Bridge camera with large sensor?

Started Nov 18, 2012 | Discussions
dholl
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Bridge camera with large sensor?
Nov 18, 2012

In the last few years we've seen large-sensor compacts (Sigma DP, Leica X, Canon G1X, Fuji X1).  We've seen compact systems (M4/3, NEX, Samsung NX), we've even had Ricoh offering large sensors in lenses!

But have we had a bridge camera with a large sensor yet?  I don't think so...and why not?

I'm thinking a superzoom with a high-end stabilised lens, similar to what Fuji, Casio, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic & Sony have been churning out for years.  But instead of the usual 8x6mm or 9x7mm sensor, how about a 18x13mm, 23x16mm or even a full-frame sensor?

Potentially the perfect camera, methinks.  And as The FZ200 has shown, it's possible to have a fixed f2.8 in a 24-600mm lens - ye gods, imagine that on a full-frame sensor!  Is that even possible?  Maybe to cover the full sensor image the lens would have to be as big as a telescope.

But I would still accept a 24-200mm f2.8 bridge camera on a full-frame sensor

Thoughts?

Leica X1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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grumpyolderman
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to dholl, Nov 18, 2012

I have got your perfect camera, Sony R1, not enough takers back then....very good IQ, DOF, but it is pretty big and not so "super" in zoom, i guess you can not have it all in one package you can actually carry around... 

JL

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dholl
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to grumpyolderman, Nov 18, 2012

grumpyolderman wrote:

I have got your perfect camera, Sony R1, not enough takers back then....very good IQ, DOF, but it is pretty big and not so "super" in zoom, i guess you can not have it all in one package you can actually carry around...

JL

Yeah, I thought about that one...I forgot to mention that I would want 1080p video too.  Otherwise the R1 really is still one of the best cameras ever made.  My friend uses it.  I'm surprised this type never got popular.

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Chris R-UK
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to dholl, Nov 18, 2012

dholl wrote:

In the last few years we've seen large-sensor compacts (Sigma DP, Leica X, Canon G1X, Fuji X1). We've seen compact systems (M4/3, NEX, Samsung NX), we've even had Ricoh offering large sensors in lenses!

But have we had a bridge camera with a large sensor yet? I don't think so...and why not?

I'm thinking a superzoom with a high-end stabilised lens, similar to what Fuji, Casio, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic & Sony have been churning out for years. But instead of the usual 8x6mm or 9x7mm sensor, how about a 18x13mm, 23x16mm or even a full-frame sensor?

Potentially the perfect camera, methinks. And as The FZ200 has shown, it's possible to have a fixed f2.8 in a 24-600mm lens

Actually it is a 4.5-108mm lens.

- ye gods, imagine that on a full-frame sensor! Is that even possible? Maybe to cover the full sensor image the lens would have to be as big as a telescope.

Yes, it would have to be as big as a big telescope.  To get f2.8 at 600mm the lens would have to be more than 8" in diameter.

But I would still accept a 24-200mm f2.8 bridge camera on a full-frame sensor

Thoughts?

FF DSLR with a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8.

If you want something smaller, an Olympus OM-D with Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 and 35-100 f2.8.

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dholl
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to Chris R-UK, Nov 18, 2012

Chris R-UK wrote:

Actually it is a 4.5-108mm lens.

FF DSLR with a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8.

If you want something smaller, an Olympus OM-D with Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 and 35-100 f2.8.

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Chris R

Eh? How is it a 4.5-108mm lens? I'm talking about 35mm-equivalent focal lengths, as that is what everyone understands. No one can know what kind of focal length 4.5-108mm is unless they know the sensor size, and even then would have to do some headscratching to get a good idea.

Methinks you were just being pedantic.

Speaking of pedantism, see my original post where I mention I'm already aware of system cameras. See also the thread title, which is handily named: "Bridge camera with large sensor?".

Why would a bridge camera with large sensor be useful over a system camera with a couple of lenses?

- macro function built-in

- all-in-one solution, no need for lens-changing

- no sensor dust-spots (or extremely reduced risk anyway)

- quiet shutter (shutter would be electronic, not mechanical)

- high-speed video (as per Fuji HS & Casio FH range)

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Draek
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to dholl, Nov 18, 2012

Build your own, then. First, get a Sony A37. Then, buy it a Tamron 18-270mm. Then, attach the Tamron to the mount point of the A37. Voila! instant large-sensor superzoom.

Of course, file quality won't be as good as with a decent compact (you can't fix poor optics with a large sensor), but it's good enough as a kit that it's gathered quite a few fans already, and I suppose in terms of flexibility there's little out there that can match it. As with everything YMMV, but still.

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dholl
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to Draek, Nov 18, 2012

Draek wrote:

Build your own, then. First, get a Sony A37. Then, buy it a Tamron 18-270mm. Then, attach the Tamron to the mount point of the A37. Voila! instant large-sensor superzoom.

Of course, file quality won't be as good as with a decent compact (you can't fix poor optics with a large sensor), but it's good enough as a kit that it's gathered quite a few fans already, and I suppose in terms of flexibility there's little out there that can match it. As with everything YMMV, but still.

The 18-270mm isn't as fast, wide or as good as a (theoritical) high-end 24-200mm f2.8 lens. Furthermore, the A37/18-270 combination doesn't offer the advantages such a bridge camera would offer (see previous post).

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Deleted1929
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Weight and size and cost
In reply to dholl, Nov 18, 2012

Large sensor - costs more.

Larger lens to match size of sensor ( which it has to ) - more cost, more weight, more size.

Closest matches :

Panasonic G3 with a 14-140 or 14-150

Nikon V1 or J1 with a 10-100.

APS-C DSLR with an 18-200.  Costs less than a a grand and weighs about 1 kilo to a kilo and a half.

Full frame superzoom - that would be a D600 with a 28-300.  Costs about 3 grand and weighs about 2 kg.  Cheapest option - used Canon 5D with a 28-200 or 28-300 or maybe a Tokina 24-200 ( not a lens I'd ever recommend to anyone BTW ).

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dholl
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Re: Weight and size and cost
In reply to Deleted1929, Nov 18, 2012

sjgcit wrote:

Canon 5D with a 28-200 or 28-300 or maybe a Tokina 24-200 ( not a lens I'd ever recommend to anyone BTW ).
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StephenG

Again, let's not bother with system camera examples. I'm talking about a theoritical bridge camera, because of the advantages that would have (see a few posts earlier).

By the way I have the Tokina 24-200, it's actually ok. But I prefer the Sigma 28-300 on my 5DII as easy many-purpose lens.

Regarding cost: of course a bridge camera with an optically-stabilised 2.8/24-200 and a 36x24mm sensor is going to cost a few grand and be as heavy as a DSLR-equivalent. But the market seemingly has room for specialised expensive cameras, so why not this one?

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Chris R-UK
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to dholl, Nov 18, 2012

dholl wrote:

Chris R-UK wrote:

Actually it is a 4.5-108mm lens.

FF DSLR with a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8.

If you want something smaller, an Olympus OM-D with Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 and 35-100 f2.8.

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Chris R

Eh? How is it a 4.5-108mm lens? I'm talking about 35mm-equivalent focal lengths, as that is what everyone understands. No one can know what kind of focal length 4.5-108mm is unless they know the sensor size, and even then would have to do some headscratching to get a good idea.

Methinks you were just being pedantic.

No I wasn't being pedantic - the lens on the FZ200 is a 4.5-108 mm and that is extremely important when it comes to size and costs.

Bridge cameras can have a very large zoom range because they have tiny sensors and therefore can get the same field of view with a much shorter focal length lens.  f2.8 at 100mm only requires a lens with about a 1.4" diameter.  As I said before, 600mm requires a lens 6x longer and 6x larger diameter, i.e. the internal volume and weight would be about 36 times greater.

Take a look at the Sigma 200-500 f2.8 (and that is only a 2.5x zoom!):

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/200-500mm-f28-apo-ex-dg-sigma

Even your 24-200 f2.8 would be a very large and very expensive lens on a FF camera.  It would be at least the size of a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 and would be inferior optically to those two lenses because of the optical compromises that would be required.

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dholl
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to Chris R-UK, Nov 18, 2012

Chris R-UK wrote:

No I wasn't being pedantic - the lens on the FZ200 is a 4.5-108 mm and that is extremely important when it comes to size and costs.

Bridge cameras can have a very large zoom range because they have tiny sensors and therefore can get the same field of view with a much shorter focal length lens. f2.8 at 100mm only requires a lens with about a 1.4" diameter. As I said before, 600mm requires a lens 6x longer and 6x larger diameter, i.e. the internal volume and weight would be about 36 times greater.

Take a look at the Sigma 200-500 f2.8 (and that is only a 2.5x zoom!):

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/200-500mm-f28-apo-ex-dg-sigma

Even your 24-200 f2.8 would be a very large and very expensive lens on a FF camera. It would be at least the size of a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 and would be inferior optically to those two lenses because of the optical compromises that would be required.

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Chris R

Thanks for taking the time to explain your point. What you say of course makes sense.

Perhaps we would have to make the compromise. Say a 24-200mm f4 (losing the f2.8). On a full frame there is still ample scope for DoF-plays. The lens would be a higher standard of glass than your average system zoom (far better than the average Sigma 28-300) with all the advantages an electronic shutter and fixed lens can provide.

Should that still not be feasible, we could then consider a Fourthirds sensor instead. The idea is to have a bridge camera with at least an 18x13mm sensor and a versatile high-end lens with a fixed aperture. The camera must have an electronic shutter, otherwise it loses a couple of key advantages over mirrorless system cameras (silent-shooting and high-speed video).

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Draek
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Re: Bridge camera with large sensor?
In reply to dholl, Nov 19, 2012
dholl wrote:

The 18-270mm isn't as fast, wide or as good as a (theoritical) high-end 24-200mm f2.8 lens.

A theoretical 24-200/2.8 would cost $4k alone, weight at least 3 kg, and possibly require phasing some of its elements into hyperspace for focusing and zooming. Yeah, you just jumped from "impractical" all the way to "physics-defying feat of engineering".

Furthermore, the A37/18-270 combination doesn't offer the advantages such a bridge camera would offer (see previous post).

Then get a micro four-thirds with the 14-140 instead.

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Deleted1929
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Re: Weight and size and cost
In reply to dholl, Nov 19, 2012

My point is that you're going to pay the same for a camera with a large sensor and a lens you can't change ( are stuck with ) as you will for a camera with the same sensor and a lens you can change.

And also if you can't remove the lens you can't clean dust off the sensor.  This is an issue RX100 owners are starting to feel.

The whole idea of a bridge camera as you describe it is silly.

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StephenG

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Joseph S Wisniewski
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Not electronic shutter...
In reply to dholl, Nov 19, 2012

And again the amazingly high quality new forum software won't let me position the cursor where it belongs. Sorry about the top posting.

Bridge cameras don't have electronic shutters, they have leaf shutters. Adding an electronic shutter to a sensor reduced low light sensitivity and dynamic range, and makes the sensor much more succeptible to blooming.

Leaf shutters are three times the diameter of the optical path that they shutter. For a small sensor camera that is acceptable. Your example had about a 10mm diameter shutter, with about a 30mm mechanism, easy to contain in a camera, quiet, capable of a high top speed and a high sync speed. A FF sensor needs about a 45mm shutter, the mechanism is 135mm, nearly 6 inches in diameter. Not quiet, and not fast.

Sorry, the FF bridge won't fly. Even a micro four thirds would probably go conventional focal plane shutter.

dholl wrote:

Chris R-UK wrote:

No I wasn't being pedantic - the lens on the FZ200 is a 4.5-108 mm and that is extremely important when it comes to size and costs.

Bridge cameras can have a very large zoom range because they have tiny sensors and therefore can get the same field of view with a much shorter focal length lens. f2.8 at 100mm only requires a lens with about a 1.4" diameter. As I said before, 600mm requires a lens 6x longer and 6x larger diameter, i.e. the internal volume and weight would be about 36 times greater.

Take a look at the Sigma 200-500 f2.8 (and that is only a 2.5x zoom!):

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/shop/200-500mm-f28-apo-ex-dg-sigma

Even your 24-200 f2.8 would be a very large and very expensive lens on a FF camera. It would be at least the size of a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 and would be inferior optically to those two lenses because of the optical compromises that would be required.

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Chris R

Thanks for taking the time to explain your point. What you say of course makes sense.

Perhaps we would have to make the compromise. Say a 24-200mm f4 (losing the f2.8). On a full frame there is still ample scope for DoF-plays. The lens would be a higher standard of glass than your average system zoom (far better than the average Sigma 28-300) with all the advantages an electronic shutter and fixed lens can provide.

Should that still not be feasible, we could then consider a Fourthirds sensor instead. The idea is to have a bridge camera with at least an 18x13mm sensor and a versatile high-end lens with a fixed aperture. The camera must have an electronic shutter, otherwise it loses a couple of key advantages over mirrorless system cameras (silent-shooting and high-speed video).

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OpticsEngineer
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Bridge camera with larger sensor.
In reply to Deleted1929, Nov 19, 2012

The Fuji XS-1 has a larger sensor than every other bridge camera.    I have been thinking of getting one to replace my Canon SX40.   From what I read on the forums, the newest versions (later than serial number 23xxxxx) are much improved over the earlier one.  The probability of me actually going for an XS-1 is somewhat low however since the SX40 meets most of my desirements for  a bridge camera.

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kb2zuz
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Larger sensor means larger lens
In reply to dholl, Nov 19, 2012

dholl wrote:

In the last few years we've seen large-sensor compacts (Sigma DP, Leica X, Canon G1X, Fuji X1). We've seen compact systems (M4/3, NEX, Samsung NX), we've even had Ricoh offering large sensors in lenses!

But have we had a bridge camera with a large sensor yet? I don't think so...and why not?

I'm thinking a superzoom with a high-end stabilised lens, similar to what Fuji, Casio, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic & Sony have been churning out for years. But instead of the usual 8x6mm or 9x7mm sensor, how about a 18x13mm, 23x16mm or even a full-frame sensor?

Potentially the perfect camera, methinks. And as The FZ200 has shown, it's possible to have a fixed f2.8 in a 24-600mm lens - ye gods, imagine that on a full-frame sensor! Is that even possible? Maybe to cover the full sensor image the lens would have to be as big as a telescope.

But I would still accept a 24-200mm f2.8 bridge camera on a full-frame sensor

Thoughts?

The FZ200 is an 4.5-108mm f/2.8 lens and only needs to produce an image circle big enough to cover it's tiny sensor. Even a 24-200mm f/2.8 is going to be big. Look how big a Canon or Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is (and that doesn't even need go go down to 24mm. They make 28-300mm lenses but they are usually f/4-5.6 variable aperture lenses, and they still fairly large in size. Longer focal lengths require larger lenses, larger apertures require larger lenses, and larger image circles (making a lens work well with a larger sensor) mean larger lenses. Look at the Nikon and Canon 28-300mm lenses, and see if you'd be happy with one of those on a "bridge camera."

For people who care about being able to super-zoom in a small package, having a small sensor with densely packed pixels is actually advantageous as a 108mm lens gives an equivalent field of view as a 600mm lens on a full frame camera (which would be drastically bigger and heavier).

There have been a few cameras along the way that have tried this the Sony R1 is the best example which had an APS-C sensor and a 14.3-71.5mm (24-120mm equivalent) f/2.8-4.8 is the best example, but it is on the larger side of bridge cameras. If you wanted to make it full frame, it would be a bit larger. If you wanted it to have a longer zoom, it would be even larger. If you wanted the aperture to be f/4 or wider throughout the range, it would be larger still.

The biggest issue is will it sell. The R1 wasn't as popular because a number of people who would consider it said either "this is too big for me" or "if I'm going to pay this much and carry something this big, I could get a "real camera" and buy a Rebel and a couple zoom lenses. If a camera like this has a small market, camera companies have two options: don't sell it or sell it at a very high mark-up. Point and shoots and entry level SLRs sell in very high numbers so even if the camera companies make a small profit on each one, they're happy because they sell millions of them. If a camera like this isn't going to be as popular as a 6D or D600, they'll have to sell it for significantly more to make a decent profit on the few that they sell, which means a full frame bridge camera might end up being $3,000 or more. A big, heavy, $3,000 camera that you can't change the lens on... it might be an interesting niche for some people, but I don't find it that appealing. I'm more interested in making the camera as small as possible and having wide apertures. I'm far more interested in Sony's new RX1 (full frame with a 35mm f/2). Of course it's a niche camera at $2,800 but personally I like the idea of small, discrete, low-light camera over a super-zoom.

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dholl
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admits defeat...
In reply to kb2zuz, Nov 19, 2012

Good arguments, everyone...you've all convinced me that it's a pipe dream after all.

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