M43 and the siren call of FF

LowriderS10

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I ditched my Canon FF setup (5D Mark II, 135L, 16-35L 2.8 II, and a few other lenses) and got into Olympus because I travel a ton and the IQ was so ridiculously close. (A few years ago I was invited into an art exhibition where I displayed 4 photos in A2 size prints...some were taken with FF DSLRs, some with my E-M5. All 4 images sold, and not one person could correctly identify which photo was taken with which camera).

Sure, FF can have some technical advantages...but here's the thing: Canons are big, and Sony's lens choices are laughable compared to ours. When I travelled with my Canon, I would usually travel with one, maybe two lenses because of size/weight considerations. Now, I can carry a ton of lenses (including fun things like a fisheye) and still be lighter/smaller. No matter how good that FF sensor is, there is no way I ever could have captured anything fisheye back then, because I could not justify lugging another lens around.

Furthermore...18 of my 20 my most popular images on Flickr and most of my best sellers on my website were taken with the Olympus, not any of my previous Canons (which included a 5D Mark II, a 5D Classic and an APS-H 1D Mark III). The point is that pixel peeping will usually give the advantage to FF. But in real life, the differences are unnoticeable.
 

Jonathan F/2

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I can't help noticing the pro-FF discussion in this thread always seems to be only for FL's between about 24 to 90mm. In fact aphasic said "cheap 28mm, cheap 50mm, used MF 85mm and you're done." Well, you might be 'done' but I would be 'done over' with that sort of restriction. And also he is putting it with a used 3-yo A7, which is a pretty terrible camera, no offence.

And that is the problem: as soon as we try to put a general-purpose FF system together you either spend big, or you get old/cheapie stuff and immediately eat into the FF IQ advantage, which is clear if you stick to latest model premium gear, and pay for a porter to drag the wheelie luggage about. Since money is no object.
I've mentioned earlier if someone is shooting in the more extreme focal lengths, M43 offers a lot in that range and for a good a price. It's in the standard to wide focal lengths where you see advantages with mirrorless FF. Sony has also been issuing firmware updates to the original A7 which has made it quite responsive. The only major niggle I can think of with that camera is the loud shutter sound and dropped frame rates in low light, but for general shooting it's quite non-intrusive to the shooting experience.

Also regarding FF IQ, if you take the A7 24mp FF sensor, you're looking at a pixel density roughly of a 10mp APS-C camera. Average glass looks fine on that camera. I've adapted all sorts of cheap lenses and I don't really see an issue with sharpness. The AF lenses also look good. The only thing I don't like about Sony's glass is the bias towards the blue/yellow hue. I tend to prefer warmer glass.

I shoot both formats and like them both, but there just seems to be lots of misinformation being purported on this thread.
 

Alex Aina

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The IQ of nowadays MFT captors is sufficient for 95% of the pictures I think.
For me FF is a better choice only when a better AF is necessary or to obtain a superlative f:1,4 bokeh.
Considering the better dynamic we have 12 IL... and it can often be overpassed with HDR! Who remembers the professional's Kodachrome one?
Considering hight sensibility, 3200 iso are excellent and 6400 still correct: who used more than 3200 before digital age?
Considering large prints, I remember 3x2m prints obtained with a 3Mpx Nikon D... What else?
I have worked with professional Canon SLR and lenses for years, I'll no more do: MFT quality is top and really sufficient for me with a more cheap, light and compact material!
 

pdk42

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The IQ of nowadays MFT captors is sufficient for 95% of the pictures I think.
For me FF is a better choice only when a better AF is necessary or to obtain a superlative f:1,4 bokeh.
Considering the better dynamic we have 12 IL... and it can often be overpassed with HDR! Who remembers the professional's Kodachrome one?
Considering hight sensibility, 3200 iso are excellent and 6400 still correct: who used more than 3200 before digital age?
Considering large prints, I remember 3x2m prints obtained with a 3Mpx Nikon D... What else?
I have worked with professional Canon SLR and lenses for years, I'll no more do: MFT quality is top and really sufficient for me with a more cheap, light and compact material!
D'accord Alex!
 

pdk42

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... but there just seems to be lots of misinformation being purported on this thread.
Yes, I agree. We all need to decide what we're trying to get out of our photography and then choose the gear that best suits each of us individually. IMHO there isn't a bad interchangeable lens camera system out there today and any one of them will allow a talented and dedicated photographer to make superb images. Climbing up the gear pole for its own sake is an expensive route to madness and will only result in feelings of pixel peeking smugness - it won't make the images any better if they're rubbish to start with!
 

T N Args

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....Also regarding FF IQ, if you take the A7 24mp FF sensor, you're looking at a pixel density roughly of a 10mp APS-C camera.
And roughly the resolution of a m43 camera.
I shoot both formats and like them both, but there just seems to be lots of misinformation being purported on this thread.
Misinformation, certainly. A few posts above someone spoke of FF advantage in 'better' colour and dynamics. If they are speaking about what they are seeing by eye in their own images viewed final size, they need to read up on expectation bias. Seriously.
 

oldracer

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... they need to read up on expectation bias. Seriously.
Yup. I have been resisting the temptation to throw this into the soup but here it is: Confirmation bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is a whole subculture of stereo music enthusiasts that firmly believe that they can hear the difference between ridiculously high-price cables and ordinary hardware store speaker wire. Ditto the difference between vacuum tube and transistor amplifiers. There is no amount of scientific testing and no specification sheer that can convince them otherwise. (There is a famous test where some of these true believers could not hear any difference between Monster Cable and coat hangar wire.) When I see posts here talking about things like "micro-contrast" I have a strong sense of deja vu.

I agree with @Alex Aina and many others in this thread: M43 is good enough for almost everything we want to do with our images. Except pixel peeping.
 

AlanU

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I ditched my Canon FF setup (5D Mark II, 135L, 16-35L 2.8 II, and a few other lenses) and got into Olympus because I travel a ton and the IQ was so ridiculously close. (A few years ago I was invited into an art exhibition where I displayed 4 photos in A2 size prints...some were taken with FF DSLRs, some with my E-M5. All 4 images sold, and not one person could correctly identify which photo was taken with which camera).

Sure, FF can have some technical advantages...but here's the thing: Canons are big, and Sony's lens choices are laughable compared to ours. When I travelled with my Canon, I would usually travel with one, maybe two lenses because of size/weight considerations. Now, I can carry a ton of lenses (including fun things like a fisheye) and still be lighter/smaller. No matter how good that FF sensor is, there is no way I ever could have captured anything fisheye back then, because I could not justify lugging another lens around.

Furthermore...18 of my 20 my most popular images on Flickr and most of my best sellers on my website were taken with the Olympus, not any of my previous Canons (which included a 5D Mark II, a 5D Classic and an APS-H 1D Mark III). The point is that pixel peeping will usually give the advantage to FF. But in real life, the differences are unnoticeable.
Perfect example of how the M43 is perfect for you and your shooting style!

I've lugged full size gear for years but it was difficult to take 2-3 toddlers solo while pushing a infant carrier and diaper bag. This was one of the reasons why I bought my M43 gear LOL!!!

The 5dc was an old FF that wasn't strong when it came to ISO 3200. I also had the 1dmk3 (1.3 crop not FF) which was the most hated $5000 camera I've ever owned due to the 10mpx files and mediocre high ISO performance. In that respect the E-m5 was holding it's own against those two camera's. However the 5dmk1 in good light produced a fantastic film like beautiful rendition for portrait work.

I still use my 5dmk2 and 5dmk3 for event work. I need to pick up another 5dmk3 soon. This is where I grab certain gear for certain reasons.

300dpi print hides noise well so this is one benefits of printing instead of viewing on screen.
 

AlanU

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Yup. I have been resisting the temptation to throw this into the soup but here it is: Confirmation bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is a whole subculture of stereo music enthusiasts that firmly believe that they can hear the difference between ridiculously high-price cables and ordinary hardware store speaker wire. Ditto the difference between vacuum tube and transistor amplifiers. There is no amount of scientific testing and no specification sheer that can convince them otherwise. (There is a famous test where some of these true believers could not hear any difference between Monster Cable and coat hangar wire.) When I see posts here talking about things like "micro-contrast" I have a strong sense of deja vu.

I agree with @Alex Aina and many others in this thread: M43 is good enough for almost everything we want to do with our images. Except pixel peeping.
Music is extremely subjective as far as hifi is concerned.

I love paying for ridiculously expensive speaker wires :) TBH I only paid $1000 for my speaker wires :)

My Totem Forest speakers sounded romantic and intimate. My modest Totem Earth's that cost over 8 grand is a total change of hardware with more sound dispersion and soundstage. The difference between impedance/inductance of the speakers to output of amplifier will be different. Not discussing the cost of speaker wires but the change in speaker wires can change the impedance match. I used a German Olflex 191 industrial 16awg wire (x4) and created a twisted pair equating aprox 13awg. I got this wire for free...... That changed the bass response of my Morrow Audio $800 pair of speaker wires. A sufficient amount of wire must be present to allow current to flow without restriction. I spent reasonable amount of money on my Audio Sensibility single wire Testament wire and yes it sounds basically the same as my free olflex "free" wire. However Cosmetically the $1000 looks like a work of art.

The word "Micro contrast" is very valid.

This was taken by a 70-200 f/2.8IS mk2 which is the latest version of this FL zoom. The Micro contrast/sharpness is substantial over the version 1 of this lens. The Camera used was a 5dmk3

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

5dmk3 with 85Lmk2 was used to take the photo of my 65 Vdub. This is an older lens made by canon and it is very sharp but it does NOT have the same kind of micro contrast like the new generation Nano coated Canon mk2 lenses. These photos are not good examples as they are compressed on this website. Looking at files as you process them makes a noticeable difference between older generation lenses vs new generation nano coated Canon lenses. My 85Lmk2 f/1.2 is sharp but even stopped down it does not have the micro contrast/sharpness I speak of. Regardless of Nikon or Canon you will find that many experienced photogs will see a big change from a new version of a 24-70mm f/2.8 vs the older generation models.

This is my 11 seconds all original paint Euro spec VW street car I used to drive to the track to drag race. 1 foot wheelies at the track doing 1.55 second 60ft times.


Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

LowriderS10

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Perfect example of how the M43 is perfect for you and your shooting style!

I've lugged full size gear for years but it was difficult to take 2-3 toddlers solo while pushing a infant carrier and diaper bag. This was one of the reasons why I bought my M43 gear LOL!!!

The 5dc was an old FF that wasn't strong when it came to ISO 3200. I also had the 1dmk3 (1.3 crop not FF) which was the most hated $5000 camera I've ever owned due to the 10mpx files and mediocre high ISO performance. In that respect the E-m5 was holding it's own against those two camera's. However the 5dmk1 in good light produced a fantastic film like beautiful rendition for portrait work.

I still use my 5dmk2 and 5dmk3 for event work. I need to pick up another 5dmk3 soon. This is where I grab certain gear for certain reasons.

300dpi print hides noise well so this is one benefits of printing instead of viewing on screen.
Completely agreed. The 1D Mark III was my dream camera...until I actually had it. Then I was underwhelmed. The only two cameras I ever fell in love with at first shot were the E-M5 and the 5D Classic. In good light the 5D Classic is beautiful...but it didn't do video, lacked in low light, and the lenses for it were brutally heavy/big for my purposes.

I certainly understand why people would like FF still, but for me, it's a very hard sell. The A7-series is very tempting (I've handled more A7s than I care to admit haha), but their glass selection/prices/etc would need to improve an incredible amount before I would consider it.
 

SRHEdD

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This reminds me of college, and my Photo I class. My professor taught the class that ONE good frame in a roll of 36 was BEYOND excellent work, because that one photo could easily outlive the photographer. He also taught us that the best camera is the one you use. I always have a camera with me, and that's NOT counting my iPhone. I have different cameras for different wants. A Nikon Df ONLY because it reminded me of my old Nikon FM. I usually shoot work with my Sony gear, both APS-C and FF, and I just today bought a used E-P5 ONLY because I missed the ease of the Dramatic Tone filter. Yes I can do it in post, but I liked how easy it was to experiment with an Oly., so I will add that to one of the bags. My only real criteria for choosing FF for a particular project is how much I'm likely to crop, like if I don't know if the image is going to be used as a horizontal or vertical in a layout (I'm the Senior Editor for a lifestyle publication). There are so many good cameras out there, it is really hard to buy something that won't take stellar images with just a little bit of attention to detail. My professor also got into trouble at school because he also taught us to "just go shoot" and was written up for having students leave too early.

So... the best camera is the one you USE, one good image from a day of shooting is excellent, and get out of this classroom and just go shoot.
 

pdk42

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Music is extremely subjective as far as hifi is concerned.

I love paying for ridiculously expensive speaker wires :) TBH I only paid $1000 for my speaker wires :)

My Totem Forest speakers sounded romantic and intimate. My modest Totem Earth's that cost over 8 grand is a total change of hardware with more sound dispersion and soundstage. The difference between impedance/inductance of the speakers to output of amplifier will be different. Not discussing the cost of speaker wires but the change in speaker wires can change the impedance match. I used a German Olflex 191 industrial 16awg wire (x4) and created a twisted pair equating aprox 13awg. I got this wire for free...... That changed the bass response of my Morrow Audio $800 pair of speaker wires. A sufficient amount of wire must be present to allow current to flow without restriction. I spent reasonable amount of money on my Audio Sensibility single wire Testament wire and yes it sounds basically the same as my free olflex "free" wire. However Cosmetically the $1000 looks like a work of art.

The word "Micro contrast" is very valid.

This was taken by a 70-200 f/2.8IS mk2 which is the latest version of this FL zoom. The Micro contrast/sharpness is substantial over the version 1 of this lens. The Camera used was a 5dmk3

View attachment 124442
5dmk3 with 85Lmk2 was used to take the photo of my 65 Vdub. This is an older lens made by canon and it is very sharp but it does NOT have the same kind of micro contrast like the new generation Nano coated Canon mk2 lenses. These photos are not good examples as they are compressed on this website. Looking at files as you process them makes a noticeable difference between older generation lenses vs new generation nano coated Canon lenses. My 85Lmk2 f/1.2 is sharp but even stopped down it does not have the micro contrast/sharpness I speak of. Regardless of Nikon or Canon you will find that many experienced photogs will see a big change from a new version of a 24-70mm f/2.8 vs the older generation models.

This is my 11 seconds all original paint Euro spec VW street car I used to drive to the track to drag race. 1 foot wheelies at the track doing 1.55 second 60ft times.


View attachment 124444
Gulp!
 

50orsohours

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As it was mentioned above, when doing a blind listening session, those who claimed that they could "hear" the difference did very poorly. I suspect that you wouldn't do much better. No one would. I wish I still had that article. Anyway, please keep spending your hard earned $$$ - it helps the economy. Another gentleman by the name of Dr Hsu out of CA who is an MIT graduate uses the cheapest receiver, CD player and lamp cord wires to demo his speakers/subs at HiFi shows. Has been doing it since the early 90s. Many times his setup is favored over multi mega systems. Than the reviewer finds out the what was used to demo the system. So much for high end cables etc...

Now as far as your picture with the 70-200? I'm being as honest as I can: I don't see anything special in this example. Now you may have a multi thousand dollar setup, but on my 27" 5k iMac I really don't see anything special about this picture. Could be my eyes though. Have you seen Peter Zelewski's work? He uses a Leica and those colors/contrast are very pleasing to my eye. So it isn't like I can't see or anything, but your shot unfortunately is not doing it for me. I mean I just don't see what it is that supposed to be so much better.

Music is extremely subjective as far as hifi is concerned.

I love paying for ridiculously expensive speaker wires :) TBH I only paid $1000 for my speaker wires :)

My Totem Forest speakers sounded romantic and intimate. My modest Totem Earth's that cost over 8 grand is a total change of hardware with more sound dispersion and soundstage. The difference between impedance/inductance of the speakers to output of amplifier will be different. Not discussing the cost of speaker wires but the change in speaker wires can change the impedance match. I used a German Olflex 191 industrial 16awg wire (x4) and created a twisted pair equating aprox 13awg. I got this wire for free...... That changed the bass response of my Morrow Audio $800 pair of speaker wires. A sufficient amount of wire must be present to allow current to flow without restriction. I spent reasonable amount of money on my Audio Sensibility single wire Testament wire and yes it sounds basically the same as my free olflex "free" wire. However Cosmetically the $1000 looks like a work of art.

The word "Micro contrast" is very valid.

This was taken by a 70-200 f/2.8IS mk2 which is the latest version of this FL zoom. The Micro contrast/sharpness is substantial over the version 1 of this lens. The Camera used was a 5dmk3

View attachment 124442
5dmk3 with 85Lmk2 was used to take the photo of my 65 Vdub. This is an older lens made by canon and it is very sharp but it does NOT have the same kind of micro contrast like the new generation Nano coated Canon mk2 lenses. These photos are not good examples as they are compressed on this website. Looking at files as you process them makes a noticeable difference between older generation lenses vs new generation nano coated Canon lenses. My 85Lmk2 f/1.2 is sharp but even stopped down it does not have the micro contrast/sharpness I speak of. Regardless of Nikon or Canon you will find that many experienced photogs will see a big change from a new version of a 24-70mm f/2.8 vs the older generation models.

This is my 11 seconds all original paint Euro spec VW street car I used to drive to the track to drag race. 1 foot wheelies at the track doing 1.55 second 60ft times.


View attachment 124444
Have to disagree, it can be fine for pixel peeping as well. Though you might need to opt for the higher end glass.
Music is extremely subjective as far as hifi is concerned.

I love paying for ridiculously expensive speaker wires :) TBH I only paid $1000 for my speaker wires :)

My Totem Forest speakers sounded romantic and intimate. My modest Totem Earth's that cost over 8 grand is a total change of hardware with more sound dispersion and soundstage. The difference between impedance/inductance of the speakers to output of amplifier will be different. Not discussing the cost of speaker wires but the change in speaker wires can change the impedance match. I used a German Olflex 191 industrial 16awg wire (x4) and created a twisted pair equating aprox 13awg. I got this wire for free...... That changed the bass response of my Morrow Audio $800 pair of speaker wires. A sufficient amount of wire must be present to allow current to flow without restriction. I spent reasonable amount of money on my Audio Sensibility single wire Testament wire and yes it sounds basically the same as my free olflex "free" wire. However Cosmetically the $1000 looks like a work of art.

The word "Micro contrast" is very valid.

This was taken by a 70-200 f/2.8IS mk2 which is the latest version of this FL zoom. The Micro contrast/sharpness is substantial over the version 1 of this lens. The Camera used was a 5dmk3

View attachment 124442
5dmk3 with 85Lmk2 was used to take the photo of my 65 Vdub. This is an older lens made by canon and it is very sharp but it does NOT have the same kind of micro contrast like the new generation Nano coated Canon mk2 lenses. These photos are not good examples as they are compressed on this website. Looking at files as you process them makes a noticeable difference between older generation lenses vs new generation nano coated Canon lenses. My 85Lmk2 f/1.2 is sharp but even stopped down it does not have the micro contrast/sharpness I speak of. Regardless of Nikon or Canon you will find that many experienced photogs will see a big change from a new version of a 24-70mm f/2.8 vs the older generation models.

This is my 11 seconds all original paint Euro spec VW street car I used to drive to the track to drag race. 1 foot wheelies at the track doing 1.55 second 60ft times.


View attachment 124444
 

Alex Aina

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Indeed there is real differences between lenses in term of contrast and so on... But they appear only during tests, when you can compare them. Out of labs, in the real life, a photo just make us feel an emotion... or no! Don't care about the tools that have been used!!!
So as it has been told: go out and shoot... :)
 

Alex Aina

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When I started photo in the 80's, there were still very worses lenses (that we call "cul de bouteille" in France), but now even the 1st mount lens of kits is sufficient to obtain great pictures and share emotions by showing YOUR vision of the world. A mere compact is much more a creative tool than a smartphone, so everybody can enjoy photography, and that's a good thing... even if general quality go down in papers and magazines :(
 

rezatravilla

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The A7-series is very tempting (I've handled more A7s than I care to admit haha), but their glass selection/prices/etc would need to improve an incredible amount before I would consider it.
:popcorm2:...well i'm not. Indeed A7 series have a powerful dynamic range and ISO performance but somehow their build it with many flaws.

First, my suspect, the distance between sensor and lenses were somehow not perfect. The G Master lens is special build lens with sophisticated design. But not perform well.
First Hands-On Look At the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens | Fstoppers
The web said it's sharp, my eyes said......sorry compare to 45mm F1.8 this is not.
Then this Carl Zeiss...
REAL Real World Review: Sony Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens |
Sharp? not also as my eyes sees it.

Second, The body.....looks ugly. Since A7 until the new one A7R Mark II they look the same. Retro wanna be but failed. Company like Sony is a multi-billions dollar giant, they should have great designers.

Third, the balance. Thanks to the small body and the big lenses. You will feel uncomfortable with the front heavy. This gives impact to the enjoyment. I have come from Nikon DSLR, m43 is very enjoyable for taking photos. Somehow makes me addicted.

Fourth, the features. Sony is like "that's it?". No live composite, no focus bracketing mode, etc.

About FF, i think Pentax K1 is very interesting though compare to others. But i still wait to see how Pentax penetrated my country's market. Their lenses were limited here even many shops not sell it.
 

oldracer

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Yup. Troll or True Believer, we'll never know. I have a master's in electrical engineering and spent most of my college days working in broadcast and recording control rooms, but I have learned that settled science, objective measurements, and blind tests are inadmissible in discussions with a lunatic fringe audiophile. And that's all I have.

I once interviewed to be president of a small boutique maker of magic audio boxes. They had space in a building that for some reason had a very old room-size cooler, heavily insulated and with a very heavy door. This was their listening room, to which they proudly ushered me for A-B comparison listening to their magic box. What I learned was that all the audiophile ears that had listened in this wonderful room were unable to detect that the difference between A and B was that the stereo channels were reversed! It wasn't a job that I could ever have taken. What they needed was a huckster, not an engineer.
 
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