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Is full size DX "Done"?


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#21 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:46 PM

I think this is a very interesting discussion. It is important to remember that what will happen to the camera-market and what is best for underwater photography are two different things. We're a pretty small part of the overall scheme of things and of course, the camera companies won't often consider our wants/needs.

I think DX has plenty more legs for now. I am sure Nikon has sold many more DX cameras in 2012 than it has FX cameras, despite the introduction of the D4, D800 and D600. But of course it is the halo-model FX cameras that they want to show off about.

For me, the attraction of mirror-less is to have high quality in a small system, and in my experience the OM-D was the first camera I have used underwater that really cuts it. But the camera is particularly attractive to me because it achieves this image quality without having to have a big sensor. The D800 (and the D7000, actually) shows us that sensor technology has improved so much now that big pixels are no longer essential for excellent image quality.

If the OM-D had been DX I probably wouldn't have bought one. If it had been FX I definitely wouldn't. The attraction of the small, high quality sensor means small lenses and small dome ports. (Although I am still waiting on Nauticam for the housing). I want mirror-less to remain at a smaller sensor size than DX - I think the 2.0x crop of micro 4/3 is ideal.
Personally I am not motivated by travel weight. This is about having a small, high quality camera to reach places and more importantly angles that you couldn't with an FX SLR. A small camera when chasing pelagics (the OM-D does 9 frames a second when you get in position too), a tiny camera for getting macro shots on the sand, right at eye level, or a tiny dome for WAM shots with the fisheye etc etc.

I hope we don't see mirrorless race towards FX/full frame sensors. Same with compacts. Imagine having a camera the size of pack of cigarettes and having to use a 9" dome port on it to get good wide angle optics on FX underwater! Lets hope they realise small is good and mirror-less stays sub DX in format size.

Alex

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#22 John Bantin

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:06 AM

I pull a either a D200, a D700 or a D800 from my cupboard to take a shot in my studio. Quite frankly, it doesn't make much difference which camera I use in these ideal conditions with studio flash. My underwater pictures get enlarged to poster and banner size for the Dive Shows. Some of them were even taken on film with an F100 and scanned on a Nikon Coolscan scanner! No-one sees the differences. We just get wound up to get the next best thing since sliced bread. I'm a victim too.

At my son's wedding, the best pictures were taken by people with iPhones! Is this the future for 'chasing' big animals? http://www.igills.com

Edited by John Bantin, 30 September 2012 - 01:10 AM.

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#23 John Bantin

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:08 AM

D700. Good enough?

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Edited by John Bantin, 01 October 2012 - 12:09 AM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#24 Otara

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:40 AM

I dont really care what format we end up with, I just wish we knew for sure what it was going to be!

As in getting a lens collection together for APS-C is going to be a bit irritating if theres no 7D II. If I knew it wasnt coming, I'd focus on a few different lenses, but vice versae if there was going to be a 7D II.

#25 Deep6

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

FYI: Thom Hogan is wading in on DX this month. http://www.bythom.com/

Bob

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#26 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:48 PM

Great link, Bob.

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#27 johnspierce

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 01:08 PM

Thom has done a great job summing this up. It's difficult to defend Nikon for their lack of direction in DX; Thom lays out a good summary of what Nikon needs to do to fix it before DX truly dies (and takes a huge revenue stream with it).

One of the things Thom mentioned about Photokina is there was a complete absence of new third-party lens offerings in DX lenses. This doesn't bode well for the DX user.

But the big thing, and to me this is a BIG thing -- Nikon has totally ignored the D300 user. I loved my D300; one of the best cameras I've ever owned. The D7000 certainly has a superior sensor and will turn out wonderful images, but I liked pretty much everything else better on the D300 -- button location, lack of a stupid dial with "landscape" and "portrait" options, full weatherproofing, easier to change ISO and white balance, big buffer, compact flash. Nikon totally deserted me on that front and I would have bought a D400 a year ago in a heartbeat.

This is what Thom says at the bottom of his "state Of Nikon DX" page - http://bythom.com/stateofdx2012.htm and I totally agree.

"Overall, here in late 2012 the state of the DX market is this: Nikon is serving the low-end customer decently, the high-end customer much more poorly. This is not something they should want to continue, especially since those high-end customers (D7000, D300s users) are leaking downwards (to m4/3, NEX, X-Pro1)."

Edited by johnspierce, 01 October 2012 - 01:22 PM.

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#28 John Bantin

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:57 AM

None of this is new. Nikon virtually abandoned the professional market in the late 'eighties in its pursuit of the point-n-shoot market. It was then really only interested in the consumer market. It was probably only the cost of large sensors that drove it towards DX at the beginning of the digital age. I guess now its marketing men see their customers divided between the consumer (compact) and professional (FX) with DX left in nomansland.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#29 Aussiebyron

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:34 AM

Everyone must know by now that Nikon isnt keen at telling the public what and when they are releasing their next model. Thats why everyone looks at sites like Nikon Rumours and make an educated guess. With the recent introduction of the D800/e and D600 and the serious consumer D7000 18 months ago I can't see Nikon releasing something like a D400 until at least 6-12months from now. My guess it would be a 24mp DX in a semi-pro body like the D300s with more than 6FPS rate and a large buffer with dual SD/compact flash card slots. Price the D400 at $1799 like the D300s and you on a winner.

Its due to the fact that wide angle DX lenses like the Tokina 10-17mm FE perform so well underwater that everyone with a DX camera hasn't jumped ship with FX cameras. This fact isnt the norm for any other topside photography market.

So at the end of the day underwater photographers in the serious amature to professional would be one of the smallest markets that Nikon would sell to. Especially when it comes to ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) angle and Fisheye lenses where its basically only us using these lenses on a regular basis.

When it comes to "I want it now" society you basically have 3 choices with Nikon. 1 Buy a D7000 currently the best DX camera available 2. Buy a Nikon FX camera like the D800/D600 3. Wait for something which might come out in the next 12 months. This has always been the case with Digital cameras as there a more regular release of different models. For me I am very happy with my D7000 setup. If I had the whole setup stolen for example I would use the insurance money towards the D800 as I know I might not use the whole 36MP now but I might be in a year or two with the hope of Tokina bring out a FX version of its DX 10-17mm FE.

Regards Mark
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http://www.flickr.co...s/22898788@N04/

#30 johnspierce

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:47 AM

Good points Mark - for the U/W photographer, DX has some distinct advantages in Fisheye/Wide Angle and it can be argued that wildlife photographers with long lenses are DX fans too. I really, really hope Nikon keeps DX viable, but I fear if it's almost another year before they release a D300 replacement, that may be too late for the high-end DX user.

I am also on board with what Alex said about mirrorless keeping the sensor small so that lenses are small too. My Nikon V1 lenses are positively tiny and I like it that way! I recently took it to Switzerland as my only camera and I could carry my entire kit, camera, two lenses and flash in my photographer's vest. Nice. It performed very well, with the only lack being no wide angle option. Nikon says their J1/V1 line is one of their biggest sellers in Europe, but they seem to be ignoring it as badly as DX for some reason.

Edited by johnspierce, 02 October 2012 - 06:51 AM.

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#31 Deep6

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:53 AM

FYI: Thom Hogan is wading in on DX this month. http://www.bythom.com/

Bob


Worth revisiting today.

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#32 m1mm1m

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:47 PM

As Alex eluded to in his review of the EM-5 -- m4/3 will give 1.6 crop a run for its money underwater.

I'll go one step further in saying that mirrorless offerings including m4/3 and Canon's new 1.6 mirrorless "M" will make 1.6 SLRs disappear underwater. It won't happen tomorrow, but it will happen. IQ is very comparable and the "package" is half the size and less than half the cost. You can do a whole EM-5 system with housing, ports, and a couple of lenses for roughly the price of any SLR housing alone except maybe Ikelite.

I recently switched from m4/3 to FF on a Canon 5D2. I have also owned a 7D since they came out for topside use and have used it underwater with borrowed housings before. I saw absolutely no practical advantage to the 7D underwater over the m4/3 that would justify the added expense. Pixel-peeping, you could see minute IQ differences in favor of the 7D and AF was noticeably faster against my E-PL3. The EM-5 cured both of these shortcomings. Sure, an EM-5 can't keep up with birds in flight like my 7D, but generally we're not shooting fish swimming at 70+ miles per hour underwater.

The Canon 5D2/3 and the D800/600 from Nikon, OTOH, are clearly superior to either m4/3 and APS-C.

FF body prices compared to what they were even one year ago are dropping faster than an American diver that didn't know lead in the UK is weighed in kilos . Witness the D800, D600, recent 5D2/3 price drops, and upcoming 6D. Underwater, I predict a lot of APS-C shooters moving up to FF and P&S shooters moving to mirrorless.... The relative few of us that adopted m4/3 underwater will either stay or skip right over APS-C to FF. All this will result in APS-C SLRs dying a slow death underwater first and eventually, topside as well.

Edited by m1mm1m, 02 October 2012 - 01:31 PM.


#33 loftus

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:14 PM

Still makes absolutely no sense to me why Nikon or Canon would kill DX, despite the whinings and complaints of Thom Hogan et al. Sony have shown that it is quite feasible to make a pretty compact DX camera with their NEX cameras, so it could be argued that M4/3's do not offer that much in the way of compactness vs DX, just as one does not trade that much in image quality between the two. The only possibility would be that they would embrace 4/3 as well which seems highly unlikely considering Nikon in particular have always been committed to keeping the Nikon F mount. Even Nikon has to understand that their V1 / J1 is just a step up from compact camera sensors. Short of converting to M4/3 Canon and Nikon would simply be walking away from what is arguably the largest prosumer segment of the market which is the m4/3 / DX or thereabout segment. Interestingly Sony has acquired a significant stake in Olympus, and if Sony walks away from DX to M4/3 then that would be interesting. I am also a little confused with Hogan's obsession with the lack of DX lenses particularly as all the mid and telephoto range lenses are effectively interchangeable with FX lenses. I guess it's possible that Nikon would forego a D400 camera, but that would surely leave a significant gap in their offerings. There's really no sign that they are backing off the lower end up to the D7000 - which is still a very competent camera by any standards. I think it's quite possible that Nikon in particular has just been busy with some pretty groundbreaking cameras like the D800, and they are just a little behind in their DX line, particularly considering the manufacturing issues they had last year with the Thailand floods and the earthquake in Japan. Just because Olympus has come up with a pretty awesome camera in the OMD-5, can't see how that would make Nikon or Canon want to simply throw in the towel. The OMD-5 as great as it is, has only equaled DX offerings like the D7000 or the 7D that are effectively 1-2 years old, but not surpassed them.

Edited by loftus, 02 October 2012 - 01:28 PM.

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#34 m1mm1m

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:38 PM

Still makes absolutely no sense to me why Nikon or Canon would kill DX, despite the whinings and complaints of Thom Hogan et al.


I don't think necessarily killing DX/APS-C is in the cards for Nikon and Canon. I think its more like a move to mirrorless. I don't see Canon or Nikon adopting m4/3 -- I see them making APS-C mirrorless offerings like the EOS-M. This will appeal to topside amateurs looking for APS-C IQ in a smaller package and UW shooters looking for a less expensive alternative to SLRs but much better performance than P&S. There's no reason an EOS-M (or equivalent Nikon) housing can't cost as little or even less than Nauticam's $1300 EM-5 offering. That's much more attractive than $3.5k+ for a 7D housing or even a Rebel at $2800 or so.

I think what's being dealt the death-blow is APS-C SLRs, not the format itself. I could be wrong! All that said, I see this playing out for years before we see our last APS-C SLR on a store shelf.

Edited by m1mm1m, 02 October 2012 - 01:41 PM.


#35 loftus

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:46 PM

I don't think necessarily killing DX/APS-C is in the cards for Nikon and Canon. I think its more like a move to mirrorless. I don't see Canon or Nikon adopting m4/3 -- I see them making APS-C mirrorless offerings like the EOS-M. This will appeal to topside amateurs looking for APS-C IQ in a smaller package and UW shooters looking for a less expensive alternative to SLRs but much better performance than P&S. There's no reason an EOS-M (or equivalent Nikon) housing can't cost as little or even less than Nauticam's $1300 EM-5 offering. That's much more attractive than $3.5k+ for a 7D housing or even a Rebel at $2800 or so.

I think what's being dealt the death-blow is APS-C SLRs, not the format itself. I could be wrong! All that said, I see this playing out for years before we see our last APS-C SLR on a store shelf.

I agree; it could be argued that it's only a matter of time before mirrorless replaces existing reflex mirror cameras altogether as the drawbacks of mirrorless for higher end cameras are eliminated.

Edited by loftus, 02 October 2012 - 01:47 PM.

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#36 Aussiebyron

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:10 PM

Just as a matter of interest is there a mirrorless camera/lens out there which has the same field of view as my Tokina 10-17mm FE at 10mm and can AF as quick as the Nikon D7000?
Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing called "Deedee", Tokina 10-17,Nikkor 60mm, Nikkor 105mm, Sigma 17-70, Ikelite DS161

http://www.flickr.co...s/22898788@N04/

#37 Scubysnaps

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:32 PM

I'm hoping the Sony NEX-6 with their new sensor and their 10-18 will do the job, Sony seem to be the one with their fingers in all the pies at the moment,

correction...just found out the angle of view of the sony sel1018 is only 109 degrees :( when will someone make a 10mm or less fisheye for the NEX!!?

The Sony fisheye converter looks to be a different diameter too :(

Edited by Scubysnaps, 03 October 2012 - 02:22 AM.

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#38 John Bantin

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:53 PM

We must not lose sight of the fact that the requirements of underwater photographers are simply not relevant to camera manufacturers. We are a tiny minority among the tiny minority that actually scubadives.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#39 m1mm1m

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:13 AM

Just as a matter of interest is there a mirrorless camera/lens out there which has the same field of view as my Tokina 10-17mm FE at 10mm and can AF as quick as the Nikon D7000?


I see 2 options:

The Panasonic 8mm FE for m4/3 has a 180 degree FOV. I don't think there's a FE zoom for m4/3.

The Olympus OM-D focuses pretty quick. Whether its as quick as the D7000, that's another story. I don't shoot Nikon, so IDK, but the EM-5 rivals/equals the 7D in focusing the type of subjects we shoot underwater. I don't think the EM-5 would keep up with birds in flight moving at 70+ mph, but UW, our subjects are generally much slower than that.

If you haven't already, read the EM-5 review by Alex Mustard elsewhere on WP where he discusses the particulars of this camera versus existing APS-C DSLRs.

The EOS-M could use the Canon version of the Tokina 10-17 with the same FOV as on a Canon APS-C SLR and with full electronic support. We'll see who ends up making a housing for it, if anyone. DPReview has a preview where they state focusing speed is not bad and that they expect better with a production model and production lenses. I'd wait to read more on this one.... specially how well it functions with EF/EF-S lenses via the Canon-supplied mount adapter that promises full support of all lens/camera features.


One thing is certain.... after a period of relative boredom, things are happening again in the photo gear world!

Edited by m1mm1m, 03 October 2012 - 06:22 AM.


#40 jmauricio

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:30 AM

I'm hoping the Sony NEX-6 with their new sensor and their 10-18 will do the job, Sony seem to be the one with their fingers in all the pies at the moment,

correction...just found out the angle of view of the sony sel1018 is only 109 degrees Posted Image when will someone make a 10mm or less fisheye for the NEX!!?

The Sony fisheye converter looks to be a different diameter too Posted Image


For NEX users there is this Rokion (samyang?) 8mm Fisheye (http://www.amazon.co..._hu-rd_add_1_dp). Its not ideal. Tho it's inexpensive, it's both manual focus and aperture. Maybe a F11 or F16 setting for depth of field and fixed focus will allow plenty of opportunities until something better comes along.