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What system/size would fit me the best?



I made some comparisons in sizes between the different camera systems with their different sensor sizes for another thread. Perhaps this helps also some of you, if you are at the beginning of your buying decision...


I copy here two postings which I made in the MFT forum in another thread. But since this is a general subject, I do think it is worth it to copy these two postings also in this thread for those of you, who are in the decision making process pro or contra for the different systems with their different sensor size:

1 inch sensor (Nikon 1 system)
MFT sensor (MFT from Olympus and Panasonic)
APS-C sensor (Fuji-X system)
Fullframe sensor (Nikon FX system)

Start quoting:

I had the exact same problem like you when I was looking for alternatives to my other systems in 2016 and tried to understand the line-up of Panasonic and Olympus and what the differences are between the models and the lenses.

What might also help is to see in real life how big or small the differences are between the bodies & lenses within the different systems and different sensor sizes.

I used to have Olympus many years ago already with the E620 and the "normal" FourThird system (with mirror). But I sold it again and now that I looked at MicroFourThirds (=without mirror) in 2016 closer, I was trying to find out, what kind of value the MFT system could add to my photogear-needs.

As I mentioned before, I came from fullframe (Nikon D800 and Sony A900) and was looking to size down my gear to have it easier while travelling. So I started as probably everybody else did with the 1 inch sensor compacts (Sony RX100, Canon G7X, Canon 9X) but found out soon that they can not beat my beloved Ricoh GRV (APS-C sensor) and that I also need something with an interchangeble lensmount system.

So I tried the Nikon V1 and J5 (the so called "Nikon 1" system) with almost all their lenses. I liked them a lot, but was missing more FFL and it seems that Nikon does not continue that line anymore. So I was looking for alternatives in similar size & weight classes.

For larger sensors, I decided already for the Fuji X-system to replace my Nikon D800 system. But with Fuji, as soon as you want to have telezooms or wideangle zooms or at that time FFL, the lenses became big and heavy for an APS-C sized sensor system ( i.e. the Fuji XF23/1.4, XF56/1.2, XF50-140/2.8) etc.

So Nikon 1 was too small and has maybe no future, Nikon fullframe was too heavy and too big and even Fuji X in most cases too big and heavy (this changed recently with the new Fuji FF lenses 23/2.0 WR, 35/2.0 WR and 50/2.0 WR).

There was only MFT inbetween. And if you pick carefully your lenses in the MFT system, you will get the same size and weight advantage of the Nikon 1 system with its 1 inch sensor, but with a significant larger MFT sensor inside.

This is why is started with the Lumix GM5, which has the exact same size as the Nikon J5, but the GM5 has an EVF! look at the size comparison I have done between Nikon 1, MFT, Fuji X and Nikon fullframe:




Always in the order from front to back: Nikon J5, Panasonic Lumix GM5, Panasonic Lumix GX80/85, Fuji X-Pro1.


Even more interesting are the differences in lens size & weight. I sold already my D800 and some lenses, so I could not add anymore the Nikkor 70-200/4.0 etc. to show the size differences:


Above: View from top to see the differences in filter size.


Above: Sorted by focal lenght and whether it is zoom or FFL. So if you want to have focal lenght i.e. 35mm in fullframe terms, you can see what kind of size and weight the lens of another system has to cover that focal length.
The difference are sometimes huge. From left to right:

A. wideangle zooms


# 1 Smallest Panasonic Kit lens 12-32. It is kind of a pancake lens. On the far left.
# 2 Nikkor 6.7-13 (Nikon 1 system).
# 3 Olympus 9-18mm.
# 4 Fuji XF10-24.
The Nikon fullframe 18-35G was sold already, but is significantly larger than the Fuji.

B. Wideangle FFL


- Second row is wideangle FFL between 28mm and 35mm.

Winner here is the Nikon 10/2.8 (Nikon 1 system). I do not have a Lumix WA FFL yet, so I do not know how big the i.e. 15/1.7 is
#2 is the new Fuji Xf23/2.0 WR (on the left side of the 10mm lens)
#3 is the Fuji XF23/1.4 (right side of the 10mm lens)
#4 as expected Nikon fullframe 35/1.8G ED.

C. Short telephoto FFL


And this comes now at a surprise for me. Although the Nikon 1 systems covers the smaller sensor size, the 90mm FFL is bigger and heavier that the MFT fFL.

Winner is here the Panasonic Lumix 42/1.7.
#2 is the Nikkor 32/1.2.
#3 is Fuji XF56/1.2 but surprisingly very close to the Nikkor fullframe 85/1.8G.

I know these lenses have all different apertures. But If i want to achieve certain shallow DOF, I have to use sometimes F1.2 which I achieve easily already in fullframe with F1.8 or even only @F2.0.

D. Normal Telezooms


This is a mixed comparison only focused on lenses which I do use in real life. I tried for example the Fuji XF55-200 but did not find any advantage over the Fuji XC50-230. So I sold it again and therefore my benchmark for Fuji is this XC50-230 and not the even bigger alternatives. I would never carry a XF50-140/2.8 around for travelling. Same approach with other lenses.

So in this category, the Panasonic Kit lens telezoom (35-100, on the left side) is by far the smallest one and therefore the winner.
#2 is the Nikkor 10-100 for the Nikon 1 system.
#3 is a really great lens, the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 HD telezoom. This is a lot larger than the Kit zoom, but it delivers and if you want to have more shallow DOF than the Kitzoom, you need even @200mm still F2.8
#4 is the Fuji XC50-230. Only slightly bigger than the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 HD, but for shallow DOF the Pana beats easily the Fuji. Converted to APS-C sized sensor, tha Pana has the DOF of a F4.0 in the APS-C world @200mm. The Fuji give you F6.7



And here you see what it means, if you use the lenses in real life. You want to have a longer focal lenght with your telezoom? Have fun with zooming out the lens. Only the Pana 35-100/2.8 HD stays the same size.


This summer, I purchased the Olympus 75-300 MKII specifically to shoot surfers on holidays. So made this comparison later to see how big the differences are, if you want to go as far as 600mm in fullframe terms.


So the Olympus is @600mm smaller than the Fuji XC50-230 @345mm


Also the filtersize of the Olympus is very attractive for a 600mm lens.

This comparison does not mean that MFT is the best. Since the new WR FFL 23/35/50 of Fuji, the size advantage of the MFT shrinked a lot and is basically only existing with telezooms and wideangle zooms. But still it is good to know the real life facts instead of comparing product sheets ;)

What does concern me with Fuji is the "back and forth" strategy regarding lens size and weight. I would rather have Fuji focussing on small and leight lenses and zooms. Where is a 50-140/4.0? Where is a 56/2.8?

Instead we get (too) many big and heavy lenses like the 50-140/2.8 (1kg and very large), 100-400mm etc. There is no advantage with these lenses, if fullframe has the same lenses with teh sam eweight and size available - sometimes even cheaper.

I enjoy MFT a lot. But I also love the Fuj layout of their bodies and OVF. So will keep my Fuji system, because I like it also a lot.

If you stick with MFT or decide to enter the MFT system, make sure you check which lenses and bodies you want to buy. An Olympus EM1 MKII with Olympus Pro lenses is bigger than the Fuji X-System without having the bigger sensor. Food for thoughts...


Active Member
Thanks Dirk

I prefer Canon fullframe and MFT-system from Olympus, there OM-D EM-10M2, little and easy for holiday. Both camera with origin lenses. My nikon gear (fullframe too) is in retirement only used for macro.