Why FX is better (or isn’t it?)

August 28th, 2010

There are 3 things where the FX cameras arguably have an edge over DX bodies:

  1. Better ISO performance
  2. Does better with lenses that are outresolved by the tiny pixels of a DX sensor
  3. Larger viewfinder

Some FX bodies have as well more features than the most professionally equipped DX cameras, but these two are there because of the larger dimension of the sensor. There might be a 3rd (see below), but that is disputable. First the disadvantages of FX:

  1. Body and lenses are far larger and heavier
  2. Pricing of the body and the lenses
  3. IQ of many lenses does not translate up from DX to FX (borders)
  4. Smaller DOF

Smaller DOF - you must be kidding! We all want creamy bokeh, the more of the better!

Do we? And if yes, how much will we get?

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August 21st, 2010

What is Bokeh?

The origin is a bit obscure, but most people agree that it originated from the japanese - doesn’t matter anymore, in photography it became a technical term to describe the concept of an (esthetically pleasing) out of focus blur. Sometimes bokeh denotes just the out of focus effect, sometimes it is used in the sense of a “good quality blur”. I will use it in the sense “quality” can be used: There is good quality and poor quality, thus pleasing bokeh and poor bokeh.

Theoretically bokeh is the convolution of the image with a circular kernel. This is very helpful to know, isn’t it?

It is indeed helpful to understand what influences the quality of the bokeh.

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M for Mystery - or Add a fresh egg

August 21st, 2010

I am happy owner of a Nikon D90.

I spent months exploring its possiblities and I haven’t finished yet. I admit that I don’t have any intention to learn the idiosyncrasies of the “creative modes”, I think I have a pretty good understanding what they do and how I can achieve this with aperture/speed priority, the choice of the appropiate metering mode, etc.

But what comes up in discussions on flickr and elsewhere is the dreaded “I shoot only M”. No, that this is not the old-school professionals speaking, it is always coming from shooters (I don’t want to call them photographers) who recently upgraded to a DSLR “to gain more control” over the pictures.

If you are a strong believer that all the technological advancements are just a conspiracy of Canon, Nikon, Sony,… to make us but more expensive gear, stop reading here.

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