4/3 has no focal length advantage-correct him if he is wrong

Started Nov 15, 2008 | Discussions thread
Lobalobo
Lobalobo Senior Member • Posts: 2,433
Re: 4/3 has no focal length advantage-correct him if he is wrong

fldspringer wrote:

Lobalobo wrote:

Simon Cowell wrote:

Exactly! Actually he'll get a 3mp image.

And that's the crucial point. Your image will look much more detailed
than his cropped one.

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Less resolution, but less noisy too, and with greater dynamic range,
and less depth of field (which is sometimes desirable). The friend is
simply correct, as I understand things.

This is not correct. DOF would be identical if cropping to match the
smaller sensor. If you want to stretch to the same resolution, noise
would also increase.

You are right on DOF, provided that the f-stop is set on the larger sensor with only the cropped portion in mind, so I stand corrected on this but the rest of what I say is true, I still believe. There is no inherent difference between a small sensor, on the one hand, and, on the othe,r a larger sensor where the final image will be cropped to use only that portion of the image that would fit on the smaller sensor. In practice, smaller sensors tend to have greater pixel density (to permit decent resolution at wider field of view) and there are both advantages and disadvantages to pixel density, mostly disadvantages, though. Thus, holding resolution (as measured in number of pixels) and field of view constant, most photographers would, I think, rather have an image with a large sensor and larger focal length than with a smaller sensor and a smaller focal length. (This is why there is frequent use of the "real estate" metaphor in discussion of sensor size.) So the OP's friend was simply correct, that there is no (or seldom) inherent image-quality advantage of a small sensor. This is not to discount the advantages of less bulk and less money from cropped sensors, but the advantage is not image quality.

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