Two systems and the agony of choice
System cameras have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially for amateur photographers, as they are much more compact than SLR cameras, but still offer the ability to change the lenses.
If you are looking for a new system camera, you are certainly asking yourself:
"Which model is the best for me?"
But before you decide on a specific model, it's more important that you understand what standards you can choose between.
In this article I compare the two largest system camera standards for you: the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) standard from Olympus and Panasonic, as well as the E-mount standard from Sony.
It is very important that you, as a photographer, are thinking about the standard, especially with your first camera, because you decide on a lens connection. For example, if you opted for an e-mount camera and bought lenses worth € 3,000 over a period of several years, it is very uncomfortable to switch to a new standard at the next camera because you no longer use your complete equipment could.
Micro Four Thirds: The Most Important Facts
(kurz: MFT) existiert seit dem Jahre 2008, ist ein offener Standard und wurde vor allem durch die zwei großen Kamerahersteller Olympus und Panasonic geprägt. The Micro Four Thirds Standard (short: MFT) exists since 2008, is an open standard and was dominated by the two major camera manufacturers Olympus and Panasonic.
Four Thirds Standard (ohne Micro) verwechseln, den es seit dem Jahre 2003 gibt, aber der zugunsten des Micro Four Thirds Standards abgelöst wurde. Micro Four Thirds should not be confused with the older Four Thirds Standard (without Micro), which has been around since 2003, but has been replaced in favor of the Micro Four Thirds standard. Adapters * angeschlossen werden. Old lenses can be connected relatively easily with the help of an adapter *.
But what's the difference between Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds?
Crop-Faktor ” von 2). Both standards have the same sensor size, with a screen diagonal of 21.63 millimeters, which is exactly half the screen diagonal of a full-frame camera (hence the " crop factor " of 2).
While the Four Thirds Standard is designed for digital SLR cameras, the MFT standard is designed exclusively for mirrorless system cameras. This allows a more compact design, as in system cameras (due to the lack of mirror), a smaller distance between the lens and sensor is possible.
Micro Four Thirds system cameras are mainly known for the wide range of interchangeable lenses available from Olympus, Panasonic and other third-party manufacturers (such as Sigma or Tamron). More in the chapter "lens selection".
E-Mount: The most important facts
E-Mount Standard wurde 2010 vorgestellt und ist (im Gegensatz zum MFT Standard) kein “offener” Standard, weshalb Sony der einzige Kamerahersteller ist, der auf dieses Objektivbajonett setzt. The E-mount standard was introduced in 2010 and is not an "open" standard (unlike the MFT standard), which is why Sony is the only camera manufacturer to rely on this lens mount.
In contrast to Micro Four Thirds, there are cameras with two different sensor sizes for E-Mount:
- Kameras (Crop Faktor von 1,5) APS-C cameras (crop factor of 1.5)
- Kameras (Crop Faktor von 1,0 → Kein Crop Faktor) Full format cameras (crop factor of 1.0 → no crop factor)
Incidentally, lenses designed for full-frame E-mount cameras are also referred to as EF ("F" for full-frame) lenses. Since the full-format cameras are priced but in a different league, I compare in this article only e-mount cameras with an APS-C sensor with the counterparts of Micro Four Thirds.
But do you know what both standards have in common?
The E-mount, as well as the MFT standard is designed only for mirrorless digital cameras. This requires a smaller distance between the lens and the sensor, which has the advantage that the lenses are more compact than comparable DSLR lenses.
The biggest differences between the two system camera standards
As you can probably guess, neither standard is perfect for any photographer, and both camera types have their pros and cons.
Therefore I will compare the two systems in the most important points:
- lens selection
- picture quality
Der Preis! I would like to start with the criterion that is probably most important to you: the price!
Of all the points listed, this is the point where the two standards are the least different. Whether you want to buy an entry-level, mid-range, or "professional" system camera, the general saying is, "You get what you pay for."
Generally speaking, Panasonic cameras are the best value for money when it comes to video quality. But the E-mount APS-C cameras offer a very good price-performance ratio, if you are purely concerned with the image quality (which is actually only true for the cheaper models).
Also for lenses you have to pay depending on the variant about the same standards in both standards. Why Micro Four Thirds is superior to the E-mount standard in terms of lens selection, I'll tell you in the next chapter.
For the MFT standard, there are by far the most interchangeable lenses in the range of mirrorless system cameras. Compared to the e-mount, the two major manufacturers (Olympus and Panasonic) offer many different, high-quality models. In addition, there are some third-party manufacturers who develop lenses for the lens connection.
Although the Sony system cameras have become increasingly popular in recent years, Sony has unfortunately focused almost exclusively on the development of high-priced full-frame lenses.
E-Mount Objektiven für APS-C Kameras, diese kann aber trotzdem nicht mit der Auswahl von Micro Four Thirds Objektiven mithalten. Although there is a fairly abundant selection of E-mount lenses for APS-C cameras, they still can not compete with the selection of Micro Four Thirds lenses .
Overall, it can be said that for MFT cameras, not only are there far more native lenses, but you also have more choice when it comes to the different price categories of lenses.
I myself have a Sony Alpha 6000 and must say that the smaller choice of lens (at least so far) did not bother me as much as initially thought, because I could find a suitable glass for all my purposes.
However, if you are looking for a telephoto lens sooner or later, I would advise you to inquire in advance, as Sony has virtually no choice for this area.
Another advantage of MFT is that two major manufacturers support this system. If Sony plans to get out of the camera market in a few years, your lens collection could very quickly lose a lot of value.
Sony is known for introducing new standards that it does not support a short time later (eg Betamax, Memory Stick, MiniDisc or Vaio)
Do you know what Canon, Nikon and Apple have in common?
They all get their camera sensors from Sony.
Sony is the leading manufacturer of camera sensors, which is why their system cameras offer the best image quality of any camera on the market. A good example of this is the already somewhat older Alpha 6000, which offers an extremely good picture quality for the very good price of ~ 500 €, since Sony has installed a very good sensor here.
But if you've gotten a bit into photography, you'll probably have noticed that the sensor is not usually the most important part of a camera when it comes to image quality.
wichtiger ist das Glas vor dem eigentlichen Sensor, wenn es um die Auflösung und die Abbildungsqualität der Bilder geht. Even more important is the glass in front of the actual sensor when it comes to the resolution and the image quality of the images.
Since the Sony cameras have a larger sensor compared to the MFT models from Olympus and Panasonic, the E-mount cameras have 2 image quality advantages:
- Better noise behavior
- Higher resolution
ISO-Werten nicht so schnell an mit Rauschen, wie Kameras mit kleineren Sensoren. Cameras with a larger sensor will not catch noise as fast as cameras with smaller sensors at high ISOs.
In addition, cameras with a larger sensor usually have a higher resolution. So most MFT cameras have 16 megapixels (newer models even 20), whereas most APS-C cameras are equipped with 24 megapixels.
All in all, the Sony cameras are in the lead, but you should not forget that a good image quality depends to a large extent on the lens. A good lens can also help against poor lighting conditions, as MFT has a much wider choice of open-face lenses.
How fast your camera can take pictures and how good the autofocus is depends on the camera model.