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A Tale of Two Cameras.

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  • A Tale of Two Cameras.

    I notice that there have been two separate threads recently entitled 'A Tale of Two Cities' so assuming that it must always be a tale of two things beginning with 'C'...
    I'm not terribly certain how relevant or of interest the following might be as I assume that I'm preaching to the converted but here goes anyway

    I have recently been to the Lake District for a few days. No, it didn't rain, it was very hot and sunny, since you ask. Anyway, I had access to a Canon 5D mark 1, which is a full frame camera of about 14 mp. Fed up with the patronizing comments and sneering looks from C*non and N*kon users, I thought that I would try a little experiment. I took my Olympus 620 with the 14-54 lens and the Canon had a 17-40 L series, which is Canon's top-end range. The two pictures attached were taken within a minute or two of each other, using the same ND and poarizing filters, and in aperture priority at f11 for the Canon and f10 for the Oly (for reasons which escape me as I thought that I had used f11 for both). They are both large file Jpegs, and were taken hand-held. Very little has been done in Photoshop to them as I don't really understand all of that IT lark and I tend to confine myself to using the pre-set automatic settings for smart-fix, levels and contrast, which is what I've done here. It is purely image quality that I am concerned with here, rather than the quality of the image, if you get the subtle distinction.

    Bearing in m ind that the MP counts are fairly close, it is really just the larger sensor size that is the difference of the Canon over the Olympus.
    In my opinion, it upholds everything that I've said about the image quality of the Olympus in comparison to the so-called superiority of the Canon (or indeed other cameras).



    Thanks for looking.






    This is from the Olympus.




    This is from the Canon.











    Ah, that's better. The first image is still the Olympus, followed by the Canon.

  • #2
    Re: A Tale of Two Cameras.

    Nice scene of Styhead Tarn with Great Gable and Green Gable, from somewhere on the path up to Sprinkling Tarn and Esk Hause. At this size I can't tell which picture is sharpest or has the most detail but I prefer the Olympus colours. Also, the Canon lens has the most vignetting. F11 was fine for the Canon but f6.3 would have been better for the Olympus.

    You were lucky with the weather, looks like that was a cracking day. How I envy you - what did you climb?
    John

    "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

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    • #3
      Re: A Tale of Two Cameras.

      I too prefer the Olympus version just for the colouration. Good test though!
      Cindy

      Cameras: EM1 MK2 and Mk1, E-620, E-410, Om4Ti
      Lenses: 12-60, 50-200, Panny 100-400, 9-18, ZD 50mm, 14-54 Mk1, 70-300, 40-150, 14-42, OM 50mm F3.5 macro
      Also: EC14, EX25, FS35, Vanguard tripod, and far too many bags!

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The air of heaven is that which flows between a horse's ears...."

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      • #4
        Re: A Tale of Two Cameras.

        That 17-40 is a great lens, but you're right John - it always did vignette and need software correction. I had that same combination before my doctor told me to lose weight and I went Olympus.
        Stephen

        A camera takes a picture. A photographer makes a picture

        Fuji X system, + Leica and Bronica film

        My Flickr site

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        • #5
          Re: A Tale of Two Cameras.

          Originally posted by StephenL View Post
          That 17-40 is a great lens, but you're right John - it always did vignette and need software correction. I had that same combination before my doctor told me to lose weight and I went Olympus.
          That's a good excuse to give the wife for buying a Micro Four Thirds camera, "the doctor told me to lose weight."
          John

          "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

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          • #6
            Re: A Tale of Two Cameras.

            The Canon certainly seems to vignette a bit at times, but I wouldn't have the foggiest as to how to correct it, never mind the inclination! As for the sharpness and detail, looking at the originals on a computer screen at full size, it's very tight but I honestly think that the Olympus just shades it. Just. I may be biased of course.
            Thanks for your thoughts evryone.

            Zuiko: Well, I had planned to do the Great Gable, Great Gable, Base Brown ridge back to Seathwaite but, gad it was hot! I wimped out after Great Gable and headed off for a well deserved ice cream in Keswick.
            Interesting view on optimum aperture for the Olympus. I rarely, if ever go above f14 but tend to stick somewhere in the range of between f9 and f13 for landscapes. Light conditions permitting of course. I do recall reading in a lens review for the 14-54 that its 'sweet-spot' was around the f6.3 mark. I suspect that the 'best' aperture subject is is a whole new thread.
            Lee.

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            • #7
              Re: A Tale of Two Cameras.

              Originally posted by Lee View Post
              The Canon certainly seems to vignette a bit at times, but I wouldn't have the foggiest as to how to correct it, never mind the inclination! As for the sharpness and detail, looking at the originals on a computer screen at full size, it's very tight but I honestly think that the Olympus just shades it. Just. I may be biased of course.
              Thanks for your thoughts evryone.

              Zuiko: Well, I had planned to do the Great Gable, Great Gable, Base Brown ridge back to Seathwaite but, gad it was hot! I wimped out after Great Gable and headed off for a well deserved ice cream in Keswick.
              Interesting view on optimum aperture for the Olympus. I rarely, if ever go above f14 but tend to stick somewhere in the range of between f9 and f13 for landscapes. Light conditions permitting of course. I do recall reading in a lens review for the 14-54 that its 'sweet-spot' was around the f6.3 mark. I suspect that the 'best' aperture subject is is a whole new thread.
              Lee.
              Hot weather can be just as great a deterrent to hill walking as wet weather; I think I would have gone for the ice cream, too. I remember one sweltering weekend in Wales many years ago. I was attempting to backpack a high level circuit of Snowdon, traversing around the main corries without actually visiting the summit. The first day went to plan and I camped in Cwm Glas, beneath Crib Goch. However, the second day was even hotter and I couldn't bear the heat in the corries, so I abandoned the route and chose to return to the car via the summit, because the climbing was actually easier than traversing.

              The reason for sticking to larger apertures on 4/3 cameras is that diffraction starts to kick in at around f8 and gets progressively worse at smaller apertures. Having said that, I will go to f16 with the 14-54mm when I really need a huge depth of field and just accept a bit of a hit on resolution.
              John

              "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Tale of Two Cameras.

                The full frame Canon vignettes (gets darker in to the corners) because legacy digital full frame is a sensor/optical compromise. The lens mount is too narrow so the rear element of the lens can't be large enough to avoid unfavourably acute angles of light incidence towards the corners of the frame. The greater the angel of incidence, the less efficient the sensor is at registering the light, so you not only get a progressive darkening but you also lose detail and if you later compensate for the darkening you risk introducing noise. The Canon 5D Mark I is quite old now, too, so its microlens arrangement on the sensor is not as good as more recent sensors, so compensation for the vignetting by the sensor is not very good. Some professionals using full frame sensor DSLRs actually use a technigue that, in some situations, mean that they avoid using very tight framing because of the full frame vignetting issue. Canon's lens mount is actually relatively large among legacy DSLR systems. Nikon's is significantly narrower, so the problem is more acute.

                The Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds mounts, designed for digital from the ground up, is much wider in relation to the sensor format size, so lenses can be designed to work better with digital sensors and so avoid vignetting - as your two shots nicely demonstrate

                I agree with John - f/10 for the Oly shot is unnecessarily small and means a little detail will have been lost due to diffraction softening; f/7.1 would have been my choice. Also I see that you have used a third of a stop brighter exposure compensation on the Oly shot.

                Ian
                Founder and editor of:
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