Micro 4/3’s Lenses Sharper than Full Frame Lenses? You Decide

Posted Feb. 23rd, 2014 by Daniel J. Cox

There’s quite an interesting discussion ragging over on one of my favorite web sites DPReview regarding the sharpness of Micro Four Thirds lenses compared to some very famous Full Frame Canon’s Nikon’s, Leica’s and other world famous optics. It an interesting read having been reported by slrgear.com. I’m a little fuzzy on how they came to their conclusions and who exactly did the tests but DxO Labs are quoted as well as Imaging Resource. Lots of links to follow once you get there.

The Olympus Om-D with black and silver version of the 25mm F/1.8

The Olympus Om-D with black and silver version of the 25mm F/1.8

Based on their tests the quality Micro four Thirds lenses is truly starting to push the limits we’ve all been seeing over the past forty years or so. Better optics was just one of the advantages to the Micro Four Thirds system I had heard about when I started thinking about smaller cameras. Not sure why but both Panasonic and Olympus promoted this idea when they first announced the Micro Four Thirds consortium. They advertised better optics was one of the benefits of building a digital camera system from the ground up as opposed to retrofitting older DSLR designs so to speak.


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There are 3 comments on this post…
  1. Dean SwartzOn Apr. 8th, 2014

    Sorry to learn that you were so frustrated by the controls on the Olympus OMD EM-1 that it apparently turned you against the camera. One trick I learned after a week of similar frustration. The is a setting (that should be the default) so that the “OK” button displays the “Super Control Panel” of all of your settings. With one push on the OK button, you will have immediate access to absolutely every setting on the camera, then, by using the touch screen, you can easily select and set anything on the camera. It is accessed It is the most amazing control I’ve ever experienced on a camera. There are 25 controllable settings and you can set it up with two completely different sets using the two levers near the AEL/AFL button. I thought you’d love the camera for still photos, but mark it down for it’s video which can’t come close to the GH3 much less the GH4. I must confess, I’ll give the GH4 a “ride” when I have a chance. But, there’s one thing of which I am sure: you’re going to flip over the Leica 42.5. It is simply that good.

  2. Dean SwartzOn Apr. 6th, 2014

    This isn’t a “comparison” review, but simply a statement. I just stuck the new Panasonic/Lumix/Leica 42.5 f1.2 lens on my Olympus OMD EM-1 and snapped a few “test” shots of our cat “Tiger” as he basked in the morning sun perched atop our baby grand piano. Illuminated by the morning light through a nearby window, he struck a perfect pose (although not in a place that he is allowed to be, but, he’s a cat, what are you gonna do?). I must say that the images were breathtaking: so sharp you could cut yourself, beautiful “blurred” background, and wonderful color and detail. I must say that the images took away my breath. Sure, the new Panasonic/Lumix/Leica lens is the most expensive in the MFT lineup, but, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. While the Olympus 75mm f1.8 is a spectacular lens, the new Leica blows it away. I am not sure how the DxO comparison will turn out, but on the screen and in print, this new lens is awesome!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 6th, 2014

      Dean, I just ordered the 42.5mm lens. Can’t wait to give it a go in Italy. Thanks for your input. By the way, I took the EM-1 to Cuba with me. I’m planning a short review in the next week or so. Unfortunately I was very disappointed. Without a doubt it is the most difficult camera to figure out I have ever used. It’s claim to fame is the ability to customize it almost anyway possible. However, not having ANY dedicated buttons, like the WB, ISO, =/-, as we have on the GH3, made it a nightmare to learn and configure quickly. I have to say not enough people are trying the Lumix GH3. I find it much, much easier to pull out of the box and start shooting. I also had the 12-80mm Zuiko and compared it to my Lumix 12-35mm. No advantage there either. I will say the Olympus has an EVF that is immensely better than the GH3 and there are other things I liked. But the ergonomics, the menus and the overall inability to maneuver around the camera were serious issues. Any thoughts?

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