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ScotsSnapper Sep 1, 2004 7:59 AM

I've been into photography for 20+ years and have really enjoyed the immediacy of going digital with my Canon G2. However, I find that if I really want to 'compose' a shot, I reach for the trusty slr as I feel it gives me more control and information on what I / the camera is doing.

I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge and moving to a dslr but am a wee bit reluctant as it will mean getting at least one new lens since the existing 28-70 will no longer be wide enough once you have factored in the 1.6x magnification.

Full frame (35mm) sensor dslr models are available at the professional end of the price range; when do folk reckon we will see them available (and at an affordable price) to mere mortals?? This would be my ideal way to upgrade to dslr so that exisitng lenses don't become redundant.

What do people reckon?

marokero Sep 1, 2004 8:26 AM

Imo, full frame dslr's will come down to low end dslr prices in 3-5 years, by which time I hope the megapixel war will have reached a stand still - maybe manufacturers will finally start working on improving other image quality issues as opposed to just giving more megapixels each year - I hope it tops off at 16 megapixels for full frame, and if people need more they can go to a medium format digital back.

ohenry Sep 1, 2004 8:32 AM

With current production costs of a full frame sensor, I don't see a low priced dSLR with full frame in the near future. I also come with 20+ years of SLR experience and went to digital SLRs a year ago.I don't think about the crop factor when I shoot. With the addition of a 17-40 lens, I am able to capture most of the wide angle shots I want. Also, with digital you can easily stitch several photos together for a great panoramic shot.

Bottom line is that I am 100% digital now and don't miss my film SLR's at all.

JoeB_UK Sep 1, 2004 8:36 AM

what is the current highest mp avaliable on a dslr?

Zal Sep 1, 2004 10:42 AM

JoeB_UK wrote:

what is the current highest mp avaliable on a dslr?

Kodak DSC SLR, at 14MP. However, the Canon 1Ds, at 11MP, is generally considered to be superior.

calr Sep 1, 2004 10:47 AM

The highest mp I have seen is 18, I think but that was a digital back for medium format. The cost is somewhere around $35k! Kodak has a 14mp.

Before I purchased my Nikon D100, I was talking to an employee at Pro Photo, a very reputable dealer in Portland, OR. He told me that Nikon is locked into a 3-4 year contract with Sony (I think that is correct) for the CCD in the D100. As soon as that contract expires, expect to see a significant improvement in the image sensor. I assume this means size as well as resolution. We will have to wait and see.

Cal Rasmussen

eric s Sep 1, 2004 11:40 AM

The larger sensors are expensive for a variety of reasons, including the complexity (which raises the number of bad sensors) and the cost of materials (which makes a bad sensor more expensive... and we pay for that in higher prices.)

Unless a new way of making a sensor comes out, I wouldn't expect to see camera with a full frame sensors in a reasonable price range for 5+ years.

And it's not just the sensor directly which ups the cost. Canon had to add micro mirrors to alter the light trajectory of the light that hits the outer portion of the sensor. The light was coming into the photosites on the sensor at too steep an angle. So the use of the micro mirrors also increases the cost.


Monza76 Sep 1, 2004 12:07 PM

If you look at the market, every major manufacturer is now producing some lenses which will only work with the smaller APS sized sensors, even Canon which has a full sized sensor in their top model I believe. This leads me to the conclusion that the APS size will carry on in the lower level DSLRs for some time to come, with full sized sensors only in the highest pro models.

This cycle could be broken by a company like Kodak or Fuji since they have no investment in lens making for their cameras and Kodak already has a ful sized sensor in use. But this is unlikely, with Pentax and Nikon (on some models) effectively crippling their lens mounts, older lenses will not be viable on most new digital cameras from these brands (at least the affordable ones).

Just an opinion.


ScotsSnapper Sep 1, 2004 12:18 PM

Monza, thats a good point. I had hoped that when the EOS 300D came out with the EF-S lens that it was going to be a 'budget' line only. However, with a handful of further EF-S lenses coming out soon (and the D20) it does look the EF-S and 1.6 format might be here to stay. At least the new lenses are USM - I'm not sure I could go back to non USM gear :O

eric s Sep 1, 2004 2:24 PM

A upper person in Nikon has stated ina magazine interview last year that they would stick with non-full frame sensors until the market and cost made it viable to do it (I hope I'm remembering this right.) In other words, when it's technically feasable to make one that would be at a price which fit the market.

One could say that the 1Ds fits the market.. the "really high end, full frame and high resolution matter over cost" market. Not a very big market, granted, but a market non-the-less.

It will eventually happen, but they will also make the smaller size sensor cameras because there is a market for them. I love and take advantage of the 1.6x crop in the 10D almost every time I shoot (I shoot wild animals that are not very close.) So I'm sure they won't go away if a full-frame sensor became economically viable.


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