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Author Topic: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)  (Read 6889 times)

Two23

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2018, 11:24:28 pm »

In the past there have been long periods where only fairly serious photographers did much photography, be that pro or hobbiest.  Think of the first period of photography--the long stretch from 1840 to about 1900.  You had to really want to take photos to get into that.  Along came box cameras like the Brownie, which were relatively compact, cheap, and easy to use.  ("You take the picture, we do the rest!")  This was followed in the 1960s with a plethora of small 35mm cameras along with formats such as 110 and 126.  In the 1980s we saw the rise of compact automatic cameras such as the Pentax IQ Zoom.  All of those, from the Brownie to the Canon Elph, were mostly purchased by people just wanting to take pictures of their kids etc.  (I think the explosion of cameras in the late 1950s to mid 1960s was a result of the post war baby boom.)  Today that large portion of casual "phtographer" just used their cell phone.  They already have it, it's easy to carry, and it's extremely easy to share the photos.  (Remember having to mail 4x6 prints to grandma?)   That just once again leaves the people more serious about photography as a hobby or vocation to buy traditional camera gear.  We're back to the 1880s again!

Another thought.  Again looking through history, cameras have been getting smaller ever since the 1880s.  There were mammoth cameras then.  Really--they were even called mammoth cameras at the time!  These had plate sizes of 14x17 inches and even 20x24 inches.   The "normal" lenses were something like FL=16 inches (600mm), brass and glass, and weighed quite a bit.  (I have a 300mm Petzval that weighs 5 pounds.)  This stuff was heavy and required true motivation to take out into the field!  Since the 1880s cameras have steadily been getting smaller and lighter--a very clear trend.  The mammoth cameras gave way to 8x10, then 5x7, then medium format roll films took over (such as Rolleiflex and Hassleblad.)  The 35mm pot was already simmering with offerings from Leica, Contax, Practika, Kodak Retina, etc., and then Nikon blew things wide open with the Nikon F.  The trend is clear--generally speaking convenience ultimately trumps image quality.  I certainly don't count M43 out here.


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KLaban

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2018, 05:06:26 am »

I'd say that Leica cameras are fashionable with fashionistas but distinctly unfashionable with photographers.

I can't think of a better recommendation.

Christopher

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2018, 02:03:01 pm »

Fuji has one great thing, the GFX100. Even at 10k it will attract a lot of people after they realize that next gen FF won’t be more than 60Mp. (As the latest rumors confirm.)

I really like what Fuji is doing and find it very boring what Nikon and canon are doing in their latest releases.


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hogloff

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2018, 02:08:19 pm »

Fuji has one great thing, the GFX100. Even at 10k it will attract a lot of people after they realize that next gen FF won’t be more than 60Mp. (As the latest rumors confirm.)

I really like what Fuji is doing and find it very boring what Nikon and canon are doing in their latest releases.


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A lot is an extreme exaggeration. The digital medium format systems are very niche and sell at very limited numbers compared to the other formats.

Where does the casual Joe require that many pixels...and what casual Joe has 10's of thousands of dollars to spend on that system?
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Telecaster

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2018, 03:44:40 pm »

Re. smartdevice cameras: given that my current iPhone has two lens/sensor combos, one offering ~28mm and the other ~56mm "equiv," I can easily imagine a future iPhone with a third and even fourth lens along the top back of the thing. Take it a step further and imagine the 3 or 4 lens/sensor combos working together in various ways.

-Dave-
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Two23

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2018, 07:20:26 pm »



I really like what Fuji is doing and find it very boring what Nikon and canon are doing in their latest releases.



I honestly don't get too excited about cameras.  They come and go.  They've become disposable peripherals.  Instead of placing so much importance on just one "piece," I think more in terms of "system."  The thing Nikon really has going for it is lens selection!  I have a tilt/shift lens, a couple of f1.4 wide to middle lenses, a macro, and a nice tele lens plus 1.4x.  I even have four lenses made in the 19th century in Nikon mount. :)   Add to this some great flash options.  It's the system that makes Nikon so versatile.  Not sure the Fuji is anywhere near that. 


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BJL

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State of the camera market: focal length limits on "smart device cameras"
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2018, 10:58:17 am »

Re. smartdevice cameras: given that my current iPhone has two lens/sensor combos, one offering ~28mm and the other ~56mm "equiv," I can easily imagine a future iPhone with a third and even fourth lens along the top back of the thing. Take it a step further and imagine the 3 or 4 lens/sensor combos working together in various ways.
More cameras-per-phone is coming, but there are some severe limits on telephoto reach (technically, on angular resolution) beyond about "short portrait lens" in a conveniently pocketable camera.

On one side, the desired slimness limits [actual] focal lengths to about 7–8mm. On the other, the wavelength of light limits minimum pixel size (sensor resolution length scale) to about 0.7–0.8 microns. So the ratio is probably limited to about 10000:1, or crudely, 0.0001 radian angular resolution. Better than the human eye, but what "equivalent focal lengths" are achievable compared to ILC systems?

For 12MP (4000x3000) 0.8 micron pixels give about a 4mm image diagonal, and then 8mm focal length has equivalent angular FOV to about 43mm in 4/3" format, 47mm in APS-C, or 85mm in 35mm format. (Same for any 10,000:1 lens/pixel ratio.)  But those ILCs have a lot of cropping latitude when 12MP is enough, and allowing for crops to 12MP, that matches about 34mm on a 20MP MFT sensor, 40mm on a 24MP APS-C, or 60mm with an entry-level 24MP 35mm format sensor. So even standard ILC kit zooms have more reach that any normal(*) phone is likely to have, and any telephoto lens of "all-in-one" wider ranging standard zoom lens is way ahead, and will stay ahead. Add in the small actual aperture diameters and low usable ISO speeds of those phone-size lenses, and the telephoto performance gap to even entry-level MFT gear will continue to be easily visible to even casual users of "telephoto".

Change the MP target, and cropping to the same MP from an ILC gives the same focal length comparisons.

On the other hand, a lot of people are satisfied with a mix scenery, group photos, food, and "portraits", and that gamut will be ever better handle by camera-phones. The entry-level ILC market needs to target the weaknesses, ultimately imposed by very small lenses (and the wavelength of light), no matter how good sensors and in-camera processing get.

(*) There might be a market for less normal "chunky camera-phones", with bigger camera bumps or such to allow longer lenses, though so far all such efforts have failed. Even then, I cannot see getting beyond matching about 60mm in 4/3" format when cropping to equal pixel count—and that is ignoring the likelihood of smaller photosites and thus even more cropping latitude in ILCs.
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hogloff

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Re: State of the camera market: focal length limits on "smart device cameras"
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2018, 01:47:12 pm »

More cameras-per-phone is coming, but there are some severe limits on telephoto reach (technically, on angular resolution) beyond about "short portrait lens" in a conveniently pocketable camera.

On one side, the desired slimness limits [actual] focal lengths to about 7–8mm. On the other, the wavelength of light limits minimum pixel size (sensor resolution length scale) to about 0.7–0.8 microns. So the ratio is probably limited to about 10000:1, or crudely, 0.0001 radian angular resolution. Better than the human eye, but what "equivalent focal lengths" are achievable compared to ILC systems?

For 12MP (4000x3000) 0.8 micron pixels give about a 4mm image diagonal, and then 8mm focal length has equivalent angular FOV to about 43mm in 4/3" format, 47mm in APS-C, or 85mm in 35mm format. (Same for any 10,000:1 lens/pixel ratio.)  But those ILCs have a lot of cropping latitude when 12MP is enough, and allowing for crops to 12MP, that matches about 34mm on a 20MP MFT sensor, 40mm on a 24MP APS-C, or 60mm with an entry-level 24MP 35mm format sensor. So even standard ILC kit zooms have more reach that any normal(*) phone is likely to have, and any telephoto lens of "all-in-one" wider ranging standard zoom lens is way ahead, and will stay ahead. Add in the small actual aperture diameters and low usable ISO speeds of those phone-size lenses, and the telephoto performance gap to even entry-level MFT gear will continue to be easily visible to even casual users of "telephoto".

Change the MP target, and cropping to the same MP from an ILC gives the same focal length comparisons.

On the other hand, a lot of people are satisfied with a mix scenery, group photos, food, and "portraits", and that gamut will be ever better handle by camera-phones. The entry-level ILC market needs to target the weaknesses, ultimately imposed by very small lenses (and the wavelength of light), no matter how good sensors and in-camera processing get.

(*) There might be a market for less normal "chunky camera-phones", with bigger camera bumps or such to allow longer lenses, though so far all such efforts have failed. Even then, I cannot see getting beyond matching about 60mm in 4/3" format when cropping to equal pixel count—and that is ignoring the likelihood of smaller photosites and thus even more cropping latitude in ILCs.

I have children and friends who use the phones as their photo cameras and not a single one of them has complained or had any interest in telephoto abilities. With today's phone pixel counts, you can just crop your way to telephoto ( pinch and zoom ) if need be.
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BJL

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Re: State of the camera market: focal length limits on "smart device cameras"
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2018, 03:14:50 pm »

I have children and friends who use the phones as their photo cameras and not a single one of them has complained or had any interest in telephoto abilities. With today's phone pixel counts, you can just crop your way to telephoto ( pinch and zoom ) if need be.
We are agree that the great majority of people will be satisfied withe the camera in their phones. My point is to seek the limits, and debunk the myth that "phone-cameras will be enough for all but us very serious photographers". Clearly lots of even fairly "casual" photographers are interested in more telephoto reach than phones offer, as show by the large market for adding telephoto lenses to ILC kits, and even by the act of choosing a 4x or 5x zoom as the standard lens rather than the smaller, less expensive basic 3x kit zoom.

Also, contrary to your experience, I have seen phone-camera-only users encountering disappointment when wanting to photograph wild-life (including just children in action). Speed is an issue there too, which cropping on a phone-camera cannot always adequately provide.
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Telecaster

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2018, 04:12:44 pm »

My m43 3-zoom basic travel kit covers 3°4'–72° (horizontal FOV), or thereabouts, so I do appreciate the value of dedicated photo gear.  :)  What I'm really taking aim at here is what I see as a fetishizing of the 35mm format. The major camera makers are focusing on the higher end of the market, which they (aside from Fuji) have equated with "full frame," for understandable reasons. They're looking for revenue in an environment of declining sales. This doesn't concern me.

What does concern me is how easily led around higher-end buyers *seem to be. The result IMO is and will be lotsa folks buying into systems over-spec'd for their needs in less significant areas (pixel counts, for instance) and yet less than optimal in more significant ones (bulk, portability). IOW there's likely a mismatch between the baubels catching folks' eyes and the tools they'd be best served by. In the longer term this could be a net negative for the photo industry.

-Dave-

*The current bout of 35mm mirrorless enthusiasm could, of course, turn out to be no more than a bubble.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2018, 04:36:32 pm »



What does concern me is how easily led around higher-end buyers *seem to be. The result IMO is and will be lotsa folks buying into systems over-spec'd for their needs in less significant areas (pixel counts, for instance) and yet less than optimal in more significant ones (bulk, portability). IOW there's likely a mismatch between the baubels catching folks' eyes and the tools they'd be best served by. In the longer term this could be a net negative for the photo industry.

-Dave-
We could deal with low pixel count sensors via stitching.  I had a Nikon D300 for a number of years and never felt limited by the 12 mega-pixel sensor but I also never print bigger than 17x25.
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hogloff

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2018, 06:02:43 pm »

We could deal with low pixel count sensors via stitching.  I had a Nikon D300 for a number of years and never felt limited by the 12 mega-pixel sensor but I also never print bigger than 17x25.

I can see if you only print to a certain size, then a low pixel camera is fine...but thinking you can stitch your way into larger prints really limits your subject matter. There are so many subjects that cannot be stitched...if one feels they might need more pixels, I would buy more pixels from the start than relying on stitching.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2018, 09:18:43 am »

I can see if you only print to a certain size, then a low pixel camera is fine...but thinking you can stitch your way into larger prints really limits your subject matter. There are so many subjects that cannot be stitched...if one feels they might need more pixels, I would buy more pixels from the start than relying on stitching.
Don't get me wrong; I certainly agree with the point you made.  The question is how many times do you print to a size greater than 17x25?  An answer to that question then suggests the pixel size of the camera. 
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Two23

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2018, 11:06:16 am »

I once worked at  fuji tru color processing plant.   We would print 10,000 to 20,000 rolls per day.  I would watch as six streams  of pints came flying out of the gigantic printer.  I estimate about 98% of those photos   could  now  be taken with a phone.


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Dan Wells

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2018, 08:08:03 pm »

Something interesting cropped up on one of the rumor sites... The new Sony 60 MP 24x36 mm sensor (which is almost exactly the sensor some folks on here predicted by "what would a bigger version of the 26 MP APS-C sensor / a smaller version of the 100 MP GFX 100S sensor look like") may be capable of 16-bit readout - a frame rate at 16 bits appeared in a spec leak (it's a big speed loss compared to running the sensor at 14 bits). Right now, only a few very high-end medium format sensors used by Hasselblad and Phase One have 16-bit readouts. The 50 MP medium format sensor in the Pentax 645Z, Fuji GFX 50 S and R and Hasselblad X1D along with some of the more affordable backs does not. I haven't seen anything one way or the other on the GFX 100 sensor, but this suggests that it at least might.

This suggests two things - first, that the GFX 100 might feature 16-bit output (even if the sensor is capable of 16-bit readout, the rest of the pipeline after the sensor also needs to support 16-bit to get it to the output). Second, we could see a 24x36mm camera that supports 16-bit mode as soon as next year. Right now, the highest dynamic range cameras (D850/Z7/A7r II/A7r III) are pushing right at the edge of what's possible with a 14-bit file. When the Nikon D3x came out a decade ago, it was the first non medium-format camera to support 14bit, and it was at a time when 12-bit sensors were right up against the edge of their readout, as 14-bit sensors are now.

It made about half a stop or a bit more of difference in low-ISO dynamic range against the Sony Alpha 900, which used a very similar sensor, but with a conventional 12-bit output (or against the D3x itself in 12-bit mode). The early 14-bit sensor in the D3x also took close to a 75% performance hit in 14-bit mode. It looks from one line on a spec sheet that the 60 MP sensor will take about a 60% performance hit in 16-bit mode - might the D3x experience be a guide to what we could expect from the 60 MP sensor - about half a stop of extra DR over the best conventional sensors , mostly close to base ISO?

Of course, the D3x was also terribly expensive - it had the best image quality yet seen short of medium format, but you paid much more than a linear jump in price for it. A big part of that was probably the 14-bit pipeline... The first 16-bit 24x36mm camera may also carry a big premium.

Over the next few years, 16-bit sensors may become the norm, the performance hit will go down (the D800, four years after the D3x, was one of the first cameras where 14-bit mode came without a performance penalty), and the actual dynamic range will get close to what the readout can support.
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kpz

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2018, 10:47:22 pm »

Thanks for the incisive posts. Here are two thoughts from a novice who recently bought a camera.

Fuji: The "worms" (watery raw conversion artifacts in images with a lot of fine detail, especially foliage) have got to be costing them a large number of sales. I was extremely close to getting an XT-2 a few months ago and eventually demurred because of this. What's the point of buying a good camera and good glass if the raw files have these problems? I realize they might be relatively uncommon, but there's really no excuse for serious flaws like this if I'm going to pay thousands of dollars for a camera and lenses. Yes, I realize messing with LR sharpening settings helps. And yes, I realize that moving to Capture One helps more. (Though that's an additional $300 cost.) But there are worms even in C1, from what I can tell. The Fuji raw format itself seems to be the culprit.

(I would love to be corrected on this. If I can find definitive proof there's a way to make the worms 100% disappear with some reasonable post-processing combination, I'll buy a XT-3 with my next paycheck. But I've searched long and hard and haven't found one.)

Also, the cameras appear to "bake in" lens corrections to the raw files that can't be removed in lightroom. Do you want your fisheye to show the characteristic distortion? Too bad, you don't have that option!

Sony: The E-mount is essentially a crop sensor sized mount. In the longer term Nikon and Canon have much more room for innovative and ultra-fast lenses with the large throat diameters on their new mirrorless mounts. And Sony ergonomics, menus, and customer support are apparently awful. That really put me off their cameras.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 11:27:17 pm by kpz »
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JaapD

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2018, 01:13:15 am »

Worms in Fuji files with C1? I’m working many years with this combination and have never seen any worm effects at all. The last time I’ve seen these worms was several years ago with Adobe’s CameraRaw, so I’m familiar with the effect itself.

My humble suggestion: invest in a decent RAW converter. It just might bring you better results than the latest and greatest camera. By the way, C1 for Fuji is free, right?

Regards,
Jaap.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 01:16:57 am by JaapD »
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scooby70

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2018, 04:50:05 am »

Sony: The E-mount is essentially a crop sensor sized mount. In the longer term Nikon and Canon have much more room for innovative and ultra-fast lenses with the large throat diameters on their new mirrorless mounts. And Sony ergonomics, menus, and customer support are apparently awful. That really put me off their cameras.

This? Again? I'll have to bin my f1.2 lenses which I thought worked perfectly on my A7.
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hogloff

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2018, 09:23:36 am »



Sony: The E-mount is essentially a crop sensor sized mount. In the longer term Nikon and Canon have much more room for innovative and ultra-fast lenses with the large throat diameters on their new mirrorless mounts. And Sony ergonomics, menus, and customer support are apparently awful. That really put me off their cameras.

I suggest less sitting on the net and reading other people's posts...instead get a camera and try it out for yourself. Way too much internet echo BS out there manufactured by Sony haters.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2018, 09:33:57 am »

I suggest less sitting on the net and reading other people's posts...instead get a camera and try it out for yourself. Way too much internet echo BS out there manufactured by Sony haters.

The Sony E mount is to mirrorless what the F mount has been to DSLRs. It is too small to be optimal but large enough to design excellent lenses.

Stating the the Z and R mount are significantly superior isn’t Sony hatred, it is a fact.

Cheers,
Bernard
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