Full Frame Hysteria - a Reality Check (be happy with m43 - I am)

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caver3d
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Full Frame Hysteria - a Reality Check (be happy with m43 - I am)
11 months ago

I just came across an absolutely brilliant post by an individual known as "Calking" in Fuji Rumors. I have included it here as it is just as relevant for m43 photographers as it is for APS-C. I could not have said it better.  And it may help those of you fidgeting over whether to get a FF camera feel better about owning (or considering buying) the excellent cameras from Oly and Pany.

(Disclaimer: I am not Calking. I did not write the post shown below.)  - caver3d

Calking (fujirumors.com - October 29, 2013)

Ever notice when a new APS-C model camera is announced, forum whiners bemoan the lack of a full frame model? When the full frame model is announced, the same whiners declare their loyalty to APS-C and extol the virtues of modern APS-C IQ.

In fact, NOTHING creates more hub-bub in online forums than the Full Frame versus APS-C versus everything else debate. It will NEVER end.

Fueling the ongoing battle are experts with scientific equations and formulas that prove that the larger the sensor, the better the light processing ability for both daylight and low light shots. There are still thousands of online sites with photographers slinging DSLRs and vastly expensive, large aperture lenses for everything from landscape to portrait to video-only productions.

Then you have the debate within the debate — 36mp? 24mp? 20? 16? How many MP does a FF DSLR need to be considered “adequate” despite being full frame? No one has an answer for this. People whine about the file sizes of the 24mp and 36mp models, then make stupidly demeaning comments about the insufficiency of 12mp and 16mp models.

Sony just announced the A7 / A7R and all people on DPreview can do is cry about the lack of a full model lineup of fast primes and equally fast zooms at launch, despite the two adapters being released at the same time that will enable many other legacy lenses to be used — some with outstanding and unique effect. Price, features, size, weight, innovation — MEANINGLESS to forum whiners because Sony isn’t launching the cameras with 50 lenses to choose from.

There are over 1800 posts on DPR regarding the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera and its M4/3. Care to speculate on how many of those posts are bitchin and cryin about the camera not being APS-C, much less FF?

At the same time, we have a tidal wave of former DSLR pros, semi-pros and serious hobbyists that have, or are in process of, moving away from FF to APS-C and M4/3 MILC systems — NOT just because they’re smaller and less expensive, but because they are GOOD ENOUGH or sometimes BETTER than the older, bigger systems.

There is no denying this — it’s happening. Many forward-thinkers see the DSLR in the same light as the rotary telephone — on their way to becoming obsolete over the coming years. Then again, when you consider the SIZE of some of the newer models of MILC cameras coming on the market, there’s hardly a night and day difference between the DSLR.

What we CAN count on is manufacturers playing the “me too” game, and that includes Fuji. If indeed they decide to jump into the FF arena, it’ll be because Sony, Nikon, and who-knows-who-else will releases their own. Just look at the latest copy-catting going on with super-zooms — both Sony and Olympus releasing their own versions of the same type of camera within a couple weeks of each other.

I rented a D600 and 70-200 f2.8 combo from lensrentals.com last week and shot some boat races, portraits, nighttime, macro and landscape shots with it (and my legacy D-primes that I have, along with my lowly D80 DSLR). I can honestly say that the pictures the FF D600 produced — even with older Nikon prime lenses — was excellent. And there were a whole lot of crap shots too, just like any other camera / lens combo.

I bought the Fuji XE-1 and 18-55 and 55-200 and have rented the primes. Same thing — great images. Crap images when my technique is off. The XE-1 is easier to work with thanks to it’s styling, but the D600 is fast and confident. The XE-1 becomes part of me, the D600 something I’m carrying like luggage no matter what.

And let’s put the whole f1.2 DOF thing to bed too — how many photographs do any of us aspire to shoot where only the tip of someone’s nose in in focus, or one leg on a grasshopper, or one petal on a flower. As a professional photographer commented recently, “You’ll find yourself in trouble more often than not shooting full frame wide open.” Frankly, Fuji’s LMO technology for minimizing artifacts and especially diffraction at small apertures is FAR more useful for many types of photography than increasing the sensor size and investing tens of thousands of dollars in big, fast glass to be able to keep 1mm of something in focus and everything else in “creamy bokeh” — I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m sick of hearing about that. People viewing my photos or any other never go, “Wow! Look at the creamy bokeh and the lack of DOF! You must have shot this with a full-frame sensor! Can you blow it up 200x so I can pixel peep? Wow!”

Let’s dispense with the full frame versus anything else nonsense. If it’s what you want, something you can’t live without, no sense in going on if you don’t have it — then by all means go buy a full frame DSLR or whatever FF MILC you can get your hands on now. But enough with the fight. If Fuji makes a full frame camera in 2014 or 2015 or whenever, we can count on it being poo-poo’d by more people than applaud it, despite how stupid that is.

People just want what they can’t have. Once they have what they think they want, they want something else. Jesse James comes to mind….

 caver3d's gear list:caver3d's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC1 Canon EOS M Fujifilm X-E1 A3000 Olympus E-M1 +2 more
Nikon D600 Nikon D80 Olympus E-M1 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha 7R
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