The Economist article on mirrorless cameras

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: historical examples go both ways -- there's no clear answer
In reply to Donny out of Element here, 5 months ago

Donny out of Element here wrote:

In fact testing was done side by side and yes A6000 was fastest from all mirrorless cameras, but BTW just barely behind D4S. It was done with FE70-200 f4. So while you are correct about D4S is a better AF camera, it's not by any margin a much better, just a little better.

Read http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/focus-focus-focus.html

There are lots of parameters to auto-focus and a lot of variables in actual use.

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spacemn
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

the decent exposure wrote:

A) who has the worlds best full frame sensors today?

It is sony for sure and not Canikon.

Best how?

Using DxO, the sensors in the Nikon Df and Canon 6D have slightly better SNR 18% than the one in the Sony A7. They have better DR above ISO 1600. Same or better tonal range across most ISOs. The Sony has better low ISO DR. It's color sensitivity starts out a little better than the Nikon at base ISO then falls to the same as the Canon at high ISO. Really it's the mainly low ISO DR the Sony sensors shows a significant improvement (due to the on sensor ADC.)

Of course you know that in the Sony corporate structure, the Digital Imaging Group (that makes cameras) is connected to the Semiconductor Group (that makes sensors) only in that they share the same CEO at the tippy-top.

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Erik

What are you trying to insinuate in one of your usual sensationalist posts here? Sony FF sensors are on par with Canon FF sensors?

First of all try to compare the best Sony FF sensor (the 36Mpix sensor) with the Canon, although the conclusion is not much different:

Yes, at very high ISO the FF sensors do not exert big differences in IQ, whether it being SNR, DR, tonal range or colour sensitivity. However at base ISO the Sony A7R is whopping 2 stops better than the Canon 6D and 1 stop better than the Nikon Df, AND we haven't even looked at the resolution yet. I think there is a good reason why DXOMark overall rates the Canon FF almost as the Sony APS-C sensors.

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-Df-versus-Sony-A7R-versus-Canon-EOS-6D___925_917_836

Try to be more balanced in your views even if you try to spur up a surprise conclusion to support an agenda only you know about.

Now that you have entered this thread I also expect this thread to reach the limit of posts within the next 24 hrs. It was so nice to see you get silenced in your mission to flame Sony with their FE lenses by comparing with Canon plastic fantastic lenses, but ok, feel free to have another cynical stab at the mirrorless world.

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Eamon Hickey
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yes, I did testing side-by-side; did you miss that?
In reply to Donny out of Element here, 5 months ago

Donny out of Element here wrote:


Sorry, but that's nonsense. Nikon's flagship DSLR is a much better autofocusing camera than the A6000 (I have been testing them side-by-side for more than a month.) I have no desire to own the D4S, and in fact, I own an NEX-7. I much prefer small mirrorless cameras, and I hope they thrive. And the A6000 is indeed a very good autofocusing camera. But the D4S is a great autofocus performer -- clearly better.

In fact testing was done side by side and yes A6000 was fastest from all mirrorless cameras, but BTW just barely behind D4S. It was done with FE70-200 f4. So while you are correct about D4S is a better AF camera, it's not by any margin a much better, just a little better.

I've done very extensive testing. I've shot several thousand pictures with the A6000 and the FE 70-200 f4 of soccer (football), flag football (American), sprinters, joggers, bicyclists, dogs at play, birds in flight and much more. I shot all those subjects with the D4S, too, in the same shooting sessions. The D4S is much better.

Now, the D4S is also much better than any $650 DSLR (from Nikon or anyone else). The A6000's AF is perfectly competitive with any camera at or near its price range. That's the important point. I'm not criticizing the A6000's AF performance, which is impressive for its price. But the D4S is a lot better, as it should be.

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norway32
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to Zeisschen, 5 months ago

Zeisschen wrote:

A niche, yes, maybe in the American market. They forgot however, that America is not the center of the photography world.

I understand the sentiment, but for the record The Economist is UK based, not USA based.

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JonTafferOfPhotography
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to spacemn, 5 months ago

spacemn wrote:

JonTafferOfPhotography wrote:

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

JonTafferOfPhotography wrote:

that said, I think we are several years (3-8 years or more) away from mirrorless cameras that perform (viewfinder/AF) in low light like a DSLR.

Which DSLR performs as well in low light as a Sony alpha a7s?

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Jerry Fusselman

so you are saying your EVF doesn't lag in low light?

really?

what about the difference in AF speed in lowlight? it's pretty huge compared to the difference for a DSLR.

these are just facts, don't be a fanboy.

The fact you don't know how the EVF of the A7 works in low light show how little your knowledge is about these cameras, then how are your statements of any value in this thread?? To me you sound more of a belittled fan boy than the people you accuse.

EVF lag is almost non existent. In almost total darkness, where all will be totallydark in an OVF, you will be able to see are better exposed but grainier picture in the EVF and maybe a bit of lag, but do you shoot many fast moving objects in the dark??

False there is lag. period

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to nevercat, 5 months ago

nevercat wrote:

And that is why Canon came with the Rebel SL1? Many people like small cameras.

I think many like light as much as small.

Long telelenses almost allways are used on tripods,

It depends on your definition of long. The common 70-300mm zoom on crop cameras is almost never used on a tripod.

Where is the law that a mirrorlless camera can't be bigger?

One easy way to is have a removable grip that can also add battery capacity.

Lens systems of mirrorless systems are grown up and already almost serve all needs of professional photographers.

Most photographers? Yes. Pro photographers? No way. What lenses do pros tend to carry?

http://thephotobrigade.com/category/in-my-bag

Nobody needs 200 lenses in a system any more in a world, where zoom lenses are almost as good as primes and speed can be compensated by incredible high ISO capability of modern sensors. The average user still only has the kit lens + maybe a 50mm and a wide angle.

Now you are making the correct switch between "pro" and "average user".

Yes and when a system has those lenses it is good enough for them. Many of the Canikon lenses are duplicates or triplicates of other lenses in their lineup.

Usually a different cost-performance ratio.

And you know what? All these marvelous lenses and many more from other brands and times, can be adapted to the mirrorless cameras!

Only a fraction will try this when a native AF lens is available.

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Hans von der Crone
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to Digital Nigel, 5 months ago

As someone who loves the art of photography, I often shudder when I see people pulling out their smartphone to take pictures. Sure I can understand using a phone for a casual picture, but I went to Mauritius and La Réunion a couple weeks ago, a fantastic vacation with marvellous views and I saw a majority taking their 'pictures' with smartphones. My children also don't understand why I bother with lenses, flashes etc when they can take 'a picture' just as well (urgh) with their smartphone or ipad.

Guess I'm growing old...

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to spacemn, 5 months ago

spacemn wrote:

What are you trying to insinuate in one of your usual sensationalist posts here? Sony FF sensors are on par with Canon FF sensors?

That for low-light performance, there is not a significant difference.

First of all try to compare the best Sony FF sensor (the 36Mpix sensor) with the Canon, although the conclusion is not much different:

I was comparing the most recent Nikon and Canon made FF sensors to the closest Sony equivalent.

Yes, at very high ISO the FF sensors do not exert big differences in IQ, whether it being SNR, DR, tonal range or colour sensitivity.

I think you can leave out the "very".

However at base ISO the Sony A7R is whopping 2 stops better than the Canon 6D and 1 stop better than the Nikon Df, AND we haven't even looked at the resolution yet.

Yes, the on-sensor ADC of the Sony sensors really helps here. (Neither the Df nor 6D have this.)  But the claim was not about low ISO DR.

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nevercat
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Re: It won't take years, just 1 year
In reply to Philnw2, 5 months ago

Philnw2 wrote:

nevercat wrote:


We will see that the mirrorless will take over in the end, but it will take a lot of years...

I agree with your comment, except for the last sentence. It won't take a lot of years

In the last CIPA report, for Jan, Feb March of 2014,

Column 4 is for Jan Feb Mar of 2014 compared to the same period a year previously.

A. DSLRs shipments were 82.7% for this 3 months from the previous year, 2.1 million cameras

B. Mirrorless shipments were 115.7% for this 3 months from the previous year, 0.7 million cameras

Read more at: http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/76-non-pentax-cameras-canon-nikon-etc/264497-mirror-less-cameras-hanging-their-sales-better-than-dslrs-per-cipa-2.html#ixzz34F50f5xI

So for ILC sales, mirrorless is currently about 1/3 of overall ILC sales. At this rate, mirrorless ILCs will exceed 50% of that sector in 2015, if not during the previous quarter. I currently have both a very good DSLR, the Pentax K3, and a very good mirrorless, the Sony Nex6. My preference is to carry the Nex6 the majority of the time - except when its raining or its for my theater work.

It is hard to predict the future and I do think that it take a lot more then just one year that mirrorless will take over. But first we have to define take over! When I said take over I meant that there will be more mirrorless cameras out there in use then DSLRs.  Look at the numbers, at the moment 1.4 milion more DSLRs are shipped then mirrorless cameras. That is a large number! Befor you can get more mirrorless cameras out there then DSLRs you need a lot of sales, that take some years, years where DSLRs will dominate the landscape.

http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-201403_e.pdf

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spacemn
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

spacemn wrote:

What are you trying to insinuate in one of your usual sensationalist posts here? Sony FF sensors are on par with Canon FF sensors?

That for low-light performance, there is not a significant difference.

Really?! This video gives you a different perspective. Sony A7R is superior even in low light versus the 5D3:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5lFu6CuOdk

First of all try to compare the best Sony FF sensor (the 36Mpix sensor) with the Canon, although the conclusion is not much different:

I was comparing the most recent Nikon and Canon made FF sensors to the closest Sony equivalent.

Yes, at very high ISO the FF sensors do not exert big differences in IQ, whether it being SNR, DR, tonal range or colour sensitivity.

I think you can leave out the "very".

However at base ISO the Sony A7R is whopping 2 stops better than the Canon 6D and 1 stop better than the Nikon Df, AND we haven't even looked at the resolution yet.

Yes, the on-sensor ADC of the Sony sensors really helps here. (Neither the Df nor 6D have this.) But the claim was not about low ISO DR.

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Erik

I guess you have put your straw hat on now and coming with arguments not really adding to anything. It is just pathetic that you cannot admit the Sony sensor for really anyone is the better sensor than what Canon have to offer. That is also what is reflected in the DXOMark overall score (13 points difference). Then you can hang your straw hat on a narrow ISO interval where the sensors are virtually on par or try to make jumping jacks to lure away the attention from what matters.

I'd just be happy knowing that I can take a low light shot where ultimate IQ is needed with the Sony A7, using a tripod, basically trouncing the Canon by two stops in dynamic range (playing with highlights without the picture being destroyed by noise). As a Canon user I would really hope they would start innovate, even though the IQ is fine for most purposes. The competition is just running away in a very fast pace.

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Eamon Hickey
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time period too small
In reply to Philnw2, 5 months ago

Philnw2 wrote:

I agree with your comment, except for the last sentence. It won't take a lot of years

In the last CIPA report, for Jan, Feb March of 2014,

Column 4 is for Jan Feb Mar of 2014 compared to the same period a year previously.

A. DSLRs shipments were 82.7% for this 3 months from the previous year, 2.1 million cameras

B. Mirrorless shipments were 115.7% for this 3 months from the previous year, 0.7 million cameras

On 3-month period isn't enough to reach any conclusions or to make the 1-year projection that you made.

In the quarter just before the one you cited above, for example, DSLRs did better than mirrorless. DSLR unit shipments were down about 13% year-on-year, but mirrorless unit shipments were down about 21% year-on-year. It would have been easy for anybody to come on this forum and use those figures to project the imminent death of mirrorless -- they were after all shrinking 30% faster than DSLRs, right?

It may be that mirrorless will make another permanent gain on ILC market share starting this year (mirrorless has been stuck at about 20% of the worldwide ILC market for about a year, or slightly more). But we won't really know that's happening until we can see several consecutive quarterly reports. One quarter is not enough.

I do think that mirrorless cameras will eventually hold the majority share of the ILC market, but I'll be very surprised if that happens by 2015.

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Snikt228
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to Hans von der Crone, 5 months ago

Hans von der Crone wrote:

As someone who loves the art of photography, I often shudder when I see people pulling out their smartphone to take pictures. Sure I can understand using a phone for a casual picture, but I went to Mauritius and La Réunion a couple weeks ago, a fantastic vacation with marvellous views and I saw a majority taking their 'pictures' with smartphones. My children also don't understand why I bother with lenses, flashes etc when they can take 'a picture' just as well (urgh) with their smartphone or ipad.

Guess I'm growing old...

Well we'll see who will have good and memorable pictures 20 years from now, if the smartphone crowed even still has any of their memories (carry on through formats, backups, computer losses, etc..)

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Banhmi
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Re: yes, I did testing side-by-side; did you miss that?
In reply to Eamon Hickey, 5 months ago

Eamon Hickey wrote:

Donny out of Element here wrote:

Sorry, but that's nonsense. Nikon's flagship DSLR is a much better autofocusing camera than the A6000 (I have been testing them side-by-side for more than a month.) I have no desire to own the D4S, and in fact, I own an NEX-7. I much prefer small mirrorless cameras, and I hope they thrive. And the A6000 is indeed a very good autofocusing camera. But the D4S is a great autofocus performer -- clearly better.

In fact testing was done side by side and yes A6000 was fastest from all mirrorless cameras, but BTW just barely behind D4S. It was done with FE70-200 f4. So while you are correct about D4S is a better AF camera, it's not by any margin a much better, just a little better.

I've done very extensive testing. I've shot several thousand pictures with the A6000 and the FE 70-200 f4 of soccer (football), flag football (American), sprinters, joggers, bicyclists, dogs at play, birds in flight and much more. I shot all those subjects with the D4S, too, in the same shooting sessions. The D4S is much better.

Now, the D4S is also much better than any $650 DSLR (from Nikon or anyone else). The A6000's AF is perfectly competitive with any camera at or near its price range. That's the important point. I'm not criticizing the A6000's AF performance, which is impressive for its price. But the D4S is a lot better, as it should be.

I think this youtube video (link below) somewhat reconciles what you guys are saying.  The 7:00-8:00 and 12:00-14:00 are the most relevant components.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up8K_xd_iwU

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Jerry Fusselman
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More data
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

Where did you see DXOmark test results? I didn't see any.

Here you go:

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-A7R-versus-Canon-EOS-6D-versus-Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III___917_836_795

Did you actually look at the graphs or the single headline number?

Here is the SNR 18% graph (where it crosses the 32dB line is the low light score).

Here is the DR graph:

I welcome the extra issues you are bringing up here.  I'll respond carefully (for once).

  1. There is no such thing as "all of the data," because you can always get more.  There are many sources of data on this issue, and what to emphasize becomes a personal choice.  I've been running my own tests.  By the way, (even) the Sony Alpha a6000 easily beats my Canon 5D M3 in tripod testing at base ISO for landscapes.  In particular, the extra dynamic range from the a6000 at ISO 100 is wonderful.
  2. One of my personal choices is hard to justify in brief, but I believe it does not pay to take either of these two cameras beyond ISO 1600.  I now always use post processing to lighten the image when needed when my manual exposure settings combined with ISO 1600 give inadequate weight.  This is a long subject, and I don't want to justify it here.
  3. To me, therefore, the key sensor settings that matter are primarily ISO 100 and 1600.
  4. Yes, I looked at the five curves under the Measurements tab, and all five matter, but I didn't want to get bogged down in so much detail.  Any subset of that detail can look like cherry picking.
  5. DxOmark needs to go back to graphing school, for the dots at each ISO are way too far too the left relative to the x-axis.  That is, the first dots above are for ISO 100 (I'm almost sure), even though they look like they are for ISO 75 or so.
  6. So let's look at 1600 in these graphs, shall we?  That's the most relevant to me for low light with these two cameras, as I explained above.   In all cases (other than a tiny difference in ISO sensitivity---the least important of the five in this comparison), the A7r is either slightly better or much better (color sensitivity, which you omitted).

Since the A7r's sensor is better in every way that matters to me in low light, I would say it is false to call it worse, and that's what I have been trying to show in this part of the thread.

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Jerry Fusselman
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"A single arbitrary number?"
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

Which laws of physics are you thinking of? By all means, show us your proof.

I'm thinking of the laws of physics that compares more than just a single arbitrary number with no context as to actual significance.

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Erik

Hi Erik. I'll be unusually careful here too:

  1. You were talking about the laws of physics that say that no more than one stop of improvement in low-light performance over the Sony A7r is possible. That's the law of physics I was hoping you would provide for me. I'm still interested!
  2. There is no law of physics that "compares more than just a single arbitrary number with no context as to actual significance."
  3. It is not a "single arbitrary number." It is DxOmark's attempt to summarize, as best they can, overall quality of the sensor. I think they did a pretty good job, but you can check out their thinking here: http://www.dxomark.com/About/Lens-scores/Use-Case-Scores
  4. Can you do better for a single-number summary? If you can, let's hear it; we're always eager to learn. If you can't, then it makes no sense to say that Canon's best sensor is better in low light than Sony's best. The only way one can be better than the other is if you can find an index number for your assessments. If you truly believe that no index number is possible, then sweeping statements about relatively quality must generally be false due to the infinite number of dimensions of possible comparison.
  5. One virtue of an index number over tons of numbers is that you are less likely to be accused or guilty of cherry picking.

I'm quite happy to continue this discussion.

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras
In reply to spacemn, 5 months ago

Where in that video do they evaluate sensor performance using raw?

The sensor in the A7R & D800 has higher resolution, higher low ISO DR and yet gives up very little if anything at high ISO. *Overall*, it's likely the best you can purchase today.

But it's not the fastest in readout rate, it's not the best at high ISO according to the DxO graphs, and it doesn't support EFC.

So, back to my point: it's best at certain tasks but not at others.

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Philnw2
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Re: It won't take years, just 1 year
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 5 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Philnw2 wrote:

I agree with your comment, except for the last sentence. It won't take a lot of years

In the last CIPA report, for Jan, Feb March of 2014,

Column 4 is for Jan Feb Mar of 2014 compared to the same period a year previously.

A. DSLRs shipments were 82.7% for this 3 months from the previous year, 2.1 million cameras

B. Mirrorless shipments were 115.7% for this 3 months from the previous year, 0.7 million cameras

In the last 6 months there have been 8 new mirrorless models (excluding non-Japanese makers) and only 4 new DSLR/SLTs (1200D/D3300/A77-II/D4s.) Since this is shipments and not sales, you should expect that new models would dominate so as to fill the distribution channel.

So for ILC sales, mirrorless is currently about 1/3 of overall ILC sales. At this rate,

Assuming "this rate" carries forward is a huge assumption.

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Erik

Thanks for the replies from everyone, i always like a good dialogue.

First - the institution that puts out the cipa data assumes, as they often state, that shipments are equal to sales.  The reason is that all shipped cameras eventually get sold, if not at list, through sales, etc.  Distribution and retail companies, i assume, call for less shipments if they are getting overwhelmed with unsold stock.

Second - This is the first time I can recall where cipa data shows dslr sales dropping and mirrorless on the increase year on year.  And its not just the shipment data.  The recent Camera Store review of AF speed on a motocross track in good light (it wouldn't work so well for mirrorless in poor light) shows how far mirrorless has come.  And it wasn't just one make that made dramatic improvement in AF speed, it was Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony.  And last year, many pundits picked Sony A7 series as the camera of the year - a mirrorless FF ILC that challenges the DSLR in its capabilities.

Third. I've seen various naysayers that 2013 were saying it'll take 5 to 10 years for mirrorless to dominate.  When i say dominate, BTW, i'm only meaning in current sales, they will take more than 50% of the ILC market share.  I make no predictions on percent of existing cameras in use as far a camera share - not even sure if anyone even knows how to estimate that number.

Of course, this is an assumption on my part.  I may be totally wrong, but even none of the camera companies predicted the collapse of the PS cameras and the drop in dslr sales in the last 2 years.  My point is that things are happening far faster than anyone predicted in the camera community.

Anyway, thanks for the dialogue!!!

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: More data
In reply to Jerry Fusselman, 5 months ago

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

In particular, the extra dynamic range from the a6000 at ISO 100 is wonderful.

Yes, the base ISO DR advantage is large and readily exploitable in real world photography.  This is a great example of mapping a DxO number to a real world use case.

but I believe it does not pay to take either of these two cameras beyond ISO 1600.

Is there a different camera you would take past ISO 1600 or do you just not shoot past that? But OK, ISO 1600 is what you call low-light performance.

Yes, I looked at the five curves under the Measurements tab, and all five matter, but I didn't want to get bogged down in so much detail. Any subset of that detail can look like cherry picking.

But looking at these graphs, do they support your statement "According to DXOmark, the a7r sensor already beats every Canon camera (I own mostly Canon equipment) in low-light ISO performance."  Four performance graphs at the ISO 1600 line:

  • SNR18%: too close to call where it crosses the 1600 line.
  • DR: The 6D is slightly higher where it crosses the 1600 line.
  • Tonal Range: too close to call but the A7R may be a tiny bit higher.
  • Color Sensitivity: At the 1600 line, Sony about 1-bit higher.

So you look at that and say "beats?" On the right side of the, DxO attempts to indicate the visual significance of those numbers with a color scale. Are any of the differences visually significant? Remember also that this is purely based on the raw data not including a converter. Can you get these same differences (or more or less difference) using your toolchain of choice?

DxOmark needs to go back to graphing school, for the dots at each ISO are way too far too the left relative to the x-axis. That is, the first dots above are for ISO 100 (I'm almost sure), even though they look like they are for ISO 75 or so.

No, you don't understand what they are plotting: DxO plots their measured ISO, not what's set on the camera. For your low light case (set ISO to 1600 but brighten in post), where the lines actually cross the true ISO 1600 x-axis line is probably most meaningful.

the A7r is either slightly better or much better (color sensitivity, which you omitted).

How did you decide that the 1.2 bits (using the camera marked ISO and not actual exposure) was "much" better?  Can you see that difference?

Since the A7r's sensor is better in every way that matters to me in low light, I would say it is false to call it worse, and that's what I have been trying to show in this part of the thread.

I would not call the A7R sensor worse either.  At real ISO 1600-3200 they are likely indistinguishable for any practical photographic use.

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justmeMN
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Niche
In reply to Zeisschen, 5 months ago

A niche, yes, maybe in the American market. They forgot however, that America is not the center of the photography world.

The Economist magazine is based in London England.

Right now, the only place that mirrorless sells well is in Japan.

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: "A single arbitrary number?"
In reply to Jerry Fusselman, 5 months ago

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

It is not a "single arbitrary number." It is DxOmark's attempt to summarize, as best they can, overall quality of the sensor.

Since you referenced low-light performance, I hoped that you knew where the specific "Sports (low light ISO)" number comes from, not the overall score. And the significance of the difference (less than 1/4 stop in this case). Would the values be relatively different if you used 32dB instead?

Can you do better for a single-number summary?

No, but I also don't think it's worth the effort.

If you truly believe that no index number is possible, then sweeping statements about relatively quality must generally be false due to the infinite number of dimensions of possible comparison.

It was exactly such a sweeping statement that prompted me to respond.  Looking at anything to the right of ISO 1600 in the graphs, does your sweeping statement apply?

One virtue of an index number over tons of numbers is that you are less likely to be accused or guilty of cherry picking.

It means someone else did the dirty work of cherry picking - unless you can explain why 30dB is better than 32dB or 28dB.

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