Only if you are a true photography geek, you would be able to tell the correct difference between micro four thirds vs. full frame. It is what confuses people the most when making the decision of what kind of a camera to purchase.
Well, the thing is that in order to be able to make this decision easily, you need to consider quite a few factors. You will have to know details like the difference in a full frame and micro four thirds lens, the micro four thirds lens conversion chart and much more. So keep reading up until the conclusion to find everything from the advantages of micro four thirds to a video on what it is like to own a micro four third.
One of the most basic differences between full frame and micro four third lenses is their focal length. Full frame cameras have a 35mm focal length, whereas micro four thirds have a focal length of 17mm. Focal lengths determine how much you will be able to see in the picture overall, its magnification and what size will each element in the picture will be.
This means that if you are using micro four thirds, lesser of the scene will be captured but each element of the scene will be larger and clearer, than that of a full frame. Of course, the quality of the zoom feature of the camera will effect the quality of the image as well but keeping it constant. But in order to determine whether the best is micro four thirds camera for you or a full frame one, you need to consider your needs adjacent to the above mentioned factors.
The crop factor and the focal length highly play off of each other but it important to remember that they are two different factors. Micro four thirds’ sensor size is very small with a crop factor of 2x. Comparing micro four thirds vs. APS-C, APS-C’s crop factor is 1.5x. This means the micro four thirds vs. full frame crop factor difference is even higher, full frame’s being based on old film-format concept.
The crop factor determines how much you can see in the lens of a micro four thirds camera or a full frame one. However, it is different than the focal length because it literally crops out the sides, instead of simply showing however much it can.
Performance w.r.t Lighting
Even though most best budget micro four thirds lenses are advertised as having peak performance in all types of lighting, this is far from the truth. When compared to full frame lenses, even the best micro four thirds lenses for travel fall short of producing quality pictures in low light. That is because even the best lenses for micro four thirds do not have the prime combination of high ISO and dynamic range. These factors when paired up capture the most light.
When thinking of performance w.r.t lighting, there is no need to look at micro four thirds vs. APS-C because high crop sensors can never catch as much light as full frame cameras. This is because, in order to observe good performance, the ISO needs to be set above 2000.
You might be wondering that then why does not everyone simply choose full frame cameras over even the best micro four third cameras. Well, that is because in certain types of photography, a high crop factor is needed. Especially when shooting portraits rather than landscapes. That is when in the micro four thirds vs. full frame debate, micro four thirds win.
Depth of Field
When crop-sensors are used to determine the micro four thirds, the aperture gets affected by the ‘multiplier effect’. And the aperture, also sometimes known as the f-stop, directly affects the depth of field. In order to understand the difference the crop-sensors make on the aperture, it is important to assume that all other factors of the full frame and micro four thirds lens remain constant.
The more the multiplier effect, the shallower the depth of field becomes. Even the best micro four thirds camera will have a comparatively shallow depth of field than a full frame one. It is important not to compare micro four thirds vs four thirds at this point because their difference does not have much to do with depth of field but with flange back length.
To conclude this discussion and make the difference clearer, you can look at it in the following way. The picture you capture from a f/3.6 full frame camera, it will be similar to the picture you capture from a f/1.8 micro four thirds camera.
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