Review Observations on Sony full frame vs micro 4/3. Hint: m4/3 still relevant

pellicle

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.. and then I read your comment below the images :)
yep, I was just trying to show that you don't always see any difference between m43 and FF (except size and weight of gear, you'll usually notice that first ;-))

Although the Samyang 35f2.8 is quite compact on the A7
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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Linden

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That’s a UHS-I 150MB/s card you linked. Sure, it’s going to be quite a bit cheaper if you don’t need the speed, but will take twice as long to clear the buffer as a UHS-II 300MB/s card. I understand the argument though, with XQD you don’t have the options for cheaper slower cards like you do with SD.
 

tkbslc

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That’s a UHS-I 150MB/s card you linked. Sure, it’s going to be quite a bit cheaper if you don’t need the speed, but will take twice as long to clear the buffer as a UHS-II 300MB/s card. I understand the argument though, with XQD you don’t have the options for cheaper slower cards like you do with SD.
Yeah, that was my point. But that Extreme card isn't "slow", just not the absolute fastest. 150MB/s is going to clear out multiple RAW shots per second. But, one of the fastest memory cards ali griffin tested in the E-M1 II is only $30 at Amazon.

And just because you have a FF camera, doesn't mean you shoot 100 shot burst sequences. Honestly, if you shoot portraiture and landscapes, both good uses for FF, you are likely fine with a $10 memory card and may never use burst mode at all.
 

wjiang

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People who are "budget conscious" don't buy FF, they buy a crop sensor system of some sort because it's more affordable. FF has never been "budget conscious".

When I had two E-M1 II's, I had two 64GB UHS-II cards in slot 1. When shooting at 10fps for 3, 4, or 5 seconds, I want to clear the buffer as fast as possible, because you don't have full function of the camera while it's writing to the card. It's even worse if you use the 60fps S-AF mode for taking a number of shots quickly (i.e. stacking/merging in post).

What's the point of buying a high speed camera if you don't take advantage of the speed? It's a bit like buying a Porsche, and then putting all-season tires on it. Sure, it'll work fine, but you're not getting the full performance out of the vehicle.
And then there's me, who consciously bought a UHS-II card when they came down in price even though my E-M1 can't write at more than 30 MB/s, to get faster download speeds with a USB3.1 card reader. It's waaay faster.

I regularly shoot low-light stacks and wildlife sequences with my E-M1, it's not the buffer clearing that I hit, it's that when I do that sort of shooting I often end up with hundreds of RAWs to import and cull. There's no way I'm culling that many in camera. Faster download speeds makes a big difference in that situation.
 

pellicle

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...
I regularly shoot low-light stacks and wildlife sequences with my E-M1,... I often end up with hundreds of RAWs to import and cull. There's no way I'm culling that many in camera. Faster download speeds makes a big difference in that situation.
... and the step up to full frame and over 24Mpix would only hurt that too.
 

pellicle

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Exactly, now if we can see similar tests with the G9 vs the a7rii, that would be sweet!
Buy me one of each and I'll do it, no problems :)

I assume you know of this tool over at dpreview:

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


sadly it does not have older cameras like my GH1, if it did I wouldn't bother to test myself.
 
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I get $50 for a Sandisk Extreme 128GB SD card vs over $200 for an XQD or $75 vs $400 for 256GB.

https://www.adorama.com/idsde15v3128.html

Sure you want a fast card, but there's fast and there's burning money.
The Sandisk Extreme you linked to is a UHS-I V30 card, with a maximum read speed of 170 MB/s.
UHS-II cards have a read speed of up to 300 MB/s. XQD cards have a maximum read speed of 440 MB/s, making more than 2.5 times as fast as UHS-I.

For applications where speed is important, UHS-I doesn't hold a candle to UHS-II or XQD. But then again, if you're only shooting one or two images at a time, and only a handful of images before dumping them back on to your computer, then yeah, by all means go with a UHS-I card.

Coming from a high-end m43 camera (E-M1 II), I bought the fastest SD cards the camera could handle because they allowed the camera to operate as fast and efficiently as possible. Moving over to Nikon, the negligible change in pricing from UHS-II to XQD wasn't an issue, especially when considering that I got even more speed out of the cards. But I suppose if you're used to shooting an older camera that only supports UHS-I, then there'll be some sticker shock when you go to buy the best memory cards your camera can support.
 
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I'm genuinely curious as I only have an E-M1.i, but are the A7s or the newer E-M1s (or other cameras) locked into UHS-II cards? Because that's what's annoying, surely? With the Z series you are locked into XQD cards which are, let's be clear, expensive in absolute terms. (Edit: Some googling suggests that the other cameras are fine with UHS-I cards, so I can keep using my crappy 32gb 95mb/s cards that cost me $14.)

And tbh I find the idea that people who don't spring for the most expensive SD card available are "nickle-and-dime" truly perplexing. Being budget conscious about your hobby is responsible and a good thing, even more so when you're spending FF-type money.
The A7's can use regular SD cards as well as UHS-II. A fast UHS-i card will do 4K video as well, albeit with a more reduced bandwidth. If one is a dedicated video shooter and requires bandwidths over 90 mb/s then UHS-II is probably a better option. On my Sony A7R II I noticed that 4K mode has two selectable bandwidths of 60 mb/s and 100 mb/s, so I chose 60 to stay within the limitations of my UHS-i cards that top out at 60 mb/s write speed. This is another reason why dual card slots make sense, one can have photos stored to an affordable high capacity UHS-i card and videos stored on a second dedicated UHS-II card.
 
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pdk42

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So the A7 and A7 II are about 0.5 stops ahead of the G9...

Once again reinforcing why the A7 III is the only Sony ILC I would buy.
I don't believe it. Every test I've ever done comparing m43 and FF shows a clear 2 stop advantage. These DPReview comparison things can provide some insight, but they don't tell the whole story.
 

Turbofrog

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I don't believe it. Every test I've ever done comparing m43 and FF shows a clear 2 stop advantage. These DPReview comparison things can provide some insight, but they don't tell the whole story.
Which FF, though?

If you were comparing the A7r or A7r II or A7 III, I would agree. But the A7 and A7 II have always had the worst FF sensors on the market when it comes to low light performance. Both are about 1 stop behind the D600, which was released way back in 2012. I think the earlier A7 sensors must have been based on the 2008 Sony A900...
 
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... and the step up to full frame and over 24Mpix would only hurt that too.
Depending on your needs, more SD storage may be more advantageous on a 42MP sensor as opposed to higher r/w speeds. As most of my shooting is landscapes, street, occasional portraits and birds, some casual 4K video bleeding edge card speed will not really affect me.
 
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So the A7 and A7 II are about 0.5 stops ahead of the G9...

Once again reinforcing why the A7 III is the only Sony ILC I would buy.
I looked into buying used A7's and A7 II and dismissed them for the very reason you've cited. On the other hand the sensor in the A7 RII/III is significantly better then the older A7 24MP sensor.
 
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Doesn't file bit depth also become a factor? m43 (except GH5S) yields a 12-bit file, while most FF (if not all) are 14-bit. That may well be why their files seem "richer".
 

Turbofrog

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Doesn't file bit depth also become a factor? m43 (except GH5S) yields a 12-bit file, while most FF (if not all) are 14-bit. That may well be why their files seem "richer".
To an extent, the question there is another one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions. That bit depth only really exists at the pixel level. And you can increase bit depth through interpolation, by exchanging it for spatial information.

So unless you're inspecting all your images at 100% pixels, you can easily produce and print an M4/3 image that has 14-bit depth through a simple 50% downsample. That 4-5MP file will still fill your monitor, and print beautifully.
 

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