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@mike: thanks. I'm well aware when I'm pushing the boundaries of language and categorizations. My ex-wife was my copy editor through most of my career (still does some from time to time), and this was always the number one issue we had to resolve: how far to let me push language in order to explain something. On my own, I push further ;~). @miserere: just because the body dimensions aren't the same doesn't mean it isn't the same body design underneath. Obviously, the FX mirror box means that you make adjustments. But if you were to disassemble the D600 and D7000 side by side, you'd see that other than the adjustments for FX, it's a D7000 body and parts. This is actually the same thing that was true of the D300 to D700, too. Nikon has basically four body designs that all of their DSLRs are based upon. D3200/D5100, D7000/D600, D300s/D800, D4 in the current lineup, but all of those have historical lineage backing them up. For example: D40->D40x->D60->D3000->D5000->D3000->D3100->D5100->D3200. Or D100->D200->D300->D700->D800.
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2012 on D600 Bythom at The Online Photographer
Sense to whom? And that really is the question. In the days of film, you paid for image size with every shot you took: there was a direct physical cost for the media upon which you captured, and cost varied with size. Thus, economically there was a sweet spot. The film makers kept looking for a smaller sweet spot (because they could mask margin increases when math illiterate customers couldn't figure it out), but never found one because of the size/quality constraints. In those film days, hardware manufacturers had only performance and features to compete with. Today, it's different. Capture size is a one-time cost to the customer, and once incurred, you're free to take as many photos of that size as you wish. There are still size/quality constraints, though. The question is whether there is a sweet spot, and if so, where it's located. I think it very safe to say that the sensor size sweet spot is very much smaller than people think it is, probably around 1". The number of people who truly do things that require a larger sensor get exponentially smaller as the size goes up. But let's look at the hardware vendors' view of the world. We have 10 or so significant makers, of which only a couple are profitable at the level you'd expect of an ongoing concern, and many of which lose money on cameras. They're all looking for something, anything, that'll differentiate them enough and which has enough potential profit margin to change their fate. When they see an emotional and significant response to the question "should we make a full frame mirrorless camera" at least one of them will jump, in hopes that this is the thing that'll secure their future. The problem, of course, is the low barrier to entry for almost anything the camera companies are doing (and in some cases, the near zero barrier, as in making an Android phone). There's no IP that stops you from making smaller/larger sensor cameras. It's a simple engineering task, which these companies excel at. While I seek quality in my equipment I think that I and others in the photo community are getting far too caught up in the small picture and missing the big picture: what is it we're really trying to achieve? The D3 was the first camera that really brought that home to me. Some people were asking for even more low light ability (and we've gotten it), but frankly, what was that going to do for me? I'm amused that Fujifilm thinks they need to do a full frame X-Pro. Have you shot with the current X-Pro? It's a very good camera. What exactly does full frame give you that the APS version doesn't, and do you need that? The answer is what I said above: exponentially fewer do as you up the size. And a number of those that say they do are looking for bragging rights more than shooting differences. So my original sentence is the answer: Makes sense to whom? Not to me; it'll add nothing to the photography I do. To you? Maybe. But are you sure you know what you need versus what you want emotionally?
You can always tell people who haven't shot with a Nikon V1: they dismiss it. But in terms of compact macro and/or compact wildlife, there isn't anything else that comes even remotely close. For macro we've got access to great 40, 60, 85, 105mm lenses (multiply by 2.7x), all of which will focus fast on a V1. For wildlife, stick a 70-300mm on it and you're at a handholdable 840mm equivalent (but the 30-100mm Nikkor 1 lens is actually quite good in and of itself). But this gets me back to my former comment: you're at risk of making this a popularity contest, not an actual use advisory. Most people are buying on marketing message, and they actually don't have experience with the other cameras. Thus, a company with a mixed or weak marketing message gets fewer takers who in turn produce fewer "love" messages. For example, I note that no one seems to have nominated the AW100 or the new Olympus Tough. Both are exceptionally good waterproof cameras (though neither shoots raw, a real drawback). When I kayak, I "love" these cameras. Which brings me back to my point: what are we loving here? Overall goodness, or something specific? In the overall goodness category I'd say there are few qualified to assess an RX-100 against a GX1 against even an XZ-1 (I'm not yet able to do so, despite testing all three and more). The specific goodness category is much more easy to identify. Indeed, if you just back up to common photography tasks (landscape, sports, family and children, street, wildlife, etc.) you can find the cameras that people love for that thing very quickly.
Love for what reason? There are almost no cameras on your list that are loved for their all-around capability (the OM-D would probably head that list). Most of your cameras make the "love" list for one of two reason: 1. All around compromise. They have compromises partly due to their smallness, and we're willing to live with those for the smallness. The Canon S100 falls into this category. 2. They excel at something specific. You don't list it, but the V1 falls clearly into this category, as no other small camera can focus like it can, let alone with handheld lenses out to 840mm equivalent. But even using these criteria things are getting muddy. For example, take the S100, LX-7, XZ-1, and RX-100 (and maybe the larger G1x). The RX-100 clearly changed the evaluation of the S100/LX-7/XZ-1, as the primary compromise (sensor size) is gone. But more to the point, very few people have actually TRIED all these cameras (I have, though I'm a little behind on a couple of recent ones). Thus, they tend to form their "Love" or "Dislike" stance by echoing what they've read or a specific need/desire they see in the marketing/reviews of the cameras. I'll give you one specific set to contemplate: S100, G12, or G1x? People pick the S100 over the others because "the compromise in performance doesn't equal the gain in small size." With the S100 versus G12 that was pretty clear. Now we have the G1x, which is nearly identical in size to the G12 but has clearly better sensor performance. Obviously, G1x > G12 (there's really no way you can favor the G12 over the G1x unless price is primary consideration). The corollary to this argument is very different: have we exceeded an image quality bar above which all these cameras can get? To use a current metaphor: do all these cameras meet the Olympic A qualifying standard? If so, then the "love" aspect becomes very personal and I can find something to love about virtually any camera you propose. I suspect that this is actually the case. Dial back to 1995 and film and we had an absolute bar that was at ISO 400 or 800 (depending upon who you asked), and "small" cameras with very few features and few with great lenses. We're obviously better off than that now. As to whether the qualifying bar should be raised, the answer is likely no, it should be lowered. Other than a few of us still exploring large format output, the common denominator has gone down from 4x6 prints to essentially 1920x1080 max for most output (the image used to illustrate this article is 798 x 496 ;~).
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2012 on Calling All Geeks! Part I at The Online Photographer
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Aug 12, 2012