Prepare yourselves for a new landscape

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions
marike6
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DOF is too deep
In reply to sportyaccordy, Nov 11, 2013

sportyaccordy wrote:

When small formats can get to equivalent speeds of large formats I think people will begin to seriously reconsider. Small sensor tech is already beginning to creep. For example RX100-II is only 1 stop down in speed from the typical APS-C sensor, despite being 2 stops down in area. If you have a format that is physically 1 stop smaller than the next step up, but has cleanness parity through tech and faster glass, I do think a lot of folks would move over. For example if Nikon 1 system came out with a 1.8 zoom or 1.2 primes (for reasonable prices) I think a lot of folks would give them a look.

I disagree though that big formats will ever go away. People still shoot MF, people will always shoot FX if for no other reason than being invested in the glass. D700, 5DII, D4 etc are all still top of the line in image quality.

Comparing DR and high ISO is one thing, but the physics of a smaller 1" sensor of the Nikon 1 and RX100 means DOF is deep.  And without subject isolation, shallow DOF, blurred backgrounds with beautiful creamy bokeh, there is just no way for 1" sensor cameras to compete.  Which makes it unlikely that they will replace large sensor cameras for the majority of users.

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RussellInCincinnati
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as nice as we can
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

Russell: ...But what you are really predicting is not that bigger cameras will disappear, because that's silly. Bigger cameras will always take nicer photos, whatever the era. No what you're really predicting is that in 10 or 15 years there will be no photographers. I.e. there will be no people that enjoy taking as nice as photos as they reasonably can of the world around them.

original poster meland: ...[no] what I am saying is that with a relatively small increase in small sensor quality (and not nearly as much as you say I am implying) the majority of fairly-interested photographers, or should I say non-obsessed by IQ photographers, may be completely satisfied. They may not care as much as you do, or perhaps even I do, about beautifully smooth and detailed/crisp images. But the images they do get will be good enough and will satisfy them. And I am certainly not saying there will be, or even implying there might be, any massive increase in lens aperture or performance to achieve this...And I don't think I ever mentioned low light performance in any case.

The really serious enthusiasts and a few professionals may not be satisfied, in fact they probably will not be. But that reduced number of people who really care about what you so eloquently describe may not be sufficient to support a camera market like we have today.

High end stuff, at a price, will still exist for the reduced numbers of people who really do care - but the price of entry is likely to be much much higher because of reduced demand. That is actually what I am saying. I hope I have been able to clarify things?

Ok, was wrong to conclude that you are predicting that in 10 years tiny-sensor smartphones will have the same image quality as a Nikon D800 today.

with a relatively small increase in small sensor quality...the majority of fairly-interested photographers, or should I say non-obsessed by IQ photographers, may be completely satisfied.

Well we are down to figuring out the psychology of "many photographers." You are betting that the vast majority of people buying fancy cameras today are doing it to get a certain level of image quality...that is not stratospheric. And the moment that smartphones/tiny sensor cams can meet that 2013 APS-C or whatever image quality standard at ordinary display sizes, today's fancy camera buyers will be happy to settle for the tiny-sensor cams.

The really serious enthusiasts and a few professionals may not be satisfied, in fact they probably will not be.

My bet is that there is a certain disease that is endemic among not just a few but rather millions of people in the world, one that can't be eradicated easily. And that affliction is the desire to try to make photographs do something that they probably never will...which is freeze a fleeting fragment of reality and recall it, ideally re-create it,

...in all its original freshness and vitality upon demand. With the hopeless desire for that perfect preservation in so many minds, am wagering that no matter how good tiny cameras ever get, there will still be tons of bigger, nicer but-still-hand-holdable cameras sold. For part of the same reason the little animals that live in my house chase every passing person and vehicle with undying enthusiasm, though knowing quite well that it is not in the nature of things that the passers-by will ever be caught.

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Peter63
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

I still don't understand the argument that improving tech will lead people to settle for less. I can agree that smaller sensors may improve to rival the resolution of current larger sensors but I think the real trend will be to put larger sensors in smaller bodies. The market for small bodied full frame cameras is rapidly increasing and has nothing to do with advice from "uncle bob".

1) Performance will improve for a given camera body size

2) Cost will decrease for a given camera body output quality

Both trends are supported by historical precedent and I have not seen any evidence or credible argument to make me believe they will change.

3) Large, fast glass will continue to be produced and sold in numbers adequate to keep prices on par with or lower than current pricing

4) The limits of small, fast glass will be pushed as far as possible. EF-M 22 2.0 and  EF 40 2.8 STM are both amazing already.

If technology somehow sidesteps the laws of physics and a 70-200 2.8L can fit in my pocket, I will be happy to jump onboard.

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stevo23
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Re: you think there will be F/0.6 zooms in 15 years
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

meland wrote:

RussellInCincinnati wrote:

But what you are really predicting is not that bigger cameras will disappear, because that's silly. Bigger cameras will always take nicer photos, whatever the era. No what you're really predicting is that in 10 or 15 years there will be no photographers. I.e. there will be no people that enjoy taking as nice as photos as they reasonably can of the world around them.

That prediction is as likely to come true, as it is likely that neither you nor any significant number of viewers of this forum message, will click on the above image to see what it looks like at full size.

No Russell, what I am saying is that with a relatively small increase in small sensor quality (and not nearly as much as you say I am implying) the majority of fairly-interested photographers, or should I say non-obsessed by IQ photographers, may be completely satisfied. They may not care as much as you do, or perhaps even I do, about beautifully smooth and detailed/crisp images. But the images they do get will be good enough and will satisfy them. And I am certainly not saying there will be, or even implying there might be, any massive increase in lens aperture or performance to achieve this. I know enough about optical design and materials having worked in this particular field for more years than I care to admit to know that is very unlikely if not impossible. And I don't think I ever mentioned low light performance in any case.

The really serious enthusiasts and a few professionals may not be satisfied, in fact they probably will not be. But that reduced number of people who really care about what you so eloquently describe may not be sufficient to support a camera market like we have today.

I don't think that number is reduced. The proportion of the population who are "image quality conscious" (my own term) hasn't changed. It's probably important to spell this out a little more clearly as I tend to think that you're onto something. See my comment below.

High end stuff, at a price, will still exist for the reduced numbers of people who really do care - but the price of entry is likely to be much much higher because of reduced demand. That is actually what I am saying. I hope I have been able to clarify things?

I think high end stuff has always been high end stuff and I don't think the proportion of interested buyers has increased. The question is whether or not the middle and low cost market of low end DSLRs, compacts etc. was helping fund the higher end stuff and whether or not that means higher prices for enthusiasts and pros like us. I don't personally think it will mean higher prices. I think it will mean longer periods between new models and features.

If you compare it to what happened with medium format, I can your point. It could happen that way. But if the current fad of full frame sensors continues, it could be that the history of 110 is more of the future predictor than the history of medium format.

I also think image quality has some bearing. If M43 sensors get to 36Mp (quality 36Mp that is) and we see f/.6 lenses, fewer people would be interested in full frame. Heck, even 36 Mp and f/1.0 would do it I think.

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RedFox88
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

meland wrote:

Are you crazy? the nikon 1 lenses are small, not large!

Actually for the size of sensor this camera has they could be quite a bit smaller. And no, I don't think I am crazy.

The saying "bigger is better" is almost always true and it is with photography.  Better quality images are possible as the recording format increases.  As format sizes increase so do the size of the lens.   If you want small, get a P&S with a 4x f/3.5-f/6.9 lens.

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MoreorLess
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Re: you think there will be F/0.6 zooms in 15 years
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

meland wrote:

No Russell, what I am saying is that with a relatively small increase in small sensor quality (and not nearly as much as you say I am implying) the majority of fairly-interested photographers, or should I say non-obsessed by IQ photographers, may be completely satisfied. They may not care as much as you do, or perhaps even I do, about beautifully smooth and detailed/crisp images. But the images they do get will be good enough and will satisfy them. And I am certainly not saying there will be, or even implying there might be, any massive increase in lens aperture or performance to achieve this. I know enough about optical design and materials having worked in this particular field for more years than I care to admit to know that is very unlikely if not impossible. And I don't think I ever mentioned low light performance in any case.

The really serious enthusiasts and a few professionals may not be satisfied, in fact they probably will not be. But that reduced number of people who really care about what you so eloquently describe may not be sufficient to support a camera market like we have today.

High end stuff, at a price, will still exist for the reduced numbers of people who really do care - but the price of entry is likely to be much much higher because of reduced demand. That is actually what I am saying. I hope I have been able to clarify things?

The mistake that is often made in this discussion is IMHO believing that this forum represents "normal" people with reguards to how they value photography. At the very top especially I think we can be prone to sitting in our FF ivory towers viewing everything below as the gear of the masses. In reality even an entry level DSLR and kit lens is likely going to be bought by someone with a strong interest in photography.

I'd argue that the "change in the landscape" has already happened with the introduction of mirrorless. Less so higher end mirrorless that's ultimately rather similar to a DSLR in use but more the cheaper/smaller options with fewer controls and no viewfinder. That's targeted the market who wanted the IQ but not the other features of a higher end camera and its already shrunk in size.

I'd argue this really shows your incorrect that basic compacts only need a small increase in quality to be "good enough" for most of the market that current buyers larger sensors. I do think we'll see more advanced compacts akin to the RX100, GR etc take back some market from mirrorless systems but lens size will always be an issue.

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Lawrence W
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

From smartphones to FF, and lots of others in between, all serve a purpose.

If you plot IQ on one axis, and Convenience on another, and track them over time, you will see the gap is closing. Smartphones can take better and better pictures everyday, and is definitely the most used format, marginalised simple P&S cameras, as we normally have phones with us on any occasion. For many who frequents FB and Twitters, this is THE format.

Meanwhile, FF's are getting smaller and more affordable. FF's and APS-C are all selling well in the US, as folks with bigger hands do not find smaller cameras being attractive.

Mirrorless is  making huge progress in IQ, and have attracted some casual P&S users as well as some DSLR photographers. This format seems to be a nice compromise.

Whatever trumps in the future remains to be seen. But I am pretty sure there is still enough market for different formats to survive, from smartphones to pro cameras.

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Slideshow Bob
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So what you're actually saying is...
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

…people are going to turn into a bunch of moronic sheep who all have to have the same thing, whether it's good or not. Their decision about what to buy will be entirely driven by the constraints of fashion, and their satisfaction will be derived from how small and lightweight their cameras are, not from how good their cameras are at taking photos. There will be no shallow depth-of-field, and no low light telephoto photography. Sports photography will be grim, and wildlife photography will be next to impossible.

SLRs have been at the forefront of photography for a generation. The reason for that is that they can be used to photograph almost anything, in ANY situation, and provide excellent results. No competing product has even come close, because while competitors have sometimes excelled in one area, they lost out too heavily in others.

If people are going to be so stupid that they simply buy the same thing as everyone else irrespective of what they want to do with it, rather than KNOWING what they want to photograph and searching out the best tool for the job, well…. then they're just a bunch of moronic sheep.

And that's sad.

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meland
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Re: So what you're actually saying is...
In reply to Slideshow Bob, Nov 12, 2013

Slideshow Bob wrote:

…people are going to turn into a bunch of moronic sheep who all have to have the same thing, whether it's good or not. Their decision about what to buy will be entirely driven by the constraints of fashion, and their satisfaction will be derived from how small and lightweight their cameras are, not from how good their cameras are at taking photos. There will be no shallow depth-of-field, and no low light telephoto photography. Sports photography will be grim, and wildlife photography will be next to impossible.

SLRs have been at the forefront of photography for a generation. The reason for that is that they can be used to photograph almost anything, in ANY situation, and provide excellent results. No competing product has even come close, because while competitors have sometimes excelled in one area, they lost out too heavily in others.

If people are going to be so stupid that they simply buy the same thing as everyone else irrespective of what they want to do with it, rather than KNOWING what they want to photograph and searching out the best tool for the job, well…. then they're just a bunch of moronic sheep.

And that's sad.

No, please read my comments again.

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Fast does not equal good.
In reply to sportyaccordy, Nov 12, 2013

sportyaccordy wrote:

When small formats can get to equivalent speeds of large formats I think people will begin to seriously reconsider. Small sensor tech is already beginning to creep. For example RX100-II is only 1 stop down in speed from the typical APS-C sensor, despite being 2 stops down in area. If you have a format that is physically 1 stop smaller than the next step up, but has cleanness parity through tech and faster glass, I do think a lot of folks would move over. For example if Nikon 1 system came out with a 1.8 zoom or 1.2 primes (for reasonable prices) I think a lot of folks would give them a look.

I disagree though that big formats will ever go away. People still shoot MF, people will always shoot FX if for no other reason than being invested in the glass. D700, 5DII, D4 etc are all still top of the line in image quality.

The sharpness of a lens is in no way related to its maximum aperture.  In fact, most fast lenses are known for being soft wide open.  Those fast lenses are also exceptionally expensive when designed with a good diaphram (for good bokeh) and sharp optics.  Fast lenses that are cheap are usually full of compromises that essentially nullify their speed.

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stevo23
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Re: Fast does not equal good.
In reply to howardroark, Nov 12, 2013

howardroark wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

When small formats can get to equivalent speeds of large formats I think people will begin to seriously reconsider. Small sensor tech is already beginning to creep. For example RX100-II is only 1 stop down in speed from the typical APS-C sensor, despite being 2 stops down in area. If you have a format that is physically 1 stop smaller than the next step up, but has cleanness parity through tech and faster glass, I do think a lot of folks would move over. For example if Nikon 1 system came out with a 1.8 zoom or 1.2 primes (for reasonable prices) I think a lot of folks would give them a look.

A Nikon 1 lens at f/1.2 may not be enough. What is the conversion factor? 3x? Maybe it's enough for the larger population, but enthusiasts like "us" wouldn't think that's quite enough. That being said, even now, the Nikon 1 fills a need without replacing other kits. I would own one in a heartbeat if I had extra cash to throw around.

I disagree though that big formats will ever go away. People still shoot MF, people will always shoot FX if for no other reason than being invested in the glass. D700, 5DII, D4 etc are all still top of the line in image quality.

The sharpness of a lens is in no way related to its maximum aperture. In fact, most fast lenses are known for being soft wide open. Those fast lenses are also exceptionally expensive when designed with a good diaphram (for good bokeh) and sharp optics. Fast lenses that are cheap are usually full of compromises that essentially nullify their speed.

I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules about "fast" lenses. I can think of several that are quite sharp wide open as that is generally the point. It does kind of depend on what is meant by "most fast lenses" - f/2.8? f/1.4? For instance, Canon 135 f/2, Sigma ART 35 f/1.4. I also like the Canon 35 f/2 - it's a fairly fast lens with really nice bokeh and not very expensive. Same thing goes for a Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro which has wonderful bokeh as well as the very reasonably priced Nikon 85 f/1.8G. There are quite a few reasonably priced, fast lenses that look great wide open. Of course they often "peak" at f/5.6 or so, but they are quite sharp wide open.

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Dennis
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

meland wrote:

May I make a prediction? Many of you are not going to like it,

It's not so much not "liking" it but finding no merit in it.

I'll go foreward, heedless of your advice, and if I'm unprepared, you'll have the right to gloat.

- Dennis

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meland
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Re: DOF is too deep
In reply to marike6, Nov 12, 2013

marike6 wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

When small formats can get to equivalent speeds of large formats I think people will begin to seriously reconsider. Small sensor tech is already beginning to creep. For example RX100-II is only 1 stop down in speed from the typical APS-C sensor, despite being 2 stops down in area. If you have a format that is physically 1 stop smaller than the next step up, but has cleanness parity through tech and faster glass, I do think a lot of folks would move over. For example if Nikon 1 system came out with a 1.8 zoom or 1.2 primes (for reasonable prices) I think a lot of folks would give them a look.

I disagree though that big formats will ever go away. People still shoot MF, people will always shoot FX if for no other reason than being invested in the glass. D700, 5DII, D4 etc are all still top of the line in image quality.

Comparing DR and high ISO is one thing, but the physics of a smaller 1" sensor of the Nikon 1 and RX100 means DOF is deep. And without subject isolation, shallow DOF, blurred backgrounds with beautiful creamy bokeh, there is just no way for 1" sensor cameras to compete. Which makes it unlikely that they will replace large sensor cameras for the majority of users.

You've got to remember that the concept of 'beautiful creamy bokeh' really hasn't been around for very long.  When a few mainly Japanese enthusiasts started talking about this the rest of the world originally thought the idea a bit bizarre.  Having said that some Leica users had been banging on about a certain look with their Leitz lenses which may or may not have been the bokeh effect even though they did not describe specifically it as such.

Now I agree this effect gets harder to achieve with smaller formats but it is still possible.  Obviously not to the degree if you happen to like the rather overdone and extreme effects that do seem to impress some.

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meland
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to Dennis, Nov 12, 2013

Dennis wrote:

meland wrote:

May I make a prediction? Many of you are not going to like it,

It's not so much not "liking" it but finding no merit in it.

I'll go foreward, heedless of your advice, and if I'm unprepared, you'll have the right to gloat.

- Dennis

Don't worry Dennis.  I've no intention of gloating.  Better things to do.

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Dennis
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to stevo23, Nov 12, 2013

stevo23 wrote:

(How about a vintage Kodak Brownie?) We could call it the Brownie Awards.

I say make it a *ist-D.  That way, nobody knows what to call it

- Dennis

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sportyaccordy
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Re: DOF is too deep
In reply to marike6, Nov 12, 2013

marike6 wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

When small formats can get to equivalent speeds of large formats I think people will begin to seriously reconsider. Small sensor tech is already beginning to creep. For example RX100-II is only 1 stop down in speed from the typical APS-C sensor, despite being 2 stops down in area. If you have a format that is physically 1 stop smaller than the next step up, but has cleanness parity through tech and faster glass, I do think a lot of folks would move over. For example if Nikon 1 system came out with a 1.8 zoom or 1.2 primes (for reasonable prices) I think a lot of folks would give them a look.

I disagree though that big formats will ever go away. People still shoot MF, people will always shoot FX if for no other reason than being invested in the glass. D700, 5DII, D4 etc are all still top of the line in image quality.

Comparing DR and high ISO is one thing, but the physics of a smaller 1" sensor of the Nikon 1 and RX100 means DOF is deep. And without subject isolation, shallow DOF, blurred backgrounds with beautiful creamy bokeh, there is just no way for 1" sensor cameras to compete. Which makes it unlikely that they will replace large sensor cameras for the majority of users.

"The majority of users" don't have FF or super fast (i.e. <F/1.8) glass, and many if not most great photos don't need shallow DOF to make the shot. So while having more DOF control is definitely a plus it doesn't make or break the shooting experience for "the majority of users". F/1.8 on a crop sensor in the general photography zoom range (~24-70mm FF equivalent) is only the beginning of real subject isolation, and for lenses in that class generally has pretty rough harsh bokeh anyway.

And while I agree that folks who love their FF cameras won't get rid of them, there are already plenty of folks who leave their D800s home and bring out their RX100s. Depending on what is being shot and where the shooter is going, obviously FF kills in IQ but the smaller cameras might generate a better overall shooting experience.

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Slideshow Bob
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Re: So what you're actually saying is...
In reply to meland, Nov 12, 2013

meland wrote:

May I make a prediction? Many of you are not going to like it, but before you throw your toys out of the pram please hear me out.

In ten or fifteen years (the exact time span is not the main point of this prediction) mainstream enthusiast photography may have gone small format. Forget full frame. Forget APS-C. Forget M4/3. These may all be then regarded as medium format and as such only the province of a few professionals and quality fetishists.

Only professionals and "fetishists" want good low-light image quality, fast lenses, long fast lenses, cameras that are actually comfortable to hold, good battery life, and real viewfinders? Really?

The manufacturers are already come to the realisation that tinkering at the edges with the formats we have today no longer produces sufficient sales to support the market. The debate about mirrorless v DSLR will have long gone.

DSLR sales are holding on slightly better than most other types of camera. Phones are what is taking over the majority of the market. But phones really are not suitable for an awful lot of photography. As good as they can ever get, phones will be behind just about any dedicated camera.

They (the manufacturers) will have realised that what the markets really want is not ultimate image quality but small and convenient products.

Why? If I want to take some nice photos, why do I have to use something small? Why is small better? I have a D7000, and to be honest, it's a little bit small for my rather large hands. Why do I have to use a smaller camera in the future? This is the problem with your version of the future… no-one seems to care about what is GOOD, it just has to be SMALLER.

Using small sensors (which will have improved a bit, although not as much as many here hope or expect) it will be possible to create small systems that have tremendous mass appeal. While we accept the size of current products the new customer simply will not.

Why? Are new customers stupid? I don't "accept" the size of current products, I really like the larger ones because I can hold them comfortably for as long as I like, and they handle superbly. Unlike really SMALL cameras.

The market for people who will accept cameras the size of,say, a 6D or 700D (and I only mention those as roughly representative of the breed of DSLRs we have today) and huge lenses such as a 70-200/2.8, or even a 24-105/4 will be over once consumers are offered something much smaller and lighter.

So quality has nothing to do with it? It's ONLY smaller and lighter that matters? Will we all have to look at photographs and say "Wow, I bet that was taken with a really small and light camera!". The lenses you mentioned cannot be made really small and light, no matter how small the sensor. The only way to do something much smaller and lighter, is to lose the capability that those lenses currently give you.

In fact the whole interchangeable lens market will probably have shrunk considerably. If you can have a good quality 20x; 50x; or even 100x zoom that is about the same size as say a current 24-70/4, and with a reasonably fast aperture, only the geeks are going to be able to justify what we currently regard as normal. Why bother with interchangeable lenses at all for most purposes?

But I don't want much slower lenses. I'd actually like faster lenses, because they would help me get the shot I really want, unlike everything your suggesting we'll have.

The high enthusiasts we have today that would resist such a change will not really be a factor. Because of their current demographic many will need help in having a glass of milk and will no longer be overly concerned about anything, let alone the performance at 100%.

The sports and photo journalist professional market is already moving away from printed images. Old timers in those professions may hate this too but the future for those markets is probably video and with any still image requirement (increasingly rare) being provided for by an individual frame taken from that.

There will still be a tiny market for formats like FF but these formats will be considered rather esoteric and more like Medium Format is today. And of course this means the cost of products in this domain will be much, much higher and the choice (and rate of replacement) far less.

Perhaps they didn't quite get it right (the lenses are too big for example) but the Nikon V1/J1 is possibly a precursor to what the manufacturers are thinking long term and what we have in store for the future.

Sorry.

Well, that really sucks for anyone who enjoys photography the way it is right now. I don't use my camera and think to myself "I just wish it was smaller and lighter, less comfortable to hold, with slower lenses and less battery life, and had a crappy viewfinder!". I chose to buy my cameras because they were perfect for what I want to do with them.

Yes, I know you're talking about the mass market, and maybe the mass market is just as dumb as you make them sound, but ALL you've said that people want is "smaller and lighter"! I'm actually fine with the manufacturers making some smaller and lighter cameras, but you're saying that smaller and lighter is ALL they'll end up making. Doesn't that seem rather limiting to you? Doesn't that sound like it really will be the end of something that has, up till now, been rather amazing?

Let's hope that in the future the manufacturers won't be quite as myopic as you suggest they will be.

SB

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Re: Fast does not equal good.
In reply to stevo23, Nov 12, 2013

stevo23 wrote:

howardroark wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

When small formats can get to equivalent speeds of large formats I think people will begin to seriously reconsider. Small sensor tech is already beginning to creep. For example RX100-II is only 1 stop down in speed from the typical APS-C sensor, despite being 2 stops down in area. If you have a format that is physically 1 stop smaller than the next step up, but has cleanness parity through tech and faster glass, I do think a lot of folks would move over. For example if Nikon 1 system came out with a 1.8 zoom or 1.2 primes (for reasonable prices) I think a lot of folks would give them a look.

A Nikon 1 lens at f/1.2 may not be enough. What is the conversion factor? 3x? Maybe it's enough for the larger population, but enthusiasts like "us" wouldn't think that's quite enough. That being said, even now, the Nikon 1 fills a need without replacing other kits. I would own one in a heartbeat if I had extra cash to throw around.

I disagree though that big formats will ever go away. People still shoot MF, people will always shoot FX if for no other reason than being invested in the glass. D700, 5DII, D4 etc are all still top of the line in image quality.

The sharpness of a lens is in no way related to its maximum aperture. In fact, most fast lenses are known for being soft wide open. Those fast lenses are also exceptionally expensive when designed with a good diaphram (for good bokeh) and sharp optics. Fast lenses that are cheap are usually full of compromises that essentially nullify their speed.

I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules about "fast" lenses. I can think of several that are quite sharp wide open as that is generally the point. It does kind of depend on what is meant by "most fast lenses" - f/2.8? f/1.4? For instance, Canon 135 f/2, Sigma ART 35 f/1.4. I also like the Canon 35 f/2 - it's a fairly fast lens with really nice bokeh and not very expensive. Same thing goes for a Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro which has wonderful bokeh as well as the very reasonably priced Nikon 85 f/1.8G. There are quite a few reasonably priced, fast lenses that look great wide open. Of course they often "peak" at f/5.6 or so, but they are quite sharp wide open.

I guess I classify expensive in a different way than others.  A prime lens is not terribly flexible, and if you want a range of focal lengths you suddenly have to pay a metric buttload of cash to get it.  However, if you have a zoom lens that is also fast you still have to pay quite a bit to get something sharp at all focal lenghts and apertures, but probably less than several primes and definitely in a much more flexible package.  Also, if you want a prime that has IS you go from $300 to $500 and then if you want a really fast prime you go up to $1,500 (Canon 35mm f/1.4).

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stevo23
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Re: Fast does not equal good.
In reply to howardroark, Nov 12, 2013

howardroark wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

howardroark wrote:

sportyaccordy wrote:

When small formats can get to equivalent speeds of large formats I think people will begin to seriously reconsider. Small sensor tech is already beginning to creep. For example RX100-II is only 1 stop down in speed from the typical APS-C sensor, despite being 2 stops down in area. If you have a format that is physically 1 stop smaller than the next step up, but has cleanness parity through tech and faster glass, I do think a lot of folks would move over. For example if Nikon 1 system came out with a 1.8 zoom or 1.2 primes (for reasonable prices) I think a lot of folks would give them a look.

A Nikon 1 lens at f/1.2 may not be enough. What is the conversion factor? 3x? Maybe it's enough for the larger population, but enthusiasts like "us" wouldn't think that's quite enough. That being said, even now, the Nikon 1 fills a need without replacing other kits. I would own one in a heartbeat if I had extra cash to throw around.

I disagree though that big formats will ever go away. People still shoot MF, people will always shoot FX if for no other reason than being invested in the glass. D700, 5DII, D4 etc are all still top of the line in image quality.

The sharpness of a lens is in no way related to its maximum aperture. In fact, most fast lenses are known for being soft wide open. Those fast lenses are also exceptionally expensive when designed with a good diaphram (for good bokeh) and sharp optics. Fast lenses that are cheap are usually full of compromises that essentially nullify their speed.

I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules about "fast" lenses. I can think of several that are quite sharp wide open as that is generally the point. It does kind of depend on what is meant by "most fast lenses" - f/2.8? f/1.4? For instance, Canon 135 f/2, Sigma ART 35 f/1.4. I also like the Canon 35 f/2 - it's a fairly fast lens with really nice bokeh and not very expensive. Same thing goes for a Nikon 60 f/2.8 G Micro which has wonderful bokeh as well as the very reasonably priced Nikon 85 f/1.8G. There are quite a few reasonably priced, fast lenses that look great wide open. Of course they often "peak" at f/5.6 or so, but they are quite sharp wide open.

I guess I classify expensive in a different way than others. A prime lens is not terribly flexible, and if you want a range of focal lengths you suddenly have to pay a metric buttload of cash to get it. However, if you have a zoom lens that is also fast you still have to pay quite a bit to get something sharp at all focal lenghts and apertures, but probably less than several primes and definitely in a much more flexible package. Also, if you want a prime that has IS you go from $300 to $500 and then if you want a really fast prime you go up to $1,500 (Canon 35mm f/1.4).

Yea, it's certainly a dilemma all the way around. And truly, shallow DOF work is only a subset of what some people do. I suspect few actually get into shallow DOF work and even fewer do well at it. (And by shallow DOF, I don't just mean subject isolation which can be well had even at f/4 in certain settings.)

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meland
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Re: So what you're actually saying is...
In reply to Slideshow Bob, Nov 12, 2013

Slideshow Bob wrote:

meland wrote:

May I make a prediction? Many of you are not going to like it, but before you throw your toys out of the pram please hear me out.

In ten or fifteen years (the exact time span is not the main point of this prediction) mainstream enthusiast photography may have gone small format. Forget full frame. Forget APS-C. Forget M4/3. These may all be then regarded as medium format and as such only the province of a few professionals and quality fetishists.

Only professionals and "fetishists" want good low-light image quality, fast lenses, long fast lenses, cameras that are actually comfortable to hold, good battery life, and real viewfinders? Really?

The manufacturers are already come to the realisation that tinkering at the edges with the formats we have today no longer produces sufficient sales to support the market. The debate about mirrorless v DSLR will have long gone.

DSLR sales are holding on slightly better than most other types of camera. Phones are what is taking over the majority of the market. But phones really are not suitable for an awful lot of photography. As good as they can ever get, phones will be behind just about any dedicated camera.

They (the manufacturers) will have realised that what the markets really want is not ultimate image quality but small and convenient products.

Why? If I want to take some nice photos, why do I have to use something small? Why is small better? I have a D7000, and to be honest, it's a little bit small for my rather large hands. Why do I have to use a smaller camera in the future? This is the problem with your version of the future… no-one seems to care about what is GOOD, it just has to be SMALLER.

Using small sensors (which will have improved a bit, although not as much as many here hope or expect) it will be possible to create small systems that have tremendous mass appeal. While we accept the size of current products the new customer simply will not.

Why? Are new customers stupid? I don't "accept" the size of current products, I really like the larger ones because I can hold them comfortably for as long as I like, and they handle superbly. Unlike really SMALL cameras.

The market for people who will accept cameras the size of,say, a 6D or 700D (and I only mention those as roughly representative of the breed of DSLRs we have today) and huge lenses such as a 70-200/2.8, or even a 24-105/4 will be over once consumers are offered something much smaller and lighter.

So quality has nothing to do with it? It's ONLY smaller and lighter that matters? Will we all have to look at photographs and say "Wow, I bet that was taken with a really small and light camera!". The lenses you mentioned cannot be made really small and light, no matter how small the sensor. The only way to do something much smaller and lighter, is to lose the capability that those lenses currently give you.

In fact the whole interchangeable lens market will probably have shrunk considerably. If you can have a good quality 20x; 50x; or even 100x zoom that is about the same size as say a current 24-70/4, and with a reasonably fast aperture, only the geeks are going to be able to justify what we currently regard as normal. Why bother with interchangeable lenses at all for most purposes?

But I don't want much slower lenses. I'd actually like faster lenses, because they would help me get the shot I really want, unlike everything your suggesting we'll have.

The high enthusiasts we have today that would resist such a change will not really be a factor. Because of their current demographic many will need help in having a glass of milk and will no longer be overly concerned about anything, let alone the performance at 100%.

The sports and photo journalist professional market is already moving away from printed images. Old timers in those professions may hate this too but the future for those markets is probably video and with any still image requirement (increasingly rare) being provided for by an individual frame taken from that.

There will still be a tiny market for formats like FF but these formats will be considered rather esoteric and more like Medium Format is today. And of course this means the cost of products in this domain will be much, much higher and the choice (and rate of replacement) far less.

Perhaps they didn't quite get it right (the lenses are too big for example) but the Nikon V1/J1 is possibly a precursor to what the manufacturers are thinking long term and what we have in store for the future.

Sorry.

Well, that really sucks for anyone who enjoys photography the way it is right now. I don't use my camera and think to myself "I just wish it was smaller and lighter, less comfortable to hold, with slower lenses and less battery life, and had a crappy viewfinder!". I chose to buy my cameras because they were perfect for what I want to do with them.

Yes, I know you're talking about the mass market, and maybe the mass market is just as dumb as you make them sound, but ALL you've said that people want is "smaller and lighter"! I'm actually fine with the manufacturers making some smaller and lighter cameras, but you're saying that smaller and lighter is ALL they'll end up making. Doesn't that seem rather limiting to you? Doesn't that sound like it really will be the end of something that has, up till now, been rather amazing?

Let's hope that in the future the manufacturers won't be quite as myopic as you suggest they will be.

SB

Yes I am talking about the mass market, some of whom are currently using DSLRs because that's what they've been offered and largely as the only choice if they wanted something better than P&S. And I'm not insinuating they are dumb either. Just because someone doesn't have your, or my passion for photography certainly doesn't make them dumb. Or do you think it does?

As smaller, more convenient more convenient options become available these people may migrate to those, that's if they are not satisfied with smartphones of course.

Now you as I as enthusiasts may want more than this. I certainly hope so. But with a great swathe of current not totally committed DSLR owners either switching to something more convenient or not bothering at all, and new entrants to photography declining because they don't think it's particularly interesting, or cool, then the choice of high end DSLR type products will become less and also much more expensive simply because the market will not be able to sustain the vast numbers of DSLRs that we have today.

That is what I am saying.

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