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Thread: Nikon MX ?

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    Nikon MX ?

    Just posted in R Forum re: nikonrumours showing possible Nikon internal designer sketch of Nikon 'tweener body. Claim is reliable source. Other Nikon bodies and D3 prototype drawing shown for scale - is stylized drawing, but sucker has a BIG prism, mount and sensor....

    The WPPI (sic?) show this fall where adverts are suggesting something BIG from Nikon could be very, very interesting.

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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    If Nikon had come out with the D3X at photokina I might have higher hopes that 'something big' was the rumored MF 48x48 square mamiya 7 style camera.

    But the picture seems to have a rectangular sensor and looks more like the D3?

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Again, could be BS, but timing is right for leaks to start.
    Pictured sensor is rectangular and NR seems to indicate that new larger sensor would be something like 33x48 vs 48x48 sensor that seems to be the center of the MX rumors. May be unrelated to MX. The 'something big' adverts for WPPI (IIRC) would indicate SOMETHING is coming. I would think an S2-style unit would make more sense for more folks than a digital Mamiya 7II - most modern photogs have probably never even used a RF - greater probability of deeper market penetration with DSLR-style 'tweener me thinks.

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Follows a copy/paste from "Hasselblad at Photokina" thread in LL forum. I give this rumor 98% chance now.
    Eduardo

    "I am not under any NDA with Nikon at this time, but the coming of the MX format from Nikon is not much of a secret within the industry.
    Michael"

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Hoorah...bring on the competition.

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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    I would be all over a 48x48 sensor camera if the price were right..... especially if it can do the high ISO like the D3 can.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Interesting market segmentation, first Leica and then maybe Nikon inserting their products between 35mm and MF formats. I must say I have expected Canon to take this route several years ago.
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    O.K., I will take the bait on this one.... While this is interesting rumor, there are still some things that need to happen to make this sort of offering a "player", I think. Let's say Nikon is able to build a new MF-ish or full-blown MF body, depending on the size of the sensor, what happens beyond that? They would also need either a new line of glass to go with it, as nothing in their F mount would most likely ever work, or allow others to fit to it. And there-in lies a bit of a problem. Nikon (and Canon for that matter), would really need to step up their game to produce a line of glass that most folks looking to MF, higher resolution, etc., could be satisfied with. They have not shown much ability to produce that kind of glass for their present flagship camera line in the 35mm world. Sure, there may be a lens or two, but no consistency anywhere, except maybe on the really long glass, and that is not as hard to build as complicated short throw retrofocus stuff. Not trying to bash something that is only a rumor now, but just wondering how it would be received into a market that worries about lens quality with almost too much passion.

    Let's say that folks looking toward this kind of solution were a bit (?lot) less picky, and were buying on price alone, and maybe a few other features mentioned, such as really high ISO or something. How many folks would really give up something like their D3/D700 or maybe a new D3x with higher resolution to add this MX line? Or would this be used in addition to their present FX line?

    While the idea does sound interesting, and competition is good to see, there have to be a whole lot more pieces put into place besides a rumored sensor with no specs at this point. At least Leica, with its S2 system stepped out the right way, leading with their reputation for superb glass, and hoping to sway folks beyond specific sensor sizes in favor of a very functional and thought out system. I would venture that something like that would be required from Nikon also, unless they plan to start competing with the back makers for the MF market, and they do not even fab their own sensors.

    Again, not trying to dampen enthusiasm....just trying to understand how folks see this sort of scenario developing, and then asking seriously if folks would head this route?

    LJ

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    If true, I suspect it is the beastie, in a large part, behind recent Hassy moves 'to DSLR' the MFDB market.

    No issues with the argument re:glass. One could only hope that the new WA G zooms are indicative of what they would plan for their 'tweener. Launching a new glass line - no big a deal, actually less so, for Nikon vs. say Leica. Nikon has the economies of scale. There is also the chance (who knows) that they have an arrangement with another glass player.

    This would be in addition to FX. FF is becoming the new APS-C as sensor costs drop, MP counts on same approach MFDB territory and high-ISO ceilings on 24x36 start looking harder and harder.

    The MX tactic also gives them the ability to go at Canon from the top-down (until Canon enters anyway) -- snipe higher-end (1DS3esque) users who need/want the MP count on a large sensor and are starting to wonder what they're getting for their $8000 in a (now) 5DII world. With MX, they can do more than go after the 5DII in some stupid price war and have 'more' than the upcoming D3x to go after the 1Ds3 user with. Pick some cream off the top of the Canon installed base for as long as possible. get them switched and invested before Canon gets it's act together.

    If anyone is going to give the 'tweener/MFDB markets a hard injection of ice water in their pricing norms, it will be Nikon (or Canon). Their is not the same cache around the name Nikon as there is around Leica, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Sinar, etc and they will have a hard time pricing the gear at the same prices as the S2, lower-MP count Hassy units, etc. Some tough times and consolidation is probably inevitable among the existing MFDB players. I suspect the MX (and whatever Canon eventually releases) will be the Lexus & Infinity (vs. the Ferrari/Bentley/Lambo/Jaguar) of the luxo auto market.

    It's actually interesting how Nikon and Leica approach the market re: their respective strengths and weaknesses (greatly simplified):

    Leica
    -------
    (Pros): Lens reputation, no AA filter CCD (was with great advantage w/R10, but now all MFDBs are sans AA filter, so...).

    (Con): Economies of scale (almost bespoke shop), S&S structure/speed, price, distribution network size/presence, electronics in prior models, miniscule installed base of customers (vs. Cankon). Teething issues handling with M8, presence in rental shops.

    Nikon
    -------
    (Pros) - Economies of scale, distribution network presence, S&S structure, electronics, massive installed base of target customers, new market traction with D3 and D700, presence in rental shops.

    (Cons) - Lens quality (but improving with new WA Zooms), AA filters will be a no go - must walk, talk and chew gum like comparable MFDBs.

    A marriage made in heaven...
    Last edited by robmac; 1st October 2008 at 14:12.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    LJL - one rumor is that Nikon is prepping between five to ten lenses for a launch in March. As you point out, anything less would be foolish. And of course they would have to be good too. But I think Nikon has shown with its last few pro zooms that given a large enough budget they are able to deliver competitive glass by any standard.

    Now, if I was a camera manufacturer with, say, a 50 year old lens mount, surely I would think about upgrading that mount. And if I would drop backwards compatibility, why not consider a larger diameter and larger sensor for the high end SLR segment?

    With such a reason, a larger Nikon mount becomes not so much a competition for MF DB makers as a way to get a hold of the high end SLR market over Canon. Since Leica will likely follow its time-honored tradition of pricing itself out of the market, the playing field will be wide open for a high-end system priced moderately.
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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    I have serious doubts about a square sensor though - the mirror housing would have to be huge. I think Leica S2 has pointed the way with its 3:2 sensor.
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    They better start thinking CCD and no AA filters . i will NOT buy a screen door over my sensor.Period. LOL
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Many of us have. If we see a $2.7k usd camera with the same 21mp sensor of the flagship $8k camera, it means something else is going to happen. There is a lot of speculation that Canon will finally merge their 2 Series1 cameras. So, this is the right time for Canon to come with their "tweener" and feed the 8K plus market, which is already built. Detroit golden years used to do it all the time. Introduce a new car category with a new name. Every year load it with even more standard equipment, make it a little bigger and charge more.
    Eduardo

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Interesting market segmentation, first Leica and then maybe Nikon inserting their products between 35mm and MF formats. I must say I have expected Canon to take this route several years ago.

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    The square sensor doesn't make sense... but if you think no mirror, rangefinder for quick composing, use live view for critical focusing and composition, then it makes a lot of sense. It could get even better.
    A 36X36mm sensor could be implemented to be used with existing glass. You could shoot horizontal to vertical by just switching a thumb rocker button. You could even change orientation during raw conversion later on. And of course a new line of bigger lenses to cover 36X36mm.
    God, I should patent this!
    Eduardo

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    I have serious doubts about a square sensor though - the mirror housing would have to be huge. I think Leica S2 has pointed the way with its 3:2 sensor.

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Too many people are used to a 3:2. Changing the format, at least for the first go-round to a square would make it too odd ball for too many folks (as much as I've taken like cropping square). You could always have 36x48 with a 36x36 crop mode as well.

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    Member Jeff Turner's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    One thing already mentioned in other forums pre-Photokina but not brought up in this thread is that Nikon also has 3 new lens formulas that could easily be implemented for a larger sensor, even 48x48mm. These are the new T/S lenses that are really quite good and measure up with the recent WA zooms. Simply repackage them in a fixed barrel (ie: no T/S) and there you have 24mm, 45mm and 85mm. My experience with these lenses has been very good and I am looking forward to trying them on a higher rez camera than the D3.

    I also shoot medium format film and have been waiting in the wings for all the new developments in MFDBs which I plan on buying within the next year. I agree with Guy regarding the CCD technology and absolutely no AA filter. As good as the D3 files are, I really hate the mush that I see with them, and I think that really helps kill some of the 3D effects that I love in larger formats.
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Jeff that is pretty interesting about the TC lens formula's and yes they would have a bigger image circle, no question. They need to get with Dalsa or Kodak and get anyone of the chips already being made and build a body around it just like leica is doing. They certainly have the purse to make this a reality
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    LJL - one rumor is that Nikon is prepping between five to ten lenses for a launch in March. As you point out, anything less would be foolish. And of course they would have to be good too. But I think Nikon has shown with its last few pro zooms that given a large enough budget they are able to deliver competitive glass by any standard.

    Now, if I was a camera manufacturer with, say, a 50 year old lens mount, surely I would think about upgrading that mount. And if I would drop backwards compatibility, why not consider a larger diameter and larger sensor for the high end SLR segment?

    With such a reason, a larger Nikon mount becomes not so much a competition for MF DB makers as a way to get a hold of the high end SLR market over Canon. Since Leica will likely follow its time-honored tradition of pricing itself out of the market, the playing field will be wide open for a high-end system priced moderately.
    Lars,
    This could be the more interesting part. Is that brace of 10 lenses for something like this MX concept, or just rebuilds/new builds for the DSLRs. It would seem that like Leica, if they are going to field this sort of MF camera, they will have to have a new line of glass. While production may be more in Nikon's camp for scale, they still need something of high enough quality, and that will not be as easy, nor as cheap as folks are used to paying for Nikon glass now. (Just my feeling on that.)

    The idea of a larger mount is a must for this MX sensor, I would think as the present F mount just does not seem able to cut it for the needed image circle. (This was the road that Canon went down when they created the EOS line and dropped the FD lens mount. That was not without a lot of yelling and screaming from folks. However, that was introduced for a new EOS body that was still a 35mm SLR. This MX thing for Nikon would have to come to market as its own line, I would think. If Nikon was going to change the lens mount and try to serve both 35mm and MF, it would be very interesting for sure as a next gen gamble like we have not seen.)

    I may still be reeling from all the recent doom and gloom talk about economic markets, global futures, and all that stuff, but trying to create a new high end DSLR line right now seems like more than a gamble. If folks are already cringing at present prices, and those have been dropping, what kinds of features would a new say $6-10K body have to have, and what would those glass costs look like alongside? Both Nikon and Canon could probably do this with their deep enough pockets. The question is would they and what kind of return could they anticipate. Remember, the MF market segment is not all that big in comparison, so they would essentially be bringing something to market with the hope to significantly grow that entire market segment, as just stealing pieces from other players would never be enough.

    Interesting things to think about for sure. Having shot high end Nikon and Canon for almost all of my career, they build good 35mm stuff, but I think my expectations for MF might be higher, especially if the costs are for sure going to be higher.

    LJ

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Too many people are used to a 3:2. Changing the format, at least for the first go-round to a square would make it too odd ball for too many folks (as much as I've taken like cropping square). You could always have 36x48 with a 36x36 crop mode as well.
    Rob,
    I agree that this seems to be sort of a locked in thing, this 3:2 format for 35mm. Honestly, most folks wind up tossing a lot to get to formats for print in many cases. This could become a really new and creative approach....go with something more 5:4, as that is a lot closer for most printing needs. I actually started to think about Nikon possibly introducing something like a wedding photographer's dream camera for the MX concept. (That is purely a wild construct in my mind, and not something rumored that I know of, so nobody "run" with that, O.K.?) In this wedding photo fantasy world (and I am no longer doing that, so it may be moot for me and others, but interesting anyway), the camera would have speed (2-4 fps), good ISO range for studio through churches and such (100-1600 absolutely pristine clean, then bumping to 3200 for more "gritty" work), the 5:4 format geared for nearly straight to print sizing, lenses ranging from 35mm equivalent angles of 21-200 in fast glass, leaf and focal plane capable of course, etc., etc.

    I know that sounds like too specific a camera, but it really could be pitched as a niche thing for distinction, while still working well for most other needs too. Sorry to have gone "marketing" on a rumor, but it is that strategic thinker/planner that I sometimes cannot shake

    So, while 3:2 is the "norm", this could be an opportunity to lay something else out to separate it from everybody else. Just some thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    LJ - sounds like a great concept. With larger digital sensors, there is a lot a camera could offer by effectively masking the sensor into different crop modes - assuming you had the MPs to spare.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Some ads leaked: http://www.nikonrumors.com/
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    A square sensor (just as originally rumored from Nikon) could provide 3:2, 3:4, 4:5, 1:1, 1:2 and anything in between plus horizontal or vertical framing without turning the camera or back, niether the sensor. One could accomplish desired final cropping in the raw converter. Tentative cropping and orientation could be done with crop lines in rangefinder or live view display. That would certainly be the first real camera of the 21th century.
    Please read post #14.
    Eduardo
    PS. Sensors could be round, maybe allowing better yield and economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    LJ - sounds like a great concept. With larger digital sensors, there is a lot a camera could offer by effectively masking the sensor into different crop modes - assuming you had the MPs to spare.
    Last edited by Uaiomex; 2nd October 2008 at 14:43. Reason: added quote.

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    I can't see that Nikon would not put their excellent AF system into the camera, they have all the mature AF technology unlike Leica, they know how to make advanced AF lenses and it would be a huge point of contention for people coming from a 1Ds mkIII or D3 to have to switch to manual focus. I can't see that they would want to limit the market of the camera to the traditional MFDB market who need pro AF less when they can get so much more.
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    I think you're right - Nikon and Canon (eventually) offerings will probably be true 'tweeners - a hybrid of features from both:

    AF (much larger lens mass to move and sport AF not needed) and ISO performance that sits somewhere in between an uber-DSLR and MFDB, 3"+ VGA LCDs (a big point for lots of folks) with say a 36x ___ sensor sans AA filter (if smart).

    I suspect Nikon, if they don't drop the ball and price like I suspect they will (undercutting Hassy's lowest and the S2), will sell as many of these things as they can make.

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Don't know about some of this stuff, and I guess that is why it is rumor ;-) The rumor ad leaks that Lars pointed to do not suggest a square sensor (BIG ads on that site). One could just as easily conclude that "BIG" refers to a larger LCD, though I hope that is not what Nikon is touting, even if it would be very nice on some models.

    Again, not looking to dampen any enthusiasm or excitement, as I think it would be very interesting to see how companies like Nikon or Canon may try to approach moving up market into some realm of MF. I think they could do it. They may have things in the works. I also think that it will not be a "cake walk" for either, despite their present market shares and such in the 35mm segment. There is a lot of clamoring from discussions on our sorts of forums, but one has to wonder just how big the potential market would really be, and what folks would really be willing to pay, and how much of a major transformation in manufacturing would be required for things like a line of lenses. In some cases, with the huge growth of more recent DSLRs, the manufacturers may be scrambling to keep up with lens demand on some of the newer things. I just really do not know capacities and capabilities of them to know how easy or hard it would be to field a completely new and much different line of things while they may be all out keeping up with the other new stuff they are pumping out.

    Assuming Nikon (or Canon) has some sort of larger than 35mm sensor in the wings, it most likely will not be terribly cheap for either, until there is some projection of enough volume to sustain things. If the goal is not so much to try to carve market away from the present MF segment, but to create new market growth or a new market segment that folks are calling the "tweener" segment, that could be a different and possibly attractive segment. Drawing sales from both existing MF folks that want a faster, smaller, more feature updated camera to deliver more than present DSLRs do today, as well as drawing folks from the higher end DSLR market that are looking for more resolution, DR, and things more associated with MF, but not wanting to give up the features of present DSLRs. Trying to build a new MF back and system approach like already exists would not seem to cut it, and probably why Leica has taken the approach they have. Pricing is still going to become a sensitive point. Needs to be attractive and match the perceived value. Support and service must also be put into place, and while that may seem easier, it may not be easy to match the demands of this group of customer expectations, especially on much more expensive gear that is going to operate a bit differently than the present DSLRs that are being churned out.

    That can go from interesting to becoming a very tall order for anybody. Leica has sort of fired an attractive shot across the bow. Nikon and Canon could follow, but there are going to be some interesting new bars set with respect to quality, optics, utility, design, and things like that. Both seem able to live up to the challenges, (still hoping for some significant improvements in optics however), but there has to be a big enough projected market into which to try to launch this sort of thing, I think.

    LJ

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    The latest leaked snapshot on that site depicts what looks like three sensor sizes in 3:2 format, could possibly be interpreted as DX, FX, and MX format. That would suggest that a square sensor is not in the pipeline.

    http://nikonrumors.com/2008/10/03/nikon-mx-ad4.aspx

    OR, this is retired marketing artwork for a product line that was never launched. Time will tell.
    Last edited by Lars; 3rd October 2008 at 08:32.
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Ummm, BIG could just refer to an FX sized sensor with more megapixels, which has been expected from Nikon all along. I would imagine they are set to launch a 5DII and 1DsIII killer now that they got the pj market hooked with the D3/D700. I can't imagine Nikon creating a whole new system - they have a ways to go with the current one first (ie more mp sensor and new primes).

    But who knows?

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    I am far from a die-hard CaNikon fan, but my Spidey sense thinks Nikon is going to step around the expected D3X vs 5DII debate/price war with something that is going to have Canon and Leica doing an "oh cr*p..". Think Hassy just got theirs out of their system proactively. Once MX is out (a lot of assumptions here), any D3X vs 5DII comparisons will just get lost in the background noise.

    Much like the S2, a lot of ducks (albeit different ones) would need to be put into line to make it a success, but IF they're committed to doing whatever it takes to make it work, it will give the upper-end DSLR/lower-end MFDB apple cart a good hard tip. Canon won't be too far behind.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Rumors of an oversize-based Nikon have been persistent over the last year, something is likely in the works. What and when remains to be seen, but a lot of hints point at March next year.

    I think as a brand strategy it would make sense - just like car manufacturers from time to time launch sports cars for bragging rights, a high-end Nikon DSLR (system) could be seen as an investment in brand name.
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    I think a high end MF like Nikon system would be more than just an investment in the brand name.

    It looks like we are on the doorstep to a new future of MF, where a slightly smaller sensor size than real MF but anyway much larger than 35mm becomes the optimum between system size and weight, resolution, ISO performance and high IQ - just look at the new Leica S2 system.

    This is because the sensors produced in such sizes are an optimum between the supersized MF variants and the smaller 35 variants. Resonably cheap to manufacture and with enough evolution potential for the future they seem to be a kind of stable platform to make camera vendors think they would want to build a high end camera system around.

    So I would even argue this could be the end of classical MF photography, although this will not disappear, but will maybe become more a niche for high end studio work, while the new formats like S2 and MX become the high end and high quality reportage systems. Even capable of capturing fast sport events etc.

    Anyway - interesting times have started.

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    It looks like we are on the doorstep to a new future of MF, where a slightly smaller sensor size than real MF but anyway much larger than 35mm becomes the optimum between system size and weight, resolution, ISO performance and high IQ - just look at the new Leica S2 system.
    Indeed. Perhaps to get quality out of physical film the physical dimensions where required. Now with Digital it might be possible to do the same with a slightly smaller dimension. Time and testing will tell...

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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    What I think is a definate is that the Nikon will be aimed squarely at it's 35mm crowd and not at the MFDB people. The market is far far bigger there and I assume it will be built with that in mind. No doubt far more like a D3 than an S2 and certainly not a Hy6.
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  33. #33
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    Re: Nikon MX ?

    I think 5 yrs from now, the term "DSLR" will have on a whole new meaning - as in "...what size (sensor) do you shoot...?".

    The "MF" lexicon carried over from the film days will have little meaning - to replaced by "MFDB" for those DSLRs (if she has a mirror, she's a DSLR after all) cameras that have detachable backs.

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