What is it with M43 folks?

usern4cr

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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.
As a EM1_II (with the 300mm f4 pro lens) and Canon R5 owner, I would strongly agree with your post, up until the point where you compared the M43 300mm f4 pro lens with a Canon 600F4 lens. I'm afraid you drank the Olympus marketing coolaid - they loved to say that over and over. But the truth is that a supreme quality M43 300mm f4 lens would be equivalent to a supreme quality Canon 600mm *f8* lens, in the image it produces (including the 75mm entrance pupil(aperture) size and amount of light delivered to the *entire* sensor) as well as its approximate size and weight. The only difference would be the Canon sensor would have 4 times the area and thus 4 times well depth and thus would be able to have 4 times less image noise if given a 4 times longer exposure, and it may (or may not) have the same # of pixels, but both of those are a difference in the sensor, not the lens.
 
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unfocused

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I can see a lot of value to the concept, although I don't have first hand experience with any 4/3 system. If you are shooting songbirds or other smaller birds and having to crop 3/4 of the frame away because of being distance limited, it would be nice to have a smaller, lighter camera and lens rather than carrying around extra weight and bulk that you don't need.
 

Czardoom

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In my opinion, the advantages to the m4/3rds system far outweigh the disadvantages if you are shooting in daylight. The two disadvantages are worse low-light performance and less DOF. As I mentioned in an earlier reply, less DOF may not be a disadvantage depending on what you shoot, and more DOF can also be an advantage to using a crop sensor camera. I can shoot the equivalent of 150-600mm with my Olympus 75-300mm lens and it is 4.6nches long and weights 425 g. Yes, it is a consumer lens, but show me anything close in terms of size and weight in a FF lens. My 12-100mm pro level lens (equiv 24-200mm) is also 4.6 inches long and weighs 560 g, pretty large for a M4/3rds lens, but small and light for anything similar in the FF world.

I truly believe much of the issue with m4/3rds has to do with the many YouTube influencers like the Northrups, who declared m4/3rds dead a couple years ago. Many others followed suit. The constant drumbeat was the smaller m4/3rds sensor was not much better than a smartphone sensor and can't compare with an FF sensor. It's odd that they were all comparing m4/3rds with FF when it actually is competing with APS-C camera systems. Nobody is declaring APS-C dead, although it is not much different than m4/3rds, and, in my opinion, m4/3rds has more advantages than APS-C.
 

Hector1970

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As a EM1_II (with the 300mm f4 pro lens) and Canon R5 owner, I would strongly agree with your post, up until the point where you compared the M43 300mm f4 pro lens with a Canon 600F4 lens. I'm afraid you drank the Olympus marketing coolaid - they loved to say that over and over. But the truth is that a supreme quality M43 300mm f4 lens would be equivalent to a supreme quality Canon 600mm *f8* lens, in the image it produces (including the 75mm entrance pupil(aperture) size and amount of light delivered to the *entire* sensor) as well as its approximate size and weight. The only difference would be the Canon sensor would have 4 times the area and thus 4 times well depth and thus would be able to have 4 times less image noise if given a 4 times longer exposure, and it may (or may not) have the same # of pixels, but both of those are a difference in the sensor, not the lens.
I know people often don't take the time to read messages carefully and speed read through them. I compare the Canon 600mm F4 and the M43 300mm only in terms of size and weight. I didn't imply anything in terms of comparison of image quality and so didn't drink and Coolaid (or perhaps you mean Kool-Aid - which is something I've neither seen not tasted, maybe it didn't sell so well after Guyana).
In terms of wildlife its handy to have a lens of the quality of the Olympus 300mm in its form factor because a 600 F4 lens is a tough lens to move around with. For me it's like an aircraft carrier. I have special bag for it and a Wimberly Gimbal and solid tripod - all adding to the weight to be carried. It's excellent in a hide but not a walkaround lens. Prolonged handheld use may cause strain injuries - well it does for me anyway..
I personally wouldn't describe a M43 300mm F4 as a 600mm F8 lens. I would describe it as a 300mm F4 lens. Funny that Olympus also describe it as that and print it on the lens. The M43 gives it extra reach through a viewfinder but its not a 600mm F8 lens. I don't expect it to match the Canon Lens but I admire it for what it is. The Olympus 300mm is a fine lens and a great weight
 

usern4cr

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I know people often don't take the time to read messages carefully and speed read through them. I compare the Canon 600mm F4 and the M43 300mm only in terms of size and weight. I didn't imply anything in terms of comparison of image quality and so didn't drink and Coolaid (or perhaps you mean Kool-Aid - which is something I've neither seen not tasted, maybe it didn't sell so well after Guyana).
In terms of wildlife its handy to have a lens of the quality of the Olympus 300mm in its form factor because a 600 F4 lens is a tough lens to move around with. For me it's like an aircraft carrier. I have special bag for it and a Wimberly Gimbal and solid tripod - all adding to the weight to be carried. It's excellent in a hide but not a walkaround lens. Prolonged handheld use may cause strain injuries - well it does for me anyway..
I personally wouldn't describe a M43 300mm F4 as a 600mm F8 lens. I would describe it as a 300mm F4 lens. Funny that Olympus also describe it as that and print it on the lens. The M43 gives it extra reach through a viewfinder but its not a 600mm F8 lens. I don't expect it to match the Canon Lens but I admire it for what it is. The Olympus 300mm is a fine lens and a great weight
Your original post compares the M43 300mm f4 lens in use to the Canon 600 f4 lens without mentioning it would behave as a FF 600mm f8 lens. If you compare a Canon 600mm f8 lens (if they ever made one) to a Canon 600mm f4 lens and say "See how much smaller & lighter it is?!" then people would say "Yes, but so what? - You're comparing a f8 lens to a f4 lens that's 4(or whatever) times as expensive so obviously it's going to be smaller & lighter than it".

If you want to be fair, then compare the M43 300mm f4 lens (1475g, 227mm long) with something like a Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens (1190g, 221mm long) plus EF 2X III teleconverter (325g, 53mm long) which combined are (1515g, 274mm long). Now you have one FF 600mm f8 image compared to another 600mm f8 image, and they're close in size & weight.

I will reiterate that Olympus marketing statements, including their main proponent Robin Wong and many M43 owners, often talk over and over about a lens like a 300mm f4 lens being compared or equivalent to a Canon or Nikon FF 600mm f4 lens and only say "See how much smaller & lighter it is?". Olympus may put 300 f4 on the lens barrel, but they put 600mm f4, either directly or intentionally inferred, in their sales & marketing claims.

I have the Olympus 300mm f4 pro lens and it is absolutely superb! But whenever I talk to others who are familiar with 35mm film/sensor terminology, I say it's equivalent to a "600mm f8 lens". Then they understand what that would be.
 
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Eric Potter

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As a EM1_II (with the 300mm f4 pro lens) and Canon R5 owner, I would strongly agree with your post, up until the point where you compared the M43 300mm f4 pro lens with a Canon 600F4 lens. I'm afraid you drank the Olympus marketing coolaid - they loved to say that over and over. But the truth is that a supreme quality M43 300mm f4 lens would be equivalent to a supreme quality Canon 600mm *f8* lens, in the image it produces (including the 75mm entrance pupil(aperture) size and amount of light delivered to the *entire* sensor) as well as its approximate size and weight. The only difference would be the Canon sensor would have 4 times the area and thus 4 times well depth and thus would be able to have 4 times less image noise if given a 4 times longer exposure, and it may (or may not) have the same # of pixels, but both of those are a difference in the sensor, not the lens.

Your olympus lens is a 300 f4. And thats it.

What happens after that is a function of sensor equivalence.
Yes the sensor crop gives it a field of view similar to a 600 on full frame, and yes theoretical f number would be f4, the light gathering of the lens would in theory be the same as a 600mm f4 on full frame, different optical designs etc would really not make them equivalents.. you'd need to measure T-stops objectively..

The smaller sensor would of course mean a depth of field similar to f8 on a 600 full frame but with that kind of focal length, if you get sufficient subject separation you'll still get blurry backgrounds etc..

This is the problem with equivalence.. you need to compare the whole system.

There is no doubt about the fact that a lighter oly body and lens around your neck will get a better shot that a huge canon set up left at home.

I don't really care whats better. I care whats right for me.

For me, it's canons for stills, panasonic for video.

But hey, each to their own.
 
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Hector1970

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Your olympus lens is a 300 f4. And thats it.

What happens after that is a function of sensor equivalence.
Yes the sensor crop gives it a field of view similar to a 600 on full frame, and yes theoretical f number would be f4, the light gathering of the lens would in theory be the same as a 600mm f4 on full frame, different optical designs etc would really not make them equivalents.. you'd need to measure T-stops objectively..

The smaller sensor would of course mean a depth of field similar to f8 on a 600 full frame but with that kind of focal length, if you get sufficient subject separation you'll still get blurry backgrounds etc..

This is the problem with equivalence.. you need to compare the whole system.

There is no doubt about the fact that a lighter oly body and lens around your neck will get a better shot that a huge canon set up left at home.

I don't really care whats better. I care whats right for me.

For me, it's canons for stills, panasonic for video.

But hey, each to their own.


Your original post compares the M43 300mm f4 lens in use to the Canon 600 f4 lens without mentioning it would behave as a FF 600mm f8 lens. If you compare a Canon 600mm f8 lens (if they ever made one) to a Canon 600mm f4 lens and say "See how much smaller & lighter it is?!" then people would say "Yes, but so what? - You're comparing a f8 lens to a f4 lens that's 4(or whatever) times as expensive so obviously it's going to be smaller & lighter than it".

If you want to be fair, then compare the M43 300mm f4 lens (1475g, 227mm long) with something like a Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens (1190g, 221mm long) plus EF 2X III teleconverter (325g, 53mm long) which combined are (1515g, 274mm long). Now you have one FF 600mm f8 image compared to another 600mm f8 image, and they're close in size & weight.

I will reiterate that Olympus marketing statements, including their main proponent Robin Wong and many M43 owners, often talk over and over about a lens like a 300mm f4 lens being compared or equivalent to a Canon or Nikon FF 600mm f4 lens and only say "See how much smaller & lighter it is?". Olympus may put 300 f4 on the lens barrel, but they put 600mm f4, either directly or intentionally inferred, in their sales & marketing claims.

I have the Olympus 300mm f4 pro lens and it is absolutely superb! But whenever I talk to others who are familiar with 35mm film/sensor terminology, I say it's equivalent to a "600mm f8 lens". Then they understand what that would be.
F4 is F4. You might compare the depth of field to being like F8 and this is how you explain it in your own head but aperture is still F4.
It's a sort of irrelevant argument. I can't see the point about talking about depth of field equivalents . You obviously like the lens seeing as you have it.
It's size and weight is its advantage. A decent job by Olympus, a pity they never went full frame as they can make good lens.
 

Joules

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F4 is F4. You might compare the depth of field to being like F8 and this is how you explain it in your own head but aperture is still F4.
It's a sort of irrelevant argument. I can't see the point about talking about depth of field equivalents . You obviously like the lens seeing as you have it.
It's size and weight is its advantage. A decent job by Olympus, a pity they never went full frame as they can make good lens.
300mm 4.0 is 300 mm 4.0. No doubt about it.

I think we also all agree that the image of a 300 mm 4.0 lens attached to a M43 sensor will look dramatically different compared to one taken on a FF sensor, right? In which way? Well, one has only 1/4 the sensor area of the other, so the m43 image has only half the field of view in all directions (2 times crop). You don't have a problem referring to a 300mm 4.0 on m43 as equivalent to 600mm in terms of FoV, as I understand?

In terms of light, the total amount entering each lens is the same. But that's just looking at the lens. They both have a physical 75 mm aperture. But due to the different areas of the sensor, the FF system captures 4 times as much of this light compared to the m43 one.

So it's comparing apples to oranges. So usern4cr suggested using a 2 time TC on the FF 300mm 4.0, to also get to 600 mm on that, without increasing the size dramatically. Effective aperture is also multiplied by 2 in this instance, resulting in f/8. So far so good?

From f/4 to f/8 is two stops - 1/4 the light. So now the FF system captures the same FoV as the bare 300 4.0 on m43, and they also capture the same amount of light. So really, they take the same image. No difference in DoF, nor noise. Sharpness may be reduced in the FF one due to the TC though. The R5 is not quite high resolution enough to match the pixel density of a 16 MP m43. The Sony a7 R IV is, though. And the high resolution R will exceed it. So cropping is an alternative to using a TC that will neither reduce sharpness nor increase size and weight.

And as demonstrated through the lenses noted by usern4cr, m43 does not have a real long term advantage in terms of size and weight of long lenses. Of course, using a TC is a hassle and the Canon 300 mm 4.0 L IS USM is an old lens. So for now, m43 is the cleaner over all system. But in the long term, we may see FF manufacturers offer more slow Tele offerings to compete head to head in terms of size. The 600mm and 800mm f/11 are on the extreme of this, going more for entry level. But they prove the concept.

None of this is to say m43 is bad, or is going to go away. I just wanted to illustrate why you can't have your cake and eat it too with the crop factor. Comparing between different sensor sizes requires to look at both lens and sensor combined, and that affects not just focal length but aperture (DoF, more importantly noise) too.
 
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old-pr-pix

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In my case the super telephoto range (say 600 mm eq. or greater) is only for fun - it's not something I'd use to try and get published. Therefore budget comes into play big time. $12,999 for a Canon 600 mm makes no sense for me. The M43 world offers several more budget friendly solutions, e.g. Olympus: 75-300 f4.8-6.7 $400, 100-400 f5-6.3 $1400, or 40-150 f2.8 (which I have already for event work) plus 2X TC $1350 + $380; Panasonic: 100-300 f4-5.6 $550, 100-400 f4-6.3 $1600. Of course there are the Oly 300 f4 $2750 and new 150-400 f4 w/1.25TC $7500 - neither as budget friendly.

Someone just wanting to dabble in long telephoto can do so fairly inexpensively w/M43. (<$1000 body+lens or <$2300 for pro grade fully weather sealed kit) Canon is trying to capture that market w/its new f11 telephotos, but these f11's demand fair weather, really good light, slow shutter speeds or very high ISO's. In the Canon world I settle for the 100-400 L and a crop body to get 640 mm eq. I've considered the Sigma and Tamron 150-600 options but they are monsters compared to M43 for eq. FOV. Again, for me, more DOF is usually helpful and noise can be addressed reasonably w/software. Size & weight are big considerations as well.
 

usern4cr

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300mm 4.0 is 300 mm 4.0. No doubt about it.

I think we also all agree that the image of a 300 mm 4.0 lens attached to a M43 sensor will look dramatically different compared to one taken on a FF sensor, right? In which way? Well, one has only 1/4 the sensor area of the other, so the m43 image has only half the field of view in all directions (2 times crop). You don't have a problem referring to a 300mm 4.0 on m43 as equivalent to 600mm in terms of FoV, as I understand?

In terms of light, the total amount entering each lens is the same. But that's just looking at the lens. They both have a physical 75 mm aperture. But due to the different areas of the sensor, the FF system captures 4 times as much of this light compared to the m43 one.

So it's comparing apples to oranges. So usern4cr suggested using a 2 time TC on the FF 300mm 4.0, to also get to 600 mm on that, without increasing the size dramatically. Effective aperture is also multiplied by 2 in this instance, resulting in f/8. So far so good?

From f/4 to f/8 is two stops - 1/4 the light. So now the FF system captures the same FoV as the bare 300 4.0 on m43, and they also capture the same amount of light. So really, they take the same image. No difference in DoF, nor noise. Sharpness may be reduced in the FF one due to the TC though. The R5 is not quite high resolution enough to match the pixel density of a 16 MP m43. The Sony a7 R IV is, though. And the high resolution R will exceed it. So cropping is an alternative to using a TC that will neither reduce sharpness nor increase size and weight.

And as demonstrated through the lenses noted by usern4cr, m43 does not have a real long term advantage in terms of size and weight of long lenses. Of course, using a TC is a hassle and the Canon 300 mm 4.0 L IS USM is an old lens. So for now, m43 is the cleaner over all system. But in the long term, we may see FF manufacturers offer more slow Tele offerings to compete head to head in terms of size. The 600mm and 800mm f/11 are on the extreme of this, going more for entry level. But they prove the concept.

None of this is to say m43 is bad, or is going to go away. I just wanted to illustrate why you can't have your cake and eat it too with the crop factor. Comparing between different sensor sizes requires to look at both lens and sensor combined, and that affects not just focal length but aperture (DoF, more importantly noise) too.
Thanks, Joules, for you re-explaination of my post on FF Equivalence to try to make it understandable to those that have differing opinions. I searched Canon & Nikon to see if they made a 600mm f8 FF lens, but didn't find any. That's why I had to use the FF 300mm f4 and 2x TC to act like a 600mm f8 lens. It's a shame that Canon doesn't make a RF 600 f8L lens (well, yet).

Another crucial spec for lenses is the maximum magnification. The Olympus 300mm f4 pro lens has a 0.24x maximum magnification onto a sensor with half the width as FF, which would be the same subject size & perspective onto the entire sensor of a FF 600mm f8 lens with 0.48x max magnification (and yes, there will be those that disagree with that statement, too). So that is why I wish Canon would come out with a lens like a RF 600mm f8L IS with 0.5x maximum magnification. This would finally be a quality RF equivalent of the absolutely superb Olympus 300mm f4 pro IS lens, which I love so much for tack sharp shots of flowers or insects (that you don't scare away) with huge smooth background blur and incredible IS handheld stabilization. I have lots of flower shots with it, and will repost one of them (reduced size) here:
P6230856_1_2.5K90%.jpg
 

Joules

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[...] Olympus: 75-300 f4.8-6.7 $400, 100-400 f5-6.3 $1400, or 40-150 f2.8 (which I have already for event work)
[...] Panasonic: 100-300 f4-5.6 $550, 100-400 f4-6.3 $1600. [...] Oly 300 f4 [...] 150-400 f4 [...]

Canon is trying to capture that market w/its new f11 telephotos, but these f11's demand fair weather, really good light, slow shutter speeds or very high ISO's.
Let me get this straight. You just listed lenses with the following FF equivalent properties:

150-600mm 9.6-13.4
200-800mm 10.0-12.6
80-300mm 5.6
200-600mm 8.0-11
200-800mm 8.0-12.6
600mm 8.0
300-800 8.0

But then go on to critique the Canon f/11 primes for their slow aperture?

Once again. I am not saying there is anything wrong or inferior about m43. But for the love of Haruhi, recognize what the advantages actually are: The ecosystem and market that demands small and light and therefore enables the manufacturers to cater to this niche by offering these slow lenses. That's something that FF didn't have in the past, especially since on DSLR, such narrow apertures would create significant challenges for the AF. And they still do, as the diminished AF area on the f/11 primes shows. In m43, you can create these lenses and still create a round, statisfying customer experience, since the sensors are less demanding anyway and the market actually prioritizes size and weight over IQ and flexibility. That in itself is a value and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. And FF is not able to directly compete with these aspects.

But in terms of just size or weight per mm of reach, FF absolutely can absolutely compete. And it will in the near future, as Canon's first push demonstrates.
 
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old-pr-pix

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Let me get this straight. You just listed lenses with the following FF equivalent properties:

150-600mm 9.6-13.4
200-800mm 10.0-12.6
80-300mm 5.6
200-600mm 8.0-11
200-800mm 8.0-12.6
600mm 8.0
300-800 8.0

But then go on to critique the Canon f/11 primes for their slow aperture?
Canon f11 lenses are slow. In terms of exposure the lenses I listed are all faster, period. Your "equivalence" is in terms of DOF and noise, not exposure. I agree if one is driven to produce an image that is equal in terms of DOF, noise and FOV then one must adjust for aperture. However, if all one cares about is getting the right exposure then f4 is f4 independent of the sensor crop. (Assuming similar T-stop values). I clearly stated that I wasn't worried about minimizing DOF and could adjust for noise in software.
 

Joules

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Canon f11 lenses are slow. In terms of exposure the lenses I listed are all faster, period. Your "equivalence" is in terms of DOF and noise, not exposure. I agree if one is driven to produce an image that is equal in terms of DOF, noise and FOV then one must adjust for aperture. However, if all one cares about is getting the right exposure then f4 is f4 independent of the sensor crop. (Assuming similar T-stop values). I clearly stated that I wasn't worried about minimizing DOF and could adjust for noise in software.
What do you mean by exposure? The settings? As in, exposure time, ISO and f number? Sure, for determining those f/4 is the same regardless of sensor size. The image brightness is independent of the sensor size. Just as cropping does not decrease brightness. But it does discard signal, hence making noise more visible.

Aperture just determines your photons per area and time. Your shutter speed multiplies out the time, and your sensor size the area, resulting in a signal in photons. ISO does amplify this. But the amount of signal is what ultimately determines the image quality as far as noise and tonality are concerned. At best, the lenses you listed have a single stop advantage over the f/11 primes, and at worst just under a stop of disadvantage.

I am talking purely about the quality of the output in total here. Not just DoF. If you are fine dealing with noise in software, this should apply equally to the Canon f/11 primes as the similarly slow or slower zooms you listed. That's the point that I am confused about.
 
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usern4cr

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Canon f11 lenses are slow. In terms of exposure the lenses I listed are all faster, period. Your "equivalence" is in terms of DOF and noise, not exposure. I agree if one is driven to produce an image that is equal in terms of DOF, noise and FOV then one must adjust for aperture. However, if all one cares about is getting the right exposure then f4 is f4 independent of the sensor crop. (Assuming similar T-stop values). I clearly stated that I wasn't worried about minimizing DOF and could adjust for noise in software.
If you had carefully read my posts above, you would have seen my mention that an Olympus 300mm f4 lens & sensor will produce the same image & perspective & DOF & blur as a FF 600mm f8 lens. They will also have the *same aperture* of 75mm to let the light in for the same exact image and thus they transmit the same total amount of light for the same period of time. This light will indeed be more concentrated on the smaller Olympus sensor, and spread out further on the FF sensor, but it will still be the *same rate of total amount of photons* coming through the lens to illuminate the *entire sensor*, whether it is a 300 mm f4 & crop sensor or a 600mm f8 & FF sensor. However, after the Olympus has filled its sensor to 100% of its well depth, the FF sensor will only be 1/4 filled because it has 4 times the area and thus 4 times the well depth. If you choose to stop the FF exposure at 1 second then you have the same total sensor exposure in #photons for the image! You also have the choice of continuing the FF exposure for up to 4 seconds total to fill its sensor if you want to have 4 times as many photons and thus 4 times less noise than the Olympus - but keep in mind that this is an option the FF system allows that the Olympus can't. What you are missing is just what I mentioned here - a full sensor on the Olympus is equivalent in #photons to a quarter-full sensor on the FF because the FF sensor has 4 times the well depth. You can get the same #photons and noise in the 300mm f4 Olympus full sensor as you can with a 600mm f8 FF quarter-full sensor in the exact same amount of time, so the exposure as defined by the #total photons on sensor per second is also the same in both, but the FF is able to optionally expose for 4 times longer before being full.
 

Joules

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However, after the Olympus has filled its sensor to 100% of its well depth, the FF sensor will only be 1/4 filled because it has 4 times the area and thus 4 times the well depth. If you choose to stop the FF exposure at 1 second then you have the same total sensor exposure in #photons for the image! You also have the choice of continuing the FF exposure for up to 4 seconds
I think you have a mistake here in your train of thought.

Full well capacity is proportional to pixel area given identical generations of technology, right? So for identical resolution, each pixel on a FF sensor has a 4 times higher full well capacity compared to a M43 one. However, they both take exactly the same amount of time to fill up to 100%, since the 4 times larger surface of the FF pixel also means it is gathering photons at 4 times the rate.

I think what you are trying to explain is the lesser dynamic range of smaller sensor formats? But as I understand it, that is caused by the difference in noise floor, rather than well capacity. Or maybe I am just misinterpreting your point.
 
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usern4cr

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I think you have a mistake here in your train of thought.

Full well capacity is proportional to pixel area given identical generations of technology, right? So for identical resolution, each pixel on a FF sensor has a 4 times higher full well capacity compared to a M43 one. However, they both take exactly the same amount of time to fill up to 100%, since the 4 times larger surface of the FF pixel also means it is gathering photons at 4 times the rate.

I think what you are trying to explain is the lesser dynamic range of smaller sensor formats? But as I understand it, that is caused by the difference in noise floor, rather than well capacity. Or maybe I am just misinterpreting your point.
I did say that full well capacity of the entire sensor is proportional to sensor area given the same sensor technology.
But just because a sensor is 4 times bigger doesn't mean it is inherently illuminated by 4 times the amount of light.
I said a M43 300mm *f4* lens and sensor fills at the same rate (defined by #photons on entire sensor / time) as a FF 600mm *f8* lens and sensor, but the FF sensor would take 4 times longer to fill completely due to 4 times larger well capacity.
I think you're OK with a f4 lens filling up the entire sensor to 100% well depth 4 times faster than a f8 lens, right?
I also imply that total sensor well depth is inversely proportional to noise, if given time to fully fill the entire sensor.
I didn't mention dynamic range, but would guess that it is proportional to total sensor well depth, but is also inversely affected by #pixels on the sensor.

I didn't mention noise floor or other issues like lens transmission, as I assume other things are equal so as to allow the main issue of equivalence to be discussed (which is already prone to too much argument as it is).
 
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Joules

doom
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Jul 16, 2017
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I said a M43 300mm *f4* lens and sensor fills at the same rate (defined by #photons on entire sensor / time) as a FF 600mm *f8* lens and sensor, but the FF sensor would take 4 times longer to fill completely due to 4 times larger well capacity.
Ah, I see. You were still comparing the example with the f/4 vs f/8. Yes, nothing wrong with what you said then. In simpler terms, the image you get from a 600mm 8.0 on FF will be 2 stops darker than 300mm 4.0 on M43. So by the time the M43 is starting to be blown out, FF can still push 2 stops further.

Not sure what this implies in terms of practice though, as shutter speeds are usually heavily constrained by the focal length and the degree to which it emphasizes even small motions.

Especially since strictly speaking you should probably shoot at two stops of ISO higher, in order to keep it apples to apples for the sake of arguing equivalency.
 
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Eric Potter

I'm New Here
Nov 8, 2020
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The Olympus 300mm f4 pro lens has a 0.24x maximum magnification onto a sensor with half the width as FF, which would be the same subject size & perspective onto the entire sensor of a FF 600mm f8 lens with 0.48x max magnification (and yes, there will be those that disagree with that statement, too)

No. Magnification of 0.24 would be the same as magnification of 0.24. You are letting sensor crop equivalence trip you up.

In terms of quality there is no reasonable comparison between the systems.

m43 fans (and I am one of them, for video at least) should stick to actual tangible demonstrable benefits. Key to this is portability.

I personally don't like the stills from my m43s. I find them noisy even at base iso. The stills from my canons are far better. Even my old clunker 20D. More organic noise pattern.
My main stills camera, a venerable 5D2 is so far above the panasonics especially in low light it's like different beasts...

Video, different story. The quality is fantastic. The 4K scales beautifully to 1080 output. The m43 telecentric lenses are great corner to corner.

Personally, I would forget what the other guy is using and decide if m43 is good enough for you. If it is, great. FF is objectively better. But there is cost, there is portability.

Everybody seems fairly entrenched and some are making confused comparisons. I know it's a gear forum, but there are other factors such as usability etc.
 

usern4cr

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Sep 2, 2018
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No. Magnification of 0.24 would be the same as magnification of 0.24. You are letting sensor crop equivalence trip you up.

In terms of quality there is no reasonable comparison between the systems.

m43 fans (and I am one of them, for video at least) should stick to actual tangible demonstrable benefits. Key to this is portability.

I personally don't like the stills from my m43s. I find them noisy even at base iso. The stills from my canons are far better. Even my old clunker 20D. More organic noise pattern.
My main stills camera, a venerable 5D2 is so far above the panasonics especially in low light it's like different beasts...

Video, different story. The quality is fantastic. The 4K scales beautifully to 1080 output. The m43 telecentric lenses are great corner to corner.

Personally, I would forget what the other guy is using and decide if m43 is good enough for you. If it is, great. FF is objectively better. But there is cost, there is portability.

Everybody seems fairly entrenched and some are making confused comparisons. I know it's a gear forum, but there are other factors such as usability etc.
Ok - you figure this out and let me know:
How wide (in mm) is the physical subject filling the view in landscape orientation for a M43 lens at its claimed 0.24x max magnification and a M43 sensor?
How wide (in mm) is the physical subject filling the view in landscape orientation for a FF lens at its claimed 0.24x max magnification and a FF sensor?
Are the two values the same?
 
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