What's the focal lenth equivalent of the lens(es)? For some reason that spec is often left out at product announcements, even though it's arguably the most important spec of any fixed lens (phone) camera...
Astrotripper: Weird, surprisingly sensible price. It is significantly cheaper than Canon and Nikon full-frame wides (although those have a benefit of extra shallow DOF, which is probably not a big deal for most users), and only $150 more expensive than the new Sigma. So that looks like a pretty good deal, assuming it performs well.
It even looks better considering that APS-C DSLR users' only option is manual Samyang 16/2. And I don't think any other mirrorless system has a 24mm equivalent that is so fast.
So, good for Fuji users, their system is shaping up nicely.
Godiwa: if you're discounting for sensor size, the 10.5/0.95 m4/3 is indeed slightly quicker in terms of exposure than the 16/1.4 APSC (sensor tech differences might change the picture one way or the other, but based purely on lens speed and sensor size, total light gathered with the 10.5/0.95 is slightly higher). In terms of DOF control, due to the wider angle, the 16/1.4 offers slightly shallower DOF.
revio: the point of my original comment was that many wide angle shooters would do well to consider other uses of their lenses, including having shallow DOF. Your comment had been covered already, JaP's hadn't.
As for shallow DOF: the f/1.4 on this particular lens means that a subject at 4m (roughly 13 feet) distance gives a DOF of 4.05m (roughly 2.9m behind and 1.2m in front). At that distance, there's really not all that much distortion anymore, and you still get lots of bokeh. Wonderful! :-) And personally I don't mind "perspective distortion" all that much until it becomes really extreme (I don't really consider it distortion so much as just the natural effect of perspective, just like the human eye experiences it).
y'all need to consider some more diverse compositions. Shallow DOF wide angle shots are wonderful! And if you use a wide angle lens to get in close and get dramatic shots (which is one of 2 things wide angles excel at; the other, arguably much less interesting application is to just cram a whole lot of scenery in the frame), you'll automatically gain back much of the bokeh you lost by going wide.
bartjeej: Apart from the "no pun intended" when there's not even any pun to be found (and the general American obsession with stating whether any pun was intended or not), another solid, informative review :)
I don't really see how that relates to my comment, but fair enough :-) I think both English and American English have their pros and cons. The stating of whether or not any pun was intended... that's just awful, in my opinion ;-) if something was meant to be funny, be confident enough in your own wit to let people discover it on their own, and if it wasn't meant to be funny, just be happy that it could be considered funny nonetheless!
Sorry, that's just one of my pet peeves. For a more photography-related pet peeve, who's up for a discussion about what bokeh is, or which focal length gives a natural perspective? ;-)
Apart from the "no pun intended" when there's not even any pun to be found (and the general American obsession with stating whether any pun was intended or not), another solid, informative review :)
Joed700: I would like to see APS-C cameras to disappear. During the film era, we only had 35mm SLR and point-n-shoot for most people. The APS-C breed was introduced at a time when chips were still quite expensive/lack of technology for FF DSLR. Today, FF DSLR starts at around $1600 price range while APS-C are around $1000 - $1700, which is ridiculous. The existence of APS-C somehow made the FF (old 35mm equil.) into a higher class. I don't think it will cost that much to produce FF compared to APS-C. It's just an opportunity for camera manufacturers to make more money. Point-n-shoot has it's place because they are compact and good for traveling while the APS-C are about the same size as FF DSLR; APS-C also lacks shallow DOF; not a desirable option for isolating your subject....
I actually agree with you on that; lenses should be marketed something like '56 f/1.2 (85 f/1.8 equivalent)', instead of '56 f/1.2 (85mm equivalent)', or even worse, '56 f/1.2 (85mm f/1.2!!!)'. The latter style is particularly common on fixed lens cameras and is very misleading indeed. If equivalencies are mentioned, they should give both the focal length and the aperture equivalence, not just pick and choose what makes the camera / lens looks most impressive.
I would love to see 2 images from you, with both systems shot from the exact same place, and the subject at the exact same distance.
If possible, it'd be nice to have a tape measure running alongside the subject into the distance, so that we can compare DOF as well; in that case, have the Fuji at either f/1.2 or f/1.4, and the Nikon at F/2.
As for the DPR image: that's due to the subject not being in the exact same place in the photos; she's a bit higher in the APSC pics than in the FF pics (compare the position of her head to the dots), which makes it look as if she's further away since you're seeing more of her body. Both FF and APSC have 20x30 background dots in view (meaning the background is the same size) and in both images, the width of her head incl hair is 11 dots (meaning the subject is the same size). Can't believe I actually spent my time counting that, but there ya go. The images prove my point, not yours. Still, I'd love to see your images "proving" your point ;)
In addition to that, in the case we're discussing here, the apertures are NOT equivalent; the aperture on the APSC is LARGER than the one on the full frame, giving even shallower DOF.
Also note how in both the first and the second image of the DPR article, both the subject and the background are the same size in each of the sensor sizes. WHUAT?!? that's impossible right? oh wait, we're not living in joed700 world, but in the real one. Equivalent focal lengths give the exact same field of view and the exact same subject size and background; that's what makes them equivalent. Equivalent apertures on equivalent focal lengths give not only the exact same subject size and background, but also the exact same DOF. Faster than equivalent apertures on equivalent focal lengths give same subject & background size with shallower DOF. Seriously, just read the DPR article (all of it! not just the parts that suit you!) until you freaking get it, even if that means re-reading it 391 times.
dude... dafuq... you really stun me with your inability to see it. First of all, if the field of view is the same, and the distance is the same, then both subject and background and foreground and everything in the friggen frame is the same size. if you're trying to say it's impossible to have the same composition with different sized sensors, I'd like a hit of whatever it is you're smoking.
The mdavid.com article, in the cons part at least, is true but ONLY if you mount the same lens on different sensor sizes. Here we're talking about different lenses on different sensor sizes.
The dpreview article: first image is with the same f-stop, which proves nothing. try the SECOND image, with equivalent f-stops. to quote DPR: 'As you can see, the real-world examples bear-out the expectations to a pretty good degree - when set to 'equivalent' apertures, the background blur is very similar.( ) the background dots have all been spread to a similar degree, suggesting the same depth-of-field( )'
Maybe this article by the good people of DPR will make it clearer than I can:
Joed700: DUDE! you really don't get it do you? The APSC crop factor is 1.52, giving a 56mm lens on APSC the same angle of view as 85.12mm on FF. So when you say 'The sample pictures I took with both lenses ( ) shows that the FF 85mm wins because the 56mm has way too much background', you're talking complete and utter rubbish. The field of view, and therefore the amount of background, is THE SAME!
'the DOF calculator shows that the differences between the 56mm and the FF 85mm is only 0.01 ft at f1.2 vs f2 respectively.'That's entirely possible, depending on the subject distance. Still, it comes out in favour of the APSC sensor.
If you put a faster lens (w/ the same angle of view) on the APSC camera, you can both regain the shallow DOF, and by lowering ISO, also make up for the lower light gathering ability of the smaller sensor. APSC and FF differ by ~1.07 stops; if the difference in f-number is more, the APSC will outperform the FF, assuming equal angle of view & sensor efficiency.
Joed700 - as I explained in my post, the 56 has the same FOV as an 84mm lens on FF, since it's mated to a Fuji body with an APSC sensor, giving a 1.5x crop factor. So no, the FF 85 does not win. The 85/2 would win if you put it on an APSC body, but that's not what you/we were talking about. And yes, in terms of DOF, numbers do show everything, since it's simply a measurement. Smoothness of the OOF areas are more complicated, but DOF isn't.
In fact it's quite easy to see that the 56/1.2 wins if you multiply both FOV and aperture by its crop factor; its full frame equivalent would be 84/1.8. That trumps 85/2.
Joed, your example about the 56/1.2 and 85/2 sounds to me as if it's impossible, as far as DOF is concerned. DOF is simply a function of effective focal length and physical aperture opening (and subject distance). 56mm times 1.5 crop factor gives 84mm, which is a negligible difference to 85mm. 56/1.2 gives a physical aperture opening of 46.7mm, whereas 85/2 gives 42.5mm. That's not a great difference, but it does come out in favour of the Fuji lens. In short, if you're seeing shallower DOF on the FF with 85/2, you're doing something wrong (yes, really; go check the online DOF calculators if you don't believe me). In terms of smoothness of the OOF areas, I really can't judge that.
The whole size/performance thing, as I see it, is more or less a smooth line, with some temporary bumps at certain points when new technology is introduced on one system before another. At some point most people will consider the results "good enough", and over time smaller cameras/lenses reach that point.
KonstantinosK: You forgot to mention that nowadays there are small mirrorless cameras, with large 3/4" or APS-C sensors, that are truly compact in size (albeit with interchangeable lenses), that very often can be had for as low as 300$ or maybe lower, and that can be used easily as P&S, with results unthinkable a few years ago. Anybody choosing a compact with a x30 zoom over an entry-level APS-C mirroless with a kit lens is simply misinformed.
depends on what your purpose for the camera is, doesn't it? A birder will have spectacularly little use for a mirrorless or DSLR with kit lens, as will most people looking to shoot (shy) wildlife. The superzoom will do reasonably well at daily life shots and take reasonably good shots of far-away objects. The mirrorless + kit lens will be good to great at daily life shots, but it's completely useless at shooting faraway animals. Content first, and all that ;)
to add some numbers: $300 nowadays gets you a superzoom with 30-60x zoom. Let's say you get one that has a 1000mm equivalent FOV, and 16mp. Your entry-level mirrorless with its kit lens reaches about 85mm equivalent. By the time you've cropped your 16mp mirrorless to match the superzoom's FOV, you're down to 1.5 megapixel - less than a full HD computer screen. Even with the pixel-level crappiness on the superzoom it'll still easily outresolve the mirrorless, as well as make framing much, much easier.
oh and 'cropping a 35mm and making it look like a 50mm' does increase (apparent) DOF, since (as I mentioned above) the blur, like everything else in the frame, is enlarged (assuming you view both images at the same absolute size). In more technical terms, the circle of confusion becomes larger when you crop.
the reason I speak of 'apparent DOF' is that, technically speaking, only an infinitely shallow plane is ever in focus, but the limits of both output resolution and human vision make it seem that there's actually zone of a certain depth that's in focus.
Joed700: when you say 'when I took the same pictures using both APSC and FF cameras', you should specify what you mean by the same pictures. There're at least 3 ways of making 'the same picture':1. same lens, same settings. In this case, APSC has shallower DOF since the physical aperture is the same but the crop factor enlarges the blur and therefore makes the apparent DOF shallower.2. lens with equal FOV, same settings (f-number). In this case, FF wins, since it will have a physical aperture of 50/2 instead of 35/2, and the blur is enlarged to the same degree on both cameras due to the FOV being the same.3. lens with equal FOV and equal physical aperture (different f-number): 35/1.4 on APSC and 50/2 on FF. In this case, the result is the same, and this is really the only case that can be called 'taking the same picture'.
Only one of three possible ways of 'taking the same picture' results in FF having shallower depth of field, and I'd say it's the most random method of the three.
'Anybody choosing a compact with a x30 zoom over an entry-level APS-C mirroless with a kit lens is simply misinformed.'
I don't agree at all. Even if you take into account the reduced pixel level sharpness of those 30x zooms' small sensors, you still get zoom capability above any lens for any mirrorless camera out there - let alone kit lenses.Not only that, but the superzoom compact will be considerably smaller than a mirrorless camera with really long zoom range lens, and since you're talking about an entry-level mirrorless camera, the superzoom might just offer more manual control too. I'm a big fan of mirrorless, but compacts or superzooms still have their place.
bartjeej: Good article, I'm sure the issue will become clearer for a lot of folks.
One request though; could you PLEASE not contribute to the already much too pervasive myth that the word 'bokeh' only refers to the quality of the blur and not the quantity? It simply means blur, and you can have lots or little blur/bokeh just like you can have pleasant or unpleasant blur/bokeh. 'The quality of the blur' would be 'boke(h)-aji'. Just a little pet pieve of mine :)
haha never knew that, frsIII, but it makes sense :) much like 'dense' can be an insult in English.
Good article, I'm sure the issue will become clearer for a lot of folks.