Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: tom b on December 04, 2017, 07:36:19 am

Title: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: tom b 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,
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: E.J. Peiker on December 04, 2017, 07:56:48 am
The Sony top DSLT (they make no DSLRs) is the a99 II - just FYI :)
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Cornfield 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: tesfoto 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.

Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: NancyP 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Kevin Raber 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: tom b 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier 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
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Two23 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
Title: Death of the flagship DSLR camera? flagship for speed or for overall IQ?
Post by: BJL 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Paulo Bizarro 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: NancyP on December 05, 2017, 02:20:11 pm
"...my Chamonix 4 x 5 shoots 1 frame per hour...."
Two23 wins the internets today!  ;D
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BJL 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: donbga 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
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: ned 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
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 05, 2017, 07:10:33 pm
Mine too

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

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade 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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 09, 2017, 07:52:44 am
I'm beginning really to see a time coming when dslr cameras, as rangefinders, will end up as relics of a bygone age. What I see replace them for general, non-pro snappers is the cellphone with some form of zoom lens.

Just today, now, as I write, sitting in a bar eating a quick lunch, something happened right beside me, outside the window, that had I had something with a better, less wide-angled lens, would have made an interesting snap. As it was, I didn't even try.

I think that adaptability will become key, and larger cameras will end up in museums.

The pro is a different animal with different needs and fiscal options. Someone will cater to his needs for years to come, I guess.

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rand47 on December 09, 2017, 06:41:20 pm
The Sony top DSLT (they make no DSLRs) is the a99 II - just FYI :)

Which is why Iíll never buy a Sony camera or lens ever again.  Left me stranded with a zillion dollars worth of Sony/Zeiss A mount lenses that became all but worthless $$-wise and only usable with a big clunky adapter that has a 1/3 stop light-robbing plastic sheet inserted in the light path.

Sorry... even after 6 years it still chaps my hide. 

BTW, the a900 was a lovely camera, that actually felt like a camera in your hands, rather than a toaster.  Due in large part to Minolta.

Rand
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: bcooter on December 09, 2017, 07:50:08 pm

The pro is a different animal with different needs and fiscal options. Someone will cater to his needs for years to come, I guess.

Rob

This website is a publication and any publication plays to itís market.

I donít follow everything on this site, but It seems most of the talk here, in most catagories is about mirrorless, which seems to be some makers are putting most of their effort.

Given that at the pro level, except for professional architectural and landscape photography, I have see more dslrs than mirrorless.

I have mirrorless in Panasonic, Olympus and the last sony A7sII.  They work, pretty good cameras, but due to tethering, battery life I rarely use them for stills.

To the assistants I hire, the ďlargeĒ pro camera they go for is a Nikon 800 something, or a Canon 5d something, usually with the manufactuererís lenses.   

Some would like a medium format system if they can afford it, though video has kind of taken the place of an expensive secondary still camera system.  (once again Iím talking about commerce). 

With the film crews the younger camera operators have gone Sony, the FS5 or higher, maybe an A7sII.  When they get a larger gig they rent an Arri, or RED.

For me, I have owned two of every 1d_ series from the 1ds to the 1dxII and the Canon case is always on set, even if the project is 99% medium format,  or motion imagery centric.

(http://russellrutherford.com/multi_looks_2.jpg)

I guess Iím use to them, they have always performed, only had one body go down in a decade and that was self afflicted.   Canon gets little love on this forum, maybe because they are presumed to be older tech, though in my world I see a lot of canons and nikons.

Itís funny you have one of those gigs that for whatever reason, at the start when you look at the scene and think, ďhow the heck am I gonna pull this offĒ.   On those days if itís stills I always find a Canon in my hand, if itís motion, itís usually a RED because once again Iím zoned into them.

Then again I look for certain things in production.  Long battery life, short learning curve on a new camera, durability and with the 1dxII the ability to shoot high quality motion quickly.

But Iím kind of over the pixel race, in still and motion.    I havenít had a client ask about resolution in years.   When the 1dx came out I was kind of bummed with that thought of only 20 mpx, but nothing adds sharpness like perfect focus and nothing becomes a buzz kill  if a camera stops tethering, or or even worse freezes.

Just personal but I think the 1dxII, in todays commercial world is a perfect fit, if you need motion and stills.  Itís not really a movie camera, but  It shoots way above itís spec sheet and on a high pressured day, just click a switch and going from stills to very good motion footage from my experience itís the perfect compromise and the only downside is it's a hefty codec and takes a well spec computer to edit and grade the files if your working from the original footage.

Also it will autofocus in movie mode thatís crazy good and organic.

IMO

BC
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 09, 2017, 08:14:37 pm
This website is a publication and any publication plays to itís market.

I donít follow everything on this site, but It seems most of the talk here, in most catagories is about mirrorless, which seems to be some makers are putting most of their effort.

Given that at the pro level, except for professional architectural and landscape photography, I have see more dslrs than mirrorless.

Well, mirrorless has only been a credible option for things other than landscape and architectural photography (and some niche areas, like macro, microscope and telescope photography) for six months. Landscape and architectural photographers have been using them for around four years now (not counting MFDBs and medium/large-format film backs with ground glass which are technically almost mirrorless). Before the A9, the lack of dual cards, limited AF ability and limited lens selection (other than third-party lenses with even poorer AF) made them suitable only for a few things - one of which happens to be the third word of this website's title (hence the interest here). This year was the watershed moment for mirrorless, with the A9 and A7r3 able to keep up with top-end SLRs in ovefall performance, not just sensor-wise. It is the year they went from being niche instruments to being able to fully replace an SLR in all roles (barring lens selection for some applications, e.g. supertelephotos, which will come in time). It is telling that we are now starting to see A9 bodies among the Canons and Nikons in the pits at sporting events (at present, mostly indoor sports, due to the lack of fast supertelephotos, but that is due to change with the 400mm f/2.8 next year).

It takes time for studios and companies with hundreds of cameras and lenses to change. There's no point replacing camera bodies which are still good and effective, and there's no point switching. Right now, they are loaded with Canon or Nikon lenses and bodies, and have little reason to change system until the gear wears out, becomes obsolete or a competitor comes up with a very compelling reason to make them change. (A Sony 8k camera, with full mirrorless AF, in the same price range as the 1Dx2/D5/A9 and equally able to be used as an 8k video camera or 39MP/25fps stills action camera would probably be such a reason). Give it another three years and the picture will be completely different.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 09, 2017, 08:22:43 pm
It is telling that we are now starting to see A9 bodies among the Canons and Nikons in the pits at sporting events (at present, mostly indoor sports, due to the lack of fast supertelephotos, but that is due to change with the 400mm f/2.8 next year).

Is that a guess or an actual observation?

I have personally not seen yet an a9 in any of the sport venue I have recently visited in Tokyo. There may have been some, but I couldn't see them at least.

If you own a D5 or 1dxII with a set of matching super tele lenses (and most pro sport shooters do own that), I am not too sure how the a9 and current Sony lenses line-up would come across as appealing enough to trigger a switch.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 09, 2017, 09:00:01 pm
Is that a guess or an actual observation?

I have personally not seen yet an a9 in any of the sport venue I have recently visited in Tokyo. There may have been some, but I couldn't see them at least.

If you own a D5 or 1dxII with a set of matching super tele lenses (and most pro sport shooters do own that), I am not too sure how the a9 and current Sony lenses line-up would come across as appealing enough to trigger a switch.

Cheers,
Bernard

Witnessed.

No cricket, soccer or football yet (probably due to lack of long telephotos), but seen them at tennis, judo, muay thai and MMA. Not many (the A9's only been out for six months, and the A7r3 for two weeks) but they're starting to appear.

Apparently the eye focus is a huge drawcard.

I say give it three years, to the next Olympics. Sony should have multiple fast supertelephotos out by then. Maybe Canon mirrorless, too. You need the long telephotos for outdoor and stadium sports - it's a prerequisite, and you won't win any users without them, no matter how good your camera body is. But the real killer will be 8k video. An 8k video camera can shoot 39MP images at a minimum 25fps and is mirrorless. No SLR design can keep up with the frame rate. With the way mirrorless AF technology has developed, it would also be able to track action as well as the SLR. This turns every stills action camera into a video camera, every video camera into a stills action camera, every sports journalist into a video journalist and vice-versa. You can't do the same with an SLR. I don't know what brand these cameras will be - Canon and Sony are the two likeliest candidates, although we don't know what Nikon has in store for its mirrorless offerings yet - but they won't have mirrors. There will probably be many SLRs shooting alongside them (a bit like how the Rio Olympics were still mostly shot with 1Dx and D4 bodies, despite the 1Dx2 and D5 having been launched) but they will not be the new flagship models that the camera companies are showing off. And, given that the games are on their home ground, no doubt Canon/Nikon/Sony will want to impress.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on December 09, 2017, 09:14:31 pm
Hi Kevin,

I would say that LuLa is not a camera test site, never had been. It was a place where the owners shared their experience. It used to be a great site, with a lot of good information. Today's LuLa has a lot of independent articles.

In old times, the "pro" cameras were the top performer  with Canon and Nikon. But, that has really changed with the Canon 5DIII and foremost with the Nikon D800. Especially the D800 was pretty much a good match for the D4 and the D800 took the lead in resolution and base ISO DR. Both parameters are desirable for many areas of photography except action.

Action photography puts more emphasis on focus tracking, frame rate, durability and things like that.

I guess that for most of the work the owners do, it would have little benefits to work with a "Pro" camera like the 1DXII or the D5.

Best regards
Erik

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.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Michael Erlewine on December 10, 2017, 10:00:49 am
As mentioned, a ďflagshipĒ for what? It seems there are two major areas in users, Action AF and Landscape/Still photography. I happen to be in the second group, one that cares more for good low ISO rather than good HIGH ISO.

It does seem we are in a time of major change or at least a shift in emphasis. IMO, there are too many interesting (to me) cameras and lenses for me to afford them all. Yes, over the last two years, since I was already selling a lot of lenses I no longer used, I jumped on the equipment train and purchased a bunch of cameras (and lenses). I had to time all of this carefully and I could not afford to have all of them at once, but I did managed to try out the Pentax K3 and K1, the Nikon D810 and D850, and the Sony A7R2 and A7R3, not to mention (purchasing) the Hasselblad X1D and the Fuji GFX mirrorless medium-format camera. For me, thatís a bunch in a short time.

Most of these systems I tested and eventually sent back or resold, leaving me today with the A7R3 and the Nikon D850. I still have the D810, but it has too many shutter actuations to consider selling it.

What I see is that these higher-end DSLRs and mirrorless are within a reasonable ballpark of one another in output. I canít buy all the new equipment that is coming out that I might want and I need to remember that I am a photographer and not a tester of photographic equipment, although with the flurry of activity in these times, I sometimes wonder.

For me, financially, an even scarier market is the upgrade in quality that many of the new lenses being released have. Since I go back to 1956 as to when I first seriously began photographing, I learned how to get the best out of any photo equipment I had on hand. I was early into digital cameras, with a Nikon Coolpix and the Nikon D1X, etc.

Although I can meaningfully compare the final images from the Sony A7R3 and the Nikon D850, as far as cameras, the quality (and ease of use) of the Nikon D850 is worlds superior to the Sony A7R3... wait for it... IMO. Since I purchase (and end up collecting) very fine APO lenses, I see more and more quality lenses that I would consider buying (and using) coming on the market, in particular from Zeiss and Sigma... and even some from Nikon. I canít afford them all.

The inability for folks like me to financially afford all of the good photo stuff coming on the market is a real bottleneck IMO, one that has not been realized and discussed enough. That fact is also changing the market! Great Lenses + Not-Enough-Cash = Few Purchases. More important perhaps, it forces me to choose one brand rather than a few brands. I found that out painfully when I tried to really test the Hasselblad X1D and the Fujifilm GFX. It was not just the price of the cameras, but trying to find enough great lenses, attachments, extras and for both cameras was an exercise in being broke.

So, in my case, at least in winter here in Michigan, I am an indoor still photographer, using the Nikon D850, the Sony A7R3, and the Cambo Actus Mini, set up to take both of the above camera bodies and exchange them in seconds. Thatís going to have to be enough for me for a while. Also, I am gear-tired at this point and the number of adapters, extenders, diopters, Teleconverters, mounts, releases, filters, etc. and etc. that I have is enough to fill a small room, literally.

So, it seems that in my case, I just have to get off the equipment train at least long enough to take some photos and stop setting up systems and testing them. And perhaps I can learn to not jump at the next photo lure that hits the market. LOL.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 10, 2017, 10:56:33 am
I can't imagine anyone getting into that state of affairs, Michael. Why on Earth do you care if camera A is different to camera B if you already have success with camera C? Why not stay with camera C and let the rest go away and play somewhere else? It seems you may have more an addiction to equipment that to making photographs. You would certainly not be alone.

Discipline, dear boy, discipline! Working in toy shops is only for students and Santa. And anyway, the big one, TRU, is on its ass... there's a moral there if you squint for it.

;-)

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Michael Erlewine on December 10, 2017, 11:00:56 am
I can't imagine anyone getting into that state of affairs, Michael. Why on Earth do you care if camera A is different to camera B if you already have success with camera C? Why not stay with camera C and let the rest go away and play somewhere else? It seems you may have more an addiction to equipment that to making photographs. You would certainly not be alone.

Discipline, dear boy, discipline! Working in toy shops is only for students and Santa. And anyway, the big one, TRU, is on its ass... there's a moral there if you squint for it.

;-)

Rob

Different strokes for different folks. My point is they are all pretty good. I try them out to see if one of them is able to push my work forward to where I want to see it go. And I do photography, almost every day. It is hard to be understood on these forums, so end up with the old axiom "Horses for courses."
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 10, 2017, 11:15:37 am
As mentioned, a ďflagshipĒ for what? It seems there are two major areas in users, Action AF and Landscape/Still photography. I happen to be in the second group, one that cares more for good low ISO rather than good HIGH ISO.

I would say there is a third, 'balanced' category in the middle - those who shoot everything. Most photo/video journalists would fall into this category, as would many casual users. Sometimes, they might be shooting wide landscapes or cityscapes, shooting single frames at ISO 100 or lower on a tripod; other times, it might be fast-moving sports or wildlife, requiring 8fps or faster at mid-ISOs, as well as capable AF systems. They might find themselves shooting dimly-lit stage performances or ceremonies at high ISO, or in places where tripods are impractical or not allowed. They may shoot some video. They may shoot in sandstorms, torrential rain or seaspray, at +/- 50 degrees Celcius. And they need cameras which can handle this - cameras which can hit the requisite 8-10fps while retaining as much resolution as possible (not going all-out for speed while sacrificing resolution, or vice-versa), with the AF to track difficult subjects, with other features such as dual card slots, battery life and connectivity to make them suitable for critical roles.

Fortunately for them, this category of camera is growing, at the expense of the other two categories. Technological advancement means that a camera no longer needs to give up resolution to have sufficient speed for most action photography, or give up speed to have high resolution. Advances in mirrorless AF mean that cameras can now maintain their full AF capabilities when shooting video, or in live view mode. A dedicated action camera can still be faster than a general-purpose body, but there are far fewer applications for which 15fps is much more useful than 10fps than applications where 10fps is more useful than 5fps. Essentially, these general-purpose cameras are covering more and more of the applications previously requiring dedicated speed-focused or resolution-focused bodies, squeezing the specialised bodies into smaller and smaller niches.

The 1Ds3 used to be the ideal camera for this (5fps being reasonably fast for 2007, being faster than anything other than the dedicated sports cameras of the day, which only reached 9/10fps anyway). It had dual cards, solid construction, the highest resolution of its time and the best AF system of its time. This group of cameras was largely ignored for a time, but, as of the last few months, we have had the D850 and A7r3. These are fast enough to shoot action effectively, have among the highest resolution of any current cameras of the same sensor size (only the 5Ds has higher resolution) and effective AF systems. The only issue is that their AF systems are not yet the equal of the top-tier D5 and A9 bodies, but I would expect this to change in the next generation, as camera companies seize on the commercial success of this category of body (likely to be much bigger than the dedicated action bodies, both in terms of sales volume and absolute profit) and realise that dedicated action bodies are better off as 8k video cameras anyway, in a separate category not really competing with, or being cannibalised by, the 8-10fps general-purpose bodies with double the resolution of the action bodies.

Dedicated high-resolution stills bodies will likely survive this expansion of 'balanced' bodies better than dedicated high-speed stills bodies. Higher resolution is always a bonus, even if you ultimately downsample the image. But, once you hit 'fast enough', going faster often doesn't add much. And there's also the 'video barrier'. If you're shooting at 15fps, it's not much a stretch to go a bit faster and design for 25fps, for video. When general-purpose bodies are already shooting at 10fps, there isn't much room for action stills bodies to distinguish themselves from them (short of deliberately crippling the general-purpose bodies in other ways) without reaching the point where you may as well make them into video cameras. But dedicated resolution bodies can always move to 80-100MP, or add features such as tri-layer/Foveon-type technology or stronger colour filters to improve detail (improving base-ISO performance at the expense of high-ISO performance, which a general-purpose body is less able to do), leaving them with more ability to separate themselves from the general-purpose bodies for specific applications.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: lightskyland on December 11, 2017, 05:55:28 am
Quote
I am not too sure how the a9 and current Sony lenses line-up would come across as appealing enough to trigger a switch.

Golf strokes or any other sport where the machine-gun rataTATTATTATTATTAT of a clanking pro dSLR mirror isn't wanted.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 11, 2017, 07:13:51 am
Golf strokes or any other sport where the machine-gun rataTATTATTATTATTAT of a clanking pro dSLR mirror isn't wanted.

Indeed, fair point.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: HywelPhillips on December 12, 2017, 03:34:04 pm
I would say there is a third, 'balanced' category in the middle - those who shoot everything.

Yup. That's me.

If one shoots a big enough range of things a camera system with a very wide "shooting envelope" is a required part of the kit room, even if we have specialised equipment for specific things.

My main commercial work is people. For years I shot with Canon dSLRs until I moved to Hasselblad in search of better resolution and just-as-nice colours, I shot 100% with flash and leaf shutters meant a lot more to me than high ISO. The Hasselblad is great and I still use it in its niche.

I got itchy for different looks- bokeh-tastic f/1.4 ISO800+ natural light, for example. My old Canons could just about sorta handle that, but not reliably (AF was rubbish at low light levels, grain was ugly, etc.) I only have one Hasselblad f/2.8 lens, the highest ISO I really rate it at is 80, and I can't hand-hold it steady below about 1/125th.

Furthermore, I moved back to Wales and I wanted to try commercial landscape, for which I wanted light weight and high resolution. And before I knew it I was struggling to do astro-landscape photography with a Canon 7D Mark I (I'd sold my 5D). I also do jobs here and there as they crop up which means needing kit to cover a very wide range of shooting situations.

I also shoot video; a small cam on a lightweight gimbal is a very useful tool in the toolbox! Good performance at ISO800 is a real plus here too. I'd been using a Panasonic GH4.



So I needed something new to broaden my shooting envelope, and I chose the A7RII. I chose it over the dSLR options because of IBIS and lower weight, good-enough video, good high ISO, reasonable AF, excellent resolution. 

It's absolutely turned into my go-to camera in the way the Canons used to be, which I really wasn't expecting. I always used to take the Canon case with me on every shoot. Now I take the Sony case instead.

That's why I'll be adding an A7RIII next year,. I'll round out my lens lineup with the Sony 12-24 and 100-400, and adding the Sigma 14mm f/1.4 to improve the astro stuff. It addresses my main complaints with the A7RII. (Although the UI apparently is still pretty poor).



Canon could have sold me a 5D with dual pixel PDAF and 4K video with a decent codec, any time in the years since the 5DII came out. But they've decided not to. The 1DXII is epic, especially for focussing in video, but just too heavy and not enough stills pixels for my main commercial uses. I've still got enough Canon lenses that they could just about grab me for one last hooray, but the 5DIV and the 6DII are just not competitive with the Sony option, for me.

Nikon could have sold me something if they'd come up with it sooner, although no IBIS is a bummer when you've got used to being able to handhold at 1/60th and get close to 40 megapixels of resolution out of it. If I didn't have Sony lenses now I'd be seriously looking.

I fancy the GH5 for video, but no PDAF, and there's just not enough resolution for me for stills. I find myself using the Sony over the GH4 more and more, not because it's better per se but because I've ALWAYS got the Sony with me on every trip. Add touch screen AF (big help on a gimbal, even if it is just to set focus at the start of a shot rather than tracking) and the A7RIII looks like a better bet. Plus I think the Sony lenses are a different class from the Panasonic ones I have (which is fair enough, they cost a whole lot more).

I'm tempted by the mirrorless MF stuff, and by a Hasselblad 6D, but I just don't think I can justify them when for me an A7RIII will fill so many more roles, and full frame 42 megapixels and f/1.4 lenses just cover more options than the MF 50 megapixels but slower lenses.


It all comes back to the "wide shooting envelope" and the cost of extras to get the system shootable. which is something Michael Erlewine touched on. It isn't the camera that costs the money as we all know, it's the need to invest in the system, especially the lenses.

So settling on one versatile body which can serve several needs is very helpful- it lets one leverage the expensive lenses in multiple different shooting situations, and conversely means I don't feel so bad about investing in the expensive lenses knowing I can always try them out for unexpected effects in different shooting scenarios. For example it turns out that my favourite landscape lens is the 70-200 f/4 Sony, which I totally did not buy for landscape photography!

Cheers, Hywel





Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: NancyP on December 14, 2017, 10:56:12 am
Yep. I like Canon lenses, and have a fair number of them. Until I turn into Wonder Photographer  ::) and make images worthy of display at 30" x 40" in someone else's (not a relative's) house  :o , I am sticking with the camera I have that matches my  lens collection.

Everyone has different needs.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 14, 2017, 02:10:57 pm
Yep. I like Canon lenses, and have a fair number of them. Until I turn into Wonder Photographer  ::) and make images worthy of display at 30" x 40" in someone else's (not a relative's) house  :o , I am sticking with the camera I have that matches my  lens collection.

Everyone has different needs.

Different needs, and very different aspirations.

The latter is one of the confusing factors thrown into the equipment mix. I believe that it leads to quite different choices at different stages of both development and personal age/maturity, not always in direct proportion to one another, the just mentioned pair!

Was a time equipment played two vital roles: getting the job done better and usually more easily; convincing clients, wordlessly, that the possession of some bits'n'bobs lent gravitas, a vital part of inspiring client confidence. Or it used to be in my time - what runs today I know not what. Then, it was an essential part of image-building, just like the new car.

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 15, 2017, 05:13:21 am
It all comes back to the "wide shooting envelope" and the cost of extras to get the system shootable. which is something Michael Erlewine touched on. It isn't the camera that costs the money as we all know, it's the need to invest in the system, especially the lenses.

So settling on one versatile body which can serve several needs is very helpful- it lets one leverage the expensive lenses in multiple different shooting situations, and conversely means I don't feel so bad about investing in the expensive lenses knowing I can always try them out for unexpected effects in different shooting scenarios. For example it turns out that my favourite landscape lens is the 70-200 f/4 Sony, which I totally did not buy for landscape photography!

Same thing applies to a dual-camera setup. This is the other area where the 'balanced' body really comes into its own, complementing and providing backup for either the fast action body or the slow, high-resolution body, while using the same lenses, adding a lot more capability to the system for less than the weight of a typical lens.

The thing is, outside of a studio or other set-up shot, photographic opportunities rarely occur in isolation. If you're shooting landscapes, you'll frequently come across wildlife. If you're shooting architecture or cityscapes, you'll come across street photography opportunities. If you're off on a three-week shooting trip, documentary-style, you could come across almost anything.

If you mostly shoot non-action subjects at base ISO, adding a 'balanced' body (i.e. one 'balanced' and one slow/high-resolution) is a lightweight and easy way to get action and low-light capability, while providing a backup option with good resolution should your high-resolution body fail.

If you shoot sports and fast action, adding a D850 to the D5, or A7r3 to the A9, provides a far better option for long-distance action, where cropping is expected, and provides a 9-10fps backup option (which can even use the same batteries) should the fast body fail.

If you shoot wildlife, you can go with any two of the three cameras, depending on the expected animals, shooting distance and output size.

This is why top-tier bodies - whether speed-focused, balanced or resolution-focused - should never skimp on the autofocus. Ideally, they should be just as capable as each other. Fast action bodies shooting sports may be the classic use of autofocus, but a medium-pace body shooting 8-10fps is just as much an action body and needs to focus just as fast, and even the slow camera is useful for certain shots, providing extreme cropability for long-distance shots - the tiger stalking its prey in long grass, far away from the camera, the action occurring at the other end of the field from the camera. You don't necessarily need a high frame rate for these, but you do need fast, reliable autofocus.

It's also a failing of medium-format bodies for field use. They're fine if you're out shooting for one specific purpose and are prepared to ignore all other opportunities. Where other opportunities don't exist, they're obviously great (e.g. for studio use). But they lack the flexibility to take advantage of any opportunities which come up (e.g. long telephoto, UWA (12-16mm full-frame equivalent) or action shots), and the ability to share lenses with cameras which can - and most subjects ideal for MF captures tend to be static and can also be shot using multiple, stitched full-frame shots, for equal or better output quality, at the expense of a bit more post-processing required.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: KLaban on December 15, 2017, 05:37:30 am
The thing is, outside of a studio or other set-up shot, photographic opportunities rarely occur in isolation. If you're shooting landscapes, you'll frequently come across wildlife. If you're shooting architecture or cityscapes, you'll come across street photography opportunities. If you're off on a three-week shooting trip, documentary-style, you could come across almost anything.

Yup, great for the jack-of-all-trades.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: HywelPhillips on December 18, 2017, 04:20:56 am
Same thing applies to a dual-camera setup. This is the other area where the 'balanced' body really comes into its own, complementing and providing backup for either the fast action body or the slow, high-resolution body, while using the same lenses, adding a lot more capability to the system for less than the weight of a typical lens.


Completely agree. The ability to use the same set of lenses for stills, video, landscape, street, portrait, fetish, fashion, wildlife, astro is a huge plus. Now that FF35mm has caught up with MF in terms of adequate resolution for my purposes, it just makes so much more sense to get everything in one carry case.

Cheers, Hywel
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 18, 2017, 05:24:03 pm
So, what's the conclusion? Is it dead or just moribund?

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 19, 2017, 07:34:28 am
So, what's the conclusion? Is it dead or just moribund?

Rob

Not dead yet - just sitting around in its nursing home, waiting for the inevitable. At present, it can shoot action about as well as action-oriented mirrorless bodies, while still having a greater range of action-capable lenses (although mirrorless bodies can take just about any lens, most of them aren't exactly action-capable when using an adapter). For nonmoving subjects, mirrorless bodies (or SLRs using live view, which are functionally the same thing) are already better, due to accuracy of focus when zoomed in and the true WYSIWYG nature of through-the-lens composition.

Once 8k video hits and we have mirrorless cameras shooting at 39MP/24-30fps, it will be on life support, kept alive mostly for enthusiasts of that technology without being better than its replacement at anything.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 19, 2017, 08:05:08 am
Not dead yet - just sitting around in its nursing home, waiting for the inevitable. At present, it can shoot action about as well as action-oriented mirrorless bodies, while still having a greater range of action-capable lenses (although mirrorless bodies can take just about any lens, most of them aren't exactly action-capable when using an adapter). For nonmoving subjects, mirrorless bodies (or SLRs using live view, which are functionally the same thing) are already better, due to accuracy of focus when zoomed in and the true WYSIWYG nature of through-the-lens composition.

Well... it is sometimes easy to forget that these bodies are amazing image capturing machines and will remain on top of most applications in the future.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4644/39156738101_dbd90c8674_h.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4597/27379038999_ab04ebf4af_h.jpg)
D5 + 70-200 f2.8 E FL

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 19, 2017, 08:21:18 am
Well... it is sometimes easy to forget that these bodies are amazing image capturing machines and will remain on top of most applications in the future.

The fact that they're good doesn't mean they won't be replaced by something better.

Image quality is a function of the sensor (and supporting electronics) and glass, which can be the same for both mirrorless and SLR cameras. So that part's out of the equation - once you've captured it, there's no difference between an image captured on an SLR camera and that captured on a mirrorless camera. Your SLR images wouldn't look any different had they been taken on a mirrorless camera. The main difference is the process of capturing it - getting an image that's focused on the right part of the subject, taken at the right moment and correctly exposed. That's where mirrorless has been making huge progress, catching up to SLRs with the release of the A9, and where they will surpass mirrorless cameras in the near future, with faster frame rates (you can't make an SLR shoot at 25fps while using the mirror, while video demands it, and an 8k video camera would be able to shoot 39MP stills at the same speed), AI-based AF (an expansion of eye focus) and WYSIWYG exposure. SLRs are up against the limits of their technology - you can do a lot with the raw data from the same sensor as that used to capture the final image that you just can't do with a dumb mirror and prism.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 19, 2017, 06:56:30 pm
The fact that they're good doesn't mean they won't be replaced by something better.

Certainly, but considering the current level, we will be deep into the area of diminishing returns.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: bcooter on December 20, 2017, 06:04:12 pm
The fact that they're good doesn't mean they won't be replaced by something better.

snip


I donít understand the mirrorless, vs standard dslr discussion.

Iím not against mirrorless, own 5 from 4/3 to full frame, but in reality the 1dx 1 and 2 can perform and focus as well if not better than pure mirrorless.

If your dslr has that dual pixel thing, Just clip  a magnifier on the back and shoot. 

Since I photograph moving people the only issues I have with mirrorless is battery use and except for the newest A-9 (I think that is what itís called) is the only mirrorless camera that will track focus well.

The thought that mirrorless will eventually shoot 24,  30 or 60 fps and you pull a pristine 12 or 14 bit still that is as sharp and deep as a standard still image is a ways off. at least from a small camera. 

Have you seen the size of an 8k RED W?  It makes a 1dx II and a D5 look tiny and motion cameras that shoot a high bit rate get hot and are heavy.

Then there is the technical problem of shutter speed/angle.    To shoot smooth motion imagery your at 1/48th, 1/60th, 120th or if the camera goes to 120fps (very few do) 1/240th.

If you shoot at 24fps and set the shutter at 125th you get a stutter look on the footage, so until someone comes out with a software that will compensate for that your either shooting stills or motion, but not both together.

We just finished a series of commercials that included a still shoot.   For most of the footage we shot with the REDs, for some of the footage and all the stills we shot with the 1dxII, but the 1dx2 needed a different shutter and focus setting.  Actually it was easier just to shoot the 1dx 1 set up for stills and just recreate the scene.  One thing I noticed from the 1dxII was it shot the sharpest stills pulled from motion footage Iíve seen.   

Going slightly off topic was how well the 1dxIIís  422, 8 bit (not 10) motion file held up in post.   Probably due to the large 800 mbs file and the older but excellent motion jpeg codec.   The downside is it burns through a 128gb cfast2 card in about 20 something minutes and it takes a good computer to grade the footage in itís original state.   On some scenes we ran two cameras, R1 and the 1dxII and even though the 1dx II is 8 bit vs. the REDs 13 bit the dynamic range of the Canon very closely matched and held up to the REDs.   The Canon has more vibrant, canon look colour but we set the REDs closer to the Canon and the Canon as close as possible to the REDs.

Other than carrying another system and the case(s) that this requires, my feeling is there is not much advantage of having one camera shoot stills and motion, but otherís see it differently.

I could be wrong.   Maybe weíll all be shooting like this someday.  (the camera not the wardrobe . . . maybe)

(http://www.russellrutherford.com/future_production2.jpg)


IMO

BC

Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 20, 2017, 06:33:56 pm
Exactly.

The dream to extract stills from a movie completely overlooks the issue of proper shutter speed.

And on the original point, rumors about a D5s to be announced soon are starting to surface. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 20, 2017, 07:02:41 pm
Exactly.

The dream to extract stills from a movie completely overlooks the issue of proper shutter speed.

And on the original point, rumors about a D5s to be announced soon are starting to surface. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard

No-one ever suggested extracting stills from a video clip. That would obviously give you a lot of motion blur.

But what you can do is shoot stills using the same camera as that used to shoot video, without any intent to shoot it as a video clip.

A camera shooting 25fps video at 1/40s exposure can equally shoot 25fps at 1/500s or 1/1000s exposure (with correspondingly higher ISO or wider aperture. It would make for an unusable, choppy video clip, but would essentially be a series of perfectly-exposed stills taken at a fast frame rate.

Basically, you're not shooting video - you're shooting stills at 25fps. It just so happens you can do both with the same camera, although not both at the same time.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 20, 2017, 07:40:24 pm
I donít understand the mirrorless, vs standard dslr discussion.

Iím not against mirrorless, own 5 from 4/3 to full frame, but in reality the 1dx 1 and 2 can perform and focus as well if not better than pure mirrorless.

If your dslr has that dual pixel thing, Just clip  a magnifier on the back and shoot.

If you're shooting in dual pixel mode, you're using your SLR as a mirrorless camera, with the mirror and viewfinder sitting out of the way and doing nothing.

Quote
Since I photograph moving people the only issues I have with mirrorless is battery use and except for the newest A-9 (I think that is what itís called) is the only mirrorless camera that will track focus well.

That's the point. The A9 represents the new generation of mirrorless AF, and the current state of the art. It tracks just as well as the best SLRs, while allowing for the features a through -the-sensor approach can provide which an SLR can't. It means that mirrorless cameras have caught up to SLRs AF-wise. Future mirrorless bodies are hardly going to go backwards.

Quote
The thought that mirrorless will eventually shoot 24,  30 or 60 fps and you pull a pristine 12 or 14 bit still that is as sharp and deep as a standard still image is a ways off. at least from a small camera. 

Have you seen the size of an 8k RED W?  It makes a 1dx II and a D5 look tiny and motion cameras that shoot a high bit rate get hot and are heavy.

Go back a few years and you could have said the same thing about 4k cameras. A few more years back and the same would apply for 1080p. Now they're Gopro-sized.

Technology marches on. 8k cameras in three years' time will not be the size of current REDs.

Quote
Then there is the technical problem of shutter speed/angle.    To shoot smooth motion imagery your at 1/48th, 1/60th, 120th or if the camera goes to 120fps (very few do) 1/240th.

If you shoot at 24fps and set the shutter at 125th you get a stutter look on the footage, so until someone comes out with a software that will compensate for that your either shooting stills or motion, but not both together.

We just finished a series of commercials that included a still shoot.   For most of the footage we shot with the REDs, for some of the footage and all the stills we shot with the 1dxII, but the 1dx2 needed a different shutter and focus setting.  Actually it was easier just to shoot the 1dx 1 set up for stills and just recreate the scene.  One thing I noticed from the 1dxII was it shot the sharpest stills pulled from motion footage Iíve seen.   

Going slightly off topic was how well the 1dxIIís  422, 8 bit (not 10) motion file held up in post.   Probably due to the large 800 mbs file and the older but excellent motion jpeg codec.   The downside is it burns through a 128gb cfast2 card in about 20 something minutes and it takes a good computer to grade the footage in itís original state.   On some scenes we ran two cameras, R1 and the 1dxII and even though the 1dx II is 8 bit vs. the REDs 13 bit the dynamic range of the Canon very closely matched and held up to the REDs.   The Canon has more vibrant, canon look colour but we set the REDs closer to the Canon and the Canon as close as possible to the REDs.

Other than carrying another system and the case(s) that this requires, my feeling is there is not much advantage of having one camera shoot stills and motion, but otherís see it differently.

I could be wrong.   Maybe weíll all be shooting like this someday.  (the camera not the wardrobe . . .


IMO

BC

Read above post. You shoot stills using the same camera as video, not at the same time as video. 25fps stills or 25fps video - just not both at the same time. An SLR can't do that - at least not without holding the mirror out of the way, disabling all the mirror-dependent systems and functionally turning it into a mirrorlesa camera anyway.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BJL on December 20, 2017, 08:58:28 pm
No-one ever suggested extracting stills from a video clip. That would obviously give you a lot of motion blur.

But what you can do is shoot stills using the same camera as that used to shoot video, without any intent to shoot it as a video clip.

A camera shooting 25fps video at 1/40s exposure can equally shoot 25fps at 1/500s or 1/1000s exposure (with correspondingly higher ISO or wider aperture. It would make for an unusable, choppy video clip, but would essentially be a series of perfectly-exposed stills taken at a fast frame rate.

Basically, you're not shooting video - you're shooting stills at 25fps. It just so happens you can do both with the same camera, although not both at the same time.
Another possibility is a mode that records some still frames (at suitably higher shutter speed) interspersed in a video stream. The new H.265/HEVC/HEIC standard allows this sort of "mixed media files", and more generally seems designed with "still/video fusion" in mind.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 21, 2017, 08:31:25 am
Most criticisms of mirrorless technology, to the tune of 'they'll never replace SLRs' and 'SLRs are better for action', do one or more of the following:

1. Conveniently ignore the A9. 'Mirrorless cameras autofocus slowly and can't keep up with action SLRs.' You know, apart from the one mirrorless camera actually designed and sold as an action camera, and which can keep up with the 1Dx2 and D5 shooting any subject. Of course the other models can't keep up. They either weren't designed to (neither are medium-format bodies, but you never hear SLR-pushers criticising them) or were designed when mirrorless was in its infancy and the technology wasn't there yet. If you're going to compare technologies, compare the current state of the technology, not the state of technology several years ago. That's like saying cars can't keep up because the first cars was slower than the state-of-the-art, 1879-model Horse Mk III.

2. Criticise things which aren't inherent to mirrorless cameras. 'They're too small to hold' and 'They don't balance well with heavy lenses' are common ones. There's nothing that says mirrorless cameras need to be small - just that most current ones are. Besides, I don't find them too small, even when handholding the biggest lenses. That's because my left hand holds the ensemble by the lens - perfectly balanced - and my right hand is just there to push buttons and operate the controls. You can always gaffer-tape a brick to an A9 if it's too light for you. I can't exactly saw the grip off a D5 and still have a functional camera.

'Not enough lenses' or 'No long telephotos' is another common criticism. Again, there's no requirement that mirrorless cameras lack long lenses - that's a valid criticism of a system, not a valid criticism of the technology. Up until seven months ago, there wasn't a mirrorless camera with an autofocus system able to take advantage of them, so there was no point launching them. Now there is, which is why they're starting to appear (watch for the 400mm f/2.8, which should take care of most sports).

3. Appeals to authority. 'Most pro sports photographers shoot Canon/Nikon.' Well, duh. Momentum only shifts so fast. A system which became action-capable only seven months ago isn't going to become dominant overnight, particularly since its lens collection is still being built up. 15 years ago, most of them shot film. Digital was new. Individuals and companies only move systems when there is a good reason to do so, and only when gear is up for replacement. Gear lasts for years. An ideal system built from the ground up now is not going to be the same as an ideal system for someone who is already heavily invested in gear which would have to be switched out if they were to move to a new system.

4. Demonstrate a lack of understanding of technology and its implications. 'Not the same as an SLR' doesn't mean that it's worse. Some advances in technology involve a tradeoff. AF lenses generally have short throws and are more difficult to manual focus than pure MF lenses. But the AF is so useful that most lenses are designed that way anyway. Current OVFs are nowhere near as good as old ground glass OVFs for manual focusing. But they're much brighter, you can actually see an image in them when shooting an f/4 or slower lens, and, with autofocus, you don't need to MF as often anyway - and, when you do, there's always that big, bright LCD on the back of the camera, which is more accurate than any ground glass. So it is with new technologies associated with mirrorless designs.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 21, 2017, 08:47:53 am
And on the original point, rumors about a D5s to be announced soon are starting to surface. ;)

Haven't heard any credible rumours yet. Just the usual, 'Well, there was a D4s, and a D3s, so there will probably also be a D5s.'

What reason does Nikon have to release a D5s? What aspect of the D5 would it improve on? what would it achieve for the company, other than making a (now cheaper) second-hand D5 much more attractive to buy than a brand-new D5s?

A new sensor? Hardly - on past record, that would be a D6.

A new AF system? So that it can go from nailing focus quickly every time to... nailing focus quickly every time? When you're already hitting your target just about every time, there's not much to improve, other than AI-based focus modes (which require a through-the-sensor approach for the most part, and are therefore limited in SLR cameras, which only have a low-resolution metering sensor to work from).

Better high-ISO performance? Probably not without a new sensor.

Better low-ISO performance (the D5 being famously weak here compared to its Canon and Sony equivalents)? Not likely, since this is due to A/D conversion, which, in modern sensors, is part of the sensor itself.

Higher frame rate? Not likely with a mirrored design.

Better video? Perhaps. But hardly worth a new $5500 camera, unless you primarily shoot video. And, if your primary purpose is to shoot video, you're probably not using the D5 anyway. And it would still have the same limitations on video AF (with the mirror tucked out of the way), since the sensor has neither on-sensor PDAF nor dual-pixel AF.

Extra gimmicks such as pixel shift and automatic stacking? If you're doing that, you're probably shooting a D850 or A7r3 anyway. And it's probably not worth $5500.

This time, it would be very hard for Nikon to come up with $5500 worth of improvements that would justify an upgrade from most users, without making changes that would be more in line with a D6 model (with a four-year release cycle). Any D5s is unlikely to be a material improvement on the D5, although they would probably try to spin it as such in advertising anyway, should they choose to release such a model.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: bcooter on December 21, 2017, 05:29:10 pm

Read above post.

I think you basically said what I said, except someone building a small go pro sized 4k camera.  Yes Go Pro is small and 4k, but 4k at a low bit rate, low bit depth is much different than a cinema camera.  If go pro has anything going for it, they have the best auto exposure I've ever seen.  It's amazing at that.

Arriís, REDs, Canons, Large Sonyís shoot huge bit rates.  The Canon 1dxII shoots 800mbs, where the Sony A7sII shoots around 100 mbs and there is a huge difference, because I have both.  The Sony will band in skies, or blow highlights by just turning it on.

The Sony A9 shoots the same 100 mbs as the A7sII and itís not an inexpensive.   There are 4k cameras that shoot low bit rates, do not have adequate cooling, bit depth, higher frame rates, adjustable compression, dedicated conversion suites.

4k is not a magic number.   Up to a few years ago Arri's were shot for 70% of Hollywood feature movies and they were 2.7k open gate and nobody complained. 

In fact films like the Martian were shot with over 4k RED's, I think 6k, though they did all the post effect work in 2k because of the cost of 4k effects.  On a large cinema screen you have to be on the front row to notice any difference between a 2k and 4k dcp.

I have REDs, the 1dxII and the Sony a7sII.  The Sony weíve only used once and itís suppose to be the low light king, though mine isnít.  With mine anything above 800 iso goes ragged, in fact I tested it next to the older 5d2 and it didnít get close and would never do this.

from 5d2 screen grab from 1920 x 1080 motion file:
(http://www.russellrutherford.com/5d2_paris_800.jpg)

If any of these companies could build a cinema quality camera the size of your palm then they would do it, because there is a market for smaller cinema quality cameras.

We shoot most projects in still and motion and itís easier to have a second camera, lens mounted set up for stills than it is to take a motion centric camera, even a dslr like the 1dxII, change focus settings, remove the nds, usually change ISO and shutter, f-stops.

Also less chance of messing up when you go back to motion settings. 

Most people donít but I like the 1dxII form factor for some motion projects, as  It mounts easily in small areas and takes much smaller car mounts, steady supports and two batteries will last more than a long shoot day.

Regardless, I have mirrorless cameras, donít dislike them, though my favorites are the gh series from panasonic.    The gh4 for stills the gh5 for motion are very underatted cameras.  The first mirrorless cameras I  bought was the gh3, loved it, found it's menu system and set up was very canon like, so no big learning curve.  The next were the em series Olympus because I just wanted them and use them some, then the a7sII.

IMO

BC
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 21, 2017, 06:59:32 pm
This time, it would be very hard for Nikon to come up with $5500 worth of improvements that would justify an upgrade from most users, without making changes that would be more in line with a D6 model (with a four-year release cycle). Any D5s is unlikely to be a material improvement on the D5, although they would probably try to spin it as such in advertising anyway, should they choose to release such a model.

They were facing the exact same situation with the D3 and D4 that were still the best action cameras when the D3s and D4s were released.

It is always possible to improve and that is pretty much what has driven the Japanese economy till date. Companies such as Nikon understand they must change gear to stay alive, but they are not willing to given up on their essentials and kaizen is so deeply rooted in their DNA that they will not take the risk to forget about it.

I know, I work with these companies on a daily basis here in Tokyo.

The key area they could improve on the D5 is on sensor AF and, fortunately, they have the technology ready since they are going to release new mirrorless cameras soon. Why not equip a D5s with that? Coupled with their best in class AF algorithms (that are not related to the type of AF sensors used) they could further extend their technological lead in the action camera segment.

This being said, it seems that the rumors were based on false information, so there may be no D5s, who knows. ;)

Thom Hogan seems to think Nikon should release one and I agree based on a reasonable set of infomation. That doesn't mean they will.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 22, 2017, 03:23:39 am
They were facing the exact same situation with the D3 and D4 that were still the best action cameras when the D3s and D4s were released.

It is always possible to improve and that is pretty much what has driven the Japanese economy till date. Companies such as Nikon understand they must change gear to stay alive, but they are not willing to given up on their essentials and kaizen is so deeply rooted in their DNA that they will not take the risk to forget about it.

I know, I work with these companies on a daily basis here in Tokyo.

The key area they could improve on the D5 is on sensor AF and, fortunately, they have the technology ready since they are going to release new mirrorless cameras soon. Why not equip a D5s with that? Coupled with their best in class AF algorithms (that are not related to the type of AF sensors used) they could further extend their technological lead in the action camera segment.

This being said, it seems that the rumors were based on false information, so there may be no D5s, who knows. ;)

Thom Hogan seems to think Nikon should release one and I agree based on a reasonable set of infomation. That doesn't mean they will.

Cheers,
Bernard

As I said - all the possible significant improvements are on the sensor, not elsewhere. That's a D6, not a D5s.

There's not much they can do off-sensor to improve the D5 in a meaningful way. They can't make it much faster while retaining the mirror and there's not much to improve AF-wise, apart from on-sensor AF for video and live view.

They don't have a technological lead in action cameras. They have a lead in action SLRs (it's unknown whether Canon has caught up), but it's questionable how much further the action SLR concept can be pushed. Any sensor-based improvements are even more applicable to mirrorless cameras, since they have full-time sensor data to work with, whereas SLRs only benefit from features that apply at the moment of exposure, except when working in live view mode (i.e. not functioning as an SLR). There's probably not much they can do outside of the sensor to improve performance. And it's unclear whether they can transfer their proficiency in off-sensor AF into on-sensor AF yet - it took Sony a good few years, and several generations, before they could release a model able to keep up with the 1Dx2 and D5.

Also, what's on-sensor AF going to add to the core function of the D5? Better on-sensor AF only helps in live view mode or when shooting video. But the D5 is an action stills camera, not a video camera. People who primarily shoot video do not own the D5. Hardly anyone uses it in live view mode - if the bulk of your work involves careful composition on a tripod, you're better off with a D850, A7r3 or MF body. D5 shooters mostly shoot handheld (or monopod-supported) stills, through the viewfinder, at moving subjects. On-sensor AF doesn't come into that at all. And very few people are going to pay for a new $5500 body that doesn't perform its core function any better, but can focus a bit better when shooting the odd video clip.

Of course, if they do improve on-sensor AF significantly - to the point where it becomes competitive with off-sensor AF (i.e. A9-level capability), the question must then be asked - what's the point of the mirror?  If you can focus just as well without the mirror as with it, why bother having a mechanical part that adds complexity, vibration and lag, while slowing down the maximum frame rate? Essentially, you've then gotten yourself a mirrorless action camera.

Essentially, improving the D5 means turning it into more of a mirrorless camera, directing its development along a path that makes greater and greater use of sensor-based capabilities and eventually does away with the mirror entirely.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 22, 2017, 07:23:01 am

I appreciate that you cats enjoy these forum games, but thing is, at the end of the day, cameras are not key: photographer is, always has been and always will be unless the game is reinvented as a hands-off exercise in sterility. That may please some more than somewhat, then LuLa would need a new section to cater for it.

I'd also guess that over 99% of photographers already own cameras beyond their ability to exploit to the maximum - I know that I do.

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 22, 2017, 08:23:17 am
I appreciate that you cats enjoy these forum games, but thing is, at the end of the day, cameras are not key: photographer is, always has been and always will be unless the game is reinvented as a hands-off exercise in sterility. That may please some more than somewhat, then LuLa would need a new section to cater for it.

I'd also guess that over 99% of photographers already own cameras beyond their ability to exploit to the maximum - I know that I do.

Com'on Rob, let us play. ;)

You are not telling us that cameras are about taking pictures, are you? I thought they were just about showing off and being right in forums?

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: uaiomex on December 22, 2017, 09:30:34 am
Both sides of the coin, this thread has been incredibly informative and most amusing.
Sincerely, thanks


Com'on Rob, let us play. ;)

You are not telling us that cameras are about taking pictures, are you? I thought they were just about showing off and being right in forums?

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on December 22, 2017, 11:23:40 am
Hi Rob,

I would agree with you to some extent. But, the TopGear stuff may actully make a sports shooter a more successfull sports shooter. Twelve or twenty frames a second will catch more peak action five frames a second. An advanced AF system will deliver more sharp images than a less advanced AF system.

Of course, sports photographers were able to get great images before the 12 FPS with continuous AF era.

Personally, I was shooting a lot of show jumping shooting single shot manual focus. That worked, too, but it was a lot of experience and image quality standards may have been less demanding.

Best regards
Erik



I appreciate that you cats enjoy these forum games, but thing is, at the end of the day, cameras are not key: photographer is, always has been and always will be unless the game is reinvented as a hands-off exercise in sterility. That may please some more than somewhat, then LuLa would need a new section to cater for it.

I'd also guess that over 99% of photographers already own cameras beyond their ability to exploit to the maximum - I know that I do.

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 22, 2017, 03:19:23 pm
Com'on Rob, let us play. ;)

You are not telling us that cameras are about taking pictures, are you? I thought they were just about showing off and being right in forums?

Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard, I'm not your parent! Of course you can go out and play; just be careful not to talk to strangers and never, never tell them where you live!

Other, naughty boys may be showing off, but you know why they feel compelled to do that, so just ignore them and be happy. Never know what Santa may have in his sack for you this year!

:-)

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 22, 2017, 03:30:11 pm
Hi Rob,

I would agree with you to some extent. But, the TopGear stuff may actully make a sports shooter a more successfull sports shooter. Twelve or twenty frames a second will catch more peak action five frames a second. An advanced AF system will deliver more sharp images than a less advanced AF system.

Of course, sports photographers were able to get great images before the 12 FPS with continuous AF era.

Personally, I was shooting a lot of show jumping shooting single shot manual focus. That worked, too, but it was a lot of experience and image quality standards may have been less demanding.

Best regards
Erik


Yes, as you sort of suggest, old equipment didn't feel old in its day, and the newspapers and magazines were flourishing better than they are today. I really believe, all teasing aside, that we have passed a critical point in photography where the images simply do not improve, there are just millions more of them. Something magical has vanished. It's the same with fashion and advertising: there's now an ennui in the zeitgeist; nothing surprises anymore. What might have been thought technically amazing twenty years ago now is just the daily norm. Nobody gives a shit about that "special" shot today because almost everybody can make it.

That, for me, sort of sums up where we are at in this business today. When everything is possible, nothing is special.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: bcooter on December 22, 2017, 09:08:38 pm

nothing is special.

Rob,

I think every generation feels that way about present to past work, so I respectfully disagree.

Right now Iím in the virgin atlantic club and there are large vintage rock ní roll subjects in 20x30 still prints.   One fairly medium high production of a very young Elton John, shot by Terry Oíniel.  The second I like is Jimmy Hendrix in London.   Honestly they look amazing, but it was a different time, different place and wardrobe, hair and styles that you donít see today but if it was present day rock stars in modern garb, they wouldnít have the same feel of importance and history. 

Same with cars.  People will look at a Ford Rally Escort Cosworth and go ďthose weíre the daysĒ, but remember nobody sees those anymore, so of course they look special.

In reality there are family cars today that will run even with some race cars of the 70ís, 80ís even 90ís and do it much safer way.

But back to your reply.

There has always been millions of photographs, but before the internet nobody saw them in mass, just the high end ones for advertising and editorial and everything wasnít always that great, some weíre downright dismal.

The difference I see today in digital vs. film was not the actual capture, not much difference there, but the amount of post work we perform.  Now I hear from every client that it can be ďfixed in postĒ or ďyou can fix it is post . . . right?Ē

You can lose every free moment in learning post production, upgrading equipment and re learning the new programs for the new equipment.

The other thing I notice with the younger ADs and clients we work with is they started in the industry in the WWR (world wide recession), so they think the budget, time, volume from 2008 and on is standard. 

In fact the only thing that changes an image, other that knowledge and talent is time, money, inspiration and something amazing to point the lens at.   You canít shoot 12 amazing individuals with full wardrobe, exotic locations and flawless reproduction without the budget and the time. 

Well you can shoot them, but as you know there is a difference in shooting in the British Virgin Islands compared to Lake Michigan.   A big difference.

But the upside in what I see is in motion imagery.  Today I can own three 4.5k cinema cameras that very much mimic Kodak vision stock and I  own the cameras and lenses for the price of renting for 2 months in the film days.

The only downside to this is digital takes a lot of sweat equity to get the desired result, especially in motion, or the budget to let others work it out.

Maybe Iím just happy because itís the holidays, in three days I'll close the book on the year and have some time in London.   

I see a good future ahead for anyone in our industry that works hard, learns, invests and produces.

P.S.  Rob,  you had a great career, produced some beautiful imagery, lived a life most people could only dream of so reflect on that, because it's impressive.



IMO

BC
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 23, 2017, 08:53:49 am
Hey, BC!

Thanks for the response, and especially for your last sentence. Strangely enough, it was the point my wife used to make now and then when I would get attacks of the blues... accepting what both of you said, the thought remains that even were I still working today, I very much doubt that I would be doing the same things - not because I wouldn't want to, but because some of the finest clients I had no longer exist. I could never have thought it possible that The Hewden/Stuart Group, source of my best calendars, then the largest industrial plant-hire group in the entire U.K. would, today, no longer even exist, a direct victim of the fall in construction and motorway building that was once their big business interest. The only good thing to come out of that disaster is that I wasn't in the middle of producing a calendar for them at the time; with forty-two different versions of it per year, that would have left me with one mother and father of a fiscal problem to resolve!

I had never thought about your point about the age of the people doing the art buying, and their expectations of fees levels. This may not be totally new, though, as Jay Maisel makes the same point about money in one of the two LuLa interview sections that Chris Sanderson reminded us of the other day... he speaks about buyers looking for the lowest tender rather than hiring for the photographer's vision; he also recounts how he refused to work to supplied layouts, though he couched that in terms of fear of copyright abuse leading to hot water, though I suspect it's more about pride and doing your own thing. Again, I was very fortunate in that the layouts I had to follow were very early in my life, and after a while it worked the other way around: I'd get told what the guy wanted, and once I'd shot it, the results would be examined and the final thing built around the best image I'd managed to come up with. Of course, that worked because the number of agencies I worked with was quite limited and so we got to understand one another very well; it's all about mutual confidence. As with the girls we picked.

Motion was never part of my scenario, thank God, because it would have been right over my head. I was probably never much of a team player, unfortunately, and I think it came through when I went looking for work; in fact, most of the good stuff came my way almost by accident, but certainly not through lack of wishing that it would.

The quality of the work from the 50s through the 80s was indeed variable, even from the same people. What also comes to light is how much they copied each other (or had amazingly similar ideas at the same time!) and this shows clearly when you look through websites featuring the old Vogue magazines of the day. In fact, what strikes me now is that the Italian guy who had a thing going with Veruschka - Franco Rubartelli - was probably the best location photographer of them all during his run. If he's still around, he is living somewhere in Venezuela doing ads and commercials, or just chasing maidens!

At the end of the day, I found it a career of two extremes: you were flying, or you found yourself on your ass. Guess I had a mixture of both, but loved almost every minute of it, which is something worth holding on to as one gets older. I don't really accept that it's over because I know that if I manage to sell up here and get back to the UK before I lose my marbles, I would probably still be able to find girls to shoot for portfolios etc. and that's really an ironic trip: when I was working I didn't really have time or even inclination, but today I would see it as a blank sheet, the opportunity to do exactly what I pleased!

Season's greetings to you and yours!

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: bcooter on December 23, 2017, 07:33:46 pm
Sorry for the long post, but I just landed in London and kind of wired up and really should be fine tuning  edits rather than writing, but itís a nice break from unpacking and firing up drives.  Anyway, Itís all a matter of perspective.

Iíve heard weíre all doomed before.

When we first set up in LA, it was early evening and I was at the lab waiting for my snips.      The guy behind the counter use to be a photographer and since it was just him and me in the room, he started carping on about how the industry has gone to s**t, pays not good just a bunch of negative stuff, mostly about how the good olí days were better.

He was a good photographer,  but obviously not that good at sales or dealing with people.    He was from the school of Iíll wear ragged jeans, smoke a J shoot what I want and make money doing it.   It actually worked for him, but then it didnít, hence he was at the lab.

He said donít you think clients are _______?   I said I guess it depends on the client and he was so down he didnít realize that I was waiting for 200 something snips from the project we had just shot, so for us things were not bad, in fact they were good.

What most people donít realize is this is just a business and clients want to be pleased, actually they want more than anticipated. 

The thing is when you finally get really busy, your not selling, your working and even if you have the best agent in the world, if you donít have time to feed them new work, promotions, set up meetings, keep their eye on the ball, youíll hit a point where it gets slow, so you bust ass do all those things and your busy again.

Like you, Iíve been fortunate, work with my best friend who is my wife, we travel the world together and see things few people get to see, meet people in all stations and situations of life. 

Ann can do anything, everything and does.  She produces, when the budget is tight does makeup, propping set design and keeps us on schedule, actually ahead of schedule.   

Ann says there is still beautiful work being done.   Charlise Theronís ads for Jadore/Dior are beautiful and Ms. Theron is 41 years old.   Yes they are a lot of combination images with post production involved and it doesnít matter how they got there because theyíre wonderful. 

But back to the topic of reflex cameras.    Few people are going to use a mirrorless camera to shoot those Jadore ads today.  You need rock solid tethering, processing suites that are fast and bulletproof and a vetted crew that knows the equipment and wonít let you down.   If I was shooting those Jadore ads I would probably go medium format just for safety sake due to the post production involved.

Though  if the talent was running through the water,  and I was shooting motion and stills, Iíd probably go with a 35mm dslr, because focus and catching the moment is more important than pure megapixels and if the images were in focus and sharp, 20 megapixels will beat 50 mpx that are soft any day of the week.

What a lot of starting photographers donít realize is that every day is new and we play different roles.   If your shooting retail, even great retail, your usually a xerox machine (does anybody know what xerox is today?).  That doesnít mean you canít be a damn good xerox machine, but to stick your feet in the sand and say weíll do it my way wonít get you too far.    Other days your the guy/girl that has a lot of control, but with control comes a lot of responsibility and those days arenít as easy as they look from the outside.

To me the key to this is to have trust in your clientís and they have trust in you.   Yes the industry has changed, but not as much as we all like to think.   Prices on some projects have gone down and most people blame the internet.    I donít, because Iíve seen this industry change 180 degrees about 4 times and we have to adapt, which is one of the reasons weíve added motion.    I love shooting motion imagery, less in love with the post production it requires and it is a different mind think.  The good side is you donít have to tell the whole story in one frame, the rough part is you canít just cut out 4 seconds in the middle of a 10 second clip and make it work, so you have to be good from the words action to cut.   

Now doing motion and stills is where mirrorless shines and will get better as the tech gets better and after the 1dxIIís brilliant autofocus in motion, is just a glimpse of where cameras can go.  The only point I was trying to make on this thread was in digital, nearly all cameras are mirrorless, even if you have a mirror and lock it out and use an evf or the lcd in the back.    In reality, my REDís are mirrorless, Arriís mirrorless with either an evf or optical viewfinder.  Why optical?  Because a lot of dpís and operators are trained in that way and thatís how they see the image. 

I donít know when, but I am positive that there will be a day when autofocus will be offered for high end cinema cameras, along with the ability to shoot stills and motion, apply color luts and codecs to fit the project and yes the cameras will become smaller or more module based.   When, I donít know but I do know that the technology is already there, itís the adoption rate of the people involved that slows it up, hence thatís why Arri still offers optical viewfinders.

But Rob, you know this, the ups and downs of this business are normal. For the younger people in our crew I always suggest they watch the Hollywood roundtable videos, (even if they just want to be a still photographer).  Those videos of dpís, actors, producers, directors are fascinating and the people that open up with the truth, no matter how famous or successful they are have a common thread of you do what you gotta do, regardless of time, budget, equipment, etc. and everyone has great periods, everyone hits a bump in the road.   

One well known producer recalled a story where he shot the b camera, because #1 he knew how, #2 the budget (on a well budgeted film) didnít allow for another operator.   Nobody from the outside would believe that a producer, living the hollywood good life would put 20 lbs on his shoulder and mix it up in the dirt with the crew, but it happens and truth can be stranger than fiction and perception and reality are rarely the same.   

So to say you donít mix well with people I donít believe.  You have to even in stills.  Youíve got camera makers, labs, clients and crew.  If you donít deal with them, uplift them to your standards and you to theirs then itís a recipe for disaster.

Being a professional artist is an elective.  Nobody puts a gun to our head and says do this.   We chose it and not because itís easy, itís damn hard.   So rather than say what you wonít do, the best thing is learn and know what you can do.

The phone will not ring, today it will buzz . . . a lot.

IMO

BC





Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Chris Livsey on December 24, 2017, 04:31:33 am
Rob & BC thanks again this year for participating and sharing you both make visits here still worthwhile, I hope you both take pleasure in the Festive Season and that the year to come exceeds your best expectations.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on December 24, 2017, 04:45:48 am
Hi BC,

Nice to see you back! Thanks for the long postings it is always interesting to hear what the folks earning their living by making still and motion feel about things.

Best regards
Erik

Sorry for the long post, but I just landed in London and kind of wired up and really should be fine tuning  edits rather than writing, but itís a nice break from unpacking and firing up drives.  Anyway, Itís all a matter of perspective.

Iíve heard weíre all doomed before.

When we first set up in LA, it was early evening and I was at the lab waiting for my snips.      The guy behind the counter use to be a photographer and since it was just him and me in the room, he started carping on about how the industry has gone to s**t, pays not good just a bunch of negative stuff, mostly about how the good olí days were better.

He was a good photographer,  but obviously not that good at sales or dealing with people.    He was from the school of Iíll wear ragged jeans, smoke a J shoot what I want and make money doing it.   It actually worked for him, but then it didnít, hence he was at the lab.

He said donít you think clients are _______?   I said I guess it depends on the client and he was so down he didnít realize that I was waiting for 200 something snips from the project we had just shot, so for us things were not bad, in fact they were good.

What most people donít realize is this is just a business and clients want to be pleased, actually they want more than anticipated. 

The thing is when you finally get really busy, your not selling, your working and even if you have the best agent in the world, if you donít have time to feed them new work, promotions, set up meetings, keep their eye on the ball, youíll hit a point where it gets slow, so you bust ass do all those things and your busy again.

Like you, Iíve been fortunate, work with my best friend who is my wife, we travel the world together and see things few people get to see, meet people in all stations and situations of life. 

Ann can do anything, everything and does.  She produces, when the budget is tight does makeup, propping set design and keeps us on schedule, actually ahead of schedule.   

Ann says there is still beautiful work being done.   Charlise Theronís ads for Jadore/Dior are beautiful and Ms. Theron is 41 years old.   Yes they are a lot of combination images with post production involved and it doesnít matter how they got there because theyíre wonderful. 

But back to the topic of reflex cameras.    Few people are going to use a mirrorless camera to shoot those Jadore ads today.  You need rock solid tethering, processing suites that are fast and bulletproof and a vetted crew that knows the equipment and wonít let you down.   If I was shooting those Jadore ads I would probably go medium format just for safety sake due to the post production involved.

Though  if the talent was running through the water,  and I was shooting motion and stills, Iíd probably go with a 35mm dslr, because focus and catching the moment is more important than pure megapixels and if the images were in focus and sharp, 20 megapixels will beat 50 mpx that are soft any day of the week.

What a lot of starting photographers donít realize is that every day is new and we play different roles.   If your shooting retail, even great retail, your usually a xerox machine (does anybody know what xerox is today?).  That doesnít mean you canít be a damn good xerox machine, but to stick your feet in the sand and say weíll do it my way wonít get you too far.    Other days your the guy/girl that has a lot of control, but with control comes a lot of responsibility and those days arenít as easy as they look from the outside.

To me the key to this is to have trust in your clientís and they have trust in you.   Yes the industry has changed, but not as much as we all like to think.   Prices on some projects have gone down and most people blame the internet.    I donít, because Iíve seen this industry change 180 degrees about 4 times and we have to adapt, which is one of the reasons weíve added motion.    I love shooting motion imagery, less in love with the post production it requires and it is a different mind think.  The good side is you donít have to tell the whole story in one frame, the rough part is you canít just cut out 4 seconds in the middle of a 10 second clip and make it work, so you have to be good from the words action to cut.   

Now doing motion and stills is where mirrorless shines and will get better as the tech gets better and after the 1dxIIís brilliant autofocus in motion, is just a glimpse of where cameras can go.  The only point I was trying to make on this thread was in digital, nearly all cameras are mirrorless, even if you have a mirror and lock it out and use an evf or the lcd in the back.    In reality, my REDís are mirrorless, Arriís mirrorless with either an evf or optical viewfinder.  Why optical?  Because a lot of dpís and operators are trained in that way and thatís how they see the image. 

I donít know when, but I am positive that there will be a day when autofocus will be offered for high end cinema cameras, along with the ability to shoot stills and motion, apply color luts and codecs to fit the project and yes the cameras will become smaller or more module based.   When, I donít know but I do know that the technology is already there, itís the adoption rate of the people involved that slows it up, hence thatís why Arri still offers optical viewfinders.

But Rob, you know this, the ups and downs of this business are normal. For the younger people in our crew I always suggest they watch the Hollywood roundtable videos, (even if they just want to be a still photographer).  Those videos of dpís, actors, producers, directors are fascinating and the people that open up with the truth, no matter how famous or successful they are have a common thread of you do what you gotta do, regardless of time, budget, equipment, etc. and everyone has great periods, everyone hits a bump in the road.   

One well known producer recalled a story where he shot the b camera, because #1 he knew how, #2 the budget (on a well budgeted film) didnít allow for another operator.   Nobody from the outside would believe that a producer, living the hollywood good life would put 20 lbs on his shoulder and mix it up in the dirt with the crew, but it happens and truth can be stranger than fiction and perception and reality are rarely the same.   

So to say you donít mix well with people I donít believe.  You have to even in stills.  Youíve got camera makers, labs, clients and crew.  If you donít deal with them, uplift them to your standards and you to theirs then itís a recipe for disaster.

Being a professional artist is an elective.  Nobody puts a gun to our head and says do this.   We chose it and not because itís easy, itís damn hard.   So rather than say what you wonít do, the best thing is learn and know what you can do.

The phone will not ring, today it will buzz . . . a lot.

IMO

BC
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 24, 2017, 08:46:55 am
Rob & BC thanks again this year for participating and sharing you both make visits here still worthwhile, I hope you both take pleasure in the Festive Season and that the year to come exceeds your best expectations.

Well, thank you very much! That was an unexpected post indeed - nice to realise some people are interested.

And may the New Year bring you all the best that you may wish yourself!

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on December 24, 2017, 09:29:07 am
Marc Maron did a very nice interview with Neal Preston who took some of the more iconic rock & roll images in our time  http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-874-neal-preston .  It's well worth listening to and he has a new book out on the topic.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: pearlstreet on December 24, 2017, 12:56:42 pm
Rob,


I see a good future ahead for anyone in our industry that works hard, learns, invests and produces.




IMO

BC

This is so true. It should be on the masthead of this site.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 24, 2017, 01:45:27 pm
Marc Maron did a very nice interview with Neal Preston who took some of the more iconic rock & roll images in our time  http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-874-neal-preston .  It's well worth listening to and he has a new book out on the topic.


Took a while to get to the interview, but when it did, it was fascinating! It seems to me that pretty much anybody who gets somewhere in photography has gone into it because they just couldn't help or avoid doing so. They are all driven by conviction.

Thank you very much for that link - made my day a whole lot brighter!

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 24, 2017, 01:46:59 pm
This is so true. It should be on the masthead of this site.


Sharon, this is not a pro site!

:-)

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: pearlstreet on December 24, 2017, 04:03:48 pm

Sharon, this is not a pro site!

:-)

Rob

That's true  ;D, it's not an art site either  :P - but for what it is, I find it very helpful. I don't expect it to be the be/all end/all.  ( I know you were sort of kidding, Rob.  ;D)
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Rob C on December 24, 2017, 04:52:56 pm
That's true  ;D, it's not an art site either  :P - but for what it is, I find it very helpful. I don't expect it to be the be/all end/all.  ( I know you were sort of kidding, Rob.  ;D)

Yes, I know, Sharon, but I do run into the problem sometimes of thinking everybody is as wedded to photography as I have been since my personal forever!

But yes, LuLa is a serioulsy useful source for many photographic solutions; almost always there will be somebody out there (meaning in here) who can and will help. I have benefitted a great deal from these friendly souls - for me, digital was learned online: I never used it until post-retirment. Perhaps just as well I didn't have to face that learning curve and earn a living at the same time!

Rob
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 30, 2017, 06:48:42 am
http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/current-nikon-dslr-reviews/nikon-d5-review.html

For those interested in maximizing their chance of getting the shot, it would appear that the old monsters still have some aces up their sleeves.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: scooby70 on December 30, 2017, 06:59:53 am
I think it's a relatively small number of people who need what that camera offers and looking at that review one thing occurs to me and it's that I'd hate to go back to being limited to focus points all clustered around the centre of the frame. One thing I've come to value a lot is being able to focus anywhere without having to focus and recompose.

OK, maybe only a small number of people need that ability too :D
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 30, 2017, 08:27:34 am
http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/current-nikon-dslr-reviews/nikon-d5-review.html

For those interested in maximizing their chance of getting the shot, it would appear that the old monsters still have some aces up their sleeves.

Cheers,
Bernard

It's very subject-dependent.

Generic subject being tracked around the centre of the frame? It's hard to beat the Nikon.

Make it a human face, though, and suddenly the Sony is number one, being more likely to land a shot on the closest eye than either the Canon or the Nikon. Same thing if you're tracking a subject using the more peripheral parts of the AF area - once you get significantly off-centre, the Sony's combined PDAF and CDAF outperforms the SLRs' PDAF-only approach.

Chasing an elusive subject all over the frame? It's hard to beat the Nikon for that, with its predictive tracking algorithms. Unless, of course, the subject is a face, in which case Sony's facial recognition and eye AF trump the other two.

Or, if you're trying to focus on something behind a reflective surface, particularly a shifting one - say, fish under a pond with ripples - it's hard to beat the Canon for that. The Canon will go right for the fish, whereas the Nikon tends to be distracted by the ripples and reflections.

But, for the vast majority of applications, the results of the three AF systems are indistinguishable - none of them are likely to miss.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: Dan Wells on December 30, 2017, 07:37:15 pm
Digital technology has just given us such ridiculously good cameras that you can use most things pretty far outside of what the manufacturer intended (well, maybe not medium format - I'd hate to try and shoot sports with a Phase with center-only AF...). Even the "lower-resolution" action bodies will print 16x24 (which only a very few 35mm films ever would on a high-detail subject!), and even the "slower" high-res DSLRs still shoot faster than any F5 with far superior AF (oh, and they hold a lot more than 36 exposures at a time)...

Once you spend $1200-$2000 or so on a body from any major manufacturer (D7500, X-T2, EOS 7D mkII, A7II, GH5, E-M1 mk II etc.), you have a camera in your hands that is capable of far higher technical image quality than any 35mm camera, in essentially any situation. The lowest image quality in that group (Micro 4/3) still beats any but the slowest and most obscure (ISO 25-50) 35mm films, and the slowest focusing camera in the group (A7II?) can out-focus the F5 and the EOS 1V, with much more sophisticated tracking (and all will shoot at LEAST the F5's 8 fps).

The question beyond that is what do you spend extra on...

If you want the maximum possible image quality, there's the D850 and the A7rIII - they'll not only beat all 35mm film, but essentially all medium format film as well (40x60" prints are merely a matter of finding somewhere to put the printer and the prints...).

If you want a compact all-rounder, it's hard to beat the X-T2, which will make gallery quality 24x36" prints (with its fantastic lenses and very good sensor, even though it's not full-frame) and shoot 8fps with AF no film shooter could have dreamed of - all in a package the size of an old FM2 (with no winder) - all while hiking 450 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (my X-T2 just survived precisely that treatment,outside my backpack).

If you're shooting the Olympics, there are the D5, the D500, the 1Dx mk II and the A9.

Finally, if you want to shoot 1/4" handheld, use an E-M1 mkII, and if you want to shoot the best possible movies, how about a GH5?
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: hogloff on December 30, 2017, 07:59:12 pm
Which is why Iíll never buy a Sony camera or lens ever again.  Left me stranded with a zillion dollars worth of Sony/Zeiss A mount lenses that became all but worthless $$-wise and only usable with a big clunky adapter that has a 1/3 stop light-robbing plastic sheet inserted in the light path.

Sorry... even after 6 years it still chaps my hide. 

BTW, the a900 was a lovely camera, that actually felt like a camera in your hands, rather than a toaster.  Due in large part to Minolta.

Rand

Ummm...shades of Canon and their elimination of the FD system...huh?
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: hogloff on December 30, 2017, 08:03:02 pm
Well, mirrorless has only been a credible option for things other than landscape and architectural photography (and some niche areas, like macro, microscope and telescope photography) for six months.

You are totally wrong here. The eye-AF of the A7R2 and now the A9 and A7R3 is game changing for both portraits where the model is moving as well as any other situation where you are taking photos of people. Try following a child in dim light ( IE:  wide open at 1.4 ) and see what your AF hit rate is with any DSLR out there.

I've been using sony mirrorless cameras for my travel photography for the past 2 years and they have excelled. I don't know where you are coming from saying they could only be used for landscape and architecture until 6 months ago...that's total fabrication.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: hogloff on December 30, 2017, 08:07:19 pm
Well... it is sometimes easy to forget that these bodies are amazing image capturing machines and will remain on top of most applications in the future.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4644/39156738101_dbd90c8674_h.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4597/27379038999_ab04ebf4af_h.jpg)
D5 + 70-200 f2.8 E FL

Cheers,
Bernard

Why?  What does the DSLR have going for it that mirrorless does not?
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BJL on December 30, 2017, 08:39:36 pm
http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/current-nikon-dslr-reviews/nikon-d5-review.html

For those interested in maximizing their chance of getting the shot, it would appear that the old monsters still have some aces up their sleeves.
It is natural that Canon and Nikonóhaving dominated the 35mm ILC market since the film eraóhave in many respects the best technology, but in many cases for reasons unrelated to what kind of viewfinder is in use. They also have the inertia advantage of so many good and expensive lenses in the hands of photographers, news organizations and so on. So yes, there are still good reasons for many demanding photographers to choose those brands, but in many cases "choosing a camera with an OVF rather than an EVF" is only a side-effect. Their market dominance also gives them less incentive than other camera makers to cannibalize their SLR sales by offering high-end mirrorless cameras. But I predict that the tipping point will come soon, with their best technology also offered in EVF bodies, and then the share of new camera-body purchases will flip rather quickly.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 30, 2017, 08:56:13 pm
You are totally wrong here. The eye-AF of the A7R2 and now the A9 and A7R3 is game changing for both portraits where the model is moving as well as any other situation where you are taking photos of people. Try following a child in dim light ( IE:  wide open at 1.4 ) and see what your AF hit rate is with any DSLR out there.

I've been using sony mirrorless cameras for my travel photography for the past 2 years and they have excelled. I don't know where you are coming from saying they could only be used for landscape and architecture until 6 months ago...that's total fabrication.

I said 'until the last six months' (as of the time of posting). So the A9 and A7r3 don't count.

The A7r2 locks onto nonmoving subjects just fine. But it has trouble tracking - I wouldn't trust it to track anything fast-moving, any more than I would a 5D2. It's great if you're shooting things that don't move, but of little use on a wildlife safari (other than as a backup for the landscape opportunities), at a camel racetrack, tracking running/cycling people, tracking moving vehicles, etc. I gather your travel photography didn't include much of that?

In addition, the single card slot makes it risky to use for things where you can't just repeat the shot - or the whole shoot - in the event of card failure.

As for tracking things in dim light at f/1.4, most SLRs can't do it, but the A7r2 can't either. I'd only really trust the A9, A7r3 and D5 for that.

The A9 represented a huge leap in AF (and other) capabilities for mirrorless cameras. Prior to that, you wouldn't trust them them for moving subjects. They were hit-and-miss. Sometimes they worked well, but, in situations where you absolutely need to come away with a shot, you couldn't rely on them. Now you can.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: hogloff on December 30, 2017, 09:29:37 pm
I said 'until the last six months' (as of the time of posting). So the A9 and A7r3 don't count.

The A7r2 locks onto nonmoving subjects just fine. But it has trouble tracking - I wouldn't trust it to track anything fast-moving, any more than I would a 5D2. It's great if you're shooting things that don't move, but of little use on a wildlife safari (other than as a backup for the landscape opportunities), at a camel racetrack, tracking running/cycling people, tracking moving vehicles, etc. I gather your travel photography didn't include much of that?

In addition, the single card slot makes it risky to use for things where you can't just repeat the shot - or the whole shoot - in the event of card failure.

As for tracking things in dim light at f/1.4, most SLRs can't do it, but the A7r2 can't either. I'd only really trust the A9, A7r3 and D5 for that.

The A9 represented a huge leap in AF (and other) capabilities for mirrorless cameras. Prior to that, you wouldn't trust them them for moving subjects. They were hit-and-miss. Sometimes they worked well, but, in situations where you absolutely need to come away with a shot, you couldn't rely on them. Now you can.

But there is a huge amount of subjects between a still landscape image and tracking a cheetah in full flight. I still stand by my comment that the A7R2 is a better camera to photograph a human with its eye focus tracking...I find it bang on for at least a 90% hit rate tracking people from kids playing in a park to concert performances. I could not even get 50% keeper rate using a DSLR tracking at 1.8 or 1.4 apertures...not a chance.

Like I also said, the A7R / A7R2 are great travel cameras with their weight and size advantages over a DSLR...I've used mine for 2 years, selling my 5D2 which after using an A7R seemed very ancient.

Your original post that the Sony cameras could only be used for landscape or architecture...meaning no movement at all...is just totally wrong...even if you take the A9 and A7R3 out of the picture. 
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on December 30, 2017, 11:17:49 pm
It's very subject-dependent.

Generic subject being tracked around the centre of the frame? It's hard to beat the Nikon.

Make it a human face, though, and suddenly the Sony is number one, being more likely to land a shot on the closest eye than either the Canon or the Nikon. Same thing if you're tracking a subject using the more peripheral parts of the AF area - once you get significantly off-centre, the Sony's combined PDAF and CDAF outperforms the SLRs' PDAF-only approach.

Chasing an elusive subject all over the frame? It's hard to beat the Nikon for that, with its predictive tracking algorithms. Unless, of course, the subject is a face, in which case Sony's facial recognition and eye AF trump the other two.

Or, if you're trying to focus on something behind a reflective surface, particularly a shifting one - say, fish under a pond with ripples - it's hard to beat the Canon for that. The Canon will go right for the fish, whereas the Nikon tends to be distracted by the ripples and reflections.

But, for the vast majority of applications, the results of the three AF systems are indistinguishable - none of them are likely to miss.

Can you remind me of the time you have spent shooting each of these 3 cameras?

Thom has spent a lot and his conclusion is pretty clear, their AF is not equal. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 30, 2017, 11:26:29 pm
But there is a huge amount of subjects between a still landscape image and tracking a cheetah in full flight. I still stand by my comment that the A7R2 is a better camera to photograph a human with its eye focus tracking...I find it bang on for at least a 90% hit rate tracking people from kids playing in a park to concert performances. I could not even get 50% keeper rate using a DSLR tracking at 1.8 or 1.4 apertures...not a chance.

Like I also said, the A7R / A7R2 are great travel cameras with their weight and size advantages over a DSLR...I've used mine for 2 years, selling my 5D2 which after using an A7R seemed very ancient.

Your original post that the Sony cameras could only be used for landscape or architecture...meaning no movement at all...is just totally wrong...even if you take the A9 and A7R3 out of the picture.

Read the post I was responding to. This was about professional use.

Yes, you can shoot anything with almost any camera. But, when you need to deliver first time, every time, on shoots that can't be repeated, you need reliability. The A9 is the first mirrorless camera that delivers this - the A7r2 does not (although wedding photographers were starting to pick up on it, particularly as a second camera using 'arty' lenses for posed/staged stills). The A7r2 did a great job when it hit, but you couldn't rely on it to track accurately, or quickly enough, every time, particularly when human eyes and faces were not involved. Even a 25% miss rate (either per shot or per burst) is unacceptable when you can't repeat the event.

This is also why hardly anyone shoots f/1.2 or f/1.4 in these situations, apart from for posed, nonmoving shots, or the rare spontaneous shots which aren't part of the 'core' package, but nice extras (where it doesn't matter so much if you don't get the shot). A perfectly focused, lit and composed f/1.4 action portrait, with a buttery-smooth background, may be a fantastic shot, but, if it's a 'must-get', unrepeatable event, you're probably better off shooting at f/2.8 or f/4 (depending on focal length) and being able to guarantee the shot, rather than gambling on the f/1.4 shot. And that's not even counting the opportunity cost of having the f/1.4 prime attached, when you could have taken many more shots, with varying compositions, using an f/2.8 zoom, giving you more to select from. Essentially, it's putting all your eggs in the one basket - it's fantastic if you pull it off, but can't be relied upon for a professional shoot. This may change with the A9 or A7r3, with their fast, reliable eye AF. But it's not routine at the moment.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 30, 2017, 11:44:33 pm
Can you remind me of the time you have spent shooting each of these 3 cameras?

Thom has spent a lot and his conclusion is pretty clear, their AF is not equal. ;)

Cheers,
Bernard

Long enough to see for myself.

I don't care about anyone else's opinions or anecdotes. Show me hard data, or videos demonstrating relative AF performance (e.g. side-by-side tracking videos, with one camera clearly performing better than another in the same situation), and that would actually mean something.

In any case, his opinion is a generalisation, not use-by-use breakdown. Some cameras track certain things better than others. There's a significant between an A9 tracking a face and an A9 tracking something that isn't a face, whereas the D5 performs the same no matter what it's tracking. Nothing locks onto a target quite as fast as the 1Dx2 - important for snap shots. There's a big difference between centre-point and corner-point tracking performance with the D5. Not so much with the A9. If you're tracking a bird flying around trees and branches with the centre point, the D5 is going to track more accurately. If you're tracking a running soccer player with the upper right rule-of-thirds point, in order to maintain a composition with the player's face in that location, the A9 is going to do better, maintaining a constant focus on the nearest eye.

Comparing AF performance without use-case breakdown is a bit like ranking lenses according to a single 'sharpness' score, without considering centre-vs-corner, field flatness, performance at different apertures, performance at different focal lengths (for zooms) or CA - in other words, of limited value. 'Average' performance doesn't help much if the sum of everything you shoot doesn't work out to average - what a stage and live music photographer gets, shooting at ISO 12800 in rapidly-changing light, is going to be very different to what a sports or wedding photographer gets, which is going to be very different, again, from what a wildlife photographer shooting non-human subjects using the centre point gets.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: hogloff on December 31, 2017, 12:40:24 am
Read the post I was responding to. This was about professional use.

Yes, you can shoot anything with almost any camera. But, when you need to deliver first time, every time, on shoots that can't be repeated, you need reliability. The A9 is the first mirrorless camera that delivers this - the A7r2 does not (although wedding photographers were starting to pick up on it, particularly as a second camera using 'arty' lenses for posed/staged stills). The A7r2 did a great job when it hit, but you couldn't rely on it to track accurately, or quickly enough, every time, particularly when human eyes and faces were not involved. Even a 25% miss rate (either per shot or per burst) is unacceptable when you can't repeat the event.

This is also why hardly anyone shoots f/1.2 or f/1.4 in these situations, apart from for posed, nonmoving shots, or the rare spontaneous shots which aren't part of the 'core' package, but nice extras (where it doesn't matter so much if you don't get the shot). A perfectly focused, lit and composed f/1.4 action portrait, with a buttery-smooth background, may be a fantastic shot, but, if it's a 'must-get', unrepeatable event, you're probably better off shooting at f/2.8 or f/4 (depending on focal length) and being able to guarantee the shot, rather than gambling on the f/1.4 shot. And that's not even counting the opportunity cost of having the f/1.4 prime attached, when you could have taken many more shots, with varying compositions, using an f/2.8 zoom, giving you more to select from. Essentially, it's putting all your eggs in the one basket - it's fantastic if you pull it off, but can't be relied upon for a professional shoot. This may change with the A9 or A7r3, with their fast, reliable eye AF. But it's not routine at the moment.

 Can you please elaborate your profession experience with the A7R2. Seems like you speak from great experience not only with the A7R2, but as a professional as indicated by your analysis of what type of shots are required by pros.

Funny how many pros seem to get by with the A7R2 in many disciplines and many indicate the eye tracking is one of the reasons they use the camera. I guess these pros donít fit into your box.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on December 31, 2017, 01:31:43 am
Can you please elaborate your profession experience with the A7R2. Seems like you speak from great experience not only with the A7R2, but as a professional as indicated by your analysis of what type of shots are required by pros.

Not myself. Many of the others I've worked and associated with. That's how I get access to so many different cameras and lenses from different manufacturers.

Most of my subjects don't move much. The ones which do are secondary targets at best, and normally involve a Canon body with long telephotos anyway (so Sony need not apply just yet). So the A7r2, and even the A7r, worked for me. But not so much for those shooting things that move. They got their mirrorless options this year.

Quote
Funny how many pros seem to get by with the A7R2 in many disciplines and many indicate the eye tracking is one of the reasons they use the camera. I guess these pros donít fit into your box.

Like who? When did you last see an A7r2 in the press section of a tennis court, or in the hands of a photojournalist, being used as a stills camera (video is different)?

Probably never. At least not in a first-world country (anything goes in third-world countries, where you see wedding photographers shooting 10-year-old Canon Rebels). I've seen architecture/property photographers using them (with the obligatory UWA to make rooms look bigger), I've seen them attached to microscopes and other scientific equipment, as well as all sorts of other non-action uses, but the only professional shooters I've seen use them for moving subjects in a paid role have been third-tier, budget crews using them to shoot minor social and corporate events, as well as wedding photographers who did a lot of static/posed 'arty' shots and other nonmoving shots at the ceremony, with not a lot of 'movement' shots during the actual proceedings. Prior to the second half of last year, they didn't even have the staple 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 zooms - lenses that very few event/wedding photographers do without.

The A7r2's eye tracking is accurate, but not fast. Great for locking onto people in low light, not so good for tracking them.

Not so with the A9 - I've seen the A9 and 70-200mm combination everywhere from MMA fights, to stage performances, to tennis. That thing delivered a whole new level of capability that didn't exist before. And the A7r3 will likely be the same. It's like going from 5D2-level capability to 1Dx2/D5/D850/5D4-level capability.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: 32BT on December 31, 2017, 05:14:12 am

I don't care about anyone else's opinions or anecdotes.

Gotta love the irony...
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: hogloff on December 31, 2017, 08:22:54 am
Not myself. Many of the others I've worked and associated with. That's how I get access to so many different cameras and lenses from different manufacturers.

Most of my subjects don't move much. The ones which do are secondary targets at best, and normally involve a Canon body with long telephotos anyway (so Sony need not apply just yet). So the A7r2, and even the A7r, worked for me. But not so much for those shooting things that move. They got their mirrorless options this year.

Like who? When did you last see an A7r2 in the press section of a tennis court, or in the hands of a photojournalist, being used as a stills camera (video is different)?

Probably never. At least not in a first-world country (anything goes in third-world countries, where you see wedding photographers shooting 10-year-old Canon Rebels). I've seen architecture/property photographers using them (with the obligatory UWA to make rooms look bigger), I've seen them attached to microscopes and other scientific equipment, as well as all sorts of other non-action uses, but the only professional shooters I've seen use them for moving subjects in a paid role have been third-tier, budget crews using them to shoot minor social and corporate events, as well as wedding photographers who did a lot of static/posed 'arty' shots and other nonmoving shots at the ceremony, with not a lot of 'movement' shots during the actual proceedings. Prior to the second half of last year, they didn't even have the staple 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 zooms - lenses that very few event/wedding photographers do without.

The A7r2's eye tracking is accurate, but not fast. Great for locking onto people in low light, not so good for tracking them.

Not so with the A9 - I've seen the A9 and 70-200mm combination everywhere from MMA fights, to stage performances, to tennis. That thing delivered a whole new level of capability that didn't exist before. And the A7r3 will likely be the same. It's like going from 5D2-level capability to 1Dx2/D5/D850/5D4-level capability.

Sure the A7R2 is not a sports camera...but that is such a small niche pro photography market. The A7R2 is very capable of shooting weddings, portraits, events, landscapes, travel etc...

Remember when the 5d2 came out...it was heralded by the wedding crowd as such a great camera...the A7R2 focus system is much better and more advanced than the 5d2...yet you say it is not capable of shooting weddings...not true at all.

You seem to equate shooting sports as the only professional market...but in reality it is a very small market that will get eaten up by stills being extracted from video in the next 5 years.

My feeling is you are listening to a biased crowd rather than having your own hands on experience.
Title: Re: Death of the flagship DSLR camera?
Post by: shadowblade on January 01, 2018, 12:15:02 am
Sure the A7R2 is not a sports camera...but that is such a small niche pro photography market. The A7R2 is very capable of shooting weddings, portraits, events, landscapes, travel etc...

Remember when the 5d2 came out...it was heralded by the wedding crowd as such a great camera...the A7R2 focus system is much better and more advanced than the 5d2...yet you say it is not capable of shooting weddings...not true at all.

Yet most Canon-shooting wedding photographers continued to use the 1D3 or 1Ds3, or combined the 1D3 with the 5D2 for great image quality in the posed stills as well as AF which could actually focus on moving subjects during a dimly-lit ceremony. And the Nikon shooters used the D700, which had the same AF system and sensor as the D3. The wedding photographers who moved entirely to the 5D2 seemed to be the ones shooting more posed/static shots and fewer action shots, as well as those who shot a lot of video, emphasising the video part in their combined photo/video wedding packages. Most notably, a lot of the ones still shooting the 1D3/1D4 moved to the 5D3 when it came out, since it corrected a lot of the deficiencies of the 5D2 which made it less than usable for even slow-moving subjects in low light.

Notably, these seem to be the same types of wedding photographers who moved to the A7r2 and A7s2 - particularly the early adopters, who made the move before the GM lenses became available. Most of them seemed to be video-centric, often lower-end photographers offering budget packages. You didn't see too many high-end wedding and event photographers moving to Sony (the A9 is different and has attracted a much wider clientele) - there were far too many deficiencies in the system at that point to ditch the SLRs just yet. I would expect sizeable number to start shifting to the A7r3 over the coming year, since it corrects almost all the deficiencies of the A7r2, in the same way that the 5D3 did for the 5D2.

Also, the 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses weren't available until the middle of 2016. Those are probably the staple lenses of wedding photographers (with 35mm and 85mm f/1.2 or f/1.4 primes being the usual secondary lenses for nonmoving/posed shots). What were your A7r2-using wedding photographers shooting with before that?

Quote
You seem to equate shooting sports as the only professional market...but in reality it is a very small market that will get eaten up by stills being extracted from video in the next 5 years.

My feeling is you are listening to a biased crowd rather than having your own hands on experience.

You know you're probably on the right track when mirrorless users attack you for an SLR bias, while SLR shills repeatedly attack you for a perceived Sony/mirrorless bias. You've pretty much quoted me word-by-word from numerous other threads, where I've said that professional photography is much more than just sports.

But action is much more than just sports. Any time you're shooting something that's moving and need to track a moving subject, you're shooting action. A walking person in dim lighting during an indoor event can be just as difficult for an AF system as a running athlete or fast-moving race car - the lighting is worse, the distance is closer (meaning bigger moves in the focal plane) and the accuracy required is often greater (focusing on just one part of the body, rather than the athlete as a whole). Also, the stakes are often higher - a footballer will kick a ball many times during a match, and it usually doesn't matter if you miss one particular kick (and, on the occasions where it does, the action is often stopped and you have time to pre-focus and pre-compose on a known location), but no-one is going to walk down the aisle more than once per ceremony. The A7r2 can reliably and accurately lock focus onto a subject (the original A7r couldn't even do that in low light), but doesn't do a great job at tracking it under less-than-ideal lighting or at high speeds. You could trust it to focus accurately for the nonmoving parts of an event (e.g. presentations on stage, or photos at a cocktail party) but not to track it quickly or accurately enough after it acquired initial focus - particularly when the thing you needed to track wasn't a visible human face. Even a one-in-four chance that you'd end up with a long sequence of slightly out-of-focus images of a walking person isn't acceptable when you can't repeat or re-stage the shoot.

And pro photography requires much more than just a reliable AF system. Even discounting the lens ecosystem (which didn't meet the requirements of most professional use outside of nonmoving subjects until mid-2016), you still need dual card slots, good battery life, rapid start-up time and, in some cases, reliable tethering (notably, many of the applications which don't call for fast AF require good tethering). The A7r2 had none of these things. There's a reason the only action photographers (to use the broader sense of the term) who moved to the A7r2 were low-end photographers offering budget packages for parties, weddings and other events, as well as the video-centric ones who also used the A7s2 - most of its pro users shot things that didn't move much, while pro action shooters stuck with their SLRs. Losing a wedding due to card failure can be a business-destroying disaster.

I've been saying a similar thing about video and action photography since 4k came out. Once 8k comes out (definitely before July 2020), video cameras will also be 39MP/25fps mirrorless cameras, with full AF capabilities. You won't be extracting stills from video (since video might be shot at 1/30s exposure, while shooting for stills will require 1/500 or faster) but will be shooting both with the same camera and lenses, with different settings depending on whether you're trying to shoot stills or video.

Basically, mirrorless technology is rapidly evolving and not yet mature. The A7r was essentially a sensor-in-a-box, a proof-of-concept prototype - very good for what it did, but also very limited in application (lack of EFCS being its greatest weakness in its roles). The A7r2 was much better, but no equal to the SLRs of the time - apart from resolution/DR (which are sensor qualities rather than general camera qualities) it could not outshoot the 5D3 or D750, which were several years old by the time the A7r2 was released. It was akin to a 5D2 released in 2015, with an updated sensor, but with other parts hanging around 6 years behind the times - better than the 5D2, but not up to the capabilities of the 5D3 or D750. The A9 and A7r3 change everything - they are really the first mirrorless cameras able to compete against their SLR contemporaries on an even footing, in all areas of photography. Better in some respects, not as good in others, but overall equal to the D5 and 1Dx2 (for the A9) or D850 (for the A7r3). It is not a mature technology yet, but evolving much faster than SLRs (which have almost reached their technical limits), and there's little doubt that either the next generation, or the one after that, will exceed SLRs in capability.