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Red rag to a bull on a M4/3 forum: considering FF 35mm Digital

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by Ricoh, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Not necessarily ditching M4/3, just augmenting the line up, but I need some advice please: how much of an improvement might be expected from something like a 5D Mk III compared to M4/3. I'm led to understand the FF would have improved dynamic range and a vast improvement at higher ISO with much reduced noise, plus there's 4x the area of the photo sensitive detector, so it must be better, mustn't it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Haha, is this a joke?
     
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  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Depends. What do you plan to shoot, and what lenses do you want to buy? I owned a 5DmkII and a broad range of L lenses and some other nice primes. Sold them because they were so bulky I never used them after getting the E-M5.

    Canon doesn't have super impressive dynamic range or class leading high ISO (Sony has both these days) but does have wonderful glass and a very good all round camera. What I missed and found again in my a7r was shallower DOF in wide to normal focal lengths (a fast fifty or fast 35), which MFT only really offers with Voightlander MF glass. The FF is now my primes and wide system, MFT the long glass system. I still have wides and normals for MFT but anything under the 55mm FF or lower and I tend to grab the Sony. Landscapes and people? Sony. Wildlife? Oly. Although I sometimes just take the Oly and 12-40 and snap away.

    Personally I find FF and MFT complement each other very well.
     
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  4. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Not that I'm aware of. Is it because I've asked the question about FF, or mentioned Canon.

    I'm looking for better images, that's all, better quality. M4/3 is a good but there must be better. I'm considering all the available FF 35mm, including an M240.
     
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  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Get a Pentax 645
     
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  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    if size and price didn't matter (ie a Leica m240 was financially viable) I would be getting a Pentax 645z. No question. Since I like travelling light-ish and don't have a bank account that big I'll stick with my Sony / MFT mix for now :)
     
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Steve - I ran a Canon 5dii for a couple of years before I switched to u43 (a move I've never regretted and have no ambitions to reverse!). The IQ differences are not huge, esp in good light. DR is IMHO worse on Canon (or at least, on the 5dii - the MK iii might be better). Noise at high ISOs is certainly worse on u43, but really, how often do you shoot high ISO? If high ISO is important for you, then the Sony A7s is a much more capable tool than the Canon.

    Finally, if you've used m43 cameras with their EVFs for a while, it's easy to forget how crude and old -fashioned DSLRs are. If The FF itch is strong, then I'd recommend Sony A7 rather than Canon 5d - it's smaller, mirrorless, has a better sensor and will be closer to your current gear in features and usability.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
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  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    There is a lot of generalization that goes on in discussion of sensor size that doesn't hold up when it comes to specific comparisons.

    For example, you own the E-M5 and mentioned the 5D III. In that comparison, the E-M5 at base ISO actually has more dynamic range than the 5D III at base ISO. In terms of signal/noise vs ISO, the 5D III has about a 1.5-stop advantage, meaning that ISO 6400 on the E-M5 looks a lot like ISO 18000 on the 5D III. That's without taking into account that all primes are stabilized on E-M5 and few are stabilized on 5D III, so you'll find yourself needing those high ISOs more often on the 5D III.
     
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  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Looking at your work on your flickr page, which is good..I don't really see how a FF camera would offer you any real advantage, and indeed offer several disadvantages in terms of narrower DOF and sheer bulk/weight/visibility of the camera.

    The Leica route is an interesting one... but its a very different photograph taking experience, not to mention a very expensive hobby!!

    My Canon 5d Mk2 has not been fired in 4 years, I occasionally shoot with my partners Leicas (M8, 9 and Monochrome), and while the lenses are very nice indeed, and shooting with a rangefinder can be an enjoyable experience, at the end of the day its a heavy camera that is cumbersome to use.

    here are a few albums of Leica shots

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/kevinparis2007/Lrj353

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDZa1Yo

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsjDXBaj1

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsjD93aRn

    The Sony A7 is also an interesting option...I have shot briefly with the A7s and the A7II but it is hampered by an awkward (in terms of choice and of size)lens range.

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/kevinparis2007/yugp7C

    Having tried all these options, and often shot using my E-M1, beside my partner with her Leica or Sony, I rarely feel that I would get better pictures by swapping cameras

    Just my opinion....worth about as much as you paid for it :)

    K
     
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  10. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Well, we don't live for ever and it's not a dress rehersal, etc. With that in mind I have seriously been considering a digital Leica, I love the manual controls, and of course the lenses are something to die for, as it were. (Hoping not die too soon, of course!)
    I have this inner voice telling me 1/4 of a full frame digital sensor can't equate to the real thing. I've marvelled at some of the Leica images I've seen, even my wife who knows less than me about photography can identify a leica shot - something difficult to quantify but it's there. But £4k for the body and £2k for a second hand 35mm 'lux is holding me back at the moment, and therefore I'm looking for options.
     
  11. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    I've used just about every FF body produced by either Canon (since 1Ds) or Nikon (since D700) over the years, with the exception of the very latest D750, D600, D4s. I also shot with the Leica M8 for a while too (very disappointed). So,

    • Are they better at high ISO?
    Yes, the Canon by about a stop and the Nikon by maybe 1.5 - 2 stops depending on the body. The 5D2 was not especially low noise though and had a really nasty banding problem as you increased the ISO up to 3200 and beyond, and I do mean nasty. It varied between my bodies, but they all had it to some extent. So the real question is what do you plan to shoot and then what do you want to do with it? This is important because if you're trying to get low light AND enough depth of field to actually be useful (more than a nat's nackers in focus) then FF requires you to go up a stop or more to get the same DOF as M43, thereby negating any advantage in high ISO they had. This isn't an absolute hard line truth, but should be used as a guide.

    • Dynamic Range
    The Nikons beat the Canons hands down. The 5D2/5D3 and 1 series bodies I shot with were poor in comparison to the Nikon D700 / D800 / D3 / D4 etc. Sony may be even better but I can't talk with authority because I haven't shot with them.

    • Depth of Field
    If shallow depth of field is what you crave then FF is where you need to be, but be prepared to invest a LOT in good glass, and by that I mean several thousands. Less than top grade FF glass can be somewhat disappointing.

    • Image Quality
    How are you defining image quality? Sounds simple, but it's not quite. For example, FF may give you better pixel peeping in the centre, but way too many FF lenses are poor towards the corners compared to crop cameras like M43. So, what makes up the quality you yearn for? Detail (not the same as sharpness), more pixels? lower noise per pixel? What?

    • Low Light Shooting
    I can shoot much slower shutter speeds on the EM1 and at lower ISO than I can on FF <anything> even with IS lenses. So any high ISO advantage of FF is wiped out, assuming you're not trying to freeze action.

    • Size & Weight
    Urgh! Bad shoulders, bad neck, bad back, hmmm.... remind me why I shot FF for so long? :)

    • If you're looking at 100% crops for web display then chances are you'll get more pleasing results from FF for some kinds of shots. If you're looking for prints then the chances are at regular viewing distances (or even up close) you'll be hard pushed to tell them apart. What you will find is that once the euphoria of new gear wears off and you're left carrying the newly found bulk and weight, maybe you'll start leaving the bigger / heavy gear at home again and wonder why you bought it. Just don't sell your M43 gear until the euphoria has past ;)
     
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  12. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Thanks to all for the replies, chaps.

    I look at my work and as hard as I try I'm not happy with the quality being produced (composition apart, that's the eye, isn't it). I read all the reviews on the various review sites and think well, what I need is a better camera, and that obviously leads to thoughts of FF. But reading the response from Amin, perhaps I need to reconsider.
    The 5D is a beast isn't it, and the M240 is a close runner up.
    Paul (pdk42), I agree the tilting EVF is a bonus, so I wouldn't divest myself of M4/3 totally.
     
  13. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 10, 2012
    I think you will get some hostile responses considering the forum, but I think the best thing is to try FF for yourself. Can you rent? Personally, I have experience with 35mm film, APS-C digital, and M43. I think they all have a distinct look. The differences can be very hard to tell in some photos but very obvious in others. Personally, I like APS-C better than M43 and I plan on getting an FX DSLR when I am able. If I were on the fence, I would try to pick a typical photo outing and bring along a FF rental and your M43 gear. Use them side by side and see what you think about the differences. It is very common to see this advice: switching cameras will not make you a better photographer. I think that is true, but there may still be legitimate reasons to upgrade. If you try the head-to-head comparison, I think some of us would like to hear about your experience. Good luck!
     
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  14. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm not so sure about that. Steve is a longstanding member who has contributed a lot to the forum, and most of the replies here seem to understand where he is coming from. It's not like a new member jumping on where they could be trolling.

    @Ricoh@Ricoh - I think you should go for it. I happily shot an M240 alongside my MFTs gear and now happily shoot a Sony A7RII alongside my MFTs gear. Nothing wrong with a 5D III or 6D either. It's all great.
     
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  15. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    That's how I've felt about the output of every single digital camera I've ever used. None of them have made me totally satisfied, but it took me a while to realise that perfection didn't actually exist.
     
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  16. nzdigital

    nzdigital Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Oct 20, 2010
    New Zealand
    Wayne
    Hi Steve

    Can you be a bit more specific about exactly what it is with the 'quality' that you're not happy with? Checked out your Flickr and it looks like you are primarily a street shooter, which I would have thought the E-M5 would have been excellent for - 5D FF not so much?

    I've owned FF (Canon 5D), and a multitude of APS-C cameras before switching everything to M43 and I'm just blown away with the quality I'm getting out of the E-M5 Mk2.

    I'm not immune to the 'inner voice' though either :confused:

    If you can get the cash together, from your Flickr stream it look to me like you would certainly be a Leica guy....
     
  17. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Then get some Leica glass for your m43
     
  18. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 10, 2012
    @Amin Sabet@Amin Sabet : I agree and I did not mean to imply this is a hostile forum. I just meant it is like asking about Canon on a Nikon forum, Ford on a Chevy forum, etc.
     
  19. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    You've nearly got me reaching for my cheque book. I sometimes dream of a Leica plus one or two lovely lenses. Perhaps I should. Even my wife has endorsed the purchace!

    Quality is what I see on the screen, a 15"" Dell (perhaps I need better screen, ha).

    In term of quality, I quite often need to crop, and get the exposure wrong as welll, which I attend to in PP. Then my thoughts turn to a larger sensor. I say to myself, even if I crop 25% it's got to be better than a starting point of 1/4 of FF! But reading what I've read so far on the thread, Im in rethink mode.
    How does one objectively compare cameras without trying them - rental is a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  20. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I hope you're not suffering from G.A.S.

    First of all, no camera ever made is going to make an image special. What's going to make it special is the lens "bokeh", which is a specific rendering characteristics of the out of focus blur of a fixed focus lens. Full frame lenses tend to give a more organic look. Leica capitalized at this and make lenses that actually perform well in black and white photography. Seemingly that a lot of your work is in black and white; is it an area that you are going to be focused in? Leica FF is intriguing because it works well shooting photojournalistic style, but Leica bodies I think are a bit lack lustre high-iso performance wise compared to a Sony equipped sensor body. Personally, it's too much money for my taste. However, if black and white is your thing, then there's no doubt owning a Leica is cool. Personally I think if you want a 5D, the Sony A7 series is a better choice like the A7R II. 14bit RAW uncompressed will be available in firmware finally so you will have so much headroom to work in B/W with RAW.