Is FF sensors going to slowly phase out?

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Grevture
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Re: Nope, it's rather the opposite.
In reply to Bart Hickman, Apr 12, 2013

Bart Hickman wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

They are a defensive move to protect market share from advances in small sensor cameras.  I suspect the profit margin on the bodies isn't that good.

This is odd logic: Nikon and Canon already make most of the APS-C sensor cameras anyway and are not trending down.  More likely they want to shift users into a price bracket where they have less competition and can thus command higher margins.

They aren't growing

CIPA and GFK numbers don't agree with that. They are growing.

and meanwhile NEX and m43 were closing the gap with cameras like the D7000.  They haven't closed the gap yet obviously, but they will in a few years.

If you are talking about closing the gap in terms of performance, no: a FF sensor will remain 2.25 times larger then a APS-C one, and when using the same technology in both, the larger surface have some advantages (like when looking at D7000 and D800 which have very similar sensor technology).

Also, why would a FF lens be less expensive to produce than a lens for a smaller sensor?

Many of the "less expensive" FF lenses are less expensive because they are older designs that already amortized initial costs.  New lenses tend to be more expensive unless designed to a specific price.

But old lenses generally aren't sharp enough for the new resolutions

Well, many of them are. When we reach FF resolutions of 200 megapixels and beyond I might agree with you. Until then, not a big issue.

so something with tighter tolerances is required anyway.  Besides, APS-C lens volume probably outstrips FF lens volume, so APS-C lenses can also amortize these costs.

Actually for those lens mounts where you have both sensor sizes, volumes for FF lenses remain higher, since those work fine on both FF and APS-C.

The salient advantage of FF is more dynamic range, and better low light performance for "reasonable" lens designs.  In terms of cost and weight, APS-C has the advantage especially when you go mirrorless (APS-C DSLRs are somewhat crippled by the fact that they have the same legacy flange distance as FF which makes wide angle lenses extra difficult to design.)

Here I do partly agree with you - to really get smaller (and potentially less complex and cheaper) lenses, going mirrorless and reducing flange distance is the remedy.

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