I have been shooting a manual focus camera until now, and am getting ready to make the transition to autofocus. Given the fact that I am starting from scratch, I am trying to take into consideration as much as I can in commiting to a system, especially the likely possibility that I will be getting a digital body in the near future. Although I am a Nikon guy at heart, I am concerned about Nikon using the DX format sensor as their standard size for their digital cameras. I am mainly someone who is interested in wide-angle photography, so the DX format is a hindrance to me, as well as being frustrating generally. As such, I welcome any input on the following questions:
1.) Is there any indication that Nikon would be likely to eschew the DX sensor size in favor of a full frame sensor? I have read reports that Nikon is committed to the DX format; this seems to make sense taking into account the fact that Nikon is now producing DX lenses. On the other hand seems to be moving to a full frame sensor, even if it is only on the upper end of their line due to economic reasons. Do you think it is likely that the rumored F6 will be a full sensor?
2.) For someone principally interested in wideangle photography, is it justified to jump ship with Nikon (i don't want to...) and go to the other company because they are embracing the full frame sensor? I really like the idea of having the same focal length to film size view ratio between a film and digital body.
#1. "RE: Advice on the DX sensor format needed" In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Cordova, US
First and foremost, Welcome to Nikonians!
Now then, I'm no expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but you did ysay that you would welcome "any input."
1) I think Nikon's latest press release clarified that for the time being, the AFS sized sensor will be the standard, as that makes the most sense currently. A full frame sensor seems to have shortcomings. Most comments on the F-6 are rumors, so I won't go there.
2) Kodak does produce a FF sensor camera body with the Nikon F-mount. The Pro 14n, and there is the just announced Pro SLR/n that should be replacing it. Nikon's DX lenses put you right back in there with respect to 35mm focal length lenses: The 12-24DX is equivelent to an 18-35; the yet to be released 18-70DX is equiv to a 27-105. The 10mm DX fisheye is equiv. to the 16mm.
The reality is that these are different formats, just as 35mm is a different format from 2-1/4. You just need to get used to the different focal lenghts. Yes I understand that perspective doesn't change with the 1.5x multiplier, just the apparent angle of view is cropped.
3) Are you being overly critical? Only you can answer that. There are photographers here that said they needed FF, 16MP cameras to even be interested in a DSLR. Those same photographers are very happy with their D100's, S2's, D1X's, D1H's and D2H's. Personally, I wouldn't jump ship. I don't like the other guys' interface, it just isn't fit me. The copier company always releases three new bodies to fix something wrong, where as the Nikon releases one and gets it right. (Just look at the D100 vs. the D30, D60, 10D; the D70 vs. the DRebel - the copier co. dropped that one - of course they're selling like hot cakes because its available NOW.)
Technology is changing everyday. The camera today will be "obsolete" a couple of months from now. So will your computer. So what. It's just a tool. A camera now gives you the opportunity to shoot NOW, not waiting on the sidelines.
#2. "RE: Advice on the DX sensor format needed" In response to Reply # 0
The DX sensor size clearly presents issues given the existing line of lenses, mostly because very few lenses have been built strictly for digital SLRs. Wait a couple of more years, and you'll see more digital only optics which will satisfy your wide-angle requirements, hopefully at a lower cost than what DX-lenses cost today.
#3. "RE: Advice on the DX sensor format needed" In response to Reply # 2
I heard that the reason Nikon chose the DX format, is because the full frame sensor show too much the shortcomings of today's wide-angle lenses. It makes much more sense to invest in the development of ultra-wide angle lenses that still provide a reasonable angle of view on a DX sensor.
#4. "RE: Advice on the DX sensor format needed" In response to Reply # 3
True - traditional wide-angle optics revealed the weaknesses of digital FF - particularly at corner and edge aspects. But the development of dual-use optics (both film and digital) is occurring with the third-party manufacturers only (Sigma's notable 12-24 FF and Tamron's Di series). Nikon's roadmap seems filled with future DX-type lenses only.
#5. "RE: Advice on the DX sensor format needed" In response to Reply # 3
Ville de Mont-Royal, CA
I suggest you ponder the economics of it a little.
Producing FF sensors is currently extremely expensive, and so are the cameras which incorporate them. You can solve the format "problem" with just one DX lens, the 12-24DX, which is a lot cheaper than going FF at this point.
Only time will tell whether the DX/APS format is going to stick or not. Many people seem convinced that it is only a matter of time until FF cameras can be produced at reasonable costs and that it will not be possible to bring the APS sized sensors to the level of pixel dimensions that the market will eventually stabilise around.
From my perspective however, shelling out around USD $8,000 or more today for FF is just not justifiable. If things evolve in the FF direction, which remains to be seen, you'll conceivably be able to get a FF camera of better quality than what is available today for the price of a D-100 or even less in a few years at the rate things are evolving.
Michel G. Sylvestre Nikonian from Montréal, Canada