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04-02-2009, 09:01 PM   #31
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Yes and No. That depends..

I think sometimes when we do insect macros or bird photography, a cropped DSLR will give us longer reach, without sacrificing pixel count, which is always desirable, assuming the same pixel count of FF against APS-C.

On the other hand, higher ISOs are also always desirable with those shootings. With FF DSLRs, the noise level are generally lower at the same high ISO.

Here is a recent insect macro work of mine:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Some New Macro Photos to Share (DFA 100 on 5D)

Whilst I am satisfied with the noise level of my FF camera at ISO 800, I do hope that I can have a longer reach with the same 100 Macro lens as I did when it was used on my APS-C DSLRs. Nonetheless, the image quality after 100% crop is not that bad, just have a look at the dark green "fly" photo (which is the only photo that is cropped - others are all full size direct out-of-the-camera jpegs, downsized only).

QuoteOriginally posted by AV82GOLF Quote
Ever since I started shooting digital, noise has been my constant pet peeve. I have been patiently waiting for Pentax to come out with a FF camera so that I can finally put an end to this noise issue. Recently though I have been giving more thought to the type of shooting I do and I was wondering if FF would really be better. A good half of my shots are BIF (birds or bugs) and macro. Both usually require a good bit of cropping for the final pic. Since I received my K20 I've noticed an improved ability to crop and retain really good resolution over my old K10. This got me to thinking. Suppose two 14mp cameras had the same pixel count and 300 mm lens, but one was FF and one wasn't. If you took a shot of a distant object with both and then cropped both to get the same final view, wouldn't the FF shot produce a poorer pic and suffer from less resolution and more pixelation? Both cameras had 14mp, but the FF camera is spreading them over a much larger area (viewing angle). It seems to me that for FF to be a benifit, it MUST also come with a much larger file size? This also makes me wonder why Nikon's D300 and D700 have the same 12mp? The D700 produces less noise, but wouldn't the 300 produce a superior picture if it were cropped?
I was hoping that someone with a better understanding of this could reply. Also, besides the less noise and shallower depth of field, what are (if any ) the benifits of FF cameras? They are bigger, heavier, more expensive, and, it would seem, make it more difficult to take good telephoto shots...although wide angle would be improved.

Thanks
Tony


04-02-2009, 09:19 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
A wonderful full frame Pentax:




I couldn't resist.
Actually, recently i bought one film camera. The seller asked me what is my interest in film. I answered: "full frame advantage". And I was not joking.

Now he's rethinking the 5DMk2 he intended to buy for the FF reason. Therefore he canceled all the Pentax equipment selling. Hmm.
04-02-2009, 09:23 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by octavmandru Quote
Actually, recently i bought one film camera. The seller asked me what is my interest in film. I answered: "full frame advantage". And I was not joking.

Now he's rethinking the 5DMk2 he intended to buy for the FF reason. Therefore he canceled all the Pentax equipment selling. Hmm.
Full Frame = Full Film? ;-D
04-02-2009, 09:28 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by AV82GOLF Quote
Ever since I started shooting digital, noise has been my constant pet peeve. I have been patiently waiting for Pentax to come out with a FF camera so that I can finally put an end to this noise issue. Recently though I have been giving more thought to the type of shooting I do and I was wondering if FF would really be better. A good half of my shots are BIF (birds or bugs) and macro. Both usually require a good bit of cropping for the final pic. Since I received my K20 I've noticed an improved ability to crop and retain really good resolution over my old K10. This got me to thinking. Suppose two 14mp cameras had the same pixel count and 300 mm lens, but one was FF and one wasn't. If you took a shot of a distant object with both and then cropped both to get the same final view, wouldn't the FF shot produce a poorer pic and suffer from less resolution and more pixelation?
Yes. And this would also remove the noise advantage - which only really kicks in as ISO increases anyway. At low ISO you'd just get 1.5X less resolution.

QuoteQuote:
Both cameras had 14mp, but the FF camera is spreading them over a much larger area (viewing angle). It seems to me that for FF to be a benifit, it MUST also come with a much larger file size? This also makes me wonder why Nikon's D300 and D700 have the same 12mp? The D700 produces less noise, but wouldn't the 300 produce a superior picture if it were cropped?
I guess the plan was to use a 450mm lens on the D700 rather than crop

QuoteQuote:
I was hoping that someone with a better understanding of this could reply. Also, besides the less noise and shallower depth of field, what are (if any ) the benifits of FF cameras? They are bigger, heavier, more expensive, and, it would seem, make it more difficult to take good telephoto shots...although wide angle would be improved.

Thanks
Tony
To get the benefit of the FF sensor you need to use a lens with 1.5X the focal length. Now assuming you DO use a bigger lens (so you dont have to crop) then the "benefits" relate to the two types of FF sensor.

Compare a D300, D3 and D3X for the sake of argument. Thats 12MP, 12MP and 24MP.

At low ISO, pixel noise is roughly the same for all 3 (actually D3x is highest but well ignore that - its low for all of them).

The 12MP D3 and D300 will make A3 prints that look pretty much identical.

The 24MP D3X will make prints at A2 which look as sharp as the above cameras at A3.

As you increase the ISO, S/n ratio dominates noise performance. At high ISO, say 800 and over.....

The pixel level noise on the D3X and D300 will increase at about the same rate as the pixel pitch (and signal component) is about the same. As a result the D3X will still make a print 2X the size as the D300 with the SAME visible noise or one the same size with a stop less noise.

The D3 will make a print the same size as the D300 with a stop less noise because it has 2X the signal to noise ratio, but it does not have any more resolution.

So to recap, a D3 (or D700) will have very little advantage at low ISO over a D300, but as ISO increases, they will eventually end up about a stop cleaner.

The D3X has more resolution at low ISO AND a stop less noise at high ISO (if you reduce the print size).

Also if you mainly shoot portraits or wildlife, having shallower DOF can be nice for isolating subjects from backgrounds. However, for macro and landscapes you generally want MORE DOF not less which means you have to stop down more. The issue for the D3X is that is has the same pixel pitch but when stopped down more suffers more from diffraction, removing some or all of the resolution advantage.

So yes, FF is better in noise terms - if you dont have to crop - but its not entirely a walkover. APSC is a very fine format for hobbyists as its affordable and "pretty good". I also suspect you will see noise improvements of 1-2 stops on APSC ober the coming years so 1600 will be a usable everyday ISO.

I doubt you will see APSC cameras exceed 15MP by much though. Still, this makes fabulous A3 prints - and pretty nice A1 prints if you dont put your nose up against them. Was not long ago the 16MP 1DS mk2 was king of the heap!

04-03-2009, 01:46 AM   #35
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Derrel's Photography Blog: February 2009

Also a good article re: full frame needs by some.

d
04-03-2009, 09:59 AM   #36
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When I was at the US Open Snowboard championships shooting pictures of my daughter and her friends last week there was a lady with a press pass next to me with a new Nikon D700 with the grip. That camera setup was huge! I don't know if I would care to carry that monster around. We don't have cameras stores around here so I haven't seen a FF digital camera before and after seeing the physical size of the thing I think I will be more than happy with the smaller sensor cameras unless a chiropracter and massage therapist are included in the purchase price.
04-03-2009, 11:19 AM   #37
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I don't need FF. But could use some more good pentax lenses
04-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
When I was at the US Open Snowboard championships shooting pictures of my daughter and her friends last week there was a lady with a press pass next to me with a new Nikon D700 with the grip. That camera setup was huge! I don't know if I would care to carry that monster around. We don't have cameras stores around here so I haven't seen a FF digital camera before and after seeing the physical size of the thing I think I will be more than happy with the smaller sensor cameras unless a chiropracter and massage therapist are included in the purchase price.
it's a bit taller..than the k20..and a bit heavier..(about half a pound) body only
regardless...lens+grip+cards+batteries...both get heavy real fast...

04-04-2009, 01:05 PM   #39
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I made the switch from a K20D to a D700 for my portrait photography. I love how must faster AF usually is, but even the D700 hunts some times in low light :-) I see dramatically less CA/PF in my pictures, but not much difference beyond that. Note I only really print 8x10 or 8x12 or simply view on my monitor.

For nature photography I had to part with the Sigma 100-300 f/4 that I used on my K20D and bought a 150-500mm for the D700. Bigger, heavier and gotta shoot at f/8 to get the same sharpness I used to get at f4. Darn good thing the body has good high ISO performance, I need it :-)

Has FF changed my life. Nope. Has it made me a better photographer. Nope. Has it made an incredible ($700 vs $3000 body) difference in the quality of my photos. Well, gotta say, not really - it's pretty subtle.

Here's an example - one photo is a K20D with a 77mm, the other is a D700 with an 80-200mm zoom... What do you think?

04-04-2009, 03:05 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
I don't need FF. But could use some more good pentax lenses
And this could be the Achilles heel for FF DSLRs. I traded a K10D & a nice collection of lenses "up" for a Canon 5D (MK I). After 6 months I realized I could never justify the cost of all the L glass that I needed just to get back to the same quality I was getting out of my less expensive Pentax gear. Now I'm rebuilding my kit around another K10D and patiently waiting for the K30D (or whatever) to show up. Keep in mind that you are investing in a lens system, not a camera system. Buy good glass and it will always outlast the technology in the various bodies that come and go.

If you can't get enough detail out of the shots you are taking with your K20D I suggest you look at upgrading your lenses before making the jump to a full frame. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck!

PS: The "Full Frame Advantage" really goes to the camera company since you'll be investing in tens of thousands of dollars worth of new gear
04-05-2009, 08:31 AM   #41
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I think the Pentax is the one on the right.

About the only time I would possibly appreciate a D700 would be for ambient light portrait work, not for the DOF (there is already too little for close in work) but simply for the noise quality and better DR at ISO800.

However I am very happy with the Pentax when using flash.

What lens were you using on the K20D? I use a DA 17-70 and DA* 16-50 and so far have not had any issues with locking focus, at least under modelling lights. Had more issues with the 77LTD.

When I tried a D700 I could not find a focus point far enough from the centre and had to recompose. A bit annoying to be honest. I was using a 24-70 F2.8 lens too, and was disappointed with the lack of reach (the 24-120 is not really that special IMO). This lens is 2X the price of the 16-50 and is not even a VR lens!

I agree it was pretty snappy focus wise, but the real benefit was the ability to check focus by eye in the larger VF.

QuoteOriginally posted by dkittle Quote
I made the switch from a K20D to a D700 for my portrait photography. I love how must faster AF usually is, but even the D700 hunts some times in low light :-) I see dramatically less CA/PF in my pictures, but not much difference beyond that. Note I only really print 8x10 or 8x12 or simply view on my monitor.

For nature photography I had to part with the Sigma 100-300 f/4 that I used on my K20D and bought a 150-500mm for the D700. Bigger, heavier and gotta shoot at f/8 to get the same sharpness I used to get at f4. Darn good thing the body has good high ISO performance, I need it :-)

Has FF changed my life. Nope. Has it made me a better photographer. Nope. Has it made an incredible ($700 vs $3000 body) difference in the quality of my photos. Well, gotta say, not really - it's pretty subtle.

Here's an example - one photo is a K20D with a 77mm, the other is a D700 with an 80-200mm zoom... What do you think?

04-05-2009, 08:51 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robert S Donovan Quote
And this could be the Achilles heel for FF DSLRs. I traded a K10D & a nice collection of lenses "up" for a Canon 5D (MK I). After 6 months I realized I could never justify the cost of all the L glass that I needed just to get back to the same quality I was getting out of my less expensive Pentax gear. Now I'm rebuilding my kit around another K10D and patiently waiting for the K30D (or whatever) to show up. Keep in mind that you are investing in a lens system, not a camera system. Buy good glass and it will always outlast the technology in the various bodies that come and go.

If you can't get enough detail out of the shots you are taking with your K20D I suggest you look at upgrading your lenses before making the jump to a full frame. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck!

PS: The "Full Frame Advantage" really goes to the camera company since you'll be investing in tens of thousands of dollars worth of new gear
I could not agree more.

I nearly made the same decision about 2.5 years ago until the K10D came out.

A couple of things made me reconsider. At the time the lenses that worked well on FF were all the F4 L lenses. Some of the faster wide angle zooms like the 16-35 F2.8 had corner issues (bad for landscape). I was also a bit "underwhelmed" by the lack of sharpness and speed from the 24-105 (which would have been my standard lens) and focus hunting issues with the 17-40 F4 L I tried (which would have been my wideangle zoom choice). The really good glass started with the 17-200 F4 IS and got longer, but I dont shoot as much at that end.

The problem was really not just a cost problem (though that was also a factor) but the fact that I could not design a complete kit that was as "user friendly" as my Pentax kit (in terms of covering the most situations with the fewest lenses) and it would have been a lot heavier.

I actually had to design a two body kit that included a 40D to cover all the bases. Far too heavy for travel. Otherwise I would have had to keep the Pentax for traveling and street work (as many have done).

Nikon's FF stuff is also very good, but its even harder to build up a simple kit. The lenses I would consider adequate are extremely expensive and very few have VR.

I am confident that Pentax will evolve faster if they are not wasting energy on developing an FF camera. They can now concentrate on building the best all round APSC camera on the market.
04-05-2009, 09:11 AM   #43
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My guess is the "full frame" Pentax everyone is worried about is the new 645. The price point for the 645 competes well with the FF offerings from the others but is clearly differentiated. Meanwhile, Pentax's line of DA APS-C lenses continues to evolve and further differentiates the Pentax product line from the competition.

If Pentax decided to go FF on their consumer-level DSLRs they would have to develop an entire new line of FF DA lenses. I say this knowing that Pentax has some wonderful FA Limited lenses today that would work on a FF body. However, while these lenses (FA 31, FA 43, FA 77, etc.) work beautifully on APS-C sized sensors I'm afraid that their lack of digital specific coatings could cause problems on a high megapixel FF sensor.

I'm curious if anyone is shooting any of these lenses on a Canikon FF body and can comment? I've heard of it being done but haven't found any images worth comparing.
04-05-2009, 12:20 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
I think the Pentax is the one on the right.

About the only time I would possibly appreciate a D700 would be for ambient light portrait work, not for the DOF (there is already too little for close in work) but simply for the noise quality and better DR at ISO800.

However I am very happy with the Pentax when using flash.

What lens were you using on the K20D? I use a DA 17-70 and DA* 16-50 and so far have not had any issues with locking focus, at least under modelling lights. Had more issues with the 77LTD.

When I tried a D700 I could not find a focus point far enough from the centre and had to recompose. A bit annoying to be honest. I was using a 24-70 F2.8 lens too, and was disappointed with the lack of reach (the 24-120 is not really that special IMO). This lens is 2X the price of the 16-50 and is not even a VR lens!

I agree it was pretty snappy focus wise, but the real benefit was the ability to check focus by eye in the larger VF.
Don said, he was using the 77 on the K20, and 80-200 on the D700.

I also think the Pentax is the one on the right.
04-05-2009, 12:41 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Don said, he was using the 77 on the K20, and 80-200 on the D700.
Ooops teach me to read properly.

The 77 has a loooong focus throw which is great for manual fine-adjustment but sluggish in AF mode. The 16-50 is a different beast. My only real disappointment is the 50-135 which is a great portrait lens but quite slow.
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