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Is full size DX "Done"?


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#1 johnspierce

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:14 AM

Reading through the popular posts of the past month or two, it's become quite evident a lot of people are selling their D7000 kits and buying D800. It's very similar to when the D300 came out and a bunch of D200's went on the classifieds. Same thing happened when the D7000 came out, lots of D300s on the classifieds. I bet the Nikon D7000 has been the best selling full size U/W camera on the market for at least a year and a half with the Canon 7D being a close second.

The difference this time is a lot of folks are changing from DX to FX. I can only assume this will accelerate when the D600 and housings are available. After all, the D600 is really just a FX'd D7000...

It's my opinion Nikon is forcing this change on purpose. They have not released a successor to the D300s and as much as I like my D7000, the D300 had a better build and more "professional" features which Nikon has not duplicated in DX. The D400 is still just a rumor and after the D600 is out for a few months, what kind of market would there be for a D400? It would be too confusing for customers to pick between FX and DX where the price point difference is likely only $200-300.

Also, the D7000 is due for a refresh too, so I'm thinking Nikon is just going to ditch the D300s replacement entirely. It's my opinion Nikon will come out with a DX mirrorless to compete with Sony/Canon and the "traditional" DX cameras in Nikon's line will simply be sunsetted over the next couple of years.

Wetpixel's forum is just a micro-verse of the overall camera scene, but virtually all the camera sites on the 'net are buzzing about FX this and FX that; DX is totally on the back burner as far as "trends" go.

What's your opinion? Show your work.

Edited by johnspierce, 26 September 2012 - 07:17 AM.

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#2 Scubysnaps

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:18 AM

I sold my D90 housing in May John, and its looking like I've been forced to go the NEX route to keep with DX. I've got no need for 36 trillion megapixels, especailly when I have to pay twice the price for them. I was happy with 12 on my D90 so 16 is still an improvement and I'm hoping Sony's new Hybrid sensor will cut it for me. I dont want to buy a 2 year old D7000, and I want one soon, so seems to be my only option
Cheers
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#3 coroander

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:19 AM

DX was really nothing more than a cheaper way to move from full-frame film cameras to digital. It was inevitable that Canon and Nikon would eventually move APS-C sensors to entry-level cameras (before dropping them altogether) in favour of full-frame once the cost of full frame electronics dropped.

The evidence for this is that neither Canon nor Nikon invested in more that a very few high-quality APS-C specific lenses. In fact, there are no pro lenses specific for APS-C, no weather sealed lenses, no metal bodied lenses, very few constant aperture zooms. Canon makes zero lenses faster than f/2.8 specifically for APS-C, Nikon makes 1 only.

With full-frame cameras like the D600 supporting DX lenses, the transition to full frame is both complete and final and there's simply no reason to ever see DX sensor cameras except perhaps in entry-level cameras in the short term...

For those that want smaller and lighter, mirrorless is the way to go. Both Nikon and Canon have mirrorless cameras now to compete with Olympus, Panasonic and Sony who have well-established offerings.

The reality is that both DPReview and DXOmark have pointed out that the latest and massively smaller micro four thirds cameras perform very closely to APS-C cameras, so what's the point of having cameras and systems (almost) as large as full frame (and often using full frame lenses)? There's a rapidly diminishing place for APS-C DSLR cameras in the marketplace...

#4 johnspierce

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:23 AM

I think that's logical Paul. The DX products that people will want are likely going to all be smaller profile mirrorless. Thom Hogan wrote a bit the other day wondering why Nikon and Canon have killed APS/DX -- all the new stuff is "Android, Mirrorless or FX". Traditional DX and APC still exist of course, but there is nothing new or compelling in the lines. I have a Nikon V1 too and it's a nice mirrorless which for some reason Nikon has decided to "orphan" with no decent lenses. It's like they just don't get what's happening in the under $1000 market at all.

I think it's a real shame they didn't iterate the D300s about a year ago. They could have sold tons of 24mp D400's if they had. Now, I think it would just gather dust while people purchase D600's instead. I have been a Nikon guy since the early 1980's, but I have to wonder who in the heck they have in charge of product development. Fortunately, the D800 is brilliant.

Edited by johnspierce, 26 September 2012 - 08:26 AM.

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#5 Scubysnaps

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:24 AM

I also guess if FX is the future then UWP'ers will get more of a bad name trying to fill their frame, as they'll just have to get even closer to their subjects, nobody really wants to crop
Cheers
Paul

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#6 johnspierce

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:32 AM

I also guess if FX is the future then UWP'ers will get more of a bad name trying to fill their frame, as they'll just have to get even closer to their subjects, nobody really wants to crop


Hah! good point. Fortunately companies like Olympus are stepping up with the marvelous EM-5 which is just a tick below the D7000 in terms of capability and half the size to boot. With a 2.0 multiplier it will be a wonderful Macro machine with the new 60mm f2.8 lens.

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#7 Scubysnaps

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:39 AM

Posted Image I tried an EM-5 demo in a photo store, I'm no expert but I wasnt impressed, the EVF was jittery and couldnt focus on my moving finger in a shot, the NEX demo was a lot better with these 2 little observations

I'll be replacing my D90 with a good used D700 eventually (for land use) if the NEX6 is what I hope it to be

Edited by Scubysnaps, 26 September 2012 - 08:41 AM.

Cheers
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#8 A.Y.

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:34 AM

Moving to larger sensors is driven mainly by smartphones cutting so deeply into the P&S market, forcing camera makers to release compact cameras with larger and larger sensors - LX7 1/7" sensor, RX100 1" (Nikon 1 sized) sensor, and RX1 full frame sensor. The success of the advanced P&S will force the mirrorless makers to move upmarket as Sony just released the first NEX full frame camcorder and a NEX FF camera will follow. With P&S and mirrorless going full frame, dSLR makers have no choice but to act.

Also, in the near future, the on-sensor phase detection autofocus technologies may completely diminish the #1 "consumer" (not pro) dSLR advantage - focus tracking of fast-moving subjects.

Worldwide, the NEX APS-C system has moved into the #1 mirrorless position in most major markets (53% mirrorless market in the U.S.). Olympus and Panasonic will face growing pressure to answer the NEX FF challenge and it won't be easy because they are locked into a M43 lens system that won't cover larger sensors unless they start from scratch.


BTW, the development on both the M43 and Nikon 1 started before the smartphone revolution so Olympus, Panasonic, and Nikon didn't see it coming.

Edited by A.Y., 26 September 2012 - 09:58 AM.


#9 rtrski

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:15 AM

I think I agree with all of the above. Smartphones are taking over the casual 'consumer party snapshot' camera market. Mirrorless is overtaking the "I want a more serious camera with interchangable lenses, but I'm still not a pro" market. Oly has essentially abandoned 4:3rds (no new body since E-5), the aforementioned Nikon news, etc. I don't think the crops will die immediately - they'll linger for a few years to satisfy customers with existing lens suites, especially if the sensors would be the ones that would end up in their mirrorless brethren - but I certainly think the range of choices in price and feature points will diminsh from each manufacturer. Either CDAF will get good enough or on-chip PDAF will become the standard, with smaller flange distances allowed by either case. Eventually crop lenses will either shrink to the Sony E-mount or m4:3rds mount scale, or the big guns *might* try to introduce a mirrorless concept sized for their crops and continue to use those lenses. Not sure what they'd do for ergonomics, though...different body 'grips' which are more just holding frames for either still or video preferences, kind of like all the tennis racket and steering wheel accessories for the "Wii" controller? :D

Sony in particular seems to be going as far as adopting mirrorless all the way up to full scale - their SLT's still use a translucent lens but the a99 announcement with the on-sensor PDAF points, as on the new NEX releases - indicates that the SLT itself is an interim step. I know they're not a big player in the FF market, but as A.Y. states they're rapidly becoming dominant in the mirrorless realm (no doubt to Oly/Pana's chagrin, since they pioneered it with m4:3rds). I'm seriously interested in the a99 but I suspect there might be only one more FF SLT from them (one more aimed for stills with ~36MPix while the a99 seems to be a still/video convergence optimum), and then they'll dump the translucent mirror entirely. They may still offer something in an SLR-type body shape, ergonomically...but I bet they abandon SLR/SLT completely inside of a year or so. As long as they keep supporting the mount, I don't care (and they are still spitting out new A mount lenses, which argues they are).

The secondary factor is still/video convergence, which is still (no pun intended) ongoing, and for which AF during video is still under active exporation and development. Here too on-chip PDAF I think is the way things will go in the future. But "pro" grade video seems to be quite accepting of FF scale body styles with appropriate add-ons, pro stills already were. MF still exists as a niche and always will. But both electronics are shrinking (control, buffer, A/D LCD thickness) and integration is improving so the smaller FF bodies rival a lot of the higher-end crop bodies, and the sensor manufacturing has come down enough in price that the delta chip area isn't the huge discriminator it once was.

I tend to agree though you'll see the market converging toward:
  • Smartphone/tablet camera integration - everyday users
  • Crop sensors in the 2x to 1.5x range - mirrorless prosumer to enthusiast level bodies
  • FF sensors - 'pro' camera and video bodies.
  • "Big guns" - 4k video, MF stills - the real 'auteur' end of the scale
...which will be interesting for housing manufacturers, since smartphones/tablets will definitely continue the 'touch' trend and be unhousable with control as a result, so the u/w market will contract to the mirrorless and FF scale. I guess in that sense Ike's lineup is the one that may see the most upheaval since they house a whole lot of the consumer PnS bodies but currently nothing in the mirrorless scale.

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#10 Timmoranuk

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:22 AM

I love my 7Ds, the Tokina, Tokina / Kenko combination, 60mm, 100mm, 10--22mm and, sometimes, the 17-70mm. Its just such a versatile and 'complete' system. I haven't even begun to realise the opportunity (u/w) that the rectilinear 8-16mm Sigma offers... This versatility just doesn't seem to be replicated by my new 5D3 and the only two new lenses I have acquired are the 15mm Sigma and 16-35mm Canon. Sure, the 100mm Canon may have a place on FX but I suspect it'll continue to be used more on the DX cameras. Where the 5D3 will excel will be with the higher ISO shots and, for me, that's probably where it'll get used the most...
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#11 loftus

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:06 AM

The problem is that nobody still really knows, particularly for those of us that shoot Nikon or Canon. My ideal scene would be to be able to settle down for the next few years with a D800 rig, and a DX rig like a D400. Hate the idea of having a second brand for a smaller rig.
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#12 johnspierce

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:26 AM

I had this wonderful idea of using the D7000 for U/W another year or two, buying a FX for above water (hopefully a D800) and I have a Nikon V1 for "grab and go" use. Awesome idea since all of the above use the same batteries and at least partially the same SD cards. However, Nikon is determined to make the V1 an orphan even though it is a wonderful little camera to use. The V1 with the FT1 adapter and the 50mm F 1.8 is a ton of fun as a fast 135mm FX equivalent. As I said in my original post, I've given up on a D400, I don't think it'll ever happen now.

It's never that easy though Posted Image

Edited by johnspierce, 26 September 2012 - 11:29 AM.

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#13 Deep6

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:32 PM

The problem is that nobody still really knows, particularly for those of us that shoot Nikon or Canon. My ideal scene would be to be able to settle down for the next few years with a D800 rig, and a DX rig like a D400. Hate the idea of having a second brand for a smaller rig.


I am afraid Nikon has made its bed with the J1/V1 for a small mirrorless entry. When they release these cameras, I shifted my attention to the m4/3s. I am now working up some luv for my new Oly E-M5.

I looks like no D300 replacement is comming. John, I guess I owe you a Fat Tire. Are you going to the Denver dive show?

Bob

Edited by Deep6, 26 September 2012 - 01:35 PM.

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#14 johnspierce

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:45 PM

I am afraid Nikon has made its bed with the J1/V1 for a small mirrorless entry. When they release these cameras, I shifted my attention to the m4/3s. I am now working up some luv for my new Oly E-M5.

I looks like no D300 replacement is comming. John, I guess I owe you a Fat Tire. Are you going to the Denver dive show?

Bob


EM-5 is great, have to congratulate Olympus on a home run with that one.

I think I will go to the dive show -- it's a bit disappointing though; when I first moved to Denver in 1998 it was a big show - took up the whole floor of the convention center. Aqualung, Scubapro, Sea and sea, Aquatica, Backscatter, they all used to come, but no more. Last year it was just a curtained off area in one corner of the floor. I think there might have been 20 booths total. No manufacturers at all, just vacation and resort sellers along with the local dive shops. For a state which claims the most scuba divers per capita in the US, Denver's dive show is kind of hurtin'.

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#15 jmauricio

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:15 PM

I've been thinking a lot about this too. Especially having just sold my D7000 set up and moved to an NEX7.

There is a social dynamic in technology that states consumers will trade performance for convenience. This is why MP3s are so popular even though CDs sound better. Why Smartphone cameras are denting the Compact market and by mirrorless will replace low-end and mainstream APS-C DSLRs. In my case, the convenience of carrying around a smaller body trumped my preference for the bells and whistles of a DSLR. My guess would be that the high end of the market (FF) is likely safe or may even grow at bit as the "professional" market remains committed, if not in form factor then definitely by lens investment.

I'm not sure this is a welcome change for Nikon and Canon. First, APS-C mirrorless is directly cannibalistic to their APSC DSLR and big corporations are notoriously slow to embrace a technology that could cannibalize their core business. Second, both Nikon and Canon are late to the mirrorless market. If AY is correct and Sony indeed has 53% share of the mirrorless space, then both Nikon and Canon will be trading 40% odd share in DSLR for something much lower in mirrorless. That is not good for sales or profits. Finally, for both Nikon and Canon, going to mirrorless also represents a new lens mount format. The "stickiness" of lens investment is a key advantage for them in maintaining their market share. Moving to a new lens mount puts them on a level playing field with the rest of the market. Actually, at a disadvantage b/c m4/3 and E- mount have a time to market lead.

My guess is that Nikon and Canon "retrench" to the FF market, making FF bodies cheaper, thus potentially capturing DSLR APSC users. This is kind of what they are doing now with the D600 & 6D, but it will have to go further. They will also need a better offering in mirrorless space (either buy something- which is not very Japanese) or over invest in a product that will likely never return them the same payback.

The upside is cheap FF to come and much more choice in mirrorless until market share stabilizes and a dominate two players emerge.

I could be completely wrong, but its an interesting time indeed.

#16 Aussiebyron

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:15 PM

I personally think there be still be some production runs of DX cameras in the Nikon range. I dont see Nikon stopping making their D3000's and D5000's range of affordable DSLR for the everyday shooter as the mums and dads out there wont be jumping at FX at this point as they simply cant afford or justify the price for what they need the camera for.

The D800 of course is the latest and greatest and alot of people have been waiting for its introduction since the D700 is over 4 years old now, which is a long time with the modern life span of digital cameras. Its introduction has claimed also alot of D300/s user who might have continued to stay with DX if Nikon brought out a direct replacement like a D400. The use of DX lens on the D800 has also given an excellent excuse for those current Dx users to jump to an FX camera.

I see the D7000 having a an excellent life span (already 18months old) as the introduction of the D600 with basically similar features of the D7000 but in FX and 24MP. I believe there will be something like a D400 in the new year with high MP and semi-professional body which a mixture of features from the D7000 and D800. It bascially has to compete directly at the D600 in regards to features and price.

I am happy with my D7000 as its a great camera especially when shot with the Tokina 10-17mm lens and I would wonder if I could tell the diffference in my shots if I used a D800 with a 15mm Fisheye for the same shots if I had the chance.

Todays camera's are as only good as the person using them as having a great camera doesnt make you a great photographer.

Regards Mark
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#17 tdpriest

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:30 AM

None of this alters the observation that DX sensors may be the best at rendering wide-angle images underwater.

I moved from the D300s to the D800 because, in part, the build and controls of the D7000 weren't as "professional" as the D300s that I lost.

The argument is a lot less convincing if you already have a full D7000 system.

It's also strange to me that Nikon's range of gold-ring DX lenses should have dismissed so easily in the thread above. The 10.5mm fisheye, the 12-24mm (above water) and the 17-55mm lenses are pretty impressive...

#18 johnspierce

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:16 AM

There is no doubt a DX setup like the D7000 can take spectacular photos and as you say the shots with the 10-17 are difficult to duplicate with any other setup. My main point starting this post is not that DX is suddenly inferior, but that Nikon is abandoning it along with the rest of the photography community. I bet I have read at least 6 different articles on different sites in the past two weeks about how traditional APC cameras are on their way out; it may be a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point.

This won't make a DX setup suddenly take bad photos, but it does change the thought process for anyone looking to do a system upgrade right now. For example, if a person is just now upgrading from a D200, they are going to think long and hard before going with a D7000 over a D800. Of course, if you are looking for a used setup, this is a wonderful time to get a D7000 or Canon 7D since they seem to pop up in the classifieds every week from users going to full frame setups Posted Image For me, it doesn't change anything since I'm not looking to upgrade for at least another 1 to 2 years. I would almost bet money in 2 years, nobody will be looking at a "traditional" Nikon DX setup -- it'll be Mirrorless or FX (or mirrorless FX!)

Edited by johnspierce, 29 September 2012 - 10:20 AM.

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#19 Aussiebyron

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:14 PM

John I will take that bet.

Honestly the whole idea that DX is done because Nikon release the overdue D800 and followed up with the D600 is a bit like thinking a major motor company is done with petrol only powered vehicles cause they introduced two Hybrid cars into their product range.

Who are the major consumers of Nikon products? I be saying its the mums and dads buying a camera to take photos of their kids. I dont think Nikon would alienate their biggest market by trying to force them right now into the more expensive FX format when the current DX is giving them what they need at a price which they can afford.

DX will be done when Nikon start making FX cameras and lenses which this (mums and dads) market can afford and thats along the lines of D3000/s, D5000/s in the $500-$1000 price range.

Regards Mark
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#20 johnspierce

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:20 PM

Mark, I'll have to meet you in Australia to go diving to settle that bet. Loser buys Nitrox for a week. :). In two years, Nikon will be selling a FX DSLR for $900 at least, probably less.

I hope I'm wrong, but the shear paucity of new lenses and bodies for traditional DX at Photokina says I'm probably right. Mirrorless DX a la Sony, is a different story... Maybe Nikon will follow their lead.

Edited by johnspierce, 29 September 2012 - 03:23 PM.

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