MFT I don't get it . . .

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
JoeVC
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Re: Choice is good.
In reply to webrunner5, 10 months ago

One problem people outside of the semiconductor industry might not realize is that, for logic chips, Moore's (economic) Law works to simultaneously increase chip performance AND decrease cost by shrinking the process node and hence geometric features.

The resulting smaller chips are inherently faster performing (because individual transistors are closer together) while their cost to manufacture is less, since more can be fit onto the same sized wafers (and chip cost is related to silicon real estate at the wafer level).

That's all well and good with logic products that don't require a specific physical size.

But camera chips that are defined by specific format sizes (like micro-4/3) can't shrink their physical size, hence their cost to manufacture can't be scaled downward at a Moore's (economic) Law rate, as is the case with logic products.

This is the conundrum with increasing pixel counts on a camera chip format that's fixed to a specific size: pixel size has to shrink as a result, which compromises low-light performance while offering the possibility of supporting higher resolution optics. The increased profit has to be had elsewhere than sensor costs, usually in offering premium system lenses.

The result is that silicon real estate remains at a premium in sensor manufacturing, since there isn't a clear roadmap in the future toward reduced costs and increased revenue, other than doing what Sony has done, which is improving low-light performance as a feature to up-sell to a more lucrative clientelle.

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Thomas Kachadurian
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 10 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 wish there was a 1:1 compact with lenses. It's hip to be square.

Tom

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neil holmes
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Re: Choice is good.
In reply to webrunner5, 10 months ago

webrunner5 wrote:

Unless you are shooting CD covers it would pretty much be a waste of time.

I agree, not much point.

On the other hand, I do shoot live music ....you have given me an idea....I use my A7 now for live music but maybe I will just have the GX7 with me with a fast lens set to 1:1 and see if I CAN get a "cd cover" shot from time to time.    It will be fun to try at least.

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VertigonA380
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Re: Choice is good.
In reply to JoeVC, 9 months ago

Well the GX7 seems to have done it no problem. Also why does pixel size have to decrease to go to 1:1? If the image circle covers the area (and it does), just add a few more strips down one side. There are too many contradictory posts on this thread and quite frankly not one substantial reason why it can't be done without too much hassle. Then again with cameras like the Fuji XT-1 out, it probably doesn't even matter.

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VertigonA380
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to Thomas Kachadurian, 9 months ago

That makes sense. why not?

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Kazooless
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 9 months ago

It would seem that there is a lot of 4/3 history that needs to be rediscovered by our new micro-4/3 adopteees. I think you'll find these articles about the 4/3 system very informative and to the point of this thread:

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/index.html (this should take you to the Benefits of Four Thirds section).

Wrotniak has a very good piece explaining the 4/3 ratio: http://www.wrotniak.com/photo/43/sensor-size.html

Lastly, you'll note after reading these that 4/3 specifically refers to the ratio.

Enjoy,

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Kazooless

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James A Rinner
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Re: MFT I don't get it . . .
In reply to VertigonA380, 9 months ago

Having shot Hasselblads 6cm X 6cm medium format for most of my professional career I see your point exactly.  Most compositions are rectangular but not all, some are square and when we look through a rectangular viewfinder we tend to miss those shots that are square.

Hasselblad put out a very good booklet call Square Composition.

I would love a 4/4 camera but I doubt that Oly would do it, even Hasselblad does not offer a native square digital format.

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Sincerely,
James A. Rinner

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Tom Axford
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MFT is compatible with a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to Kazooless, 9 months ago

Kazooless wrote:

Lastly, you'll note after reading these that 4/3 specifically refers to the ratio.

If you mean the aspect ratio of the sensor, then that statement is incorrect. There is a summary of the Four Thirds standard here.

It clearly states in Section 6 that the Four Thirds Sensor Specification defines the diagonal length to be 21.63mm. There is nothing stated about the aspect ratio.

The Micro Four Thirds Standard (summary) is based on the Four Thirds Standard for sensor size, but also explicitly states that the standard is designed to be compatible with 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios, although it doesn't mention 1:1.

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Kazooless
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Re: MFT is compatible with a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to Tom Axford, 9 months ago

I see that they've added the ability to cover the other aspect ratios and you can't find the aspect ratio mentioned on the four-thirds.org pages any longer, but if you look at the actual patent, the 4/3 ratio is mentioned all over the place: http://www.google.com/patents/US6910814

Here is just one quote: "...said camera body having an image pickup device having an imaging range with an aspect ratio of 4:3 on an imaging surface within the image circle..."

Four Thirds at least originally referred to the chosen aspect ratio of 4 wide to 3 tall, just like the old TV sets, etc., as Wozniak points out in his article (linked to earlier). For whatever reason, they seem to be playing that down now, but it doesn't change the history, or the patent.

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Tom Axford
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Re: MFT is compatible with a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to Kazooless, 9 months ago

Kazooless wrote:

I see that they've added the ability to cover the other aspect ratios and you can't find the aspect ratio mentioned on the four-thirds.org pages any longer, but if you look at the actual patent, the 4/3 ratio is mentioned all over the place: http://www.google.com/patents/US6910814

That patent is for a specific camera, it is not defining the Four Thirds standard. Of course, all Four Thirds cameras that are commercially available use the 4:3 ratio, but that does not make it part of the standard.

Four Thirds at least originally referred to the chosen aspect ratio of 4 wide to 3 tall, just like the old TV sets, etc., as Wozniak points out in his article (linked to earlier).

I suspect Wozniak is wrong on this point. Wikipedia articles cannot be entirely relied upon either, but I have seen several that mention 4/3 as referring to the diameter in inches of the glass envelope of early video camera tubes (e.g. here and here) and I am inclined to believe them more than Wozniak.

The 4/3" interpretation is entirely consistent with one commonly used way of specifying compact camera sensor sizes as e.g. 1" or 1/1.7" or 1/2.3", etc.

Four Thirds fits this scale exactly if it is interpreted as meaning 4/3".

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Kazooless
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Re: MFT is compatible with a variety of aspect ratios
In reply to Tom Axford, 9 months ago

It it is all quite interesting, that is for sure. The wiki article on 4/3 (not m4/3) had a quote from an Olympus official saying it referred to the size and aspect ratio. I didn't mention it before though, because I agree with you regarding reliability of wiki.

The most important part though, is that we are using such an awesome spec! I have been loving 4/3 since 2006 and am expecting my 3rd camera to be delivered today. I finally splurged and ordered the top of the line: OM-D E-M1. I am SO excited! Can't wait to get home tonight.

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Kazooless

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