What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
Pasmia
Contributing MemberPosts: 517Gear list
Like?
What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
5 months ago

I've been using point and shoot cameras for a number of years and I've finally migrated on over to ILCs with M43 cameras about three years ago. My IQ dramatically increased, but I'm still not getting images that other people are capable of with their full frame monster cameras. Before the obvious answers roll in, please read further.

At first, I figured it was depth of field. M43, with is 1/4 size sensor, in comparison to FF, doesn't isolate its subjects with respective focal lengths nearly as much and therefore, it can create a really different feel for equivalent framing (ie: 25mm on M43 @ 1.4 is nothing like 50mm on FF @ 1.4). So, I went out and bought the Panasonic/Leica 25mm/f1.4 and the Olympus 45mm/f1.8. I was able to mimic multiple shallow DoF styled photos and even bought some diopters for some ridiculously "bokehlicious" macro shots. This brought my IQ up even more but it was still not quite there.

My next theory was dynamic range. My Lumix G3 camera was lacking this department, in comparison to the Canon 5D II which has become my reference point for IQ (just due to popularity, not bias against Nikon or anything). My Lumix G3 scored a 10.6Evs vs the 5Dii's 11.9Evs on DXO. At this point, I start shooting HDRs to make up for this inadequacy and immediately noticed an improvement in IQ, yet again. I try not to overdue the post processing of HDRs, and simply use it as a tool to expand the DR of my camera. Well, fast forward to the present and I am now with an Olympus E-P5, which has a score of 12.4Evs, and still, I feel like my camera is lacking in comparison to the 5Dii.

Whenever I find myself trying to shoot with my camera's greatest potential, I only shoot at a fixed base ISO. I set my aperture, almost always at f4.0/f5.6 (M43 sweet spot). I'm still using multiple exposures and blending in post (HDR'ish). But I still find IQ lacking.

What I'm finding is that images from cameras like the 5D ii/iii, 6D, Leica M, Sony A7/r, D800/D600 are BOLD. Images seem to be wet, even on my computer screen. Images from M43 cameras seem to have a white sheen over them. It's like there's a certain "fill" that's lacking. Highlights are blown, shadows are muddy, colors are lacking, and there is no "POP" in the images.

I'm beginning to think that the IQ differences I'm looking at is simply a post processing technique that I'm somehow overlooking. If I'm on 500PX, I can find about one in 50 shots from an Olympus camera that actually looks great and is practically indistinguishable from a D800 or other FF camera. However, when I look at something like 5DII images in 500px, practically every other image exudes jaw dropping IQ.

Of my personal collection, I think I literally have a dozen shots, if that, from the past three years, that are indistinguishable from a full frame camera's IQ. My issue, or my concern, is in my snapshots. The shots that I don't spend time calculating exposure and setting up lighting or a tripod. These shots suck. The only snapshots I have that I like are only good because they were composed well or I caught a great moment, but these shots look good with any camera, even my iPhone. I want these shots to be nice in IQ as well, not just the shots I spend hours calculating and post processing and composing and touching up and going back repeating my touch ups.

I do find it possible that maybe it really is just the photographer. I do find it possible that maybe better photographers just so happen to have these cameras that make images that I'm comparing my images to. Maybe, these cameras just so happen to be just another camera model, but happen to attract the people that are capable of producing these types of pictures. I do find it possible that this is true, I just don't believe that it is.

This is the first casual shot I could find from a 5DII on 500PX. It has a lot of what I find is great IQ. The image itself is ok. But the color, the boldness, the gradient, it's just so... perfect.

http://500px.com/photo/57384990

This is sort of similar shot from and Olympus EM5. It's got a lot of similarities to the above shot but it is lacking. The gradients don't blend as well, IMO. The colors don't pop. There's the sheen I was talking about earlier (granted, fog is a bad example for this, I know). The picture doesn't feel ALIVE like the above shot.

http://500px.com/photo/57384990

This image here is another 5Dii. It's so spectacular, I wish there was another shot of this exact moment with a M43 camera so I can rest at ease that it really is when, where, and who that matter rather than what gear.

http://500px.com/photo/2029587

This picture here shows that Olympus is capable of images that I can't distinguish from a FF camera. It took me 8 pages to find an image that I felt this away about on 500px and I still look at the close rock a bit hesitantly, but the sky and water is remarkable.

http://500px.com/photo/54968996

Any thoughts or general discussion is much appreciated. I'm not looking for a brawl on big vs small sensor, I'm just trying to understand things a bit more. If there's someone that knows exactly what the IQ difference I'm seeing is, I'd love to hear it.

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 6D Nikon D800 Olympus PEN E-P5 Sony Alpha 7
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
dannybgoode
Contributing MemberPosts: 829Gear list
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Short answer to a long question - technique, both during the shot (composition, use of light etc) and during PP.

-- hide signature --
 dannybgoode's gear list:dannybgoode's gear list
Ricoh GR Digital IV Sigma DP2 Merrill Fujifilm X-Pro1 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
moving_comfort
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,790Gear list
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Another short couple answers to a long question - 1) the capability of getting more DOF control at my typical FOVs and distances, 2) less noise at my typical FOVs and DOFs, 3) little better DR up from base ISO, 4) the new 'capabilty' it seems to bring to lenses that seemed somewhat pedestrian on aps-c.

Also, not really related to IQ, but the performance (AF lock, AF accuracy, metering, etc) has just been better on the FF bodies I've owned compared to the aps-c bodies I've owned. This is highly body dependent though.

If I were to summarize these : it's just easier to get the good image with the larger sensor, for me.

-- hide signature --

Here are a few of my favorite things...
---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/95095968@N00/sets/72157626171532197/

 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DtEW
Senior MemberPosts: 1,790Gear list
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Probably color depth.  According to DXOMark, a 5DMKII produces 23.7bits of color depth, while a E-P5 produces 22.8bits.  That's approximately twice the number of fine gradations between colors.  The typical non-specialist display/adapter is capable of taking a 24-bit color depth signal and depicting that to whatever color space it is capable of.  Better displays/adapters can render a whopping 30bits.  Remember that the number of gradations doubles with every bit.

I knew an a-hole at my gym that runs a Phase 1 MF digital back, and WOW were his shots RICH.

 DtEW's gear list:DtEW's gear list
Canon PowerShot G11 Canon EOS 6D Sony a6000 Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM +16 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ZX11
Contributing MemberPosts: 575Gear list
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

The fact that big sensors are owned by people who can do this to a photograph:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPiYVvCtNUQ

I think the guy spent an half hour on one photo fiddling in ways I don't understand.

And a for instance on the physical problem.  When I make my own lenses.  They are not perfect since that is not possible.  They have small errors in shape and clarity.  When I build teeny tiny sensors for them, the errors dwarf the sensor.  My smallest sensor is the size of a pin head and holds 18 megapixels but a lot of them get blocked by the lens errors.

My big sensors see the small errors like Godzilla's eyes notice a fly.  It doesn't register to him.  The errors are so tiny in relation to the sensor.  Build some lenses large enough to fit his eye glasses (if Godzilla was near sighted) and the small errors would be so small to him, he would think they were optically perfect.  Godzilla was often mad at Japan because mirrorless cameras were always made too small for him to handle.

At least that is how I see it as a beginner with eyeballs that are no longer "L" quality and rapidly approaching point and shoot lens quality.

 ZX11's gear list:ZX11's gear list
Canon EOS 700D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pasmia
Contributing MemberPosts: 517Gear list
Like?
I think this is the best answer ever...
In reply to moving_comfort, 5 months ago
If I were to summarize these : it's just easier to get the good image with the larger sensor, for me.

This is probably the best explanation I've ever heard. So simple, but I totally get it. I'm not being sarcastic BTW!

LOL, thanks!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pasmia
Contributing MemberPosts: 517Gear list
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to ZX11, 5 months ago

ZX11 wrote:

The fact that big sensors are owned by people who can do this to a photograph:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPiYVvCtNUQ

I think the guy spent an half hour on one photo fiddling in ways I don't understand.

I've heard a lot about images from bigger sensors holding up in post much better than smaller sensors. I don't really understand why, but apparently, small sensor files break down faster, and even at base ISO, grain will show through much faster from pushing shadows than with a bigger sensor. I try my best to adjust my exposure for shadows and then pull highlights in post, but more often than I'd like, I end up clipping my highlights and end up with irreparable images. This is kind of why practically all static images/still photography that I do are done with -2/0/+2 bracketing and blended in post.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tko
tko
Forum ProPosts: 10,189
Like?
I hate to say this
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

But a lot of the appeal might that larger formats are typically purchased by more serious photographer who probably have more lighting and retouching skills. Not a slam against smaller formats, doesn't mean you can't take great images, just makes sense on the average.

That first photo you referenced is a classic that's famous over the world, probably heavily retouched, all done by a very talented and experience photographer that makes everyone go WOW!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mike_PEAT
Forum ProPosts: 10,197Gear list
Like?
It's a poor craftsperson who blames their tools!
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Over my 30+ years of photography I've shot many formats including medium and large formats, film and digital; for the past ten years I've used Four Thirds, and now Micro Four Thirds.

If I put a medium format camera in your hands your shots won't magically improve, yes your DOF would be different, but not better.

With any photograph taking the picture is only the first step. If you start with the same flat settings and take a jpeg image you'll get a boring low impact image, no matter format.

 Mike_PEAT's gear list:Mike_PEAT's gear list
Lytro Light Field 16GB
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Vlad S
Senior MemberPosts: 3,096Gear list
Like?
Def. the skill
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

At least in the images you have referenced. They are all highly processed. In addition, Shumilova is a trained painter, and I think a trained artist's hand does show in her photos.

I do think that people, who spend more money on their camera are also more likely to spend money or at least effort on learning more advanced postprocessing – that includes paid seminars and classes.

I also think that µ4/3 shooters worry about the DR so much, that they create grey, muddy shadows, with the intention of keeping shadow detail, but robbing themselves of the contrast. I think it's pure insecurity, because 4/3 sensors have been beaten up so badly for their DR.

That being said, I think I have seen some outstanding examples from the m4/3 system, that were bold, clear, and skillfully done.

Here's a few interesting examples done with 4/3 sized sensors:

http://500px.com/photo/55977356

http://500px.com/photo/49335446

http://500px.com/photo/16789449

http://500px.com/photo/24081801

http://500px.com/photo/37382784

http://500px.com/photo/55777792

Vlad

Pasmia wrote:

What I'm finding is that images from cameras like the 5D ii/iii, 6D, Leica M, Sony A7/r, D800/D600 are BOLD. Images seem to be wet, even on my computer screen. Images from M43 cameras seem to have a white sheen over them. It's like there's a certain "fill" that's lacking. Highlights are blown, shadows are muddy, colors are lacking, and there is no "POP" in the images.

 Vlad S's gear list:Vlad S's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
D Cox
Senior MemberPosts: 7,320
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

The main difference is not the size of the sensor, but the size of each pixel. Bigger pixels have less noise. (Noise also goes down over the years as sensor technology improves.)

So a 16 Megapixel sensor of a certain size will have less noise than a 16 Megapixel sensor of half the size.

Less noise means better tonal gradation and cleaner colours, or being able to set higher ISOs and still have acceptable quality.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
D Cox
Senior MemberPosts: 7,320
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Pasmia wrote:

ZX11 wrote:

The fact that big sensors are owned by people who can do this to a photograph:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPiYVvCtNUQ

I think the guy spent an half hour on one photo fiddling in ways I don't understand.

I've heard a lot about images from bigger sensors holding up in post much better than smaller sensors. I don't really understand why, but apparently, small sensor files break down faster, and even at base ISO, grain will show through much faster from pushing shadows than with a bigger sensor. I try my best to adjust my exposure for shadows and then pull highlights in post, but more often than I'd like, I end up clipping my highlights and end up with irreparable images. This is kind of why practically all static images/still photography that I do are done with -2/0/+2 bracketing and blended in post.

Exposing for the shadows is definitely not a good idea for digital sensors. Clipping of highlights is much worse than noisy shadows.

Many people try to "expose to the right" - that is, give enough exposure to just avoid highlight clipping. I tend to expose for the mid tones and shoot RAW so that highlights can be recovered if necessary. Unfortunately cameras with small sensors usually lack RAW file saving.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
knickerhawk
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,223
Like?
Sigh...
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Pasmia wrote:

I've been using point and shoot cameras for a number of years and I've finally migrated on over to ILCs with M43 cameras about three years ago. My IQ dramatically increased, but I'm still not getting images that other people are capable of with their full frame monster cameras. Before the obvious answers roll in, please read further.

At first, I figured it was depth of field. M43, with is 1/4 size sensor, in comparison to FF, doesn't isolate its subjects with respective focal lengths nearly as much and therefore, it can create a really different feel for equivalent framing (ie: 25mm on M43 @ 1.4 is nothing like 50mm on FF @ 1.4). So, I went out and bought the Panasonic/Leica 25mm/f1.4 and the Olympus 45mm/f1.8. I was able to mimic multiple shallow DoF styled photos and even bought some diopters for some ridiculously "bokehlicious" macro shots. This brought my IQ up even more but it was still not quite there.

My next theory was dynamic range. My Lumix G3 camera was lacking this department, in comparison to the Canon 5D II which has become my reference point for IQ (just due to popularity, not bias against Nikon or anything). My Lumix G3 scored a 10.6Evs vs the 5Dii's 11.9Evs on DXO. At this point, I start shooting HDRs to make up for this inadequacy and immediately noticed an improvement in IQ, yet again. I try not to overdue the post processing of HDRs, and simply use it as a tool to expand the DR of my camera. Well, fast forward to the present and I am now with an Olympus E-P5, which has a score of 12.4Evs, and still, I feel like my camera is lacking in comparison to the 5Dii.

Whenever I find myself trying to shoot with my camera's greatest potential, I only shoot at a fixed base ISO. I set my aperture, almost always at f4.0/f5.6 (M43 sweet spot). I'm still using multiple exposures and blending in post (HDR'ish). But I still find IQ lacking.

What I'm finding is that images from cameras like the 5D ii/iii, 6D, Leica M, Sony A7/r, D800/D600 are BOLD. Images seem to be wet, even on my computer screen. Images from M43 cameras seem to have a white sheen over them. It's like there's a certain "fill" that's lacking. Highlights are blown, shadows are muddy, colors are lacking, and there is no "POP" in the images.

I'm beginning to think that the IQ differences I'm looking at is simply a post processing technique that I'm somehow overlooking. If I'm on 500PX, I can find about one in 50 shots from an Olympus camera that actually looks great and is practically indistinguishable from a D800 or other FF camera. However, when I look at something like 5DII images in 500px, practically every other image exudes jaw dropping IQ.

Of my personal collection, I think I literally have a dozen shots, if that, from the past three years, that are indistinguishable from a full frame camera's IQ. My issue, or my concern, is in my snapshots. The shots that I don't spend time calculating exposure and setting up lighting or a tripod. These shots suck. The only snapshots I have that I like are only good because they were composed well or I caught a great moment, but these shots look good with any camera, even my iPhone. I want these shots to be nice in IQ as well, not just the shots I spend hours calculating and post processing and composing and touching up and going back repeating my touch ups.

I do find it possible that maybe it really is just the photographer. I do find it possible that maybe better photographers just so happen to have these cameras that make images that I'm comparing my images to. Maybe, these cameras just so happen to be just another camera model, but happen to attract the people that are capable of producing these types of pictures. I do find it possible that this is true, I just don't believe that it is.

This is the first casual shot I could find from a 5DII on 500PX. It has a lot of what I find is great IQ. The image itself is ok. But the color, the boldness, the gradient, it's just so... perfect.

http://500px.com/photo/57384990

This is the third time in the last couple of months that I've stumbled across somebody referencing Shuminova's images as evidence of the advantages of FF, when all it really is is evidence of how a skilled photographer who knows how to use Photoshop can create pleasing images. Let's look carefully at the shot linked above and consider your theory and then consider what she really did...

1. DOF. This shot was taken with the excellent Canon 135mm f/2 L at f/2.5. "Ahah!" You say. "It's the shallow depth of field that makes all the difference. You can't do that with m4/3..." However, if you assume she's approximately 8 feet from the subjects, then the DOFMaster DOF calculator shows a DOF of about .15 feet. Indeed, that's shallow, but what if we increased the f-stop to f/5.6? Surely, that creates WAY too much DOF, right? Well, in fact the calculator shows a DOF of .34 feet. Hmmm. Not much difference after all and certainly not a difference that would have impacted this image.

But what about m4/3? Well, the Oly 75mm f/1.8 is by any standard an outstanding lens and comparable to the Canon here in terms of sharpness, contrast and close in terms of DOF and AOF equivalence. Even the Sigma 60mm f/2.8, which gets rave reviews for sharpness has more than adequate DOF shallowness for this image (well within the 1/2 foot range we're seeing here).

Bottom line: DOF differences between FF and m4/3 don't explain why this image is "special".

2. DYNAMIC RANGE. Well, DR is certainly not a relevant differentiator in this shot. The DR of this shot is quite low. It was taken on obviously overcast day. Virtually no shadows or deep blacks to worry about and certainly no highlight issues to contend with. Virtually any digital camera (including an iPhone) could easily handle the DR of this scene. Note also that this is not a high ISO shot. It was taken at ISO 320 with a shutter speed of 1/320. Not much of an exposure challenge there.

Bottom line: DR differences between FF and m4/3 don't explain why this image is "special".

3. "BOLDNESS". This supposed differentiation is rather vague but seems to relate to color saturation and contrast (we've already addressed DR). But looking at this particular image, I fail to see anything bold or particularly colorful or intensely saturated/vibrant. It's all rather subdued. What I do see is lots of local contrast in the dog and boy and lots of (related) sharpening. If you start with a good image rendered by a sharp/contrasty lens (and there are plenty of lenses in the m4/3 line-up that meet these criteria, two of which I mentioned above), then getting sharp, contrasty images like this at this display size are rather easy to do. Remember, we're looking at an image that's only 950x650 pixels. That's massively downsized for any 16mp m4/3 camera just like it is for the Canon 5D II and covers up all sorts of limitations that might be a practical concerns at much larger display sizes.

Bottom line: "Boldness" differences between FF and m4/3 don't explain why this image is "special".

So, then, what explains the "specialness" of this image? First and foremost, it's a well composed, well lit rendering of a "precious" scene, but of course that's all about the photographer and has nothing to do with the equipment used. Most of what's not attributable to the photographer's vision when taking the shot has to do with careful RAW processing and extensive Photoshop manipulation. This is a SIGNIFICANTLY PHOTOSHOPPED image. Most of Shumilova's shots show a lot of PS manipulation in them. Often they're quite obvious and not particularly well done.

For instance, in this shot you can see that she has applied local sharpening to the dog and boy and what looks like additional blurring to isolate them further from the background and foreground. Look to the leftmost edge of the dog's tail and the ground next to it. See how the sharpened detail extens a couple of millimeters beyond the tail and into the gravel? See the blurring distortion that occurs as you work your way up behind the dog? The ground somehow seems to magically sink down toward the tail. That's all PS manipulation.

Now look at the ground around the boy's front boot. Notice the sudden shift from sharpness to blur as you both move forward and to the right of the boots. That's not lens blurring, that's PS blurring. Also notice the telltale haloing around the boots especially. More evidence of some form of localized brightness adjustment going on. Clearly, there is deliberate/accentuated vignetting as well to help bring out the subjects from the background. These are all rather typical PS tricks, which I have no problem with (I use them too). What I DO have a problem with is false attribution of the reasons for the success of a skilled photographer like Shumilova.

Bottom line: Equipment isn't going to make you a better photographer. Don't believe me? Then go buy that FF camera and start creating your "Bold" and "wet" shots.. Good luck.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
69chevy
Senior MemberPosts: 1,369
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

I'm not sure there is a correct answer.

My guess is that it has to do with pixel size.

If a sensor is a light catcher that can only interact with a finite amount of photons before being full, then it only makes sense that more surface area represents a more accurate sample of light.

If light was made of M&M's of every color, pixels were buckets, and you were trying to catch a rainfall of M&M's that represented exactly the pattern they were falling in, the bigger you made each bucket, the larger sample you would collect. This gives the advantage to the bigger buckets.

Some will argue that a smaller bucket would still accurately reflect the pattern, but as with any gathering, the larger the cross section, the more accurate the results.

I poll 500 people on their beliefs and find that they are split 50/50. Then I poll 2000 (full frame is about 4 times the surface area of 4/3). I find that the split is 45/55.

Both collected samples are accurate, but one is a better representation of reality.

A full frame sensor interacts with more photons per exposure.

The details, colors, contrasts and gradiations are going to be more accurate by a factor of four.

This may only mean a 5% variation (like my fake poll) or maybe less than 5%.

Not enough to matter to some, but huge to others.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
papillon_65
Forum ProPosts: 17,958Gear list
Like?
There is a difference..
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

I've shot all the popular sensor sizes and the larger the sensor the better the tonal range you can get. You'll get all sorts of people arguing and ranting over DXOmark scores etc etc but if you put decent lenses on a full frame sensor you will get smoother more pleasing tonal roll-off which you can see, at least I notice it, as you obviously do. Lighting and composition always plays a key part in it but on average, you will get "nicer" results on a full frame camera compared to a smaller sensor. Whether it's enough to matter to some people is an entirely different, and somewhat subjective, argument. I shoot with a 5D2 and some smaller sensored camera's and I used to shoot with m4/3's, no-one will convince me otherwise that there isn't a difference between the results I can get with the 5D2 and the others, it's just my opinion but it's definitely there for me. The only way you will ever know for yourself is to try a FF camera, I'll be very surprised if you find it disappointing, I certainly didn't, just remember the compromise is size and weight and there's no real way around that unless you spend a lot of money.

Oh, and the other poster was right, it is easier to get better results and there is more headroom in the raw files for post processing, no doubt about it, that includes sharpening as well.

-- hide signature --

“The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.”
Mikhail Gorbachev
Tony
http://the-random-photographer.blogspot.com/

 papillon_65's gear list:papillon_65's gear list
Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Fujifilm XF1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
knickerhawk
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,223
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to 69chevy, 5 months ago

69chevy wrote:

I'm not sure there is a correct answer.

My guess is that it has to do with pixel size.

No, it really doesn't have that much to do with pixel size unless, of course, the original Canon 5D is better than the 5D II and 5D III.

If a sensor is a light catcher that can only interact with a finite amount of photons before being full, then it only makes sense that more surface area represents a more accurate sample of light.

This is better because you're now talking about sensor surface area and not pixel size.  However, it's not just as simple as increasing sensor area solves all problems.  There are some countervailing tradeoffs as you increase sensor size.

If light was made of M&M's of every color, pixels were buckets, and you were trying to catch a rainfall of M&M's that represented exactly the pattern they were falling in, the bigger you made each bucket, the larger sample you would collect. This gives the advantage to the bigger buckets.

Not if the buckets covered the same area.  Pixel size used to be more relevant when there weren't gapless microlenses and there was measurable loss of photons due to the borders between the sensels.  That's pretty much a non-issue these days.

Some will argue that a smaller bucket would still accurately reflect the pattern, but as with any gathering, the larger the cross section, the more accurate the results.

I poll 500 people on their beliefs and find that they are split 50/50. Then I poll 2000 (full frame is about 4 times the surface area of 4/3). I find that the split is 45/55.

Bad analogy for supporting your argument if what you're talking about is pixel size and not sensor size.  Your analogy actually is indicating that you should increase the number pixels, which is generally what all camera makers are doing (and successfully so).  IQ has not suffered as a result.  It has improved.

Both collected samples are accurate, but one is a better representation of reality.

A full frame sensor interacts with more photons per exposure.

You need to carefully define what you mean by "exposure" and they you will quickly find yourself getting deep into issues of equivalence and what that means.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Kodachrome200
Contributing MemberPosts: 757Gear list
Like?
There is no bigger advocate of FF dSLRs than me. but...
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

I am a big advocate of full frame cameras and dslr style cameras. but honestly what your seeing is 100 percent about how the image was shot and processed.

I think these cameras are the best tools out there. there the best to use and they have the best sensors and they give you the most options.

but i would never claim that the photographer that produced these images couldnt get similar results with an m43 camera.

it would just be less suited to the task. it would for instance be more difficult to achieve the DOF. it would also be more difficult to get this quality of a result in lower light (not that this was). the camera viewfinder and controls are more suited for this kind of work. the autofocus can be more easily manually directed. ect ect ect. this is why photographers with this skill level choose such cameras. but do not attribute the caliber of there work to the camera

 Kodachrome200's gear list:Kodachrome200's gear list
Ricoh GR Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
juvx
Contributing MemberPosts: 615Gear list
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Its not that large sensor are always better, its just easier to get great results on a consistent basis.

There are multiple reasons for this (better high iso quality, better low light performance, better dynamic range, better DoF with @ the same apertures. There number one reason to be is Dynamic range.

When you import a raw file into lightroom and max out the shadows you'll instantly know why full frame is worth it.

Now all that aside. Take a look a Fuji... X-e2, X-t1, X100s... although i don't own one, iv consistently seen AMAZING results from those cameras that rival even full frame. Sometimes a APS-C sensor is just that good and refined.

 juvx's gear list:juvx's gear list
Sony RX100 II Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jvkelley
Contributing MemberPosts: 816Gear list
Like?
Re: Sigh...
In reply to knickerhawk, 5 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

So, then, what explains the "specialness" of this image? First and foremost, it's a well composed, well lit rendering of a "precious" scene, but of course that's all about the photographer and has nothing to do with the equipment used. Most of what's not attributable to the photographer's vision when taking the shot has to do with careful RAW processing and extensive Photoshop manipulation. This is a SIGNIFICANTLY PHOTOSHOPPED image. Most of Shumilova's shots show a lot of PS manipulation in them. Often they're quite obvious and not particularly well done.

I think you are over stating the importance of photoshop in these images.  The magic of these images is the mood they create.  Creating a sense of emotion in these images is what separates her from an average photographer.  Her choices of subject, environment, lighting, composition, equipment, camera settings, and post processing all work together to create this mood.  If you took away one of these elements, the images wouldn't be quite as good, but they'd still be excellent.

-- hide signature --

J.V.

 jvkelley's gear list:jvkelley's gear list
Canon PowerShot S50 Canon EOS 400D Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
69chevy
Senior MemberPosts: 1,369
Like?
Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to knickerhawk, 5 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

69chevy wrote:

I'm not sure there is a correct answer.

My guess is that it has to do with pixel size.

No, it really doesn't have that much to do with pixel size unless, of course, the original Canon 5D is better than the 5D II and 5D III.

Many people think it was. If the shortcomings of the body weren't so severe, I would still be using it.

If a sensor is a light catcher that can only interact with a finite amount of photons before being full, then it only makes sense that more surface area represents a more accurate sample of light.

This is better because you're now talking about sensor surface area and not pixel size. However, it's not just as simple as increasing sensor area solves all problems. There are some countervailing tradeoffs as you increase sensor size.

I never said it solved all problems. I said it produced better images, which it does.

If light was made of M&M's of every color, pixels were buckets, and you were trying to catch a rainfall of M&M's that represented exactly the pattern they were falling in, the bigger you made each bucket, the larger sample you would collect. This gives the advantage to the bigger buckets.

Not if the buckets covered the same area. Pixel size used to be more relevant when there weren't gapless microlenses and there was measurable loss of photons due to the borders between the sensels. That's pretty much a non-issue these days.

If the number of buckets were equal, the bigger buckets are more accurate.

20MP 4/3 cameras have 20mil buckets covering 225mm^2.

20MP full frame cameras have 20mil larger buckets covering 864mm^2.

Some will argue that a smaller bucket would still accurately reflect the pattern, but as with any gathering, the larger the cross section, the more accurate the results.

I poll 500 people on their beliefs and find that they are split 50/50. Then I poll 2000 (full frame is about 4 times the surface area of 4/3). I find that the split is 45/55.

Bad analogy for supporting your argument if what you're talking about is pixel size and not sensor size. Your analogy actually is indicating that you should increase the number pixels, which is generally what all camera makers are doing (and successfully so). IQ has not suffered as a result. It has improved.

I never knew my statement was an arguement.

Fine analogy too btw. It was to show more interactions provide more accurate results. Full frame sensors have more photon interactions than smaller sensors.

Both collected samples are accurate, but one is a better representation of reality.

A full frame sensor interacts with more photons per exposure.

You need to carefully define what you mean by "exposure" and they you will quickly find yourself getting deep into issues of equivalence and what that means.

I see no need to re-define a word that is already defined. Nor do I need to do anything you say.

In photography, exposure is the quantity of light reaching a photographic film, as determined by shutter speed and lens aperture. In digital photography "film" is substituted with "sensor".

This is from Wikipedia but came fron the Oxford dictionary. It was updated to remove a bad definition created by someone like yourself.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads