MFT Users: Do you miss the shallower depth-of-field of bigger sensor cameras?

Started Feb 8, 2014 | Discussions
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JBurnett Contributing Member • Posts: 816
Yes, occasionally. More often grateful for greater DOF.
1

Miss shallower DOF of larger sensor: very occasionally

Grateful for greater DOF of M4/3: more often (landscapes, macro)

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MrScorpio
MrScorpio Senior Member • Posts: 1,365
Yes and No

Sometimes yes, but sometimes it is good to have the good light gathering with a large Aperture without having to have the very shallow DoF.

It all depends on the situation and what you want to achieve...

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Ulric Senior Member • Posts: 3,595
Re: MFT Users: Do you miss the shallower depth-of-field of bigger sensor cameras?

Superzoom2 wrote:

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Whatever those reasons are: skip the cheap kit zoom if you care about background blur.

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Steve_
Steve_ Senior Member • Posts: 2,648
not really

I found the DOF vs FOV relationship for the APS-C geometry a better compromise overall than full-frame, where I was constantly struggling to create enough DOF. I don't much notice the difference between APS-C and 4/3s sensor sizes. I thought I might lack for DOF control when using my 12-35/2.8, but it hasn't been an issue.

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Just don't try a 12-35 or 12-40. Priorities might change.

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William Prip Regular Member • Posts: 347
Shallow DOF harder to achieve w/ M43

Superzoom2 wrote:

I'm thinking of buying my first ever MFT camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with 14-42 EZ lens.

I've had lots of compacts and DSLR's, mostly Canon. Once in a while, you have these beautiful blurry background pics when the lens and aperture combination are right. I am a former pro photog, and understand fully camera optics and depth-of-field physics.

I just want to know if you sometimes miss the easily attainable shallow depth-of-field that you usually get with an APS-C or bigger sensor camera.

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Thanks!

In a word, YES! I do miss using a large sensor body.

The first three are just fun pics of my son begging to eat a Kit Kat.  Shot with the Canon 5D with the Canon 135 2.0:

The next batch was shot at the NY Fashion Week with my Canon 1D Mark IV with either the 135 2.0 or the 24-70 2.8:

The final batch were short at the same venue with my Oly OMD-EM5 with the 75 1.8:

Dheorl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,225
Re: Shallow DOF harder to achieve w/ M43

William Prip wrote:

Superzoom2 wrote:

I'm thinking of buying my first ever MFT camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with 14-42 EZ lens.

I've had lots of compacts and DSLR's, mostly Canon. Once in a while, you have these beautiful blurry background pics when the lens and aperture combination are right. I am a former pro photog, and understand fully camera optics and depth-of-field physics.

I just want to know if you sometimes miss the easily attainable shallow depth-of-field that you usually get with an APS-C or bigger sensor camera.

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Thanks!

In a word, YES! I do miss using a large sensor body.

The first three are just fun pics of my son begging to eat a Kit Kat. Shot with the Canon 5D with the Canon 135 2.0:

The next batch was shot at the NY Fashion Week with my Canon 1D Mark IV with either the 135 2.0 or the 24-70 2.8:

The final batch were short at the same venue with my Oly OMD-EM5 with the 75 1.8:

I'm confused. You say you miss the shallow DoF of larger sensors but then show two at the end with fairly comparable background blur.

nrwhitman Regular Member • Posts: 389
FF Users: Do you miss the greater depth-of-field of MFT sensor cameras?
1

So, wonder if this question ever shows up on a FF forum.

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benarden Contributing Member • Posts: 573
Re: No

- Not a bit.

ryanshoots Regular Member • Posts: 401
I would guess
1

Those that did miss it are back in a larger sensor format.  The fact that there are no lenses in m4/3 with the moniker "cream machine" is telling.  On the other hand the 4/3 format excels at many other things.

How much shooting do you do now where a shallow dof is what you want?  What lenses were you using.  Then we can tell you what lens in m4/3 might work for you.  The kit lens offers no shallow DOF.

jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,775
Re: MFT Users: Do you miss the shallower depth-of-field of bigger sensor cameras?

If I need shallow DOF and creamy background that my 75/1.8 can't make, then I simply reach for my D800 . . . otherwise I enjoy the very good IQ and compact size/low weight of my m43 kit.

Same thing for high ISO shooting - I reach for the D800 . . .

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Dave Lively Senior Member • Posts: 1,747
Re: FF Users: Do you miss the greater depth-of-field of MFT sensor cameras?
2

Deep DOF is limited by diffraction, not sensor size.  If you stop down until diffraction becomes unbearable FF users can get just as much DOF as m43 users.  The FF cameras will be stopped down 2 stops more and using 4 times the ISO but their better high ISO performance makes up most of the difference.

I am using a m43 camera because it is smaller, lighter and much less expensive than FF but still provides good image quality and adequate DOF control for my purposes.  But when it comes to DOF control m43 is at a distinct disadvantage when I want shallow and has no advantage when I want a lot.

Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Re: Shallow DOF harder to achieve w/ M43
1

Dheorl wrote:

William Prip wrote:

Superzoom2 wrote:

I'm thinking of buying my first ever MFT camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with 14-42 EZ lens.

I've had lots of compacts and DSLR's, mostly Canon. Once in a while, you have these beautiful blurry background pics when the lens and aperture combination are right. I am a former pro photog, and understand fully camera optics and depth-of-field physics.

I just want to know if you sometimes miss the easily attainable shallow depth-of-field that you usually get with an APS-C or bigger sensor camera.

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Thanks!

In a word, YES! I do miss using a large sensor body.

The first three are just fun pics of my son begging to eat a Kit Kat. Shot with the Canon 5D with the Canon 135 2.0:

The next batch was shot at the NY Fashion Week with my Canon 1D Mark IV with either the 135 2.0 or the 24-70 2.8:

The final batch were short at the same venue with my Oly OMD-EM5 with the 75 1.8:

I'm confused. You say you miss the shallow DoF of larger sensors but then show two at the end with fairly comparable background blur.

The key here is flexibility.

He was only able to achieve such similar shallow DoF with his EM5 when using a 75/1.8. That's equivalent to 150mm.

On the other hand, the 1D was able to obtain shallow DoF with a much wider (as in more varied) FL range.

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Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 663
It goes both ways.
3

No camera system is perfect, for me the DoF argument goes both ways.

I LOVE my Canon 5D with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. Amazingly smooth, creamy and artifact free bokeh. Almost effortless to achieve.

Sure, you can achieve similar shallow DoF using these 4/3 and APS-C sensors, but that same flexibility isn't there.

On the other hand, sometimes I miss the deeper DoF of m43s, because there will be the times that I want to use the aperture wide open without getting paper-thin DoF.

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dwstv Junior Member • Posts: 46
Re: MFT Users: Do you miss the shallower depth-of-field of bigger sensor cameras?

NO! Full frame is too shallow.

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Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Veteran Member • Posts: 6,741
Re: It goes both ways.

Yeah, for event work, I appreciate the ability to shoot at wide apertures and still have enough DoF to keep more than one person in focus.

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Superzoom2 OP Regular Member • Posts: 141
Re: It goes both ways.

Wow, thank you for all the thoughtful and personal responses.  I suspect I will eventually buy some fast primes, but I am trying to convince myself that I will not end up spending too much on switching to a MFT system in the long run.  Cost is a concern.  Flexibility is a concern.  I mostly want the OM-D E-M10 as a smaller travel camera, rather than taking my T3i with 17-55 or 18-200.

Someone stated that to achieve an equivalent degree of background blur, MFT has to be opened up a stop compared to APS-C.  Is that true, or is it less than one stop?

Sergey_Green
Sergey_Green Veteran Member • Posts: 8,946
So provided you understand how this works ..
1

mpresley wrote:

Well no, I guess I don't since a shallow DOF and nice creamy backgrounds are pretty easily obtained with M43 gear, just not with the lens you mention... I used to shoot with the Nikon D700 using a 85/1.4, 135/2, and the 70-200/2.8 - it's simply a matter of understanding how it works, with the right lens.

Which equivalent to the listed above lenses would you have on mFT?

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Sergey_Green
Sergey_Green Veteran Member • Posts: 8,946
Very pretty image ..
1

DanCar wrote:

I get shallower depth of field than my friends who shoot with bigger cameras and big zoom lenses, although I'm just shooting with primes.

Well done.

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NCV
NCV Senior Member • Posts: 3,677
Re: MFT Users: Do you miss the shallower depth-of-field of bigger sensor cameras?

Superzoom2 wrote:

I'm thinking of buying my first ever MFT camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with 14-42 EZ lens.

I've had lots of compacts and DSLR's, mostly Canon.  Once in a while, you have these beautiful blurry background pics when the lens and aperture combination are right.  I am a former pro photog, and understand fully camera optics and depth-of-field physics.

I just want to know if you sometimes miss the easily attainable shallow depth-of-field that you usually get with an APS-C or bigger sensor camera.

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Thanks!

No

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Sergey_Green
Sergey_Green Veteran Member • Posts: 8,946
And the amount of time spent ..

s_grins wrote:

I like deeper DOF

You can add some shallow DOF later, during PP. It is easy

Can you show us some examples, do they look realistic and good?

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