High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions
Pixnat2
Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,077
High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?
5

Three years ago, the difference between those 3 standards was clear at High ISOS.

Today, with the latest technology, all current sensors are all outstanding. May you use M4/3, APS-C or FF, they are all competent at High ISOS.

One can wonder if the difference is always here.

Thanks to DPreview and their cool widget, we can compare the best sensors of those 3 formats at the highest native ISO in RAW. Here it is :

We can see that there's always a difference.

But the difference between m4/3 and APS-C is very very tiny. The EM-5 and GH3 sensors are so good that it could make a difference only for photographers who have very specific requirements. For the vast majority of photographers, High ISO performance can be considered equal between APS-C and m4/3, assuming they use the EM-5 or GH3, of course. FF is always, and logically, better than both.

What do you think?

I encourage you to play with the widget to make your own mind.

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Acrill
Acrill Senior Member • Posts: 2,799
Re: High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?

apples to oranges

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Pixnat2
OP Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,077
Re: High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?
2

Acrill wrote:

apples to oranges

IMO, there's less difference between m4/3 and APS-C than between an apple and an orange

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tjuster1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,888
and Size : M4/3 < APS-C < FF
1

'nuff said.

There will always be compromises. You pick the one that offers the most while sacrificing the least.

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Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,903
Re: High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?

Pixnat2 wrote:

What do you think?

I think that it matters who makes the sensors... but I also think (Sony) 16MP m43 got us past the point where I long for better DR or high-ISO results.  More pixels would be nice though.  A 5D mk4 with a 64MP implementation of that same sensor would get Canon another $3000 of my cash (their TSE glass deserves it), but they are too stubborn to pursue that course.

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-CW

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duckling Senior Member • Posts: 1,765
Re: High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?
3

Noise stopped bothering me a few years ago when I realized that:

a) it can be easily eliminated using software

b) I rarely use sensitivity ranges above ISO1600

c) quite often I prefer a certain level of grain (the luminance type only) to extreme smoothness. It tends to improve sharpness in a more natural way than USM.

d) noise is often invisible in print.

Dynamic range limitations used to be a much more bothersome issue, but not anymore. In fact, I would say that the technical aspects of my own photography would hardly gain anything if I went the FF route. 'Good enough' is actually good enough.

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Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,903
Re: High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?
1

Pixnat2 wrote:

Acrill wrote:

apples to oranges

IMO, there's less difference between m4/3 and APS-C than between an apple and an orange

At this point it's hardly even Granny Smith vs. Red Delicious.

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-CW

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Grzzl
Grzzl Senior Member • Posts: 2,967
I did exactly the same as you

Only i compared with the D800 and 5DmkII. Only till ISO 3200

I seldomly use more than 1600. If i compare my sold D300 with de G5 in LightRoom 4 with noise reduction i find little difference.

I am beginning to wonder about DXO mark...  So little difference and so big different scores

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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 13,921
Dxomark

Almost exclusively looks at base ISO. And it is precisely there where there seems to be a big difference. What does not help in some cases is their non standardised ISO use (if I am correct) which makes the OMD for instance score much worse than other sensors.

Otoh: DXo is still the only test that focusses on the sensor only. So I use it still, look throughout the range and make up my mind.

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DonSantos Senior Member • Posts: 1,145
Re: I did exactly the same as you

Only i compared with the D800 and 5DmkII. Only till ISO 3200

I seldomly use more than 1600. If i compare my sold D300 with de G5 in LightRoom 4 with noise reduction i find little difference.

I am beginning to wonder about DXO mark...  So little difference and so big different scores

dxo scores account for iso inflation and also uses print noise instead of screen noise (which isn't normalized for number of pixels). dpreview widget does neither and gives you apples to oranges image comparisons

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DonSantos Senior Member • Posts: 1,145
Re: Dxomark

Almost exclusively looks at base ISO. And it is precisely there where there seems to be a big difference. What does not help in some cases is their non standardised ISO use (if I am correct) which makes the OMD for instance score much worse than other sensors.

Otoh: DXo is still the only test that focusses on the sensor only. So I use it still, look throughout the range and make up my mind.

wrong the omd is the highest scoring m43 camera.

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Pixnat2
OP Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,077
DXO scores are not linked to everyday shooting reality
1

Grzzl wrote:

Only i compared with the D800 and 5DmkII. Only till ISO 3200

I seldomly use more than 1600. If i compare my sold D300 with de G5 in LightRoom 4 with noise reduction i find little difference.

I am beginning to wonder about DXO mark...  So little difference and so big different scores

Acording to DXOmark, the biggest difference between the OM-D and the D5200 sensor is Dynamic Range (12,3 vs 13,86EV). That's why the difference is big. But IMHO, this is overrated.

I have the the OM-D and the D600 and the biggest difference I see, apart from DOF, is noise. Low and High ISO noise. The D600 is totally noisefree at 100 ISO, and you can push the RAW very far in the shadows before it begins to appear. On the OM-D, noise appers much quicker.

But for DR, even if DXO states a big difference, I don't see a big difference in normal shooting (I shoot a lot of landscapes).

DXO scores are not linked to everyday shooting reality, but they are linked to sensor technology.

I like DXO for their RAW measurements, which are objectives, but I don't care about the scores, which are highly subjectives and do not reflet everyday shooting reality.

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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 13,921
Re: Dxomark

Yes...sorry for being unclear. Comparatively it is penalised more than other sensors because of the different way Olympus approached ISO as compared to DXO take on it. I have read that Oly uses a certified SIO standard, DXO does not.

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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 13,921
I have seen reviews of D800 vs MKIII: same thing

If I remember corretly there was nothing between them in reallife shooting. The colours of the Canon were more pleasing and this was noted more than once.

Also D4 vs D1x: two weddign photographers have a review of these two on youtube. If you look at DxO you think D1x is really behind, one of the two actually ditches the nikon gear he has for the D1x. Because IQ is almost identical, but especially the AF of the canon is much much better.

Etc

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,955
Re: High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?

I think there is a difference between high ISO in good light, usually to get the shutter speed up to capture action and high ISO in poor light which is usually worse (I'd usually knock a stop off the max ISO I'd be happy with). Personally I prefer comparisons at lower levels of illumination.

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zxaar Veteran Member • Posts: 4,148
Re: High ISOS : M4/3 < APS-C < FF ?
2

Pixnat2 wrote:

Three years ago, the difference between those 3 standards was clear at High ISOS.

Today, with the latest technology, all current sensors are all outstanding. May you use M4/3, APS-C or FF, they are all competent at High ISOS.

One can wonder if the difference is always here.

Thanks to DPreview and their cool widget, we can compare the best sensors of those 3 formats at the highest native ISO in RAW. Here it is :

We can see that there's always a difference.

But the difference between m4/3 and APS-C is very very tiny. The EM-5 and GH3 sensors are so good that it could make a difference only for photographers who have very specific requirements. For the vast majority of photographers, High ISO performance can be considered equal between APS-C and m4/3, assuming they use the EM-5 or GH3, of course. FF is always, and logically, better than both.

What do you think?

I encourage you to play with the widget to make your own mind.

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Is this comparison even valid, is light even same for each of these photos. I get that iso is same but have they recieved same light.

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::> I make spelling mistakes. May Dog forgive me for this.

digifan Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: High ISOS : JPEG E-M5 > APS-C and some 35mmFF !!!

If JPEG is important to you, like it is to me (considerable time savings) on the majority of the work then today the E-M5 might be the best choice of all.

I make extended use of JPEG. Though shooting RAW+JPEG, I mostly use the JPEG. Only when I plan for certain work I use the RAW.

Since in print it is very difficult to discern differences between normal enlargement prints (A4/A3 and maybe even A2)  the E-M5 is allready the best tool for my job.

In the comparometer from DPriew it's clear that until ISO6400 the E-M5 has the edge.

At base ISO the D7100 is cleaner but for landscape when bracketing this small advantage is also limited.

So if you allready have Nikon gear the D7100 is the way to go, but if you want a small total package, there's no getting around the E-M5.

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Digifan

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LMNCT Veteran Member • Posts: 4,890
Re: High ISOS : JPEG E-M5 > APS-C and some 35mmFF !!!

The only downside to Olympus is the menu system.  It is deep and laborious unnecessarily.  I own both Panasonic and Olympus camera bodies (and lenses) and if the menu system from the Panasonics could be installed in the Olympus, life would be great.

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FoolyCooly Veteran Member • Posts: 3,484
Olympus JPEGs are Amazing
1

I've started shooting RAW + JPEG FINE again because of the Olympus jpeg engine. Something I would never do on my Nikons. Look at the output at ISO 1600. With some careful interpolation the OM-D could do a pretty good job matching the output from the 5D III. IDK about the D800, looking at it I think I see more detail but the contrast and sharpness is pretty poor. The D7100 is the clear loser in this comparison.

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The best camera is the one you have with you.

franzeez Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: High ISOS : JPEG E-M5 > APS-C and some 35mmFF !!!
1

How about colors indoors much warmer (yellowish), has it got custom settings for cooler colors?

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