Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
Fog Maker
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

I like mirrors

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Schwany
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In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

Colin Smith1 wrote:

Anyone think that the day is coming when even pros and advanced amateurs will be satisfied with a smaller, lighter mirror less system.
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Colin Smith

You may need a lobotomy to believe that is the case. Just saying

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Glenn NK
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Jay A, 8 months ago

Jay A wrote:

Not sure if all geographic areas that one can view dpreview on have the same things that I see here (in the US) but there is a chart directly to the right of this thread labeled "most popular cameras" and the one on top right now is the Nikon DF. I am not so sure this is an indication that full frame DSLR cameras are obsolete, or even close to it.

Jay:

I noticed that too, and I agree that FF is not finished, but there are three Canonikons that are below the Olympus E-M1 in sales.

A bit surprising.

I don't think the washing machine is finished yet - too soon to predict.

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joger
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

Colin Smith1 wrote:

. . . As a wildlife photographer nothing offered to date can match the tracking AF of my 5D III, certainly not the OM E1 or the Sony. . . . As for now, I assume the excellent quality of my photos would be hard to give up.

Anyone think that the day is coming when even pros and advanced amateurs will be satisfied with a smaller, lighter mirror less system.

Hi Colin,

I am far away from being a fully time pro photographer - I am just a part time pro and thus my view might be a bit of leisure oriented too

I had recently invited on Xmas some friends for a year end image discussion with the best images everyone did thoughout 2013. Two guys completely switched to mirror less crop sensor cameras and after presenting some four or five images I really started to get nervous how long I can stand the imperfection of the images.

I am not talking about the artistically quality - I am purely commenting on the technical quality.

Yes - you are significantly more mobile without tripods, heavy lenses and a heavy rucksack on your back. No doubt - but what those guys ended up were shaked images, digital artifacts (explanation was that LR would not fully support the Fuji system) and all kinds of flaws even of course high ISO noise - which is the point I really could't care less. If at highes ISO some noise is present - well - may it be but all the other aspects are handling issues and for me the craftsmanship is one important aspect of photography.

So if you can get rid of your big and cumbersome heavy equipment in replacing it with a smaller, neater and more mobile version - fine. I guess this will be the road for us all - I know nobody that wants to carry tons of equipment. That said you still end up carrying a tripod and/or a monopod for the utmost perfection and craftsmanship. Thus you trade in either the mirror and/or the larger sensor for something a bit lighter and a bit worse in image quality - well - if that's your tradeoff and you can live with that - fine with me.

Carrying a tripod and a monopod and some excellent lenses the weight of the camera itself is the last thing I'd worry for.

Btw - the Sony A7R seems to be the perfect addition to an existing toolchain. Not for wildlife shooting but for the rest of the time a very nice idea and you still can work with good craftsmanship without compromises.

The pure technical gap will get smaller between the different sensor formats. Unfortunately the associated way of handling the gear leads to a lower craftsmanship - at least I saw that form some 60 images presented that evening that would be far off the quality I'd like to present to any kind of audience as my best images from 2014 and none of the images contained people - all were in situations where a tripod would work and not disturb the process.

So if the smaller lighter and more mobile cameras with built in image stabilization means that we are going to see less perfect images (being just good enough for WEB view) I am sure that FF (with whatever concept) will have a great future and the Sony A7R points perfectly in that direction - IMHO

just my 2CT

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: Are APS-C SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Dave Luttmann, 8 months ago

I think SonyForNow meant high ISO, or low noise at high ISO?  I can see an argument here, if the m43 cameras quality is up to aps-c then there is less of a motivation to go for APS-C and the market could polarize towards high image quality 35mm vs good image quality in a compact frame m43.  This will probably happen if 35mm sensor prices drop far enough, but that may be a while.  APS-C does have a larger selection of lenses than 35mm but it's not a huge advantage at this point....I do think it's a huge advantage over m43 though.

Dave Luttmann wrote:

SonyForNow wrote:

People will eventually buy FF for best image quality, low ISO, and its lens & camera selection. The APS-C film format died a quiet death and was unnecessarily resurrected to digital for price reasons. The smaller sensors in point & shoots moved to cell phones. Micro 4/3rds provides aps-c image quality with smaller lenses and camera bodies.

Low iso? The lens selection for aps-c is far greater than FF. Interesting....aps-c isnt as good as FF....but m43 matches aps-c? Anything else?

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Re: Are APS-C SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Keith Z Leonard, 8 months ago

Keith Z Leonard wrote:

APS-C does have a larger selection of lenses than 35mm

in shier numbers maybe yes - simply because the APS-C lenses don't fit the 35 mm format. From an application view there is IMHO no question that your get at least as much flexibility for real world applications and you can always crop your FF image as long as the pixel count is high enough for the end result and viewing distance - nikon did a great job with the D800E and Sony continues with the A7R. No need for cropping at the beginning - I think too that the APS-C format will die sooner or later completely and be consumed by SmartPhone cameras and smaller sensor formats being much cheaper to be manufactured.

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riknash
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

There will definitely be a day when SLRs go the way of all mechanical contrivances begging for a simpler, smarter, more elegant, more sophisticated, technologically advanced solution.  It's not here yet, but soon.

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billythek
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to joger, 8 months ago

joger wrote:

Colin Smith1 wrote:

. . . As a wildlife photographer nothing offered to date can match the tracking AF of my 5D III, certainly not the OM E1 or the Sony. . . . As for now, I assume the excellent quality of my photos would be hard to give up.

Anyone think that the day is coming when even pros and advanced amateurs will be satisfied with a smaller, lighter mirror less system.

Hi Colin,

I am far away from being a fully time pro photographer - I am just a part time pro and thus my view might be a bit of leisure oriented too

I had recently invited on Xmas some friends for a year end image discussion with the best images everyone did thoughout 2013. Two guys completely switched to mirror less crop sensor cameras and after presenting some four or five images I really started to get nervous how long I can stand the imperfection of the images.

I am not talking about the artistically quality - I am purely commenting on the technical quality.

Yes - you are significantly more mobile without tripods, heavy lenses and a heavy rucksack on your back. No doubt - but what those guys ended up were shaked images, digital artifacts (explanation was that LR would not fully support the Fuji system) and all kinds of flaws even of course high ISO noise - which is the point I really could't care less. If at highes ISO some noise is present - well - may it be but all the other aspects are handling issues and for me the craftsmanship is one important aspect of photography.

So if you can get rid of your big and cumbersome heavy equipment in replacing it with a smaller, neater and more mobile version - fine. I guess this will be the road for us all - I know nobody that wants to carry tons of equipment. That said you still end up carrying a tripod and/or a monopod for the utmost perfection and craftsmanship. Thus you trade in either the mirror and/or the larger sensor for something a bit lighter and a bit worse in image quality - well - if that's your tradeoff and you can live with that - fine with me.

Carrying a tripod and a monopod and some excellent lenses the weight of the camera itself is the last thing I'd worry for.

Btw - the Sony A7R seems to be the perfect addition to an existing toolchain. Not for wildlife shooting but for the rest of the time a very nice idea and you still can work with good craftsmanship without compromises.

The pure technical gap will get smaller between the different sensor formats. Unfortunately the associated way of handling the gear leads to a lower craftsmanship - at least I saw that form some 60 images presented that evening that would be far off the quality I'd like to present to any kind of audience as my best images from 2014 and none of the images contained people - all were in situations where a tripod would work and not disturb the process.

So if the smaller lighter and more mobile cameras with built in image stabilization means that we are going to see less perfect images (being just good enough for WEB view) I am sure that FF (with whatever concept) will have a great future and the Sony A7R points perfectly in that direction - IMHO

just my 2CT

So when do you get your A7R?  I'd love to see some comparison shots from you A7R vs Canon (whatever you have) of the same scene.  The A7R pictures I've seen have been disappointing to me, but a lot has to do with the photographer's skills.  I know you are capable of some excellent pictures, so it would be good to see what you can do with it.

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- Bill

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Suave
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

Did they, pray chance, mention whether m4/3's and NEXes are now also able to focus at 5D3 speeds?

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: Are APS-C SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to joger, 8 months ago

I think we are pretty much in agreement, there are more lenses for APS-C, mainly though they are lenses who's function already existed for 35mm.  There are some exceptions, but not many.  Some EF-S lenses have a greater range than any equivalent 35mm lens, especially for the size, but they tend not to be top quality.  I would love a 600$ equivalent to the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS though for 35mm, thus far it doesn't exist.  Even if you go f4 for equivalent DOF the current constant aperture stabilized lenses are a good bit more cash for 35mm.

When we start to see 35mm cameras in rebel bodies with more affordable quality lenses APS-C will certainly go away, and we'll get there, I'm sure.  I think this is where we somewhat disagree.  I don't think the majority of the APS-C crowd will go down in market, but rather up in sensor size as these are the folks who would have been buying 35mm film cameras back in the day...the AE-1 crowd, if you will.  The only reason they don't own 6D's is because it is still 2-3x the cost of the current rebels.

joger wrote:

Keith Z Leonard wrote:

APS-C does have a larger selection of lenses than 35mm

in shier numbers maybe yes - simply because the APS-C lenses don't fit the 35 mm format. From an application view there is IMHO no question that your get at least as much flexibility for real world applications and you can always crop your FF image as long as the pixel count is high enough for the end result and viewing distance - nikon did a great job with the D800E and Sony continues with the A7R. No need for cropping at the beginning - I think too that the APS-C format will die sooner or later completely and be consumed by SmartPhone cameras and smaller sensor formats being much cheaper to be manufactured.

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qianp2k
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to billythek, 8 months ago

billythek wrote:

joger wrote:

Colin Smith1 wrote:

. . . As a wildlife photographer nothing offered to date can match the tracking AF of my 5D III, certainly not the OM E1 or the Sony. . . . As for now, I assume the excellent quality of my photos would be hard to give up.

Anyone think that the day is coming when even pros and advanced amateurs will be satisfied with a smaller, lighter mirror less system.

Hi Colin,

I am far away from being a fully time pro photographer - I am just a part time pro and thus my view might be a bit of leisure oriented too

I had recently invited on Xmas some friends for a year end image discussion with the best images everyone did thoughout 2013. Two guys completely switched to mirror less crop sensor cameras and after presenting some four or five images I really started to get nervous how long I can stand the imperfection of the images.

I am not talking about the artistically quality - I am purely commenting on the technical quality.

Yes - you are significantly more mobile without tripods, heavy lenses and a heavy rucksack on your back. No doubt - but what those guys ended up were shaked images, digital artifacts (explanation was that LR would not fully support the Fuji system) and all kinds of flaws even of course high ISO noise - which is the point I really could't care less. If at highes ISO some noise is present - well - may it be but all the other aspects are handling issues and for me the craftsmanship is one important aspect of photography.

So if you can get rid of your big and cumbersome heavy equipment in replacing it with a smaller, neater and more mobile version - fine. I guess this will be the road for us all - I know nobody that wants to carry tons of equipment. That said you still end up carrying a tripod and/or a monopod for the utmost perfection and craftsmanship. Thus you trade in either the mirror and/or the larger sensor for something a bit lighter and a bit worse in image quality - well - if that's your tradeoff and you can live with that - fine with me.

Carrying a tripod and a monopod and some excellent lenses the weight of the camera itself is the last thing I'd worry for.

Btw - the Sony A7R seems to be the perfect addition to an existing toolchain. Not for wildlife shooting but for the rest of the time a very nice idea and you still can work with good craftsmanship without compromises.

The pure technical gap will get smaller between the different sensor formats. Unfortunately the associated way of handling the gear leads to a lower craftsmanship - at least I saw that form some 60 images presented that evening that would be far off the quality I'd like to present to any kind of audience as my best images from 2014 and none of the images contained people - all were in situations where a tripod would work and not disturb the process.

So if the smaller lighter and more mobile cameras with built in image stabilization means that we are going to see less perfect images (being just good enough for WEB view) I am sure that FF (with whatever concept) will have a great future and the Sony A7R points perfectly in that direction - IMHO

just my 2CT

So when do you get your A7R? I'd love to see some comparison shots from you A7R vs Canon (whatever you have) of the same scene. The A7R pictures I've seen have been disappointing to me, but a lot has to do with the photographer's skills. I know you are capable of some excellent pictures, so it would be good to see what you can do with it.

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- Bill

I'd buy A7R if it had FEC (first electronic curtain) for my early March EU trip.  But its shutter shock seems an issue especially with longer FL lens on tripod.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52804684

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joger
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to billythek, 8 months ago

billythek wrote:

So when do you get your A7R? I'd love to see some comparison shots from you A7R vs Canon (whatever you have) of the same scene. The A7R pictures I've seen have been disappointing to me, but a lot has to do with the photographer's skills. I know you are capable of some excellent pictures, so it would be good to see what you can do with it.

Hi Bill,

Thx for the 'flowers'

I am not entirely decided yet on the A7R - mainly due to some investments  lately (exceeding a normal FF setup with several lenses by far)

And I am more concentrated on the equipment around photography preparing for UHD recording aka 4k with a suitable computer , monitor  and storage devices  to cope with the ever growing demand.

On the other side I see no real progress in the area I am most interested in - Resolution and sharpness. That said (without having a mantra or so) the D800E is a very capable camera and this is the camera I'd have liked to see from Canon at the price point of the 5D II (when it was released)

At the end of the day it's always a price question and this is where I agree with what's been posted lately. When the FF DSLRs or Mirror Less FF Bodies get to the price point of today's crop cameras the crop format is dead - will this ever happen? Who knows?

For me 4k video would be a key trigger point to some camera investment and it should be on a reasonable price level. The A7R is a very thoroughly thought concept and the idea hit me immediately - yet it is still not where I would like to have it and unfortunately my 5D II still makes great images at no cost and the computer equipment was more important to satisfy my needs now.

Do I miss something in the photography today - oh yes!! - do I get worse images that I could do with the best offerings today? Most presumably - but I am sure there will be a refined A7R soon - after a 2nd though and looking at the history of Sony as a camera maker (mainly the NEX system) one can assume that the flaws of the current version will be addressed in the next version which should be due in a year from now following Sony's trail of new gear.

So the short answer to your question is I won't buy a mirror less body from any supplier any time soon unless I see 4k video recording to play with that and see whether this is something I'd like to pursue. On the other side I am sure there will be sooner or later a workshop somewhere, where I can test drive the A7R.

For me the concept of the A7R is the future in FF cameras - not because of it's weight but because of it's simplification. The longer a market exists the more refined are the tools and the more unnecessary parts are left aside - look at Apple - they just leave every disturbing part aside - may it be OS or hardware - this devices are the essence of computing in their use cases. The new MAC PRO is a masterpiece in refinement.

Unfortunately we are far from being there in photo business.

The D800E is a nightmare in handling (extremely IMHO) and the A7R seem to suffer from some unnecessary limitations and Canon seems to concentrate entirely on night vision photographers  excluding guys like me - so no company has a compelling offer (for me) right now - the 5D II seems to be the cheapest full featured FF DSLR still offering a reasonable ISO 100 performance (which counts for me most and I would even accept ISO 50 as base ISO with ultimate image quality)

So the question whether we are in the advent of the exodus of the FF DSLRs is a very tough one - it all depends on how Canon, Nikon and Sony are convincing the mass market and I guess FF cameras will be no mass market products any time soon - thus we could likely see with the 5D III and the D800E a level that is going to stay for a while before one of the big contenders thinks it's time for a refresh.

For Canon I see 4k video recording as the next big thing - for Nikon the game is currently over since they dominate the quality part and as soon as they sort out the flaws of the current concept and introduce some nice lenses (which happened lately) they are done for the time being with innovation - I guess.

Sony is a big hope for me - but nothing I will buy immediately - or maybe I think of it a 2rd time?

(all deponent on financial resources with are really on a budget now) 

just my 2CT

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Picturenaut
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

Colin Smith1 wrote:

Writers on the Luminous Landscape http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/full_frame_myth.shtml have stated their belief that the age of full frame DSLRs is coming to an end for basically two reasons. One, 16 meg micro 4/3s sensors have gotten very good in quality and noise reduction that they can now be printed to 16x20 (so why would anyone want the bulkier or heavier full frame DSLR ?) Second because the of the Sony mirror less full frame with excellent EVF.

This sort of posts/blogs tend to mix two items. First is the question if FF does make sense in times when micro 4/3 sensors are getting better. This question lacks of logical reasoning, because FF technology basically progresses the same way as 4/3 sensor tech does. So it will be always ahead in terms of IQ - other than the mid format market which currently looks like being just to small to e.g. keep up with noise performance of the 35 mm sensor technology. Another important item is its higher freedom of composition of FF if you like to work with a shallow depth of field - 4/3 technology never will match this, even not with extremely fast lenses...

The other question is whether EVs will kill optical viewfinders. It looks like on the long run this should be a logical development. That said, obviously most enthusiasts and pros still prefer optical viewfinders and accept bigger DLSR camera bodies, btw the line of lenses they already have may keep them on the conservative side, too. That's the reason why the two big camera makers, Canon and Nikon, stick with APS/FF DLSRs in enthusiasts & prosumer camera markets, sales numbers just proof that this still is an intelligent strategy in terms of economical thinking. This may change in future, but nobody can really predict what most customers will ask for in future.

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loafer
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full frame dslr makers are nearly obsolete
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

There are only 2 left at this point. (Although perhaps Sony with stay in the FF DSLR game) There are 4 makers of FF cameras and many former FF makers are out of the market.  But there are actually a lot of APS-C brands - quite a few slr and even more mirrorless.  APS-C has the most variety of sensors - with bayer, x-trans and foveon.  In addition APS-C seems to gain more makers as FF loses them.  M4/3 - only 2 players - and no one has joined the party since the format was started.

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f64manray
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to CameraCarl, 8 months ago

CameraCarl wrote:

Obsolescence is in the eye of the beholder. I know a well respected pro photographer who was simply thrilled a few weeks ago because his 1960s-era view camera arrived and it had no holes in the bellows. He was already acquiring lenses to work with it and setting aside his very respectable Canon DSLR collection to learn to work once again with (get ready for it) film.

There's always somebody with too much time on their hands.

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JackM
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Re: Remember what Leica did to 6x6
In reply to Peter Marchant, 8 months ago

Peter Marchant wrote:

Smaller format digital cameras are now developed to such an extent that (I humbly suggest) full-frame cameras are only still here because crop cameras are still so ridiculously big! If someone (come on Canon) shrank crop SLRs and lenses in proportion to the format (as 35mm SLRs compared with 645 SLRs), it’s probably game over for full frame - except in the professional studio.

The Canon SL1 is extremely small for what it is.  About as small as possible, I would say, while still being an SLR  and accepting EF lenses.  The only way for an APS-C SLR and lenses to be any smaller would be to have a shorter flange distance, which would not accept EF lenses, and I don't see Canon doing that. May as well just go mirrorless at that point.

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joger
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Re: full frame dslr makers are nearly obsolete
In reply to loafer, 8 months ago

loafer wrote:

There are only 2 left at this point. (Although perhaps Sony with stay in the FF DSLR game) There are 4 makers of FF cameras and many former FF makers are out of the market. But there are actually a lot of APS-C brands - quite a few slr and even more mirrorless. APS-C has the most variety of sensors - with bayer, x-trans and foveon. In addition APS-C seems to gain more makers as FF loses them. M4/3 - only 2 players - and no one has joined the party since the format was started.

look at the car industry with even more pedigree as the camera business.

In the beginning few manufactures starting with Daimler and then lots of them - especially in US and UK covering every niche and concept for a car - later on in the 70s when the investment for new production facilities increased due to different aspects in sourcing and manufacturing most of them died - may they have had 4-piston or 12 piston engines or Wankel

Now we have few manufacturers worldwide with controlling the market and only a very narrow selection of some niche players using parts (mostly engines) from the big ones.

I guess we will see a similar evolution in the camera business - and BMW is still building 12 piston engines even trout they use them almost entirely for their premium brand Rolls-Royce.

My guess is that in 20+ years from now 35 mm sensor format will be that kind of premium brand using parts from the mass market fine tuned.

The good thing is that we have so many lenses and accessories let by then (in private hands) that it's almost impossible to stop the production for new gear - it would simply make no sense - may the mass market buy this or that - fact is that we have some 50 years of 35 mm SLR history in lenses and the last 20 years produced some of the finest - still a huge number - not having a suitable body for that is like not having a road for all the young and old-timers to drive on.

So I think the carved up crop sized 12-14 year old market will consolidate more then the grown 35 (D)SLR market with 50+ years of history

And the hipsters will buy whatever is hip anyhow - they are not driving innovation or quality - they are driving whatever is "sexy"

I guess smaller, lighter and more Sswarovsky Jewels are for some camera users key - those guys couldn't care less for the sensor size

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isn’t it funny, a ship that leaks from the top
ISO 9000 definition of quality: 'Degree to which a set of inherent characteristic fulfills requirements'
I am the classic “Windows by Day, Mac by Night user'
“The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view.” Albert Einstein
if you start to fight with a pig you'll end up mud-wrestling - the only difference is the pig will like it

 joger's gear list:joger's gear list
Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM +10 more
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Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,824Gear list
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Even Trout?
In reply to joger, 8 months ago

Surely, Odd Cod--

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Níor bhris focal maith fiacail riamh (Irish Gaelic)
A good word never broke a tooth.

 Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee's gear list:Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee's gear list
Canon PowerShot S90 Fujifilm X10 Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Canon EOS-1D Mark IV +27 more
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JackM
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,596Gear list
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Not for now. Here's a comparison.
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52873398

FF will be obsolete only when such comparisons show no difference.  100% view matters for some applications.

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Sigma DP2 Merrill Fujifilm X100S Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM +6 more
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juan bobo
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 8 months ago
 juan bobo's gear list:juan bobo's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM +3 more
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