BTw folks nice discussion and I know any and every make and model in the industry has claimed to be close to MF in the past . Frankly I think that was all BS in years past. This one is actually pretty close. I'm a huge MF fan too but this one picked my nose up off the turf. LOL
Maybe this is not the time. We'll see. Maybe the gap haven't really become smaller than previous rounds, but rather that the absolute quality level is now considerably higher. The higher it gets the more say "good enough".
What I personally hope will happen is that the MF manufacturers are put under some pressure so they are forced to come up with a way to sell MFDBs at lower costs. I rather see that than a 54x41mm CMOS sensor (although that would be cool too). I'm not sure if it is possible though, but I do think that we could have a pretty large tech camera hobbyist group doing landscape if it is. If MF was only 2x more expensive it would be much easier to justify subtle arguments like "I like 4:3 better than 3:2", and "mechanical copal shutters are kind of cool"
Not sure about finishing it as many institutions outside of the Pro and Hobbyist exist like libraries and government are a big part of the MF market too which we need to understand but again they do need to reinvent themseleves as well. Its not just the costs either its the whole dynamics of it. I can tell you what someone said to me in the industry directly and he is dead on. Nothing is made in the 10K range that he could not fill a zillion orders on.
Everyones wants MF or the quality of MF that is not the issue its the cost of entry that puts a Nikon smack in the middle of the fence as a tipping point. The last line is from me. i think that is truly the crux of the matter.
Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
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Not that this kind of comparison is not useful, but it becomes matterless when the camera/image quality segment has grown much faster than the media that requires them, so we are talking about existing prosumer tools already capable of making quality of pro tools just a few years ago, so many professional are in fact residing on what works for them rather than continue to ride on the best.
Sure, there are always need of better tools and it won't stop and probably the medium format digital will always be better but then the margin over FF DLSR is smaller and smaller, to a point it really demands capable hands to make meaningful difference.
In fact, we are in a time with tools (even some of the prosumer ones) with quality far beyond the masters of the past have or even dream.
Photographic artwork collected by museums seldom just focus on absolute sharpness or demand the very best lens to product such art - says we do have a breathe of room doing whatever we have today.
But then, photography is not just the file, it is also the process making it, so the tool does matter, just that if the best tool and best work are related? Not really.
The reality is D800E could probably do 90% of the photography jobs in the world while H4D40 could do only 15% - and some of the best pay jobs are done by FF DLSR. I know only very few photographers who only shoot medium format, most of the pros have a Canon or Nikon besides them.
They are different. It is a threat from FF DLSR to medium format digital camera, not the other way around.
I just think the 35mm shooters are relieved. With Sony making 24MP APS sensors rivaling 35mm cameras, the 35mm crowd had to increase resolution by 25% and go to 37MP just to stay relevant. With the new crop of APS cameras with their pixel resolution and price, it is getting hard to justify the cost of 35mm.
Last edited by Shashin; 14th August 2012 at 14:46.
It's now 10 years since the firs 35mm DSLR, the Contax N Digital, became available with 6MP. The D800 has 6 times the number of pixels and is in another universe when it comes to high ISO, frame rates, general usability etc. If the development continues at the same speed, we'll have a 60MP Nikon 1 and a 220MP Nikon D900 in 2022, and they'll probably not be more expensive than the current 10 and 36MP models. Obviously, they will have features that we can't even dream about today.
Hasselblad, Phase1 etc. will have to do something far more radical than increasing the number of pixels and general image quality to survive that trend.
You know, there is nothing we can do to change that fact light is a wave. To extrapolate in a linear fashion assumes that pixel size can be reduced to an unlimited extent without any effect is not possible. Optics will never be able to keep up either--technology cannot change this because of the physical limitation to light. While I don't mind optics-limited systems except for the inefficient use of file size, pixel peepers are going to be driven nuts....If the development continues at the same speed, we'll have a 60MP Nikon 1 and a 220MP Nikon D900 in 2022...
Digital is new and growing. But sooner or later it will reach a wall.
Now, I do a lot of optical microscopy. There is a definite limit to what you can image under an optical microscope--which is the reason we also have atomic force microscopes and electron microscopes. There is a type of optical microscopy that is looking into nano-imaging. This is the field that is trying to push the boundaries of the limits of optical microscopy, however, the results as far from what you would expect from the photography that folks think of here. Those are also closed system that would be impossible to scale up as the phase properties of light cannot be used in a simple camera.
You may think that you can have an infinitely small pixel, but then what records the light? No photon strike, no information.
You also may think the optics can have unlimited resolution, but how do you get away from the effects of diffraction? The problem of eliminating diffraction from a camera lens is that without diffraction, you cannot get an image (images are diffraction patterns).
While it is great to see enthusiasm for technology, it is also important to realize we live in a physical universe that has definite limits. Especially with basic things as light--light has been one of the most studied phenomena and it will take more than a camera company to figure out how to change it. While advances in some very specialized imaging such as recording the motion of light or turning apparently opaque surfaces into clear or reflective surfaces seem revolutionary, and they are stunning, they are hardly changing our view of how light works. Rather we are simply getting better tools to solve these problems.
I don't care what gear I have.
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Great discussion (really, it has been)... but it makes my decision to shoot film for a few months all the more comforting.
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I certainly understand their are many shooting styles and end goals when creating images, and for many a dSLR fits them much better. But that doesn't mean everyone should fit that mold, does it? So I simply offered a different point of view coming from a long time MF shooter ... both film and digital since the first 16mp Kodak DCS back.
I never said the d800 was a "bad" camera. I just stated I struggle getting what I want out of the files (I'm not alone in that) and I haven't found any opportunities as of yet to choose using it in place of the DF/IQ180 (and that's not a tech camera, tried that and until they get good LiveView I won't try it again). That doesn't make it bad ... but if both are ready to go, then the reason I would take the Nikon is it offered me something that I needed and couldn't get out of the MF. There are many circumstances I can think of (ISO, telephoto reach, macro, Live view focusing, exposures over 45 seconds are a few reasons the Nikon would be prefered). Shooting more images isn't a reason, since I"ll probably create about the same number of images no matter which system I'm using. The Nikon isn't "faster" for me to use.
If I find myself only rarely doing so it doesn't make much sense to keep the system. In those circumstances the NEX delivers pretty dang good results and actually accomplishes a goal the Nikon really doesn't although ... small and light. As I said my Nikon bag is only 3 lbs lighter than my PhaseOne DF bag. My NEX bag however, even with the Zeiss primes is substantially lighter.
As far as your statement that you saw "one" large print that managed to look "OK" from a 10 mp camera so printing large isn't worth putting in the discussion ... I'm not really sure what to say to that. I print hundreds of images each month through my store and I have seen hundreds of customers try to stretch their poor resolution images to well past the breaking point. (I also have hundreds of images from lower res cameras myself). A rare image can really go a long way .. usually because it has no real detail to speak of. But the difference between a 40x60 from a d800 and a 60 or 80mp digital back is readily apparent in a vast majority of images. That doesn't make the d800 prints bad, they just aren't as clean. Go to 90" and even the IQ180 images struggle to look "clean" and not digital.
Here my 2 euro cents !
I've received my D800E, just have to say that the lenses I had are useless : Nikkor D , was nice lenses, but for D800E, so bad. I bought the 85 1.8 G. Not so bad, but, the photos from my old H3D31 are far better (IQ speaking). You can't compare a H4D50 with a D800E.
Now, I don't regret my purchase, because, those two cameras are complementary : Hassy is wonderful for High IQ photos, landscape and every time I need to focus only on photos.
But D800E is fast, light and allows to take more natural photos.
But, I'm very interested to know what lenses I need to buy to get better results with my D800E.
Besides the rich hobby-guys I think there are some photographer who do not want to compete in the low/medium price battle of photographers and which do have a very high quality approach. Of course it is all about skills, but if gear helps to additionally impress customers than it is welcome.
If those people spend 25k for upgrading to a newer digital back which they can use for 24-36 months (the lenses even longer) than I would think the additional cost might not be the problem.
The biggest problem is not the camera and sensor or the photographer, the limitation is the entire printing industries can't deliver all the pixels we produce or the resolution of screen - even the retina display, has met what human eyes can best resolve and barely able to show the full image.
In this case, the continue development of course will not stop, because the flexibility to allow creative crop will increase, but then the dependence of high-end gear will eventually reduce because the media at the consumer end has more and more, and more options.
I love shooting stills and over the years have enjoying shooting with all the fun gears but I am also not optimized that the traditional capture will last forever as main stream production, they will probably never be totally replaced as LP, but shooting 5-8K 60-120fps day will come - in a handheld package perhaps with 5-stops IS and produce beautiful ISO 6400 files, cost not much more than 1DX or the H4D40.
All that does not mean the definition of quality changed, the old file I made with my P25 still look very good today, and I am certain the file from my P65+ and IQ180 will still be regarded very good 10 years later, but we are not in a world of only photographers, we are in a world of consumer that absolute best does not always matter, state of the art matters more.
I think there is a limit to how much resolution people care to have, and that we are close to that now. The problem for MF is that it may turn out that 135 DSLRs also can reach that limit. Is the D800 there? I don't know.
Full RGB pixels, non-linear response to drastically increase full-well capacity, less color cast issues I think is much more attractive features that increasing past 80 megapixels. It is harder to achieve though.
If we do start to see sensors with non-linear response (I have some vague memory that I've seen a sony patent) it may be possible to gather lots of photons in very small pixels, which means that we can get much higher image quality out of smaller sensors. Then it is about optics, I don't know how sharp optics can be made, but my feeling is that we are already pushing the limits of current lens manufacturing technology. Even if sensors develop we may be forced to stay with larger systems if optics cannot be made sharp enough for smaller sizes.
However, technology never seems to be a replacement for human creativity and sensitivity. 12fps has just never quite replaced the well seen, well timed still shot. Neither has 30 fps. The human psyche still has the capacity to be moved by the well seen, and well timed image. Shooting an amazing sunset at 120fps doesn't mitigate the act of choosing the one frame that says it all ... it just increases the burden of choice. In fact, it endangers the ability to select by pounding the senses into oatmeal.
The more practical aspects of "common" photographic capture may be under assault by encroaching auto-tecno-revolutions, yet there still exists many applications that benefit from lesser known existing technologies that require craftsmanship ... craftsmanship that affect the masses of viewers without them even knowing. They may subscribe it to technology because they want to believe anything is possible by anyone ... but it isn't, and never has been.
I think MF lenses and body prices are quite understandable, but I have never figured out why the digital backs must be so super-expensive. I know the sensors are expensive due to their large size, but a $4000 sensor makes it into a $40K digital back? Why must the rest cost $36K? It seems to me that the margin on backs is much much higher than margin on other MF gear.
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But so does the persistent quote of $40,000. I wonder how many have actually paid that much? I'm sure some have to be on the cusp for a few months or a year, and maybe so do institutions ... but really, $40K is the benchmark price?
A Hasselblad H4D starts at $12K for camera and back BEFORE working a deal with a reseller, $15K with a 35-90 before dealing. The CFV/50 is now $14K and prices for V camera gear is shamefully low. The biggest baddest Hasselblad specialty back on the planet including the camera body, the H4D/200 is $35K before any wrangling ... and LOT less if you have some decrepit old DB to trade in which can be had on e-bay for $2500.
Not to mention $10K for a Pentax 645.
Now, if you do not subscribe to the difference in the look and feel of MFD at any resolution, then it is all outrageous.
BTW, I'm all for low prices and as low as they can go while still allowing the companies to stay in business.
Reality is more like 30k or less as maybe a good average. Really only 1 or 2 backs that would cost more at check writing time. No one pays list.
Bottom line is you wont see radical cost changes this Photokinia is my call nor will we see anything announced in that 10k range new with some bite to it. My prediction.
Side bar. First time in 36 years a package from B&H is lost in the UPS black hole system. Still stuck in NY and not in my hands. I requested a reissue of my order to be overnighted to me. Let's see how they respond to this one. LOL
Zeiss 25 f2
Nevertheless, I would love for MFDB prices to drop, even if I took a beating on my initial "investment". Camera equipment (at least the electronics bits) is not an investment.
And your I Q 140 still is better than the D800 trust me been there done that test. Retire tomorrow my 2 kits would be a tech cam , 4 lenses and a M9 kit with 4 lenses. To me that would be my retirement package. Not sure who the hell is giving it to me, guess I still have to work for it. Lol
The competition was the big Aptus or the IQ160. Now if someone wanted to make a scaled down tech camera kit based on the D800E sensor - something about 4.5" on a side. THAT would be interesting. God knows what lenses would work, although the Canon 17 TS would be a start. But I'm drifting .
(Yes, I know - a 5DIII and a 17 TS lens would do the job. I just want to get rid of the mirror box, too.)
Last edited by MGrayson; 15th August 2012 at 08:46.
As far as science fiction goes, and the operative work is fiction, the secret to that is it is not a predictor of the future, but an extrapolation of known technology of the day. The warp drive was a device to make a TV show interesting because travel at light speed would have made the show longer than most people would want to watch, but the limits to the speed of light were known. All the technological advancements made in imaging has not changed the fundamental behavior of light. Thinking light will suddenly change its behavior in a macro world because we want it to is kind of like commanding the tide not to come in.
As far as the limits to human imagination, all of the technological developments you enjoy are the product of that imagination. I work with scientists who are doing things like imaging the change in states of atomic particles in diamonds. And doing this with light. It is funny that I work at the thresholds of what light can achieve and and see problems with your optimism with your extrapolation of photographic technology, but folks that don't even work with this stuff think that it is simply a problem of a lack of imagination. I know a lot of people who would be interested if you actually have a solution to some of these problems, even the presumably simple one of diffraction. If you just you could just solve that, the world would be an entirely different place.
Last edited by Shashin; 15th August 2012 at 06:56.
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The presentation technology is far behind the capture technology.
What I desperately need is not more capture resolution but more presentation resolution:
- either a new and more affordable printing technology for printing big
- or an ultra high resolution wall screen technology for presenting still photos with the captured details
Printing all my keepers big gets too expensive as it is now.
Yeah, I know I have said this before, but it cannot be said too often, can it
Maybe the industry will at some point wake up and smell some new business potentials.
The pixel race is becoming pointless--no pun intended.
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I am imressed you are leaking the news of the 560MP so early. Will that one come with the sensor stabilization to ensure of perfect solid stability of the pixels also on a steady tripod? Likewise will have to assume it is the new rumored plasma back that auto adjusts the physical size/dimension of the back and sensor itself from sensor size 645 to 4x5 pending on camera that it is mounted on, and with back being only 5.8mm thick and less than 150g, including satelite transfer of files direct to home computer no matter where it is worldwidde! I love Leaf for innovation and also saving weight on my Hy6 system with it!! Rotating sensor and full sized tilting plasma display to physically adjust to camera mounted on, and of course also for the new made in Germany Hy6 ten year anniversary model...
Just imagine the files with the future 4x5 image circle Digitar XXL lenses with the 560MP! WOW! Pixel binning of 18x18 pixel grids I assume for hand held shots to be steady, plus of course the sensor pixels layared same as ehh... Film??...
With above, what is need for DSLR??
Much thanks Leaf.........., bet you will offer an attractove upgrade from my 80MP back too, lovely! Please put me down for a serious preorder and have Gavin give me a call in ten years time !
Last edited by Anders_HK; 15th August 2012 at 11:49.
Should be here Thursday so I'm looking forward to some film fun at the weekend!
Last edited by GrahamWelland; 15th August 2012 at 19:35.
Just read the entire post...interestingly when I got past the part of certain people getting beaten with sticks I started to think how the conversation could be graphed! It starts with the obvious mines better than yours and winds up with scientific dreams. I personally get the most out of the posts that describe how it feels and what limitations there are to capturing images with this camera/ lens for a certain project because of how a camera or lens works.
Like the AF hunts and kills me when I'm shooting blabla...this and other limitations are much more important to me than the image. I want to here about how the equipment preformed as a tool and to what limits.
So in the past several pages I only read about the ease of the sy6 and the 800e with a lot of buttons. I guess I'm trying to say if the OP would have said my Sy6 is the best for being out at dawn shooting....because or it's the worst for shooting indoors because every time you have to...then we I could learn what camera really does what in certain situations and know from experience shooters what does or doesn't work for me and why.
Sorry not to offend anyone but I'm more into the tools for the right job at this point because the images are pretty close in print in a magazine these days.
There is a difference between a sharp cut and a skilled cut. I find it interesting how long larger formats were used by professional and advanced amateurs without the technology put into the small formats. Do we rely on the technology or our skills to make images? Personally, the photographers that inspired me were able to use very unsophisticated cameras to get amazing results. I learnt the reason I was or was not successful was not because of the tool.
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This same size pixel on a larger sensor could be used just like you say. The only stretch might be processing resources.
The result could be something like a 56 megapixel full frame camera that has 224 2-micron photosites, or the equivalent in a larger format.
Here's a chart illustrating snr benefits of binning in microscopy. I don't know how to do the math needed to estimate the dynamic range improvements, but they should be substantial.