Since I've switched from m4/3 to Sony FE, I felt like I needed a focal length longer than the kit 28-70mm covers, so I upgraded to the 24-240mm for the extra reach. Previously my zoom needs were met by the Panasonic 45-175mm. Crop factor helps m4/3 a LOT in the telephoto ranges in that lenses can still stay pretty small and light but have a long focal length. The Panasonic 45-175mm was a great example of this, including an internal zoom mechanism so the lens didn't even extend. So before I shipped that lens off to its next owner, I put these two to the test. This was a simple test that I did just handheld, so the results are not particularly scientific. However, the big question in my mind is, "does the Sony give me as much reach?" and I think a basic conclusion can be made here.

First, a quick physical comparison of the two lenses and bodies:

It's immediately obvious that the 24-240mm is quite a bit larger, but in handling the weight of the Sony lens is most apparent. This thing is a beast for a mirrorless camera! So now that I've added all that extra glass, let's see the two in action. First, the framing of 350mm (at 4:3 ratio) vs 240mm (at 3:2):

And now compared in the center at 1:1:

As the final 1:1 comparison shows, the resolution here comes out quite similar. Despite the Sony's 240mm field of view vs. the Panasonic's 350mm equivalent field of view, the Sony manages to catch up with its higher 24MP sensor (vs. the GF1's 12MP). Viewing 1:1, it might not even be immediately obvious which is which. Ultimately, I think the Sony (on the right) produces a slightly better resolution with better color and look to the file.

Outside of just the final image result, there are of course some pros/cons to each setup. In the m4/3 system's defence, the GF1 is nearly 6 years old, and I have no doubt that the 16MP m4/3 models or the recent 20MP GX8 would do even better here, possibly out-resolving the Sony. The GF1+45-175 is also FAR lighter and more compact--m4/3 has a real advantage when it comes to telephoto reach at a reasonable size and weight. And I'm not even going to get into a price comparison between the two!

The Sony 24-240mm enjoys some advantages though that are worth mentioning as well. The zoom range with this lens provides pretty much the most flexible range outside of a fixed-lens superzoom like the RX10. A comparison to the Panasonic 14-140mm would have been more appropriate, however I think the Sony would have been even more ahead in reach then. The Sony 24-240mm is especially nice for a 10x super-zoom lens in that it starts at 24mm instead of 28mm like every other superzoom lens for ANY system (seriously, I'd be interested to hear of another 10x interchangeable lens that starts at 24mm). But since we're comparing reach here, it's also worth pointing out the obviously wider angle of view at 240mm vs. 350mm. This is especially nice for a zoom, since it is much easier to frame, follow, and AF on an object in the center of the frame while allowing for some room on the edges. Here, the higher resolution Sony sensor can allow you to take a wider image and crop more efficiently.

Even with all of this in mind, I'm still not 100% sold on the 24-240mm as the lens for me, mainly due to the size and weight (and small aperture). It is no doubt a very nice, flexible lens for the Sony FE system. However, I can't help but think maybe there's something in between these two options that would satisfy more. For now, I'm giving it a shot for a while and seeing how often it comes out of my bag. I'll have to test it out in some different situations before forming a final opinion.

Now after all of that, it's probably worth ending with some more fun shots taken with the Sony 24-240mm!