The best camera for macro?

Started Dec 27, 2012 | Discussions
Peter too
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The best camera for macro?
Dec 27, 2012

We often get discussions about the best camera for landscape, lowlight, action and portraits but which camera would produce the best results for macro, using say the Canon 100mm macro and the Canon 65mm 1-5X macro?

is it just a matter of resolution i.e. the total number of pixels or is low light ability important? I am particularly thinking of insect photography.

Possible cameras might be 5D ll, 5D lll, 6D, 7D or 60D.

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 7D
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amosf
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to Peter too, Dec 27, 2012

The camera won't make a lot of difference as far as the image goes for macro. Go with the budget that suits... and even the 600D has much the same sensor as the 7D, etc.  I suppose the big choice is FF or crop... And the price. Up to you.

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rebel99
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to amosf, Dec 27, 2012

amosf wrote:

The camera won't make a lot of difference as far as the image goes for macro. Go with the budget that suits... and even the 600D has much the same sensor as the 7D, etc. I suppose the big choice is FF or crop... And the price. Up to you.

+1...look for a good lens!

cheerz.

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mikero
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to amosf, Dec 27, 2012

And crop would better allow you to keep your distance from skittish insects.  (I use a 100mm macro on a 50D.)

Mike

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brightcolours
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APS-C has an advantage
In reply to Peter too, Dec 27, 2012

Peter too wrote:

We often get discussions about the best camera for landscape, lowlight, action and portraits but which camera would produce the best results for macro, using say the Canon 100mm macro and the Canon 65mm 1-5X macro?

is it just a matter of resolution i.e. the total number of pixels or is low light ability important? I am particularly thinking of insect photography.

Possible cameras might be 5D ll, 5D lll, 6D, 7D or 60D.

APS-C magnifies more. If you have an 1:1 lens, APS-C (due to its smaller sensor) will magnify 1.6x more. Where full frame will allow a 36mm wide subject to fill the frame, APS-C will allow a 22mm wide subject to fill the frame.

The 60D and 600/650D have a swivel LCD screen, which can be of a lot of help with subjects in angles where you can not get your head behind the view finder or camera. Would be of tremendous help for images like this one:



Further, what is important is the focal length and accompanying field of view. Above image has avery wide filed of view, due to the short focal length used (35mm on APS-C, with a few vertical images stitched together). This determines the look of the image more than anything else.

So, focal length choice has two factors: The longer the focal length, the bigger the distance to the subject. Handy for critters that like to fly or run away. The longer the focal length, the more narrow the field of view. So, for the look of the image, the focal length choice is important too.



This image is with about 320mm on APS-C, giving a very narrow field of view.

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dsjtecserv
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Re: APS-C has an advantage
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 27, 2012

brightcolours wrote:

Peter too wrote:

We often get discussions about the best camera for landscape, lowlight, action and portraits but which camera would produce the best results for macro, using say the Canon 100mm macro and the Canon 65mm 1-5X macro?

is it just a matter of resolution i.e. the total number of pixels or is low light ability important? I am particularly thinking of insect photography.

Possible cameras might be 5D ll, 5D lll, 6D, 7D or 60D.

APS-C magnifies more. If you have an 1:1 lens, APS-C (due to its smaller sensor) will magnify 1.6x more.

This isn't true. Magnification refers only to the size of the image of an object relative to the actual object. This doesn't change with sensor format; the image of a bug at 1:1 will be the same size as the bug, regardless of the amount of sensor surrounding it.

Where full frame will allow a 36mm wide subject to fill the frame, APS-C will allow a 22mm wide subject to fill the frame.

Correct, and very useful, but not magnification. Filling the frame has nothing to do with magnification, it just defines ​how much​ of the subject will be captured at any given magnification. That's useful in the same way that the longer equivalent focal length of a crop is always useful -- to help isolate the subject, etc. But that's different from magnification.

And if the sensor has a higher pixel density -- as crop cameras often do -- then the image may be more enlargeable without loss of detail. That also gives a potential advantage to using a crop for macro.

Great pictures, by the way. I hated to delete them!

Dave

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brightcolours
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Re: APS-C has an advantage
In reply to dsjtecserv, Dec 27, 2012

dsjtecserv wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

Peter too wrote:

We often get discussions about the best camera for landscape, lowlight, action and portraits but which camera would produce the best results for macro, using say the Canon 100mm macro and the Canon 65mm 1-5X macro?

is it just a matter of resolution i.e. the total number of pixels or is low light ability important? I am particularly thinking of insect photography.

Possible cameras might be 5D ll, 5D lll, 6D, 7D or 60D.

APS-C magnifies more. If you have an 1:1 lens, APS-C (due to its smaller sensor) will magnify 1.6x more.

This isn't true.

Of course it is true.

Magnification refers only to the size of the image of an object relative to the actual object.

The image per mm sensor surface. Since a FF sensor is 36mm wide or so, and an APS-C sensor is 22mm wide or so, the APS-C image can be filled with a 22mm small object. The FF image can only be filled with a 36mm wide object. The 22mm wide object will not fill the FF image.

This doesn't change with sensor format; the image of a bug at 1:1 will be the same size as the bug, regardless of the amount of sensor surrounding it.

Not on the final photo. The bug will be bigger on the APS-C photo.

Where full frame will allow a 36mm wide subject to fill the frame, APS-C will allow a 22mm wide subject to fill the frame.

Correct, and very useful, but not magnification.

That IS the magnification. The bug will be BIGGER on the APS-C image. More magnified.

Filling the frame has nothing to do with magnification, it just defines ​how much​ of the subject will be captured at any given magnification.

Of course it has to do with magnification. Magnification is only about how big the bug will be in a photo. Nothing else.

That's useful in the same way that the longer equivalent focal length of a crop is always useful -- to help isolate the subject, etc. But that's different from magnification.

It is not different at all. The 1:1 magnification only says something about the projected image, not the captured image. Only the captured image is of importance to photographers, not the projected image.

And if the sensor has a higher pixel density -- as crop cameras often do -- then the image may be more enlargeable without loss of detail. That also gives a potential advantage to using a crop for macro.

Great pictures, by the way. I hated to delete them!

Dave

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dsjtecserv
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Re: APS-C has an advantage
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 27, 2012

brightcolours wrote:

APS-C magnifies more. If you have an 1:1 lens, APS-C (due to its smaller sensor) will magnify 1.6x more.

This isn't true.

Of course it is true.

Magnification refers only to the size of the image of an object relative to the actual object.

The image per mm sensor surface. Since a FF sensor is 36mm wide or so, and an APS-C sensor is 22mm wide or so, the APS-C image can be filled with a 22mm small object. The FF image can only be filled with a 36mm wide object. The 22mm wide object will not fill the FF image.

As I said, filling the frame has nothing do do with magnification. Magnification is the ratio of the size of an image of an object to the actual size of the object. That is not, and cannot, be affect by the size of the "canvas" on which the image is projected.

This doesn't change with sensor format; the image of a bug at 1:1 will be the same size as the bug, regardless of the amount of sensor surrounding it.

Not on the final photo. The bug will be bigger on the APS-C photo.

Magnification is concerned with the size of the image on the recording medium. If by "final pciture" you mean a print or monitor screen image, that is a function of enlargement, which is a different process. The bug can appear bigger or smaller in a print, simply depending on how much you choose to enlarge it, which has nothing at all to do with the magnification ratio at capture time. The original question is asking about the best equipment to use for capture, and thus concerned with optimizing the image recorded on the sensor.

Where full frame will allow a 36mm wide subject to fill the frame, APS-C will allow a 22mm wide subject to fill the frame.

Correct, and very useful, but not magnification.

That IS the magnification. The bug will be BIGGER on the APS-C image. More magnified.

The bug will not be bigger. It will occupy a larger proportion of the smaller APS-C frame, but the image the bug will be precisely the same size at 1:1 on any sensor size. And that is what magnification is; the size of the bug relative to the frame is not magnification is is only....framing.

Filling the frame has nothing to do with magnification, it just defines ​how much​ of the subject will be captured at any given magnification.

Of course it has to do with magnification. Magnification is only about how big the bug will be in a photo. Nothing else.

Read the link below.

That's useful in the same way that the longer equivalent focal length of a crop is always useful -- to help isolate the subject, etc. But that's different from magnification.

It is not different at all. The 1:1 magnification only says something about the projected image, not the captured image. Only the captured image is of importance to photographers, not the projected image.

???? I am at a loss for what difference you imagine between the image projected onto the sensor by the lens and the image captured by the sensor. Please read up on the topic in the link below.

And if the sensor has a higher pixel density -- as crop cameras often do -- then the image may be more enlargeable without loss of detail. That also gives a potential advantage to using a crop for macro.

Great pictures, by the way. I hated to delete them!

Here's something to read up on magnification: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6519974919/macro-photography-understanding-magnification

"We've seen in the examples above that sensor size can be used to calculate magnification, but the degree of magnification itself depends on focal length and subject distance exclusively (assuming that the lens is not used with any extenders or magnifying filters). Sensor size does not alter magnification. With a fixed focal length and subject distance, an APS-C sensor, for example would just crop the frame compared to a full-frame sensor, not enlarge it. Magnification is a property of the projection, regardless of the size of sensor (or film format) you are using. With a full frame sensor you'd just make calculations using 35mm as the sensor width instead of 22mm, but the subject would then be proportionally larger, cancelling out the sensor size difference." [emphasis added]

Dave

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Peter too
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to Peter too, Dec 27, 2012

What I am interested in is whether a full frame camera would produce a higher IQ than a crop. For example using the 65mm 1-5X would a photograph of a 5mm insect at 3X magnification on a 7D be better or worse than 5X magnification of the same insect on a 5D lll or 6D?

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brightcolours
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Re: APS-C has an advantage
In reply to dsjtecserv, Dec 27, 2012

dsjtecserv wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

APS-C magnifies more. If you have an 1:1 lens, APS-C (due to its smaller sensor) will magnify 1.6x more.

This isn't true.

Of course it is true.

Magnification refers only to the size of the image of an object relative to the actual object.

The image per mm sensor surface. Since a FF sensor is 36mm wide or so, and an APS-C sensor is 22mm wide or so, the APS-C image can be filled with a 22mm small object. The FF image can only be filled with a 36mm wide object. The 22mm wide object will not fill the FF image.

As I said, filling the frame has nothing do do with magnification. Magnification is the ratio of the size of an image of an object to the actual size of the object. That is not, and cannot, be affect by the size of the "canvas" on which the image is projected.

This doesn't change with sensor format; the image of a bug at 1:1 will be the same size as the bug, regardless of the amount of sensor surrounding it.

Not on the final photo. The bug will be bigger on the APS-C photo.

Magnification is concerned with the size of the image on the recording medium. If by "final pciture" you mean a print or monitor screen image, that is a function of enlargement, which is a different process. The bug can appear bigger or smaller in a print, simply depending on how much you choose to enlarge it, which has nothing at all to do with the magnification ratio at capture time. The original question is asking about the best equipment to use for capture, and thus concerned with optimizing the image recorded on the sensor.

Where full frame will allow a 36mm wide subject to fill the frame, APS-C will allow a 22mm wide subject to fill the frame.

Correct, and very useful, but not magnification.

That IS the magnification. The bug will be BIGGER on the APS-C image. More magnified.

The bug will not be bigger. It will occupy a larger proportion of the smaller APS-C frame, but the image the bug will be precisely the same size at 1:1 on any sensor size. And that is what magnification is; the size of the bug relative to the frame is not magnification is is only....framing.

Filling the frame has nothing to do with magnification, it just defines ​how much​ of the subject will be captured at any given magnification.

Of course it has to do with magnification. Magnification is only about how big the bug will be in a photo. Nothing else.

Read the link below.

That's useful in the same way that the longer equivalent focal length of a crop is always useful -- to help isolate the subject, etc. But that's different from magnification.

It is not different at all. The 1:1 magnification only says something about the projected image, not the captured image. Only the captured image is of importance to photographers, not the projected image.

???? I am at a loss for what difference you imagine between the image projected onto the sensor by the lens and the image captured by the sensor. Please read up on the topic in the link below.

And if the sensor has a higher pixel density -- as crop cameras often do -- then the image may be more enlargeable without loss of detail. That also gives a potential advantage to using a crop for macro.

Great pictures, by the way. I hated to delete them!

Thank you, nice to read that you like them!

Here's something to read up on magnification: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6519974919/macro-photography-understanding-magnification

"We've seen in the examples above that sensor size can be used to calculate magnification, but the degree of magnification itself depends on focal length and subject distance exclusively (assuming that the lens is not used with any extenders or magnifying filters). Sensor size does not alter magnification. With a fixed focal length and subject distance, an APS-C sensor, for example would just crop the frame compared to a full-frame sensor, not enlarge it. Magnification is a property of the projection, regardless of the size of sensor (or film format) you are using. With a full frame sensor you'd just make calculations using 35mm as the sensor width instead of 22mm, but the subject would then be proportionally larger, cancelling out the sensor size difference." [emphasis added]

You keep thinking the magnification of the lens is the only thing the thing magnification applies to. This is incorrect.

"Magnification is the process of enlarging something only in appearance, not in physical size. This enlargement is quantified by a calculated number also called "magnification". When this number is less than one it refers to a reduction in size, sometimes called "minification" or "de-magnification".

Typically magnification is related to scaling up visuals or images to be able to see more detail, increasing resolution, using microscopeprinting techniques, or digital processing. In all cases, the magnification of the image does not change the perspective of the image."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnification

Indeed, the smaller sensor does provide 1.6x more magnification of the object for the captured image. Whoever wrote that blurb on dpreview is not correct.

The smaller sensor does EXACTLY the same as an 1.6x TC will do. There is no difference. Yet, one thing you do consider "magnification" (the lens + TC), the other you do not consider magnification (lens with smaller sensor). The images will be exactly the same.

It is incorrect, to state that what I wrote is wrong. Magnification is just about how big a subject appears. The subject does not change itself. By shooting with a smaller sensor, and keeping the print size the same, you do magnify more. Same as with "zooming in" on an image on a computer screen... You do magnify more. I did not write that the magnification OF THE LENS would increase by using APS-C, I merely was talking about total magnification as seen on the image captured/printed.

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brightcolours
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to Peter too, Dec 27, 2012

Peter too wrote:

What I am interested in is whether a full frame camera would produce a higher IQ than a crop. For example using the 65mm 1-5X would a photograph of a 5mm insect at 3X magnification on a 7D be better or worse than 5X magnification of the same insect on a 5D lll or 6D?

3X on a 7D, and 5X on 6D? Why the difference?

At the same distance, the insect will be BIGGER in the image with a 7D than with a 6D/5D. Exactly 1.6x bigger. More magnification in print with the 7D/60D/650D than with the 5D/6D at the same shooting distance.

There will be no difference in quality, if you take equivalent photos.... (equivalent apertures and equivalent ISO settings). A bit complicated to explain.

The obvious difference will be the different field of view with the same lens. The FF cameras will show a wider view (and a smaller insect at same distance).

The 7D does not offer any real advantage over the 60D and 650D IQ wise. the 60D and 650D do offer an advantage over the 7D, which is their swivel LCD.

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dsjtecserv
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Re: APS-C has an advantage
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 27, 2012

brightcolours wrote:


Here's something to read up on magnification: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6519974919/macro-photography-understanding-magnification

"We've seen in the examples above that sensor size can be used to calculate magnification, but the degree of magnification itself depends on focal length and subject distance exclusively (assuming that the lens is not used with any extenders or magnifying filters). Sensor size does not alter magnification. With a fixed focal length and subject distance, an APS-C sensor, for example would just crop the frame compared to a full-frame sensor, not enlarge it. Magnification is a property of the projection, regardless of the size of sensor (or film format) you are using. With a full frame sensor you'd just make calculations using 35mm as the sensor width instead of 22mm, but the subject would then be proportionally larger, cancelling out the sensor size difference." [emphasis added]

You keep thinking the magnification of the lens is the only thing the thing magnification applies to. This is incorrect.

"Magnification is the process of enlarging something only in appearance, not in physical size. This enlargement is quantified by a calculated number also called "magnification". When this number is less than one it refers to a reduction in size, sometimes called "minification" or "de-magnification".

Typically magnification is related to scaling up visuals or images to be able to see more detail, increasing resolution, using microscope, printing techniques, or digital processing. In all cases, the magnification of the image does not change the perspective of the image."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnification

Indeed, the smaller sensor does provide 1.6x more magnification of the object for the captured image. Whoever wrote that blurb on dpreview is not correct.

The smaller sensor does EXACTLY the same as an 1.6x TC will do. There is no difference. Yet, one thing you do consider "magnification" (the lens + TC), the other you do not consider magnification (lens with smaller sensor). The images will be exactly the same.

It is incorrect, to state that what I wrote is wrong. Magnification is just about how big a subject appears. The subject does not change itself.

Really, did anybody suggest that pointing a cropped camera at a bug made the bug bigger? Of course we are talking about the image of the bug, as projected on the sensor. And it is simply incorrect to suggest that the image of the bug gets bigger (as you did) when it is projected onto a crop sensor.

By shooting with a smaller sensor, and keeping the print size the same, you do magnify more. Same as with "zooming in" on an image on a computer screen... You do magnify more.

You enlarge more.

I did not write that the magnification OF THE LENS would increase by using APS-C, I merely was talking about total magnification as seen on the image captured/printed.

The image captured will be the image projected by the lens, and its magnification will not be affected in any way whatsoever by they size of the sensor. When you subsequently enlarge or and/or crop it further you will obviously be affecting the physical size of the printed image, which will have its own ratio to the original size of the object. But that is a matter entirely separate from capturing an image a 1:1 (or whatever), which is what magnification is concerned with.

The dpreview "blurb" is not incorrect; it reflects the established understanding of the use of magnification; and can be found in numerous other references. For instance http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/macro-lenses.htm (which also has a short discussion on how sensor size fits in to the subject). Magnification is, indeed, a function of the lens alone (specifically, its focal length and shooting distance). That doesn't exclude​additional​ consideration of ​other​ things that affect the final image, but they have to be understood separately from magnification itself.

What you are referring to is sometimes generously referred to as "apparent magnification", which is how big something "looks" when all image making steps, including cropping and enlarging are completed. I think that this is, indeed, a legitimate consideration when viewing the entire photographic process. But the term "magnification" (also known as "reproduction ratio") is reserved for the ratio of the image of an object as captured on the recording medium, because it provides valuable information about the degree of detail potentially recorded, which could not be discerned one the image has been through additional steps of cropping an enlargement.

The problem with trying to apply "magnification" to the size of an image of an object relative to the frame, rather than relative the original size of the object is that cropping is not equivalent to projecting a larger image, any more than using a 50 mm lens on a crop camera turns in into a 80 mm lens. Knowing the actual magnification relative only to the object tells us much about the quality and degree of detail that we have recorded, which a ratio relative only to the frame cannot. That's why photography has traditionally (and continues to) look at magnification on the recording medium independent of subsequent factors such as cropping (whether by sensor or scissors) and enlarging. Making a complete macro photograph doesn't exclude those factors, but magnification does.

Dave

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Peter too
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 27, 2012

brightcolours wrote:

Peter too wrote:

What I am interested in is whether a full frame camera would produce a higher IQ than a crop. For example using the 65mm 1-5X would a photograph of a 5mm insect at 3X magnification on a 7D be better or worse than 5X magnification of the same insect on a 5D lll or 6D?

3X on a 7D, and 5X on 6D? Why the difference?

At the same distance, the insect will be BIGGER in the image with a 7D than with a 6D/5D. Exactly 1.6x bigger. More magnification in print with the 7D/60D/650D than with the 5D/6D at the same shooting distance.

There will be no difference in quality, if you take equivalent photos.... (equivalent apertures and equivalent ISO settings). A bit complicated to explain.

The obvious difference will be the different field of view with the same lens. The FF cameras will show a wider view (and a smaller insect at same distance).

The 7D does not offer any real advantage over the 60D and 650D IQ wise. the 60D and 650D do offer an advantage over the 7D, which is their swivel LCD.

3X on the 7D and 5X on the 6D both fill about 70% of the frame. So if I then print them both A3 which will look better? The full frame is supposed to produce better landscape and portrait images than crop does this advantage carry over to macro?

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dsjtecserv
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 27, 2012

brightcolours wrote:

Peter too wrote:

What I am interested in is whether a full frame camera would produce a higher IQ than a crop. For example using the 65mm 1-5X would a photograph of a 5mm insect at 3X magnification on a 7D be better or worse than 5X magnification of the same insect on a 5D lll or 6D?

3X on a 7D, and 5X on 6D? Why the difference?

At the same distance, the insect will be BIGGER in the image with a 7D than with a 6D/5D. Exactly 1.6x bigger. More magnification in print with the 7D/60D/650D than with the 5D/6D at the same shooting distance.

No, this is again misleading. At the same distance, the size of image of the insect projected onto either sensor will be the same. The only difference will result from different degrees of enlargement of the sensor image. If you take uncropped frame of either the 7D or the 6D image and enlarge them to the same print size, then the bug will indeed be bigger, but only because you have extra "padding" around the bug in the 6D image, and thus did not enlarge as much. But if you crop the 6D image so that it has the same framing as 7D shot, then the degree of enlargement will be the same, and final bug sizes will be the same. I really just comes down to when you want to do your cropping: on the sensor or on the resulting image file.

There will be no difference in quality, if you take equivalent photos.... (equivalent apertures and equivalent ISO settings). A bit complicated to explain.

There is at least the potential for better detail from the crop sensor image, because the pixel density will be higher, and thus there will be more "pixels per bug" applied. But the other factors affecting overall image quality aren't so easy to parse, and I agree with brightcolours that they are basically a wash.

The obvious difference will be the different field of view with the same lens. The FF cameras will show a wider view (and a smaller insect at same distance).

This boils down to the same argument as "reach" in discussions of long distance photography with cropped or full frame senors. I don't want to get into that, except to ensure that it is understood that the concept of magnification strictly applies to the size of the image of an object projected on the sensor compared to the object actual size, regardless of sensor size.

Dave

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Erland Nielsen
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to Peter too, Dec 27, 2012

I've been doing insects for 14 years, 50-150-180 mm standard macro lenses, and the Mp-E 65. I mostly use the longer lenses. FF camera is for me something I like. Especially with the Mp-E 65. You get the ability to fit a larger insect in the frame. On a crop camera the "perceived magnification" range is shifted, getting extremely close at 5:1, but the ability to fit insects sized between 22,5 and 36 mm is lost, compared to FF.

Low light is important for me too. I don't use flash, but use mostly monopod and occasionally a tripod. Currently enjoying my new Sigma 180/2.8 OS on 5DIII.

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brightcolours
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to dsjtecserv, Dec 27, 2012

dsjtecserv wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

Peter too wrote:

What I am interested in is whether a full frame camera would produce a higher IQ than a crop. For example using the 65mm 1-5X would a photograph of a 5mm insect at 3X magnification on a 7D be better or worse than 5X magnification of the same insect on a 5D lll or 6D?

3X on a 7D, and 5X on 6D? Why the difference?

At the same distance, the insect will be BIGGER in the image with a 7D than with a 6D/5D. Exactly 1.6x bigger. More magnification in print with the 7D/60D/650D than with the 5D/6D at the same shooting distance.

No, this is again misleading. At the same distance, the size of image of the insect projected onto either sensor will be the same. The only difference will result from different degrees of enlargement of the sensor image. If you take uncropped frame of either the 7D or the 6D image and enlarge them to the same print size, then the bug will indeed be bigger, but only because you have extra "padding" around the bug in the 6D image, and thus did not enlarge as much. But if you crop the 6D image so that it has the same framing as 7D shot, then the degree of enlargement will be the same, and final bug sizes will be the same. I really just comes down to when you want to do your cropping: on the sensor or on the resulting image file.

Stop this nonsense, you are not correct about your narrow definition of "magnification". What I wrote is in no way misleading. I know very well the difference between the 1:1 magnification from the optics, and other factors that determine the magnification on the IMAGE ITSELF. That you want magnification and enlargement to be two totally different things is your problem, it does not make my post in any way misleading.

There will be no difference in quality, if you take equivalent photos.... (equivalent apertures and equivalent ISO settings). A bit complicated to explain.

There is at least the potential for better detail from the crop sensor image, because the pixel density will be higher, and thus there will be more "pixels per bug" applied. But the other factors affecting overall image quality aren't so easy to parse, and I agree with brightcolours that they are basically a wash.

The obvious difference will be the different field of view with the same lens. The FF cameras will show a wider view (and a smaller insect at same distance).

This boils down to the same argument as "reach" in discussions of long distance photography with cropped or full frame senors. I don't want to get into that, except to ensure that it is understood that the concept of magnification strictly applies to the size of the image of an object projected on the sensor compared to the object actual size, regardless of sensor size.

Nonsense. Magnification is not strictly the projection onto the image capturing plane. yes, lenses are expressed as 1:1 magnification on the sensor/film, because that is how to compare lens magnification. But we are talking images, photos, things that have NO relationship to the sensor size itself anymore after capture. Your narrow idea of what the word magnification encompasses is not complete.

Dave

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Peter too
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to Erland Nielsen, Dec 27, 2012

Erland Nielsen wrote:

I've been doing insects for 14 years, 50-150-180 mm standard macro lenses, and the Mp-E 65. I mostly use the longer lenses. FF camera is for me something I like. Especially with the Mp-E 65. You get the ability to fit a larger insect in the frame. On a crop camera the "perceived magnification" range is shifted, getting extremely close at 5:1, but the ability to fit insects sized between 22,5 and 36 mm is lost, compared to FF.

Low light is important for me too. I don't use flash, but use mostly monopod and occasionally a tripod. Currently enjoying my new Sigma 180/2.8 OS on 5DIII.

That's interesting. Light is certainly an issue where I thought full frame might have an advantage over crop. Flash is almost essential for live insect photography at high magnification with the 65mm but with the 100mm macro or 1-2X magnification with the 65mm natural lighting becomes possible and the full frame might have an advantage.

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brightcolours
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to Peter too, Dec 27, 2012

Peter too wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

Peter too wrote:

What I am interested in is whether a full frame camera would produce a higher IQ than a crop. For example using the 65mm 1-5X would a photograph of a 5mm insect at 3X magnification on a 7D be better or worse than 5X magnification of the same insect on a 5D lll or 6D?

3X on a 7D, and 5X on 6D? Why the difference?

At the same distance, the insect will be BIGGER in the image with a 7D than with a 6D/5D. Exactly 1.6x bigger. More magnification in print with the 7D/60D/650D than with the 5D/6D at the same shooting distance.

There will be no difference in quality, if you take equivalent photos.... (equivalent apertures and equivalent ISO settings). A bit complicated to explain.

The obvious difference will be the different field of view with the same lens. The FF cameras will show a wider view (and a smaller insect at same distance).

The 7D does not offer any real advantage over the 60D and 650D IQ wise. the 60D and 650D do offer an advantage over the 7D, which is their swivel LCD.

3X on the 7D and 5X on the 6D both fill about 70% of the frame. So if I then print them both A3 which will look better? The full frame is supposed to produce better landscape and portrait images than crop does this advantage carry over to macro?

Full frame does not per se produce better images on FF. When you use equivalent apertures, and equivalent field of view, the images will be very the same. Full frame can offer a slightly better dynamic range, which is handy for people who like to compress a larger dynamic range into a lesser dynamic range (lowering contrast). The difference between FF and APS-C for landscape stuff is very small, and depends mostly on the quality of the optics.

For portrait, the FF advantage lays in the fact that a shallower depth of field is possible (depending on the lens used).

For the macro, the only difference you will see is the change in field of view (more narrow field of view from the APS-C combination). The difference in distance to the subject and the more narrow field of view change the perspective and the width/height for things appear in the background. The difference in quality will be small.

The bigger difference is that with the same lens, you can get things bigger on the image with APS-C.

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brightcolours
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to Peter too, Dec 27, 2012

Peter too wrote:

Erland Nielsen wrote:

I've been doing insects for 14 years, 50-150-180 mm standard macro lenses, and the Mp-E 65. I mostly use the longer lenses. FF camera is for me something I like. Especially with the Mp-E 65. You get the ability to fit a larger insect in the frame. On a crop camera the "perceived magnification" range is shifted, getting extremely close at 5:1, but the ability to fit insects sized between 22,5 and 36 mm is lost, compared to FF.

Low light is important for me too. I don't use flash, but use mostly monopod and occasionally a tripod. Currently enjoying my new Sigma 180/2.8 OS on 5DIII.

That's interesting. Light is certainly an issue where I thought full frame might have an advantage over crop. Flash is almost essential for live insect photography at high magnification with the 65mm but with the 100mm macro or 1-2X magnification with the 65mm natural lighting becomes possible and the full frame might have an advantage.

Light is less of a factor as you might think (if sensors are of similar technology standards). With APS-C you can use a bigger aperture, to get the same depth of focus. This equalizes things.

However, the sensor tech. of the 5D mk III and the 6D is a bit better than the 18mp sensor used in the 60D and 650D, so that still brings a bit of an advantage higher ISO wise.

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Peter too
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Re: The best camera for macro?
In reply to brightcolours, Dec 27, 2012

brightcolours wrote:

Peter too wrote:

Erland Nielsen wrote:

I've been doing insects for 14 years, 50-150-180 mm standard macro lenses, and the Mp-E 65. I mostly use the longer lenses. FF camera is for me something I like. Especially with the Mp-E 65. You get the ability to fit a larger insect in the frame. On a crop camera the "perceived magnification" range is shifted, getting extremely close at 5:1, but the ability to fit insects sized between 22,5 and 36 mm is lost, compared to FF.

Low light is important for me too. I don't use flash, but use mostly monopod and occasionally a tripod. Currently enjoying my new Sigma 180/2.8 OS on 5DIII.

That's interesting. Light is certainly an issue where I thought full frame might have an advantage over crop. Flash is almost essential for live insect photography at high magnification with the 65mm but with the 100mm macro or 1-2X magnification with the 65mm natural lighting becomes possible and the full frame might have an advantage.

Light is less of a factor as you might think (if sensors are of similar technology standards). With APS-C you can use a bigger aperture, to get the same depth of focus. This equalizes things.

However, the sensor tech. of the 5D mk III and the 6D is a bit better than the 18mp sensor used in the 60D and 650D, so that still brings a bit of an advantage higher ISO wise.

With live insect photography the chance of creating a focus stack is pretty limited and with high magnification depth of field is minuscule. At F16 DOF at 5X is 0.286mm while at 3X it is 0.498mm. So DOF is certainly an issue where the crop camera does seem to have a clear advantage.

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