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iq and sensor size

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whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 164 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England75 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 11:13 AM

Just another view, for what it's worth ~I have a high end compact and an m4/3. The quality I am getting on an A3 print, from the compact at base ISO, is as good as I was getting from my Mamiya 645 using Velvia 50 and sitting on a rock solid Benbo tripod. Goes in a shirt pocket, superb lens, image stabilization, no camera bag, no set up, no tripod, no contest. Result- lots more useable images. The m4/3 is better again... clean as a whistle at ISO800, which with the lens ( stabilized of course ) crop factor of 2x giving me shorter focal lengths for any given field of view means that unless I'm working in low light I still don't need to carry a tripod.
Pretty much everything in life involves a compromise, a trade-off, and of course there's one here. It all depends on which particular compromise is best going to fit your personal requirements. The advantage of the m4/3 over the compact is improved tonal depth, improved dynamic range ( i.e. range, in stops, from shadows to highlights that can hold detail ) and more leeway because of the higher resolution, if you choose to crop, giving you more creative possibilities. Also, because of the increase in physical size, better ergonomics. But obviously there's a size/weight/convenience compromise.
The advantage of the SLR over the m4/3 is improved tonal depth, improved dynamic range, and more leeway if you.......etc......etc.
Hope this contributes somethingSmile

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MichaelMelb_AU
13 May 2013 - 12:07 PM

At the end it all boils to the adequacy of photographer's requirements to their financial capability in buying the camera that covers those requirements.

Simple P&S "soapbox" will be "better" than old film rangefinder to the holidaymaker folk. They take 90% their images during their holiday and never get them larger than 4x6" or 10" digital frame. Mobile phone cameras serve their everyday needs.

4/3 system may satisfy a person with some creative ambitions that can not be bothered with complexities and weight of "older brothers". A4 to A3 prints from such cameras come "as good or even better" than from old school film SLR. Looking at the images at 100% in image editor does not induce a desire to wash the monitor screen, too.Smile

Amateur grade DSLRs (APS-whatever) seem to loose their grip on all photo types described above, but still attract a lot of arty types that take some images considered to be pretty useless for family album. Occasionally they do some radical image crop to find out that their beloved camera is not perfect still because of fairly crappy cheep zoom lens. Some of the cameras of this class considered to be "semi-pro" ( play of words similar to "slightly pregnant"). Thanks to 4/3s, amateur DSLRs seem to be loosing their status value and be bought as a brick-heavy but useless photographic jewelleryBlush.

Large full-frame DSLRs with a set of lens equal in cost to a small car collection occupy professional domain, and I do not have any idea why - simply because I don't belong thereWink

There are some "cameras in between" - like superzooms, etc. Good targets for some sniggering from either side of the river they bridge.

So what else an aspiring photographer would miss to make himself happy?

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 13 May 2013 - 12:12 PM
mikehit
mikehit  56492 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 12:41 PM

Not much to argue with there, Michael, but the OP referred specifically to A4 size and you are talking about uses way beyond that.

But you seem to have a real problem with the idea of MFT cameras as genuine competitors to DSLRs (both APS-C and 35mm sensors). I don't know your level of experience with them but a lot of people disagree with you - in particular they are way beyond comparison to 'old school film'. I get what you say about a 'class' of camera rather than specific models but the same sensor is now put into all Olympus PENs so price-comparison is possible. IME many people compare cameras using in-camera jpegs, but I have spoken to pros who will like one brand for their jpegs but like another because the raw is better to work with. Even where they use the raw, I have seen many threads where people apply their a 'standard formula' processing and not realise they often have to change their workflow for the different sensor characteristics.

whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 164 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England75 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 12:43 PM


Quote: Mobile phone cameras serve their everyday needs.

True, but one of the most original, talented and creative people on this site does all his photography with an iPhone. Image quality isn't everything. Images are. As Ansel Adams said, " There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept."Smile

MichaelMelb_AU
13 May 2013 - 1:14 PM


Quote: ...one of the most original, talented and creative people on this site does all his photography with an iPhone....

That is more than possible that such people exist - after all, last century grands of photography for having nothing better were making their masterpieces (no joke!) with something similar to wooden birdhouse with grandma's spectacles on itSmile But in modern iPhone camera user numbers they are rather statistical aberration than a solid rule.

Quote: ...you seem to have a real problem with the idea of MFT cameras as genuine competitors to DSLRs...

Just not my cuppa, as for being competitors to anything - yep, they are. For the one who values them better.

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 13 May 2013 - 1:21 PM
Steppenwolf
13 May 2013 - 1:47 PM


Quote: ...
That'be fun to see F1 using pretty ordinary 215/60 R16 Bridgestone tyres with speed limit around 150mphTongue
Or some D800 photos made with Holga lens (YUCK!) SmileSmileBlush


You miss the point. You seem to think that cameras (and cars) are simple systems like, for example, a chain - where the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. They're much more complex systems.

If you ever read AP you may have read various articles by Professor Bob Newman about lenses and camera sensors. He makes it clear that the output from even a bad lens will be improved by attaching it to a good camera.

Likewise a good car can extract much better performance from poor/unsuitable tyres. If you've ever tried to drive a Mercedes in snow you'll know that they have zero grip on standard summer tyres - they struggle to make progress up the slightest incline. A BMW is better. A Mini is better still (FWD) - pretty usable in fact. A decent 4WD (say an Audi quattro) works even better. And a 4WD car with selectable traction control that has special programs for snow is better still. And that's all using standard summer road tyres.

mikehit
mikehit  56492 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 1:48 PM


Quote: Just not my cuppa, as for being competitors to anything - yep, they are. For the one who values them better.

So am I correct to say that all your comments about MFTs are based on DXO and your personal preconceptions rather than any working knowledge of them?

whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 164 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England75 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 1:48 PM

"That is more than possible that such people exist ...But in modern iPhone camera user numbers they are rather statistical aberration than a solid rule."


Yes, it is more than possible, to the extent that it is actually a solid and incontrovertible fact. I was not trying to suggest that he is typical, far from it. He could probably make a good image using a cracked Lubitel with no film in it, looking through the bottom of a beer bottle, though among users of cracked Lubitels he would probably be a statistical aberration rather than a solid rule. That wasn't my point, and you know it wasn'tSmile

ChrisV
ChrisV  7791 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 3:06 PM


Quote: Just another view, for what it's worth ~I have a high end compact and an m4/3. The quality I am getting on an A3 print, from the compact at base ISO, is as good as I was getting from my Mamiya 645 using Velvia 50 and sitting on a rock solid Benbo tripod. Goes in a shirt pocket, superb lens, image stabilization, no camera bag, no set up, no tripod, no contest. Result- lots more useable images. The m4/3 is better again... clean as a whistle at ISO800, which with the lens ( stabilized of course ) crop factor of 2x giving me shorter focal lengths for any given field of view means that unless I'm working in low light I still don't need to carry a tripod.
Pretty much everything in life involves a compromise, a trade-off, and of course there's one here. It all depends on which particular compromise is best going to fit your personal requirements. The advantage of the m4/3 over the compact is improved tonal depth, improved dynamic range ( i.e. range, in stops, from shadows to highlights that can hold detail ) and more leeway because of the higher resolution, if you choose to crop, giving you more creative possibilities. Also, because of the increase in physical size, better ergonomics. But obviously there's a size/weight/convenience compromise.
The advantage of the SLR over the m4/3 is improved tonal depth, improved dynamic range, and more leeway if you.......etc......etc.
Hope this contributes somethingSmile

I've said much the same - it's a fairly simple and logical point, but thanks for putting it so clearly.

But the other thing I 'bang on about' which seems to be continually overlooked in these discussions is the character of focal depth which has little to do with the sensor tech and more to do with the physical size of aperture and imaging circle [which whilst it equates to sensor size in this discussion is/was equally true for film/plate size].

That is that as you decrease the size of aperture at any equivalent angle of view [and a 50mm lens would have a 100mm eq. AoV on M4/3] you deepen the amount of the image in focus. What that means of course is that the smaller the format, the more difficult it is to narrow the range of focus. You may of course not want to do that and it could be argued that in some sets of circumstances a smaller format is actually advantageous to get your shot [say in poor light outdoors when you want close foreground in focus along with detail at infinity] and you want a short exposure [because you haven't got a tripod or you want to freeze any ambient motion].

This may well mitigate against going for a larger format needing a smaller aperture [and therfore substaintially higher ISO or longer exposure] therefore negating the lower noise/greater dynamic range advantage.

It isn't impossible to get subject isolation with smaller formats, just more difficult particularly at wider angles of view. Faster lenses can get very expensive at either extent of range.

Ultimately it depends on what sort of subjects you shoot and the conditions you shoot in/ your access to controlled light. That just doesn't depend on the type of photographer you are, but also the range of subjects you shoot.

I find that a lot of the time I can 'get away with' shooting m4/3 format. Come the dark or a job of shooting portraits on location and I'll lug the big kit.

The point is, it's not just a question of the technical quality of print clarity at given sizes, but also the character of imaging which goes along with the size of format and the speed of lenses.

I would be happy to concede that for a lot of people, a lot of the time m4/3 represents a happy balance of quality and character.

However, until extremely fast lenses [the Nokton f0.95 is manual which requires great care wide open] become available at affordable prices, larger formats are not likely to go away even as the quality of their more compact 'competition' increases in a technical sense.

lemmy
lemmy  71883 forum posts United Kingdom
13 May 2013 - 3:23 PM


Quote: I find that a lot of the time I can 'get away with' shooting m4/3 format. Come the dark or a job of shooting portraits on location and I'll lug the big kit.

Horses for courses. I was shooting a book cover for Phoebus in the studio once and thought I'd do it best on 35mm Kodachrome. The art editor came in, took one look at the Nikon F and 105mm and remarked that he'd hoped to hire a photographer rather than a busker.

I nipped out to the car and brought in the Hasselblad - and that was the last time I tried to 'get away with it'.

ChrisV
ChrisV  7791 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 4:04 PM


Quote: I find that a lot of the time I can 'get away with' shooting m4/3 format. Come the dark or a job of shooting portraits on location and I'll lug the big kit.

Horses for courses. I was shooting a book cover for Phoebus in the studio once and thought I'd do it best on 35mm Kodachrome. The art editor came in, took one look at the Nikon F and 105mm and remarked that he'd hoped to hire a photographer rather than a busker.

I nipped out to the car and brought in the Hasselblad - and that was the last time I tried to 'get away with it'.

Ha ha. In commercial shooting it's also wise to consider what a client's perception is - often the bigger the kit, the more impressed they are. I don't have the luxury of any medium format gear - tomorrow I'm doing a full length shot for a life-size cut out and I'll use a 5DII and the 70-200 f2.8 L IS II to shoot that with a couple of strobes.

I've used that set up before for things which ultimately went on 48 sheet billboards as well as life-size pop-ups and the results were quite pleasing. The thing is I suspect if I had a decent prime at a sufficient AoV [I have the Panny f1.7 20mm but that would be too short] I'd probably get results everyone would be happy with from m4/3 at ISO160 with bags of light. Mind you if you have a lighting rig and backdrops you can't carry on your own, who's concerned about what the camera weighs? Wink

lemmy
lemmy  71883 forum posts United Kingdom
13 May 2013 - 4:37 PM


Quote: , who's concerned about what the camera weigh

Yes, I agree. And as you say the bigger the kit the more impressed the client. I was talking about film days. Now, I'd use a DSLR in the studio.

Digital changed a lot. I used to shoot some stuff which was blown up to 8 and ten feet tall. Under studio conditions the Nikons lacked the contrast of the Sonnar lenses and large prints would look very flat. But also even the finest 35mm film wouldn't easily blow up so big. Actually, 35mm then was the hard way to do a job the Hasselblad was designed for.

Athenea once asked me to do a poster of a skateboarder for them. They insisted it should be on 5x4 minimum. This was an action pic! I shot it on the Hasselblad with 50mm wide-angle and had the lab blow it up onto 5x4 sheet. Athinea paid and made happy noises. I was on tenterhooks worrying about their art editor noticing but it seems he didn't. Got away with that one Tongue

MichaelMelb_AU
13 May 2013 - 8:55 PM


Quote: Just not my cuppa, as for being competitors to anything - yep, they are. For the one who values them better.
So am I correct to say that all your comments about MFTs are based on DXO and your personal preconceptions rather than any working knowledge of them?

My comments are based on simple commonsense - with 12-16Mp and crop factor 2 , 4/3s are as good resolution-wide (only!) as a DSLR with 25Mp sensor in live view mode in broad daylight. Which is not bad, but rather limiting to the camera's full potential. As for personal experience - I played with OM-D and did not like the fact that I could cover all of the camera's control pad with one fingertip. Also, I find 1.6 crop annoying, and 2 crop even more so.
Little, cute, capable-true, but not to my liking. That's it and well beyond OP question.

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 13 May 2013 - 9:00 PM
Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315401 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2013 - 9:09 PM


Quote: I have seen many threads where people apply their a 'standard formula' processing and not realise they often have to change their workflow for the different sensor characteristics.

This is were I see a lot of people complaining about Fuji sensors, they apply LR default settings then blame the camera when it all goes tits up Smile



Quote: I find that a lot of the time I can 'get away with' shooting m4/3 format. Come the dark or a job of shooting portraits on location and I'll lug the big kit

Your obviously not doing much in the way of portraits then Chris, 90% of what I do is with people, camera size plays very little part, if anything at all.



Quote: Ha ha. In commercial shooting it's also wise to consider what a client's perception is - often the bigger the kit, the more impressed they are

They could`nt give a sh*T as to what kit is used, most are more interested in the photographers abilities, track record etc, and the end result, we are no longer living in the sixties.

lemmy
lemmy  71883 forum posts United Kingdom
14 May 2013 - 9:04 AM

You seem to think that psychology has not part to play in business, Paul, that its all about technique. You don't talk like a professional at all.

The idea that clients don't care about equipment is wrong. They don't know about technique but they know about what they are paying for. I used to get 350 a day for my services back in the 80s. I guess that would be a more like 1000 a day now. The guy in the studio upstairs from mine had a day rate of 1500. For that money you should turn up with a consumer camera?

No-one here has suggested that the simpler jobs could not be done with a an MFT camera but what kind of lazy twit would turn up to a client who was paying him top dollar with a consumer class camera? There is a lot of competition in London. Who would risk losing work through laziness?

What kind of work did you undertake professionally, Paul?

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