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Is it still rule today to think about m43 cameras as -2x light performance to full frame


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... this question to me arise when looking to following comparison. Aside of color and detail differences (and misbalance in chosen color profile), what made me curious is that all of triangle light-wise aspects are in many of the shoot the same - iso, ss, aperture values - but Canon images doesn't look any lighter or GH5 with significantly more grain. But it has to be that I'm just not enough competent to judge - maybe more professional users to explain?

 

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

If the iso, shutter speed and f-stop are the same, then the exposure of the two cameras should be the same, regardless of the sensor size.  With identical settings and barring the use of filters or extreme color/contrast profiles, the only difference in exposure might be due to lens transference.

 

Keep in mind that iso is "sensitivity," so two cameras set to the same iso should have the same light sensitivity.

 

Noise is an entirely different issue, but suffice it to say, larger photosites (sensor pixels) usually mean less noise (more dynamic range), all other variables being equal.  So, if a full frame sensor and a M4/3 sensor have the same resolution, the full frame sensor will likely have less noise (all other variables being equal).

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@tupp

Thanks, and yes, I know that theory say so. But my point is - does the today level of sensor evolution in two top m43 cameras has achieve such efficiency (inner construction, noise reduction, codec magic etc. specially in combination with better processing power) that could all-in-all negate less pure light gathering effects in comparison with today top full frame sensor cameras?

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I think it depends. The thought started when people said a full frame sensor is larger and can take in more light, which is true. But light gathering is just part of the equation. How it's processed down the chain matters a lot, too.

The A7S is head and shoulders above a 5D in low light performance, despite the similar sensor size.

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33 minutes ago, anonim said:

@tupp

Thanks, and yes, I know that theory say so. But my point is - does the today level of sensor evolution in two top m43 cameras has achieve such efficiency (inner construction, noise reduction, codec magic etc. specially in combination with better processing power) that could all-in-all negate less pure light gathering effects in comparison with today top full frame sensor cameras?

I think you have just answered your own question. Pixel size of course matters but m43 and aps-c/aps-h cameras have a bigger target audience and bring significantly greater sales to these companies than FF, so R&D departments are finding ways to make them more efficient, regarding light gathering and also codec wise, as stated above. It's the same reason that 1/2.3 sensors are evolving quite rapidly these days. 

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1 hour ago, tupp said:

 

Noise is an entirely different issue, but suffice it to say, larger photosites (sensor pixels) usually mean less noise (more dynamic range), all other variables being equal.  So, if a full frame sensor and a M4/3 sensor have the same resolution, the full frame sensor will likely have less noise (all other variables being equal).

Indeed.

The size of the photosite does seem to matter a lot. For example, when i had the 16mp m43 panasonic gx7, i found it to perform similarly in noise and DR to the 24mp aps-c sony a6000. The 24mp aps-c Fuji XT2 performs similarly (or actually a bit better) to the 42mp full-frame Sony Rx1r ii (or a7r ii).

1 hour ago, kaylee said:

 

 

 

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Ouch...that test video you shared is no good, too many differing variables between shots.

So, what @tupp said. Newer, cropped sensors often can perform perfectly fine in low light nowadays. Things get even better with a Speedbooster.

Having said that, a larger sensor will gather more "total light". So in theory, when using two sensors with the exact same parameters (MP, exposure triangle) except size, the larger one will perform better in lower light (as in producing less noise).

For stills, this is pretty obvious. In video, things get less straightformward because other factors play a part (such as method of downsampling, see @Inazuma's examples). But there is a reason why cinema camera's use s35 or larger sensors...

 

 

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I just reached the point where ISO at 6400 is enough no matter the camera I use (except my RX10II which 800 is the limit...). Would I love to be able to go higher? Maybe, but for the kind of jobs that pay my bread now, it's time to worry about other things like reliability, battery life, backup security, stealthiness and weight. Just saying :glasses:.

EDIT: I didn't know that jabroni thing, but it's so easy to say it looks it will enter very quickly my vocabulary. Looks like an adult version of the smurf word. Kind of catchy...

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Light gathering of MFT camera factually IS worse than APS-C and Full Frame because camera manufacturers senselessly push the megapixel count on the sensors, resulting in more noise and limitations at high ISOs that could be avoided with bigger sensor pixels.

With today's sensor technology, the 'sweet spot' for resolution vs. noise is 42MP for full frame, 24 MP for APS-C and 12 MP for MFT. (Above that, noise increases, dynamic range decreases, and you will have a hard time finding lenses that can actually resolve the higher pixel count.)

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On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 0:50 AM, dbp said:

I think it depends. The thought started when people said a full frame sensor is larger and can take in more light, which is true. But light gathering is just part of the equation. How it's processed down the chain matters a lot, too.

The A7S is head and shoulders above a 5D in low light performance, despite the similar sensor size.

It doesn't matter how big the sensor is, the amount of light received will be determined by the lens arrangement in front of the sensor. If you stick a speedbooster inbetween a crop sensor and a FF lens for example, both crop and FF sensors will receive the same amount of light even though the sensor sizes are different.

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5 hours ago, cantsin said:

Light gathering of MFT camera factually IS worse than APS-C and Full Frame because camera manufacturers senselessly push the megapixel count on the sensors, resulting in more noise and limitations at high ISOs that could be avoided with bigger sensor pixels.

With today's sensor technology, the 'sweet spot' for resolution vs. noise is 42MP for full frame, 24 MP for APS-C and 12 MP for MFT. (Above that, noise increases, dynamic range decreases, and you will have a hard time finding lenses that can actually resolve the higher pixel count.)

On top of that, a larger sensor will always have a better signal/noise ratio than a smaller sensor using the same sensor tech. Which means that 100 ISO on MFT will be as noisy as 200 ISO on APS-C and 400 ISO on Full Frame etc. (And conversely: that ca. 6400 ISO is currently the upper limit for high-quality low-light images on full frame [even on the A7s if you look at the noise in unprocessed raw stills], 3200 ISO for APS-C and 1600 ISO for MFT.

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31 minutes ago, cantsin said:

On top of that, a larger sensor will always have a better signal/noise ratio than a smaller sensor using the same sensor tech

Which isn't happening in real life. At the en of the day there are m4/3 cameras that beat full frame in lowlight and ISO. And vice versa. 

I only look at individual cameras and what they can do. Sensor size is borderline irrelevant.

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I don't think it is an absolute and varies from camera to camera but I will use my A7s at up to ISO 102400 for stills and video (though often set 51200 as the max with auto ISO) while I don't like using my GX7 at anything above ISO 6400 and even that is too much sometimes.     M43 cameras since the GX7 seem to be only a little bit improved for low light high ISO but maybe 6400 would get a bit more use (if I needed it).

Quite a lot of my shooting is above what I would use with any M43 camera.

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4 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

Which isn't happening in real life. At the en of the day there are m4/3 cameras that beat full frame in lowlight and ISO. And vice versa. 

I only look at individual cameras and what they can do. Sensor size is borderline irrelevant.

No. Only if you compare older sensor tech with newer sensor tech. But even a 2005 full frame camera like the Canon 5D beats a 2017 GH5 very clearly in its low light capabilities:

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Panasonic-Lumix-DC-GH5-versus-Canon-EOS-5D___1149_176

If you compare sensors from cameras built in the same time, the rule of thumb still applied that MFT has about one stop less low light sensitivity than APS-C, and APSC has about one stop less low light sensitivity than full frame (which corresponds to their sensor size, with full frame having twice the sensor surface of APS-C and four times the surface of MFT).

If you don't believe me:

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Panasonic-Lumix-DC-GH5-versus-Sony-A6500-versus-Sony-A7R-II___1149_1127_1035

 

Performance differences between same-size sensors of the same manufacturing generations aren't that dramatic. (And 90% of all camera sensors are produced or designed by Sony anyway, even Fuji's X-trans and - partly - Panasonic's sensors.)
 

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19 minutes ago, cantsin said:

No. Only if you compare older sensor tech with newer sensor tech. 

Like I said, it isnt real life and one cant simply say, all big sensors have better iso than smaller.

But either way its not a fact at all, even with same generations. My old 2013 GM1 kills my APSC from 2016. So already the rule goes out the window.

The whole thing is absolutely pointless for me as a creator. Again, imo, sensor size is borderline irrelevant. I look at the camera and how I can use it.

 

 

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The one thing I notice most is wide angle shots. For example 7mm on M43 looks weird compared to 14mm on FF. This is the only time I really notice the difference much, in the distortion of system "equivalent" super wide angle lenses.

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Sometimes I also notice the difference when I need to stop down a large sensor to get the same DOF as the m4/3. Which results in a darker image and the large sensor is already at max ISO. The shutter is of course fixed.

So a m4/3 can definitely have better lowlight in certain situations.

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