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07-11-2011, 08:05 AM   #286
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Note that he said the main draws of big pro FF's are 1) durability and 2) more room for cropping. Dynamic range is trivial, thin DOF is irrelevant. His clients want 10mpx compressed JPG files. The shooters at these events use manual focus, manual exposure, manual flash. Outside of high-speed sports, all the bells-and-whistles are just irrelevant. This suggests that a ruggedized 12mpx FF dSLR is quite sufficient for the vast majority of photo-pit work. Meanwhile he shoots his Oly E5 and makes a good living.
You just described the D700, except I will say my two pro photog friends, particularly in photojournalism, rely very heavily on AF and FPS coupled with long glass for any action sequences be it a riot or a race car event. My friend with the mainly Nikon outfit utterly relies on his flash system for controlled location work. Stripped down and rugged won't work without that capacity.

DR is big for those going to archival print. It's very important and can make or break a magazine spread. My photojournalist friend could not care too much as his work goes into dailies mostly. Cropping is big for both.

In pro work I've perused extensively thin DOF/fast glass primes make up a tiny % of the output. It has its place, but few make a living from those characteristics. Those that do, are more likely to be in the Hasselblad studio stratosphere.

07-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #287
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
You just described the D700, except I will say my two pro photog friends, particularly in photojournalism, rely very heavily on AF and FPS coupled with long glass for any action sequences be it a riot or a race car event. My friend with the mainly Nikon outfit utterly relies on his flash system for controlled location work. Stripped down and rugged won't work without that capacity.

DR is big for those going to archival print. It's very important and can make or break a magazine spread. My photojournalist friend could not care too much as his work goes into dailies mostly. Cropping is big for both.

In pro work I've perused extensively thin DOF/fast glass primes make up a tiny % of the output. It has its place, but few make a living from those characteristics. Those that do, are more likely to be in the Hasselblad studio stratosphere.
It's interesting to me that Hasselblad seems to have *increased* the cost of their systems from merely high to, as you say, stratospheric. In the late 80s, when I was a budding commercial photog, even a kid like I was could swing an EL/M and three lenses, a polaroid back and a 45-degree finder. It cost as much as a used Camaro, but it paid for itself many times over almost right away. Now, an equivalent Hassy rig looks like it would cost as much as a NEW Volvo S70. That *has* to be why FF small format systems are so popular.
07-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #288
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
That's pretty much what you already said, and I said I more-or-less agree with; but it's not physics, it's technology. Many years ago, before practical digital cameras existed, people had a million reasons digital photography could never exist; Then they had a million reasons why it could never compete with film; then they had a million reasons why it could never displace film... and so on. Technology marches on. There's no way of predicting whether or not tomorrow Ricoh (or anyone) is going to announce a new phase system that can work twice as accurately with half the photons. That was my only point there.
No, it is physics!

Phase detect AF systems require at minimum 30% of the light TTL to get through to their array. This has been the case for 30 years now. We cannot increase the amount of light transmitted due to the First Law of Thermodynamics. Nor can we increase the sensitivity of the CCD on the phase system too much or it freaks out due to noise, highlights, etc. There's lots and lots of literature on this point

Understanding Camera Autofocus

70% is reflected through the penta. This all flips out when shutter pulls.

The only way to increase the amount of light is to reduce minimum aperture to less than f/8 or something like that (not practical), or to decrease the 70% going to the VF, but that creates brightness issues with our own eyes as well as metering. In low-light our all systems currently need a strobe flash and/or an AF assist lamp. If you're shooting a Nikon D700 and are amazed it can "see in the dark", that's because a hefty amount of real estate has gone into the AF system at the expense of size.

To get around this Sony incorporated an EVF into the A33/55 so the pellicle still transmitted enough light to the sensor after the AF system gets its share. Since the amount of light is fixed in total, the only way to take a lesser share of the pie and make it functional is to capture it through an enhanced EVF. The EVF of the Sony A55 blows away the OVF of the Nikon D300, but you have all the compromises of an EVF, especially when seeing DR and in low-light.

In fact, the recent trend has been to actually make phase detect AF systems bigger so they can 3D track through cross-points and for greater accuracy overall as digitial sensors (especially FF) can pick up the slightest sharpness loss due to focus error. If we increase the CCD sensitivity it becomes less accurate and less able to handle diverse lighting situations (Pentax K-5). If we increase the light we have less bright and even unusable VF. If we increase the aperture we are stuck at f/8 or larger.

It's fairy dust thinking that Pentax has some engineer in a closet who can do more with less with PD AF when no other company has been able to do so. It's been 3 decades looking for this and the end result has been focus assist, making the array even larger, or switching to contrast detect and new mounts, systems, etc. entirely. Whole companies (Olympus, and maybe Sony) have switched their entire corporate philosophy when the tech hits an unreachable limit.

My hope is that Pentax still produces DSLR's with pentaprisms throughout the line, in a small an APS-C form factor as possible. I like a meaty grip about the size of the K-x.

Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps some of Pentax's QC issues, as with AF on the K-5 , has something to do with trying to compact the design too much? I suspect so. It took 4 generations of Pentax DSLR's to get an AF assist lamp in the whole line.
07-11-2011, 09:15 AM   #289
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
No, it is physics!

Phase detect AF systems require at minimum 30% of the light TTL to get through to their array. This has been the case for 30 years now. We cannot increase the amount of light transmitted due to the First Law of Thermodynamics. Nor can we increase the sensitivity of the CCD on the phase system too much or it freaks out due to noise, highlights, etc. There's lots and lots of literature on this point

Understanding Camera Autofocus

70% is reflected through the penta. This all flips out when shutter pulls.

The only way to increase the amount of light is to reduce minimum aperture to less than f/8 or something like that (not practical), or to decrease the 70% going to the VF, but that creates brightness issues with our own eyes as well as metering. In low-light our all systems currently need a strobe flash and/or an AF assist lamp. If you're shooting a Nikon D700 and are amazed it can "see in the dark", that's because a hefty amount of real estate has gone into the AF system at the expense of size.

To get around this Sony incorporated an EVF into the A33/55 so the pellicle still transmitted enough light to the sensor after the AF system gets its share. Since the amount of light is fixed in total, the only way to take a lesser share of the pie and make it functional is to capture it through an enhanced EVF. The EVF of the Sony A55 blows away the OVF of the Nikon D300, but you have all the compromises of an EVF, especially when seeing DR and in low-light.

In fact, the recent trend has been to actually make phase detect AF systems bigger so they can 3D track through cross-points and for greater accuracy overall as digitial sensors (especially FF) can pick up the slightest sharpness loss due to focus error. If we increase the CCD sensitivity it becomes less accurate and less able to handle diverse lighting situations (Pentax K-5). If we increase the light we have less bright and even unusable VF. If we increase the aperture we are stuck at f/8 or larger.

It's fairy dust thinking that Pentax has some engineer in a closet who can do more with less with PD AF when no other company has been able to do so. It's been 3 decades looking for this and the end result has been focus assist, making the array even larger, or switching to contrast detect and new mounts, systems, etc. entirely. Whole companies (Olympus, and maybe Sony) have switched their entire corporate philosophy when the tech hits an unreachable limit.

My hope is that Pentax still produces DSLR's with pentaprisms throughout the line, in a small an APS-C form factor as possible. I like a meaty grip about the size of the K-x.

Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps some of Pentax's QC issues, as with AF on the K-5 , has something to do with trying to compact the design too much? I suspect so. It took 4 generations of Pentax DSLR's to get an AF assist lamp in the whole line.

All this really implies is that there is a lower limit to a PD system and thus a FF DSLR body size. I think you're assuming it's been reached with the D700, when Nikon never made any claims to that effect - they were never trying to make it the smallest, they were fitting it into a size tier and not worrying (too much) about the size.

I like the amount of reasoned thinking you've put into this, but I suspect you're correct only in concept, not degree, unless you happen to be a DSLR designer.


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07-11-2011, 09:21 AM   #290
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want vs need

QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
LOL... Yeah, exactly. The vast majority of people who use full frame *don't need it*, and most who do need it would probably be better served by MF. That leaves a small slice who actually do need it - and in many cases it's an artistic choice, not a technical one.
Not only do 99% of people not need a FF DSLR, they probably don't even need a DSLR in the first place.

Unless you make a living in the field, there's no reason you can't survive in life with the cheapest P&S (or phone cam.) DSLRs are a want item for the vast majority of people, even on this forum - no matter what sensor size we're talking about.

It's not really accurate to say that an aps-c DSLR is a need item, but a FF DSLR is a want item. They are both almost always want items.
07-11-2011, 09:57 AM   #291
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Not only do 99% of people not need a FF DSLR, they probably don't even need a DSLR in the first place.

Unless you make a living in the field, there's no reason you can't survive in life with the cheapest P&S (or phone cam.) DSLRs are a want item for the vast majority of people, even on this forum - no matter what sensor size we're talking about.

It's not really accurate to say that an aps-c DSLR is a need item, but a FF DSLR is a want item. They are both almost always want items.
A camera in general is a want not a need whether it's p/s or MF
it becomes a need when you require it for your job. For many people though they would argue being able to preserve memories makes it a need. Maslov may disagree
If you have a goal of taking a picture with more sophistication then an ilc of some sort is a need in relation to p/s cameras
but for the vast majority of shooters (including most pro work) APS-C is more than good enough to achieve 90% of what you may choose to do. Pro sports shooter yep the FF top models from canikon with the crazy expensive big fast glass likely will make it easier to do your job
Studio work where you want razor thin DOF for Effect, then maybe you are better served by the 645D or another MF system
Landscape shooter who will print very large then in digital the 645D but you may still be better served by some of the film options (6x9 and up and ideally of course Larger format - of course these come with their downfalls as well

If you are looking for a camera that will do it all for you you will be disappointed, because it doesn't exist (and may never thanks to some of the laws of physics)
I don't have a FF digital (or really any serious need for one currently) I do however have a range of 35mm in different camera types a couple of medium formats and 4 digital bodies and assorted lenses. If I want razor thin DOF I'll just shoot with my 645 and a 150 3.5. it's so thin wide open its a bugger to even nail the focus at head shot range
07-11-2011, 10:04 AM   #292
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Not only do 99% of people not need a FF DSLR, they probably don't even need a DSLR in the first place.

Unless you make a living in the field, there's no reason you can't survive in life with the cheapest P&S (or phone cam.) DSLRs are a want item for the vast majority of people, even on this forum - no matter what sensor size we're talking about.

It's not really accurate to say that an aps-c DSLR is a need item, but a FF DSLR is a want item. They are both almost always want items.
Yeah, but you're splitting semantic hairs there, Jay . Nobody "needs" a camera, in Maslow's sense. I meant something very specific, which was: Most people who own full frame DSLRs "for the Image Quality" are in fact deluding themselves. As an example: I know a fellow who has a 5DmkII and a few L lenses. He shoots mostly outdoor events with ISO ~100-200, f-stop from 5.6-11. He frequently crops because his 300 f4 doesn't get him enough magnification. I've never seen a print bigger than 11x14, and only one of those. The vast majority of his output goes on the web for other enthusiasts to see, at standard web sizes (usually ~1024x768), or into 8x10s from his epson that he tacks to the wall in his basement bar. But he bought FF because he wasn't getting the "Image Quality" he wanted from APS-c. He recently intimated to me that he couldn't really tell the difference between his older images and his newer ones, but that people certainly were more respectful of his big Canon rig.

So, to be very clear and pedantic, I meant: Many people believe they need FF (in a *technical sense* ) to make the images they want to make, and believe so erroneously.
07-11-2011, 10:08 AM   #293
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Landscape shooter who will print very large then in digital the 645D but you may still be better served by some of the film options (6x9 and up and ideally of course Larger format - of course these come with their downfalls as well
LOL. You beat me to the Maslow reference

I was just gonna say that I'm seeing more and more landscape photogs using stitching with small-sensor machines. There are special automated tripod heads and stuff - shooting gigapixel landscapes is almost an olympic sport now.

07-11-2011, 10:28 AM   #294
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
LOL. You beat me to the Maslow reference

I was just gonna say that I'm seeing more and more landscape photogs using stitching with small-sensor machines. There are special automated tripod heads and stuff - shooting gigapixel landscapes is almost an Olympic sport now.
I've seen some of that as well, and in all likelihood if landscape was all you shot then you may be better served financially anyway with a k5 and an fa43ltd and the motorized head for stitching, but then again nothing is stopping a 645D shooter doing the same thing (aside from how long it would take to render such an image and the fact that there isn't a printer in existence that would need the file size (yet)
at some point many things become irrelevant. DOF is one of those things for me, even though i can get stupidly thin DOF on my medium format cameras i generally shoot them at f 5.6 which gives me the best out of the lens (on my 150 anyway) and still is very thin DOF (about 2.75" in focus at 7 feet or so which is a nice portrait Distance with this lens, even at 10 feet there is only about 8 inches in apparent focus - about the same as a 90mm at f 2.8 on FF or say my super tak 55 at 1,8 on my k7 - the benefit being i'm shooting in the best zone for the lens not wide open)
there is of course a reason you don't see fast by 35mm standards in MF, there would be no focal zone to speak of, at 10 feet with the same 150 theoretically at 1.2 (like a fast 50 on aps c) the zone of focus would be about 1.7" at 10 feet (maybe still possible to nail focus on a stationary subject) and .084" at 7 feet, i would defy and AF or MF system to nail that focus it would be like shooting macro at f 2 or so
07-11-2011, 10:37 AM   #295
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I've seen some of that as well, and in all likelihood if landscape was all you shot then you may be better served financially anyway with a k5 and an fa43ltd and the motorized head for stitching, but then again nothing is stopping a 645D shooter doing the same thing (aside from how long it would take to render such an image and the fact that there isn't a printer in existence that would need the file size (yet)
That's kinda the whole point behind stitching. You gain zero advantage by using FF or MF over APS-c or even MFT (except APS-C is the sweet spot for that sort of thing). Well, fewer shutter activations, right? But I can burn quite a few K-5 bodies up before I pay for a 645D. I've got a few 100MP images that I fully intend to print at 2ftx6ft eventually

QuoteQuote:
at some point many things become irrelevant. DOF is one of those things for me, even though i can get stupidly thin DOF on my medium format cameras i generally shoot them at f 5.6 which gives me the best out of the lens (on my 150 anyway) and still is very thin DOF (about 2.75" in focus at 7 feet or so which is a nice portrait Distance with this lens, even at 10 feet there is only about 8 inches in apparent focus - about the same as a 90mm at f 2.8 on FF or say my super tak 55 at 1,8 on my k7 - the benefit being i'm shooting in the best zone for the lens not wide open)
there is of course a reason you don't see fast by 35mm standards in MF, there would be no focal zone to speak of, at 10 feet with the same 150 theoretically at 1.2 (like a fast 50 on aps c) the zone of focus would be about 1.7" at 10 feet (maybe still possible to nail focus on a stationary subject) and .084" at 7 feet, i would defy and AF or MF system to nail that focus it would be like shooting macro at f 2 or so
No argument there.
07-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #296
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
That's kinda the whole point behind stitching. You gain zero advantage by using FF or MF over APS-c or even MFT (except APS-C is the sweet spot for that sort of thing). Well, fewer shutter activations, right? But I can burn quite a few K-5 bodies up before I pay for a 645D. I've got a few 100MP images that I fully intend to print at 2ftx6ft eventually



No argument there.
yep i just made the argument to show how silly this DOF wish is getting

My 645 with 4 lenses a WL a prism finder a meter and 3 backs has set me back about $800, I have to shoot one hell of a lot of film before the 645D would make sense (or for that matter any of the FF options with the same FOV equivalent lenses)
There are other reasons I may like a 645D (AF, better metering, WR, ease of PP etc) but for what i use the 645 for there isn't much reason to go spend 14-15000 to get set up with the same lens FOV for the small return to me
If i pick the winning number in the lotto though i will end up with a few new camera (645D, M9, D3) and of course a whack of lenses
not holding my breath though
07-11-2011, 11:07 AM   #297
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All arguments aside about whether or when Pentax will or should start producing and selling a full-frame dslr body, I would like it if they did. My wife wouldn't, though, unless it came with a full-time, well-paying photography job.
07-11-2011, 11:31 AM   #298
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
All arguments aside about whether or when Pentax will or should start producing and selling a full-frame dslr body, I would like it if they did. My wife wouldn't, though, unless it came with a full-time, well-paying photography job.

Mine would feel the same
07-11-2011, 11:39 AM   #299
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
yep i just made the argument to show how silly this DOF wish is getting

My 645 with 4 lenses a WL a prism finder a meter and 3 backs has set me back about $800, I have to shoot one hell of a lot of film before the 645D would make sense (or for that matter any of the FF options with the same FOV equivalent lenses)
There are other reasons I may like a 645D (AF, better metering, WR, ease of PP etc) but for what i use the 645 for there isn't much reason to go spend 14-15000 to get set up with the same lens FOV for the small return to me
If i pick the winning number in the lotto though i will end up with a few new camera (645D, M9, D3) and of course a whack of lenses
not holding my breath though
Every time I snoop ebay I get distracted by all the cheap 645 gear. I loved that camera when I borrowed one back in the late 80s or early 90s, and it's SO tempting. Then I see the 6x7s. That's scary tempting. And it's all so CHEAP.

Doesn't phase one make a digital back for the 645n?
07-11-2011, 11:52 AM   #300
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
... Most people who own full frame DSLRs "for the Image Quality" are in fact deluding themselves. As an example: I know a fellow who has a 5DmkII and a few L lenses. He shoots mostly outdoor events with ISO ~100-200, f-stop from 5.6-11. He frequently crops because his 300 f4 doesn't get him enough magnification.
That does seem to be a silly use of an FF system, if that's all he uses it for. 300 f4 on FF cropped, shot at low apertures... he'd be better off shooting a 200 2.8 on the 7-D or D60.

I would have said that perhaps he's at least he's taking advantage of great AF lock and tracking, but that's a 5dII he's shooting, and.... (duck)

QuoteQuote:
So, to be very clear and pedantic, I meant: Many people believe they need FF (in a *technical sense* ) to make the images they want to make, and believe so erroneously.
For a good many shooters, that's probably true. Looking at in the other way: a lot of aps-c shooters have convinced themselves that there's no real advantage to FF, erroneously.

Also I wasn't implying that you need to get more pedantic, I was trying to highlight that the 'aps-c is good enough for anyone, you don't need FF' argument that often gets used against FF is missing the point. The Ford Focus or Ford Escape is good enough for anyone, also, but that doesn't make upper-end car models unnecessary and unwanted. (danger - danger - never-ending one-up car analogy subthread begins...)

If I were a PJ needing the fastest AF lock, I wouldn't consider anything other than the D700 currently - maybe the D300s. If I were shooting in a studio primarily, I'm guessing a K-5 + DA* 55 1.4 would probably get me 90% of the way to the 1DsIII + 85 1.2. As a dad chasing kids, family and friends around, I enjoy the benefits of both formats, but would like to get some of the benefits of aps-c (smaller, somewhat affordable) in a FF package from one vendor who happens to provide the best small FF lenses - Pentax.






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Last edited by jsherman999; 07-11-2011 at 12:18 PM.
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