Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
Forum ProPosts: 22,656
Like?
Re: I'm not convinced...
In reply to Anders W, Apr 11, 2013

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

On what grounds are you not convinced?

Image quality.

As I know you are well aware, any current FF camera would lose out to the E-M5 for DR/shadow noise in this comparison (except the D4 which would break even).

I think the 6D comes out the same.

In terms of SNR at higher light levels, it would be a tie. So are you thinking about how the PL 25/1.4 at 1.4 compares to a 50 mm FF lens at 2.8 or what?

I'm thinking that a FF camera at 50mm f/2.8 would resolve more detail everywhere in the frame than an EM5 at 25mm f/1.4, and, if the EM5 did have less noise for equivalent settings (same DOF and shutter speed), the judicious application of NR (noise reduction) to the FF photo would result in a photo that was both more detailed and less noisy (albeit not significantly so, in my opinion).

To that end, I think it would be interesting to see a comparison with competently processed photos.

P.S.:  I think the EM5 would come out significantly ahead in situations where it could use IBIS and a longer shutter speed and FF could not use a tripod.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow