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

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bobn2
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Re: Smoother, more natural, richer, better tonality
In reply to 69chevy, 5 months ago

69chevy wrote:

papillon_65 wrote:

Ontario Gone wrote:

papillon_65 wrote:

in the case of FF vs m4/3's that will be 4 times more light at equal apertures. That translates into better colour depth and hence the appearance of a richer, smoother look.

Ok so help me understand this thing with BOB. You just said exactly what i picture in my head. FF will receive 4x more light than a MFT at equal F stops and equal SS, because at equal F stops the aperture itself isn't really equal. How on earth, with a 4x light advantage, can they get the same SS unless the gain is different? If they are both at ISO 200, both at F2, both at 1/100 SS, and the FF has 2 stops less noise, doesn't it have to be because the gain on the FF was less than the other one? How else would the smaller sensor get those two stops of SS back?

It's a good question and I'd like to know the answer as well

Feel free to read my post about the buckets and surface area.

A cup and a bucket will collect 1" of water in a rain storm at exactly the same rate.

Photodiodes are no different except they dont catch rain, they interact with photons.

They fill at the same rate, yet the bigger ones collect more (quantity not energy) of light.

There is no difference between 'quantity' and 'energy', just that the 'energy' is 'quantised'. In any case  imagine that you have a small pixel and a large pixel, four times the area. Four of the small pixels collect just as much light as one of the big ones.

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bobn2
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Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to dikipix, 5 months ago

dikipix wrote:

Lots of close attention to the sensor here, but the other two key elements are less well considered. Cameras or more correctly imaging, comprises three main elements, lens, sensor and digital processing (in camera)

To me, it seems the lens accounts for a large amount of the image quality in the finished image. For instance, put a high quality lens on an ordinary camera, you can get remarkable results. Put an ordinary lens on a high end camera, the results are less likely to be impressive.

One of the severe limitations of smaller cameras, is smaller lenses. It is difficult to make a small lens perform like a larger lens, the real estate is just not there to enable that to happen. Add to that cost, it will cost a lot more to manufacture a small lens that performs at a similar level to a larger lens, because the tolerances will have to be much finer. But, no one wants to spend more money, on a smaller item. Yes, manufacturing has improved immensely in recent times, but the improvements are applied to small and large alike.

I don't quite agree with that. I had a long argument with regular poster Anders W, who claims the exact opposite of you, that smaller lenses are intrinsically better than big ones. I think where you're wrong and he is also, is the assumption that small lenses and big ones would be built the same way. The quality of a lens is ultimately decided by how much you're willing to spend manufacturing it (and the trade off like most things goes towards getting more for less outlay as progress is made) - but manufacturing trade-offs really are size dependent - at different sizes different manufacturing techniques become feasible and relative prices for different ways of building things change. So, in th end, I don't think its a given that small lenses would be build or designed like big lenses.

Similarly, large sensors, with more real estate available, can capture far more information than a smaller sensor, it's a question of available real estate.

Again, that's not intrinsic. A small sensor can be made to collect just as much information as a big sensor, but it does mean letting it accept a higher exposure.

The result, you get much better headroom, meaning you can apply more post processing to the image, and still have good information remaining in the image to support that processing.

As I suggested above, that's only because designers don't grade 'base ISO' according to sensor size. If they did, sensor size is less important. What becomes the absolute limit is the f/0.5 lower limit on f-number.

Then there is the final arbiter, the chipset, the digital processor that each manufacturer includes with the camera. Each chipset is a finely honed set of compromises, able to apply a series of mathematical algorithms to give the camera the best imaging possible, for a given set of lens-sensor-camera settings that have been applied.

Actually, I don't think it os. Each chipset is an off the shelf applications processor. cameras ride on the back of mobile phone volumes here. The engineers design their firmware into the application envelope, not vice versa, and the designers select on price performance from what the chip vendors have available.

Digital processing has to evaluate the captured information from the sensor, apply the algorithms and turn it into an image in the smallest amount of time, for the smallest amount of power consumed. Manufacturer algorithms also account for much of imaging quality, and the variations between different cameras.

Most camera processors are not even close to what could be done in terms of 'smallest amount of time' - they are the most suitable of what is available. They are typically running at clock speeds of 1GHz or less, with single or dual core processors and JPEG hardware pipelines designed originally for phone use. That's why when Canon and Nikon produce 'small raw' formats they are just halfway processed JPEGs - they don't have the freedom to produce a sensible format, the best they can do is use the JPEG hardware and take a feed halfway through.

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Just another Canon shooter
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Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to bobn2, 5 months ago

bobn2 wrote:

I don't quite agree with that. I had a long argument with regular poster Anders W, who claims the exact opposite of you, that smaller lenses are intrinsically better than big ones. I think where you're wrong and he is also, is the assumption that small lenses and big ones would be built the same way. The quality of a lens is ultimately decided by how much you're willing to spend manufacturing it (and the trade off like most things goes towards getting more for less outlay as progress is made) - but manufacturing trade-offs really are size dependent - at different sizes different manufacturing techniques become feasible and relative prices for different ways of building things change. So, in th end, I don't think its a given that small lenses would be build or designed like big lenses.

One of the physical constraints is that you still use the available glass to build smaller lenses - you cannot change the index of refraction just to squeeze the lens in one direction (FL) but keep the physical aperture the same. As a result, smaller lenses with the same light gathering ability have more extreme design, need more glass, and have more aberrations. The 43 system has some f/2 monster zooms, overweight and overpriced even by American standards; and they are just f/4 equivalent. The Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Lens for MTF is 410g, while the new Sony FE 55/1.8 is 281g, and much better, AFAIK.

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knickerhawk
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Re: Smoother, more natural, richer, better tonality
In reply to PerL, 5 months ago

PerL wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Kind of ironic that you're commenting on the "healthy dose" of PP in many of those m4/3 shots after claiming that it would be tough to replicate Shumilova's PS manipulations on images from smaller sensors. That's one of the reasons I chose the above site to link. Clearly, there's lots of postprocessing on many of those shots just like there's lots of postprocessing in Shumilova's images.

Yes, and I don't think any of those shots on the Oly site has the same look or character as Shumilovas images.

Well, of course they don't have the same look or character. Different photogs, radically different subjects, different lenses, different lighting, different processing. All sorts of differences, but what you keep dodging is the question of how the size of the sensor contributes to the look of Shumilova's images (as rendered and posted on Flickr).

(And I'm still waiting for an actual explanation of how the so-called tonality advantages of FF translates to interpolated/downsized jpegs viewed online. You're not the first to claim they can see it, but what is it really that we're supposed to be able to see from those FF shots that won't be there in the cropped sensor shots?)

Its not visible in every shot, but in some. Since you did not see it the shot I referred to I don't if there is any point in referring to more. BTW Panasonic made an interesting experiment at the London Olympics, and hired a professional sports shooter to cover the games with a Panasonic G6 camera m43 camera, posting the results online daily. Unfortunatly even in the small sizes they did not look as good as the shots from the regular pros.

That was Dean Mouhtaropoulos, a Getty Images pro. He was using a pre-production G5, not a G6, and shot exclusively jpegs because there were no raw processing profiles for the G5 at that point. He was further limited in his lens choice to Lumix lenses due to this being a Panasonic-sponosored effort. That means he was using a number consumer-grade lenses in difficult lighting conditions on a CDAF AF body with a prior generation Panny sensor that's been significantly surpassed in DR and noise performance by more current m4/3 bodies.

He did have an early sample of the 35-100 2.8 "pro" lens. The murky colors and lack of clarity and punch vs the pro cameras stood out.

Wasn't aware of that, but whatever. I will happily concede that the G5 is not an optimal solution for sports photography. You will get poorer results overasll even if it's an apples-to-apples jpeg-to-jpeg comparison. That sensor was lagging with respect to noise and DR at the time it came out. The m4/3 telephoto glass selection is poor. AF is a problem. There are lots of contributing factors but I would still contend that sensor size as such is low on the list of reasons why you don't see sports photogs using the G5 (likewise you don't see them using Sony A900s and A7s or even D800s for reasons that have nothing to do with sensor size per se.)

When all this is added up, it's basically impossible to sort out how much (if any) of factor the smaller sensor size, as such, played into the results he got. Having said that, I will gladly concede that m4/3 is still not the optimal choice for sports work. But we're straying far afield from the purported limitations cited in the original post that kicked off this thread.

You still haven't given me ANY explanation of how this magical "smoother, more natural, richer tonality" manifests itself in the typical online posted jpegs that you and others claim as proof. I always find it interesting that this magic quality is somehow so obvious yet so difficult to explain. It never ceases to amaze me how so many think that when they see a nice image on Flickr, the thing that makes it special is the sensor that took it. Somehow they can just intuit that its "smoothness" and "rich tonalities" etc. is directly attributable to the sensor and that the same photographer using the same lens (adapted) or a comparable native lens, using the same shooting/lighting setup and technique and similar or appropriately adjusted processing and editing would have been incapable of replicating that 950x650 pixel jpeg from a smaller sensor.

Maybe you get the chance to borrow or hire a good FF with some fast primes and form your own opinion. Every argument you put forward can be used by APS-C users too, and yet you never see any of those using both APS-C and FF claiming that there is no difference.

First of all, I have used them all and you can throw in multiple film formats as well. I am not arguing that there are no differences in IQ. I'm arguing that you (and others in this thread) have not established that those differences are visible in the significantly downsized jpegs that appear on sites like Flickr and 500px, which is what prompted the OP's initial claims about Shumilova's posted images. I've argued that - starting with post processing and working our way back through the image creation chain - sensor size, as such, is the single least important variable for typical web-based image viewing. Yes, things are different at the extremes (as you scale up output or deal with extreme shooting conditions for instance), but those are not what the OP was referencing as samples of the FF magic. You guys are way, way WAY too fixated on the impact of sensor size within the parameters of this discussion.

Still waiting on your technical explanation of how FF images manage to preserve that "richer, better tonality" in 8-bit sRGB jpegs interpolated to less than a 1000 pixels per side and m4/3 images don't.

As for the APS-C vs. FF observation you keep making, I'll remind you that I've been around these forums about as long as you have. I've followed and participated in the Nikon vs. Canon debates about as long as you have. And I remember you fighting the good fight in the Nikon DX vs. Canon FF wars and I also remember watching you and many other Nikon fans start to pivot their attitudes and associated posting as soon as Nikon started producing FF sensor-based bodies. Are you now admitting that all those Canon fanboys were right all along and you (we, actually) were just deluding ourselves about what we were actually seeing?

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/22973392

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bobn2
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Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Just another Canon shooter, 5 months ago

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

I don't quite agree with that. I had a long argument with regular poster Anders W, who claims the exact opposite of you, that smaller lenses are intrinsically better than big ones. I think where you're wrong and he is also, is the assumption that small lenses and big ones would be built the same way. The quality of a lens is ultimately decided by how much you're willing to spend manufacturing it (and the trade off like most things goes towards getting more for less outlay as progress is made) - but manufacturing trade-offs really are size dependent - at different sizes different manufacturing techniques become feasible and relative prices for different ways of building things change. So, in th end, I don't think its a given that small lenses would be build or designed like big lenses.

One of the physical constraints is that you still use the available glass to build smaller lenses - you cannot change the index of refraction just to squeeze the lens in one direction (FL) but keep the physical aperture the same.

Sometimes you can, the point is if the lens is smaller you might choose a different optical material, because the price equations are different - one quarter the amount of an exotic glass might be feasible within the cost profile. The same is true of 'extreme optical profiles' in a smaller design they might be produced by precision moulding as opposed to grinding. Phonecam lenses have some quite ridiculously non-sherical surfaces which would be completely impractical in a larger design.

As a result, smaller lenses with the same light gathering ability have more extreme design, need more glass, and have more aberrations. The 43 system has some f/2 monster zooms, overweight and overpriced even by American standards;

Yes, they are, but I think they could have been smaller for the same spec. they are big because they are essentially the equivalent FF design with a focal reducer behind them. A designed from the start f/2 zoom might well have been smaller. One interesting case is the Sigma 50-150/2.8 zoom. The old version was a scaled 70-200/2.8 and quite compact. The new version is a 70-200/4 with an afocal converter, and thus big. Good lens though.

and they are just f/4 equivalent. The Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Lens for MTF is 410g, while the new Sony FE 55/1.8 is 281g, and much better, AFAIK.

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Pasmia
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to Dennis, 5 months ago

Dennis wrote:

Pasmia wrote:

After all these thoughtful comments (mostly) and whatever reading I've been able to do on the subject,...

The idea that a M43 25/1.4 will take the same picture as a FF 50/2.8 was proven wrong by some dude, can't find source.

I'd love to see that. I'm not sure I'd draw conclusions from a memory of "some dude" !

It's physics, really. A 25mm lens is a 25mm lens regardless of the size of the sensor. The sensor size simply dictates the crop. What I meant by "not taking the same picture" was simply that the out of focus background blurs are not equal, like many believe. The best way to prove this would be to take a 25mm ff lens, such as a Leica M 24mm Summilux and put it on a Sony A7. If you crop the image down 4X, you will get a much similar image, in respect to depth of field, to a M43 camera with the same lens adapted on to it rather than putting a 50mm Summilux on the A7 and comparing that to the 24mm on a M43 camera. Basically, if you crop a picture taken with a 24mm lens to match the framing of 50mm lens and both are set to the same aperture, the shot with the 50mm lens will still have more blur than the 24mm lens.

BTW, I only used leica and sony here as real example to rid my theories of hypothetical cameras and lenses.

Anyways, you can find what I was referring to as "some dude" here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50650140

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knickerhawk
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Pasmia wrote:

Dennis wrote:

Pasmia wrote:

After all these thoughtful comments (mostly) and whatever reading I've been able to do on the subject,...

The idea that a M43 25/1.4 will take the same picture as a FF 50/2.8 was proven wrong by some dude, can't find source.

I'd love to see that. I'm not sure I'd draw conclusions from a memory of "some dude" !

It's physics, really. A 25mm lens is a 25mm lens regardless of the size of the sensor. The sensor size simply dictates the crop. What I meant by "not taking the same picture" was simply that the out of focus background blurs are not equal, like many believe. The best way to prove this would be to take a 25mm ff lens, such as a Leica M 24mm Summilux and put it on a Sony A7. If you crop the image down 4X, you will get a much similar image, in respect to depth of field, to a M43 camera with the same lens adapted on to it rather than putting a 50mm Summilux on the A7 and comparing that to the 24mm on a M43 camera. Basically, if you crop a picture taken with a 24mm lens to match the framing of 50mm lens and both are set to the same aperture, the shot with the 50mm lens will still have more blur than the 24mm lens.

BTW, I only used leica and sony here as real example to rid my theories of hypothetical cameras and lenses.

Anyways, you can find what I was referring to as "some dude" here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50650140

You'd better look again at your "proof".  That "dude's" shots were all taken at f/1.4, incuding the 50mm ones mounted on a FF body.

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Dennis
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Pasmia wrote:

Dennis wrote:

Pasmia wrote:

The idea that a M43 25/1.4 will take the same picture as a FF 50/2.8 was proven wrong by some dude, can't find source.

I'd love to see that. I'm not sure I'd draw conclusions from a memory of "some dude" !

The best way to prove this would be to take a 25mm ff lens, such as a Leica M 24mm Summilux and put it on a Sony A7. If you crop the image down 4X, you will get a much similar image, in respect to depth of field, to a M43 camera with the same lens adapted on to it rather than putting a 50mm Summilux on the A7 and comparing that to the 24mm on a M43 camera.

So 25mm on FF cropped down to m43 size is similar to putting 25mm on m43 in the first place, true. But that doesn't prove that it's different from putting a 50mm lens on FF and not cropping (but shooting at the same size aperture).

Basically, if you crop a picture taken with a 24mm lens to match the framing of 50mm lens and both are set to the same aperture, the shot with the 50mm lens will still have more blur than the 24mm lens.

But that's not what you said :

The idea that a M43 25/1.4 will take the same picture as a FF 50/2.8 was proven wrong by some dude, can't find source.

Anyways, you can find what I was referring to as "some dude" here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50650140

He shows f/1.4 versus f/1.4. Everyone knows you'll get shallower DOF and more background blur (well, except for one person in the thread) with FF in that case.

So if that's it - that FF gives you the potential for shallower DOF - then I agree that it's certainly part of the look of FF, but only part, because there's only a limited number of shots taken with such shallow DOF that you couldn't achieve the same on m43.

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gollywop
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Pasmia wrote:

After all these thoughtful comments (mostly) and whatever reading I've been able to do on the subject, I've come to my own conclusion that the major difference simply come down to cropping and sensor technology.

The idea that a M43 25/1.4 will take the same picture as a FF 50/2.8 was proven wrong by some dude, can't find source.

If that "dude" was Steve Huff at

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/05/21/crazy-comparison-nikon-d800-vs-sony-nex-7-vs-olympus-e-m5/

he's as nescient of equivalence as you seem to be.

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tko
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you did brought it up . . .
In reply to knickerhawk, 5 months ago

You're asking us to move on about an issue you brought up in the first place

The background blur is given by diameter of the front objective, or the FL divided by the F-stop

Oly = 75 mm / 1.8 = 42mm

Canon = 135mm / 2.0 = 68mm

If you don't care about an additional 62% blur, you're unlikely to care about any of the other technical benefits either.

But I do kind of agree with you, and you can check my original response to this thread. The more experienced photographers do tend to use the best equipment, resulting in images that are better than what the better equipment alone would warrant. Odds are, the same photographer could produce stunning images with a smaller camera. But why would she want to?

The Oly 75mm at f/1.8 would have rendered the background in a very similar way, and of course adding an extra dollop of blur in PS on top of the additional PS blur she used would be no big deal at all. You and Just another Canon have scored your technical point about the difference in background OOF between f/2.5 and f/5.6. Now time to move on and seriously address the real issue of whether the "magic" of this image is uniquely due to it being shot FF.

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Just another Canon shooter
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to gollywop, 5 months ago

Here is another dude's comparisons. Joe has a whole list here. I am starting to think that Earth may be round, after all.

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PerL
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Re: Smoother, more natural, richer, better tonality
In reply to knickerhawk, 5 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

PerL wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Kind of ironic that you're commenting on the "healthy dose" of PP in many of those m4/3 shots after claiming that it would be tough to replicate Shumilova's PS manipulations on images from smaller sensors. That's one of the reasons I chose the above site to link. Clearly, there's lots of postprocessing on many of those shots just like there's lots of postprocessing in Shumilova's images.

Yes, and I don't think any of those shots on the Oly site has the same look or character as Shumilovas images.

Well, of course they don't have the same look or character. Different photogs, radically different subjects, different lenses, different lighting, different processing. All sorts of differences, but what you keep dodging is the question of how the size of the sensor contributes to the look of Shumilova's images (as rendered and posted on Flickr).

(And I'm still waiting for an actual explanation of how the so-called tonality advantages of FF translates to interpolated/downsized jpegs viewed online. You're not the first to claim they can see it, but what is it really that we're supposed to be able to see from those FF shots that won't be there in the cropped sensor shots?)

Its not visible in every shot, but in some. Since you did not see it the shot I referred to I don't if there is any point in referring to more. BTW Panasonic made an interesting experiment at the London Olympics, and hired a professional sports shooter to cover the games with a Panasonic G6 camera m43 camera, posting the results online daily. Unfortunatly even in the small sizes they did not look as good as the shots from the regular pros.

That was Dean Mouhtaropoulos, a Getty Images pro. He was using a pre-production G5, not a G6, and shot exclusively jpegs because there were no raw processing profiles for the G5 at that point. He was further limited in his lens choice to Lumix lenses due to this being a Panasonic-sponosored effort. That means he was using a number consumer-grade lenses in difficult lighting conditions on a CDAF AF body with a prior generation Panny sensor that's been significantly surpassed in DR and noise performance by more current m4/3 bodies.

He did have an early sample of the 35-100 2.8 "pro" lens. The murky colors and lack of clarity and punch vs the pro cameras stood out.

Wasn't aware of that, but whatever. I will happily concede that the G5 is not an optimal solution for sports photography. You will get poorer results overasll even if it's an apples-to-apples jpeg-to-jpeg comparison. That sensor was lagging with respect to noise and DR at the time it came out. The m4/3 telephoto glass selection is poor. AF is a problem. There are lots of contributing factors but I would still contend that sensor size as such is low on the list of reasons why you don't see sports photogs using the G5 (likewise you don't see them using Sony A900s and A7s or even D800s for reasons that have nothing to do with sensor size per se.)

When all this is added up, it's basically impossible to sort out how much (if any) of factor the smaller sensor size, as such, played into the results he got. Having said that, I will gladly concede that m4/3 is still not the optimal choice for sports work. But we're straying far afield from the purported limitations cited in the original post that kicked off this thread.

You still haven't given me ANY explanation of how this magical "smoother, more natural, richer tonality" manifests itself in the typical online posted jpegs that you and others claim as proof. I always find it interesting that this magic quality is somehow so obvious yet so difficult to explain. It never ceases to amaze me how so many think that when they see a nice image on Flickr, the thing that makes it special is the sensor that took it. Somehow they can just intuit that its "smoothness" and "rich tonalities" etc. is directly attributable to the sensor and that the same photographer using the same lens (adapted) or a comparable native lens, using the same shooting/lighting setup and technique and similar or appropriately adjusted processing and editing would have been incapable of replicating that 950x650 pixel jpeg from a smaller sensor.

Maybe you get the chance to borrow or hire a good FF with some fast primes and form your own opinion. Every argument you put forward can be used by APS-C users too, and yet you never see any of those using both APS-C and FF claiming that there is no difference.

First of all, I have used them all and you can throw in multiple film formats as well. I am not arguing that there are no differences in IQ. I'm arguing that you (and others in this thread) have not established that those differences are visible in the significantly downsized jpegs that appear on sites like Flickr and 500px, which is what prompted the OP's initial claims about Shumilova's posted images. I've argued that - starting with post processing and working our way back through the image creation chain - sensor size, as such, is the single least important variable for typical web-based image viewing. Yes, things are different at the extremes (as you scale up output or deal with extreme shooting conditions for instance), but those are not what the OP was referencing as samples of the FF magic. You guys are way, way WAY too fixated on the impact of sensor size within the parameters of this discussion.

Still waiting on your technical explanation of how FF images manage to preserve that "richer, better tonality" in 8-bit sRGB jpegs interpolated to less than a 1000 pixels per side and m4/3 images don't.

I think a lot of things go through so you can see a difference even at jpegs and low resolution.
Here are a few samples - a cover shot.

A few more:

As for the APS-C vs. FF observation you keep making, I'll remind you that I've been around these forums about as long as you have. I've followed and participated in the Nikon vs. Canon debates about as long as you have. And I remember you fighting the good fight in the Nikon DX vs. Canon FF wars and I also remember watching you and many other Nikon fans start to pivot their attitudes and associated posting as soon as Nikon started producing FF sensor-based bodies. Are you now admitting that all those Canon fanboys were right all along and you (we, actually) were just deluding ourselves about what we were actually seeing?

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/22973392

As a fellow veteran you are entitled to a good answer, even if long winded...

At the time Nikon offered for the prosumer the D200, a fast, very well built APS-C, while Canon offered the 5D, a clunky, slow, more expensive FF. Since my roots has been in PJ and sports, I prefered the Nikon compromise. (Still my probably best digital shots were made with that D200 on a safari to Africa.)

I really went the DX route all the way. I upgraded to the D300 and got the 70-200 2.8 and the 17-55 2.8. The 17-55 was a heavy bulky tank, but it freed me some of the curse of the smaller format - the absent DOF control and flat looking everything in focus look from the many 18-xx lenses. I even got the Sigma 30 1.4 and later the Nikon 35 1.8G to get some of the DOF feel of the old 35 mm lenses, but it was not really the same.

There was one argument in the many discussions about DX and FF that stuck to me. With DX (APS-C) you get a lot of bang for the buck - extremely capable and more compact cameras for a lower cost. But with FF you get a slightly better image in every shot.

So I want cameras capable of PJ-style shooting, but I also want the best images, and now when the prices have come down, the answer for me is FF. DX was a good compromise in its time, dictated by cost.
I also like compact cameras, and I think it is excellent if m43 or other mirror less put some pressure on Nikon/Canon to produce smaller bodies, but for me the priority is the images.

Even Nikon DX -fans had to admit that the introduction of the FF Nikon D3 saved Nikon as professional brand. Pros switched back to Nikon in droves. Those pros aren't ignorant or stupid. When one of the Swedish photo agencies switched to Nikon they evaluated the results for months. Now Canon was in trouble with their 1.3x sensors. Not until they also switched to FF with the 1DX did the bleeding and loss of mindshare to Nikon stop.

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knickerhawk
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Re: you did brought it up . . .
In reply to tko, 5 months ago

tko wrote:

You're asking us to move on about an issue you brought up in the first place

The background blur is given by diameter of the front objective, or the FL divided by the F-stop

Oly = 75 mm / 1.8 = 42mm

Canon = 135mm / 2.0 = 68mm

If you don't care about an additional 62% blur, you're unlikely to care about any of the other technical benefits either.

Ummmm...the shot was taken at f/2.5, not f/2.  The Oly 75mm is about a 1/3 of a stop off, which is hardly enough of a difference to argue about, but if it's really so fricking critical for what makes the shot "special" then use an an 85mm f/1.8, f/1.4 or f/1.2 adapted by a Metabones Speedbooster and you're good to go.

But I do kind of agree with you, and you can check my original response to this thread. The more experienced photographers do tend to use the best equipment, resulting in images that are better than what the better equipment alone would warrant. Odds are, the same photographer could produce stunning images with a smaller camera. But why would she want to?

Agreed on the vital importance of the photographer.  Way too often we see photogs draw a false correlation between the quality of the work they admire and the equipment used to create the admired work.  As to why your experienced photog might want the smaller camera, there are a number of reasons.  If she doesn't need to print big, if she more often needs more DOF than less, if she needs to pack light, if she wants the inbody stabilization applied to her favorite manual lenses, if she appreciates the benefits of an EVF, if she mixes macro work in with her precious dog-and-child work...

These are all possible reasons why bigger isn't always better (and sometimes is downright worse).

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Camley
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Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

I am not certain exactly which factors make images from a full frame sensor look better than those from smaller formats but I agree that they do look better.

I have just purchased a Sony a7 and it is a pleasure to edit the images in Lightroom/Photoshop compared to my smaller format cameras. Plus, I can crop more and operate at higher ISO than before.

I think that the ability to get fine images at high ISO e.g >800 has been one of the great developments in modern photography. A full frame camera simply does that better.

Since the a7 is roughly the same size and cost as some high end m4/3 cameras, I couldn't see any good reason not to go full frame for the better image quality.

There is the "bigger lens" argument but my 35 and 55 lens are compact and light and I only require a 24 and 100 to complete my system. I generally use my DSLR for telephoto use because of the improved handling with bigger lenses and its tracking ability.

Sure, the limiting factor for artistic images is the photographer but perhaps one day I will take that special image and I want to make sure that camera isn't limiting my ability to do so.

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gollywop
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to Just another Canon shooter, 5 months ago

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Here is another dude's comparisons. Joe has a whole list here. I am starting to think that Earth may be round, after all.

 

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gollywop

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Pasmia
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to knickerhawk, 5 months ago

Pasmia wrote:

Dennis wrote:

Pasmia wrote:

After all these thoughtful comments (mostly) and whatever reading I've been able to do on the subject,...

The idea that a M43 25/1.4 will take the same picture as a FF 50/2.8 was proven wrong by some dude, can't find source.

I'd love to see that. I'm not sure I'd draw conclusions from a memory of "some dude" !

It's physics, really. A 25mm lens is a 25mm lens regardless of the size of the sensor. The sensor size simply dictates the crop. What I meant by "not taking the same picture" was simply that the out of focus background blurs are not equal, like many believe. The best way to prove this would be to take a 25mm ff lens, such as a Leica M 24mm Summilux and put it on a Sony A7. If you crop the image down 4X, you will get a much similar image, in respect to depth of field, to a M43 camera with the same lens adapted on to it rather than putting a 50mm Summilux on the A7 and comparing that to the 24mm on a M43 camera. Basically, if you crop a picture taken with a 24mm lens to match the framing of 50mm lens and both are set to the same aperture, the shot with the 50mm lens will still have more blur than the 24mm lens.

BTW, I only used leica and sony here as real example to rid my theories of hypothetical cameras and lenses.

Anyways, you can find what I was referring to as "some dude" here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50650140

You'd better look again at your "proof".  That "dude's" shots were all taken at f/1.4, incuding the 50mm ones mounted on a FF body.

Hmmm... How embarrassing to prove myself wrong. I seriously thought I saw 2.8 on FF vs 1.4 on M43 not being the same somewhere. I have to keep looking.

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knickerhawk
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Re: My own conclusions
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

Pasmia wrote:

Pasmia wrote:

Dennis wrote:

Pasmia wrote:

After all these thoughtful comments (mostly) and whatever reading I've been able to do on the subject,...

The idea that a M43 25/1.4 will take the same picture as a FF 50/2.8 was proven wrong by some dude, can't find source.

I'd love to see that. I'm not sure I'd draw conclusions from a memory of "some dude" !

It's physics, really. A 25mm lens is a 25mm lens regardless of the size of the sensor. The sensor size simply dictates the crop. What I meant by "not taking the same picture" was simply that the out of focus background blurs are not equal, like many believe. The best way to prove this would be to take a 25mm ff lens, such as a Leica M 24mm Summilux and put it on a Sony A7. If you crop the image down 4X, you will get a much similar image, in respect to depth of field, to a M43 camera with the same lens adapted on to it rather than putting a 50mm Summilux on the A7 and comparing that to the 24mm on a M43 camera. Basically, if you crop a picture taken with a 24mm lens to match the framing of 50mm lens and both are set to the same aperture, the shot with the 50mm lens will still have more blur than the 24mm lens.

BTW, I only used leica and sony here as real example to rid my theories of hypothetical cameras and lenses.

Anyways, you can find what I was referring to as "some dude" here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50650140

You'd better look again at your "proof". That "dude's" shots were all taken at f/1.4, incuding the 50mm ones mounted on a FF body.

Hmmm... How embarrassing to prove myself wrong. I seriously thought I saw 2.8 on FF vs 1.4 on M43 not being the same somewhere. I have to keep looking.

When you find it be sure to warn Just a Canon Shooter that he's about to sail off the edge of the earth.  (See his post below.)  Great Bustard will certainly want to update his equivalency analysis as well.  In fact, a lot of us will need to do some major soul searching when you post that link.

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pew pew
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Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

For me the biggest difference is the 3d pop look in the big sensors cameras while in small sensors the photo look a lot more flat.

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Martin.au
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Re: What really makes big sensors produce more appealing images? *Serious*
In reply to Pasmia, 5 months ago

These threads remind me of the tales of water divining, or auras, or other such s(@$.

It doesn't take long for the more "magical" properties of whichever sensor size is fancied, typically FF, to start being bandied about.

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Just another Canon shooter
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Re: you did brought it up . . .
In reply to knickerhawk, 5 months ago

knickerhawk wrote:

Ummmm...the shot was taken at f/2.5, not f/2. The Oly 75mm is about a 1/3 of a stop off, which is hardly enough of a difference to argue about,

Make that 2/3 stops.

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