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4/3 camers
Within the last few weeks. I have been reading threads about 4/3 cameras and 35mm. FF..

I don't understand what these mean. Can someone explain the 4/3 camera please. ThanksBeth..

Comments (18)

I'll give it a shot... (G).

35mm film cameras have been around for quite some time now. The area of the film that is recorded when you take a picture is 36mm wide and 24mm tall..

For a digital camera, to have a sensor that is the same size as 35mm film makes it "full frame". There are only a few, the least expensive of which is the Canon 5D..

Most digital SLR cameras use a sensor referred to as "APS-C", which is smaller than 35mm film but still fairly large, compared to the sensors in digital point and shoot cameras. The sensor is generally 24mm wide and 18mm high, or very close to those numbers. There are slight variations..

Several companies got together and created a new sort of image sensor, which is approximately 17mm wide and 13mm high. They designed cameras and lenses around this new sensor. For some reason I don't know, they decided to call this system '4/3'. Since all of the equipment is designed for this particular sensor, it is referred to as "full frame 4/3" equipment in the marketing speak for this gear. The main proponent of the 4/3 gear is Olympus..

Now it really gets interesting..

All of those lenses you can buy are sold with their focal length listed as if they were mounted on a 35mm "full frame" camera. Since the sensors in most DSLR cameras are not 35mm size, the lenses have to have a "crop factor" applied so you understand what you will see if you use them. Nikon, Pentax, Samsung slr's are adjusted by 1.5, Canon by 1.6 times the listed focal length. Canon also has a series of cameras that have a multiplier of 1.3x. 4/3 lenses are also sold by listing the 35mm film equivelant of the focal length, which is then multiplied by 2 to get the observed focal length..

So if you buy a 100mm macro lens, and mount it on anything but a "full frame" camera, you have do some math..

Nikon/Pentax/Samsung: the lens will give you the same field of view as a 150mm lens on a 35mm camera..

Canon: Depends on the camera... it can be 100mm, 130mm, or 160mm. At the level most people can afford, it would be 160mm..

Olympus: You would have the same field of view as a 200mm lens on a 35mm camera..

If you aren't confused yet, that's a good thing!.

Crime Scene PhotographyA small gallery of personal work: http://picasaweb.google.com/PID885..

Comment #1

When I first say Olympus DSLR kit with 14-150mm lens range I thought: "What a great wide angle 14mm is!.

Later thinking about I realized that because 4/3 it's 14X2=28mm equivalent (that is not too wide at all..

17mm on APS size sensor is 17X1.5= 25.5mm - is wider. APS size is also larger sensor (will create better detail)..

Tech gurus, correct me, please, if I'm wrong..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #2

You're right, at least with Nikon, Sony, and Pentax cameras. Canon uses a 1.6 crop, so you actually end up with an equivalence of 27.2mm..

Of course, on most APC cameras, the kit lens only goes to 18mm, which is equiv. to 27mm on 1.5mm crops, and 28.8mm on a 1.6crop. So the Olympus kit lenses still fit in quite close to these..

Stan_P wrote:.

When I first say Olympus DSLR kit with 14-150mm lens range I thought:"What a great wide angle 14mm is!.

Later thinking about I realized that because 4/3 it's 14X2=28mmequivalent (that is not too wide at all..

17mm on APS size sensor is 17X1.5= 25.5mm - is wider. APS size isalso larger sensor (will create better detail)..

Tech gurus, correct me, please, if I'm wrong..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #3

Caoedhen wrote:.

Several companies got together and created a new sort of imagesensor, which is approximately 17mm wide and 13mm high. They designedcameras and lenses around this new sensor. For some reason I don'tknow, they decided to call this system '4/3'. Since all of theequipment is designed for this particular sensor, it is referred toas "full frame 4/3" equipment in the marketing speak for this gear.The main proponent of the 4/3 gear is Olympus..

4/3 is a "shape". It is called 4/3 because the aspect ratio of the shape is 4:3..

Width / Height is 4/3, which is 1.33. For example, 3072 pixels wide and 2304 pixels tall is 3072/2304 = 1.33, or 4:3 aspect ratio, or shape. This is a little closer to square than the elongated 3:2 shape of 35 mm film. A 3:2 DSLR that is 3072 pixels wide would be only 2048 pixels tall - thinner, more elongated. Different shapes..

4/3 is the same shape as a standard television screens, and same shape as 800x600 or 1024x768 pixel computer screens..

However 35 mm film is 3:2 or 1.5 shape. Also 6x4 inch prints are 3:2 - more elongated. But 8x10 and 4x5 inch prints are 4:5 or 1.25 - a bit closer yet to square. 1/1 would be square of course..

All of those lenses you can buy are sold with their focal lengthlisted as if they were mounted on a 35mm "full frame" camera..

I think all are spec'd as true focal length, whatever they actually are. But since sensor sizes do vary, and this does change the field of view, we dont care so much what they really are, as much as we care about field of view. So they do normally also give the equivalent 35 mm lens focal length that would give the same viewing angle (on the 35 mm larger sensor). This is just for our convenience, just a standard of comparison for those of us used to using 35 mm film. Problem is, the younger of us probably has never seen a 35 mm camera.  .

Canon point and shoots words it like 4.6-17.3mm f/2.8-5.8 (35mm film equivalent: 28-105mm)..

Olympus is the same, says like 4.6-17.3mm f/2.8-5.8 (35mm film equivalent: 28-105mm)..

Comment #4

And there's 4/3" which is a CCD size and is almost twice the size of 2/3" at 180mm by 1350mm. And there's "FourThirds" which is the name for the popular range of cameras using the "FourThirds" open standard for lenses etc made by Olympus, Leica, Panasonic, Sigma and Kodak: although Kodak only make part of the sytem. Equally some "FourThirds" cameras use parts of Fuji's systems..

Quite a hybrid in many ways and some of the few designed for digital use, rather than designed around old-fashioned 35 mm film technology which dates back to Edison....

For the record, Olympus were also the first to bring out a serious/pro SLR with lenses, etc designed for digital, rather than using a 35 mm film camera body that had been modified..

Regards, David..

Comment #5

Thanks guys, I am trying to understand this. If, I understand what you are saying , the kit lens 14-40 on the olympus e510 and the 28-300 lens on the fuji s9000 camera will be about the same on the wide end..

I have the fuji s9000 and am starting to do some landscape and real estate pics. I was thinking of getting the e510 thinking the 14-40 would be a wide lens and be just the lens I wanted for a very good price, but now I think I need to reconsider. My question now is, if I decide to get the e510 which of the olympus lens should I consider? I plan to keep my fuji s9000, so I would not be interested in a telephoto lens.Beth...

Comment #6

Beth McMillen wrote:.

Thanks guys, I am trying to understand this. If, I understand whatyou are saying , the kit lens 14-40 on the olympus e510 and the28-300 lens on the fuji s9000 camera will be about the same on thewide end..

You seem to understand this just fine..

I have the fuji s9000 and am starting to do some landscape and realestate pics. I was thinking of getting the e510 thinking the 14-40would be a wide lens and be just the lens I wanted for a very goodprice, but now I think I need to reconsider. My question now is, ifI decide to get the e510 which of the olympus lens should I consider?I plan to keep my fuji s9000, so I would not be interested in atelephoto lens..

Well there is more than one, but the price may not make you happy.

These prices are not the cheapest, but will give some idea.

The 11-22 is $US630.

Http://www.beachcamera.com/...dium=cpc&utm_campaign=OM1122&sku=OM1122.

The 7-14 is about $US1.5k.

And the 8mm prime is about $US650..

Also keep in mind that the four thirds standard is defined by the diagonal (21.63mm) of the sensor, as well as the length of the sides. This means the sensor size can never increase or decrease in size. So if there is a breakthrough like shrinking sensors and keeping noise low at hi ISO, or a huge drop in the price of FF chip fabrication a four thirds standard sensor may kinda be out in the cold..

Beth..

Those who forget history are condemned to go to summer school...

Comment #7

It's more than a quick answer and there are many more out here more technically adept at answering this but let me see if I can put it down in layman's terms..

There are different sizes of sensors, each of which has it's own unique features. They all have upsides and downsides. The 4/3 technology you are referencing is a standard adopted by several camera manufacturers that standardizes on a format where lenses can be interchangeable between the camera manufacturers and also allows 3rd party lens manufacturers to develop lenses also. The sensors used in the 4/3 system are smaller in size and allow for the overall camera body and lenses to be smaller also without affecting the picture quality. This is a very large advantage in many cases, people with smaller hands, or people who intend on shooting outdoors a lot and carrying their equipment long ways..

The lead developer of the 4/3 format system is Olympus but Kodak, Panasonic, Leica and others are also on board. Olympus probably is the largest manufacturer involved and they have several new bodies, specifically the E-410 and E-510 which are considered high end amatuer/'prosumer' model cameras. They have in camera stabilzation rather than in the lens so all the lenses you attach developed for the 4/3 system can take advantage of the image stabilization technology. There are other advantages also..

You need to find a couple of good primers on the sensor technology and understand the pros and cons of each type and then choose a camera system that utilizes a sensor that will best meet your needs. This is important because once you 'choose' a system and manufacturer you're pretty much locked into that system for your future lens purchases, etc..

As for the 4/3 I find it to be a very good system. You'll find the owners 4/3 system cameras fiercely loyal and you'll find the owners of the Nikon and Canon and other systems which use other sensors just as fiercely loyal. The owners of those systems though have a tendency to bad mouth the 4/3 system very heavily while I don't see as much bad mouthing in the opposite direction..

Should you choose a camera manufacturer in the 4/3 market you will have plenty of choices in both quality cameras and lenses. Olympus for sure has always been an industry leader when it comes to manufacturing high quality lenses..

A couple of good places to learn more are:.

Http://www.wrotniak.com/photo/quest/q05.htmlhttp://www.wrotniak.com/photo/oly-e/index.htmlhttp://fourthirds-user.com/blocked URL.

Good luck and may the force be with you! No matter which camera system you eventually 'fall' into you'll have fun and remember, the true quality of the photo lies in the hands of the person taking the pictures ability to 'see' the picture ahead of time and master the use of their own camera and it's abilities to the fullest!..

Comment #8

Thanks for the links. I have been reading them and found them to be quite interesting. The light weight is very appealing and I would be using the camera and lens when traveling and or walking around.?.

But, I do have a budget and am wondering if there would be much difference in image qualit to spend the extra cash for the new camera and lens. Would it be much of an improvement over the fuji s9000 bridge cameraBeth..

Comment #9

Beth McMillen wrote:.

Thanks guys, I am trying to understand this. If, I understand whatyou are saying , the kit lens 14-40 on the olympus e510 and the28-300 lens on the fuji s9000 camera will be about the same on thewide end..

I am certain that the lens on that Fuji is not really a 28mm - 300mm lens. The actual focal lengths will be quite a bit smaller. 28-300 is just a way of stating the field of view in "35mm-equivalent" terms..

With the Four Thirds system, you would double the actual focal lengths to obtain the "35mm-equivalent" length (for comparing field of view). So that 14-40 zoom, on the Olympus e510, will act "like" a 28-80 zoom would on a 35mm camera...

Comment #10

Hi,.

Can't answer your question about the improvement over the bridge camera as I've never owned one of the, although I have owned several Fuji's. But I ought to point out, in fairness, that the big advantage of the SLR is that you are choosing a camera body and then choosing a lens or two (or three etc) to go on it as required. This makes it a vast improvement on the lens on the bridge camera which is decided for you before you buy it and then there's nothing you can do about it to change it..

As for Olympus etc, I've many years experience of their lenses and they are all good, and some are excellent and some are superb. You'll find many people more than happy with the kit lenses (I'm one of them) and many very happy with something costing a lot, lot more..

BTW, don't pay much attention to figures but look at the sample pictures and judge them. A lot of people quote CCD measurements but are overlooking the fact that the construction and operation of the CCD is also important and, especially true and overlooked, it's the combination of lens, CCD and camera that makes a good picture. Not just the size of the CCD's diagonal. Going by one measurement is like judging a person by their shoe size and just as silly..

Also, have a look at this thread: http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=25349442.

Secondly, if the budget it tight then remember that the E410 and E-510 are new to the market and the previous E-400 and E-500 are still around and very much cheaper as some strange people don't like last week's camera. As one of the people still using a 35 year old camera I think this is a mistake....

The 35 year old camera is Leica and Leica make FourThirds lenses and camera bodies - at a price - but many say the Panasonic ones are the same... You'd be surprised how many people who earn their daily bread etc from photography are using elderly cameras, especially MF with digital backs. I've seen them on Hasselbad 500 CM's and am waiting to see something older in daily use.).

Regards, David..

Comment #11

Beth,.

The explanation you got (below) was very lucid and thoroug. Just one detail I wanted to pick up on..

Caoedhen wrote:.

I'll give it a shot... (G)(snip)So if you buy a 100mm macro lens, and mount it on anything but a"full frame" camera, you have do some math..

You only have to do maths for the purpose of comparison when shopping for a camera etc. When using your chosen camera and lens zero maths is involved..

To pick up on another point in a later post IN THEORY 4/3rd system can be smaller but if you try out say a Canon 400D and a Nikon D40x you will find there is little difference in size..

Also the larger the sensor, everything else being equal, the better the image quality with less digital noise at high ISO. So there is some small loss of image quality that will go with a smaller sensor..

Finally, to state what may be obvious, all these systems are mutually exclusive. So you need to look at the cost and potentail future for expansion of a given system when chosing between one and another.Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #12

David Hughes wrote:.

And there's 4/3" which is a CCD size and is almost twice the size of2/3" at 180mm by 1350mm. And there's "FourThirds" which is the namefor the popular range of cameras using the "FourThirds" open standardfor lenses etc made by Olympus, Leica, Panasonic, Sigma and Kodak:although Kodak only make part of the sytem. Equally some "FourThirds"cameras use parts of Fuji's systems..

Quite a hybrid in many ways and some of the few designed for digitaluse, rather than designed around old-fashioned 35 mm film technologywhich dates back to Edison....

Oh, David...everybody knows Edison didn't invent 35mm film technology...Al Gore did that! .

Actually, Oscar Barnack (1879-1936) designed the first camera using the 24x36 mm format for German microscope manufacturer Leitz in 1913. Its name was UR-Leica and it is now known as "the precursor to all 35mm cameras". [Appologies to Mikkel Stegmann for the snip].

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #13

Caoedhen wrote:.

35mm film cameras have been around for quite some time now. The areaof the film that is recorded when you take a picture is 36mm wide and24mm tall.For a digital camera, to have a sensor that is the same size as 35mmfilm makes it "full frame". There are only a few, the least expensiveof which is the Canon 5D.Most digital SLR cameras use a sensor referred to as "APS-C", whichis smaller than 35mm film but still fairly large, compared to thesensors in digital point and shoot cameras. The sensor is generally24mm wide and 18mm high, or very close to those numbers. There areslight variations.Several companies got together and created a new sort of imagesensor, which is approximately 17mm wide and 13mm high..

As well as the APS-C and 4/3 sensor (is 4/3 a version of the APS crop?), there is also APS-H which is smaller than Full Frame but larger than the APS-C and 4/3 sensor. It is used in the Canon 1D Mark III with 10.1 MP CMOS sensor and is 30.2 x 16.7 mm.Will..

Comment #14

I bought my S9600(=S9100; the successor of the S9000/S9500) about a year ago. The last two months I quite often used a Nikon D70s, taking photographs for a local newspaper. So perhaps I can help you a bit with your decision..

I think the Fuji S9600 (which is very similar to his predecessor) is a great camera. I like it and I think, I won't sell it the next years..

BUT: There are big disadvantages:.

1. Speed of AF: I take lots of pictures of dogs. The timelag between pushing the button and the camera taking the photo is much too long, if you want to take a photo of a moving animal. The D70s is much faster, and so are other DSLRs..

2. Burst mode: Much too slow. Important, when doing photographs of moving objects..

3. High ISO: Compared to other compact cameras, the High-ISO-Performance of the s9600 is great, but I took photos with D70s at ISO 1250 which are really great, IQ is better than ISO 400 with s9600..

4. Depth of Field: Due to the small sensor, you can't really "play" with depth of field, which I love to do. There is a huge difference between the size of compact cameras and dslrs: http://www.dpreview.com/news/0210/02100402sensorsizes.asp.

5. You are stuck to your 28-300 (6.2-66.7)mm 1:2.8-4.9 lens. It's good, but there are better and more specialised lenses out there for DSLRs..

6. I like using a Flash. S9600 has no TTL for an external flash, which makes it's use quite complicated. This is not a problem, when there's a lot of time to test and adjust, but D70s and SB-600 do fit perfectly together. Should be the same with other recent dslrs and external flashes..

So, do you often shoot in low-light conditions, do you often shoot moving objects, do you miss varying Depth of Field?.

If you answer all those questions with "No", there's perhaps no need to buy a DSLR..

That is my point of view. Just some ideas, that might perhaps help you..

Here's what I would do if I had some money to spend: I would buy a DSLR-body with one or two prime-lenses. (And keep the 28-300mm S9600 as 2nd camera)..

> nearly all prime lenses have got an excellent quality, they got big apertures and their price is very low compared to zoom-lenses with comparable quality..

Right, you haven't got the possibility to zoom, but there are so many pixels in modern dslrs, that cropping is no problem. There is a lot more to say about the advantages of prime lenses, but there are enough other threads treating this topic..

A good help with buying prime lenses is a (freeware) program called exposure plot (there are others, too). It analyzes your files and tells you which focal length you used how often (it does the same with ISO, shutter speed, ..). I was quite astonished, when analysing my pictures. There are very few adjustments I use often. So using prime lenses wouldn't limit me too much, except for the time you need to change lenses..

Hope, I didn't confuse you to much and could help you a bit...

Comment #15

Beth McMillen wrote:.

Thanks guys, I am trying to understand this. If, I understand whatyou are saying , the kit lens 14-40 on the olympus e510 and the28-300 lens on the fuji s9000 camera will be about the same on thewide end..

I have the fuji s9000 and am starting to do some landscape and realestate pics. I was thinking of getting the e510 thinking the 14-40would be a wide lens and be just the lens I wanted for a very goodprice, but now I think I need to reconsider. My question now is, ifI decide to get the e510 which of the olympus lens should I consider?I plan to keep my fuji s9000, so I would not be interested in atelephoto lens.Beth..

Really good wide angle lenses are expensive..

You might be better served in using your current camera and learning to stitch together a panorama to simulate a wide angle lens. It's actually not to difficult to get reasonable results with just a little effort.Reading suggested at http://www.panoguide.comA member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #16

And I'm using the older 4/3s E500. The quality of the newer 4/3s cameras are even better.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #17

Chuxter wrote:.

Actually, Oscar Barnack (1879-1936) designed the first camera usingthe 24x36 mm format for German microscope manufacturer Leitz in 1913.Its name was UR-Leica and it is now known as "the precursor to all35mm cameras". [Appologies to Mikkel Stegmann for the snip].

Oh dear and I thought 35 mm was invented by Edison who had Kodak's new 70 mm film cut in half lengthways and perforated for cine....

Never mind, David..

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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