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Can anybody tell the difference between 4/3 and FF?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by gnarlydog australia, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    There seems to be a consensus that Full Frame is so much better than Micro 4/3, especially when one views large prints. And yet, I am not convinced and remain skeptical :cautious:
    I have printed rather large from my Olympus 16MP files and honestly can't recall my Hasselblad images looking much better; it has been a while tho since I have printed from 120 film.
    Today I saw this video where the professional printer can't tell the difference between FF and 4/3 formats:

    Since electronic displays can not show me any difference, what is your experience with printing? and if you do have both formats to print from, can you tell the difference?
    • Informative Informative x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  2. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    What has happened to this site in the last month? It's like the world has gone full frame crazy and many of us seem to feel the need to justify the choice we made to shoot micro four thirds by constantly comparing it to other formats.

    It doesn't matter. No one is judging anyone by the camera they use. We don't play for team micro four thirds FC, loyalty to a corporation is never clever - they don't care about individuals, they care about sales. Whatever works for you, live and let live.

    And for the record I get fine pictures with my EM5 mark 1 - who needs a g9, pah, 20mpx is just sooooo overkill. Etc.
    • Agree Agree x 23
    • Like Like x 7
  3. wolfie

    wolfie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 15, 2009
    New Zealand
    Yup - FF glass is definitely bigger and heavier!
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Funny Funny x 2
  4. dlentini

    dlentini Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2015
    You don’t need a 20 meter ladder to climb a 10 meter wall.
    • Funny Funny x 11
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 3
  5. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    I have had a number of my prints framed at a large business that specializes in custom framing. On numerous occasions they have commented on the quality of the images and how great they look behind glass.
    There are plenty of professional full frame photographers who have made the switch and are more than satisfied with the file quality micro 4/3 produces. Each system has its pros and cons, weigh them up and decide what best suits the style of photography you enjoy and then buy the system of your choice.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Dinobe

    Dinobe Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2017
    Lochristi, Belgium
    I guess you could if:
    - you were doing a 1 to 1 comparison at 100% in a controlled environment
    - pushing M43 to its limits (very high iso's)
    - trying to achieve very narrow DOF
    - print very large formats

    Point is: how often do you do or need that?
    - 1 to 1 comparisons at 100% under controlled conditions is only done in 'reviews'
    - I have no real situations where I need to push m43 that hard. Done a wedding party couple of weeks ago. Never needed to go above iso3200 (and the results are more than acceptable. The client doesn't even notice) In reality my EM5 with fast primes gave me better results than my APS-C Canon with 2.8 zooms and flash which I couldn't bounce (very high and black ceiling).
    - Very narrow DOF is mostly a negative thing (only having the eye in focus, but not the tip of the nose is nice to see once, but gets boring very quickly)
    - I printed up to 80x60 cm, at very close inspection I couldn't see anything wrong, let alone at normal viewing distances.

    These are just my personal opinions and while I like my M43 system a lot I do understand that some people do need a FF system. For me the size, weight and features of M43 and small, fast primes far outweigh my APS-C system
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 6
  7. Stanga

    Stanga Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 16, 2016
    That depends on how much clearance you need between the wall and the position of the bottom end of the ladder. If it is a wall at the edge of a 17 meter moat or stream, you'll need a 20 meter ladder to climb the wall.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  8. PeHa

    PeHa Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Completely agree, I would say you can't tell a difference with screen sized images if stay at lower ISOs. I think you can try it yourself if you have a m43 camera with hi-res function. The hi-res function shall provide IQ on the same level, or better, as a FF camera regarding noise, dynamic range, resolution, etc. Try a landscape shot with and without hi-res, downscale them to screensize and see if you can trace any difference... Made such a test this weekend, shown here Showcase - Olympus 12-100mm f/4 Pro that confirms it (assuming that a hi-res image is as good as FF of course :)  ).
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  9. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    There often a couple of pointers
    FF tend to be 3:2 format while MFT are generally left at 4:3 :) 
    If the EXIF data is intact that gives a far more reliable way!
    Just looking at typical images, no way!
    • Funny Funny x 3
  10. Mikehit

    Mikehit Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2018
    I agree.
    But even the pros I have spoken to who have moved to MFT say that yes, the FF produces better quality images but only in as much as they allow greater latitude in processing, whether that is shadow/highlight recovery or heavy cropping/printing very large. And the MFT they now use is good enough for what they use it for (ISO used, viewing medium, print size, control of parameters etc).
    Heck,Michael Reichmann did a comparison of Canon G10 and a Hasselblad and his colleagues could hardly tell the difference at A4 print size.

    If you put MFT and FF prints next to each other then you may be able to spot the difference - but I don't look at images like that because I look at them in isolation for what they are. I have a good A3 print of a night scene in London taken with my Canon S90 and it looks pretty damned good.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. AllanG

    AllanG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 26, 2014
    Brisbane, Australia
    I've convinced myself that M43 is all I need as I've recently done several prints in the A1 and A2 sizes from uncropped 4:3 images taken with my Pen-F and P14-140II lens.
    Just a slight amount of grain (cleanly removed using Imagenomic ) and detail which is still clean and sharp even at 6" from the frame.
    At this level I dont need anything else unless I want to go even larger (which I doubt).
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    Sure, it's simple

    I bought a GF-1 and a 20f1.7 for less than half what I could buy any FF body...
  13. Bushboy

    Bushboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2018
    i think it is all so much nonsense for maybe, even more than 90% of photographers.
    some of the pics on this site, are so much rubbish, even if they were taken with ff camera, they would be still rubbish.... :) 
    oh yeah, and i can't see the difference. in fact my g6 takes better pics than my old canon 350d, way better, thank you.
  14. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    More important is does it make a difference to your work, there is a load of guff spoken about how you cant do shallow DOF with small cameras but most of these shots look boring and over done. People have a must get a higher resolution sensor then post on the web or print less than A3+ where 10mp is often plenty and 16mp certainly enough at 300dpi it gives you 11.5 inches. Now if you are doing work for technical reasons and the end user needs to zoom in to specific details or you are doing a Gursky sized print then it is different. There is a difference in rendering between formats but that is really noticeable when you make larger jumps of sensor/film size. Then there is the weight of carrying bigger and bigger formats, the heavier something is the less you will want to carry it, I would always carry a 35mm camera back in the film days over the medium and large format cameras I had.
  15. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    My E-M5 is set to shoot in 3:2 format 95% of the time. ;) 
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    The difference between m43 and smartphone is more relevant than the difference between m43 and kleinbeeld (FF).
  17. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    I find I prefer horizontal images at 2:3 and vertical images at 4:3.
    4:3 looks too squarish and boxy in landscape orientation
    and 2:3 looks too tall and skinny in portrait orientation.
    Just IMHO, of course . . . :cool: 
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  18. It's not just about megapixels! If you're doing lots of low light stuff or High DR stuff the FF sensors are better at that than the smaller sensors. Bigger buckets = more photons per "pixel" essentially.

    However... An f/1.4 FF prime is an altogether different beast than an f/1.4 (or 1.2) mu43 prime. Low light performance comes at a significant weight penalty and cost penalty.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Isn't this, in bold, what it boils down to? Everyone making blanket statements, one way or the other, is not helping the discussion. It's all about what you are trying to do as a photographer. As m4/3s has matured the limits have been extended, and the gap vs FF has narrowed. But there still is a gap, especially if size and cost are not that important to you.

    Not sure why the Nikon FF mirrorless announcement has set off such a wave of inadequacy around here, but it is not a good look.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
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