GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

Started Jan 2, 2010 | Discussions
OP Mountain Joe Senior Member • Posts: 1,451
Re: Hey Joe...

Teski wrote:

Great job on the comparison. The GF1 held up quite well especially given the difference in lenses and sensors.

Thanks - it was an eye-opener for me as well!

I can't get rid of my DSLR gear due to my work, but I won't be traveling with it at all. It's all m4/3 for me.

I'm at a point where I'll be taking my m4/3 gear on any travels by air for sure! Lugging around all that heavy gear and worrying about it getting broken or stolen just isn't worth it given what these Pany's and Oly's can do now.

In fact I would be very happy with the GF1 plus the two primes for most excursions.

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OP Mountain Joe Senior Member • Posts: 1,451
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

compositor20 wrote:

i agree about the sharpness and contrast of lightroom i was expecting more from the 20mm lenses and i think that aperture was not a good choice since you shouldhave chosen f4 in the gf-1 photo

I am aware of the sweet spot of this lens and usually shoot the 20mm in the f4 - f6.3 range but in this case I wanted maximum DoF so traded off some performance and diffraction for DoF - I would have gone even higher but given these were handheld I wanted to keep the shutter speed high while staying at ISO 100 for best resolution.

if you have some low aperture photos (lower than f6.3 which is becoming the spot where the lenses starts to shine) from the gf-1 please post them processed with lightroom beta 3

I have been working with LR beta 3 and I like the results but it is slow and buggy so I am waiting for the official release candidate.

I'll look for some shots in that aperture range but as I said, I didn't take that many with the GF1.

the zeiss at f11 would be equivalent tothe 20mm at f5.6 in depth of field

great photos and the d700 looks more like film and has good tonality (probably the earmer wb)

Thanks for your comments.

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Teski
Teski Forum Pro • Posts: 13,060
I hear ya..

It was so nice traveling with just my m4/3 gear for Christmas this year. Although we drove, I had to carry my backpack around here and there, and hardly noticed it with my gear. On trips where I took my DSLR gear, it was a nightmare.

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pppp Senior Member • Posts: 1,350
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

Superb serie. Congrats !
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gava Senior Member • Posts: 1,032
A very interesting comparison

Although I would suggest that this is really the territory that the 20+ Mp cameras would perform best and show a step up in class again from the D700. And of course the MFDB would be better still.

I think though that in an urban environment with people as the main focus rather than ones where the high resolution is more impressive the GF1 would close the gap, not in performance, but rather in terms of how much the extra performance matters.

For the best quality we should carry the biggest camera we can, for convenience the smallest. The GF1 is still an amazing camera when it comes to hitting a sweet spot in that trade-off.

BobYIL Contributing Member • Posts: 940
Joe...

Subtle tonality, shadow detail and WB differences aside (those could be improved through different pp techniques) your test has been very informative to reveal some facts about how an M4/3 compact could stand against one best FF camera. Did you notice that nobody has commented about any difference in sharpness? IMO, a blind fold test would be more difficult to put them apart.

Kind regards,

Bob
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compositor20 Senior Member • Posts: 1,655
Re: Joe...

if you have more photos please post them even if the composition is not so great

the sweet spot is from f2.5 or 2.8 to f4 and f3.3 and f3.5 are the f numbers with more sharpness but f4 would be great and even f5.6 would be much better

f11 with this lens is only usefull for macros
with regular landscapes 5.6 would be the maximum you should be

try to make a blind test like the former poster said

Rich Shelton Regular Member • Posts: 150
GF1 + 20mm at f/11 and diffraction

Thanks for the great comparison! My only question concerns aperture. At f/11 on the M43 20mm, you are well into diffraction territory. From what I've seen, the 20mm peaks at f/4-5.6, and is really hurting by f/11. Do you have any wider aperture shots of the same scene?

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Anthony Veteran Member • Posts: 5,104
GF1 did an outstanding job.

IMHO, if you were to put these images ANYWHERE and challenge someone to pick the 5K setup or 900.00 setup, I honestly don't think any one would be able to tell the difference between the two.

Do the same pics in a dimly lit reception hall, and we might feel differently.

Beautiful images.
Thanks

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safaridon Veteran Member • Posts: 3,321
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

Beautiful pictures and thanks for posting for all to enjoy these scenics.

What I find very interesting is you used the GF1 hand held for these pictures while required a tripod on D700 to get same results because required much slower aperature to get same DOF effect but D700 also with stabilized lens? So when comparing the two systems you would have to add a heavy tripod to the D700 outfit mix!

I think this does show the Lumix 45 Macro is a much better lens than most have been saying and very good for scenics as you have demonstrated and probably used because it had OIS. It also shows the advantage the m4/3 has for scenics and that is much greater depth of field. It took a tripod mounting for D700 to get similar results. The results of some scenics hight have been even more spectacular almost 3D from m4/3 if comparing telephoto pictures from these two camera systems of say the Grand Canyon if taken at same aperatures and shutter speeds.

Certainly a good argument that a back packer should not feel that they is missing much capability when packing their m4/3 and should be delighted with the results.

safaridon Veteran Member • Posts: 3,321
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

Very nice to see such beautiful pictures of our national parks shared for all to enjoy. Its refreshing to see more scenic pictures posted using ISO 100-200 where IQ and DR should be at its best rather than just pixel peeping at higher ISOs like 1600.

Wonder how I ever managed for over 20 years using my manual FM SLRs before the days of image stabilization and auto focus and using only Kodachrome 25 for slides. Yet those slides were some of the best scenic or wildlife pictures I have ever taken. And yes those small SLRs were manageable since I only had a 35 or 50mm and 200mm lens and not all that gear to lug about when traveling. That is why the compact m4/3 cameras are so attractive to many from similar backgrounds.

Jogger
Jogger Veteran Member • Posts: 8,441
Re: Joe...

BobYIL wrote:

Subtle tonality, shadow detail and WB differences aside (those could be improved through different pp techniques) your test has been very informative to reveal some facts about how an M4/3 compact could stand against one best FF camera. Did you notice that nobody has commented about any difference in sharpness? IMO, a blind fold test would be more difficult to put them apart.

at the apertures used. there really isnt any reason to talk about it

Kind regards,

Bob
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OP Mountain Joe Senior Member • Posts: 1,451
Re: Joe...

BobYIL wrote:

Subtle tonality, shadow detail and WB differences aside (those could be improved through different pp techniques) your test has been very informative to reveal some facts about how an M4/3 compact could stand against one best FF camera. Did you notice that nobody has commented about any difference in sharpness? IMO, a blind fold test would be more difficult to put them apart.

Bob - I find the sharpness achievable with the G1/GF1 and my PL 25mm Summilux to be on par, if not superior to anything I get out of my D700 even with my best Pro Nikon lenses. The resolving power of the G1 sensor with its weak AA filter is phenomenal. The dpreview tests confirm this as well.

Kind regards,

Bob
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Steven Wandy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

Hi Joe,

Firstly - the shots (all of them) are spectacular and I would be VERY jealous if my wife and I had not finally traveled to Yosemite this past September.

And I agree with your basic conclusion that the GF1 did a very admirable job considering it's size/weight/cost compared to the Nikon outfit. (BTW - I had the EP1 when we went and was also very happy with the results.)
Enjoyed the shots,
Steve

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OP Mountain Joe Senior Member • Posts: 1,451
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

safaridon wrote:

Beautiful pictures and thanks for posting for all to enjoy these scenics.

What I find very interesting is you used the GF1 hand held for these pictures while required a tripod on D700 to get same results because required much slower aperature to get same DOF effect but D700 also with stabilized lens? So when comparing the two systems you would have to add a heavy tripod to the D700 outfit mix!

I only had one tripod with me and did not want to keep swapping cameras as the light and fog was changing by the minute - that is why I shot the GF1 handheld.

But you bring up a good point - where I was shooting the GF1 in the f8-f11 range for DoF, I was shooting the FF camera in the f11-f16 range (sometimes even f22).

This difference in shutter speeds though can be made up easily on the D700 by shooting at ISO 400 (versus ISO 100 on the GF1) - even at ISO 400 I find that I usually need no NR on the D700.

The 50mm Zeiss and 24-70mm lenses have no IS but the 105mm Macro does (though I defeated it while on the tripod).

I think this does show the Lumix 45 Macro is a much better lens than most have been saying and very good for scenics as you have demonstrated and probably used because it had OIS. It also shows the advantage the m4/3 has for scenics and that is much greater depth of field. It took a tripod mounting for D700 to get similar results. The results of some scenics hight have been even more spectacular almost 3D from m4/3 if comparing telephoto pictures from these two camera systems of say the Grand Canyon if taken at same aperatures and shutter speeds.

Certainly a good argument that a back packer should not feel that they is missing much capability when packing their m4/3 and should be delighted with the results.

I think the ability to shoot handheld is an advantage to m4/3 being lighter and agree the 45mm lens is a very good lens - but I would say the Nikon 105mm Macro is better at the same price with similar features - f2.8, macro, and IS.

Thanks for commenting.

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chekist
chekist Senior Member • Posts: 2,418
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

I suffer from the same problem... Trying to get over it. I looked at your Alaska set - very nice as well. I went to Alaska before I got into photography. We camped out in the wilderness for couple of weeks in the late January. Sucked! Between fighting off bears and trying not to freeze did not do too much sightseeing. But even what we saw was very impressive, can't wait to go back there with a camera.
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OP Mountain Joe Senior Member • Posts: 1,451
Re: A very interesting comparison

gava wrote:

Although I would suggest that this is really the territory that the 20+ Mp cameras would perform best and show a step up in class again from the D700. And of course the MFDB would be better still.

Agreed - if I could afford a MF digital camera, I would own one

I shoot landscapes so that is what I used for the comparison - I wanted to see how the GF1 compared under these shooting conditions.

Everyone should note these exposures from tunnel view were extremely challenging - bright sunlit fog and deep shadow in the fg trees. Even with a 2-stop grad ND filter on the D700 it was a challenge - the GF1 did extremely well given I had no graduated filter and relied solely on its DR for the shot.

I think though that in an urban environment with people as the main focus rather than ones where the high resolution is more impressive the GF1 would close the gap, not in performance, but rather in terms of how much the extra performance matters.

I do also like to shoot street photography and for that purpose I agree the m4/3 format is very well suited for that sort of thing and results would be largely indistinguishable from a FF camera.

For the best quality we should carry the biggest camera we can, for convenience the smallest. The GF1 is still an amazing camera when it comes to hitting a sweet spot in that trade-off.

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marcusaxlund Contributing Member • Posts: 701
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

Hi

I think this shows why the 2 systems should not compete against each other, but complement each other...

br

Marcus

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Meuh
Meuh Veteran Member • Posts: 3,138
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

i have a gf1, gx10 and d3.. while i havent shot lots of landscapes the thing i love about the gx10 and d3 is the ability to push shadows alot at base iso without alot of noise (both the gx10 and d3 are very clean at base iso). What i love about the d3 is the ability to shoot in darker situations without much added noise as well as the lower DoF.

What i love about the gf1 tho is its size, its quite an advanced little thing.. sure i cant push the shadows as much.. even at base iso it has some noise but just like with the photos posted here its capable of some amazing results.

I actually liked some of the gf1 shots better than the d700, the first d700 shot had blown highlights in the fog/clouds wrapping around the rock but i did like the lighter and more blue color it had down the bottom right of the frame in the fog/clouds.

But for the size/price i have to agree that its hard to match just what the gf1 can do (and doing it all without looking like an SLR... as sometimes an SLR can get unwanted attention) is just magic.

Thank you Mountain Joe for taking the time to do this and sharing some fantastic images.
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Joesiv Veteran Member • Posts: 5,497
Re: GF1 vs D700 Yosemite Smackdown!

Mountain Joe wrote:

I think the ability to shoot handheld is an advantage to m4/3 being lighter and agree the 45mm lens is a very good lens - but I would say the Nikon 105mm Macro is better at the same price with similar features - f2.8, macro, and IS.

Have you considered the 50mm f2? for landscapes, manually focusing seems like it would be an ok option. It seems like a smokin lens.
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