Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Pap, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Pap

    Pap Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Fleetwood, PA
    I’m a new member here and as of the moment have not purchased any of the 4/3rd cameras but have been following the web sites and forums in an effort to decide if a 4/3rd camera was to be my next purchase. What I’m about to say I hope will be taken in the right light and not as a negative remark regarding the format by those who read it.
    What has been bothering me is that after looking at a large number of images from the 4.3rd cameras a fairly high number of the images appear soft. Whether because of focus or movement I can’t say. Please believe me when I tell you that I am trying to pull the trigger on an EPL-1 but because of what I have mentioned I have been hesitant. Am I not seeing this?
    Any response would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Mosca

    Mosca Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2010
    I think that the general tenor of the mu43 format, and of this forum, is more about the joy of photography and less about being technically perfect, and as such you will see more images from more users of all levels of technical expertise. But the cameras are sharp.

    When I say that the tenor of the format is more about the joy of photography, what I mean is that all of the seriousness of the big black camera and huge honkin' red striped lenses is gone, and what is left is the man/woman and the camera. To use an automotive analogy, it's like giving up the world class Porsche Carrera 3 that you can't drive on the street and getting a wonderfully light and responsive Miata that goes everywhere with the top down.
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  3. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hey Pap and welcome. Well I own a GF1 and my images look sharp. I'm not really experienced as some others here but I think it has alot to do with the lenses. Like say if you used the kit lens that came with a 4/3th'd camera it might not be as sharp as if you mounted a Leica lens with an adapter for example. I don't have any qualms about the Sensors that Oly and Panasonic use it think they do a good job.

    The best thing for you to do is take a few images on the camera and put them up on a screen before you buy it and see if you like them. I'm not sure if the camera shops over there would let you do that but I'd give it a go.

    Happy hunting,

  4. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    the sensors in the micro four thirds machines by both panny and olly are capable of providing a file that is colorful , contrast filled and information rich , but an image is only as good as the lens used ....and more to the point the conditions under which an image is taken is a factor too....

    i think what your seeing is people pushing the envelope to the point where the speed\ f stop combos dont always provide critical sharpness .... in my own experence i often try to shoot at 1\10 sec sometimes 1\20 sec with a 50 mm or 90 mm lens
    to get the shot without flash at the expense of a little sharpness...sometimes im shooting a nikkor 135 3.5 rangefinder lens .... i should have the recipriocal of 1\250 or even higher to ensure sharpness .....i will accept slower speeds and try to pull off an acceptable shot hoping that a steady hold and some Is will help matters.

    lastly there is only 100 mb available in the gallery , im down to 20 megs, ui find mysel resizing to 1200 x900 med jpegs frp display that are 200 to 500 k in size
    i believe other do this too at times . using these images as a measure of m4\3 potential
    is not gonna impress youi with sharpness

    several good reviews exist of the ep1 epl1 gf1 g1 g2 gh1 ..... many have full res shots at different isos , check them out and you will see that , while not quite apsc the m4\3 is
    very very good
    • Like Like x 1
  5. CalebPhotographer

    CalebPhotographer Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    I apologize for the large resolution embed, but I entend to fully answer the questions asked.

    Here are images with native resolution crops to show their sharpness. Enjoy, and good luck deciding.

    (Both taken with the Olympus E-P1)

    IMAGE 1
    Taken @ ISO 200 with the 17mm M.Zuiko @ ƒ/5.6
    (Horrible image, I know. But this is a sharpness demonstration.)

    IMAGE 2
    Taken @ ISO 100 with a Canon 50mm S.S.C. @ ƒ/1.4
    Cheap $50 eBay adaptor from Hong Kong used to mount this lens.

    The sensor is entirely capable of producing sharp photos.
    Also, keep in mind that the images you see here are screenshots taken and stored in a compressed format.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Pap

    Pap Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Fleetwood, PA

    Well I will admit they do prove the point. I suspect that, in part at least, some of the images I mentioned were the result of factors mentioned here in this thread. Well tomorrow, actually I see it is tomorrow here already, I plan on taking another look at the EPL-1. It certainly is appreciated that you folks took the time to respond.
    Thanks! Pap
  7. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i have a gf1, but i was VERY close to buying an e-pl1. they have some of the best jpg's i've seen, not soft at all, except perhaps at the far end of a long zoom. i'd guess what you're seeing is movement, and i'm a bit surprised since a lot of the e-pl1 shots i've seen around are tack sharp.
  8. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Hey All,

    If you push the enveloppe then sensor size becomes an optical parameter (like f and F number) and the lenses to compensate for this compared to a full field camera even more extreme (= heavy&big and/or expensive). But if you look at the weight and price of such DSLR's then I am very happy Panasonic and Olympus introduced the m43 format and you should actually compare it with the entry level DSLR and/or fancy Point & Shoot camera (because others are simply out of my range).
    - Is it actually allowed to talk about Sony and Samsung on this site? :blush:

    Sensor quality (High ISO noise) is of course another electronic/chemistry parameter. There F numbers of lenses can help (to keep ISO down - the real solution, as well as tripod for static exposures), as well as exposure time (potentially supported by Image Stability (In-Body vs in the lens)), next to build-in / external flash. But non of those options come for free either.
    • Future sensors will become beter, but waiting for tomorrow to come today will keep you busy for some time :confused:
    • Build-in Flash can be useful in limited situation, but (multiple) external flashes ofter disturb the object (of course besides studio portrait and macro) - I actually would like to experiment a little on this with my family, but as stated for street photography this is not-done and in combination with panaroma it won't help.
    • Big expensive lenses versus Big expensive bodies, I prefer a better value for my money. :tongue:
    • IS/IBIS, EVF/no-EVF, weight of camera&lens can to some level help you to hold your camera more stable without a tripot, so does an EVF!!! For best AF / IS you have to go for m43 lenses, but you can try out non-native lenses via an adapter (especially interesting if you collection coming from film).

    Do you need affordable compact system camera with best IQ?
    - Then buy m43!!! :2thumbs:
  9. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    Sharpness is a very subjective thing and comes in degrees. It depends on many factors, including the contrast of the scene, whether or not a tripod is used, whether you are relying on DOF for perceived sharpness or comparing at the true point of focus, how windiy is it, how steady your hands are, how much sharpness you apply (either id camera or pp) and, yes, sensor size and lens quality.

    Obvoiusly :43: is a compromise compared to Full Frame, just as 35mm film is a compromise to Medium Format, which in turn is a compromise to Large Format. Just as with film, your choice of digital format depends on what type of photography you intend to do. I wouldn't choose to carry a Full Frame DSLR on a 20 mile tramp over the Lake District hills, but I wouldn't choose to shoot a billboard for an advertizing campaign on :43:. It's horses for courses.

    That said, :43: compares surprisingly well to its larger cousins. I'm probably not the best person to demonstrate sharpness in a hand held image as I have Parkinsons and my hands are not as steady as they once were. However, I think this image, taken on a Panasonic G1, is acceptably sharp. I still have loads of gallery space so I've uploaded a full resolution, maximum quality file which I will delete at a later date when I start to run out of space. To see the full resolution image click on the thumbnail in my Gallery to open it , then click on image again to get the full size. :smile:
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  10. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    • Like Like x 2
  11. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    I wish you lot would not "bugger my browser up" by posting ultra large images

    I hate scrolling! - strolling is fine - but I've never liked scrolling
  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Any softness you're seeing with E-PL1 is due to either user error, postprocessing (eg, resizing without sharpening), or (less likely) a bad lens. I haven't found my MFT cameras to be any less sharp than my Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Here's a sample from the GH1:


    I took that at f/7.1, which is not the sharpest setting for that lens, but you can still see that there is plenty of detail in that frame.
    • Like Like x 3
  14. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    Yes, plenty of detai to my eye, Amin, and it's a lovely image too, which is perhaps even more important. :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Camerafrog

    Camerafrog Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    That is beautiful Amin! Thanks for sharing.

    I sold my µ4/3 kit, but it was not because of lack of sharpness. The photos were really sharp. My "issues" were about other things.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Thanks, John and Camerafrog!
  17. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    Sharpness Problem?

    Kit lens on the G1 in low light (rain and heavy cloud), and handheld ... and just a jpeg to boot (there is a full sized version of this in my gallery if you want to really see this image strut the sharpness and detail factor)

    • Like Like x 2
  18. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    Yes Bokeh, that is sharp. Well worth a visit to your gallery for the full size image. :smile:
  19. Pap

    Pap Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Fleetwood, PA
    I’m aware that there has been a discussion regarding the “kit’ lens on the ELP-1 and have read where it is O.K. but not as good as others that are available. Quite honestly at this point (because of finances) I wouldn’t plan on buying other lenses. I have a number of older (with aperture rings) Nikkors that with an adaptor would work in manual and that was what my intentions would follow. Obviously using the manual focus shooting would be slower. I understand that there is a mode to enlarge(?) the focus area but frankly this would seem to add even more delay in shooting a subject.
    Was curious what lens you used for the beautiful image you posted.
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Pap, I used the Lumix 7-14mm lens for that shot, but I have used the Olympus 14-42mm kit zoom and know it to be capable of capturing every bit as much detail as in the shot shown above. The reason it sometimes gets a less good rap is that it isn't quite as sharp as the Panasonic 14-45mm kit lens (nor is the $1000 Lumix 7-14 as sharp as the Panasonic 14-45mm kit lens) and because the collapsible build gives it a somewhat less solid feel when extended.

    Be sure to check out this thread if you haven't done so already.
    • Like Like x 1