'Micro 4/3 is the Big Kahuna' at The Online Photographer

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Everybody look at the cute little kitten!

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Ray Sachs

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Wow. I remember this thread when it was just a wee lad of about two pages. Nice little fellow - didn't grow up very well though!

My bottom line is if I have to look at 100% crops to see the differences between cameras/sensors/lenses, and still have to go back and forth between them more than twice to figure out which I prefer..... then it doesn't matter and I can move on to other concerns like handling and speed and all of the intangibles of how I work with a camera.

I've had early and late model (this is pretty funny given that the whole line has been around for less than 3 years!) Olympus and Panasonic cameras. With the 12mp sensor, I was happier with the low light performance of the EP2 than the GF1, but not enough to matter. I had a GH2 for several months, an EP3 for several weeks, and now have an EPL3. For the kind of shooting I do, I found ISO 3200 a bridge too far with either the GH2 or the EPL3, not to mention the earlier cams. Useable in an emergency, but really a last resort. At 1600, the GH2 was a bit cleaner than the EP3/EPL3, but not enough to matter to me. Both very very useable. Both better than the EP2 (still not bad) and the GF1 (1600 pretty marginal, but still useable). None of this is from pixel peeping - just from actual results at the actual sizes, resolutions, and prints I made from them. For ME, there's no practical difference in useable IQ between the new Olympus line and the GH2 (and I presume G3), even if I understand there to be testable differences.

I had a Nex 5 for a while and have an X100 and both of these cameras are very useable at ISO 3200, the X100 more than the Nex, but both easily useable. I also find more useable DR in these cameras in good light, with more easily recoverable shadows and highlights than with any of the m43 cameras I've used. There's also a sort of undefinable richness and depth to those files that I don't see in any of the m43 files - I can't tell you what it is but I'll be going through work I've done with a mix of cameras and there is just something a little extra in the look of those files. The X100 is 12mp and the Nex was 14, so I don't think mp is a huge deal here. I've heard that the new Nex 16mp sensor is better but the 24mp may not be? No personal experience, but I wouldn't be moved by the jump from 16 to 24 anymore than I am between 12 and 16mp in the m43 world. To me the differences between existing m43 sensors is background noise (in the statistical sense!) compared to the differences between m43 and the larger sensors.

M43 is not the best system in the world for high ISO or DR, not even close. A good APS sensor is visibly better and I'm sure the full frame stuff is that much better, but I don't have any interest in finding out for myself. Those of us who shoot this stuff understand the tradeoffs between size, weight, and ultimate, outer-edge IQ. If our shooting really required the very best low light performance, I'm sure we'd have different gear for that. So, that's a perspective check. The other perspective check for me is I came back into serious photography essentially with a jump from film straight into m43. And m43 blows film away in every measure I could imagine. So, I just see it as a huge plus, rather than a small minus compared to the larger sensor digital cameras. Its very possible to be really damn happy with really damn good stuff and not going gray because some other option might be measurably better!

So, getting back to the original direction of this thread, m43 represents the best set of tradeoffs FOR ME (and probably most of us who are in this forum), understanding that they are tradeoffs, not superiority or greater moral cleanliness! And the quickly maturing lineup of lenses and other gear adds to the appeal. And its wonderful that we have great m43 cameras to choose from representing everything from the tiny P&S impressionists (GF3, EPM1) to still small but full featured options like the G3 and EP3, all the way up to the full featured mini-DSLR shooting experience you get with the GH2. All with very very good IQ - this is a blessing!

So, yeah, the big Kahuna for sure!

-Ray
 

drd1135

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<rant>

I am not sure what this obsession is with high ISO performance in modern digital cameras. I spent all good deal of my photographic life shooting Tri-X at ASA 400 and on occasions pushing it one stop and now we have cameras with ISO that will got to god knows how high. In this digital age I often shoot at ISO 800 and on rare occasions I do push it to 1600 but guess what. The noise I get now is far less than the noise/grain I use to get with Tri-X and I am happy. I have friends that complain about noise at high ISO and then take perfectly noiseless images at low ISO and run then through software and add grain, for effect … go figure!

</rant>
Wow, same background. Tri-X in a Pentax SP-500 developed in the basement. One thing I miss is that Tri-X had the most amazing dynamic range. I don't shoot enough B&W on the E-P2 to see how close that would be.

To be fair, there are a number of times I pull out the Oly and need to go to 1600 to get a reasonable Tv. Early on, I used the E-P1 at 1600 for most of the shots at the Harley-Davidosn museum. One different is that I was perfectly happy with those results, although some others might not have been. Personal preference is critical here; I can tolerate noise but sharpness is something I notice. Even among knowledgeable people, you can't escape your own likes and dislikes.
 

Ned

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Alberta, Canada
So tell me again what the topic had to do with, well, whatever you guys were arguing about?
Something about this...

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goldenlight

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Something about this...

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So how come you know my wife?......:biggrin:
 

goldenlight

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
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Assess!

[Edit - Damn autocorrect on the iPad. I had typed "Awwwww". Look what it did LOL!]
Could be worse - imagine if the first 's' had been an 'r' and the last 's' had been dropped :eek:

Could have started a whole new round of hostilities! :biggrin:
 
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