Why insist on FF format?

Started Sep 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
PerL
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Re: Why insist on FF format?
In reply to sansbury, Sep 22, 2012

sansbury wrote:

3-4 years is way too short, but how about 10?

Riddle me this:

  • Leading FF dSLRs can already produce better images than the best MF film cameras, which were the gold standard for decades in everything short of fine art

  • Print as a market is dying. Even for the glossy books like Vogue that may survive intact (which are a small fraction of the pro market even now), the limiting factor is more likely to be their printing press than the camera's sensor.

  • The Web places a greater premium on video, and display resolutions are increasing much more slowly than sensor capabilities.

  • Compact sensors are likely to continue evolving, and in the next 10 years may approach or exceed the capabilities of today's dSLRs. Does anyone know where physics begins to impose hard limits on things like DR and pixel density vs. noise? They're there, I have no idea how close we are.

  • For those who say, "there's always room for the very best," that's true, but look at Hasselblad specifically and MF digital in general. Most working professionals don't have as much money to burn as rich amateurs do, and choose their equipment based on a business calculation.

  • In imaging terms, film cameras evolved at a relatively slow pace after the introduction of the SLR. Lens and coating design evolved, as did film chemistry, but there were few great leaps. Kodachrome was a reference process for most of a century, and in the 70s Kodak sold around 90% of the film used in the US. From the 80s on, almost all of the innovation was incorporating electronics into cameras and lenses, which were convenience-enhancers, albeit very useful ones.

Given all of this, it's not hard to imagine reaching a point where weight, size, and cost become far more important factors than image quality.

Since also phone cameras will evolve, the DOF control is what will stand out, and here FF rules.
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