Let’s enjoy it while we can…

Thinking about Olympus selling off their camera business branch to another Japanese company, we’ll have to consider the fact that the brand could be gone soon without a real replacement, and without anyone doing service and repair jobs perhaps.

So what are the alternatives? Panasonic? Well they claim to support Micro Four Thirds, but they still invented a so-called “full frame” (24x36mm) mirrorless camera or two. And even if they do still support their Micro Four Thirds mount, that’s probably more interesting for video than for stills guys (and girls of course).

APS-C? Or “full frame”? Well yes – if you consider that a modern Canon RP or Nikon Z6 or Sony Alpha 7 (1,2,3) aren’t bigger and heavier than an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk2 (or Mk3), and that some of them are at the same price even, then…

… well, each of these systems have their advantages and disadvantages, and none really could replace Olympus, who were always innovators without any real comparison. Ok, with “full frame” you’ll get a better image quality (about 2 stops), and also a shallower depth of field (also about two stops), but the latter one is also both an advantage as it is a disadvantage – sometimes you need more depth of field rather than less. Consider this image I just took a few minutes ago:

7e4_6272607-bird-feeder-sunset
Bird feeder at sunset, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

I cropped this image into a 3:2 format to make it comparable to one taken with either an APS-C- or a “full frame”-sized camera. This was taken with the widest lens I have, a Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5.

I stepped down the aperture to f/5.6 to get halfway enough depth of field for the whole bird feeder, and it’s still not really sharp front to back – should have used f/8 instead. Which means that when using an APS-C camera you’d have to use f/11, and with that so-called “full frame” one, f/16. I was at 2 seconds, so multiply that accordingly.

There is no such thing as “equivalence” – these systems are too different to really compare them.

And so I’ll enjoy the Olympus camera and system as long as it works – and get another one when I really need it.

As always, thanks for reading.

Edit: this is interesting. And thanks to Kirk for the link…