My dream full-frame camera.

Started Apr 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 56,016
Re: My dream full-frame camera.

Rservello wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

robin t wrote:

Weight: FT2 wins

Battery Life: FT2 slaughters
Image quality: equal
Indestructibility: FT2 by miles
Price: FT2
Quality glass at a reasonable price: FT2
Fun to use: FT2 in a landslide

So why can't we get back to this?

Because two of them are dead false, IMHO - Image quality and fun to use.

The image quality of film was pretty horrible unless you were shooting at ISO 100 or below (ISO 400 film was the red-line for me, while ISO 12,800 is the red-line in digital for me). And modern digitals have three distinct features that just crush old film systems for fun to use for me - ability to change ISO on the fly, tracking autofocus, and image stabilization.

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Lee Jay

For me, the reason I would want this is because of high ISO...the ability to shift ISO as a part of exposure selection as needed, and IQ. People love to glamorize the ability of film....but can't compare in low light, hand held. Sure you could get an image but it would have massive motion blur and be grainy as hell. Digital has the distinct advantage of high speed low light ability. You can keep your auto anything. I just want to shoot like a film camera with the quality of digital.

The point about it is that 'auto anything' costs nothing. You have to put a very powerful processor in a digital camera, and electrically controlled hardware is cheaper to manufacture above a very basic quality level (there are lots of reasons for that, that I can expand on, if you want). A digital camera is almost inevitable thicker than a film one and not everyone likes or wants a small camera anyway. The design of the Df almost certainly started out with the same kind of thinking as you, but each almost inevitable design decision that's made leads it from a digital FM to a Df.

i) Construction: Diecast aluminium chassis with pressed brass covers or plastic chassis with thixomoulded magnesium covers? Obviously the latter, because it's (a) cheaper, (b) stronger, (c) lighter, (d) compatible with current production lines.

ii) Shutter: use a clockwork one, or one from the parts bin? Obviously the latter, the performance will be better and it will be much cheaper, plus no R&D costs. So now it has an electronic shutter.

iii) Mirror mech: develop a new 'old' clockwork one or use one from the parts bin? Obviously the latter, for the same reasons as (ii)

iv) Metering: back to the old centre weighting or use components from the parts bin? Obviously the latter - the old components used by the FM will be unobtainable or very expensive now, so to go back to an analog of the old system means designing from scratch, with all the R&D costs. Unfortunately, the modern metering will make the prism housing quite a bit bigger, but in the end, it's not so sure that being small is universally a saleable feature.

v) AF? Well, we have an AF mirror box, and will AF lose sales? probably not. Look at the fuss that was made when the focus motor was left out of the low end. Put it in. If we don't we'll need a new range of lenses anyway.

vi) LCD on the back? People like chimping. An unchimpable camera loses some of the big advantages of video. Not putting it on simply restricts the market, so on it goes.

Voila - started with a digital FM2, ended with a Df.

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