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Author Topic: MFT: the decline of the empire  (Read 29761 times)

DarkPenguin

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MFT: the decline of the empire
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2010, 01:06:04 am »

Quote from: John Camp
I have the Panasonic system with both an GF1 and a GH1 and five lenses. I can get all of that, plus a charger, several batteries and a Mac Air, into a bag smaller than the average briefcase. The problem (as I see it) with the Sony system is it gives up a little bit of smallness (in their lenses -- the size difference of the bodies isn't significant) to get a little more image quality. But if I want more image quality than you get with m4/3, I'd want significantly more -- I'd go  to my Nikon FF and accept the size penalty. The basic thought of M4/3 isn't ultimate image quality, it's size, with quality good enough for most publication, and that's what you get. I agree, if you're a guy who walks around with one camera body with a pancake lens, then the Sony is as good as the M4/3. If you have to run some place with a *system,* it isn't, because it's bigger and heavier. I actually think Sony would have been better off joining the consortium, and making a m4/3, than going off with a unique and brand-new mounting system. One thing I'm curious about: will their lenses cover FF? That would be an interesting possibility -- eventual FF bodies -- but I suspect the lenses are made specifically for the sensor size, like Nikon's DX lenses, and won't cover full frame. Two other notes: a big deal is being made about the slight size difference in the bodies...but Sony has only an exterior flash. It's supplied with the body, but if you put it on, the Sony is as big or bigger than the Panasonic. Sony also (according to DP Review) cut down the tripod mount until it is inadequate; and even if they hadn't, I wouldn't have had a lot of confidence mounting one of those big honking zooms on that tiny body, on a tripod. That can be fixed in the next iteration, at the price of getting larger.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp...essage=35297235
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douglasf13

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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2010, 02:34:10 am »

For shooters like me, the NEX is by far the smallest option, and the APS-C IQ is welcome. I have zero interest in using zooms on a camera like this. It's all about primes, IMO.

As far as the m4/3 "consortium," there really isn't such a thing. The only two companies that are supporting it so far are the same two companies that supported regular 4/3.  Sony has proven that the the better, APS-C sensors can be put in a small body, and I expect Canon and Nikon to follow suit.
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fredjeang

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MFT: the decline of the empire
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2010, 03:48:56 am »

Quote from: douglasf13
For shooters like me, the NEX is by far the smallest option, and the APS-C IQ is welcome. I have zero interest in using zooms on a camera like this. It's all about primes, IMO[color="#FF0000"][/color].

As far as the m4/3 "consortium," there really isn't such a thing. The only two companies that are supporting it so far are the same two companies that supported regular 4/3.  Sony has proven that the the better, APS-C sensors can be put in a small body, and I expect Canon and Nikon to follow suit.
Happy news for Bernard,
Rumors here are pointing that Nikon should be in the game before Canon. When? that's the big question.

Example of other Nikon rumors: http://nikonrumors.com/2010/02/26/intervie...n-pma-2010.aspx, interesting anyway...goes in the same as you pointed before Bernard.

Well, I also join the Douglas post, to me there is little point carrying a bigger zoom lens than a pancacke with these cameras, even if the lens size is reduced, because then you fall, (and with the EVF quite a lot), on the size of a small DSLR.  IMO, It's all about stuff like that:
[attachment=21955:41910205...d002cf07.jpg]

When I was looking for a street camera, I was very tempted by the m4/3 proposal, went to my favorite store and what I discovered? Than with an EVF and the standard kit lens (not the pancackes), it took the same volume as a little dslr. That's what Bernard and Doug pointed here and that's why I think history will repeat soon or later. As I had Pentaxes primes, AND Pentax has a range of real serious pancackes, I made a choice for the Pentax. No regret, can mount without adapter any K mount lenses and as I focus 90% manually, some really serious vintage M primes. IQ in low light is much much better, and to me these kind of cameras should shine in low light situation for their "street" nature, and do not have the hassle of external viewfinder. Also, what concerned and disappointed me a lot is that there are not specially silent being mirrorless, and that is another serious downside to me. The Pentax KX is far from perfect, but IMO, a more solid tool in a reasonable sized package.

Now, the Sony seems to be much more than a fancy gadget even if the design seems another marketing eccentricity. Looking carefully at the features, I'm very impressed to be honest, and I will follow this Sony in the next few months very seriously.
Or...waiting for a Nikon or Pentax http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/...ews_289300.html proposal (well possibly Pentax is going to join the micro world instead of taking advantage of their pancackes line. sounds to me like a Leica deją vu...)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 09:55:33 am by fredjeang »
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hsmeets

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« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2010, 07:00:09 am »

we have to wait and see if sony will come up with more small/compact primes then this pancake.......i;m pessimistic about that.
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BJL

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« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2010, 11:16:43 am »

Quote from: John Camp
One thing I'm curious about: will their lenses cover FF?
We already have a fairly official answer ("NO") from Andy Westlake, a lens tester and reviewer at DPReview, but we hardly needed it: at focal lengths like 16mm of the prime and 18mm at the wide end of the two zooms, covering the far larger 42mm image circle diameter of 35mm film format requires a far more difficult ultra-wide angle lens design, guaranteed to make the lenses far bigger, heavier and more expensive than ones optimized for the format in use with its 28mm diagonal. So it would be crazinesss to impose that excess image circle on the lenses.

My mind boggles at people who continue to speculate that a mainstream product whose success depends on being competitive on cost, size and weight would be thus hobbled for the sake of compatibility with possible future niche product, which is what anything in 35mm film format is and always will be in digital. For one thing, if Sony ever does launch another larger format mirrorless system, it would make more money by selling new, format-optimized lenses to the "camera super-sizers" than by struggling now to allow future larger format customers to buy less lenses.

As to the lens mount being bigger than needed for the current 28mm diagonal format: I do not think so, once one allows flexibility in design for larger aperture lenses and the additional lens design constraints of electronic sensors compared to film. The mount is only 6mm larger than m4/3 mount in both inside and outside diameters, which is the same as the difference in image circle size for the two formats, so by ratio of mount diameter to sensor diagonal, the E-mount is in fact slightly smaller than m4/3 mount. And I do not see many people speculating that m4/3 mount is oversized in order to accommodate future sensor supersizing.

Also, comparison to Leica M mount are misleading: that mount is based around very different more compact optical designs from the film era that require some wide angle lenses to have exit pupil too low to work well with most electronic sensors: witness the struggle that Leica has to go to with off-set microlenses, and first omitting the IR filter on the M8 and then using one on the M9 so thin that it is a bit sub-optimal, while still not offering lenses as wide as every SLR systems offers.
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BJL

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« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2010, 11:37:36 am »

Quote from: douglasf13
For shooters like me, the NEX is by far the smallest option, and the APS-C IQ is welcome. I have zero interest in using zooms on a camera like this. It's all about primes, IMO.
If your sole interest is is a single, slow, wide angle ("24mm equivalent") focal length option, then the current NEX offerings could be a good choice. Though at f/2.8 vs f/1.7 for the Panasonic 20mm prime, you get less DOF control and slower light gathering and need to use ISO speeds about 1 1/3 stop (2.7x) higher in low light situations, so the two dominant advantages of using a somewhat larger sensor are more than cancelled out.

And let us not predict future noise level performance by comparing noise levels between the brand new Sony APS-C HD sensor and the late 2008 vintage sensor in most m4/3 bodes: even the somewhat 2009 vintage G1H sensor shows that Panasonic continues to improve its designs since then. For future predictions I would estimate a roughly 2/3 stop difference based on sensor area ratio. I would also predict a new 4/3 sensor in new models coming sometime this year, using the column parallel ADC as in the 14MP GH1 and Sony EXMOR sensors, but not used in the older 12MP 4/3 sensors.

Of course Sony might make faster primes at more often used longer focal lengths like maybe a normal 38mm, about f/1.7 ... but then the _camera_ (with lens) will get bigger. Accept that low light handling and shallow DOF options at equal FOV are primarily limited by lens front element size and weight (more precisely by effective aperture diameter, aka entrance pupil diameter), and size/weight/performance comparisons between systems and formats become much clearer.
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Ben Rubinstein

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« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2010, 11:47:50 am »

Thing is that with the target audience for these cameras (the real target), primes are very very low on the wish list. Fast primes, don't hold your breath. Now where is Pentax's version, they already have the nice pancake primes!  
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DarkPenguin

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MFT: the decline of the empire
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2010, 12:13:21 pm »

Quote from: Ben Rubinstein
Thing is that with the target audience for these cameras (the real target), primes are very very low on the wish list. Fast primes, don't hold your breath. Now where is Pentax's version, they already have the nice pancake primes!  

m43 already has my favorite lens ever - the pancake prime 20mm f1.7.
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fredjeang

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MFT: the decline of the empire
« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2010, 12:17:21 pm »

Quote from: Ben Rubinstein
Thing is that with the target audience for these cameras (the real target), primes are very very low on the wish list. Fast primes, don't hold your breath. Now where is Pentax's version, they already have the nice pancake primes!  
But wait Ben, according to rumors, Pentax would join the micro 4/3 soon !
I'm going to sell my K pancackes in e-bay soon
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douglasf13

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« Reply #49 on: May 13, 2010, 03:31:01 pm »

Quote from: BJL
If your sole interest is is a single, slow, wide angle ("24mm equivalent") focal length option, then the current NEX offerings could be a good choice. Though at f/2.8 vs f/1.7 for the Panasonic 20mm prime, you get less DOF control and slower light gathering and need to use ISO speeds about 1 1/3 stop (2.7x) higher in low light situations, so the two dominant advantages of using a somewhat larger sensor are more than cancelled out.

And let us not predict future noise level performance by comparing noise levels between the brand new Sony APS-C HD sensor and the late 2008 vintage sensor in most m4/3 bodes: even the somewhat 2009 vintage G1H sensor shows that Panasonic continues to improve its designs since then. For future predictions I would estimate a roughly 2/3 stop difference based on sensor area ratio. I would also predict a new 4/3 sensor in new models coming sometime this year, using the column parallel ADC as in the 14MP GH1 and Sony EXMOR sensors, but not used in the older 12MP 4/3 sensors.

Of course Sony might make faster primes at more often used longer focal lengths like maybe a normal 38mm, about f/1.7 ... but then the _camera_ (with lens) will get bigger. Accept that low light handling and shallow DOF options at equal FOV are primarily limited by lens front element size and weight (more precisely by effective aperture diameter, aka entrance pupil diameter), and size/weight/performance comparisons between systems and formats become much clearer.

  I'm only interested in adapting primes at this point.   Granted, Sony did say a couple of months ago that Zeiss primes are coming.

  As far as noise levels, this EXMOR in the NEX is similar to last summer's A550, which is a step up from any m4/3.  Sensor size matters.

  Regardless of camera size, I have been waiting for a good APS-C alternative to m4/3 to compliment my A900 (the Samsung isn't as good as I was hoping, and the mount is too small for M lenses.)  Going from A900 to m4/3 was too much of a stretch for me, but APS-C falls nicely in the middle. Assuming 35mm M lenses work well enough, I'm just gonna throw a ZM 35 f2 on the NEX and be done with it.
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BJL

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« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2010, 04:43:14 pm »

Quote from: douglasf13
Sensor size matters.
Yes, as I said: the size difference would, with equal technology, lead to about a 2/3 stop advantage for NEX over m4/3 ... significantly less than the 1 1/3 stop speed disadvantage of the only NEX prime announced so far compared to the Panasonic 20/1.7.

As to talk of Zeiss lenses:
(1) If Sony mentioned plans for Zeiss branded lenses for NEX bodies earlier, it is strange that Sony made no mention of them with the NEX announcement.
(2) When it comes to judging the quality of a lens, I do not give a rat dropping for the brand name printed on the lens barrel; the best lenses from any of the established Japanese camera makers are better than many of the mainstream priced AF lenses bearing prestige brands like Zeiss, Leica and Schneider-Kreuznach.  Show me the quality of the particular lens, not the brand.
(3) If you wish to play the "prestigious German lens brand name" game, m4/3 and 4/3 have some lenses with Leica branding ... but they are no better than their Olympus counterparts, and in the case of the macro lenses, the Leica 45mm is overall worse than the Olympus 50mm. And as for the Schneider-Kreuznach branded lenses for Samsung DSLRs ...
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douglasf13

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« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2010, 07:35:42 pm »

Quote from: BJL
Yes, as I said: the size difference would, with equal technology, lead to about a 2/3 stop advantage for NEX over m4/3 ... significantly less than the 1 1/3 stop speed disadvantage of the only NEX prime announced so far compared to the Panasonic 20/1.7.

As to talk of Zeiss lenses:
(1) If Sony mentioned plans for Zeiss branded lenses for NEX bodies earlier, it is strange that Sony made no mention of them with the NEX announcement.
(2) When it comes to judging the quality of a lens, I do not give a rat dropping for the brand name printed on the lens barrel; the best lenses from any of the established Japanese camera makers are better than many of the mainstream priced AF lenses bearing prestige brands like Zeiss, Leica and Schneider-Kreuznach.  Show me the quality of the particular lens, not the brand.
(3) If you wish to play the "prestigious German lens brand name" game, m4/3 and 4/3 have some lenses with Leica branding ... but they are no better than their Olympus counterparts, and in the case of the macro lenses, the Leica 45mm is overall worse than the Olympus 50mm. And as for the Schneider-Kreuznach branded lenses for Samsung DSLRs ...

  Well, of course the Panny lens has a speed advantage.  We're talking a near-standard lens vs. wide angle.  Two different uses.

  My simple point about the Zeiss lens possibility is that Sony generally reserves the Zeiss or "G" moniker for their better lenses, and the lenses with the NEX seem to be entry level.  There will surely be more lenses to come.  I could care less what the name on the barrel is.  That being said, if you're comparing the quality of the ZA line to the pseudo-Leica and Schneider lines for Panny/Samsung, you're way off base.  

  Regardless, I've been talking to a lot to m4/3 and RD-1 users about the possibility of M mount lenses on NEX, and it sounds like a 35mm lens is a real possibility (it's the only lens I need on such a system.)  It's all going to come down to the exit pupil distance to sensor and the thickness of the sensor "toppings" in the NEX.  m4/3 has particularly thick sensor toppings, which causes real issues with alternative lenses.  I may end up with a Voigtlander 35 f1.4 Nokton on the NEX, but we'll see what works.
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BJL

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« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2010, 09:40:42 pm »

Quote from: douglasf13
Well, of course the Panny lens has a speed advantage.  We're talking a near-standard lens vs. wide angle.  Two different uses.
Agreed: my main point is that the only case in which a NEX camera is smaller than a MFT camera is with that short, slow lens, or no lens at all. So talk of NEX offering smaller cameras is rather misleading.  With possible future faster prime lenses, NEX cameras will offer more speed with less DOF and greater size and weight then MFT alternatives, as is already the case with the NEX zooms. So, the usual pros and cons of a larger format, and customers will choose their trade-offs.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 09:46:08 pm by BJL »
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douglasf13

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« Reply #53 on: May 14, 2010, 01:32:19 am »

I completely agree. Once both formats reach their full potential in small size, the m4/3 will be smaller. If anything, NEX will probably push m4/3 to see what they can do, size-wise. For me, giving up fullframe IQ for a small aps-c camera is doable. M4/3 is a bit more of a compromise. I guess we each have to weigh what IQ to size ratio is appropriate for our own shooting.
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deejjjaaaa

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« Reply #54 on: May 14, 2010, 10:26:54 am »

Quote from: BJL
Yes, as I said: the size difference would, with equal technology, lead to about a 2/3 stop advantage for NEX over m4/3 ... significantly less than the 1 1/3 stop speed disadvantage of the only NEX prime announced so far compared to the Panasonic 20/1.7.

Samsung has 30/2.0 pancake for NX, it gives an idea what Sony might do next size-wise...
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fredjeang

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MFT: the decline of the empire
« Reply #55 on: May 14, 2010, 10:45:08 am »

Quote from: douglasf13
I completely agree. Once both formats reach their full potential in small size, the m4/3 will be smaller. If anything, NEX will probably push m4/3 to see what they can do, size-wise. For me, giving up fullframe IQ for a small aps-c camera is doable. M4/3 is a bit more of a compromise. I guess we each have to weigh what IQ to size ratio is appropriate for our own shooting.
That's what I thought.
But look, 4/3 was smaller and after decade of devellopment they did not produced smaller gear than the competition, at least not small enough to make a big difference, yes they produced a poorer image quality than the competition.
So for now, no fear for Oly-Pana, but in a couple of years, when there will be on the market more or less same sized gear with bigger sensors, what do you think the consumer will do?
Sony can release at any time very fast pancackes in a tiny package. This is a big company. When Nikon and Canon will enter the game, and they will, and probably will with a very good first product, let's see how the consumer (us) will react...
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feppe

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« Reply #56 on: May 14, 2010, 12:05:14 pm »

Quote from: fredjeang
Sony can release at any time very fast pancackes in a tiny package. This is a big company.

This is turning into dpreview...

fredjeang

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MFT: the decline of the empire
« Reply #57 on: May 14, 2010, 12:26:23 pm »

Quote from: feppe
This is turning into dpreview...
As I don't read them I don't know what you mean, but my point was: I don't think Sony has enter the game for fun, and if they realized that this niche users want faster pancackes they can release very easily such optics, and they won't waste market parts. They have the structure to play and win.
Canon and Nikon will not stand still, and these are not specially known for kidding. What I meant is that the competitors who will enter this market now are really serious competitors. This is nor gona be the Leica X or the DP1 stuff.
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feppe

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« Reply #58 on: May 14, 2010, 01:44:54 pm »

Quote from: fredjeang
As I don't read them I don't know what you mean, but my point was: I don't think Sony has enter the game for fun, and if they realized that this niche users want faster pancackes they can release very easily such optics, and they won't waste market parts. They have the structure to play and win.
Canon and Nikon will not stand still, and these are not specially known for kidding. What I meant is that the competitors who will enter this market now are really serious competitors. This is nor gona be the Leica X or the DP1 stuff.

I meant DPReview forums are filled with mostly useless conjecture rather than meaningful discussion.

Since we started: I think you're reading Sony's NEX wrong. The feature set and price of both NEX3/5 places it securely in a lower-tier market segment than current MFT offerings, and as such MFT and NEX are not direct competitors. Further, making high-quality fast primes is more expensive for NEX 1.5 crop sensor than the much smaller MFT sensor. Finally, as has been pointed out by others, lenses with similar FOV than their MFT equivalent are larger, making the camera larger than a similarly equipped MFT camera.

Therefore I can't see fast primes being in demand in the NEX niche right now. Primes are hard to sell to prosumers with dSLRs with so many "good enough" zooms out there, and they're even harder sell to enthusiasts and snapshooters on a camera like NEX which is more about price and size than IQ.

Whether Sony has any plans to expand to the higher tiers to compete more with MFT, and whether Canon or Nikon see enough ROI in the segment remains to be seen. The high pricing of E-Px and Panny MFTs compared to APS-C cameras, combined with the low price of E-PL1 suggests they have very lucrative margins in the high end which might draw CaNikon in - but since there already three competing systems in the segment (MFT, NEX and I think Samsung has a similar system coming) I doubt they'll want to enter yet another crowded and untested segment until it has proven to have wings. MFT sales have shot up like a rocket in Europe in the last year, but it takes a year or two for us to see if there's staying power, or whether they will be the camera equivalent of a netbook (ie. small and cheap but not enough power and ergonomics are questionable).

I've already voted with my euros by buying into MFT and am very happy with the choice - hoping there will be more high IQ primes in the future.

Ok, enough speculation...

BJL

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« Reply #59 on: May 14, 2010, 01:54:39 pm »

Quote from: fredjeang
That's what I thought.
But look, 4/3 was smaller and after decade of devellopment they did not produced smaller gear than the competition, at least not small enough to make a big difference, yes they produced a poorer image quality than the competition.
Firstly, are you once again looking only at the size of bodies, or only with lenses of shortish focal lengths? Because as soon as you look at complete cameras with commonly used lenses, in particular lenses with telephoto reach significantly beyond normal, the lens size becomes the main factor in camera size, and APS-C format requires focal lengths about one third longer, leading to a significant size difference. (And when it comes to my favorite lens, the 50-200/2.8-3.5, the APS-C lenses needed to realize the low light advantage of a larger sensor would be about 70-300mm and still f/2.8-3.5, and nothing close to that exists, at least in my price range, and any such lens would be far heavier and more expensive.)

What is more, the size issues with 4/3 SLR lenses at shorter focal lengths are in large part due to the lens design constraints of the 38mm lens mount depth, so much longer than the 22mm sensor diagonal that it requires some highly retro-focal lens designs. That issue completely goes away with any of the mirrorless systems, as shown already by the size of current m4/3 zoom lenses compared to their NX and NEX counterparts: Olympus 14-42mm vs Samsung or Sony 18-55mm; Panasonic 14-140mm vs Sony 18-200mm. In all these comparisons, the f-stop ranges are the same, so that comparisons at equal ISO speed are legitimate as comparisons of low light performance.
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