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Full Frame vs Micro 4/3 Revisited with Pro Olympus Lens (Guest post by Chris Corradino).


The following article is a guest post from Chris Corradino ( Text and images are copyrighted by Chris. Please do not re-post them without his permission.

Full Frame vs Micro 4/3 Revisited with Pro Olympus Lens

Months ago I shot a head to head comparison with my OMD EM10 and a Canon 6D. In that test, the 6D image was clearly sharper, but the lens used on the EM10 was not necessarily known for its quality (17mm f2.8). Many readers on the 43rumors site mentioned the need to shoot it again, but with a better lens. Fast forward to a few months later, and the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 is now my go-to lens for the mirrorless system. The optical quality of the 12-40 is no secret as it’s one of the highest rated options in the micro four-thirds line. What a difference a lens makes, as this time, the results were vastly different. Before digging in to the close up comparisons, I thought it would be helpful to show the full scene for context.

About the Test:

Camera Left: Canon 6D with Canon 17-40mm f4

Camera Right: Olympus OMD EM10 with Olympus 12-40 f2.8*

*I did have a polarizer on the Olympus for this shot. While it does change the color in the sky, and look of the water, it does not benefit the overall sharpness. As such, I don’t believe it skews the findings in an unfair way.

Below: Magnified portion of image viewed at 1:1 using XY comparison in Lightroom CC.

  • It should be noted that this was not a scientific test as the camera settings were not precisely the same, nor was it done in a studio. They were however, close enough to make it a fair real world comparison. Both were shot hand held with a fast enough shutter to prevent camera shake. Ironically enough, they were taken one year apart, almost to the same day and time.
  • Both images were captured as RAW files with no noise reduction or sharpening applied. These were loaded straight into Lightroom CC, and compared with the XY comparison tool using the 1:1 option. These are the screen shots from my Mac.

The first thing that jumped out at me were the corners of the frame. On the Canon image, they are incredibly soft, almost unacceptably so. Meanwhile, as most reviewers have noted, the Olympus is sharp from corner to corner.

From there, I looked at the clarity of the foliage which was blotchy at best on the 6D. Compared to the EM10, they look terrible. Wind was not the issue here, nor was depth of field. In fact, the 6D was set to f10 which is the sweet spot for the 17-40mm with little diffraction. Meanwhile the OMD Em10 was at f4 and considering the DOF equivalent, this means the f4 provided the equivalent depth of field as f8 on a full frame camera.

At this point I started asking myself, how can this be possible!? Based on everything I’ve read about sensors, it seemed inconceivable that an entry level mirrorless could out-punch a full frame DSLR. Yet, the results clearly speak volumes.

I then looked at the center of the frame, and this is where the images were largely similar. This proves that the technique used to capture the Canon shot was not flawed by technique, but rather optics. It leads me to believe the issue is due to the limitations of the lens towards the outside of the frame. This would be more understandable for a kit lens, but it’s an “L” series designed by Canon to meet the needs of professionals. In fairness, it has served me very well as my go-to for landscape shots all over the world in a variety of conditions. Moving forward however, I see its role being greatly diminished.

This research came just in time as I prepare for an expedition around Iceland. I already love the functions and usability of the OMD EM10, but wanted to make absolutely sure it could give me terrific output I need for professional use including stock, magazines, and large prints. This lens is a game changer, and I won’t hesitate to use the Olympus over the Canon for these once-in-a-lifetime landscapes.

I welcome your insight into these surprising results. If you’d like to see the actual RAW files, you can download them here.

  • Mody

    wow, m43 color really sucks…

    • Eno

      On the contrary Viezuvure, Canon DR really sucks!

      • Mody

        This whole bs writeup by Chris Corradino really just humiliated the m43 community, I don’t understand why admin would post this.

        • Vlad K.

          The whole comment by Mody is an embarrassment, I don’t know why he would post this.

        • Fact

          In the end it’s a FF legend with (top?) L glass versus an m43 camera and the latter wins hands down. Not so easy to swallow I agree.

      • Considering the use of the polarizer, I’m not surprised the colors look different. And he tok the second “test” shot after 1 year..

        • Indeed. Different air temperature alone could account for the differences. Still, if that’s what he wants to believe… I’m fully invested in m43, but if I was going on an “expedition” to Iceland tomorrow, and I owned a 6d, I don’t think I’d leave it at home.

      • Viez

        What is your problem with Canon?
        Were you a Canon employee and you have been fired?

        • Yun

          He is telling the truth , why not just accept the fate ?
          Canon is not up to competition in DR performance
          but latest incoming EOS 1DX 2 will be game changing for Canon .

          • MrALLCAPS

            Woah! Canon DR is not up to Competition, but M43 IS?

            I’m done for this post….

            • Eno

              Viez, all Canon cameras (except some 1 inch compacts with Sony sensors) have 11 stops of DR (at lowest ISO sensitivity). The completion has from 12 to 16+ DR stops of dynamic range. Each stop means a 6dB increase which equals a double the effective DR.

              • Eno = Troll = Moderator

                “The completion” ?
                16+ DR???
                Which cameras deliver 16+ stop DR?
                Your Sony A7?

                • Eno

                  Red Epic with a DRAGON sensor.
                  The competition to Canon C500. :)

                  • EnoTrollMod

                    You are speaking about dxomark measurements and you don’t even know how they work…..
                    You are really amusing…
                    The fact you said all Canon cameras deliver max 11 EV DR proves you are just a ignorant troll.

                    • Eno

                      No, just and unforgiving ex Canon user, pissed by the bad DR and lack of a real video quality in their DSLR line. :)

        • Eno

          No Viez, but I’ve got sick of waiting, waiting, and waiting, and “fired” all my Canon gear because of low video quality, bad DR and lack of 4K.

        • Fact

          Canon cheats its customers with obsolete products. If it’s fine for you, who am I to disagree?

          • Viez

            I know you are Eno. The name-changing Troll and moderator….
            Sue Canon then…. Make a class action against them…

    • Tozman

      Dear Mody, as it looks like you don’t know much about cameras : do you know the color settings are adjustable on all cameras now ? You
      can use manufacturer settings which are often called “vivid”, “neutral”,
      “portrail”, then set contrast from -3 … +3 etc. or create your own profiles and record them, and share your favorites settings with communities online or in photography clubs.


      you can just declare something sucks of course. But that sucks too.

      • Mody

        i was just being sarcastic on the color, come on…

        • Tozman

          I hope that you are better at photography than you are at sarcasm…

        • Gabriel

          you forgot the :) or ;) smiley, it’s important to make a sentence sarcastic or humoristic ;)

    • Rchard

      So you are both color blind and have cataract. That can’t be good, dear Viezuvure.

      • Mody

        Not as much as you, Eno.

  • denneboom

    Why are the canon ones shot at f10? It shoud be at F8

    • Trollhunter

      Yes, f8 will make it sharper at the edges.

  • Bob B.

    Chris, are you repeatedly trying to avoid a meaningful comparison?
    The lens on the Canon is not a top notch example and does not directly compare with the optics on the Olympus….plus having a polarizer on the olympus degrades sharpness and completely adds an unnecessary variable into the comparison?
    How about using the same cameras, and the same lens on the Oly body, (Oly12-40mm f/2.8 Good Choice!), and it’s direct comparison the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II? No filters, nothing to skew the comparison.
    Although, with your comparison, I can twist my neck and shift my brain and try to guess how the two formats compare, and can glean an “idea” of the differences…it is just too flawed from the outset because we are not comparing apples to apples to have any real, meaningful value. No?

    • Chris

      Agreed. A better comparison would have used another standard zoom like the 24-70/4, not a 10-year-old UWA zoom that’s known to show poor IQ with high MP sensors. I had the 17-40 with my 8mp rebel years ago and the corners/edges were soft, on the 6d you get what’s seen in this test, so-so performance at best. All this BS test shows is something we already know, the Olympus is really sharp. Yawn…

      • FullFail

        Really thought L series meant quality glass. At least Canon diehards believe that. Try to say to one of them that an L has poor IQ. And prepare to run… Lol

        • Chris

          The 17-40 is well known in Canon circles as average at best, with poor resolution outside of the center, but it’s cheap used. Nobody brags about its IQ, and it been essentially replaced by the 16-35/4, which is one of the best UWA zooms available.

          • Trollhunter

            Funny, this is not what Canon fanboys all over the net spill into forums in their “FF is superior, L is superior”. Obviously some L glass is crap and without the best glass FF doesn’t help you 1 inch.

            • Chris

              I shot Canon for years until a few months ago when I switched to the D750, in 2006 the 17-40 was great, now its meh. You’d be hard pressed to find serious praise for the 17-40 after the release of the newer 16-35. There are a lot of great L lenses, this isn’t one of them.

        • Bob B.

          I have a complete Canon system and a complete MFT system. (10 top-notch lenses each).
          When I was building my canon FF system I ordered the 17-40mm. I sent it back the same day. Too many reasons to discuss here. Let’t just say I was not impressed. I currently own the 16-35mm f/4 IS. Killer lens, but not the one we should be comparing here. I own the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 II. Also an incredible (WOW!) lens, as is the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8.
          If we compare apples to apples it would be more meaningful.
          I am not trying to knock either system, they are BOTH incredible photographic tools!!!

        • Arumes

          Yes, sure, but diehards (aka fanboys) are a bad example for any system. Olympus diehards are just as foolish, as are Sony diehards, Pentax diehards, etc… So what were you trying to say again?

  • Silly post to me. Iso 100 on Olympus camera alter negatively the image: base iso is 200, and “low” is an emulation of iso100.
    A filter add microcontrast, and to the human eye it is perceived as sharpness.
    Apertures of lenses are different.
    The Canon lens is not so great, in my opinion. At least not as the 12-40 Pro.

    And I add: As if there were a perfect system..

  • Gabriel

    To better compare, use the canon lense on the Oly with an adapter. Use a tripod for both and the liveview on the Canon to make focus on the same point. For me, Canon image looks out of focus, with blur everywhere :)


    Administrative gave this Biased and Garbage comparison it’s own POST?

    As I said before, making M43 users look pathetic, by stooping to low fan boy levels… I don’t understand how anyone can take this post seriously!

    Shame on you, admin. And shame on anyone who would agree to this comparison. This posts puts M43 in a bad light.

    Good Day.

    • Eno

      LOL, you still persists Viezuvure, does not matter, nobody here take you seriously.

      Please go on Canon rumor sites and convince the unhappy users that they’ve made a good choice, be supportive, lean a shoulder to cry on. At least, this way you do a good deed.

      • MrALLCAPS

        You must be new here… your lack of knowledge is showing. Go look for this person somewhere else. You’re just another name I will avoid replying to.
        Now… kick rocks.

        • Fact

          As I said, in the end it’s an FF legend with (top?) L glass versus an m43 camera and the latter wins hands down. Not so easy to swallow I agree.

          • Eno

            I wrote the comment above because I’m a disturbed troll and, ironically, a moderator of this forum…

            • Eno

              You sure are…”the multi personality” Canon paid Troll. :)

            • M43 Rumors

              You’re half right.

              • Eno

                I know. We are one….
                Eno : Gollum = M43 Rumors Mod : Smeagol….

                • Eno

                  Good boy Smeagol, too bad you lost the ring to Bilbo, like the Canon has lost their video users to Panasonic and Sony. :)

                  • Gollum

                    THIEF! THIEF!!!
                    You stole IT! You stole IT!
                    Curse it and crush it!

                    • Eno


                  • MdB

                    Well, apart from a brief moment of interest in Canon, Panasonic and Sony have always owned video.

                    • Eno

                      Agree, but Canon started the DSLR video revolution.

                    • MdB

                      Hmmm, by pure luck of course. In actuality it was nothing more than a happy accident. Nikon had the D90 before Canon, rocking a Sony sensor. Video in DSLRs isn’t something that Canon invented and was going to happen regardless of Canon, they simply became famous for it first essentially.

                    • Eno


          • Arumes

            FF legend? It’s the cheapest FF camera Canon has, with an outdated lens.

        • Eno

          How sad: bad vision, color blindness, personality disorder (to many names and different persons you pretend you are). Viezuvure, I pity you. :)

        • Rof

          He’s not new. Eno is a moderator…. but he clearly has some issues…. He sees this “Viezuvure” everywhere…. Probably he’s in love with him….

          • Eno

            “I sure am” Viez. :) Love at 10000……00000 sight (comments read). ;)

          • Arumes

            Eno is a mod, or was a mod? Doesn’t have the Mod-icon next to his name. Certainly doesn’t act like a mod (should) either.

            • Rof

              Don’t be naive….
              You know that a moderator, like everyone else, can also comment as normal user or as a guest…

              • Arumes

                Naive? Why am I naive? Because I’ve got better things to do than to link separate people on these troll-loaded discussions? It’s very simple: Eno doesn’t show as a mod, so he’s not a mod. If you managed to link this identity to someone else who IS a mod, then get a f*cking life! :-D

                • Rof

                  Don’t worry Eno… it’s everything alright…

    • Des

      LOL, MrALLCAPS was brainwashed by Canon diehards too much now he pressed panic button when the truth is revealed.

      Keeping dreaming that outdated Canon sensor is equivalent to DR performance and optical quality, noob.

      • MrALLCAPS

        LOL, Des was brainwashed by online reviews….

        • Des

          In Chris’s review, he only told us 12-40mm PRO is better than Canon 6D with Canon 17-40mm f4. To me, he is more honest than FF fanboys who believe FF sensor rules all in photography.


    That’s probably the worst Canon L lens in terms of corner performance, it had a reputation for corner softness.

    It seems a little unfair comparing a brand new lens to an old one that was optimised for film use.

    I also thought it was supposed to be easier to design sharp lenses for smaller sensors because you can make them slightly oversized and then use the sweet spot. A lot of 43 lenses cover aps-c.

    I wouldn’t surprised if it’s technically easier to get sharp corners on 43 but you could at least put a newer digital optimised lens on the Canon to make it a little fairer.

  • Miran

    Even if we put aside the fact that lenses used are not comparable, considering absolutely all settings are different I don’t see how can anyone draw any meaningful conclusions based on this. If the author doesn’t mind wasting his time on such silly business I can respect that, but please don’t waste everyone else’s time by linking such pointless articles.

    • tripper

      Well, the settings are not that far off from being equivalent, so I don’t see how that can significantly impact the results. But shooting on different days, and with polarizer only on one lens, it does introduce unnecessary variables that can skew the results. So yeah, it’d be nicer if this comparison was done more methodically.

      However, I don’t see how that invalidates the final conclusion. And that conclusion is nothing surprising at all. We all know that a better lens will produce better quality images. This is just a casual reality check for those few that refuse to accept this simple fact. Nothing wrong with that.

      • Bhima

        Honestly, polarizers often reduce sharpness, except in extreme flare-prone conditions.

        • tripper

          Sure, but it also affects contrast and changes the way the photo looks to our eyes. And since in this case, you are not actually running the images through some kind of analysis software, but instead rely on your eyes and perception to draw conclusions, this is just an unnecessary complication.

  • C.L.

    Now add in an iPhone shot to the mix to really stir the pot. ha ha.

    • Turbofrog

      To be fair, iPhone photos look like garbage at 100% crop, and they’re only 8MP and really wouldn’t hold up.

      For web or an 8×10 or smaller print (taken in good light), though? Yeah, probably pretty equal.

      • C.L.

        I agree with that. But, in my opinion I would take great photography skills, the ability to master composition as well as analyzing good light and shoot with an iPhone all day long over expensive, sharp, full frame, m4/3, gear and the desire to take photos of buildings in bright, awful, mid day sun to prove my camera choice is better.

      • DouglasGottlieb

        Apple’s new print ad campaign images “shot on an iPhone” look pretty great. But I agree that getting that quality in a variety of shooting conditions isn’t achievable. Yet.

  • DouglasGottlieb

    Well meaning but ultimately meaningless comparison.

    Different days, different conditions, different types of lenses. I’d love a more direct comparison between the EM1 or 10 and 6D going head to head with each system’s best glass at equivalent focal lengths:

    Panasonic or Olympus 25mm vs L50mm

    Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 vs 85mm f/1.2L

    Olympus 40-150 2.8 vs Canon 70-200L on 6D and 7Dmii


    • Chris


      At least use a similar quality lens instead of cherry picking the best zoom for one system, against one that’s really showing its age. The results would be different with the 24-70/4, which covers the same range and is priced similarly.

      • DouglasGottlieb

        Having “left” Canon for M43 myself, I love to see M43 win or hold its own, but this kind of hurts the credibility of such claims.

        • Arumes

          M43 is not going to “win” in terms of image quality, only in terms of portability. In the end, bigger sensors will capture a better quality image when all other factors are equal. That’s just simple physics, and even the best engineers at Olympus and Panasonic won’t be able to defeat those laws.

          I own both a Canon SLR and Olympus M43, so I’m not choosing a side here. It’s just a fact that smaller sensors have disadvantages as well as advantages. Otherwise, we’d all be using a Pentax Q by now.

          • DouglasGottlieb

            Everything is a balancing act. The quality + size + weight + cost = M43 “win” for me at this time. Others may see it differently. But things change. M43 sensors seem to evolve faster than Canon. At some point, a Panasonic manufacturered organic sensor for M43 could outperform a Canon FF. Or Canon could release something revolutionary. I think the former is more likely.

            I love the Pentax Q, BTW.

    • Charles

      Been there, done that. Canon FF looks smoother, less digital, with shallower DoF. But it´s not much and depends what one wants. To be honest, I thought we were beyond such petty comparisons.

      • DouglasGottlieb

        I suspect that my case is similar to many users on this forum: I weighed the differences between the two systems and determined that the size weight and cost benefits of micro 4/3 outweighed the quality advantages at high ISO and easier to achieve shallow DoF (also a draw back) of FF. but I wouldn’t call it “petty” to be interested in revalidating that decision periodically. :)

      • Bhima

        turn down the sharpness on the m43’s RAW file? Voila! Smoother image and “less digital”.

    • zumzum

      There are few options for direct comparison of studio targets already. DPR sample photo is one of them. This is real world use, canon 17-40 is sure not best, but also not bad and at this price it better be better than kit lens.

      Different conditions, time of year or cpl won’t make corners more sharper. This post simply shows that it’s quite a bit more difficult to design lenses for FF that perform really well corner to corner.

      Many people claim there is world difference between FF and m43, that m43 is simply can’t be used for serious work. This probably why people try to make such posts. It’s far more closer, that many believe. I once also lusted after top ff gear, but once directly compared them. Especially print part of scene from both cameras and compare, in printing it’s even more difficult to spot the difference.

    • Bhima

      Its more of a detail comparison. I think most of us on this forum understand the difference that time of day plays on the quality of a photo, but it has almost zero bearing on the detail extracted, especially from the corners at low ISOs.

  • phall

    The Canon 17-40 L is notoriously bad, please do this test with 24-70 mkII and you will see the difference. Granted, the Olympus PRO lenses are incredibly sharp when paired on the Olympus cameras. Still craving 6-10 more MP when looking at the sharp files though… Also, I tried to love Panasonic, but their RAW format is awful, as well as lesser quality jpegs.



      This post has NOTHING to do with Panasonic, but STILL an Olympus Fanboy shows his dislike of Panasonic.

      “tried to love Panasonic” -HAW.

      Sad day here at 43Rumors…

    • Agachart Sukchouy

      awful Raw,i use LR that make panasonic Raw very good,
      are you ever use pana camera i think no,and fake imaging about Panasonic.
      Throwing this troll.

    • zumzum

      What a pile of rubbish, raw is essentially same. Oly pro has same sharpness on both oly and pana bodies. JPG can be somehow accepted, but since jpg engine can be tweaked by a great margin, it’s also not exactly true. Default jpg setting is more punchy on oly, while pana gives more natural, less processed look. Both can be changed.

    • DoctorBob

      Sounds like the main problem is that Canon is still marketing this notoriously bad lens in its L-series…

  • Charles

    Instead of the Canon 17-40 L he should have used the 24-70 L. But the bottom line is still valid. There is not much in it between 20mp Canon 6d and Oly whatever with high quality lenses. The weight is much less and the rest is almost equal only depth of field is much larger with mft.

  • Joseph Ferrari

    I owned the EF 17-40mm L and stellar would not be a word I’d use to describe it. As Charles state below in his comment, the EF 24-70mm L II would be a much better comparison.

  • whensly

    No doubt the olympus is a superb lens but most of the canon photos are simply out of focus which is not typical of canon, something is amiss here. One more thing, you whould use the canon 24-70 II to compare it to the 12-40mm Olympus.

  • drew

    this exercise is pointless because of the CPL, everyone will look at the Oly shots and say that looks better

    • zumzum

      CPL can magically turn soft corners/sides into sharp and crispy?

  • Trollhunter

    Thanks for the post.

    Despite all the Canon fanboys attracted to this post, it just show if you think of going FF and the buy L glass instead of the best and most expensive glass Canon offers, you don’t get better images than m43, in this case much worse.

    And what all the Canon fanboys miss is this: The goal of the test was to see if he could replace his current 17-40L(!) with the 12-40 for professional photos.

    • Turbofrog

      Basically this…

      He says specifically it’s not objective, not scientific, taken at different times, etc…

      The fact remains, though, that a normal person might very reasonably assume that any Full Frame camera with a “professional” quality lens would take better photos than any Micro Four Thirds camera with any lens. This helps people to consider things objectively and challenge their pre-conceived notions.

      Especially considering the E-M10 + 12-40 costs $100 less than the 6D body alone, not including the $800 17-40L. Total cost is $1600 vs. $2500…

      (Do I think it’s possible to get a better photo out of the best FF cameras with the best glass? Absolutely, of course. That’s so obvious as to be pointless. But this post is an illustration of concrete real-world users and examples, not hypotheticals).

      • Rick

        on what planet are you purchasing the 6D for 1600.

        but your are right, olympus is giving away the OM10 because no one wants to buy it.

        • Turbofrog

          I’ve listed the normal MSRP for both.

          …but by your logic, since the 6D is on sale right now for $300 off the standard $1700, people must REALLY not want to buy it, right?

    • Doc

      This is a lens test not a camera comparison. What finally matters is the result, right. Put a Otus on the Canon for understanding what I mean. Or an equivalent EF, eg. the 24-70mm. In terms of size/IQ ratio, the m43 is ahead, no doubt. I do not like those comparisons, m43 is just good for everything. That’s it.

      • Mark Hill

        OTUS is a $3000 lens, no?

        • Bhima

          Try $4,500.

    • Very true!!!

      Oh that red ring… LOL

    • Goblin

      Thank you for your input, Eno.
      Very helpful.

    • Mark Hill

      Yes resolution wise, m43 lenses are very good, less glass required so you can make higher quality lenses for a given zoom/aperture range in this sense m43 does deliver.

    • Andrei

      Except the 12-40 is not a replacement for the 17-40 because the second one is an ultrawide. One is brand new the other is 10+ years old.
      Comparing apples to oranges.
      And it was obvious always that at low ISO there is not much IQ difference between systems.
      If i would never need higher than 1600 ISO i would buy micro 43 because of the size.

    • Rick

      the newer and better 16-35mm is the same price as the 12-40.

      the 17-40 is half the price of the 12-40.

      • Turbofrog

        First, the 16-35mm f4 is $100 more than the 12-40 ($1100 vs $1000), and if you’re considering used prices for the 17-40 (which is still $800 new), why wouldn’t you consider used prices for the 12-40?

  • Well that’s certainly stretching the definition of “research” :-)

    • Jules

      Just one sample. one year apart :-)

  • AlainCl

    Isn’t the 17-40/4 a 10+ year-old lens that was middle-quality-range to begin with? Why not a real, direct comparison with a real equivalent to the 12-40, the Canon 24-70? This “test” is slanted from the beginning, unfortunately.

    • Trollhunter

      Because – if you would have invested 60 seconds in reading the post – the 17-40 is the lens he owns and plans to replace with the 12-40 for his photography.

      If you have the 6d 24-70II and an m43 body/12-40 go ahead, do the comparison.

      • Trollhunter

        I just did the comparison and the Canon 24-70 is clearly the winner.

      • AlainCl

        Yes, I did read it. It doesn’t explain why he did the test with a lens known in advance to be an older, inferior design – it’s just not a valid comparison to begin with. If he really wanted to do a valid test he should have used a comparable lens. But this comparison tells us little.

        • The Real Stig

          You really don’t get it, do you?

        • Turbofrog

          He wanted to do the test because he wanted to figure out which of his two cameras and lenses to wanted to use to take photos with on a trip…you know, rather than using them to blather on the internet.

        • mrsinclair

          If you really read the post, you would know that he did the test to compare HIS gear, and witch of his available gear would be best for him for a trip. It is not a test for the public, to determine the best buy. And for his purpose the test was valid. It would be really strange if he tested the best gear available in the market, because this would not help him determine what of hi AVAILABLE gear is the best for his purpose… Its really not harder than this (what is questionable is publishing the findings here as some sort of general IQ test…)

          Just think about it: If I have an m43 with 12-40 and a Nikon D700 (old camera) with a 24-70 lens (witch I do have), it would be interesting for me to test what would give the best quality for a specific purpose (night shooting, sports, nature and so on). One would probably be better for some things, and one for other things, and I would know if I did a comparison. It is not interesting for me to test a D4 with the best lens available, because I am not buying new equipment, but want to know what of my available gears is best for what purpose… :)

  • zumzum

    To all those haters, that it’s not scientific test, different time, cpl and blablabla… there are direct studio comparisons out there… for long time already. Take for example DPR studio, go ahead, take a look.

    m43 performance is really close, especially considering many FF lenses struggle with corners. It’s not a secret that it’s a lot more difficult to design lenses for FF that are sharp and crisp corner to corner.

    IQ is not the limiting factor anymore, lens choice, af performance, handling, reliability, those differences now getting more important, than IQ difference.

    • Steve S

      Here’s two photos taken at different times, under slightly different conditions, using two different lenses, on two different bodies, yielding two different results. Well, shocking that there’s a difference, eh? :)

      What this article tells me is that optics matter. One shot is with a more dated lens shot at a less than ideal F/10. The other is shot with a top of the line, relatively new lens design, and at a far more ideal F/4. That the MFT won in this comparison speaks more to the lenses and the conditions of the test than it does to the sensor sizes.

      The reality is this: if money is no object, a full frame sensor with the highest quality glass will trump an MFT camera. Period. It’s just physics, and there’s only so much you can do to get around those limitations. Where MFT has been winning though is that the difference between the best a pro can buy versus what good MFT gear can do is getting smaller. It will never quite get there, but it can certainly get close enough to make a lot of photographers question the need to buy the big glass.

      • Turbofrog

        Actually, f/10 is in fact the ideal aperture to shoot the 17-40/f4L…

        • Steve S

          Fair enough :)

          • trollhunter

            How does it feel writing several paragraphs of blah about f/10 sucked from your fingertips and then being wrong.

        • that’s true for the lens… how about the pixel size?
          I don’t know about the 6D per se,
          but diffraction sets in for many big MP sensors at f8 or thereabouts.
          of course, that would affect the sharpness,
          or at least begin to do so.

          (this site does not have it for the 6D, but many others are included:

          (cc: @facebook-756845175:disqus )

          • Turbofrog

            That lens was tested on a Canon 20D with 8.2MP, which turns out to have near enough to exactly the same pixel density as a Canon 6D. The 6D’s pixels are actually 2% bigger. So diffraction effects should also be identical.

      • Bhima

        For this photographer’s use case (daylight landscapes), and with his available gear, its pretty clear the m43’s is easily a match for this setup and, to my eyes, surpasses it. And yes… A Full Frame with the highest quality glass money can buy will trump m43’s. But most people actually have a budget and can’t make it rain Zeiss and Leica glass all day.

        • Steve S

          “… but it can certainly get close enough to make a lot of photographers question the need to buy the big glass.”

          Yup. That’s what I’m saying :)

      • zumzum

        Optics matter and we have proof that m43 have good selection already, i.e. sensor size does not make so huge difference anymore. If we take raw numbers, Canon ff sensors have even less DR than m43, but of course better high iso.

        If money no object, there is medium format too… Of course ff with best glass will beat m43, but question here by what margin and is it actually worth it? With oly pro zooms for example can already make really huge prints that look crisp and sharp. Plenty of examples where m43 was used for commercial shots for journals, full page prints etc.

        Basically ff is becoming something like a really expensive car in a city, more cheaper cars do the job as well as more expensive one, but it feels better. That’s all.

      • Kob12

        “If money is no object, a full frame sensor with the highest quality glass will trump an MFT camera. Period.”

        From a scientific POV, not necessarily. There are 2 major players here re pic quality (assuming good construction and impeccable electronics): the glass and the sensor. Now the sensor’s factors at play are size and semiconductor/design/fabrication advancement. It is quite possible that due to marketing considerations a new sensor process that will trump anything else currently in use will be first applied to a MFT camera, with FF trailing behind by even a year or two. During that time frame, a MFT camera can do much better than a FF one.

  • Adam

    This is the most ridiculous comparison I’ve ever seen…

    I really hope it was supposed to be funny in the beginning…

  • Andrei

    Not really fair comparing an ultrawide 10 year old lens with a modern standard zoom…

  • Trinavi

    Yawn, next topic, these arguments are so pointless. Carry on beating that dead horse, y’all.

  • fuzzynormal

    If you are an actual photographer this article should matter as much to you as my hemorrhoid problem.

    • Pol

      Sorry for your butt….

      • fuzzynormal

        Sorry you read this camera test. Thanks for your sympathies regarding my bloody anus.

  • Mark Ellsworth

    Egads. The pissy quality of the things that get said here make for several case studies, first, in extremely negative attitudes, another in worn-out certitude, and perhaps very bad manners too. Almost like church, “no matter how bad mine is, it is better than yours…” In all, it becomes too much work, to find what is said within reason, because the baloney wears your attention thin.

    • Rchard

      Amen, Pastor…

      • Rchard

        The post above wans’t made by me. Probably by Viezuvure, the man with a 1000 aliases.

        • Rchard

          Sorry. I was drunk when I wrote the comment above….
          I’m not Viezuvure… I’m Eno, the paranoid troll/moderator….

  • Use the new 16-35 f4L IS for a good comparison not the old 17-40 f4L that’s notorious for super bad corners…The test is fanboyism…

    • Turbofrog

      No, it’s not fanboyism, it’s the gear that one photographer happened to have on hand and wanted to test, and decided to share the results. Heavens forbid…

      Enough conspiracy theories…

      • You have to test in an objective manner. A test just for the sake of testing is lame. I have a tele lens made in the 70’s (a Pentacon one) so I can test it vs. my newest gear. The old lens is super bad…so? Tech evolves. Those kind of comparisons are like comparing apples and oranges.

        • Thomas Barthle

          No. He was trying to decide what camera/lens he should bring on his trip and is sharing the results. This was not some official test. It was a test of his personal gear. I personally was surprised to see that much of a difference in the corners. It helps reiterate that the sensor is not necessarily the important part of the camera, but rather the glass in front of it.

        • Turbofrog

          So wasn’t it useful to test the Pentacon against your newer lenses so you can figure out what situations you want to use it in?

          Some of my old lenses actually have very good resolution characteristics. My 90mm/2.8 macro from the early 80s is tack sharp at the pixel level, even on 16MP M4/3. It’s an outstanding lens. That’s why you test…

        • The Real Stig

          Nothing stopping YOU from going out and buying the exact equipment YOU think would yield a technically more relevant result and then coming back to us with your results.

      • MrALLCAPS

        C’mon, that’s not even the half..

        The reason for the uproar, is the fact that it was posted to make Micro Four Thirds look SUPERIOR to the Full Frame Camera. Why even post it otherwise? In fact, Admin posted this before!

        This is bubblegum journalisim. It’s a joke, propaganda. Why post a link, then an actual post, if not to make readers believe that M43 is better, when clearly it’s NOT?

        This post is rubbish, but it works for the admin… Im sure he’s loving this hits trickling in… But he stooped to pathetic levels reposting this.

        I hope someone does a REAL comparison, with comparable lenses. Let’s see the Real Truth!

      • Piotr Kosewski

        Oh it is, it is…
        No one on Canon or Nikon pages compares the cameras to MFT to show that they are better.

        This is a notorious inferiority complex of MFT fanboys. Every once in a while someone will post a comparison between MFT and FF with the pre-formulated conclusion that MFT is almost as good, as good or even better.

        First of all: it is physically impossible for MFT to be (in general) sharper than a camera with a FF sensor. The only reason why something like that could happen is much worse quality of the FF gear.
        This post shows a comparison between a particular FF zoom (possibly the worst L zoom ever) and one of the best MFT zooms. Of course 12-40/2.8 is more expensive…

        Second: of course 6D has a standard AA filter, while Olympus hasn’t got one.

        Third: shots were taken in different light (it can affect sharpness!)

        Fourth: Olympus RAWs are relatively heavily processed and it is visible in the shots above. Many people call this sharp appearance (do not confuse it with amount of details) unrealistic, unpleasant.

        You want to check sharpness? Shoot a standard testing image or B&W text page (in the same light, obviously). That’s how adults do it…

        • Turbofrog

          The guy just wanted to see which camera he should take with him on his trip. That’s it. Nothing sinister. Read the original article (and the one that preceded it). It’s just a guy with some cameras, who obviously takes these things a lot less seriously than you.

          …and as an aside, there’s no real consensus, but general thinking is that the E-M10 does in fact have an AA filter. You might be thinking of the E-M1.

          • Piotr Kosewski

            “The guy” made a very poor comparison (technically), but that’s a different problem. He is not a professional tester and he might not know much about photography – we can’t judge that.
            Clearly, I’m mostly preying on naive authors of comments, not the one who “started” the discussion. :) The “comparison” attracted many people who clearly didn’t listen carefoully on their physics lectures (or hadn’t attended any – hopefully because of a very young age).

            The size (and sometimes: price) advantage of MFT is undisputable, but there is nothing else supporting this choice. A bigger camera will always have bigger potential: better IQ, more features, more battery life etc.
            If someone has to argue that his MFT is sharper than a FF, he is clearly unhappy with the choice he made (or can’t live with limitations that reduced the choices he had).

            Do you follow any car forums? Have you ever seen someone stating, that his tuned Golf is faster than a BMW? More or less the same thing. :)

            As for the AA filter inside E-M10 – I’ve seen different theories.
            Something I found on m43rumors:

            • Turbofrog

              To be fair, you’re entirely oversimplifying the physics by simply assuming that Micro Four Thirds lenses are literally small versions of FF lenses, projecting on to small versions of FF sensors. If that were true, you’d be absolutely correct. And you’re also right that the larger sensor camera always has more ultimate potential. No one is denying that. But how often is that ultimate potential achieved in practice?

              Because M4/3 sensors have 1/4 the size, that means that to achieve equal resolution they would need to achieve twice the resolution in terms of line pairs/mm. LP/mm is usually converted to LP/ph (picture height) to include the sensor size in the value to make it apples-to-apples, but we do what we can with the information available, so sometimes need to do the conversion ourselves.

              To borrow from an exceptionally dry, terrible, but at least somewhat quantitative discussion on DPReview…



              The average M4/3 lens here achieves 75 lp/mm @ f4, while the FF lenses achieve 41 lp/mm @ f8. Those are the usual “sweet spots” for lens resolution on both formats, and conveniently offer equivalent DoF, too. So after doubling the FF result to take sensor size out of the equation, we end up with 75 lp/mm for M4/3, and 82 lp/mm for FF. So based on testing from Lenstip, we find that M4/3 lenses don’t often match the effective resolution of FF lenses. FF lenses resolve…9% more. So you definitely get something for quadrupling your sensor size. Just maybe not what you might expect.

              These are real world tests of real world lenses, and you’d be hard-pressed to deny that the lenses involved are among the best available on their respective formats.

              • HF

                Don’t agree, most FF lenses have their peak resolution at f4-f5.6, too, on average and decline beyond that (sometime corners improve a little bit, though). The f4/f8 comparison was issued by the OP (for equal DOF. We could have compared f2.8 with f5.6, too, would favor FF imo). Include the Otus lenses, Sigma Art series, better zooms, etc. (similar in quality for the system as a 75/1.8 or 42.5/1.2,40-150 for m43) and you get easily beyond 41lp/mm. Factor in that the lp/ph is calculated using the shorter side of the sensor, another benefit for the 4:3 format. So choosing other lenses, f4-5.6 on FF and using the diagonal or long edge, the difference increases significantly. If this is of relevance for typical print sizes is an other point.
                We all need to be clear (I am a FF shooter) that m43 offers a nice package sufficient for the majority of shooters. If, as in our case, we need the DOF control and low light capability, we can get better and sharper results (with the right lenses, expensive!). But it is for us to decide whether our clients/style of shooting demands for this. For us it is worth it. I could live with m43 if my wife didn’t require FF for her business.

              • Piotr Kosewski

                What you’ve written is of course correct, but the measured lp/mm difference comes from pixel sizes, not lens performance.

                Today it is of course true, that using MFT sensor doesn’t mean you get just 1/4 of details, because you’re not using 1/4 of resolution.
                A FF camera would need a 64 MPx sensor to compete with current MFT (16 MPx) on bare lp/mm figures.
                We’ll soon get some quantitative tests of the 5DS. We’ll see what happens.

                But there are other things to remember. Glass is not continuous, so it doesn’t have infinite resolution.
                Getting deeply into physics is unnecessary. Simple fact is that today we have lenses that give almost 36 MPx of detail on a 36 MPx FF sensor.
                We don’t have lenses which would give 16 MPx of detail from a 16 MPx MFT sensor.

                Furthermore, comparing lenses at a specific f-number is fine, but that’s just half of the story. In real life situations you can’t always go for the “sweet spot”, because you’re limited by available light or needed DoF. And because of the pixel size (and other effect as well) FF systems have a much bigger usable working range of aperture value.
                That’s why the sharpness difference in real life is much more visible than in synthetic tests. :)

        • MrALLCAPS

          #1 COMMENT OF THIS POST!

          But the fanboys don want to read the truth, Piotr. -Nor challenge it.

        • Sebastian Troll

          No M43 fans troll canikon sites to show their cameras are better, but the canikon trolls certainly flock here to proclaim that their cameras are better.

          Some even type it in CAPITAL LETTERS. This is a notorious inferiority complex of canikon fanboys.

          It goes both ways.

          You’ll find the great majority of regulars here really don’t care about this comparison. They already know how well M43 stacks up against traditional DSLRs at low ISO’s, which is what the post discusses.

          Don’t let the fringes of either group get you worked up. Stay with the adults :)

          • Piotr Kosewski

            I doubt you follow many DSLR forums. On DPR you’ll find many comments like ‘who would buy this ancient technology [mirror]? Get a MILC’ under most DSLR reviews. I sometimes check the profiles of authors and vast majority have Olympus cameras. Surely the share is way larger than the overall market share of MFT.
            (BTW: Fuji users seem to be the most mature and cultured, so there clearly are some analogies to the chosen gear. :])

            Furthermore, I never said I don’t like or don’t own a MFT camera.
            I understand you don’t tolerate opinions that other systems are better than MFT – even from fellow users. How should we call this phenomenon? :D

            • Sebastian Troll

              As long as you’re citing DPR I looked up the D5500 review and T6i preview. On the Nikon comments, there was one poke about mirrorless (no brand specified) out of 343 comments. The few other M43 comments were all conversational. On the Canon comments, out of 1104 comments, (5) M43 comments. These are both Doesn’t really qualify as ‘many’.

              And I think you took my

              Nowhere did I say that you didn’t like or own M43 equipment, but I did make fun of your generalizations. I certainly tolerate your opinion. No need to be defensive.

        • Andrzej Lukowiec

          No one compares… Because they are here trying to “convince” us, their cameras are superior to MFT ones. Don’t like the system, then… on your bike ;)

          • Piotr Kosewski

            Where did I say I don’t like the system? :o
            I like it a lot, but I’m not a fanboy.

            Saying that MFT is sharper than FF – without mentioning the conditions of comparison – is ridiculous. And the comic part of the discussion is what has drawn my attention.
            Indeed, I’m not very interested in the comparison itself. :D

            • Andrzej Lukowiec

              I guess, he mentioned the conditions in his article… And most of the comments here are from people (read: trolls) who did not read it, just draw their conclusion… HERESY! Impossible! it can’t be true! NEVER MFT will give you better results than FF!!! For some, even without the lens, FF will outperform MFT with the best possible optics…
              BTW, I have a FF camera. Do not do any tests. Just compare the results from both systems. And the only difference I can see is… different aspect ratio (and lack of oil/dust spots on some pictures ;-)

    • preston

      Choosing it BECAUSE it had bad corners would be biased. Choosing it because it is what he had been using for years and was his current landscape lens is not biased. It is the most rational choice for his comparison. He was not doing the test for us, but for himself to choose which of his equipment to bring on a trip.

    • …That was the first thing, as i read it. Thats what fanboys need…

  • mike meyers

    first and only bad think: both are unabel to bring 10 bit raw in 24/25/30/50/60 Frames per second. So whats the show? 2 Photomachines and time does not stand still.
    And all of this will make thw show till end of time… ( 2017/ only 1.3% users who think, that
    they want to buy maybe a camera..but ..smartphone..) ( 2020 nobody expect 128 Sportphotographers, 2345 Weddingphotographers, and som Porn-centerfold-makers9
    And with this beaaand new prognouse we go to weekend….
    Its like lokking to a dying horse and the two fanboys distract about the posibility, that it could be if… ” in abeldown, mid-alabama, the 26 years Old Nerd Franklo Fratza was first raped by an
    alien and then..” in this form.. So would you travel 12340 LIghtyears just to imagine that you
    will meet Franklo Fratza? For me: SHURE NOT!
    So the test shows us exactly that both cameras are able to take same image!
    chapue, and one is 80% less expensive… oh my good!
    My simple BMC POket is also only 1080p but… AGE OF ULTRON….
    i am soooo nervous..can not sleeep anymore… next time wheen it comes to duck pont
    productions on a sunny sunday..!

  • Andy Umbo

    Every time I read any of these comparison tests, it just proves to me that within the relatively defined area of “digital photography”, the variations really don’t make that much difference and post processing does. Where all splitting hairs here! As a film pro that went digital for the end of my career, I’ve never been happy with the results compared to film, and now that I’m semi-retired, I’ve just gone back to film in a big way. I went M4/3rd’s because really, for most commercial applications including magazine reproduction up to an 11X17 bleed, any of it works. I went Olympus because the prime lenses were what I wanted and was used to in the film days; if Fuji had been better when I started changing equipment around, I might have gone that way. But let’s face it, there might be noticeable differences in the new Canon 50 megapixel or Nikon 810, and 16 megapixel M 4/3rds, but not much and not noticeable in “reproduced” presentation vehicles, and there may not even be that much noticeable between that and the “new” 44X33 cmos 120D format, which is barely bigger than full frame 35mm digital.

    Want to get your socks knocked off? Shoot 120 transparency with a sharp lens on transparency, and get a scan made at 24 or 48 bit color…now we’re talking…the rest? As for digital? Whatever makes you happy, it just doesn’t matter…

  • adrianomeis

    Good point, it’s like compare a Land Rover Defender and a Bmw X1 on the perfect highway at 50 km/h with cruise control.

    In any case i see much better “depth” with Canon (on the bridge i can recognize the “dimension”) with the Olympus, everything is “flat”, very digital style.

    • Ben

      lol! – “depth” – you sound like an audiophile trying to justify $500 speaker wire :-)

      • adrianomeis

        Mmmh maybe i think you are trying to justify your system because it’s almost the same price…

    • Andrea P.

      In the Canon shot the ripples in the water may add to the sense of depth.

  • jefrs

    Interesting. A small point but the E-M10 was shot at ISO100 which is in its extended range and thus not at its best DR/noise which is its base ISO200.

  • Alexander Chiu

    I think this discussion is more about the author’s comparison technique vs what is the accepted norm for testing. The relevance of the article is kind of suspect at best since its comparing older Canon lenses on a 6D compared to an E-M10 shot at extended ISO. I’m surprised it wasn’t more of a wash due to the differences in testing. The comparison just seems kind of moot and not really a real comparison of performance of either camera system

    • Turbofrog

      The article is a follow-up to an earlier one that he’d written comparing that Canon and 17-40mm to the notoriously soft Olympus 17mm/2.8 pancake. Which obviously didn’t perform anywhere near as well as the 12-40mm.

      He’d actually arrived at the opposite conclusion about M4/3 before revisiting it…

      • Rick

        so he removed the notoriously soft 17mm because people cried and didn’t remove the notoriously soft 17-40

        • Ricky

          I really hope you are paid to defend Canon this way….

          • DoctorBob

            I hope most of the people who think they’re defending Canon aren’t getting paid (at least not by Canon), because most of them are doing so by claiming that the Canon lens wasn’t very good to begin with :-)

            • Ricky

              You are right. They are not doing a good job….
              You can say at least they are trying to defend the 6D and Canon FF DSLRs in general.

              • DoctorBob

                Now I’m wondering how much better the 17-40mm lens might perform on an APS-C Canon at 22mm for the same angle of view. (Or even adapted onto M43 at 17mm…)

                • Rick

                  on a crop the 17-40 is a pretty good lens. on full frame, it dies on the corners. it was okay on the original 5D, anything after that it reeked. because the pixel pitch sweet spot was around f5.6 to f6.3 and you couldn’t get the corners good until somewhere around f8-f10 if that. so the only way it looks acceptable is if you make the entire image diffracted to an equal playing field.

                  why do you think people that used canon were so excited with the 16-35/F4L IS? finally canon managed to wake up and smell the roses and make a sharp UWA zoom.

                  also we are comparing a “normal” lens (12-40 zuiko) with a UWA. which is usually a poor test.

                  defending canon? oh please.

  • On the Internet, you’re always wrong~

  • DxOMark tests the E-M10 + 12-40 at 8 P-MPix, and the 6D + 17-40 at 14 P-MPix. Not the answer to everything, but they’re the only objective source of comparison data available.

    I’ll add that in our E-M5 II high-res test, we found that with a sharp prime lens in controlled conditions it solidly out-resolved our D810. For more casual photography, the D810 was definitely sharper.

    • The Real Stig

      Sorry, you lost me with that comment that there were no professional grade zoom lenses in the M4/3 system. You should stop staring at DXO results as they are obviously making you go blind.

    • Andrei

      That DxO Mark who gave better score to Canon’s $100 plastic 75-300 over the new 300mm 2.8II or ranked the old 70-200 higher than the new 70-200II when every other
      review said the newer lens is much better?

    • Bhima

      While DxO is a good reference, it clearly doesn’t indicate real world results… ESPECIALLY when you are trying to determine IQ based off of a number, from two totally different systems. It seems clear from the examples above that the 6D with that lens is clearly not resolving as much detail, let alone almost double the detail.

  • windeguy

    Actually, I’d say this is a pretty successful test. It allowed him to draw a conclusion on which camera to take with him on his trip!

  • Rick

    so you compared with canon’s crappiest and cheapest UWA FF zoom lens on the 6D past the point of sweet spot (f/10), and in theory OM’s best 24-70 2.8 equivalent at pretty much a sweet spot on the lens (f 4.0) and are surprised there is a difference in IQ, compared 1:1 without normalizing for resolution (16 / 10) ..

    • Arumes

      F/10 is the sweet spot for the 17-40. And while you’re right about the F/4, the truth is the 12-40/2.8 almost doesn’t have a sweet spot. It’s very sharp at almost any setting, as long as diffraction is no issue. Try’s interactive graph and play with the aperture and zoom a bit:

      And for the 17-40 on full-frame, so you can see that F/10 is the correct setting:

      • Rick


        okay .. slrgear tested the 17-40 on the 5D which was 12.8MP – of course it’s sweet spot looks better stopped down to F/8. Not that even at F/10 on a 12MP full frame, it’s not sharp in the corners. period. and certainly not at 1:1 magnification on a 6D.

        the 17-40mm was released in 2003. it’s pretty crappy by today’s standards .. it was “okay” on a 12Mp full frame camera, and really outclassed with modern ff sensors. especially; in the corners, which was what the entire article was about. corner performance.

        and unlike the OM, there’s not alot of in raw corrections done.

        • Arumes

          Note that I didn’t say the 1-40 is good. I didn’t say it had sharp corners. It doesn’t, and’s graph also shows it doesn’t. I only said that F/10 is the sweet spot. That’s all. Even bad lenses have a sweet spot. So whatever you’re LOLling and ranting about, it’s beyond me.

          • Rick

            easy. sweet spots with respect to apeture entirely depend on pixel pitch.
            want to explain to me then how the sweet spot on a 12.8MP 5D original can correlate to a 6D?

            • Nick

              So what’s the sweet spot on the 5DS?

              • Rick

                f5.6 to 8. f/8 if you are using DLO.

            • Arumes

              They do not entirely depend on pixel pitch. And yes, I could explain, but no, I don’t want to. Educating ranters is a waste of time.

              • Rick

                when you are looking and comparing at 1:1 they most certainly do .. but go ahead .. try to. Considering that every time I switched a camera body with a different sensor resolution, I immediately would go and re-visit my sweet spots, and have to adjust accordingly.

                of course, i’m not the one looking at results from a 5D and thinking they are still accurate with a 20Mp versus a 12Mp sensor though.

                even slrgear shows it when you compare from the 20D to the 5D – the only difference being pixel pitch as far as a basis of a “blur index” imatest results.

        • uniquename72

          Anyone who judges a lens by the year it was released knows nothing about photography.

          Stick to your P&S, Ricky.

    • narutogrey

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone calling the EF 17-40mm L lens a crappy lens. It is a very good lens except for softness in the corners when zoomed in at 40mm. At wider focal lengths, the optics are quite good. The sweet spot of the 17-40L is at f8. At f10, it still within excellent sharpness range and far away from diffraction.

  • Andera

    in the end, you usually get what you pay for. I can spend more to buy a FF, spend less to buy an apsc. But m43? OMD? GX7? no way, simply doesnt worth the money. m43 mod, you did a bad choice! now delete my comment and make yourself feel a little bit better.

  • Observant

    I don’t see the focal length….

    • Observant

      It is eq. 35mm (17mm m43)?

  • Abraham Latchin

    I have had a similar experience shooting the 6D with me EM5. Firstly there is little difference between these sensor resolutions… 16mp vs 20mp is nothing notable.

    The 6D has the 24-70 version1, and my EM5 had the 12-40. The results were very similar in terms of final resolution and image quality. Both cameras were on a tripod, equivalent settings etc.

    Many of these metrics used to make one camera better than another simply dont materialize in actual photography.

    • The 12-40 is really just a spectacularly good lens at the wide end. It’s not quite as good as the 24-70ii when compared at equivalent apertures, but it’s close enough that you have to actively look for the differences. I’ve found the 40-150 2.8, unfortunately, doesn’t quite maintain the same standard compared to the 70-200ii but I’m looking forward to seeing how the new 7-14 2.8 compares as some of the samples floating around from that lens look really excellent.

      • Abraham Latchin

        Hey Will,
        I haven’t used the V2, however at over twice the price of the 12-40 can I expect more than simply slightly more resolution of the 20mp sensor… To be honest it is so marginal the portability, range and versatility (close focus etc). of the 12-40 wins hands down.

        As to the 40-150, I have used it for product, portrait and even birding, to be honest to my eyes it keeps right up the the 12-40.

        For the 7-14, it may be my first UWA zoom, so I haven’t got much of a basis for comparison.

        • “I haven’t used the V2, however at over twice the price of the 12-40 can I expect more than simply slightly more resolution of the 20mp sensor… To be honest it is so marginal the portability, range and versatility (close focus etc). of the 12-40 wins hands down.”

          But for over twice the price you’re getting two extra stops of DoF control and slightly less than two extra stops of low light performance. The 12-40 is fantastic at what it does, but it’s a different instrument than the 24-70 2.8.

          “As to the 40-150, I have used it for product, portrait and even birding, to be honest to my eyes it keeps right up the the 12-40.”

          Maybe I have a poor copy, but mine is noticeably less sharp than the 12-40 until you stop it down to f/5.6. Even then, the center at f/5.6 is roughly only comparable to the edges of the 70-200ii at f/2.8.

          “For the 7-14, it may be my first UWA zoom, so I haven’t got much of a basis for comparison.”

          This is really where I see the strength of the m43 system. I owned an f/2.8 UWA lens for my FF kit for a while but I almost never use this class of lens at anything wider than f/5.6. I currently use an A7R with the 16-35 FE for UWA work but I am seriously considering moving over to the new 7-14 if the reviews pan out.

          • Abraham Latchin

            “But for over twice the price you’re getting two extra stops of DoF control and slightly less than two extra stops of low light performance.”

            The statement above should be “with” not “and” because the 2 stops of low light performance is not from the size of the sensor, but the size of the aperture. So if you can shoot wider apertures then yes, if you can’t then generally speaking there is no advantage.

            It is the same instrument, it is a lens covering a similar focal length. The question is “does your style of shooting require the extreme end of the shallow DoF specturm?” If not, then there is really no difference.

            You might want your 40-150 checked… It gives nothing up on the 12-40…

    • Mike

      “Many of these metrics used to make one camera better than another simply dont materialize in actual photography.”


      I have used the Canon 6D and the Olympus PEN E-Px series side-by-side for many years until approx. 18 months ago.

      The magic from the 6D + 50 f/1.2L + 85 f/1.2L simply cannot be reproduced ever with a micro four thirds system. Forget it.

      But the sheer joy and convenience of a PEN camera + 20/1.7, 12/2, 75/1.8 cannot be matched by any Canon camera. The 6D + 40/2.8 is a dud, so clumsy and unspectacular IQ.

  • Rebecca Joyce

    These are lens comparisons, not sensor comparisons. I’m also a canon and Olympus shooter and will do rough tests like this to decide on which camera to use for a given task… When looking at compression (for portraiture) or noise levels at high ISO, its a sensor or sensor size issue, but sharpness is mostly a lens comparison. I own a 17-40 and will admit it’s pretty bad for an L lens when compared to newer lenses.

    • Rick

      it was okay at the time, but then again .. it’s a 12 year old lens.

      • Nick

        But it is an L lens and is still quite expensive.

        • Mike

          It doesn’t matter because it has been superseded by the 16-35 f/4L, and obviously either ultra wide angle lens should be compared to the Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8, not to a normal zoom.

          The fact that this is being posted speaks badly for micro four thirds: it is grasping at straws, and it upsets me that admin does not have a higher regard for what is an *excellent* camera system within its limits.

          • Arumes

            The only thing the admin has any regard for, is pageviews. That’s why this so-called rumorsite got filled up with non-rumor ‘news’ too. Now, you have to search hard to find any rumors between the rest of the trash.

      • Julian

        How old is the design of the Zuiko 12-60mm 4/3 lens?

  • MGJ

    Wasn’t one of the design goals of the squarish, smaller 4:3 sensor to make it so there was better edge-to-edge sharpness? Along with software correction? I thought I read somewhere that the imaging circle and sensor design was setup to avoid issues by having the troublesome edge light fall outside of the sensor.

    I think the Sony FE mount is having the reverse problem with cramming the 35mm size mount into a previous APS-C designed opening, that is why they’re looking at curved sensors to deal with it. Or am I just mistaken on these counts? Genuinely curious.

    • Arumes

      True, (M)FT uses telecentric lens designs to avoid corner degradation. I’m not sure how unique this is, though. Such lenses should be possible on any system where the sensor is smaller than the mount. (for instance, Sony can’t use telecentric designs on full-frame E-mount lenses, because the sensor is bigger than the mount, so light has to hit the sensor at an angle to reach the corners).

      • ohboy

        Not true. There is no corner issue. FE lenses are expensive, but most of them do perform well, check dxomark and reviews.

        • ohgirl

          Oh, we have a Sony fanboy….

          • ohboy

            Oh yes, I also like my xperia phone, bravia tv, vaio laptop, hi-res headphone. I like Panasonic’s Eneloop battery though. Olympus? I like Olympics more.

        • Arumes

          I don’t know why you say it’s not true, but the rest of your text and image do not contradict my statement.

      • umad?!

        others don’t do telecentric lenses – they just call them lenses.

        What FT and µFT wants to have as a USP, became “normal” with digital sensors.

        • Arumes

          Is it? Got a source to back that up? Telecentric design is a good selling point. I think other manucfacturers would point out those designs if they had any.

          • umad?!

            yes it is. Most of the time only looking at lens diagrams is enough to see it.

            I talked to a Zeiss guy at Photokina about it and he said, that digital sensor need straight light on it (I guess we all know that) and that is why older designs like the biogon are not used (as much) anymore.

            With DSLR you have the long flange distance which helps.

            In the “new mirrorless world” most manufacturers opted for a extremely short flange distance with a huge mount diameter. This allows large back elements –> near telecentric design.

            Here, something from Fuji:

            Btw, the need of straight rays is the reason, why most wide angle mirrorless lenses still use a retrofocal design, even though it would be possible to go for a smaller and cheaper “normal” design.

            Let’s see what Panasonic and Fujifilm come up with the organic sensor. That would give the lens designers more freedom.

  • Al Capone

    C’mon… who takes seriously a test made by an italo-american gangster?
    Olympus image doesn’t show EXIF data. It is not a valid comparison.

  • Richard

    So this Chris Corradino is the user named “Arumes”…
    Good to know…

    • ohboy

      so embarrassing…

      • ohgirl

        so embarassing…

  • Mike


    You are comparing Canons worst ultra wide angle zoom to Olympus’ best normal zoom. One with polarizer and one without. Ridiculous.

    Please try again when comparing to the Canon 24-70/4L and no added filters.

    • DD

      Many disagree with you on this.

      • Mike

        And many think dinosaurs walked among men. Doesn’t make it fact.

        • DD

          Nobody that I know of, at least not at this point in life.

  • Retro76

    I own the 6D and EM10. At low ISO I prefer Olympus for it’s detail, color, dynamic range and metering. The 6D is better at higher ISO, but this difference can be mitigated using fast primes. My 6D is up for sale if that is telling. FF isn’t magical, but I have to admit the sensor tech in those little Olympus bodies is ;)


      Link to your 6D sale? How much?

      • lazy?

        a quick research and you’ll find plenty….

      • Retro76

        Probably more than you can afford…

    • David Figueiredo

      And you have no problem lossing depth of field control? My progression has been Canon–>Panasonic->Sony A6000. Because I get the small package with the A6000 and the APS-C sensor with at least some control over DOF.

      • Rchard

        Do you know that DoF depends on many variables, not just sensor size?

        • David Figueiredo

          Given the same field of view and distance from subject, sensor size matters. I used my Panasonic for over a year and even with the 20mm 1.7 it was hard to get defocused background. The Sony A6000 with 32mm kills it in this area. I am not slamming m4/3. It is very useful, but for me I want more DOF control.

          • Rchard

            You are comparing a Zeiss 48mm eq. lens with a 40 mm eq. pancake lens….
            It is not exactly the best comparison…
            Use the Panasonic-Leica 25mm f/1.4 and then tell me if you see any difference in depth of field….

            • Turbofrog

              Ding ding ding…exactly.

              Compare like with like if you’re concerned about DoF control. The Touit 32mm/1.8 also costs more and is bigger than the Panasonic 25mm/1.4…

          • Arumes

            Acually, with the same distance and same field of view, it’s the lens diameter that matters. If you use the same diameter on two different sensor sizes, there’s no difference in DoF. The only problem is that you need a ‘faster’ lens on MFT to get the same diameter as, for example, full-frame. For instance, 20/1.7=11.8mm lens diameter. On full-frame this translates to a 40mm F/3.4. 40/3.4=11.8 mm again.

            So sensor size is not a factor theoratically, it’s the lens size that matters. Ofcourse, in practice, systems with smaller sensors tend to have smaller lenses as well.

  • markthetog

    I guess my question was what’s up with the 1 2/3 stop difference in exposure?

    • Andrzej Lukowiec

      Read the post… Or look at the dates.

  • gr

    not surprised I had both… Olympus is way better just not in lowlight vs the 6d.

  • IR

    too much IR pollution on the left…. heck!

  • Trollhunter2

    200 comments and everyone – m43 shooters, Canon and FF fanboys – agree: The more than $3000 6d/17-40 combination is crap. Did this total agreement ever happen here before?

    • Trollhunter©

      Actually, they all agree that the Canon 17-40 is soft and overpriced.

  • Law

    Canon 6D is known to produce not as sharp results as the 5D Mark III.
    However, 6D print quality should be better than that of the Olympus.

  • Nobu

    Chris Corradino, I really like your findings. Please write more articles.

  • Kodachromeguy

    Many flaws in this test. 1. Use of zoom lenses instead of the best single focal length lenses. 2. Polarizer vs no polarizer. 3. NO tripod!! Come on, that is so basic.

    • Pietz

      youre referring to a scientific test, which this clearly isnt and never tried to be. but in my opinion a realistic test like this one is much more practical in real life.

      what i would criticiseis that this test is just not very surprising. the only reason to get a ff camera today is low light and shallow depth of field. two factors that dont play out in bright daylight and landscape photography.

      • DingieM

        That is also my opinion.

        I have been thinking about my next camera upgrade/switch strategy after my current E-M5.
        Full Frame is tempting with the affordable A7 but it needs way too much changing and investing in good glass. Shallow depth of field and (slightly) higher dynamic range is one of the tempting things.
        A change should be significant, which FF can not bring over my E-M5…yet

        I’ll wait it out for a while (a year?)… to see where the technology is going. For now I value an EVF and fast response of a camera. The E-M5 still suites my needs, however Samsung and Sony have very competitive solutions too…including 4k video which is now one of the main sources to get 4k video on a 4k television which has become affordable.

  • DingieM

    The question some can ask is…are 3rd party lenses better than the Canon offerings for the 6D Full Frame?
    I know Olympus can make SUPERB lenses for it systems, but can Canon and Nikon do that too for the same price range compared to the price of the camera body?

  • Michael

    Comparing apples with pears in order to blandish m43 systems….ridiculous attempt…

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