Sunny day walkaround comparisons - 30X travel camera vs 10X MFT vs 10X FF

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 6,466
Re: Part 2

chlamchowder wrote:


It seems that I could often get better results with the larger sensor cameras with their 10x zoom lenses than with the TZ90 I currently use as my walkaround camera, and, especially with the A7ii, that includes matching the maximum focal length of the TZ90 by cropping and upsizing. I think that, for me, and depending on the precise circumstances, the image quality benefits would outweigh the penalty of carrying around a much heavier piece of equipment. I will try it some time (I don't do a large amount of walkaround) and see how it works out in practice.

I have about the same conclusion. I personally like the image quality I get out of large sensor cameras, but there are tradeoffs as well. To me, it's a bit like this:

Large sensor camera advantages:

  • Less noise, often more detail depending on lens
  • Smaller depth of field, letting you isolate subjects
  • Lens choice. That's a huge one for me

Agreed. For me, as it happens, the last isn't significant - I don't change lenses (much, or at all), hence the use of the 10X zoom that others have argued, with some justification, wastes the potential of a larger sensor. It does waste some of it, but for my purposes it leaves enough to still give the FF advantages in image quality (in some circumstances).

Large sensor disadvantages:

  • Size, and size of lenses

Oh yes. A big issue. For example the A7ii itself is quite small, but the 10X lens isn't, making the whole rig heavy:

  • A7ii + 24-240 + LCD hood, 1400 grams
  • G80 + 14-140 + lens hood, 810 grams
  • TZ90 , 325 grams
  • Smaller depth of field. That makes nailing focus much more important.

That is something I haven't noticed, but I don't do much with large apertures. Well, with the 24-240 I can't do anything with large apertures, the maximum being f/3.5, out to f/6.3 at 240mm.

  • Sometimes, you can't get all the things you want in focus (big problem with macro)

Ah, well, .... that would be a bit of an essay. Happy to dig into that if you are interested. I have a particular interest in this area.

  • Cost. Even 'budget' lenses range from $100-200. Add that to the cost of the cheapest FF camera (Canon 5D selling for $250 on ebay) and you're over the cost of a TZ90 already

And much more for what I was using. Buying new (which I did) it would currently be around £1,700 for the A7ii + 24-240 vs £300 for a TZ90.

I think your collection of test subjects missed a couple of cases where large sensor ILCs would show significant advantages. The noise advantage from a FF sensor becomes significant in poor lighting when you can't use flash.

Yes, I wasn't addressing low light for this exercise. As to noise advantages of FF, yes and no, depending on DOF requirements and (for hand-held working and/or working in breezy conditions) shutter speed considerations. The discussions in the flower comparison threads linked in the top post went into that.

In the flower example, you could put a macro lens on the ILC and get close enough to count pollen grains in your final image.

You could get similar results with the TZ90 using close-up lenses. For example with a Raynox 250 the TZ90 goes to a minimum scene width of 6.5mm or so. You would need to be using almost 3X magnification on MFT for this and almost 6X magnification on FF. And you get usable autofocus with the TZ90, which you wouldn't at those magnifications with the ILCs.

(And you can go down to a little over 2mm scene width with a Raynox MSN-202 on the TZ90, although that gives quite a lot of chromatic aberration for this particular test subject, which is a bit cruel in that respect. With natural subjects out in the wild it is less troublesome, not that I often work at that size with any of my equipment; hardly ever in fact.)

An ultrawide on the ILC would also give you coverage you won't get from the fixed lens cams.


At the same time, I also think you're correct that for web/screen viewing (as long as what I said above doesn't apply), the difference isn't significant. You've got some good images, keep up the good work.


Our mileage varies as to the difference for web viewing. For my purposes I think it is significant, especially when it comes to foliage for example, but in some other respects too.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow