m43 instead of FF

Started Nov 16, 2013 | Discussions
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Michael Jardine
Michael Jardine Senior Member • Posts: 1,629
Re: m43 instead of FF
4

Beat Traveller wrote:

Firstly, one reason you might use APS-C over 35mm is because you can't afford 35mm.

True.

Secondly, your comparison only works because you're comparing APS-C DSLRs to mirrorless M43 cameras. Try comparing your E-M1 to an X-E1, an NEX-6 or an EOS-M. Better yet, try comparing it to the A7.

I looked closely at NEX-6 before finally deciding on M43 format.  Generally, Sony's lenses are much larger than M43, and one year ago, the selection was quite limited.  That is changing...

I also looked at Fuji but the camera bulk, slow focusing, and retro thing kind of turned me off.  All completely subjective, of course  

It's also worth noting that a lot of the smallest mirrorless bodies have very few physical controls, so everything becomes some form of trade-off.

True.  I dipped my toe in the water with the E-PL5 but the lack of controls drove me crazy.  The E-M1 changes all that.  I call it my 'Mini D800'.

Here are some snap shots taken during my first few days with the camera...

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georgehudetz Senior Member • Posts: 2,864
Re: m43 instead of FF

If Fuji wanted to extend the X-brand beyond ASP-C, my preference would be for a sensor size even smaller than u4/3.  Something more along the lines of Nikon 1 - a small sensor in a light body with "good-enough" IQ that leveraged the X series lenses to get something like a 3x crop factor.  u4/3rds is just too similar to make a meaningful difference in zoom IMO.

I do love the idea of a super-light body that I could carry in my kit that doubles (or more) the effective zoom range of my lenses.  I'd only pull it out when I need that zoom factor, as I assume it would be much lighter than carrying a 200-400 (for example) to compliment the 55-200.

As long as they give that body the cool Fuji UX it would be a great addition to the line.  But I'd like to see a few more lenses first.  

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Beat Traveller Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: m43 instead of FF
1

Michael Jardine wrote:

Beat Traveller wrote:

Firstly, one reason you might use APS-C over 35mm is because you can't afford 35mm.

True.

Secondly, your comparison only works because you're comparing APS-C DSLRs to mirrorless M43 cameras. Try comparing your E-M1 to an X-E1, an NEX-6 or an EOS-M. Better yet, try comparing it to the A7.

I looked closely at NEX-6 before finally deciding on M43 format. Generally, Sony's lenses are much larger than M43, and one year ago, the selection was quite limited. That is changing...

I also looked at Fuji but the camera bulk, slow focusing, and retro thing kind of turned me off. All completely subjective, of course

It's also worth noting that a lot of the smallest mirrorless bodies have very few physical controls, so everything becomes some form of trade-off.

True. I dipped my toe in the water with the E-PL5 but the lack of controls drove me crazy. The E-M1 changes all that. I call it my 'Mini D800'.

Here are some snap shots taken during my first few days with the camera...

Sexy photos. I don't know that there's much more bulk to an EM-1 than to the X-E1, but the IQ of both cameras is fantastic.

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(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 614
Re: m43 instead of FF

Stephen787 wrote:

you cannot be expecting me to comment on m4/3 on two photo at 100% without any metadata.

Why not? You said you look at images online, and do not like the lack of detail in m43 photos.

Stephen787 wrote:

I download photo from the web from review site, like this one, and look at the m4/3 files, i am not happy, too much noise, not enough detail.

So now you have been provided with a couple of m43 photos, cropped at 100% (to make it even easier for you) and provided in both high and low iso. One is a studio shot at iso 200, the other under incandescent lighting at 6400.

All I am asking is what specific details are lacking that putting you off using m43?

Perhaps I'll try rephrasing the question, which would be of benefit to me: what would I be seeing if I had an APSC?

It really is a very basic question.

(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 614
Re: sensor size

Beat Traveller wrote:

alexisgreat wrote:

That's ridiculous, the sensor size gap between 4/3 and APS-C is very minor, especially if you only shoot for 8x10 prints AND even small sensor cameras that have 1/2" are fine in this regard up to about ISO 400 or so. So what you're seeing with 4/3 sensors must be something other than a sensor size issue. I believe Panasonic has made great strides and now they match the best of the APS-C type cameras.

For me, I will NEVER buy a camera that does not have a sensor that has a 4:3 ratio and I strongly suspect the last of the legacy film owners are dead 3:2 format cameras will die a slow death. Also, Olympus has some amazing features like pixel mapping and direct live histograms that make using full manual mode very easily- I will NOT buy a camera that does not have these features. Whether a larger sensor is made that has the same 4:3 ratio (I think Canon has one in one of their cameras), that's open to debate, it might actually be a good thing for a larger 4:3 sensor to come out. That aspect ratio is MUCH more suited to the digital age than these archaic 3:2 sensors.

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3:2 might seem 'archaic' to you, but it's a lot closer to the 'golden rectangle' ratio of 1.618 than 4:3 is. 16:9 is even closer. Given that the golden rectangle is an aesthetic preference for rectangular proportions that goes back to Fibonacci in 1202, or even the Greeks, it's hardly something people should discard.

At any rate, choice is better. You get to enjoy shooting with an aspect ratio you're comfortable with, as do I.

+1

3:2 is visually much more appealing in landscape orientation. Though on the flip side I think most agree 4:3 is far better for portrait, but the percentage of shots I take in portrait is very low to be honest.

Graham Hill Senior Member • Posts: 1,355
Re: m43 instead of FF
1

G Rothwell wrote:

Fuji are a business and businesses are supposed to make profit and grow.

So far they have done an excellent job of growing in a crowded area of the market. They will analyse everything they can to find a balance that allows them to continue developing new products, increase sales, and increase profits.

Increase profits??  What profits?  You do realize that Fujifilm has NEVER reported a profitable year for it's Imaging Solutions division in over a decade?  It's just a sink hole of lost money.  Fujifilm is ONLY profitable because they have developed *alternative* businesses.  If they were still a photographic company, they would be just like Kodak.  Bankrupt.

The allure of Full Frame (to business) is that it is a more expensive product, which normally means more profit.

Sometimes yes.  Kodak made full frame 35mm digital cameras and they were quite good too.

There is little benefit to Fuji in creating a m43 system, they already have a competing product which many think is superior.

Maybe they would look into lens adapters so their excellent lenses could be used on m43, making the transition to a Fuji system easier.

Camera companies are not trying to make great cameras, they are trying to make great profits, the cameras themselves are just a necessary evil.

Very true.  Sadly, Fujifilm has yet to produce any profits from their digital cameras.  A shame really as they are good cameras.  They just dont sell in the mass amount needed to produce profits.

mr moonlight Senior Member • Posts: 1,789
Re: m43 instead of FF

G Rothwell wrote:

I agree with everything you wrote, but the argument is about weather or not Fuji should enter the M43 market

"If I were Fuji...

I would go to m43 instead of going FF !

Here is the list of reasons:..."

The argument is about weather Fuji should go M43 instead of FF, not weather or not they should enter the M43 market. I don't think there's any question as to weather or not Fuji as well as consumers would benefit from them adding an M43 sensor camera to their line up.

dual12 Regular Member • Posts: 386
Re: m43 instead of FF

I'd say the worst APS C sensors can outperform 4/3.  4/3 sucks.

TORN Senior Member • Posts: 1,331
Re: m43 instead of FF

Fuji should stay exactly where they are right now and improve on the already good genes tbey have. The lenses are great and the sensor is in most cases more than you will ever need plus it will only get better in future versions.

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Ontario Gone
Ontario Gone Senior Member • Posts: 4,183
Re: m43 instead of FF

Christof21 wrote:

57LowRider wrote:

I read that the Sony A7 / A7r beats the Fujis in low light

This is exactly the reason why I say that larger sensors are overrated . Do you mean that you compare images at similar ISO ? This comparison is not fair !! Hopefully, the bigger sensor will perform better, if it was not the case (or if it was only 10% better), I would choose the smaller sensor for low light conditions because it would mean the sensor is more efficient.

Yea, the idea of a larger sensor is a tricky thing. This is bc sensor size is not the only factor in light gathering, lenses are the other half of the equation. This is where it gets hairy. The problem is, some people want to claim bigger sensors are always going to be better (in regards to noise, in this conversation). On a static scale, this is true, but price is ALWAYS a factor for 99% of us. Since larger apertures cost more, and since larger sensors require larger apertures to get that extra light, cost will always be tied in.

Honestly, we should always look at things in a "Best per $X-$X" scenario. There will always be better. FF fanboys get owned by MF in terms of resolution and DR. It's all a matter of what is the best for how much you can spend. Forget size and weight, most of us could deal with a tradeoff there if we knew the IQ was better than any other camera. I mean who wouldn't use a large APSC that had better IQ in every way than a Phase One? Cost on the other hand, that is more static. If we cannot afford it, we cannot afford it.

If i am never willing to buy a $3000 F/2.8 FF lens to use with a 5DII, and instead would have to settle for an F/4, wouldn't i be better off instead with an APSC attached to an F/2.8 crop lens? Same amount of light, less cost, less size and weight. The key is budget. If you are willing to spend for the larger glass to get the apertures needed to feed larger sensors, yes, it's an advantage. If you are not willing to buy the equivalent glass, larger sensors are just bragging rights.

I think APSC is where the lenses start to become better value per aperture. This is why i personally believe this format will survive. It is why some brands (pentax, fuji) are in no hurry to flood the market with FF.

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yangz Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: m43 instead of FF

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Bigger is better in photography. It was true in the past and it is true today. If Olympus would have the chance to start again they clearly would do so with a bigger sensor. They are stuck now because they would upset their users invested in their lenses.

I guess it is your opinion, not Olympus.

You can't speak for others except that you are strategy decision makes or somebody from Olympus.

It seems that many people from m43 forums and some professionals are very happy in using m43 systems.

ravduc
ravduc Senior Member • Posts: 2,010
Re: m43 instead of FF

Well, you have obviously never used a four thirds sensored camera. I have both APS-C (X100) and four third cameras (E-3) and the difference is on an 11x14 print is impossible to see.

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inasir1971
inasir1971 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,467
Re: m43 instead of FF - nuts!

Ontario Gone wrote:

Christof21 wrote:

57LowRider wrote:

I read that the Sony A7 / A7r beats the Fujis in low light

This is exactly the reason why I say that larger sensors are overrated . Do you mean that you compare images at similar ISO ? This comparison is not fair !! Hopefully, the bigger sensor will perform better, if it was not the case (or if it was only 10% better), I would choose the smaller sensor for low light conditions because it would mean the sensor is more efficient.

Yea, the idea of a larger sensor is a tricky thing. This is bc sensor size is not the only factor in light gathering, lenses are the other half of the equation. This is where it gets hairy. The problem is, some people want to claim bigger sensors are always going to be better (in regards to noise, in this conversation). On a static scale, this is true, but price is ALWAYS a factor for 99% of us. Since larger apertures cost more, and since larger sensors require larger apertures to get that extra light, cost will always be tied in.

????? This is just completely wrong. The physical aperture size is given by focal length / f-number! For a given focal length and max aperture given by f-number the aperture size is identical irrespective of sensor size.

Yes, it is more expensive to produce an f/1.4 lens than an f/2 lens and it is much more expensive to produce an f/1 lens than an f/1.4 lens but this works against M43. Faster lenses require more complex designs with a greater number of elements.

To get the equivalent, in terms of depth of field, for a 50mm f/2 on full frame, APS-C requires a 35mm f/1.4 lens, and M43 needs a 25mm f/1 lens. For example,

* FF Nikon 50 1.8G - $217, 7 elements

* APS-C Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 - $599, 8 elements

* M43 Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 - $999, 11 elements

All of these give a 50mm angle of view with roughly an f/2 on full frame depth of field. Or this example for 35mm f/2:

* FF Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS - $549, 7 elements

* APS-C Fuji XF 23mm f/1.4 - $899, 11 elements

* M43 Voigtlander 17.5mm f/0.95 - $1149, 13 elements

In both of these cases, at maximum aperture, the Fuji lens does better than the M43 alternative.

In addition, using a smaller sensor magnifies the final image more than a larger sensor. This means that the smaller sensor has to use a better corrected and higher resolution lens just to achieve the same image quality as that from a larger sensor as the image (and any issues like CA) will be magnified more by the smaller sensor. Faster, better corrected lenses => more expensive (and larger)

Given that APS-C and M43 sensors are both very low cost now (not enough to be a factor in choosing which to use anyway) it is just plain nuts to use the smaller sensor - the lenses will end up costing more. Heck, APS-C is probably cheaper (and technically more advanced) due to competition by manufacturers of APS-C sensors.

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amalric
amalric Forum Pro • Posts: 10,839
Re: m43 instead of FF

Ontario Gone wrote:

Christof21 wrote:

57LowRider wrote:

I read that the Sony A7 / A7r beats the Fujis in low light

This is exactly the reason why I say that larger sensors are overrated . Do you mean that you compare images at similar ISO ? This comparison is not fair !! Hopefully, the bigger sensor will perform better, if it was not the case (or if it was only 10% better), I would choose the smaller sensor for low light conditions because it would mean the sensor is more efficient.

Yea, the idea of a larger sensor is a tricky thing. This is bc sensor size is not the only factor in light gathering, lenses are the other half of the equation. This is where it gets hairy. The problem is, some people want to claim bigger sensors are always going to be better (in regards to noise, in this conversation). On a static scale, this is true, but price is ALWAYS a factor for 99% of us. Since larger apertures cost more, and since larger sensors require larger apertures to get that extra light, cost will always be tied in.

Honestly, we should always look at things in a "Best per $X-$X" scenario. There will always be better. FF fanboys get owned by MF in terms of resolution and DR. It's all a matter of what is the best for how much you can spend. Forget size and weight, most of us could deal with a tradeoff there if we knew the IQ was better than any other camera. I mean who wouldn't use a large APSC that had better IQ in every way than a Phase One? Cost on the other hand, that is more static. If we cannot afford it, we cannot afford it.

If i am never willing to buy a $3000 F/2.8 FF lens to use with a 5DII, and instead would have to settle for an F/4, wouldn't i be better off instead with an APSC attached to an F/2.8 crop lens? Same amount of light, less cost, less size and weight. The key is budget. If you are willing to spend for the larger glass to get the apertures needed to feed larger sensors, yes, it's an advantage. If you are not willing to buy the equivalent glass, larger sensors are just bragging rights.

I think APSC is where the lenses start to become better value per aperture. This is why i personally believe this format will survive. It is why some brands (pentax, fuji) are in no hurry to flood the market with FF.

How very true. Makers must be aware that the drift towards FF35 has a delusional element.

As for the differences between APS and m4/3 they are small enough to make sensor technology the true differentiator. This and lenses availability.

How much technology is offered for what price, considering that great IQ was reached by the smaller sensors already 2 yrs. ago. Lenses and their price therefore make a big difference.

Am.

MoreorLess Veteran Member • Posts: 4,143
For fixed lens cameras perhaps...

I don't really see the point in releasing as m43 system myself although perhaps Fuji could offer some of there lenses in the m43 mount.

In terms of cameras I think something around m43 size would make more sense on a fixed lens one than a system. ASPC sensor sizes make it pretty tough to include anything but a prime lens whilst keeping things relatively compact, I'm guessing with a m43 sensor size a short zoom(say 24-70mm equivalent) would be possible without getting too much beyond the size of something like the X10/20.

Really though I think this is the main direction Fuji should take on all format sizes, the X100s is still selling far better than any of the other X system cameras, maybe better than the entire system combined. Don't try and introduce a new lens mount until the current X system is much more complete.

Ontario Gone
Ontario Gone Senior Member • Posts: 4,183
Re: m43 instead of FF - nuts!

inasir1971 wrote:

Ontario Gone wrote:

Yea, the idea of a larger sensor is a tricky thing. This is bc sensor size is not the only factor in light gathering, lenses are the other half of the equation. This is where it gets hairy. The problem is, some people want to claim bigger sensors are always going to be better (in regards to noise, in this conversation). On a static scale, this is true, but price is ALWAYS a factor for 99% of us. Since larger apertures cost more, and since larger sensors require larger apertures to get that extra light, cost will always be tied in.

????? This is just completely wrong. The physical aperture size is given by focal length / f-number! For a given focal length and max aperture given by f-number the aperture size is identical irrespective of sensor size.

I'm not sure i possess the vocabulary to show exactly what i mean here, but i will try to do so through some general explanation. We know that F stop is the aperture divided into the FL. A 50mm @ F/2 means there is a 25mm bottleneck aperture (50mm / 25= 2). But it's not as simple as this, because we also know, if this 50mm lens was a FF lens, slapping it on an APSC camera is going to waste some light, which is the reason for the crop factor (the sensor only records the center portion, giving the appearance of zoom, exactly what a TC does). The opposite is true if you put a crop lens on a FF camera, you get vignetting, not a wide enough light path to cover the larger sensor.

This means that a FF 50mm F/2 lens lets more total light through than a crop 50mm F/2 lens. But how is this possible if we look at F stop and say that's the entire situation? F stop is there only to tell us the intensity of the light path, but it says nothing about the diameter of the light path. That is why a lens must be fitted by format. This is also why we can put a speed booster on a FF lens+APSC camera, and get a faster lens. The speed booster condenses the light path, adding in what was previously wasted. This ends up giving a smaller F stop, or larger effective aperture, and shorter FL. In this situation, did the physical aperture change? No, it's still the same lens, we didn't use a ray gun to stretch it, but the F stop and FL changed bc we changed the angle of the light path.

Iv'e never seen a technical explanation, and it's hard to put to words in a chat room, but the above is true. Larger sensors require a larger light path, which does not necessarily mean a more intense light. It literally takes more light to expose a larger sensor, which is why they are "less efficient". Only when you increase the physical aperture and offer the same F stop does a larger sensor actually end up with an advantage, and larger physical apertures cost more. In theory (i have no idea who has tried it), one could take a FF camera, throw a crop sensor lens on it + a tc, and have no vignetting. It is thinning the light out to a wider path, lowering the effective aperture, lowering the intensity of the light path, and giving a slower SS.

I close with the following, screen captured from BobAtkins.com . This shows how the wide angle light, in red, is only captured by a larger FF sensor as it is able to catch a wider angle light path. This light is being "wasted" on a crop sensor, yet for either sensor size, the F stop is considered the same if we are to go by the F stop equation. If this were a FF 50mm @ F/2, it would be F/2 on either sensor size. An apsc 50mm F/2 would give the exact same SS on that crop sensor, but would not allow exactly the same amount of total light in the front element. Larger sensors can catch more light, but require physically bigger apertures to do so.

EDIT: lets be clear, i am aware the FF sensor is actually capturing more light, smaller sensors simply use more gain innately, which is why the have more noise. This however doesn't change the fact that larger glass is a must with larger sensors, and that means it costs more as well.

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Ontario Gone
Ontario Gone Senior Member • Posts: 4,183
Re: m43 instead of FF

amalric wrote:

Makers must be aware that the drift towards FF35 has a delusional element.

yes sir. I firmly believe in the idea of there is no best, only what you are willing to pay for. It is however amazing how many people i have seen shooting FF with a 3.5-5.6 kit lens and thinking it's amazing. The same could be done with an APSC and a lens a stop or so faster, which usually costs less total than the FF kit they are using. It is also lighter, and fits in smaller bags.

As for the differences between APS and m4/3 they are small enough to make sensor technology the true differentiator. This and lenses availability.

There is a difference, but not huge. This may change as well, as Panasonic and Fuji are rumored to be working on some crazy new sensor tech which is supposed to gain ground. The main issue i have is a lot of MFT lenses cost as much or more than apsc lenses, which is why i say apsc is the lens sweet spot for value.

Lenses and their price therefore make a big difference.

yes sir. This is a capture from DPR, not completely scientific but good for our purposes. Nikon D4 @iso 3200, and my old camera Pentax K-5 IIs @1600. They are almost exactly one stop apart in noise performance. This means I can "catch" the D4 by simply buying a lens that is one stop faster and using one stop lower iso than i would on a D4.

My K-5 IIs cost me $1300 new. The fastest lens i can buy for pentax is a F1.4, lets go with the Pentax FA 50mm F/1.4, $450 at B&H. So take any FF with the noise performance of the D4, and you must buy a lens at least F/2 in order to match or beat the pentax setup. A 50mm F/1.4 on crop is a decent portrait rig, and is only bested by a FF with larger than F/2 lens? You are right when you call it a delusional element. Of course there is more to FF than cost, dynamic range, AF speed and other features matter too. But most people are talking only about IQ when they discuss format wars, and it's not a huge difference. Honestly if i was going to buy FF, it would be bc those cameras (D4, 1Dx, A99) tend to have superior AF and speed, not bc of IQ.

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