Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?  (Read 6618 times)

jeremyrh

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 644
m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« on: December 16, 2016, 10:24:20 AM »

The question arises because I am visiting a remote bit of Norway in the near future and wondering what to take. Getting there requires 3 plane journeys, at least one probably on a small plane. Once there I will be humping up and down hills. Obviously it would be nicer to just take my OMD-EM1 kit and leave my Nikon D800 kit in the cupboard. But ....  I am going there to take pictures, so maybe I should take the kit that gives the better pictures (DR, resolution). Or maybe the difference is actually small outside of pixel-peeping. Or maybe not. Or ... ?
Logged

Hywel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 294
    • http://www.restrainedelegance.com
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2016, 11:06:27 AM »

As usual, it depends  ;)

I took a GH4 to Norway and got some good prints at 13" x 19" from the trip, but I felt the lack of larger sensor trying to shoot the Aurora and I don't think the files would stand being printed too much larger for my tastes. But man was it good to have such a small and lightweight shooting kit with excellent battery life.

I bought a Sony A7RII not long after the trip which has since supplanted the GH4 (and the Hasselblad) for all my landscape work. I still use the GH4 for video and especially timelapse. And I'd take it on a trip if it was going to be very remote, I guess, but in fact I've hardly shot a stills frame with it since getting the Sony.

Is taking the heavy camera kit going to stop you getting shots because you haven't got to the top of the hill, where you might have done with the m4/3? If so, the best camera is the one you have with you- take the Olympus. Or are you going to be annoyed forever after by going on a probably-expensive trip and not coming back with the best image quality your kit cupboard can provide?

And how abstemious are you capable of being with lenses? If you can cover your focal range with a small number of lenses, maybe the penalty for the Nikon isn't so bad, but if you like to carry around a sack of f/1.4 primes, maybe the m/43 kit bag is the way to go  :D

Hope you have a good trip! I must get back to Norway soon!

Cheers, Hywel





Logged

Ken Bennett

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1701
    • http://www.kenbennettphoto.com
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 11:36:48 AM »

I owned a complete m4/3 kit, various cameras culminating in a GH2. I liked the lenses and the files were decent at low ISOs. I do agree that 13x19 is probably my limit for printing anything with fine detail, though I once made a 16x20 print of a portrait from half of the image area from a GF1 shot. Looked fantastic. :)

So, it depends. You are in a good position to test the two side by side and make prints at whatever size you want, and see what sort of quality you get.

If it were me, I would go for portability, but then I leave my big Canon at home all the time in favor of the Fujis, so I've already made that choice.

Hope you have a great trip.
Logged
Equipment: a camera and some lenses. Images: Work photos. Personal photos.

TonyVentourisPhotography

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 275
    • Unlocking Olympus
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 01:36:50 PM »

It is going to be different for everyone.  It depends what your goals are.  It also depends on your technique.  I have 24" prints hanging on the wall from a 12mp FujiX100 that look excellent.  As far as Olympus goes for travel, the 12-40 and a telephoto, or the 12-100mm lens are hard to beat.  In terms of lenses, they are absolutely excellent, and focus at 1:3 macro.  I leave the macro lens at home most of the time now.  You may want an ND filter though depending what you do.  I shoot at ISO200 at F/7.1 for all my landscape work.  That is the ideal.  I can push to F/11 if needed and its not giving anything notable up. 

In terms of printing, the latest m43 sensors print well.  The colors are great and the rendering actually comes out better looking than the digital file.  I just printed two 20" metal prints for a client from an E-M1 shot at 3200ISO.  It was a twilight exterior of a building put together with the milky way rising behind in.  Two shots combined, and in print there is no noise to see. 

The E-M1mkII native file at 300dpi is approx. 13x17 inches.  Now that is as shot from the camera.  Someone mentioned 13x19 being the max for these cameras...that doesn't even make sense to me.  it would imply the files coming out of camera aren't good enough to print from at virtually native size. (again, subjective)  A 30" print should be no problem from a native file from that camera.  Its barely 2x enlargement.  It will look good.  I know because I have printed plenty of images, and my clients have printed as well. (my clients from 16mp sensors, as I have not delivered client work on the Em1mkII yet) The file sizes coming from the APSC sony's and Fujis are no different.  Nor from the 36mm 24mp sensors.  It's just not that different in real world use.  At least in my findings.  Yes, 50mp will show a world of difference at 100% on screen.  And you can crop a bunch.  However, at 24" and below, the printed difference is so slight.  And the working difference, and lenses need to get the best at that point no longer made sense for me if I'm not getting paid to haul it, or getting paid to pay someone else to haul it.

You need to treat the smaller camera just as any other.  Just because it is small doesn't mean you can skimp on technique and support.  I think that is what trips people up.  Yes the new IS is miraculous...but it's not physics bending.  If you want a vibration-less shot that maximizes the potential of the data capture, you still need to lock down, set a timer, stop moving your feet, and wait.  And ensure your tripod is beefy enough to suppress the vibrations of the conditions you are in. 

I personally gave up larger formats in my nature and landscape shooting, and virtually all my personal shooting.  The difference the extra resolution made at prints under 30" was just not enough of a justification.  Especially because no larger camera allows me to work as efficiently and effectively as an E-M1.  (again, personal preference)  It is really a pleasure to a have a 300mm F/2.8 equivalent that has close focus in a 1.6lb day pack.  It changes the way you work.  Just my opinion.  The Sony A7rII and two lenses might do it for you as well.  Smaller...not as light...but lighter.

Whatever you choose, make sure you can use it with gloves!  These small cameras don't always make that easy depending which model you go with!
Logged
Tony
Unlockingolympus.com (ebooks & blog on getting the most from your OMD & Pen)
tonyventourisphotography.com (Commercial Photography)

kers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1568
    • Pieter Kers
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2016, 07:28:42 PM »

...  It is really a pleasure to a have a 300mm F/2.8 equivalent that has close focus in a 1.6lb day pack.  It changes the way you work.  Just my opinion.  ...

i have a nikon d810 and the 300mm f4 PF  - it weight 800 grams ( 1.6 LB?) and has a stunning image quality... even at F4...
( one of the new barriers Nikon has broken when it comes to lens design)
just saying...
So choose what you think you need.  I am sure you already know what that is.
I walk up and down the mountain with all my camera stuff+ tent + cooking stuff.
never had a problem.





Logged
Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu

BartvanderWolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7162
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2016, 09:38:01 PM »

The question arises because I am visiting a remote bit of Norway in the near future and wondering what to take. Getting there requires 3 plane journeys, at least one probably on a small plane. Once there I will be humping up and down hills. Obviously it would be nicer to just take my OMD-EM1 kit and leave my Nikon D800 kit in the cupboard. But ....  I am going there to take pictures, so maybe I should take the kit that gives the better pictures (DR, resolution). Or maybe the difference is actually small outside of pixel-peeping. Or maybe not. Or ... ?

Hi,

Well, as usual, your input requirements depend on your output requirements.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

jeremyrh

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 644
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2016, 08:45:52 AM »

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. In fact I think this sums it up:


So choose what you think you need.  I am sure you already know what that is.

I think I need the Nikon. It's a long way to go and a lot of money to spend to come home without getting as good images as I could have!!
Logged

stever

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1189
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2016, 09:39:36 AM »

i have 43 and Canon FF and that's the conclusion i usually come to - for low light and dynamic range as much or more than resolution.
Logged

PeterAit

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2658
    • Peter Aitken Photographs
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2016, 09:51:47 AM »

The question arises because I am visiting a remote bit of Norway in the near future and wondering what to take. Getting there requires 3 plane journeys, at least one probably on a small plane. Once there I will be humping up and down hills. Obviously it would be nicer to just take my OMD-EM1 kit and leave my Nikon D800 kit in the cupboard. But ....  I am going there to take pictures, so maybe I should take the kit that gives the better pictures (DR, resolution). Or maybe the difference is actually small outside of pixel-peeping. Or maybe not. Or ... ?

Yes, depending on the size prints you want and how much of a sharpness nazi you are. I can get great 22 x 30 " prints from my 16MP EM1 using  excellent optics, careful technique, and appropriate post-processing.
Logged
Peter
"Photographic technique should always be a means to an end and never the end itself."

petermfiore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1184
    • Peter Fiore Fine Art
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2016, 10:33:48 AM »

If your technique is excellent, Stitching could speak to some of your needs for larger files...it has for me.

Peter
Logged
www.peterfiore.com

Canvas Colors Brushes  

A life in Art >  www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRsNaNM0ZeU

kers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1568
    • Pieter Kers
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 11:09:32 AM »

If your technique is excellent, Stitching could speak to some of your needs for larger files...it has for me.

Peter
+1
The photo above is made with stitched 50mm images.
If you have a good technique you can make very precise stitches without a tripod as long as the subject is far away as is the case with this photo.
here  a detail showing the quality...


Logged
Pieter Kers
www.beeld.nu

luxborealis

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2369
    • luxBorealis.com - photography by Terry McDonald
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2016, 02:23:15 PM »

To answer your original question...Yes it is!

If you've already decided, then, so be it. If you're not yet firm, consider this perspective...

FWIW, earlier this year, I made a conscious decision to leave behind my D800E system of 3 zooms (between 18mm and 200mm) + 300mm in favour of a 1" sensor Sony RX10iii. Last year, I took the whole kit with me to the Galápagos and, while not regretting it (I'm thrilled with the photos!), I was frequently juggling lenses and carrying significantly more weight in equipment than I really needed.

In Iceland, with lighter gear, scrambling up and down volcanoes and glaciers was so much more pleasurable. I also found I needed a tripod far less than with the FF gear. I wasn't shaking with exhaustion ( ;)), but also, with the smaller sensor, I could use  f/5.6 to get decent depth of field, so could use faster shutter speeds. Yes, my DR was less, but a couple of HDR exposures took care of that. And, when the amazingly dramatic, can't-be-missed trophy shot appeared, I shot multiple "stitchable" frames to get the IQ needed for really big (larger than 16") prints. Exactly what Phil suggested.

You see, it all boils down to what you intend to do with the photos. Do you have professional uses for the photos already lined up? Are you selling through a gallery? Will photos of backwoods Norway be saleable in volumes great enough in your home country to warrant carrying the FF gear? Or are these shots for your wall, a photo book, your website, etc.; a few "trophy" shots plus extras to remember the amazing experience of being there? Let's face it; the gear many photographers are carrying around right now has IQ far beyond what they will ever use, unless they are shooting professionally.

After being at this for 40 years with 35mm, 6x7, 4x5, and now digital, I'm only just now finally believing, it really isn't what your shooting with that counts, it's what you do with it. Need more DR? Shoot HDR frames and blend (responsibly!). Need greater detail? Shoot stitchable frames. The only ones you're satisfying with the FF gear are the pixel-peepers (and perhaps your own ego when everyone else shows up with FF! Equipment envy drives many of the gear purchases these days!

I'll make a few "16x20s". Side-by-side with the same shot made with FF gear, one might see a difference. But I've also learned, the only ones who really look that closely are other photographers and they sure aren't buying my work! If someone loves your work, it's because of the content, not the equipment.

If I was to "do it all again" now, I just might pick up the Oly system Kevin raved about recently. That 12-100mm zoom combined with the updated M4/3s sensor sounds just about perfect. Throw in a wider prime and a TC or 200mm and you have a great, lightweight system capable of doing everything a FF system will do.

That's my experience, anyway. Tough decision. Good luck! Sorry for blabbing on about it.

Logged
Terry McDonald - luxBorealis.com.
Flickr Account;
PhotoBlog – Read and subscribe!

BradSmith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 566
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2016, 04:50:58 PM »

I'm confused by your question regarding is it "good enough".  Since you already own both, and you're into landscape photography, I assume you have used both.  You probably have the answer in the files you've already taken.  Or, if you want, go shoot the identical scene, tripod mounted, side by side and then make a couple prints of the sizes you typically make.  Compare one to the other.  You'll have your answer.  It might be a different answer than I or someone else would get from the same images, but that doesn't matter. It is only YOUR opinion of the image quality balanced with the weight/size or lens availability differences that matter.
Brad
Logged

-chrille-

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 52
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2016, 11:12:43 AM »

Interesting question.

Can a m43 system be realistic alternative to a Canon 6D with TS-E 24LII in terms of sharpness and details? Printing in size A3+ mostly.

Are there any m43 primes in 12mm focal length with equal or better sharpness than Canon TS-E 24LII?
Logged

nma

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 296
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2016, 11:29:08 AM »

I don't know but do you know about the focus bracketing and focus staking features? Might they be used to enhance DOF in landscape, much like the effects of tilts and shifts? I frequently use stitching to increase the pixel count and field of view.
Logged

jeremyrh

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 644
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2016, 11:35:48 AM »

I'm confused by your question regarding is it "good enough". 

Ooh - good challenges! Thanks guys!

True that resolution and DR can be overcome by stitching and bracketing, though I'd prefer to get "the goods" in one shot! What to do I want to do with the images? Looking around my home I have a number of images blown up to approx metre size. Of these maybe the most impressive is a shot of yaks in Nepal. It was taken handheld with a Pana GH1 and any inspection reveals blown highlights and low resolution, but it's still a great (IMO :-)  ) picture!

I can (and will) make a test of the two outfits side by side, but I'm expecting some extremes of contrast between bright snow and ice and dark mountains and sky that I won't get in my local environment :-)  Also - I am thinking that for capturing aurora lights with long exposures I may be better off with the larger sensor.

Another issue that I am considering is the performance of batteries in cold weather and the needs of an electronic viewfinder. I know that is surmountable with a pocket full of spares :-)

Thanks again for your comments!
Logged

Jack Hogan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 624
    • Hikes -more than strolls- with my dog
Tripod needed?
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2016, 02:45:29 PM »

My take: if you need a tripod, you need the Nikon.  If you don't, you've got tons of alternatives, including a smartphone.

Cheers,
Jack
Logged

TonyVentourisPhotography

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 275
    • Unlocking Olympus
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2016, 04:18:05 PM »

Not sure About the primes in a head to head... but the 12-40 pro at 12mm produces better shots than any canon 24mm in my opinion.  I've seen this head to head in my own gear, and I'm a professional architectural photographer.  In fact my backup to my tech camera is my 12-40 at 12mm.  The canon gear stays at home.  I know a few other photographers shooting amazing interiors with the 12-40 as well.

Interesting question.

Can a m43 system be realistic alternative to a Canon 6D with TS-E 24LII in terms of sharpness and details? Printing in size A3+ mostly.

Are there any m43 primes in 12mm focal length with equal or better sharpness than Canon TS-E 24LII?
Logged
Tony
Unlockingolympus.com (ebooks & blog on getting the most from your OMD & Pen)
tonyventourisphotography.com (Commercial Photography)

John Camp

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1335
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2016, 09:39:53 PM »

The very best landscape photos, IMHO, don't come on trips, they come closer to home where you've actually spent a lot of time contemplating some specific landscape. So maybe you don't need FF quality, if you're taking tourist photos.
I went to Iraq as a reporter several years ago, carrying a D3 and the three Nikon f2.8 zooms and a couple of other specialty lenses, and it damned near killed me carrying all the required military crap along with that bag full of gear. On the other hand, I can fit my Panny GX8 body, three excellent f2.8 zooms that give me coverage from (equivalent) 14-200, the charger, and two spare batteries in a Dopp (shaving) kit, which slides into my business backpack. I would have killed to have that system in Iraq. I also have a D800, with that full Nikon system, and rarely use it. m4/3 is better than any film I ever shot, and film was basically good enough for me...YMMV.
Logged

Hywel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 294
    • http://www.restrainedelegance.com
Re: m43 - is it really (yet) a DSLR replacement for landscape work?
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2016, 05:06:45 AM »

Someone mentioned 13x19 being the max for these cameras...that doesn't even make sense to me.  it would imply the files coming out of camera aren't good enough to print from at virtually native size. (again, subjective)  A 30" print should be no problem from a native file from that camera.  Its barely 2x enlargement.  It will look good.  I know because I have printed plenty of images, and my clients have printed as well.

In fairness that's not what I said  ;)

I said I HAVE printed them at 13" x 19" - which is the largest size I regularly print to and sell at. At that size, I can't really tell the difference between GH4, Canon 7D and Sony A7RII pictures. As you point out that's 300 dpi native size.

I can tell the difference on-screen of course, especially pixel peeping. And the few times I've printed larger I notice the difference, but not at normal viewing distances.

For me, if I were printing too much larger, I'd feel the need for the "head room" of more pixels. Perhaps unnecessarily:  I'm not claiming you can't produce 20" x 30" prints from a m43 image. At 13" x 19" nothing is lost by shooting on m43. Printing too much larger than that and something is lost- it just may not be significant to you or your customers, especially at normal viewing distances.

The point I should have been making was that if you only print up to 13" x 19" or so, there's no functional difference at output resolution between shooing on a 16 megapixel m43 vs. a 42 megapixel Sony. But if you may print larger, you should factor that in to your decision.

Regards,

  Hywel





Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up