Micro Four Thirds cameras with so called small format sensors have come of age and give results these days that are every bit as good as those with APS-C format sensors or indeed Full Frame but with some serious advantages of their own.
Seriously? Well yes, Traditionalists will tell you that larger sensor cameras, especially full frame, provide significant advantages in such things as low light performance, high dynamic range, and fast, sophisticated autofocus systems as well as higher megapixel counts (if the latter matters to you).
Well the latest MFT cameras with their extensive computational photography functions, advanced IBIS (in body image stabilisation) systems and image processing capabilities have significantly overcome the perceived FF strengths.
In these new MFT cameras, the noise performance has improved dramatically at high ISO so that they work fantastically well in low level light conditions, high dynamic range images san be achieved effortlessly, high performance autofocus with subject tracking is standard and high megapixel images (50mp or 80mp for example) can be created through high-res mode for example.
Then are there additional functional capabilities like Pro Capture, Live ND Shooting, Hand Held Starlight, Time Lapse Shooting, Live Composite, Focus Stacking and so on.
We then come to the physical advantages that are derived from the use of the smaller sensor due to the 2x crop factor of the MFT sensor over the FF one.
Firstly there are the much, much more compact and lighter lenses at the equivalent focal length of MFT ones over those of FF. For example a 70-200mm f2.8 in FF typically might be dimensionally 88mm x 200mm x 1460g with an RRP of £1999 whilst its MFT equivalent 35-100mm f2.8 is 67mm x 100mm x 357g with an RRP of £799.99. You can see see where the advantages lie both in the matter of bulk and cost!
Secondly there is the reach advantage, as for example a 400mm lens in MFT gives the equivalent reach of an 800mm lens in FF but with humongously less bulk (size and weight) for the same speed lens. Fantastic for sports and wildlife work.
Thirdly there is the depth of field advantage, where the dof at any given aperture on a MFT lens is twice that of the same aperture on its equivalent FF lens which great for wildlife, sports and macro photography. Here enhanced dof can create much more dynamic images.
Finally there is the optimal 4:3 aspect ratio of MFT which fits so many subjects better in so many ways than the letter box 3:2 format that FF inherited from the days of 35mm film. As W Eugene Smith so rightly said, “The world does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera.”.
So there you have it small sensor MFT cameras with FF punch, seriously.