Does M4/3 or DSLR produce higher quality photo's

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions
MatsP
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Re: Go to DxOMark
In reply to sigala1, Apr 15, 2013

sigala1 wrote:

raptureall wrote:

I've done a lot of research concerning Micro 4/3.  I thought of getting the Panasonic GH3, but am not satisfied with the quality of photo against say the new Nikon d7100.  So does a DSLR produce better quality photo's, or have I not seen good photo's from a Micro 4/3?  I really like the Micro 4/3, but my main interest is in the quality of the photo.  Thanks for your help!

I recommend using the sensor ratings at DxOMark to evaluate image sensor qualities.

And if you do that, you'll see the following.

Best m4/3: Olympus  E-PL5, score 72 (OMD and GH3 have 71)

Best APS:   Nikon D5200, score 83

Best Canon APS: 7D, 60D, score 66

Which indicates that the best APS sensors are better than the best m4/3 sensors. But the best m4/3 are better than the best APS from a very big manufacturer as Canon.

I know many people who think 7D is an excellent camera and I think they are right. Still the best m4/3 have a potential to give a little better IQ. In normal use you won't see any differences but if you pixelpeep there is an obvious difference.

As the best m4/3 cameras obviously share sensor technology with the best APS cameras it's mainly the bigger size of the sensor that makes the difference.

Canon is lagging behind a little in sensor development, but they will surely soon keep up to the highest standards and then all current APS will be better than all current m4/3. But the differences are so small that they hardly mean anything in practical use. You can choose m4/3 or APS and feel safe that the IQ differences are too small to take notice about.

The important differences are OVF - EVF, size and weight (especially lenses) and the ability of focus tracking. Not much more.

To achieve a significant IQ increase from m4/3, you have to go FF, not APS. And even that can be put under discussion, as can be seen in various threads here.

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marike6
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If you shoot both, and think there is no difference...Hmmm...
In reply to MrScorpio, Apr 15, 2013

MrScorpio wrote:

I use my Canon 6D when I need optimum IQ and shallow DOF or extreme low ligh capability.

But FF for travel? In most cases no.

And in reality the difference between the 6D and the OMD is so small that it is my own skills that limits me, not the gear.

Actually the difference between the 6D and the OMD is pretty large if you are talking low-light photography. The Canon 6D is hands down better in low-light with less noisy images at any given ISO.

DxOMark OMD - 6D - D7100 Comparison

The 6D, as a FF DSLR, also has far better DOF control producing more shallow DOF at any given aperture.

Ultimate IQ, go FF. Ultimate portability, go omd.

OMD vs 7100? OMD wins easily!! Hands down IMO.

The OMD is smaller than the D7100, but it's doesn't have better IQ than the D7100 which is close to class leading in all categories (high ISO, DR, or color depth).

The OMD also does not have a better AF system than a D7100,  so where size is not a concern, the D7100 would actually be a better choice.

Re: ultimate portability, if the camera is not pocketable (i.e., you need a camera bag to carry it), then why not carry the more robust body with far better ergonomics and grip?  Personally when I'm out in the field with my tripod, I'd rather have a camera with deeper grip like the GH3 or D7100.  And in winter, if you can't change settings with gloves on, then the body you are using is too small.  That's why all professional DSLR (D4 or 1DX) have large, oversized buttons for ISO, WB, etc.

For ultimate portability with superb IQ something like an Sony RX100 or Nikon Coolpix A would be great choices.  The RX100 has IQ that's not quite as good as the OMD, but as a truly pocketable camera, it's far more portable.  The Coolpix A as a fixed lens camera is not quite a versatile as an ILC, but it's pocketable and IQ is as good or better than the OMD.

Side note: I really want to like the OMD (have even considered buying one) but fanboy posts like this one make it really hard.  

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digifan
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Re: misinformation
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 15, 2013

Mahmoud Mousef wrote:

raptureall wrote:

I've done a lot of research concerning Micro 4/3.  I thought of getting the Panasonic GH3, but am not satisfied with the quality of photo against say the new Nikon d7100.  So does a DSLR produce better quality photo's, or have I not seen good photo's from a Micro 4/3?  I really like the Micro 4/3, but my main interest is in the quality of the photo.  Thanks for your help!

Never tried the GH3 or 7100.

But tried various Micro Four Thirds, Four Thirds and Nikon bodies.

Through the years I've always found a Nikon DSLR of similar vintage the better choice for night work and higher ISOs. Simple as that. Plus the optical viewfinder the only way to go for night work.

This is downright wrong. The EVF will be better for night work, there is no light amplification with an OVF as can be with EVF. My experience is that with an EVF you can still compose the shot better than with OVF because your eyes will be the limiting factor with an OVF, and the OMD can even focus in very dim/dark conditions.

I have tried the Nikon D50 and Nikon D5100, Panasonic DMC-G2, Panasonic DMC-G3, Panasonic DMC-GX1, Olympus (Four Thirds) E-520, etc.

The Micro Four Thirds bodies I've tried are often "good enough" for many tasks, but not if near-darkness / higher ISOs / shadow detail / less noise in near-darkness is your main priority.

Then you certainly haven't tried the latest Olympus and Panasonic camera's. (OM-D/E-PL5/GH3)

But I haven't tried the 7100 and/or GH3, but I'd be surprised if Nikon doesn't have the edge.

The 7100 doesn't have an edge afaiac. The D600 does but for very different reasons.

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sigala1
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Re: Go to DxOMark
In reply to MatsP, Apr 15, 2013

MatsP wrote:

sigala1 wrote:

raptureall wrote:

I've done a lot of research concerning Micro 4/3.  I thought of getting the Panasonic GH3, but am not satisfied with the quality of photo against say the new Nikon d7100.  So does a DSLR produce better quality photo's, or have I not seen good photo's from a Micro 4/3?  I really like the Micro 4/3, but my main interest is in the quality of the photo.  Thanks for your help!

I recommend using the sensor ratings at DxOMark to evaluate image sensor qualities.

And if you do that, you'll see the following.

Best m4/3: Olympus  E-PL5, score 72 (OMD and GH3 have 71)

Best APS:   Nikon D5200, score 83

Best Canon APS: 7D, 60D, score 66

Which indicates that the best APS sensors are better than the best m4/3 sensors. But the best m4/3 are better than the best APS from a very big manufacturer as Canon.

I know many people who think 7D is an excellent camera and I think they are right. Still the best m4/3 have a potential to give a little better IQ. In normal use you won't see any differences but if you pixelpeep there is an obvious difference.

As the best m4/3 cameras obviously share sensor technology with the best APS cameras it's mainly the bigger size of the sensor that makes the difference.

Canon is lagging behind a little in sensor development, but they will surely soon keep up to the highest standards and then all current APS will be better than all current m4/3. But the differences are so small that they hardly mean anything in practical use. You can choose m4/3 or APS and feel safe that the IQ differences are too small to take notice about.

The important differences are OVF - EVF, size and weight (especially lenses) and the ability of focus tracking. Not much more.

To achieve a significant IQ increase from m4/3, you have to go FF, not APS. And even that can be put under discussion, as can be seen in various threads here.

Thank you for expounding on my answer, I was expecting more criticism. But I think this does answer the question the OP was asking.

Of course, you can take really lousy photos with very expensive cameras, and I could point to  many posts on the m43 forum to demonstrate that, and there are some very engaging photos on Instagram taken with iPhones.

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mr moonlight
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Re: Go to DxOMark
In reply to sigala1, Apr 15, 2013

Choose the type of camera based on features and size/weight not image quality.

Medium Format may give you the best image quality, but you can't exactly carry one around your neck everywhere you go. Ask yourself what you will be doing with your camera be it shooting in a studio, landscapes, events, product, travel, portraits, fashion, kids, everyday stuff... then think about what type of camera will fit your needs best based on features. Size, weight, viewfinder, OVF, speed, LCD, control layout... If you want a camera that you take with you everywhere everyday, a DSLR will likely be a pain to lug around. A m43, APS-C mirrorless, fixed lens or compact P&S may be the best option.

I know it's been said a million times over, but "the best camera is the one you have with you."

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Pablo4
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Re: Does M4/3 or DSLR produce higher quality photo's
In reply to raptureall, Apr 15, 2013

Its about senzor size and performance.
As always, m4/3 is short of both compared to the APSc or FF sensored cameras.
For little money you can get a NEX 5N which's  sensor will leave any m4/3 behind.
If you have more money or lust to lug around large cameras, go for the D7100 or a FF cam.
If you want pocketable, go for SONY RX100, which gives you more DR than any m4/3 without blowing highlights...

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Ulric
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Re: Does M4/3 or DSLR produce higher quality photo's
In reply to Pablo4, Apr 15, 2013

Why stop at FF? A large format field camera costs less than a D800 and folds to a neatly portable package.

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pinnacle
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Ditto on the offer...
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 15, 2013

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I will gladly accept the challenge to go head-to-head with 90% of all people who use a camera and even 70 % of all who consider themselves photographers (there is a difference).

They can use the camera they want, be it mirrorless, FT, APS-C or FF.

I'll just use my LX3 compact.

Better still : they can use any camera I own and give me any camera they own.

(Of course, those 70 % are not posting here : you guys are, obviously, the 30 % I am not so sure about.  No need to feel offended or to consider me condescending...)

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I will make the same offer. It becomes readily apparent soon after one browses this forum that it is indeed a "gear" forum and only a photography forum in the sense that photographs may happen be posted from time to time. It is not a "photographic image"  forum as it's primary function.

Dan

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MarceloLI
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Not really, both are advantages and disadvantages
In reply to raptureall, Apr 15, 2013

Not really, both are advantages and disadvantages but I think the IQ is very similar (I'm talking about the OMD).

The following pictures of the same scene are shoot with the OMD and a Nikon D600 (different days and settings).

1. Nikon D600

2. Olympus OMD

The following picture was shoot with the OMD at 5000 ISO

I don't see any noise in this picture, I don't think my D600 can do that in the same conditions.

Regards.

Marcelo

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Micromegas777
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In reply to sean000, Apr 15, 2013
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dantastical
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Re: Does M4/3 or DSLR produce higher quality photo's
In reply to raptureall, Apr 15, 2013

I think one mistake is to lump together all cameas of a certain sensor size. There are slr 43 cameras and even compact FFa.

The advantages of SLRs are generally better autofocus, an optical viewfinder which many prefer (but not all), better ergonomics and controls, perhaps faster shooting speed.

The advantages of compact cameras are obviously portability and cost.

So you could argue that portable means youll get the shot, compared to your SLR sitting at home, but SLR might allow you to get the shot (a bird flying fast through the sky) that a compact autofocus wouldnt allow.

Sensor size gives generally better DR, colour depth and low light performance, and so bigger will be better.

But by how much depends on what you shoot. If you want to shoot birds in flight or sports you need an SLR, and it could be argued that if youre carrying the bulk of an SLR anyway then you may as well get the IQ from a larger sensor. Low light requires a higher ISO and so a larger sensor.

My view is that you should go (or have one of each if possible) towards each extreme (though not as far as camera phone and medium format!) Have a pocketable compact with reasonable IQ, and a DX or FX SLR for when you need it (if you think you will need it.) A big camera with a small sensor, while of course capable of taking good pictures, might end up something that you dont take with you all that often, while also not giving the IQ you might find useful if you decided whatever youre taking pictures of is worth carrying it.

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tedolf
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Better photographers produce....
In reply to raptureall, Apr 15, 2013

raptureall wrote:

I've done a lot of research concerning Micro 4/3.  I thought of getting the Panasonic GH3, but am not satisfied with the quality of photo against say the new Nikon d7100.  So does a DSLR produce better quality photo's, or have I not seen good photo's from a Micro 4/3?  I really like the Micro 4/3, but my main interest is in the quality of the photo.  Thanks for your help!

higher quality photo's.

At this level of equipment, the IQ difference between a 4/3 sensor and an APS sensor is inconsequential.

Look at some of the photo threads in this Forum.

That knowlege of and the effort expounded by the photographer are far more important.

Tedolph

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MrScorpio
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Re: If you shoot both, and think there is no difference...Hmmm...
In reply to marike6, Apr 16, 2013

marike6 wrote:

MrScorpio wrote:

I use my Canon 6D when I need optimum IQ and shallow DOF or extreme low ligh capability.

But FF for travel? In most cases no.

And in reality the difference between the 6D and the OMD is so small that it is my own skills that limits me, not the gear.

Actually the difference between the 6D and the OMD is pretty large if you are talking low-light photography. The Canon 6D is hands down better in low-light with less noisy images at any given ISO.

DxOMark OMD - 6D - D7100 Comparison

The 6D, as a FF DSLR, also has far better DOF control producing more shallow DOF at any given aperture.

Ultimate IQ, go FF. Ultimate portability, go omd.

OMD vs 7100? OMD wins easily!! Hands down IMO.

The OMD is smaller than the D7100, but it's doesn't have better IQ than the D7100 which is close to class leading in all categories (high ISO, DR, or color depth).

The OMD also does not have a better AF system than a D7100,  so where size is not a concern, the D7100 would actually be a better choice.

Re: ultimate portability, if the camera is not pocketable (i.e., you need a camera bag to carry it), then why not carry the more robust body with far better ergonomics and grip?  Personally when I'm out in the field with my tripod, I'd rather have a camera with deeper grip like the GH3 or D7100.  And in winter, if you can't change settings with gloves on, then the body you are using is too small.  That's why all professional DSLR (D4 or 1DX) have large, oversized buttons for ISO, WB, etc.

For ultimate portability with superb IQ something like an Sony RX100 or Nikon Coolpix A would be great choices.  The RX100 has IQ that's not quite as good as the OMD, but as a truly pocketable camera, it's far more portable.  The Coolpix A as a fixed lens camera is not quite a versatile as an ILC, but it's pocketable and IQ is as good or better than the OMD.

Side note: I really want to like the OMD (have even considered buying one) but fanboy posts like this one make it really hard.  

So dont buy one then! The above is stated as IMO, based on my experiences. If you want scientific results, read the tests, which are neutral.

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MrScorpio
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I agree with Tedolph!
In reply to tedolf, Apr 16, 2013

tedolf wrote:

raptureall wrote:

I've done a lot of research concerning Micro 4/3.  I thought of getting the Panasonic GH3, but am not satisfied with the quality of photo against say the new Nikon d7100.  So does a DSLR produce better quality photo's, or have I not seen good photo's from a Micro 4/3?  I really like the Micro 4/3, but my main interest is in the quality of the photo.  Thanks for your help!

higher quality photo's.

At this level of equipment, the IQ difference between a 4/3 sensor and an APS sensor is inconsequential.

Look at some of the photo threads in this Forum.

That knowlege of and the effort expounded by the photographer are far more important.

Tedolph

Fully agree with Tedolph.

Differences today are so small, that it comes down to the photographer, not the gear. Provided you are not a Pro.

To me it is a matter of individual shooting style and personal preferences. The self nominated experts above miss that point IMO. This forums strength is our real life shooting experiences, and personally I benefit very little from hearing re-statements of already known test results.

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MrScorpio
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Agree...
In reply to pinnacle, Apr 16, 2013

pinnacle wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I will gladly accept the challenge to go head-to-head with 90% of all people who use a camera and even 70 % of all who consider themselves photographers (there is a difference).

They can use the camera they want, be it mirrorless, FT, APS-C or FF.

I'll just use my LX3 compact.

Better still : they can use any camera I own and give me any camera they own.

(Of course, those 70 % are not posting here : you guys are, obviously, the 30 % I am not so sure about.  No need to feel offended or to consider me condescending...)

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Roel Hendrickx
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I will make the same offer. It becomes readily apparent soon after one browses this forum that it is indeed a "gear" forum and only a photography forum in the sense that photographs may happen be posted from time to time. It is not a "photographic image"  forum as it's primary function.

Dan

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Life is good.

It is like an art forum, discussing paint. Nothing wrong in that, but...

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Mahmoud Mousef
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OMD viewfinder better than optical for low light?
In reply to digifan, Apr 16, 2013

digifan wrote:

Mahmoud Mousef wrote:

raptureall wrote:

I've done a lot of research concerning Micro 4/3.  I thought of getting the Panasonic GH3, but am not satisfied with the quality of photo against say the new Nikon d7100.  So does a DSLR produce better quality photo's, or have I not seen good photo's from a Micro 4/3?  I really like the Micro 4/3, but my main interest is in the quality of the photo.  Thanks for your help!

Never tried the GH3 or 7100.

But tried various Micro Four Thirds, Four Thirds and Nikon bodies.

Through the years I've always found a Nikon DSLR of similar vintage the better choice for night work and higher ISOs. Simple as that. Plus the optical viewfinder the only way to go for night work.

This is downright wrong. The EVF will be better for night work, there is no light amplification with an OVF as can be with EVF. My experience is that with an EVF you can still compose the shot better than with OVF because your eyes will be the limiting factor with an OVF, and the OMD can even focus in very dim/dark conditions.

I don't own the OMD; unless they have made some miraculous electronic viewfinder BETTER than all current models I've tried, I can't say whether you are right or wrong. But I'll tell you what happens in the various cameras I've tried:

1) in low light the viewfinder lags.

2) in very low light, the viewfinder gets noisy

3) in very low light the low light levels get lost in a sea of black; it's unable to resolve any info from very low light situations. All I see is black. Under the EXACT same conditions, my Nikons with optical viewfinder (and my E-520) both show me all the fine details, enough to actually focus manually and get the shot.

4) electronic viewfinders I've tried amplify terribly. Taking a shot of the moon at night with an electronic viewfinder, for example, amplifies the moon so much that it looks like a sun with no surface detail. Adjusting exposure only helps a little in making out detail, and what detail there is, there is much less of. With an optical viewfinder, the details is all there, there is no need to fiddle and the shot is obtained SO MUCH easier; focus is extremely easy to get and no "sun-like glowing ball syndrome". Amplifying low-light scenes indoors also results in a lot of unwanted noise and loss of detail.

What I would like to know is if you actually use both optical and EVF, because your experiences are totally different to mine.

I have tried the Nikon D50 and Nikon D5100, Panasonic DMC-G2, Panasonic DMC-G3, Panasonic DMC-GX1, Olympus (Four Thirds) E-520, etc.

The Micro Four Thirds bodies I've tried are often "good enough" for many tasks, but not if near-darkness / higher ISOs / shadow detail / less noise in near-darkness is your main priority.

Then you certainly haven't tried the latest Olympus and Panasonic camera's. (OM-D/E-PL5/GH3)

No I have not, which is why I specifically stated what I have tried and I always use Nikon for low light and high ISO in comparison to the Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds models I mentioned. The results are clearly superior if this is the main priority.

But I haven't tried the 7100 and/or GH3, but I'd be surprised if Nikon doesn't have the edge.

The 7100 doesn't have an edge afaiac. The D600 does but for very different reasons.

Have you used these cameras extensively? Do you or have you owned them?

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benarden
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Re: Better photographers produce....
In reply to tedolf, Apr 16, 2013

tedolf wrote:

raptureall wrote:

I've done a lot of research concerning Micro 4/3.  I thought of getting the Panasonic GH3, but am not satisfied with the quality of photo against say the new Nikon d7100.  So does a DSLR produce better quality photo's, or have I not seen good photo's from a Micro 4/3?  I really like the Micro 4/3, but my main interest is in the quality of the photo.  Thanks for your help!

higher quality photo's.

At this level of equipment, the IQ difference between a 4/3 sensor and an APS sensor is inconsequential.

Look at some of the photo threads in this Forum.

That knowlege of and the effort expounded by the photographer are far more important.

Tedolph

Agree with Tedoph;
you cannot " buy " a camera that will see a good shot; or produce one in Post processing

That's all up to the Photographer, the knowledge of how the camera operates, knowledge of basic photography  and the effort s/he puts into all of it.

I think Ansel Adams used to trudge around Yosemite in the winter with a heavy view camera , tripod and a few photographic plates; and doubtless didn't get the shot !.
That you can't buy.

http://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/ansel-adams/clearing-winter-storm-yosemite-national-par

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Mahmoud Mousef
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Re: Better photographers produce....
In reply to tedolf, Apr 16, 2013

tedolf wrote:

higher quality photo's.

At this level of equipment, the IQ difference between a 4/3 sensor and an APS sensor is inconsequential.

Look at some of the photo threads in this Forum.

That knowlege of and the effort expounded by the photographer are far more important.

Tedolph

That old chestnut.

It seems to relegate gear to some long-irrelevant inconsequential irrelevance. I much prefer:

All things being equal, this camera is better than THIS camera for THIS type of shooting.

Because clearly some are.

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tedolf
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Re: Better photographers produce....
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 16, 2013

Mahmoud Mousef wrote:

tedolf wrote:

higher quality photo's.

At this level of equipment, the IQ difference between a 4/3 sensor and an APS sensor is inconsequential.

Look at some of the photo threads in this Forum.

That knowlege of and the effort expounded by the photographer are far more important.

Tedolph

That old chestnut.

It seems to relegate gear to some long-irrelevant inconsequential irrelevance. I much prefer:

All things being equal, this camera is better than THIS camera for THIS type of shooting.

Because clearly some are.

But all things are not equal are they?

Here the difference in the effort you put into the shot, the framing, the exposure the set up etc. will make the difference-not whether you have an APS sensor or a 4/3 sensor.  That difference is inconsequential particularly if you print.

Don't believe me?

Look at this thread:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51292867

Tedolph

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Gary Dean Mercer Clark
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Re: Better photographers produce higher quality photos - AMEN
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Apr 16, 2013

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I will gladly accept the challenge to go head-to-head with 90% of all people who use a camera and even 70 % of all who consider themselves photographers (there is a difference).

They can use the camera they want, be it mirrorless, FT, APS-C or FF.

I'll just use my LX3 compact.

Better still : they can use any camera I own and give me any camera they own.

(Of course, those 70 % are not posting here : you guys are, obviously, the 30 % I am not so sure about.  No need to feel offended or to consider me condescending...)

-- hide signature --

Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: www.roelh.zenfolio.com
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

Thats a pretty bold Challenge.  Don't place that challenge in the Sigma forum! LOL

Gary Dean Mercer Clark

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