Very often I can read on the internet, that MFT or other systems with a smaller sensor are not as good as APS-C or other bigger sensor sizes just because of the inherent smaller sensor size. Of course there are differences. Of course bigger sensors have advantages regarding tonality, dynamic range, noise etc.
But the question is, does this matter nowadays at all? And if yes, when?
I think we all can agree that the sensor technology is very mature nowadays. The level of "good enough" for 99% of the users is already reached. For ca. 70% of the users already with 1 inch sensors and the bigger you want to go in sensor size depends on what you are shooting and how big you want to print.
If you want to photograph a black cat in a dark cole mine, you need obviously a fullframe sensor. If you want to have noise free images at very high ISO settings, too.
But how many of us want to do that really?
Did you check already in Lightroom, how many of your photos are done with ISO numbers above ISO 1600? And if you look at those photos with ISO number of 3200 and higher, what was the reason why you had this high ISO number? Was it really necessary?
I looked at my images and I came to the conclusion, that with very few exceptions, I do not shoot higher than ISO 1600. Surprisingly In most cases not higher than ISO 800. The more resoltion my camera had, the higher the ISO number was becauss I needed a higher shutter speed to make sure everything is tack sharp with 36MP. High MP sensor is not always an advantage, I can tell you
The other few exceptions have been necessary because of lack of image stabilization or just because I needed a very high shutter speed of 1/1000s and faster for indoor sport events, which I no longer do.
Having realized that, this gave me the opportunity to rethink my current gear and I made some drastic shifts towards smaller sensor formats.
There is a site called "Imaging Resource" which does a lot of gear reviews. Among others, they make test prints on inkjet printers to see how big you can print with each camera they tested and how good the print result will look like with different IS settings. I find the results very interesting.
As an example I show you an exverpt of a print test made with the Pansonic Lumix GX807GX85 (microfourthird system) and one made with teh Nikon D7200 (APS-C sensor).
The results of the APS-C sensor camera is of course better. But under which circumstances and at what print size until which ISO setting? Look at this:
So here we are not talking anymore theoretically or from one fanboy to the other. Here we see real life results. Not at 100% photoshop, but in a print.
I have only an Epson A3+ printer. And my house is not big enough for all the prints I would love to hang on my walls. I do not know how it is about you. But A3+ (13x19 inches) will be my biggest print size forever. Most prints of mine will be significantly smaller. Not enough empty space on my walls
In this screenshot from IR you can see what it means if you put the bottle neck on the prints size and a borderline for the maximum ISO setting you will use in 95% of your images. For me its A3+ and ISO 1600.
Will the system you are interested in be able to achieve the print quality you need? (not what you theoretically want).
I would assume you want to have at least "very good" image quality, right? If that is correct, you can achieve this already with a "small" sensor size of the MFT system, if you do not want to print larger than A3+ and stick at or below ISO 1600.
Of course you can print larger. You can upscale the image in Photoshop etc. and still have very good image quality at larger print sizes. But the print-tests of IR show you the results without doing any photo retouching.
Do not get fooled by differences which you can measure or which you can see on teh screen at 100% magnification. Look for visible differences in your desired print size.