4/3 vs APS vs 35mm Full Frame Sensors

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by R2D2, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. Not unless it is abused. there is a 4/3rds standard. Any camera that
    adheres to the standard and claims such will use the same mount and
    same size sensor. They may be different sensors, but they will have
    the same dimensions. "I haven't read the standard, but I think the
    pixel count could even be different.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger Halstead, Feb 15, 2004
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  2. Let me get this stright; you think that 4/3 is the final solution?

    All I claimed was tat I think this is unlikely. There will be other
    mounts. So - you think that there will be no more mounts? You think
    that the 4/3 is the final answer?

    Roland Karlsson, Feb 15, 2004
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  3. Let me get this stright; you think that 4/3 is the final solution?
    [Different speaker]

    I certainly think that 35mm is _not_ the final solution, and that the
    promotion of 4/3 with its potential weight savings, common lens mount, and
    picture quality improvements over 2/3 is a great thing! All power to
    those manufacturers, and I do hope their vision suceeds.

    David J Taylor, Feb 15, 2004
  4. Sure, Minolta + Panasonic will make cameras with that mount.
    And because it is a standard that is supported by 2 smaller players
    in the market, it will kill Nikon and Canon.... NOT.

    Any standard backed by Nikon and Canon will win.
    Povl H. Pedersen, Feb 15, 2004
  5. I think we are talking two different languages (except
    for you speaking native English and me speaking native
    Swedish :)

    Of course - you think that 4/3 is just super duper and
    that we now shall try to hype it as much as possible
    to really make it happen. Go, go, go, ....

    I, on the other hand, am more realistic. No matter how
    fantastic the 4/3 thingie is (or not is); there will always
    be new thingies coming later on.

    Roland Karlsson, Feb 15, 2004
  6. []
    Er, not quite. I said I thought it was a better solution than the "35mm
    is the ultimate" and that it should be encouraged. I welcome the
    Of course there will. I never said there would not be! However if, as
    another poster said, Canon or Nikon were to join the 4/3 club, it would
    give it a significant boost. I suspect that they have too much interest
    in proprietary products for this to happen, though.

    David J Taylor, Feb 15, 2004
  7. R2D2

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <[email protected]> on Sat, 14 Feb 2004 22:02:44 -0800,
    I have no doubt that it will (assuming products other than Olympus actually
    make it to market) -- after all, aftermarket lenses work fine with their
    cloned mounts.
    No, the design is for lenses designed specifically for digital and 4/3. Visit
    the website and read up on it.
    John Navas, Feb 15, 2004
  8. R2D2

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <> on Sun, 15 Feb 2004
    There is no digital standard backed by both Nikon *and* Canon, and I doubt
    there ever will be, short of signing on to 4/3.
    John Navas, Feb 15, 2004
  9. R2D2

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <[email protected]> on 14 Feb 2004 20:15:32 GMT,
    I personally think it might well save Foveon, and would be a nice option for
    the 4/3 system.
    John Navas, Feb 15, 2004
  10. Hi John,

    I hope it is OK to have some doubts :)

    All small camera makers together will probably never
    sell even a fraction of what Nikon and Canon do.

    Any SLR mount is very near to a 4/3 mount in size.
    So .. a Canon body with a Canon (or Sigma) lens
    made for digital, is just as good technically.

    The only real advantage with the 4/3 system is that
    it is supposed to be an open standard. Tele centric
    lenses etc are just design criterias for the lens

    So -- what is the advantage of 4/3 if Sigma makes 4/3
    lenses that also can be used in on a Canon with APS
    sized sensor?

    Roland Karlsson, Feb 15, 2004
  11. R2D2

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <[email protected]> on 15 Feb 2004 17:03:15
    Me too. :)
    According to NPD Group, Kodak (a founding member of 4/3) was number one in
    digital cameras last quarter. Canon had a market share under 13%, and Nikon
    wasn't in the top four. So it seems to me that 4/3 is actually positioned
    pretty well, particularly if more folks sign on, which I think would probably
    happen if Canon tried to go it alone with a similar but incompatible system.
    Not necessarily -- see
    I disagree -- see above.
    I think that's probably impractical, and a very big if in any event.
    Regardless, I think the benefits of an open standard are profound.
    John Navas, Feb 16, 2004
  12. R2D2

    Greg Dearing Guest

    The problem with Olympus' "open-standard" is that it isn't very open.
    It hasn't been submitted to a standards organization, isn't available
    to the public, and there is no process to acquire it. Smaller
    organizations that have tried to acquire it have been refused. If
    anyone outside Olympus does have access to it, they're under NDA. In
    short, it has none of the qualities you would normally associate with
    an open standard.

    Some interesting discussions:
    Kodak's only involvement in the 4/3rds system appears to be that
    Olympus is buying the E-1's sensor from them. By contrast, both Kodak
    and FujiFilm (Oly's largest 4/3rds partners) are actively selling and
    developing new bodies for the Nikon F-mount. Add to that the fact
    that F-mount lenses are available from dozens of companies (including
    Sigma) and you start to realize how limited the four-thirds system
    currently is.
    The only thing that document says is that light should hit the sensor
    at a angle which is close to perpendicular (Oly calls this
    telecentric). Most 35mm lenses, and all of the various "designed for
    digital" lenses, are already very telecentric and meet Oly's

    The Digital Lens FAQ:
    See above.
    I would agree. Unfortunately, the standard isn't open...hopefully
    this will change in the future.

    Greg Dearing, Feb 16, 2004
  13. R2D2

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    From "'Open' is a four-letter word" <http://makeashorterlink.com/?Q1AC21C67>:

    What makes a standard open?

    Adding to the contentiousness surrounding the standards process is
    the fact that the word "open" has no commonly accepted meaning in the
    phrase "open standard." For many organizations, "open" means that
    they aren't the only organization that supports the advancement and
    development of a given technology. However, this is an all-too-broad
    definition that puts Microsoft's .NET in the same camp as Java --
    since there are millions of developers for each of those platforms.
    For others, a standard is open only if a vendor-neutral third-party
    organization (or even governmental body) creates and manages it.
    However, this definition is too strict in that it excludes the term
    "open source" from its meaning. Finally, many organizations consider
    a standard to be "open" if the specification has merely been
    published for review.

    Time will of course tell, but I personally think there's a good chance that
    Kodak (and others) will start selling 4/3 cameras.
    Of course it's limited -- it's still very new (and not really comparable to
    the Nikon F mount, which is of course even less "open").
    It also cites advantages of size, weight, speed, and compatibility.
    While there are some lenses that do meet Olympus' objective, I think that
    statement is a pretty big stretch, and it ignores the other claimed advantages
    of 4/3 in any event.
    Joe has written a nice (somewhat opinionated) document, but it doesn't really
    support your claim.
    That's a matter of perspective, as noted above. It's certainly more "open"
    than other lens mounts.
    John Navas, Feb 16, 2004
  14. How can a standard ensure size, wieght and speed advantages?
    Compatibility - yes.
    But the other three are just empty words.
    This document is more a sales document than a technical one.

    Don't get me wrong John. A standard mount would be nice.
    But ... I don't think this try at standardisation is all that

    And ... when you are at it ... can you please start to standardise
    lens threads and flash mounts at the same time. It is getting
    irritating with all those different solutions and sizes.

    All my old Pentax lenses have 49 mm threads.
    I think that most old Canon lenses had 52.
    I also think that most old Nikon lenses had 55.

    This is OK (even though they could be the same).
    But new lenses - lots of diameters.

    Roland Karlsson, Feb 16, 2004
  15. R2D2

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <[email protected]> on 16 Feb 2004 18:02:21
    By facilitating the design of components that are smaller, lighter, and faster
    (as explained on the 4/3 website).
    I think the Olympus 4/3 products make a pretty persuasive case.
    True, but I don't think the claims are unreasonable.
    Why not?
    Indeed. :)
    So use Cokin. :)
    John Navas, Feb 16, 2004
  16. This is complete BS. The term "telecentric" is actually a real meaningful
    term in optics, but it has nothing to do with lenses for photographic

    "Telecentric Lens"
    A lens in which the aperture stop is located at the front focus, resulting
    in the chief rays being parallel to the optical axis in image space; i.e.,
    the exit pupil is at infinity."

    These are lenses that provide a constant magnification _regardless_ of
    distance. None of the E-1 lenses do that.
    In photographic sensors, larger is always better, smaller always worse. So
    it should come as no surprise to anyone that the E-1 is a full stop slower
    than the 10D. At ISO 200, the 10D has less noise than the E-1 at ISO 100,
    and so on all the way up.

    So for an image with the same noise at the same shutter speed, you need a
    lens a full f-stop faster. Which completely wastes the claimed advantage of
    the higher crop factor.
    I don't. Too much BS. (The "larger mount means more parallel rays" bit is
    simply a lie: photographic lenses project a cone from the rear of the lens
    to a spot on the sensor. The degree to which the lens is retrofocus
    determines the angle of incidence, not the mount. Since the wide angle SLR
    lenses are already fairly radical retrofocus designs, they work just fine
    with digital sensors. All the A/B comparisons I've seen, show the 1Ds
    outperforming film, even at the corners, with wide angle lenses. The only
    problems with the 1Ds are weight and price.)
    The claims are totally meaningless.
    Because there are a lot of _great_ lenses already out there for the Nikon
    and Canon mounts. Where are the TSE lenses for the E-1? Where are the fast

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Feb 17, 2004
  17. R2D2

    John Navas Guest

    [POSTED TO rec.photo.digital - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

    In <c0ror9$63p$> on Tue, 17 Feb 2004 09:58:00 +0900, "David J.
    I'd call it marketing hyperbole.
    Would you be happier with (say) near-telecentric?
    From the standpoint of maximum theoretical quality, perhaps, but there are
    other considerations, so it's not that simple. Much (most?) of photography is
    a matter of "good enough" (for the intended purpose) since there is almost
    always a way to capture better quality if you ignore things like size and
    weight, which can be very important indeed.
    Fair enough -- we'll just have to agree to disagree.
    Those aren't the only problems, but at least we agree on something. :)
    Again, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
    Time (and market demand) will tell. It's unfair to compare a brand new system
    to mature systems.
    John Navas, Feb 17, 2004
  18. I'd call it a lie.
    No, because that's like being "almost pregnant". Retrofocus is the correct
    word. And extreme retrofocus designs involve compromises in distortion and
    resolution characteristics. And this all has nothing whatsoever to do with
    the width of the lens mount. (Although the wider mount should support faster
    lenses more easily. And Oly has announced a 150/2.0.)
    Yes. Of course. Olympus' bet is that the smaller sensor and larger crop
    factor will make life more fun for voyers and birdwatchers. But my
    calculations indicate that the worse noise means that said advantage is
    almost non-existant, since the E-1 requires faster lenses for the same image
    quality (noise levels).
    What are the other problems?
    Olympus just announced a 150/2.0 lens. Equivalent to a 300/2.0. Wow! But
    since the noise in the E-1 is a full stop worse than the noise in the 10D or
    300D, that's equivalent to a 200/2.8 on the 10D. Same image quality, same
    shutter speed, same DOF.

    We haven't seen the price yet, but I'll bet you a beer (payable in Tokyo<g>)
    that a 300D + used 200/2.8 is cheaper and lighter than either an E-1 body
    _or_ the 150/2.0.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Feb 17, 2004
  19. R2D2

    DM Guest

    i.e., sub-par quality control and flaky lenses. I just looked at
    a used 15-30 in the shop window. It looked so ugly. The matte paint
    was *peeling* off and it looked like a rabid dog.
    Panasonic does not use glass manufactured by Leica. It's just Leica
    designed and approved. It is *not* leica glass as in a 50mm 'cron.
    Why? They could have a 4/3 camera with a foveon sensor. That would be
    DM, Feb 17, 2004
  20. R2D2

    Greg Dearing Guest

    Yes, as your article implies, there are many companies who would like
    to twist the definition of "Open" so that they can use it as a
    buzzword. Microsoft and Olympus are among them. Oly is even worse
    than Microsoft, because the .NET specification is something I can
    actually read if I wanted to.

    Here's the more accepted definition, which I found by taking Google's
    first hit for "open standard definition":

    Notice that the Four-Thirds system fails to meet ANY of the critera.
    Perhaps. But consider that Kodak and Oly joined forces in early 2001;
    how many cameras has Kodak released since then?
    I never claimed the F mount is open... just the Oly's isn't either.
    Actually, I think they're both about equally closed.
    Those are side-effects of having a smaller sensor... not requirements
    for a 'digital-friendly' lens. 35mm lenses are significantly smaller
    than medium format lenses. Digital APS lenses (Nikon DX, Sigma DG,
    Canon EF-S, et al) are significantly smaller than 35mm lenses.

    Likewise, the Sony F707's lens is significantly smaller than the
    four-thirds offering because its sensor is smaller. But there are
    always image quality tradeoffs as you move to each smaller sensor
    See above. The other claimed benefits are mostly marketing fluff...
    if all you read is Olympus's promotional materials, you'll get a
    pretty one-sided view of their product.
    What is your definition of "open standard"? I don't think we can
    discuss this point usefully unless we know what you think it means.

    Don't misunderstand me... the E-1 looks like a fine camera and I hope
    it succeeds. Much like 35mm vs medium format, there may very well be
    room for a camera smaller than existing DSLRs (at the sacrifice of
    some image quality).

    I just think that it's useful to evaluate the system for what it is,
    without the hand-waving about "open standards" and technologies that
    are actually fairly common.

    Greg Dearing, Feb 17, 2004
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