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09-30-2008, 10:14 PM   #76
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I've compared my k20d to a friends 5d. Under normal conditions the pictures are pretty much indistinguishable besides differences in image size. When printed to 8 x 12 or 13 x 19 I can't really tell a difference.

A friend of mine uses a D300 at home and a D3 at work. Under normal conditions they look pretty darn similar when printed. Now obviously the D3 wins hands down when it comes to high ISO, but outside of that the pictures aren't that different.

There are obvious pros and cons to all of the different formats available out there, but I really don't think we can claim absolute image quality under normal conditions as a de facto win for full frame. At least not as things stand now, nor in the near future I'd say.

In my opinion, more important than sensor size is the overall sensor design. And a well designed APS-C sensor can provide pretty darn similar prints to a well designed FF sensor.

As for discussions of viewfinder size and things like that its a pretty clear win for FF, but as for the crop factor if I'm getting similar prints from an APS-C compared to a FF I'm probably going to get pretty similar prints compared to FF with a teleconverter and quite possible better prints from the APS-C. Not to mention I had to carry less weight and/or I had to buy less equipment.


Last edited by mk07138; 09-30-2008 at 10:25 PM.
10-01-2008, 06:25 AM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by mk07138 Quote
I've compared my k20d to a friends 5d. Under normal conditions the pictures are pretty much indistinguishable besides differences in image size. When printed to 8 x 12 or 13 x 19 I can't really tell a difference.

A friend of mine uses a D300 at home and a D3 at work. Under normal conditions they look pretty darn similar when printed. Now obviously the D3 wins hands down when it comes to high ISO, but outside of that the pictures aren't that different.

There are obvious pros and cons to all of the different formats available out there, but I really don't think we can claim absolute image quality under normal conditions as a de facto win for full frame. At least not as things stand now, nor in the near future I'd say.

In my opinion, more important than sensor size is the overall sensor design. And a well designed APS-C sensor can provide pretty darn similar prints to a well designed FF sensor.

As for discussions of viewfinder size and things like that its a pretty clear win for FF, but as for the crop factor if I'm getting similar prints from an APS-C compared to a FF I'm probably going to get pretty similar prints compared to FF with a teleconverter and quite possible better prints from the APS-C. Not to mention I had to carry less weight and/or I had to buy less equipment.

You are using an old outdated FF camera and a low resolution FF camera optimized for high ISO in your comparison. Both of these cameras have less resolution than the K20D; no wonder the Pentax makes just as good if not better prints.
A Pentax FF will likely be closer to 30mp and that will make all the difference.
10-01-2008, 06:33 AM   #78
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Alright, to counter your comment here I've seen 13 x 19 prints from an *ist D and a Nikon D40 that aren't much different from all those listed above. Megapixels give some leeway but as been said before its not the be all end all for image quality.

And obviously megapixels make a bigger difference as you climb into the enormous fine art prints, but on that front look at Benjikan's gallery photos, I've not seen many that large and they were taken with an APS-C camera at 14.6 MP. I'm just saying that FF doesn't necessarily equate to immediately better image quality. I am not arguing for or against pentax making one, I'm just saying that I think people are fooling themselves thinking that a FF camera is automatically going to give them better pictures, there are other things that can play a bigger role.
10-01-2008, 08:13 AM   #79
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There are differences

There are many differences but its just that you either haven't noticed them or the difference are not dominant in the shots you compared.

For example, the 5D has more vignetting at ultra wide angles with more edge softness. The D3 images could be not as sharp as the 5D but both noise are far superior than the K20D from just ISO 400 and up and so on.

In short, there are many differences, whether one have noticed them is yet another issue.


QuoteOriginally posted by mk07138 Quote
I've compared my k20d to a friends 5d. Under normal conditions the pictures are pretty much indistinguishable besides differences in image size. When printed to 8 x 12 or 13 x 19 I can't really tell a difference.

A friend of mine uses a D300 at home and a D3 at work. Under normal conditions they look pretty darn similar when printed. Now obviously the D3 wins hands down when it comes to high ISO, but outside of that the pictures aren't that different.

There are obvious pros and cons to all of the different formats available out there, but I really don't think we can claim absolute image quality under normal conditions as a de facto win for full frame. At least not as things stand now, nor in the near future I'd say.

In my opinion, more important than sensor size is the overall sensor design. And a well designed APS-C sensor can provide pretty darn similar prints to a well designed FF sensor.

As for discussions of viewfinder size and things like that its a pretty clear win for FF, but as for the crop factor if I'm getting similar prints from an APS-C compared to a FF I'm probably going to get pretty similar prints compared to FF with a teleconverter and quite possible better prints from the APS-C. Not to mention I had to carry less weight and/or I had to buy less equipment.


10-01-2008, 08:55 AM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
Nice pics in your Flickr page. Love the portraits. I kept expecting the good ones to stop after the 3rd or 4th page of your photostream, but nope. They just kept on coming. Nice.
Thanks very much, you just gave me my first big smile of the morning

I checked out some of your pics too... I like the pier shot, and the flickr page is full of flavour too
10-01-2008, 10:00 AM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
There are many differences but its just that you either haven't noticed them or the difference are not dominant in the shots you compared.

For example, the 5D has more vignetting at ultra wide angles with more edge softness. The D3 images could be not as sharp as the 5D but both noise are far superior than the K20D from just ISO 400 and up and so on.

In short, there are many differences, whether one have noticed them is yet another issue.
He's talking about smaller to mid prints: in these cases most noise is easily hidden.

Anyway we can figure that improving noise control of the 14.6 sensor of say, one or two stop [nothing really impossibile here] could really close a lot the gap with FF, counting also the sharper corners, less vignetting, less weight. Is 25600 ISO really 3000$ worth then?

I think we'll see something like this for the K30...
10-01-2008, 10:54 AM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by zntgrg Quote
Anyway we can figure that improving noise control of the 14.6 sensor of say, one or two stop [nothing really impossibile here] could really close a lot the gap with FF, counting also the sharper corners, less vignetting, less weight. Is 25600 ISO really 3000$ worth then?..

Any improvement in sensor technology will affect FF as well. DA lenses are just as prone to corner sharpness and vignetting as FF lenses on an FF camera. Whats more, any optical defects on a DA lens needs to be 50% less than an FF lens on an FF camera to be equal.
10-01-2008, 11:03 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Any improvement in sensor technology will affect FF as well. DA lenses are just as prone to corner sharpness and vignetting as FF lenses on an FF camera. Whats more, any optical defects on a DA lens needs to be 50% less than an FF lens on an FF camera to be equal.
Not automaticaly. Do you think that MF sensor go to 25600 ISO? They do not. Why?
Following your logic they should have by now.

10-01-2008, 12:12 PM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Not automaticaly. Do you think that MF sensor go to 25600 ISO? They do not. Why?
Following your logic they should have by now.

Can't you read? I didn't mention MF s ensors.
10-01-2008, 01:05 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Can't you read? I didn't mention MF s ensors.
But I do, why would benefit to APS-C sensors be found in FF and not in MF sensors?
Of course any imporvement from APS-C can be implemented into FF, but in MF as well.

So... I see no argument for FF at all. Maybe in your imagination, though.

And btw, no reason to be rude answering my posts.
10-01-2008, 04:40 PM   #86
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I was just scanning through DPR's preview of the 5D Mark II and I was a bit surprised. The IQ is of course incredible through ISO3200 (it better be for $3000), but if their series of high ISO pics at the end of this gallery is accurate I wouldn't use anything over ISO3200. ISO6400 starts to show horizontal banding and the problem just gets out of control over that.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Beta Preview Gallery Gallery: Digital Photography Review

Seeing as how the $1500 Canon 50D is fine through ISO1600 all you get for twice the money is:
  • A slightly larger viewfinder
  • 1 extra high ISO stop
  • Slightly better DOF control
  • 850 more horizontal pixels (more on this below)

For me personally that is an easy call. I know some people want the purity of FF, and that's fine, but at what cost? If prices were a bit closer between the two I could see someone make a case for it. But as it is now you have to really really really want FF to pay twice the money for those minor advantages (plus the 50D shoots faster and has a built in flash).

Now as far as the printing extremely large argument goes...as I noted in my final bullet point, the 5D is only producing images 850 pixels wider than the 50D. If you say that you can tell a difference in that resolution difference at even a very large print like 20x30 then you are lying.

50D = 4752 x 3168: 158dpi at 20x30"

5D = 5616 x 3744. That is 187dpi at 20x30"

So at very large sizes we are talking about a difference in 29dpi. Now the only way to tell a difference in that is to pull out a loop...and even that might not help. Besides, if you are that anal over the slight differences you're not looking at the big picture (pun intended).

So if wall murals are your ultimate goal then going 21 megapixel FF really isn't going to help you all that much. Once again, the answer is medium format. Just like it has always been.
10-02-2008, 04:27 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
DA lenses are just as prone to corner sharpness and vignetting as FF lenses on an FF camera.
Why is that? The only reason I see is that manufactures are exploiting the smaller image circle to gain weight, zoom range, whatever. A lens designed for FF should have a "sweet spot" behaviour on APS-C, no?

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Whats more, any optical defects on a DA lens needs to be 50% less than an FF lens on an FF camera to be equal.
Can you please explain? I can understand that given the same resolution (MP) an APS-C lens needs to have the higer performance for the smaller APS-C sensor area. But if the FF sensor has a resolution that yields APS-C resolution if cropped down to APS-C area size then I don't see why APS-C vs FF lenses should need to differ in their performance.

On the contrary, should it not be easier to design a good APS-C lens, since you don't have to worry about how soft or vignetted the edges would be w.r.t. a FF sensor? Also, with digital sensors it is a challenge to make them as sensitive in the outer areas as they are in the centre because of the more acute light ray angles towards the edges. Displacing micro lenses so that they guide the light into the light sensitive area is a solution but I wonder what the compromises are and whether a high density small area is not easier to serve than a bigger one.

24X36NOW gives a number of good reasons for FF but I found this article FullFrame WARS!
very informative and a very entertaining read. It doesn't appear that today's technology is ready for FF yet, except for some rare applications where it can shine without costing (not only in terms of money) too much.
10-02-2008, 04:43 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Why is that? The only reason I see is that manufactures are exploiting the smaller image circle to gain weight, zoom range, whatever. A lens designed for FF should have a "sweet spot" behaviour on APS-C, no?


Can you please explain? I can understand that given the same resolution (MP) an APS-C lens needs to have the higer performance for the smaller APS-C sensor area. But if the FF sensor has a resolution that yields APS-C resolution if cropped down to APS-C area size then I don't see why APS-C vs FF lenses should need to differ in their performance.

On the contrary, should it not be easier to design a good APS-C lens, since you don't have to worry about how soft or vignetted the edges would be w.r.t. a FF sensor? Also, with digital sensors it is a challenge to make them as sensitive in the outer areas as they are in the centre because of the more acute light ray angles towards the edges. Displacing micro lenses so that they guide the light into the light sensitive area is a solution but I wonder what the compromises are and whether a high density small area is not easier to serve than a bigger one.

24X36NOW gives a number of good reasons for FF but I found this article FullFrame WARS!
very informative and a very entertaining read. It doesn't appear that today's technology is ready for FF yet, except for some rare applications where it can shine without costing (not only in terms of money) too much.

1. What I meant was that a DA lens on a APS camera is just as prone to corner problems as a FF lens on an FF camera. Theres no sweetspot when using a DA lens. The proof is in the pudding; there are both corner issues and fringing issues (at the corners and elswhere for that matter) on several DA lenses.
2. DA lenses (used on an APS camera) need to be 50% better than FF lenses used on a FF camera to be "equal". That is because you need to magnify the APS image 50% more to be of equal size to the FF image. Hence, you magnify optical defects as well. Obviously, there are no difference when both are used on a APS camera, but on the FF lens you will use the sweetspot and corner issue is less likely unless it is a very bad lens indeed.
3. It is easier to design a DA lens because it covers a smaller image circle. For that reasons it is not any more immune to corner problems than FF lenses used with FF sensor. In spite of being easier to design in theory, they need to be optically better due to the smaller format.
10-02-2008, 05:02 PM   #89
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[Answer to a question - yes, I wear eyeglasses]

To those who "can't see any advantage" to FF, just stick with what you've got - you're happy with it and that's all that matters. Just kindly stop trying to tell those of us who aren't happy with it that we should be happy with it/should buy another camera maker's product instead/etc. OK?

Talk about "resolution" based on pixel counts misses the point. If you're chopping up detail that is poorly resolved due to how small it is, you won't gain any image quality, just noise; the smaller the image you start with, the more the pixels (regardless of quantity) need to be "amplified" to produce a given size print, and the more you will therefore do the same thing to noise and artifacts, which is a further detraction to image quality. You lose image quality by cropping, whether you do so in-camera (as with an APS-C dSLR) or whether you do so after the shot in pp. Just because you place more pixel density on the smaller format doesn't mean it will equal the larger format. When you crop, you demand that detail being resolved by the lens be resolved to a smaller size, which requires more lens sharpness (not to mention making critical focus more imperative). It is in this area that image quality will always be compromised by "crop cameras" that reduce the image format. If you don't think the difference in image quality is "worth it" then stick with what you're happy with. But again, kindly stop trying to convince those of us not happy with it that we should "settle" for what we're not happy with. Since I'm going to carry around the same size/weight lenses anyway, I want the full format they cover and I want the decision to crop or not to be left up to me, rather than forced down my throat by a camera whose design is a compromise based on immature/developing technology.

I see no advantage to APS-C dSLRs other than the sole advantage that motivated their existence: cost. That's it. The rest of the so-called "advantages" constitute nothing more than a well-orchestrated marketing campaign. They may have "sold" you on this concept, but they have not - and will not - "sell" me on it. Even Ken Rockwell (in an old piece) sang the APS-C praises and the lack of any advantage of a FF sensor, back when his pet brand, Nikon, didn't have one. Pure rationalization. Now, of course, he sings the praises of the D3 and D700. I suspect when Pentax finally gets around to it, we'll see plenty of the same from the naysayers here.
10-02-2008, 05:26 PM   #90
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Yes, proof here.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
1. What I meant was that a DA lens on a APS camera is just as prone to corner problems as a FF lens on an FF camera. Theres no sweetspot when using a DA lens. The proof is in the pudding; there are both corner issues and fringing issues (at the corners and elswhere for that matter) on several DA lenses.
2. DA lenses (used on an APS camera) need to be 50% better than FF lenses used on a FF camera to be "equal". That is because you need to magnify the APS image 50% more to be of equal size to the FF image. Hence, you magnify optical defects as well. Obviously, there are no difference when both are used on a APS camera, but on the FF lens you will use the sweetspot and corner issue is less likely unless it is a very bad lens indeed.
3. It is easier to design a DA lens because it covers a smaller image circle. For that reasons it is not any more immune to corner problems than FF lenses used with FF sensor. In spite of being easier to design in theory, they need to be optically better due to the smaller format.
Here is the proof which verifies what you said again.
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