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Thread: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

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    4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I have suspected for months that the 4/3 (and mFT) systems will be huge. Finally we have a system that takes great photos, has interchangeable lenses, and is much more compact than DSLR's (both bodies and lenses). Here is the link to an article from dpreview about the growing popularity of 4/3. For these reasons I believe this system will replace DSLR's as the most popular system for a majority of shooters who recently stepped up to DSLR's and those thinking of upgrading. Have you noticed how many people are carrying DSLR's now? Of course DSLR systems can be expected to remain the camera of choice for most pros and for amateurs who are very demanding, but there are many more "casual" shooters who still want to take good pics and for whom the small sensor P&S will not do. For the latter group, it will be 4/3.

    For a little more background, I shot some with a Minolta film SLR, then began to get much more active when I bought the first Canon Rebel. From there I have used many DSLR's including 20D, 5D, 1Dmk2, 5D2 and Sony A900. I even used Contax 645 MF for a while; wow, wow, wow great stuff but soooo too big. I finally got tired of these big rigs and sold them all. I now have a GF1, and also a Leica M9. Sometimes I'm not sure which I like more, but I do like them both and do not miss shlepping the bigger cameras and lenses. I do miss what the medium format can do, but too expensive and just too much.

    Anyway, size DOES matter!

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi there, I've had the exactly the same thoughts as you and I totally agree. I was one of those casual shooters who wanted better image quality but size really mattered to me, I didn't want the bulk of an SLR so m4/3rds was perfect for me

    I'm 20 and I'm studying at university and I have to say around 40% of my friends who have a camera have a DSLR and 10% have "top-end" P&S's (like the LX3) compared to a year or two ago when they only had P&S's so image quality is certainly becoming more important.

    I think Olympus made a great move by releasing the E-PL1, the styling and lower price will surely attract many buyers and strengthen the 4/3rds hold on the market perhaps Panasonic will follow suit and intrdouce a lower price model too - they're expected to announce 2 new models soon.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens in the future though, now that Samsung's NX10 has finally made it to the shops (in the UK atleast). May I ask your opinion on this?
    Vince

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I don't know much about the NX10. I think it's possible that the compact APS's may be a hit, but I think the just smaller 4/3 hits a sweet spot for size and image quality.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I did the same. I sold my giant Canon kit and kept the M9 with lenses and the GF1 and GH1 with the 20, 14-140 and 45 lenses. Done and done.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi

    sorry, but you've hit my particular nerve here ...
    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    I have suspected for months that the 4/3 (and mFT) systems will be huge. Finally we have a system that takes great photos, has interchangeable lenses, and is much more compact than DSLR's (both bodies and lenses).
    so please explain just which 4/3 cameras are not Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras?

    The entire range of Olympus are DSLRs

    the other area of annoyance in this categroy is when people start saying that 4/3 cameras are pretty good Image Quality considering that they have much smaller sensors than DSLR's



    Anyway, size DOES matter!
    agreed there, I've been blogging about compact high quality cameras for years. Now that they're here its great

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I have no experience with the Oly's, but you make a valid point. Please correct me if I am mistaken in my belief, but the Oly 4/3 DSLR's are significantly larger than the new crop of cameras with no viewfinder or EVF. And rest assured, I love the view through an SLR prism.

    I have been very impressed with images from EP-1 and GF1, even compared to APS or larger sensor DSLR's. Larger sensors are better, but at what price? And the same question may be asked in regard to the prisms.

    The best camera is the one you have with you; if you leave your DSLR at home because it's too big (even an Oly), then you're stuck with you phone camera.

    BTW, my title for this thread was intended to be provocative. Events might yet prove me wrong!
    Last edited by tom in mpls; 4th March 2010 at 21:20.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi Tom,

    I'm sure there will be many amateur (leisure?) shooters who eventually opt to go with the smaller cameras like the G1/GH1/GF1 with interchangeable lenses instead of a full size DSLR. It's such a subjective decision. I suppose I fall into that category of leisure shooters who nonetheless wants very good IQ. While I own a Panny G1 and a Canon G10 and enjoy using them.....I'm not yet at the place where I'm unwilling to carry the larger gear (when the mood suits me). Hence my DLSRs still have a home in my office (Canon 5D and 40D) as well as my medium format and large format cameras. If I had to choose to keep only one camera and the choice was the Panny G1 or the Canon 5D (both 12 megapixels).....personally, I would still choose the Canon 5D. Ask me again in 2-5 years and the answer might well be different. Since I'm still willing to carry a Pentax 67 and/or Hasselblad system (let alone the 4x5 view cameras) on occasion....obviously size and weight is not the primary concern in my case. Of course, when I'm just walking around town, I'm more likely to be carrying the Canon G10. I just choose the right camera for the situation.

    Gary
    (who spent his first 30 years in Minneapolis....a great city!)
    Last edited by bensonga; 4th March 2010 at 22:43.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    I have no experience with the Oly's, but you make a valid point. Please correct me if I am mistaken in my belief, but the Oly 4/3 DSLR's are significantly larger than the new crop of cameras with no viewfinder or EVF. And rest assured, I love the view through an SLR prism.
    well, pick up a E-420 and you'll be surprised I think. In fact the 410 my father in law has actually feels better with the 9-18mm lens on it than my G1 does.

    but I'm not about to give up my articulating screen...

    :-)

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I am as well intrigued by M43, shooting happily a EP2 and meanwhile 2 lenses (number will grow).

    BUT - I also have my Hasselblad H3D/39 and I could not live without it or say just with M43. If I want to do serious photography, I take the H System (or one could of course use any other convenient digital MF system).

    I even keep my Sony A900 with Zeiss lenses, just for the moments where I need a real DSLR system - which still is faster and more capable compared to the M43 system currently on the market.

    But it is true, that M43 will become kind of a high quality interchangeable lens system over the next years and will more and more replace entry level DSLR systems. But I also am sure that other vendors like C or N or S will build EVF systems in order to replace at least their low end or entry level DSLR systems. And Olympus made this announcement sometime over the last weeks to do the same in the E system (the 43 system).

    Interesting times ahead

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    The best camera is the one you have with you; if you leave your DSLR at home because it's too big (even an Oly), then you're stuck with you phone camera.
    I agree totally ... the E-410 for example weighs about 435g, not too dissimilar from Oly E-P series in weight ... then when you add a 25mm pancake (which costs about half of the "mythical" Pana 20mm pancake and weighs 95g which interestingly is actually 5g less than the Pana) you then get a very nice compact little camera for a lot less.

    Naturally you have a clunkier live view, but its still a snug little kit.

    I'd be more willing to risk it in nasty situations than my G1 so I may be more likely to have it ...

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Hi Tom,

    I'm sure there will be many amateur (leisure?) shooters who eventually opt to go with the smaller cameras like the G1/GH1/GF1 with interchangeable lenses instead of a full size DSLR. It's such a subjective decision. I suppose I fall into that category of leisure shooters who nonetheless wants very good IQ. While I own a Panny G1 and a Canon G10 and enjoy using them.....I'm not yet at the place where I'm unwilling to carry the larger gear (when the mood suits me). Hence my DLSRs still have a home in my office (Canon 5D and 40D) as well as my medium format and large format cameras. If I had to choose to keep only one camera and the choice was the Panny G1 or the Canon 5D (both 12 megapixels).....personally, I would still choose the Canon 5D. Ask me again in 2-5 years and the answer might well be different. Since I'm still willing to carry a Pentax 67 and/or Hasselblad system (let alone the 4x5 view cameras) on occasion....obviously size and weight is not the primary concern in my case. Of course, when I'm just walking around town, I'm more likely to be carrying the Canon G10. I just choose the right camera for the situation.

    Gary
    (who spent his first 30 years in Minneapolis....a great city!)
    I feel the same way. 4/3 is a great system and it's no wonder it's so well liked, but I only use mine for things like hiking and when I want to bring a camera just in case. I love wide angle lenses with large apertures and dream about a smaller camera with a FF (35mm equal.) sensor, but much cheaper than Leica please.

    Photography is extremely popular in Norway (it's the country with the most sold DSLRs per person in the world), but I have never once seen anyone else with a 4/3 camera. One shop got two E-P2s is store ten days ago and both are still there, even though that's the only place I have seen any for sale.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Helena View Post
    I feel the same way. 4/3 is a great system and it's no wonder it's so well liked, but I only use mine for things like hiking and when I want to bring a camera just in case. I love wide angle lenses with large apertures and dream about a smaller camera with a FF (35mm equal.) sensor, but much cheaper than Leica please.

    Photography is extremely popular in Norway (it's the country with the most sold DSLRs per person in the world), but I have never once seen anyone else with a 4/3 camera. One shop got two E-P2s is store ten days ago and both are still there, even though that's the only place I have seen any for sale.
    Helena, How many people live there? The bigger markets are elsewhere in this world.

    I have not seen any "street photos" (other than the ones you posted here) that showed any people. Granted there are strict rules there regarding using/displaying photos of people but street signs and heals of the shoes?

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I think when M4/3's systems start to incorporate 'back lit' sensors offering lower noise over a greater range of ISO's you may see an additional swing from current DSLR activity. As the difference between IQ will be minimalized further.

    I myself found the idea of carrying a 'rock' around my neck was simply unacceptable. So when the G1 appeared on the horizon with all its promise I leaped. While the initial lenses were okay, the 20mm f1.7 is a game change for the system providing at least one low light optic to compliment the range of 7-140mm in the two other optics. Of course with third party manufacturers seizing on an opportunity to allow users to attach existing optics from other makes (like Leica M, Cosina, Hexar and others) to the camera with few detriments that also has bumped the attraction.

    For me, until other SLR makers come down in volume/size my only other choice in town in the compact/hi IQ game is the M9 which Leitz has managed to pull off what they had previously had insisted was utterly impossible.
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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Sony have a golden opportunity there with their (not yet known) APS-C sized EXMOR-R sensor.

    If they do not implement it in their first mirrorless cam, IMHO, they would miss the boat.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    I think when M4/3's systems start to incorporate 'back lit' sensors offering lower noise over a greater range of ISO's you may see an additional swing from current DSLR activity.
    well, from other forums and threads as well as observation in the real world in various countries over some years, I suspect the market to be rather naive and not know what the difference between a DSLR and a camera like the Powershot G10 is in the first place.

    Further I am skeptical that people grasp what size the sensor is with comments made such as "it {micro 4/3} having a smaller sensor than a DSLR". Aside from repeating mantra such as "bigger sensors give better IQ" I wonder if many people know what a sensor is?

    I think most struggle with the concept of really changing a lens; having stood with my mouth open at comments such as:
    * I would never change a lens in the field
    * does it damage your camera to change the lens
    * you should avoid changing lenses frequently
    * changing lenses will get dust on the sensor, thats why zooms are better

    and the list goes on...

    I somehow think that over the years since the 35mm cameras like the OM / ME Super / AE-1 sorts of cameras that people have lost any concept of what goes on in a camera, and that those who came to the party late (starting in the digital age) by and large know even less.

    So while I personally leaped on the G1 (getting perhaps the first one in Finland) and love the compact / light weight / interchangable lenses / great legacy lens operatoin / high image quality / high accuracy live view I reckon its lost on the masses.

    Just the other day at work a colleague with a large FD lens collection doubted that the camera would work with his FD lenses. Even when I told him I'm doing just that he seemed to just say "oh, ok"

    When I brought the camera in to work, with a pair of FD lenses and showed him how well it works (under the guise of wanting to compare my FD 50 f1.4 on extension tubes to his FD 50 macro (he's a macro person big time) he went "oh hey, it can use the FD lenses"

    sheesh ... talk about Jesus guiding Thomases hands into the wounds "and so now do you believe". He was amazed how well the dioper adjustment worked (he's a glasses wearer) and the magnify image.

    But at the end of the day he said "I think I'll wait till something comes along which can use my FD lenses better"



    PS: I am however bouyed up by reading stuff like this:

    According to figures from market research company GfK Retail and Technology, around 6,600 Micro Four Thirds cameras were sold in the UK, accounting for more than half of the system's sales volumes in 11 major Western European countries.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I do think most people don't understand the sensor issue. And even some that buy into the m4/3rds don't seem to understand that the sensor is the same size as the 4/3rds DSLR's LOL (how could that be--the GF1 or EP2 is small relative to the E3, etc.). I also don't think they understand about sensor size relative to 35mm DSLRs FF sensors and APS-c and 4/3rds. I rather doubt that that will change and many will just repeat what they read on forums and blogs. For technical things related to sensor size (and I admit to not totally understanding the whys and wherefores--but do understand how it impacts my photography), that's the realm of just those people interested in that I suspect--and will never float down to the majority of people buying cameras.

    Diane

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Good point on the sensor size, Diane.

    When it is like that, it is even more difficult a concept to understand a tiny c-mount 25/1.3 costing ~ $25 is really a fast normal lens of excellent quality that would otherwise cost >1000 and would require some heavy lifting.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Helena, How many people live there? The bigger markets are elsewhere in this world.
    He he, yes, sorry, that came out wrong. I didn't question the statement that 4/3 does well in the world. I was just surprised that the system seems to do so badly here were photography is extremely popular.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I have not seen any "street photos" (other than the ones you posted here) that showed any people. Granted there are strict rules there regarding using/displaying photos of people but street signs and heals of the shoes?
    Not quite sure I understand the question fully, but yes, the rules regarding people photography are stricter here unfortunately. You may photograph anyone you want on public grounds, but you can't post the photos anywhere without the person's permission, unless there are three or more people in the photo, they aren't the main subject or they are part of some kind of public display like a parade. In Sweden (where I used to live until 2004) the rules are more open, more or less the same as in USA.

    That said, I, and many others, still do street photography (and sometimes post at Flickr and forums) and as far as I know no one has gotten into trouble for it.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I've said it in other threads, so I'll say it again here: the future of photography cameras will belong to the company that's first to shed the vestiges of the 35mm SLR and fully embrace the potential of the digital/electronic era. I think Panasonic is well on its way to get there, and they're closest to understanding that right now, so in my mind it's a race for them to get as much market share before Canon/Nikon step into the game (which they will in the next two years). I think Olympus isn't quite on the same path, but I could be wrong.

    In many ways, the technology will allow cameras to return to photography fundamentals - a lens, an empty space, and a film plane, with nothing in between. Call it a digital view camera. It's not all that difficult to imagine a camera that has:

    - no mirror (done)
    - touchscreen (about to be there)
    - no shutter (just about there)
    - noise-less sensor
    - super-fast frame rates (i.e. 4x5-quality images at the frame rate of video)
    - articulating sensor (tilt, shift, rotate, curvature)
    - nano-fresnel lenses adjustable at the pixel level to precisely control the light coming into each pixel
    - membrane lenses that can self-adjust to a variety of shooting/lighting situations for focus, dof, fl, etc.
    - electronic lens iris
    - electronic lens filters
    - etc.

    I'm sure others can be more imaginative with where cameras can go once they're free of the mechanical mirror and shutter. If I can imagine all this, I'm sure somebody at Panasonic is doing the same right now.

    -Dragos
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Great post, but why stop at DSLR.
    Replace the M8 and M9 Leica. Less cost and if you can replace a DSLR why not the M 8&9?
    The IQ should be good enough for replacement of just about all Digital Cameras, especially if the m43 contiues to develope as others have said.
    We could do away with Medium Format as well.
    It seem that the weight of the camera and lenses is the main concern. One format, one solution and we can all shoot the same gear and look the same.
    Wonderful way to go.
    I'm ready to make the move.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by LoSenior View Post
    Great post, but why stop at DSLR.
    Replace the M8 and M9 Leica. Less cost and if you can replace a DSLR why not the M 8&9?
    The IQ should be good enough for replacement of just about all Digital Cameras, especially if the m43 contiues to develope as others have said.
    We could do away with Medium Format as well.
    It seem that the weight of the camera and lenses is the main concern. One format, one solution and we can all shoot the same gear and look the same.
    Wonderful way to go.
    I'm ready to make the move.
    Is this tongue in cheek? If you read my first post, you know that I am referring to the huge number of shooters who want pics better than P&S who now use DSLR's (I assume mostly the "entry level" DLSRs). As I said, pros as well as many amateurs who want more will stay with DSLR. Or MF. Most of us on this forum demand a lot from our equipment and I bet most will keep a DSLR. Yet there are some of us who are relieved to find high performance in a smaller package. Did I suggest that we could, or should, "do away" with all other formats? Don't be absurd.

    Also, "we all shoot the same gear" now! Don't we all look alike now with our big black DSLR's and big black lenses? (OK, some Canons lenses are white)

    BTW, don't think that I haven't wondered if I should sell the M9 and stick to mFT. But I won't. At least at present.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    I agree totally ... the E-410 for example weighs about 435g, not too dissimilar from Oly E-P series in weight ... then when you add a 25mm pancake (which costs about half of the "mythical" Pana 20mm pancake and weighs 95g which interestingly is actually 5g less than the Pana) you then get a very nice compact little camera for a lot less.
    I'm a fan of the E-4xx series, and I like the ZD 25/2.8. However, I think your comparison here could be viewed a different way, which is that for 5 grams of weight, one gains two full stops of speed using the MFT system.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    I am looking forward to the day when a pocket digital can provide equivalent image quality as a big DSLR. In other words, how about a 5D or D700 or A900 or M9 sensor in a GF1-sized camera?

    It appears we are still a long way from that happening...and maybe it never will happen.

    In the mid 90s one could buy a high quality pocket 35mm film camera like a Contax T2 with a fantastic fast 38mm lens. A photo taken with that camera would be indistinguishable from a photo taken with the same film using a 35mm lens on a professional SLR, enlarged to the same size, because both cameras had the same 'sensor.'

    As much fun as I've had shooting with a G1, there is just no way it's going to provide the IQ of a full frame DSLR like a 5D. Certainly for many people the IQ is quite good and certainly more than acceptable, I don't want to discount how good the G1 is. But it will simply never match a much larger sensor.

    When it comes to sensors, size *does* matter...which is why many (most?) of us here have multiple cameras for different situations.

    Interestingly I find myself shooting more film and less digital lately. I haven't shot my GH1 in a few weeks. It's so nice to have all that latitude! Underexpose yet not lose shadow detail; overexpose yet not blow highlights.
    Last edited by monza; 5th March 2010 at 20:08.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    As much fun as I've had shooting with a G1, there is just no way it's going to provide the IQ of a full frame DSLR like a 5D. Certainly for many people the IQ is quite good and certainly more than acceptable, I don't want to discount how good the G1 is. But it will simply never match a much larger sensor.

    When it comes to sensors, size *does* matter...which is why many (most?) of us here have multiple cameras for different situations.
    Even as this thread evolves, I am understanding my own question better. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that we are seeing the advent of small/light/compact cameras in cropped (APS and 4/3) as well as FF sensors (M9). Good and very, very good. Choose your price point and needs, and there is an option to big DSLR's. This is a great time for digital; we are seeing the technology ripen. We CAN choose a small camera without forfeiting quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Interestingly I find myself shooting more film and less digital lately. I haven't shot my GH1 in a few weeks. It's so nice to have all that latitude! Underexpose yet not lose shadow detail; overexpose yet not blow highlights.
    "Digital film", that is, sensors AND camera firmware, still have a lot of room for improvement. I firmly believe there will be improvement in these ares, and in other aspects of digital as well. One might hope that the megapixel wars are mostly over, and R&D will focus on these other areas. I understand the appeal of film, but for me, being able to use my digital darkroom means I will not go back to film.
    Last edited by tom in mpls; 5th March 2010 at 20:23.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Yes, sensors and the code will get better and better, no question...but the laws of physics remain...so all other things being equal, a larger sensor will always win.

    My darkroom is digital, too, even with film. It helps to have a fantastic scanning service and lab just down the hall.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Yes, sensors and the code will get better and better, no question...but the laws of physics remain...so all other things being equal, a larger sensor will always win.
    I expect the MF's and S2 series will always stand head and shoulders above. LF and MF for film were always the best for the quality of images they could capture; it's hard to disagree with your argument about the physical sensor size.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    ...that's the realm of just those people interested in that I suspect--and will never float down to the majority of people buying cameras.
    totally ... the masses who buy don't read anything and ask the salesman which is the best.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    I think your comparison here could be viewed a different way, which is that for 5 grams of weight, one gains two full stops of speed using the MFT system.
    true, but I was simply talking size and weight. I was not trying to say the 20mm f1.8 is an inferior lens. Just that the e-4xx cameras are quite compact and DSLR

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    I am looking forward to the day when a pocket digital can provide equivalent image quality as a big DSLR. In other words, how about a 5D or D700 or A900 or M9 sensor in a GF1-sized camera?

    It appears we are still a long way from that happening...and maybe it never will happen.
    me too ... perhaps it will .. perhaps it wont. I suspect that IQ is the factor that drives the market and understanding / comprehension of formats is out of the equation.

    I have a bessa 6x9 folder. This is relatively a compact camera to carry, though a little cumbersome to use. The thing is that a GF / E-Px camera will time and time again produce better 8x10 images than the Bessa does and gets better exposures more consistently than people did on their Bessas

    I personally like larger formats some of the time for creating shallow depth of field, but I feel that for many people those situations are few (and for some never).

    I see we've been gradually evolving our cameras to our needs and our available technology over time. I think we've already hit rock bottom with the tiny sensors available in $100 supermarket point n shoots, yet these perform much better than the similar point n shoots at that price point back in the 35mm or 110 daze (god forbid we mention Kodak Disc)

    For specialists there will remain the cameras such as the HD4 Hassleblad or Mamiya 645, these buyers are not only after pixels and IQ but dealing with larger formats and a "look". I really don't think there is that much difference between a 5DMkII with TS-E lenses and my 4x5 camera. That is not the reason I use the 4x5 ... its not about IQ its about the image look.

    essentially I think that Olympus was on the button with the 4/3 format in the first place ... as perhaps was Pentax with the 110 ... its just the now the film flatness issues and enlargement have been solved with digital sensors.

    So I agree that over time the market will tend towards larger sensors and fully mirror less cameras for the main stream.

    As I seldom need a camera that does AF like a Canon 1D HS or take advantage of the image size aspects of my larger formats, I can't imagine that the vast majority of buyers do either.

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    Re: 4/3 will displace DSLR for "leisure" shooters wanting high image quality

    Hi

    for anyone who finds this thread, the following information may be of significance

    From this link:
    Heft. The Panasonic Lumix G1 at 1.4 pounds (638g) is actually a little lighter than the Olympus E-420 (640g), each with their kit lenses
    in my backpack its weight which makes the difference, not bulk. Not that there is much difference in bulk between these two cameras.

    Where the G1 does shine over the E-420 is a better sensor and much better live view integration in the (electronic) viewfinder.

    I own a G1 but have a soft spot for the older E-4xx series cameras.

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