articles for photographers

Micra 4/3 or full frame? sectarian myths

micro 4/3 systemI have a fully formed opinion about micra 4/3, which I detailed in this article... Still fun to watch videowhere someone else is trying to prove that it has some meaning. Olympus sold photo division, and Panasonic has hammered into the micra and churns out full-frame cameras one after another. What else can we talk about? But they say more ... and what do they say?

What's the point in buying a micro 4/3 camera in 2020?

In general, none. I will make a small digression.

I found that all the videos about mikru have something in common: they constantly justify themselves and prove that these cameras are not as bad as they seem. Some inferiority complex is directly observed - we have a small ... sensor, but we will show it to everyone. In each video, various adherents of mikra try to somehow justify the small size of the sensor of their cameras and explain that in some way they are not inferior to the full frame and even somehow surpass it. If the system is so good, why justify it all the time? What are these complexes for? Or is there a problem?

I took this list from the above video... These theses are reproduced in one way or another in all sales and propaganda videos about micra 4/3.

Advantages of micra 4/3 over full frame

  • Cost

Cameras on the system mikra 4/3 cost the samelike crop cameras and full frame (entry to mid-range models). Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II costs the same Canon 6D mark II... Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III costs the same Canon m50 or 800D... If everything is clear with the carcasses, then with the optics the sectarians resort to tricks. The most straightforward and insolent of them is to compare lenses with f2.8 on micro and full frame. This is sheer nonsense. I will write more about this below in the section on weight and dimensions.

  • Depth of field

It is strange to give shallow depth of field as an advantage. Usually, in such cases, the adherents of this sect broadcast that your objects will always be sharp and will not fall out of the grip, as it happens in a full frame. There is a lot of mention of subject photography, where a micr on the same aperture will give you sharper outlines of small objects - and that's true. But they forget to mention something else. On a full frame or crop, you can tighten the aperture more before the diffraction effects occur and get the same and even more. More in the sense that micra 4/3 is a very weak system in terms of transferring textures and halftones. Also, this system is very limited in matrix resolution. If modern APS-C cameras can confidently produce 24-26MP and such a picture looks good even when zoomed in, then 16-20MP on a 4/3 mic should not be brought closer, because the image is noisy even at basic ISO, and the detail is poor (if you there is something to compare).

More about depth of field ... in a full frame, you control it and you have a choice. Want the person in the frame to be completely sharp at f1.4 on a full frame? Well, take a few steps back and it will be sharp, even at f1.4. I am outraged by outright lies and substitution of concepts when talking about these already irrelevant cameras on a 4/3 mic. It's not just the size of the matrix that affects the grip. Exist 5 factors that determine depth of field... But the ambassadors of the mikra either do not know about it, or they deliberately hang people on the ears.

  • Adequacy

This is generally the most amusing and, in fact, the strongest argument. It cannot be assessed and compared in any way, unlike all other points. It is completely and completely subjective. What does “adequacy"? I rephrase this thesis several times: I like it anyway; no one will see the difference; there is a difference, but not significant; my clients like it anyway. You can argue with such things endlessly, since you cannot argue against the statement - I bought and I have enough. Here we can say that this is still not enough for most photographers, since Micra 4/3 has so rapidly lost its market share. More about “I bought and I have enough»I can add that often these people simply do not have the experience of shooting full frame or regular crop. You don't have to rely on tests on the Internet, where they show you two photos side by side and say that there is almost no difference. Such tests do not reflect the real state of things. Try to shoot yourself - this is the only way you can adequately compare different cameras. I will quote a friend who is filming on Panasonic S1: if you have eyes, you will see that micra 4/3 is not about photography.

  • Dimensions and weight

Camera weight Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (micra 4/3) is 574g, weight Canon RP (full frame) 485g, weight Sony A7C (full frame) 509gr. Continue?

Ok, let's continue on the lenses. At this stage, the micro-witnesses love to take the full-frame 24-70mm f2.8 (~ 900gr) or 70-200mm f2.8 (1.3kg) as an example. It is convenient to point your finger at the top and heaviest and most bulky lenses. They are then compared with lenses such as the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO (382g) or the Olympus 40-150mm f / 2.8 PRO (800g). Imaginary gain in weight is one and a half to two times. And then I want to say stop and understand the situation. First, these are not equivalent lenses and cannot be compared (but adherents of the described sect are very fond of doing this). Aperture f2.8 full frame and mic will give you the same exposure - it does. But depth of field will be completely different. The picture at 12-40mm F2.8 on the mic and at 70-200mm f2.8 is simply incomparable. If you choose comparable lenses, then you need to compare a lens with f5.6 at full frame and a lens with f2.8 at mic. If you take the 70-200mm f4 full-frame zoom, it already weighs about 700g and already weighs LESS than even the not similar Olympus 40-150mm f / 2.8 PRO (800gr). Only the full-frame 70-200 f4 lens not only weighs less, but also costs significantly less than not similar to 40-150mm f / 2.8. The picture at 70-200mm will be better in all respects.

What else is not important?

Above, I went over the arguments from the Robin Wong video. But they are not exhaustive. Also, the Micra 4/3 Superiority Witnesses love to talk about the various technological advantages of their cameras. It looks ridiculous from the outside - when in a video you are compared for 20 minutes the buffer size for high-speed shooting, the type of SD cards (I or II), the degree of dust and moisture protection and other parameters that really do not affect anything. But the task of such videos is to give the viewer the impression that the micra is superior to other cameras in a large number of some parameters. And you need to separately, of course, pray To the Great Matrix Stab, which solves ALL the problems of crooked amateur photographers. I am only annoyed that the adherents of this sect do not even want to hear about the existence of such a thing, without which serious photography cannot do, namely - oh tripod.

On the whole, it seems that the overwhelming majority of people with such cameras do not shoot at all, but are only engaged in proving the viability of their system in the comments. I have nothing against not filming with the camera, but just admiring it on the shelf and enjoying the very fact of owning a cool thing. But even for such a task, a camera with a large matrix is ​​more suitable - at least there will be no complexes about the small size. Put on the shelf Canon 5D mark IV and you will feel much cooler. It is not necessary to shoot.


I see the reason for the true popularity of the Olympus brand more in the plane of history than technology. By the way, one must also remember that these cameras are not as popular in the CIS as in their homeland - Japan.

Olympus is a company that celebrated its 2019th anniversary in 100. She is part of the culture of the land of the rising sun. In 1963, the legendary Olympus Pen compact camera was released. It was the forerunner of the modern stripped-down matrix. The digital version of this camera was released in 2016. But Olympus managed to flood the market with their cameras a little earlier - at the heyday of the era of digital cameras. When smartphones got cameras, all manufacturers of photographic equipment sighed sadly. But it touched mikra to the greatest extent. These cameras compete most of all with smartphones - in the segment “I have enough already” and “I don't see the difference”. But nevertheless, in 2021, JIP (which bought the Olympus photography division) may release a second version of the Olympus Pen F and a few more cameras on this system.

There is a category of people who buy cameras out of brand loyalty, not rational reasons. It is on this, I believe, that this system rests. micra 4/3... After all, it has no objective advantages over crop or full-frame cameras. People who just want to buy a good camera are not recommended for consideration.

December 2020

Article Micra 4/3 vs APS-C crop: detailed analysis