Richard Butler

Richard Butler

DPReview Administrator
Lives in United Kingdom Seattle, United Kingdom
Works as a Technical Editor
Joined on Nov 7, 2007
About me:

Richard graduated as a scientist but had a lot more fun writing and shooting for his university magazine. A number of years spent variously as a reporter, writer and editor on science and engineering titles combined his knowledge of science with his interest in images and words. But it was spotting the connections between emission spectra, white balance and all the nonsense he'd taught himself playing around in Photoshop that helped kindle an interest in digital photography. Searching for a camera led to him discovering DPReview and Richard was recruited by Phil Askey in 2007. He's been combining his love of photography, communication and attention to detail (pedantry?) ever since.

He has unusually strong opinions about lenses for the APS-C format.

Comments

Total: 7068, showing: 121 – 140
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In reply to:

theronsan: This article feels like an advertisement for Sigma.

Also, Fujifilm is the King of APS-C, and they only deserves ”some recognition”?

The article is primarily about Nikon, Canon and Sony and that a third-party maker has arguably done more (over a period of more than ten years) to support their APS-C users than the camera makers themselves.

The two camera makers who fully committed to their own APS-C systems (Pentax and Fujifilm) are slightly tangential to that. I mentioned both in passing, but they're not really what this article is about.

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 19:28 UTC
On article Live Q&A with DPReview editors about the Canon EOS RP (452 comments in total)
In reply to:

Max Iso: I have a q. Does the RP have a full on E shutter available?

No. Only in a scene mode (with minimal user input).

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 07:35 UTC
In reply to:

Frank_BR: It is clear to me that APS-C, as a SYSTEM, has no future. The reason is not a conspiracy of the manufacturers; the reasons are technical and economic.

With the the price reduction of FF sensors, there is no longer an economic motivation to continue developing the APS-C format. Besides, from a technical point of view, the APS-C format seems to offer no advantages when comparing lenses with the same viewing angle and the same equivalent aperture.

To understande what I am saying, consider, for example, the Sigma 50-150mm f / 2.8 EX DC for APS-C format, which is reasonably equivalent to the Sony FE 70-200mm f / 4G for FF. The Sigma weighs 1350 g, the Sony only 840 g. What's the advantage of APS-C here? None! The FF wins by wide margin. The same goes for other lenses of same equivalent aperture.

Finally, if you consider that an FF camera can be made with the same weight and size of an APS-C one it is easy to see why FF has received so much leverage from camera manufacturers.

"My beloved FF"?

You've either not been reading closely or I've been expressing myself really badly (both are possible).

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 07:06 UTC
In reply to:

Kiril Karaatanasov: This article reflects well the yesterday's thinking. I concur Signature is doing fantastic job.

On from there APS-C like m43 is doomed. It is doomed because camera market is going to volume similar to that in the 1970-ies. Cameras will be in the domain if pros that do things normal people don't and can't.

Normal people take pictures nowadays more than ever and use their phones for that job.

Photographers that turn pictures into art to make living out of it will be the sole users of cameras. In this shrinking business of camera selling APS-C can only be competitive in the niche segment of wild life photography and even that is a limited niche. Even in that niche cameras like a7r3 or z7 provide a better value then d500.

The a6400 and m50 cameras are nice but their days are numbered.

History may well prove you correct.

I'm trying to suggest that it needn't be the only possibility, but I agree that the move to FF (for a lot of the market) is looking inevitable.

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 07:02 UTC
In reply to:

Mac McCreery: Wasn't 35mm film initially considered a miniature format?

For silver halide film, yes. It's pretty big in terms of silicon chip manufacture, though.

But that doesn't imbue it with any particular *significance*.

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 06:58 UTC
In reply to:

wsalopek: The Fuji 56/1.2 is equivalent to an 85/1.8 on full frame. In the case of Nikon, the 85/1.8 is 1/2 the price and weighs less than the Fuji...I love Fuji, but to say you can get FF quality "and not have to lug around the weight" (of full frame) is not really accurate in many cases.

Wade Marks: yes, where they exist. **No** format has a size/weight advantage over another for equivalent lenses (that's kind of the point).

If the format you have offers the lenses that offer the size/weight/price balance you need, that's great. But that doesn't have to be FF for everyone.

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 06:53 UTC
In reply to:

Frank_BR: It is clear to me that APS-C, as a SYSTEM, has no future. The reason is not a conspiracy of the manufacturers; the reasons are technical and economic.

With the the price reduction of FF sensors, there is no longer an economic motivation to continue developing the APS-C format. Besides, from a technical point of view, the APS-C format seems to offer no advantages when comparing lenses with the same viewing angle and the same equivalent aperture.

To understande what I am saying, consider, for example, the Sigma 50-150mm f / 2.8 EX DC for APS-C format, which is reasonably equivalent to the Sony FE 70-200mm f / 4G for FF. The Sigma weighs 1350 g, the Sony only 840 g. What's the advantage of APS-C here? None! The FF wins by wide margin. The same goes for other lenses of same equivalent aperture.

Finally, if you consider that an FF camera can be made with the same weight and size of an APS-C one it is easy to see why FF has received so much leverage from camera manufacturers.

Frank_BR, **no** format has an advantage over any other for an equivalent lens (that's sort of the point). But, it's spurious to assume that every photography *needs* 'full-frame' capability for all their photography.

For instance, someone who likes to shoot portraits might buy a 56mm F1.4 or F1.2 to get F2.1 or F1.8 equiv performance. Then they can use less exotic lenses the rest of the time. Or try could buy a 50-140mm F2.8 for sports, then...

If you've already bought a FF camera then yes, a 70-200mm F4 is a lovely light, cost-effective choice. But no one says that APS-C users have to achieve FF equivalence with every lens.

Fascinating to hear that I "hate Fuji." I try not to think in terms of brands or manufacturers, but Fujifilm makes a fair few cameras and lenses I really like

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 06:41 UTC
In reply to:

shademaster: Sigma 18-35 equiv 28-53 2.7
Weight: 810g

Tamron 28-75 2.8 FF e mount
Weight 550g

The sigma is significantly less on the long end and Where's the aps-c weight advantage? As ff sensors get cheaper, smaller formats will die.

There is no weight or size advantage in equivalent lenses.

My point is more that you can gain equivalence where you need it without having to deal with the weight/size *where you don't*.

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 06:10 UTC
In reply to:

Evergreen108: Should these countless millions of cameras be seen as a temporary aberration, now being corrected, or can APS-C still be a good fit for enthusiasts?
First part of your question-YES it was a temporary (20 plus years), not an abberation but a wildly successful marketing cash grab. Second part of your question-NO.
Still trying to help the manufacturers sell their soon to be obsolete wares are you Richard? Gotta sell that stock of those cropped sensor cameras from that made up market segment so the ad dollars keep a flowin.
I can see the camera manufacturers colluding by creating all of those different market categories back in the beginning of digital cameras. We can make full frame sensors for one market, APS-C for another, micro sensors for another segment etc.etc. Man we'll make a killing. And they did. Well the party is over and cell phone cameras crashed it.
That was a pretty good sales pitch though though Richard, I'll give you that.

"trying to help the manufacturers sell their soon to be obsolete wares,"

Wait, what? I have no interest in selling anything (I don't benefit in any way from doing so). I was thinking more of the people who've already bought very good APS-C cameras, and that they needn't pay to upgrade if there were a good choice of lenses for them.

I'm not sure criticising major camera brands will endear me to any advertisers.

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 06:07 UTC
In reply to:

Frank_BR: It is clear to me that APS-C, as a SYSTEM, has no future. The reason is not a conspiracy of the manufacturers; the reasons are technical and economic.

With the the price reduction of FF sensors, there is no longer an economic motivation to continue developing the APS-C format. Besides, from a technical point of view, the APS-C format seems to offer no advantages when comparing lenses with the same viewing angle and the same equivalent aperture.

To understande what I am saying, consider, for example, the Sigma 50-150mm f / 2.8 EX DC for APS-C format, which is reasonably equivalent to the Sony FE 70-200mm f / 4G for FF. The Sigma weighs 1350 g, the Sony only 840 g. What's the advantage of APS-C here? None! The FF wins by wide margin. The same goes for other lenses of same equivalent aperture.

Finally, if you consider that an FF camera can be made with the same weight and size of an APS-C one it is easy to see why FF has received so much leverage from camera manufacturers.

The original 50-150 F2.8 was 780g. The later one was essentially the same size and weight as their 70-200, which reduced its appeal for me.

But yes, with the likes of the EOS RP appearing, I suspect even more focus will switch to FF development.

Link | Posted on Feb 17, 2019 at 00:20 UTC
In reply to:

IanG_MVP: "But APS-C can be a highly capable format. Like Micro Four Thirds, it can be small and affordable when you want it to be, but you can extend its capability considerably if you add a bright lens where you need it. Image sensors have improved to an amazing extent over the lifespan of APS-C, with technology improving to push both low light performance and dynamic range to new limits. And, while full-frame chips have gotten better by a similar amount, there’s no reason to think that people’s needs and expectations have become more demanding at the same rate.

APS-C can be a highly capable format. Like Micro Four Thirds, it can be small and affordable when you want it to be, but you can extend its capability considerably if you add a bright lens where you need it"

Just wanted to let you know the "APS-C can be a highly capable format" line was accidentally in there twice. Nice article though!

Argh, one was meant to be a pull-quote, but has lost its styling, somewhere along the line.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 23:11 UTC
In reply to:

Arun H: The only reason APS-C didn't thrive was because Canon and Nikon were not serious about it. The promise of the smaller format is smaller, lighter, and less expensive lenses of the same optical quality as full frame. Yet, because Nikon and Canon had a huge stable of full frame lenses from the film days, they saw little reason to develop similar lenses for APS-C. Take a look at the upcoming set of lenses made for RF. Nothing similar was done for APS-C. Where, for example, is the 55-125mm f/2.8 of the same optical quality as the exceptional 70-200s? APS-C was always looked at as a stepping stone to full frame. After years of shooting full frame, I've purchased a 7D Mark II. I like the smaller size files, and the increased pixel density is very useful to what I currently do.

wsalopek - If you need every part of your system to be full-frame equivalent, then yes, it's probably more cost-effective to just buy full-frame. But if you don't...

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 23:10 UTC
In reply to:

wsalopek: The Fuji 56/1.2 is equivalent to an 85/1.8 on full frame. In the case of Nikon, the 85/1.8 is 1/2 the price and weighs less than the Fuji...I love Fuji, but to say you can get FF quality "and not have to lug around the weight" (of full frame) is not really accurate in many cases.

The key part of the sentence (which you've omitted) was "not have to lug around the weight **all the time**"

I've re-phrased it to "the *rest* of the time" to make it clearer. Yes, when you want full-frame equivalent IQ, you have to put up with the weight and size of it. But if you only want that for some applications, you can potentially have a smaller, light camera/lens combination the rest of the time.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 23:08 UTC
In reply to:

Class A: @Richard Butler
"After all, there’s nothing intrinsically optimal about full-frame*."

It doesn't need to be "optimal" to be better than APS-C (and no, "brighter viewfinders" where never the primary reason to choose FF).

Furthermore, you seem to be forgetting that many lens mounts have been designed with FF in mind. Using these large mounts with an APS-C sensor is certainly *not* "optimal". In other words, the FF format is not as "arbitrary" as you suggest.

BTW, why put the comment about Pentax in parentheses? You guys proclaim to "love" the Pentax brand but you cannot bring yourself to properly give credit where credit is due. The 50-135 is not the only APS-C-specific Pentax zoom and as you alluded to, Pentax has a remarkably complete APS-C lens line up with many small primes to chose from, including pancake lenses. I don't think it is necessary to qualify the statement to "DSLRs"; is it not one of the top genuine APS-C lens lineups regardless of camera technology?

TheRealYeats - I'm not happy with what happened around our original Pixel Shift article, either.

Our intentions were positive: to get a very capable landscape shooter to go out and get some nice images so that we could write a standalone article about the feature, even though Pentax was not the first brand to introduce it.

There was a breakdown in our internal processes that meant it got published with some fundamental errors. As someone involved in that process I'm both annoyed and embarrassed that it happened. Much has been done to prevent it happening again. But none of that is a specific to the brand we happened to be covering at the time. I can only apologise again but none of the failings were because it was Pentax.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 22:52 UTC
In reply to:

Class A: @Richard Butler
"After all, there’s nothing intrinsically optimal about full-frame*."

It doesn't need to be "optimal" to be better than APS-C (and no, "brighter viewfinders" where never the primary reason to choose FF).

Furthermore, you seem to be forgetting that many lens mounts have been designed with FF in mind. Using these large mounts with an APS-C sensor is certainly *not* "optimal". In other words, the FF format is not as "arbitrary" as you suggest.

BTW, why put the comment about Pentax in parentheses? You guys proclaim to "love" the Pentax brand but you cannot bring yourself to properly give credit where credit is due. The 50-135 is not the only APS-C-specific Pentax zoom and as you alluded to, Pentax has a remarkably complete APS-C lens line up with many small primes to chose from, including pancake lenses. I don't think it is necessary to qualify the statement to "DSLRs"; is it not one of the top genuine APS-C lens lineups regardless of camera technology?

This article is already rather meandering and sprawling without having to detail possible tangent and aside. It isn't about Fujifilm or Pentax, but I wanted to make sure I gave both credit, not least because I liked the 50-135mm F2.8 just as much as I liked the original Sigma 50-150mm F2.8.

I've also repeatedly given Pentax credit in reviews for having a solid APS-C lineup (even though reviews are supposed to be about the body, not the system), and I gave credit again here.

The reasons Fujifilm is given a little more coverage is because **a**) like Sigma they make an 85mm equiv prime, which is the lens **I** always want on APS-C (and this piece is a personal opinion), and **b**) because they are building out a range that includes offers both high-end and mid-priced zooms and primes (F1.4s and F2 ranges), in a way that Pentax hasn't.

Recency bias isn't impossible, but it is much clearer that Fujifilm is still expanding its lineup, whereas that's not as clear to me with regards Ricoh.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 22:45 UTC
In reply to:

fPrime: So there we have it. With this statement DPR has confirmed what we were all thinking: “I'm going to argue that what you really need is a choice of bright primes and F2.8 (or faster) zooms if you're going to make a format useful to a range of enthusiasts.”

This explains why Nikon Z still isn’t useful to enthusiasts and not selling well!

They've certainly taken rather different approaches: Canon has launched a mid and an entry-level body, then promised an all-out high-end lens lineup.

Nikon, by contrast, launched with a mid and high-end body, but predominantly mid-range lenses. I suspect it'll all settle out eventually and that we'll see more high-end lenses from Nikon (like the [F2.8 zoom they announced the other day](https://www.dpreview.com/news/8863530532/nikon-announces-z-24-70mm-f2-8s-a-new-standard-zoom-for-mirrorless)), and some more modest optics from Canon.

In the meantime it looks like a game of 'who's got more lens designers.'

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 22:26 UTC
In reply to:

Arun H: The only reason APS-C didn't thrive was because Canon and Nikon were not serious about it. The promise of the smaller format is smaller, lighter, and less expensive lenses of the same optical quality as full frame. Yet, because Nikon and Canon had a huge stable of full frame lenses from the film days, they saw little reason to develop similar lenses for APS-C. Take a look at the upcoming set of lenses made for RF. Nothing similar was done for APS-C. Where, for example, is the 55-125mm f/2.8 of the same optical quality as the exceptional 70-200s? APS-C was always looked at as a stepping stone to full frame. After years of shooting full frame, I've purchased a 7D Mark II. I like the smaller size files, and the increased pixel density is very useful to what I currently do.

I totally agree.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 22:20 UTC
In reply to:

cale johnson: Still digesting this fine article but came across a small but meaningful typo. Under the subheading “S for sufficient,” third paragraph, last line, “nothing” should read “noting”.

I'd just spotted the 'here' one, but not the 'nothing' error. Sorry about that and thanks for letting me know.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 22:09 UTC
In reply to:

TheDarmok74: If I'm not very mistaken there's still no good, compact and affordable kit lens for Sony E mount, not even from Sigma.

TheDarmok74 - I quite agree.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 22:06 UTC
In reply to:

davev8: Err DPR say "What's that? An 85mm F1.8 equivalent prime? Fujifilm's lens lineup lets you get 'full-frame image quality' when you need it, without having to lug full frame lenses round all the time.

DPR should know that lenses that produce the same DOF and have same FOV are the same size across platforms ..that fuji FF equivalent 85mmF1.8 aka the 56mmF1.2 ...........is the same size as a FF 85mmF1.8 ......there is no free lunch on size if you want FF equivalent FOV and DOF from a smaller sensor full stop ...(period if you are american)

That's exactly why it says you get the capability **when you need it** but you don't have to carry the weight **all the time.**

Yes, a 56mm F1.2 is essentially the size and weight of a FF 85mm F1.8, but when you're not using it, you can wander around with a, say, the 18-55 F2.8-4.0 and *that combination* is smaller and lighter.

Link | Posted on Feb 16, 2019 at 22:05 UTC
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