Thom finally resurfaces, with comments sure to be controversial, at least here ...

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
photoreddi
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Re: Thom finally resurfaces, with comments sure to be controversial, at least here ...
In reply to Clayton1985, 8 months ago

Clayton1985 wrote:

Did Thom just write 2000 words to say that mirrorless AF needs to continue improving to close the gap between DSLRs and mirrorless?

Gee, thanks....

Actually, no. The entire article was 2000 words long and the smaller part that I quoted which was about "focus" had more to say about that what you got from it. Ironically, the title of the article was "It’s the Focus Nikon Should Focus On", so the focus wasn't really on mirrorless AF, although he did address that to some degree.

Thom also explained why sensors are now good enough that there isn't a compelling reason to choose one camera brand over another based on the camera's sensor. X-Trans sensors are very nice but the difference between those and the Bayer sensor in Fuji's X-A1 doesn't come close to being a significant factor in choosing between bodies. The higher the sensor's resolution, the less it needs to deal with moire issues, so if Fuji produced an X-A2 using the X-T1's sensor, and also produced an X-T2 using the X-A1's Bayer sensor but without its AA filter, the X-T2 would still the more compelling body for all the reasons that the X-T1 is highly desired. Here's part of what Thom wrote about that :

Moreover, pixel counts are plenty for 99% of what people want to do, high ISO capability is probably plenty for 95% of what people want to do, and dynamic range is beyond what we had in film and currently headed into HDR territory.

So while I’ll continue to analyze sensor changes and what they mean for my photography, I have to say that at this point I’m not going to get excited about any incremental or evolutionary change, as I’m pretty sure those will all accrue to the gear I use within the next update cycle.

On the other hand, the imaging ASIC that deals with the data coming off the sensor is still an every-company-for-itself game. The fact that we can take an identical sensor and get different results from different companies almost always is due to the dedicated ASIC that is processing the data (e.g. Sony A7r versus Nikon D800). Yet even that’s getting more mature and lookalike, though it still is a special sauce that differentiates in small ways for the time being. I expect that differentiation to mostly disappear soon, though. Or at least fade into the realm of unimportant.

Which brings us to the Million Dollar Question: what is it that does differentiate cameras in the coming cycle? Price. Size. Weight. How the camera interacts with the user. Integration into the users’ other digital world. Oh, and one more thing: focus performance.

Price. Size. Weight. Ergonomics. This explains why people here buy cameras other than the X-T1 even if they can easily afford it. Cameras like the X-E1, X-E1, X-Pro1, X-A1, X-M1.

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