Is the sun setting for APS-C?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
al_in_philly
Regular MemberPosts: 445Gear list
Like?
Is the sun setting for APS-C?
9 months ago

OK, I'm sure I'll get flamed for writing this, but give me a chance, OK?

First, a little history is in order. When the first APS-C DSLRs came out in 1999, they were tops in terms of DSLR sensor size & quality. But when full frame DSLRs came out a few years later, cameras with APS-C sensors no longer held the top position in absolute imaging quality. And for about a decade, the two formats symbiotically developed with both formats sharing the same lenses within a manufacturer's family, while FF designed lenses were being developed. This has led to the camera/lens situation where APS-C designed lenses are somewhat lighter than FF lenses, but when mounted on FF bodies, they typically produce problematic levels of vignetting.

Given the imaging advantages of FF cameras, they'll be around for a while--the only question is whether they'll have optical or electronic viewfinders. But can the same be said of APS-C cameras? I don't see the future being quite as certain for this format. With the ongoing evolution of m4/3, APS-C sized sensors are beginning to offer less benefits and more drawbacks for some photographers. For those concerned with absolute image quality, FF cameras will always have the edge. But for portability, the lens size/weght dictated by the APS-C sensor size (even in compact mirrorless cameras like the Fujifilm X series) will similarly keep it well behind m4/3 for those looking for a lightweight carry-around-all-day camera/lens sytstem.

Things will become more interesting when Olympus releases its next camera in the OM-D series. From previous comments made by Olympus management, the new E-M? will be a cheaper, less customizable model, looking to tap into the entry level DSLR market with a smaller "cuter" interchangable lens camera. And let's not forget about Panasonic's new GX-7 and miniscule GM-1, as each adds a new matrix of qualities for the serious, but not professional, photographer. More and more the consumer is being given reasons to move up or down from what's being offered by APS-C sized cameras. The only real saving grace for APS-C cameras of the CANIKON ilk are the economies of scale in play, which has kept prices relatively low; although the relative advantage that has will lessen if any competitors can gain a solid foothold in the post-cameraphone photographic marketplace.

I guess the big question will be whether the public views APS-C cameras as "the best of both worlds" or "neither fish nor fowl." We'll know a lot more about this question of photographic consumer perspective over the next year or so. What do you think?

 al_in_philly's gear list:al_in_philly's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm +1 more
honeyiscool
Contributing MemberPosts: 951Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

I wonder. I was two clicks away from buying a hybrid camera the other day, and I was looking hard at 70D or A77. All I wanted was a good f/2.8 zoom that covered wide angle (out to 24mm equivalent), had IS, wasn't too big (EF-S, basically), worked well for video, focused close enough, and had excellent construction. The Canon, no matter how hard I looked, just didn't have the lens I wanted (or even within a stone's reach of what I wanted). The A77, meanwhile, does have a rather good and affordable 16-50 f/2.8 for it, but it is a last generation body that doesn't have all the fixings of modern cameras like Wifi and touch screen, plus I don't really care for SLT technology, and I'm just not sure Sony is dedicated to this segment anymore. So I ended up buying more M43 lenses and a GH3 instead.

I just don't really see the high level of commitment for APS-C from companies that also produce full frame, and while most of the time, it's not that big a deal (I'm not all that worried that I'm only using half the image on a compact prime), for zooms, it really is a big deal because we're talking about a huge weight difference, and for wide angle, it gets even worse.

Meanwhile, the companies that only do APS-C, mainly Fuji and Samsung, are flawed in their own way: Fuji due to their relatively conservative attitudes (no tilt screen, no touch screen, no IBIS, poor video--at least Olympus video is more than usable), and Samsung due to just having lack of vision.

I don't know that the sun is setting for APS-C, though. I think it's still a good size and I am very interested in it. I just wish someone would embrace it with open arms. Fuji is a great example of what an APS-C system could be.

 honeyiscool's gear list:honeyiscool's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cane
Senior MemberPosts: 3,714
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

Is someone paid to start this thread every week?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
inlawbiker
Contributing MemberPosts: 801Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

You won't get flamed, it seems pretty obvious to me.  I have used Nikon APS-C for a while now.  It's a good system but one I'm not too interested in investing much more.

Reason #1 price.  A D600 costs around the same as the latest DX camera these days.  Why invest in a DX system when Nikon doesn't seem too interested in building those lenses anyway?

Combined with my extremely inexpensive Micro 4/3 body I can have an FX kit and also a pocket-friendly Micro 4/3 kit for about the same price as a full DX kit from a couple years ago.  Sounds good to me.

 inlawbiker's gear list:inlawbiker's gear list
Nikon D7000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
s_grins
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,659Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

al_in_philly wrote:

..................

I guess the big question will be whether the public views APS-C cameras as "the best of both worlds" or "neither fish nor fowl." We'll know a lot more about this question of photographic consumer perspective over the next year or so. What do you think?

Time will tell.

BTW, I'm not sure whether sun will shine for me at this time...so I'm now here

-- hide signature --

Looking for equilibrium...

 s_grins's gear list:s_grins's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm F4-5.6 OIS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
al_in_philly
Regular MemberPosts: 445Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to Cane, 9 months ago

Cane wrote:

Is someone paid to start this thread every week?

Yes, but unfortunately they'll only pay me in m4/3 dollars and my bank is giving me a lot of flack over it.

 al_in_philly's gear list:al_in_philly's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jkrumm
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,076
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

You certainly wouldn't know it from the enthusiastic members of my photography club (700 on Facebook, 20 or so who go to meetings). The vast majority have Nikon or Canon APS-C cameras, with most of the rest having full frame. I'm one of the few (and the only meeting attendee) who uses M43. The truth is that for outdoor hobbyists, those cameras have a lot to offer, and they get the added benefit of having many people around who share equipment and knowledge.

-- hide signature --

John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Trevor Carpenter
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,326
Like?
Definitely not
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

Joe Public who isn’t very well represented on these forums uses a camera to take pictures of families and holidays.

He has a point and shoot camera or his phone.

He thinks he’d like to go further so what does he do

He buys a starter DSLR from Canikon. How does he know that because everybody who he talks to, who has made the leap, with little understanding of photography tells him so.

After he has owned his 3200 or whatever the baby Canon is these days for a couple of years and taken a few thousand snapshots he thinks he’d better upgrade because that is the society he lives in. Buy something, use it for a couple of years and buy the newer (probably better) version. Better is definitely not as important as newer.

So what is he going to buy the latest Canikon of course. After all not only did his friends advise him well, their opinion was obviously right because he has one as well now and he only buys the best.

Every so often a rogue Joe Public will drop out of that loop realising that he/she has a brain and can reason/think for themselves but it will take a lit like him/her to break the mould.

Oh and why doesn’t he consider FF, what the heck is FF?

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
al_in_philly
Regular MemberPosts: 445Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to jkrumm, 9 months ago

jkrumm wrote:

You certainly wouldn't know it from the enthusiastic members of my photography club (700 on Facebook, 20 or so who go to meetings). The vast majority have Nikon or Canon APS-C cameras, with most of the rest having full frame. I'm one of the few (and the only meeting attendee) who uses M43. The truth is that for outdoor hobbyists, those cameras have a lot to offer, and they get the added benefit of having many people around who share equipment and knowledge.

-- hide signature --

John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Good points!  A lot of people are so overwhelmed by tech knowledge requirements for almost everything today that a reliable name brand along with easily accessible help goes a long ways.  Yet, that only lasts until alternative offerings become commonly known as well.  Remember when a Xerox machine was made by Xerox? Now I'm more likely to use a copier made by Canon or Ricoh.

The other thing that's going on in Alaska is that there's a lot of nature photographs being taken, and there are a lot of weather-sealed CANIKON lenses out there, something woefully lacking in the m4/3 range.

 al_in_philly's gear list:al_in_philly's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
al_in_philly
Regular MemberPosts: 445Gear list
Like?
Re: Definitely not
In reply to Trevor Carpenter, 9 months ago

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

Joe Public who isn’t very well represented on these forums uses a camera to take pictures of families and holidays.

He has a point and shoot camera or his phone.

He thinks he’d like to go further so what does he do

He buys a starter DSLR from Canikon. How does he know that because everybody who he talks to, who has made the leap, with little understanding of photography tells him so.

After he has owned his 3200 or whatever the baby Canon is these days for a couple of years and taken a few thousand snapshots he thinks he’d better upgrade because that is the society he lives in. Buy something, use it for a couple of years and buy the newer (probably better) version. Better is definitely not as important as newer.

So what is he going to buy the latest Canikon of course. After all not only did his friends advise him well, their opinion was obviously right because he has one as well now and he only buys the best.

Every so often a rogue Joe Public will drop out of that loop realising that he/she has a brain and can reason/think for themselves but it will take a lit like him/her to break the mould.

Oh and why doesn’t he consider FF, what the heck is FF?

-- hide signature --

Perhaps this cultural aspect is why m4/3 has made much slower inroads in the US than it has in other parts of the world.

PS: I really liked your insect shots in Picassa!

 al_in_philly's gear list:al_in_philly's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jwhphotos
Regular MemberPosts: 336
Like?
I don't understand why
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

Every couple days someone feels compelled to start a thread like this. Insecurity? Buyers remorse? Trying to justify his/her purchase? What is the motivation?

-- hide signature --

John

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Vlad S
Senior MemberPosts: 3,096Gear list
Like?
Can't you just enjoy the variety? (nt)
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

al_in_philly wrote:

I guess the big question will be whether the public views APS-C cameras as "the best of both worlds" or "neither fish nor fowl." We'll know a lot more about this question of photographic consumer perspective over the next year or so. What do you think?

 Vlad S's gear list:Vlad S's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dko22
Contributing MemberPosts: 538Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

al_in_philly wrote:


I guess the big question will be whether the public views APS-C cameras as "the best of both worlds" or "neither fish nor fowl." We'll know a lot more about this question of photographic consumer perspective over the next year or so. What do you think?

yes, this probably is the big question. For those who can afford two systems then m43 and FF DSLR are the most obvious choices but for those (the majority I suspect) who can only run to one then things do get more interesting. It may be that in couple of years, current APS-C specialists like Fuji will also move on to FF. Neither Canon or Nikon seem to have ever wholeheartedly supported this format, despite the fact that it's by far the biggest selling segment of interchangeable lens camera sales.

As a million people have already said, the weight, quality and price go up as the format gets bigger. Except for APS-C, the cost actually actually doesn't presumably due to sales volume. m43 has become good enough to almost bridge the gap to APS-C. But compared to Fuji X, at any rate which I'm testing out, there is still an edge in quality for the larger sensor and this is what you'd expect. Perhaps APS-C is the happy medium. FF lenses will never be cheap or light (although with the advent of FF mirrorless, they should start to get smaller)  whereas those for APS-C should theoretically be at worst a halfway house - I understand that the 4/3 format can in itself make for a smaller imaging circle than 3/2.

Conclusion to this ramble -yes, I think that APS-C still has potential as a very good "best of both worlds".

David

 dko22's gear list:dko22's gear list
Sigma DP2 Merrill Fujifilm X-E1 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
honeyiscool
Contributing MemberPosts: 951Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

al_in_philly wrote:

jkrumm wrote:

You certainly wouldn't know it from the enthusiastic members of my photography club (700 on Facebook, 20 or so who go to meetings). The vast majority have Nikon or Canon APS-C cameras, with most of the rest having full frame. I'm one of the few (and the only meeting attendee) who uses M43. The truth is that for outdoor hobbyists, those cameras have a lot to offer, and they get the added benefit of having many people around who share equipment and knowledge.

-- hide signature --

John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Good points! A lot of people are so overwhelmed by tech knowledge requirements for almost everything today that a reliable name brand along with easily accessible help goes a long ways. Yet, that only lasts until alternative offerings become commonly known as well. Remember when a Xerox machine was made by Xerox? Now I'm more likely to use a copier made by Canon or Ricoh.

The other thing that's going on in Alaska is that there's a lot of nature photographs being taken, and there are a lot of weather-sealed CANIKON lenses out there, something woefully lacking in the m4/3 range.

Are there any EF-S lenses that are weather-sealed? I didn't find any.

And with the lack of weather-sealed EF-S lenses, the only way to get a good wide-normal weather-sealed lens is to get an expensive ultra-wide EF lens, and $2000 seems a little stiff, honestly.

 honeyiscool's gear list:honeyiscool's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dennis
Forum ProPosts: 13,383
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

al_in_philly wrote:

I don't see the future being quite as certain for this format. With the ongoing evolution of m4/3, APS-C sized sensors are beginning to offer less benefits and more drawbacks for some photographers.

Ahhh ... I was wondering where you were going with this, since you can't write off APS-C unless FF kits drop down to under $400 !

So m43 at the low end ...

Problem is, Nikon & Canon have sold millions and millions of lenses, meaning there are millions and millions of people out there who need bodies to put 'em on. And then there are people who don't already have lenses, but know that Nikon & Canon make the best cameras. And then there are those who go to stores and don't see any micro 4/3 cameras.

The future for APS-C looks pretty rosy to me.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SonyForNow
Regular MemberPosts: 266Gear list
Like?
Re: I don't understand why
In reply to jwhphotos, 9 months ago

jwhphotos wrote:

Every couple days someone feels compelled to start a thread like this. Insecurity? Buyers remorse? Trying to justify his/her purchase? What is the motivation?

-- hide signature --

John

It's easier to calculate lens equivalent mm's by 2X & 1/2 than 1.5X & 2/3.

 SonyForNow's gear list:SonyForNow's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SonyForNow
Regular MemberPosts: 266Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to Dennis, 9 months ago

Dennis wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I don't see the future being quite as certain for this format. With the ongoing evolution of m4/3, APS-C sized sensors are beginning to offer less benefits and more drawbacks for some photographers.

Ahhh ... I was wondering where you were going with this, since you can't write off APS-C unless FF kits drop down to under $400 !

So m43 at the low end ...

Problem is, Nikon & Canon have sold millions and millions of lenses, meaning there are millions and millions of people out there who need bodies to put 'em on. And then there are people who don't already have lenses, but know that Nikon & Canon make the best cameras. And then there are those who go to stores and don't see any micro 4/3 cameras.

The future for APS-C looks pretty rosy to me.

Sort of. Apparently the only aps-c 18mm f/1.8 lens for my niece is the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 at $800+. Where are the usual wider angle primes? They are for full frame or m4/3 sensors. Yes aps-c will be around for a while, but without the intermediate or advanced stuff that FF & m4/3 has.

 SonyForNow's gear list:SonyForNow's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sergey Borachev
Senior MemberPosts: 2,511Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

I think it is not about APS-C and it is also not about FF. It is about the really old mirror-flapping cameras and the sun is setting for them, DSLRs. I think APS-C, FF, and also the smaller 1-inch sensor and larger formats will continue, although some will be very niche after a while and they turn mirrorless, because even 1-inch sensor can become really good for everyday uses as sensor technology gets better while larger formats can satisfy the more pro and commercial requirements.

So, it is not the size, APS-C or whatever, but the mirror that will disappear soon. The change is very slow at this time, but I believe change is inevitable and could be dramatic when the tipping point is reached, when consumers' mentality about mirrors and DSLRs changes.

As for M43, it has the best balance and compromises in terms of sizes, performance, IQ, etc for the general mass market and I expect great things to happen. With Sigma joining, and when the economy picks up, more consumers get educated and ready to switch, M43 will become big.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
areichow
Senior MemberPosts: 1,335Gear list
Like?
Re: Is the sun setting for APS-C?
In reply to SonyForNow, 9 months ago

Dennis wrote:

al_in_philly wrote:

I don't see the future being quite as certain for this format. With the ongoing evolution of m4/3, APS-C sized sensors are beginning to offer less benefits and more drawbacks for some photographers.

Ahhh ... I was wondering where you were going with this, since you can't write off APS-C unless FF kits drop down to under $400 !

So m43 at the low end ...

Problem is, Nikon & Canon have sold millions and millions of lenses, meaning there are millions and millions of people out there who need bodies to put 'em on. And then there are people who don't already have lenses, but know that Nikon & Canon make the best cameras. And then there are those who go to stores and don't see any micro 4/3 cameras.

The future for APS-C looks pretty rosy to me.

Sort of. Apparently the only aps-c 18mm f/1.8 lens for my niece is the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 at $800+. Where are the usual wider angle primes? They are for full frame or m4/3 sensors. Yes aps-c will be around for a while, but without the intermediate or advanced stuff that FF & m4/3 has.

There's a 14mm f/1.4 prime for m43s?

 areichow's gear list:areichow's gear list
Canon PowerShot S200 Canon PowerShot SD1000 Nikon Coolpix P300 Sony RX100 NEX5R
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MoreorLess
Senior MemberPosts: 2,579
Like?
Users size is a massive issue thats overlooked...
In reply to al_in_philly, 9 months ago

al_in_philly wrote:

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

Joe Public who isn’t very well represented on these forums uses a camera to take pictures of families and holidays.

He has a point and shoot camera or his phone.

He thinks he’d like to go further so what does he do

He buys a starter DSLR from Canikon. How does he know that because everybody who he talks to, who has made the leap, with little understanding of photography tells him so.

After he has owned his 3200 or whatever the baby Canon is these days for a couple of years and taken a few thousand snapshots he thinks he’d better upgrade because that is the society he lives in. Buy something, use it for a couple of years and buy the newer (probably better) version. Better is definitely not as important as newer.

So what is he going to buy the latest Canikon of course. After all not only did his friends advise him well, their opinion was obviously right because he has one as well now and he only buys the best.

Every so often a rogue Joe Public will drop out of that loop realising that he/she has a brain and can reason/think for themselves but it will take a lit like him/her to break the mould.

Oh and why doesn’t he consider FF, what the heck is FF?

-- hide signature --

Perhaps this cultural aspect is why m4/3 has made much slower inroads in the US than it has in other parts of the world.

PS: I really liked your insect shots in Picassa!

Its not as if SLR's weren't popular across much of the devolped world is it? any argument that depends on "people don't know better" generally seems a bit weak to me, especially in todays world where info is so easy to get hold of.

Personally I think a key issue that's often overlooked is the size of the users relative to the size of the camera. The average Japanese man is a bit smaller than the average westerner but I think an even bigger issue is that Japanese women buy FAR more in the way of high end camera's than western women do. The average Japanese women is 5 foot 2 inches and likely less than 2/3rds the weight of the average western man, to them a DSLR is obviously going to be relatively far larger hence they buy a lot of mirrorless.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads