Micro Four Thirds vs Medium Format

Seeing the photo

As most people know - I shoot nearly exclusively with micro four thirds (m43) cameras for both stills and video. The Olympus OM-D E-M1, E-M5 and the Panasonic GH4 are nearly always with me on a shoot (video or stills), however, that does not mean that I do not own or shoot with other cameras.  I get a lot of "flack" from other users and I try to avoid the whole debate about cropped sensor versus full frame.  I rarely hear anyone arguing about cropped sensor versus medium format. There are a million arguments online about this and for me I try to choose the tool that is most suited to the task at hand.  For me, the m43 is suitable for most jobs that I am doing and in many cases avoid me having to lug extremely heavy cameras and lenses around like a pack horse (especially when I rarely need to print above A0). 

Recently I had the opportunity to do a shoot with the Leica S2 camera and a number of lenses - needless to say I loved the camera but not the price.  While I was there I decided to take a couple of comparison photos with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the amazing Panasonic Leica 42.5mm lens (perhaps one of the best autofocus m43 lenses I have ever owned, though I have not had a good play with the new Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 lens yet).  Now this comparison was just a bit of fun and I'm not sure if you can really compare the output from each of the cameras, but I had a lot of fun shooting both cameras.  The Leica S2 is a really really beautiful camera to use and if I was to choose a larger sensor camera for some of the work I do then I would own a medium format camera as well as my trusty m43 system (there is a place for both).  I have also used the recently released Pentax 645 medium format camera as well but the weight and weatherproofing of the Leica S2 is simply amazing for what it is.  The Pentax 645 just doesn't have the ergonomics that I would love - but then its price is more in line with what I would prefer and I would still buy that camera over a camera like the Canon 1DX for the work that I do.

I think that if I could dream a little I would own my m43 kit that I have, a medium format system such as the Leica S series and I might just through in a Sony A7s for some amazing low light work (especially in the video area).  I know that seeing these photos on this blog doesn't show the true quality of the images, however I have included some of the the raw files so that you can download and edit them how you like to see them.  It might also be good for the pixel peepers out there.  Very little time has been spent on editing these pics (literally seconds) and I used spot or centre weighted metering on the Leica and multi/pattern metering on the Olympus (I didn't have time to change it to my optimal settings).  The Leica S2 was shot in Manual mode while I used Aperture Priority for the Olympus OM-D E-M1. All shots were hand held and I tried to remember the framing of each as I shot (though as you will see this didn't quite work out all the time).  I also shot mostly wide open - just because I could.

Leica S2 with Summicron-S 100 lens f/2 at 1/125th sec (B&W conversion in Silver Effex Pro 2)  Download DNG file here

Leica S2 with 70mm lens, f/2.5 at 1/250th sec.  Download DNG file here

Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Panasonic Leica 42.5mm lens, f/1.2 at 1/800th sec. Download raw file here

100% crop of the Leica S2 image above

100% crop of Olympus OM-D E-M1 image above

Leica S2 with 180mm lens, f/4 at 1/180th sec.  Download DNG file here

Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Panasonic Leica 42.5mm lens, f/1.2 at 1/1000th sec. Download raw file here

100% crop of the Leica S2 image above

100% crop of Olympus OM-D E-M1 image above

Leica S2 with 120mm Macro Lens lens, f/4 at 1/180th sec - you can notice the lovely led lighting being reflected in the eye.  This shot was without the diffuser between the light and the model.  Download DNG file here

100% crop of the Leica S2 image above

Leica S2 (same image as above but converted to Black and white)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 (same image as above but converted to Black and white)


Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Panasonic Leica 42.5mm lens, f/1.2 at 1/1250th sec. Download raw file here

The following are just some random photos I took with the Leica S2 with various lenses and at times tethered to a laptop in the studio.  (Update: A couple of the images seem to have lost a little of their highlights during the conversion process for the blog)

 

 

Comments

Nice work Thankyou.

By Wayne (not verified)

That E-M1 and Nocticron do really good job!

By Lyn Rees (not verified)

I am sure that the comparison with the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 the results would be better respect the Nocticron.
I say this because I use a lot the 75mm f1.8 and I can see my photos at 100%.
Here some of my photos :
http://www.romeocolombo.com/Sony7andOlympus5/Olympus-OMD-EM5-MZuiko-75mm...
Regards, Romeo Colombo

By Romeo (not verified)

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