FF or APS-C? Currently using m4/3

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by mesmerized, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Mar 26, 2014
    Dear Users,

    I'm currently using Oly's E-M5mk2 with the 12-40 f/2.8 lens. I have to say that I really like how the camera works. It's very functional and I can't say a single bad word about it's design. However, I've been considering moving to a larger sensor camera for a while mainly due to increased dynamic range and shallower depth of field. I can't really afford A7Rmk2 (I mean, I could somehow gather extra funds, but I'm not sure if it's worth it the extra pains) so I think it all comes down to either Fuji X-T20, Fuji X-T2, or Sony A7mk2. Both have a 24-megapixel sensor... I do love Fuji's old-fashioned styling and having all controls under my fingers (those dials!) but I'm worried that at the end of the day I'll still feel that the APS-C sensor will leave something to be desired. I know many will say that the sensor is not something I should occupy my mind with, but if I'm going to make a switch, I'd like to make sure that the decision is well-thought-out.

    What do you think?

    Thanks
     
  2. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    Depends on a number of factors.

    A full-frame sensor will give you more depth of field and better low light performance. The difference in dynamic range between the Fuji and A7ii are not significant. So if you shoot mostly landscape, the Fuji (or Sony A6300) may make more sense. However - if landscape really is your thing the A7rii is a significant leap in dynamic range - giving you an option to upgrade down the road.

    If you like shooting wide open for portraits or to isolate other subjects (maybe macro) a FF may be better. You'll gain a solid stop difference and if shooting handheld even more due to IBIS - especially useful for macro.

    If you shoot mostly sports or action - the Fuji may be better, but I would also consider the A6300.

    Some say the Fuji is a more "complete" system but I think that's arguable.

    Some say the Fuji would be cheaper - again that's arguable. The good Fuji lenses are not cheap.

    Fuji's X-tran sensor overlay has a "love it or hate it" look and is not as compatible to Lightroom and Photoshop as the Sony sensors (although Fuji's sensor is a Sony with the overlay).

    As it currently stands, there are no FF Fuji cameras, so if you buy into the system you are "stuck" at APS-C. With the A7ii you can at some point pick up a A6000 cheap and use the same lenses giving you different focal lengths.

    Tough decision.
     
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  3. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    397
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    I cannot say what you will like best. I used m4/3 (panasonic) years ago and it worked ok. Then one day I borrowed my father's Leica M8 and fell in live with the image, due primarily to the larger sensor size. It uses a slightly larger than APS-C sensor. So I used Leica M8.2 (could never afford the M9 series) until I wanted the larger, full frame sensor to use my lenses as they were desinged to be used. The two primary benefits for me of the Sony A7mk2 over the M8.2 are the much better ISO and dynamic range, and of course the IBIS. Shallow depth of field does not really appeal tremendously to me anymore. (I actually prefer contextual backgrounds.)

    The Sony A7mk2 allowed me to continue to use most of my M mount lenses, at least those longer than 35mm. I bought a 25mm and 40mm designed for the Sony (and a 70-200 telephoto that I do not use a lot, but I like a lot.). I recommend thinking about the lenses you currently like best and how you use them for the types of photography you like best -- then consider which cameras system fits your style and budget best.

    One way I think that you and I may differ is about the controls on the camera. I want enough non-menu button or wheel control to allow me to use the shutter and the aperture as I intend. But I do not really care too much how that control is offered to me by the camera. The Sony is acceptable to me, but I can easily imagine how it could be better for me. The Fuji cameras have an excellent reputation in terms of user experience.

    Oh, one other thing, my wife needed a new camera too and she decided on a Sony A6000. So our batteries and lenses are all interchangeable now when we travel - a nice little benefit for us.

    Have you had an opportunity to handle both cameras?

    Chris (Fractal) got his reply in before mine...I think his is better...
     
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  4. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Mar 26, 2014
    Thanks fractal!

    I'm not really into sports. Yes, portraits, landscapes and street photography would be my primary objective. Secondary one would be macro and wildlife. What I like about Fuji is how it feels in my hands. It's a camera I'd love to take along with me all the time, but I do have similar concerns about the X-trans sensor and the funny artifacts that emerge in PP... If I were to pick Fuji, I'd invest in a X-T20, probably... In case of Sony, I'd probably go for A7mk2 as I can't afford the R version. The question is... does the 24Mpix FF sensor is enough of an advantage over Fuji's APS-C 24Mpix sensor?

    EDIT: Thank you chaldust! I've just spotted your reply!
     
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  5. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    The A7ii sensor is a bit dated. Basically same sensor that was in the original A99 and A7, just tweaked a little bit. When the A7iii comes out I would bet it will have a completely new sensor. However, FF will still give you more light and depth of field. Other than that, I would say the image quality of the sensors are very close.

    Personally, I sucked it up and bought the A7rii (with the help of the recent discount and trade-in deal). I figure I'll be ahead of the sensor curve for at least the next few years. My concern with the A7ii was that it is currently "aged" and will look more so when the A7iii comes out.

    How important is image stabilization?
     
  6. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Mar 26, 2014
    If A7ii is getting outdated, then I suppose I'd better wait a bit... I really can't splash out on A7Rmk2 now (unless I got it second hand... hmm) IS is not absolutely necessary, but I admit I got used to it on Olympus bodies.
     
  7. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I agree with most of what you said with the exception of the above statement regarding landscape shooting. I have done a lot of research in this because at one point I considered switching to Fuji. For landscape shooting Fuji falls behind Sony FF and there are a number of reasons that are not anecdotal.

    1. the dynamic range for Sony FF is significantly wider than Fuji. Bill Claff has a great tool that you can use to compare Photographic Dynamic Range by camera as long as he has tested it. ( Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting ) You will see the A7II is over a full stop greater than Fuji.
    2. Fuji has a base ISO of 200. Most Landscape shooters will tell you how valuable shooting ISO 100 or lower can be (this plays a role in the DR numbers- check the chart). Nikon with it's ISO 64 base beats all, but that's off topic). Moreover, Sony can extend to ISO 50 which I have used countless times to extend the shutter speed. With Fuji, I would have had to grab an ND filter to achieve the same exposure.
    3. Fuji X-Trans does not have the best rendering for greens. This is well documented. It often creates a painterly effect. This is well documented. The great colors and rendering attributed to Fuji are typically referencing people who do not have green in their faces, but landscapes do.
    4. Raw processing choices for X-trans are not always tried and true. You will find many Fuji shooters turning to obscure outlets like Raw therapy and ON1 to get the most out of the images vs standards like Lightroom. See this article ( ON1 Photo Raw 2017.0.2 Now A Real Fuji Raw Contender | Joel Wolfson Photographic Artist )
    Also to be clear I am not saying Fuji is not better for your overall needs if it includes other photography(portrait, street, etc). I am just saying that for Landscape, the A7II has a clear advantage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
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  8. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    good stuff. thanks. I was relying on DXO measures and shooting stopped down.

    @mesmerized@mesmerized - I stand corrected on landscape shooting.
     
  9. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Mar 26, 2014
    Could you please elaborate on this point? I wish I could see that painterly effect... A friend of mine has an X-T1 and I have to say that there's something odd about the trees in his pictures. Every time I see trees in his pictures they all look like a... hmm... I don't know how to describe it... They kinda look like a very indistinguishable mass... But he shoots JPEGs only.
     
  10. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I might add that
    That's exactly the issue
     
  11. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    One thing to add to the great info from Bert, Chris and Gary, is that the rumor mill is buzzing with reports of an impending Sony FF camera announcement in the next month or so.

    As Chris mentioned, the A7mkII is getting on in tech-years, having been introduced in November 2014. Rumors have been pointing to an imminent A7mkIII, or, perhaps more likely, the mythical high-end "A9" aimed at pros. As the latter would probably be more expensive than the A7RmkII, it may not be a reasonable choice. Rumors are just that, mere rumors. But given the age of the A7mkII, a replacement is likely coming soon.

    I don't mean to complicate your thought process, but if you are in no immediate need, waiting another month might be worth it. I say that as I am wrestling with the temptation to jump up from my A6000 to a full-frame model and also unable to budget for the A7RmkII plus a couple of lenses. So I'm just trying to hold out and see what comes in the next month.

    Sorry if I've complicated or confused things.
     
  12. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    883
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    I do not have much experience relative to others here, just APS-C for the last several years. For what it's worth, I recently went from an A6000 (APS-C) to A7ii. I had planned to wait, but the recent promotions meant I could stretch the wallet enough to get new for what I thought used would cost me (I usually do used), so I went for it. I mostly wanted full frame FOV and IBIS, but I also found a better-than-expected image quality improvement. It may be getting old, but I do not regret the purchase. I could not afford an A7Rii and likely not the new bodies either, so I am happy to get the A7ii. If the new bodies come out and the A7ii used drops to like $500, I might cry then. ;-)
     
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  13. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    767
    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Paul
    I had the Oly EM5 MK2 and it was a great camera but I was tempted to move to full frame and liked the Sony mirrorless cameras and got an A7R2, I now have a very complete setup and couldn't be happier. The IQ is excellent, particularly the dynamic range compared to m43, the blacks are soooo black (clean and graduated) and there is no noise.
    I'd absolutely recommend going full frame, don't go any half measures, m43 is an excellent system and to really get any real gains I think going full frame is the next step.
     
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  14. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    chasing-the-carrot-1024x6401.

    I believe that for most folks (like me) there comes a point of deminishing returns when it comes to cameras. I have bigger and fancier cameras than my A6000, but I believe I could be quite satisfied if it were my only camera. If you can afford the FF, get it..... you will enventually anyways. But don't believe it is the magic bullet for automatically improving your photography. Garbage in... garbage out. APS-C can do a great job, it's just not enough to impress the crowd.
     
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  15. Chris Munden

    Chris Munden TalkEmount Regular

    59
    May 13, 2016
    Peter Bower
    I stayed with Olympus because of the superb Jpeg colours in landscapes
     
  16. Laagwater

    Laagwater TalkEmount Regular

    61
    Jan 15, 2015
    Netherlands
    Edwin
    Biggest reason i bought the sony A7 next to my em5 is because i use old legacy lenses.
    It's awsome that for example my nikon 20mm is still a 20mm on fullframe.
    So if you want to use legacy lenses, my choice would be a fullframe camera.
    Keep the olympus, because it's a lot of fun to shoot with...
     
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  17. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    381
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    I'm a Sony FF fan. But Micro 4/3 is so good, that unless you need to print big you might think about staying with it. Some of the M4/3 lenses are very fast and make up much of the depth-of-field difference -- at least between that and APS-C.

    M4/3 is, (mostly) less expensive, the stabilisation is outstanding, the lens selection is unparalleled, and the size makes carrying a dream. You might miss it when it's gone -- I do sometimes.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
     
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  18. robbie36

    robbie36 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    558
    Nov 21, 2014
    I think calling the 'A7ii' a bit dated is a bit much. Apart from relatively weak continuous focus (which doesnt seem much of an issue) it has pretty much everything and the sensor is at least as good as competing cameras). The big advantage of it being 'dated' is that you could pick it up for US$1100 second hand and then sell it again in a couple of months without a major loss.

    And that is what I would do. I think you should at least try the A7ii perhaps with a 50/55 prime to see if you like it - the controls are pretty similar to the E-M5. If you want to move away from M43 for 'increased dynamic range and shallower depth of field' you are always likely to be curious about an even bigger sensor if you move to APSC. The cost of 'trying it' should be pretty low.
     
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  19. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    883
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Along the lines of what robbie36 said, if you are in the US, would be renting from lensrentals.com. If you like it, they will sell it to you and you get the rental credit applied to your purchase. $84 for a week. Their used pricing is admittedly not the greatest, but they do clean and service what they rent before it goes out again, so your risk is very low.

    Disclaimer: I've not done this myself, but am considering it for future lenses, and they seem to have a good reputation (and a great blog by founder Roger Cicala).
     
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  20. Chris Munden

    Chris Munden TalkEmount Regular

    59
    May 13, 2016
    Peter Bower
    Both the Sony A7 series FF cameras and the M/4/3 systems are superb, however in my opinion and DPreviews, you need the best glass you can get for the Sony A7 to do the sensor full justice, and that is not cheap.
    I agree with Bill re the Olympus M/4/3, it has a very good lens line up and in most part affordable, I use the budget EM-10 but the picture quality is outstanding, even with the kit lens and I am currently looking at some Panasonic lenses to build a system. My old A37 hardly gets used now