Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions
David Kieltyka
David Kieltyka Veteran Member • Posts: 4,854
Good post, plus my own comments on DOF
2

I've used a variety of different systems/formats over the decades, from 4x5" view cameras to compact digicams. Depth-of-field control isn't something that just *happens* due to the use of one format or another. Instead it's one of the elements of taking photographs you can usually (though not always) *create*.

It's largely a matter of technique. Compared to 6x6cm or 35mm, when I want/need shallow DOF with my Oly OM-D5 I use lenses with narrower fields-of-view, choose wider apertures, get closer to my subjects and when possible place or frame them such that potentially distracting background stuff is farther away and thus more OOF. In film days, when I switched between medium format and 35mm I made the same sorts of adjustments back & forth. No biggie...you just *do* it. With practice it becomes automatic.

The M43 format is just large enough that you can get shallow DOF when you want it. Of course there are post-processing DOF control techniques too, but I much prefer to get it right in-camera. It's not only more fun, it also requires that you be attentive and creative *in the moment*...which is what photography, for me, is all about.

One last comment: though I continue to use 35mm gear, film and digital, that format IMO has become a sacred cow that deserves to be gored. Hard. The glorious "full frame" is no larger than an overseas postage stamp, and cameras are not objects of worship or veneration...they're just tools.

-Dave-

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Bobby J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,589
Al, there are several things that affect DOF:
1

Viewing angle (focal length), distance from subject, and lens speed (aperture) all affect

DOF.  The critics speak as if there's no chance of isolating a subject with a 4:3 size sensor.  It all depends on the confluence of the elements mentioned.

It boils down to knowing how to use your camera for best effect.  It doesn't hurt to have fast lenses either.  Hence when Oly introduced 4:3, most of their lenses were at least a stop faster than their counterparts on APSC based lenses.  Full frame was a little harder so the SHG lenses are two stops faster, and that does a lot to level the playing field.

The down side is when you build an F-2 zoom, it's BIG, and the advantage of smaller size is lost to some degree.  As you mention, you are usually able to hold a higher shutter speed because of the larger aperture and that can be very important at times.

Like all camera systems, there are pluses and minuses to each different system.  I think the real looser for 4:3 was the lack of a true state of the art sensor.  That's no longer true

with the advent of the EM-5.  Mostly, it's just knowing how to get the best from your equipment.

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BJM

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: I can already predict a response.
3

danijel973 wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I can already predict a response by some people likely to chime in here.

They will say that having shallow DOF at one's disposal is never a disadvantage, because if deeper DOF is desired, the aperture can always be stopped down a bit (while it cannot be "stopped up" to make the DOF more shallow than the lens wide-open on the sensor will allow).

Except when you stop down to have similar DoF you're no longer at f/2.8, you're at f/5.6, and then you push ISO up two stops to compensate for speed loss and suddenly you wonder where your "two stop advantage at high ISO" went.

except that in many cases you do not really need exactly the same DOF as you are forced in w/ m43/43 and then you do not need to push ISO 2 stops... so what you are saying is an artificial condition.

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field
1

al_in_philly wrote:
Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

it is a typical wishful thinking of those who like to compare deep shadows w/ Canon FF's @ low iso's (where Canon does not deliver)... but move to SNR @ midtones, real high ISO and start counting Sony/Nikon and suddenly everything is going back to there is no replacement for displacement (= how much light you can grab).

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field
2

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:
Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

it is a typical wishful thinking of those who like to compare deep shadows w/ Canon FF's @ low iso's (where Canon does not deliver)... but move to SNR @ midtones, real high ISO and start counting Sony/Nikon and suddenly everything is going back to there is no replacement for displacement (= how much light you can grab).

At high ISOs, which is what the OP was talking about, the E-M5 set at two stops lower ISO than the FF camera (for equal DoF), will go equal for SNR at midtones but do better with regard to shadow noise/DR in comparison with all current FF cameras except the D4 (where it will be a tie).

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danijel973
danijel973 Contributing Member • Posts: 851
Re: I can already predict a response.
1

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I can already predict a response by some people likely to chime in here.

They will say that having shallow DOF at one's disposal is never a disadvantage, because if deeper DOF is desired, the aperture can always be stopped down a bit (while it cannot be "stopped up" to make the DOF more shallow than the lens wide-open on the sensor will allow).

Except when you stop down to have similar DoF you're no longer at f/2.8, you're at f/5.6, and then you push ISO up two stops to compensate for speed loss and suddenly you wonder where your "two stop advantage at high ISO" went.

except that in many cases you do not really need exactly the same DOF as you are forced in w/ m43/43 and then you do not need to push ISO 2 stops... so what you are saying is an artificial condition.

What I'm saying is that sometimes 43 might be exactly what you need - f/1.4 aperture to let more light in and still to have 2 stops more DoF than you would have with 35mm. For situations where you need to work in low light and not have hair-thin DoF, this is exactly what you want.

35mm practically forces you to use very thin DoF when shooting in low light, and if that's what you like, but if it's not, stopping down is possible but very expensive in terms of shutter speed. So "you just stop down" argument is quite dubious. Personally, although I prefer 35mm for most purposes, I know how costly it is to have to stop down in the dark because you need more DoF. Also, I know how annoying is not being able to shoot landscapes handheld with 35mm because at f/5.6, which is most you can afford at times, you just don't get enough DoF to make a usable shot. I usually shoot handheld landscapes at f/10 or f/11 with 5d and 17-40mm, to get it properly sharp, and getting enough light can be tricky. With 43, I could pull it off with f/5.6 with same depth, and this can be hugely important.

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zxaar Veteran Member • Posts: 4,108
Re: I can already predict a response.
4

danijel973 wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I can already predict a response by some people likely to chime in here.

They will say that having shallow DOF at one's disposal is never a disadvantage, because if deeper DOF is desired, the aperture can always be stopped down a bit (while it cannot be "stopped up" to make the DOF more shallow than the lens wide-open on the sensor will allow).

Except when you stop down to have similar DoF you're no longer at f/2.8, you're at f/5.6, and then you push ISO up two stops to compensate for speed loss and suddenly you wonder where your "two stop advantage at high ISO" went.

except that in many cases you do not really need exactly the same DOF as you are forced in w/ m43/43 and then you do not need to push ISO 2 stops... so what you are saying is an artificial condition.

What I'm saying is that sometimes 43 might be exactly what you need - f/1.4 aperture to let more light in and still to have 2 stops more DoF than you would have with 35mm. For situations where you need to work in low light and not have hair-thin DoF, this is exactly what you want.

Thats is why it is better to sneak in a pentax Q with F1.9 lens rather than m43.  When you get into this hypothetical situation take the damn thing out.

Anyway, I have't use flash for last say 10 years or so and never once regretted not getting what I wanted as far as DOF is concerned and I do not use m43.  How much DOF is adequate is subjective as long as i am happy what i am getting out of my camera , i have enough dof.

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 39,901
I'm not convinced...
5

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: I'm not convinced...

Great Bustard wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

On what grounds are you not convinced? As I know you are well aware, any current FF camera would lose out to the E-M5 for DR/shadow noise in this comparison (except the D4 which would break even). In terms of SNR at higher light levels, it would be a tie. So are you thinking about how the PL 25/1.4 at 1.4 compares to a 50 mm FF lens at 2.8 or what?

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 39,901
Re: I'm not convinced...
3

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

On what grounds are you not convinced?

Image quality.

As I know you are well aware, any current FF camera would lose out to the E-M5 for DR/shadow noise in this comparison (except the D4 which would break even).

I think the 6D comes out the same.

In terms of SNR at higher light levels, it would be a tie. So are you thinking about how the PL 25/1.4 at 1.4 compares to a 50 mm FF lens at 2.8 or what?

I'm thinking that a FF camera at 50mm f/2.8 would resolve more detail everywhere in the frame than an EM5 at 25mm f/1.4, and, if the EM5 did have less noise for equivalent settings (same DOF and shutter speed), the judicious application of NR (noise reduction) to the FF photo would result in a photo that was both more detailed and less noisy (albeit not significantly so, in my opinion).

To that end, I think it would be interesting to see a comparison with competently processed photos.

P.S.:  I think the EM5 would come out significantly ahead in situations where it could use IBIS and a longer shutter speed and FF could not use a tripod.

exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field
1

Anders W wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:
Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

it is a typical wishful thinking of those who like to compare deep shadows w/ Canon FF's @ low iso's (where Canon does not deliver)... but move to SNR @ midtones, real high ISO and start counting Sony/Nikon and suddenly everything is going back to there is no replacement for displacement (= how much light you can grab).

At high ISOs, which is what the OP was talking about, the E-M5 set at two stops lower ISO than the FF camera (for equal DoF), will go equal for SNR at midtones but do better with regard to shadow noise/DR in comparison with all current FF cameras except the D4 (where it will be a tie).

it is soundly beaten by DR @ high ISO even by Canon (1Dx).

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: I can already predict a response.
1

danijel973 wrote:

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

danijel973 wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

I can already predict a response by some people likely to chime in here.

They will say that having shallow DOF at one's disposal is never a disadvantage, because if deeper DOF is desired, the aperture can always be stopped down a bit (while it cannot be "stopped up" to make the DOF more shallow than the lens wide-open on the sensor will allow).

Except when you stop down to have similar DoF you're no longer at f/2.8, you're at f/5.6, and then you push ISO up two stops to compensate for speed loss and suddenly you wonder where your "two stop advantage at high ISO" went.

except that in many cases you do not really need exactly the same DOF as you are forced in w/ m43/43 and then you do not need to push ISO 2 stops... so what you are saying is an artificial condition.

What I'm saying is that sometimes 43 might be exactly what you need - f/1.4 aperture to let more light in and still to have 2 stops more DoF than you would have with 35mm. For situations where you need to work in low light and not have hair-thin DoF, this is exactly what you want.

35mm practically forces you to use very thin DoF when shooting in low light

no, it does not... that is only happening in your imagination.

, and if that's what you like, but if it's not, stopping down is possible but very expensive in terms of shutter speed. So "you just stop down" argument is quite dubious. Personally, although I prefer 35mm for most purposes, I know how costly it is to have to stop down in the dark because you need more DoF. Also, I know how annoying is not being able to shoot landscapes handheld with 35mm because at f/5.6, which is most you can afford at times, you just don't get enough DoF to make a usable shot. I usually shoot handheld landscapes at f/10 or f/11 with 5d and 17-40mm, to get it properly sharp, and getting enough light can be tricky. With 43, I could pull it off with f/5.6 with same depth, and this can be hugely important.

here we go - your __5D__ is just many generations old sensor, so you can't really push shadows... why don't you than compare it w/ 43 sensors of 10mp generation ?

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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: I'm not convinced...

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

On what grounds are you not convinced? As I know you are well aware, any current FF camera would lose out to the E-M5 for DR/shadow noise in this comparison (except the D4 which would break even).

1Dx will obliterate EM5 @ high ISO.

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 39,901
Re: I'm not convinced...
1

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

On what grounds are you not convinced? As I know you are well aware, any current FF camera would lose out to the E-M5 for DR/shadow noise in this comparison (except the D4 which would break even).

1Dx will obliterate EM5 @ high ISO.

Remember, we're talking same DOF and shutter speed, in this particular example.  For example, 25mm f/1.4 1/60 ISO 3200 on an EM5 vs 50mm f/2.8 1/60 ISO 12800 on FF.

While I think FF will pull ahead, it certainly won't "obliterate" the EM5 setup.  But, regardless of who wins, I don't think the differences will be significant.

Hen3ry
Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
Lovely pix and excellent presentation of your argument
1

And my argument if it comes to that.

Razor thin depth of field is a by-product, an artifact of big apertures. They allow you to shoot in lower light but more often than not, the very shallow DoF is a damned nuisance.

Back in the day, a fair bit of the reason to have a bright lens was to be able to focus in low(ish) light situations -- because you had to focus by eye on a ground glass or (when they became available) fresnel screen. You stopped down to shoot (and thank goodness for the automatic stop down thing when it came in) so you could get a bit of DoF.

Having the most light on the focusing screen was so important that Canon's pellicle(?) mirror SLR failed. This was a fixed mirror which was half silvered so that about half the light went to the focusing screen and half went to the film. Given the advantages of this -- no mirror delay, no noisy mirror slap -- it should have worked. It didn’t, and a major reason for that was the loss of focusing capability. Given that pros in photojournalism (which set a lot of the "standard" for 35mm photography) shot only on Tri-X (or another 400 ASA equivalent) and thus mostly were shooting with the lens stopped well down, it can be seen that the maximum aperture for shooting was not often in question.

Besides, and editor might use one or two thin depth of field shots in a publication, but s/he certainly didn’t want page after page of them -- they were showing what the world looked like, not some arty-farty extract of the world governed by a super large aperture.

Then the argument was switched around so that razor thin DoF was practically the raison d'etre for taking a picture. Of course, you had to have the most expensive lens to achieve it so ordinary mortals were excluded. This was a fad for a while, then the world got back to the business of expecting photographs to show them what the world looked like.

Super thin depth of field is a choice. Those who want it can have it; I'm not interested and mostly I'm not interested in their pictures either. Very thin DoF moved from the innovative to the boringly banal in a remarkably short time 40+ years ago.

Cheers, geoff

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: I'm not convinced...

Great Bustard wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

On what grounds are you not convinced?

Image quality.

As I know you are well aware, any current FF camera would lose out to the E-M5 for DR/shadow noise in this comparison (except the D4 which would break even).

I think the 6D comes out the same.

OK. You are right about that. But not the 5D3, the D800, or the D600, nor any older FF camera.

In terms of SNR at higher light levels, it would be a tie. So are you thinking about how the PL 25/1.4 at 1.4 compares to a 50 mm FF lens at 2.8 or what?

I'm thinking that a FF camera at 50mm f/2.8 would resolve more detail everywhere in the frame than an EM5 at 25mm f/1.4, and, if the EM5 did have less noise for equivalent settings (same DOF and shutter speed), the judicious application of NR (noise reduction) to the FF photo would result in a photo that was both more detailed and less noisy (albeit not significantly so, in my opinion).

Could be although at these ISOs, I am not at all sure. Even if the FF lens at f/2.8 would clearly outdo the 25/1.4 for MTF, little of that difference is likely to register in view of the noise levels we are talking about here. Further, if we compare at apertures slightly smaller than these, e.g., f/2.8 versus f/5.6, the difference in MTF becomes close to insignificant in the first place.

To that end, I think it would be interesting to see a comparison with competently processed photos.

P.S.:  I think the EM5 would come out significantly ahead in situations where it could use IBIS and a longer shutter speed and FF could not use a tripod.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
deckfrost Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field

al_in_philly wrote:

deckfrost wrote:

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

That s why ND filters exist !!! shoot wide open at 200 ISO

I'm talking about low light situations.  ND filters require higher ISO settings and lower IQ for the same given aperture and shutter speed.

sorry it was an idiotic reply, I should not post when I m exhausted

 deckfrost's gear list:deckfrost's gear list
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tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,620
Re: I'm not convinced...

Great Bustard wrote:

P.S.:  I think the EM5 would come out significantly ahead in situations where it could use IBIS and a longer shutter speed and FF could not use a tripod.

You should be able to get a similar degree of IS with an IS-capable 24-70/2.8.

deckfrost Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Lovely pix and excellent presentation of your argument
Then the argument was switched around so that razor thin DoF was practically the raison d'etre for taking a picture. Of course, you had to have the most expensive lens to achieve it so ordinary mortals were excluded. This was a fad for a while, then the world got back to the business of expecting photographs to show them what the world looked like.

Yes Razor thin DoF is pretty much the only thing that differentiate a camera from the really good ( and very useful with all software available and ease to upload) Iphone 5 (or last Samsung).

It s now getting to the point that having a camera with lot of DoF does not make that much senses, the cameras integrated in iphone/phones in 2-3 years will be even more awesome.

Yeah I m shallow with my facebook pics

Affordable FF mirrorless can not come fast enough, it s the only way forward for manufacturers against fast improving phones.

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: I'm not convinced...
2

exdeejjjaaaa wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I do the majority of my shooting in very low light situations without a flash.  I started out shooting at night with a (then brand new) Olympus e-510 and a Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4.  I know, great lens choice, not best choice for a low-light camera, but that's what I happened to own when what became a three year nightime photo-shoot opened up for me.  Those photos BTW have been published in a variety of newspapers & magazines, as well as having two gallery shows of them.  Now I'm shooting different very low-light subjects with an OM-D and the m4/3 version of the PL 25 1.4, and I couldn't be happier.  Why?  A big part is because of the depth of field that combo gives me.

Like many others, I too like to seperate my subjects from their background a bit by using the selective focus which wide apertures afford.  But often, I don't want to obliterate all the background, or foreground, definition, just soften it enough to tell my viewers wher to plant their gaze in the picture.  So, if I'm shooting in a dimly lit bar or a city street at midnight, my OM-D produces "just right" images at f1.4 and an ISO of 3200, typically yielding a shutter speed of between 1/30 and 1/80 sec, depending on how dark the lighting is.

Of course, I could shoot FF at 2.8, but then I'd also be shooting at an ISO of 12800 for the same shutter speed.  Even as good as FF images are, the OM-D at 1/4 the ISO will always look better.

...about your last sentence above.  It would be interesting to see a comparison between a modern FF DSLR with a 50 / 1.4 at f/2.8 and the same shutter speed, and see which comes out ahead.  I am far from convinced that it would be the EM5 (which is not to say that I am convinced it will be the FF system).

On what grounds are you not convinced? As I know you are well aware, any current FF camera would lose out to the E-M5 for DR/shadow noise in this comparison (except the D4 which would break even).

1Dx will obliterate EM5 @ high ISO.

Not if the 1Dx is using two EV higher ISO (e.g., 3200 versus 12800) for equal DoF as in the comparisons we are talking about in this thread. In that case, the E-M5 will have a slight edge.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
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