Lens vs Camera: The FF APS-C Dilemma

Started Aug 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
D Williams Contributing Member • Posts: 827
Re: P-Mpix scores

pixelpushing wrote:

D Williams wrote:

philips was bemoaning that there might be some people who could not see that MFD was a stronger format than m43 when viewed as a smaller web jpg in sRGB 8-bit. I suggested that his belief would be better supported if he required that the images be viewed as best possible output at 100%.

Nice try, with your revisionist history, but what he said was this:

'All gear is so good today that it is borderline irrelevant what equipment you use.'

I wish this was true, we could all save a lot of money!

It is true that the smaller the web jpg in sRGB 8-bit it is somewhat the case, in the way that a near blind man sees the same as a 20:20 person with very dirty sunglasses may see a scene.

But RAWs properly handled, m43 to MFD, each step up is a step up. Only reasonable really, because that is why the stronger formats exist. What does vary widely is the personal ability to see the difference.

Hopefully this helps jog your memory as to what was actually said. I can spoon feed it if necessary, with nice bullet points:

  • Comments have been made many times in this ongoing 'crop vs. FF' debate and indeed this very thread that imply IQ discrepancies between sensor formats are small enough that they don't really matter unless you're pixel peeping... Or, in the case of the above comment, rendering what equipment you use borderline irrelevant. That's a ridiculous statement in any context, but it was made.
  • Phillips replied saying such a concept only gains traction if you impose arbitrary and severe size and processing restrictions that nullify the IQ advantages of larger sensors.
  • He went on to say that, in the real world and handled in a way most of us are wont to do in this forum, the differences become rather clear - and do exist in a very practical sense, regardless of all the head-burrowing and hypothetical fairy tale telling. Seems pretty logical and straightforward, no?

The phrase only visible IQ improvement as well as references to APS and FF are yours and yours alone. Your reading comprehension and memory need the strengthening, your imagination seems fine.

Silly lad, throwing insults when the grown-ups are talking.

Here's what you said in reply:

I think your last paragraph has some truthiness to it if your specified requirement is the best possible output at 100%.

By which you rather un-craftily imply that without 'best possible output at 100%' we don't see the kind of sensor gains he's talking about. In other words, you're trying to prove a negative. Never the way to win debate points, gotta say.

Every image, and I stress image, has a requirement. The requirement may be implicit or explicit, but we had certain expectations when we took that image. Two big parts of that requirement are visual quality and audience. The visual quality requirement is dependent on the audience - who are you going to show it to.

All very nice and existential. Also has really nothing to do with inherent IQ, which exists whether you have an audience or not (apart from quantum physics, a tree falling in a forest, or Schrodinger's Cat).

You're saying that there are images taken that are not intended to be viewed by anyone? Just asking.

Another hilarious straw-herring.

Here, let me speak clearly for you: What I was saying, I thought rather simply, was that an image is not limited to any one audience. 'Requirements' change, depending on what gets done with any given photo, whether it's a crop to single out a relative that passed, or a missing cat, or your neighbor's wife. The IQ exists to do the crops, shadow boosting, highlight recovery, whatever you want. There's no 'REQUIREMENTS' tag in the EXIF that mandates that you can't ever do anything else with that picture other than what you intended when you took it, and these imaginary restrictions only serve to give folks unwilling to or unable to shell out more funds to expand their sensor horizons a false sense of 'essentially the same' image performance.

And what in the hell is "inherent IQ" and just how is it realized as normal IQ - a concept itself that is not unambiguously defined or measurable in this world. Again, just asking.

IQ that is inherent. In other words, if all you want to do is make web shots with your A7r, you can do that... But if you choose later to do some extensive processing or make gigantic prints at higher ISO, you can do that, too. The potential is there in a way that isn't there with a 1" sensor, or to a lesser degree, the larger increments. This is simple fact. Doesn't matter if you 'intend' to utilize the extra potential or not.

The logical whoops here is, an image does not have one fixed audience throughout its existence, nor one fixed purpose, even if taken with an entirely different set of motives.

When we set our quality requirement for the highest intended use, all lesser uses will be covered. If during its existence an image is viewed in a different context than intended, it is what it is.

But what is a 'quality requirement'..? Is that a setting on my camera next to the ISO dial?

Your statement is certainly true, if totally hyperbolic.

Well compared to your posts, 1 out of 2 isn't bad.

Just out of curiosity, had I put another clause in that sentence could you manage the arithmetic to get to '2 out of 3' or did we just max out the old think-o-lator?:-D

1. True.

2. Hyperbolic.

Funny how some people use that Royal We when covering up a flub.

You are aware that 8MP is 81/2" x 11" with Mpixels to spare? Possibly you have very large pockets, or maybe you just misplaced a decimal.

Oh, you. Haven't heard of resampling?

Nice try at recovery but the judges rule not believable and not humorus - no points.

Your uncovering of my MASSIVE ERROR in referring to an 8MP WALLET PRINT (because everyone knows every print has the same fixed-size pixels and there's no such a thing as this rumored 'dot pitch' thing) is truly as epic as you want to make it out to be, man. Kudos.

Notice how nice I'm being not pointing out the hilarity of you misspelling 'humorous' while harping on an (inaccurate and trumped up) technicality? And in this day of auto-correcting web browsers, no less?

Just to restate my actual position. Get a FF if you want, but it won't make your photography better if the APC is all you require. A FF by itself doesn't make you a better or more insightful photographer, it just makes it easier to print bigger pictures - usually.

Requirements are not fixed. Nor is skill, experience or even insight. No one individual has the same needs of the group, nor the other way around. No matter how verbose.

Allow me my uber-simplified counterpoint: This ongoing assertion so popular with a few — that we in this forum are all such rank amateurs that FF is wasted on us — is both intellectual perjury and just bad advice.

I'll keep this short, hopefully to keep your anticipated response short.

If your output requirements require a full frame, you should be shooting a full frame. If your output requirements don't require a full frame, get a FF if you want, but it won't make your photography better if the APC is all you require. A FF by itself doesn't make you a better or more insightful photographer, it just makes it easier to print bigger pictures - usually. If you don't know what your output requirements are, think about it as both formats have real advantages and disadvantages.

The floor is yours, have a good day. I assume that if I need to say anything else, you will say it for me.

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