Is Full frame still the most versatile?

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: mFT has eveything FF has except .... Re: Is Full frame still the most versatile?
In reply to 69chevy, Apr 2, 2013

69chevy wrote:

plevyadophy wrote:

69chevy wrote:

microFT has pretty much everything Nikon and Canon have except the ability to do focus tracking across the frame effectively.

Don't forget the ability to accurately focus instantly, shoot in incredibly low light with less noise, produce stunning enlargements at 20"x30", achieve much shallower DOF for the same FOV, and shoot wider angles.

Arguing over DOF advantage is expected, but don't forget sports shooters who rely on it. Not for artsy fartsy creativity, but for isolation.

Add this to the better IQ (some may argue) of a FF DSLR, and it becomes clear which camera can do more (versatility).

Firstly, you have conveniently, or inconvienently, left out the part of my statement where I specifically said that these benefits of mFT would exist if one is pretty happy with the image quality of the mFT system.

Better IQ means the FF camera is more versatile. (The whole point of the thread.)

Addressing your points one by one:

Focusing. I hope you are not suggesting that full frame can accurately focus instantly are you? First of all, with the new Oly OM-D and Panny GH3 the difference between mFT focus speed and a full frame camera IN PRACTICAL USE is ZERO. Yes, when measured in a camera review lab the FF cams like the Canon 1DX and Nikon D4 produce faster results but those speeds are so fast that we humans simply don't have the reflexes to discern the differences between that of an Olympus OM-D and a Canon 1D autofocus module.

If you can tell it or not, it is true. Maybe it saves a ball-on-bat shot, or a ball-on-raquet shot. These things happen faster than humans can detect. Like in the 1/1000th second range. This means the FF camera (1DX, 5D3) is more versatile. (The whole point of the thread.)

As for focus accuracy, FF cams are laughable in comparison to a camera using contrast-detect autofocus like mFT system cams; ff cams are nearly always causing the photographer to f*k about with focus fine-tuning (no such silly options exist in an mFT cam because it's not needed) or having to buy those focus products like FocusTune.

I have never MFA'd a lens, I must be blessed... Maybe the Iphone like DOF of a 4/3 hides the focus blunders?

But it is true to say that the phase detect systems of most ff systems tend to work more readily on difficult subject matter.

Making the FF camera more versatile. (The whole point of the thread.)

Less Noise in Low Light: well, yep ff wins there hands down. Although, one could argue that mFT is good enough as it is, and that ff is just better; and it's no longer the case, as it once was, whereby Four Thirds sensors were useless in this regard and ff sensors were VASTLY better to the point of making Four Thirds not even worth bothering with.

Making the FF camera more versatile. (The whole point of the thread.)

Enlargements: you picked the wrong size my friend I don't think mFT sensors now have an issue printing up to 20 x 30 inches (but granted, under close scrutiny a ff sensor image will possibly look better)

Making the FF camera more versatile. (The whole point of the thread.)

DOF: Yep, the d.o.f. can be shallower on a ff cam for the same f.o.v............... if you actually want that.

Making the FF camera more versatile. (The whole point of the thread.)

Wide Angle: Yes, that is something I overlooked. mFT gets horrible pretty fast when going to wide angle; to get a 24mm-e (e =equivalent) field of view, you have to use a 12mm lens which at that focal length means having to deal with heaps of distortion or very little distortion at great expense.

Making the FF camera more versatile. (The whole point of the thread.)

Your conclusion: I don't think your conclusion holds true as obviously as you think. If this discussion was taking place four years ago, when I got my Panasonic G1, then I would agree with your conclusion wholeheartedly; it would have been a no-brainer. But now, things have moved on so much that I don't really believe that ff has this great advantage anymore, and certainly looking at all of the attributes of mFT I would argue that it is mFT that is more versatile and please note that by saying that, I am not saying it is BETTER. I suppose, one could regard mFT as a top quality MPV and ff as a limousine (although, I suspect medium format shooters would argue that it is they who are using the limo ). In that analogy no-one in their right mind would argue that the limo is the most versatile but equally if one is looking for something with a little more oomph, it would be the limo to which one would turn.

Name one thing a M 4/3 can do, that a modern FF DSLR cannot, besides fit in a fanny pack.



I think, like a lot of people you are confusing BETTER with VERSATILE. I am not for one minute arguing that mFT is BETTER. Most of the things you argue for in favour of ff are insignificant e.g. faster AF. Faster AF cannot be a plus point for FF if the difference in speed cannot be utilised by humans because we simply don't have reflexes fast enough to benefit from that difference. If you were talking of the difference between Olympus' early mFT cams compared to just about any DSLR, not just FF, then yeah, there was night and day difference in favour of the DSLR.

Also pixel peeping a 20 x 30 print ain't signifcant either especially as most folk don't print that big. And remember just like my car analogy, versatility implies being good at most things, not necessarily being the best at any one of them.

You asked what mFT can do that ff DSLR can't. Well for one, the system can use almost any lens format with the aid of an adaptor (that's something ff DSLR  can't) and it will get you into places that ff won't ("sorry sir no professional cameras allowed"), and it can often seem less intimidating to subjects because of it's small size, and you can carry two or three bodies and a compliment of lenses EASILY as carry-on luggage on a plane in addition to flash, a tripod and other accessories if your assignments carry you far afield, and it will lead to less back strain on a hike and so and so on and all with image quality that was once the preserve of a ff DSLR. So it seems to me that it's mFT that is the more VERSTATILE system, and again I must stress I am not saying it is offering THE BEST image quality (I have both a ff DSLR as well as mFT so I can see with my own eyes that mFT doesn't offer the best detail, or shallowest d.o.f. or lowest image noise) but as a package of compromises, and after all that's what any system is, it seems to me that mFT offers the best package. Micro Four Thirds to my mind, is the new 35mm in the sense that the compact 35mm system offering good enough image quality saw a lot of photographers move from Medium Format (which offered shallower d.o.f. and more detail etc etc) to the more compact 35mm system; now we have a lot of people ditching, or supplementing, thier 35mm systems for the same reason that folks moved from MF.

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