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Thread: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

  1. #1
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Sometime back, I bought a Panasonic G1 M43 camera and compared it to My Sigma SD10:

    2.0 crop versus 1.7
    4:3 versus 3:2
    4.33um pixel pitch versus 9.12um (12MP versus 3.4MP).
    Mirrorless versus 'mirror up' mode.
    Panasonic Leica Macro-Elmarit f/2.8 45mm (OIS off) versus Sigma f/2.8 70mm Macro EX DG.

    [edit]I should have made it clear that the subjects are usually well-lit close-ups. Flowers, bugs, watches, eBay stuff. No night or street shots, etc.[/edit]

    The output viewing is by monitor only (1280x1024 NEC 1990SX) or posted on the web, no printing.

    I made the mistake (?) of comparing by pixel-peeping and with the use of slant-edge analysis. Thinking I had done good, I sold the G1 and it's lenses at quite a loss

    Now I have bought a GH1 and another Leica lens same as above. Without debating Foveon vs. Bayer and without debating DSLR vs. M43, I am having a hard time justifying keeping the SD10, especially as I also have two of the original SD9s.

    So, I'm looking for advice on how to make a fair comparison GH1 vs SD10 using test targets and also watch shots. In particular, advice leading to a proper comparison using my slant-edge program QuickMTF, mainly with regard to down-sampling, would be welcomed. I also have a 144-cycle Siemens star and the ISO chart and the old 1951 USAF chart. For table-top scenes, Wife has lots of eBay trinkets.

    Advice like "get a life", "go out and take pictures", will likely be ignored
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 25th August 2013 at 08:15 PM.

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    woof woof's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Advice like "get a life", "go out and take pictures", will possible be ignored
    This thread needs no excuses as if we're not out taking pictures testing the kit is a pretty good alternative

    One advantage that I can see for an OVF equipped DSLR set up and one of the main reasons I've kept mine is for low light shooting and by low light I don't mean an evening on a well lit town high street when it'd be quite possible to read most if not actually all of the print in a newspaper, I mean out of town low light or indeed indoor low light in which a newspaper can not be read.

    I see an advantage for OVF equipped DSLR's here as the only two EVF equipped CSC's I've used (my own G1 and a Nex 6) both had such high light output from their EVF's even when adjusted for best effect that I personally found them unusable as the eye strain caused was too severe and the light output ruined my night vision. Another problem I've found is that my G1's EVF doesn't seem to have enough dynamic range and blacks up in low light and fails to display objects which are still visible by eye even when I'm using my f0.95.

    So, for me personally current EVF technology as used in the G1 (and other cameras equipped with the same EVF) and Nex 6 make lowlight / night shooting impossible. A clear win here for my OVF equipped 5D. In merely low light the EVF wins as it's possible to see detail and manually focus when my 5D's AF can't cope and it's not possible to manually focus accurately with the OVF but as the light level drops still further the OVF equipped DSLR can at least allow better framing than the EVF equipped G1 (or Nex 6) which just blacks up, wont display anything and can therefore only be pointed roughly with anything like accurate framing being impossible.

    If you're not into low light or night shooting this wont be a problem but if you are it's worth considering.

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by woof woof View Post
    This thread needs no excuses as if we're not out taking pictures testing the kit is a pretty good alternative

    If you're not into low light or night shooting this wont be a problem but if you are it's worth considering.
    Thanks Alan,

    No, I'm not a low-light or night shooter and the subjects are usually static. I've edited the OP to reflect that.

    I hadn't considered the viewfinders, a good point, even with good light.

    The viewfinders on my Panasonic and on my Sigma cameras are wildly different, each with it's own pros and cons!
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 25th August 2013 at 08:19 PM.

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    woof woof's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    I think I'd be tempted to keep one Sigma camera regardless of any image quality or use decisions just for interest.

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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by woof woof View Post
    I think I'd be tempted to keep one Sigma camera regardless of any image quality or use decisions just for interest.
    Yes, I'll be keeping the two SD9s - the original Foveon DSLR model. The SD10 was, in some ways, Sigmas first step toward pleasing the masses with higher ISO capability, 1/3 EV steps, microlenses on the sensor. After that, more pixels, in-camera JPEG, APS-C format and even a change to their RAW format rendering newer X3F files un-decodable by man or beast. Which they repeated with the Might Merrill cameras. Not for me, thanks.

    So far, Sigma is holding its own vs Panasonic:

    SD9/70mm macro
    Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    GH1/45mm macro
    Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Down-sampling - the great leveler . No sharpening applied in capture nor in post, just bi-cubic re-sampling - one for the Sigma, twice for the Panasonic.

    The GH1 is showing some significant CA in slant-edge testing. Probably need to re-test with a better target to check over the whole frame, center and edges.

    .
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 26th August 2013 at 06:00 AM.

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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    I am suprised by Alan [WoofWoof]'s commentsd about OVF becuase in my experience of EVF they come up with a bright image whatever the situation. Out at 11pm with just street lights on one side of the road, except for under a car under one of the lights neither the camera nor I could see anything, otherwise contrast detection worked fast as usual .. it was an AF test and didn't take any photos just a multitude of setups trying to stop CD from working ... I did for a couple of times but it was very hard finding an area with absolutely no contrast in the target area. G3 with Lumix 14-140 and the very small focus area this camera offers you. The G1 is a very old camera, I think the latest is G6 or G7[?], by digital standards of evolution.

    Ted ... if your assesment of a camera is the IQ that it makes then we are from different paths becuase I judge a camera as a working tool ... for instance I am not aware of CA, know what to look for, so have never found it ... each to their own
    Of the two feather shots ... they are not the same so cannot really be compared for a meaningful judgement.

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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    My way of testing a camera is to go out and shoot normally as I always would and then compare the results from real-life shooting situations. I then, after a while, decide if one camera suits my style better than another camera. I have settled on the Canon 7D as my camera of choice...

    Another factor which I definitely consider is whether or not I enjoy shooting with the camera. If I don't enjoy working with a camera, I will not use it.

    As an example, I personally dislike any camera which relies only on live view LCD viewing and is not equipped with an eye level viewfinder. As an example, I would much rather shoot with an old 350D or 30D than use a top-line digital camera which relies totally on the LCD as a viewfinder...

    So, I seldom do an in-depth testing of a camera except to shoot a series of shots to ensure that it is functioning well. I will also shoot a series of shots prior to any important project to make sure the camera is still working properly and that there is no dust on the sensor...

    I have done some quick comparisons using the 1.4x TC on both my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens and my 300mm f/4L IS. My evaluation after this quick comparison is that the 1.4x TC is a viable addition to either lens. However, this testing was more in line with what I would shoot on a normal project than shooting charts...

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    woof woof's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I am suprised by Alan [WoofWoof]'s commentsd about OVF becuase in my experience of EVF they come up with a bright image whatever the situation. Out at 11pm with just street lights on one side of the road, except for under a car under one of the lights neither the camera nor I could see anything, otherwise contrast detection worked fast as usual .. it was an AF test and didn't take any photos just a multitude of setups trying to stop CD from working ... I did for a couple of times but it was very hard finding an area with absolutely no contrast in the target area. G3 with Lumix 14-140 and the very small focus area this camera offers you. The G1 is a very old camera, I think the latest is G6 or G7[?], by digital standards of evolution.

    Ted ... if your assesment of a camera is the IQ that it makes then we are from different paths becuase I judge a camera as a working tool ... for instance I am not aware of CA, know what to look for, so have never found it ... each to their own
    Of the two feather shots ... they are not the same so cannot really be compared for a meaningful judgement.
    As I said, I can only speak for my G1 and Nex 6 that I tried but I think that later Panasonic cameras use the same EVF(?) The light output is so high that a little square of light is projected back into my eye or onto my hand and I find / found both cameras completely unusable in genuine low light as just a few seconds looking through the EVF destroys night vision, causes discomfort and takes 10-15 minutes to revover from. In just low light it's not an issue as there's enough ambiant light to at least partially swamp the EVF's output but when the ambient light is low the light output is way too high.

    I hope that the OP doesn't mind me posting this shot that shows the problem...

    Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    For eBay is it not irrelevant which camera you use? You are posting images that are constrained by the auction web site specifications, so a camera phone will give results sufficient for that purpose.

    For me the camera, lens and processing software are three components of a system of tools that deliver pictures. The delivery mechanism whether it be screen (affected by calibration) or print is the remaining part of the system. All parts are important and the blend is what makes pictures achieve a certain look. I would not necessarily say one camera is a more useful tool than another just because its unsharpened result is fractionally superior. It is the processed image that matters most surely?

    That said, I too enjoy technical comparisons and can labour over them endlessly whilst accepting elements of their futility!

    Adrian

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by woof woof View Post
    . . . but I think that later Panasonic cameras use the same EVF(?) The light output is so high that a little square of light is projected back into my eye or onto my hand . .
    Yes, the GH1 is the same. The brightness can be adjusted in the SETUP menu > MONITOR but the range is not enough for your purpose, I suspect.

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    woof woof's Avatar
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    Re: Shoot-out Methods for Widely Different Cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Yes, the GH1 is the same. The brightness can be adjusted in the SETUP menu > MONITOR but the range is not enough for your purpose, I suspect.
    Yes that's right. Even when adjusted for best effect the light output is simply too high. This and the lack of DR in the EVF make true low light and night time shooting with the CSC's I've tried impossible for me and until a better EVF technology comes along I can't move completely to a CSC. Shame, I love to ditch the DSLR completely,

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