Potential dead horse: how bad is FF's deep DoF disadvantage?

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Great Bustard
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Let's put some photos and numbers to this.
In reply to Karaya, Mar 5, 2014

Karaya wrote:

I was only attempting to point out that the supposed FF advantage in narrow DOF can be a double edged sword. There are instances when a photographer will want more DOF and compared to 4/3 will have to stop down two stops, with a given shutter speed this will necessitate raising the ISO two stops for the FF camera vis a vis the 4/3 camera. Whether current FF cameras will have a 2 stop advantage over 4/3 (or, rather m4/3) at a given ISO is open to debate.

Here are some interesting comparisons in terms of the noise differential between modern mFT and modern FF:

Based on pixel count: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53148569

Based on ISO setting: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53170596

Smaller sensor cameras have the potential to close the gap with FF given lenses that are fast and sharp enough for the task. This is a real challenge to the optical engineers, no doubt, but is that not how 35mm film became the dominant format in competition with larger formats?

Consider Lenstip's review of the 75 / 1.8 on an EPL1 (16 MP mFT) and the 135 / 2L on a 1Ds3 (21 MP FF) or the 12-40 / 2.8 on an EPL1 vs the 24-70 / 2.8L II on a 1Ds3. Keeping in mind that we have to multiply lp/mm measurements by 26 and 48, respectively, for the mFT and FF measurements to get lw/ph, it does not appear that any gap is being closed by mFT on FF.

Indeed, perhaps a more "appropriate" comparison would be the 12-40 / 2.8 on an EPL1 vs the Sigma 24-105 / 4 OS on the 1Ds3.  Once again, we don't see any gaps being closed by mFT lenses.

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