On putting money into 4:3 gear ...

Started May 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
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In reply to Stacey_K, May 17, 2013

Stacey_K wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

 How often does the IQ differential between systems really have an impact on the success of a photo?

I'll answer this: for me? Not real often but often enough where I felt the need to reinvest in a different system. I love my ZD glass and the feel of the system but I felt limited when I saw what was possible with more modern sensors. Even the OMD is so much cleaner as ISO goes up. The problem with the 4/3 system for me was they really haven't had a sensor update in 5 years. I wasn't happy about buying all new lenses and a new body/flash etc but I didn't see a real option in the 4/3 system to get the performance I wanted. An E5 with it's 5 year old sensor wasn't the answer.

An example of an image I feel would have been "ruined" is my duck shot. You may or may not care for it but I have it printed 16X20 and it looks great to me.

The light was fading late in the afternoon and this area was under some trees. The duck was swimming and the water was moving so I didn't want to risk a low shutter speed. A bit over 2X focal length isn't excessive from my experience in a situation like this.  I was shooting with a 180mm F2.8 but stopped down to f4.8 to have some DOF around the duck. I wanted his bill and his tail in focus. I added 1/2 stop neg EC to make sure the highlights of the sky in the water didn't get blown out, which helped with the iso situation but also required a little shadow pulling. It still required iso 1250, which on an E1 would have been a noisy mess. Even with my E410 it wouldn't have been clean. I'm not sure if either of those have enough DR to deal with a scene like this. I'm not sure if the auto ISO system on either of them would have dealt with this situation either.

I feel a lot of noise in the creamy smooth colored water would have been a major distraction in the image. Could this have been captured with an older tech camera? Maybe, but it might have been motions blurred, the DOF too shallow or if shot at the settings I used been too noisy or ugly shadow detail from pulling them up.

Then again maybe I just don't have the photographic knowledge needed to capture this image, which seems to be what others have implied..

Thank you for your post, which *exactly* what I'm talking about!  I don't deny that better equipment will result in higher IQ -- I think most understand that.

What I'm asking is how often the IQ differential results in a less successful photo.  That is, a photo that placed lower in a photo competition than it otherwise would have, a photo that sold for less than it otherwise would have, a photo that did sell that otherwise would have, etc.

Now, for a fact, there are times when it will often be so -- a fine art exhibition, for example.  But how often do you think the IQ differential between modern systems, and even many not-so-modern systems, harms the success of a photo as "success" is defined above?

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