Equivalence based basic kit shopping

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piccolbo New Member • Posts: 0
Equivalence based basic kit shopping
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Hi, I am on the market for a  new system and I wanted to make a format-independent type of comparison. So I tried to equalize for 1) Light gathering power, which means f number corrected for crop factor, aka entrance pupil diameter (which means smaller crops need brighter lenses) 2) DOF control aka corrected f aka entrance pupil diameter (which means smaller crops need brighter lenses). If you  don't understand or believe in equivalence calculations, the rest will not make you happy so please skip. Dpreview has a great tutorial on equivalence and samyang has a DOF and FOV comparator.

Cameras have to have phase detect. I think contrast detect is a dead end and most of the industry agrees. Oly puts phase detect on their best cameras. Only pana is stuck. If you never use AFC you can probably ignore this, and there's a bunch of cheaper oly and pana options that you can look into.

Ignored all other aspects of performance, fps, video, ergonomics, AF, DR, in camera processing, portability etc.  The quality of the sensors besides format is variable (BSI, readout speed). Ergonomics factors are important too. Lots of other aspects need to go into a final purchase decisions.

I am a generic type of photographer equally bad at all types of photography. I based the comparison on  the following  common setup: affordable body + normal zoom + normal prime. Sure there's a lot of other needs out there. It's just a common setup, not my current setup. I thought a system's got to have good options on these or we are in trouble. Kit zoom is a 3.5-5.6 24-70 or similar, 28-70, f4 is also good. Normal is the classic 50mm f1.8

So call this a light gathering, DOF based comparison where I did the equivalence calc for you and put results in a spreadsheet. Nothing you couldn't do by yourself with some patience, but I've never had it in front of my like that before. Could be the basis of a more thorough and personalized comparison, or could be completely useless. For instance, if you never do low-light and never look to minimize DOF, this is not a good starting point. An m43 45mm f/1.8 already gives  quite a bit of subject separation, so if that's enough for you, you may need to adjust this comparison to your needs (that's my current portrait lens). For me personally DR >> DOF so I am not a bokeh maniac for sure.

So here's the link

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A0xa8XngNxIycRjhAigF25xFQEbnvR1u-US2I7LyGSM/edit?usp=sharing

I am sure your favorite model is missing, happy to add more entries that fit. Also forgive any errors. I searched for prices on BH, used first party or reputable third party AF lenses. No 7artisans for instance. Did not compare lenses for sharpness etc. Used kit pricing when possible, body only + lens where necessary. Some systems are more mature than others, we may see better third party for Z and Canon and fuji soon.

The main learning for me is that if you want the light gathering of a basic 35mm setup, normal zoom and normal prime, you have to spend a lot more on glass for smaller crops and unless you go for exotic f/0.95 lenses, you can only get close, but not quite there. The brightest normal zoom for m43 is f/2.8 which is f/5.6 equivalent. In the wider part of the range this gives you very modest DOF control. (it's also a pro level oly lens so I am sure it's in many ways a better lens than a sony kit lens). Sure m43 gives you great portability, particularly certain models and tele lenses, but it's  important to look ahead and try pricing a system as a whole even if you are not ready to purchase today or sure about every detail.  I hope you find this comparison useful and I can learn something from  your comments.

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