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Author Topic: comparining micro four thirds to full frame  (Read 70191 times)

HSakols

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comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« on: February 12, 2018, 12:23:29 PM »

Once again I haven't been super productive with my photography so instead of taking pictures, I'm over analyzing gear.  Last week I compared two images of the same subject taken with my Olympus EM5 and Nikon D800.  I was surprised to find out how subtle the differences are between the two files.  Yes, if I were making prints over 30 inches long, I'd get a real advantage of the full frame, but the difference in dynamic range is surprisingly small!  As someone who never prints over 20 inches long, I wonder if I 'm fooling myself with the full frame advantage.  However, I do see one advantage for me.  Controlling highlights and shadow details is much smoother using the full frame - I guess this is the dynamic range. 

Are any of you shooting full frame and not making huge prints.  Why do you stick with full frame?  It appears to me that for most images the difference is not enough to justify the added cost?
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kers

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 01:31:01 PM »

because-
i just happen to do architectural and performance/cultural work so use 6400 asa as much as 64 asa.
The d850 is for me the camera that can do both really well, and the lenses are there to do everything i need/want.


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Pieter Kers
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Guillermo Luijk

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 01:39:56 PM »

It appears to me that for most images the difference is not enough to justify the added cost?

See what happens with the FF noise advantage when matching DOF means pushing ISO:



Where are those FF super powers!?!

Regards


Enviado desde mi PRA-LX1 mediante Tapatalk

HSakols

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 01:45:25 PM »

Thanks for the examples!  I see the high ISO advantage, but being a landscape photographer, I rarely use more than my base ISO. 
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Guillermo Luijk

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 01:48:52 PM »

being a landscape photographer, I rarely use more than my base ISO.

And in case you do, you'll have less noise in the M4/3 because you'll need DOF, and that means losing 2 stops of light, as my example above shows.

Regards
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 02:02:44 PM by Guillermo Luijk »
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armand

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 02:11:10 PM »

I've known the advantage of the smaller format when increased dof is needed but it's nice to have a picture associated with it. This brings good things for handheld shots in less than optimal light.

The problem is when you can afford to use the base ISO only (or close to it). For many shots it's good enough but occasionally you get one where the smaller sensor image begins to crumble much faster and you regret not having the larger camera.

For hiking the smaller sensor still usually win based on weight. It depends a lot on what lenses you bring with you too.

DP

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 02:36:15 PM »

See what happens with the FF noise advantage when matching DOF means pushing ISO:



Where are those FF super powers!?!

Regards


Enviado desde mi PRA-LX1 mediante Tapatalk

And why don't you use a FF sensor from EOS-1Ds (2002) to support your POV ?
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DP

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 02:46:23 PM »

Are any of you shooting full frame and not making huge prints. 

I do not print, but I pixel peep ... and you do not need to stop down to have exactly the same DOF... you can simply use different focus distance, distance to subject and framing... and unlike Guillermo I do not consider deficient sensors to make a point - unless he wants to compare a pair of specific cameras (more over - you need to select optimal nominal ISOs on both cameras, not mechanically dial different iso to compensate for exposure changes - as it is not part of exposure) ...
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Telecaster

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 04:28:16 PM »

I use the "full frame" cameras I own for the sake of specific lenses and for how the cameras themselves handle and operate. Lost interest in pixel-peeping format comparisons long ago. IMO pretty much everything on the market now delivers great real-world results provided you know how to use it. So do many cameras from the 2000s. What do you enjoy using? Go with that.

-Dave-
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kers

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 06:07:28 PM »

And in case you do, you'll have less noise in the M4/3 because you'll need DOF, and that means losing 2 stops of light, as my example above shows.

Regards

Hai Guillermo, in your example i reckon the whole images on the FF is much larger than that of the 3/4 sensor- or am i mistaken?
The sense of more DOF is an illusion due to not enough resolution ... please correct me if you think i am wrong...
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Guillermo Luijk

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2018, 06:25:37 PM »

Hai Guillermo, in your example i reckon the whole images on the FF is much larger than that of the 3/4 sensor- or am i mistaken?
The sense of more DOF is an illusion due to not enough resolution ... please correct me if you think i am wrong...
They were 24Mpx and 16Mpx from the A7 II and Olympus E-P5, using the same equivalent focal length (i.e. same framing), and the A7 slightly downsized to match the other picture. Aperture was then 2 stops closer in the FF to achieve the same DOF, and ISO pushed accordingly. Losing 2 stops of light puts the FF in a disadvantageous noise situation vs the M4/3 (or vs a crop of itself).

Regards

Two23

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 06:58:12 PM »

Are any of you shooting full frame and not making huge prints.  Why do you stick with full frame?  It appears to me that for most images the difference is not enough to justify the added cost?

As a user of a Nikon D800E, yes, I think the "full frame" thing is about 75% hype (maybe more.)  When I'm on vacation or taking photos in a city (usually that's the same thing!) I mostly use a small Nikon D5300 with small lenses.  Or if in a very grungy dirty city (Chicago, San Francisco) I prefer to use a Nikon F3T or my Leica IIIc with b&w film!  So why keep the D800E?  Mostly for three reasons:  (1)  weddings.  I do like the bit of extended dynamic range in tricky light.  (2) portraits (and other paid work.)  I can make very big enlargements, for which I charge more.  (3)  tilt/shift lenses.  Not aware of any smaller cameras that can take wide angle versions of those, and my 24mm PC-E is my favorite lens of all!  What I would love is a small camera system, with Leica LTM sized lenses (or even Nikon AiS) that offers a couple of fully functioning tilt/shift lenses.  I can't live without them.  But yes, I think the "full frame" deal is way overhyped.


Kent in SD
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 09:02:19 PM »

They were 24Mpx and 16Mpx from the A7 II and Olympus E-P5, using the same equivalent focal length (i.e. same framing), and the A7 slightly downsized to match the other picture. Aperture was then 2 stops closer in the FF to achieve the same DOF, and ISO pushed accordingly. Losing 2 stops of light puts the FF in a disadvantageous noise situation vs the M4/3 (or vs a crop of itself).

In reality there is often no issue at all to use a slower shutter speed when important DoF matters.

So the decision to use a constant shutter speed across formats is highly questionable in my view.

Cheers,
Bernard

Ray

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 10:45:46 PM »

As a user of a Nikon D800E, yes, I think the "full frame" thing is about 75% hype (maybe more.)  When I'm on vacation or taking photos in a city (usually that's the same thing!) I mostly use a small Nikon D5300 with small lenses.  Or if in a very grungy dirty city (Chicago, San Francisco) I prefer to use a Nikon F3T or my Leica IIIc with b&w film!  So why keep the D800E?  Mostly for three reasons:  (1)  weddings.  I do like the bit of extended dynamic range in tricky light.  (2) portraits (and other paid work.)  I can make very big enlargements, for which I charge more.  (3)  tilt/shift lenses.  Not aware of any smaller cameras that can take wide angle versions of those, and my 24mm PC-E is my favorite lens of all!  What I would love is a small camera system, with Leica LTM sized lenses (or even Nikon AiS) that offers a couple of fully functioning tilt/shift lenses.  I can't live without them.  But yes, I think the "full frame" deal is way overhyped.


All these points are very relevant, but any comparison between the qualities of a cropped format and a full-frame format should exclude all features which are not directly related to the differences in format size.

Comparing different brands of cameras introduces a whole range of different features which are not related to format size. The only sensible comparison is between two different formats that have the same size and quality of pixels and which can use the same lenses.

The closest example I'm aware of is the 16mp Nikon D7000 cropped-format compared with the 36mp full-frame Nikon D800. The pixel quality and pixel size is almost exactly the same for both cameras.

So let's consider the advantages of the D800 in such a comparison.
Let's compare how the two cameras perform with a single prime lens such as a 50mm F1.4.

(1) The lens on the D7000 is effectively a 75mm prime. However, in relation to the general quality of the image that can be produced by the D7000, the D800 provides an exceptionally high quality 50-75mm F1.4 zoom.
How much would such a zoom lens cost, if it were available, and how much would it weigh?
If such a lens were available for the D7000 it would be a 33-50mm F1.4 zoom.

(2) A similar situation applies to all full-frame lenses that fit the two cameras. Let's say your favourite lens is a 400mm F2.8 prime for bird shots. On the D7000 it becomes an impressive 600mm lens. However, on the D800 it becomes an even more impressive 400-600mm/F2.8 zoom, in relation to the maximum image quality of the D7000.

To get an equivalent range of focal lengths on the D7000, you would need a 266-400mm/F2.8 zoom. I suspect that the weight of such a zoom plus the D7000 body would exceed the weight of the D800 plus 400/F2.8 prime. Not only that, the quality of a zoom lens at every focal length rarely matches the quality of a good prime lens at the same focal length.

Also, when downsizing the D800 image at 400mm to match the size of the D7000 image at 266mm focal length, both the noise and sharpness of the D800 image will be better. If one considers such an improvement insignificant, then that's fine, but that's just a bonus in addition to the free conversion of all one's prime lenses to short-range zoom lenses, and the conversion of all one's zoom lenses to extended-range zooms at the wide end.

However, if one is comparing a cropped format which has smaller pixels, but of approximately equal quality to the larger pixels of the full-frame format, such as the D7200 compared with the D800, then the cropped format will have a resolution advantage with the same lens, but I doubt such a resolution advantage would be significant comparing the D7200 with the new D850.
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Two23

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 11:49:22 PM »

All these points are very relevant, but any comparison between the qualities of a cropped format and a full-frame format should exclude all features which are not directly related to the differences in format size.

Comparing different brands of cameras introduces a whole range of different features which are not related to format size. The only sensible comparison is between two different formats that have the same size and quality of pixels and which can use the same lenses.



I understand your point; you seem to be taking a more specific "apples to apples" approach.  I take a different approach in that I don't look at camera gear as individual pieces, but rather as a complete system.  Thus, a camera system that doesn't have tilt/shift lenses (or good off-camera flash capability) would rule out my using it as my "main" system right there.


Kent in SD
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 11:56:40 PM »

I understand your point; you seem to be taking a more specific "apples to apples" approach.  I take a different approach in that I don't look at camera gear as individual pieces, but rather as a complete system.  Thus, a camera system that doesn't have tilt/shift lenses (or good off-camera flash capability) would rule out my using it as my "main" system right there.

Along the same lines:
- you cannot get a micro 3/4 camera with an optical viewfinder
- you cannot get a micro 3/4 camera with a profoto air remote
- you cannot get a micro 3/4 camera with the equivalent of a 200mm f2.0 or 105 f1.4 in terms of subject isolation (more DoF isn't always the prefered rendering)

Cheers,
Bernard

langier

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 01:47:19 AM »

I have both a pair of D800 and Oly 5DII bodies.

Before the 5DII, shooting a pair of Panasonic GX-7 bodies, there was no comparison: The D800 too the prize in IQ, noise, DR, overall files and in large prints. I traveled with both and when IQ was needed for my work, the D800 was the go-to.

Then I got a Oly 5DII. For some of my specialty work (circular fisheye), it got me close enough with with high-res mode that for a lot of my work, the Nikon stays home now. For a lot of my work, smaller 16MB captures are fine. Best of all, is the size, weight and silence of the M43 that I'm fairly happy with the results.

When I travel, the M43 system is 2/3rds the size and weight and that includes a few extra parts I use for video that I didn't have the room to carry with the D800. The bulk is much less, too, and I can carry an even wider range of lenses.

In the past few months, I've needed to push the ISO to nose-bleed speeds with the Oly, 3200-12800. Though the 12800 is noisy, the images for a lot of what I need is fine. Where the Oly really rises to the top is using the High-res mode on a tripod. The Oly 12-40 and the Panasonic 35-100 hold their own against the equivalent FX Nikkor lenses. Other than a little purple flare with the Vario 7-14, it's as good as my 14-24 but a stop slower and less ghosting. The Oly and 7-14 is smaller and lighter than that lens alone.

With good craft, lower ISO and the high-res mode, the files are close to the D800 and when it comes to large prints, it's hard to tell which of the two cameras was used.

I've now shot M43 for about 5 years and the Oly 5II for a couple, Nikons for decades and Nikon D for more than 15. At this time in my life, I could probably simply shoot just the Oly and be happy just because it's so small, light and quite and totally adequate image quality for I'd say up to 16x20 and beyond, especially with good craft.
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hogloff

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2018, 01:54:08 AM »

In reality there is often no issue at all to use a slower shutter speed when important DoF matters.

So the decision to use a constant shutter speed across formats is highly questionable in my view.

Cheers,
Bernard

Exactly. Many of my landscape images are shot at base iso with the aperture I need to get the DOF I want...and then let the shutter be whatever it needs to be to make the image.
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Guillermo Luijk

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 02:15:28 AM »

In reality there is often no issue at all to use a slower shutter speed when important DoF matters.

So the decision to use a constant shutter speed across formats is highly questionable in my view.

You are probably thinking of tripod applications Bernard, and I agree. But I meant the case when high ISO is needed to have all in focus, e.g. hanheld, because this sets a mininum shutter speed requirement.

Surprisingly (or not so much if one understands the physics and statistiscs) a mobile phone can be more capable of producing clean high DOF hanheld images in low light conditions than a FF camera. For instance night or poorly lit indoor scenes.

Normally photographers sacrifice DOF for SNR in these situations and shoot wider open, but if large DOF is an inescapable must the larger formats are beaten by the tinier ones.



Ignore the different sizes, since different equivalent focal lenghts were used. But the images were resized to the same resolution to make a fair noise comparison. Both images were developed with the same neutral parameters (DCRAW), no noise reduction. FF wins at sharpness (I wouldn't expect less from a 2000EUR lens), but the S7 is less noisy.

Regards
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 02:33:19 AM by Guillermo Luijk »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: comparining micro four thirds to full frame
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2018, 03:27:29 AM »

You are probably thinking of tripod applications Bernard, and I agree. But I meant the case when high ISO is needed to have all in focus, e.g. hanheld, because this sets a mininum shutter speed requirement.

Surprisingly (or not so much if one understands the physics and statistiscs) a mobile phone can be more capable of producing clean high DOF hanheld images in low light conditions than a FF camera. For instance night or poorly lit indoor scenes.

Normally photographers sacrifice DOF for SNR in these situations and shoot wider open, but if large DOF is an inescapable must the larger formats are beaten by the tinier ones.

Agreed.

Others may differ, but for my - pretty diverse - applications, it is very rare for me to need a lot of DoF and not to be able to use a tripod.

But I agree it can happen and smaller sensors do have an advantage then.

Cheers,
Bernard
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