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Old 03-19-2019   #69
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Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
I can answer that!

I shot for several years with a Canon 5DmkII, which is a 20mp fullframe camera. For the last year, I have been shooting with 20mp Micro Four Thirds cameras (Olympus Pen-F and Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark II).

So, we have two 20mp systems, one fullframe, the other Micro Four Thirds. Huge sensor-size difference. I think that fullframe has almost 4 times the surface area of m4/3. I have made and sold 16x20 prints from each.

The difference? To be honest, the m4/3 sensors give the finest detail resolution! Why? Part of it is that Canon uses a rather aggressive anti-aliasing filter on the 5DmkII's sensor. This softens fine detail, not all of which is recoverable through image sharpening. Olympus's 20mp sensors have no anti-aliasing filters. Another thing is that the Canon lens I used for the photos I printed large just plain aren't as sharp as the Micro Four Thirds lens I used.

I used the Canon 24-105mm F4L-IS lens for fullframe and the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens for m4/3. The Olympus lens is equivalent to a 24-80mm fullframe lens. I am continually amazed at the image quality of this lens.

So, a smaller sensor with better lenses and no anti-aliasing filter beats a much larger sensor with poorer lenses and an anti-aliasing filter that blurs the finest details.

There is one other difference, and that is noise. The fullframe Canon sensor has less of it than the Olympus Micro Four Thirds sensors. I've found, however, that even using more noise reduction in Lightroom to eliminate the m4/3 noise, the m4/3 images are still better, with more fine detail resolution. Even at high ISO.

More modern fullframe sensors have less noise than the one used on the Canon 5DmkII, so at high-ISO speeds a modern fullframe sensor might be superior to the m4/3 sensors.
So from your perspective, with some subtleties, a pixel is a pixel is a pixel.
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