What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
PerL
Forum ProPosts: 12,530
Like?
Re: Smoother, more natural, richer, better tonality
In reply to knickerhawk, 6 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

PerL wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Kind of ironic that you're commenting on the "healthy dose" of PP in many of those m4/3 shots after claiming that it would be tough to replicate Shumilova's PS manipulations on images from smaller sensors. That's one of the reasons I chose the above site to link. Clearly, there's lots of postprocessing on many of those shots just like there's lots of postprocessing in Shumilova's images.

Yes, and I don't think any of those shots on the Oly site has the same look or character as Shumilovas images.

Well, of course they don't have the same look or character. Different photogs, radically different subjects, different lenses, different lighting, different processing. All sorts of differences, but what you keep dodging is the question of how the size of the sensor contributes to the look of Shumilova's images (as rendered and posted on Flickr).

(And I'm still waiting for an actual explanation of how the so-called tonality advantages of FF translates to interpolated/downsized jpegs viewed online. You're not the first to claim they can see it, but what is it really that we're supposed to be able to see from those FF shots that won't be there in the cropped sensor shots?)

Its not visible in every shot, but in some. Since you did not see it the shot I referred to I don't if there is any point in referring to more. BTW Panasonic made an interesting experiment at the London Olympics, and hired a professional sports shooter to cover the games with a Panasonic G6 camera m43 camera, posting the results online daily. Unfortunatly even in the small sizes they did not look as good as the shots from the regular pros.

That was Dean Mouhtaropoulos, a Getty Images pro. He was using a pre-production G5, not a G6, and shot exclusively jpegs because there were no raw processing profiles for the G5 at that point. He was further limited in his lens choice to Lumix lenses due to this being a Panasonic-sponosored effort. That means he was using a number consumer-grade lenses in difficult lighting conditions on a CDAF AF body with a prior generation Panny sensor that's been significantly surpassed in DR and noise performance by more current m4/3 bodies.

He did have an early sample of the 35-100 2.8 "pro" lens. The murky colors and lack of clarity and punch vs the pro cameras stood out.

Wasn't aware of that, but whatever. I will happily concede that the G5 is not an optimal solution for sports photography. You will get poorer results overasll even if it's an apples-to-apples jpeg-to-jpeg comparison. That sensor was lagging with respect to noise and DR at the time it came out. The m4/3 telephoto glass selection is poor. AF is a problem. There are lots of contributing factors but I would still contend that sensor size as such is low on the list of reasons why you don't see sports photogs using the G5 (likewise you don't see them using Sony A900s and A7s or even D800s for reasons that have nothing to do with sensor size per se.)

When all this is added up, it's basically impossible to sort out how much (if any) of factor the smaller sensor size, as such, played into the results he got. Having said that, I will gladly concede that m4/3 is still not the optimal choice for sports work. But we're straying far afield from the purported limitations cited in the original post that kicked off this thread.

You still haven't given me ANY explanation of how this magical "smoother, more natural, richer tonality" manifests itself in the typical online posted jpegs that you and others claim as proof. I always find it interesting that this magic quality is somehow so obvious yet so difficult to explain. It never ceases to amaze me how so many think that when they see a nice image on Flickr, the thing that makes it special is the sensor that took it. Somehow they can just intuit that its "smoothness" and "rich tonalities" etc. is directly attributable to the sensor and that the same photographer using the same lens (adapted) or a comparable native lens, using the same shooting/lighting setup and technique and similar or appropriately adjusted processing and editing would have been incapable of replicating that 950x650 pixel jpeg from a smaller sensor.

Maybe you get the chance to borrow or hire a good FF with some fast primes and form your own opinion. Every argument you put forward can be used by APS-C users too, and yet you never see any of those using both APS-C and FF claiming that there is no difference.

First of all, I have used them all and you can throw in multiple film formats as well. I am not arguing that there are no differences in IQ. I'm arguing that you (and others in this thread) have not established that those differences are visible in the significantly downsized jpegs that appear on sites like Flickr and 500px, which is what prompted the OP's initial claims about Shumilova's posted images. I've argued that - starting with post processing and working our way back through the image creation chain - sensor size, as such, is the single least important variable for typical web-based image viewing. Yes, things are different at the extremes (as you scale up output or deal with extreme shooting conditions for instance), but those are not what the OP was referencing as samples of the FF magic. You guys are way, way WAY too fixated on the impact of sensor size within the parameters of this discussion.

Still waiting on your technical explanation of how FF images manage to preserve that "richer, better tonality" in 8-bit sRGB jpegs interpolated to less than a 1000 pixels per side and m4/3 images don't.

I think a lot of things go through so you can see a difference even at jpegs and low resolution.
Here are a few samples - a cover shot.

A few more:

As for the APS-C vs. FF observation you keep making, I'll remind you that I've been around these forums about as long as you have. I've followed and participated in the Nikon vs. Canon debates about as long as you have. And I remember you fighting the good fight in the Nikon DX vs. Canon FF wars and I also remember watching you and many other Nikon fans start to pivot their attitudes and associated posting as soon as Nikon started producing FF sensor-based bodies. Are you now admitting that all those Canon fanboys were right all along and you (we, actually) were just deluding ourselves about what we were actually seeing?

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/22973392

As a fellow veteran you are entitled to a good answer, even if long winded...

At the time Nikon offered for the prosumer the D200, a fast, very well built APS-C, while Canon offered the 5D, a clunky, slow, more expensive FF. Since my roots has been in PJ and sports, I prefered the Nikon compromise. (Still my probably best digital shots were made with that D200 on a safari to Africa.)

I really went the DX route all the way. I upgraded to the D300 and got the 70-200 2.8 and the 17-55 2.8. The 17-55 was a heavy bulky tank, but it freed me some of the curse of the smaller format - the absent DOF control and flat looking everything in focus look from the many 18-xx lenses. I even got the Sigma 30 1.4 and later the Nikon 35 1.8G to get some of the DOF feel of the old 35 mm lenses, but it was not really the same.

There was one argument in the many discussions about DX and FF that stuck to me. With DX (APS-C) you get a lot of bang for the buck - extremely capable and more compact cameras for a lower cost. But with FF you get a slightly better image in every shot.

So I want cameras capable of PJ-style shooting, but I also want the best images, and now when the prices have come down, the answer for me is FF. DX was a good compromise in its time, dictated by cost.
I also like compact cameras, and I think it is excellent if m43 or other mirror less put some pressure on Nikon/Canon to produce smaller bodies, but for me the priority is the images.

Even Nikon DX -fans had to admit that the introduction of the FF Nikon D3 saved Nikon as professional brand. Pros switched back to Nikon in droves. Those pros aren't ignorant or stupid. When one of the Swedish photo agencies switched to Nikon they evaluated the results for months. Now Canon was in trouble with their 1.3x sensors. Not until they also switched to FF with the 1DX did the bleeding and loss of mindshare to Nikon stop.

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