Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

Started Feb 8, 2013 | Discussions
alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart
1

With DPR posting up the D5200 image samples my thoughts again went down the path of image quality, technology and the like.

Looking at the D5200, and I dont know its pricing, but lets say $1000 with lens, it has IQ that is so very similar to the D3x which a few years ago was being sold for $8000... one can apply the same thinking to those who just bought say  Pentax 645 (I was considering one) vs the D800e... Technology is moving so fast right now, that unless a photographer needs the improvements in IQ it seems staying a couple of steps behind the curve works quite well.

As it stands today, the OMD sensor makes for a very competitive product at a $1000 body pricepoint, being weathersealed with a lot of innovative features such as the 5-axis IBIS which is very effective both for video and stills. When one compared it to say the D5200 it holds its own, and when one compares it to the D3x, D3 etc, it compares well while sitting just behind (ISO for ISO).

More and more I have been thinking about the next body that uses the 43rds glass, if we can get the OMD sensor, tweaked for slightly better performance in a DSLR body I honestly cant see myself upgrading for quite some time... Now I know, I know there are people out there who say "yes but you always say that)... But seriously, look at how far cameras have come. The D3, D3s and D4 have been incremental improvements in IQ (specifically for high ISO) while most additions have been to features such as video, connectivity etc.

The D3x to the D800 IQ improvements centre around low iso resolution and I am sure many D3x owners feel they could upsize and save themselves $3000...

So where does that leave my thinking for the next professional body, I feel we have gained so much across the board in simple IQ, high ISO etc. combined with the fast lenses available for most systems there are fewer and fewer environments where modern cameras cant produce results.

Olympus will probably do what many others have done, their next flagship will follow suit. It will be a little cheaper, with slightly improved IQ, a bit smaller and contain a lot of new features probably geared towards AF, Framerate, Video and connectivity.

If that is the case, and I strongly see it that way, then this next body will keep me very happy through a lot of creative growth for stills with my HG lenses, but also for Video.

Abraham

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illy
illy Forum Pro • Posts: 12,160
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

i don't think i'll ever go for top spec camera model again, i'd rather get a lower end model and replace it every couple of years, ok you may miss or want some of the stuff the pro models have, but in reality the I.Q coming from the more budget conscious range is excellent, and the money you save can be used for better lenses or a nice trip somewhere.

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Olymore
Olymore Senior Member • Posts: 1,729
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

I think I may still go for the OMD pro but not until it is a year or two old or about to be replaced.

TBH if Olympus comes out with an E5xxx with the sony sensor that would be sufficient for me though weather sealing would be a bonus. Even so I'll wait until the price settles down and any 'issues' have been resolved.

The E-M5 was the first and last camera that I bought straight after it was released.

A moment of weakness

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Silverback46
Silverback46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,267
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

I agree with this thinking as well. These models produce excellent results and advancements in software continue to make them fantastic buys. I am not sure how much better digital cameras can get but I am still impressed by the output they produce today.

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RoelHendrickx
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,861
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

illy wrote:

i don't think i'll ever go for top spec camera model again, i'd rather get a lower end model and replace it every couple of years, ok you may miss or want some of the stuff the pro models have, but in reality the I.Q coming from the more budget conscious range is excellent, and the money you save can be used for better lenses or a nice trip somewhere.

While I agree with the general reasoning in the OP, I do indeed sometimes buy the new top range model pretty soon.  Olympus flagships (E-3, E-5) are not exactly cheap, but they do offer a lot for the money (especially if you consider the need for an extremely robust and weathersealed take-anywhere-and-never-worry camera).

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illy
illy Forum Pro • Posts: 12,160
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

RoelHendrickx wrote:

illy wrote:

i don't think i'll ever go for top spec camera model again, i'd rather get a lower end model and replace it every couple of years, ok you may miss or want some of the stuff the pro models have, but in reality the I.Q coming from the more budget conscious range is excellent, and the money you save can be used for better lenses or a nice trip somewhere.

While I agree with the general reasoning in the OP, I do indeed sometimes buy the new top range model pretty soon. Olympus flagships (E-3, E-5) are not exactly cheap, but they do offer a lot for the money (especially if you consider the need for an extremely robust and weathersealed take-anywhere-and-never-worry camera).

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my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara: http://www.biofos.com/ukpsg/roel.html

full weather sealing is a special case that simply puts the price up, i've used my D5100 in a snowstorm in minus degrees without a single problem, i wouldn't go much further than that with it but for me that's about as bad a situation i shoot in, if you need it then you got to pay for it.

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OP alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

RoelHendrickx wrote:

illy wrote:

i don't think i'll ever go for top spec camera model again, i'd rather get a lower end model and replace it every couple of years, ok you may miss or want some of the stuff the pro models have, but in reality the I.Q coming from the more budget conscious range is excellent, and the money you save can be used for better lenses or a nice trip somewhere.

While I agree with the general reasoning in the OP, I do indeed sometimes buy the new top range model pretty soon. Olympus flagships (E-3, E-5) are not exactly cheap, but they do offer a lot for the money (especially if you consider the need for an extremely robust and weathersealed take-anywhere-and-never-worry camera).

I agree, and the Olympus lens line-up from the HG to the SHG compliments this. While I have bought into m43rds with a lot of primes none of them are weather sealed, and I think all the people hoping Olympus will quickly replicate the quality of the HG zooms in a smaller weathersealed package will be disappointed.

We will most likely see the lenses either will less range (my thinking), smaller apertures or compromised image quality. I look forward to the new body and using my 12-60 and 50-200 SWD feature again

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OP alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

illy wrote:

i don't think i'll ever go for top spec camera model again, i'd rather get a lower end model and replace it every couple of years, ok you may miss or want some of the stuff the pro models have, but in reality the I.Q coming from the more budget conscious range is excellent, and the money you save can be used for better lenses or a nice trip somewhere.

Many users feel the same way about m43rds, with the EPL5 being a good balance of price and IQ... That is where I think camera makers are having to rethink their feature sets, pricepoints and size... I mean, I could be wrong, but I dont see Nikon releasing a D3x type camera again with the D800 sensor, mostly because I cant see many buying it... What would compel D4 owners to spend another $5000 on the D5? ISO 500,000? Maybe, but the number must be dwindling.

That is why I think the big guns are introducing lower tier FF bodies, to entice their crop sensor users to move up... However, while cheaper, they are not cheap, and while offering excellent IQ... so does the D5200... They are a bit compromised right now...

I would imagine this push to FF may give Olympus a window of opportunity at the $1300-$1500 price point if they play their cards right. The HG lenses still represent some of the best quality, flexibility and range in their pricepoint for many purposes. If we dont see any new APSC bodies this year, but we see a radically new DSLR from Olympus they may very well have a bit of a jump back into the market.

Just my thinking. And I agree, money saved for a trip is money well spent!

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TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,488
Performance is beginning to peak, but there are still advantages to be had.

Current sensors are starting to get beyond what most of us use, most of the time. (cue the urchin who shoots nothing but black cats in coal bins...) And it's a real problem for the camera makers, because they're running out of compelling reasons for people to buy the latest and greatest. You can see this in what they're offering - there are only two directions they can go to get big improvements, either a larger sensor in the dslr body, or a smaller overall size.  Hence the two hot items today: the lower cost FF bodies, and the high end EM5.

Still, there are some improvements that one can't discern with the old standby's of ISO and MP. Let's take the EM5's sensor, as it's as good as a 4/3 sensor can be today.

The new sensor has both better DR and greatly improved PP headroom. You can take an average shot and make it dramatic with careful shadow and highlight manipulation, more so than with previous 4/3 sensors. The dreaded banding of the E3 is gone, as is it's propensity to show artifacts when bumping up sharpness. The EM5 sensor has done more for my pitiful PP skills than anything, because I can kick a shot around in PP without seeing it clog up with undesirable side effects. Before, I had trouble beating the Oly JPEGs with RAW. Now, I'm a devoted RAW type.

What's really amazing is what that sensor is connected to - an IBIS system that is very effective. That allows me to shoot the 50-200 at 200, down to 1/30, and get keepers, almost all the time.

Normally, I stay 1 to 2 years behind for the cost savings - more money for glass - and in the past, body upgrades never got me that much, going E1->E330->E3. Bought a used EP1 instead of a new E5, because the E5's price exceeded the gains over the E3 and the EP1 had the same sensor at a much lower price. But, the EP1 had weak glass, and ZD on EP1 was more an act of desperation than viable alternative. When the EM5 was announced, I saw the battery grip that made for decent handling with ZD lenses (albeit with sluggish AF) along with promised improvements in DR (yeah, right), and something clicked. I ordered one a week after it was announced, got it last April, and for once, a 'revolutionary new product' actually lived up to the billing. The DR and PP headroom really are a lot better, and the IBIS exceeds expectations.

Doubt I'll do that again... unless the new body next fall turns out to be both 4/3 (if only my beloved ZD's would AF decently) and M43 (going ultra compact with no grip and some of those new fast primes is nice)...

OP alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Performance is beginning to peak, but there are still advantages to be had.

TrapperJohn wrote:

Current sensors are starting to get beyond what most of us use, most of the time. (cue the urchin who shoots nothing but black cats in coal bins...) And it's a real problem for the camera makers, because they're running out of compelling reasons for people to buy the latest and greatest. You can see this in what they're offering - there are only two directions they can go to get big improvements, either a larger sensor in the dslr body, or a smaller overall size. Hence the two hot items today: the lower cost FF bodies, and the high end EM5.

Still, there are some improvements that one can't discern with the old standby's of ISO and MP. Let's take the EM5's sensor, as it's as good as a 4/3 sensor can be today.

The new sensor has both better DR and greatly improved PP headroom. You can take an average shot and make it dramatic with careful shadow and highlight manipulation, more so than with previous 4/3 sensors. The dreaded banding of the E3 is gone, as is it's propensity to show artifacts when bumping up sharpness. The EM5 sensor has done more for my pitiful PP skills than anything, because I can kick a shot around in PP without seeing it clog up with undesirable side effects. Before, I had trouble beating the Oly JPEGs with RAW. Now, I'm a devoted RAW type.

The newer sensor helps, for my work I have always worked from RAW... However for my personal photography I still use the OOC Jpegs for all my personal stuff, and they are hard to beat!

What's really amazing is what that sensor is connected to - an IBIS system that is very effective. That allows me to shoot the 50-200 at 200, down to 1/30, and get keepers, almost all the time.

Normally, I stay 1 to 2 years behind for the cost savings - more money for glass - and in the past, body upgrades never got me that much, going E1->E330->E3. Bought a used EP1 instead of a new E5, because the E5's price exceeded the gains over the E3 and the EP1 had the same sensor at a much lower price. But, the EP1 had weak glass, and ZD on EP1 was more an act of desperation than viable alternative. When the EM5 was announced, I saw the battery grip that made for decent handling with ZD lenses (albeit with sluggish AF) along with promised improvements in DR (yeah, right), and something clicked. I ordered one a week after it was announced, got it last April, and for once, a 'revolutionary new product' actually lived up to the billing. The DR and PP headroom really are a lot better, and the IBIS exceeds expectations.

I was int he same boat, owning the EP2 and EPL2 I couldnt see myself getting the E-5 for my work as I could get 99% of the way there with the m43rds bodies... Of course my professional photography is product based so the slow AF isnt a problem... The EM5 does a lot, and replaces a full DSLR for a lot of applications, however the large AF box creates problems in certain cases, it is simply too big. Combined with the CDAF, if the subject is standing in front of something higher contrast than themselves it will often pick the background to focus on.

I have said many times I dont see olympus taking a quantum leap from current on sensor AF to something that would keep pace with the E-5, that is why I suspect a traditional DSLR is on the way. Now I do have a hunch w will see a new AF system in the next flagship and there are a number of ways it could be done... So I am quite optimistic about the new body.

Doubt I'll do that again... unless the new body next fall turns out to be both 4/3 (if only my beloved ZD's would AF decently) and M43 (going ultra compact with no grip and some of those new fast primes is nice)...

I am on the fence here, I dont think a m43rds body will be ready for the expectations of the DSLR users AF experience with their ZD lenses... Now I would be happy to be proved wrong as I get to use all my lenses on one body, but I dont mind having m43rds and 43rds... It will be cheaper than rebuying 12-60, 50-200 50mm and 35mm lenses for m43rds

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illy
illy Forum Pro • Posts: 12,160
Re: Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

alatchin wrote:

illy wrote:

i don't think i'll ever go for top spec camera model again, i'd rather get a lower end model and replace it every couple of years, ok you may miss or want some of the stuff the pro models have, but in reality the I.Q coming from the more budget conscious range is excellent, and the money you save can be used for better lenses or a nice trip somewhere.

Many users feel the same way about m43rds, with the EPL5 being a good balance of price and IQ... That is where I think camera makers are having to rethink their feature sets, pricepoints and size... I mean, I could be wrong, but I dont see Nikon releasing a D3x type camera again with the D800 sensor, mostly because I cant see many buying it... What would compel D4 owners to spend another $5000 on the D5? ISO 500,000? Maybe, but the number must be dwindling.

That is why I think the big guns are introducing lower tier FF bodies, to entice their crop sensor users to move up... However, while cheaper, they are not cheap, and while offering excellent IQ... so does the D5200... They are a bit compromised right now...

I would imagine this push to FF may give Olympus a window of opportunity at the $1300-$1500 price point if they play their cards right. The HG lenses still represent some of the best quality, flexibility and range in their pricepoint for many purposes. If we dont see any new APSC bodies this year, but we see a radically new DSLR from Olympus they may very well have a bit of a jump back into the market.

Just my thinking. And I agree, money saved for a trip is money well spent!

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i'm all for sensor improvements and don't mind pixel rates going up, it all does make a difference. I would assume FF will get cheaper and this is why pro APS-C bodies seem to be disappearing, Nikons dx range maybe crippled in some ways but they have great sensors in them.

I suppose using only a single sensor type that's a different size to rest of the market for Oly will be different, i just wouldn't want to see them release something that drains resources and makes no profit for them, mirrorless is changing peoples perspectives with camera purchases, so in some respect Olympus are fighting themselves. I hope they do come out with something different as i think it will be their best option, it's going to be another interesting year for bodies i hope and hopefully we'll have an end of year poll with lots of great cameras to argue over.

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jim stirling
jim stirling Veteran Member • Posts: 7,356
Re: Performance is beginning to peak, but there are still advantages to be had.

alatchin wrote:

TrapperJohn wrote:

Current sensors are starting to get beyond what most of us use, most of the time. (cue the urchin who shoots nothing but black cats in coal bins...) And it's a real problem for the camera makers, because they're running out of compelling reasons for people to buy the latest and greatest. You can see this in what they're offering - there are only two directions they can go to get big improvements, either a larger sensor in the dslr body, or a smaller overall size. Hence the two hot items today: the lower cost FF bodies, and the high end EM5.

Still, there are some improvements that one can't discern with the old standby's of ISO and MP. Let's take the EM5's sensor, as it's as good as a 4/3 sensor can be today.

The new sensor has both better DR and greatly improved PP headroom. You can take an average shot and make it dramatic with careful shadow and highlight manipulation, more so than with previous 4/3 sensors. The dreaded banding of the E3 is gone, as is it's propensity to show artifacts when bumping up sharpness. The EM5 sensor has done more for my pitiful PP skills than anything, because I can kick a shot around in PP without seeing it clog up with undesirable side effects. Before, I had trouble beating the Oly JPEGs with RAW. Now, I'm a devoted RAW type.

The newer sensor helps, for my work I have always worked from RAW... However for my personal photography I still use the OOC Jpegs for all my personal stuff, and they are hard to beat!

What's really amazing is what that sensor is connected to - an IBIS system that is very effective. That allows me to shoot the 50-200 at 200, down to 1/30, and get keepers, almost all the time.

Normally, I stay 1 to 2 years behind for the cost savings - more money for glass - and in the past, body upgrades never got me that much, going E1->E330->E3. Bought a used EP1 instead of a new E5, because the E5's price exceeded the gains over the E3 and the EP1 had the same sensor at a much lower price. But, the EP1 had weak glass, and ZD on EP1 was more an act of desperation than viable alternative. When the EM5 was announced, I saw the battery grip that made for decent handling with ZD lenses (albeit with sluggish AF) along with promised improvements in DR (yeah, right), and something clicked. I ordered one a week after it was announced, got it last April, and for once, a 'revolutionary new product' actually lived up to the billing. The DR and PP headroom really are a lot better, and the IBIS exceeds expectations.

I was int he same boat, owning the EP2 and EPL2 I couldnt see myself getting the E-5 for my work as I could get 99% of the way there with the m43rds bodies... Of course my professional photography is product based so the slow AF isnt a problem... The EM5 does a lot, and replaces a full DSLR for a lot of applications, however the large AF box creates problems in certain cases, it is simply too big. Combined with the CDAF, if the subject is standing in front of something higher contrast than themselves it will often pick the background to focus on.

I have said many times I dont see olympus taking a quantum leap from current on sensor AF to something that would keep pace with the E-5, that is why I suspect a traditional DSLR is on the way. Now I do have a hunch w will see a new AF system in the next flagship and there are a number of ways it could be done... So I am quite optimistic about the new body.

Although limited the AF speed using FF lenses on the Nikon V1 is surprisingly fast , a lot faster than using FT lenses on the mFT adapter. A few other companies are trying to deal with this in various ways so I don't see why Olympus will not be able to achieve it { when ,is the problem }

Doubt I'll do that again... unless the new body next fall turns out to be both 4/3 (if only my beloved ZD's would AF decently) and M43 (going ultra compact with no grip and some of those new fast primes is nice)...

I am on the fence here, I dont think a m43rds body will be ready for the expectations of the DSLR users AF experience with their ZD lenses... Now I would be happy to be proved wrong as I get to use all my lenses on one body, but I dont mind having m43rds and 43rds... It will be cheaper than rebuying 12-60, 50-200 50mm and 35mm lenses for m43rds

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mrmut
mrmut Contributing Member • Posts: 610
It is not just about image quality

alatchin wrote:

Looking at the D5200, and I dont know its pricing, but lets say $1000 with lens, it has IQ that is so very similar to the D3x which a few years ago was being sold for $8000... one can apply the same thinking to those who just bought say Pentax 645 (I was considering one) vs the D800e... Technology is moving so fast right now, that unless a photographer needs the improvements in IQ it seems staying a couple of steps behind the curve works quite well.

Mind that the pro models are not pro just due to their image quality. There are many other aspects of usability apart from the image quality. Using a professional model extends beyond sole image comparison. That goes from reliability to ease of creating final product.

 mrmut's gear list:mrmut's gear list
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