XT1 - Truly Superior IQ

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Photo-Wiz
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Re: THIS is what started this whole thread????!!!!????
In reply to Ray Sachs, 6 months ago

Ray Sachs wrote:

Photo-Wiz,

You're right. My apologies for getting even remotely personal, which I try very hard not to do. Based on what you've written here, you're not a novice and certainly not a troll and I should never have gone along with that characterization. My bad - no excuses...

But I was (and am) simply dumb-founded at your problems getting a sharp photograph out of the GX7. And then when you indicated that you also owned an EM5 and had trouble getting sharp photos out of THAT, I was beyond dumb-founded and headed toward incredulous. And remain so. The difference in lenses could have something to do with it. The Fuji 18-55 really is a stellar kit lens and I found the 16-50 to be optically quite good as well, if somewhat slow and more cheaply constructed. And it's the only way at the moment to get a 16mm focal length in the Fuji system, so it actually holds a remotely special place in my heart. And the Panasonic 14-42 kit is not much of a lens, but it's not THAT bad - I've seen plenty of sharp images taken with it...

So I'm flummoxed. Of the differences between the m43 and Fuji cameras I've owned and used (and I've spent a LOT of time with many of both - I've always had m43 gear in my bag since 2010 and Fuji since 2011 and I've had review copies of almost all of the models I didn't personally own), getting a sharp photograph out of any of the m43 gear has never been an issue. In the old days, before the GH2 and EM5, you could make a strong argument that the old 12mp sensor that both Olympus and Panasonic were using was quite bad by today's standards and not all that great by 2010 standards. It was extremely limited in low light and even trying to raise a bit of detail out of the shadows was a fraught experience. Today's m43 sensors are much much better - I'd say they're only a little behind the best of APS today - others think there's a bigger difference than that. But the differences, to the extent they exist, are generally only at high ISO and in extreme DR situations - not thing that comes through in most decent-light photographs. And nothing that has to do with getting sharp photos.

But sharpness was just never a problem with any of the decent m43 glass, let alone the really good stuff. In 2010 the options were limited, AF was really slow, etc, etc, etc, but even then if you stuck a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 on any m43 body you'd get extremely sharp and beautifully rendered images. Today you've got the Olympus 12, Panasonic 20, both Pany and Olympus 25s, Olympus 45, Olympus 75 - man, these are some of the sharpest lenses I've used in any format. There are some that aren't, but many are. And the new fast zooms are pretty much as good. The Olympus 12-40 is a great piece of glass - I assume the Fuji 16-55 will be similarly good but I fear it's gonna be larger than I want to carry on a regular basis.

Shutter shock - yes, that exists with some Olympus models. A bit with the EM5, a bit more with the EP5. I've never experienced with the EM1, but I suppose it's possible there's a range of shutter speeds where it might be found. But even at it's worst, this was limited to a range of shutter speeds that you would only hit a percentage of the time and are pretty easily avoided once you're aware of them. I've probably lost a few photographs to it over the years, but I've gotten so many more razor sharp photos that I never looked at it as more than a minor annoyance that could be managed, if not quite eliminated. And I've never heard anyone complain about it in the GX7 or any of the other Panasonic models. I certainly never experienced it. So I just don't think that can explain the problems you were having.

Did you ever shoot with any m43 glass beyond the basic 12-50 kit that came with the EM5 or the 14-42 that came with the GX7? I don't think those lenses are bad enough to cause the problems you're showing (I know the 12-50 isn't bad at all - pretty akin to the 16-50 Fuji), but I wonder if you ever tried one of the really sharp lenses in that system?

I've already posted what I consider to be some plenty sharp m43 photos, so I'm not gonna put any more up. I've never had to struggle to get really sharp photos with m43 gear. I'm sorry you were having the experience you did but I'm at wit's end to explain it. I know it's far from typical though. And, to the extent that Fuji's IQ is arguably better than m43, it wouldn't be in terms of sharpness or clarity. They're both 16mp systems with fine glass. Neither can hold a candle to the 24 or 36mp models out there for clarity and detail, not to mention to the Sigma Foveon based cameras. But they're both plenty sharp and their glass is probably sharp enough to handle higher res sensors that are sure to be coming in the future.

Again, my sincere apologies for casting any doubt on your character or personal experience. I don't know you and had absolutely no reason to assume any of that. I have no excuse for that. But I'm just puzzled beyond any explanation at how you've had so much trouble with THAT specific aspect of m43 image quality.

Regardless, I'm glad you got to the XT1 and it's meeting your wants and needs! I have both systems, find lots to like about both systems, and I do get a bit defensive when the loudest proponents of either system start dissing the other. When I used to hang out on the m43 forums a lot but also shot with Fuji gear, I was just as much of a pain in the butt over there defending Fuji agains attacks from m43 loyalists!

Have a good one,

-Ray

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We judge photographers by the photographs we see. We judge cameras by the photographs we miss - Haim Zamir
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Ray,

Thank you for your post.  I really appreciate it.  I went back and looked at some of my old EM5 pictures, and indeed I took some with the 12-50mm lens.  I also took some with the 14-42mm and the 40-150mm lenses.  (amazing how helpful Lightroom is at helping me remember the gear I used.)

In reviewing my old EM5 pictures, some were actually quite good. Many of the 12-50mm photos are very nice.  But what I do recall is that too often, the photos were somewhat blurry or lacking in sharpness on the object on which I had focused.  Perhaps the problem is that, as you suggest, one that appears only at certain shutter speeds. I don't think it is the lens however, as even the 14-42mm lens sometimes yielded good results.  I don't think it is the size of the sensor, because cameras with smaller sensors which I have used (sony RX100, Canon G9, Canon G15) don't have this issue.  The M4/3 sensors are large enough to render exquisite photos.  I use to own an Olympus EPL1 and it took great pictures using the 14-42mm kit lens.  I also use to own Panasonic G1 and GH1, and did not notice any problems.

So there is something else going on in the GX7 and EM5 (at least in my hands) that I don't understand, which gives me inconsistent results (with respect to sharpness/focus/blurriness).

Interestingly, today I see that Olympus has released a firmware update to address shuttershock issues on the EM1.  So perhaps I'm not the only person that has observed this phenomena on Oly cameras...and now GX7.

When I have used Fuji or Canon or Nikon cameras I have not experienced this at all.   I'm puzzled, and perhaps guilty of some user error...but I'm not a troll.  And as you can see from the many cameras I have owned, I don't have anything against any of the manufacturers...I like certain cameras more than others.  But if a camera looks intriguing and gets good reviews, I won't hesitate to buy it because it comes from manufacturer A, B or C.

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