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iq and sensor size

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Reason : subject of complaints


Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
15 May 2013 11:07PM
Rapid back pedal ?

I don`t think so.

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16 May 2013 9:10AM

Quote:
It is not simple in the context of the OP about comparing a high end compact to an entry level DSLR with kit lens making an A4 print.



The fundamentals are simple.

Whether the improvement in low light performance/high ISO offered by a larger sensor camera is of any use to the photographer only he/she can decide. Likewise with the DOF. Of course the improved low light performance is a gradually diminishing advantage as sensor technology improves. It may well turn out in a few years that the only significant "advantage" of the larger sensor is the shallow DOF.
16 May 2013 11:04AM

Quote:.... It may well turn out in a few years that the only significant "advantage" of the larger sensor is the shallow DOF.

I am afraid you are confusing duties with abilities. In car world analogy: car's is ability to do 200mph does not imply that it cannot go slow. I would not tell that Canon 10-20mm EF lens gives shallow DOF. The same it does with a smaller sensor, just the image is a crop of DSLR one. 3-4 mm lens though is quite unique to compacts, true - but their lens make the cameras bokeh depraved, and with f2.7 give as much as 10Mp optical resolution - with 16Mp sensor.
ChrisV e2
8 889 26 United Kingdom
16 May 2013 11:37AM

Quote:It is not simple in the context of the OP about comparing a high end compact to an entry level DSLR with kit lens making an A4 print.


The fundamentals are simple.

Whether the improvement in low light performance/high ISO offered by a larger sensor camera is of any use to the photographer only he/she can decide. Likewise with the DOF. Of course the improved low light performance is a gradually diminishing advantage as sensor technology improves. It may well turn out in a few years that the only significant "advantage" of the larger sensor is the shallow DOF.



Under the current technological paradigm it's likely the sensitivity [and often dynamic range] advantage will remain with larger sensors. But you're right insofar that this will only be significant in greater extremes of shooting circumstances; the likes of the D3 and beyond are capable of ambient light photography that just would not have been possible in any previous era. Once that filters down [when/if it does] that could mean fewer of those night and dinner table shots ruined by noise, shake or hideous flash in the future.

And as we've also discussed the DoF character of large sensors can be a disadvantage in some circumstances. It is arguably however the thumbprint of good/professional isolated subject style images. The other thing that maybe you're overlooking to some degree is the ergonomic capacity of larger sensor designs. If you want to adjust your shooting parameters quickly those big beasts just offer more space for all the dials and buttons to allow quick access. That is of varying importance to photographers casual and commercially successful - but it is likely to be more of a draw for many of the latter.
lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
16 May 2013 1:01PM

Quote: If you want to adjust your shooting parameters quickly those big beasts just offer more space for all the dials and buttons to allow quick access


And one of the main reasons I use a Panasonic GH3 for my stock stuff. The GH3 handles better (especially with the battery grip) than any camera I ever used before.

However, were I shooting studio, show biz and music as I used to do, I would be using FF DSLR. Clients paying good big fees have the right to the best quality work. Also often missed is the library potential of bigger format work. I shot the last picture taken of the The Who before Keith Moon died. That picture has sold over and over and over facilitated by the fact it was that it was shot on a 6x6 back on a Hasselblad on slow colour film.

That means that when my agent sells it, they know that whether the buyer wants it for a poster or for a web page, the quality will hold up. I'd love it if size didn't matter but it does. A lesser quality image would have earned me less money.

If an image has no commercial potential then in the case of shooting for web pages or prints at 12in wide, a CSC will do just as well. That's how I get away with my GH3 for stock.
ChrisV e2
8 889 26 United Kingdom
16 May 2013 1:53PM

Quote:
The other thing that maybe you're overlooking to some degree is the ergonomic capacity of larger sensor designs. If you want to adjust your shooting parameters quickly those big beasts just offer more space for all the dials and buttons to allow quick access.



Doh - I meant camera size [although the two things coincide to some extent]. I know you got that Lemmy. It's interesting the point about the GH3 because one of the criticisms that's been leveled at it is that it is quite large for a m4/3 camera. Clearly as far as you're concerned Panasonic have the balance right in size/ergonomics. My own favourite smaller cameras have been the GF1 then the GX1 - nice build quality and small, but I also like Panasonic's implementation of that push-dial on their single dial cameras. They offer a really fast way of either jumping between shutter and aperture or dialing in exposure compensation in aperture mode. I think they've got the most out of limited external controls in that way - much better than most consumer-level APSc cameras for my way of working and you can also see the effects of adjustments in LCD/EVFs [when they have them].

I've been mulling over perhaps buying the new G6 [I'm not sure I can justify the price of a GH3 and I do like the idea of being able to shoot tethered, er... untethered with an iPad] and the faster zooms, perhaps even selling my 5DII and big lenses - I'd still have access to the same gear at work. While they're not pocketable, they are a damn site lighter than the Canon kit and it's not such a consideration to decide how much of it you want to carry any given morning. How do you rate the 12-35 and 35-100, Lemmy?
16 May 2013 2:06PM

Quote: The other thing that maybe you're overlooking to some degree is the ergonomic capacity of larger sensor designs. If you want to adjust your shooting parameters quickly those big beasts just offer more space for all the dials and buttons to allow quick access.


I was just looking at the fundamentals - the inherent characteristics - that are affected by sensor size. You don't necessarily have to make a small sensor camera so small that it becomes difficult to use.

Of course another reason why people buy Canon/Nikon DSLRs (FF or DX) is that there's a vast range of lenses which the CSCs can't match, and possibly never will.


Quote: I am afraid you are confusing duties with abilities. In car world analogy: car's is ability to do 200mph does not imply that it cannot go slow. I would not tell that Canon 10-20mm EF lens gives shallow DOF. The same it does with a smaller sensor, just the image is a crop of DSLR one.


I think you're confused. The DoF of the 10-20mm lens will be the same no what the size of the camera's sensor.
ChrisV e2
8 889 26 United Kingdom
16 May 2013 2:28PM

Quote:

I think you're confused. The DoF of the 10-20mm lens will be the same no what the size of the camera's sensor.



We're probably on the same page with most of this, but [I think] Michael's point here is that when you're talking about a lens for m4/3 @ 12-35mm [for example] it is in most practical terms equivalent to 24-70mm range in 'absolute' [that is 35mm equivalent format] terms. You get the same range of composition from any given position and potentially the same f stops, but at those equivalent ranges and settings, the DoF will be equivalent to about two stops higher. To be honest that's one of the reasons I'm still a bit hesitant to give up 35mm format particularly for closer range work [it wouldn't be quite so critical at 35-100mm].

I really like the Panny 20mm f1.7 [and it's tiny to boot], but it's a bit limiting for everyday shooting just like any prime.

I suppose the ideal would be something like Sigma's recently announced f1.8 zoom for APSc format, but made [quite a bit!] smaller for the smaller imaging circle of m4/3. As it stands whilst it does look like a great lens on paper giving real DoF control in an APSc zoom, it is a whopper and will likely be quite pricey.

I dunno - why does physics have to get in the way of everything? Tongue
lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
16 May 2013 2:59PM

Quote:How do you rate the 12-35 and 35-100, Lemmy?


I rate both of them very highly. These days, I could do everything I need with these two lenses if I had to. (I don't, so I don't Smile ) If you Google 'panasonic 35-100 review david thorpe' and ditto 12-35, my reviews will be at the top the page. ePZ' reviews like the lenses as well.

The GH3, it just feels right to me as do the two zooms. And the wifi implementation on the GH3 is excellent too. When I'm shooting stills for my reviews, I hold the lens I am photographing in my hands while controlling and viewing the GH3 on my iPad - with full control including zooming on the iPad. After shooting, I wifi them directly to my 'reviews' folder on my desktop.

For me, the point of MFT is the lens size rather than the body, though I am rather fond of my little E-PL5 as a carry everywhere camera with the 20mm 1.7 Panasonic or 14-42 compact zoom. But the GH3 with 7-14, 12-35, 35-100 and (when it appears) 150mm f2.8 with 1.4 converter will give me the capability of a boot load of my old gear.

That old chestnut of relative depth of field....it'll never go away. The depth of field of a lens is what it is, that's the law of optics. It is perceived differently, however, according to the size of reproduction, enlargement necessary to achieve that size and the viewing distance. Both arguments are correct. One is measurement, one is perception. It's like a thermometer. It can tell you the temperature. It cannot tell you whether you are cold or not.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
16 May 2013 4:46PM

Quote:I do like the idea of being able to shoot tethered, er... untethered with an iPad]


I was looking at an aussie review of the new EP5, he was showing the new Olympus ap for tethered shooting, although it was a pre production model its looking pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-kC6u-DP4Y
16 May 2013 9:05PM

Quote:... I would not tell that Canon 10-20mm EF lens gives shallow DOF. The same it does with a smaller sensor, just the image is a crop of DSLR one.
Quote:


Quote: I think you're confused. The DoF of the 10-20mm lens will be the same no what the size of the camera's sensor.
(underlined by me)
Spot the difference?Tongue Still think that by some miracle small sensors have longer DOF? You are so wrong - that's the lens parameter, and that was my idea.


17 May 2013 8:02AM

Quote:Still think that by some miracle small sensors have longer DOF? You are so wrong - that's the lens parameter, and that was my idea.


No, I'm not wrong.

When people take a photograph what they generally do is select the viewing point that gives the required perspective and then select a lens focal length to frame it - or something like that. If I'm taking a shot with a V1 or an A77 I tend not to use the same focal length of lens - in fact I don't really think about the lens focal length consciously. The focal length I use with the V1 will be roughly half that of the A77's lens (1.5/2.7). So the smaller sensor's photo will have a greater DoF - unless I can use a larger aperture to narrow it. QED.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
17 May 2013 8:42AM

Quote:what they generally do


The problem is that when stating 'larger sensor has shallower DOF' you never qualify with 'generally' or explain ho you personally use a lens or explain the circumstances as you have here. One example I have quoted to you before is wildlife which very often requires cropping of some description whatever the sensor size and because of this 'FF has shallower DOF' mantra I have seen several people incorrectly assume that for shallower DOF they need FF instead of APS-C. Whereas if they are cropping it is the chareacteristics of the lens that makes the difference. So as I see it, if you insist on stating 'FF hgas geater DOF' you will always have someone who rebuffs it - not out of bull headeness but becuse you don't explain your self properly.
Whether the best camera for them in those circumstances is APS-C or FF is irrelevant, but there are so many variables now (age of camera, sensor size, pixel pitch, lens used, crop factor vs telephoto etc etc ) that a lot of these mantras should be consigned to the bin IMO and each format taken on its merits: with the advantage (unlike MF v 35mm) that lenses can be used across formats.
17 May 2013 8:59AM

Quote: Still think that by some miracle small sensors have longer DOF? You are so wrong

Supporting Steppenwolf - the way modern cameras are normally used, which is to select an appropriate angle of view - there is no miracle Smile
For the same angle of view the smaller the sensor the more the captured image has to be magnified to make the theoretical 10 x 8 inch print on which depth of field calculations are based.
The extra magnification requires a smaller circle of confusion. The circle of confusion is a major component of depth of field calculations. Each format has an appropriate but different circle of confusion.
The general starting point for a circle of confusion is 0 .03 mm for 24 x 36 format and 0.05 mm for DX format. It can be smaller than 0.025 for some "compact" formats.
Although it may seem counter intuitive a smaller circle of confusion results in more depth of field for the same angle of view and the magnification.
This is why I am satisfied Steppenwolf is correct.
Moving on it seems unreasonable to me to suggest narrow depth of field is a prime aim for everybody when selecting a camera, and an unrealistic reason for suggesting this makes larger formats "by some miracle" better.
For a lot of my wildlife work and much of my macro work extra depth of field relative to the shutter speed selected is often an important advantage. "Narrow" depth of field can still be often be achieved by using a longer focal length to get a stronger background out of focus effect, or (in macro) finding a specimen in the field well separated from the background. This is why a do a lot of macro work using Nikon DX format.
Narrow depth of field has a place in my photography, which is why when choosing this effect I choose FX with a fast aperture lens.
"Narrow" depth of field can often be simulated by Gaussian Blur post processing, but is not derived in camera.
If money was no object I reckon the latest Nikon V1 are good enough for a lot of macro work with yet more depth of field, and for "narrow" medium format has an obvious advantage over 24x36 format.
All of this is a long way from the original query of whether an entry level DSLR with kit lens has better image quality than a high end compact when making a relatively small size print.
17 May 2013 11:00AM
"Although it may seem counter intuitive a smaller circle of confusion results in more depth of field for the same angle of view and the magnification."

It would work if cameras were created with circle of confusion in mind, but they are not. This circle has pretty wide tolerances depending on one's eyesight, image processing preferences, etc. Nor anybody ever takes any consideration of it when taking the images. This argument may work only in theory.

"Moving on it seems unreasonable to me to suggest narrow depth of field is a prime aim for everybody when selecting a camera, and an unrealistic reason for suggesting this makes larger formats "by some miracle" better."

No miracles there. DSLR sensors are not better or worse than compacts or 4/3s ( and I have never said that, rather opposed 4/3 superiority myth). But they are definitely more universal. Let's do some maths. If we take two top cameras - Nikon D800 and Olympus OM-D we will find that OM-D has crop factor 2. That means OM-D forms image similar in proportions to D800 with lens that have 2 times shorter focal distance. A lens with the same focal distance may be used on D800 too - and produce similar DOF. And, to have the same result, the final image just needs to be cropped. Just that. But having shorter focal distance lens means having less control over DOF. By what logic having less control over image is superior?

"Narrow" depth of field can often be simulated by Gaussian Blur post processing, but is not derived in camera."

The look of it - yes,to the measure, and in single-plane images. The trick is, Gaussian blur is flat, and DOF induced blur changes gradually - as circle of confusion grows. It's like introducing film grain in digital image - not quite the same.

"If money was no object I reckon the latest Nikon V1 are good enough for a lot of macro work with yet more depth of field, and for "narrow" medium format has an obvious advantage over 24x36 format.
All of this is a long way from the original query of whether an entry level DSLR with kit lens has better image quality than a high end compact when making a relatively small size print."


Yep, we went well away from original post, but I hope the poster will excuse us and possibly may have some interest reading all of this. As I showed above, large format cameras may successfully emulate 4/3s results - except maybe the case when the lens becomes too short-focused for keeping image proportions straight enough. And why crop if can get the result straight off-camera and considerably cheaper? I can agree with you on this.
As pure amateur and speciality cameras small format cameras are not worse than their "large brothers", but not likely to have definite edge over DSLR - except price and weight-wise.