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Author Topic: Downsizing  (Read 15163 times)
scooby70
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« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2013, 05:28:43 PM »
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I think I can sort of conclude that, for what I use my camera for, the things I might be bothered about are
-the Low light performance (but this will probably already outperform my current camera)
-Slow AF can of course be a major nuisance, I certainly have missed great shots as a result of poor AF. Continuous focus is less important for me in my experience.
-I can see the issues with the EVF compared to dslr and that ergonomics also count: it feels better to have a chunky piece of camera in your hands than a very light featherweight. But now I start contradicting myself with my wish for lightweight equipment...

As I mainly use legacy primes I only have two Panasonic lenses, 20mm f1.7 and 14-42mm, and neither of them are cutting edge lenses but even so I've never found the focus speed to be a real world issue. They seem to focus every bit as fast as any lens I've used on my 20D and 5D. Personally I doubt that focus speed will be an issue for you especially if continuous focus isn't a high priority for you.

Another point which I forgot to mention...

Many CSC's have a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 second and if you like shooting with wide aperture lenses you may have to use ND filters. I carry a ND2 and a ND4 with me and I do get annoyed at having to attach a filter to bring my shutter speed below 1/4000 for one shot and then remove it for the next if my shutter speed falls too low or my ISO rises too high.

One or two of the latest models have a max shutter speed of 1/8000 but so far (as far as I know) these models have also had a base ISO higher than 100 or a setting of 100 that's derived from a higher ISO with the disadvantage of reducing dynamic range.
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BJL
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 10:01:08 AM »
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Wow, thanks for the extensive advice! Really appreciate that.
The Oly seems to be a very interesting option to me. That would really be much more comfortable dragging it up the hill and walking around with it in my pocket in the cities. I think I'll wait for the Panasonic GX7 just to see how it is received by the critics.
And here it is: very interesting for its spec. sheet wish-list fulfillment, so I am curious to see how Panasonic's new sensor compares to the 16MP sensors in recent Olympus MFT bodies, which made a big jump in performance over previous MFT sensors.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/panasonic-gx7/panasonic-gx7A.HTM
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scooby70
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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 07:20:48 PM »
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From that review...

"Exposure. There's been an important improvement here, too. Where the GX1 was limited to a fastest shutter speed of 1/4,000 second, the GX7 offers a wide range from 1/8,000 to 60 seconds, plus bulb to a maximum of two minutes."

This important improvement baffles me. Yes, you get 1/8000 sec but the base ISO rises to 200 so what do you gain? You'll still need ND's to shoot with wide apertures in good light just as you would with a camera with a base ISO of 100 and a max shutter speed of 1/4000. Other than when using (or trying to use) wide apertures in good light I can't think of another reason I'd want an increase in available max shutter speed.

I know I'm missing something obvious.
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BJL
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« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2013, 07:11:12 AM »
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Yes, you get 1/8000 sec but the base ISO rises to 200 so what do you gain?
I read in another review that there is the option of a "low" Exposure Index setting of 125. My guess and hope is that the situation is similar to that of the EM5, where the default metering has abundant raw headroom, so that there is significant room for "pulling" to a lower EI.

UPDATE: here is a link to the Imaging Resource spec. list with that EI 125 option, labeled as "extended":
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/panasonic-gx7/panasonic-gx7DAT.HTM
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 07:32:50 AM by BJL » Logged
scooby70
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« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2013, 10:09:49 AM »
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Yes, I believe that's what they do... in camera.

It'd be interesting to compare shots taken at the derived lower ISO value with shots taken at 200 and processed in software on the PC. If it'll shoot RAW at 125. Some cameras only shoot JPEG at the low setting.

Another worry is that the "low" setting may not be included in auto ISO, it isn't on other cameras.

Anyway, personally I'd much rather a truer ISO 100 was available but sadly those days are gone and more and more cameras seem to have a base of 200, I presume it's to improve performance at very high ISO settings. Personally as I like to use wide apertures in good light I'd much rather performance was biased towards the lower sensitivities. Such is life. High ISO settings are the new mega pixel arms race.
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BJL
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« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2013, 11:27:05 AM »
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... more and more cameras seem to have a base of 200, I presume it's to improve performance at very high ISO settings.
More likely it is simply that as light detection efficiency [QE] is improved (with no change in well depth), the base ISO speed naturally rises. That improvement in QE is a benefit in any situation where one needs a higher-than-minimum ISO speed, not just at very high speeds.

Maybe the solution one day will be built-in ND filters, as offered in a few small-sensor compact cameras. At least with "video viewfinders", an ND filter can be used without dimming the VF image, if the VF brightness is suitably adjustable.
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scooby70
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« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2013, 12:26:12 PM »
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Whatever the reason for me personally the loss of ISO 100 (and don't even dream of having 50) seems like a backward step.

In the past the lower sensitivities were generally where you found the highest image quality and whilst that may not be true any more I remain to be convinced that raising the base to 200 is in any way good news for anyone wanting to shoot at wider apertures in good light.

MFT, along with other smaller chip systems push you (perhaps) into using wider lenses and if shallow DoF is your aim you're chasing ever wider apertures and thus faster shutter speeds unless you use ND's. I have f1.4 and a f0.95 lenses and without ND's I can't shoot wider than f2.8 at ISO 100.

At 1/8000 sec and ISO 200 any exposure advantage over a camera with a max shutter speed of 1/4000 and a base ISO of 100 is wiped out and that's what bugs me... this is being reported as an "improvement" but in reality I see no advantage and I think we're standing still. IMVHO.

I must admit that ND's are a pet hate of mine at the moment and I can't see the newer generation of cameras helping much, quite the contrary actually and I just can't bring myself to buy a CSC with a base ISO of 200.

Perhaps Panasonic and the others just want us to shoot with a kit lens at f8.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 12:28:36 PM by scooby70 » Logged
Telecaster
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« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2013, 02:54:58 PM »
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I personally have no problem with ND filters...use 'em frequently on the OM-D5.

As has been mentioned already here, the quantum efficiency of sensors has been increasing...and the higher base ISOs in smaller sensor cameras are to an extent a corollary of this. Now with larger photosites you can have a lower base, given the same QE as a sensor with smaller photosites, because each site is capable of capturing more image-forming photons per exposure before saturation.

The ISO 100-200 region is where most current sensors--35mm format, APS-C, m43--with Color Filter Arrays want to be. If you desire a lower base ISO with this tech you need either larger photosites (fewer MPs) or less efficiency.

-Dave-
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BJL
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« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2013, 07:19:30 PM »
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... with larger photosites you can have a lower base, given the same QE as a sensor with smaller photosites, because each site is capable of capturing more image-forming photons per exposure before saturation.
Not really: so long as the well depth stay the same, so that the well capacity in electrons increases in proportion to photo-site area, the same QE will give the same base ISO speed: the increased capacity matched by the increase in incident light.

In practice, base ISO speed does tend to be a bit higher with some smaller format sensors, but this goes with higher QE in smaller sensors. Mu guess is that this is due to the choice of CFA's that are less selective, with a broader spectrum of light detected. That gives greater sensitivity and so less noise, at the cost of worse color accuracy. MF sensors in particular seem to go in the opposite direction, with CFA's that prioritize color accuracy over sensitivity.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2013, 11:38:06 PM »
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Hi,

I agree mostly. Base ISO is related to exposure that saturates the sensor. The main reason newer sensors have higher ISO rating is better quantum efficiency. A way of improving QE (for the system as such) is to have more permissive color filters.

My Sony cameras of recent do have ISO 50, and it is a real ISO 50, offering wider DR than ISO 100.

Best regards
Erik



Not really: so long as the well depth stay the same, so that the well capacity in electrons increases in proportion to photo-site area, the same QE will give the same base ISO speed: the increased capacity matched by the increase in incident light.

In practice, base ISO speed does tend to be a bit higher with some smaller format sensors, but this goes with higher QE in smaller sensors. Mu guess is that this is due to the choice of CFA's that are less selective, with a broader spectrum of light detected. That gives greater sensitivity and so less noise, at the cost of worse color accuracy. MF sensors in particular seem to go in the opposite direction, with CFA's that prioritize color accuracy over sensitivity.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2013, 03:12:11 PM »
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...the increased capacity matched by the increase in incident light.

Whoops, logic flaw on my part. You are indeed correct.

-Dave-
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scooby70
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« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2013, 06:20:02 PM »
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Hi,

I agree mostly. Base ISO is related to exposure that saturates the sensor. The main reason newer sensors have higher ISO rating is better quantum efficiency. A way of improving QE (for the system as such) is to have more permissive color filters.

My Sony cameras of recent do have ISO 50, and it is a real ISO 50, offering wider DR than ISO 100.

Best regards
Erik

If this is true I can see myself keeping my G1 until it dies, although it's interesting to note that a couple of well performing CSC's in the Nex series are a little different.

To me the advantage of CSC's is portability and convenience and for me ND's detract from that.

Where am I going to put my ND's? They can't just go in my bag or pocket, they need to be in a case. How do I fit them when my shutter speed wants to rise above 1/4000 or even 1/8000 with a high base ISO? I'll have to put the camera down, get the filter case out, open it and fit the filter. These are jobs that require two hands. I take my shot and then point my camera in another direction and suddenly my ISO rises to 1600 and I need to get my filter case out, open it, remove the filter from the camera and put it in its case, put the filter case away and then I'm ready to shoot again.

It's a PITA and I begin to realise that a CSC that requires the frequent fitting and removal of ND's is more hassle than my 5D with which I can usually shoot at ISO 100 and f1.4 in good light Sad

I bought into MFT because I wanted to downsize but if it's going to be more hassle I might as well go back to my DSLR Sad
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 06:25:16 PM by scooby70 » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2013, 07:06:17 PM »
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Whatever the reasons for objecting to the increases in base ISO speed due to increases sensitivity (increased quantum efficiency), it should be recognised that it is inevitable, and that no camera maker is going to modify  sensor design for a CSC ("live-view only camera") to lower base ISO speed by lowering its sensitivity. One reason is that lowering base ISO speed in that way is exactly equivalent to adding a non-removable ND filter: with the viewfinders relying on the signal from the sensor, lower sensitivity reduces the signal to the VF/LCD as well as for recording images.

So if some people desperately want a CSC with, say, one stop lower base ISO speed, they could get the same result by permanently attaching a one stop ND filter to every lens, and if necessary adjusting the VF/LCD brightness up one stop. More realistically, the small fraction of photographers who like to shoot in bright light at low f-stops will need to find a place for one or two ND filters. I am guessing that most such people already carry polarising filters, in which case it seems not so great an added burden.
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scooby70
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« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2013, 07:42:35 PM »
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So if some people desperately want a CSC with, say, one stop lower base ISO speed, they could get the same result by permanently attaching a one stop ND filter to every lens, and if necessary adjusting the VF/LCD brightness up one stop. More realistically, the small fraction of photographers who like to shoot in bright light at low f-stops will need to find a place for one or two ND filters. I am guessing that most such people already carry polarising filters, in which case it seems not so great an added burden.

This issue may push me out of CSC's.

MFT for example has a x2 crop and if you are maintaining FF FoV to get the (much hated topic...) FF equivalent DoF you're pushed into use much wider apertures and that's when the problem hits me. With MFT I'm attempting to shoot at the widest apertures available much more often than I would with my 5D but doing so forces me into using ND's. I do carry ND's with me but as I described above fitting and removing ND's is a two handed job that takes time and for me reduces the portability and unobtrusiveness advantages of CSC significantly.

Whilst leaving a ND on permanently doesn't seem to make the EVF too dark in good light what it does do is push the ISO up and/or the shutter speed down when you point the camera at a darker scene and also having a filter permanently attached can cause issues with reflections when there are bright light sources so there'd still be instances when the ND needed to be removed and placed in it's case.

I know I'll come across as a bit of a killjoy with problems no one else sees as problems but unfortunately for me camera technology just isn't going in the direction I'd want it too and the limitations of CSC's are beginning to irritate me.
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BJL
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« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2013, 08:55:54 AM »
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This issue may push me out of CSC's.
It might legitimately at least push you away from the smaller sensor formats like 4/3, towards the "biggest sensor that you can afford and carry" (to paraphrase AA), because when shallow DOF in bright light is wanted, a larger sensor has a natural advantage in being able to absord more total light, and thus operate at less high shutter speeds, as indicated by the higher f-stop used to achieve a given DOF.

However, I doubt that the difference between CSC and SLR will help, because I see no hint that any SLR makers (except perhaps medium format back makers) are going to pass on any opportunity to increase sensitivity (quantum efficiency).
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allegretto
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« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2013, 08:58:16 PM »
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I had a 20D (should give the same IQ as your 30D) for seven years before moving to a 5D. I hardly use the 5D since buying into Micro Four Thirds with a GF1 and now a G1.

As I had the 20D for so long I have a PC stuffed with images from it and I'm in a good position to judge MFT image quality against the 20D and 5D. IMVHO my first generation MFT kit produces images that at all but the highest ISO's can easily be lost amongst 20D and even 5D images and it's only when the ISO's reach the highest levels that the MFT camera falls behind the 5D (once images are processed to get the best out of them.) My own little tests mirror the results of the tests conducted here with no one being able to reliably or consistently pick MFT images from APS-C from FF...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

I'd love to move fully to a smaller system but the killer for me is low light use as in low light my G1's EVF kicks out so much light even when adjusted for best effect that after taking only one or two shots I find that I'm suffering eye strain as it acts like a torch shining directly into my eye. I've only tried one other CSC, a Nex 6, and that displayed the same torch in the eye effect. Until that can be cured I simply can't use these cameras for low light or night time shooting.

Another worry when moving to a smaller system could be dynamic range but in real world shooting I've never found my G1 that lacking and in fact it's often easier to get a good exposure with my G1 than with my 5D due to the G1's in view histogram.

Looking at your lenses, forgive me for saying that they seem rather ho-hum and I'm pretty sure that a decent CSC coupled with a good lens will be able to match the image quality of your 30D + the lenses you have. In good light and at low to medium ISO's my G1 + a nice lens has no trouble producing images that can be lost amongst 20D and even 5D + good lens images and I'd expect a newer CSC to offer better image quality than my G1.

Followed your link, it's from 2008, that's 5 yrs ago

secondly on my Mac retina it was immediately apparent which file was which. The Canon file is quite dead and lacks significant detail in the leaves... even on a 13" monitor (albeit a good one!)

so a lot has happened since 2008, a lot of new sensors are coming out, monitors are better, lenses are getting better. In summary both ends of the spectrum are improving and there are new designs that will make large format even more narrowly focused (pun intended)

Guarantee that an RX-1 or Sigma DP will blow both those cameras away on IQ... as will several C's, S's or N's
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2013, 08:25:33 AM »
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The Fuji X-series would be a good ones to look into. The 18-55mm and 55-200mm zooms are very good, there is a good set of primes with more on the way. Lenses and camera are quite light compared to a dslr and a lot smaller to make it easier to carry around. Image quality is quite good. I use my X-Pro1 a lot more than I use my dslr now... easier to carry with me daily.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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mkihne
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« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2013, 04:40:06 PM »
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Like Wayne said(re nex 7). Much lighter than dslr. Only thing that is a trade off is the tele zoom is bulky with respect to the body, but you get good telephoto range. Supposed to be a nex 7 replacement but it appears to continually get set back. All in all a great compact setup.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 04:42:14 PM by mkihne » Logged
Eric Brody
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« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2013, 09:53:01 PM »
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The only way to really sort this out is to do lots of reading, on sites like this, and to go to a well stocked store, if you're fortunate enough to have one in your community, and make some images. Renting is a great way to try out a new system before you spend lots of money.

I am a former large format person who loves his Nikon D800E, but who cannot (will not) carry it hiking. First I had a Panasonic GF-1 but its quality was not quite good enough, then came an Olympus OM-D, which i LOVED because of its size and the in-body stabilization. I could attach an old Leica 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit and had a stabilized, 180mm equivalent f/2.8, just remarkable. And... the image quality seemed quite good... until a friend loaned me his Fuji X E-1 for an afternoon. I was hooked. I now make 13x20 prints from my Fuji, the primes are awesome, the zoom is just great. The only thing I miss about the Olympus is the IBIS. But the high ISO performance of the Fuji is so good, I can just crank up the ISO and shoot away. I do landscape, scenics, nature, macro, some on a small tripod, some hand held. Can you tell I love it? I understand it's thought of as quirky, and I know Lloyd Chambers seems to hate it, but forget all those folks, including me, and try some of these cameras out. Try the new OM-D and the G7, the NEX, whatever. See what works for you. I've told you what works for me in more detail than you probably wanted.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2013, 03:10:24 PM »
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Personally I don't pay much attention to 'Net pontificators, whether solid, hollow or Chambered.   Cheesy  (Sorry, bit of an oblique electric guitar reference there.)

The Fuji X sensor does do well at high gain settings. (Sorry again, amp reference...kinda.) I often shoot in dim light in manual mode...choose a handholdable shutter speed, my desired aperture, ISO 6400 and let the exposure fall where it will. Then I gain it up in post or even in camera. This makes for grainy but crisp results. Nice grain too in monochrome.

Now you have an idea why my username here is what it is.   Wink

-Dave-
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