Bridge camera with large sensor?

Started Nov 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
kb2zuz Veteran Member • Posts: 3,202
Larger sensor means larger lens

dholl wrote:

In the last few years we've seen large-sensor compacts (Sigma DP, Leica X, Canon G1X, Fuji X1). We've seen compact systems (M4/3, NEX, Samsung NX), we've even had Ricoh offering large sensors in lenses!

But have we had a bridge camera with a large sensor yet? I don't think so...and why not?

I'm thinking a superzoom with a high-end stabilised lens, similar to what Fuji, Casio, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic & Sony have been churning out for years. But instead of the usual 8x6mm or 9x7mm sensor, how about a 18x13mm, 23x16mm or even a full-frame sensor?

Potentially the perfect camera, methinks. And as The FZ200 has shown, it's possible to have a fixed f2.8 in a 24-600mm lens - ye gods, imagine that on a full-frame sensor! Is that even possible? Maybe to cover the full sensor image the lens would have to be as big as a telescope.

But I would still accept a 24-200mm f2.8 bridge camera on a full-frame sensor


The FZ200 is an 4.5-108mm f/2.8 lens and only needs to produce an image circle big enough to cover it's tiny sensor. Even a 24-200mm f/2.8 is going to be big. Look how big a Canon or Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is (and that doesn't even need go go down to 24mm. They make 28-300mm lenses but they are usually f/4-5.6 variable aperture lenses, and they still fairly large in size. Longer focal lengths require larger lenses, larger apertures require larger lenses, and larger image circles (making a lens work well with a larger sensor) mean larger lenses. Look at the Nikon and Canon 28-300mm lenses, and see if you'd be happy with one of those on a "bridge camera."

For people who care about being able to super-zoom in a small package, having a small sensor with densely packed pixels is actually advantageous as a 108mm lens gives an equivalent field of view as a 600mm lens on a full frame camera (which would be drastically bigger and heavier).

There have been a few cameras along the way that have tried this the Sony R1 is the best example which had an APS-C sensor and a 14.3-71.5mm (24-120mm equivalent) f/2.8-4.8 is the best example, but it is on the larger side of bridge cameras. If you wanted to make it full frame, it would be a bit larger. If you wanted it to have a longer zoom, it would be even larger. If you wanted the aperture to be f/4 or wider throughout the range, it would be larger still.

The biggest issue is will it sell. The R1 wasn't as popular because a number of people who would consider it said either "this is too big for me" or "if I'm going to pay this much and carry something this big, I could get a "real camera" and buy a Rebel and a couple zoom lenses. If a camera like this has a small market, camera companies have two options: don't sell it or sell it at a very high mark-up. Point and shoots and entry level SLRs sell in very high numbers so even if the camera companies make a small profit on each one, they're happy because they sell millions of them. If a camera like this isn't going to be as popular as a 6D or D600, they'll have to sell it for significantly more to make a decent profit on the few that they sell, which means a full frame bridge camera might end up being $3,000 or more. A big, heavy, $3,000 camera that you can't change the lens on... it might be an interesting niche for some people, but I don't find it that appealing. I'm more interested in making the camera as small as possible and having wide apertures. I'm far more interested in Sony's new RX1 (full frame with a 35mm f/2). Of course it's a niche camera at $2,800 but personally I like the idea of small, discrete, low-light camera over a super-zoom.

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