OK ALL YOU full frame camera fanatics

Started Nov 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 42,060
Re: Agogo, GB...

Timskis6 wrote:

The gap(s) between 4/3 and 35mmFF are widening specifically in a technical respect to sensor technology - yes, I said it - not with respect to noise, but with respect to dynamic range and the number of available pixels.

The thing is, though, that the DR of Canon's FF DSLRs are not all that different from the DR of the E5.  It's the cameras using the Sony sensors, whether mFT, APS-C, or FF that have the crazy DR.

Many current 4/3 sensors approach the dynamic range of 35mmFF sensors, but most of that dynamic range is buried in the shadows. Case in point, the "old" E-3, had pretty good dynamic range, but most was shifted toward the shadows. Where I could lift 2 stops in the shadows and get a nice print, I could only lift 1/3 stop in the highlights. With current 4/3 sensors, the highlight dynamic range has improved significantly, but is only approaching the highlight dynamic range of the last generation of 35mmFF sensors. It doesn't make any sense to me why the tone curves are applied as they are - who wants to take a hundred photos, push the shadows by a stop, and then recover the highlights by a stop? This is what I was doing with the E-3, and yes it works, but no it's not an efficient work flow. Current m4/3 sensors are very similar - while greatly improved in dynamic range, the inefficient (by my work flow patterns) tone curves makes processing lots of images very difficult.

4/3 DSLRs are using old-tech sensors, like Canon DSLRs.  Like I said, it's the new tech in the Sony sensors that's making for greater DR.

35mmFF sensors are increasing in their pixel count, while 4/3 sensors are not. Sensor technology with respect to noise is greatly improving, but unfortunately many, many clients hear "24" and "16" and will always pick "24." I'm dealing with this currently with "only 12MP." While I believe 12MP is greatly sufficient for most work I do, many clients do not. It's an unfortunate catch-22.

Again, Canon FF DSLRs are stuck in the past at around 20 MP, just as 4/3 DSLRs are stuck in the past at 12 MP.  However, other brand sensors have moved forward across the formats, with FF basically having the same pixel count advantage as always.

The gap is lessening with sensor technology with respect to noise performance, as indicated above. For most people, framing using their own choice of focal length puts an adequate number of pixels onto their subject - and good pixels at that. The end result are two images or prints that look similar enough that I'd disregard noise as an issue, but that's only if you have the flexibility to shoot at a wide aperture and at a focal length of your choice (more on that).

Sensors, as always, are getting more efficient.

Side notes for widening gaps: flash performance, in-camera firmware, and focus technology are widening. Partly because the 4/3 consortium is small, but also because Olympus is a small company. Panasonic has not introduced flash technology that rivals CaNikon, probably because they are just too new at it.

I don't know much about flash at all, so I'll take you at your word, here.

Depth of field is an issue for many, and this is based on physics, and doesn't change.

Yes.  However, mFT is getting some very nice fast primes, which 4/3 never had.

For some, it's possible to use fast f/2 zooms and recover some of that ISO speed with light. For others, like myself, who use flash ​a lot​, shoot at f/5.6 and f/8, ​a lot.​ There are plenty of tried and true tricks to limit DOF on 4/3, such as using a longer lense, or making the subject larger within the frame, etc., and they work fine, but are very difficult to use in a vast amount of scenarios. I mastered most of these techniques, and they work excellently, as expected (due to physics). But when shooting at f/5.6, for example, you need a much longer FL with 4/3 to achieve similar DOF. Trying to shoot two people using a 4/3 150mm f/2 is very different than using a 35mmFF 70-200/2.8 (at f/5.6) - simply trying to achieve good subject-background separation requires shouting to the couple (when using 4/3) but a normal voice using 35mmFF, because you're so much closer.

FF will almost always have more DOF options for a given perspective and framing than smaller sensor systems.

Now don't get me wrong, if I was going for absolute IQ, I'd choose the 150/2 over any lense, any day. It's simply outstanding. But it's outstanding at the cost of ease and efficiency - for me.

Honestly, I'd be surprised if the 150 / 2 on 4/3 outresolved 300mm f/4 on FF.  That would be an interesting comparison, though -- E5 + 150 / 2 at f/2 vs Canon 5D2 + 300 / 4L IS at f/4.  I think those two systems would come in at nearly the same price and weight, too.

Well, dinner time, I'd gladly add more experience if either of you care, or if there's any other questions.

Hope it was a good dinner.  I'm trying to skimp for now since I'm going to be eating three or four days worth of food on the 22nd. 

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