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Discussion in 'Panasonic/Leica Forum' started by mick / Lumix, Jul 28, 2013.
Bigger is not necessarily better. Technology also matters a lot. The first gen M43 sensor is well pass it's prime. It can kind of hold it's own in bright daylight, but it really stumbles in low light. So it's not surprising that a smaller modern sensor can outclass it. My RX100 has a smaller sensor but destroys my GF2 in all regards. My GF2 is relugated to being too worthless to sell and not good enough to use. It looks cool on the shelf though.
Now? I don't think that idea was ever right. If it was, people would still be dragging along old 8x10 wooden boxes around. I went through an 8x10 Polaroid phase. Any cheap P&S digital camera today overwhelms it. Technology is the great compensator. I just had similar discussion with someone on DPR. It was a strange discussion since he conceded the points I made about a new small sensor over an old big sensor but still ended up saying he "was of the same opinion regardless" about big forever being better than small even though he could offer no point to justify it. His contention was that no small sensor would ever be as good as any current larger sensor in our lifetimes. A RX100 today would smack down a full frame DSLR from 10 years ago. Bigger is only better using the same level of technology.
Larger sensor does not mean sharper OOC. My Canon 6D produces less sharp results than my RX100 or my m43 cams, but it sharpens up better, and I can do a lit more with the output than either of the other two.
But if all you care about is OOC, then maybe the LF1 is right for you!
It's true, Mick... bigger is better only when one is comparing the same generation of technology. A current micro four-thirds camera will outperform the LF1 (but not by as big a margin as used to be the case for such cameras and sensors). A current, top-line APS-C DSLR will outperform a current micro four thirds (but not by as big a margin as a few years ago).
But a state-of-the-art compact will outperform a first-generation micro four-thirds camera - or even an APS-C DSLR from ten years ago. The only exception that generally remains is control over depth of field, which is a function of sheer physics. And larger sensors never guaranteed sharper images. That was always more a matter of the lens being used. And even there, technology has marched on. Enjoy your LF1 - it's a great little take-everywhere camera.
BTW, how do you like the Veloster? It looks like it's the version with the base, 138-horsepower engine. How is it in traffic and on the highway? Manual or dual-clutch automatic?
The bigger point I was trying to make is that the LF1 could apply a higher level of sharpening than an m43 or other cameras. Pocket cams often come default with aggressive saturation and sharpening.
What others have said is very true -- the G1/GF1/G3 used a sensor that was already a few years old when it was first used in 2008!
Also, you would need to compare DOF impacts. Background things could look less sharp due to less DOF on the larger sensor. The LF1 provides a LOT more DOF at the same f/stop.
Here's the summary, though: If the LF1 works for you, and you especially value it's portability, then that's all that matters. Who cares what other cameras might be capable of (or not).
G1 is an old camera with a heavier AA filter.
And are we comparing SENSORS or lenses. I can use a lens on a u43 camera to suit the occasion. If the LF1 doesn't cut it, well then, too bad.
You're not making any meaningful comparison in the first post and if you don't understand why, then nobody will be able to talk to you about it. Study sensors some more, the progression of technology in terms of AA filters -- and then consider that you're testing a highly optimized and NOT INTERCHANGEABLE lens and not the sensor.
That's all I have to say. Peace.
I have the LF1 and have sold it to a friend already. It is a great compact but I just don't like the 'look' of the images it produces. The images look the same as the LX7 which has the same sensor. The images are sharp OOC etc etc but they just have something about them that I don't like. The Sony's and Fuji X10/20 OOC files look much nicer but then they have larger sensors. I still think the larger the sensor the better. Saying that I am selling my 6D to get the GX7 when it's released and that has a sensor half the size of the 6D....but the 6D is huge and heavy with any half decent lens on.
For a compact the FL1 is very very good and if I needed a compact with a view finder I would still get the X10.
The images have the same look to me, perhaps it's a Panasonic compact thing?
I think you have the right attitude in wanting to just get out there and take images. These days it's hard to find a bad camera and the differences in camera output are tiny in the grand scheme of things. I am getting less bothered about the tech. I have found the Sigmas a joy to own and am looking forward to the GX7 as it looks like my perfect camera as it does everything I have always wanted. I don't see that as techy but as an aid to letting me get the images.
Bill, just one small nit-pick. What you say is right about the G1 and GF1 (which use the original Pany 12mp sensor), but not the G3, which came after the GH2 and has a much newer sensor - the same 16mp chip used in the GX1. It's not as good as that used in the GH3 or, one presumes, the GX7, but it's a pretty big step up over the other two you grouped it with. Did you maybe mean to type GF3? I think that one did have the same old 12mp version, but not the G3.
Nonetheless, the basic point is surely right - newer m43 models are miles ahead of those from a couple of years ago. And while a compact camera can look quite good in good light (and very SHARP given its huge DOF), it can't really compete with m43 is a whole lot of areas. And, of course, the OP is right that this doesn't matter much if the LF1 gets the job done for him. I'm enormously spoiled with great cameras and never shoot the LX7 now that I have a smaller and vastly "better" (if less versatile) camera in the Nikon "A". But I fully realize that I could do an awful lot of what I do just about as well with ONLY an LX7 (or presumable an LF1) and probably few could tell the difference, at least with typical web-sized displays.
LF1 looks a like a nice pocket cam, but to skip the mumbo jumbo/techie stuff: is the LF1 as sharp as m43? I think the answer is no, if you are forced into a black-and-white statement.
The LF1 is great for it's size. It also depends on the lens you use for m43.
From the Comparometer. LF1 on the left. EPM2 on the right. EPM2 is, of course, larger and requires a snap-on viewfinder, and this sample shot was done with an excellent prime lens. If you used the kit lens, it would look much different. Both were chosen at ISO200. And they are the corner crops, but you could also check center crops, and even against the GF1. These are also 100% crops, so perhaps in smaller output formats, the LF1 could look better. Not sure if that's the case, but it could be.
A larger sensor doesn't necessarily mean sharper results - but it does make it a lot easier.
Since the pixels aren't as close together on a larger sensor (assuming equal sensor resolution), the lens can get away with more. Think of it as a collection of an x number of buckets, compared to an x number of cups. It's much easier throwing a pingpong ball in the correct bucket than throwing it in the correct cup. But, if the lens on a compact camera is sharp enough, that's exactly what it'll do, and there won't be any difference in sharpness compared to the larger sensor camera / lens combination.
Ofcourse, a smaller sensor also means more noise (if both sensors are equally efficient), and therefore heavyhanded noise reduction will probably kick in earlier - but that's a different discussion alltogether.
The simple fact that people are comparing apples (LF1) to oranges (m43) just shows how good the apples are - because the comparision does not make much sense. You cannot get a zoom going up to 200 mm and an integrated viewfinder in a pocket-size, feather-light box in the m43 world. And on the other hand, sensor size does matter. You could also put the m43 in the left side, and a medium-format camera in the right one, but I do not think it would be worth doing it. I have a Panasonic LX7, a Panasonic GX1 and a Nikon D7000. Horses for courses - although in 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inch) prints the differences are much smaller than when seen on a computer screen. How often do you print bigger than that? When I move up in sensor size, I see more of a difference in the consistency of results than in the quality of the aforementioned prints.
Incidentally, the few LF1 user comments already in Amazon.com are very positive.