Micro Four Thirds vs. Full Frame?

Started Dec 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
calson Veteran Member • Posts: 8,674
Re: Micro Four Thirds vs. Full Frame?

It depends upon the noise level in the raw file and it depends on the subject material. A landscape picture will enlarge better than a closeup of the plumage of a colorful bird for example. There is also a qualitative aspect to smaller sensors that can markedly affect image quality and the larger the print the more noticeable the difference will be.

I did a series of RAW test shots of sea lions in my area using a pro level 70-200mm lens and an APS-C camera, the D300, and a full frame camera, the D3. Comparing the images from these two 12MP cameras I saw a great deal of difference in the DR and tonal fidelity between them. The D300 images looked like they had been shot in JPEG mode with compression of the color "buckets" and there was loss of color detail that was present in the images from the D3.

The D3 has a better sensor and better analog to digital processors and it showed in the resulting images. The sensor size and megapixels were not the key factors. This shows up with the 36MP D800 which has a greater dynamic range than the 16MP D4.

The 4/3 sensors are half the size of a full size sensor and much better than the ones found in most P&S cameras but they are not going to produce results at the level of an APS-C or full frame camera. An 11x14 is as large as I would go with an image taken with one of these cameras in most circumstances but it truly depends on the subject.

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