Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions
ultimitsu
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to RaymondR, Apr 26, 2013

RaymondR wrote:

This cost argument makes no sense to me.  I read it all the time.  I bought my e-Pl2 with the two zoom lens kit for $575 in September 2011.  I have added the 14mm Panny, the 20mm Panny and the Oly 45.

you are the living example supporting his point. one single 24-85 VR does everything all your primes do for less money.

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AllMankind
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Critical mistake
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 26, 2013

You are assuming the a mirrorless camera is a replacement for a DSLR, be it FF or APS.

For many, myself included, a mirrorless camera is a replacement for a small sensored point and shoot.  It is owned IN ADDITION to a DSLR.

For some it is a DSLR replacement, for others it is a supplement.

The issues you raise are kind of silly, but then, everyone looking at either/or MUST weight their specific needs/wants/desires and choose accordingly.

There is no one correct solution that fits all.

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Beat Traveller
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to ultimitsu, Apr 26, 2013

ultimitsu wrote:

RaymondR wrote:

This cost argument makes no sense to me.  I read it all the time.  I bought my e-Pl2 with the two zoom lens kit for $575 in September 2011.  I have added the 14mm Panny, the 20mm Panny and the Oly 45.

you are the living example supporting his point. one single 24-85 VR does everything all your primes do for less money.

Does that include fitting into a pocket when fully mounted? If so, sign me up.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to Beat Traveller, Apr 26, 2013

Beat Traveller wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

RaymondR wrote:

This cost argument makes no sense to me.  I read it all the time.  I bought my e-Pl2 with the two zoom lens kit for $575 in September 2011.  I have added the 14mm Panny, the 20mm Panny and the Oly 45.

you are the living example supporting his point. one single 24-85 VR does everything all your primes do for less money.

Does that include fitting into a pocket when fully mounted? If so, sign me up.

If your pocket fits 4 primes, then sure.

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bosjohn21
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 26, 2013

zenpmd wrote:

Some random thoughts from today....

I cannot help but feel all it has done is fuel GAS and people's desire for change. Photography is a subtle art and a long learning curve, but without concrete and identifiable progress which you would see if you were lifting weights or running. New technology can feed off that insecurity.

In the long term, mirrorless technology will be very radical, but at the moment its not worth buying into for the following reasons:

  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.
  2. Nothing can compete with the Bokeh of FF (now I admit these are more about sensor size than mirrorless technology, but my point is that mirrorless is so expensive it makes sense to compare to FF), and also to keep using FF until mirrorless FF is available.
  3. The viewfinders are not 100%
  4. With all the options you have to carry a bag still. They are not the Sony RX100 or RX1. I am a Fuji x100s user and this is just about acceptable
  5. The best thing in its favour is that the zooms, in particular, are small, but there is only one constant apeture option, and its excessively expensive and still only 2.8 so as limited shallow DoF for spontaneous portraiture when travelling for example. The new Tamron 24-70 on FF, on the other hand, is fabulously versatile.
  6. Sure, the primes are super light, but the total cost of the good primes for the OMD, for example are extortionate, and mad. And in fact, that model serves as good proof to my theory that its about GAS. If great photographers, loads in fact, can get away with just two lenses, a 35mm and an 85mm, then the total cost on something like a 6D is something like £2000. Thats great value. People are buying the OMD, a ridiculous suite of primes, including buying things like the 12mm prime. Whats the point?
  7. The AF sucks for the money the systems cost. 
  8. APS-C systems, except Pentax, lack good primes. On FF on Nikon and Canon, you can buy exceptional 85mm 1.8 for example and its not a big package. So APSC is not the answer either
  9. With the price of the 6d and d600 there is no reason not to go full frame now and just become a great photographer with the 35mm and the 85mm. This is my plan and this week I am going to order the 6d!!!

So it seems to me that it makes sense to continue working with bigger cameras for now. The people who complain about weight are those who are already doing stupid things like carrying two zooms, when they should be armed with just the 35mm and 85mm.

Interested to hear your thoughts to the contrary!

your comparing apples to cheese. FF refers to the size of a sensor and mirrorless refers to a view finder system. you could have a mirrorless finder and a full frame sensor on the same camera. Leica now offers an accessory mirrorless electronic finder for its new full frame m typ 240

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Ed Rizk
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Smaller and lighter is still smaller and lighter...
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 26, 2013

...even if it doesn't fit in your pocket.  If you travel by air, backpack, bike, or to a lesser extent camp or travel by car, every ounce and cubic inch saved counts

I want a 6D too.  Still, I would like to keep my EFs lenses and my 60D, or replace it with a mirror less or SL1.  Even the larger of the smaller sensor cameras has a bulk advantage, especially with EFs telephotos.  Sure, the 100-400 on FF is better than the 55-250 on crop, but the 55-250 is tiny and weighs nothing by comparison.

The shallow DOF is a disadvantage for most of my shots.  Landscapes and architecturals are worse off for it.  High ISO performance on such shots is overcome by a tripod and DR is overcome by HDR.

In candid photos of multiple people, shallow DOF is also a disadvantage.  You're trying to document the interaction of several people, but only one eye of one person will be sharp if you're lucky.

APSc and morrorless have their place.  I would like to try the 6D, first to use the 17mmTSE and second for its low light advantages.  Maybe after using it, I'll also find everything else useless, but I don't think so.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Smaller and lighter is still smaller and lighter...
In reply to Ed Rizk, Apr 26, 2013

Ed Rizk wrote:

I want a 6D too.  Still, I would like to keep my EFs lenses and my 60D, or replace it with a mirror less or SL1.  Even the larger of the smaller sensor cameras has a bulk advantage, especially with EFs telephotos.  Sure, the 100-400 on FF is better than the 55-250 on crop, but the 55-250 is tiny and weighs nothing by comparison.

FZ200 is een smaller than 60D + 55-250, so why stop there?

The shallow DOF is a disadvantage for most of my shots.

FF cameras have aperture controls too.

Landscapes and architecturals are worse off for it.  High ISO performance on such shots is overcome by a tripod and DR is overcome by HDR.

FF cameras are not disadvantaged for having access to thinner DOF. It is incorrect to assume stopping down will always increase ISO - it doesnt, it is only when lighting level is so low that proportional reduce of SS will result in motion blur. Where increasing DOF does not result in increasing ISO, FF will always make a better image than APS-C.

In candid photos of multiple people, shallow DOF is also a disadvantage.

FF cameras have aperture controls too.

You're trying to document the interaction of several people, but only one eye of one person will be sharp if you're lucky.

So stop down. you can do that with FF.

In fact, generally when you stop down for more DOF, you also gain get sharper image (from F1.8 to F2.8 for example), in comparison on APs-C if you had to shoot wide open for the same DOF, the image would be softer.

Maybe after using it, I'll also find everything else useless, but I don't think so.

Useless is a strong word. i would prefer "less satisfactory and flexible".

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JosephScha
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 26, 2013

Some random thoughts from today....

I cannot help but feel all it has done is fuel GAS and people's desire for change. Photography is a subtle art and a long learning curve, but without concrete and identifiable progress which you would see if you were lifting weights or running. New technology can feed off that insecurity.

In the long term, mirrorless technology will be very radical, but at the moment its not worth buying into for the following reasons:

  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.
  2. Nothing can compete with the Bokeh of FF (now I admit these are more about sensor size than mirrorless technology, but my point is that mirrorless is so expensive it makes sense to compare to FF), and also to keep using FF until mirrorless FF is available.
  3. The viewfinders are not 100%
  4. With all the options you have to carry a bag still. They are not the Sony RX100 or RX1. I am a Fuji x100s user and this is just about acceptable
  5. The best thing in its favour is that the zooms, in particular, are small, but there is only one constant apeture option, and its excessively expensive and still only 2.8 so as limited shallow DoF for spontaneous portraiture when travelling for example. The new Tamron 24-70 on FF, on the other hand, is fabulously versatile.
  6. Sure, the primes are super light, but the total cost of the good primes for the OMD, for example are extortionate, and mad. And in fact, that model serves as good proof to my theory that its about GAS. If great photographers, loads in fact, can get away with just two lenses, a 35mm and an 85mm, then the total cost on something like a 6D is something like £2000. Thats great value. People are buying the OMD, a ridiculous suite of primes, including buying things like the 12mm prime. Whats the point?
  7. The AF sucks for the money the systems cost. 
  8. APS-C systems, except Pentax, lack good primes. On FF on Nikon and Canon, you can buy exceptional 85mm 1.8 for example and its not a big package. So APSC is not the answer either
  9. With the price of the 6d and d600 there is no reason not to go full frame now and just become a great photographer with the 35mm and the 85mm. This is my plan and this week I am going to order the 6d!!!

So it seems to me that it makes sense to continue working with bigger cameras for now. The people who complain about weight are those who are already doing stupid things like carrying two zooms, when they should be armed with just the 35mm and 85mm.

Interested to hear your thoughts to the contrary!

Spoken like someone who has no experience with micro four thirds, or Sony NEX.
Personally, I think 645 format blows the doors off of 'full frame'. So your first point is wrong.
Jumping to focus speed: m43 can be very fast. Sony NEX has phase detect sites on its sensor to really be as fast as DSLRs. No, I can't agree that mirror less has to mean slow focus.
You complained about cost. Go price a Panasonic G5 kit and then tell me what full frame DSLR you could get for less than triple that price.
I'll stop here.
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Great Bustard
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In reply to Ed Rizk, Apr 26, 2013

Ed Rizk wrote:

Smaller and lighter is still smaller and lighter even if it doesn't fit in your pocket.

Except, why not smaller and lighter still that will fit in your pocket?

If you travel by air, backpack, bike, or to a lesser extent camp or travel by car, every ounce and cubic inch saved counts

RX100, then?

I want a 6D too.  Still, I would like to keep my EFs lenses and my 60D, or replace it with a mirror less or SL1.  Even the larger of the smaller sensor cameras has a bulk advantage, especially with EFs telephotos.  Sure, the 100-400 on FF is better than the 55-250 on crop, but the 55-250 is tiny and weighs nothing by comparison.

How 'bout the FZ200, then?

The shallow DOF is a disadvantage for most of my shots.

Is it too much effort to stop down?

Landscapes and architecturals are worse off for it.

Then don't shoot landscapes and architecture with wide apertures.

High ISO performance on such shots is overcome by a tripod and DR is overcome by HDR.

Assuming no distracting motion in the scene.

In candid photos of multiple people, shallow DOF is also a disadvantage.

Not always:

Canon 6D + Sigma 35 / 1.4 @ f/1.4, 1/125, ISO 100

That said, you can always stop down:

Canon 6D + 50 / 1.2L @ f/2.8, 1/60, ISO 2500

You're trying to document the interaction of several people, but only one eye of one person will be sharp if you're lucky.

It always amazes me how many people can't quite seem to figure out to stop down if they need more DOF.  I mean, duh, in a light limited environment the greater DOF will cost you the noise advantage of the larger format for a given shutter speed, but so many here seem to be like the monkey with its hand stuck in the cookie jar 'cause it won't let go of a few cookies.  That is, they fail to understand the connection between DOF and noise in that both depend on the size of the aperture.

APSc and morrorless have their place.

Their place is based entirely on size, weight, and price.

I would like to try the 6D, first to use the 17mmTSE and second for its low light advantages.

Well, with a TSE lens, depending on the scene, you can use a wide aperture and still get a "deep" DOF.  Other times, however, you cannot, so you'll have to stop down.

Maybe after using it, I'll also find everything else useless, but I don't think so.

A 6D + 17 TSE will still be larger, heavier, and more expensive than APS-C and mirrorless for the same AOV.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to JosephScha, Apr 26, 2013

JosephScha wrote:

  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.

Personally, I think 645 format blows the doors off of 'full frame'. So your first point is wrong.

You cannot be more wrong. 645 format would get trashed in low light compared to FF 135 DSLR. Pentax 645D maintains 18bit colour depth and 9 stop DR at ISO 1262 while D600 can do the same at ISO 2980.

Jumping to focus speed: m43 can be very fast. Sony NEX has phase detect sites on its sensor to really be as fast as DSLRs. No, I can't agree that mirror less has to mean slow focus.

Can your mirrorless's AF do these?

Bee in flight

Frontal shot of BIF

Frontal shot of dog running at full speed up close

You complained about cost. Go price a Panasonic G5 kit and then tell me what full frame DSLR you could get for less than triple that price.

To be equivalent to D600's kit lens, M43 lens need to be 12-42.5mm F1.7-F2.2, How much do you think it would cost if it was made?

I'll stop here.

Not having fun?

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bosjohn21
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Re: Each has strengths and weaknesses...
In reply to Joseph S Wisniewski, Apr 26, 2013

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

100% wrong. All mirrorless viewfinders are 100%. Some FF DSLRs (like Canon 6D) are not 100%. Few APS DSLRs are 100%. The DSLR design is an obstacle to 100% viewfinders.

Are you sure about this I dont really think the slr pentiprism and mirror have or the electronic finder have an edge in being better suited to one hundred percent. I think DSLR finders that are not 100 percent are not because of a concious choice by the makers. There is nothing sacrocant about a 100 percent view finder and as a matter of fact there is a very good argument for not being quite 100 percent. in the early days of slr slides were still very very popular and in mounting slides some of the frame is covered by the slide mount so makers deliberatly made thier finders less than 100 percent. Now days with hight numbers of pixles and and great sensors many makers feel a safty margin is better than full 100 percent. If you print your full onehundred percent frame then cut a matt you will loose fraction of your one hundred percent.  Both positions have merrit but a full 100 percent requires more and more careful care in framing because you have no room for even a slight error. As far as I know its the bright line frame in range finder cameras that are 100 percent challenged as unless they expand and contract can only be accurate at one focusing distance.

it a bit of a red herring,

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zenpmd
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Re: Each has strengths and weaknesses...
In reply to bosjohn21, Apr 26, 2013

What I don't understand, also, is, ignoring Bokeh, why do FF images themselves look beautifully buttery? That one of the kids with the cameras above is just incredible. Its so smooth. Is that the FF sensor?

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Beat Traveller
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to ultimitsu, Apr 26, 2013

ultimitsu wrote:

Beat Traveller wrote:

Does that include fitting into a pocket when fully mounted? If so, sign me up.

If your pocket fits 4 primes, then sure.

Well he's talking about two m43 pancakes and one portrait lens that's 56mmx46mm. I don't know what size pockets you take, but I bet could squeeze those into mine.

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Ulric
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 26, 2013

zenpmd wrote:


  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.

Would you care to elaborate on how a scene captured by an FF sensor compares to the same scene captured at the same light, same DOF and same FOV by a sensor of another size? What differences do you expect, under what circumstances and why?

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bosjohn21
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to gfspencer, Apr 26, 2013

gfspencer wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

bosjohn21 wrote:

the leica M is better in low light than ff dslr

Which FF dSLR is it better than in low light, exactly?

I have a Leica M8 and a Canon 6D.  IMHO the Canon 6D beats the Leica in low light.  I can't speak for the newer Leica M cameras because I haven't used them.  They might give better results than the M8.

I am refering only to the view finder. the leica finder is way brighter and it wont matter how fast the lens on it is. AS far as best resault thats a different discussion

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bosjohn21
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Re: Each has strengths and weaknesses...
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 26, 2013

zenpmd wrote:

What I don't understand, also, is, ignoring Bokeh, why do FF images themselves look beautifully buttery? That one of the kids with the cameras above is just incredible. Its so smooth. Is that the FF sensor?

bokeh is a function of lens design not sensor size. non retro focus lens appear to have better bokah and the number of blades the shape of the aperture and the placement of the diaphram in the lens design determin bokah.

In photogrpahy bokah is a relativly new term and is probably very over used much like shallow depth of field is ofter way over used. next year we will discover something elso over wich to obsess. those of you with very deep pockets may choose bokah as a deciding factor on buying a lens but for those of us who can afford but one lens per focal length bokah is not very high on the priorities list and in fact we may not even get a choice.

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bosjohn21
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to Ulric, Apr 26, 2013

Ulric wrote:

zenpmd wrote:


  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.

Would you care to elaborate on how a scene captured by an FF sensor compares to the same scene captured at the same light, same DOF and same FOV by a sensor of another size? What differences do you expect, under what circumstances and why?

at the end of the day the only theoretical advantage so called full frame cameras have over smaller sensors it we old time film users wont have to translate the focal length of your favorite lense when used on smaller sensor comeras. This may not sound at frist like a big deal but after years of working with a thirty five mm f2 say or 21 mm f2,8 we have learned how this lens will work in given situations and when we put a 21mm lens on our cameras we want it to really act like a 21 mm lens at all that implies for coverage and depth of field and a host of other things that have become part of us;

This is a very major reason for ff but beyond that its what ever rolles your socks up and down

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bosjohn21
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to JosephScha, Apr 26, 2013

JosephScha wrote:

Some random thoughts from today....

I cannot help but feel all it has done is fuel GAS and people's desire for change. Photography is a subtle art and a long learning curve, but without concrete and identifiable progress which you would see if you were lifting weights or running. New technology can feed off that insecurity.

In the long term, mirrorless technology will be very radical, but at the moment its not worth buying into for the following reasons:

  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.
  2. Nothing can compete with the Bokeh of FF (now I admit these are more about sensor size than mirrorless technology, but my point is that mirrorless is so expensive it makes sense to compare to FF), and also to keep using FF until mirrorless FF is available.
  3. The viewfinders are not 100%
  4. With all the options you have to carry a bag still. They are not the Sony RX100 or RX1. I am a Fuji x100s user and this is just about acceptable
  5. The best thing in its favour is that the zooms, in particular, are small, but there is only one constant apeture option, and its excessively expensive and still only 2.8 so as limited shallow DoF for spontaneous portraiture when travelling for example. The new Tamron 24-70 on FF, on the other hand, is fabulously versatile.
  6. Sure, the primes are super light, but the total cost of the good primes for the OMD, for example are extortionate, and mad. And in fact, that model serves as good proof to my theory that its about GAS. If great photographers, loads in fact, can get away with just two lenses, a 35mm and an 85mm, then the total cost on something like a 6D is something like £2000. Thats great value. People are buying the OMD, a ridiculous suite of primes, including buying things like the 12mm prime. Whats the point?
  7. The AF sucks for the money the systems cost. 
  8. APS-C systems, except Pentax, lack good primes. On FF on Nikon and Canon, you can buy exceptional 85mm 1.8 for example and its not a big package. So APSC is not the answer either
  9. With the price of the 6d and d600 there is no reason not to go full frame now and just become a great photographer with the 35mm and the 85mm. This is my plan and this week I am going to order the 6d!!!

So it seems to me that it makes sense to continue working with bigger cameras for now. The people who complain about weight are those who are already doing stupid things like carrying two zooms, when they should be armed with just the 35mm and 85mm.

Interested to hear your thoughts to the contrary!

Spoken like someone who has no experience with micro four thirds, or Sony NEX.
Personally, I think 645 format blows the doors off of 'full frame'. So your first point is wrong.
Jumping to focus speed: m43 can be very fast. Sony NEX has phase detect sites on its sensor to really be as fast as DSLRs. No, I can't agree that mirror less has to mean slow focus.
You complained about cost. Go price a Panasonic G5 kit and then tell me what full frame DSLR you could get for less than triple that price.
I'll stop here.
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Ulric
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Re: Is mirrorless the worst of all worlds? and FF the best?
In reply to bosjohn21, Apr 26, 2013

bosjohn21 wrote:

Ulric wrote:

zenpmd wrote:


  1. Nothing can compete with low light with FF.

Would you care to elaborate on how a scene captured by an FF sensor compares to the same scene captured at the same light, same DOF and same FOV by a sensor of another size? What differences do you expect, under what circumstances and why?

at the end of the day the only theoretical advantage so called full frame cameras have over smaller sensors it we old time film users wont have to translate the focal length of your favorite lense when used on smaller sensor comeras. This may not sound at frist like a big deal but after years of working with a thirty five mm f2 say or 21 mm f2,8 we have learned how this lens will work in given situations and when we put a 21mm lens on our cameras we want it to really act like a 21 mm lens at all that implies for coverage and depth of field and a host of other things that have become part of us;

I only shot 35 mm film for ~40 years before switching to digital last year. Perhaps that is why I have no problem understanding that the 14mm lens I have on the camera in my pocket is a moderate wide angle. But that still doesn't answer how, or why, or even if the results of that lens on my E-M5 differs from those of a 28mm lens on an FF body under otherwise similar conditions.

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Jorginho
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Yes and no and no and yes.
In reply to zenpmd, Apr 26, 2013

Depends on your preference, no more no less. Personally I can see myself using both as they are so different in the aspects that matter to me. FF having of course fantastic IQ but also heavy. mFT having good IQ and weighing much less. Ideal combo.

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