The three great lies.

Started May 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
Amin Sabet
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Some comments on these lies
In reply to Louis_Dobson, May 31, 2012

Louis_Dobson wrote:

"An MFT camera cannot match a dSLR for shooting performance".

I think the more fundamental lie is that people need a camera with high "shooting performance".

I don't use burst mode, I don't use AF tracking, and I don't chimp. If the camera lets me take 3 shots quickly without holding me up, I'm good to go. I didn't use those capabilities when I had a D700, and I don't use them with my OM-D. I suspect the same is true for many of the people who cite these things as significant issues when deciding on which camera to buy.

Certainly there are people who need those capabilities, but there's a loud contingent out there that would have us believe that we all need them. Tell that to the many happy Leica M9 users, amateurs and pros alike.

"A 75mm f1.8 lens is like a 150mm f1.8 lens on a 135 sensor"

lift the ISO by two stops, and use a 150mm f3.6 lens. Then you would get the same angle of view, depth of field, exposure time and signal to noise ratio.

I don't buy it. What if the 75 is on an OM-D, and the 150 is on a Leica M9 or a 5D classic? What if the 75 is on a G1 and the 150 is on a D800?

In terms of angle of view and framing, you're absolutely right, and that is very useful stuff to know for anyone who uses more than one format. For S/N, we all know it depends on the sensor technology, and that's more than the footnote that the equivalence squad would have us believe it to be. The reality is that most people don't pay attention to what "generation" their camera is compared to another one. Most people don't know which camera sensors are very different technology (eg, Sigma, Leica M, medium format) or moderately different technology (eg, Sony sensors vs Canon sensors).

Further, we have no idea what the future holds. In 10 years, maybe the sub-2/3" sensor tech will vary from 135 sensor tech as much as current 135 sensor tech varies from today's medium format sensor tech. I don't buy that we are close to the theoretical limits of sensor technology development. The equivalence squad folks made that claim with the 5D classic, and we all know how that went.

It's not practical to have people learn something that doesn't universally apply in the way that format/DOF/AOV/focal length/aperture relationships universally apply. The only reason people beat us over the head with this S/N equivalence stuff is that they are coming at it from a present day, 135 format-centric view of things and can't or won't see beyond their own biases. We all know that there would be no "Joseph James Equivalence Treatise" if today's APS-C and 135 format cameras used the same tech as today's medium format cameras. There would be no incentive for him to write it all up and lord it over people.

"135 Full Frame has better IQ than MFT", or "MFT is an IQ compromise"

First you have to define what IQ means. It's a word people bandy around without thought. As far as I am concerned, if you can make a big print from two cameras and put them side by side and no rational person can see a difference, then the cameras have identical IQ.

Here you've made up your own definition, which is fine. It's like the equivalence squad defining lens speed as the virtual aperture when the commonly accepted definition for regular photography (not telescopes) is based on the relative aperture.

I won't try to convince you to accept my definition of image quality, but I see it more as what can be done with the picture. Can I crop the heck out of it, push it, pull it, blow it up, and it still looks good? From that standpoint, I'd say that in terms of IQ at base ISO in adequate light, digital medium format > > 135 > > APS-C > 4/3.

If we're just talking about snapping and printing, then some folks more qualified than I would argue that a sensor the size of my pinky nail has the same image quality as medium format: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

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