Thom's "Are We Analyzing Small Details Too Much?" opinion piece

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Scott McL
Scott McL Regular Member • Posts: 249
But time to sweat other details more heavily...

His point is that FF sensor quality has been darned good since the D3s and D700 era. Smaller sensor quality has been darned good since D7000 era and now more than good enough with latest even smaller 4/3 sensors. Excellent points! We can stop sweating DR and High ISO prowess on new cameras, at least above a certain sensor size threshold. Yipee!

As a nerd, it makes me think of CPU's in recent history. Much more emphasis on cache, internal parallelism, hyperthreading and power consumption vs. raw clock speed that dominated the debate for so many, many years (decades).

But to me this greatly raises the bar for camera manufacturers. They can't just rely on sensor improvements to sell new cameras! Yay!

So, I'd have a D600 in my grubby hands right now if 1) ​there were no unresolved QC issues ​and 2) ​there were alternate, contrasty focusing screens available for manual focus lenses​. I'd likely have ​two d600 class bodies ​if Nikon would shrink the dimensions to something akin to the FM/FE or Oly OM bodies of yore (yes, I'll live with a small battery). I'd might consider buying more Nikkor lenses if Nikon saw fit to spruce up their smaller f2-2.8 class wide-to-short-tele primes.

This is not about "shoulds." This is not about "better" or "worse" that seems to drive current camera body design and marketing. It's about meeting particular, often qualitative differing criteria of different segments of the shooting population.

So clearly, I'm interested in manual focus (and even with AF, visual confirmation - not "green dot" - of focus point) and a smaller/lighter body+prime lenses kit, while preserving very high image quality. Oh, and I'm ​not interested ​in futzing with returns or extra maintenance or testing due to QC issues! There are other folks like me that will buy new cameras if these needs are met.

There are other groups of folks with their ​particular niche criteria who will buy new cameras if their actual needs are met: wildlife shooters, very discrete event shooters, portrait shooters, landscape shooters, different types of macro shooters, street shooters, sports shooters, all classes of carry-camera-everywhere shooters, etc.

Thank God, I hope Thom is right - the "sensor wars" are approaching an end. Now camera manufacturers can return to designing a wider variety of cameras and lenses and accessories ​given a new (old) mandate to increase share and profits one market niche at a time. Fingers crossed...

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"Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed." - Garry Winogrand

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