MFT I don't get it . . .

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Skeeterbytes
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

Having shot w/ Hasselblad for many years I came to love square format, not just for the convenience of never flipping the camera but as an artistic tool, printed full frame.

Since we're in a computer display world, I'll be surprised to ever see a native square digital format but should Oly ever go up-format, I'd love to see them honor 4:3 and skip the hundred-year-old 24x36 "standard," which is a an artifact of the sprocket-hole pattern in cine film, not some great compositional breakthrough.

Cheers,

Rick

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VertigonA380
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to artistguy, 6 months ago

artistguy wrote:

I think I understand what you're asking, a square image, so no need to hold the camera differently for portrait/landscape aspects, just crop afterwards. I think most m43 users want images straight out of camera (jpeg), video would not look good etc. Take it a stage further why not circular images and choose your crop!

Haha, now that's thinking outside the square! (pun intended). But really why not have that option, I mean the camera can delete an image, why not an option to just trim the circle down? The other thing is with IBIS, why couldn't Olympus make a sensor that moves horizontally, so you can make panoramas within the camera, after all they have already built the motion control technology into the camera?

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VertigonA380
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to Ulfric M Douglas, 6 months ago

Sounds plausible, still a shame in my opinion.

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VertigonA380
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Re: The MFT standard explicitly allows a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to Tom Axford, 6 months ago

Tom I think tradition has a lot to do with it, probably the same reason FF hasn't ever changed size.

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Sasha B
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Re: The MFT standard explicitly allows a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to a13, 6 months ago

Where is in the ratio is specified in the standard? There is no such thing as "the native ratio".

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VertigonA380
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to Skeeterbytes, 6 months ago

Your statement poses the question though, what is the ideal compositional format? Generally speaking? I look at my 30" NEC all day and really I have come to enjoy 16:9. Why they chose 16:9 I have no idea and maybe I should do some more research.

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honeyiscool
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

VertigonA380 wrote:

Your statement poses the question though, what is the ideal compositional format? Generally speaking? I look at my 30" NEC all day and really I have come to enjoy 16:9. Why they chose 16:9 I have no idea and maybe I should do some more research.

Compromise between the wider cinematic ratios and the standard 4:3. That's all.

Native 16:9 content wasn't created until HDTVs happened.

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Sasha B
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

why couldn't Olympus make a sensor that moves horizontally, so you can make panoramas within the camera, after all they have already built the motion control technology into the camera?

You forgot to mention the critical necessity for a built in coffee machine.

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VertigonA380
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to phazelag, 6 months ago

Thank you, and to all those I didn't personally reply to, thanks again. I felt my responses should have answered all queries, more or less.

I have come to the conclusion however that there realty is no good reason why they can't give you 1:1 or 4:4, the only thing I can think of is they may have centred the image for less chance of the image being soft in the corners? I don't know.

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Sean Nelson
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

VertigonA380 wrote:

Thanks for the reply Sean, yes I did mean square where the image reaches the edges of the circle. I don't know why there would be more noise thought, it's only a small extension of the existing sensor size.

Sorry, I'm still not 100% sure of your meaning.   Do you mean:

a) The lens's image circle reaches the corners of the sensor, or

b) The sensor captures the entire image circle

The "more noise" comment applies to (a), because if you're taking an image that will be displayed in a non-square aspect ratio (as by far the majority are), the part of the sensor that captures the usable width of the image (within the lens's image circle) won't be as wide as a rectangular sensor - so as far as the captured portion of the image is concerned you're dealing with a smaller sensor.

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a13
a13
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Re: The MFT standard explicitly allows a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to Sasha B, 6 months ago

Sasha B wrote:

Where is in the ratio is specified in the standard? There is no such thing as "the native ratio".

I don't think I used the word "native" anywhere in my comment..?

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Sean Nelson
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Re: The MFT standard explicitly allows a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to a13, 6 months ago

a13 wrote:

The MFT mount standard is designed to be compatible with all lenses meeting the format, and of course any manufacturer -could- put any sized sensor they like behind the mount. But since anything else (apart from 1:1) would still be a crop from 4:3, why would a manufacturer go about designing a whole new funky-shaped sensor when you would be writing a smaller image area from the lens and suffer distorting all the common lens reaches to boot?

That's incorrect - that was the whole point of the multi-aspect ratio sensor used in the Panasonic GH1 and GH2. By providing a slightly oversized yet still rectangular sensor they were able to get more usable pixels in non-4:3 modes such as 3:2 and 16:9.

In other words, any time you use an oversized sensor of any aspect ratio, you're able to take advantage of more of the lens's image circle.  So I think the crux of the matter is less about aspect ratio and more about how much "extra" sensor area you provide.

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s_grins
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

VertigonA380 wrote:

Sure I understand the ratio, but why didn't they just make it 1:1? I mean the converging lens would create the same image projection on the sensor, so why make it 4:3 and lose out? Or am I missing something technical in between?

You can get the most from round sensor.

Cheers

S.

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Tom Axford
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Re: The MFT standard explicitly allows a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to a13, 6 months ago

a13 wrote:

But since anything else (apart from 1:1) would still be a crop from 4:3, .....

That statement is demonstrably false.

If you look at the specs of the Lumix GH2, which uses a multi-aspect sensor, it is obvious that, for that particular sensor, 1:1 is a crop of 4:3 (not the other way round), while 3:2 is not a crop of 4:3 (nor the other way round), neither is 16:9. You can see this from the maximum pixel sizes of the images in the various formats, which are:

  • 1:1 - 3456 x 3456
  • 4:3 - 4608 x 3456
  • 3:2 - 4752 x 3168
  • 16:9 - 4976 x 2800

The sensor on this camera is clearly not a simple rectangular shape. Its maximum width in pixels is 4976 and its maximum height is 3456, but it is clearly not a rectangle 4976 x 3456 because it would then produce images 4976 x 3456, which it does not.

I'm not sure if any other MFT cameras have used similar multi-aspect sensors, but future cameras may do so again.

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mchnz
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Re: Don't forget the mirror
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

VertigonA380 wrote:

mchnz wrote:

VertigonA380 wrote:

Sure I understand the ratio, but why didn't they just make it 1:1? I mean the converging lens would create the same image projection on the sensor, so why make it 4:3 and lose out? Or am I missing something technical in between?

One issue is that you would then increase the failure rate on the sensor production line, there would be more photosites that could go wrong - it drives the cost up.

Another consideration is powering and reading from the sensor. All the other electronics and firmware would have to pick up the pace. Because of this, if your competitors don't also go square, they could likely beat you for rectangular images, if you are already ahead of them fine, but not if you're trying to catch up or keep even.

Thanks for the reply, I don't think failing photosites would be too much of an issue, I mean we are only adding a small bit to an already small sensor. I mean then what do you do about FF sensors?

The frame question sure, but then again the Fuji XT-1 pushes out 8fps, the Nikon CX sensor 60 fps. I think making an adequate frame rate for MFT's wouldn't be too hard.

Until recently MFT was behind in sensor performance, increasing the photosites to go square would likely have been quite a task for engineers struggling to catch up with their competition.  Maybe it would not be too hard for Sony or Canon - take a punt on something different, walk away if it doesn't catch on.

The square mirror would have been a major major issue.  MFT is an attempt by Panasonic to salvage FT, not an attempt to start from scratch.

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mchnz
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Re: 4/3 inch not 4/3 ratio
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

VertigonA380 wrote:

Sure I understand the ratio, but why didn't they just make it 1:1? I mean the converging lens would create the same image projection on the sensor, so why make it 4:3 and lose out? Or am I missing something technical in between?

I read another thread where it was said that 4/3 is the sensor size in inches, not the ratio of sides, and that there is no requirement for any particular ratio of sides.

I haven't got time to find the thread and it didn't provide any backing references, but I think the post was by Anders W if anyone wants to track it down ( but my recollection could be wrong).

So the side ratio is just what is practical and marketable. Although, as I wrote elsewhere, there was originally a mirror to account for.

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VertigonA380
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to Sasha B, 6 months ago

Thanks for the sarcasm LOL. Surely if you can do 5 axis stabilisation moving the sensor along a path couldn't be too hard. Flat white with one thanks.

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Iskender
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

VertigonA380 wrote:

Thanks for the reply, I don't think failing photosites would be too much of an issue, I mean we are only adding a small bit to an already small sensor. I mean then what do you do about FF sensors?

They get bad yields for FF sensors: they are hard to manufacture.

If the cheapest FF sensors now cost below a thousand, then that is a recent development (we don't know the price of the sensor component itself, of course). Until recently it was 2000+ for a basic FF camera, when an otherwise higher-specified APS body could be had for something like half of that.

Larger sensors give problems in manufacturing, and there's no way around it. And even with a perfect yield the larger area will lead to problems.

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Art_P
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However...
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

To make the sensor square, the horizontal would be smaller, and thus the crop to get a 4:3 image would be smaller than from a full sized 4:3 sensor... plus you'd be paying for all that sensor you're not using if you regularly crop to 4:3... and throwing away even more if you crop to 3:2

On the other hand 4:3 is somewhere between 3:2 and 1:1, thus less of a crop for either... and if you normally shoot in 4:3 there is of course no cropping.

Oh, and the shutter would be shaped differently... can you say a taller shutter would be as easy to make or not more expensive?

The 4:3 ratio gives the most benefit to the most people, while a square sensor would compromise cost and/or utility for many to benefit a few.

Oh, and as someone else mentioned, the mirror.  Remember m43 has it's roots in 4/3 DSLRs  where a taller mirror might have required a longer flange distance, and thus a bulkier camera

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Art P
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Art_P
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Maybe what you don't get
In reply to VertigonA380, 6 months ago

is the economics and mechanics of designing and producing a camera for the mass market.

When Olympus and Panasonic developed 4/3, they started from scratch, chose what they thought was the best compromise for sensor size and proportion...

Panasonic did produce a multi format m43 camera w oversized sensor, but they haven't done a repeat.  Must be a reason for that.

As someone else mentioned, the best sensor to take full advantage of the lens would be round... but that would probably be a nightmare to manufacture, not to mention how would you handle the files.

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