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Thread: Future of 4/3 system

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by whaleshark View Post
    I think I understand what you're asking here. How does the IQ compare if you crop the 18 MP image from an APS-C sensor to match the resolution of the 12 MP Olympus E-5. I posed the same question in my post above. I'm not sure what the answer is or if it can be compared by calculation. Only a realistic test will show the IQ.

    I try not to crop very much to get an image. I try to fill the frame as much as possible, walking towards the subject or using a longer lens.

    As for the birding, if all options are equal, you try to fill the frame by getting closer or using a longer lens, regardless of which sensor size you're using. You always want to avoid cropping in order to retain all the IQ and resolution you have. With any camera the you may be at certain distance, limited by the best viewpoint, physical limitations of the landscape and the proximity the bird will allow you to approach.

    For a particluar bird and distance, you may need a 200 mm focal length with an Olympus 4/3 format sensor, providing 400 mm equivalent. To achieve the same FOV and fill the frame the same amount with an APS-C sensor you'd need a 250 mm lens. If you need a 300 mm lens on 4/3 format for 600 mm equivalent, you'd need 375 mm, or a 400 mm lens on an APS-C sensor for the same FOV.

    In other words, you adjust the lens focal length to fit the distance you're shooting from and the size of the subject, filling the frame with whatever camera you have rather than planning to crop the image. If you've paid for all that resolution and lens IQ then don't throw any of it away.
    Yes, we wrote our questions at the same time.

    I agree with you. I'm not a fan of cropping - for zooming - I only, and mostly crop a little for composition (i shoot mostly at 600mm with no zoom, but my feet)
    The reason for asking is in the case of Oly discontinuing the E-series. I'm not keen on loosing the 1/2 fov-thing (what's not a 2x crop) and I'm not that invested in the system. (will however keep it) . But I'm not sure of putting a Pen behind my scope... the quality is there, but the handling, robustness etc, I'm not sure it will fit me. Haven't got the possibility to test it without first buying it, though.

    Anyway, I just wondered about the quality of a cropped 18mp image (canikon etc) of curiosity, since I'm not sure the comparison holds - being all things equal, that is.

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    Default Re: FOV & pixel density of 4/3 system compared to APS-C

    Quote Originally Posted by whaleshark View Post
    So which lens do you use on the Canon APS-C 1.6x crop sensor using 2/3 of the pixels (12/18) to achieve the same angle of view (FOV) as the Olympus 4/3 2x crop sensor? Do you use the same 50 mm focal length on both cameras and crop the APS-C image to achieve the same FOV or do you use a different lens?
    I used a 14-54 Oly lens set at 50mm and I used Sigma 17-70mm set at 50mm on the Canon. I think you are thinking too much. 50mm is 50mm. You can compare them. If you then crop the 18mp image down to 10 or 12mp, you can see what you get, which is what i did. I am only examining "reach" here. Nothing else. The point is that one thing that wildlife folks like about 4/3 is the higher crop factor. But that advantage is lost when an aps or full frame sensor has enough mps to be cropped down in pp.
    Rich
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    Default Re: FOV & pixel density of 4/3 system compared to APS-C

    Quote Originally Posted by RAH View Post
    I used a 14-54 Oly lens set at 50mm and I used Sigma 17-70mm set at 50mm on the Canon. I think you are thinking too much. 50mm is 50mm. You can compare them. If you then crop the 18mp image down to 10 or 12mp, you can see what you get, which is what i did. I am only examining "reach" here. Nothing else. The point is that one thing that wildlife folks like about 4/3 is the higher crop factor. But that advantage is lost when an aps or full frame sensor has enough mps to be cropped down in pp.
    I think you are correct. Let's wait maybe until the end of this year if olympus will release new dslr body. I really wouldn't want to start use PEN with my HG lenses. They could release e.g. E-6 with 16mpix or something like that )

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    Default Re: FOV & pixel density of 4/3 system compared to APS-C

    Quote Originally Posted by prettorian View Post
    I think you are correct. Let's wait maybe until the end of this year if olympus will release new dslr body. I really wouldn't want to start use PEN with my HG lenses. They could release e.g. E-6 with 16mpix or something like that )
    That's incredibly unlikely in that time-frame. The E-1 was out for 4 years until the E-3 came out. The E-3 was out for 3 years until the E-5 came out. The E-5 hasn't even been out a year yet. There's simply no way it's getting an upgrade after a mere 15 months.

    DH

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system

    Four thirds has no crop factor.

    APSC has a crop factor as the image circle is bigger than the sensor.

    Four thirds doesn't have that problem. Crop factor is a mis nomer with this system.

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by whaleshark View Post
    The biggest difference in economy is between 4/3 format and full frame format. Especially at telephoto focal lengths.
    Really? Where's Olympus answer to the 400/5.6 that you can get for other systems for $1000-1500?

    DH

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by dhazeghi View Post
    Really? Where's Olympus answer to the 400/5.6 that you can get for other systems for $1000-1500?

    DH
    Well, I guess it would be the 70-300 (f4?-5.6)which gives a FOV of 600. I think that is sub $1000 for sure and is surprisingly small. Personally, I do not like this lens very much because its f4-5.6 and I seem to prefer the more expensive 50-200 2.8-3.5. But the 70-300 is actually surprising me recently. Well, about time to run some comparisons between a 70-300 versus a cropped 50-200 to see which gives sharper images. Need to find some time.
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSCTSC View Post
    Well, I guess it would be the 70-300 which gives a FOV of 600. I think that is sub $1000 for sure.
    Sure, but we're talking about detail captured, not FOV. A 400/5.6 on an 18MP APS-C sensor captures the same amount of detail as 400/5.6 on a 12MP 4/3 sensor. Crop to the same dimensions, you get equal magnification.

    As to the 70-300, it's hamstrung by slow AF and a middling sharpness at the long end.

    DH

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by dhazeghi View Post
    A 400/5.6 on an 18MP APS-C sensor captures the same amount of detail as 400/5.6 on a 12MP 4/3 sensor. Crop to the same dimensions, you get equal magnification.
    DH, I think you mean "300/5.6 on a 12MP 4/3 sensor," right? That is what I've been saying.

    laingjd, OK, call it whatever you like. The principle is the same, I think.
    Rich
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAH View Post
    DH, I think you mean "300/5.6 on a 12MP 4/3 sensor," right? That is what I've been saying.
    No that's not what I'm saying at all.

    Basically, the pixels are the same size, so if you put lenses of the same real focal length on the cameras, you get the same magnification at the pixel level. Since the APS-C has more pixels, you can crop to get comparable magnification at the image level.

    More precisely, the 400mm lens gives 800mm EFL on 4/3 and 650mm EFL on 1.62x APS-C (Canon). But if you crop the 18MP APS-C image by 1.22x, you get a 12MP image. And if you started with a 650mm EFL, a 1.22x crop gives you 790mm.

    DH

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Oops, yes, of course. I got confused by the numbers. We are both in agreement anyway - the 4/3 reach advantage has essentially been eliminated (at least with the 12mp Oly cameras) by the greater mps on the 18mp aps cameras.
    Rich
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAH View Post
    Oops, yes, of course. I got confused by the numbers. We are both in agreement anyway - the 4/3 reach advantage has essentially been eliminated (at least with the 12mp Oly cameras) by the greater mps on the 18mp aps cameras.
    and the fact that you can get 400mm lenses of quality and price equal to the 300mm f2.8 for Nikon and Canon.
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Actually that 2x crop factor is more of a marketing ploy than anything else, and unfortunately one which I think really came back to bite Olympus in the ass. The Crop Factor and "Equivalent Field of View" values we use are based off of 35mm film or "Full Frame" sensors which both use a 3:2 aspect ratio. Translating this "crop factor" into a system with a completely different aspect ratio (4:3) doesn't work, period.

    Here is a comparison of sensor sizes using a photo I took:


    This is what the image looks like on a full frame sensor:

    This is what the image looks like on a Canon APS-C sensor:

    This is what the image looks like on a Four-Thirds sensor:


    Now, the APS-C 1.6x crop using the same aspect ratio as Full Frame is a real crop factor and shows the real advantage if you're going for telephoto reach. The Four-Thirds crop on the other hand, is just as far from Full Frame as the 1.6x crop factor but look at it compared with APS-C; what's the real difference? Only width of the image... the APS-C includes more legs on the side. The "magnification" of the image is essentially the same.

    This means that APS-C and Four-Thirds essentially have the SAME advantage for telephoto reach over Full Frame.

    The problem however, comes with all the miscommunication which has come from the use of the "2x crop factor advantage" making people think that the Four-Thirds is sensor "so much smaller" than the APS-C sensor with 1.6x crop factor. That marketing ploy backfired and has caused an incredible amount of backlash for the Four-Thirds system. As you can see from the photos here, the Four-Thirds sensor is not much smaller at all than APS-C, it's squarer.

    What that also means is if you print 8x10s, a 4:3 aspect will produce an 8x10.7" image, meaning you will only lose 0.7" off your long edge when you crop for print, whereas a 3:2 aspect ratio will produce an 8x12" print, cropping off an entire 2 inches off your image to make an 8x10! Different commercial stock paper sizes vary in aspect ratio (mostly around 5:4) but all are pretty close to the 8x10 aspect, so you will generally always keep most of your image when printing from Four-Thirds.

    If we insist on using a "crop factor" I think we should use the shortest edge only when the aspect ratio differs, which would result in Four-Thirds being a 1.6x or 1.7x crop. It's really all just wordage.
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    That's a nice demo of it. But I do think that the marketing was effective for many people (for example, me). I mean, the idea of getting 600mm reach out of a 300mm lens with 4/3, versus 450 or 480 with APS-C, made the 4/3 more desirable for many. As we've been saying in this thread, that advantage has been lost with the latest crop (if you'll pardon the pun) of 18MP APS cameras vs the Olympus 4/3 cameras. But if they boost the MPs on the Olys sometime, they will regain that edge. As with everything, of course, there are trade-offs.

    Now that we're on the subject, I want to mention something I've noticed and I'm sure others have too - there has been a big improvement even in the last year or so in image processing. The improvements we see in the E-5 vs earlier 4/3 cameras are rippling thru the entire DSLR world, IMHO.

    For example, the Canon 50D was severely criticized when it was introduced for having 15MP vs the earlier 40D's 10. Many thought it suffered a lot in comparison. However, the 60D has not encountered any of this criticism (the build - no longer a metal body - is another story), at least that I can see. It seems to be better than the earlier models in all respects, from what I've been reading, even with the 18MP.

    Same of course for the E-5 and all the Pen models and competing Panasonic models too. This is a good thing! So maybe Olympus could in fact rethink their 12MP philosophy.
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neddog View Post
    This means that APS-C and Four-Thirds essentially have the SAME advantage for telephoto reach over Full Frame.
    The same advantage? Uhh... What about the lenses? Unless they're hiding a 300/4 and 400/5.6 under their sleeve?


    Quote Originally Posted by Neddog View Post
    The problem however, comes with all the miscommunication which has come from the use of the "2x crop factor advantage" making people think that the Four-Thirds is sensor "so much smaller" than the APS-C sensor with 1.6x crop factor. That marketing ploy backfired and has caused an incredible amount of backlash for the Four-Thirds system. As you can see from the photos here, the Four-Thirds sensor is not much smaller at all than APS-C, it's squarer.
    People think it's smaller because it is smaller. What really makes no sense is that the pixel pitch on the 12MP 4/3 sensor is essentially the same as on the 18MP Canon APS-C cameras, but the 4/3 sensor significantly noisier (at the pixel level) at high ISOs. DR is also reduced.

    DH

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system, compared to a FF camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neddog View Post
    Actually that 2x crop factor is more of a marketing ploy than anything else..........//

    If we insist on using a "crop factor" I think we should use the shortest edge only when the aspect ratio differs, which would result in Four-Thirds being a 1.6x or 1.7x crop. It's really all just wordage.
    Thanks for the comparison. Did not really knew that it was that little of a difference (to matter) between 4/3 and apc.

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    Default Lens resolution cropped too in a cropped APS-C image

    Quote Originally Posted by RAH View Post
    ... the 4/3 reach advantage has essentially been eliminated (at least with the 12mp Oly cameras) by the greater mps on the 18mp aps cameras.
    Not to single RAH out here, everyone is talking about cropping an APS-C image to match a 4/3 image. I'm just copying his summary.

    One big factor that's missing from this whole conversation about cropping an 18 MP image down to 12 MP to achieve a similar FOV with the same lens focal length is the resolution of the lens. When you crop 1/3 of the image you're only using 2/3 of the lens image circle, 2/3 of the part cast on the sensor. The lens has a max resolution too, which can be exceeded by the sensor on some cameras.

    What is the lens resolution of the test shot you're comparing and how much of that do you loose if you crop and expand the image to fill the same print or view size. With 4/3 format and telecentric lenses you're still using all of the available lens resolution.

    You would only go through this crop excercise to achieve a narrower FOV with the APS-C sensor in order to avoid using a larger lens and thereby equal the advantage a 4/3 sensor has in using a shorter focal length. But the crop excercise is all for nothing if you loose lens resolution in the process. Most photographers would choose to use a larger lens rather than plan to crop down an image. Once you've paid for all that resolution in the camera, paid in either price or system compromises, you're not likely to throw it away by cropping.

    The lenses for 4/3 format are potentially faster lenses at those shorter focal length, or a faster/better/cheaper lens for what the longer lenses cost for APS-C. It's less expensive to buy a fast lens in a shorter focal length than a longer lens.

    Does anyone have any real world examples of doing this excercise? A comparison of actual IQ and resolution is the only factor worth considering.
    Last edited by whaleshark; 08-07-2011 at 01:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Lens resolution cropped too in a cropped APS-C image

    Quote Originally Posted by whaleshark View Post

    You would only go through this crop excercise to achieve a narrower FOV with the APS-C sensor in order to avoid using a larger lens and thereby equal the advantage a 4/3 sensor has in using a shorter focal length. But the crop excercise is all for nothing if you loose lens resolution in the process. Most photographers would choose to use a larger lens rather than plan to crop down an image. Once you've paid for all that resolution in the camera, paid in either price or system compromises, you're not likely to throw it away by cropping.
    Yes, I agree with what you say. Generally you don't crop your images when you get a higher res camera just to match the reach of your old camera. But I was just making the case that there wasn't much reach benefit to 4/3 now because you could do it.

    As far as the quality of the image after cropping down from 18mp to 12, well, it really isn't all that much of a crop, so I think it wouldn 't matter much. I guess it could be tested, but there are a lot of variables.
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    Default Re: Lens resolution cropped too in a cropped APS-C image

    I want to add to what I posted. Even though folks don't often specifically crop down to match the res of an earlier camera, having more mps gives you the latitude to do that, so it kind of amounts to the same thing.

    I mean i often have an image where the animal is not large enough in the frame to get a nice print at the size I want. So i either print it smaller or crop in less and get a bigger print with more surrounding area. In such cases, you think you need more magnification or of course get closer. But with more mps, you can crop in closer and still have your bigger print.

    I know this is kind of obvious, but it is part of what we are talking about here and how mps affect the reach you have.
    Rich
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system

    Quote Originally Posted by laingjd View Post
    Four thirds has no crop factor.

    APSC has a crop factor as the image circle is bigger than the sensor.

    Four thirds doesn't have that problem. Crop factor is a mis nomer with this system.
    People keep saying this, but in reality it's just not the case any more (for APS)...

    All four big APS systems (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax) have APS dedicated lens line-ups. In fact, now that Sony has announced a 16-50/f2.8, they'll all soon have a bread and butter, 'standard fast zoom' dedicated to their APS bodies. You may notice that this is something still missing from the Micro Four Thirds system :/

    So in this sense, all of the APS systems can be 'full-frame' if you use the right lenses.
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system

    Quote Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
    People keep saying this, but in reality it's just not the case any more (for APS)...

    All four big APS systems (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax) have APS dedicated lens line-ups. In fact, now that Sony has announced a 16-50/f2.8, they'll all soon have a bread and butter, 'standard fast zoom' dedicated to their APS bodies. You may notice that this is something still missing from the Micro Four Thirds system :/

    So in this sense, all of the APS systems can be 'full-frame' if you use the right lenses.
    You are correct.
    The angle of the light as it hits the sensor is the difference.
    Otherwise the crop factor exists when they use lenses designed for 35mm which Olympus four thirds does not have.
    The micro four thirds system still uses a four thirds size sensor so nothing is missing there.
    It'll get it's lenses in time..........

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    Default Re: Lens resolution cropped too in a cropped APS-C image

    Quote Originally Posted by RAH View Post
    Yes, I agree with what you say. Generally you don't crop your images when you get a higher res camera just to match the reach of your old camera.
    Many wildlife photographers do crop heavily. Generally reach is preferrable, but for example when you're tracking birds in flight, filling the whole frame is not usually an option.

    Telecentricity is not an issue with supertelephotos in any system.

    DH

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system

    Quote Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
    ...In fact, now that Sony has announced a 16-50/f2.8, they'll all soon have a bread and butter, 'standard fast zoom' dedicated to their APS bodies. You may notice that this is something still missing from the Micro Four Thirds system :/
    ...

    No, my 14-35mm does that just fine.

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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system

    I do wish Olympus would put a 1.3 crop sensor into the E-50. From my experience they would wipe out all the critics in one fell swoop; the lenses would be cheaper and lighter, and higher ISO performance would make expensive and bulky F2 unnecessary, and other Olympus innovation would give the opposition a wakeup.
    Cutting to the quick-
    Sorry to attack the 4/3 holy grail, but now sensors are more economical, the holy grail makes little sense. When I have found that a light, half price 70-200mmF4 zoom on a 1.3/10mp sensor can out-image a heavy 150mmF2 prime on 4/3, it's time to bite the bullet.
    Regards,
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    Default Re: Future of 4/3 system

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Baxter View Post
    No, my 14-35mm does that just fine.
    Ignoring the fact that its massive, costs a fortune, focusses terribly (on MFT) and was designed for a completely different system, yes, the 14-35 is a perfect 'bread and butter fast standard zoom' for Micro Four Thirds.
    Panasonic GH2, Panasonic 7-14/f4 ASPH, Panasonic 14/f2.5 ASPH, Panasonic 20/f1.7 ASPH, Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f0.95, Olympus m.ZD 40-150 MSC.
    Pentax LX, SMC Pentax-K 24/f2.8, SMC Pentax-M 50/f1.4, Fotodiox PK-m43 adapter
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