There has been a quantum leap in technology.Digital has definitely made things easier.Digital has brought photography to the masses.The question is: “Is photography better now than it was pre-digital”, and the bottom line is that it is. It’s definitely better.
Raist3d: dpreview staff - the reason "all cameras are great now" is a statement that matters is that a lot of people are way too focused on the technology and even switching from perfectly capable cameras to another for no reason than being new.
i agree that differences matter for an individual purchase- to match ergonomics. to match particular preferences. But not to pretend to be a better photographer.
The statement of Ansel could use an iphone to shoot well is also valid- A reminder that its the photograpger that will create the photo- not the camera.
all equipment does is convenience or the ability to express using ones skill in a photographic domain. nothing more. so yes- if you are shooting a lot at night you will need a faster lens/and or better iso performance from a camera to be able to express in that domain. It will NOT make gou a better photographer.
you need a piano to play piano compositions. it will not make yiu by itself a better pianist
Raist3d and marike6: You are both confusing "playing better" with "sounding better". A better instrument doesn't give you more skill, but it can help you to sound better. Richard specifically states, "while it’s obvious that a better camera won’t instantly make me a better photographer".
A Stradivarius won't improve skill. But while a student violinist won't sound better on a Stradivarius, a fairly accomplished violinist who has the skills to take advantage of it will sound better. If you don't believe this, you just wasted a bunch of money on a D800.
I bet every one of these self proclaimed "masters" posting smug comments that "gear doesn't matter", owns thousands of dollars worth of gear.
How else are people supposed to brag about their superior photographic skills if they can't post a comment on dpreview belittling the "lesser photographers who wish for a certain feature or better equipment"?
Your piano analogy illustrates Richard's point...
Just because a concert pianist will sound better than I would on ANY piano doesn't mean that I won't sound better on a nice grand than I would on an old upright.
Also consider that it is much more enjoyable to play the nice grand. This encourages me to practice more.
It's funny how people tend to turn everything into a contest, and root for a technology in the same way they would a sport's franchise. Then they come to DP Review and want to debate their chosen technology, and take it as a personal insult if someone prefers something different.
Whether it's "mirrorless vs DSLR", or "micro 4/3rds vs full frame", or "Canon vs. Nikon", someone is always willing to defend their chosen technology or brand to the death, and insult all others. They then root for the demise of the other technology. Very strange.
Why is it a contest? Isn't it great to have choices from a variety of technologies? Just pick the best tool for your needs and move on. Oh, and if someone happens to not share your preference of camera, don't take it personally.
photohounds: Further ...."That's the way we've always done it" is not enough to fool everyone into thinking large equipment is needed for quality pictures. It is FUD - there are many articles like the one below, from PROs who have switched and never looked back. .http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com/how-to-overcome-fears-using-micro-43rds-cameras-in-a-professional-environment/
The "big" advantage mostly isn't. _ Both my EM-1 and my EM-5 trounce my 6x7 camera in every sharpness/grain/noise measure I can muster. The MARGIN by which these small Olympus EM cameras defeat this great (but huge) camera (Mamiya RB-67 Professional S), astonished me. .Large is NO longer needed except for SOME extreme technical photography. . Most of the larger format adherents use maths to support their quasi-religious belief that a faster lens is "needed" to compensate for photographers who have no skill or inclination to watch the background..see .. http://photohounds.smugmug.com/6x7-early-80s/
In other words:
"I've decided that I don't need FF, therefore no one else should need it either. Furthermore, those who do feel that they need FF, only need it because they lack my photography skills."
You are correct in that many people don't need FF, but how are they supposed to know without investing in a new format? This article gives people an easy way to know which formats are suitable for their application.
Mike FL: As far as I can see from all the posts that WHO wrote this article created LOT of confusing.
@ Mike FLI'm confused by your comment. (Maybe you are joking)
The article on the other hand, is a very clear essay on a rather simple concept.
guyfawkes: Reading many comments about "equivalence" both here and posted elsewhere, there does seem to me to be one question I'd like to ask: what practical applications are there that one would need to know this?
For example, if one owns a FF sensor dslr, does one really need to know what the so-called equivalence is for DoF for another format? Or turn this around. Would anyone moving from an APS-C system to FF need to know? How on earth would this impact on images they proposed taking?
In my days with film, using anything from sub-min up to 5x4, equivalence never even entered the equation. Photographers simply worked within and knew how to use the tools they used. So why has it assumed a proportion totally out of kilter with its importance now we use digital cameras?
It very much smacks of pseudo science to me.
This is like asking "What practical application is there for equivalent focal length?".
Why is it that no one complains about "focal length equivalence"? Is it OK because it doesn't make anyone feel insecure about their camera?
photohounds: Fast lenses became needed because film was rubbish if it was fast.
Also MANY (not all) "full" frame fast lenses are soft wide open - especially the affordable ones. Corner sharpness? Pay a mozza!
Canon's 85/1,2 is really a 2.8 if you want a sharp result. Let's not even talk about how UNsalable pictures of people with disappearing ears are...
For many of these wafer thin DOF crackpots the aperture of the lens is THE point of the photo.
This is Anti-equivalence taken to the next level: Claiming that not only are large sensors unnecessary, but also fast lenses.
Again, equivalence is just a comparison tool, and doesn't presume to tell you what you need or don't need.
Micro 4/3rds Users: "We demand that our cameras are treated as equal to full frame in every way!"
Manufacturers: "We've been price gouging the full frame users for years. We'll be happy to oblige."
The ultimate camera is one that is good enough to serve your needs, but is priced lower because the market is obsessed with something newer or bigger.
ryanshoots: It's a way for full framers to feel superior because their sensor is larger than yours while simultaneously forgetting that larger formats than 135 exist and not insisting that we be told what 50mm f1/8 on 135 is on 8x10.
I'd rather see another interesting drone article.
@ Great Bustard said "Yikes! You are correct on the equivalent -- it's 8x10 inches, not 8x10 centimeters making FF 7.5x with regards to 8x10 format. So, 50mm f/1.8 on FF is equivalent to 375mm f/13.5 on FF, as you said."
So if I mix Ryan's desire to standardize on "8x10 equivalent" focal lengths with Olympus' marketing techniques, can I advertise my 50mm f/1.8 on eBay as a 376mm f/1.8?
(unknown member): Found a very good explanation on why the sample images in this article look that way. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I almost fell for it until I noticed that the different sensor sizes actually have the SAME resolution of 18Mp. This resulted in smaller sensels that contributed to the equivalent SNR for smaller sensors even though they had greater exposure. Had the article used the same sensor (same pixel density) then the full frame will show a much noisier result by virtue of underexposure.
Read about spatial resolution here:
Are you done yet?
chewdoggydog: how about we all just worry about the cameras that we are shooting with. you know, the one that you spent thousands of dollars on....and not one that you don't own.
Uhh... You do realize that you are on a site that is for reviewing and compare cameras?
Heaven forbid that a camera review site would provide some useful information about how to compare information across formats.
mostlyboringphotog: F-stop is the equivalent aperture. It allows the convenience of same exposure across the FL and the sensor size (4x5, 120, 135, DX, CX, etc). The young guns want to change "equivalent exposure" to mean "total light" and this old timer is saying "not so fast" and for this I get told pejoratively that I am a "denialist" sometimes with the implication that I'm being so "willfully ignorant". As if I'm the only one that is filling up the 150 posts...
Well, this old timer will happily change my mind and that's more than I can say for the "Equivalence". If I change my sensor size more often than the f-stop, then yea, put the "total light" equivalent f-stop on the lens barrel.
dtmateojr: Great Bustard answered the question on his post before last. Do you even bother reading a post and attempting to understand it before replying?
A bit of wisdom: Don't be so sure that you already know everything. It keeps you from bothering to learn anything.
Polytropia: Lets be honest about what this, in fact, is: a marketing ploy only. If the purpose of thinking about "equivalence" is to help you make a buying decision about what sort of camera to get, and all the terminology of the approach is written such that it relates everything to one particular format (24x36mm, 135F), then clearly the not-so-subliminal message here is that the one format that is called "full-frame" is "better". This is supported by lies such as "you can't try to flood a small sensor with extra light in order to get better images, because it'll just overexpose" (page 4, near the bottom). Small compared to what? Why, the better format of course!
DPReview (owned by Amazon) prefers that you purchase more expensive, 135F gear from them because they make more profit when you do so. They have a conflict of interest. They are motivated to perpetuate the myth that the only "full-frame" format is 135F even though all the other ones have full lines of native lenses available.
I suppose that the photography world would feel left out if it didn't have it's own conspiracy theories. What is the movement to expose this conspiracy called? "4/3rds Truthers"?
cm71td: Why all the passionate opposition to an article that just tells you how to translate between formats? Is it because you don't want to accept that another camera format might be better than yours in certain conditions?
The Gaia space telescope has an image sensor the size of a 37" television. I suppose some will claim that they could have just as easily used the image sensor from an OM-D E-M1.
Macx - Sorry I didn't realize that in your first response you were pointing out others objections and not your own.
Hi Macx and Mostlyboringphotog,
Do you honestly believe that the author of the article is suggesting that when taking pictures, people should start setting their "aperture diameter" to 25mm instead of their "aperture ratio" to f/4?
Why all the passionate opposition to an article that just tells you how to translate between formats? Is it because you don't want to accept that another camera format might be better than yours in certain conditions?
brycesteiner: The image quality does not have the detail of the new and much smaller Olympus or the Fuji cameras even up to high ISO's (to me 2000 is high ISO).
I'm trying to figure out why it got such a high score for fixing a severe problem that should not have been there to begin with.
After switching to mirrorless, I wouldn't go back. I was told I can't shoot fast action - bologna! The current generation, at least with Olympus, the screen is perfectly quick and the human eye is probably the slowest part of the chain. Guess what? Not dirt on the sensor either!
The megapixel race is moot now. Noise is too. They're all very good. Why not focus the other way and lets see real improvement in low ISO? How about mirrorless Nikon, Canon?
Sony is way ahead. That is where the high scores should be going to.
The big players are seriously lacking innovation over the last three years. Otherwise, there is no reason to buy new cameras, unless you need a new shutter without dust, dirt and oil.
Definition of "4/3's Truther": Someone who claims that there is a complicated conspiracy to hide the fact that "There is no difference in image quality between FF and Micro 4/3's".