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Old Oct 31, 2006, 3:39 PM   #1
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A thought came to my head, and reading another forum, is, how far can the makers push the 'megapixel race'? With a 6 megapixel K100D, I use a 20" CRT running at 2048x1536 and the picture is still bigger than my screen. So unless you are printing & doing a lot of cropping, doesn't it come to a point where shooting at the highest file size also means

1. more money spent on memory cards
2. more time spent in front of the comp resizing

I cant see either to be a good thing!

And I wonder, is there going to be a trend towards economizing/consumerizing of full frame models? (say in 5 yrs time, more full frame models would be on offer at todays APS-C prices) CCD's are silicon so the cost will drop wont they?

And would that mean a lot of the APS sized / digital only lenses be a dead end just like the beta video?

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Old Oct 31, 2006, 4:19 PM   #2
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currently , i'm trying to avoid the digital lenses for this reason.. if noise is as absent on the 10meg sensor as our current cams then i'll be a happy camper for a long time.

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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:17 PM   #3
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I think that most camera manufacturers would greatly prefer to make all the profit they can from the current size sensor before they are forced to go toanything like a "full frame" sensor. Since Pentax's answer to FF is their digital 645 due next year, they shouldn't feel the pressure to to move their "35" digitals as much as some other manufacturers (e.g., Nikon, Sony).

Given that, I agree with Roy in avoiding purely digital lenses. Of course, a lot of my reasons are those wonderful Pentax film SLRs I still like to convince myself I use. If(when) Pentax does come out with a FF DSLR, we'll be ready.

Larry in Dalas
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:25 PM   #4
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Hi sho33y,

I'm not willing to bet that the future is in FF sensors. The economics of scale only work when you have a large demand and equivalent sales to justify producing increasing quantities of that item. I don't think that demand for FF will ever reach the point where they are sold in the numbers that APS-C format cameras are now. All of the camera mfgs have made significant commitments to the APS-C sensor format, and for the foreseeable future, that's what I'll be shooting. I accept that just as I accepted small format (35mm) in the past as opposed to Medium Format for better quality. I like the crop factor, as I shoot mostly telephoto as opposed to wide, and the level of quality already works for me, and it'll only get better.

As it is, all of my long tele lenses will work for FF, so I still retain the option, but I'd lose the crop factor, and I doubt that FF prices will ever come down to where APS-C sensored DSLRs are now.

I've been wrong before, and I might be here, but I'll not hesitate to buy DA lenses because of potential future incompatibility with the possibility of a Pentax FF DSLR.

. . . but that's just me. . .

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Old Oct 31, 2006, 9:45 PM   #5
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Yes there is point where more megapixels become nothing but more work(for a lot of people 6mp is easily enough) and actually introduce some other problems too. More megapixels help with printing, but most people dont print that big.

To address your other point... yes 35mmFF sensors will come down in price, but so will the APS-C sensors... so you may see 35mmFF cameras at the prices of some of the smaller format cameras now, but the smaller sensor cameras might be at the price of point and shoots are currently.
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 10:23 PM   #6
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I second what Larry and Roy said. I will be hesitant to buy anything that may have problem with FF camera.

Will it happen? Depend what spinmedia people do. If Canon 5D (FF) does well and Canon believe that they can make a killing on people switching to FF, I am sure that is the direction to go.

The spin line will be like: hey your lens will not be crippled with FF. FF means full frame andAPS-C means 2/3 full frame. Of course FF will be better.

Trust me: people buy all these argument.

Try to find a decent cellular phone without camera and you will know how true it is.

There is more tendency for more megapixel too. Whether that will contribute to better camera or pix is something else


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Old Oct 31, 2006, 10:57 PM   #7
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FF will always be expensive because silicone chips cost more the bigger they are. In PC's the reason the price is going down is the size of the chips are decreasing.
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Old Nov 2, 2006, 10:58 PM   #8
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It's a pointless discussion. The aspect ratio of the sensors is 2:3, like 35mm film. This was always a prorblem for portrait and wedding photogaphers who deliver 8x10, 11x14, and 16x20.

It would make more sense to go the way of the medium fomat backs, where the current sensors match the 645 format, so it's easier to frame your shot in the viewfinder and you don't lose extra edge pixels.

Canon offers veiwfinder screens with the sides blacked out, so you don't accidentally take a shot that you can't sell.

When I receive my K10D, I plan to buy a KatzEye screen with lines scribed to show the limits of the 8x10 format.

Too bad someone (Sansung?) couldn't make a sensor with the diagonal to fit the APS-C lenses, but an aspect ratio more like 3:4 or 4:5! It would be an instant hit with the wedding and portrait crowd, whoever puts out such a sensor would sell a lot of cameras (or, more pecicely, sensors).

Olymus went that route, but the sensor is too small. Even so, some of the popular portrait mills are using 5 megapixel Olymus DSLR's and selling prints up to 20x24.

Just something to think about.

Samsung? Pentax? Anybody??
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Old Nov 3, 2006, 2:42 PM   #9
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Olymus went that route, but the sensor is too small. Even so, some of the popular portrait mills are using 5 megapixel Olymus DSLR's and selling prints up to 20x24.
Too small now, but I'd guess it won't be in the future. The trend will continue to be better quality out of smaller sensors. Like most every other form of technology, the long term trend is better, cheaper, and smaller.

There is also a significant cost advantage in making the smaller lenses, which as the smaller sensor cameras become more popular, will increasingly show with economies of scale. And in many cases, the smaller lenses will also be more convenient.

One camera alot of portrait and wedding photographers are using right now is the Fuji S3 Pro. That's a couple of years old, but what set it apart was the sensor. Fuji in their Super CCD is using 2 photodiodes per photosite, one a lower sensitivity than the other. In that camera this was used primarily to produce outstanding dynamic range.

Over the last 2 years, they've greatly improved their ability in their point and shoot cameras to use this same technology to produce lower noise at higher ISO.

If you think about it, most sensors only have one truly "native" ISO. Because the actual photosites are only recording at one sensitivity. So one way or another all other ISO settings are a result of at least some kind of "boost".

But the Fuji sensors have 2 native ISO's. By combining the data from both, and with some clever work by the processor to make the most out of that additional information, they now can produce a wider range of useable ISO.

Presumably they intend to incorporate some of their more advancements in processing into the succesor to the S3 Pro, the S5 Pro - being shown right now at the PhotoPlus Expo in NYC. The announced specs for this camera and sensor aren't particularly exiting on the surface. No more megapixels, no speed records, no groundbreaking features (unless you count face detection). The promotional materials, however, do claim "pristine pictures at 3200 ISO". Maybe that's just markleting. Maybe not.

But I have to suspect that building the F10-F30 type technology into a DSLR with a sensor 3 times as large will yield a noticeable improvement in image quality.

And, as technology improves, I think the larger sensor will still always be better. But it will also always be more costly. I think it will always be there for those wanting top quality for top dollar. But I suspect the sweet spot for most consumers in the future will increasingly be smaller sensors like the four thirds design.

Interestingly, Fuji was one of the companies who supposedly signed onto the four thirds standard. But they have yet to have anything to do with any actual product. Both Kodak and Panasonic have made sensors for Olympus E series DSLRs, and Panasonic has introduced their own. But I'd really like to see one from Fuji. And all I ask in that size is a "pristine" 1600 ISO.

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