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vitaly

Upgrade to full frame camera

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Hello,

I've been using Olympus EM1, EM1-II for a few years with Nauticam housing. I think about upgrade to full frame camera at some point.
I shoot still and video. If I switch today which brand/system is the best option? Nikon, Canon, Sony? SLR/Mirrorless? Any specific models?

Thank you,
Vitaly

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Hey Vitaly

Nikon, Canon, Sony? They're all good. "Best" depends on what you want to do, what sort of shots do you want to take, what do you want to do with them. "Best" is a very relative term. Maybe worth getting a clear idea of the types of image you want - and what you will then do with them. Those decisions impact on the choices you might make.

I'd be slightly wary too of deciding immediately that you want full frame. I've moved back from a Nikon full frame (D800) to the cropped frame D500. I much prefer it: easier to house wide-angle lenses, greater depth of field in macro, cheaper lenses for an indiscernible drop in quality. I thought full frame was the answer to everything. Errr, I now think not.

If you really want full frame and you would always regret it if you went smaller, fair enough. But don't write it off from the start, I'd suggest.

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Agree with Tim, full frame has an advantage, but it's smaller than the advantage on land and the costs can be big depending on what lenses you want to use.  Big domes, expensive lenses harder to travel with.  If you've got deep pockets and are prepared for the travel difficulties sure it produces nice results.  For example if you use a 7-14 lens on m43, you probably have a 180mm dome, the equivalent in full frame is 16-35 and needs a 230mm dome, it's not quite as wide and the corners are not as good, so this brings in the WACP which produces amazing results, but is big heavy and expensive.   For fisheye, dome sizes are similar of course however on m43 you can adapt a Canon 8-15 to get a truly versatile fisheye zoom that really you can't re-produce in larger formats.

The question to ask is what specific problem are you trying to solve with full frame?

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 I went from D200, D7000, D800 and now back to a crop-sensor Z50. I think a D7500 with a Tokina 10-17 might be the sweet spot for me (the grass akways being greener.) The advantage of the Z50 is that I have a compact rectilinear rig with the WWL-C. But without spending a lot of money on the Nikon 8-15 zoom fisheye, I have to use the 10-17 in manual focus with a modified dome.

I wonder if there is a way to use the WWL-C with a D7500...

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Thank you for all replies. The main reason for upgrade is to have more MP when I make a big prints which doesn't happen too often :-)  Other than that I'm pretty happy with current my camera. FF Price, size and travel difficulties are big concern and I definitely need to think more if FF worths it.

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I think it's quite likely that MFT will gain new megapixels this year. I would hold out to see what 2021 brings.

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A 20 MP m43 image will print natively to 44 x 33cm at 300 dpi.  There is a school of thought that when printing large 150 dpi is enough and that gets you to 88 x 66 cm which is around A1 size.  Retina displays are 220 ppi which is regarded as the limit for human eye resolution for Ipad viewing distances.  Big prints are generally viewed from further back than this and you would have to examine the print up close to pick the differences.

This of course is based on a well exposed and processed photo taken in nice conditions with a "good" lens and printed using good technique on a quality printer with files properly prepared and being profiled for use with a nice inkjet paper.  There is also the new Adobe super resolution option.  It may not work so well for budget level prints from big chains.

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I generally print 40x60cm Wallprints (on Aluminium) from my micro four thirds cameras including the 16mp ones. I don't think it's the upper limit, but it is close. I also don't think that many people really print larger than that more than once or twice. My only print that is larger (and I'm already running out of wallspace) is a 160x60cm Panorama (7 vertical shots from a MFT sensor). In my eyes it's huge and first time visitors to my flat are also usually quite impressed. 

If the rumours are true and the new Panasonic GH6 will have a 30 or even 40mp sensor when it comes out, I don't think resolution is a good reason to go FF anymore. I can't imagine a situation in non-commercial use where 30 or 40mp is not enough.

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12 hours ago, vitaly said:

Hello,

I've been using Olympus EM1, EM1-II for a few years with Nauticam housing. I think about upgrade to full frame camera at some point.
I shoot still and video. If I switch today which brand/system is the best option? Nikon, Canon, Sony? SLR/Mirrorless? Any specific models?

Thank you,
Vitaly

The discussions on optimum sensor size is endless. Amateurs seem to prefer MFT and APS-C (better cost and weight), while the big shots have almost exclusively FF cameras...

 

When "upgrading" to a FF camera, be aware that you buy into a complete system (lens options, ports etc...). Therefore, if a recent camera model has some more Mpixels etc., this should not be the criterion. Changing the system later is expensive and laborious...

 

My (theoretical) thoughts on the three camera systems for still photography (I ogle towards FF, but not now, maybe in a year or so):

#1.: Nikon: mirrorless AF (at present an important criterion) is behind the competition.In addition, there are problems with lenses adapted from the older DSLR system and few native (mirrorless) lenses are, at present, available. If someone is already a Nikon DSLR user, it is too early to change to mirrorless, better to continue with DSLR. If entering the system new, I would not buy a DSLR now, MAYBE a mirrorless later...

#2.: Canon: With the R5, Canon suceeded in closing the performance gap to Sony mirrorless cameras. EF (DSLR) - mount lenses are available in wide variety (e.g. 100mm, 150mm and 180mm macro) and are said to AF better and faster than on the older DSLR bodies. A 100m RF macro lens with 1.4x is on the way also. For ultra-WA the 8-15mm fisheye is legendary (eventually one can narrow the angle a little with a 1.4x teleconverter). The Achilles tendon compared to Sony is the size (Camera plus Nauticam housing is 11.5L/3.5 kg) but also the choice of lens/port for WA: no lens for WWL-1 exists and also the WACP1 works together just with a retired EF-mount lens, that is still available second hand at eBay. A RF lens for use with WACP2 exists, but who wants this even heavier and extremely expensive solution?

#3.: Sony: most mature mirrorless body (A7Riv). A 90mm 1x macrolens exists (also a 105mm, with even better optical performance, from Sigma), but I do not expect Sony will ever offer an ample choice comparable to Canon. The Canon 8-15mm fisheye seems to work equally well in practice when adopted to Sony, compared to Canon bodies. Big plus is WA: the new 28-60mm lens works very well together with WWL-1 as well as WACP1 (I am still waiting for someone to compare the optical performance of this lens with WWL-1 and WACP1). Another big plus is size: R7iv plus Nauticam housing is 7.1L/2.7kg (compared to 6.2L/2kg of my current EM1II).

Another factor to consider are these new "stacked" sensors (Sony A1; Canon and Nikon have comparable models in the pipeline): As advantage for UW-photographers, I see mostly better and faster AF, also 1/400s flash sync. It is a little bit early since at present the costs are high (in 2-3 years from now, this sensor will be standard) and there may be "childness-sicknesses" that will be fixed in later models...

 

In case I would acquire a system now, I am not sure whether R5 or 7Riv, but probably the latter...

 

Wolfgang

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