The true power of M43, in real life.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Chrisnmn, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    Hey guys,

    I dumped m43 about a month or two ago now as i bought myself the Sony A7 and the Ricoh GR in my front pocket. But, that doesnt mean, I love and loved m43 dearly. more now than ever that im back with FF and figuring out my exposure and aperture is totally different. but that a different story.

    I got contacted by a client saying that they wanted to buy one of my images for their office. Which is always awesome news to get right?, but the truth was that they didnt want an A3 (11x17in), nor A2 (24x17in) nor A0 (48 x 33in) print, they wanted a 2.3 x 2.5 meters (7.5 x 8.2 f ) !!!

    Till here everything sounds amazing!, but when i started sweating was when they told me the image they wanted.

    Daily routine by Chris Leskovsek, on Flickr

    They picked this shot of auckland, that i took over the past winter with the OMD EM5 and the P25. I know, and we all know that every format has its limit, and m43 pretty much limits at an A2 or A1 size prints, after that, you can tell the difference in between m43 and FF for example. So on top of all this, this images was shot on a dark evening at iso1600, that also explains the motion blur in the image right?.

    anyway, I prepared the file and sent it over, without telling the client nor the printer. Just sent a 300dpi tiff file until i got a call from the client, saying that the print went up the day before and inviting me to go check it out.


    this is what i faced myself when i walked into the agency. They even cropped the file!!!


    BEAUTIFUL!!!! but that photo doesnt really show the size of the print, so while i was shooting, one of their employees came out of the door...


    hahah funny face, i know, but she can give you a real perspective on how huge the print is.

    And now, for all the sceptical people and hardcore gear heads, heres a close up of the print details to see the real deal. the grain!.


    Client, is absolutely happy with the print, and me too.
    This came as a total surprise. Ive always preached and said that m43 was 'good enough' for most people. I also truly believe that a photo is not a photo until is printed. Would FF have done better in this case?, I expect so, would have Medium format have done better?, OBVIOUSLY. But theres one thing FF and or MF have not done in this case, and that is, i most probably would have not taken this photo, because they dont fit in my everyday bag, and even if they did, i wouldnt even bothered to take the camera of the bag in the first place to take this shot, as it was raning, and i was grabbing my umbrella, and needed a 'one hand operation' type of camera, that they are not.

    So to me, this was another lesson. 'live and learn'. Internet forums, full of 400% zoom pixel peeper inspectors, are preaching only hypothesis to me with all their critics to maximum resolutions, sensors, etc, cause in real life, im getting impressive results from something im supposed not, a 'toy format'.

    So, I just wanted to share this experience with you guys. as im blown away about technology nowadays. Now I do really 'know' what 'good enough iq' is to me.

    hope you have a merry christmas and happy holidays!
    • Like Like x 56
  2. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Real Name:
    Brian Y.
    Thank you for taking the time for making this post! I enjoyed reading and I'm glad that you are happy. There's nothing better than satisfaction that you made an image someone else wanted, let alone in the size of a small room ;) who and what printer prints that big. ?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    So you going to switch back to M43? :wink:
    • Like Like x 3
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Congratulations on your selling of the image! :cool:
    Now about that employee.....:biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Jeff1:1

    Jeff1:1 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 2, 2013
    Perhaps they like it because the photo of the skyline isn't perfect. The buildings are recognizable, yet the motion blur adds action, instead of technically perfect and static/boring. Well done!!
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    The shame of it is that when you are researching information on printing and specifically print sizes you will inevitably run across blogs, usually written by studio photographers who know the technicalities back-to-front, that will instruct you on things like maximum print sizes per format, dpi, diffraction limits, circles of confusion, ad infinitum. If you took all of that to heart you'd be scared to print anything larger than an 8x10, but what is missing in all their advice is that the whole point of a large print is as an impact piece. It should get your attention from across the room. It should catch your eye every time you walk past it.

    I honestly would never have thought to print anything quite this large, but then I print only for myself where a wall-sized print might be a bit too much in a living room! I think that 40" will remain my limit.

    Congratulations on having one of your images selected for this application. It really is a perfect piece as an office entry statement.
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    12mp and above look great blown up. It's not like most people look at an image with their nose up to the print especially at that size.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. iso640

    iso640 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    I just had a 12x18 print made (at Costco of all places) from a photo made with a Panny GX1 (ISO160) and I had a 16x20 print made (again at Costco) from an Oly EM-5 photo shot at ISO2500. Both prints are amazingly detailed and crisp. The "noise" in the 16x20 print looks more like film grain than noise (which is one of the things I like about the Oly). I recently saw a YouTube video where they tested print sizes from a GH-3 (I think) and they printed it at 44x44 and it was quite acceptable, so the notion that you can't have large prints from M43 cameras is kinda silly since there is irrefutable proof otherwise.

    I read an article recently, on Luminous Landscape, about megapixels versus frame size and the outcome is pretty much that you don't need a full-frame camera these days to make pro-quality prints. That doesn't mean that a full-frame camera doesn't give better prints but the fact of the matter is, you don't "need" one.

    Congrats on selling your image and the epiphany about M43 cameras.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Indeed. I like the option of having absurd megapixels for landscape prints - I enjoy 'pixel peeping' large prints as well.
  10. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    My son has been playing woodwinds in groups for years. When musicians discuss a performance they talk about the mistakes, listeners talk about the music.
    • Like Like x 7
  11. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2013
    Hey now, I'm a studio photographer. When people try to tell me I can't do this or that with M4/3 over a full frame, I have a simple answer for them:


    Congrats on the print sale Chris. It looks great in that room.
    • Like Like x 9
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Congrats, Chris - the print looks great!

    I have 30x20" prints from my 6MP Canon 300D (original Digital Rebel), and those files held up beautifully at that print size. I think Nic said it perfectly a few posts up.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    TONS of images have been printed off 6mp bodies...."We" seem to have forgotten that....
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Chris, what was the print medium that was used?
  15. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    Real Name:
    And here is another huge print from Panasonic G3 and Sigma 19mm lens, print is 15 foot high and hung in shopping mall [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 11
  16. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Real Name:
    Mike Kaplan
    Well done chrismn...

    Here are some pics of 1.5m (60in) wide prints in a customers apartment shot with a Panasonic LX3.....
    They were thrilled with the results...

    "experts"......bah.....can't be done....we'll see....
    • Like Like x 10
  17. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    the OMD beats my original 1DS that camera was in a lot of high end mags and in a lot of huge prints :)

    yes you can do better technical but as some find out technical perfect images is not always what sells :)

    ask yourself this if you were going to be put on a island for 5 years and you could bring one pic ! would it be a technical perfect pic or would it be a pic that had emotion ? maybe even taken with a P&S or camera phone etc..

    congrats on the sale and hope ya got some good coin :)
    • Like Like x 5
  18. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Proof is in the (large) prints

    Thanks to everyone for sharing in this thread. I'm not insecure about the capabilities of my cameras, for years I've known that the painter is more important than the paintbrush, even if I prefer the now outdated :wink: GX1…

    I'm curious as to how much modern digital printing techniques may contribute to the success of such huge prints made from m4/3 files? Or is it simply that 'information' and file size is what really matters, because a correctly exposed 16MP file from m4/3 is as good (or much better) than an 8MP files taken with APS or FF sensors in years past?

    For over 15 years I've been an editorial photographer and journalist. My images are routinely printed, but only as large as the magazine paper and I've infrequently printed large photos for myself or others. However, the value of printing, and printing large, is not lost on me, and I recently read this post by Ming Thein which has motivated me to print more in 2014.

    Not only am I planning to print more in 2014, in addition to my typical editorial projects I've been mentally focusing on creating more 'artistic' works for both the enjoyment of it and to expand the scope of my business as time allows (time is a hurdle). Selling or displaying art means prints, hopefully large prints, so the common hearsay about printing and sensor size always comes to mind. What if/when I have customers who want to make large prints of my images, is there enough data in the files, even JPEGs?!? Was it premature for me to sell my Canon FF bodies and lenses if I'm going to pursue selling prints?

    Seems to me the photos of very large prints shared here prove there is plenty of information in the files, and to just do it. :thumbup:
    • Like Like x 2
  19. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Anyone notice the company is named OMD? Perhaps they are biased.. :tongue:

    Congrats on the sale. Art is art, no matter what you make it with.
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    Wow, I think I opened a can of worms here. Im loving all the examples of big prints done with this cameras here. love them all. And I hope this thread doesnt become another "this vs that" as i thought i bought more like "this can DO that". anyway! thank you guys!

    No!, why would I. I already made the investment on a A7 and two leica lenses and im loving it. On the same, even "smaller" package than a OMD. I always said that i wanted a "ff inside an OMD body" since i came to m43. So, Im living the dream. hahaha.

    Thats absolutely fine!. nothing bad with it. what is bad to me though, is people using big sensors considering anything else a "toy" or "not serious" tool. I love pixel peeping as well. I think we all do. But i like printing more than zooming in a screen to 400%.

    Hey Nic, this was not done in a photo lab as they didnt have the tools to do it, eventhough they said they could it would take them a week to get it done properly. So it was taken to a billboard printer, were they specialize in huge prints like this. This was not printed with paper, is made with a plastic type of stock that sticks to the wall. think about it like a huge "sticker". Is pretty much the same used in bus wrappings.

    I know right! I said the same thing to myself. cause no one else would get the "joke". ahahaha. im glad you noticed it. And I agree with you, art is art, not matter what you make it with. but just make it. or like some this brand likes to say "just do it" right?.