Depth of Field Difference (m43 v DX) - An Example

Started Jan 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP DeepBlue2 Regular Member • Posts: 238
Re: Depth of Field Difference (m43 v DX) - An Example

I'm glad for your explanation of what is meant by disruptive technology. The only question I'd have in regards to this, is while DOF certainly is different between the two formats, is DOF control (in regard to limiting DOF) just a technique used by some, or is it a criteria used by most to define quality? I don't think you'll find a consensus on the answer to this, since there are various techniques to isolate a subject. Is the question skewed? (as a devil's advocate would ask?)

Is M4/3 just another answer, rather than a disruption of current technology to "good enough"? If I understand the theory (which I may not)?

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I agree with you that DOF is just one way to define quality.  The thing that makes it significant for my purposes is that it is the characteristic of m43 that is least likely to change as the technology evolves due to the physics involved in lens design. Conversely, the physics of the situation means that larger format lenses are not likely to shrink any time soon.  The market already expects that pixel density, noise performance, and autofocus speed in m43 will improve in the short to medium term.  The one thing that is not likely to change is the DOF performance of m43.

As you mention, there are ways to control DOF (aperture selection, faster lenses, etc.), but the overall characteristic is likely to remain relatively stable.  For many consumers this will not matter--DOF is not important for them.  For others (e.g. landscape photographers) the DOF in m43 may be a plus.  For a large segment of the market, the DOF in m43 is good enough.  They can use the techniques you mention to achieve the results they want.  Nevertheless, for a small segment that wants razor thin DOF control, m43 just will not be acceptable for them in the short to medium term.   A parallel to this is the small number of people that still use 8x10 view cameras and film to achieve results acceptable for their purposes.  For this small segment, digital still isn't "good enough."

In the long term there may be some technology that is developed that overcomes DOF issue.  For example, maybe someone develops a software algorithm that simulates any DOF you want (think of some combination of focus stacking with gaussian blur).  However, this seems to be a long term development that is not likely to have a large effect on the market in the next few years.  The other performance issues (noise, pixel density, autofocus speed) will continue to show steady progress, increasing the number of consumers for whom m43 is "good enough."



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