Future systems, size, IQ, weight, and the joy of photography

Started Feb 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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koboloy
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Future systems, size, IQ, weight, and the joy of photography
Feb 14, 2012

I have seen many debating the question around the future of dslr's vs more compact mirrorless systems, I just wanted to share my own reflections on the subject. (I'm not native english speaker, so pardon any typos & wrong expressions)

It is fascinating times for digital photography: Both canon's and nikon's flagships will(hopefully) be out & ready for the olympics. the d800 just announced, people getting very excited speculating about canon's next dslr release.(and perhaps mirrorless too) The fujifilm x-pro 1 and the om-d e-m5 from olympus are also great news. The nex models(and similar) have for a while proved that you can get a lot of features and good iq in a very compact system camera.

Myself, I think that the compact mirrorless systems will probably never take over dslr's completely, but it will at least gain bigger and bigger share of the amateur & entusiast market.(that includes pro's that want an extra camera that is more compact).

I totally agree and understand the people that don't get the point of compact system cameras if your main goal is to mount a big&heavy tele or a oversized zoom. Those high quality heavy glass is of course better balanced on a gripped dslr that propably also have much faster and reliable AF system.

This autumn I was given a nx200 by samsung for few weeks testing. It was a great little camera and the 20mp aps-c sensor had the potential to produce high quality images. Yes it lacked(even optional) evf, the raw files where almost 50mb in size, and it had no mic-jack for external video sound recording. But I found myself to bring the camera with me all the time. Much more frequently than my dslrs. Size and weight matters a lot the 5 seconds you're about exit the door, and are wondering if you'll bring your camera or not.

Many did not get the point of canon's new version of the 24 & 28 primes. I heard many complaining that they should perhaps have been faster instead of image stabilized But at least I am happy to see that canon finally started to upgrade their old non-L primes. My compact set up for the 5d2 have for a long time been the 50f1.4 mounted ant the 24f2.8 in the pocket. Many of those old light compact EF primes are actually quite good optically, but sure do need a refreshment.

Of course other brands have proved that you can make a relatively fast & sharp pancake(wide to normal)lens for an aps-c sensor on a mirrorless system camera.

My speculation (and wish) is that canon makes a aps-c mirrorless camera that has an ef mount, but also takes newly designed pancakes, specially designed for that system. I know many dream of a FF mirrorless, but I think it lays a few more years into the future because of the market and the cost. Sure, who wouldn't love to have a reasonably priced X10 size/weight camera with the same posibilities as a 5d2/85f1.2, but that is just not happening. Right now, I personally think canon's best compromise between, size, cost, iq and dof for a sensor in a mirrorless system; is aps-c. And canon's aps-c sensors are hopefully about to have a new design soon, since the 18mp one is many years old. I hope canon will positively surprise all aps-c users, both for the dslr and mirrorless camp.

Many would never use smaller sensor just because of the dof/bokeh posibillities. I can agree that m34(and smaller sensors) gives you little room for captures with beautiful bokeh, but I believe that aps-c with a fast lens can make beautiful thin dof if you know how to use the system.

I attached a few photos taken with a 5d2, nx200, and an old xti/400d. The nx200 shots are just with the slow 20-55, zoom, therefore I posted some from the xti that has similar sized sensor, and in my case; greater selection of lenses. As seen on the first xti photo; you can get good bokeh even with the small&light 50f1.4 on an aps-c. A good photographer should know both the limitations and strenghts of the system he/she is using, and anyway be able to get the best out from every moment captured.

I would be very glad to hear other photographers share their own personal reflections on the subject of sysrem camera size, IQ, weight, and how it influences their joy of photography.

I'll propably never sell all my present/future canon dslrs or heavy L's; they have their own field of use. But keep in mind that cameras are just tools to project own creativity. Don't forget the pure joy of photography. For me personally, that joy could perhaps more easily be mentained on a daily basis with a light and compact camera that still is serious enough to give you the controll & quality you need to create a great result of your personal, unique photographic visions.

Best,
Ioannis
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lelakis

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Fujifilm X10 Nikon D800 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Samsung NX200
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