Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Keith Z Leonard
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 11 months ago

I suspect it is inevitable that smaller or maybe just lighter cameras will replace today's larger or heavier cameras.  I put the or there because size isn't really the issue, it's weight.  As materials continue to progress and lens designers make fantastic lenses, eventually they will have to compete on weight as well.  The new Sony a7/a7r cameras are very interesting, but from everything I've read they are a hint at the future, but not the solution in themselves.

Eventually EVFs will be so good that lag will be below perception and DR will be equal to that of the sensor in RAW and noise issues won't be there anymore.  Eventually AF for a mirrorless will be just as fast and accurate as today's 1D-X, with dual pixel PDAF on sensor that might well be very soon!  The question will be whether or not the 1D-XV (for instance) will be lightyears better than those mirrorless cameras, or if the gap will close.  In many ways a mirror less camera is attractive, less moving parts, less breakage, smaller/light package (again size preferences vary, I like the 7D size personally).  But that EVF is a BIG sticking point, it's got to be stellar beyond reproach before it'll be acceptable.

Colin Smith1 wrote:

Writers on the Luminous Landscape http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/full_frame_myth.shtml have stated their belief that the age of full frame DSLRs is coming to an end for basically two reasons. One, 16 meg micro 4/3s sensors have gotten very good in quality and noise reduction that they can now be printed to 16x20 (so why would anyone want the bulkier or heavier full frame DSLR ?) Second because the of the Sony mirror less full frame with excellent EVF.

I know I still value the low light, high ISO of my Canon full frames and the high quality of the lenses, not to mention the obvious advantages of an optical viewfinder in low light or fast movement.. As a wildlife photographer nothing offered to date can match the tracking AF of my 5D III, certainly not the OM E1 or the Sony.

On the other hand I wonder if I will always feel that way? At the age of 67 traveling around the world as I do with heavy gear is becoming more of a burden. If I ever do switch to a mirror less camera system, someone is going to have to make some good fixed focal length telephotos. As for now, I assume the excellent quality of my photos would be hard to give up.

Anyone think that the day is coming when even pros and advanced amateurs will be satisfied with a smaller, lighter mirror less system.

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Colin Smith

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