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My M43 vs my Sony FF (an observation)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by lightmonkey, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    first off, this is an observation. an ephemeral thought of whimsy. there are no conclusions or declarations.

    and it is NOT meant as a revival or a continuation of that 11 page argument on this forum.

    anyway, i was going through a backlog of photos today, to a recent trip @ pont en royans (near Lyon).
    remembering that i had shot this place with both a sony rx1 and the em1+12-40, i couldnt help but pixel peep.

    having always held rx1 at the pinnacle of resolving power, the m43 result took me by surprise.
    i did NOT intend to shoot it for A vs B comparison, so neither exposure nor framing was matched -- this is a comparison of coincidence.

    colors and contrast are unmatched because i started to work on rx1 files.
    sharpening was not yet touched from default. so this is still useful for observing acuity and noise characteristics @ base levels.

    EDIT: now both images are completely base in lightroom. [for true comparison i personally would work both files to their optimal and compare results]

    View attachment 387325

    View attachment 387326

    anyway, hows that for 100% !!!!!
    • Like Like x 5
  2. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    also: forgot whether i had a Zeiss circular polarizer on the sony AND/OR a b&w circular polarizer on the olympus....

    (cant tell by the windows because it couldve been fixed at any angle...)
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    Oof. That's sharp!

    Yet another reminder to me that good glass is clearly more important than the format I'm on. Quells some of my G.A.S. Or at least, redirects it, haha...
  4. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    As you would expect, the FF is clearly the superior image. But the m4/3 isn't terribly far back from FF. Nice comparison.
  5. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    I wouldn't go as far as using the phrase "clearly the superior image" - instead I'd use "marginally/slightly better image". :rolleyes: 
    • Like Like x 2
  6. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    sorry to be a little bit slow but did u tweak the rx1 file a bit and not the em1?. when the both files have been under some basic PP I guess we will have a tough time guessing...
  7. Adding contrast to one of the images will give create more defined edges and give the impression of increased sharpness, and the deeper shadows from the lower exposure will have a similar effect.
  8. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    The strong shadows underneath the eaves of the Sony image (and almost complete lack of it in the Olympus shot) clearly indicate very different lighting conditions going on. Not right to make any judgement call I think.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    fair observation ! ive put up the "base" photos. for an earnest comparison i would have optimized both photos to compare end-results but this is not earnest comparison :D 
    • Like Like x 1
  10. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    slightly different, imo - a whisp of cloud had passed. it wouldnt change much in terms of definition of slats on the window covering, or the windchime device
  11. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Subtle or strong, either way the effect is there, the change in light certainly makes the RX1 seem so much more contrasty with warmer punchier colors.

    I currently own the EM1 and had the RX1 for a while too and while the RX1 is capable of producing absolutely stunning results (hands down it's the absolute finest camera I've ever owned from a purely IQ level) I think the clearly visible differences shown here have more to do with the lighting at the precise moment each image was taken rather than any differences resulting from better/worse or different gear.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    agree with you on all points :) 

    i think i should make it more explicit that what took me by surprise was the detail resolving power of the sensor+lens combo (atleast during daytime*)

    ...contrast and color can all be worked in processing and personally not a big deal for my RAW shooting

    (*another can of worms :D )
  13. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Also worth noting the RX1 is at 35 and the E-M1 is at 44 equivalent. So the E-M1 is zoomed in more, in fact just enough that it completely eliminates the resolution advantage of the RX1. (44/35)^2 = 1.6 and 24/16 = 1.5. This is also clear from the navigation screen where you can see the RX1 covers a significantly larger field of view.

    Looking at the 100% views though does show both cameras have very nice lenses, the 35 keeping up with its 24MP sensor and the 12-40 with its 16MP sensor. But in the end the RX1 has more resolution - but of course it should.

    Thanks for sharing!
  14. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    If anyone wants to take a look at the images taken between the A7r and the EM1 then they can look at the images linked in my signature below. For a lot of images it makes little or no difference especially if they are correctly exposed and not subject to a lot of processing. But the A7r gives me a lot more leeway in a photograph - for instance I can take a photography of a sunset, underexpose by 1.7 stops to prevent the sun from blowing out and then still open up the shadows in the silhouette. It is this sort of situation that I see a noticeable difference. I do also find the increased pixel count and higher DR makes it easier for me to process in post but that is because I do process my photos pretty heavily.
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I think Rob nails this when he says for a lot of images it makes little or no difference. I think that fact confuses and feeds many "my gear vs your gear" arguments.
  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yeah, in this case there is simply no substantial differentiation in image quality between the two images at 100%. You could tell me that either that the RX1 shot was from E-M1 or vice-versa and I'd believe you.

    Warmer, contrastier, etc... honestly doesn't matter in the slightest to me, since I work in RAW, and will generally spend a minute or two tweaking an image that I like. Micro-contrast can't really be adjusted in post, but in this case we're largely talking about macro contrast. These things used to be a big deal with film, but with digital it's almost entirely irrelevant. If anything, a flatter lower-contrast grade can often be an asset now, since it retains more dynamic range. That definitely did not used to be the case.

    As Robbie mentions, my main reason for getting a larger sensor would be to improve my latitude for working in post, or for extreme low light conditions.
  17. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada

    Now that you have used it for a while what do you think about shooting with the A7r vs the E-M1? Is there a dramatic handling difference?
  18. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    How dare you post actual examples :wink:
  19. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I'm not Robbie, but I also shoot both.

    The E-M1: better ergonomics, better autofocus, quicker operation in every way, quieter shutter, much more polished as a product.

    The A7r: not dissimilar feel, good ergonomics (shutter button isn't ideal, but the dual dial layout and Exposure comp works a treat in manual with auto ISO). The main interface quirk holding it back is the lack of a touchscreen (AF point selection is a pain). Great with manual focus glass.

    They're about the same size, and switching between them isn't a problem for me. The A7r files are pretty special for landscape, and I love having the option of shallow DOF at 35mm back. The Oly is fast and agile, the Sony ponderous and challenging to get the best out of. For low light, I'll take the E-m1 for its IBIS most days, since I do to have a stabilized lens for the A7r yet.

    For me, they're a perfect pair for travel. I understand the limitations of the A7r and the relative 'limitations' of the E-M1, and they work for me.
    • Like Like x 3
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    pake... you can use whatever phrase you like, that's fine by me.

    My phrase didn't indicate any degree at all, though my second sentence did. My phrase simply indicated that it was clear to me that one image was superior to the other. And I'll stay with that, thanks. :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
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