The format wars - Full Frame vs MFT vs APS-C etc.

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by alsoknownas, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    We seem to be at a bit of a transitional moment in sensor design / marketing, with some seeing the end of MFT (µFT whatever) around the corner.

    Full Frame has quite a powerful marketing pull, and now that mirrorless bodies are so relatively small and lightweight anyway, perhaps MFT has lost some of it's USP?

    What of APS-C? Is that going to have a future now that you can make a very portable FF?

    I still like so-called 'crop sensors' for a number of reasons -

    I think it's easier to make a powerful machine with smaller components - Sony FF had overheating problems for years (though that seems to have died down now). Overheating / reliability problems could return as they try to chase a new set of performance benchmarks.

    Things like IBIS are easier to implement well on smaller sensors.

    The lenses stay much smaller and more portable. This really makes a difference on the long end.

    Adaptability - there must be a thousand or so lenses (including vintage) available for cameras like the GH5 and the BMPC4K.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    3 of the members in my camera club who used to have FF dslrs have sold all their kit and bought Fuji and Oly 4/3 camera systems. Primarily it was because they are getting on and they didn't like lugging all their large and heavy FF cameras and lenses about. That and that they have decided the image quality is sufficient on the new cameras.
     
    alsoknownas likes this.
  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    The trouble with full frame is that no matter how small the cameras get, the lenses remain fucking massive by comparison to say, the equivalent MFT lens. APS-C is a fine compromise that should in theory always provide better quality images than MFT, but the rise of fine optics and the improvements in the sensor has muddied the waters.

    The bottom line really is what you want to do with the camera. If you're doing action sports and low light photography, FF is undoubtedly king, but for everyday use, MFT and APS-C cameras will take cracking images.
     
    paolo and alsoknownas like this.
  4. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I went in the opposite direction because no matter how hard I tried, MFT just isn't good enough for capturing the mighty Dulwich Hamlet playing under dimly lit non-league floodlights.

    I still love my Olympus MFT cameras though. Much prefer them to any APS-C SLRs.
     
    alsoknownas likes this.
  5. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Oh, I thought you were committed to Oly. What did you get?
     
  6. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I still use the Olympus, but I've got a Sony A7II and Rx1R compact. My fave camera remains the Ricoh GR though.
     
    weltweit and alsoknownas like this.
  7. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    Yeah, and I mean '35mm' (basically APS-C) is still the main (virtually only) format in dedicated video cameras (at a certain level).

    Oddly, I could see myself ending up with bodies with 3 different sensor sizes, which seems like a nightmare lenses-wise :facepalm:.
     
  8. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    I mean Panasonic is making a big show of continued support for MFT going forward, but who knows how it will all pan out?

    [​IMG]

    Pretty surprising that they are conceding 'picture quality' to their larger sensor range!
     
  9. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Still loving my D800, my first FF camera, all my lenses were FX so they all now work how they were intended, which is nice.

    At the moment I can't imagine going back to a crop sensor, unless I got much more into wildlife in which case used Nikon D500s do look very good and very good value.
     
  10. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I dunno, every six months there’s another Massive Camera Thing that’s supposed to be an incredible revolution and yet doesn’t do what I want. I use m43 but it’s really because the cameras are compact and have good (and affordable) primes - I don’t really like EVFs and there are lots of other annoying things which I want to turn off. I’d go for a Fuji with a hybrid finder but it’s a huge outlay for something that may still annoy me. I don’t really care about any of the things that any of the FF mirrorless systems seem to be promising.

    What I find I care about most is maintaining a connection to my environment, where I don’t feel separated from it by the camera and I can intuitively control it without being distracted. It also needs to be easy to carry casually and for a long time. I don't care about frame size.

    I get close to the former with the Sony A900, which has well thought out controls and a superb OVF and does great JPEGs, but it's big and noisy and not great at high ISOs. The GX8 is a good size and well balanced and has top lenses and focuses quickly but I always end up hitting one of the fifty buttons I don't want and turning the spirit level on or something, and I've never got it to give me the JPEGs that I want (it also blows too many highlights IMO).

    Honestly, I've never found a digital camera that feels anywhere near as natural as the Pentax MX I use a lot or the Leica M6 I've recently started using. If I saw something that had some of the features they do I'd maybe dive in but I haven't and nobody seems interested in producing them (and no way can I afford a digital Leica).
     
    alsoknownas likes this.
  11. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I don't think the word "war" is right.
    We just have a lot of choice at the moment.

    Making decisions about what to buy is harder now because of that large choice.
     
    alsoknownas likes this.
  12. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    Yes, sorry, I was being a bit click-baity :D. There are quite a lot of genuine rumbles of concern about MFT's future as a supported platform though.
     
  13. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    That's a great point actually, and one I'm gonna remind myself of going forward.
     
  14. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I don't think micro four thirds is going to lose its size advantage. If you look at the new Nikon Z7 and Z6, they do look nice, but the lenses are massive, even or especially the primes.

    The Nikon F mount primes I use are tiny which I love, but the new Z mount primes, well massive.

    And the new FF Canon also looks on the plump side.
     
  15. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    And I think Fuji have put loads of features in their MFT units, someone I know with a Fuji was asking me, does your camera do this, and that etc ?? I had to just grin, because it didn't :)
     
  16. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    Yep. You do seem to be able to more heavily feature load the smaller cameras. Panasonic do a good job in this regard too. I assume one reason is because there is better heat dissipation.
     
  17. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    In terms of bodies - it's starting to happen already.
    Here are the current video powerhouses of Sony and Panasonic:
    [​IMG]
     
    weltweit likes this.
  18. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm not really into features. I never shoot in any of the messed-around-with modes on cameras (e.g. high contrast, fake film looks etc). Just give me a smart auto and easy to adjust full manual/aperture priority modes. Ithankyou.
     
    RoyReed likes this.
  19. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Yes, but look at the difference in lens sizes. It is HUGE.
     
    FridgeMagnet likes this.
  20. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    Yeah, those are the kind of features I leave well alone too, but for video things like being able to change frame rates, resolution, bit depth, stabilise the sensor, focusing tools, scopes, etc. are really vital, and MFT has up to now led the way there.
     
  21. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    That is true, yeah, especially when it comes to the long end.
     
  22. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    This is the kind of size difference you can expect.

    [​IMG]
     
    weltweit likes this.
  23. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I don't know about heat dissipation as a reason, but Fuji have been making "prosumer" cameras for many years while others concentrated on FF & APS-C and they seem to me to have been avoiding direct competition with the largest companies - and continue to do so - presently with their offering - as evidenced by their medium format offering.
     
  24. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    That photo is flipped :)
     
  25. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Yeah I noticed that. But the FF lenses are still fucking mahoooosive.
     
    weltweit likes this.
  26. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Nikon lenses seem to be big and getting bigger. Their 24-70 2.8 which one might have thought would be a common choice, is massive! I have a Sigma 28-70 2.8 which is both a lot smaller and also a lot lighter.
     
  27. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    I use both native and adapted glass on my MFT camera all the time ;). Sometimes I forget just how heavy the FF glass is until I flip on a MFT lens. I'm happy using either really. Lens size is rarely a limiting factor (although I don't have any really long lenses).
     
  28. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    GF2 body (which is kind of old now but modern ones are no bigger) with 14mm, 20mm and 42.5mm primes, vs a paperback book.

    IMG_0913.jpg
     
  29. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    Makes me wish I liked native lenses more. I can't be dealing with any of the Panasonic fly-by-wire ones.
    The ones I like (Voigtländer mainly) are actually fairly hefty :facepalm:.
     
  30. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    alsoknownas are you concerned about the potential of people moving away from MFT because you have a MFT camera? And I suppose it would reduce the second hand value?

    I don't think so much about such things now, my camera is 3 or 4 behind the most current, but I will probably use it until it stops working, I don't plan on getting anything from it as second hand value. And when that time comes I will again buy the best I can afford, probably used and repeat the cycle.
     
    alsoknownas likes this.

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