Full frame allure

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
tomrandall86 Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: Full frame allure

ahaslett wrote:

tomrandall86 wrote:

ahaslett wrote:

tomrandall86 wrote:

ahaslett wrote:

tomrandall86 wrote:

ahaslett wrote:

tomrandall86 wrote:

I have to say I've been feeling the allure as well, so I've been in self-debate about it all.

I'm not doing photography professionally, and I don't have loads of money for photo gear, so I think about this hard from an entirely personal point of view.

My own needs (or wants rather) dictate that I'm geared towards finely detailed outdoor subjects, landscapes down to leaves and tiny details. My brain walks towards full frame because of the bigger sensors being capable of higher resolutions with cleaner detail; but here's the catch: I could actually probably make do with using hand held and tripod hi resolution modes on the newer OM bodies. I've seen what these modes can do and if controlled can yield some awesome results, with better dynamic range and noise control at the expense of the subject needing to be still.

So it's turned into a self debate on either investing in an E-M1 mark III, jumping straight to the OM-1, or trying out a bigger sensor.

I also take into account post-processing; I do very much enjoy the process no matter how rubbish I may be at it, and with post-processing you can really bring out light and detail and clean up images, especially with newer software. This of course depends on what you want to get out of your photos and if you have the patience in post processing.

Sometimes, laying stuff out online or writing it down like this can help you answer your own questions. In the end, the only question(s) that really matters is "what do you want out of your photography and will a bigger sensor achieve that?"

For me, I'm not sure that it will.

How do you view your images? There is no point in capturing detail and gradations that have no impact on visible IQ.

The only things that an FF body can give you that you can't get with MFT are:

1) More resolution

2) More DR at base ISO (actually bigger full well capacity)

3) Different lens options

4) 14 bit RAWs (better tonal resolution in high DR scenes)

You can lose stuff too, depending on gear choices.

I have an OM1 and Sony A7Riv.

My upgrade paths were EM1.1->EM1.2->OM1 and A7R->A7Rii->A7Riv.

My favourite subjects are family and landscape. A GM1 and the EM1.1 are fine for family. THe A7Rii was fine for landscape. I upgraded to the OM1 and A7Riv for better UI and AF, not better IQ. I'm at a stage in my life where not buying it now probably means I won't be able to afford it later.

My most carried bodies are the GM1 and EM1.1 because they are small. My core go anywhere kit is built around the OM1.

I would take a tripod, filter set, lenses and the A7Riv shooting landscapes anywhere within 3 miles of a parking space, maybe even 5 miles for an important shot. I'd probably scout beforehand with the OM1 unless I was worried about losing a window of opportunity.

If you are on a tight budget, a used EM1.3 might make sense. If you really want to try FF, then I could comment. The A7Rii is not a camera you want to use for action or handheld in bad light.


Yep and those are all questions I too ask myself. I tend to view mine on a screen and also get some printed, and I’m thinking of building myself a little e-book too.

But unless printing absolutely huge there’s no real point, hi res modes would probably deliver what I want if 20mp doesn’t feel enough.

At the end of the day I love using my Olympus body and using the 12-100 or the 12-40, with the 75-300 there for when I like messing around at the RSPB reserve.

Realistic question: do I need full frame? Realistic answer: probably not!

Have a look at these on your screen and see what you think.


Yeah they look alright! I'm only looking at them on a full HD screen 24 inch right though. If I explode out to full screen and have a 100% fly about I'd say some of the further away objects start to lack some detail. I'm not a DxO gallery expert, I don't know if uploads rip any quality out. Without zooming to 100% they look ok though. That last photo looks clean as a whistle in the background, not even a sign of digital grain which I normally get even at ISO200 (it just never bothers me).

I assumed you would check the EXIFs. They go MFT-FF-MFT-FF. That last one is with an A7Riv with 100-400GM at the wide end, where it performs best. In good light, anything looks good with a decent lens. I think the robin with the 40-150/2.8 looks pretty good too.

DPR does reduce quality a bit but use original size for best impression.


I tried not to read the exif and just look at the images. Yeah I mean all the photos look nice, honestly I saw the first was an Oly so assumed they all were without looking! Not a lot of difference really, except that last photo with that creamy background. Totally achievable with Oly but probably just a bit easier in the field with the Sony.

The equivalent with the 40-150 Pro would be 50mm f2.8, ISO 200 with a bit of plus EC to ETTR. The OM1 has 3 channel histogram and I have a custom UniWB when maximum ETTR is required. Sony don’t provide such good exposure aids and it was too much effort to find out how to set a UniWB on the FF body.

Not tested edge to edge image performance but the Sony combination is going to have a very slight edge from the sensor resolution. I doubt I would notice and I’m well attuned to small IQ differences on 4k screens that fill my field of view. As the light falls, the OM1 would edge the Sony because the IBIS is better than the Sony Dual IS.

I would see the difference in the first two, hence the FF body for landscape. I compose differently between my bodies and lenses. Entirely happy with a 16Mpix EM1.1 handheld when using it. Shooting to the strengths of your kit is something gradually learned when you have a wide range.


Having another look this morning at each of them full screen, there's really not much in it is there. The robin has great clarity and sharpness, clean details and a nice background, as does the tree; I think maybe the robin could be very slightly sharper than the tree... that could be shutter speed may be? There's always gonna be massive differences in post-process sharpness unless they're straight out of the camera.

Both sets are equally as good as each other in my personal opinion when zoomed out and looking at the whole image. Most obviously you can zoom in a lot further with the Sony being 3x the resolution which I suppose only really serves those big big prints or manic pixel peepers.

A nice little comparison though, thanks for taking the time to post!

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Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS +2 more
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