Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user

Started Sep 7, 2013 | Discussions
Vlad S
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pursuit of sameness
In reply to T3, Sep 9, 2013

T3 wrote:

Kim Letkeman wrote:

You pretty much lost me when you quoted the classic FF addict's lament ... with a 4/3" sensor it is hard to separate the subject from the background.

A nonsense statement without all sorts of qualifications ...

Well, how about this as a qualification: for the same lens aperture, same framing, and same subject/focus distance, m4/3 makes it harder to separate the subject from the background because it has greater DOF compared to FF. I don't know why some people simply can't accept that.

I think quite a few people can't accept that because of the insistence that things have to be the same. Things are never the same, and this requirement is unnecessary and pointless in most cases. I think so far I have encountered only one person who wanted to shoot seamlessly with µ4/3 and a larger format at the same time. I never saw any other people giving a good reason for why things have to be the same.

It is not that hard to isolate the subject with the µ4/3 system, probably with the exception of the wide angle. It may be harder to obliterate the background, but this is beyond of simply "isolating" the subject.

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Re: Ignoramus
In reply to Scott Mac, Sep 9, 2013

Scott Mac wrote:

Cane wrote:

Nice review. Lack of dof is what's held me off m4/3. I don't buy any of the arguments for greater dof. It's a crutch to excuse it away I think. I don't want P&S dof photo's.

A breathtakingly ignorant statement.

m43 cameras do not lack "dof". In fact, they have twice as much depth of field as full frame cameras (assuming the same lens is fixed to each).

I'm pretty sure he meant that you don't have as much flexibility with control of DOF.

Besides, I don't find that sufficient DOF is hard to come by these days.  It was an issue back when high ISO performance of imaging sensors was really terrible, so you really couldn't afford to stop down the aperture while increasing the ISO.  But these days, ISO performance is quite amazing (assuming you ignore the anal pixel peepers who only look at images at 100% magnification, LOL).  So the reality is that it's not a big deal to just stop down the aperture a bit if you need more DOF.  But obviously, there's a physical limitation to how much you can open up the aperture to get shallower DOF and better background blur.  So, given that m4/3 uses focal lengths that are only half that of FF, and given that DOF is heavily dependent on focal length, that means m4/3 is at a disadvantage when it comes to DOF control if the DOF control you want is to have less DOF.

Plus, when it comes to ISO performance, FF has an advantage anyways, so its even less of an issue to stop down the aperture while increasing the ISO in order to get more DOF.

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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to ThePhilips, Sep 9, 2013

ThePhilips wrote:

3. If you are not in close up or street photography there is still a strong point for more DOF: when taking pictures of kids or pictures of more people. With a full frame DSLR you need to stop down to make sure that all persons are in focus. It happened to me a couple of times that I shot at f2.8 just to find out that the second face is out of focus.

[...] A perfect sensor is of no use if the image is not in focus. [...]

*Nod*.

People routinely forget about this important difference: larger DOF also means less OOF shots. And even some OOFs are still good for web resolutions.

Many years ago I went with Oly 43 cams and the larger DOF was one of the major reason. Now, without much thought, I'm too buying into the m43.

But you do have to remember that you can always stop down a lens to get more DOF.  Sure, you might have to increase your ISO to compensate for this, but FF cameras have superior high ISO performance anyway.  In other words, if you want "larger DOF", you can certainly get it with FF, and without the need to change systems.  So I certainly wouldn't use "larger DOF" as a reason for moving from FF to m4/3.  The main reason to move from FF to m4/3 is to decrease the size and bulk of your camera equipment.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: well ...
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Sep 9, 2013

Kim Letkeman wrote:

You pretty much lost me when you quoted the classic FF addict's lament ... with a 4/3" sensor it is hard to separate the subject from the background.

A nonsense statement without all sorts of qualifications ...

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to ThePhilips, Sep 9, 2013

ThePhilips wrote:

Sergey_Green wrote:

ThePhilips wrote:

3. If you are not in close up or street photography there is still a strong point for more DOF: when taking pictures of kids or pictures of more people. With a full frame DSLR you need to stop down to make sure that all persons are in focus. It happened to me a couple of times that I shot at f2.8 just to find out that the second face is out of focus.

[...] A perfect sensor is of no use if the image is not in focus. [...]

*Nod*.

People routinely forget about this important difference: larger DOF also means less OOF shots. And even some OOFs are still good for web resolutions.

Many years ago I went with Oly 43 cams and the larger DOF was one of the major reason. Now, without much thought, I'm too buying into the m43.

Because you simply do not have any other option, and you won't forget.

I'm not sure what you are implying. I can easily afford FF cams/lenses. I can also afford most of the MF stuff. But I simply do not want.

Camera A has option a) and option b)
Camera B does not have option a), but only has option b)
So because you do not have option a) you do not need to remember about it. You call this a strong point, and I say let's call it an advantage.

Otherwise, thanks for reminding me why I keep you in the ignore list. Your pathetic ad hominems haven't changed in years.

No problem.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Bob Meyer, Sep 9, 2013

Bob Meyer wrote:

Unless you're shooting for publication, you should compose and crop to fit your subject matter, not some arbitrary size determined by painters 500 years ago.

And you learn to make the best use of it. Honestly I don't mind either format, and I very seldom (if ever) crop.

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Mike Ronesia
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Re: Ignoramus
In reply to Cane, Sep 9, 2013

Cane wrote:

Cane wrote:

Nice review. Lack of dof is what's held me off m4/3. I don't buy any of the arguments for greater dof. It's a crutch to excuse it away I think. I don't want P&S dof photo's.

A breathtakingly ignorant statement.

m43 cameras do not lack "dof". In fact, they have twice as much depth of field as full frame cameras (assuming the same lens is fixed to each).

S.

I meant a lack of dof control. Keep up and use your cognitive reading skills.

While you are right about having more DOF control in some cases, I disagree with a couple of things you imply.

First, when I'm at a low light event the DOF of M4/3's is great because I can shoot wide open and still get subjects in focus. With FF you loose control of your shot in this case unless you want to compromise either DOF (too narrow) or ISO setting (too high) to get what you need.

Secondly, I have always thought it was just plain lazy of photographers to blur the background. I like looking at a whole scene, but many photographers are not creative enough to shoot an interesting scene so they just blur it. In the really high end work like top shelf magazines you see much less shallow DOF because they take the time to create a complete scene. I respect this a lot more then what I think of as, The Lazy Blur.

My points are there are both pros and cons with DOF as the sensor gets bigger, and there are also different ways to utilize DOF to improve an image. Bring on the Lytro tech and stop this silly debate.

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Re: pursuit of sameness
In reply to Vlad S, Sep 9, 2013

Vlad S wrote:

It is not that hard to isolate the subject with the µ4/3 system, probably with the exception of the wide angle. It may be harder to obliterate the background, but this is beyond of simply "isolating" the subject.

Vlad

I currently shoot with Canon FF, Canon APS-C, and I Oly m4/3. It's pretty easy to see the differences between them when it comes to isolating the subject. It's easiest to do with FF, followed by APS-C, and with m4/3 being last. Why? Well, obviously, it has to do with focal length. If you lined all three cameras side by side, focusing on the same subject, framing all of them identically, the FF camera would be using the longest focal length while the m4/3 camera would be using the shortest focal length. Shorter focal lengths yield more DOF. In fact, when the FF camera is using a 50mm lens, the m4/3 camera is practically at a "wide angle" focal length of 25mm. With such a short focal length, you get lots of DOF. Certainly more than FF. Sure, I guess you can so-- to a certain degree-- that it's "not that hard to isolate the subject with m4/3"...but it sure is harder to do than with FF, or even APS-C.

As someone who regularly shoots with a 50/1.4, wide open, on FF...and who loves the subject isolation that I get (quite easily) with this setup, I can certainly say that trying to get the same shots on m4/3 with my Panny 20/1.7 don't deliver anything close to the same level of subject isolation. Even when I stop the FF 50/1.4 down to f/2, or even f/2.8, FF still does a better job. It's all in the math:

FF: Canon 50/1.4, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 1.45 ft of DOF.

m4/3: Panny 20/1.7, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 4.79 ft of DOF.

m4/3: Panny Leica 25/1.4, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 2.96 ft of DOF.

So even if you compare the Panny Leica 25/1.4 with the Canon 50/1.4, giving an apples-to-apples "effective" focal length comparison of 50mm equivalency, you're still looking at m4/3 delivering at least twice as much DOF as FF, always.  In other words, like it or not, it really is harder to isolate the subject with m4/3.  But I don't think people choose m4/3 for maximum subject isolation, because that is certainly not its strong suit.  People choose to shoot with m4/3 because it's a compact camera system.  That's its strong suit.

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Re: In practice .
In reply to cwathington, Sep 9, 2013

cwathington wrote:

He said with "fast lens." That's what I mean. Let me restate itthis way: In general, with fast lens on the m43 system, it is not difficult to achieve subject isolation via DOF. The bokeh may be less blurred and dreamy, but it's still there in most situations. It is not "difficult" per the OP's suggestion in his blog.

I think people seem to be insecure and defensive over the word "difficult".  Ok, so don't use the word "difficult" if you don't want to.  But shallower DOF and subject isolation is still easier to come by, or achieve, when using a FF camera.

As with all things, there are pros and cons.  With FF, it's easier to achieve subject isolation with a big sensor, but with a big sensor comes big bodies and big lenses.  With m4/3, it's harder to achieve subject isolation, but the advantage is that you have a more compact camera system.  Just face the facts, understand the pros and cons, and get on with your life.  Don't make it "difficult", lol.

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Advent1sam
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Re: pursuit of sameness
In reply to T3, Sep 9, 2013

T3 wrote:

Vlad S wrote:

It is not that hard to isolate the subject with the µ4/3 system, probably with the exception of the wide angle. It may be harder to obliterate the background, but this is beyond of simply "isolating" the subject.

Vlad

I currently shoot with Canon FF, Canon APS-C, and I Oly m4/3. It's pretty easy to see the differences between them when it comes to isolating the subject. It's easiest to do with FF, followed by APS-C, and with m4/3 being last. Why? Well, obviously, it has to do with focal length. If you lined all three cameras side by side, focusing on the same subject, framing all of them identically, the FF camera would be using the longest focal length while the m4/3 camera would be using the shortest focal length. Shorter focal lengths yield more DOF. In fact, when the FF camera is using a 50mm lens, the m4/3 camera is practically at a "wide angle" focal length of 25mm. With such a short focal length, you get lots of DOF. Certainly more than FF. Sure, I guess you can so-- to a certain degree-- that it's "not that hard to isolate the subject with m4/3"...but it sure is harder to do than with FF, or even APS-C.

As someone who regularly shoots with a 50/1.4, wide open, on FF...and who loves the subject isolation that I get (quite easily) with this setup, I can certainly say that trying to get the same shots on m4/3 with my Panny 20/1.7 don't deliver anything close to the same level of subject isolation. Even when I stop the FF 50/1.4 down to f/2, or even f/2.8, FF still does a better job. It's all in the math:

FF: Canon 50/1.4, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 1.45 ft of DOF.

m4/3: Panny 20/1.7, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 4.79 ft of DOF.

m4/3: Panny Leica 25/1.4, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 2.96 ft of DOF.

So even if you compare the Panny Leica 25/1.4 with the Canon 50/1.4, giving an apples-to-apples "effective" focal length comparison of 50mm equivalency, you're still looking at m4/3 delivering at least twice as much DOF as FF, always. In other words, like it or not, it really is harder to isolate the subject with m4/3. But I don't think people choose m4/3 for maximum subject isolation, because that is certainly not its strong suit. People choose to shoot with m4/3 because it's a compact camera system. That's its strong suit.

You probably wouldn't use the Canon wide open? you use it at f2 because that's where it sharpens-up sufficiently to give good results? The Pana's are usable wide-open but you'll have an equivalent of f2 vs 2.8/f3, so still a full stop adavantage over m43 in dof, but we all knew this already

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Advent1sam, Sep 9, 2013

Advent1sam wrote:

You probably wouldn't use the Canon wide open? you use it at f2 because that's where it sharpens-up sufficiently to give good results?

But I think you can shoot wide open FF cameras as well. What makes you think you can not?

The Pana's are usable wide-open but you'll have an equivalent of f2 vs 2.8/f3, so still a full stop adavantage over m43 in dof, but we all knew this already

I wonder how much advantage it has over APS-C, do you know?

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Advent1sam
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Re: Why not .. & questions ..
In reply to Sergey_Green, Sep 9, 2013

Sergey_Green wrote:

Advent1sam wrote:

You probably wouldn't use the Canon wide open? you use it at f2 because that's where it sharpens-up sufficiently to give good results?

But I think you can shoot wide open FF cameras as well. What makes you think you can not?

You can shoot it at f1.4, I just checked with the lens review and the Pana is only very slightly sharper in the corner at f1.4, center similar, so reality is they probably deliver similar, my bad!

The Pana's are usable wide-open but you'll have an equivalent of f2 vs 2.8/f3, so still a full stop adavantage over m43 in dof, but we all knew this already

I wonder how much advantage it has over APS-C, do you know?

Over aps-c, well the 50mm prime will be as good, myabe corners slightly better still. All in all its all good, but the dof advantage to FF is probably much better, upto 2 stops depending on what you are happy with, but note at f1,4 on FF focus will be critical.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: pursuit of sameness
In reply to Advent1sam, Sep 9, 2013

I have a Sigma 1.4/85 portrait lens that is sharp at f1.4. For head and shoulder portraits I use it at f2.8 or even f4 but for full body portraits I also shoot it wide open.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Advent1sam, Sep 9, 2013

Advent1sam wrote:


The Pana's are usable wide-open but you'll have an equivalent of f2 vs 2.8/f3, so still a full stop adavantage over m43 in dof, but we all knew this already

I wonder how much advantage it has over APS-C, do you know?

Over aps-c, well the 50mm prime will be as good, myabe corners slightly better still. All in all its all good, but the dof advantage to FF is probably much better, upto 2 stops depending on what you are happy with, but note at f1,4 on FF focus will be critical.

If there is only a full stop advantage from FF to m43, then how can there be a two stop difference between FF and APS-C, can you expand on it?

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T3
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Re: pursuit of sameness
In reply to Advent1sam, Sep 9, 2013

Advent1sam wrote:

You probably wouldn't use the Canon wide open? you use it at f2 because that's where it sharpens-up sufficiently to give good results? The Pana's are usable wide-open but you'll have an equivalent of f2 vs 2.8/f3, so still a full stop adavantage over m43 in dof, but we all knew this already

No, I use the Canon 50/1.4 wide open all the time. There's also the Sigma 50/1.4. Excellent lens. My 35/1/4L is also very sharp wide open. The notion that you can't use FF lenses wide open, but that you can with m4/3 lenses, is a fool's argument. Sorry to put it to you that way. But you're just grasping at straws.

But even with the Canon 50/1.4 stopped down to f/2, you're still getting shallower DOF than a Panasonic Leica 25/1.4 wide open.

Canon 50/1.4, at f/2, focused at 10 ft = 1.45 ft DOF

Panny Leica 25/1.4, focused at 10 ft = 2.07 ft DOF

So even your false claim that you have to use the Canon lens stopped down is a hollow victory, because even stopped down, the Canon on FF is still delivering better subject isolation.

I think we m4/3 users simply have to accept the fact that the optical physics of using shorter focal lengths on m4/3, compared to longer focal lengths on FF, to get the same equivalent focal lengths, results in m4/3 being at a disadvantage when it comes to shallow DOF and subject isolation.  That's just the way it is.  That's simply what happens when you're using lenses that are half the focal length of FF.

If you want to see a lot of subject isolation with FF, go look at Scott Schuman's The Sartorialist  website.  He's the guy who basically popularized the street fashion photo blog, where someone goes out on the street, shooting what people are wearing.  He shoots with a Canon 5D, and a 50/1.4, usually always wide open.

Since he's shooting on the street, with very busy backgrounds, subject isolation is very important.  And he has no problem doing it.  His blog is full of images showing it.

Go look at the full size images.  With the shooting distance he's shooting at (far enough back to get a full body shot with a 50mm lens), and to still get the excellent subject isolation and defocused backgrounds he's getting, there's just no way you can do that with m4/3.  From that same distance, with a 25mm lens on m4/3, you'd be getting much more DOF, and the backgrounds would be far sharper.  Great if that's what you want, but bad for trying to get the subject to stand out from the background.

And yes, Schuman is getting sufficient sharpness from his Canon 50/1.4 wide open.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: pursuit of sameness
In reply to T3, Sep 9, 2013

Beautiful images!

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cwathington
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Re: In practice .
In reply to T3, Sep 9, 2013

I'm not being defensive at all. I said the OPs review was pretty good.

But, from intuition, not from actual use (which he acknowledges in the thread), he's giving people the wrong impression. I'm fine with more DOF in m4/3, and I'm not saying it's the same as FF, but subject isolation via shallow DOF isn't difficult. Super shallow DOF is hard, but not subject isolation. Full stop.

This other guy's discussion of his move from FF to the OMD is much more accurate in that regard.

http://www.43rumors.com/from-canon-to-mft-the-truth-behind-the-migration-by-mohammad-shafik/

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Jorginho
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Nice review with a nice perspective.
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 9, 2013

One comment: better DOF is also very nice for landscaping.

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Vlad S
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Re: pursuit of sameness
In reply to T3, Sep 9, 2013

T3 wrote:

Vlad S wrote:

It is not that hard to isolate the subject with the µ4/3 system, probably with the exception of the wide angle. It may be harder to obliterate the background, but this is beyond of simply "isolating" the subject.

Vlad

As someone who regularly shoots with a 50/1.4, wide open, on FF...and who loves the subject isolation that I get (quite easily) with this setup, I can certainly say that trying to get the same shots on m4/3 with my Panny 20/1.7 don't deliver anything close to the same level of subject isolation.

There is a difference between saying that "it's hard to separate the subject" and trying "to get the same shots". If you want to get the same shots get the same system, and be done with it. But merely separating the subject is not that hard.

Vlad

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelhwilliams/9656677358/in/pool-smallcamerabigpicture/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicprins/8495106206/in/set-72157629261580960

http://www.flickr.com/photos/merryltan/7159468272/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/83255230@N02/9662618628/in/pool-smallcamerabigpicture/

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Re: pursuit of sameness
In reply to Vlad S, Sep 9, 2013

Vlad S wrote:

T3 wrote:

Vlad S wrote:

It is not that hard to isolate the subject with the µ4/3 system, probably with the exception of the wide angle. It may be harder to obliterate the background, but this is beyond of simply "isolating" the subject.

Vlad

As someone who regularly shoots with a 50/1.4, wide open, on FF...and who loves the subject isolation that I get (quite easily) with this setup, I can certainly say that trying to get the same shots on m4/3 with my Panny 20/1.7 don't deliver anything close to the same level of subject isolation.

There is a difference between saying that "it's hard to separate the subject" and trying "to get the same shots". If you want to get the same shots get the same system, and be done with it. But merely separating the subject is not that hard.

Vlad

People seem to be upset or perturbed by the use of the word "hard" or "difficult". Well, then let's just replace these words with numbers. For example,

FF: 50mm at f/1.4, focused at 10 feet = 1.02 ft DOF

m4/3: 25mm at f/1.4, focused at 10 feet = 2.07 ft DOF

You can do this with various other focal lengths, and you'll always find that the DOF with 4/3 is always at least double what it is with FF.  So instead of saying that shallower DOF, or subject isolation, is "harder" or "more difficult" with m4/3, let's just say that whatever you're trying to shoot, at whatever distance, at whatever aperture, you're going to always get at least twice the DOF from m4/3 as you are from FF.  There.  No passing judgement, using judgmental words like "harder" or "more difficult" or whatever.  It's simply twice the DOF.

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