So who was 4/3 originally aimed at?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
alatchin
Contributing MemberPosts: 759Gear list
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Re: missing the point
In reply to rovingtim, 8 months ago

rovingtim wrote:

And I don't say this as a dig against you.

Marty4650 wrote:

4/3 never could compete with a FF sensor (and even an APS-C sensor) when it came to sports photography or commercial photography for billboards. And the smaller sensor was at a disadvantage for any sort of low light photography, like for weddings.

The point is that the sensor size is irrelevant to noise. The key is the lenses.

Unless the sensor underperforms. The Panasonic sensors seemed to do that for a couple of iterations. They were about on par when the E-30 came out, and at least for noise and DR fell behind after that (until the OMD where they punched slightly above their weight)

If 4/3rds had equivalent lenses to those available to FF drivers, there would be NO noise disadvantage. None. Nada. Not a single one.

The problem is that an F2 lens in 4/3rds is equivalent to an F4 lens in FF.

A 1 stop noise disadvantage is not life threatening, while people keep banging on this f4 business, the truth is the f2 zoom would be side by side an f2.8 zoom.

A bright lens is considered f1.4 in FF. An F4 equivalent lens is simply not bright enough. There are no really bright lenses in 4/3rds.

Yet the challenge here for the f1.4 FF lens is DoF. While you can be creative with very shallow DoF for many purposes of documentation it is simply too shallow.

That is why there is a noise problem, not because of the sensor size. The problem is the lenses.

Many of the professionals who shoot landscapes don't feel FF sensors are big enough. They use medium and large format cameras instead.

Professional photographers are interested in resolution and DR regardless of physical size. Witness the landscaper's joy of the D800. It is technically possible for 4/3rds to have very high mp and dynamic range.

Professional photographers are interested in making money using their craft. Few expressed "joy" at the new camera, many chose not to upgrade etc (as with every new body).

As an FYI I was just bidding on a $XX,XXX project to shoot some thousands of products for a large multinational. They wanted the biggest resolution files they could get their hands on, well we had to discuss this, thousands of professionally processed images all at say 36mp... I was not jumping for joy.

DR is important, colour accuracy is important, noise performance is important (not all to the same people)... But the industry generally feels that product work must be done with the most expensive, high MP kit... But in all seriousness it shouldn't. Take this example:

Simple groupshot.

Beyond the detail in the bottles, what are we gaining with more MP? Higher crispness than even the print on the bottle labels is capable of?

detail of image above

Or even high end electronics?

The amount of PP here is very high, and a higher MP camera would not change that.

To conclude, after some discussion about intended uses (majority for web) the client agreed that there was no need to push the MP limit. It is in many instances just the only mechanism for "quality" they know. But when they want your work, they want your work.

The OP asked... "what market was 4/3 originally aimed at?" And I think it is very hard to deny they were aiming very high at professionals, once you look at the build quality, lens quality and prices of the initial offerings.

Olympus claimed outright that the E1 was the beginning of a 'professional' system. They even set up pro support that a professional photographer could sign up to. This gave you access to very rapid service and a hotline to experts (though I found their 'experts' to be wanting).

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