PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux

7Jan/096

D700 vs G1

Saw this a while ago but for some reason it didn't register:

http://www.seriouscompacts.com/2008/12/panasonic-g1-nikon-d700-iso-shootout.html

The G1 has 1/4 the sensor area of the D700, and the results show an exact 2-stop hit.  Neat.  So in terms of imaging the G1 is basically like a D700 with a 2x teleconverter permanently attached (bug or feature, depending).


Comments (6) Trackbacks (0)
  1. The pics really look good, not considering the noise at high ISO and the fact that D700 seems a little de-focused. Considering that I tend to take the critical shots with a tripod, the low ISO capabilities are not annoying me. And the price makes me consider this even more over d700 or any lower nikon dslr.

    The resolution is great indeed, 12MP in four thirds having some really nice advantages in terms of resolution and portability. You really use your lenses with this kind of pixel density. Mr. Erwin Puts has a nice article on this.

    There are some points though:

    With the 2x crop factor, the perfect 50mm is actually a 24mm lens. And that’s well, not that easy to make. Besides some Leica lenses, the 21mm carl-zeiss distagon is the only one I can think at. And is not going to be cheap.

    I can’t help to think that canon eos 50d already has 15MP on croped sensor and A900 and 5dMkII are going above 20MP on FF, and this without the ISO penalty. Probably the next generation cameras will blow panasonic’s advantages in terms of resolution.

    I really wonder what is going to happen with this format.. Probably will find an appeal as a second format, or among leica users as a cheap and performance wise alternative to leica bodies. Especially if M8.2 doesn’t get up-dated.

  2. I wouldn’t say the G1 has a resolution advantage. 12MP is 12MP, no matter what, unless you compared B&W and color (B&W would win). Rather it has a dis-advantage in that the G1’s 12MP is harder to deliver from a lens than the D700’s.

    Erwin’s right, he’s got some great writings on his site, but exercising your lenses shouldn’t be a goal. Your lenses should coast through life unchallenged ideally…

    If I had to pick a 50mmm for the G1 it would be the Zeiss 2.8/25 Biogon ZM (from the Leica-compatible line of lenses). The 21mm Distagon is a huge SLR lens which – while scrumptiously desirable – is a bit of a waste on this camera. The 25-Biogon sells for around $1K.

    >> Probably the next generation cameras will blow panasonic’s advantages in terms of resolution.

    There are plenty of cameras out there that are better than the G1, starting with the M8.2. That’s not why I talk about the G1 so much. I’m excited about the G1 because it’s the only way to convert from DSLRs to Leica DRFs progressively. Until now the only way to switch was to pay the full price of a DRFs kit at once.

    I’m convinced now that a camera from the bloodline of the G1 (but not the G1) is in my future. I plan to get one and equip it with Leica-compatible lenses until all I have left to buy is a Leica body. I’m not interested in the G1 specifically though, because it has neither image stabilization nor video.

    As for the M8.2… it’ll get updated for sure. Leica moves slowly but they’re more alive now than they were a couple years ago. Don’t expect Nikon/Canon rates of upgrades, but they’ll come steadily in time.

  3. >> Probably the next generation cameras will blow panasonic’s advantages in terms of resolution.

    There are plenty of cameras out there that are better than the G1, starting with the M8.2. That’s not why I talk about the G1 so much. I’m excited about the G1 because it’s the only way to convert from DSLRs to Leica DRFs progressively. Until now the only way to switch was to pay the full price of a DRFs kit at once.

    Mhh, I guess I made a mistake. For some reason I was taking pixel density as a clue for actual picture quality. In fact, probably a smaller pixel density means larger photo-sites and better micro contrast. Not to mention better noise figures (as you pointed out in d700 vs G1 case the difference is two stops).

    I am beginning to understand your bias towards Leica lenses. For some time now I am pixel-peeping their top lenses and I just can’t understand how they get that smooth out of focus transition. To me that’s one of the most important features that make a good composition.

    Where should I look at on a MTF charts in order to identify this quality of a lens? Is it the centre to corner resolution? Probably APO has something to do with this too.

    By the way, take a look at this gallery. One of may favourites: http://www.williamcorey.com/

  4. Between two cameras with the same number of pixels, the one with lower pixel density is almost always better. The only cases where more density can be an advantage are high-magnification use-cases like extreme macro, sports and wildlife. For everything else, bigger pixels have real advantages (hence the justification for Hasselblad, Leaf, Sinar, …).

    Unfortunately MTF charts don’t describe the transition from focus to defocus. I wish charts were provided for that. I also wish I could say what lens properties make smooth transition possible. I can tell you the Zeiss 2/100 Makro-Planar T* ZF has the best transition of all lenses I have used so far.

    This said, I do think there are hints in MTF. One thing I look for in MTF charts are curve pairs that don’t separate and trace a simple curve shape (doesn’t swerve around). I believe (perhaps superstitiously?) that this is a sign of good properties outside of what MTF directly says. The reason I believe this is that it takes a particularly well-balanced design to be insensitive to detail orientation and deliver contrast consistently across the frame. When I see these curves, I imagine the lens is going to excel in all dimensions of performance.

    The designation ‘APO’ says something about defocus, but not smoothness. It says that defocus transitions will not change color and color will not bleed from one detail into another just because their colors have strong contrast.

    Thanks for the gallery, I always like seeing more. I tend to prefer photographs with people in them though.

  5. Well, I was thinking along the same lines regarding APO and MTF. I have a pretty good background in audio electronics designs (digital and analogue) and it is even harder there to correlate specs and subjective qualities. Sometimes the way we extrapolate some objective data might sound superstitious but until some better measurement standards, there’s no way around it.

    >>Thanks for the gallery, I always like seeing more. I tend to prefer photographs with people in them though.

    I guess you have already found the portraits gallery 🙂 .

    I don’t know why but there’s something seriously right when looking at large format photography (Ansel Adams, William Corey). I don’t know if it’s the resolution, the work-flow, or the contemplative approach most large format photographers are embracing. Probably the mix..

  6. I’m thankful that I’m not into high-end audio. The gear is just as expensive but fewer people really enjoy it with you. :^)

    I think there are two things we see when we look at classic large-format B&W images. I’m ignoring for a moment that these photographers are truly enlightened in a rare way, separate from their cameras.

    The first thing is that large-format affords you a “photon budget” that far outstrips small-format like 24x36mm. That basic currency of photography lets them “buy” more resolution and richer tones than we can ever hope to get. They’re working with 300+ MP cameras, all tilt/shift lenses, great dynamic range.

    Crappy ISO and f-stop however, the portraits must have been a challenge.

    The second thing is the great feeling of B&W film used with colored filters. Ansel Adams made a lot of images with dense red filters which altered the balance between sky and ground in a way that is powerful (e.g. dark skies with bright clouds).

    You can hardly re-create this effect with color sensors today unless you’re a virtuoso of multi-exposure HDRs. You’d need a digital B&W camera. I would LOVE a digital B&W camera, I would BEG for one.


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.