• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Will we ever get a Pro-level alternative to Canon + Nikon?

James Masi

New member
A questions to stimulate some discussion. On the small format DLSR market will we ever get an serious alternative at the high-end to Canon and Nikon? Or will we be stuck with this market duopoly for the forseeable future?

I'm not all that satisfied with Canon or Nikon. Nikon is not "full frame" (will they ever be?) as well as other issues, and Canon has lousy ergonomics and lenses that leave quite a bit to be desired (especially below 50mm). Clearly there is room in the market for at least a couple more manufacturers. I would certianly like to see a product offering in this market that I could get excited about. Leica is treading water, but will they ever be anything more than an esoteric, ultra-niche, ultra-expensive alternative? Sony, with KonicaMinolta, seems to be going for the low to middle part of the DSLR market as does Pentax/Samsung and Olympus. Are Sigma and Fuji done for good and/or insignificant anyway? Will Zeiss be able to bring back Contax with a new partner? They have the lenses, the brand image, quality and existing (if dwindling) user base to make a true viable alternative (a new, updated and revised Contax N Digital would really be a welcomed additon to the market), but does Zeiss or anyone else have the determination and committment to make it happen?

Will we ever get choice in the pro DLSR market? To me, having to choose between Canon and Nikon is really no choice at all.
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
I have hoped that some other manufacturers would go for it and put out some higher end cameras, Pentax did very well in the early days of 35mm SLRs but later spent a lot of time introducing "gimmick" cameras, they did however do very well in the professional medium format arena with the 6x7 and 645 cameras. I was close to selling off my Pentax lenses and equipment and going with Canon or Nikon when Pentax announced their 10 MP would be releasing this Fall, It is rumored to be coming out in 2 versions, a "Pro" model with heavier construction and more features, and a "mass market" version the will be a slightly lower build quality and fewer features, but at a lesser price. In order to compete they will need to make sure keep up with the big boys (read - Canon, Nikon) in the area of features and versatility. One feature it will have appears to be Image Stabilization built into the body, this will be a big step up from buying special lenses. It was shown under glass at the PMA and pictures posted to the internet showed an on/off switch on back that was not labeled, it was speculated to be the Anti-Shake feature, which Pentax would neither confirm or deny, however some pictures taken at a Russian tradeshow seem to show the switch labeled (with the rumoured Anti-Shake feature), it also seems to have a huge LCD screen. Attached is the image posted on several sites that is rumoured to have been taken at the Russian tradeshow.


Kyle
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Kyle Nagel

New member
Another point you brought up that I wanted to comment on is sensor size. Just my opinion but I think you will see a lot of manufactures staying with the APS sized sensors, I think there must be a cost vs. advantage issue with the full-frame sensors so they are going with the smaller sensors to keep costs down, I think APS sized sensors in the 8-12 Megapixel range will start to become a leveling point for most DSLRs, not that I think full-frame sensors will go away, but I think from looking at the recent cameras that are being announce and released the manufacturers are intentionally stearing the market towards the APS sized sensors for whatever reason, some of which can be speculated at. I could be wrong, time will tell, but I think you will see more and more of the APS sized sensors rather than the full-frame. Just my opnion, for what it's worth.
 

James Masi

New member
Kyle Nagel said:
I was close to selling off my Pentax lenses and equipment and going with Canon or Nikon when Pentax announced their 10 MP would be releasing this Fall, It is rumored to be coming out in 2 versions, a "Pro" model with heavier construction and more features, and a "mass market" version the will be a slightly lower build quality and fewer features, but at a lesser price. In order to compete they will need to make sure keep up with the big boys (read - Canon, Nikon) in the area of features and versatility. One feature it will have appears to be Image Stabilization built into the body, this will be a big step up from buying special lenses. It was shown under glass at the PMA and pictures posted to the internet showed an on/off switch on back that was not labeled, it was speculated to be the Anti-Shake feature, which Pentax would neither confirm or deny, however some pictures taken at a Russian tradeshow seem to show the switch labeled (with the rumoured Anti-Shake feature), it also seems to have a huge LCD screen. Attached is the image posted on several sites that is rumoured to have been taken at the Russian tradeshow.
If you haven't heard by now, Pentax has officially announced a new DSLR (6mp) with anti-shake. See: http://www.photoreporter.com/article.asp?issueID=61&num=9&vol=14&articleType=ts&articleID=766
This is a consumer-level version, but it does suggest that the forthcoming 10mp "pro" DSLR will have it as well.

I'm sort of in a quandry about selling off stuff as well. If my post didn't reveal my preferences. I have Contax equipment. Contax N1 and N Digital with 5 N lenses and the 645 and 6 lenses (as well as some left over C/Y stuff). I switched to the N after it came out as this was the "future" and they are indeed great cameras (even the N Digital for all it's issues). With the Kyocera pull-out, do I dump it all or continue to hang on in the prospect and rumours of Contax being revived? Besides the thousands in lost value, it would cost many thousands to replace the N lenses (not to mention the 645 lenses) and I would still not have anything as good -- I would just be disappointed. The N lenses are spectacular. So I'm hanging on -- on faith, on rumour, and the hope that good sense and logic prevails that Contax returns to fill an obvious void in the market. Objectively, the Contax N system is perhaps the best platform available for a pro-level full-frame system DSLR -- and that's primarily due to the excellent, super large, lens mount and lenses designed to address the demands of full frame sensors.

Kyle Nagel said:
Another point you brought up that I wanted to comment on is sensor size. Just my opinion but I think you will see a lot of manufactures staying with the APS sized sensors, I think there must be a cost vs. advantage issue with the full-frame sensors so they are going with the smaller sensors to keep costs down.
I think that is certainly true for the entry and mid-level DSLR's 6-8mp at hte low end, 10-12 (eventually) at the mid level. The problem is, at the moment, there are very limited wide angle choices for these cameras. Where are the specific wide angle primes for the APS sensor -- so far there are just low quality zooms. You can mount the full frame prime lenses but the 1.6x crop factor kills you. Nikon, while apparently committed to the APS size sensor, still just churns out full frame lenses (except perhaps for a couple cheap consumer zooms). What are you supposed to do if you use wide angle lenses? You can over to Canon, but their wide angle lenses just suck and people try to mount ever other kind of lens (Leica, Zeiss, Zuiko, CJZ, etc.) on it just to get a decent image. Pentax is trying, note the new 21mm limted edition prime, but that really just the equivalent to a 32mm lenses on full frame -- not really very wide at all.

I just seems to me that there is demand and needs out there in market that are not being met. Who is going to step up and provide the alternative to Canon and Nikon? Pentax/Samsung and KonicaMinolta/Sony have just done the basic ""me too" products which are not sufficiently differentiated or innovative, nor do they give the users anything advantage over the competitors (which is why they are floundering) -- and to date nothing they are doing is even rumoured would try to compete with the 1Ds or the D2X at the top end. This is where I think Zeiss can step up (if Kyocera isn't completely and irrationally obstructive) and give the market something to get excited about. My stash of Zeiss/Contax lenses are waiting it out to see what happens.
 
Real wide angles for APS (and 4/3) sensors?

Sean Reid has now put his observations on how well 15-20mm primes from the 35 mm film world cover both full frame sensors and APS sensors. The former in the Canon EOS-1 and -5 line, the latter in his favorite digital rangefinders. You can find some of that on his subscription website www.reidreviews.com (which is not terribly expensive) and the rest in earlier articles on Luminous Landscape.

For the 4/3 world, which seems destined to live separately from the rest with its unique and somewhat secret "standard" lens mount, there are 11-22 mm (22-44 mm-e) and 7-14mm (14-28 mm-e) zooms with awesome reputations. I own the 11-22 and use it almost all the time. And my little Ricoh GR-D has a fantastically contrasty and apparently sharp 28 mm-e f/2.4 prime in front of its 8 consumer Mpx. That one is actually a 6 mm lens and is sharp from 2.4 to 4.0 but starts to get diffraction-limited above 5.6!

So my bottom line is that sharp, contrasty lenses with effective focal lengths from 28mm on down are not at all impossible, as primes or as restricted zooms. I think we will see more of them.

scott
 

James Masi

New member
scott kirkpatrick said:
Sean Reid has now put his observations on how well 15-20mm primes from the 35 mm film world cover both full frame sensors and APS sensors.
Yes, but it doesn't leave you with any very wide angle lenses for APS sensor cameras. That very expensive 15mm full frame only gets you about the equivalent of a 24mm lens with an APS camera.

scott kirkpatrick said:
And my little Ricoh GR-D has a fantastically contrasty and apparently sharp 28 mm-e f/2.4 prime in front of its 8 consumer Mpx. That one is actually a 6 mm lens and is sharp from 2.4 to 4.0 but starts to get diffraction-limited above 5.6!
As a GR1s film camera user, I anxiously awaited to Ricoh GR-D. In my view it is much less that what they promised and what the "GR" name implies. Finally, I thought, a compact digital with SLR quality. But alas, no. Just another compact digicam with a tiny sensor. Very noisy and ultimately disappointing. I compared the GR-D with the scanned output from my GR1s and the GR1s won hands down at all ISO ratings. Wasn't even close. Nice lens, but (IMHO) really let down by the rest of the camera. I'm hoping that Ricoh will try again and give us a real digital successor to the GR1. Actually, I am hoping that more manufacturers step up to the plate to supply true digital successors to the high-quality film P&S cameras of the past like the Lieca Minilux, the Contax T3, and the Ricoh GR1.

scott kirkpatrick said:
So my bottom line is that sharp, contrasty lenses with effective focal lengths from 28mm on down are not at all impossible, as primes or as restricted zooms. I think we will see more of them.
I hope it didn't seem like I was suggesting that it was impossible. It clearly is not. In fact they can be produced more cheaply than their full frame counterparts. It is just that it is not being done. If you want a quality lens for an APS DSLR with an effective focal length between 14 and 28mm there isn't much at all to choose from. Maybe they just don't think users of APS sensor DSLR will use wide angle lenses, maybe they feel that this is exclusively a Pro requirement and these cameras aren't designed for Pros. Who knows. But I hope you are right and that we will see more of them.
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
If you haven't heard by now, Pentax has officially announced a new DSLR (6mp) with anti-shake. See: http://www.photoreporter.com/article...&articleID=766
This is a consumer-level version, but it does suggest that the forthcoming 10mp "pro" DSLR will have it as well.

I had heard, other than having Anti-shake another 6MP consumer DSLR being announced is rather anti-climatic, at this point I'm more interested in the pro level bodies over 8MP.


I'm sort of in a quandry about selling off stuff as well. If my post didn't reveal my preferences. I have Contax equipment. Contax N1 and N Digital with 5 N lenses and the 645 and 6 lenses (as well as some left over C/Y stuff). I switched to the N after it came out as this was the "future" and they are indeed great cameras (even the N Digital for all it's issues). With the Kyocera pull-out, do I dump it all or continue to hang on in the prospect and rumours of Contax being revived? Besides the thousands in lost value, it would cost many thousands to replace the N lenses (not to mention the 645 lenses) and I would still not have anything as good -- I would just be disappointed. The N lenses are spectacular. So I'm hanging on -- on faith, on rumour, and the hope that good sense and logic prevails that Contax returns to fill an obvious void in the market. Objectively, the Contax N system is perhaps the best platform available for a pro-level full-frame system DSLR -- and that's primarily due to the excellent, super large, lens mount and lenses designed to address the demands of full frame sensors.

The Contax equipment is nice equipment to be sure, it is a tough decision but I think hanging onto your equipment for the time being isn't a bad move at all, I'm not sure you could really sell it for what it's worth right now.


The problem is, at the moment, there are very limited wide angle choices for these cameras. Where are the specific wide angle primes for the APS sensor -- so far there are just low quality zooms. You can mount the full frame prime lenses but the 1.6x crop factor kills you. Nikon, while apparently committed to the APS size sensor, still just churns out full frame lenses (except perhaps for a couple cheap consumer zooms). What are you supposed to do if you use wide angle lenses? You can over to Canon, but their wide angle lenses just suck and people try to mount ever other kind of lens (Leica, Zeiss, Zuiko, CJZ, etc.) on it just to get a decent image. Pentax is trying, note the new 21mm limted edition prime, but that really just the equivalent to a 32mm lenses on full frame -- not really very wide at all.

Actually I've been looking at the Pentax 14mm DA which was specifically designed for the APS sensors, it would be a 21mm equivalent and I think it would be wide enough for what I want, I was ready to buy it when the 12-24mm was announced, the problem is nearly every zoom I have ever bought I have ended up selling, I have just never got razor sharp images out of a zoom, I'm a big prime fan and do most of my shooting with one of 3 lenses, a 50mm, a 20mm, and a 300mm. I think I'll end up with the 14mm instead of the zoom, I'm just afraid I'll be disappointed with the 12-24mm once I get it. As far as the new 21mm Pentax goes I'm not sure what advantage it would have over their 20mm FA which I own, the 20mm is tack sharp and one of their best lenses, all I can see with the new 21mm is it is a little smaller than the 20mm, but it's slower too, f3.2 instead of f2.8.

I agree that having another contender in the marketplace would be beneficial to everyone, competition breeds progress, as well as competitive pricing.

Kyle
 

James Masi

New member
Kyle Nagel said:
I had heard, other than having Anti-shake another 6MP consumer DSLR being announced is rather anti-climatic, at this point I'm more interested in the pro level bodies over 8MP.
I agree. But I guess Pentax felt that they should do this as soon as possible to try to stimulate sales now, which I assume have crawled to a virtual halt.

Kyle Nagel said:
The Contax equipment is nice equipment to be sure, it is a tough decision but I think hanging onto your equipment for the time being isn't a bad move at all, I'm not sure you could really sell it for what it's worth right now.
Actually , I figure it's "worth" a lot more than what it could be sold for right now. The worst with this the 24-85 Vario-Sonnar which seems to sell now for less than $400. That's a crime. It's better than anything else in focal range and it wouild cost $1200 just to try to come close to it's quality (and I'd still be disappointed). The rarer lenses are holding up better. The 400/f4 (which I don't have) is like made of unobtainium and costs as much as it did while new. The spectacular 85/f1.4 (completely re-designed from the old Contax manual focus 85/1.4) is holding around the $900-1000 mark. I'm glad that I finally found one. And film is better than ever and with some very effective grain reduction with Neat Image, hard to beat, IMHO -- and the N Digital is useable when necessary. So I can hold out a little longer.

Kyle Nagel said:
Actually I've been looking at the Pentax 14mm DA which was specifically designed for the APS sensors, it would be a 21mm equivalent and I think it would be wide enough for what I want, I was ready to buy it when the 12-24mm was announced, the problem is nearly every zoom I have ever bought I have ended up selling, I have just never got razor sharp images out of a zoom, I'm a big prime fan and do most of my shooting with one of 3 lenses, a 50mm, a 20mm, and a 300mm. I think I'll end up with the 14mm instead of the zoom, I'm just afraid I'll be disappointed with the 12-24mm once I get it. As far as the new 21mm Pentax goes I'm not sure what advantage it would have over their 20mm FA which I own, the 20mm is tack sharp and one of their best lenses, all I can see with the new 21mm is it is a little smaller than the 20mm, but it's slower too, f3.2 instead of f2.8.
I have to admit that if the Contax line is truly dead, I'm most inclined to go to Pentax -- I'm hoping that the forthcoming 10mp proves to be a good performer. It, along with a selection of the limited edition lenses might do the trick for a while. I have a soft spot for Pentax. My first camera was a SP1000.

Kyle Nagel said:
I agree that having another contender in the marketplace would be beneficial to everyone, competition breeds progress, as well as competitive pricing.
This is a point I've been making for a while now. A market duopoly consisting of Canon and Nikon is not in anyone's interests -- even if you are a Canon or Nikon user. It just increases prices, limits choice and slows innovation and progress. It is something about which everyone should be concerned.
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
The spectacular 85/f1.4 (completely re-designed from the old Contax manual focus 85/1.4) is holding around the $900-1000 mark
The Pentax version of this lens is also in the same price range, I've been hoping to pick one up for just a little less than that but they seem to be hanging in the $1000 area, I may have to cave in and pick one up at that price, I have a feeling if the new 10MP becomes a big hit the cost may jump up slightly on these harder to find lenses.

Kyle
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
"The worst with this the 24-85 Vario-Sonnar" Does this lens exist? I use the magnificent 28-85mm Vario-Sonnar as a street lens.

Asher
 

James Masi

New member
That was intended to read, "The worst with regard to this is the 24-85 Vario-Sonnar (that is, with respect to having a current price much lower than its "worth"). I write too fast and should proof read more...
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks, Kyle,

I am fixated on the best lenses that can work with my Canon cameras for landscape, architecture and interiors. So I must have obliterated the N lenses from consideration. I now remember being so frustrated and "cheated" that the N lenses couldn't be used.

Still, the Zeiss MM lenses are "Nirvana" or the nearest thing to it for Canon bodies where one needs far better wide angle coverage.

For the moment, I thought there was another lens that I "needed".

Well I saved some more money!

Asher
 
Let Biogons be Biogons said:
As a GR1s film camera user, I anxiously awaited to Ricoh GR-D. In my view it is much less that what they promised and what the "GR" name implies. Finally, I thought, a compact digital with SLR quality. But alas, no. Just another compact digicam with a tiny sensor. Very noisy and ultimately disappointing.
That wasn't what I was looking for. I happen to like the gritty look, combined with good tonality, that it produces. Reminds me of Tri-X at ASA 800 using Rodinal, and it is as a result useful at ISO 400-1600. Especially since the enormous depth of field makes shooting at f/2.8 very practical. But that's a matter of taste.

scott
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Interesting about the Ricoh GR-D and the discovered grain that some object to.

Actually, this camera may be one to still be considered exactly for the grain which is said to have a unique and special quality that some even value.

It would be nice if someone might post files from the GR-D at different ISO settings, so that the grain can be appreciated.

Asher
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
I happen to like the gritty look, combined with good tonality, that it produces. Reminds me of Tri-X at ASA 800 using Rodinal
Although in this digital age we sometimes think photography is all about technical perfection it is really about personal vision and a lot of other subjective elements (composition, subject matter, and medium, to name a few), the "gritty" look you mention reminds me of the Holga cameras from a few years back. For those unfamiliar with a Holga it was basically a "toy" 120 roll film camera, a medium format camera that was built like something from a five and dime store. They were guaranteed to have light leaks (no, really) and the shutter speeds and apertures were far from accurate, and it was random luck if the lens even came close to being sharp. What was amazing is they caught on like wildfire for a while, the "less-than-perfect" images they produced had unique look a feel, a sort of "gritty" look, to use a word I've recently heard. Michael Riechmann recently did an article on his website that involved what I like to think of as the digital counterpart of the Holga, the "funky-cam", As a matter of fact I think he even compares it to the Holga in his article. I actually found one recently for less than the $20 price-tag he references ($12 on clearance), I'm hoping to play with it when I have some more time. If you're interested in his article it can be found here: http://luminous-landscape.com/essays/funkeycam.shtml

Kyle
 
You want gritty?...

I put some shots that I took at a relative's wedding up on pbase:

http://www.pbase.com/skirkp/wedding

shortly after i got the camera. The transitions from b/w to color and back are a little obvious, and I was still learning how to hold a flyweight camera steady, but you'll get the idea. Actually, if you don't go for large final prints, and have some noise elimination tools handy, the ISO 64-200 output of the camera is smooth, detailed, and rich in colors (although a little hard to control).

I'm still waiting for the pro-body Olympus E-3 to appear late this year (2006, right?) so that I can get back into the bragging contests with you big guys. In the meantime, i am having lots of fun.
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
Thanks for sharing Scott! Looks like you were having fun, keep it up. I see you are patiently waiting to upgrade as well. I'll look forward to seeing what you have to share once you have your E-3 in hand.

Kyle
 

Glenn Haley

New member
Come out with a Pro alternative? Kodak did and with a pretty decent camera for either Nikon or Canon glass but they were not supported.

Glenn
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
I think part of the problem was most photographers upgraded within the equipment they already owned, so those that had Canon glass just bought a Canon body. The Kodak body wasn't vastly superior or incredibly less expensive than the Canon or Nikon counterpart, so few photographers were lulled away by them and even though the lenses were interchangeable a lot of other accessories that they owned were not compatible with the Kodak bodies. The difference with Pentax is they have a lot of Pentax lenses out there that could be used by photographers by just purchasing the body, Pentax is probably the most back-wards compatible system there is, there are lenses more than 40 years old that can be used on the new Pentax digitals, they even have converters that allow their 645 and 6x7 lenses to be used on them (with loss of auto focus obviously). Pentax has some really nice glass, and a pretty decent reputation, especially among medium format users, back in the 60's and 70's they were right up there with the other guys, If they could produce a well made pro level camera with competitive features, lenses, and accessories I think they would have a good chance of adding another alternative to the market. Then again I could be a little biased, eh?

Kyle
 

Bo-Ming Tong

New member
James Masi said:
Actually , I figure it's "worth" a lot more than what it could be sold for right now. The worst with this the 24-85 Vario-Sonnar which seems to sell now for less than $400. That's a crime. It's better than anything else in focal range and it wouild cost $1200 just to try to come close to it's quality (and I'd still be disappointed). The rarer lenses are holding up better. The 400/f4 (which I don't have) is like made of unobtainium and costs as much as it did while new. The spectacular 85/f1.4 (completely re-designed from the old Contax manual focus 85/1.4) is holding around the $900-1000 mark. I'm glad that I finally found one. And film is better than ever and with some very effective grain reduction with Neat Image, hard to beat, IMHO -- and the N Digital is useable when necessary. So I can hold out a little longer.
How about converting the N-series autofocus lenses you mentioned to EF mount?

http://www.conurus.com/
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Kyle,

I think your belief in Pentax quality is not misplaced. I used the Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm SMT lens that as yet I have not seen any improvement on. For years, all my work was done with just that one lens and my feet.

Problem is that these camera companies were too slow in finding partners to share the cost of retooling for digital SLR and now they are like the extra piglet vainly looking for an unoccupied place to feed.

Asher
 

Kyle Nagel

New member
Asher,

Funny thing about the 50mm lens you mention is that it is the lens I have on my digital body most of the time (only the new FA version), I have an aversion to zooms, every one I've bought I've ended up getting rid of eventually, my 50mm, 20mm, and 300mm are what I have used for 90% of my images, and like you my feet become my zoom. In 2 or 3 months the new Pentax 10.2 MP body should be available, I hope it lives up to all of the hype Pentax is giving it, I should be the first on my block to own it!

Kyle
 

Gary Ayala

New member
The only thing keeping camera makers from entering the pro level marketplace is the size of the pro camera marketplace pie ... not a lot of $$$ is spent on pro level equipment when compared to the big picture of consumer photo gear.

Do we need an alternative? Yes, competition is a wonderful thing ... keeps prices down ... quality and innovation up ... but is a fragmentation to the small professional camera marketplace a good idea? If the professional marketplace was a big pie then there would already be other brands in this market. Even back in the film only days, there were very few brands in the pro market arena (Nikon and Lecia in the small format and to a lesser extent Canon).

History tells me that the pro level market can't maintain many competitors. I think that Nikon and Canon view professional use of their equipment as equally important for marketing their entire lines as it is for making a profit.

Fragmenting the small pie of professional users amongst additional brands may have the opposite effect that we photogs desire. It may starve innovation (innovation costs $$$, with lower gross profits there will be less monies for R&D) and quality, lose the benefits and savings derived from economic scale may actually cause pricing to increase.
 
Last edited:

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Gary,

Remember that much of the R&D occurs in non-camera companies like Texas Instruments that in turn supplies dedicated processing chips to enhance the CCD & CMOS sensors of the HP, Kodak and other mass market digicams. This in fact provides new technology from below to pressure Canon and Nikon to keep innovating.

The mass market digicams are getting more and more sophisticated such that it will alter the professional cameras beyond our imagination. Loco-regional image enhancement, shadow and highlight detail, all optimized automatically. No focus. Focus is in software. All this will be availble but in professional upscale versions. The prosumer market and technology paid for by the mass digicam market, will finance the Professional cameras of the future.

Asher
 

Joel Slack

New member
If I were Nikon or Canon I'd be very nervous about the advent of the Foveon chip and their association with Sigma. The potential for this thing is ridiculous, if the press reports are true. Already 14 mp's on a chip smaller than APS-C. Imagine a full-frame or even 1.3 crop sensor. And I've looked at the SD14, and it seems to be a very well-designed camera. Mirror lock-up on a knob at the top of the camera, go figure. Integrated sensor dust protector. And a 14mp p&s, to boot. ("Why?" might be a reasonable question, but still, people will flock to it)

Sigma will definitely be a company to watch, if the reports are even close to accurate. They have a huge lens selection, some of them very, very good. This could be the beginning of a serious run at Canon & Nikon.
 

Erik DeBill

New member
Joel Slack said:
Sigma will definitely be a company to watch, if the reports are even close to accurate. They have a huge lens selection, some of them very, very good. This could be the beginning of a serious run at Canon & Nikon.
This same thing was said back when the SD-10 came out. They just never get any traction. Their lenses are seen as cheap off-brands (even if some of them are really really good) and their cameras have 0 name recognition.

I'd love to see more competition in the marketplace, but I think Pentax would be a more likely candidate than Sigma, and that's not super likely. All those Canon and Nikon lenses out there make for incredible inertia. Now... what if Pentax made a K10D in Canon EF-S mount? I'd probably have bought one instead of the new lens I ordered last weekend.
 

Joel Slack

New member
Christen Hansen said:
The Sigma SD 14 has 4,69 million effective pixels from 14.1 million pixels in three layers.
So the practical resolution is...what? I don't understand enough about the sensor dynamics, I guess. Is there a benefit to this megapixel calculus? How can they pitch it as 14 mp's if you only net 4.7? Not to be overly naive about marketing practices, but there is a large whopping distance between 14 and 4.7, at 100x.
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Joel Slack said:
So the practical resolution is...what? I don't understand enough about the sensor dynamics, I guess. Is there a benefit to this megapixel calculus? How can they pitch it as 14 mp's if you only net 4.7? Not to be overly naive about marketing practices, but there is a large whopping distance between 14 and 4.7, at 100x.
The resolution of the SD14 is just 4.7 MP. The concept is similar to the 3CCD digital film cameras, which are sold for more than a decade now. There are three 4.7 MP sensors stacked vertically. Each stack is filtered for one of the primary colours, red, green or blue. The resulting image is composed of these three colour specific pixels. So we can say that this is "true" 4.7 MP. Theoretically, it can have a 36-42 bits of colour depth and a very large gamut and dynamic range.

A regular/mainstream camera with a sensor of 14 MP pixels has R, G and B sensing pixels scattered according to a pattern (usually there are 50% green and 25% blue and red pixels in total). The raw conversion software interpolates the values recorded by those pixels in order to construct a 14 MP image. This conversion is not an exact science and there is room for interpretation, hence the variety of raw converters out there.

HTH,

Cheers,

Cem
 
Top