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Am I expecting too much from m4/3?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Squidz, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Squidz

    Squidz Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    Red Deer, Alberta
    I have taken two pictures of very similar setting using a Canon 50D w/ 50mm f/1.8 II and a Panisonic GX1 w/14-42mm power zoom lens. These were very quick shots, but yet I am still very surprised with the image quality. I'm not too sure if I am simply expecting too much from m4/3 or if I don't have something set right. Both were taken using RAW and converted with no adjustments in lightroom 3.6. I have tried my best to capture a 1:1 with no up or down res with PS Elements 9.0.

    I'm reaching out to the crowd to see what you guys think.

    ISO 400, 80mm equivalent, f/5.6, 1/200 focused on the drain pipe right at the spigot.


    Attached Files:

    • 50D.
      File size:
      211.9 KB
    • GX1.
      File size:
      176 KB
  2. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    A zoom will always lose to a prime.
  3. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    The 50mm is about three stops closed. The 14-42 is wide open.

    Get an adapter for the 50mm and shoot again. I'll bet the results are much closer.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Especially when you compare it to the 50/1.8 II. It's pretty sharp and cheap.

    Compare a PL25 or PL45 with the 50 and it'll be a more interesting battle.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Vulpix

    Vulpix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Uh, but the PL25/45 are significantly pricier than the 50mm 1.8 II.
  6. Squidz

    Squidz Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    Red Deer, Alberta
    I am totally planning on buying a couple primes, that's no big deal. I do also understand that the 50 is stopped down. I was just quite surprised with the difference. The difference from my EF-s 15-85mm to the EF 50mm was never that much different.

    So am I just expecting too much from the little zoom, and you guys figure I'll see a significant difference when I get my 20mm?
  7. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I meant on sharpness, not price. My apologies.
  8. mgowin

    mgowin Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2010
    Lincoln, IL
    Should I get a medium format camera because my D700 images don't look "as good?"

    Not to be flippant, but every piece of gear will have its strengths and limitations. For me, the great thing about MFT is portability: I can take my E-P3 and some small, light primes (Pany 14mm, 20mm; Oly 45mm) and have fun making some great images. And since I'm far more likely to have the E-P3 kit handy than my D700 kit, I'm far more likely to make photographs.

    So, yes, the GX1 is not a 50D. But that doesn't mean you can't make good photographs with it. Make pictures with your cameras, learn what they do well, and have fun while you're at.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    As far as zoom lenses go, the 14-42X has issues with blurriness at certain shutter speeds, especially at the telephoto range. In fact I would go as far as saying the 14-42X is not the sharpest m43 zoom either.

    And yes, don't compare a prime to a zoom. :smile:
  10. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    You could try again with a little stricter procedure. Tripod with manual focus. Turn OIS off. Take out some of the other guess work.

    I'm quite happy with the performance of the 20mm.
  11. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I have not used your zoom (more of a prime guy), but I can say with high confidence that you will be pleased with the sharpness of the 20mm f1.7.
  12. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    I agree with this - the only way to see the true difference in IQ between the two sensors is to shoot through the same glass.

    I hate the images from the 14-45, and that's better than the 14-42. I love the images from the 20, 45 and 7-14. Yes, they're all expensive, but they're very high quality and far more portable and inconspicuous than comparable SLR glass.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    To add to speltrong's comments, The Panasonic 25mm and the Olympus 12mm are also very good, but pricy. The Olympus 45mm is very sharp and quite reasonable for a fast prime. All are very portable.

  14. Zooming in on the image I'm trying to figure out if there is some motion blur at play. The fence in particular looks a bit strange. Have you checked the firmware on your lens is current, or tried turning off the OIS? There were some reports of problematic OIS units on that model. A lack of sharpness is the last accusation I would make of m4/3 image quality, given the right lens.
  15. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I'm not sure I believe that. The 15-85 wide open simply won't be nearly as sharp as the 50mm stopped down a couple of stops. The 50mm is sharper to start with, and stopping it down will make it sharper still.
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Short of the story is, compare the GX1 with 14-42mm kit lens with the 50D using the 18-55mm kit lens, or else compare the GX1 with the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, if you're going to compare the 50D with a 50mm f/1.8. Optical quality is where the performance of a system camera lies, and differences in bodies won't really come into effect until AFTER optical equivalency is achieved. What you're seeing here is a difference in glass. I could take any camera, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Nikon, etc., and mount an entry-level kit zoom with less than desirable results.

    No, you're not expecting too much from m4/3. You're expecting too much from an f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom!

    Plus, the Lumix X 14-42mm is probably the most problematic of all Micro Four-Thirds lenses...
  17. Squidz

    Squidz Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    Red Deer, Alberta
    Good to hear guys. I think I'm at peace. I really just want to get a 20mm put on there with a 45 to compliment it. After coming from the APS-c system where lens and such are so big and expensive, something like the 45 f/1.8 is still a 'bargin' for me. I know it wasn't a very fair comparison, but I guess I was a little taken aback. I'll set it aside and just keep moving forward. And let me tell you, I love the size factor of the m4/3, it's so small, haha.

    Anyways, thanks again, and thanks for not ripping my head off too much ;) 
  18. bridgemix

    bridgemix Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 9, 2012

    What kind of problems should I look out for in the X 14-42mm?
  19. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    I think that you are completely right that one should compare similar lenses. But I also think that the picture of the GX1 is blurred. It looks like camera shake. I own the Olympus 14-150mm and I am sure that this pictured would look much better, if it were taken with the 14-150mm, which is reasonably sharp at 45mm even wide open.

    As far as I know, the most problematic lens is the Lumix 14-42mm without the 'X'.
  20. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    Look at the bottom of page 16 of the review by dpreview.com. It is most probably the lens which produces such unsharp pictures at the long end of the zoom at certain shutter speeds.
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