Is there time for an interchangeable sensor DSLR?

Started Oct 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,141
I wish it were like film and you could upgrade...

Tommot1965 wrote:

I wish there Id have kept my D300s and popped a new sensor in a magic camera ...too many great pieces of hardware get wasted due to being a little outdated in the sensor area..I wish it were like film and you could upgrade as new advances were made

That's the problem with film comparisons. I shot the stuff for over 30 years. Do you know how few advances were made in that time? About one major advance per decade. Kodak's T grains and 2 electron grains, and Fuji's three layer emulsion. That's about it.

And you couldn't really "upgrade as new advances were made". I shot a lot of an old, old technique that became an "advance" when a "cult" started, the use of microfilm. Back in the 70s, some of us used to shoot Kodak High Contrast Copy Film, a document film with too high a contrast for use in general photography, with a "third party" reducing developer called  "H&W Control" that gave it a longer scale. Eventually Kodak rereleased HCCF as "Tech Pan" and their own version of Control as "Technidol". But the average 35mm DSLR was not up to the task of focusing accurately enough to shoot that high resolution. We're still seeing that. Look at the debacle with the Nikon D800 focusing errors. Nikon's factory procedures weren't up to aligning a camera's focus system, mirror, and sensor well enough to feed that 36mp monster. What would happen five years from now, when the resolution doubles or triples again? There's not an existing camera that could focus it. The interchangeable sensor can't fix that.

OK, back to film. HCCF or Tech Pan (or the ADOX and EFKE that sprang up when Kodak dropped the film totally) took heroic effort. I realigned the focus systems in and FM2 and F100 to deal with it, changed screens on an 8008, gave up on the F5 totally. Changing film, for the most part, was really a solution for photographers who wanted to only maintain one camera system, a versatile 35mm system, instead of dealing with 35mm for some missions, medium format for others, and a 4x5 or 8x10 field camera or view camera (or both) for others.

And that's where we've come to, today. Film didn't let us "upgrade as new advances were made", it forced us into a pattern where we had to maintain separate and incompatible camera systems for a lot of jobs. 1980, anyone who did photojournalism had 35mm. Anyone who did weddings or events had medium format. Anyone who did architecture or product had a large format view camera. Anyone who did a lot of things had a lot of cameras. That's the one true film analogy.

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Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008. Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed. Ciao! Joseph

 Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list:Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D90 Nikon D2X Nikon D3 Nikon D100 +43 more
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