M43 for Landscape (Resolution, micro contrast...)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Remasuri, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Remasuri

    Remasuri Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Feb 13, 2015
    Hey guys,

    new here and I have a genuine question:


    Most landscape photographers use FF bodies. I wonder if there is any reason other than "36MP+" for really big prints or cropping?


    I mean to get sharp pictures with good details you need several factors right? A good modern sensor, a lense with good resolution ability, optimal aperture... Assuming you don't want to crop too much and don't want to print pictures bigger than 120x90cm can you actually see any differnces? Is there a better microcontrast in little details like trees/branches even on smaller prints or internet on FF pictures?


    :smile:
     
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    For medium sized prints, the print resolution and viewing distance of the prints would be the limiting factor, if the lens is sharp and motion/shake is minimized.

    My metric converter is getting tired, but 120x90cm seems pretty large.

    Barry
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I would suggest a Phase 1 digital back, and appropriate camera body and lenses. If you're after absolute quality for commercial purposes, which I assume you are, then there really are few other options.
     
  4. Remasuri

    Remasuri Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Feb 13, 2015
    Thanks for the suggestions, but before deciding on what cam is best for me (and while I do commercial stuff, it is pretty local at the moment) i really don't need a Phase 1. :wink:

    I just wondered IF there are visible limitations other than deails on big prints from a technical point of view.




    (I do weddings and portraits and much low light stuff and that is why I will keep a FF gear - but if I can do some trips or landscape commissions on a smaller gear it would be great. Or my wife, who will support me as a second shooter can use the smaller equipment and we having the option to combine the images (for a magazine or booklet) without problems.)
     
  5. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    For a couple of dollars you can just buy something and on sell if it doesn't suit.

    Why trust a bunch of strangers who you know nothing about?

    If I was serious I'd try it myself ... but wait ... I did!
     
  6. Remasuri

    Remasuri Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Feb 13, 2015
    Bunch of strangers? that doesn't sound so nice.
    I value the internet and the experience provided by enthusiasts of any kind. Especially for technical stuff. I'm sure I will buy a OM-D soon, but nevertheless are interested in theoretical stuff and understanding of it ;)
     
  7. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Is this a real genuine question? :)

    For landscapes, try a DP Merril ;)
     
  8. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Why not the new E-M5 ii with it's 40MP ability?
     
  9. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Every picture you've ever seen in the past was taken with a camera that already exists, you do not need the latest and greatest to make amazing pictures - practicing the skills to make it happen matters more.

    Using well optimized resizing tools and having a good workflow will matter more than the minor differences between most camera bodies.
     
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  10. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    By you meaning "MOST" is a recent phenomena, because of lower FF body prices. The Nikon D610/D750/D810 and now the D810A, the Canon 6D/5D Mk2/DSR and the Sony A7 series all brought in a new slew of landscape photographers who would otherwise not consider shooting FF because of the costs. Just a few years ago, you need to invest like $5000 to $8000 just for a 24MP body alone like the D3X. Today, you can go as low as $900 for the same 24MP with a Sony A7 used or $1299 brand new. I can even get a used Sony A7R body not much more than the A7. People now have more options to upgrade.

    The main reason other than 24MP/36MP and a stop or 2 DR is basically simple and it's been going even before the advent of digital photography. All of these new photographers look to full frame as their way of saving all their individual photographic ailments. You can't polish a turd with an Otus lens nor you can fabricate creativity by shooting with full frame. So this makes a fantastic upgrade plan for companies, like Nikon, to exploit. Actually Nikon did exploit it and hence is reflected in their finance sheets. Canon did not and hence is the reason why they introduced the 50MP full frame 5DS/DSR.

    Most people's landscape usually end up on someone's iPhone/Android tablet/iPad most of the time anyhow. And prints up to 13x19 are what most people sought after because that's what a consumer desktop printer can print up to and the crop sensors are more than capable of producing fantastic prints.

    Most common fallacy people think is that full frame can record more DR, more resolution and more micro contrast so pictures are much sharper than crop sensors for the same display medium. Medium digital format even more! Sure it may, but does everyone own the same output display as you do to take advantage of it? Do one have the time to hang a lot of 20x30" prints in their homes where most of us live in small apartments and condos and not in huge mansions like Hugh Heffner? People tend to buy much more than they need so they will feel better, but more than often, their FF images are imprisoned by the inability of the audience to appreciate them. So unless the audience have a big house to hang a couple of 20x30" prints or an iMac 5K display which is not cheap or even a 4K display with a 13 stop DR display capability, your images even shot at 36MP FF will look exactly identical as the one shot with a m43 @ 16MP when you show them on the iPhone/iPad, or on your 7 stops 2K (2MP) monitor display or prints up to 13x19" on a normal viewing distance. Stuff that you see on the net especially with 16MP vs 40MP with the E-M5 Mk 2 are just crops of an image. It's very difficult to see a difference on a normal size! Yet of course you have people drinking kool-aid and think oh yeah I see a big difference even on a 2megapixel display. Same people who says, oh yeah I see a big difference between a 300 dpi scan vs a 10,000 dpi with the naked eye limited to 300 dpi and your ears which can hear frequencies more than 20khz and much lower than 20hz. If you can, sure pay lots of money.

    Most people don't stop to think for a second that, first determine the output device you're going to display your images on before investing in full frame. Otherwise, don't blame me for being a jerk and low-balling prices when that time come you decide to sell your almost new full frame. If you were to think carefully, none of us will be low-balling you because you'll keep it and use it enough to serve its value!!
     
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  11. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 10, 2012
    I think this is overstated in favor of M43. Take a look at many of the M43 images around this site, which feature the sun in frame. You can commonly see DR limitations of M43, even at web size. I would tend to agree the real world differences between camera formats are often exaggerated. However, the OP asked why many landscape photographers use FF. I think DR is one big reason. When it comes to sharpness, "micro-contrast," color, etc., I think it is hard not to give the critical edge to FF. Clearly though, those differences might not be obvious in the final output. Some landscape photographers might also appreciate the ability of M43 for large DOF.
     
  12. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    The most important factor to consider with regard to a suitable format for landscape is the final print size. I have made quite a few images printed to 60". (Not from m4/3). That's too large for m4/3, especially if you need to do much cropping and fine detail rendering is important (it is to me.)

    I have made some giclee 45" canvases from m4/3 which look good. However, if printing on gloss or semi-gloss photographic paper, you may be happier limiting the print size from m4/3 to 24" or so.

    If you plan to sell landscape images and want to be able to offer ample wall print sizes, you would appreciate using a larger sensor with the larger file size. Remember that a 'sofa' print (one which would hang over a sofa or on a large mantle) is typically at least 48" on the horizontal dimension, with 60" not at all uncommon. If you think that a 24" print looks great, by itself, over a 3-seat sofa, then our standards are considerably misaligned.

    Even a studio apartment dweller can easily use a 50" to 60" print over their sofa.

    If all you're going to do is print up to 24-30" or so (which is a suitable size over a side chair or over a small mantle) then you may be content with what m4/3 gives you.

    It is assumed, of course, that you employ all the requisite techniques (including a tripod!!! with remote release) AND the best lenses to ensure that the fine details of foliage are sharply and crisply captured out to the edges of the frame on that little m4/3 sensor. If you do this skillfully and do your cropping mostly in camera, you can achieve beautiful landscape prints to 24-30" or so (depending on the substrate you print to), with present day m4/3 sensors. Giclee on canvas is a more forgiving medium (than semi-gloss or glossy photo paper) which may allow you to go somewhat larger without significantly noticeable degradation.

    Your skillful photographic technique and post processing skills will play the largest role in your ability to successfully print rich, crispy sharp landscape images.
     
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  13. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I'm not trying to overstate anything. How do you think old school photographers like us deal with Fuji Velvia, Provia and Kodachrome 25 and 64 in those days which has even less dynamic range?

    Guess what,

    Teri Lou blog (teriloublog.com) is an iPhone photographer and here is what she said..

    "Yesterday while at this iconic location in Yosemite, a photographic tour leader made comment about iPhoneographers, tripods and the seriousness of photography when he saw me and my iPhone yielding tripod amongst those with $5000 cameras and $2500 tripods."

    "After I finished capturing what I believed was the best shots of the evening, I noticed that everyone had packed up and was walking to their cars. They missed the beauty that I saw.
    While packing up ourselves, Mark and I discussed how photographers prided themselves on arriving well before dawn to capture wonderful morning light, but few seemed to appreciate nor wait for the post sunset light to emerge. Why is that?"

    Quote unquote.

    Well let me answer your question Teri. The reason these people with $5000 cameras and $2500 tripods left so early is because, Teri has an iPhone and those guys probably have either a full frame or a Hasselblad medium format with lots of DR and they believe they could do everything in Photoshop. The DR limitation is NOT a limitation. Photographers make these limitations because they are impatient and believe that you can artificially add light later. So they leave early when the light is not just right because they can.
    Mind you; sometimes you have to leave early than you would have because it meant you have to camp for a night if you wait for the right time and right light. Sometimes it's better to shoot at dawn or at dusk depending on where the light shines meaning you still have to make camp. But people don't want to either wake at at a freakin 3 to 4 AM in the morning in the middle of winter or freezing cold morning, set up gear and shoot with your fingers almost ready to fall off!! All they want is just at daylight, nice and warm and dry and can't afford to wait till almost night fall when you have a 3 to 4 hour trek going back to the car. So yes, a gear with a lot more DR will give you more elbow room. But I disagree that it is a necessity to be a good landscape photographer. It's obvious that it didn't stop Teri Lou with her iPhone to get good photos.

    Sometimes we all feel like we must have the best and greatest camera to be a good photographer. Just like an athlete -- boy I wish I have those fancy sneakers and just imagine how much better my basketball play would be!
     
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  14. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 10, 2012
    This is deep stuff.
     
  15. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Don,

    Everyone seemed to have a specific standard of what is best print size and Thom Hogan seemed to think that @ 288 dpi is his standard,so m4/3 printed @ 288dpi and up is only excellent up to 13x19 and not so great at anything larger. I'm also a little bit anal on this as well. Ming Thein has even much higher standards with his Ultraprints, which is why he uses predominantly medium format and Nikon D800/D810 to shoot his stuff. But I agree that if you want to squeeze out every last pixel out of the camera, a tripod with remote release is very essential)as well as your post processing skills, lighting and shooting technique. And yet you'll see people claim that I can hand hold a Nikon D800 or a A7R without a tripod and cable release and get tack sharp photos. And then they move on to the Pentax 645Z. I digress.
     
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  16. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David

    Yes.. Check the work of Alex Webb of Magnum Photos and David Alan Harvey and how they shoot -- typically dropping the shadows to black and using the black as a graphic element in the picture. And that's what art is all about. Using elements in your picture to depict a story. There are also Graduated Filters that can compress actual DR into what the sensor can accommodate or take 2 RAW images and use Photoshop to do Digital Graduated Filtering.
     
  17. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 10, 2012
    I can fully appreciate your point about good photographers working around limitations of their gear. But a limitation is a limitation is a limitation.
     
  18. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    We have a reasonably sized house and our lounge is not small, but there's no way I could hang a 1.5m wide print anywhere, without it looking completely out of place, or obstructed by other things. I can print 17" x 22" prints on my printer, but in reality, I usually print smaller to enable framing etc, and I find that really large prints are very hard to view properly.
     
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  19. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I think that the short answer to the OP's question is: Yes, you can actually see the differences. This will become even more pronounced with the great new monitors hitting the market. I have a friend who is semi-pro and he shoots m4/3's but has a FF for landscapes, etc. We have been thinking about printing in the future and I am hoping that the new E-M5 ii will fill the gap so I don't have to purchase another system.
     
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    There's always more than one way to skin a cat and, with landscape photography, it can be very easy, simply take several shots and combine them like a panorama. Two shots across and two down, using a longer focal length lens, will give you around a 64MP image. This is exactly what gigapixel imagery is about, but taken to a completely different level.
     
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