The above image is why I'm not bothered about the lack of pixels in m4/3 (compared to some other systems) It consists of 76 (yes that is 76) images shot in three rows with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 II plus Panasonic 100-300 zoom and stitched together in Photoshop CC using the Photomerge function. As you might imagine the resolution and level of detail are jaw dropping. And the blow up below will give you an idea of that.
I'm using m4/3 as my first choice interchangeable lens system more and more these days and this and the next few posts in this 'mini-series' are going to be explaining why. I used to use a combination of different mirrorless cameras, but a while ago I stopped using both Fuji and Sony and have gone back to what I believe is not only the first mirrorless system, but I believe the most innovative and the most useful for what I do, m4/3.
I shot the above images (and a whole lot more like it) just to show what can be achieved. The stitched image above was just under 100MP !!! in size. Way too big for the picture libraries I upload to (most have an upper as well as a lower limit with regard to size,) so I reduced it to around 56MP. The Olympus happily shot all 76 images at speed and with no buffer problems. However, the stitching, even using my super spec. Windows desktop PC took around ½ hour to complete. Since I shot a lot of these during the afternoon and I came back with just under 800 images from about an hours visit, you'll not be surprised to learn that I will be picking up an 8TB external hard drive later today!
Multi stitching high resolution images is something I've been doing for years, which has made my choices of the cameras I use less dependant on the number of pixels their sensor had and more about how I like using them. The vast majority of the images I take and sell are travel images of landscape and architecture so I'm able to use this technique, with no problems of subject movement. I have however also used the same thing for some purposes you might find surprising. I used to do this for group shots at the weddings I shot and I've also used it for images containing moving trains and other images with movement. It all depends on getting the timing right.
For me it's just another instance of how m4/3 can 'punch above it's weight' and deliver incredible image quality. These days I've decided that life's too short to carry around gear I don't like using and I'm much more inclined to trust my instincts more than I used to and forget about what I think I SHOULD be using rather that what I want to use. I've always loved m4/3, the cameras and the lenses and the GX8 and Olympus Air have confirmed to me yet again that this is the system that embraces digital photography and Is only to willing to innovate in a way that is genuinely useful photographically. The GX8 in particular is such a complete hybrid camera that I wonder sometimes what exactly other manufacturers think they are doing. And the Olympus OMD group of cameras are churning out DSLR power performance in small light packages.
And while I haven't got round to selling it yet, a lot of my other gear sitting on the shelf is 'out the door' as far as I'm concerned. Sony and Fuji have already gone and a few more famous brands may be following. As I indicated this is the first of a series of articles about why m4/3 is my favourite format and camera system and the one I keep coming back to over and over again. And if my Leicas are my 'personal' cameras then my m4/3 gear is rapidly becoming my go to professional system. Years ago I wrote some posts about how I wanted to 'go pro' with m4/3 but never had the bottle to do it. So have I finally followed my instincts and done just that? Well watch this space and all will be revealed.