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

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
John Carson
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Re: Thom finally resurfaces, with comments sure to be controversial, at least here ...
In reply to photoreddi, 6 months ago

photoreddi wrote:

John Carson wrote:

photoreddi wrote:

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.

These 95% figures tend to be misleading in that what people currently do is shaped by the camera's current limitations. Improve the camera and usage patterns will change.

Image quality at ISO 6400 on the Fuji X series is nothing like image quality at ISO 200. Detail and color deteriorate markedly. ISO 6400 isn't completely unusable, which is saying something because not long ago it was unusable on almost all cameras. However, it is inferior to the IQ of any cheap compact at ISO 200.

That doesn't mean that the 95% figure is misleading. It would be nice if ISO 6400 image quality was nearly as good as a P&S's ISO 200 and you and I and many others would take that if it was available. But most people (the 95%) accept the current reality, and look for more realistic improvements that might be available in next generation cameras. Most people don't even really care for or desire the ISO 200 IQ of cheap compacts. They're too busy using and being satisfied by the inferior IQ of their cell phone cameras. Based on this, Thom probably understated the case and might have been more on target if he used 98% instead of 95%.

I interpreted the figures differently: not as the percentage of the general population that are satisfied with a particular characteristic, but as the percentage of photos taken by the people in the market for these m4/3 or APS-C cameras for which pixel count, high ISO performance etc. were good enough.

I find that on Auto ISO my X-E2 wants to choose ISO 6400 fairly often, either because of low light or because I need some minimum shutter speed to freeze motion. Most of the time I set the maximum ISO on Auto ISO to 3200 and I take a risk on motion blur. However, if the IQ was better, I would use ISO 6400 a lot and have significantly less trouble with motion blur.

I use the two main zoom lenses. If I was using fast primes, then high ISO performance would be less of an issue, but primes have other disadvantages.

So you're in the 5% camp that Thom referred to. But give an inch and a mile will be wanted. Meaning, if you get your great ISO 6400 IQ, you'll want more, more, more!

I mean, why stop there? Wouldn't you then want a camera that could shoot photos with vivid, saturated colors at fast shutter speeds just by the light of a waning crescent moon?

Ideally, yes.

Thom's figures represent today's desires, not what they might be 5, 10 or 20 years from now.

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john carson

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