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Author Topic: The Full Frame Myth  (Read 26312 times)

BJL

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a big sensor in a small kit; not if telephoto (and macro) are important
« Reply #100 on: December 26, 2013, 01:06:52 PM »

I also like the essay overall, and it is fascinating to compare the attitudes to sub-35mm formats now to what was being said at this site five or ten years ago. But some words about lenses, as suggested by bjnicholls
It's not the weight of the camera body that got me into a Micro Four Thirds system to complement my full frame system. The real difference is the lenses.
You can combine a reasonably large sensor (say "35mm" format) with a small overall kit (body and one or more lenses) when it is enough to cover a FOV range from wide to just a bit longer than normal; more so when one or two prime lenses are enough. So it is no surprise that the various "big sensor, small kit" offerings are typically based on wide to normal or sort telephoto primes, or zoom lenses with a limited and slowish long end, like the Sony EF 28-70 f/4. That lens sets a record amongst modern standard zoom lenses for its combination of limited wide coverage [28mm vs 24mm], limited zoom range [2.5x] and limited aperture range [f/4 vs f2.8 for most 28-70 or 24-70 zooms].

But for the great majority of system camera buyers, at least ones willing to pay several thousand dollars for the body alone, telephoto reach is also an important factor, and it is here that systems like Micro Four Thirds offer a huge advantage in lens and kit size over 35mm format. To rework Ray's example but using actual cameras, trying to do telephoto (or macro) photography with a 36MP, 36x24mm sensor using the same focal length as used in MFT involves cropping to 9MP (or 6MP from a 24MP sensor) And as Ray says, resolution matters: there are often significant visible IQ advantages to 16MP over 9MP or 6MP. More so when even the MFT image must be cropped: I have got some very useful images with a 2x crop to 4MP from my E-M5; but would be less satisfied with the 2.25MP given by the same focal length from the D800 or A7R or the 1.5MP or less from any other 35mm format DSLR.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 01:54:50 PM by BJL »
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hsteeves

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Re: The Full Frame Myth ... Re:Ansel
« Reply #101 on: December 26, 2013, 10:11:42 PM »

I was Ansel's darkroom in Carmel in 86 - the year after he died.  One of his enlargers was on horizontal rails that were room length.  The easel was vertical. The light source was the multiple light bank with individual switches for each bulb.  It was the neatest thing.
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barryfitzgerald

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #102 on: December 29, 2013, 09:07:40 AM »

I'm quite happy to be part of the other 5%. I've never been one to follow the mob.  ;)

Every photographic image that has existed is a crop. It's not possible to produce an image which is not a crop of the scene being photographed. Cropping is always an essential part of good technique whether such cropping is done through choice of lens and camera format at the time the shot is taken, which usually results in higher resolution, or later in post-processing, which usually results in lower resolution.


Composition is selective, so is every aspect of photography including exposure/choice of settings lens used etc etc.
Cropping in camera via composition? That's a new one even for mp die hard fans!

I only usually crop for print (regardless of sensor arguments you will likely have to do this depending on the print aspect ratio) I try to avoid much cropping in post because I think it's not a good sign you on the "ball" behind the camera, bar wildlife/sports shooters who have different needs. As this is primarily a landscape shooters site that's one area where you shouldn't be cropping much at all.

Anyway back on topics, full frame is nice (not essential) it's like anything else on the market, once it's more affordable the adoption rates will increase, simple as that really.
Same reason Android overtook IOS some time ago, Apple don't compete in the low price tablet market..thus cannot sustain market share longer term.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 09:10:01 AM by barryfitzgerald »
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Ray

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #103 on: December 29, 2013, 07:12:17 PM »

I only usually crop for print (regardless of sensor arguments you will likely have to do this depending on the print aspect ratio)..

Whereas I never crop for print. I make the paper's aspect ratio fit the composition, not the other way round, which would be like the tail wagging the dog.

Quote
I try to avoid much cropping in post because I think it's not a good sign you are on the "ball" behind the camera..

Whereas I am not at all concerned whether anyone thinks I am on the ball behind the camera. The reason I try to get the composition as I want it when I take the shot, by choosing an appropriate focal length in conjunction with position, is because I appreciate detail and fine resolution in an image.

However, I'm not as obsessed with resolution as some folks appear to be. I prefer to use zoom lenses because I know that the resolution lost, if the prime is too wide for the intended composition which then requires cropping during post-processing, largely defeats the purpose of using a sharp and high-quality prime lens, especially considering that aberrations and distortions like color fringing and barrel distortion can be successfully removed in software.

The reason I've raised this option of using a high-resolution camera with a relatively lightweight, high quality prime lens, is  for the benefit of those who claim they do not need or want more than 4 or 6 or 8mp for their final, processed image.

If those people really are not at all concerned with high resolution, then the ultra-high resolution camera offers a marvelous opportunity for them. Think outside of the box. With such a camera, and high quality fixed prime lens attached, you can really be 'on the ball'.

It takes time to change lenses, and no zoom lens has a maximum aperture of F1.2, or F1.4 across its range of focal lengths. And just think of that lovely bokeh, eh!  ;D
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Martin86

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #104 on: January 01, 2014, 12:13:19 PM »


  Well, the author of the article forgot to mention one but crutial thing: The depth of field possibility. Yes, I can see that it is not a hot topic for a landscape shooter but for the experienced eye of the experienced street / portrait / people shooter the full frame abilitites in this respect are not a "myth" at all. With m4/3 or even APS/C, one cannot reach the same field of view with the same level of the shallow DoF. There are no equivalents for 21/1.4, 24/1.4, 35/1.4 or 50/0.95 or 85/1.4 lenses. No need to say in this forum that IT IS the lenses what greatly contributes to the final perception, atmosphere, "pop" and concept of the final images. While in the high-iso department I think we can live up with the offerings from APS-C or m4/3 sensors, the real benefit of the above mentioned facts shouldn´t be forgotten. The size still matters, I´m afraid.
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #105 on: January 02, 2014, 07:27:54 AM »

Homrich used to have enlargers with adjustable lighting. Based on one light source and small mirrors if I recall the technology correctly.

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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

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January 2014, 600+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
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bcooter

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #106 on: January 02, 2014, 09:16:23 AM »

  Well, the author of the article forgot to mention one but crutial thing: The depth of field possibility. Yes, I can see that it is not a hot topic for a landscape shooter but for the experienced eye of the experienced street / portrait / people shooter the full frame abilitites in this respect are not a "myth" at all. With m4/3 or even APS/C, one cannot reach the same field of view with the same level of the shallow DoF. There are no equivalents for 21/1.4, 24/1.4, 35/1.4 or 50/0.95 or 85/1.4 lenses. No need to say in this forum that IT IS the lenses what greatly contributes to the final perception, atmosphere, "pop" and concept of the final images. While in the high-iso department I think we can live up with the offerings from APS-C or m4/3 sensors, the real benefit of the above mentioned facts shouldn´t be forgotten. The size still matters, I´m afraid.

Don't know what you shoot and I always buy the fastest lenses I can find, though rarely use them with great effect wide open, especially with dlsrs, because the optical viewfinder on a dslr shows a lot more focus pull than what you actually get.

I do think on the small cameras 2.8 is the minimum speed, but on the 43's there are so man options autofocus or not and there are even .95 lenses out there and the beauty of evf is you can actually see well enough to manually focus, even on moving subjects.

IMO

BC

Rob C

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #107 on: January 02, 2014, 10:12:51 AM »

Don't know what you shoot and I always buy the fastest lenses I can find, though rarely use them with great effect wide open, especially with dlsrs, because the optical viewfinder on a dslr shows a lot more focus pull than what you actually get.

I do think on the small cameras 2.8 is the minimum speed, but on the 43's there are so man options autofocus or not and there are even .95 lenses out there and the beauty of evf is you can actually see well enough to manually focus, even on moving subjects.

IMO

BC




Hi James,

I don't quite understand what you mean: can you amplify, please?

My experience has always been that the faster the lens the more rapid it is to focus: fast ones display such a shallow dof that you are instantly in or out of focus. Yes, I know there is sometimes a shift in focus on stopping down, but if you are shooting wide open then this is not going to happen.

In the 'old' film days, it seemed to be a general rule that where, for example, you had an f2 and also an f2.8 option of, say, the 35mm focal length lens, the slower optic would give the better overall performance, both lenses working best at about two to two-and-a-half stops down from max. In fact, when I bought my Nikkor 2.8/35mm it was because the f2 version didn't perform as well as the slower one. I took the advice from tests run for the BJP by a chap called Geoffrey Crawley, who was a long-time, greatly respected contributor/tester there. Experience with the f2.8 one led me to consider it the sharpest Nikkor I ever owned. Having sold all of those things off years ago, and now restocking - up to a point - I have the f2 version because my interests have changed from the commercial imperativeness of max. sharpness to the personal one of 'interesting' shallow depth on wide-angle motifs, not a thing that I had much call for in my work.

In effect, the longer the focal length of lens the more shallow the depth of field but the more deep the depth of focus at the film plane.

I don't think the f2/35mm is as good as my old f2.8, though, just 'different' - in a positive manner for me now - because of its speed.

Ciao -

Rob C

ErikKaffehr

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #108 on: January 02, 2014, 04:03:21 PM »

Hi,

I guess there are different needs. Most decent lenses do pretty well if stopped down to f/8 (or so). Large aperture lenses may have issues with focus shift and not perform so well at maximum apertures. Most high performance lenses are also large aperture.

I would suggest that medium aperture lenses like f/2.8 lenses and 24-105/4 zooms may be a bright idea for many of us.

Best regards
Erik



Hi James,

I don't quite understand what you mean: can you amplify, please?

My experience has always been that the faster the lens the more rapid it is to focus: fast ones display such a shallow dof that you are instantly in or out of focus. Yes, I know there is sometimes a shift in focus on stopping down, but if you are shooting wide open then this is not going to happen.

In the 'old' film days, it seemed to be a general rule that where, for example, you had an f2 and also an f2.8 option of, say, the 35mm focal length lens, the slower optic would give the better overall performance, both lenses working best at about two to two-and-a-half stops down from max. In fact, when I bought my Nikkor 2.8/35mm it was because the f2 version didn't perform as well as the slower one. I took the advice from tests run for the BJP by a chap called Geoffrey Crawley, who was a long-time, greatly respected contributor/tester there. Experience with the f2.8 one led me to consider it the sharpest Nikkor I ever owned. Having sold all of those things off years ago, and now restocking - up to a point - I have the f2 version because my interests have changed from the commercial imperativeness of max. sharpness to the personal one of 'interesting' shallow depth on wide-angle motifs, not a thing that I had much call for in my work.

In effect, the longer the focal length of lens the more shallow the depth of field but the more deep the depth of focus at the film plane.

I don't think the f2/35mm is as good as my old f2.8, though, just 'different' - in a positive manner for me now - because of its speed.

Ciao -

Rob C

Telecaster

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #109 on: January 02, 2014, 10:24:59 PM »

I would suggest that medium aperture lenses like f/2.8 lenses and 24-105/4 zooms may be a bright idea for many of us.

Agreed. Whenever the format wars break out extreme examples always get cited in support or defense of one's favored format. The practical reality of actually taking photos is a different thing.

Rob, focus pull is a cinema term. Remember, BC is a multi-media guy. A typical D-SLR's optical viewfinder is limited to roughly f/2.8 in terms of showing accurate DOF. No focusing aids, mind you, not that they'd be of much use with video anyway. This is a problem if you're pulling focus manually with an f/1.4–2.0 lens used wide-open or close to it...the accuracy isn't good enough.

BTW, Geoffrey Crawley was The Man.   :)

-Dave-
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Ray

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #110 on: January 03, 2014, 03:25:46 AM »

Of course, for those who are not concerned about resolution and are prepared to crop heavily to get an effectively longer focal length from a short prime, the DoF issue, which is also related to focusing accuracy, and the lower resolution of the lens at wide apertures, should not be an issue.

For example, whilst  the Nikon AF-S 50/1.4 G is sharpest at F4, at F1.4 it's still reasonably sharp, certainly sharper than the Nikkor 24-120/F4 zoom used between 85mm and 120mm at F4.

If one were to use the Nikon 50/1.4 G as an effective 150/F1.4 by applying a 3x crop factor on a D800, one would get a 4mp (or 12mb) file with a DoF similar to that gained from an actual 150mm lens used at F4 on the D800.

If the 36mp of the D800 were downsampled to 4mp, I would expect to see slightly better resolution than the 4mp crop, as a pixel-peeper. However, in many circumstances I would also expect to see significantly less noise in the crop of the 50/1.4 shot, assuming both lenses do not have VR. A difference of 3 stops is the difference between ISO 100 and 800.

If the alternative F4 zoom lens, which would considerably add to the weight of the system, had image stabilization equivalent to 3 stops, then for stationary subjects there would be no advantage in the wider aperture of the 50/1.4 without VR. However, if the subject is moving, then that F1.4 aperture could produce either a cleaner image or a sharper image, due to the faster shutter speed that a wider aperture allows..

It's such a pity I'm so obsessed with resolution.  ;D
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Rob C

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #111 on: January 03, 2014, 04:09:40 AM »

Agreed. Whenever the format wars break out extreme examples always get cited in support or defense of one's favored format. The practical reality of actually taking photos is a different thing.

Rob, focus pull is a cinema term. Remember, BC is a multi-media guy. A typical D-SLR's optical viewfinder is limited to roughly f/2.8 in terms of showing accurate DOF. No focusing aids, mind you, not that they'd be of much use with video anyway. This is a problem if you're pulling focus manually with an f/1.4–2.0 lens used wide-open or close to it...the accuracy isn't good enough.

BTW, Geoffrey Crawley was The Man.   :)

-Dave-


Thanks, Dave; I hadn't realised the 'focus pull' reference was to motion photography!

Yes, Crawley was one of those people you felt instinctively that you could trust - glad that he lived when he did. (He also had a thing in favour of Leitz M glass - so I think it was a deserved distinction - at least at the time!)

Thanks again for the clarification -

Rob C

eleanorbrown

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #112 on: January 09, 2014, 08:25:52 PM »

Erik, I have been doing a few test prints with my Zeiss Otus 55 on my D800e and also Sony A7R.  Today I printed a 22X32 inch test print of shrubbery with lovely leaves that has wonderful texture tones veins etc.  .  The Otus, shot at f2.8 on the A7r is stunning...I cannot do anywhere near this with a smaller sensor. I'm in the quality range that my Phase/Hassy medium format gives me.  This just amazes me.  Eleanor

Hi,

I just made a 70x100 cm. I took it with my Sony Alpha 99, it is nice but could be sharper. Did it depend on camera or the photographer? I don't know! The same week I took another image with my P45+ on Hasselblad that I printed at 60x80 cm (because I could not crop to 70x100), that P45+ image is really sharp.

It is nice to be able to print large, that suggests megapixels and sharp lenses are good stuff. The way I see it:

The Hasselblad/P45+ makes great images, but is a bit limited compared with my full frame DSLR. The DSLR makes great images, too. For short walks I simply carry both. Long walks? The DSLR comes along.

I also have a smaller APS-C DSLR, it has 24 MP. I use that camera for telephoto shots and as a walk around camera. The full frame DSLR with it's large lenses is simply to monstrous and heavy.

I also have a Sony RX100, it doesn't get much love, but makes some nice images.

It is nice to have high MP count, but it needs lenses to match.

Best regards
Erik


ErikKaffehr

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #113 on: January 10, 2014, 01:10:16 AM »

Eleanor,

Great to hear! Thanks for sharing!

I have some interest in the A7r, but I guess I want to see where Sony goes in with both A-mount and EF-mount. Also I am in a money saving mode after buying my P45+. It is very interesting to see what other users find.

Best regards
Erik


Erik, I have been doing a few test prints with my Zeiss Otus 55 on my D800e and also Sony A7R.  Today I printed a 22X32 inch test print of shrubbery with lovely leaves that has wonderful texture tones veins etc.  .  The Otus, shot at f2.8 on the A7r is stunning...I cannot do anywhere near this with a smaller sensor. I'm in the quality range that my Phase/Hassy medium format gives me.  This just amazes me.  Eleanor

Rob C

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #114 on: January 10, 2014, 04:58:30 AM »

Eleanor,

Great to hear! Thanks for sharing!

I have some interest in the A7r, but I guess I want to see where Sony goes in with both A-mount and EF-mount. Also I am in a money saving mode after buying my P45+. It is very interesting to see what other users find.

Best regards
Erik




Erik, you are too late! Your genie has already fled the bottle. You should have had that mental attitude and strength before spending the money!

;-)

Rob C

Manoli

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #115 on: January 10, 2014, 06:43:04 AM »

Today I printed a 22X32 inch test print of shrubbery with lovely leaves that has wonderful texture tones veins etc.  .  The Otus, shot at f2.8 on the A7r is stunning...I cannot do anywhere near this with a smaller sensor. I'm in the quality range that my Phase/Hassy medium format gives me.  This just amazes me.  Eleanor

Eleanor, music to my ears …
Now, the interesting sequel will be how great a difference between the Otus v SUMMILUX-M 50/1.4 on an A7r.
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bcooter

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #116 on: January 10, 2014, 09:36:30 AM »

I never looked at the R due to the focus, but looked at the A7.

I'll bet that most people that were shopping the olympus compared the em-1 to the a7, but I doubt if anyone shopping for an A7 and especially the a7r ever compared them to the olympus.

It's hard to deny the thought of full frame, but for me it was hard to deny the results I saw.

IMO


BC

Manoli

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #117 on: January 10, 2014, 10:59:28 AM »

… but I doubt if anyone shopping for an A7 and especially the a7r ever compared them to the olympus.
It's hard to deny the thought of full frame, but for me it was hard to deny the results I saw.

Well, one did. Mainly because of your persuasive arguments in its favour and MR's A7r/ Leica review. But the bottom line, as I posted elsewhere was this: your priorities were "autofocus, tracking, stabilisation, colour, in-camera corrections and extensibility" whereas mine were " B&W, tonality, stills only, prefers manual focus and has a host of top-grade legacy glass (that he's not willing to discard) ".

In the end it also came down to the fact that I wasn't buying any overpriced Sony lenses to go with it, whereas with the Olympus it would have been impossible not to buy 'that' zoom and the 75/1.8 as a minimum. I like the OM, like the Olympus DNA, liked the quality feel to the whole camera (hated the menu system) but neither needed nor wanted the advantages the OM offered.

Two comments though; the results you saw were mainly, if I'm not mistaken, based on jpeg output. Sony jpeg's, by all accounts, are … 'not the best'. And the construction of the A7 is not to the standard of the A7r - it's only partly magnesium.

But yes, I guess that in the end, m43 v FF counted - for my usage.



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bcooter

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #118 on: January 10, 2014, 02:32:46 PM »

Well, one did. Mainly because of your persuasive arguments in its favour and MR's A7r/ Leica review. But the bottom line, as I posted elsewhere was this: your priorities were "autofocus, tracking, stabilisation, colour, in-camera corrections and extensibility" whereas mine were " B&W, tonality, stills only, prefers manual focus and has a host of top-grade legacy glass (that he's not willing to discard) ".

In the end it also came down to the fact that I wasn't buying any overpriced Sony lenses to go with it, whereas with the Olympus it would have been impossible not to buy 'that' zoom and the 75/1.8 as a minimum. I like the OM, like the Olympus DNA, liked the quality feel to the whole camera (hated the menu system) but neither needed nor wanted the advantages the OM offered.

Two comments though; the results you saw were mainly, if I'm not mistaken, based on jpeg output. Sony jpeg's, by all accounts, are … 'not the best'. And the construction of the A7 is not to the standard of the A7r - it's only partly magnesium.

But yes, I guess that in the end, m43 v FF counted - for my usage.







If I was you I would have done the same thing.  If I needed 30mpx I would have given the A7 a much closer look.

I hope this doesn't come as a misunderstanding, because I wanted the A7 to be the camera I needed, not just wanted.   

What surprised me was on the A7 vs. the em-1 "I" like the 43 file better, found the sharpness and detail more interesting (not more detailed, just more interesting) and I love the olympus camera, except it doesn't tether.

Personally I don't understand the camera companies, except Canon and Nikon.

You may never need tethering, or focus tracking or a large lens set, but is nice if you do, whether your a professional or an advanced amateur.

You may never need a wide acceptance by the rental companies like borrow lens, or lens rentals, but once again, it's nice if you do.

What I really don't understand is software is 1/2 the equation of all digital cameras, motion or still and only Canon has a good oem tethering suite (other than phase/leaf/hasselblad) and all the rest rely on difficult, less than robust software.

That just kind of freezes my brain, because once you write the suite, isn't the hard work done?

In other words the camera companies have come to realize that cheap point and shoot business is gone and the higher end is where the profit is, but once they get close to the high end, they kind of stop.

Anyway, I understand the A7R for a lot of people, I just wasn't one of them.

IMO

BC


ErikKaffehr

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Re: The Full Frame Myth
« Reply #119 on: January 10, 2014, 03:04:48 PM »

Hi,

I guess that the two companies you understand are in command of something like 80% of the relevant market, which may mean that you may not be alone…

Joke aside, I would suggest that Nikon and later Canon built their marketplace by consequently delivering adequate solutions to their customers needs.

Nice to hear you enjoy 4/3.

Best regards
Erik




Personally I don't understand the camera companies, except Canon and Nikon.


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