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First time with Canon FF (6d). WOW

Discussion in 'Back Room' started by Art, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    A friend recently bought Canon 6d so I decided to borrow it for a day with Canon 40mm f2.8 pancake and a rented Canon 135mm f2 L lens. This was my first experience shooting with Canon FF DSLR. I previously had experience using Canon T2i and T4i with various lenses. I've been Oly m43 shooter for almost 5 years now and definitely prefer the results vs. Canon APS-C. However, I found that Canon 6d produces dramatically better images with the above two lenses. I did not realize the gap between Canon crop and FF is that huge. In particular, I found jpegs looks way better than E-M10 with Oly 45mm and PL 25mm. I wouldn't even say that pictures are technically sharper but they look much sharper. More importantly the color and tonal gradations are in a different league which is easily noticeable on a small iphone screen. My postprocessed Oly images could not come close to 6d images with the cheap 40mm pancake. I am not gonna post comparisons, internet is full of them. This experience is making me re-evaluate whether to continue with m43. 6d with two lenses - 40mm pancake and 85mm portrait can make a reasonable budget FF combo. I saw no need to post-process any of the jpegs I got out of 6d - they were just right and only 5-7Mb each.
    The biggest problem for me was a hassle to use 6d - focus point selection, eye strain constantly using VF, poor LCD, no angle shooting, horrid video with crazy rolling shutter and insane moire (much much worse than E-M10). No equivalent of face/eye detect of Olympus which I find detrimental to portraits. More than half of all my 6d images were slightly out of focus. Still even out of focus images looked better than Oly...
    Size is actually not a big issue - 6d is very ergonomic, easier to hold than E-M10.
    I am curious if other forum members came to similar conclusions that Canon FF produces significantly better looking images than Oly even with the cheapest lenses? Even in perfectly good daylight? The cost between the systems is very similar and Canon's lenses are cheaper. I am considering to move to 6d entirely. Thoughts?
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If the system has left you so impressed, simply just change. Nothing said here will add to what you've seen with your own eyes.
  3. The 40mm is actually a very good lens. JPEG experience versus RAW experience may be quite different. Canon also tends to do skin tones out of camera better. More resolution and greater DoF control will make it look quite different. FF will have less grain, even at base ISO. Default Olympus noise filter setting robs too much detail for my liking so I turn it off.

    Not sure what's going on with tonal and colour gradation though - the 16MP m4/3 sensors are on par or better than most Canons with respect to dynamic range and colour depth. Possibly more suitable JPEG tone mapping in the Canon. I shoot RAW only though so can't really comment.

    Have you tried one of the A7s? That will give you most of the creature comforts of mirrorless while giving the larger sensor look.
  4. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    go get it! I had a blast with my last 5D and el cheapo ef 50 1.8... sold it for m43. but I often go back and enjoy those shots from that time.
    6d looks great!
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, I moved from a 5dii (similar camera in most respects to the 6d) to u43 and whilst there are some IQ advantages of the FF gear (mainly better noise at high ISO), for nearly everything I do the difference is too small to be of any real significance. Certainly colour, tonality, and even DR, are no worse and in some cases better on the Olympus OMDs. However, each to his/her own - if you like it, go with it!
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    I don't know. When I browse for the better shots on flickr, I only see the FF "magic" if we get into some serious L glass shot at DOF equivalents than m4/3 can't do. And this is on a 27" monitor. On a phone screen, iphone and medium format are barely distinguishable.

    Comparing shots on flickr, Canon 40mm on a 6D vs any m4/3 body with the 20mm f1.7 and if anything the 20mm shots look more "FF".
  7. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I thought about A7 but was not impressed with sample photos. Also a friend of mine tried it and settled for 6d. She was saying it wasn't even a contest, 6d images were just so much more appealing. Seems like Canon is putting a lot of resources into their FF sensors which nail the color and make images pop even with the cheapest lenses. I am coming to understanding that photography is an art and not science. All those measurements and comparisons are deceptive when the results are so obvious. Simply put, I found that 6d produces more appealing images even with the cheapest lenses in good light and jpegs - no need to tweak anything. Skin tones are just perfect. I was satisfied with Olympus images and they still look good on its own but when comparing to 6d, they are simply flat even after post processing. Using 6d is an absolute hassle but I believe it's the result that matters and not the process. The cost between the systems is now equal with Canon's having cheaper lenses.
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    It seems that you're comparing OOC JPEGs. That's not really a meaningful test of the cameras' capabilities since what you're seeing is just the different interpretation that the JPEG engines are making. I can't believe that the 6D (which is running quite old sensor tech) is in any meaningful way better than the A7 (or the 16Mp u43 sensors for that matter unless you're printing very large).
  9. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I rarely print. I didn't believe Canon FF would be so much better and that's why it took me many years before even bother trying it. I shot raw+jpegs, Canon jpegs were just fine, raw didn't look as good (as opened in LR). However, Oly jpegs and post-processed raw files were still flat in comparison. I haven't tried low light with 6d so all pictures were at base ISO100.
  10. Odd that RAW looks flat after PP... is that just because the Sony sensor has more DR and needs more black crushing and white lifting to pop? Sounds like the same issue that shooting video in a log profile has - looks crap and dull OOC, need to grade to make it look good.

    I fully understand though, the sentiment that if the JPEG looks spot on, why bother with RAW.
  11. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    The size of the 6D doesn't seem to be a problem for you either so yes, just get it.
  12. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Exactly. I feel like with 6d I wouldn't even bother with raw, save tons of time and storage space - L jpegs are only 5-7 mb in size.
  13. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't know Art, when you tell me the out of focus 6D shots look better than what you got with the E-M10 I have to think something is wrong.

    I agree that full frame can go to a level that m4/3s generally cannot (even beyond DOF differences), but I am pretty surprised at the disparity you suggest. Neither my direct experience nor my understanding based on reviews/user comments and viewing images would support such a difference.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    This also seems contradictory to conventional wisdom to me. Oly JPEGs are pretty well-regarded. I would think Canon full frame shooters are more consistently developing raw images.
  15. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I really like the output I have seen from the 6D, but I don't understand how you like out of focus images from the 6D better than your Oly. OOF images go straight to the trash for me. From people I have talked to that use the 6D, your experience with OOF images is par for the course. It seems the AF on the 6D isn't very good. Especially for moving objects. If you shoot mainly still subjects, you will likely be very happy with the 6D. If you try to capture moving targets, maybe not so much.
  16. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    It sounds like u prefer to ooc jpegs of Canon vs Olympus. There are many people who like the 'canon' look, and if that's your thing feel free to switch to canon. Or maybe yr shooting wide open and prefer the shallower dof?
  17. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I always preferred Oly OOC jpegs compared to Canon T2i and T4i. With this recent experience, I simply prefer 6d images either jpeg or raw. This tells me that Canon does not put equivalent tech in their cropped cameras. 6d images somehow have more dimension/depth and presence with strong color gradations and tonality which is obvious at any viewing size (lens doesn't even seem to matter as much as I thought it should). This is regardless of DoF. If anything, Canon 40mm at f2.8 is not supposed to be shallower than PL25mm at f1.4 but the pictures come out very different. This discovery is very unfortunate for me cause I thought I was gonna stay with m43 for a long time. But with the cost being the same, I am getting much better results with 6d even if it's an absolute hassle to use (obsolete technology).
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  18. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I think you're going to have to post some examples! IQ comparison threads are (almost) worthless with pics!

    Pics or it didn't happen ;) 
  19. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    All those pics were family pics so I won't post it here but I have decided to buy 6d and give it a thorough trial so I'll have some examples soon. I am more interested in hearing from folks who have used Canon FF and Oly m43 and see if they experienced the level of difference that I observed especially when it comes to "presence" in their images whatever that means. I am mostly taking pictures of family, kids and pets. Maybe for landscapes the difference is less noticeable. I don't believe it's a matter of jpeg engine. There appears to be something special about Canon FF sensors even when used with the cheapest lenses.
  20. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Well, tell you what, a very simple full-frame DSLR system, with nothing longer than 135mm, is quite manageable and very rewarding, I'm sure.

    And if you're so impressed by the results, they are clearly working brilliantly for you, and you can almost revert to simplified 'green square and JPEG' photography. That sounds like a winning combo for you.

    But, your hand-waving conclusions about 'full-frame Canon sensor magic' and 'special technologies' are way off base. The sensor tech in current m43 cameras is excellent.

    I do believe that the combination of breadth of view and depth of view makes different formats have different 'looks' with typical lens options that mean some formats will be more visually appealing than others, and varying between photographers as a matter of personal preference. This is IMO what you are experiencing.

    OTOH it could be as simple as Canon's default JPEG production is more 'cranked', so the images come out more sharp, vivid and contrasty. A bit like the 'TV-set-that-sells-best-in-the-showroom' syndrome.
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