Albert Silver: You are wrong about the cutting costs, since although Canon and Nikon models are priced like Rolls-Royces, you can get fantastic value in the Tamron 70-200 VC, which you have neglected to review, and costs $1499 (checked now on Amazon). DXO has it as the absolute best lens of this kind for the Nikon D610.
I included the Sigma into my tables to show that third-party 70-200 F2.8s can be cheaper - there isn't the page width to show it's also true for the Tamron. The own-brand Fujfilm and Samsung are aiming for Canon and Nikon levels of build and optical quality, so it seemed reasonable to *primarily* compare those prices, while including a third-party lens to show the fuller picture.
But I maintain that, while it probably is very good on the D610, I'd still rather have a dedicated 50-150mm if I were shooting APS-C (the Tamron is 197mm long and weighs 1470g, so it considerably bigger and heavier).
wolfloid: This whole article is based on a very basic misunderstanding. The lenses are the 'equivalents of 70-200 f4 lenses. NOT f2.8 lenses. Depth of field on APS-C at f2.8 is 'equivalent to f4 on full frame. Any light gathering advantage of f2.8 on APS-C is mitigated by the larger sensor of FF, which, if the sensors are of the same quality, will have half the noise of APS-C.
So, the Canon 70-200IS f4 is actually the lens to compare these new lenses with, and that, of couse, is smaller and lighter.
@Wolfloid - there's no misunderstanding on my part. I've added a sentence near the beginning of the article to make clearer that I'm talking about APS-C almost exclusively. I'm not comparing 50-150mm F2.8s on APS-C to 70-200mm F2.8s on full frame - I'm comparing them to 70-200s on APS-C.
I've brought inter-format equivalence up only where it's relevant.
Andr3w: The Pentax 50-135 f/2.8 has been out since 2007 and is very well regarded. Unfortunate that it gets written off because it "doesn't sell very well". Any data to back this statement up? It is the second most rated Pentax lens on B&H.
I can't imaging Fuji or Samsung will sell significantly more anytime soon since Pentax has had a 7 year head start.
My intention wasn't to write it off (I even mention that it's one of the things I look forward to when reviewing a Pentax DSLR).
However, this is an article about the new lenses for mirrorless systems. I tried to acknowledge that such lenses already exist for APS-C and thought I'd given Pentax due credit.
Vignes: I standardise to EF lens. I can use it for FF and crops sensor bodies. Not sure whether I want to collect EF-S lens if lets say Canon went along this path.Companys like Samsung, Fuji, Pentax may develop crop sensor lens but this is where they run into a 'brick wall' when they want to develop FF cameras. They have to re-develop or do what Sony and Nikon does - reduce the MP. Can't see Fuji jumping in FF system, Samsung may do it (they have the money), Pentax may do it to please their customers with legacy lens. Pentax has been saying this for some time but haven't materialised yet.
If you've decided that full frame is the only size/image quality balance you're happy with, then it makes sense to only buy a full frame camera and lenses.
However, the idea that it's the optimal format for everyone is false, at which point the idea of an 'upgrade path' is arguably more of a benefit to the manufacturers than it is to the photographer.
BarnET: Even though the Author did make a note of the equivalence to 70-200mm F4.
He also made a terrible conclusion that these lenses on Apsc save weight.70-200mm F4 lenses are in pretty much all cases lighter then these now F2.8 zooms.
So these lenses do not allow the photographer to save weight at all.
Almost the entire article is written about APS-C.
50-150mm F2.8s are lighter than 70-200mm F2.8s and brighter than 70-200mm F4s (albeit slightly heavier, which is acknowledged, with the actual weights quoted).
There is an aside about full frame (which isn't really the topic), saying that, on full frame the 70-200mm F4 is lighter, cheaper and offers the same capabilities as a 50-150mm F2.8 on APS-C. However you then have to factor-in the cost and weight of a full frame body...
Advent1sam: Seeing as the Panasonic 35-100 2.8 set the trend for a real 2.8 70-200 equivalent in this area and the fact it weighs only 350g and will outperforms the Fuji when mounted on the GH4/Gx7/em1/em5 this is a very biased piece and you should be embarassed DPR! APS and m43 are now neck and neck in performance and to add the comment as a bit of an afterthought/aside is all a bit biased. Samsung Nx1 is unproven in any respect and the Fuji is a little suspect too.
@Advent1sam - Sigma, Pentax and Tokina all offered 70-200mm equivalent lenses for APS-C back in around 2007, so it's not fair to say Panasonic started this trend.
However, since the Panasonic follows the same logic as the lenses I'm discussing (albeit with a different size/image quality balance), I did include it. As such. I'm a little surprised by your criticism.
ryan2007: Did I miss the Panasonic 35-100 mm 2.8, that is a 70-200 equivalent. They were, to my knowledge, the first to do this.
peevee1 - that's also discussed.
Malikknows: Thanks much for this, Mr. Butler. You address evenhandedly a subject many of us are curious about. I do wish you had elaborated on your point here, though:
"The new lens I'm not mentioning here is the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro. This is because, although in one respect it's a very similar lens to the other ones I'm discussing, its effect on a Micro Four Thirds body is very different."
I'd like to hear your view on exactly what that effect is.
Hi Malikknows - thanks for your comment. I've added a note into that section to stress that the 80-300mm equivalent range makes it a rather different creature. It's the range, rather than the equivalent aperture that makes me think of it as different.
JoEick: This article is very misleading.
If the point of the article is to tell the reader how a 50-150 works similar on APS-C to 70-200 on full frame, then there needs to be more thought put into equivalent apertures.
You need f2.8 on crop to roughly equal f4 on full frame. The Fuji f2.8 zoom has no meaningful size or weight savings over a Canon 70-200 f4.
Until we see more f1.8 and f2.0 zooms for APS-C, there is nothing that compares in light gathering for full frame f2.8.
There is no free lunch when it comes to light, physics, and lenses.
This article is about the lens choices you have *if* you are one of the very large numbers of people who own an APS-C camera , and why it makes more sense (to me) to buy lenses that are designed for the format you shoot. That's why it only talks about equivalent apertures when it's explicitly making comparisons to other formats.
I've added the following sentence, near the beginning, in the hope of clarifying that:
"Like any format, APS-C offers a particular size/image quality balance, so it surely makes sense to seize as much of that size benefit as possible and use lenses designed with this in mind."
Wes Syposz: this is getting sillier all the time, nobody talks about image creation and creativity, the equivalency of F-stop at different format is for calculating DOF and nothing to do with the metering system, if one wants to change the DOF, all one has to do is to change the distance to the photographed subject, problem with so called BOKEH, chose different background, too much silly discussion, reminds me of Monty Python episode Department of silly walks...
That's precisely why the only place it's discussed in this article is where I'm talking about other formats (because that's the only time it's relevant).
mmitch: Honestly, I think the market is over saturated with compact cameras. How manyoptions do you need in a point and shoot camera? I personally can't stand using them. They are too small for my hands and ergonomically they suck. If you are that concerned about chip size and features stop replacing your point and shoot every time a new one is released. Save your money for a full size DSLR that you will be happy with for years.
@fedway: currently around twice as many compacts as interchangeable lens cameras are being made. It was 11 times as many in 2008.
@mmitch - the market *was* over-saturated with compact cameras but it's been a long time since we've seen each brand introduce 8-10 new models, each differing in screen size and lens range. Most manufacturers are contracting their lineups and focusing on superzooms and high-end models.
tkbslc: Seems like you left a lot out between LX3 and RX100, but I agree with the article's opinion overall.
I was trying to focus on the significant breakthrough cameras, but the LX3 seemed to spur on a revitalisation of the enthusiast compact market, which then led to the RX100 and so on...
backayonder: You keep telling me my Olympus XZ1 is dying because you all have smartphones well thank god I still have my heavy cumbersome DSLR and 70-200mm lens
The point I was aiming for was: you now have a choice of more good compacts like the XZ-1 because the cheaper, mass-market models are being wiped-out by smartphones.
peevee1: "Why the death of the point and shoot"
Rumors of their death are greatly exaggerated. Fixed-lens cameras still sell many times the number of ILCs. And excellent products like RX10, FZ1000, LX100 and G7X will only reinforce this advantage.
@peevee1 - The value of fixed lens cameras has fallen by 60% since 2012, *despite* the emergence of cameras such as the RX10 and G1 X II, which would help prop-up the newer figure.
Twice as many only sounds good until you consider that it used to be over 11:1 (and ILC sales are essentially unchanged across that same period).
Ultimately, you seem to be making the same point I am: the only way manufacturers can make money, in the light of a catastrophic fall in sales of conventional point-and-shoots is to make niche, higher-margin compacts for people who care enough about image quality. And that means more choice and better cameras for an audience that the manufacturers never used to bother with.
rufusrm44: This statement is false:
"Quite simply, the smaller sensor will receive less light at matched exposures (same shutter speed and aperture) and this means more noise."
It's only true if the pixel pitch is lower (meaning the pixel density is greater.) But if the number and size of the pixels are identical, that less light received on the m43 sensor is equivalent to the 'more' light gathered by full frame because the full frame requires more light to cover the larger sensor.
Imagine if you had a sensor that was cut 1/4 the size of the full frame sensor. That means it only needs the same shutter speed and aperture to produce the same quality of image, but that image would be only 1/4 the pixels of the ff sensor, and would therefore only need 1/4 the light.
By more picture I either mean that there's a big border of additional image around the edges (if you're using the same focal length) or there's more detail/resolution (if you're using equivalent lenses, offering the same point of view).
At the same f-number and shutter speed a large sensor will receive more light and, since the (quantum) efficiencies of pixels are very similar across different sensor sizes, large sensor's don't need more light.
To avoid having to talk in the broadest possible terms, can we agree on the scenario we're describing?
Are we discussing the same focal lengths or the equivalent focal lengths (giving the same framing)?
Are we discussing the same resolution on both cameras or have they got the same sized pixels (therefore the larger format has more pixels in total)?
Looked at in terms of value, the situation isn't any prettier:
The value of current compact production is down 60% compared to 2012 and down 78% compared to 2008.
ILC values are down 25% compared to 2012 but only 1% down on 2008.
This means fixed lens cameras now account for 42% of production value, down from 77% in 2008.
I'd be interested to look up the rate of decline of CD sales over the past few years but I doubt it's as dramatic.
Take a look at the [Jan-Jun figures from CIPA](http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-201406_e.pdf) this year. Then compare them to those from just [two years ago](http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-201206_e.pdf).
Fixed lens cameras (including enthusiast models and superzooms, which we're told are still selling), make up 67% of production (by volumes), this year. This sounds good until you consider they made up 82% of volumes two years ago and 92% back in 2008. This isn't due to a rise in ILC sales, either - they're down 30% compared to 2012.
To put it another way, compacts are currently produced 2:1 compared to ILCs, whereas that number was 4.6:1 in 2012 and 11.6:1 in 2008.
Compact camera production is down 70%, compared to 2012.
tbcass: There is a lot of emphasis on DOF control. Is there something wrong with me that I don't consider that of utmost importance? Overall the camera is very cleverly designed and looks quite impressive.
@mosc is right to highlight the real-world restrictions on the point I'm making.
If a larger format can match a smaller format for depth-of-field by stopping down, then there's no disadvantage to doing so, compared to a smaller format.
Equally, though, if the larger format's lens won't stop down far enough to match depth-of-field, then the smaller format has the advantage (though with the same diffraction as you'd get from the larger format if you *could* stop down further).
@tbcass - if diffraction is a problem on one system, it will be on all systems. If you are getting any specific amount of depth-of-field from one camera, then you'll experience the same amount of diffraction as you would from a smaller or larger format.
Equally, if you match depth of field (and angle of view and shooting position - as you'd need to, to create matching images), then you're letting the same amount of light onto the sensor, regardless of format.
Eg 24mm f/8 lens on Full Frame and 12mm f/4 lens on Four Thirds both have 3mm apertures, so give the same depth of field, the same diffraction and the same *total* amount of light, at the same shutter speed. The full frame camera will have to be set to a higher ISO, but that doesn't really matter - the fact they're creating images from the same amount of light is likely to be the dominant factor in defining the amount of noise in the image, not the amount of amplification.
@ rufusrm44 - yes, a sensor with 1/4 the area and 1/4 the number of pixels would look the same as the central 1/4 taken from a larger image. But one of those two photos would be terrible (too cropped or loosely framed).
Pixel-for-pixel everything is the same, but you're ignoring the fact that the larger sensor has captured more picture.
Again, if you refer to [this diagram](http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2666934640/what-is-equivalence-and-why-should-i-care/2), it should be apparent why - the larger sensor is able to capture more of the light from the lens.
To make it more photographically relevant, you could put a shorter lens on the small sensor camera to ensure both cameras have the same field-of-view. Matched f-numbers would still give the same light-per-unit area but the aperture diameter would be smaller for the small sensor (16mm/8 vs 32mm/8 for instance). These are all downstream consequences of the fact that larger sensors are exposed to more light at matched exposures.