Comparing camera systems : what you should know !

Started Feb 27, 2007 | Discussions thread
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pidera Contributing Member • Posts: 925
Comparing camera systems : what you should know !

Pictures taken by different body/lens combinations will look the same if they share the same basic values : angle of view, depth of field, shutter speed, pixel count. Different body/lens combinations should thus be compared in configurations where they share the same basic values.

For example (sensors with roughly 5 million green pixels):

Canon '5D' : 100mm f/4.0 MTF1000 ISO400
Canon 1D : 80mm f/3.2 MTF1255 ISO254
Nikon D80 / Fuji S5 : 66mm f/2.7 MTF1500 ISO178
Canon 400D : 63mm f/2.5 MTF1600 ISO156
Sigma SD-14 : 59mm f/2.4 MTF1700° ISO138
Olympus E-400 : 50mm f/2.0 MTF2000 ISO100

First, note that the ISO values differ ; this is no mistake ! Big sensor systems are favored by the habit of comparing ISO xyz to ISO xyz.

Next, some considerations. The higher the MTF values (of body/lens combination), the higher the need for good glass. So typically, small sensor solutions will demand better glass (and thus more money) to produce the same results. Also, the glass of small sensor systems might be shorter, but will not be less in diameter.

Now, another set of values :

Canon 5D : 50mm f/2.0 MTF1500 ISO100
Canon 1D : 40mm f/1.6 MTF1883 ISO63
Nikon D80 / Fuji S5 : 33mm f/1.3 MTF2250 ISO44
Canon 400D : 31mm f/1.3 MTF2400 ISO39
Sigma SD-14 : 29mm f/1.2 MTF2550° ISO35
Olympus E-400 : 25mm f/1.0 MTF3000 ISO25

Obviously, the last combinations just don't exist (yet). This somehow explains the interest in FF solutions.

(°) Note : due to its different design, the foveon type sensor should actually be less demanding on the glass than the tabled value would suggest. Something like 2/3 of this value, 1133 for the first set, 1700 for the second set would be more representative.

 pidera's gear list:pidera's gear list
Nikon D800E Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm XF 16mm F2.8
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