Potential dead horse: how bad is FF's deep DoF disadvantage?

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ontario Gone
Ontario Gone Veteran Member • Posts: 4,183
Re: SmartPhones and Shallow DoF - no large sensors needed

sportyaccordy wrote:

Lab D wrote:

If you haven't seen smartphone camera makers are working hard to not only create very shallow DoF, but to also let you pick the focal point AFTER the picture is taken. There are many benefits here. One is, no longer will you slightly miss focus and ruin a shot, and another is you can change your mind later after evaluating what looks better.

This will trickle up to the larger sensors too. And NO, at this moment you can NOT do it for EVERY situation, but it is only a matter of time.

Interesting stuff indeed, but ultimately those techniques are utilizing clever ways to simulate a larger sensor, usually through an array of small ones. I'm excited to see that, and I'm sure it will make for interesting stuff, but ultimately sensor area is sensor area.

Im not sure the end all should be defined by sensor area. Lets say for the sake of discussion a brand could affordably make a sensor that was 1' by 1.5', and a F1.8 lens to match. Sure the low light capability wide open would be absolutely crazy, but how much of a shot would be visible and sharp? If you framed a person's head and shoulders for a portrait style shot with a FF 50mm equiv lens (whatever FL would give that FOV, maybe a 300mm?), you would be lucky to have an entire eyeball in focus.

This is the point of many people about FF, when you need larger apertures for low light shots the DOF is too thin. For more and more people, F1.4 or F1.8 is sufficiently thin enough on apsc or MFT, and anything more becomes a detriment. Yes better light gathering is nice, but i would rather have a little too much noise than too thin DOF. Afterall, if you look at the pricetags in the long run, it's cheaper to buy a spendy super fast F1.2'ish lens once for a smaller format than it is to buy a FF camera every time you buy a camera.

I think i speak for many when i say, F1.X on MFT/apsc gives me as thin of DOF as i will ever want, to go thinner just because a camera offers it is a waste of money.

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"Run to the light, Carol Anne. Run as fast as you can!"

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