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Are Nikon and Canon falling behind in view of Sony launches?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by P_Stoddart, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    In an ideal world, you should only stop down as much as you need to. If the nearest detail is about 2 to 3 metres away, then it could be that f5.6 or 8 is sufficient, depending on lens focal length setting, distant detail, cloud movement, etc.

    I remember a photo by a now-famous and by then well-established landscapist where he was moaning in the extended magazine caption about wind movement in some rather distant foreground grasses. The light levels were obviously good but the chump had stopped down to f22 on a wide angle lens for the shot! :rolleyes:
  2. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I think with pixels that it is a case that some pixels are created more equal than others. You get sensors that may have a similar no. of sites but one performs better than another. Other factors may come into play as well - physical architecture (depth of pixel well, its shape, etc), and maybe (surely they do?) the chip architecture and the firmware will influence outcomes as well. And is it not possible that some inherent characteristics in a manufacturer's lens range (if lens designers are allowed by the 'suits' to put that sort of thing in them these days) may be great with one sensor and then not so happy with another?
  3. mikeparker59

    mikeparker59 Well-Known Member

    I see Sony seem to be starting a pixel war again. Do we really need 24MP I ask myself?

    I've printed to A3 from a Canon 300D which IIRC was a 6MP camera and the shot is fine, admittedly a B&W night shot but perfectly adequate for hanging on my wall. OK you can crop more with more pixels, but I'd rather get it right in camera first.

    Of course more pixels means bigger file sizes which means more time spent in front of the pc downloading your shots, and the need for bigger hard drives to store your work.

    As far as the EVF is concerned it gets a thumbs down from me, I'd much prefer a good old fashioned mirror and pentaprism. I'd even settle for a pentamirror over an EVF.

    So what advancements in camera design would I like to see to keep Canon or Nikon in the lead, not that I think Sony will overtake their dominance; after all Sony are a general electronics company with no real heritage in photo equipment, unlike their competitors. I have a friend who buys Sony everything, but when it came his first DSLR, although briefly tempted with the Sony name went for a Canon. I digress.

    I would like to see improvements that make a real difference to the quality of the images produced. A sensor with greater dynamic range that has the ability to get sky detail and foreground detail in one shot without faffing with filters, and more 'film like' jpgs straight out of camera.

    Sensors that don't attract any dust at all would be fantastic, and a simple reset button to quickly return the camera to a user's specified default settings.
  4. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    Just as Nikon's top APSc camera uses the 16.2MP Sony sensor, as does Pentax, you can expect their next APSc to use the Sony 24.3MP sensor. Nikon needs to do so to catch up. No heritage, never heard of Minolta?

    Have you tried the Sony a77? Equally have you ever tried a full frame. The mirror slap restricts you to a single exposure before wildlife is scared away by the noise and then there is vibration to contend with and limited shooting rate..
  5. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    It is misleading to say that cameras with high pixel counts have problems when stopped down. It is simply that diffraction begins to limit resolution beyond a certain point. You could compare it to high ISO. If you need high ISO to get a particular shot you use it and accept that the image isn't going to be as good as at low ISO. Similarly if you need to stop down, say for depth of field, you do so and accept that it might not be quite as good as at the optimum aperture. You may want to use a lens fully open or fully closed, we all know that the two ends are not optimally sharp but we may choose to use them for particular effects. In all cases it is a progressive thing. Your camera doesn't suddenly fall over a cliff as soon as you turn it to f8.0.

    Usefull reading here , particularly the last paragraph on the first page.
  6. mikeparker59

    mikeparker59 Well-Known Member

    Yes I've heard of Minolta, even owned one once, and a Pentax, both failed to function correctly soon after warranty expired! Anyway these new cameras are being touted being 'completely Sony' despite the Minolta Legacy still being there. At least Sony sell them under their own name rather than pretend they are still Minolta... badge engineering I believe they call it.

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Sony cameras, I'm sure they produce perfectly good results, and yes I expect Nikon will use the new 24MP sensor as they are known to put Sony sensors in their cameras.

    My point is most amateurs, even keen amateurs don't REALLY need huge MP sensors or even the fast fps. As has already been said for sports photography anticipating the action and shooting a single shot at the correct time is, if nothing else, more rewarding, than just happening to get the shot by luck with machine gunning.

    I'm still not convinced by the evf, sorry, so what if the mirror flips up and the viewfinder goes blank at the time of shooting? You've already committed to taking the shot by then, just as you would have done if you could still see the viewfinder image.

    Vibration from mirror movement, can be countered using mirror lockup, which I admit is no good for any action photography, but fine for landscapes.

    The question is still will Canon and Nikon need to catch up, maybe for the amateur market, where people want the newest, fastest most featured camera, but as for the Pros who have invested their favoured system, I think Canon and Nikon don't need to worry too much just yet.
  7. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Perhaps it could be compared to shooting handheld too? I mean what's the point of knowing what shutter speed you can handhold if you're doing things properly.

    Using IS and chancing your luck with the shutter speed also tends to result in less than optimum sharpness but shooting that way appears to be a rather popular passtime for many, me included :)
  8. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Nobody said it did fall off a cliff. What we did say with the use of >these< images, is that old conventions like 'the higher aperture the sharper' may not be applicable any more for what most people have been demanding more MP for: cropping. Most persons i have read needing more MP have been in the belife that using it will give them more detail in their excessive crops. Will the diffraction resolution extinction point end up softening all the detail they thought they were going to get? Take a look at those test images shot at f5.6 and f10 and compare the f10 sony to the f10 canon with similar MP but larger photo sites raising the diffraction ceiling. The lens diffraction becomes apparent earlier (Using the web page you directed me to the calculation is that it starts being noticeable at f7.4 as opposed to the Canon 5dmkII's f12) and it really looks like its robbing detail there.

    Might i direct you to a paragraph in the conclusion of page 2 in which it states "a 20MP camera that requires an f-stop beyond its diffraction limit could always downsize its image to produce the equivalent from a 10MP camera that uses the same f-stop (but isn't yet diffraction limited)." If downsizing is a serious answer, really what is the point of using such a crowded sensor in the first place? You get larger file sizes and the fun of downsizing every image? If anything this has made me appreciate my meagre 12mp even more than i did.

    All that said, i must state that with the excellent replies form other forum users i've had on this issue since the launch of the sensor, i feel i may have originally been a little overzealous on the diffraction issue - most amateurs who will not print large (or print at all, photography is very screen based these days) and will not crop to excess will probably never notice its effects. Perhaps i am a perfectionist...

    ...But i do believe it still stands as a point of contention for those enthusiasts who have been calling for it for cropping (you must bear in mind they aren't satisfied with current APS-C sensor sizes at present standing from 12mp to 18mp). Its not a camera destroyer of an issue, but i seriously don't think this a sensor with this pixel pitch is the answer for those who have been asking for more mega pixels without new lens technology which removes the diffraction effect. As i originally stated in the first a77 thread, I am still very tempted by this camera, its a great piece of kit and if nothing with an optical viewfinder came along to better it i could see myself using it in a few years time.

    I am quite sure in the fullness of time my concerns will prove to be either unfounded or simply not that big an issue. I look forward to the AP full sensor test.
  9. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

  10. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Interesting. That report bridge both issues ie the smartphone murder of compacts as well.

    But it does say it is not too late. But it is a dangerous gamble. Because of the lens issues. Once a buyer has a CSC and say 3 to 5 lenses they are not going to change systems same as a dSLR owner would not. So you lose that customer for a number of years.

    Fujifilm interestly have hinted at a CSC again.

    But my OP is coming from the technology issues in that Sony at this time hold the crown of the highest performing camera with interchangeable lenses that is similar to a dSLR. So it comes down to a makers flagship. If say Sony do kick out a FF 48MP 15fps SLT bells and whistle camera in time for the Olympics say.

    Will pros jump ship? Could we see crowds of press sport photographers with Sony on their cameras?

    Not Canon or Nikon.

    Remember cameras are just tools to pro photographers nothing more surely. One phone call they can have any kit they need. Because it is bread and butter thing. If anything they will test the kit to see if it is viable or gives them a edge I would have thought.

    PS: Thanks for the link.
  11. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    That's similar to what BSA, Matchless, AJS, Norton and Triumph were saying in the late 1950s re: motorcycles, and British Leyland in the 1970s re: Cars.

    If you do not keep up with technology, you will fall behind, and good EVFs seem to be the latest technology. I have been forecasting the decline of the optical viewfinder (and hence the flipping mirror) for some time and Sony seem to have produced an EVF which can replace the optical viewfinder.

    All we need now is for these high resolution EVFs to be introduced into bridge cameras (whose EVFs, without exception are truly awful) and compact system cameras (some of whom, e.g. Panasonic G1 and G2 have reasonable EVFs already) and sales of DSLRs to the amateur photographer will fall. So yes, Canon and Nikon SHOULD be worried - sales to professional photographers alone will not be enough to keep the wolf from the door.
  12. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    Don Morley (sports photographer) used to have a column in the now defunct SLR Camera magazine back in the early 80's or thereabouts.

    I remember that he switched to the OM system and loved it. But eventually he switched to Canon, specifically the New F1. He said he loved Olympus, but it was a commercial decision, as Canon had fast aperture telephotos and Olympus didn't, and if they guy next to him was using Canon he was at an advantage. He went on to appear in Canon print ads.
  13. mikeparker59

    mikeparker59 Well-Known Member

    I loved my OM2SP, but went for Canon when I decided to move over to autofocus. I'd dearly love to go back to Olympus but have invested a lotta money in Canon lenses and flash. Any chance of Olympus catching up I woder??
  14. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    I loved my OM1!

    Unfortunately, I don't see Olympus doing much in the SLR area - unless, conceivably, there's a large version of the 4/3 sensor ...
  15. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Really surprise me about Olympus that have such strong brand name.

    I am fairly sure if you ask the average person over say 30 to name some camera brands they will say Olympus at some point because of the Bailey advertising from the 80/90s.

    They should get back in there and produce a full frame camera.

    They seem to be downgrading themselve to consumer level cameras only. :(
  16. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Jon Nicholson was 'doing a DM' with Olympus DSLRs but I understand he's switched for new major work to a F/f DSLR from Canon or Nikon, Nikon I think. That would probably be for higher ISO, lower noise and pixel quality reasons.

    Olympus need to upgrade their sensor pretty smartish. No need for more pixels or other changes - just a better sensor with improved light management all round. They can give all the camera models an 'S' suffix to their nomenclature.

    But will they do it? Money should not now be a problem. The residual effects of earthquake and tsunami may still be affecting industry across Japan. And did I hear they had another 'quake but in the west of one of the islands? I really feel for those guys.

    I had some dealings with Don in the 1970's - a great photographer and 'character' and sadly overshadowed by the other AllSport folk in later years. He actually dabbled with Contax kit at one point - I think alongside his Canon gear - because he won a major photographic competition in the late '70's and it was the prize. I was glad to discover recently that he had recovered from some health problems and was happy playing with motor bikes in retirement and occasionally showing and talking about his photographs. :)
  17. mark_jacobs

    mark_jacobs Retired

    OT & at no post in particular, hence last post reply, all this Olympus/marque chatter is most disheartening :( ;)

    I've just secured a (mint) Oly E-450 (follows the MESuper and Fuji bridge that she has had for two years) for my daughter. She has just started a 6th form photography course.

    Have I ruined her chances before she's begun? :p

    Will she have to hang her head in shame? Will I be drummed out of the Canikopensonoly fanboy club? ;)

    Or will she hopefully, eventually take a well composed (and exposed) - despite the marque stuck in front of her face (she insists upon a viewfinder) - photograph?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  18. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    No of cause not. :D

    But it shows that Olympus have no excuse not produce a FF SLR.

    If they can knock out 4/3 ones. :)
  19. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Nah! But the Leica louts might come lookin' for ya! :eek:
  20. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    You've obviously succeeded in instilling some values into the next generation! :)

    I also use an ME Super and a Fuji bridge, amongst others! :)

    As to Olympus, well, 82% ain't bad... :D

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