with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions
ennemkay
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with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
Nov 10, 2012

is the dof difference really that significant?

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sean lancaster
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

DoF is pretty significant. But FF also has bigger pixels so even though the 5N handles noise well, it doesn't compete with the current FF Sony sensors. Also, FF's bigger pixels allow for higher dynamic-range. And there are more benefits related to using FF lenses.

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FuzzyQball
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

I have no experience with FF, but I would think it depends on what you are going to do with your photos.  I can see pros wanting one.  The vast majority of the rest of us have no real need. IMHO.  Poster size prints would benefit, but I wonder how many of us do that?

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sean lancaster
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to FuzzyQball, Nov 10, 2012

FuzzyQball wrote:

I have no experience with FF, but I would think it depends on what you are going to do with your photos. I can see pros wanting one. The vast majority of the rest of us have no real need. IMHO. Poster size prints would benefit, but I wonder how many of us do that?

I guess I don't think I'll do it with any shot I take purposefully, but I like having the option when I get ones that I really, really like . . . like this one I put up last week:

I'd rather keep my options open than close them off completely just because I don't print this size often. That being said, I was able to accomplish this with my 5N so there's that, too.

I don't even think it needs to be a pro versus amateur issue . . . some of us enjoy the hobby enough to just want the best quality we can afford. I gain great satisfaction in being able to shoot the image that I visualize in my head when setting up a shot even if most of my photos are just being posted to Flickr.

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ennemkay
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to FuzzyQball, Nov 10, 2012

the reason i bring it up is that, when comparing the m43 vs. nex, even though dof and iso differences are only about a stop, the two systems are the same price, so choosing nex for that extra stop still makes sense. but ff systems are WAY more expensive, so that extra stop and a half of dof and iso doesn't seem to have proportionate value.

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blue_skies
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

ennemkay wrote:

the reason i bring it up is that, when comparing the m43 vs. nex, even though dof and iso differences are only about a stop, the two systems are the same price, so choosing nex for that extra stop still makes sense. but ff systems are WAY more expensive, so that extra stop and a half of dof and iso doesn't seem to have proportionate value.

1 1/3rd stop for APS-C, 5 stops for FF.

DoF is very different too. As is FOV for legacy glass.

Aside from being a lot more expensive, FF gear is also bulky = heavy.

An FF Nex takes the bulk out of the camera, especially the metal frame bodies. Adapters weigh very little.

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RicksAstro
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

ennemkay wrote:

... but ff systems are WAY more expensive, so that extra stop and a half of dof and iso doesn't seem to have proportionate value.

Not if you are comparing similar capabilities as far as IQ goes.    I went from a gripped (for ergonomic purposes) EM-5 with the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8...total cost $1000+$300+$1200 = $2500

I went to a Nikon D600+24-85 f3.5-4.5= $2600

The 12-35 is equivalent to a 24-70 f5.6, so about one stop less DOF control on average compared to the Nikon kit.    I compared the results of the 2 cameras and the Nikon's optical quality and sharpness was at least on par across the frame, usually sharper.   Anyone who looked at the results from the 2 cameras would choose the D600 at any reasonable output size, not even accounting for any DOF differences.

And the Nikon 85 1.8G is a superb lens on the D600...perfect for portraits!    The Olympus 45 f1.8 is great too and about $100 cheaper , but it would be equivalent to stopping down the 85 2 stops as far as DOF control, which is a large amount.   And the D600 85f1.8G frankly is magical in comparison.

If you are willing to sacrifice optical quality on m43 or Sony, then you can get a better value proposition.   I just picked up a NEX6 + 16-50.   It's awesome and compact and gives decent image quality, but that lens isn't in the same ballpark as the previous 2 mentioned.   Is it good enough?   Only you can answer that.    I'll certainly take it places that I wouldn't have taken even the Olympus combo above, which wasn't that small.    The D600 is probably the nicest ergonomically if you don't mind the bulk and weight (and conspicuousness).

The best native zoom I've had for the NEX system was honestly the original 18-200, but the weight and off-balance handling (and ridiculous looks) left a lot to be desired.   I hope Sony comes up with a quality 2.8 zoom for the NEX system like Panasonic did...then it can be considered a high quality option, but again it won't be cheap.

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coudet
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

ennemkay wrote:

is the dof difference really that significant?

Some thoughts (I speak as a Nikon user, btw)..

DOF, yes. So is the low light performance. Sony's crop sensors used in NEX are very good, but FF is in a different league. Overall performance of the camera, a good FF DSLR does pretty much anything. OVF. Handling. Battery that lasts what seems like forever. Lens lineup offered for full frame systems. And to make it all even sweeter, when you factor in equivalence, FF system is cheaper too. Pay less, get more. Not a bad deal, huh?

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coudet
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

ennemkay wrote:

the reason i bring it up is that, when comparing the m43 vs. nex, even though dof and iso differences are only about a stop, the two systems are the same price, so choosing nex for that extra stop still makes sense. but ff systems are WAY more expensive

No, FF is actually cheaper.

Look at 24/1.8 for NEX, for examplel. NEX user pays $1,100 for a slow 35mm equivalent. How much does (would) an equivalent lens cost for FF, a very slow 35mm? Peanuts? RicksAstro, above, wrote a good post. MFT users have it really bad.

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Ed Rizk
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

ennemkay wrote:

the reason i bring it up is that, when comparing the m43 vs. nex, even though dof and iso differences are only about a stop, the two systems are the same price, so choosing nex for that extra stop still makes sense. but ff systems are WAY more expensive, so that extra stop and a half of dof and iso doesn't seem to have proportionate value.

Proportional value is not a common factor is most products.  A Ferrari costs four times as much as a Corvette, but it doesn't go four times as fast.  You reach a point in the quality of everything where you have to pay twice as much to get 10% more.

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RicksAstro
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to coudet, Nov 10, 2012

coudet wrote:

ennemkay wrote:

the reason i bring it up is that, when comparing the m43 vs. nex, even though dof and iso differences are only about a stop, the two systems are the same price, so choosing nex for that extra stop still makes sense. but ff systems are WAY more expensive

No, FF is actually cheaper.

Look at 24/1.8 for NEX, for examplel. NEX user pays $1,100 for a slow 35mm equivalent. How much does (would) an equivalent lens cost for FF, a very slow 35mm? Peanuts? RicksAstro, above, wrote a good post. MFT users have it really bad.

Exactly...if you need the shallow DOF, you pay dearly for it on the smaller formats.    If you don't, then yes the crop cameras are a good alternative.

It's not to say that FF cameras are "better".   If you need a smaller system, then certainly the FF cameras are worse.   But to me, FF cameras can cover all your bases (shallow DOF, wide DOF) and be a more flexible system than the crop format if you don't mind the size.

All cameras are a compromise of design.   It's awesome we have such great choices that just about anyone can find a camera that checks off their individual boxes.

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NEXFULLFRAME
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to RicksAstro, Nov 10, 2012

Dynamic Range, ought to be better as well. The ability to expose and keep color in the sky, then push the shadows to bring out the detail.

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dquangt
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to sean lancaster, Nov 10, 2012

I printed a 24x36 that I took with my 5n and it looked fantastic.

sean lancaster wrote:

FuzzyQball wrote:

I have no experience with FF, but I would think it depends on what you are going to do with your photos. I can see pros wanting one. The vast majority of the rest of us have no real need. IMHO. Poster size prints would benefit, but I wonder how many of us do that?

I guess I don't think I'll do it with any shot I take purposefully, but I like having the option when I get ones that I really, really like . . . like this one I put up last week:

I'd rather keep my options open than close them off completely just because I don't print this size often. That being said, I was able to accomplish this with my 5N so there's that, too.

I don't even think it needs to be a pro versus amateur issue . . . some of us enjoy the hobby enough to just want the best quality we can afford. I gain great satisfaction in being able to shoot the image that I visualize in my head when setting up a shot even if most of my photos are just being posted to Flickr.

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DuncanDovovan
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to ennemkay, Nov 10, 2012

I think differences are mainly DOF and extreme high ISO (>6400) performance.

Check it out yourself at: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonynex5n/14

Note that a FF NEX will be a problem, because the NEX e-mount lenses will not perform well in the corners I guess.

Lenses will be bigger and more expensive.

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sean lancaster
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to dquangt, Nov 10, 2012

dquangt wrote:

I printed a 24x36 that I took with my 5n and it looked fantastic.

sean lancaster wrote:

FuzzyQball wrote:

I have no experience with FF, but I would think it depends on what you are going to do with your photos. I can see pros wanting one. The vast majority of the rest of us have no real need. IMHO. Poster size prints would benefit, but I wonder how many of us do that?

I guess I don't think I'll do it with any shot I take purposefully, but I like having the option when I get ones that I really, really like . . . like this one I put up last week:

I'd rather keep my options open than close them off completely just because I don't print this size often. That being said, I was able to accomplish this with my 5N so there's that, too.

I don't even think it needs to be a pro versus amateur issue . . . some of us enjoy the hobby enough to just want the best quality we can afford. I gain great satisfaction in being able to shoot the image that I visualize in my head when setting up a shot even if most of my photos are just being posted to Flickr.

I believe that image I printed is 48" x 36" from my 5N, so it can be done. But not if you need to crop much. That being said, it gets very expensive if you use a decent to good online service and I am sure I could have gotten quite a bit more quality with a Nikon D800 (I just don't know that I could have taken this same shot from the ground without a flip up LCD). Heh.

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EWR72
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to sean lancaster, Nov 10, 2012

Just wanted to say that the canvas print you made Sean looks fantastic. I have a Canon Full Frame camera that produces wonderful photos but the little Sony Nex-C3 that I own with its flip-up screen gets shots that I would not be able to compose quickly enough with my Canon. Furthermore for A3+ prints the Nex is very capable.

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ennemkay
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to coudet, Nov 10, 2012

coudet wrote:

ennemkay wrote:

the reason i bring it up is that, when comparing the m43 vs. nex, even though dof and iso differences are only about a stop, the two systems are the same price, so choosing nex for that extra stop still makes sense. but ff systems are WAY more expensive

No, FF is actually cheaper.

Look at 24/1.8 for NEX, for examplel. NEX user pays $1,100 for a slow 35mm equivalent. How much does (would) an equivalent lens cost for FF, a very slow 35mm? Peanuts? RicksAstro, above, wrote a good post. MFT users have it really bad.

that's more an milc vs dslr, mass production thing. if you compare canon aps-c to ff, then it's a different story. all other things being equal the ff lenses have more glass and should cost more. in other words, i'm speculating that an milc ff camera will be extremely expensive (both body and lenses).

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rustdream
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to DuncanDovovan, Nov 10, 2012

Full frame in NEX cameras is a no-no to me.

Currently, the worst issue on this platform is the lack of quality telephoto lenses, without IBIS helping with vintage gear.

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sean lancaster
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to rustdream, Nov 10, 2012

rustdream wrote:

Full frame in NEX cameras is a no-no to me.

Currently, the worst issue on this platform is the lack of quality telephoto lenses, without IBIS helping with vintage gear.

Well, I rarely need to use my 55-210 so I don't mind if a FF NEX emerges with a gap in telephoto (or with only non stabilized Alpha telephotos). But I think the worst issue is the AF speed and that's why I canceled my RX1 pre-order until I hear real world results from users.

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losangeles
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Re: with low light performance of the 5n, what is the appeal of full-frame?
In reply to RicksAstro, Nov 10, 2012

Your arguments are sound, and they really resonate with what I've been thinking myself these past few weeks. Thanks for summarizing it so nicely.

One thing I'd like to add is the versatility of having a single walkaround lens that "covers all bases" as you say it. For FF, it would be the kit you went for, the 24-85 mm lens. It should offer shallow enough DOF for most situations. But a similar lens on NEX (the new 12-50) doesn't, as I has DOF comparable to a point-and-shoot with fast lens like the new Lumix LX7. So in practice I end up having to carry around (and invest into) more lenses, easily bringing the total above $2k and the same territory as the D600 with kit lens. And the FF alternative will still beat the NEX IQ.

In my mind, the only way NEX (and m43 for that matter) can prevail is by building affordable&high IQ&fast lenses. If the Nikon 24-85 can be had for $500 above body-only, there needs to be a 12-55 f2.3-f3 option for NEX for the same price (same DOF control, similarly sized optical elements, hopefully same IQ as the Nikkor).

RicksAstro wrote:

ennemkay wrote:

... but ff systems are WAY more expensive, so that extra stop and a half of dof and iso doesn't seem to have proportionate value.

Not if you are comparing similar capabilities as far as IQ goes. I went from a gripped (for ergonomic purposes) EM-5 with the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8...total cost $1000+$300+$1200 = $2500

I went to a Nikon D600+24-85 f3.5-4.5= $2600

The 12-35 is equivalent to a 24-70 f5.6, so about one stop less DOF control on average compared to the Nikon kit. I compared the results of the 2 cameras and the Nikon's optical quality and sharpness was at least on par across the frame, usually sharper. Anyone who looked at the results from the 2 cameras would choose the D600 at any reasonable output size, not even accounting for any DOF differences.

And the Nikon 85 1.8G is a superb lens on the D600...perfect for portraits! The Olympus 45 f1.8 is great too and about $100 cheaper , but it would be equivalent to stopping down the 85 2 stops as far as DOF control, which is a large amount. And the D600 85f1.8G frankly is magical in comparison.

If you are willing to sacrifice optical quality on m43 or Sony, then you can get a better value proposition. I just picked up a NEX6 + 16-50. It's awesome and compact and gives decent image quality, but that lens isn't in the same ballpark as the previous 2 mentioned. Is it good enough? Only you can answer that. I'll certainly take it places that I wouldn't have taken even the Olympus combo above, which wasn't that small. The D600 is probably the nicest ergonomically if you don't mind the bulk and weight (and conspicuousness).

The best native zoom I've had for the NEX system was honestly the original 18-200, but the weight and off-balance handling (and ridiculous looks) left a lot to be desired. I hope Sony comes up with a quality 2.8 zoom for the NEX system like Panasonic did...then it can be considered a high quality option, but again it won't be cheap.

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