RX10 IV vs. microFT

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,164
Re: RX10 IV vs. microFT

dr jim wrote:

May I ask David, How much cropping are you doing/what, roughly, was the distance you were shooting at? For some reason, with the RX10 I don't ever get that kind of feather detail, much less after noise reduction, unless the bird is sitting on my knee.

Well, I wouldn't say they were actually sat on my knee but all four were no further than 12ft away. That is the major contributing reason I can get this quality. Of course the optical excellence of the lens is also a major factor. And last but by no means least is my ability to eke out every last drop of image quality that is possible when post processing. Sympathetic sharpening (by that I mean the exact right amount for each individual image) and noise reduction like this is not possible without post processing. So there's a lot of effort goes into the final image. I can do this because I only keep an handful of images from a days birding. I only keep the very best. Not a lot of folk do that. If you start with a mediocre base image it is impossible to improve it to the point that it becomes a really good image.

As for cropping, yes these have been slightly cropped then downsized to fill a 4K screen. Lots of folk on the forums post ridiculously small images which to me are worthless for gauging image quality, noise etc. Other folk post full res images and therein lies another problem and one which I readily admit to being very guilty of, pixel peeping. I always look at all posted bird images at 100% view. It's than that the noise or the head of the bird not being in focus can be clearly seen. These shortcomings are completely disguised by severe downsizing.

So I take the middle ground. Because I know 1" sensor bird images don't really stand up to being scrutinised at 100% of a full res image I don't post full res images, it's as simple as that. But my posted images are by no means small they are much bigger than the norm.

I've seen with my own peepers that good full frame images - especially from Sony's 42mp sensor - stand up to any amount of scrutiny at 100%, they are simply stunning. I cannot match them in any way shape of form at full res but I can get near them by doing some downsizing. I can't do a lot of downsizing because I need to finish up with a 4k filling 3820 x 2160px image (or aspect ratio pixel size equivalent). More often than not I have to crop first too. It's all a balancing act.

I've never made a secret about having to be close to the birds for excellent results - god knows I've mentioned it enough in my posts. It's common sense anyway the more pixels you have on the bird the better the result.

Having said all that here is a full res image of a female Chaffinch that was taken at the same distance and time as the the first two images previously posted and by golly it actually does stand up to being scrutinised at 100%.

RX10iii (full res)

Now here is a more typical scenario and it's what birders are often faced with - the bird below takes up a tiny percentage of the the whole image. It's just not getting enough pixels. After this shot I tried to get closer but it flew off!!

RX10iii full res (Stonechat)

If this was a common bird I would have ditched the image but I thought I'd try and get something out of it as I very rarely get the opportunity to photograph this species.

2160x1440 Crop

No chance of cropping this image to 4k size but it's still quite a large image at 2160 x 1440. As can be seen though, if you view it at 100%, the quality is wanting and feather detail is lacking. I also don't think I was using Topaz DeNoise at the time I took it so no silky smooth background.

Birds not being close enough for good image quality is a fact of life and happens with all cameras. But what I could have done with that image is to downsize to 1000 pixels which is a common posted size especially on the nature and wildlife forum. By doing that you can get away with murder so to speak.

Here it is, downsized to 1000 pixels the classic 'viewing for web' size. I hate that saying, it belongs in the past in my opinion. This size of image doesn't even fill a smartphone screen these days and looks like a ruddy postage stamp on a 4k monitor!

'Viewing for web'

When people post an image this size they know it can only be viewed for its aesthetic quality, actual image quality doesn't come into it.

There is one guy on another forum who posts all his bird images around this size. Yet, he has the barefaced cheek to criticise and pick faults with other folks' decent sized or full res images. I know for a fact he must be pixel peeping at 100%. Yet he doesn't allow this on his own images because they are massively downsized. He did it so much with a birding beginner who was posting his images that I chipped in and told the beginner to downsize his images before posting to 1200 pixels like M***** does. He did this and thanked me by saying they looked so much better when downsized. (Because he couldn't see all the faults anymore). Didn't hear a beep out of M***** after that.

Anyway, I'm no magician if the birds are far away my images are crap like everybody else's.


 Horacecoker's gear list:Horacecoker's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony RX10 IV Sony a7R III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 28mm F2
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