, though, that OLY committed suicide by putting all it's tech prowess into M43. My opinion, anyway. I might like it more if I truly took the time to memorize it's maze of menus... but I doubt it. It is not a good fit for me, grip or no grip.
Whenever I use my Olympus, I find it difficult to quickly find out how to changes ISO, aperture etc...
Also impossible (have big hands) to use with gloves, even hard to hold without gloves.
I bought mine - an E-PL soandso - as an EDC, very good sensor, IBIS, excellent lenses though.
But, if I had to do it again, I'd get an EOS RP with the new 50 f1,8, costs less, and nice to use !
 
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old-pr-pix

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Dec 26, 2011
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Yep, gloves can be a problem w/some Olympus bodies & the E-PL series is the smallest of the Oly M43's. I fully appreciate that those with larger hands won't like smaller cameras (thanks CFB for pix - it looks almost painful for you to grip the E-M5II) . However, setting ISO is easy - just hit "OK" (middle of the 4-way control pad). That brings up the "Super Control Panel" (another great Olympus feature), touch "ISO" then use arrow pads to adjust. As to cost, in US the E-PL10 (latest) is $550 with kit zoom - about half an EOS RP w/o lens.
 

Hector1970

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Mar 22, 2012
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I have an Olympus camera. Other than its crazy menu system its quite a nice camera. Very compact. Of course the sensor is limited as its relatively small compared to full frame but its not bad if you can get the image right in camera. I think their lenses are superb. .
It's not the lenses that have caused the failure of the company.
They just tied too much faith in micro 4/3 sensor size that they were unable to improve. Getting into computational photography earlier might have helped but the sensor size was inevitably going to catch up.
In a camera itself the sensor only takes up a small portion of the camera and a full frame sensor is not that much bigger than micro 4/3 in physical dimensions. Fully frame cameras were always going to get smaller.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark ii / iii are great cameras and very good with the 300mm F4. It's a very convenient weight and size.
(Olympus naming conventions have been stupid - you can't even easily describe to someone else which one you have - should have been Olympus E1, E5 etc)
I know many happy owners.
A Canon 600F4 is not easy to carry around. Even to find a bag to hold it wasn't easy. I have hand held it but its not easy.
Any Olympus EM-1 with a 300mm is very easy carry in comparison. Mobility is quite a useful characteristic in nature shooting.
 
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