Can You Guess Which Camera Took Which Picture?

Can You Guess Which Camera Took Which Picture?

Do medium format cameras have a specific look? Do Micro 4/3 camera take horrible still photos? You tell me. 

I happen to have a range of different cameras in my possession and I thought it would be interesting to shoot the same image with each of them to see if we could actually tell a difference. This is not a resolution test, we will do that in another video. This test is strictly to determine if images inherently different coming from different sized sensors and manufacturers. 

I stood in one spot and shot my buddy Keith Bradshaw with 4 different cameras with 4 different sized sensors. To keep the field of view the same, I used a 50mm "equivalent" lens on each camera. To keep the depth of field the same, I changed the aperture as well. My cameras and settings are below. 

FujiFilm GFX 50R/ 43.mm x 32.9mm sensor/ 64mm lens f/8

Canon 6D/ 35mm ff sensor/ 50mm f5.6

FujiFilm XT-3/ 23.6mm x 15.6mm sensor/ 35mm f4

Panasonic GH5/ Micro 4/3 sensor/ 25mm f2.8

I shot each of the images below in raw, I changed only the white balance, and stacked the images on top of each other. I cropped in on all of the images to hide the 4/3 aspect ratio of the GFX and GH5 and shrunk them to 1920 pixels in width. Can you guess which camera took each image? 

UPDATE: The results are in

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124 Comments

Previous comments
David Ha's picture

Well, that is not what people talks about the MF look. You are talking about the wrong topic. Most people are talking about the background separation of MF. Resolution, tone, DR, sharpness, etc aren't relevant and they are obviously different.

Those MF look believers think that MF has different background separation than 35mm FF camera because it has a longer focal length or bigger sensor size. Such as 50mm F1.4 and 80mm F2.8 has similar FOV but 80mm is more telephoto which differentiates between 35mm FF and MF. This is what they are believing but the problem is that they were never ever able to prove this hype. This is the real reason for​ debating about the MF look.

Hans Rosemond's picture

You might want to reread my response.

Walt Polley's picture

Long side = 1920 - of course they all look he same. You could toss in a Nikon D1 (resolution of 2,000 × 1,312) into the mix as well and ask if there has been any qualitative change over the past 20 years of digital photography.

Cristian G.'s picture

Yes, we can tell which camera took which picture. If you cropped at the biggest, full-sized resolution that's common among all of them.

Cristian G.'s picture

Leaving this here for posterity:
1. is Canon 6D because of shitty white balance.
2. is GFX 50R because of the medium format look (and the best looking).
3. is GH5 because of the rough bokeh.
4. is XT-3 because of the Fuji colours creeping in from below(on the hands).

Bring the next week, I want to make a fool of myself(or not).

You are 100% wrong :)

Cristian G.'s picture

Then I'm 100% disappointed :))

Colin Robertson's picture

I think the only thing that might give it away is the color character of each brand. So to that end, I think:
1. GH5
2. XT3
3. GFX
4. Canon

Colin Robertson's picture

Just saw the results video. NAILED IT!

The way this was shot, it is the same as taking a Ferrari, a minivan, a pickup, and a compact car and drag racing them. But, you make them all go 0-60 in ten seconds and ask which one is the fastest.

Your test was to make the images look exactly the same and ask what the difference is. To make this a proper test, reshoot them. Do a full body portrait. Wide open. This will show the differences in sensor size/design and focal length.

What does “wide open” mean? Every camera shot at f4? That’s the widest lens I have on medium format.

David Ha's picture

It won't gonna be different.

Tony Northrup's picture

I love blind tests, thanks for doing this! Because we publish educational videos showing photographers how to effectively use crop factor to predict the results they'll get from a specific camera and lens combination, we get comments from lots of people who think larger sensors (especially medium format cameras) have some mystical traits like "compression" and "3d pop" or something about "color". The medium format camera companies reinforce this mysticism and charge thousands for it. All our (internal) blind tests showed that accounting for crop factor completely eliminated perceptible differences in the final image.

Phil Wright's picture

But that's the whole point. If you wanted a cropped factor image then you'd use a cropped sensor. The reason you go for full frame (or medium format) is for the enhance DR, high ISO capabilities, mega pixels (if that's your thing), and dof at relative distance. If you're going to take a portrait at f8 then crop the heck out of it, sure buy a m4/3 camera. This test is, if not pointless, then very misleading.

By that logic, all shooters who post online would require nothing other than their phone or m4/3(most of the web pictures are 72p and not more than 2048 pixels, unless you provide originals)

While CMF (cropped medium format) is not that "mythical", it produces larger output than FF, perhaps with better DR (3 stops I believe), etc...

Each format has it's application and if you try to compare the output of the larger camera to a smaller one down-sampled to the application of the smaller camera, of course, you are not going to find anything different.

That being said, time for me to pickup my GFX-50S and shoot my kids playing in the backyard to view on my 720p digital photo frame :-D

That you can get similar results from 4 very size camera sensors, using lenses of different focal lengths and apertures is... hardly a discovery.

You may as well have blindfolded and put ear muffs on a person, drove them from 0-60 mph in exactly 10 seconds in a Volkswagen Beetle, a Honda Accord, a Porsche, and a Mclaren F1 and then asked them which car they were riding in each time.

This... really doesn't make any sense. Of course you're not going to get a 'full frame' or 'medium format' look when you're doing EVERYTHING TO MITIGATE THE DIFFERENCES BOTH IN CAMERA AND IN POST (including cropping). C'mon.

Phil Wright's picture

Hahaha. How ridiculous and pointless.

Andrew Morse's picture

They all look fine. Without a doubt you can make a great image on almost any camera today, but it's when a camera's limits are pushed that we see the need the differences. Obviously the message here is nearly any camera will get many jobs done depending on your needs.

In this competition I found myself trying to guess based on bokeh quality in the bottom right hand corner of the images (there's a bit of noticeable difference there where most of the rest of the images are indiscernible in my opinion), and white balance/colours. While colour preferences are all super subjective, I've always found Canon to be a bit on the cool side compared to Fuji, so I was betting the two that had most similar white balance would be the two Fujis and the coolest one would be the 6D. With that said, you can see the light is moving, during the shooting process, so I suspect that it's far from a perfect measure. Absolutely nothing to do with image quality, and everything to do with a bit of past experience. I was betting 1 - GH5, 2 - XT3, 3 - GFX, 4 - 6D based on that, but again, noting but a huge guess.

"This test is strictly to determine if images [are] inherently different coming from different sized sensors and manufacturers."

Well I'm in agreeance with those that are saying with the cropping and the compression that this doesn't prove a lot... I know I'm not buying a GFX camera for my stock-images portfolio... Unless of course I take a frame and then don't crop out the bits that give medium format images their depth. Depth that is useful for copy space. Conversly, images have sold from my Google Nexus 5 and from a Canon 5D3. Everyone is making awesome glass that superscedes the argument you used to be able to make against the difference in depth between sensor sizes.

But you can still spot the differences in the color... Shadow details getting lost... Very surprised by the poll results and can't wait to see the video!

Jerome Brill's picture

The first thing I looked for was those Canon greens and reds. The rest I believe can be picked out by the lens length and bokeh. Some are close though. My picks seem to be on par with the top two picks as others. Which one is better though? Honestly doesn't matter.

Jan Kruize's picture

They all look the same on my iphone.

Jordan McChesney's picture

If television has taught me anything it’s that we can endlessly enhance the image and find the answers using the reflections in is eyes... enhance.... enhance... enhance...

pretty easy to guess based on the aperture settings without looking at anything else

Patrick Hall's picture

I like how so many people are complaining about “cropping” as if that has any effect on the aesthetics of the image after the camera was positioned and the photo was taken.

That you can get similar results from 4 very size camera sensors, using lenses of different focal lengths and apertures is... hardly a discovery.

You may as well have blindfolded and put ear muffs on a person, drove them from 0-60 mph in exactly 10 seconds in a Volkswagen Beetle, a Honda Accord, a Porsche, and a Mclaren F1 and then asked them which car they were riding in each time.

This... really doesn't make any sense. Of course you're not going to get a 'full frame' or 'medium format' look when you're doing EVERYTHING TO MITIGATE THE DIFFERENCES BOTH IN CAMERA AND IN POST (including cropping). C'mon.

Patrick Hall's picture

So you are saying medium format Doesn’t have a look if you were to frame up a shot like this?

If something has a look or a feel or a sound, it should always have that even in a more controlled environment.

Phil Wright's picture

It depends what you mean by 'a look'. If you make all the images look identical, then no it doesn't have a look. However, were you to repeat the test using each camera/lens combo to its strengths then yes you would see a big difference. Isn't that the point?

No, I don’t think it really matters which rig captured this portrait! I had no clue, and it does not matter to me, since the output is good. Just sayin’

Better analogy: If you put the same film (eg. Velvia) in a medium format, 35mm and 110 camera, the qualities of that film will be the same but camera format defines the look. In this case, the sensor technology equates to the type of film (eg. Velvia vs. Provia) but is format independent.

Ivan Lantsov's picture

"I changed - stacked - cropped and shrunk... " oboy!

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