Why You Should Consider Abandoning Full Frame and APS-C and Go for Something More Extreme

Why You Should Consider Abandoning Full Frame and APS-C and Go for Something More Extreme

There are good arguments for photographers walking away from full frame/FX and APS-C/DX, instead going for medium format and Micro Four Thirds (MFT). This may be where cameras are heading in the future anyway.

Before you raise your hackles, hear me out. I should start by saying there is nothing wrong with your camera. All big brands make great models, and if what you own is probably perfect for your purposes. I’m not going to argue with that. Furthermore, if you are a competent photographer, I am sure you will be able to adjust your shooting techniques for getting the best out of any system you use. I also understand that you have invested a lot in the system you use and have an interest in it not becoming obsolete.

However, if you are thinking of changing your camera system for any reason, and there are a multitude of reasons why people do, or you are considering buying an interchangeable lens camera for the first time, then please mull over what I have to say.

The most compelling photography usually happens when we push parameters to extremes. Very fast and very slow shutter speeds typically produce better results than those that sit in the middle. Super wide-angle and telephoto lenses regularly bring us more exciting images. High- and low-key images look great, as do those with a lot of contrast and very little. Then, photos shot at low level or very high up generally hold more interest than those taken at eye level. When we shoot between those extremes, the photographs can become, for want of a better word, meh.

Shooting outside normal parameters can make images more interesting.

Challenging the conventions of the herd and shunning the commonplace can enhance your creativity, letting you stand out against the rest.

Therefore, should we consider choosing interchangeable lens cameras at the largest and smallest end of the range? If so, pushing the boundaries means that, instead of full frame and APS-C, we should think about the medium format and Micro Four Thirds.

I can already hear the steam coming from under your collar, but let me explain further.

The Argument Against Full Frame and For Medium Format

Again, I reiterate that images shot with any camera can be superb. There’s nothing wrong with the full frame you have. It's well made, and you take superb photos with it.

Nevertheless, the results of images best suited to larger sensor cameras are not the same on full frame as can be achieved with a medium format camera. Moreover, medium format is relatively rare, whereas full frame cameras, while maybe not 10-a-penny, are widespread. Shoot with a medium format camera, and the result has a greater chance of uniqueness.

Then, on top of that, there is the price overlap, which is growing. Medium format cameras are coming down in price. A Fujifilm GFX 50S II retails at $3,999 while a Canon EOS R5 is only $100 less, while the EOS R3 is $2000 more. Additionally, the physical size of medium format cameras is shrinking, making them more versatile in the field; the GFX 50S II (149.9 x 104.1 x 86.4 mm) is about the same size as a Canon 5D Mark IV (150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9 mm).

Yes, there are some functionality differences, and the overall cost of a medium format system is more. Nevertheless, If you've been arguing in favor of full frame over crop frame cameras, then, logically, the same arguments apply to medium format over full frame. Therefore, you should upgrade.

The Argument Against APS-C and for Micro Four Thirds

Here's looking at the other end of the sensor-size scale and why Micro Four Thirds (MFT) may push other crop sensor formats from the market. Getting back to my introduction, this is about taking advantage of the extremes, and like medium format, MFT is an extreme.

I want you to forget the boring arguments from the usual detractors of crop frame cameras. They are usually driven by two factors: justification for their own more expensive choice and commercial interest. The arguments are skewed too, only presenting the supposed disadvantages and none of the advantages of crop frame systems.

Moreover, their criticisms aimed at MFT are invariably based on comparisons with a full frame. But that is comparing apples and oranges. A better comparator would be with other crop-sensor formats, such as APS-C and Nikon’s DX.

Just like the comparison between full frame and medium format, a big advantage of MFT is that their images are rarer than those shot with the ubiquitous APS-C cameras. This difference will help your photos stand out from the crowd.

Photos that look different from the rest stand out.

There is not a huge difference in sensor size between MFT and APS-C. But because MFT is slightly smaller, it is more capable of taking advantage of the crop factor benefits.

What are the system's advantages? Firstly, it is the reduced perspective, bringing background subjects closer to the foreground for any given focal length. That crop factor also means that the same focal length can be used to achieve a greater effective magnification, thus allowing wildlife photographers to get closer to the subject with physically smaller lenses. Similarly, macro shooters have a greater magnification too. 

You will often hear the uneducated complaint about the depth of field (DOF) at particular f-stops of MFT cameras. However, DOF is only partially affected by the aperture. Proximity to the subject, focal length, plus viewing size of the image also have a bearing. MFT just needs a different way of working, and you can say the same about any system. There are fast lenses with great-looking bokeh available at all focal lengths; MFT shooters can and do blur their backgrounds.

Shot with Micro Four Thirds (OM-D E-M1). The crop factor effectively magnifies the subject within the frame, and out-of-focus bokeh is achievable (190mm at f/5.6).


Additionally, we photographers don’t always want the shallowest depth of field; just because you have an f/1.2 aperture doesn’t mean you will be shooting at that setting. For example, with a portrait, we may want the whole face in focus and not just the eyes. There are also times when we want to add background detail for context, and MFT can do this at a wider aperture. Then, with landscapes, we often want back-to-front sharpness, something that's easier to achieve at a wider aperture with MFT.

With the massive advances in modern sensor technology, the image quality of MFT is so good that any real-world differences in quality between it and APS-C are redundant. After all, look at the excellent quality of modern cell phones. Their sensors are far smaller than MFT, yet for a few photographic genres, people are shooting more than adequate photos with them.

If you want further convincing, look at the photographs taken by the top pros that use Micro Four Thirds. For example, in Joe Edelman's photography, you would be hard-pressed to tell his photos apart from those shot on any other system.

On top of all that, there are the practicalities and ergonomics of shooting. The MFT system brings huge advantages in size and weight. With the aging population, a smaller, lighter system that delivers outstanding results is massively appealing. This advantage doesn’t just apply to older photographers. Having previously worked in outdoor education, I know mountain guides, sailors, canoeists, and hikers who happily carry the rugged, weather-sealed, and diminutive OM-D cameras on their adventures.

The small size and weight of MFT make the cameras great for genres as diverse as travel, landscape, wedding, wildlife, and photojournalism, plus everything in between. Their discreteness suits street photographers too; larger systems become obvious and can get in the way.

Will Canon and Nikon Catch Up?

Sadly, for their dedicated fans, it will probably take time for Canon and Nikon to catch up. Historically, those brands were regularly late to the game in adapting to the latest advancements. They were behind in adopting mirrorless, slow implementing in-body image stabilization, and, even now, Canon hasn’t restyled their cameras to the more attractive modern look that even Nikon has finally embraced with the Z fc.


Moreover, when they have finally made changes, the results from those brands have, at times, seemed rushed and inadequate. The Nikon 1 system was a flop, and the Canon R5 was brought to market with an overheating problem.

So, let’s hope, if they do ever swap to medium format or even MFT, they learn the lessons of their past and don't launch before they have properly tested their cameras.

Back in 2017, Sony was believed to be developing a medium format camera with a curved sensor, and new patents for the design of lenses have been trickling in ever since. If that happens, and Nikon and Canon don't catch up soon, they will either miss the boat or rush out another poorly conceived model. I wonder if there will be any other surprise announcements around the corner from other brands.

Thinking out of the Box About Camera Systems

Do you shoot full frame? If so, are you tempted to switch to medium format now that they are becoming more affordable? Or, if you were starting afresh, would you reject medium format in favor of full frame/FX? Alternatively, has the convenience and the quality of contemporary cameras in the smaller MFT system already made you abandon a larger format?

If you managed a camera brand, and in the context of the rapidly-shrinking market, would you take notice of the steady leakage of customers to both the bigger and smaller formats, would you be pushing your research and development department to change tack? Would medium format and MFT be in your game plan?

There are, of course, counterarguments for my point of view. As always, I welcome a friendly discussion about that in the comments. Thanks for reading.

If you're passionate about taking your photography to the next level but aren't sure where to dive in, check out the Well-Rounded Photographer tutorial where you can learn eight different genres of photography in one place. If you purchase it now, or any of our other tutorials, you can save a 15% by using "ARTICLE" at checkout. 

Ivor Rackham's picture

Earning a living as a photographer, website developer, and writer and Based in the North East of England, much of Ivor's work is training others; helping people become better photographers. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being through photography. In 2023 he became a brand ambassador for the OM System

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People arguing over gear...

Just so you guys know, if you join dpreview, you can argue about gear, on threads with hundreds, or thousands, of comments. You'll love it.

Already a member there. Also, POTN is a good forum to argue about gear on. And the comments on YouTube videos are great for it, too! So glad that I have many ways to have discussions about gear with people who don';t see things my way. Eventually I'll force feed them so much logic and reason that they will have to change their minds!

God that place is like Arkham asylum for armchair photographers

Truer words were never spoken, Stuart.

As an aside, I'm pretty sure we don't see a lot of female photographers in these places for good reason.

Have you seen that clip of Annie Leibowitz giving shit to the "what camera do you shoot with" crowd? Her logic is that people who think about gear (as an end to itself) are not thinking about the work.

Related, a lot of professional female photographers (really excellent artists) will be unsure about their gear when interviewed.

Not seen that but good on her, and yeah there is a definite demographic to the gear crowd, one that you and I fall into unfortunately, although at 41 I may just get away with skimming on the edge haha.

I’m a DJ a lot more than I am a photographer and it’s no different in that field, gearheads arguing about why they need all these features etc and how Denon is rubbish and Pioneer rules… I’ve come to the conclusion that gaming fanboys grow up and need a new subject to vent over, which then splits between different tech based adult pursuits.

We need a lot more women photographers imo, my GF got me into it as she teaches it a secondary school level, and guess what they focus on, composition, light and editing, not a single thought given to gear. Best thing is, I’ve seen the photos and it’s safe to say some 13yr old with a phone is absolutely smashing it, and it’s quite scary haha.

I'm 47 (getting old).

You remind me of someone saying that people argue over yarn in the knitting community; so I guess women argue over different stuff.

I think the flip side is, and what I keep reminding myself, is most people aren't on the Internet arguing over pointless crap on the Internet; but damn it's hard not to look at these people and think that they represent all humans.

The other week, an article was published asserting you may not have to be a gokd photographer to take good photos. While everyone was screaming, I was thinking of my wife, who knows nothing about photography, and simply shoots using the automatic settings; she simply doesn't know anything about gear or settings, but her images are pretty good - my responses did not make any friends.

And yes, we need more women photographers, but if I were famale, these are not places I'd want to be.

Yeah fully agree with that.. you know what, next outing I might flick that auto switch on my T20 and just shoot, see what happens

The more I see people arguing about gear, the less I care about the next bright shiny thing. I'm *mostly* shooting on cameras from 2007 and 2008, with vintage glass, I'm printing and hanging work (20x30"). I still haven't been convinced spending thousands on a shiny new system will improve my work, beyond the ability to produce larger prints.

Increasingly, it's about what can I do with film, or infrared, or pinhole, or gum bichromate (pictoralism is stunningly beautiful), or...

Kenna and Adamus are amazing, but they have millions of imitators; I've seen it, and I've seen it, and I've seen it. I cite those two examples, but the broader point is when millions of people are doing the same thing, it's neither interesting nor memorable.

I found a helios 44-2 in my partners classroom, its knackered but still takes a sharp image, its fun to use too, I love my tech up to a point but stop at having the latest and greatest all the time. the process is far more rewarding than watching my wages disappear on gear.

The helios has something of cult following.

Yeah and rightly so, it's definitely got character (in fact for all the BS around tht word character, I actually understand what it means with this lens)

If you haven't, check out this Mark Holtze's channel.

https://youtube.com/c/MarkHoltze

Cheers man I’ll check that channel out, need some new YouTube stuff as it’s going pretty stale.

This is an old shot I got with it, pretty crap shot, but I think it demonstrates what can be done with it, dreamy OOF areas. might hit the street with it and see what it can do.

That's quite lovely, Stuart.

Best thing is it’s some lavender in our front garden, that to me is the lovely bit:)

The out of focus areas are rendered quite beautifully. As long as that out of focus rendering can come with no compromise to the sharpness and resolution of the in-focus areas, it would be worth looking into such gear for some of the photography I do.

Im going to admit Tom, its not the sharpest lens on earth for the in focus areas but its still pretty good, my Fuji 50mm lens is definitely crisper.

Let me try and take some kind of sample image tonight so you can see what you think, ill shoot it at say f5.6 so the subject is mainly in focus.

I'd appreciate that! But I must admit, I am not even sure what lens it is that you used for that photo. I just know that I really like the way the out of focus lavender is rendered.

My interest in such a lens would be for photographing reptiles and amphibians, such as Rattlesnakes, Toads, etc. I need the snake or toad or Tarantula or whatever the subject is to be very sharp, and to have all of the minute detail resolved very clearly. And I need a pretty generous depth of field so that all of the critter is in focus, and not just its head or face. But I would like the surrounding rocks, gravel, or vegetation to have that beautiful soft look that you have achieved with the lavender.

Open to giving anything a try if it allows me to accomplish these objectives with a single exposure, done in the camera. Not equipped to do focus stacking or compositing just to get the look I want. Would much rather just find the right lens and technique and do it when shooting instead of using a software to do it.

Its an old Russian Helios 44-2 lens, adapted to work on a Fujifilm X-T2... its a 58mm f2 and its in a pretty bad state, it was in my partners classroom attached to a Zenit camera (i think), from the serial number i put it at around 43/44 years old and even though its battered it still takes a decent image.

Im not sure id be getting that close to a rattler with it but the toads should be ok:)

I just looked up the Helios 44-2 lens ..... there's one for just $10 on ebay!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/175040211629?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711...

But I didn't realize at first that what you were using would have to be adapted to work on my cameras, nor that it does not have autofocus.  A few roadblocks to work around if I want to try this lens for myself. The adaptor thing I could manage, but not having autofocus when shooting at near-macro distances handheld? I don't know that I have a sharp enough eye or steady enough hands for that.

I don’t know what cam you have but on my Fuji and most mirrorless there is a thing called focus peaking, it essentially puts coloured lines around everything when it’s in focus and is genius for manual focusing, I often zone focus at say 1m then use that to ensure I’ve nailed it, so you just ‘zoom in’ with the camera and when it hits your zone the coloured lines appear.

I also couldn’t do it just by eye on the screen or viewfinder.

Oh, yeah - focus peaking - I am familiar with that, and it is great!

However, I have not the money to switch to mirrorless yet, so I am still using Canon DSLRs that do not have focus peaking.

But I do wonder something about manual focus .....

In extreme close-up and macro situations, handheld, when my depth of field is only 3 or 4 millimeters, my hands and arms wobble and shake more than 3 or 4 millimeters. Even when I have something to rest the camera upon, it still moves a bit back and forth. And the critters I am shooting at extremely close range, they are not completely static. They move their head a little here and there, or even their rhythmic breathing causes the distance between their eyeball and my sensor to change by wee little millimeters here and there.

And seldom is there the time or ability to set the camera up securely oon something like a tripod or a nearby rock. So handheld it must be.

So, my question is, if one focuses manually, very precisely, on the iris of the critter, then how does one assure that the lens is still in absolutely perfect focus when the shutter button is depressed. There is every likelihood that the camera will move a tiny bit, maybe even 2 or 3 millimeters, between the time when the focusing was done and when the shutter is depressed. Or that the depressing of the shutter will cause a wee bit of almost imperceptible camera motion, throwing focus off.

Is this not a difficult challenge to overcome at very extreme depth of field scenarios, when handholding?

Even with focus peaking, I do not know how I would entirely eliminate the possibility that by time the photo is taken, the focus may be thrown off by a millimeter or three.

Yeah I think its a bit of a 'run and gun' style, set your pre-focused distance, go quite high with the shutter, sweep in with the camera until the lines appear (I have mine white so easy to see when its at the right point) then quickly press the shutter as you go through, or use continuous shooting. My Fuji does 11fps in boost mode I think so you can essentially push the camera through the scene and shoot as you go... its a little bit spray and pray but kind of controlled spray and pray.

I never thought of doing it that way! May be worth a shot. But of course I would have to adapt a bit, because the things that I would want that lens for are things that I shoot in a very highly controlled, anal-retentive manner. "Spray and pray", bursts, "sweeping through", etc., would be very very different for me.

Yeah fully understand man, I spend 90% of my time on a large tripod in full manual waiting for the right light in a landscape, so basically anything that involves movement/AF/auto settings is alien.

I’ve recently took up street photography and even that is a challenge.

PS. Do it!

There is a liberating freedom to shooting freely, in the same way as a child, or a beginner.

Yeah im out on Thursday night shooting street so going to test it out... Omar Gonzalez always talks about the 'auto switch' on the X-T20 and how it can work as a get out of jail card, only seems fair to give it a whirl.

Since 1999

Nah. Full frame it's where it's at unless you need the added reach from 1.6x. full frame will let in much more light and better performance at high isos. I also work in tight spots doing boudoir and pinup (fireinthelenswashere on insta). I've used crop and medium at shoots other photogs bring and I lost maneuvering room in the bedrooms and places I shoot.
I'll still stick to a ff with a 35 or 50mm thanks

It's the funniest thing, people get all triggered, and weaponise the rating system.

Really strange how my average score dropped from 3.5 to 2.9.

Now, I'm a big boy, and I knew what this place was like before coming back; but you guys could just as soon do the same thing to someone who is not quite as secure, and a little more sensitive, and cause them to stop shooting, or worse.

You hide behind your anonymous profiles, with your utterly mediocre work, trying to tear down others. You're pathetic.

I understand what you want to accomplish here.

but there is no right answer
I use 6x6 film sometimes, the digi back for my hassy sometimes, 4x5" film sometimes.
and make blue prints sometimes.

so use the right tool for the job

looks like compare digital with analog related to amount of MB we had 15 years ago...
Forgot to mention that I still prefer analog film producing baryta print above digital :).

I have feet in m4/3, FF and Medium Format camps. I have no issue with any of the formats as each serves specific requirements and their differing renditions of images often mean that I use several of the formats in the same shoot. I also use legacy lenses with all 3 of the formats; currently I mostly use an Olympus E-M1 MkIII, Fuji GFX50S and a Contax 645 with a Hasselblad Ixpress digital back (as well as 120 film backs). I still use my old Hasselblad H2D from time-to-time and occasionally the Canon EOS 5D. As someone who started snapping in 1959 I have enjoyed using a wide variety of film formats from Minox, 110, 35mm and half-frame, 127, 120, 220, etc. and I can recall the same pointless, unproductive arguments on the 'superiority of one type over another' that continue into this digital age. Every format, analogue or digital, serves a purpose and carries with it certain strengths and limitations; it is the responsibility of the photographer to select the right film type or digital format/settings to deliver the desired results. That's all there is to it; if your preference and talent produce great images, that's great. It certainly doesn't mean that those who follow a different path are inherently wrong despite what so many FF users say about m4/3 or even APS-C on sites like dpreview. There's room for us all.

‘Canon hasn’t restyled their cameras to the more attractive modern look that even Nikon has finally embraced with the Z fc.’

That is a really odd comment to make because the Z fc, just like Fujifilm, is taking its influence from older manual film slr’s. Hardly what you’d call a modern look. Whether Canon should embrace this style or not is a whole other argument.

Hi Sam, I probably should have phrased that better. By modern look I meant what some are calling the retro style that is now in fashion. Canon cameras are still hanging on to the designs from 10-20 years ago.

It's still based on a retro design though but I get that it's currently in vogue. I never really liked the DSLR design. Quite soulless imo. I'd love to see more camera companies embrace the manual dials we are seeing on the Zfc and Fujifilm (less time spent staring at the LCD or EVF to expose), especially Sony in a FF a7C type camera, as they have a great lineup of manual E mount lenses like the Voigtlander 40mm lens I own.

What a weird statement. The only camera Nikon has that's sporting a retro styling is the Zfc (yes, the df before that, but that's been around for a while), which is pretty obviously a gimmick camera released purely to bank off that particular aesthetic. The Z6, Z6 II, Z7, Z7 II, and Z9 all preserve the same basic aesthetic of their DSLR's and later film SLR's (basically from the F4 onward). There's nothing to indicate that Nikon plans to shift their design philosophy for their workhorses toward a more retro aesthetic nor would any such adoption be "catching up" so much as rewinding the clock to a more primitive era. The only ones regularly making retro-inspired cameras are Leica, Fujifilm and Olympus (or I guess OM now) and even with Leica, it's only for their M-mount cameras. Their L-mount cameras look very much similar to those Canon cameras you're criticizing.

FWIW, I think the Zfc's design is retro to a fault as it also incorporates the garbage ergonomics of that era as well. That's not the type of body shape that anyone is going to want to be holding in their hand for a prolonged period of time-particularly with a larger lens. Hearkening back to the old FM's is certainly endearing, but it kind of ignores all of the reasons that we gradually moved away from cameras with that kind of body shape over the years.

The way a camera looks should not matter at all to photographers. Cameras are nothing more than tools. Just a tool with a job to do. Period. They are not interesting, or cool, or fascinating. Just something we need in order to take the photos that we want to take. The photos themselves are what is cool and interesting and fascinating.

If a plumber doesn't care about the style or look of his/her wrench, then a photographer should not care about the style or look of his/her camera. There really is no difference between what a wrench means to a plumber and what a camera means to a photographer. At least there shouldn't be any difference. But as long as there are misguided photographers, misguided feelings and mindsets will persist.

The quite soulless look of a DSLR never stopped me owning a few and it’s the form factor and how it feels to hold and use for hours at a time that matters most. I own an A7III that’s often criticised for its looks and ergonomics but works well enough for me. I guess some people do care how a camera looks though, especially Leica and Fujifilm users. Photos are what matters most but if individual photographers want to treat their cameras as objects of desire then that’s up to them. Most just treat them as a tool to do a job.

I generally like your articles Ivor but here your arguments seem to be partially self-defeating:

When shooting with Medium Format of M43 makes your images stand out, and therefore we should all move to those formats... Then there's nothing that makes an images from either of these formats stand out anymore!

But Ivor didn't say that we should all switch. He said that we should all consider switching.

Precise semantics matter so very much, and the way that a title is worded should be carefully examined so that we don't assume that the author is saying something that he didn't actually say.

"Why You Should Consider Abandoning Full Frame and APS-C and Go for Something More Extreme"

I love the wording of that title! It makes sense and really cannot be faulted, because he is not telling us what we must to use, as so many titles tell us.

Ivor is very careful and thoughtful with the wording of his titles - a practice that would behoove the other authors here at Fstoppers, who at times are sloppy and/or offensive and/or clickbaitish and/or inaccurate with the wording that they use in their titles.

Ivor is merely telling us that we should consider the alternatives that are available to us. That we should think things through and re-evaluate what we are using and whether or not it is the best gear with which to accomplish our objectives.

How can anyone possibly find fault with that?

The problem is that "Full Frame" is marketing gold. Pure buzzword heroin. Who want to shoot anything but a "full frame"?

"Medium" is beyond boring and calling it "more extreme" sounds like boomers trying to impress millenials.
Maybe call it "X frame" or better yet, have some focus group of 14-year-old influencers come up with new names for Medium Frame and MFT.

" If you've been arguing in favor of full frame over crop frame cameras, then, logically, the same arguments apply to medium format over full frame. Therefore, you should upgrade." - sure, but I've never argued for full frame.

When MOST people argue for full frame, in my experience, they are talking about the ease of which you can get shallow depth of field.

I am well aware that the author of this article addressed all of these "myths" and a lot of us know better. But again, in my experience, when talking to people....that's the reason why. I RARELY hear them say it's because "my camera has better ISO performance"

Medium format cameras are fine. But they're clunky. And have less useful features.

I shoot street photography with my FF camera at low apertures between f8-f16 so don’t really care for shallow dof although I understand a lot are obsessed by it. For me I chose FF for better iso performance and ‘proper’ lens focal lengths - not having to apply a crop factor. I like the way a 50mm renders on FF but don't like the 75mm equivalent field of view on a crop camera and a 35mm on crop still renders like a 35mm even though it frames like a 50mm, if that makes sense. Also the same lens on a crop, same aperture and subject distance will actually have a shallower depth of field.

In the film days I used to shoot medium format (Hasselblad and Pentax 67) but the digital medium format is just too close to 35mm. 6x7 is 4.5x larger than 35mm. The fuji MF sensor is only 1.7x the size of full frame. For 50K you can get yourself in the 2.5x realm. I wonder if 6x7 sensors will ever become a reality.

Medium format is more expensive, and heavy, and I don't think those cameras do well in high ISO. Full-Frame is more practical, really.

As for MFT, I don't know much about it, but I thought it's slowly dying. Olympus is out of the camera business, and I think Panasonic would likely shift to the L-mount. MFT can be interesting if they focused on making them small & beautiful, and give them the ability to easily share photos online. That photo of the birds was taken at 180mm, so it's probably a large lens.

You should learn a bit about MFT before commenting on it. For example, while ownership of the company has changed, the Olympus brand is going strong and bringing new products to market. Panasonic has released a number of innovative new lenses of late, plus the GH5II, and a GH6 is right around the corner. Also, a 180mm MFT lens doesn't have to be big. My 45-200mm zoom was the size of a soda can.
I shoot both 35mm and MFT formats - they complement each other nicely.

"the Olympus brand is going strong and bringing new products to market"
LOL! They've brought like one new product to market since being sold off (probably due to financial struggles). Maybe we should hold off a little bit and see where things go before we claim that the brand is "going strong" because there's been literally zero indication to suggest this for years now.

Also Panasonic's last body for MFT was released like 4 years ago. When you compare MFT releases to how many products are being released at various price points every single year for APS-C and Full Frame, it's hardly rainbows and unicorns in MFT land at the moment. The entire range of available options has gotten quite long in the tooth and even with new releases incoming, the overall development cycle or products is hardly encouraging.

OM Digital Solutions have brought out one new camera and two lenses and in the last year.

I stand corrected. 3 products, then. Either way, my point was mainly that while Olympus was a company with a rich heritage in the photographic space, OM Digital Solutions is not. We know little about the motivation or intentions of the new ownership of what was formerly Olympus's camera division so to say that they're "going strong" simply because they continue to exist and are releasing a few products is a stretch. At this point, OM Digital Solutions is a company with effectively zero track record in this industry outside of these latest releases (ones which were probably already in the pipeline prior to sale). To assume it's the same company just because the product line is continuing would be a mistake and just about everything that we know about how JIP has handled other acquisitions suggests that there's absolutely nothing to be excited or hopeful about here...

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