4/3 better?


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piyoz

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Hi, I'm new and would like to know what is this 4/3 system about? In future will there be more? Or is it better to stick to those "normal" DSLR?
 

Galdor

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#2
Hi, welcome to ClubSnap.

IIRC, only Olympus uses the 4/3 system now. Most of the cameras uses 1.5 crop. All cameras have their strength & weaknesses. You want want to go to the shop to try out the different cameras and see which is more comfy in your hands. Of course budget plays a part too.
 

lsisaxon

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Hi, welcome to ClubSnap.

IIRC, only Olympus uses the 4/3 system now. Most of the cameras uses 1.5 crop. All cameras have their strength & weaknesses. You want want to go to the shop to try out the different cameras and see which is more comfy in your hands. Of course budget plays a part too.
Panasonic/Leica also.

There are certain pros and cons in using the 4/3 system. Being a smaller format than even APS-C, the cameras and lenses can be made smaller and lighter but at the expense of sensor noise. To achieve a comparable resolution, the precision of the lenses would have to be higher also. So even though the cameras and lenses may be smaller, it will not automatically mean that they are cheaper.
 

#4
Panasonic/Leica also.

There are certain pros and cons in using the 4/3 system. Being a smaller format than even APS-C, the cameras and lenses can be made smaller and lighter but at the expense of sensor noise. To achieve a comparable resolution, the precision of the lenses would have to be higher also. So even though the cameras and lenses may be smaller, it will not automatically mean that they are cheaper.
You might want to check out the 4/3s forum.
http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/forumdisplay.php?f=12

Panasonic, Leica, Olympus all have bodies that use the 4/3s sensor. The kit lenses with the E-series Olympus bodies are notably better performers than the Canon/Nikon kit lenses. The noise levels with the 4/3s sensor are somewhat higher at 800 ISO than the comparable Canon/Nikon bodies. See the latest test reports on E-510/410 for sample images at high ISO.

The new Olympus E510 has in body IS that works with all the Zukio 4/3 mount lenses. The advantages of in body IS are obvious, you solve the IS problem once not over again for each lens. The disadvantages of in body IS are still being argued about and will come to light as more critical testing people get their hands on the technology and show what it will and will not do.

CSB
 

AhSeng

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Dec 23, 2005
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#6
For me, the ability to use DOF for better subject isolation is the primary reason i go for a DSLR. I'd be getting a compact instead if i dun require this for better creatiivity. but thats just a personal view. Some people do not require very shallow DOF for their work and hence the 4/3 system is perfect for their needs.

4/3rds have their own set of problem. No one system is perfect or better than the other. 4/3rd lens gets to their diffraction limit pretty fast (F11 on 4/3) and the lens has to have better resolution for the smaller 4/3 sensor. Hence the requirement for more precise, bigger and heavier lens which in turns, results in higher cost as the lens and assemblies has to meet even more stringent requirements. Another qualm that 4/3rd shooters always talked about is the lack of fast primes on that platform. Olympus believes that with their high quality zooms, they wouldn't require fast primes. Other system users often uses their fast prime lens for their creative shots.

4/3rd lens are not necessarily smaller and lighter. Their Super High Grade lens are equally heavy and they cost a lot more as compared to the Pro Grade lens of their competitors.
 

tomcat

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#7
And this is an example of the unacceptably deep DOF that some people are lamenting about... taken with a 4/3 Olympus DSLR and a 'slow' prime lens at f/2.0 ;)

 

AhSeng

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#8
My friend, I don't meant to say that 4//3rd cannot do subject isolation.. Just that some system can do it better because of the inherent lens designs.
 

tomcat

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#9
As they say... 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'. From my own experience with Canon and Olympus DSLRs, the 4/3 system DSLRs can do subject isolation as well as if not better than other systems in actual practice... and I have shot enough with both my Canon D60, 10D, 20D and various 4/3 DSLRs to satisify myself on this.
 

lsisaxon

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And this is an example of the unacceptably deep DOF that some people are lamenting about... taken with a 4/3 Olympus DSLR and a 'slow' prime lens at f/2.0 ;)
http://www.pbase.com/pschia/image/76127155.jpg
DoF is a function of the subject distance also. I won't even need f/2.0 to achieve that kind of DoF if I'm shooting that up close. How about a half body human portrait

Anyway, Olympus do have lenses which are at least a stop faster than the 135 equivalent, so that would have the DoF grounds covered. eg, the 35-100/2.0 covers the same angle of view as a 70-200/2.8 but is one stop faster, so effectively the DoF should be quite similar.
 

tomcat

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#11
DoF is a function of the subject distance also. I won't even need f/2.0 to achieve that kind of DoF if I'm shooting that up close. How about a half body human portrait
It is also a function of the focal length. Try getting that kind of DOF with a 50mm prime lens without resorting to f/2.0. The other consideration is the sharpness of the lens wide opened. A lot of prime lenses are just not that sharp wide opened and need to be stopped down at least a couple of stops to be sharply focussed thereby negating any advantage of a larger sensor. All the 4/3 prime lenses (Olympus, Sigma, Panasonic) available so far seem to be surprisingly sharp wide opened.
 

lsisaxon

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It is also a function of the focal length. Try getting that kind of DOF with a 50mm prime lens without resorting to f/2.0. The other consideration is the sharpness of the lens wide opened. A lot of prime lenses are just not that sharp wide opened and need to be stopped down at least a couple of stops to be sharply focussed thereby negating any advantage of a larger sensor. All the 4/3 prime lenses (Olympus, Sigma, Panasonic) available so far seem to be surprisingly sharp wide opened.
You haven't been using Nikon, have you? I shoot mostly at wide open. ;p Sigma EX lenses are very sharp wide open too!
 

lsisaxon

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Nikon and Canon are about the same. But do post some examples please.
If they were, some people won't be bothered to use Nikkor lenses on their EOS bodies. ;p Of course, there are good Canon lenses also but Nikkors are designed to perform at wide open which many 3rd party lenses are not able to claim. Why do you think Nikon's 17-55/2.8 DX cost about $2k while 3rd parties only cost a fraction of that price?

Anyway, to be honest, I would rate Olympus optics ahead of Canon's.

Some examples, bear in mind that the crops are taken from a 12mp DX sized sensor. Most of the time I shoot wide open, I only shoot stop down when I need the DoF.

You can browse through my photobucket gallery for some other tests.

12mp resized 85/1.4 @ f/1.4

100% centre crop


12mp resized DC-Nikkor 105/2.0 @f/2.0

100% centre crop
 

AhSeng

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Well DOF/Bokeh is something that is subjective. Gald you are satisfied with your 4/3rds system. You've so far been using a 1.6X FOV or 2.0X FOV camera. If you have a chance, grab a Olympus OM3 or a Canon 5D. Shoot a few weeks with it and see how different it is. Use both your system side by side. Take 2 frames of each subject with each cam. See for yourself how the perspectives and DOF differs from each system.
 

tomcat

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#16
Well DOF/Bokeh is something that is subjective. Gald you are satisfied with your 4/3rds system. You've so far been using a 1.6X FOV or 2.0X FOV camera. If you have a chance, grab a Olympus OM3 or a Canon 5D. Shoot a few weeks with it and see how different it is. Use both your system side by side. Take 2 frames of each subject with each cam. See for yourself how the perspectives and DOF differs from each system.
I have shot film using Canon gears like EOS 10 and EOS 5 for many years before switching to digital. It doesn't take a genius to know that full frame sensor is better than cropped sensors. It would however be unfair to compare the image quality of full frame DSLRs with cropped FOV DSLRs as they cost easily 4X more. Would I get 4X the image quality? I think not. If and when I strike lottery or I go professional, I will upgrade to full frame. Till then I'll stick to my 1.6x and 2.0x FOV and improve my photographic skills and techniques from that platform. ;)
 

tomcat

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#17
If they were, some people won't be bothered to use Nikkor lenses on their EOS bodies. ;p Of course, there are good Canon lenses also but Nikkors are designed to perform at wide open which many 3rd party lenses are not able to claim. Why do you think Nikon's 17-55/2.8 DX cost about $2k while 3rd parties only cost a fraction of that price?

Anyway, to be honest, I would rate Olympus optics ahead of Canon's.

Some examples, bear in mind that the crops are taken from a 12mp DX sized sensor. Most of the time I shoot wide open, I only shoot stop down when I need the DoF.

You can browse through my photobucket gallery for some other tests.
Thanks for the samples.
Many lenses are actually sharp in the centre but soft at the edge especially wide opened though.
The fact that lenses like Nikon 17-55mm f2.8Dx is so expensive is actually quite funny to me as people don't blink an eye when they go all out to buy such lenses and then others would scream bloody murder when they hear that Olympus ZD lenses can cost $1.6k to $2.6k for super high (pro) grade and high grade lenses which are critically acclaimed and pin-sharp. :dunno:
 

zj2000

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Mar 10, 2007
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#18
If they were, some people won't be bothered to use Nikkor lenses on their EOS bodies. ;p Of course, there are good Canon lenses also but Nikkors are designed to perform at wide open which many 3rd party lenses are not able to claim. Why do you think Nikon's 17-55/2.8 DX cost about $2k while 3rd parties only cost a fraction of that price?

Anyway, to be honest, I would rate Olympus optics ahead of Canon's.
Don't kid yourself, there are focal lengths where nikon is superior (wide angle mainly) but others where canon is superior.... the reason why you don't see ppl using canon glass on nikon bodies is because they can't....

Almost all canon and nikon primes nowadays perform superbly wide open... you would be hard press to tell 1 from the other so don't go around implying that nikon is superior...

There are certain lenses in the nikon camp that are great value but some that are overpriced, the 17-55 is 1 of them.... canon only charges 15xx for it's version and it comes with IS... and before you say "but but but nikon's 1 is better than the canon 1" maybe you should read some independant reviews....
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_1755_28/index.htm
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_1755_28/index.htm

And while we're at it... I would rate Olympus optics ahead of Nikon's.
 

zj2000

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Mar 10, 2007
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#19
Thanks for the samples.
Many lenses are actually sharp in the centre but soft at the edge especially wide opened though.
The fact that lenses like Nikon 17-55mm f2.8Dx is so expensive is actually quite funny to me as people don't blink an eye when they go all out to buy such lenses and then others would scream bloody murder when they hear that Olympus ZD lenses can cost $1.6k to $2.6k for super high (pro) grade and high grade lenses which are critically acclaimed and pin-sharp. :dunno:
I think it's because most ppl that choose pentax, olympus or sony chose them over big C and big N because of value for money.... the first months of owning the cameras life was good and they were able to buy consumer grade lenses for a fraction of what canon and nikon was charging.... as they progress and wanted to buy pro grade lenses they realised the asking price was enough to buy the canon / nikon version + a brand new body (relevant for sony especially)
 

zj2000

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Mar 10, 2007
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#20
It is also a function of the focal length. Try getting that kind of DOF with a 50mm prime lens without resorting to f/2.0. The other consideration is the sharpness of the lens wide opened. A lot of prime lenses are just not that sharp wide opened and need to be stopped down at least a couple of stops to be sharply focussed thereby negating any advantage of a larger sensor. All the 4/3 prime lenses (Olympus, Sigma, Panasonic) available so far seem to be surprisingly sharp wide opened.
it's actually a function of actual focal lengh and aperture so a 50mm at 1.4 will give you the same dof on a 5d, d80 and e-510.... but if you wanted your shots to be at 50mm equivalent you would need to use a 25mm (not even sure this focal length exist) on a 4/3... and because actual focal length is shorter, you get more dof.....
 

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