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Old Sep 13, 2012, 6:58 PM   #11
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I think you're overestimating the impact of the corners, and underestimating the better IQ you get with the same lenses on sensors that have larger photosites for each pixel, unless you're taking photos of brick walls where you want to see how sharp the corners are (when comparing a model with an APS-C size sensor using a full frame lens to a model using a full frame sensor with a full frame lens). I rarely care about the corners in most of my real world photos.

Of course, once you use a lens with a smaller image circle that's designed for APS-C size sensors, then the APS-C sensor doesn't have any advantage in the corners either.

Just look at the images yourself from full frame models versus models with APS-C size sensors with the same resolution, or feel free to look at the tests I linked to in my last post, showing how much better full frame sensors with equivalent resolution are at resolving more detail, even when using high quality lenses.

I've seen it myself using my own lenses on Sony models with APS-C sensors versus full frame sensors, and tests in controlled conditions agree (you're going to get more detail from the sensors with larger photosites for each pixel with the same lenses if the resolution is the same).

That's just simple physics (the lenses need to be able to resolve more line pairs/mm to take advantage of more resolution if the pixels are packed tighter together). We're already seeing so much resolution in the latest 24MP APS-C size sensors that the extra pixels are wasted with all but the best lenses available, with diffraction issues and more. Yet, lenses with far less resolving power will still work great on full frame sensors with the same number of pixels.

I "passed over" the A77, in part, for that very reason... too many pixels packed too close together to get the best out of my existing lenses. Yet, those same lenses work great on models with full frame 24MP sensors (e.g., A850, A900), as the full frame sensors place less demands on the lens quality needed to get the best out of them. So, I'm keeping a close eye on the A99 now to determine if it's a better upgrade path.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 7:51 PM   #12
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Sorry, I'm with Jim. I think the aps-c DSLR is on the way out. Full frame DSLR and mirrorless. APS-C DSLR doesn't have much of a future. The people that want the best can afford a $2,000 camera. Everyone else wants smaller and lighter. Once the focus situation is worked out the aps-c DSLR will be squeezed from both sides.
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Old Sep 13, 2012, 8:55 PM   #13
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John I'm not sure aps-c sensor D-SLRs are on their way out. Some people like to have the crop factor in the body so they can get more reach out of there lenses but I do agree from tests I have seen that Full Frame Sensors make better overall images.

Also I tend to agree that the 24MP sensor seems to be the new sensor in terms of MP for D-SLRs, although there will always some people like me for there job or whatever reason have to shoot less than 24MP..........

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Old Sep 14, 2012, 4:48 AM   #14
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John I'm not sure aps-c sensor D-SLRs are on their way out. Some people like to have the crop factor in the body so they can get more reach out of there lenses

dave
Except that you gain nothing in fact that you can't get from simply cropping the FX image, and the Nikon FX cameras let you run in DX mode for higher speeds.

No I suspect that we may well be going down the road that Jim sees, and Michael Reichmann at LL just posted this morning.

DSLR for FX format, mirrorless for smaller formats.

If the manufacturers can really start to get very high yields on the large chips, then prices should come down a lot.

I'm looking forward to the times when we can start to see more reasonably priced MF sensors.

If Sony can put an FX sensor in the tiny RX1 body, then there's no reason at all why they can put a 2xFX sensor in a body the current size of a mid-sized DSLR.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 5:36 AM   #15
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Sorry, I'm with Jim. I think the aps-c DSLR is on the way out.
I for one plan on saving some money. I really do want to move up to a Full-Frame sensor in the next 2 years.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 6:15 AM   #16
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I think you're underestimating the benefits of "Smaller", "Lighter", and "Cheaper".

Any effort that results in a less expensive 'Full Frame' dSLR, will also result in less expensive APS-C dSLR. Whatever gave us a $2100 D600 also gave us a $600 D3200. And while, for instance, the Sigma 70-300 APO is terrible on a 'Full Frame' dSLR, it's tolerable on an APS-C dSLR, and performs quite well on a 4/3 dSLR (while wearing an Olympus nameplate.)

If someone can live without the few real advantages of a 'Full Frame' system, an APS-C dSLR provides a multitude of advantages that are not possible with the larger format. And the people buying mirrorless systems, for the most part, don't care about lenses anyway, as evidenced by the sales figures of Sony's NEX system. They want a pocketable system, not one that performs well.

This conversation has taken the same route that conversations like this often take. The proponents of 'Full Frame' systems talk about the benefits of a larger sensor, but when confronted with the problems inherent in projecting an image onto a larger sensor, they fall back on the option to crop, which is what an APS-C sensor does automatically. Does anybody else see this for what it is: Circular Reasoning.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 7:29 AM   #17
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TCAV - exactly, smaller, lighter and cheaper. That's mirrorless. Smaller, lighter and cheaper than APS-C DSLR. APS-C DSLR is getting eroded from both sides. The people that want smaller, lighter cheaper will go mirrorless. There simply won't be any competitive advantage to APS-C DSLR. Note: I'm not saying what size sensor will win out in mirrorless - just that mirrorless will win out over traditional mirror/prism/box technology for the smaller/lighter/cheaper crowd.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 8:06 AM   #18
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The key point it seems you missed is the smallER, lightER, cheapER.

If a bigger sensor is such a good idea, why stop at 'Full Frame'? What about the Leica S2, or the Pentax 645, or the Phase One bodies, or the digital backs for Hasselblad, Mamiya, Contax and others? Might it be because of the plethora of lenses available for 'Full Frame' bodies? Guess what! APS-C bodies have even more! Might it be becasue of the smallER, lightER, cheapER thing? Guess what! APS-C bodies are even smallER, even lightER, and even cheapER!

And they provide similar image quality, something that can't be said for Mirrorless systems. (Where are the Extension Tubes and Teleconverters for Mirrorless systems, anyway? Could it be that Mirrorless is just a poor excuse for a system all the way around?)

A 'Full Frame' user can feel as superior as he or she wants, but an APS-C user can have more gear, and do the same job with similar results for less money (which is another thing that can't be said for Mirrorless!)

There's nothing magical about 24mm x 36mm.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 8:08 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by TCav View Post
I think you're underestimating the benefits of "Smaller", "Lighter", and "Cheaper".

Any effort that results in a less expensive 'Full Frame' dSLR, will also result in less expensive APS-C dSLR.
Not necessarily. The only real extra cost involved in the FX camera is the large sensor and the electronics needed to move the data. In the early days it was estimated that with the lower yields and larger chips an FX sensor cost at least 10x that of a DX sensor - roughly $100 v $1000. Now if the manufacturers can get yields up then there is no reason why that shouldn't come down to 2.5x the cost. That could be a $750 cost advantage right there which will not accrue to the DX sensors whose yields have always been very high.

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If someone can live without the few real advantages of a 'Full Frame' system, an APS-C dSLR provides a multitude of advantages that are not possible with the larger format. And the people buying mirrorless systems, for the most part, don't care about lenses anyway, as evidenced by the sales figures of Sony's NEX system. They want a pocketable system, not one that performs well.
But don't all of those advantages accrue to mirrorless too, and even more so? The NEX system has fairly weak lenses for the moment, but m4/3 has some very good lenses, and the new Fuji E-mount lenses are very good.


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This conversation has taken the same route that conversations like this often take. The proponents of 'Full Frame' systems talk about the benefits of a larger sensor, but when confronted with the problems inherent in projecting an image onto a larger sensor, they fall back on the option to crop, which is what an APS-C sensor does automatically. Does anybody else see this for what it is: Circular Reasoning.
Of course larger sensors need larger lenses, but until the pixel densities match those of the smaller sensors they don't necessarily need better lenses. To this point the FX cameras have been pitched as premium products, but if it gets to the point where the manufacturers can build an FX camera for maybe $300 more than a DX we might see that change.

I think we might easily see the market of 10 years dividing the consumer market into essentially camera phones, mirrorless and FX DSLR.
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Old Sep 14, 2012, 8:09 AM   #20
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There's nothing magical about 24mm x 36mm.
... especially if you have to round up to get there.
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