MFT Users: Do you miss the shallower depth-of-field of bigger sensor cameras?

Started Feb 8, 2014 | Discussions thread
Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,542
Re: Let's squash that confusion!

Great Bustard wrote:

Well, I was talking about the A7R, which is 36 MP, and I'd call this:

Indeed...I somehow managed to read "A7". That 36mp sensor is a different beast.

"significantly more" detail. That said, how large would you have to print, or how much would you have to crop before it mattered? Well, for some, even 5 MP is enough for 17x22 inch prints, so...

For sure. This, I think, is the real issue in the MP war. And it was certainly so for me. Buying the RX1 and shooting with it extensively really made me think long and hard about buying a D800. I had the dreaded oil issue with my D600 so it went back its maker. I had sold my E-M5 to raise a bit more money to upgrade to the D800 then I had to swallow a cold, hard reality pill and repurchased m4/3 with the E-M1. The truth is that I love using m4/3 and my RX1 does most of what I'd use a D800 for...more in some cases as the D800 is plagued with the terrible white spots issue w/o LENR for long exposures. Not saying that a D800 isn't in my future, though...hahahaha.

I think we're on the same page, here. In fact, I'm very keen on saying that, in my opinion, the vast majority are better suited by smaller formats, and differences between systems in operation matter more, by far, than differences between systems in terms of IQ, for the types of photos most take and the size most display their photos at.

Bingo. I can find new and inventive ways to screw up my photos that a sensor hasn't even dreamed of. Dropping a Lee big stopper in the mud. Shooting in JPEG only by accident. Pressing the cable release so hard that the shutter release pops off entirely.

For family and street/travel photos, I realized that, when I didn't have an m4/3 cam, I took far too few photos. While I intellectually want a D800 and what it brings to the table, most of the time it simply isn't what I need or actually use. Ditto for the type of studio work I do...high resolution is not a priority. When I'm taking landscape photos which I'm far more likely to print large, my RX1 serves me perfectly at the moment. For long exposures, being able to go down to ISO 50 and f/11 or even f/16 really helps to get the shutter speed up. Also, when I want that wide angle/shallow DOF look that I love, the RX1 again does the job. Slowly, in poor light, I might add... 

That said, whether or not the differences matter is an entirely different discussion than simply understanding that it is the aperture diameter, not the f-ratio, and the total amount of light falling on the sensor, not the intensity of light, that are the important elements in the visual properties of the recorded photo.

Yes. There is a bit of 'my chosen format is perfect for everything' in the debate. Keep fighting the good fight!

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Dave Sanders

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