Micro 4/3rd vs FF vs Combo , Weight and Price

Continuation of my final thoughts.. on FF vs M4/3

Planning to buy the E-M1 Mark II next week, before that wanted to get an idea of the system I like to build. As I can’t buy all at once, one more check on my planned purchase / rental.

Here is the details on the weight and price of each system I have to carry.

Thanks to B&H for having nice wishlist grouping.

Combination , travel zooms with m4/3rd and Full Frame

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/wishlist.jsp#/AB8EB33657/

 Purpose  Body/Lens Price Weight Grams lb
Body E-M1 Mark II

$2,000

20 oz

574 g

1.26  lb

Wide to Tele zoom 12-100mm f/4

$1,300

20 oz

561 g

1.23  lb

Body D810

$2,500

31 oz

880 g

1.94  lb

Prime 35mm f/2

$400

7 oz

204 g

0.45  lb

Portrait 85mm f/1.4

$1,600

21 oz

595 g

1.31  lb

Ultra wide zoom 7-14mm f/2.8mm

$1,100

19 oz

534 g

1.17  lb

Macro 55mm f/2.8

$400

10 oz

290 g

0.64  lb

Total

$9,300

128 oz

3,638 g

8  lb

Pro’s

  • Just one lens with equivalent of 24-200
  • Creamy Bokeh for portraits
  • High ISO for restaurant, night time shots…
  • All the fancy  15fps/60fps sequential shooting with the E-M1 body
  • Two Cameras!

Cons

  • Two Cameras?

Micro Four Thirds

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/wishlist.jsp#/93B4651945/

Purpose Body/Lens Price Weight Grams lb
Body E-M1 Mark II

$2,000

20 oz

574 g

1.26  lb

Wide Zoom 12-40mm f/2.8

$700

13 oz

382 g

0.84  lb

Portrait 42.5mm f/1.2

$1,400

15 oz

425 g

0.94  lb

Tele Zoom 40-150mm f/2.8

$1,300

31 oz

880 g

1.94  lb

Prime 15mm f/1.7

$550

4 oz

115 g

0.25  lb

Super Wide Zoom 7-14mm f/2.8mm

$1,100

19 oz

534 g

1.17  lb

Macro 60mm f/2.8

$400

7 oz

185 g

0.41  lb

Total

$7,450

109 oz

3,095 g

6.81  lb

Pro’s

  • Compact system
  • Eq. tele zoom of 300mm
  • All the fancy  15fps/60fps sequential shooting with the E-M1 body

Con’s

  • Not all shot’s can be enlarged to five feet prints
  • Low light  shots can’t be printed to large size
  • Lesser correction capability with the incorrect exposure

Full Frame

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/wishlist.jsp#/93B3D29D45/

Purpose Body/Lens Price Weight Grams lb
Body D810

$2,500

31 oz

880 g

1.94  lb

Wide Zoom 24-70mm f/2.8

$1,700

32 oz

900 g

1.98  lb

Portrait 85mm f/1.4

$1,600

21 oz

595 g

1.31  lb

Tele Zoom 70-200mm f/2.8

$2,100

54 oz

1,540 g

3.39  lb

Prime 35mm f/2

$400

7 oz

204 g

0.45  lb

Super wide zoom 14-24mm f/2.8

$1,900

35 oz

1,000 g

2.2  lb

Macro 55mm f/2.8

$400

10 oz

290 g

0.64  lb

 Total

$10,600

191 oz

5,409 g

11.91  lb

Pro’s

  • All well lit photos can be can be enlarged to five feet
  • Mistakes are easy to correct

Con’s

  • Heavy and Pricey lenses to get the best of out the sensor
  • Can’t match the details of Hi-Res shots

Summary

Price

Weight

Micro Four Thirds

$7,450

6.81  lb

Combination

$9,300

8  lb

Full Frame

$10,600

11.91  lb

Conclusion

This chart kind of  helps to reiterate my previous decision, I don’t see the IQ of FF alone justifying the additional 5lb and extra $3k for my needs. The combination path gives a goldilocks zone…, in terms of IQ, total weight and price.

2 thoughts on “Micro 4/3rd vs FF vs Combo , Weight and Price

  1. You have really done some excellent work here, and I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your efforts in the thorough testing and for sharing the details of that process. I have truly enjoyed reading your blog. FWIW, I arrived at a very similar conclusion regarding straddling systems (I am shooting two micro 4/3 bodies and a Nikon FF).

    In case you’re interested, I purchased or borrowed many (if not most) of the native lenses in micro 4/3 over the past year. In September, I built up my old Nikon kit (after a 2-decade hiatus) around a new-to-me D750. In the end, my key lenses now are a mixture of micro 4/3 and FF Nikon:
    Ultrawide: 12mm f/2.8 Laowa in Nikon F-mount
    Wides: 24mm f/2.8 AI-S Nikkor (non-AF) and 15mm f/1.7 PanaLeica
    Normal: 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor (considering upgrade to the Sigma ART)
    Portrait Telephotos: 85mm f/1.8G Nikkor and 75mm f/1.8 Olympus
    Telezoom: 80-200mm f/2.8D AF-S Nikkor
    Occasional use: 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 (24-64mm equivalent) Panasonic and various other old Nikon lenses

    Two key lenses that I sold even though they served me so well (to finance purchase of the Nikon):
    12-35mm f/2.8 Panasonic (because in good light, the 12-32 is nearly as good)
    42.5mm f/1.7 Panasonic (because it was made redundant by the 85mm)

    For the most part, I keep the PL15 mounted on a GM1, the O75 on an E-M1, and carry the glass that makes sense for the day on the D750.

    FWIW, I think you’re spot on with the conclusion that micro 4/3 gets the job done well enough in most situations. For low light and sports, the D750 is clearly the better tool. For portraiture, I also prefer FF, but I typically print no bigger than 16×20. Having said that, the Olympus 75 is truly a gem – it makes beautifully sharp images that are every bit as good as FF results. One of these days I’ll have to see how a larger print looks.

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