"The full frame myth"

Started Dec 19, 2013 | Discussions
awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,237
Re: You cannot change the laws of physics...

James O'Neill wrote:

The mirror box on Pentax, Sony , Nikon and Canon cameras is designed for a 36x24mm film frame a sensor filling the back of that mirror box wouldn't make the camera bigger or heavier (although if you want to go from a 200MM f/2.8 to the equivalent 300 f/2.8, the lens will be bigger). The bigger sensor *will* cost more. And the APS-C and smaller sensors can produce very, very good images. The interesting question is where is the sweet spot. The 645D is too big. The sensor in Q is too small. APS-C in film-derived bodies was a quick fix. If APS-C is the sweet spot for sensor size, a smaller body makes sense, if the K3 is the sweet spot for body size an FF sensor makes sense.

But did Pentax leverage the aditional real estate a FF mirror box gives to implent SR ?

If so K3 size may be the sweet spot body size for FF or SR aps-C

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david tittermary Contributing Member • Posts: 551
Re: "The aps-c myth"

david tittermary wrote:

david tittermary wrote:

Perhaps but for wildlife shooting I disagree as I have posted before a ff with 500mm lens is going to massive like 15-20lbs massive, just saying

How is that? Currently thé 500mm lens being used by the Pentax shooters with the k3/5 crop bodies, is the Sigma 500/4.5, a designated Full frame lens. How are things going to change when it is used on a 36mp K3 style FF body with crop mode?

Even the Da300 covers the FF sensor properly.

The only reason why I'm holding off on a Sony A7, is that a Pentax K3 style 36mp FF body would suit áll my needs. It would effectively be the only body I would need to shoot all my lenses in all situations.

The only thing Pentax has to beware of, is not to make the FF Dslr body too large or heavy without any real cause, like the Nikon d800 which really does not have to be that large. If Ricoh/Pentax were to venture into mirror less with a compatible adapter in the end, fine, but it would be the wrong start into FF.

I don't however think the Pentax FF will be built around the Sony 36mp, but around the 24mp. On the one hand I would regret that, because it would still leave the need for Apsc for birding, but on the other hand 24mp FF would be tremendous while still affordable and manageable.

Because that 500mm becomes 800mm any idea how big a d800 with a 800mm is? I use the 300 which for me is long enough at approximately 500mm on the k3 and I can carry it with one hand.

David, there's the 1.4tc for that purpose and reason. I have the sigma 1.4tc, but don't think it is of the same quality as the 500mm. Surely one of the first items to release when (and if) Ricoh launches FF, is the 1.4tc.

I know but its never ending lol the 1.4 crop works on the dx sensor too:-)
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Chris Mak Senior Member • Posts: 2,122
Re: "The aps-c myth"

awaldram wrote:

Chris Mak wrote:

david tittermary wrote:

And 36 ff in crop mode is not the same as 36 dx native

Perhaps not, but it ís exactly the same as 16mp apsc, exactly the crop that the Apsc camera body makes (without the option for the full frame though).

You've lost me

How is 16Mp (ff crop mode) the same as 24Mp aps-c (K3) .?

Surely you need the non existent 50Mp FF camera ?

I was not reasoning in general, I don't have the K3, but the K5IIs. A 36mp FF camera would make the K5IIs redundant.

Please don't get the impression though that I mean to say that Apsc should be replaced by FF. Not at all, Apsc crop sensor is a great system, and when the price drops, I may well get a K3 to match my sigma 500/4.5. Apsc has been raised to an impressive level and lenses like the sigma 18-35/1.8 and the Pentax DA 20-40 WR are probably ideal walk around lenses.

The whole nonsense starts when Apsc or (m)4/3 is supposed to make FF redundant, or are just as good, or have reached a noise level where FF is no better etc.etc. Apsc is itself has grown to what it is for a very good reason, and it has been the only system I have shot digitally as yet, apart from 4/3. But I have invested in FF compatible high quality lenses for a reason. The move from 4/3 (with superb SHG lenses) to Pentax Apsc taught me a thing or two.

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Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,062
Re: "The aps-c myth"
2

If you're carrying around an aps-c DSLR with lenses, you're not really seeing much of a size advantage, and if you buy aps-c-only lenses to try to eke out a little bit of a size bonus - you lock yourself out of an upgrade path you might want later. Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

I have a small bag next to me right now with a K-30 and a couple of DA Limited primes in the bag. It's a small and easy to carry kit, and I like the size of the camera - I don't need it to be smaller and more fiddly. This camera and lens combo is very capable, and doesn't need an "upgrade path" to make excellent images for the next several years. So yeah, I think it's a perfectly good deal.

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Chris Mak Senior Member • Posts: 2,122
Re: You cannot change the laws of physics...

awaldram wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

The mirror box on Pentax, Sony , Nikon and Canon cameras is designed for a 36x24mm film frame a sensor filling the back of that mirror box wouldn't make the camera bigger or heavier (although if you want to go from a 200MM f/2.8 to the equivalent 300 f/2.8, the lens will be bigger). The bigger sensor *will* cost more. And the APS-C and smaller sensors can produce very, very good images. The interesting question is where is the sweet spot. The 645D is too big. The sensor in Q is too small. APS-C in film-derived bodies was a quick fix. If APS-C is the sweet spot for sensor size, a smaller body makes sense, if the K3 is the sweet spot for body size an FF sensor makes sense.

But did Pentax leverage the aditional real estate a FF mirror box gives to implent SR ?

If so K3 size may be the sweet spot body size for FF or SR aps-C

It would be awesome if they pulled that off!! (FF SR in the K3 body) There have been quite a bit of rumors though floating round (still rumors though), that the modifications in the K3 mirror box and processing power and other things have been done with the implementation of a FF sensor in the same body.

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Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,337
Re: "The full frame myth"
2

Hi Eric,

I think you're understating the reasons why people want FF.  It's not as simple as you paint it, and since it involves humanity, it's filled with perception as much as hard thinking about f-stop advantages and print outcomes.  As I see it, different people want FF for quite different reasons.......

  • Some want the simple perception of having 'the best', as you've observed.
  • Some want the satisfaction of using FF lenses they already own and at their native FOV
  • Some want higher res for same noise/same res for lower noise (take your pick)
  • Some want the edge in DR/better low light performance
  • Many say they want the shallower DOF for improved subject isolation
  • Some want the higher res to print big
  • Some want the wide angle advantage
  • Some want to use TS lenses which simply aren't offered in smaller formats (and their effectiveness is reduced on smaller formats).

Many of these reasons are closely related - (ie DOF, DR, res, noise, low light performance) even if they're expressed as singular advantages because that's what an individual is interested in.  Many photographers will have no interest at all in another's suite of reasons.  They may even have to accept some disadvantages to get the benefits that suit them personally.  The legacy lens reason is transitory.  It comes from those who own legacy lenses and their familiarity with their characteristics.  It may not exist as a consideration for the next generation.

I agree with those who've said that the LL article is also as much about DSLR v mirror-less as it is about FF v smaller formats.  This and similar articles have all been spawned by the emergence of compact and affordable FF (in the form of the Sony A7s).  It means thinking a lot about what you want.  I'm probably going to get one too - the concept of a small, light, sealed, high res, FF camera that will take the best lenses from any brand is incredibly appealing as a hiking landscaper and traveler.

Something that a lot of people overlook, but an advantage to having a larger sensor is that you can choose your resolution.  You can shoot in cropped modes when you want to, with all the advantages of the smaller format.  You switch up to FF when you want the benefits of the larger sensor.  You can't do that with a smaller sensor camera.

We each find our own 'sweet-spot' when it comes to camera choice.

Rod

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robert james Regular Member • Posts: 272
Re: "The aps-c myth"

This article misses the point, IMO.  Pentax Full Frame is absolutely critical to the future success of Pentax.  Beyond the fact future FF sensors will out perform APS-C sensors, the real benefit to ordinary users is the ability use FF lenses at their proper focal lengths.  Optical physics do not change.  Lenses at often used wide angles like 20/24/28 are absolutely better, IMO, than their APS-C equivalents at 13/16/19.  IT"S THAT SIMPLE.  Less distortion and other optical problems.

In addition, as has been well pointed out here, the K-mount was designed for full frame.  So it really makes no sense to keep cropped frame sensors in all Pentax DSLRs, when FF sensor fit just fine.  The only reason cropped sensors were used in the first place was COST.  This cost issue is rapidly disappearing and it is inevitable that full frame DSLRs will be in a K-mount, very soon ie 1-2 years for sure.

I would hope and expect Pentax would keep both APS-C and FF DSLRs in their lineup...The DA lenses are great also, and the K-5/K-3 are great.  Adding a FF DSLR is a no-brainer and Pentax should produce one next year, IMO.  They will sell like crazy.

James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 4,643
Re: You cannot change the laws of physics...

awaldram wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

The mirror box on Pentax, Sony , Nikon and Canon cameras is designed for a 36x24mm film frame a sensor filling the back of that mirror box wouldn't make the camera bigger or heavier (although if you want to go from a 200MM f/2.8 to the equivalent 300 f/2.8, the lens will be bigger). The bigger sensor *will* cost more. And the APS-C and smaller sensors can produce very, very good images. The interesting question is where is the sweet spot. The 645D is too big. The sensor in Q is too small. APS-C in film-derived bodies was a quick fix. If APS-C is the sweet spot for sensor size, a smaller body makes sense, if the K3 is the sweet spot for body size an FF sensor makes sense.

But did Pentax leverage the aditional real estate a FF mirror box gives to implent SR ?

If so K3 size may be the sweet spot body size for FF or SR aps-C

The sensor moves much less than 1mm in each direction (on the K3 that's 225 pixels, and it doesn't cancel out 225 pixels worth of blur) - so it doesn't need the whole of the spare space. There is some space around the sensor which is used for the mechanics of the SR system, but the pictures of the mechanism don't make think it wouldn't fit in the same body - other things may need to be moved to make room.  Sony have the same system in their FF so I don't think it's a choice of FF or SR .

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Petroglyph
Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,055
Re: "The full frame myth"
2

Too bad for the camera company that try to get us to buy a new camera every year.  The real equation for which camera is best for each type of shooting is complicated and personal.  It involves many more factors than pixel pitch and total area of the sensor.  I have to go by my experiences in the field though and to a small extent more pixels has always made it easier to crop and larger sensor area tends to improve my low light results and give more to work with in the raw file.  Though all cameras are very good now.

Cheers.

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325East Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: You cannot change the laws of physics...but

You certainly can finesse photographic engineering.  That's why chip and camera makers hire many more engineers and marketers than physicists.  As of yet the engineers haven't come anywhere close to the limits of the physical laws touching photography.

Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,062
Re: "The aps-c myth"
3

robert james wrote:

This article misses the point, IMO. Pentax Full Frame is absolutely critical to the future success of Pentax. Beyond the fact future FF sensors will out perform APS-C sensors, the real benefit to ordinary users is the ability use FF lenses at their proper focal lengths. Optical physics do not change. Lenses at often used wide angles like 20/24/28 are absolutely better, IMO, than their APS-C equivalents at 13/16/19. IT"S THAT SIMPLE. Less distortion and other optical problems.

In addition, as has been well pointed out here, the K-mount was designed for full frame. So it really makes no sense to keep cropped frame sensors in all Pentax DSLRs, when FF sensor fit just fine. The only reason cropped sensors were used in the first place was COST. This cost issue is rapidly disappearing and it is inevitable that full frame DSLRs will be in a K-mount, very soon ie 1-2 years for sure.

I would hope and expect Pentax would keep both APS-C and FF DSLRs in their lineup...The DA lenses are great also, and the K-5/K-3 are great. Adding a FF DSLR is a no-brainer and Pentax should produce one next year, IMO. They will sell like crazy.

Did we read the same article? It's not about Pentax, rather it's making the case that smaller sensor mirrorless cameras are good enough to alleviate the need for FF for most people - which is pretty much the *opposite* of the point you're making here. You are right about the K-mount, but I don't think the author or most of the audience for that article gives a rat's @ss about the future of the K-mount.

But then, why pass up on a perfectly good chance to hijack a thread into YET ANOTHER full-frame debate? That bloody mass of pulp on the ground was surely a dead horse at one point, amirite?

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,228
Re: "The aps-c myth"

Gary Martin wrote:

If you're carrying around an aps-c DSLR with lenses, you're not really seeing much of a size advantage, and if you buy aps-c-only lenses to try to eke out a little bit of a size bonus - you lock yourself out of an upgrade path you might want later. Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

I have a small bag next to me right now with a K-30 and a couple of DA Limited primes in the bag. It's a small and easy to carry kit, and I like the size of the camera - I don't need it to be smaller and more fiddly. This camera and lens combo is very capable, and doesn't need an "upgrade path" to make excellent images for the next several years. So yeah, I think it's a perfectly good deal.

It's only a good deal if you know  you will never, ever want to upgrade to a FF K-mount camera, when/if one appears.

I know about the allure of the DA primes on an aps-c body, believe me - and I was one to say I'd never want to 'upgrade' from that.  I know the sentiment.

.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,228
No good words for aps-c dslr, if that's what you hoped for
1

Gary Martin wrote:

robert james wrote:

This article misses the point, IMO. Pentax Full Frame is absolutely critical to the future success of Pentax. Beyond the fact future FF sensors will out perform APS-C sensors, the real benefit to ordinary users is the ability use FF lenses at their proper focal lengths. Optical physics do not change. Lenses at often used wide angles like 20/24/28 are absolutely better, IMO, than their APS-C equivalents at 13/16/19. IT"S THAT SIMPLE. Less distortion and other optical problems.

In addition, as has been well pointed out here, the K-mount was designed for full frame. So it really makes no sense to keep cropped frame sensors in all Pentax DSLRs, when FF sensor fit just fine. The only reason cropped sensors were used in the first place was COST. This cost issue is rapidly disappearing and it is inevitable that full frame DSLRs will be in a K-mount, very soon ie 1-2 years for sure.

I would hope and expect Pentax would keep both APS-C and FF DSLRs in their lineup...The DA lenses are great also, and the K-5/K-3 are great. Adding a FF DSLR is a no-brainer and Pentax should produce one next year, IMO. They will sell like crazy.

Did we read the same article? It's not about Pentax, rather it's making the case that smaller sensor mirrorless cameras are good enough to alleviate the need for FF for most people

Actually one of the main takeaways from the article (if you want to allow it credence, it's a bit scattered and meandering) was that aps-c DSLR is looking like the odd man out.

And note that the author owns a D800E, so he's doing something a good number of photography writers do to generate hits - write something controversial that's often contrary to what they actually practice.  Do as I say, not as I do.  

.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,228
Re: "The full frame myth"
1

325East wrote:

Last summer I ran a small, unscientific experiment. I took identical (as possible) photos of a building with three cameras (Sony RX1 ff 24meg, Sony Nex7 APS-c 24meg and Pentax K-30 16meg APS-c) using good lenses. All three shot in raw, processed in LR to my preferences and printed 13"x19" on good paper. I put the prints up on a wall and for a month asked photographers and non-photographers alike what they thought of the differences. Surprisingly ...

Let me guess - low ISO, good light, static subject,  low aperture (f8?)

There are a good number of camera phones now that can trick folks into thinking they don't need any dedicated camera at all when you show them shots taken under ideal circumstances.

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Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 4,062
Re: No good words for aps-c dslr, if that's what you hoped for
1

moving_comfort wrote:

Gary Martin wrote:

robert james wrote:

This article misses the point, IMO. Pentax Full Frame is absolutely critical to the future success of Pentax. Beyond the fact future FF sensors will out perform APS-C sensors, the real benefit to ordinary users is the ability use FF lenses at their proper focal lengths. Optical physics do not change. Lenses at often used wide angles like 20/24/28 are absolutely better, IMO, than their APS-C equivalents at 13/16/19. IT"S THAT SIMPLE. Less distortion and other optical problems.

In addition, as has been well pointed out here, the K-mount was designed for full frame. So it really makes no sense to keep cropped frame sensors in all Pentax DSLRs, when FF sensor fit just fine. The only reason cropped sensors were used in the first place was COST. This cost issue is rapidly disappearing and it is inevitable that full frame DSLRs will be in a K-mount, very soon ie 1-2 years for sure.

I would hope and expect Pentax would keep both APS-C and FF DSLRs in their lineup...The DA lenses are great also, and the K-5/K-3 are great. Adding a FF DSLR is a no-brainer and Pentax should produce one next year, IMO. They will sell like crazy.

Did we read the same article? It's not about Pentax, rather it's making the case that smaller sensor mirrorless cameras are good enough to alleviate the need for FF for most people

Actually one of the main takeaways from the article (if you want to allow it credence, it's a bit scattered and meandering) was that aps-c DSLR is looking like the odd man out.

And note that the author owns a D800E, so he's doing something a good number of photography writers do to generate hits - write something controversial that's often contrary to what they actually practice. Do as I say, not as I do.

Of course, he's just another schizophrenic photographer with a Full-Frame camera that's too big who's moved to a Micro 4/3 camera (too small). Well I'm the Goldilocks photographer who finds the size of APS-C to be JUST RIGHT

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,237
Re: You cannot change the laws of physics...

Chris Mak wrote:

awaldram wrote:

James O'Neill wrote:

The mirror box on Pentax, Sony , Nikon and Canon cameras is designed for a 36x24mm film frame a sensor filling the back of that mirror box wouldn't make the camera bigger or heavier (although if you want to go from a 200MM f/2.8 to the equivalent 300 f/2.8, the lens will be bigger). The bigger sensor *will* cost more. And the APS-C and smaller sensors can produce very, very good images. The interesting question is where is the sweet spot. The 645D is too big. The sensor in Q is too small. APS-C in film-derived bodies was a quick fix. If APS-C is the sweet spot for sensor size, a smaller body makes sense, if the K3 is the sweet spot for body size an FF sensor makes sense.

But did Pentax leverage the aditional real estate a FF mirror box gives to implent SR ?

If so K3 size may be the sweet spot body size for FF or SR aps-C

It would be awesome if they pulled that off!! (FF SR in the K3 body) There have been quite a bit of rumors though floating round (still rumors though), that the modifications in the K3 mirror box and processing power and other things have been done with the implementation of a FF sensor in the same body.

Agreed a 24Mp FF k3 would make me very very tempted, If it offered 2 stops over the aps-c k3 I'd probably be sold even at a £2000 asking price.

To me it would also be win win for Pentax R&D costs covered by the bulk selling aps-C so in effect there getting £1000 for the FF sensor , Gotta be able to turn a profit at that surely?

All my reasons why Pentax should not go FF removed in one fell swoop, only fly is it technically possible ?

If there going to it has to be within 12 months else the k3 tech is aging.

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KL Matt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,885
Re: "The full frame myth"

Cool. Care to post one of the images here, just to get an idea of the scene? Or even a snapshot of them on the wall would be interesting.

325East wrote:

Last summer I ran a small, unscientific experiment. I took identical (as possible) photos of a building with three cameras (Sony RX1 ff 24meg, Sony Nex7 APS-c 24meg and Pentax K-30 16meg APS-c) using good lenses. All three shot in raw, processed in LR to my preferences and printed 13"x19" on good paper. I put the prints up on a wall and for a month asked photographers and non-photographers alike what they thought of the differences. Surprisingly most everyone thought they had all been shot with the same camera. And when I said they'd been shot with three different cameras with very different specs, there was no consensus about which cameras took which picture. Long time photographers were no more accurate than rank non-photographers in picking out what cameras took what picture. The results show that at normal size enlargements it is hard for people to tell the difference between the output of these three cameras if you use good glass.

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325East Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: "The full frame myth"
1

Posting a digital representation of the test image you must know would be meaningless since the purpose of the exercise was to see if normal prints made from the various formats would seem similar or dissimilar to viewers.  What the exercise proved, at least to my satisfaction, was that with modern well engineered cameras format whether full or cropped makes negligible real world difference.  Where differences start to show up is in 100% or greater magnification but on many levels this is barely real world photography.

rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,774
I read it, and could not understand the use of "myth" there.

What's the "myth" that needs to be debunked about FF systems? They offer better IQ than aps-c or m43, maybe not as much as some think, but it has always been like that, since early digital. The Canon 1Ds line produced better images than the Nikon APS-C, as did the 5D. Was the difference so huge, for example, to the D2X? Not really, many pros kept using their Nikon lenses.

Are the new ML bodies good enpough to compete with the better FF bodies from Canon and Nikon. Not yet IMO (AF for action is one big point, but none of these smaller cameras will be able to compete day in day out with a D4 or 1Dx, and sensor size is not relevant here).

Street photography? Yes, smaller is better in many situations, so the new A7, if it focuses well, is a good alternative to a D610/Df or the 6D, let's see. But it needs more lenses, most people are not into MF anymore.

So, IMO, the relevant issue is the alternative for light shooting, since no one competes with the likes of D4 or 1Dx, or even D800 and 5D3 as pro workhorses. I think Canon and Nikon will eventually produce their ML FFs, and they will be likely the best-selling models, given the lock they have on the ILC markets. They should not wait too long though.

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,237
Re: "The full frame myth"

Rod McD wrote:

Something that a lot of people overlook, but an advantage to having a larger sensor is that you can choose your resolution. You can shoot in cropped modes when you want to, with all the advantages of the smaller format. You switch up to FF when you want the benefits of the larger sensor. You can't do that with a smaller sensor camera.

Actually you can

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reducer-Booster-Adapter-MD-NEX-Minolta/dp/B00EAD8V9A

exactly the same as using a 1.4 adapter to get aps-c on FF loses a stop

a .7 adapter on aps-c get you a stop and return then lens to it original focal length.

We each find our own 'sweet-spot' when it comes to camera choice.

Rod

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