Crop cameras: are manufacturers trying to deceive us with non-converted ISO and Aperture numbers?


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I just watched the following video by the well renowned YoutTuber and reviewer Tony Northrup. In this clip, he alleges that manufacturers specifically do not recalculate the ISO and aperture figures of crop cameras and lenses by the crop factor, simply to mislead us. His comparison images show that for example an mFT-sensor at ISO800 with an f/2.8 lens captures the same noise and Bokeh like a full frame sensor at ISO3600 with a f/5.6 lens – same exposure time of course. According to the comparison, one must not only multiply the focal length of an mFT-lens by 2, but also has to do the same with aperture and ISO settings. An mFT-picture, taken at a focal length of 25mm, aperture f1.4 and ISO100, would therefore have to equal a full frame camera picture shot at a focal length of 50mm, aperture f/2.8 and ISO400.


He claims in the clip that Canon and Nikon are the „good guys“, while mirrorless manufacturers (Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, etc.) all decline to recalculate all specifications in order to keep their crop cameras and lenses in a good light. I actually don’t really see the point in him praising CaNikon in particular, since they themselves also decline to recalculate the specifications with their own crop cameras and lenses. And now I’m starting to ask myself if they actually decline to recalculate the specifications on purpose. Declining to do so has the advantage that one can take pictures with a manifold of different cameras of different formats, without having to recalculate the settings all the time. But on the other hand it has the “nice” side effect that – at first glance – cameras with small sensors seem to be at the same quality level like cameras with larger sensors. What do you guys think?

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2 thoughts on “Crop cameras: are manufacturers trying to deceive us with non-converted ISO and Aperture numbers?

  1. mmm, I am not convinced. It’s not a secret that a MFT sensor is half size of a 35mm sensor, so the dof (but not the exposure) is also half or equivalent to 5.6 in 35mm.

    I don’t say “full frame” because that’s I’d say that there aren’t medium format (digital and film) and large format (film). Even more I could say that they are cheating because I guess 2.8 it’s something like f10 in 6×6 medium format, but that’s not the truth.

    About ISO argument it’s not a secret that when film or sensor are bigger the noise or grain is reduced. Thus ISO 100 in medium format film cameras is cleaner that ISO 400 in 35mm cameras, or it seems that way because the bigger size. Said that reading the reviews from dpreview I knew about the inaccuracies in the published ISO settings from some companies. That doesn’t bother me because I always shoot in base ISO and then again since years ago there is enough quality to worry more in the composition of the photos than in technical details.

    • I don’t say “full frame” because that’s I’d say that there aren’t medium format (digital and film) and large format (film).

      I know what you mean, I hate the term “full frame” as well. But unfortunately people who never shot film are confused by terms like “135 format” or “35mm”.

      Said that reading the reviews from dpreview I knew about the inaccuracies in the published ISO settings from some companies.

      I don’t like dishonest manufacturers.

      That doesn’t bother me because I always shoot in base ISO and then again since years ago there is enough quality to worry more in the composition of the photos than in technical details.

      Agreed!

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