My dream full-frame camera.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
DUSTY LENS
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Re: My dream full-frame camera.
In reply to robin t, 5 months ago

I think there is a vacuum in the realm of what products are available .

It seems a little obvious that many of us would like to have a very durable and hi quality digital back for a small view camera . In particular a 6 cm by 9 cm view camera .

Think about all of the controls and menus , the enormous veriety of moters autofocus , vibration that could be left out and the money could go for the really good sensor .

Like the old Film holders , the sensor could fit any number of view cameras with all of the controls View cameras offer already built in .

The selection of lenses is enormous in terms of quality and variety of manufacturers of very fine optics , and they are generally very small and light weight in spite of tremendous I.Q. .

No need to redesign all of the things that go into the modern digital cameras on a continuous never ending bases . just change view cameras a few times till you have exactly what you need .

The really good sensor for a 6 X 9 should be available for less than the cost of a new digital Full frame .

No it won't fit in your pocket and you won't want to hall it where ever you go , but that is what they make the point and shoot , and the Sony A 7R etc. for .

The view camera I want would also connect to a large LED monitor so using it would be much easier and more reliable when in live view .

Dusty

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Erik Magnuson
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Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to DUSTY LENS, 5 months ago

DUSTY LENS wrote:

I think there is a vacuum in the realm of what products are available .

It's so hard on the internet to tell if someone is joking or clueless.

It seems a little obvious that many of us would like to have a very durable and hi quality digital back for a small view camera . In particular a 6 cm by 9 cm view camera .

It's so obvious that the first one was made back in 1991. Try googling names like Leaf, PhaseOne, Imacon, and even Better Light for something a little different.

The really good sensor for a 6 X 9 should be available for less than the cost of a new digital Full frame .

See, it's statements like this that make it hard to distinguish between satire and ignorance. But we'll get our affordable 6x9 shortly after we get our flying cars for less than the cost of a new luxury car.

(Hint: if you not joking, the largest sensor back you can currently buy commercially is only 53.7x40.4mm. The smaller 44x33mm CMOS sensor version starts at $35k. See  http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/01/24/phase-one-announces-iq250-50mp-cmos-medium-format-back )

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bobn2
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

DUSTY LENS wrote:

I think there is a vacuum in the realm of what products are available .

It's so hard on the internet to tell if someone is joking or clueless.

It seems a little obvious that many of us would like to have a very durable and hi quality digital back for a small view camera . In particular a 6 cm by 9 cm view camera .

It's so obvious that the first one was made back in 1991. Try googling names like Leaf, PhaseOne, Imacon, and even Better Light for something a little different.

The really good sensor for a 6 X 9 should be available for less than the cost of a new digital Full frame .

See, it's statements like this that make it hard to distinguish between satire and ignorance. But we'll get our affordable 6x9 shortly after we get our flying cars for less than the cost of a new luxury car.

(Hint: if you not joking, the largest sensor back you can currently buy commercially is only 53.7x40.4mm. The smaller 44x33mm CMOS sensor version starts at $35k. See http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/01/24/phase-one-announces-iq250-50mp-cmos-medium-format-back )

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Erik

The never ending 'equivalence' debates provide an interesting insight into this. The thing with digital is that enlargement is a free lunch. That wan't true with film, where enlargement had to be done with a separate optical system, and in general, the less enlargement the better the end quality - hence the use of larger formats. However, with digital all that matters is how many pixels you have, how much light they can collect and what are the DoF and diffraction function as scaled to sensor size.

So, for instance you could do everything that you can with a 24MP FF camera with f/1.4 lens and 100 ISO with a 24MP mFT camera using a f/0.7 lens and 25 ISO - so long as the lenses had the requisite resolution with respect to sensor format. Taking it the other way, the crop factor between 35mm and 6x9 is about 2.3. So, if you're working with a 36MP FF camera at f/1.4 and 100 ISO, it's producing much the same results as would this hypothetical 36MP 6x9 camera at f/3.2, 500 ISO. Most 6x9 cameras didn't have lenses as fast as f/3.2 - so the only advantage to the 6x9 is that absolute noise advantage it could get working down to 100 ISO (equivalent to 20 ISO on the 35MM). If your FF camera had a 20ISO capable sensor, it could match the 6x9 for everything.

It appears for a long time that f/1.4 FF equivalent is the standard for 'fast glass'. Given that if you go much smaller and you're beginning to hit against the f/0.5 limit and there is limited advantage to going bigger and it has huge cost implications, FF really is a sweet spot with that respect. Of course, if you factor portability and cost, smaller formats have a great deal going for them too.

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Bob

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Doss
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

See, it's statements like this that make it hard to distinguish between satire and ignorance. But we'll get our affordable 6x9 shortly after we get our flying cars for less than the cost of a new luxury car.

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Erik

Referring back to my previous post - the almost exact, same comment was made against my argument for FF digital SLRs.

Back in the 80s I knew a guy with a cellphone the size of a briefcase. I told them I'd consider buying one when they could fit in your pocket. "They can't get any smaller - they need too much battery power" he told me. 5 years later I bought one that fit in my pocket.

Back in the 90s I knew a guy who bought a DVD player for $1000. I told them I'd consider buying one when they were a tenth that price. "They will NEVER be that cheap" he told me. 10 years later I bought one that cheap.

I wasn't sure if my friends were being satirical or ignorant either.

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Rservello
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

See, it's statements like this that make it hard to distinguish between satire and ignorance. But we'll get our affordable 6x9 shortly after we get our flying cars for less than the cost of a new luxury car.

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Erik

Referring back to my previous post - the almost exact, same comment was made against my argument for FF digital SLRs.

Back in the 80s I knew a guy with a cellphone the size of a briefcase. I told them I'd consider buying one when they could fit in your pocket. "They can't get any smaller - they need too much battery power" he told me. 5 years later I bought one that fit in my pocket.

Back in the 90s I knew a guy who bought a DVD player for $1000. I told them I'd consider buying one when they were a tenth that price. "They will NEVER be that cheap" he told me. 10 years later I bought one that cheap.

I wasn't sure if my friends were being satirical or ignorant either.

Some people just believe what they're told. Some believe that the expensive toy they bought is the best that will ever be. Others look to the past to divine the future and realize that everything we have now will be bargain bin garbage in 10 years.

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Doss
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to Rservello, 5 months ago

Rservello wrote:

Doss wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

See, it's statements like this that make it hard to distinguish between satire and ignorance. But we'll get our affordable 6x9 shortly after we get our flying cars for less than the cost of a new luxury car.

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Erik

Referring back to my previous post - the almost exact, same comment was made against my argument for FF digital SLRs.

Back in the 80s I knew a guy with a cellphone the size of a briefcase. I told them I'd consider buying one when they could fit in your pocket. "They can't get any smaller - they need too much battery power" he told me. 5 years later I bought one that fit in my pocket.

Back in the 90s I knew a guy who bought a DVD player for $1000. I told them I'd consider buying one when they were a tenth that price. "They will NEVER be that cheap" he told me. 10 years later I bought one that cheap.

I wasn't sure if my friends were being satirical or ignorant either.

Some people just believe what they're told. Some believe that the expensive toy they bought is the best that will ever be.

Yep! And such a strange belief, considering they will again be buying the next best thing in a year or two!

Others look to the past to divine the future and realize that everything we have now will be bargain bin garbage in 10 years.

That's why I've only upgraded my camera once in 12 years, and won't change it again until things significantly improve.

But, I am happy those who put their faith in adverts frequently buy a new expensive toy each time they are made to feel they need one. All the money they spend goes towards research & development for the future affordable dream camera we're talking about.

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Erik Magnuson
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Using the wrong metric
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

Back in the 80s I knew a guy with a cellphone the size of a briefcase. I told them I'd consider buying one when they could fit in your pocket. "They can't get any smaller - they need too much battery power" he told me. 5 years later I bought one that fit in my pocket.

The reason electronics get cheaper is they get smaller.  The cost for integrated circuits depends on size, not complexity.  5 years ago, if you wanted a 30+ MP camera it would have cost upwards of $20k. Now it's $2.2k.    5 years ago, it was a 44x33 sensor while today it's a 24x36mm or smaller sensor.

As I said, medium format sensor backs have been around for quite a long time.  And in the last 5 years or so, the prices have decreased very slowly.  It's also very telling that sensor sizes are not going up - there is always a crop factor.

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Doss
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Re: Using the wrong metric
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

As I said, medium format sensor backs have been around for quite a long time. And in the last 5 years or so, the prices have decreased very slowly. It's also very telling that sensor sizes are not going up - there is always a crop factor.

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Erik

Well, that's not my dream as Medium format is too clunky and big for my use.

But I completely agree. Until there are spectacular new developments in optics (which are limited by the laws of physics) then the limit for pixel density has hit a bar (for now).

HENCE there is nothing wrong with our wishes that the manufacturers can now concentrate their efforts on the design having appeased the pixel peepers who drove the market up until this point.

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bobn2
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Re: Using the wrong metric
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

As I said, medium format sensor backs have been around for quite a long time. And in the last 5 years or so, the prices have decreased very slowly. It's also very telling that sensor sizes are not going up - there is always a crop factor.

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Erik

Well, that's not my dream as Medium format is too clunky and big for my use.

But I completely agree. Until there are spectacular new developments in optics (which are limited by the laws of physics) then the limit for pixel density has hit a bar (for now).

HENCE there is nothing wrong with our wishes that the manufacturers can now concentrate their efforts on the design having appeased the pixel peepers who drove the market up until this point.

Actually. the 'pixel peepers' are the low MP people, because they believe that the important determinant of image quality is how things look at 100%, so if the 'market' is being driven up, it's not by the pixel peepers.

In reality we have seen a steady rise in IQ which is in part due to increases in pixel count. Pixel size decreases happen because it's the most direct way for sensor engineers to increase IQ generation to generation. The thing that has damaged IQ overall is the 'ISO race' which has caused compromises to the colour filter arrays to make them more transmissive at the cost of accurate colour.

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Bob

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robin t
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

Rservello wrote:

Doss wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

See, it's statements like this that make it hard to distinguish between satire and ignorance. But we'll get our affordable 6x9 shortly after we get our flying cars for less than the cost of a new luxury car.

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Erik

Referring back to my previous post - the almost exact, same comment was made against my argument for FF digital SLRs.

Back in the 80s I knew a guy with a cellphone the size of a briefcase. I told them I'd consider buying one when they could fit in your pocket. "They can't get any smaller - they need too much battery power" he told me. 5 years later I bought one that fit in my pocket.

Back in the 90s I knew a guy who bought a DVD player for $1000. I told them I'd consider buying one when they were a tenth that price. "They will NEVER be that cheap" he told me. 10 years later I bought one that cheap.

I wasn't sure if my friends were being satirical or ignorant either.

Some people just believe what they're told. Some believe that the expensive toy they bought is the best that will ever be.

Yep! And such a strange belief, considering they will again be buying the next best thing in a year or two!

Others look to the past to divine the future and realize that everything we have now will be bargain bin garbage in 10 years.

That's why I've only upgraded my camera once in 12 years, and won't change it again until things significantly improve.

But, I am happy those who put their faith in adverts frequently buy a new expensive toy each time they are made to feel they need one. All the money they spend goes towards research & development for the future affordable dream camera we're talking about.

I think you'd agree with me on this Doss, but the one exception to all this obsolescence is that my full frame (film) SLR and all of its lenses are in perfect working order and produce amazing images 30-40 years after being manufactured. I just dont want to use film anymore. But the people (Bob?) who keep arguing that the manufacturers will always just default to the parts bin ignore the fact that all the parts that I want in my dream DSLR have been manufactured already also. It's not a question of re-engineering at massive cost. It's more a question of will. But it also seems like the manufacturers are all going in that direction.

I used the D600 and it was great, and produced awesome images. But its big as a house, and the manual focusing sucks. There is in fact an OEM focus screen available for <$100, which could be a dealmaker, but it would be so sweet if the camera was just smaller. Not tremendously, even 30% smaller would make it incredible.

It would be nice if an engineer would say its not possible, but I don't believe that the technology and know-how isn't there. Until an actual Nikon engineer tells me so. Is there one out there?

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: Using the wrong metric
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

But I completely agree. Until there are spectacular new developments in optics (which are limited by the laws of physics) then the limit for pixel density has hit a bar (for now).

Actually, it hasn't.  See the Nokia 41MP sensor as an example of using a lot more pixels than where you think it would be limited optically. We may be approaching the limits of where one sensor pixel will correspond to one output pixel, but there are techniques that can exploited be when the image is oversampled that will make for better images.

HENCE there is nothing wrong with our wishes that the manufacturers can now concentrate their efforts on the design having appeased the pixel peepers who drove the market up until this point.

I expect that as the camera market has matured, this is a niche that some camera makers may explore.  The fallacy is in expecting that such cameras will be cheaper than the mass market versions.

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bobn2
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to robin t, 5 months ago

robin t wrote:

But the people (Bob?) who keep arguing that the manufacturers will always just default to the parts bin ignore the fact that all the parts that I want in my dream DSLR have been manufactured already also. It's not a question of re-engineering at massive cost. It's more a question of will. But it also seems like the manufacturers are all going in that direction.

They have but not recently and not in a form that would be suitable for digital. Suppose it was simply, say an FM3A with a sensor and electronics card. None of the old FM3A chassis would be directly usable, just enough differences to require a redesign. Front covers and VF components maybe, but much of those simple electronics for the meter will no longer be made, so that part will need a redesign. Probably the shutter will need to be moved forward to clear the sensor, which will necessitate a redesign of the mirror box. The sensor could come from an existing camera, but the main electronics card would need to be completely redesigned. Of course the back panel will be completely different. I don't know if Copal are still manufacturing those shutters, possibly the could if needed. So, I think it's maybe 2/3 of a complete redesign. Then of course there is the question whether they saved the tooling and whether it's compatible with the casting methods used now. And for the covers, which were pressed brass, whether they have the subcontractors still doing that kind of work. And so on and so on. All in all, it's a completely new camera, as were the special edition rangefinders, made by the prototype shops, which is why they cost so much.

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to robin t, 5 months ago

robin t wrote:

I think you'd agree with me on this Doss, but the one exception to all this obsolescence is that my full frame (film) SLR and all of its lenses are in perfect working order and produce amazing images 30-40 years after being manufactured.

Have you had your shutter checked recently?  Mechanically timed shutters need frequent adjustments to keep them accurate.  The better designed electronically timed shutters tend to still be almost perfect after 30 years.

the fact that all the parts that I want in my dream DSLR have been manufactured already also. It's not a question of re-engineering at massive cost.

You are assuming they kept the plans and the tooling. And that enough buyers in 2014 are happy with 1974 technology (i.e. the Nikormat FT2 you mention was limited to 1/1000th top speed.  The FM2/FM2n/FM3n managed 1/4000 on paper, but keeping it accurate at that speed was problematic.

but it would be so sweet if the camera was just smaller. Not tremendously, even 30% smaller would make it incredible.

It is smaller than most films camera of similar performance. I guess it's time to pull out my F1 photo again:  the D600 outperforms this camera in every way but as bicep exercise.

Can also be used as a hammer

It would be nice if an engineer would say its not possible, but I don't believe that the technology and know-how isn't there.

It's possible, but is it marketable at a price that would make for a decent ROI?   If it were to happen, I'd bet the first iteration would be a limited edition collector's camera and not something mass market.

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Erik Magnuson
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Viewfinder brightness: Nikon FTn vs. Canon 5DII
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

I put your assumptions against realiity: Personally, I noticed the difference because I use both AF and 'typical' film SLR. I noticed the difference clearly.

Have you tried to measure the difference?  I used a Pentax 1° Spot meter on my Nikon FTn with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 and a stock Canon 5DII with the same lens.  The readings for the center of the focus screen were identical to within 1/3 stop.  Brightness is not the issue. The 5DII magnification is noticeably lower.

I use my 5DII with MF lenses rather frequently.   For relatively quick focus, I use focus confirmation with the AF sensors.  For precise focus I use live view.   The former is slightly slower than split image (requires a few more tweaks of the focus ring to find the sweet spot); the latter is far, far more accurate than even a 2x angle viewer on a manual focus camera.

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bobn2
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Re: Dreaming is free, large sensors cost money
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

robin t wrote:

I think you'd agree with me on this Doss, but the one exception to all this obsolescence is that my full frame (film) SLR and all of its lenses are in perfect working order and produce amazing images 30-40 years after being manufactured.

Have you had your shutter checked recently? Mechanically timed shutters need frequent adjustments to keep them accurate. The better designed electronically timed shutters tend to still be almost perfect after 30 years.

the fact that all the parts that I want in my dream DSLR have been manufactured already also. It's not a question of re-engineering at massive cost.

You are assuming they kept the plans and the tooling. And that enough buyers in 2014 are happy with 1974 technology (i.e. the Nikormat FT2 you mention was limited to 1/1000th top speed. The FM2/FM2n/FM3n managed 1/4000 on paper, but keeping it accurate at that speed was problematic.

but it would be so sweet if the camera was just smaller. Not tremendously, even 30% smaller would make it incredible.

It is smaller than most films camera of similar performance. I guess it's time to pull out my F1 photo again: the D600 outperforms this camera in every way but as bicep exercise.

Can also be used as a hammer

It would be nice if an engineer would say its not possible, but I don't believe that the technology and know-how isn't there.

It's possible, but is it marketable at a price that would make for a decent ROI? If it were to happen, I'd bet the first iteration would be a limited edition collector's camera and not something mass market.

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Erik

This interesting bit from the Wikipedia article on the FM3A

The Nikon FM3A is an interchangeable lens, focal plane shutter, 35 mm film, single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. It was manufactured by Nikon Corporation in Japan, on small-volume assembly lines, from 2001 to 2006.

The FM3A's introduction coincided with a major technological revolution in photographic technology—digital imaging. Many photographers, professional and amateur alike, switched to digital, resulting in a huge decrease in film SLR sales. By 2004, annual sales of digital cameras had surpassed those of film cameras. Though FM3a sales remained steady, they were minuscule in volume compared to Nikon's other cameras, and steadily increasing costs forced Nikon to announce the discontinuation of the FM3a on 11 January 2006

The FM3A cost $820, no lens. So, they couldn't make it pay at that. It had 5 years life - I'd guess, when Nikon introduced it they knew very well that digital was coming and expected to last much longer than 5 years.

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Doss
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Re: Viewfinder brightness: Nikon FTn vs. Canon 5DII
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Doss wrote:

I put your assumptions against realiity: Personally, I noticed the difference because I use both AF and 'typical' film SLR. I noticed the difference clearly.

Have you tried to measure the difference? I used a Pentax 1° Spot meter on my Nikon FTn with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 and a stock Canon 5DII with the same lens. The readings for the center of the focus screen were identical to within 1/3 stop. Brightness is not the issue. The 5DII magnification is noticeably lower.

Again, I see your point Erik (and, perhaps I shouldn't say so publicly, but it is so much nicer to have discourse with someone who can rationalize)

If the equal brightness of your 5dII viewfinder were spread across an area the size of your FTn viewfinder then it would be duller. This is the reason why the viewfinder magnifications are less in dSLRs cameras. I assume the same went for AF film cameras. Though I'm slightly skeptical corner-cutting doesn't also factor in (certainly with pentamirrors)

I use my 5DII with MF lenses rather frequently. For relatively quick focus, I use focus confirmation with the AF sensors. For precise focus I use live view. The former is slightly slower than split image (requires a few more tweaks of the focus ring to find the sweet spot); the latter is far, far more accurate than even a 2x angle viewer on a manual focus camera.

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Erik

Hmmm...Ok. So MF is possible. But imagine they used a system which you could simultaneously focus faster than using focus confirmation and as precisely as using live view.

Our point is they once did. And we want it back!

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Doss
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Re: Using the wrong metric
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Doss wrote:

But I completely agree. Until there are spectacular new developments in optics (which are limited by the laws of physics) then the limit for pixel density has hit a bar (for now).

Actually, it hasn't. See the Nokia 41MP sensor as an example of using a lot more pixels than where you think it would be limited optically. We may be approaching the limits of where one sensor pixel will correspond to one output pixel, but there are techniques that can exploited be when the image is oversampled that will make for better images.

Well, I cannot claim to know anything about this sensor but does it really have better IQ than an 8mp sensor on a good camera phone? About 5 years ago I tested a series of current 10-12mp compact cameras and found all those which could be limited to 7 or 8 mp resulted in improved IQ. Not saying it isn't possible though. That's the point of our argument - never say never

HENCE there is nothing wrong with our wishes that the manufacturers can now concentrate their efforts on the design having appeased the pixel peepers who drove the market up until this point.

The fallacy is in expecting that such cameras will be cheaper than the mass market versions.

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Erik

I agree, of course they won't. I never suggested they'll be cheaper (infact I actually said the opposite somewhere above) . Those who'd want MF rather than AF would be a minority (just check the likes for the 'against' posts on this thread! ). However, the idea they'll cost as much as a sports car and/or there will be no demand is more of a fallacy.

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Doss
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Re: Using the wrong metric
In reply to bobn2, 5 months ago

bobn2 wrote:

Doss wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

As I said, medium format sensor backs have been around for quite a long time. And in the last 5 years or so, the prices have decreased very slowly. It's also very telling that sensor sizes are not going up - there is always a crop factor.

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Erik

Well, that's not my dream as Medium format is too clunky and big for my use.

But I completely agree. Until there are spectacular new developments in optics (which are limited by the laws of physics) then the limit for pixel density has hit a bar (for now).

HENCE there is nothing wrong with our wishes that the manufacturers can now concentrate their efforts on the design having appeased the pixel peepers who drove the market up until this point.

Actually. the 'pixel peepers' are the low MP people, because they believe that the important determinant of image quality is how things look at 100%, so if the 'market' is being driven up, it's not by the pixel peepers.

OK -  I should have said pixel-philes rather than pixel peepers!

In reality we have seen a steady rise in IQ which is in part due to increases in pixel count. Pixel size decreases happen because it's the most direct way for sensor engineers to increase IQ generation to generation. The thing that has damaged IQ overall is the 'ISO race' which has caused compromises to the colour filter arrays to make them more transmissive at the cost of accurate colour.

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Bob

Ah! And there we have the point of the whole thread. You see, high ISO ability is very important to me  (so, yes - that race in the market has indeed suited me). I do get kind of fed up farting around in Lightroom to get accurate colours but I accept the trade-off.

Your dream camera is evidently one where they don't bother with high ISO ability and instead concentrate on perfect IQ at low ISO. I'd not argue with that - if that's the right tool for your job then nothing wrong with asking for it. You won't be the only one. You may be niche and have to pay more than mass marketed cameras, but I'd not scorn anyone for wanting it or tell them it'll never come about.

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Re: Using the wrong metric
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

Well, I cannot claim to know anything about this sensor but does it really have better IQ than an 8mp sensor on a good camera phone?

That's a matter of opinion, but most think so. You might also want to look at the proposed "Quanta" sensor that might have a billion single photon pixels.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53184133

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Erik

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bobn2
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Re: Using the wrong metric
In reply to Doss, 5 months ago

Doss wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Doss wrote:

Erik Magnuson wrote:

As I said, medium format sensor backs have been around for quite a long time. And in the last 5 years or so, the prices have decreased very slowly. It's also very telling that sensor sizes are not going up - there is always a crop factor.

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Erik

Well, that's not my dream as Medium format is too clunky and big for my use.

But I completely agree. Until there are spectacular new developments in optics (which are limited by the laws of physics) then the limit for pixel density has hit a bar (for now).

HENCE there is nothing wrong with our wishes that the manufacturers can now concentrate their efforts on the design having appeased the pixel peepers who drove the market up until this point.

Actually. the 'pixel peepers' are the low MP people, because they believe that the important determinant of image quality is how things look at 100%, so if the 'market' is being driven up, it's not by the pixel peepers.

OK - I should have said pixel-philes rather than pixel peepers!

Even then, the statement's not accurate. It was manufacturers' engineers' choice to drive up the pixel count, because it's the most staightforward route to IQ. Of course, as a simply quoted and marketed figure, it becomes used (a lot) by marketing.

In reality we have seen a steady rise in IQ which is in part due to increases in pixel count. Pixel size decreases happen because it's the most direct way for sensor engineers to increase IQ generation to generation. The thing that has damaged IQ overall is the 'ISO race' which has caused compromises to the colour filter arrays to make them more transmissive at the cost of accurate colour.

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Bob

Ah! And there we have the point of the whole thread. You see, high ISO ability is very important to me (so, yes - that race in the market has indeed suited me). I do get kind of fed up farting around in Lightroom to get accurate colours but I accept the trade-off.

Your dream camera is evidently one where they don't bother with high ISO ability and instead concentrate on perfect IQ at low ISO. I'd not argue with that - if that's the right tool for your job then nothing wrong with asking for it. You won't be the only one. You may be niche and have to pay more than mass marketed cameras, but I'd not scorn anyone for wanting it or tell them it'll never come about.

The balance between low exposure (high ISO) and high exposure (high ISO) is quite a subtle one. It's not at all clear that the number of pixels makes a huge difference. For instance, the D800's 'high ISO' ability is better than any of the previous generation of FF cameras bar the D3s. It's not so far off any of the best of this generation:

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Bob

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