Most of you who read Photofocus regularly know I recently switched to micro four thirds cameras. I am more convinced than ever that these cameras perform as well as ANY camera in 95% of the situations where it counts.
While I used to be an advocate for full frame cameras, I changed my mind when I saw the advantages of going small. So to counter all the posts that are out there advocating why you need a full frame camera, here’s why I think you do not.
1. The Low Light Argument
One of the arguments for full-frame cameras is that they offer better low-light performance. They do. But while the “religion of low-light” has caught many of you in its net, the majority of the last 100 years, photographers haven’t been concerned about it. They brought their own light, made light, borrowed light, reflected light, etc.
My flashes, reflectors, hot lights, etc. will work anywhere, with or without power. Since photography is actually about light, I don’t understand the fascination for working without much of it.
2. The Shallower Depth of Field Argument
Right after the religion of low-light, comes the shallow depth-of-field argument. You may not know this, but not every photograph requires shallow depth-of-field. In fact, most do not. But when you want it, you can have it two ways on a mirror less system. Very fast glass, i.e., 75mm (EFL 150MM) f/1.8 is plenty shallow for most situations. And post-processing tools can make an f/22 shot look like it came from a tilt-shift lens.
3. The Lens Flexibility Argument
Some full-frame shooters like using old film camera lenses on their full-frame cameras. They seem to think this is only possible on full-frame. In fact, Micro Four Thirds cameras can easily, quickly and affordably be set to work with almost ANY lens, including lenses that will NOT work on full-frame cameras.
4. The Sharpness Argument
This is the silly one in my opinion. People actually think they can make sharper photos on full-frame lenses. The physics say differently. Sharpness is controlled by MANY factors, lens, pixel depth, pixel size, subject distance, and photographer skill. To think you’ll get sharper photos just because you switch to full-frame cameras is pure horse pucky.
5. The Winder Angles Argument
While it’s true that ultra wide angles like 16mm etc are not available on some non-full-frame cameras, the trade off is that the very crop factor FF proponents rely on here works against them for those who need longer reach. If you’re a wildlife or sports shooter, trading ultra wide angle for longer telephoto reach is a no-brainer. And many of the smaller cameras are able to shoot 24mm un-distorted. We used to think of 35mm lenses as wide when I was a kid so 24 seems pretty wide to me.
6. The Better Build Quality Argument
Sigh. This is plain stupid. Just because a camera is full-frame doesn’t mean it’s built any better than one that is not. Some full-frame cameras have no special waterproofing or dust blocking capability. My Olympus OM-D E-M5 on the other hand does – and it’s no full-frame camera.
7. The Full-Frame Cameras Look Cooler Argument
If your photography is so bad that you put more importance on how your camera looks than your images, there is no hope for you. Start learning to garden, fish or whittle – photography isn’t for you.