Pana is rumored to plan CFF (compact full frame) for post M43

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mike Fewster
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Re: APS-C/dSLR is poor engineering
In reply to Mike Fewster, Mar 22, 2013

Full sized bodies with APS-C sensors are poor engineering. The design is a stopgap measure that was used by manufacturers when dslrs were first introduced. At that time ff sensors were prohibitively expensive. But serious photographers had collections of very expensive lenses that they were understandably reluctant to discard.

The answer was APS-C with a ff size mount on a regular traditional size. This enabled all those collections of lenses to still be relevant. In effect, this combination "threw away" about 50% of the image area it collected as only that central APS-C section was used. So we invented the term "multiplier effect" for what is actually just cropping. From an engineering point of view this is poor and wasteful design but it was a marketing coup that greatly boosted the willingness of advanced and pro photographers to switch to digital.

In time, manufacturers developed dx lenses that used ff mounts but were only creating an image that was APS-C size. This is also inefficient in that essentially the same lens could have been created on a smaller mount, the cameras still had to be able to take those ff mounts and lenses.

As the digital market has matured, APS-C (on dslr, not mirrorless bodies) is caught in no man's land. Those who want a traditional full sized body might as well get a ff as ff sensor prices drop.

Those who want APS-C (or similar such as mft) will choose bodies and lenses with smaller, more efficient mount sizes.

The sheer number of lenses out there for ff body mount sizes will keep aps-c full sized cameras coming for some years yet, but they will go.

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Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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