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Will, Canon, Nikon etc Ditch APS-C sensors in favour of Full Frame

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by hodgo, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    I give up Brian, you old-stuck-in-the-mud :D

    So I'm not he only one who still writes letters then? :D

    I thought I was.
  2. hodgo

    hodgo Well-Known Member

    Hi All

    Searching the web I this article Canon EOS Forum: Future Sensor Sizes - Canon's Westfall... - photo.net

    I know a lot can change in year (This was December 06) but the general consensus seems to be that 1.6x & Full Frame are likely to co-exist with the 1.3x APS-H being the most likely to go of the 3 formats.

    As I say this was a year ago & who knows whats changed since then, but thinking about it does make an awful lot of sense.

  3. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    No. APS-C and FF for digital seem to be as 135 and 2 1/4 are to film.The larger format will be always better and the smaller one be more than enough for most enthusiasts. The four thirds digital will go the way of APS film. It has alresdy failed for the enthusiast, and will be eclipsed by the camera phone for the many, as will the compact.
  4. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    I see that the latest Nikon automatically senses what format lens is fitted and sets itself up to suit. Proof if any were needed that Canon have a fight on their hands. Interestingly, I read on another site that Canon (rumour) have a "fix for the EF-S lens issue." So, could a FF / APS-C (EF-S compatible) Canon be offered at some time in the future? Perhaps as a replacement for the 40D replacement (rumour again but another site reports that Canon have both 400D and 40D updates ready to go to do battle with Nikon as early as next year.)
  5. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    If they go to a non-swinging mirror the problem wouldn't exist. But it isn't possible for a normally hinged FF mirror to swing up out of the light path without hitting the rear of an EF-S lens.
  6. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    As I recall it's accredited to a Canon source, but we won't know for sure until or when it's officially announced. If Canon didn't have a fix the EF-S format might become limited in appeal in the future. With the Nikon camera having switchable lens format modes it's possible that this feature may drift down into the Canon 40D type market segment. Time will tell I suppose.
  7. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    There's a clue in your answer - "normally hinged". How about an up-and-over design like a garage door?
  8. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Yeah, they could do a sort of complicated mirror action which moves the rear pivot back first (in which case I hope it's properly tested before being inflicted on us poor consumers!), or (as I suggested before) go for a fixed "pellicule" mirror. The reason why Canon have this issue and others don't is that the EOS mount flange to focal plane distance is less than the other manufacturers' mounts - the other side of this is that we Canon users can get cheap converters which allow us to fit everyone else's lenses to our cameras, without extra glass or losing infinity focus.

    I can see that, but surely the EF-S lenses have marketing advantages viz. lower price, smaller size and less weight. Not that it bothers me as a 5D owner.
  9. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    At the moment I'm a fan of EF-S lenses as they've been specifically designed to get the best performance / cost / packaging from the APS-C system and that appeals to me. But, if there is a market drift towards FF and Canon follow it EF-S lenses could look less attractive and could be unusable at some point in the future on some future 40D replacement IF that camera was full frame and IF it couldn't accept EF-S lenses.

    There's obviously a lot of if's and mayby's there but I can imagine Canon's competitors wanting a bigger slice of the market and going FF. We already have Canon, Nikon and I believe Sony too. OK the FF models are above the 40D sector at the moment but that situation may not last. Time will tell and the thought of a full frame camera with a switchable APS-C mode interests me.

    BTW if I was looking to buy an EF-S lens this speculation wouldn't put me off, I don't think anyone should worry too much what might be on the market at some point in the future, best enjoy what's best today.

    Another thing is if Canon have some clever mirror system in mind I wonder if it'll be loud. My 20D is loud enough and is significantly louder than the 10D I had for a while.
  10. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    How so?
  11. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Well, a FF mirror obviously needs to be about twice the areas of an APS-C mirror, so you would expect it to be about twice the weight - maybe a bit more to keep the same stiffness. To keep the same delay in clearing the optical path it needs to move about 40% faster, so the energy in the mirror movement will be approx. 3x bigger. That energy has to be dissipated somehow; some will be dissipated as sound, though how much depends on how efficient the buffers are. My 5D is not loud, the buffers obviously work pretty well.

    Buffering a "garage door" mirror may be harder than buffering a simple hinged type. I'm sure the problems can be solved but I'd be more concerned about maintaining the correct positioning of the mirror when in place for viewing, this is very critical. Also whether the extra complexity would lead to more wear, or shedding of lubricants, which could dirty the sensor.

    OTOH a pellicule type mirror has no moving parts and is therefore silent. (The shutter can still make a noise though!) The downsides are a duller viewfinder image and less light reaching the sensor (which negates the image noise advantage of the larger sensor). Against that, no viewfinder blackout when a shot is taken. Sensor cleanliness cuts both ways, the pellicule would protect from dust entering through the lens aperture when changing lenses, but any contamination from internal wear would be very much harder to deal with. Finally a pellicule might be very fragile, maybe even a blast from a rocket blower would wreck it.
  12. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Hmm. there's still Kodak Avantix in APS cans in my local Sainsbury's. If they weren't selling any I guess the shelf space would be used for something else. Supermarkets aren't in the business of catering for minorities; I can't remember the last time I saw sheet film on sale in a retail outlet.

    Oh Lord, here we go again. Please note that I'm trying to upset no-one. However this is the logic that I used when plotting my first DSLR.

    I have an emotional attachment to Olympus, having been an OM system user for 25 years. I nearly bought an E-1 when it first came out. I was very impressed by the image quality even though the 5 megapixel sensor was a limiting factor for making large prints. I was put off by the size and weight (in relation to the physical size of the sensor, and in comparison with OM system bodies), and decided to hang back.

    The low end Olympus DSLRs did not excite me, mostly because of sensor noise issues apparently resulting from playing the numbers game with megapixels. I thought seriously about this, decided that full frame was the way to go, checked out what the Canon 5D could do and that I was comfortable handling it, and bought one.

    If this is the way that others are drifting then the four-thirds system clearly has a marketing problem. OTOH the four-thirds cameras that are on the market now are capable of producing good images in good light providing you don't want huge enlargements, and that's all a lot of amateurs require.

    Personally, as I said earlier in this thread, I do think four-thirds has a future, providing it doesn't try to be something it isn't. Meanwhile, if Olympus want to capture a significant slice of the top end of the market, I'd advise them to devote some of their considerable innovative design skills to production of a full-frame DSLR range to run in parallel with, not replace, their four-thirds line.
  13. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    In a way they have because IIRC all the digiboxes from the 300D onwards that are compatible with EF-S lenses have a mirror that shifts backwards slightly as well as swinging up (albeit not as much as FF requires) which is why they have rather noisy actions compared to the earlier models - my D30 is whisper quiet compared to it's 20D sister camera.
  14. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I'm not actually sure there is any real threat to Canon here. Yes the D3 has this auto DX lens crop feature but I suspect it's almost a by product of the same high speed crop function available in the D2x. I honestly don't see D3 owners deliberately buying DX lenses because of this feature and nor do I see anyone moving up to FX from DX keeping their smaller framed lenses for any significant length of time. Why buy a full framed camera and then throw away the advantages by crippling it with a small frame lens that doesn't use the whole sensor?

    The only EF-s lenses that I would say are really essential are the 10-22 and 17-85mm anyway, normal EF lenses seem more than adequate to cover every other situation. Any one using an AP-S format camera alongside a FF one could probably manage quite happily with the 10-22 alone (for the wide angles) and just use the normal EF lenses they are carrying for the FF camera for everything else...
  15. hodgo

    hodgo Well-Known Member

    I'm in agreement with you on this Alan, though I have to say over the next few months I'd like to buy a Wide Zoom Lens in the range of 10 - 20 or thereabouts, & while I agree that you should just enjoy whats around now, I have to think about this seriously as I'm unable to work due to disability, so If my camera packed up I maybe could afford to replace it at a struggle, but no way could I afford to replace my lens collection, that would just price me out of using an SLR altogether, so as it stands at present I'm seriously thinking of buying lenses that are FF compatible, which narrows the choice of affordable lenses down considerably.

    If I knew via a reassurance from the manufacturers that both APS-C & FF will continue side by side I'd probably not think twice about it, and thats a big issue they have to address because while there are some folks for who replacing camera & lenses may not be a problem, for the vast majority it would be a disaster. The manufacturers may need to keep up with the competition, but they have a moral obligation to look after those that have spent hard earned cash on their existing products, which have gone towards giving them their profits.

  16. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    El Sid - One application in which being able to select an APS-C mode would possibly be handy is if taking a long zoom shot, a 1.6x factor on a 70-300 might come in handy if you're happy to take the shot in APS-C mode rather than FF.

    hodgo - If you're looking for a wide lens I'm sure that you're already aware of the Sigma 12-24. I have one and I've used it quite a bit. Using filters is difficult and you can get some fringing on high contrast shots but on the whole I'd recommend it. I've often gone out with my 12-24 on my camera, as my only lens for the day.
  17. hodgo

    hodgo Well-Known Member

    Yes I've been looking at the Sigma 12 - 22 Lens, although I've been slightly put off by a couple of reviews I've seen which said stick to Canon Or Nikon as the Sigma is pretty poor build quality, yet at the same time there are some really good reviews so I'm slightly confused as what to do, could you reassure me a little as I find it's best to speak to people who've actually gone out & used these things on a regular basis.

  18. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Perfectly acceptable

    On the face of it there doesn't appear to be a significant size advantage it's true. What needs to be remembered is that that Olympus were trying to balance size in relation to providing (near) Telecentric lens design which required a larger, in relation to film lenses, lens mount for a given sensor size. The size resulted not from the sensor size but from the required lens mount size. The balancing act involved image circle, lens mount, sensor size. Of course they could have used a sensor equal in size to 35mm [i[but[/i] by their reckoning to maintain Telecentricity the lens mount would have needed to be significantly larger than the size required for 35mm film. Even so when you compare the E-1, the largest 4/3rds model up untill now with it's then competition, even the Canon 10D and Nikon D100 when fitted with lenses giving a similar angle of view then the E-1 is indeed lighter/smaller.

    See Here

    As you will know, once you start to fit a Telephoto lens whether zoom or prime, again giving a similar angle of view, the size advantage becomes extreme. For example the largest Zuiko Digital lens is the 300mm f/2.8 prime, it weighs 3290g 129mm x 281mm, on an APS-C camera you'd need to use a 400mm lens, e.g. 400mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S II NIKKOR 4800g 160 x 352 and on a full frame, Canon EF 600mm f4L IS USM 5,360g 168 x 456mm. Thats a heck of a difference if you can afford to sacrifice 2 stops iso.

    They do appear to have a marketing problem, apart from 4/3rds being unique the photographic press have been lukewarm at best and downright misleading at worst. Why that should be I've no idea, why should a feature be treated with indifference on an Olympus and treated as a plus point when it's finally adopted by Canikon?

    There are Professional photographers using the E-System successfully, :cool:

    I don't think they've ever tried to be something that they aren't, it's the press and public that try to directly compare them with Canikon, highlighting the downsides but never mentioning the positives. Lets face it 4/3rds is just as valid in comparison to 'Full Frame' as 35mm is to Medium Format. No one seemed to mind the compromise involved by using 35mm rather than Med Format, Press and public alike.

    I think the problem is how do you make a 35mm frame sized system, while sticking to the 'Designed for Digital ethos? If they did however start off with a sensor equal in size to the rest they'd be in a very good position, as it is they're pretty close in real terms to Full Frame, certainly closer than 35mm is to Medium Format. What would it be, 2-3 stops disadvantage with regard to high iso performance, maybe a stop Dynamic range? I'm not sure. Imagine what they could achive with a sensor 4 times the area or photosites 4 time larger than what they currently use. :D

    I however don't want to see them abandon 4/3rds to go 'Full Frame' I can already buy Full Frame if I want, if the E-System is dropped where do I go for something that offers the same size advantage? If the only difference is the name on the Prism housing, which is pretty much the case with APS-C do we need 6 different brands, lets just all pick the one that the press say is the best, the others can declare themselves bankrupt.

  19. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    On the other hand you could simply take the shot in FF and crop it to suit in post production in the comfort of your own home and with all the time in the world to perfect the composition...

    If the crop mode offers some advantages in terms of frames-per-second (a la D2x) fine otherwise...?
  20. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    I own several Sigma lenses and I have no complaints. The 12-24 seems well built and it's an EX lens which means that it has a long warranty. I forget how much, two or three years. It has HSM and you get a nice carry case too. The hood is built in so you don't have to buy one.

    BTW - I've also owned a Canon EF-S 10-20 and it's my opinion that the Sigma is better finished and more pleasing to handle and is a better lens. I know that some say that the Canon is best but I can only speak from personal experience.

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