“Full Frame Equivalence” and Why It Doesn’t Matter

Started Feb 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,348
Re: “Full Frame Equivalence” and Why It Doesn’t Matter

I have used 35mm film, APS-C DSLR cameras, and m4/3. They all have their pros and cons, but when it comes down to the photography I do today m4/3 is just the best fit for my lifestyle. Personally I am satisfied with the amount of depth of field control I have as well. I understand equivalency in terms of focal length/angle of view and in terms of depth of field.

What I don't quite get is the total light thing. Of course a larger image circle projecting more light onto a larger sensor is capturing more total light, but I'm not sure why I should care? All that matters is that enough light is hitting my sensor to create a good exposure and a pleasing photograph for my sensor size. I am happy with the results I get using my OM-D… Even in very low light thanks to fast primes and the OM-D’s high ISO performance. I also use it on a tripod for landscapes and architecture. I understand that a larger sensor has certain benefits even at base ISO, but I don't think the differences are as dramatic as they were a few years ago. The gap in dynamic range, high ISO image quality, tonal gradation, etc. has narrowed significantly between m4/3 sensors and APS-C or FF 16MP sensors. 24 MP and 36 MP sensors are different beasts, and have their uses as field cameras for producing very large prints... or for shots where you might need to crop heavily. But for most of us 16 MP is more than enough. Well... that's an entirely different discussion, but back to equivalency:

I see no point in discussing equivalency between different formats unless you are making a direct comparison. There is no need to mention 35mm equivalency on a m4/3 discussion board when someone is simply trying to describe the focal length they used. Just say the actual focal length of the lens to avoid confusion.


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