Disadvantages of Micro Four Thirds Compared With DSLRs
- The sensor is 35% smaller in area (2.0x crop factor) than APS-C (1.5x crop factor, or 1.6x for Canon-APS-C) sized sensors and 75% smaller (i.e. a quarter of the area) than a full frame sensor (1.0x crop factor) (35 mm equivalent), which can mean lower image quality when all other variables are the same. This might include poorer color transitions and more noise at equivalent ISO settings, especially in low light, when compared with the larger sensors..
- Contrast detect autofocus systems such as those used in Micro Four Thirds cameras were initially slower than the phase detect systems used in advanced DSLRs. This gap was eliminated in 2011 when shooting static subjects. However, DSLR focusing remains superior when shooting subjects moving towards or away from the camera. This can be an issue when shooting sports, wildlife and children.
- Due to the absence of a mirror and prism mechanism, there is no ability to use a through-the-lens optical viewfinder. A through-the-lens electronic viewfinder, an attachable optical viewfinder (similar to a rangefinder or TLR), or the universally supplied LCD screen must be used instead.
- Theoretically, changing lenses can expose the sensor to more dust in a "mirrorless" camera design, compared to DSLRs that have both a mirror and a closed shutter protecting the sensor. Mirrorless cameras have dust-removal systems which attempt to minimize the impact of this problem.
- A larger crop factor (2x multiplier versus APS-C's 1.5x) means greater depth-of-field for the same equivalent field of view and f/stop when compared with APS-C and especially full frame cameras. This can be a disadvantage when a photographer wants to blur a background, such as when shooting portraits.
- Some Micro Four Thirds cameras are smaller than DSLRs or larger body cameras, and this can result in relatively poor ergonomics. This applies especially to handling, the depth of the right-hand grip, and the size and placement of buttons and dials.
- Micro Four Thirds lenses cannot be used on 35mm equivalent and APS-C cameras due to lens vignetting.
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