Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: If Size Really Matters, What's the Meaning of Micro-4/3 Now?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

If Size Really Matters, What's the Meaning of Micro-4/3 Now?

My NEX is actually smaller than my Girl Friend.. Some people claim that the NEX standard kit lens is much larger. But actually, as you can see from the above, it is just similar in size (and weight as well, actually). And then some Oly guys say that the Oly 14-42mm E-PL kit lens is much smaller. Yes, but it is just retracted when it is needed to be small and the lens must be unretracted before it can be used for shooting!

I think I shall not use my Girl Friend anymore, unless I have no other camera in hands. The noise performance of my GF at ISO 400 is not much better than that of my NEX at ISO 1600, not even to mention that the NEX has slightly higher effective resolution. If I just need the 2X crop, I do believe that better results can always be obtained by cropping. Slightly crop the 1.5X pictures to get the 2X is not difficult. And, if I just adapt the same lens (say, a Pentax one), I get no extra resolution at all for what the lens could give me.

Besides, I don't like the colour response of the GF neither, so does not with my NEX anyway (which I find it to be somehow more acceptable). If I put my Pentax primes on the GF, the colour response of the pics are better, but still the results are not very good. In fact, I like the colour response of my Pentax combos most, and then followed by my 5D with L lenses. The NEX comes next and the last is the Pana.

Furthermore, the noise handling and noise structure of the NEX is the most mature, the K-x is not better but the GF is worst. When the GF pics are pixel peeped and viewed in pixel level, it is not difficult to see those P&S like noise reduction and sharpening, even at the ISO 100! Too bad..

So, after all, that's what I think and here comes my question: What's the meaning/value of the micro-4/3 system now if the current Sony IDLCs (and also the Samsung NX EVILs), both of which are with APS-C sized sensors, are made just as small and the size/weight differences are almost negligible??

With similar or just the same functionality (say, including the video capability), IQ wise the APS-C should do better. The video recording functions of the NEX and the GF are similar, say, for the continuous AF tracking and its speed and smoothness. But the NEX' recorded videos are obviously less noisy than the GF, especially when the videos are taken indoor. The NEX in fact wins all micro-4/3 ILDCs hands down as long as noise performance is concerned, no matter for still pictures and videos, and with a slightly higher resolution and output, too. The NX10 could and should do better, but unfortunately Samsung has been unable to do it better. Why? In fact, the NX10 cannot out-perform much its micro-4/3 competitors and the video function is weak, e.g., there is no usable continuous AF under movie mode. And, the higher ISO noise/details are not better than the Panas and Olys, I would say one stop advantage at most, from my own practical experiences and measurbations on others' samples.

Next, above is the comparison picture I took and posted last time, for my red NEX against my red Casio card-size Exlim S10 P&S (which is my baseline DC which is just better than the cameraphone). You can see the body of the NEX is actually made quite compact. If the "large" APS-C sensor and size is considered, the camera body is indeed very small and it is truly compact!

So, how about to compare the NEX with the traditional APS-C DSLRs. The K-x is one of those smallest DSLRs here. But the difference in size (and weight also) is obvious. In particular, the K-x is much thicker, so does when it is compared against the smaller MZ DSLRs of Pentax back to the old film days.

Well, how about the difference to the Full Frame DSLRs then. From the above photo, I think I need not to say anything more. Well, the lens attached is that smallest and lightest EF lens already, i.e., the cheapo EF 50/1.8II. Canon, why you just can't make smaller lenses of yours?? :-( And, you never made any pancake? :-o

Read Also:-

Sony NEX-5 and NEX-3 Hands-on Impressions / Quick Review

Can Pentax DSLRs be Made Thinner?

Samsung NX10 Second Impressions and ISO Check

NX10 Brief Hands-on Impressions

My K-Mount EVIL is Here!

When Girl Friend Meets Wives! ;-D

Summary Matrix for Equipment Tests and Reviews