I have to cover client events with only available light and no tripod. For me this means 12,000+ ISO. To my mind, the only way to do this is with a full frame sensors. Thus far, Canon and Sony have delivered images that did not need extra noise reduction in post. I tried a 4/3 and had very poor results.
Your topic has prompted me to look into it. This must be the reason your getting more noise using a 4/3 sensor.
Compared to a larger sensor with equivalent pixel count, a Four Thirds sensor gathers disproportionately less light per pixel. Not only are the individual photosites smaller, but each loses more of its total area to support circuitry and edge shading than a larger photosite would. With less captured light to work with, each photosite requires additional amplification, with associated higher noise as well as reduced dynamic range. A telecentric lens design can mitigate this problem, but the sensor remains more sensitive to the angle of incoming light, and has more pronounced image corner light falloff.
Steve, my business partner and I bought our Lumix because we loved the size, reviews and weight. It was fine for daylight stuff but not low light situations where I earn most of my money. Typically I am shooting hand-held with a 100-400.
I haven’t bought into smaller digital cameras yet. Luckily so far, the weight of my gear is not an issue. I see why your trying to go lighter. I think the 100-400mm lenses are typically fairly beasty. I love the range but I don’t know of any fast models, they are typically pretty slow right?
I used to use two cameras when shooting events. My last pair before going mirrorless was a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Canon 90D. I used a EF 24-105 IS on the 5d full frame sensor and a 70-200 on the APS-C crop frame sensor. This worked out well for me for the reach, and the slow EF 24-105 had IS so not so bad. I usually would take a hand held flash if the location was to dark for the slow lens. Now I only have one camera, the Canon R5. I had the notion I would use the 5D as a second body but the functionality of the two cameras was to different so I sold the 5D. Now I’ll have to rent another body until the R5 gets updated and I can buy the new model. I have very fast lenses now, and they are so much appreciated! Sorry I think I got a little off topic! 🙂
I use one body on mission-critical stuff like client shoots and workshops. Whenever I bought a new body, the replaced one became my back up and the bac-back up was then sold. I went through the Canon 5D’s this way and and now doing it with the Sony A7’s. Staying in a series meant I had to learn the least new things in the menu. I am lazy.
I tried a bridge camera on my last trip – 1″ sensor, fast lens, 24 – 600 mm equivalent (Sony RX 10 iv). I loved always having the lens I needed. I didn’t love not having the sharpness of a full frame camera. I’m still searching for perfection, but will have to settle for improving my technical skills to create my own perfection.