Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user

Started Sep 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Advent1sam Senior Member • Posts: 4,619
Re: pursuit of sameness

T3 wrote:

Vlad S wrote:

It is not that hard to isolate the subject with the µ4/3 system, probably with the exception of the wide angle. It may be harder to obliterate the background, but this is beyond of simply "isolating" the subject.


I currently shoot with Canon FF, Canon APS-C, and I Oly m4/3. It's pretty easy to see the differences between them when it comes to isolating the subject. It's easiest to do with FF, followed by APS-C, and with m4/3 being last. Why? Well, obviously, it has to do with focal length. If you lined all three cameras side by side, focusing on the same subject, framing all of them identically, the FF camera would be using the longest focal length while the m4/3 camera would be using the shortest focal length. Shorter focal lengths yield more DOF. In fact, when the FF camera is using a 50mm lens, the m4/3 camera is practically at a "wide angle" focal length of 25mm. With such a short focal length, you get lots of DOF. Certainly more than FF. Sure, I guess you can so-- to a certain degree-- that it's "not that hard to isolate the subject with m4/3"...but it sure is harder to do than with FF, or even APS-C.

As someone who regularly shoots with a 50/1.4, wide open, on FF...and who loves the subject isolation that I get (quite easily) with this setup, I can certainly say that trying to get the same shots on m4/3 with my Panny 20/1.7 don't deliver anything close to the same level of subject isolation. Even when I stop the FF 50/1.4 down to f/2, or even f/2.8, FF still does a better job. It's all in the math:

FF: Canon 50/1.4, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 1.45 ft of DOF.

m4/3: Panny 20/1.7, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 4.79 ft of DOF.

m4/3: Panny Leica 25/1.4, at f/2, focused at 10 ft, yields 2.96 ft of DOF.

So even if you compare the Panny Leica 25/1.4 with the Canon 50/1.4, giving an apples-to-apples "effective" focal length comparison of 50mm equivalency, you're still looking at m4/3 delivering at least twice as much DOF as FF, always. In other words, like it or not, it really is harder to isolate the subject with m4/3. But I don't think people choose m4/3 for maximum subject isolation, because that is certainly not its strong suit. People choose to shoot with m4/3 because it's a compact camera system. That's its strong suit.

You probably wouldn't use the Canon wide open? you use it at f2 because that's where it sharpens-up sufficiently to give good results? The Pana's are usable wide-open but you'll have an equivalent of f2 vs 2.8/f3, so still a full stop adavantage over m43 in dof, but we all knew this already

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