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loligo

The Future of DSLRs . . .

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Hello,

 

Does anyone "in the know" have any ideas whether the major manufacturers (Nikon, especially in my case) have any plans to alter their professional models (D2x, D2xs, etc)? The reason I ask is that the cost of housing these beauties has skyrocketed -- with some housings approaching 5K, without any ports . . .

 

I have no problem with that per se; it's just that I would love to have a housing that doesn't become an eBay mercy killing a year or two out. I saw that Subal managed a head-start with the D2x housing because that camera was built along the lines of its predecessor, the D2h . . .

 

I can only hope that the next in the D-line will accomodate the equipment I have on hand -- or my girlfriend will have my head . . .

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Expect those guys to stick to the model physical design for as long as the numeral appelation stay, hence D1, D1H, D1x, D2x, D2hs and D2Xs, d70, d70s even going back to film 8008 and 8008s, Canon's 1D, 1Ds and their Mark II sibling, even the 20D had a varient, the instant they come out with a D3x or 2Ds or whatever numirical change you can bet the physical will change, the good thing with pro gear is it is a lot more stable troughtout the years, and even when discontinued does'nt becometransformed into a book end.

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I am sorry to say that you don't have much of a choice. Jean summed it up well. High end systems typically have more longevity that consumer-focused products. But with digital, you won't stop planned obsolence or technological breakthroughs (like wider DR, smaller and smaller pixels, more shoot and print capabilities with minimal or no PS).....it's already happening and will continue to happen along with special features and improved features that most lay photographers will never use nor know exists.

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I can only hope that the next in the D-line will accomodate the equipment I have on hand

What is it they could offer in a new D-body that would make you want to move to the newer camera for UW shooting? I'm just kind of interested in what you are looking for.

 

Happily I think I am at the point where it doesn't matter to me anymore. The D2x is a camera I can live with for a very long time. From this point, regardless of what they do with resolving power, I think the only thing that would even get me to consider changing cameras is if they were to offer a substantial decrease in noise at higher ISOs. To me that is the most meaningful thing. To be able to shoot at higher ISO's and keep my shutter speeds slow for good ambient capture would really open up the possibilities.

 

With the film cameras they still had significant room for improvements in AF and matrix/auto metering, but these dslr's are so good that what are they going to offer to make people want to move from a D200, D2x, idsmkII or 5D to something else.

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I have to agree with Silvio with the greater than 10mp club the new bodies are looking to last a bit longer than three years, at least we hope. I called Nikon figuring a new pro camera body may be in the works , watching the rebate is the big tip off. But they said no the current line up will be it for a while. I am shopping for a D200 and will buy this week mainly for land as I shoot far more on land than UW.

 

I think over 10mp with the current WB technology is now giving us really high quality images for web and printing, I think being able to crop a little without loosing much resoulution is a big deal. I know with my d100 compared to the new stuff that I can get high quality results but the lighting has to really be right on as well as the composition, not much cropping ability, basically I will get more keepers with the newer models. You can get great shots with any camera and its the photographer we have all heard that a million times blah blah blah, but all things equall you will get more keepers with the new stuff. They make it easier to get more quality shots. I think that will be the near future of cameras making it easier to get the pic, improved AF and metering along with WB, these will be slight adjustments, the image quality is starting to look like it is settling in for a bit..

 

So I for one think the corner has been turned with the latest models becoming slightly more of an investment than in the past.

Edited by Photobeat

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So I for one think the corner has been turned with the latest models becoming slightly more of an investment than in the past.

 

I agree.

 

Using Nikon as the example here, the upgrade to the D2X ended up being a software based upgrade for the most part. There were a few "issues" that caused many D2H shooters to not upgrade. The focus and viewfinder issues with high speed crop mode seem to be the main upgrades to the D2Xs. This is the third "generation" now to fit in the same housing. The D2Xs now has all of the features that any pro would need.

 

I for one find the metering and auto-focus capabilities of the D2Xs to be truly remarkable, and expect to be happy with this camera for many years down the road. High ISO performance also appears to be a substantial improvement, albeit not at the level of the 5D, but I am not a "full frame sensor" fan. The image quality of the sensor is my main concern, and IMHO feel the images created are the best looking out there. I just can't find anything "missing" in this body.

 

So, as previously asked in the thread, what is it you think is missing from the current offering that would cause a need to upgrade?

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It basically comes down to two things for me: increased dynamic range and a better viewfinder. I think 10-12 MP is sufficient to match, probably excede, the level of detail you get from film but I've yet to see a wide-angle shot that can match the DR of the best film shots. It's close, but it's not all the way there yet. Maybe the next generation of Fuji S5 or Nikon D3 will be there but only time and testing will tell.

 

Another thing I'd like to see is a body with a removeable actionfinder similar to the DA2 on my old Nikon F2. I have yet to see a viewfinder to match the bright corner to corner image that these viewfinders had.

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In answer to someone's question of what I would like to see in one of the Nikon D series was just mentioned -- a removeable sportsfinder. The F series possessed them and they were great -- without the requirement of throwing in an extra grand or two to supplement a housing. I could use the F-3 and 4 at arm's length and frame perfectly.

 

Loligo

 

 

 

 

It basically comes down to two things for me: increased dynamic range and a better viewfinder. I think 10-12 MP is sufficient to match, probably excede, the level of detail you get from film but I've yet to see a wide-angle shot that can match the DR of the best film shots. It's close, but it's not all the way there yet. Maybe the next generation of Fuji S5 or Nikon D3 will be there but only time and testing will tell.

 

Another thing I'd like to see is a body with a removeable actionfinder similar to the DA2 on my old Nikon F2. I have yet to see a viewfinder to match the bright corner to corner image that these viewfinders had.

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good point on the viewfinder... I had kind of forgotten how much I liked that on my old Canon F1. Topside of course... hadn't really thought about that for underwater. Magnifier on the housing seems like a good alternative for UW.

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.... I think 10-12 MP is sufficient to match, probably excede, the level of detail you get from film...

 

Why limit resolution to that of 35mm film?

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Why limit resolution to that of 35mm film?

Already we see 10-12-16 mp cameras exhibiting the shortcomings of current glass. It is a real problem when resolving power outperforms glass and in doing so sometimes creates some fairly significant "new" photographic challenges.

 

I question if makers will ever create glass, at acceptable prices, that won't marginalize current or higher available resolving power.

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Already we see 10-12-16 mp cameras exhibiting the shortcomings of current glass. It is a real problem when resolving power outperforms glass and in doing so sometimes creates some fairly significant "new" photographic challenges.

 

I question if makers will ever create glass, at acceptable prices, that won't marginalize current or higher available resolving power.

 

:blush: Yes I agree whole-heartedly that where we are today with lens and sensor design gives us a real-world situation where MPs beyond the mid-teens are superfluous.

 

But hey, this is a "future of DSLRs" thread and we are speculating...

 

Maybe the future of DSLRs is better glass, bigger sensors, in bodies roughly the same size as todays full-framers. Given that the Canon EF mount can already support an image circle of around 46mm (remember their tilt and shift lens series) maybe the real leap in resolution will come from a new crop of top-end lenses with larger image circles and a bit of tweeking to the physical layout of the bodies / more miniturisation of components and power sources; you never know. Given that the commercial photographers using 1dsIIs and are now being courted by hassleblad/imacon, Canon might want to keep this market segment, given that it has been extra business on top of their pre-digital sales, where 35mm was not as big a part of the commercial scene as was medium and large format film.

 

And of course I don't want more res without better DR and better colour reproduction. Keep working at it Fuji and Foveon.

 

Whether this would come at acceptable prices– if history is a guide, it will just be a matter of time.

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I guess I'm the pragmatist in the forum.

 

I buy bodies expecting a 3 year lifespan and just budget the cost of a new body every year (3 bodies total over 3 years).

 

<shrugs> If they change the body/design/etc, well, I just sell off the beat-up bodies and move on.

 

About the only thing that seems to have longevity is glass.

 

All the best, James

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What's wrong with the body you already have? If you are already content then there will never be a reason to change. I have a Nikon F2 that I bought in 1970 on which I took some high-earning pictures. My wife had it refurbished (so I certainly cannot afford to sell it for the nickel it is worth!) and I guess it's as good now as ever it was. Of course, it shoots film but my reasoning is, if it does the job now, why change?

 

I still use a Fuji S2 Pro because I find its indefinable picture quality on skin tones is pretty much better than any of my later more advanced cameras, so if I only need a single page repro max., I'm happy to use it still. (There is a full page shot from it in this month's DIVER mag p30. It's rare to use two cameras side-by-side underwater so I cannot compare those.)

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"What's wrong with the body you already have?"

 

Everything if you believe the advertising people. Nothing if you are satisfied with the results that you are getting!

 

As for high end, expensive housings, look on the bright side, in a few years they will be cheaper to fill with something that is state of the art now and which will probably deliver better results in the future given that software is constantly evolving too.

 

The future is pretty bright if you ask me.

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The future is pretty bright if you ask me.

I think that we may very well be close to the point where technology out works the human eye. It won't be long before resolution is less important than the physical relationship between the human eye and the printed image. Yes, we will be able to make images within a razors edge of perfection, but will we be able to recognize this perfection without massive projections or printed images?

 

Maybe we have already had the best, maybe there will never be any digital image as fulfilling as what a lightbox, slide and loup gave us. It's tough to believe there will ever be any digital imaging that will converse with our eyes in the same way.

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It's not a matter of the body; it is just that the turnover in terms of camera bodies seems to be escalating. While I shoot 90 plus percent digital nowadays with a D2x and D200, I still have an old F3 in an Aquatica housing and a Nikonos III with a 15mm lens that all get regular workouts -- even when slide films are hard to come by . . .

 

 

"What's wrong with the body you already have?"

 

Everything if you believe the advertising people. Nothing if you are satisfied with the results that you are getting!

 

As for high end, expensive housings, look on the bright side, in a few years they will be cheaper to fill with something that is state of the art now and which will probably deliver better results in the future given that software is constantly evolving too.

 

The future is pretty bright if you ask me.

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