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07-28-2010, 08:57 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
That's what I don't get. If FF dropped so dramatically in price, wouldn't APS also receive price cuts? Canon and Nikon sell crop cameras too, would they force their user to upgrade and buy new lenses? Did P&S cameras die once DLSRs dropped in price? Makes no sense to me. Every photographer won't need FF, just like every photographer didn't need a medium or large format camera in the heyday of film. Just my opinion.
1) No one said "dramatically", but there will be a steady drop, just like 50" 1080p plasma's were extraordinarily expensive 4 years ago it was Pioneer's game, and now I just bought one for $899.

2) Canon and Nikon would probably like nothing better than to go back to a single lens array and "force" users to "upgrade". The capital cost and marketing savings alone would be worth a big chunk.

3) Current APS-C and E-mount image circles can already accept FF. Not doing so is entirely based on the cost per unit of the FF sensor. Once one goes, all will have to go. The moment Canon says it can gain a competitive advantage over Nikon by diverting $$$ from APS-C to an economy-of-scale FF line is the day all the other advancements in production have stalled.

FF may be the only way a major manufacturer can gain a technical advantage over their competitors, and therefore a sales advantage. Even Thom has noted that.

It's not if, but when.

07-28-2010, 09:09 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
...
I happened to find myself in a Sony Store the other day, and noticed the A850 on display. Having never held either the A900 or A850, I picked it up to see if the viewfinder was as great as people say. Within seconds the very helpfull salesman was there to see if I "had any questions".

Sure I said, Why do you have a crop sensor lens on a full frame camera?
...
And the salesman replied, do I look like I design and build Sony cameras working behind this counter?
07-28-2010, 09:10 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
All you have to do is follow the cost/benefit ratio of the sensor costs and you see that FF is inevitable. .
But this makes the rather dubious assumption that all the costs of photography are exclusively centered around the camera. This is simply not the case. There are a huge slew of additional costs which may keep APS-C entrenched in the market for years to come. First, there's the cost of lenses. Anyone taken a look at the price of high-end FF Canon and Nikon glass? Nor is there any reason to believe the price of this glass is going to go down. On the contrary, given the declining value of the dollar, there is every reason to believe the price of lenses is going to continue to rise. Photographers who have already invested heavily in APS-C glass are not going to relish a reinvestment in even more expensive FF glass; many will simply not be able to afford such a reinvestment. And because of the crop factor in APS-C, purchasing FF equivalent lenses may be prohibitively expensive to many photographers. The Pentax DA 300 may, as is claimed, be an FF lens, but it's not the same lens on an FF camera! The closest FF equivalent to the DA 300 would be a 500/f4 lens, costing somewhere around $5,000! That's a huge cost differential forgotten when comparing merely the price of FF and APS-C cameras.

Then there are cost issues related to processing and storing the larger files produced by FF cameras. Those with older computers are going to have to buy an expensive new computer with oodles of RAM. Storage may not be that expensive any more, but it still adds an additional cost to all the rest.

So it's simply not necessarily so that FF is "inevitable," if by "inevitable," one means that it will vanquish APS-C entirely.
07-28-2010, 09:30 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
1) No one said "dramatically", but there will be a steady drop, just like 50" 1080p plasma's were extraordinarily expensive 4 years ago it was Pioneer's game, and now I just bought one for $899.
The problem with this analogy is that almost everyone would like to have a bigger TV, but how many people actually really want a FF. Most people don't even know what FF is. People here do, but the reality is that we're the minority.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
2) Canon and Nikon would probably like nothing better than to go back to a single lens array and "force" users to "upgrade". The capital cost and marketing savings alone would be worth a big chunk.
I'm sure they would, no arguments there, but would their customers be so happy. If they had to replace everything anyway, they may be willing to look at other manufacturers offerings too.


QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
3) Current APS-C and E-mount image circles can already accept FF. Not doing so is entirely based on the cost per unit of the FF sensor. Once one goes, all will have to go. The moment Canon says it can gain a competitive advantage over Nikon by diverting $$$ from APS-C to an economy-of-scale FF line is the day all the other advancements in production have stalled.

FF may be the only way a major manufacturer can gain a technical advantage over their competitors, and therefore a sales advantage. Even Thom has noted that.

It's not if, but when.
I think we've already started to run into diminishing returns. The quality of even cheap DSLRs is good enough for most people. I don't see masses buying $1500.00 FF cameras when the $300-500.00 APS-C camera meets all their needs. We're also going to get to a point where buyers don't even know what 35mm is, and to them, price, final image quality, and a host of other features will matter much more than the size of the sensor... if that's not already the case.

07-28-2010, 09:38 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
That's what I don't get. If FF dropped so dramatically in price, wouldn't APS also receive price cuts?
That is precisely the problem. If APS-C is forced into lower price brackets by the advent of cheap FF, then there won't be enough profit left in it to survive off of. Pentax needs a decent profit margin because they don't have absurdly high volumes like Canon and Nikon.

If Pentax stays with APS-C, and Canikon comes out with a cheap FF, prepare to see lots and lots of cheap, plastic, bargain basement APS-C cameras. The beautiful construction of the K-7 will be a thing of the past if there isn't at least a mid-priced market segment that Pentax can compete in.
07-28-2010, 09:45 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
That's what I don't get. If FF dropped so dramatically in price, wouldn't APS also receive price cuts? Canon and Nikon sell crop cameras too, would they force their user to upgrade and buy new lenses? Did P&S cameras die once DLSRs dropped in price? Makes no sense to me. Every photographer won't need FF, just like every photographer didn't need a medium or large format camera in the heyday of film. Just my opinion.
QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
But this makes the rather dubious assumption that all the costs of photography are exclusively centered around the camera. This is simply not the case. There are a huge slew of additional costs which may keep APS-C entrenched in the market for years to come. First, there's the cost of lenses. Anyone taken a look at the price of high-end FF Canon and Nikon glass? Nor is there any reason to believe the price of this glass is going to go down. On the contrary, given the declining value of the dollar, there is every reason to believe the price of lenses is going to continue to rise. Photographers who have already invested heavily in APS-C glass are not going to relish a reinvestment in even more expensive FF glass; many will simply not be able to afford such a reinvestment. And because of the crop factor in APS-C, purchasing FF equivalent lenses may be prohibitively expensive to many photographers. The Pentax DA 300 may, as is claimed, be an FF lens, but it's not the same lens on an FF camera! The closest FF equivalent to the DA 300 would be a 500/f4 lens, costing somewhere around $5,000! That's a huge cost differential forgotten when comparing merely the price of FF and APS-C cameras.

Then there are cost issues related to processing and storing the larger files produced by FF cameras. Those with older computers are going to have to buy an expensive new computer with oodles of RAM. Storage may not be that expensive any more, but it still adds an additional cost to all the rest.

So it's simply not necessarily so that FF is "inevitable," if by "inevitable," one means that it will vanquish APS-C entirely.
FF glass for normal to wide is cheaper than APS-C to manufacture. Telecentricity can also be had by cropping from a much larger sensor. By definition, an APS-C sensor is a crop already. No matter which way you look at it, FF maximizes the image circle possibilities. There is far more flexibility with FF across all Fl but extreme telecentric. Better DOF control as well, the bane of m43.

Data processing and storage capacity outruns MP's already by a huge margin. HD video takes the lead there. Most people in the world don't own a PC and likely never will. In-camera processing is the future.

You are correct in that there is a division between price points including lenses. But even Pentax (D FA 100 Macro WR) is still putting out FF-capable lenses. However, those distinctions are largely artificial. Inexpensive kit lenses were around for 35mm film and will be again.

What we want is the largest sensor that can take the biggest image circle from a front element of a size both comfortable in the hand allowing enough light in for superior resolution. APS-C is not that sensor. It will be for some time, but someone, likely Canon, will blink and make the investment to FF even into EVIL as a competitive advantage.
07-28-2010, 09:47 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
That is precisely the problem. If APS-C is forced into lower price brackets by the advent of cheap FF, then there won't be enough profit left in it to survive off of. Pentax needs a decent profit margin because they don't have absurdly high volumes like Canon and Nikon.

If Pentax stays with APS-C, and Canikon comes out with a cheap FF, prepare to see lots and lots of cheap, plastic, bargain basement APS-C cameras. The beautiful construction of the K-7 will be a thing of the past if there isn't at least a mid-priced market segment that Pentax can compete in.
I agree, but would those plastic fantastic cameras just disappear? I'm not arguing that Pentax won't eventually make a FF for the higher end, just that I don't see crop cameras ceasing to exist because FF gets cheaper.
07-28-2010, 09:54 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
The problem with this analogy is that almost everyone would like to have a bigger TV, but how many people actually really want a FF. Most people don't even know what FF is. People here do, but the reality is that we're the minority.
Same argument for 3,000 sq.ft. homes, SUV's, and bigger TV's in general. If the tech falls in price to an acceptable level--and it will--then we will want it.

Or was Bill Gates correct about us only ever needing just 640k of memory in a PC?

QuoteQuote:
I'm sure they would, no arguments there, but would their customers be so happy. If they had to replace everything anyway, they may be willing to look at other manufacturers offerings too.
Canon and Minolta abandoned their MF lines in the early 1980's and as a result, went on to dominate the marketplace at the expense of Nikon predominantly, and Pentax as well, not to mention the Yashica's, Fujica's, etc.

Olympus has pretty much abandoned 4/3 users for m43.

It's been done before, it can be done again. this time, both Canon and Nikon (and to some extent Pentax) have kept their feet in the FF lens biz. Since the beginning APS-C has always been viewed as temporary.

QuoteQuote:
I think we've already started to run into diminishing returns. The quality of even cheap DSLRs is good enough for most people. I don't see masses buying $1500.00 FF cameras when the $300-500.00 APS-C camera meets all their needs. We're also going to get to a point where buyers don't even know what 35mm is, and to them, price, final image quality, and a host of other features will matter much more than the size of the sensor... if that's not already the case.
I would buy the $1,500 FF camera over a $500 APS-C in the same way I would buy a $1,000 APS-C camera now over a $500 P&S.

You don't need masses; you need profit margins.

You're right, the 35mm equivalence is arbitrary. But for sensors, bigger is better.

What M43 is doing is gambling that the IQ for most web-based viewing is "good enough".

It never is.

07-28-2010, 10:00 AM - 1 Like   #39
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If Pentax wants to move up in sensor size I think the next logical step would be a APS-H.

1. APS-H is small enough to work with most DA lenses.
2. APS-H is the largest sensor size that can be made in a single process.
3. Only 1 other camera on the market uses APS-H ($5,000 1DIV) so there is not a lot of competition at this size.
4. Has a noticeable advantage over APS-C (not huge, but noticeable).

I think there is a good market for a poor mans 1DIV. Pentax could do what Canon has not done (wont do to keep from cannibalizing sales from the 1D line). The 5D was a 1Ds Light, but their is no 1DIV Light. I keep hoping Canon will release a 3D that is a scaled down 1DIV, but I think Canon knows they would be stealing sales from themselves.

Pentax could position itself between the 7D and the 1D lineup. Of course Pentax needs an AF system that makes it a serious contender in this market.

Now they just need a sensor supplier.
07-28-2010, 10:09 AM   #40
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correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe I saw somewhere that a FF sensor costs so much more because fewer of them can be cut from a disc of silicon, as compared to smaller sensors. the source said that they cost 4 times as much as the next sized sensor down (which I would guess is APS-C). I don't imagine that this unit cost ratio will change, so the most you can hope for to bring down the cost of FF cameras is that the cost of the silicon wafers drops dramatically (R&D costs aside).
07-28-2010, 10:17 AM   #41
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Aristophanes, your critical error is the assumption that FF is free from negatives. We all know that DSLRs are drastically better in IQ than any PnS, but people still buy PnSs that cost just as much because they want the small size and all-in-one functionality.

Even for fairly advanced photographers, FF has negatives. It will always cost more, for one thing, no matter how cheap it gets. The body and lenses will always be larger and heavier. You lose a lot of reach with telephoto lenses.

What do you gain? You gain a better viewfinder, more DoF, and probably somewhat better quality with wide-angle lenses. (We have seen some very nice UWA APS lenses lately that are credible alternatives.) You may not even gain better high ISO performance - I am dreading a Pentax FF that uses the Sony sensor from the A850/A900 - ISO performance that is no better (probably worse) than a K-x! Give me ISO over megapixels any day. APS megapixels are still getting better, too.

If Pentax offers an FF that has high ISO performance comparable to a D700 or better, then I will probably want one. If it is like the A850/A900 - forget it! The positives then do not outweigh the negatives. As much as I'd like the bigger viewfinder and getting the full view from my old M42 and other film lenses, I would not look forward to buying FF equivalents of my 10-17, 16-50, and 50-135... and I would dread carrying around a 70-200 F2.8 that weighs twice as much and is much longer and heavier.

Also, your whole premise falls apart when you remember the 645D - shouldn't all FF shooters switch to that when the price drops? After all, your premise is that tech prices always drop and that bigger sensors are always better, so it is inevitable that bigger sensors will become the norm.
07-28-2010, 10:21 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
If Pentax wants to move up in sensor size I think the next logical step would be a APS-H.

1. APS-H is small enough to work with most DA lenses.
2. APS-H is the largest sensor size that can be made in a single process.
3. Only 1 other camera on the market uses APS-H ($5,000 1DIV) so there is not a lot of competition at this size.
4. Has a noticeable advantage over APS-C (not huge, but noticeable).
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

This would be suicide. APS-H is total failure with good reason.

I'll give you one that is high on my list: FISHEYE. Good luck finding a fisheye that's designed for APS-H! (Of course, Canon doesn't even make a "normal" 1.6x crop APS one.)

OK, maybe that's not a dealbreaker for everyone, but it sure is for me.
07-28-2010, 10:30 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Same argument for 3,000 sq.ft. homes, SUV's, and bigger TV's in general. If the tech falls in price to an acceptable level--and it will--then we will want it.
Then why do people buy expensive EVIL M4/3 cameras when they could get cheaper APS-C cameras? Sensor size means very little to the majority of buyers.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Or was Bill Gates correct about us only ever needing just 640k of memory in a PC?
Not even close to the same thing. How many people regularly print above 8x10 or even print at all? How many people have 4-5k res tvs? We're not talking 1mp cameras, > 6mp has been good enough for most uses for some time.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I would buy the $1,500 FF camera over a $500 APS-C in the same way I would buy a $1,000 APS-C camera now over a $500 P&S.
... And so would I, but I try not to assume that my wants/needs are the same as everyones.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
What M43 is doing is gambling that the IQ for most web-based viewing is "good enough".

It never is.
?

Honestly, I don't even shoot digital anymore. I'm more concerned about the future of film than the future of digital.
07-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Groucho Quote
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

This would be suicide. APS-H is total failure with good reason.

I'll give you one that is high on my list: FISHEYE. Good luck finding a fisheye that's designed for APS-H! (Of course, Canon doesn't even make a "normal" 1.6x crop APS one.)

OK, maybe that's not a dealbreaker for everyone, but it sure is for me.
Which fisheye Pentax lens are you using now?

Canon sells a lot of 1D bodies. Hard to call APS-H a failure. If Canon was not having success with this format they would have discontinued it a long time ago. Making a sensor for 1 camera body only does not make sense unless you are having success with it.
07-28-2010, 10:32 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Groucho Quote
Aristophanes, your critical error is the assumption that FF is free from negatives. We all know that DSLRs are drastically better in IQ than any PnS, but people still buy PnSs that cost just as much because they want the small size and all-in-one functionality.

Even for fairly advanced photographers, FF has negatives. It will always cost more, for one thing, no matter how cheap it gets. The body and lenses will always be larger and heavier. You lose a lot of reach with telephoto lenses.

What do you gain? You gain a better viewfinder, more DoF, and probably somewhat better quality with wide-angle lenses. (We have seen some very nice UWA APS lenses lately that are credible alternatives.) You may not even gain better high ISO performance - I am dreading a Pentax FF that uses the Sony sensor from the A850/A900 - ISO performance that is no better (probably worse) than a K-x! Give me ISO over megapixels any day. APS megapixels are still getting better, too.

If Pentax offers an FF that has high ISO performance comparable to a D700 or better, then I will probably want one. If it is like the A850/A900 - forget it! The positives then do not outweigh the negatives. As much as I'd like the bigger viewfinder and getting the full view from my old M42 and other film lenses, I would not look forward to buying FF equivalents of my 10-17, 16-50, and 50-135... and I would dread carrying around a 70-200 F2.8 that weighs twice as much and is much longer and heavier.

Also, your whole premise falls apart when you remember the 645D - shouldn't all FF shooters switch to that when the price drops? After all, your premise is that tech prices always drop and that bigger sensors are always better, so it is inevitable that bigger sensors will become the norm.
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