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Author Topic: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?  (Read 73736 times)

tom b

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Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« on: December 04, 2017, 07:36:19 AM »

Hey, why is there no talk about the top of the line DSLRs on LuLa?

For example the EOS 1D X Mark II, Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 or the Nikon D5 or oops Sony whatever!

Is it a LuLa thing or what?

Cheers,
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 02:29:27 PM by tom b »
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 07:56:48 AM »

The Sony top DSLT (they make no DSLRs) is the a99 II - just FYI :)
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Cornfield

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 08:43:42 AM »

I think the reason is that neither the Canon or Nikon would be ideal tools for landscape work  (there is a clue at the top of this page ;).  Shooters I know who own these high-end cameras shoot press or sports.  If I worked regularly shooting sport the D5 would be my choice but the D810/850 are both way better for landscape and general shooting.
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tesfoto

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 11:31:22 AM »

Hey, why is there no talk about the top of the line DSLRs on LuLa?

For example the EOS 1D X Mark II, Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 or the Nikon D5.

Is it a LuLa thing or what?

Cheers,

It has been dead for years on Lula - look somewhere else.

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NancyP

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 12:35:36 PM »

We are either high-resolution shooters (the pros) or budget-minded people (many amateurs).
Sony A7R II, III series, Nikon D810/850, or Canon 5DSR (36-50-ish MP) for "full frame"(135-format) high end users who are looking for a landscape-specific camera.
Nikon D750, Canon 5D and 6D (20-24 mp), Pentax K1 for full frame general users/hobbyists who may do a fair amount of landscape photography but either don't have another camera or don't print large. I am in this group. 20 MP is pleasing enough if you print at maximum 11 x 17 and don't need to crop a lot and aren't selling your work.
Wildlife photographers would be the cross-over segment of LuLa readers who might desire a top of the line Canon or Nikon, paired with an f/4 400mm and longer lens.
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Rob C

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 03:22:20 PM »

Perhaps there is no mystery, simply a reflection of the site owner's own tastes, which seems fair enough.

Kevin Raber

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 04:15:24 PM »

Rob said it correctly.  First, there is only a small handful of us here at LuLa.  A few years ago we went and focused on mirrorless like a number of other sites have done.  The DSLR market is covered well elsewhere.  We look for the new technology and innovations and there isn't much of that on the DSLR side these days.Plus we buy the gear we test (even though we get some loaners).  The cost for some of the high-end Nikon and Canon gear is just too expensive for us to purchase and the resell prices are way too low for trade in.  Seems that a lot of the gear mentioned is being traded in as photographers move to mirrorless. 

So, we will focus on the mirrorless side of things as well as medium format.  There is such a proliferation of gear sites out there and we don't want to be like everyone else.  Our focus is also on the Aesthetics of photography and interest stories like we do with the Masters series, The Leica Story, and other interviews as well as some great content form photographers. 

I anxiously await the day Canon and Nikon enter the mirrorless marketplace in a serious manner.  Then it will get real fun and we will be really busy.
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tom b

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 05:03:35 PM »

No, my OP was not about mirrorless. It was about how Nikon's D850, Canon's 5D M1V and Sony's a7R Mark III appear on this forum to be the "flagship" DLSR cameras for their makers. Hey, I had trouble naming the top of line DLSRs from these manufactures, something I would have found easy not so long ago.

Just saying,

Oh, Sony's "top of the line/flagship camera" is not a DSLR. No mirror hence no reflex.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 05:24:32 PM by tom b »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 05:38:26 PM »

For what it's worth I am a very happy Nikon D5 owner.

Best camera there is for low light (balance of colors, DR and noise), best AF there is for moving subjects, best ergonomics (but I know this is personal). The only drawback of the D5 really is than it offers less DR at low ISO that the best generic DSLRs, but still more than a Canon 5D mkIII for instance, meaning that it is very usable for generic shooting too.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/albums/72157666820175492

If Nikon releases a D5s I'll consider it very seriously. I happen to take my photographs with today's cameras, I don't care whether mirrorless cameras will be better some day... (which I am sure they will) ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 05:43:03 PM by BernardLanguillier »
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Two23

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 06:35:03 PM »

As alluded to above, you don't need a camera that shoots 10 frames per second to do landscapes.  Heck, my Chamonix 045n usually shoots 1 frame per hour. ;D  That's plenty fast enough as the grain elevators and waterfalls I like to photo don't move very fast.


Kent in SD
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BJL

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Death of the flagship DSLR camera? flagship for speed or for overall IQ?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 06:35:30 PM »

Hey, why is there no talk about the top of the line DSLRs on LuLa?

For example the EOS 1D X Mark II, Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 or the Nikon D5 or oops Sony whatever!
The concepts of "flagship" and "top of the line" have become ambiguous in the digital era: with film it was the fastest and most robust body; with digital the bodies offering "top of the line resolution and overall IQ" are different from (and usually less expensive than) those offering "top of the line speed". The latter is still what many think of as the flagships, but the former are what most in this forum are more interested in.

P. S. By "speed" I am lumping together frame-rate, AF performance and high shutter speed/low light capability.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 06:24:40 AM »

The flagships DSLRs are as dead as their SLR ancestors; meaning, they are pretty much alive. Even in the film era, the likes of EOS 1 and Nikon F5 were not abundant here. They target a very specific type of photog.

NancyP

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 02:20:11 PM »

"...my Chamonix 4 x 5 shoots 1 frame per hour...."
Two23 wins the internets today!  ;D
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shadowblade

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 03:26:31 PM »

Dedicated action stills cameras aren't dead, but their days are numbered. This goes as much for the mirrorless A9 as it does for the 1Dx2 and D5 SLRs.

Basically, they're being squeezed between general-purpose bodies at one end and video cameras at the other. With each new generation, the number of users who wouldn't do better with one of the other categories of camera diminishes.

It used to be that an action camera was necessary for shooting wildlife and other action stills. Other bodies simply didn't have the necessary frame rate or AF. And action bodies sacrificed a lot of resolution to achieve the needed frame rates. But we now have the D850 and A7r3 - at 9-10fps, they're as fast as action bodies of one or two generations ago, with credible AF systems. Not many action photographers need more speed than this, and many more could better use the extra resolution (for flexibility in cropping) than an extra 4-5fps. So, at the lower speed end, general-purpose bodies are now able to provide all the needed speed and accuracy of an action body, while being better in other respects.

At the faster fps end, action SLRs are running into video cameras. Video cameras always used to trade resolution for frame rate to an unacceptable extent for still photos - a 2MP 1080p video camera was no alternative to a 20MP 1Dx. But 4k video cameras are now common (fine for small print sizes or web) and 8k isn't far off. That's 39MP at a minimum 25fps. The exposure settings when shooting stills would be different from when shooting video, but the same camera can do both. And, with mirrorless AF technology having demonstrated tremendous advances this year (you can mention 'A9' and '1Dx2' in the same sentence without being laughed at, whereas you couldn't have said the same about the A7r2) the AF advantage of SLRs over video cameras is no longer an issue.

A lot of it comes down to frame rate being either an 'enough' or 'not enough' quantity, rather than a 'more is better' one like DR or resolution. Even if your scene only contains 10 stops of DR, a 15-stop sensor will give you less shadow noise than a 12-stop sensor, while, even if you only need 20MP, a downsized 80MP image will give you a much better picture than a native 20MP sensor. Conversely, if you need 10fps for the subjects you shoot, having 20fps isn't going to get you much other than twice as many files to sift through. Once you hit the required frame rate, you're probably better off improving other aspects of the camera rather than increasing the frame rate further. 9-10fps is probably a reasonable rate for wildlife, and most sports, photography. And, not coincidentally, that's where the A9r3 and D850 general-purpose bodies are sitting at the moment.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 07:29:10 PM by shadowblade »
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BJL

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 03:37:12 PM »

But we now have the D850 and A7r3 - at 9-10fps, they're as fast as action bodies of one or two generations ago, with credible AF systems.
Indeed: for comparison, Nikon's ultimate flagship film SLR, the F6, only does 8fps even with the boost from a battery grip. The even higher frame-rate niche still exists, but is getting ever narrower.
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donbga

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2017, 03:51:58 PM »

As alluded to above, you don't need a camera that shoots 10 frames per second to do landscapes.  Heck, my Chamonix 045n usually shoots 1 frame per hour. ;D  That's plenty fast enough as the grain elevators and waterfalls I like to photo don't move very fast.


Kent in SD
My Chamonix 45 is my landscape camera.

Don Bryant
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ned

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2017, 04:07:07 PM »

My Chamonix 45 is my landscape camera.

Don Bryant
Mine too


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Shutter speed is crucial in photography

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2017, 07:10:33 PM »

Mine too

Just at the moment when I considering parting with my Ebony 45SU... ;)

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2017, 07:36:22 PM »

Indeed: for comparison, Nikon's ultimate flagship film SLR, the F6, only does 8fps even with the boost from a battery grip. The even higher frame-rate niche still exists, but is getting ever narrower.

Yep.

Put it this way - for shooting wildlife (which can show up at any distance) or field sports (where action can take place over a wide range of distances) I'd rather have 9-10fps and 42-45MP tham 15fps and 20MP. The extra resolution gives me a lot more latitude to frame and crop, particularly when using a supertele prime, while the extra 5fps doesn't really add much at all. It's like having a full-frame and a crop body on the lens at the same time.
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shadowblade

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Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2017, 12:35:32 AM »

The key feature these days is not frame rate, but AF.

A general-purpose camera capable of shooting 10fps - in fact, even 8fps - is fast enough for almost all sports and action. An 8k camcorder - possibly even a 6k one, depending on application - has enough resolution for sports (and you couldn't get a higher-resolution, sports-focused stills camera anyway, even if you wanted one).

What makes a body capable of action stills these days isn't so much the frame rate, but the ability of the AF system to track a subject.

But there's no reason that good AF systems need to go in something that shoots 12-15fps at 20-24MP. It wasn't even always the case that top AF systems weny solely into fast-shooting, low-resolution bodies - witness the 1Ds3 and D3x. And it's not necessarily the best place for it any more, either. When high-resolution sensors shot at 5fps or less, it made sense - few people would have used a D3x or 5D2 to shoot action, even if the AF system had been top-tier, because they simply weren't fast enough. But 40-50MP and 8-10fps is a completely different story - these genral-purpose bodies are more than fast enough to be action cameras, provided they have an AF system to go with it. And an action-capable, general-purpose body shooting 10fps at 50MP is going to sell a lot more units than a super-specialised 20fps/20MP body with the same AF system - it's just so much more versatile.

Similarly, a capable AF system can now be put into a video camera, now that on-sensor AF systems can be made just as capable as off-sensor systems (e.g. the A9). So the 6k or 8k video camera just became a 20MP/35MP, 25/30fps action stills camera, with all the AF capability of a top-end mirrorless stills body.

I'd probably mark the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the death of the dedicated action stills camera. Canon/Nikon/Sony will almost certainly be aiming to have 8k video cameras launched by then, at a price similar or lower than current action stills cameras, since they will be intended for use for both stills and video. Where the 1Dx/D4 were the cameras for the London games and the 1Dx2/D5 those for the Rio games, 8k video cameras are likely to be the cameras meant for the Tokyo games. 39MP and 25fps far outdo any current action stills body. And both Canon dual-pixel AF and Sony mirrorless AF should be advanced enough by then (and even now) for the AF on these video cameras to be just as good as the off-sensor AF on action SLRs.

At that stage, there will be no functional (as opposed to nostalgia-value) reason to have a dedicated action stills body, so the concept will essentially be dead. Or, from another point of view, will have merged with the concept of the video camera or general-purpose stills camera,  with no more reason to exist as an entity in its own right.
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