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Old May 3, 2005, 6:50 PM   #1
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Yes, I know this topic is brought up in almost every DSLR forum out there, but I just wanted to get your thoughts on it.

I must say the sensor size game is getting confusing to me. Canon goes full frame, while at the same time making a DSLR with the smallest sensor yet. With more EF-S lenses being introduced now (whats it up to now. . .4?) I doubt Canon is going to want to drop them suddenly in the next years. At the same time, for many photographers "starting out" in digital photography with a camera like the 20D, who probably later will want to upgrade to the more professional 1D series (2D coming soom?) it seems stupid to put cash down on lenses that will be unable to operate with it. Is Canon trying to make two lines of lenses, or is the EF-S line just going to be short lived?

Lets hear your thoghts on the topic :-)
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Old May 3, 2005, 7:42 PM   #2
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Canon and Nikon have both said they will be keeping the APS-C sized sensor for the long haul in the non-pro cameras. The larger sensors are in the PRO lines.

Canon does not make the smallestDSLR sensor, their crop factor is near the high end of consumer/prosumer cameras.Current crop factorsif my memory is working are1.5x(Nikon,Pentax,Fuji) 1.6x(Canon, Minolta) 1.7x(Sigma) 2.0x(eVolt).

Again the Canon EF-s line is not unique, most lens manufacturers have made "digital optimized" lenses designed to work on the smaller sensors, because they are much cheaper and easier to make. I think most people stating out will end up with a consumer level dRebel and may want to upgrade to a prosumer 20D. Not likely too many will want to spend the $ on a pro 1D series unless there is a very good reasonto doit. And if they are a pro the estimated useful life of a body is now about 2-3 years before requiring replacement due to obsolesce, prior to digital a camera bodies useful lifeestimate was 10-15 years, or until it was broken.

That said, I would never buy a non full frame lens, because my camera bodies come and go as I see a need for newer body to stay competitiveor manage to break them.

Peter.
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Old May 3, 2005, 8:29 PM   #3
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PeterP wrote:
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Canon does not make the smallest DSLR sensor, their crop factor is near the high end of consumer/prosumer cameras. Current crop factors if my memory is working are 1.5x(Nikon,Pentax,Fuji,Minolta) 1.6x(Canon) 1.7x(Sigma) 2.0x(eVolt).

Again the Canon EF-s line is not unique, most lens manufacturers have made "digital optimized" lenses designed to work on the smaller sensors, because they are much cheaper and easier to make.
Peter.
I was more referring just Canon here, in the reference to the smallest DSLR sensor, and "digital optimized" lenses:-)
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Old May 4, 2005, 2:53 AM   #4
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I think it's a foregone conclusion that the smaller than 35mm sensors are going to become the norm for serious amateurs. The advance ofsensor technology makes it less and less necessary to have large sensors and, consequently, large lenses.Look at the quality that can be got out of the "prosumer" cameras with 8.8mm sensors. The noise issue at high ISOs willdiminish with development so the advantages of the bigger sensor will become insignificant in time. In which case there isn't much point in lugging about big 35mm lenses. The small sensor allows smaller lenses which are much easier to handle.

The problem at the moment is that the manufacturers, with the exception of Olympus (who had no choice), have very few lenses specifically designed for thesmaller sensor.Canon and Nikon have 4 each, and KM have the lamentable total of zero. And Canon and Nikon have onlymade them at the wide-angle end - for the obvious reason that wide angle 35mm lenses are extremely expensive. If you want a telephoto you have to buy a huge great 35mm lens and throw away most of the image. This is obviously nonsense and the sooner they come up with a complete range of lenses that are actually designed for the sensor the better. At least KM have expressed a commitment to doing this. The manufacturers need to accept that the 4/3 or APS-C size sensor will become the new standard for serious amateurs - not 35mm. There is absolutely no reason that the optimal size for digital should be the same as for filmand the only reason that people are toting hybrid systems of APS-C sensor cameras and 35mm lenses is that the manufacturers needed to ensure backward compatibility for existing users. Fine, but new users don't want to buy hulking great lenses for their DSLRs. I intend to buy a dSLR in the near future and it'll be either 4/3 or APS-C and I have absolutely NO intention of buying any 35mm lenses if I can help it.
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Old May 4, 2005, 6:37 AM   #5
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The APS sensor on the Nikon D2X has already far surpassed the quality of 35mm film and seriously rivals that of medium-format film. Nikon have no full-frame sensor - their pro range also uses an APS sized sensor.

Canon has chosen to stay with a larger 35mm sensor for their pro range and are effectively running into serious limits not on the sensor technology, but rather on the resolution of their lenses, particularly wide angles.

The limitation with long focal length EF-S lenses is such that the benefits of the short-back-focus are only apparent at a focal length of less than 60mm or so. For telephoto lenses the expensive element is the large front element, so there is little chance of ever seeing an EF-S telephoto lens, there is simply very little to gain by doing so. For wider angles however the smaller formats have big advantages.

The Nikon experience though shows that you really don't need to worry about buying digital only lenses. The 20D development cycle still has a long way to go before we reach the end of the road i.t.o. resolution and features, and the MTF charts of the EF-S lenses show that they often surpass their equivalent L full-frame lenses in terms of resolution and contrast.

I actually think that Canon have made a mistake with sticking to the 35mm sensor for their pro range. At any rate Canon have stated that at some point the 1D and 1Ds will merge into a single camera. It remains to be seen whether that will be a full-frame sensor or not, but that is likely. The real problem with those large sensors is that they are very expensive, largely because yields are so low.

I would really like to see a few L grade EF-S lenses and a nice weather-sealed 20D upgrade. I'm sure Canon are debating this very issue themselves. It would seem that they might be able to compete with the Nikon D2X by doing so.

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Old May 4, 2005, 8:16 AM   #6
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Again IMO it's a matter of opinion...

1. With landscapes one really wants a full-frame which is currently the only way to get the most resolution available, and I don't believe it's going to change any time soon with the new Kodak annoucement. One really needs all the minor details when enlarged to wall size.

2. It's the 'Bokeh' again with the small sensor - but also great benefit can be gained by an EF-S long tele. Look at what Olympus did when they exploited theses cropped sensors:
Imagine an EF-S 600mm f/2.8 at the size and weight(or cost) of a 300mm a' la Oly!
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Old May 4, 2005, 9:07 AM   #7
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For landscapes the D2X is currently regarded by most commentators as marginally exceeding the quality of the 1Ds MkII, even though there are fewer pixels. This is mostly because the resolution of the lenses is the limiting factor on the 1Ds MkII whereas the Nikon wide-angle lenses for the reduced frame are showing themselves to be significantly better. So despite the lower number of pixels the detail in the D2X image is significantly better. Either way - both cameras are rivalling or exceeding the quality of medium format film.

The bokeh issue is surely irrelevant - I thought you were saying that the quality of bokeh is a function of the lens aperture NOT the DOF?

I admit that my understanding that it's unlikely we could see any significant benefit of smaller sensors to telephotos is nothing more than hearsay. I too would love to see a small cheap EF-S 600mm f2.8, so it would be great if I were wrong. I strongly suspect though that we will have to look to Sigma for such a lens rather than Canon.

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Old May 4, 2005, 9:45 AM   #8
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peripatetic wrote:
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For landscapes the D2X is currently regarded by most commentators as marginally exceeding the quality of the 1Ds MkII, even though there are fewer pixels. This is mostly because the resolution of the lenses is the limiting factor on the 1Ds MkII whereas the Nikon wide-angle lenses for the reduced frame are showing themselves to be significantly better. So despite the lower number of pixels the detail in the D2X image is significantly better. Either way - both cameras are rivalling or exceeding the quality of medium format film.
No argument here - People go to great lenght to put on the 'right' lens:
"Because of this, you can pick from a large number of non-Canon optics; Nikon, Contax and Leica are the ones that come to mind most often. There is another advantage for Canon users. With many of Nikon's current digital bodies, the older AI Nikkor's will not meter, an exception to this is the new D2H. The older AI Nikkor's were mostly manual focus but had some of the best glass that Nikon ever made. In the last 2 years, the number of the AI Nikkor's on eBay has grown tremendously and a good shopper can get some great deals." http://www.outbackphoto.com/the_bag/...ers/essay.html

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Old May 4, 2005, 3:21 PM   #9
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NHL wrote:
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Imagine an EF-S 600mm f/2.8 at the size and weight(or cost) of a 300mm a' la Oly!
I've just been checking the Canon 300mm f2.8 against the Olympus 300mm f2.8....

Canon 300mm f2.8
£3250
2550g
128 x 253mm

Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL 300mm F2.8
£4799
3290g
129mm (D) x 281mm (L)

The Olympus is more expensive, bigger and heavier than the Canon.So for the moment at least they don't seem to be getting any benefit from the smaller sensor on the telephoto lenses, which seems to agree with what I read (on another forum somewhere) that the benefits of the smaller sensor are negligible for long focal lengths.

Of course the Olympus has a 2x focal length multiplier instead of 1.6x so that's something I suppose.
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Old May 4, 2005, 3:26 PM   #10
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peripatetic wrote:
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Of course the Olympus has a 2x focal length multiplier instead of 1.6x so that's something I suppose.
Exactly - if you compare it to the EF 600mm f/4 (which is what the lens is), it'll make more sense in both cost and weight...
In this context, the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 EX doesn't look that bad after all (@ 1.6x) hey??? :idea:
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