Why DX mirrorless will replace FX DSLR (for most photographers)

Started Nov 3, 2013 | Discussions
WD Contributing Member • Posts: 520
Why DX mirrorless will replace FX DSLR (for most photographers)
5

OK, these are just my opinions.  Tar and feather me if you wish.

1) Sensors are getting so good, the "quality" of images at the viewing or print sizes most used is insignificant.  End of the NEED for FX except a very small percentage of photogs.

2) High fps is better with mirrorless.  Electricity is faster than a flipping mirror.  Fast, accurate focus depends on the mirror being in the "down" position.  Only then can the camera focus accurately, that is, as accurately as it is capably adjusted for.  In each second, this position is shorter than the interval between frames with a mirrorless camera, giving the mirrorless camera more total time to acquire focus or track a target.  Soon, with better sensors such as the one in a Nikon V2, and more powerful processors, fps with accurate focus and tracking will be 3X what the fastest DSLR would be capable of.  The end of the need for D4 style action cameras.

3) Lighter and smaller is better for many.  For those who want bigger, you can have it.  Panny GH3 vs GH2 as an example.  The camera body can/will be sized to satisfy.  The smaller, lighter glass will be welcomed by 99.98% of users.

4) Telephoto users will exalt in the 1.5x factor over FX (as they already do.)

5) Adapters will keep one's legacy glass useful and valuable....unlike the move from DX to FX where one must use the crop mode and lose the mpx advantage, or invest in expensive replacement lenses.

6) Modern EVFs are improving and will continue to improve.  New recruits to photography comparing all the benefits of EVF vs. OVF will look at OVF the way people today compare older CRT TVs to modern HD LED TVs.

7) Video is becoming more and more important in today's cameras, whether some accept that or not.  Mirrorless just does a better job of it than DSLR.  (Sorry, but it's true.)

8) And, finally, as organizations come to realize the quiet operation of the newer cameras, political/news/public forums will forbid the noise and distraction caused by hordes of newsmen firing continuous bursts from their clacking DSLRs thus forcing wholesale migration away from those cameras.!  (Well, maybe not, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to hear someone interviewed live without the machine-gun sounds of cameras nearly drowning out their voices??)

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blue_cheese
blue_cheese Senior Member • Posts: 1,879
observation
2

You bring up a lot of benefits that mainly have to do with mirorless rather than sensor format. my prediction of the future:

ALL DSLR will die off, FX will remain in large bodies (camera won't shrink) but once EVF gets there and on sensor phase detect matches the dedicated AF units today, then the need for mirror is completely gone.

DX will move downmarket

Kerry Pierce
Kerry Pierce Forum Pro • Posts: 19,757
I agree, but only with the base premise
4

WD wrote:

1) Sensors are getting so good, the "quality" of images at the viewing or print sizes most used is insignificant. End of the NEED for FX except a very small percentage of photogs.

Yes, this is already a factor. The d7k/d5100 sensors are clearly exceptional for all uses except extremely high ISO application. Perhaps the newer 24mp sensors are as well, but I have no experience with those yet.

2) High fps is better with mirrorless. Electricity is faster than a flipping mirror. Fast, accurate focus depends on the mirror being in the "down" position. Only then can the camera focus accurately, that is, as accurately as it is capably adjusted for. In each second, this position is shorter than the interval between frames with a mirrorless camera, giving the mirrorless camera more total time to acquire focus or track a target. Soon, with better sensors such as the one in a Nikon V2, and more powerful processors, fps with accurate focus and tracking will be 3X what the fastest DSLR would be capable of. The end of the need for D4 style action cameras.

High FPS rates MUST be accompanied by accurate AF, which I assume is the point you're trying to make here. But, in reality, there are practical limits to the need for extremely high FPS rates. IMO, 10 to 12 FPS is enough for all but the most demanding situations. The DX mirror assembly already has an advantage over FX in that regard, in that the assembly is smaller and lighter, thus easier to move at high FPS rates. So, whether or not mirrorless has a significant advantage here, remains to be seen, IMO.

3) Lighter and smaller is better for many. For those who want bigger, you can have it. Panny GH3 vs GH2 as an example. The camera body can/will be sized to satisfy. The smaller, lighter glass will be welcomed by 99.98% of users.

Quite so, except where are you seeing the smaller, lighter glass for DX cameras? Well, the advantage comes from the crop factor, which allows one to use a shorter focal length, of the same LARGE lenses that are available for FX.

I've been using dual formats, FX and DX for several years, precisely due to the DX crop factor advantage. But, I would much prefer an even smaller set of lenses, where real gains can be had. IOW, the CX format or the 4/3 format are where one can really see the gains in smaller, lighter lenses.

IMO, that is where the future lies, in a format that is smaller than DX.

6) Modern EVFs are improving and will continue to improve. New recruits to photography comparing all the benefits of EVF vs. OVF will look at OVF the way people today compare older CRT TVs to modern HD LED TVs.

Well, the EVF has to be better than what the best OVF offers, before it will work for demanding photography like sports/action, etc.

7) Video is becoming more and more important in today's cameras, whether some accept that or not. Mirrorless just does a better job of it than DSLR. (Sorry, but it's true.)

meh....

8) And, finally, as organizations come to realize the quiet operation of the newer cameras, political/news/public forums will forbid the noise and distraction caused by hordes of newsmen firing continuous bursts from their clacking DSLRs thus forcing wholesale migration away from those cameras.! (Well, maybe not, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to hear someone interviewed live without the machine-gun sounds of cameras nearly drowning out their voices??)

Maybe, but doubtful, IMO.

Kerry

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OP WD Contributing Member • Posts: 520
Re: observation

blue_cheese wrote:

You bring up a lot of benefits that mainly have to do with mirorless rather than sensor format. my prediction of the future:

ALL DSLR will die off, FX will remain in large bodies (camera won't shrink) but once EVF gets there and on sensor phase detect matches the dedicated AF units today, then the need for mirror is completely gone.

DX will move downmarket

I disagree.  What significant gains are there in image quality with FX?  Really.  However, with DX there is a physical downsize which is desirable for many users.  There is a pricing advantage due to lower sensor cost for the manufacturers.  A new market also exists for smaller, faster DX lenses plus the adapters which allow a HUGE variety of glass to be used.  The adapters should also be easier to design and implement for the smaller sensor.  (As an alternative, let's not rule out m4/3 rather than DX.  A smaller sensor with more nearly "square" dimensions than the 2-3 of DX and FX.)  Surely there will be FX mirrorless, but it will ultimately retain its small percentage of market share purely because....who REALLY needs it or can afford it?

sapple
sapple Regular Member • Posts: 461
Re: Why DX mirrorless will replace FX DSLR (for most photographers)

WD wrote:

OK, these are just my opinions. Tar and feather me if you wish.

1) Sensors are getting so good, the "quality" of images at the viewing or print sizes most used is insignificant. End of the NEED for FX except a very small percentage of photogs.

People will follow the image quality. The reason why people go to DSLR now is for better image quality. If they can get better image quality in a smaller format they will go that way. Right now it is not there. I suspect it will never be there, not because they wont have the technology to do it, but because the camera companies want to make more money. If they can sell people on the idea that mirrorless cameras are good for XYZ while DX are good for ABC and DF are good for ABC+DE and FX are good for ABC+DQR, then they will do it in the hopes that people will buy more the one camera and have to upgrade them as better sensors come out with better features etc.

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Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
So many misunderstandings at once :-)
2

WD wrote:

OK, these are just my opinions. Tar and feather me if you wish.

Oh we will, believe me

1) Sensors are getting so good, the "quality" of images at the viewing or print sizes most used is insignificant. End of the NEED for FX except a very small percentage of photogs.

This is based on a common, yet very fundamental misconception: We do not by the cameras we need, we buy the cameras we want. Forget being rational, photography is not logical endeavour, it is a emotional one. Gear helps us fuel the desire to take photos, and thus gear choices are anything but logical. If photographers had been as logical as you belive, Leica would had been out of business for years by now.

2) High fps is better with mirrorless. Electricity is faster than a flipping mirror. Fast, accurate focus depends on the mirror being in the "down" position. Only then can the camera focus accurately, that is, as accurately as it is capably adjusted for. In each second, this position is shorter than the interval between frames with a mirrorless camera, giving the mirrorless camera more total time to acquire focus or track a target. Soon, with better sensors such as the one in a Nikon V2, and more powerful processors, fps with accurate focus and tracking will be 3X what the fastest DSLR would be capable of. The end of the need for D4 style action cameras.

While I might agree with you in theory, the ugly reality still throws rocks in this machinery. The reason the sensors in the Nikon 1 cameras can have such fast AF is because they can be read at very high speeds (probably like 480 times/second, and possibly even faster). And that is possible because they are small. Try do that in a larger sensor and you need a hefty battery and some serious cooling. We might pretty soon get to a point where APS-C sized sensors have decent on-sensor AF performance, but it is still along way to go before they reach the performance of a D4 or a 1DX ...

3) Lighter and smaller is better for many. For those who want bigger, you can have it. Panny GH3 vs GH2 as an example. The camera body can/will be sized to satisfy. The smaller, lighter glass will be welcomed by 99.98% of users.

The assumption ("lighter and smaller is better for many") you make here is very common, and apart from what I already mentioned about us not being particularly logical about cameras ... This assumption has been discussed for a long time and yet we see very little evidence consumers actually following it.

I spite of being around for a long time, smaller DSLR's have not sold better then bigger ones. Actually, it has mostly been the other way around. Not even yet smaller mirrorless cameras sell better then larger DSLR's.

What sells really well is cheaper DSLR's (compared to more expenisve ones, and compared to similarly cheap mirrorless).

4) Telephoto users will exalt in the 1.5x factor over FX (as they already do.)

This has been used as a big red banner wawed by APS-C owners for a long time. Yet many users buy FX cameras, put telephotos on them and still seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Why is that? Well, largely because the 1.5 times crop advantage actually is not much of an advantage in real life. Except for a very small AF penalty, you can achieve the same effect by using a TC-14 teleconverter with a FX camera. Yes, really, you can. And unlike using a DX sensor, the teleconverter can be easily removed once you do not need the extra reach anymore.

5) Adapters will keep one's legacy glass useful and valuable....unlike the move from DX to FX where one must use the crop mode and lose the mpx advantage, or invest in expensive replacement lenses.

Most lenses are FX lenses anyway, so that is not really much of a factor. Yes, really. If we look at the total mass of already existing DSLR lenses, numbering roughly at about 250 million globally, of which the biggest part are Canon and Nikon mount lenses, only a fairly small portion are DX (or EF-S in Canons case) lenses limited to APS-C sensors. Most importantly, a very large majority of the more expensive legacy lenses - the ones we really care about - are FX lenses.

6) Modern EVFs are improving and will continue to improve. New recruits to photography comparing all the benefits of EVF vs. OVF will look at OVF the way people today compare older CRT TVs to modern HD LED TVs.

Maybe. Somewhere in the future very probably yes. But also look at technology like rangefinders, who has technologically been surpassed and redundant for decades. And yet they are still made and used (ever heard of 'Leica'?) Again, photography is not governed by logic, but by emotions. A OVF will probably be desired long, long after they are technologically redundant. And we are not even close to that point yet.

7) Video is becoming more and more important in today's cameras, whether some accept that or not. Mirrorless just does a better job of it than DSLR. (Sorry, but it's true.)

True. But the vast majority of everyday video can also just as easily be captured with a decent smartphone or a decent compact camera. The two are not mutually exclusive.

8) And, finally, as organizations come to realize the quiet operation of the newer cameras, political/news/public forums will forbid the noise and distraction caused by hordes of newsmen firing continuous bursts from their clacking DSLRs thus forcing wholesale migration away from those cameras.! (Well, maybe not, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to hear someone interviewed live without the machine-gun sounds of cameras nearly drowning out their voices??)

While I can agree with you in theory, sorry, not going to happen anytime soon I work part time as a PJ style photographer, and there are a long list of issues who are much higher on the agenda then silent cameras

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Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
Agree with blue_cheese
2

WD wrote:

blue_cheese wrote:

You bring up a lot of benefits that mainly have to do with mirorless rather than sensor format. my prediction of the future:

ALL DSLR will die off, FX will remain in large bodies (camera won't shrink) but once EVF gets there and on sensor phase detect matches the dedicated AF units today, then the need for mirror is completely gone.

DX will move downmarket

I disagree. What significant gains are there in image quality with FX? Really.

Twice the light gathered. Really

However, with DX there is a physical downsize which is desirable for many users.

Many keep saying that. Buying patterns in the past ten years do not provide with much evidence of that assumption. What there is ample evidence of is that we buy within our price limits, and that we want "as much as possible for our money". And that FX is generally considered to be "more" then DX. And that DX is considered "more" then Four Thirds.

There is a pricing advantage due to lower sensor cost for the manufacturers.

The bigger cost advantage probably comes from going mirrorless regardless of sensor size - actually, it is an even larger advantage the larger the sensor is. Optical and mechanical contraptions like OVF's and mirrors are more expensive the larger they get. I agree with blue_cheese that the main advantages we will see comes from going mirrorless, while the sensor size rather will be used for segmenting the market.

A new market also exists for smaller, faster DX lenses plus the adapters which allow a HUGE variety of glass to be used.

And this new market exists ... Where?

The adapters should also be easier to design and implement for the smaller sensor.

Why?

(As an alternative, let's not rule out m4/3 rather than DX. A smaller sensor with more nearly "square" dimensions than the 2-3 of DX and FX.) Surely there will be FX mirrorless, but it will ultimately retain its small percentage of market share purely because....who REALLY needs it or can afford it?

As noted elsewhere, you make the classic mistake of believing we buy cameras according to actual need - if that was really true, few people would buy a camera at all. We buy cameras because we want to, because we enjoy them and what they produce. We are no more rational in these decisions then we are when buying golf clubs, art and jewellery, or sports cars.

If someone managed to convince large groups of consumers that Four Thirds sensors really were better (regardless if the advantage is real or perceived), then they would sell like hotcakes. Now the general perception is (and evidence support that perception, but that is a minor factor) that larger sensors are better, and as long as the price stays within acceptable limits (these limits vary between people) larger sensors sell better. If FX cameras cost the same as DX cameras, FX would greatly outsell DX. Not for any rational reason, but simply because the common perception is that a FX sensor is more desirable.

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wildlifr
wildlifr Senior Member • Posts: 1,611
Re: So many misunderstandings at once :-)
1

Grevture wrote:

WD wrote:

OK, these are just my opinions. Tar and feather me if you wish.

Oh we will, believe me

1) Sensors are getting so good, the "quality" of images at the viewing or print sizes most used is insignificant. End of the NEED for FX except a very small percentage of photogs.

This is based on a common, yet very fundamental misconception: We do not by the cameras we need, we buy the cameras we want. Forget being rational, photography is not logical endeavour, it is a emotional one. Gear helps us fuel the desire to take photos, and thus gear choices are anything but logical. If photographers had been as logical as you belive, Leica would had been out of business for years by now.

2) High fps is better with mirrorless. Electricity is faster than a flipping mirror. Fast, accurate focus depends on the mirror being in the "down" position. Only then can the camera focus accurately, that is, as accurately as it is capably adjusted for. In each second, this position is shorter than the interval between frames with a mirrorless camera, giving the mirrorless camera more total time to acquire focus or track a target. Soon, with better sensors such as the one in a Nikon V2, and more powerful processors, fps with accurate focus and tracking will be 3X what the fastest DSLR would be capable of. The end of the need for D4 style action cameras.

While I might agree with you in theory, the ugly reality still throws rocks in this machinery. The reason the sensors in the Nikon 1 cameras can have such fast AF is because they can be read at very high speeds (probably like 480 times/second, and possibly even faster). And that is possible because they are small. Try do that in a larger sensor and you need a hefty battery and some serious cooling. We might pretty soon get to a point where APS-C sized sensors have decent on-sensor AF performance, but it is still along way to go before they reach the performance of a D4 or a 1DX ...

3) Lighter and smaller is better for many. For those who want bigger, you can have it. Panny GH3 vs GH2 as an example. The camera body can/will be sized to satisfy. The smaller, lighter glass will be welcomed by 99.98% of users.

The assumption ("lighter and smaller is better for many") you make here is very common, and apart from what I already mentioned about us not being particularly logical about cameras ... This assumption has been discussed for a long time and yet we see very little evidence consumers actually following it.

I spite of being around for a long time, smaller DSLR's have not sold better then bigger ones. Actually, it has mostly been the other way around. Not even yet smaller mirrorless cameras sell better then larger DSLR's.

What sells really well is cheaper DSLR's (compared to more expenisve ones, and compared to similarly cheap mirrorless).

4) Telephoto users will exalt in the 1.5x factor over FX (as they already do.)

This has been used as a big red banner wawed by APS-C owners for a long time. Yet many users buy FX cameras, put telephotos on them and still seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Why is that? Well, largely because the 1.5 times crop advantage actually is not much of an advantage in real life. Except for a very small AF penalty, you can achieve the same effect by using a TC-14 teleconverter with a FX camera. Yes, really, you can. And unlike using a DX sensor, the teleconverter can be easily removed once you do not need the extra reach anymore.

Most of your arguments have been logical, but this one is silly. Guess what happens when you put the teleconverter and lens on the DX camera? 1.5X crop factor vs. FX with lens + tc. The 1.5x crop factor is a big deal for people like me who shoot mainly wildlife. 50% more reach is a big advantage. It's the only reason I don't shoot FX.

5) Adapters will keep one's legacy glass useful and valuable....unlike the move from DX to FX where one must use the crop mode and lose the mpx advantage, or invest in expensive replacement lenses.

Most lenses are FX lenses anyway, so that is not really much of a factor. Yes, really. If we look at the total mass of already existing DSLR lenses, numbering roughly at about 250 million globally, of which the biggest part are Canon and Nikon mount lenses, only a fairly small portion are DX (or EF-S in Canons case) lenses limited to APS-C sensors. Most importantly, a very large majority of the more expensive legacy lenses - the ones we really care about - are FX lenses.

6) Modern EVFs are improving and will continue to improve. New recruits to photography comparing all the benefits of EVF vs. OVF will look at OVF the way people today compare older CRT TVs to modern HD LED TVs.

Maybe. Somewhere in the future very probably yes. But also look at technology like rangefinders, who has technologically been surpassed and redundant for decades. And yet they are still made and used (ever heard of 'Leica'?) Again, photography is not governed by logic, but by emotions. A OVF will probably be desired long, long after they are technologically redundant. And we are not even close to that point yet.

7) Video is becoming more and more important in today's cameras, whether some accept that or not. Mirrorless just does a better job of it than DSLR. (Sorry, but it's true.)

True. But the vast majority of everyday video can also just as easily be captured with a decent smartphone or a decent compact camera. The two are not mutually exclusive.

8) And, finally, as organizations come to realize the quiet operation of the newer cameras, political/news/public forums will forbid the noise and distraction caused by hordes of newsmen firing continuous bursts from their clacking DSLRs thus forcing wholesale migration away from those cameras.! (Well, maybe not, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to hear someone interviewed live without the machine-gun sounds of cameras nearly drowning out their voices??)

While I can agree with you in theory, sorry, not going to happen anytime soon I work part time as a PJ style photographer, and there are a long list of issues who are much higher on the agenda then silent cameras

 wildlifr's gear list:wildlifr's gear list
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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,658
some
1

WD wrote:

blue_cheese wrote:

You bring up a lot of benefits that mainly have to do with mirorless rather than sensor format. my prediction of the future:

ALL DSLR will die off, FX will remain in large bodies (camera won't shrink) but once EVF gets there and on sensor phase detect matches the dedicated AF units today, then the need for mirror is completely gone.

DX will move downmarket

I disagree. What significant gains are there in image quality with FX? Really.

Reduce the DOF for greater subject isolation. APS-C...flower fills the frame and wide open. Same lens on FF you step closer for flower to fill the frame and you get closer.

"Moving in closer does more than just bring your composition back to having the flower filling the frame again. Because you’re now standing physically closer to the flower, the perspective on the flower seems a little bit more extreme. And now you’re focusing closer too. And when you focus closer, depth of field gets smaller. So that background grass is suddenly even more blurred, meaning that the flower stands out even more. Same subject, same lens, same aperture and even the same composition, but the full frame camera has resulted in a photo which is different! In this case, you might prefer the full-frame camera"

The larger sensor has manufacturing advantages that can result in less noise in your images...all else being equal.

More useful with the current crop of wide angle lenses available.

So yes, there are significant gains to be had for those wanting to take advantage of them. Not everyone shoots to that level though

Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
Well ... No.
1

wildlifr wrote:

Grevture wrote:

This has been used as a big red banner wawed by APS-C owners for a long time. Yet many users buy FX cameras, put telephotos on them and still seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Why is that? Well, largely because the 1.5 times crop advantage actually is not much of an advantage in real life. Except for a very small AF penalty, you can achieve the same effect by using a TC-14 teleconverter with a FX camera. Yes, really, you can. And unlike using a DX sensor, the teleconverter can be easily removed once you do not need the extra reach anymore.

Most of your arguments have been logical, but this one is silly.

Actually, as silly as it might sound, it really is not.

When you compare APS-C without TC vs APS-C with TC it is a "you win some, you gain some" situation. You gain reach, you loose light, and you effectivly blow up any optical shortcomings of the lens used with the TC.

Same if you compare FX without TC vs FX with TC. It is basically the same "you win some, you gain some" situation.

But when comparing DX without TC vs FX with TC, it all but evens out. The reach is the same. the light gathered is the same (the loss of one aperture stop evens out with the gain in sensor area). The optical stress is about the same, assuming both sensors have roughly the same number of pixels. What you lose is actually only a bit of AF performance due the one stop smaller aperture of the system and (most often) less AF point frame coverage.

Guess what happens when you put the teleconverter and lens on the DX camera? 1.5X crop factor vs. FX with lens + tc. The 1.5x crop factor is a big deal for people like me who shoot mainly wildlife. 50% more reach is a big advantage. It's the only reason I don't shoot FX.

Your argument ignores the fact that DX camera sensor gathers only half the amount of light compared to the FX sensor camera. When shooting wildlife, light is often a big factor since you often tend to shoot at dawn or dusk. The so called APS-C advantage is just about sacrificing light gathering for reach, just the same as with a TC.

I would argue the single biggest "APS-C advantage" for wildlife shooters is the better AF point frame coverage. That is for example where a D7100 shines compared to a D800. In other aspects, there is no real "APS-C advantage".

And yes, I spend a lot of time shooting with telephoto lenses, my 70-200 and my 300/2.8 are my main bread winners. And no, I really do not see any real advantage in going back to APS-C. The APS-C reach can easily be compensated for, but increased light gathering of FX cannot.

If your arguments really worked, those unsentimental, get the job-done-minded professional sports and wildlife shooters would mass migrate to APS-C. They don't, because in reality the crop factor "advantage" is not much of an advantage at all. In most situations there is more of a FX senor advantage.

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wildlifr
wildlifr Senior Member • Posts: 1,611
Nope, still silly to me.
1

Grevture wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

Grevture wrote:

This has been used as a big red banner wawed by APS-C owners for a long time. Yet many users buy FX cameras, put telephotos on them and still seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Why is that? Well, largely because the 1.5 times crop advantage actually is not much of an advantage in real life. Except for a very small AF penalty, you can achieve the same effect by using a TC-14 teleconverter with a FX camera. Yes, really, you can. And unlike using a DX sensor, the teleconverter can be easily removed once you do not need the extra reach anymore.

Most of your arguments have been logical, but this one is silly.

Actually, as silly as it might sound, it really is not.

When you compare APS-C without TC vs APS-C with TC it is a "you win some, you gain some" situation. You gain reach, you loose light, and you effectivly blow up any optical shortcomings of the lens used with the TC.

Same if you compare FX without TC vs FX with TC. It is basically the same "you win some, you gain some" situation.

But when comparing DX without TC vs FX with TC, it all but evens out. The reach is the same. the light gathered is the same (the loss of one aperture stop evens out with the gain in sensor area). The optical stress is about the same, assuming both sensors have roughly the same number of pixels. What you lose is actually only a bit of AF performance due the one stop smaller aperture of the system and (most often) less AF point frame coverage.

Guess what happens when you put the teleconverter and lens on the DX camera? 1.5X crop factor vs. FX with lens + tc. The 1.5x crop factor is a big deal for people like me who shoot mainly wildlife. 50% more reach is a big advantage. It's the only reason I don't shoot FX.

Your argument ignores the fact that DX camera sensor gathers only half the amount of light compared to the FX sensor camera. When shooting wildlife, light is often a big factor since you often tend to shoot at dawn or dusk. The so called APS-C advantage is just about sacrificing light gathering for reach, just the same as with a TC.

I would argue the single biggest "APS-C advantage" for wildlife shooters is the better AF point frame coverage. That is for example where a D7100 shines compared to a D800. In other aspects, there is no real "APS-C advantage".

And yes, I spend a lot of time shooting with telephoto lenses, my 70-200 and my 300/2.8 are my main bread winners. And no, I really do not see any real advantage in going back to APS-C. The APS-C reach can easily be compensated for, but increased light gathering of FX cannot.

If your arguments really worked, those unsentimental, get the job-done-minded professional sports and wildlife shooters would mass migrate to APS-C. They don't, because in reality the crop factor "advantage" is not much of an advantage at all. In most situations there is more of a FX senor advantage.

50% reach outweighs the light gathering advantage of FX IMO, which, as I said, is why I don't switch. I'm completely unconcerned with why other people choose the system they choose.

 wildlifr's gear list:wildlifr's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II +11 more
Kerry Pierce
Kerry Pierce Forum Pro • Posts: 19,757
Re: So many misunderstandings at once :-)
3

Grevture wrote:

WD wrote:

1) Sensors are getting so good, the "quality" of images at the viewing or print sizes most used is insignificant. End of the NEED for FX except a very small percentage of photogs.

This is based on a common, yet very fundamental misconception: We do not by the cameras we need, we buy the cameras we want. Forget being rational, photography is not logical endeavour, it is a emotional one.

Since you've mentioned this twice, I assume that you believe it to be true. I would suggest that the folks that have irrational, illogical buying habits are the exception, rather than the rule.

When it comes to DSLR's, the photographer has already come to the conclusion that he needs a better camera than a P&S, for any of a myriad of reasons. Once that decision is made, it generally becomes a budgetary issue, not a want or irrational issue. Most people buy the best camera that will fit into their budgets. You see questions on this in every forum, every day.

Gear helps us fuel the desire to take photos, and thus gear choices are anything but logical. If photographers had been as logical as you belive, Leica would had been out of business for years by now.

I don't know what Leica has to do with the notion that gear helps us fuel the desire to take photos. Seems to me that that statement is backwards. Most folks have a genuine desire to take photos and they generally base their purchase decisions on the gear that will allow them to make the best photos, within their budgets.

The assumption ("lighter and smaller is better for many") you make here is very common, and apart from what I already mentioned about us not being particularly logical about cameras ... This assumption has been discussed for a long time and yet we see very little evidence consumers actually following it.

Actually, there is a ton of evidence supporting the lighter/smaller camera is better theory, going back to the beginning of photography, but most recently demonstrated with the sea change from large and medium format cameras to the 35mm film platform, in the last century.

The same is happening today. The most common camera is not a DSLR, it's some kind of small P&S, by far.

I spite of being around for a long time, smaller DSLR's have not sold better then bigger ones. Actually, it has mostly been the other way around. Not even yet smaller mirrorless cameras sell better then larger DSLR's.

That's because the sensor technology hasn't matured and has been in constant flux. Once the small sensors can provide IQ and performance that matches a certain level that once was only found in FX sensors, you'll see the same sea change that happened with the change from LF/MF to 35mm. The sensor technology isn't quite there yet, but it's getting close.

This has been used as a big red banner wawed by APS-C owners for a long time. Yet many users buy FX cameras, put telephotos on them and still seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Why is that? Well, largely because the 1.5 times crop advantage actually is not much of an advantage in real life.

Actually, the crop factor really is a big advantage in real life. The lenses have finite properties, but any telephoto that will fit on a Nikon body, will work whether or not there is a DX sensor underneath. The big fly in your argument is that if you put a TC on a lens for FX, the same TC can be put on a DX camera for even more reach. FX simply can't keep up. The simple fact is that for telephoto work, no FX camera can put nearly as many pixels on target as can any of the 24mp DX cameras.

Kerry

 Kerry Pierce's gear list:Kerry Pierce's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 105mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC +17 more
swimswithtrout Senior Member • Posts: 2,953
99.9999 percent of photos are taken on cell phones
1

Or close to that.
Get over it, there is no perfect camera for every user.

JimPearce
JimPearce Veteran Member • Posts: 9,188
It's more a matter of getting the AOV you need...

With the least possible sacrifice in terms of MFD, weight and expense. For small birds I consistently need my 500 f4 AF-S plus TC-14E on a DX camera. Now I can get much the same FOV With an FX camera with an 800 f5.6 plus the matching 1.25x TC, but MFD goes from 3 meters to 4, lens weight increases by two pounds and the cost is prohibitive. Or, I can do it with a D800/E with a 1.2x crop and a 600 f4 and TC-14E. But lens weight goes up by three pounds. With both of the DX solutions it may be necessary to upgrade from a 3 series Gitzo to a 5 series - another 2 pounds. In fact there are advantages and disadvantages to all three approaches, but DX definitely wins on cost and weight.

-- hide signature --

Jim

 JimPearce's gear list:JimPearce's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D500
Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,658
None

wildlifr wrote:

50% reach outweighs the light gathering advantage of FX IMO, which, as I said, is why I don't switch. I'm completely unconcerned with why other people choose the system they choose.

Have you shot telephoto side by side FF vs APS-C and compared (like sensors)? Just curious

Don't forget with sensors of the same pixel demsity...if a full sized image from FF is cropped so that it produces the same field of view as a full sized image from APS, the full sized image from APS will be the same size as the cropped image from FF. Therefore, there is no "telephoto advantage" or "pixel density advantage" in favour of APS. There are other advantages though.

Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,658
Maybe not

Grevture wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

Grevture wrote:

This has been used as a big red banner wawed by APS-C owners for a long time. Yet many users buy FX cameras, put telephotos on them and still seem to enjoy themselves immensely. Why is that? Well, largely because the 1.5 times crop advantage actually is not much of an advantage in real life. Except for a very small AF penalty, you can achieve the same effect by using a TC-14 teleconverter with a FX camera. Yes, really, you can. And unlike using a DX sensor, the teleconverter can be easily removed once you do not need the extra reach anymore.

Most of your arguments have been logical, but this one is silly.

Actually, as silly as it might sound, it really is not.

When you compare APS-C without TC vs APS-C with TC it is a "you win some, you gain some" situation. You gain reach, you loose light, and you effectivly blow up any optical shortcomings of the lens used with the TC.

Not really>>>

For the same AOV, lenses for larger sensor systems often have larger aperture diameters which gather more light than smaller sensor systems, and thus deliver less noisy images even if the sensor for the larger sensor system is less efficient (to a degree). However, choosing a larger aperture diameter also results in a more shallow DOF, more vignetting, and softer corners. For fully equivalent images, however, all systems gather the same total amount of light. Thus, any differences in the noise density and dynamic range will be due to differences in the sensor efficiencies, and, larger sensors are not necessarily more efficient than smaller sensors.

http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/#10

You really have to compare equivalent images to get to the real advantages and disadvantages.

wildlifr
wildlifr Senior Member • Posts: 1,611
Re: None
2

Mako2011 wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

50% reach outweighs the light gathering advantage of FX IMO, which, as I said, is why I don't switch. I'm completely unconcerned with why other people choose the system they choose.

Have you shot telephoto side by side FF vs APS-C and compared (like sensors)? Just curious

Don't forget with sensors of the same pixel demsity...if a full sized image from FF is cropped so that it produces the same field of view as a full sized image from APS, the full sized image from APS will be the same size as the cropped image from FF. Therefore, there is no "telephoto advantage" or "pixel density advantage" in favour of APS. There are other advantages though.

No I haven't shot side by side. But they don't make a FF with the pixel density of a D7100.

 wildlifr's gear list:wildlifr's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II +11 more
Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,658
You caught on :)
2

wildlifr wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

50% reach outweighs the light gathering advantage of FX IMO, which, as I said, is why I don't switch. I'm completely unconcerned with why other people choose the system they choose.

Have you shot telephoto side by side FF vs APS-C and compared (like sensors)? Just curious

Don't forget with sensors of the same pixel demsity...if a full sized image from FF is cropped so that it produces the same field of view as a full sized image from APS, the full sized image from APS will be the same size as the cropped image from FF. Therefore, there is no "telephoto advantage" or "pixel density advantage" in favour of APS. There are other advantages though.

No I haven't shot side by side. But they don't make a FF with the pixel density of a D7100.

True!  And why it's not actually a FF vs. APS-c thing. It's actually a pixel density/QE thing

Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,658
Nope
1

Kerry Pierce wrote:


Actually, the crop factor really is a big advantage in real life. The lenses have finite properties, but any telephoto that will fit on a Nikon body, will work whether or not there is a DX sensor underneath. The big fly in your argument is that if you put a TC on a lens for FX, the same TC can be put on a DX camera for even more reach. FX simply can't keep up. The simple fact is that for telephoto work, no FX camera can put nearly as many pixels on target as can any of the 24mp DX cameras.

Again not a FF vs DX thing. It's a pixel density/QE thing. D7000 vs D800...the is no reach advantage. D7100 there is but it has zero to due with the size of the sensor

bflood Senior Member • Posts: 1,689
Re: Why DX mirrorless will replace FX DSLR (for most photographers)
2

The simplest reality is that DSLRs have established the customers' performance standards that EVIL cameras will have to meet or beat. Until the mirrorless products give equal or better performance at equivalent cost, or lower cost for equivalent performance, the mirrorless product lines will remain the development projects they are today.

I have no doubt that eventually the technology can improve to SOMEDAY allow performance in a mirroless camera to equal TODAY's DSLR, but sensor improvements that will bring the mirrorless along will also be applied to DLSRs.  That means the DLSR user's expectations for mirrorless performance will keep moving forward as DSLRs improve. It took a number of years from initial introduction of the DSLR until it really supplanted film.  Expect the mirrorless to go the same route.  And because much of the technology that will have to improve for success of mirrorless will also be applied to DSLRs (unlike the film-DSLR transition), I expect mirrorless will take longer to triumph over DSLRs than DSLRs did to triumph over film.

 bflood's gear list:bflood's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR +3 more
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