Hi everyone, I'm Dario, I often lurk in this forum and I wanted to share some thoughts with you people:
I love landscape photography, and I own various cameras, from digital APS-C, to 6x7, to 4x5", and as probably some may remember, I was the guy who had built a MF scanner-camera (like Betterlight) nearly from scratch. (and by the way, I'm in the process of making a new camera).
So I can say I'm "atheist" about cameras. I don't care about brands, I'm not a professional photographer so I'm not constrained to impress the client with a big camera with fancy name and all the other implications of choosing a camera for professional work.
Usually if I can't afford some equipment I search for a way to do what I'm intended to do, and my scanner-camera it's an example of this: I can't afford a MFDB so I've built one which serves at the same purpose (with of course all the downsides of being a scanner, but at a fraction of the price).
But I'm not here to tell you the story of my life, I just wanted to introduce me first, because I don't want to be misunderstood. Now with the topic:
Last week here in Europe a new Nokia smartphone entered the stores, the 808 Pureview: a "cameraphone" capable of taking 38MP images.
When I read the first news about the camera I was skeptic of course, but then I read more, and more, mainly beause I was interested in the production process behind the lens (because I wanted to make such lenses by myself, but bigger)and I realized that at that scale you can actually build an optically near perfect lens at extraordinary low cost, using molded plastic and all aspheric geometries.
The lens in the 808 is a 8mm f/2.4. The fast fixed aperture is dictated by the need of not being diffraction limited, and 2.4 is actually the diffracton limit of the pixels of the sensor, which is about 1/4 the size of an APS-C, and the 8mm lens has the same FOV as an 18mm on APS-C. To have flexibility in the exposure times, it uses an internal ND filter instead of closing the aperture.
I saw some full resolution samples and I was impressed. a bit too noisy but with such small pixels you can't expect noiseless pictures.
...So I bought the thing. And I'm testing it right now against my NEX 7, but I'm planning to test it against other and better cameras. I don't know anyone with a D800, let alone MFDBs... I have the scanner but it would be unfair even for an IQ..
In the next message I'll post some "real life" shots comparison, then in the next days I'll find some way to build a testing rig for dynamic range, color etc. (by the way if you have suggestions or request about it, let me know).
From what I have seen from these later cameras and even phones like this one, and from what I know about optics I can expect in 3-4 years small cameras (like m4/3 or smaller) with the same resolution, dynamic range, and overall picture quality as the best MFDBs on the market today, and we will see the today's MFDBs like we now see the those bulky DSLR of the early era of digital photography.
But high end photography it's about selling pictures and the photographer's image, look, and reputation are main issues, so I can expect lots of people who will probably choose some future technical camera, with bigger sensor etc. instead of buying the same boring 100MP compact camera like everyone else in 2016.
Imagine a situation where you can choose from a futuristic equivalent of a medium format digital camera, with a hundred of MP and some other great specs, with "traditional" lenses that barely can keep up with the sensor and costing tens of thousands for a kit, or a small camera with basically the same specs but with a ton of other features, like a smartphone, and a price factor of 1/15, what you will do?
I see a lot of people choosing the D800 over MF, what it would take for professionals to choose a smartphone-like kind of camera instead of a FF- DSLR?
I would really like to see what you people think about it.
Sorry if I've made spelling mistakes, english is not my language.
Reading my post I realized that it could be misleading, so just to clarify, I'm talking expecially about landscape photography, street photography, and eventually fashion shooting, not portrait or low light photograpy, where noise or depth of field are important issues)