Future digital SLRs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mr_Brightside_@, May 11, 2006.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #1
    hi everyone, not sure if this is in the right forum (maybe Buying Tips instead) but i was wondering if someone could ball park the specs of a general digital SLR in say two to three years. if you have no idea, i'm sorry for wasting space, but i am hoping to see what a future SLR that i will eventaully have the dough for will be like. thankx for any input!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #2
    I think in 2-3 years there will be no crop factor at all, all will be full frame DSLR's, maybe 22-25MP, and I would venture to say around 12fps max on some. A2GB CF card will be standard and need for the large files your camera will use. I would guess $2000 - $2500 average price range for a pro-sumer camera.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    #3
    While Canon might go full frame, I seriously doubt that Nikon will. They have too much money invested in the DX format for lenses. Many people have thousands of dollars in this. Otherwise, the specs above seem pretty acurate.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #4
    i for one dont want a full frame camera. i love the extra working distance that the crop factor gives me!!!

    that said maybe in two to three

    we will get 12 fps framerates, 30 megapixel images, dust free sensors (hey we can dream right)!!!
     
  5. macrumors G4

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    #5
    Expect a price slide but not many new features

    Nikon has let out thier plans. They will move two ways (1) lower price point DSLRs, Even cheaper then the D50. These will have a product cycle of 18 months. So in three years we'll will see the D50 replaced twice. Nikon will keep the DX sensor format with possibly higher resolution but the main thing will be to lower the price not to add more fetures. (2) at the other end of the line, at the mid four digit price point I think they will have a full frame 36x24mm sensor with a bout 20MP on a diecast metal frame.

    None of this as advancing the state of the art. CCD sensors are a mature technology now. What is happening is that manufacturing processes are geting better and this allows the cost to come down. Already, right now you can buy a medium format autofocus DSLR witha huge pixel count but it is at the five figure price point right now.

    Bottom line is that over the next few years the prices will slide down. The D50 might sell for $400 and the D200 might drop to $900 and a new $4,000 SLR will be introducted. that does full frame and high speed. I'd also expect the D70 to be replaced with something that falls beween the D50 and D200. Maybe they will call it a D90?
     
  6. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #6
    I'll play along. Much of my thoughts are based on many manufacturers stopping/slowing the megapixel race with a majority of the latest releases. As an example Canon's most recent "top end" P&S announcements have been 6mp cameras with a "decent" ISO 800 capability, with IS built-in.

    My guess for DSLRs in the next 2-3 years. APS-C sized sensors will still rule for most manufacturers, except for Canon - who will still have a mix of 1.6x and FF, not sure if their 1.3x sensor will see it past the 3 year mark.

    I see the likes of an Rebel XT/D50 camera with 6 to 8mp's at a $350 price point with a 18-55 intro lens. Better noise handling even at ISO 1600, and even better dynamic range.

    As for cameras like the 30D and the D200, I see them in the 10-12mp range at a $500 price point for the body only. Again with better noise handling even at ISO 1600, and even better dynamic range.

    At the $1000-1300 price point for body's alone I see APS-C sized sensor cameras with 12-16mp (with better noise handling even at ISO 1600, and even better dynamic range of course). F100 "pro build quality) with 6 to 8fps

    In the $2000+ range it gets cloudy. For I don't see Nikon going full frame for at least 5 years, and that will be a different product line all together. A new lens mount with an adapter for AF-S lenses to be shot at lower resolutions, sort along of the lines at their HS crop on the D2X - the difference would be that the HS crop would automatically be selected by using the adapter. Otherwise for the new mount would require a menu selection.

    In this price range I see Nikon going to 14 to 20mp. Think sort of an F5/F6 with APS-C. For Canon I see the replace to the 5D in 2-3 years being in the $200 range with 16mp. With the 1Ds replacement coming down to a $4000 price range with 20-22mp. Maybe by this timeframe Canon will offer digital specific wide angle lenses for the FF format.

    In the $5000+ arena, I see MF digital being able to compete at the low end of this range with 22mp cameras, and moving up the scale with sensors that offer 40-60mp sensors.

    I will need to see a reminder in iCal to bring this thread up in 2-3 years and see where things really have gone. :)
     
  7. macrumors G4

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    #7
    Nikon will not drop the DX format. It will live along side the FF format DSRLs. Nikon has said their goal is to reduce the price of the lowest model camera. You don't do that by going FF. You do that by adding more automation to the factory.

    I think they also intend to have a line of FF camera to sell to profesionals. Notice that their best lenses are all FF.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    I believe that there will be quite a few more four-thirds cameras available from companies other than Olympus. However, I'll still be waiting for my E-1 replacement 2 years from now. :D

    At that time, I don't think anything under 20 MP will be available, even with point and shoot cameras, and WiFi and/or Bluetooth technology will be available with every SLR.

    I have a hunch that new material will be available for lenses that will make them more durable and lighter and more useful in low light conditions, minimising image stabilisation technology.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    FF will not take sweep the DSLR market in the future as many canon fanbois will predict. Their huge cost increase outweigh their slight advantages.

    Besides with a DX format you're always using the sweet-spot of your lens (that is of course if you are using a nonDX lense)
     
  10. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #10
    Not sure that many others will join the 4/3's system. I see only Panasonic (with their partners of Olympus and Leica).

    I hope that by this fall you will see at least the announcement for the replacement of the E-1. Olympus has some truly great high-end lenses that need a decent camera body NOW!

    The P&S market I think will see a max of 10mp. Unless printing technology catches up. Right now it seems that 300dpi is the max for printers. So even the new Casio 10mp P&S will give an 8x12 at 300dpi in a 3:2 format. Even at 200dpi this gives the user a "pure" 12x18 print. And the P&S market will not see the difference between 200 and 300dpi with todays printers.

    And by my experience on the sales floor, most never so anything above 8x10's. What I think may happen is P&S's going to ISO 1600. And DSLR's above the $500 price mark going to ISO 6400.

    That would be nice, but barring a sudden development in glass technology, I don't really seeing this happening in 2-3 years. I hope that we will see an APS-C sensor camera in the form factor of the Canon G6 with a 1.4~2.0 zoom with the benefits of the advanced sensors being used in the low-end DSLRs in 2-3 years, at a $300 price point.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #11
    wow... i thought i was going to get insulted, because i gave such a big timeframe :eek: anyway, thankx a lot for your input everyone!
     
  12. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #12
    I don't think it is "canon fanbois" driving the debate on FF sensors. It is also Nikon owners that see the likes of the 5D, and wonder why not them?

    Costs will come down IMO. Canon has the edge over many other manufactures since they have the ability to build their own sensors and digital processing chips. IIRC Nikon relies on others to build these for them at this time.

    That is why I said that outside of Canon, I expect Nikon and MF manufactures to be more in the $5000+ range for FF and better in 2-3 years.

    You are right about the sweet spot of using 35mm lenses on the APS-C format. That is why, though the 5D is selling well, it has not taken the market by storm. Until there are digital specific W-A lenses for the Canon FF market, there will be many more wanting it - but waiting.

    But by the interest (backorders) on the D200, there are many photographers that are seeing APS-C sensors as the "new" 35mm format. As I have said in other threads, photographic "film" format history is filled with much of the same debate that we are talking about today in regards to FF verses APS-C.

    Moving from larger formats to smaller formats, photographers can struggle with DOF issues (both positive and negative); yet more importantly perspective issues. IMO, I think that I could tell a 4x5 "uncorrected" image of lets say a building, from an "uncorrected" on shot on 35mm.

    Add to that as a past MF shooter, I love the DOF/perspective/bokeh of an 80mm lens in MF lets say at f2.8, over shooting a 50mm at f2.8 - focused at proper distances to maintain the same FOV.
     
  13. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #13
    Thanks.

    As you have seen this is a hot button issue for many of us. To be honest, if were not for the last PMA show, I would have been among those that think things would move further ahead in your time frame.

    Working in the industry (and by some of the events and training seminars I get to go to), there is much that I can't say officially (otherwise I would have to send you off to some remote island for the next few years :) ).

    I think it would be safe to say, that comments here and elsewhere on the web are not falling on deaf ears. Whether you like the answers that each manufacture comes up with is a different matter. :)
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    ^^This man knows what he's talking about!!

    (yes, sorry for my canon fanbois comment, I just finished reading over a few DPreview threads, and that site makes me downright mad.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #15

    While I do LOVE Canon lenses and cameras I do think Nikon puts out a great product. I was born and raised on Canon so I will be biased.

    The more products the lower the prices, keep pushing them Nikon, drive the prices down for the consumer!
     
  16. macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #16
    does anybody know anything about the sony (former minolta) dslr that's supposed to be released this summer? they planned to go for the low end market first but i thought they want to use their 10.2 MP C-Mos chip. If that holds true then i guess we will se a new price war in the low end for the next 2 years and you can look forward to a $300 >10 MP DSLR.

    my two cents.
     
  17. macrumors G4

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    #17
    Cheap lenses might get better. Right now the low-end consumer zooms are at f/5.6 Some new low cost"magic glass" might allow Nikon or canon to make a low cost f/2.8 lens but I seriously doubt this. People have been working on optics for centuries now and have been designing them with computers for decades. Don't expect breakthroughs in optical design. But even if a breakthrough were to occure that would only mean that comsummber priced lens could do f/2.8. Even if they were free you don't want an f/0.5 zoom lens it would have about 1mm depth of field if even that. and then there is the "diameter issue" a 200mm f/1.0 lens is 200mm diameter at least by definition. Making glass that is faster then today's "pro" optics is not practical.

    The same applies to CCD sensors. The reason we see noise in DSLR images is due more to the nature of light then due to the nature of CCDs. So there is little room for improvment unless yo can make the CCD larger, like to FF or even 6x6 cm.

    One why to think about noise is to ask "what would be the noise characteristics of an image made with the theoretically perfect CCD?". A perfect CCD would give you the count of the number of photons that hit each of the photo sensitive site on the sensor. But photons are by thier nature randon events Electrons jump to a lower energy state and relese a photon based on the laws of pobibility and we see randomness in the signal. Given low lighting and small pixel size intoday's camera we are seeing "niose" that is due to the statistics of small numbers. If today's sensors were for from perfect then we could epect much improvment. but this is not the case.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

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    #18
    Perhaps a bit off topic, but I'm seriously considering buying a D200 over the summer or sooner. From what I see here, differences that will affect me is mainly lower prices if I wait. Thoughts? How long does Nikon usually go between updates?
     
  19. macrumors 6502

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    #19
    It'll be a long time before a D200 replacement appears. What's more likely to happen is a D70 replacement will arrive sometime soon (1 year at most), and will offer most of what the D200 offers, with a few cripples. If you need a camera now, buy the D200. It's a fantastic camera, and the D70 replacement is not even being rumored yet.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #20
    Here's some info on the camera that I think you are thinking of.

    Sony Alpha unveiled, well sort of.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #21
    The future of DSLRs... and possibly why the 30D didn't go above 8.2MP

    My understanding was that cropped image DSLRs couldn't (shouldn't?) go much above 8-10MP because the pixel pitch gets to be way too small. On a full frame camera, the working space is larger so you can get more pixels on a wafer without reducing their size. That is why the 5D went full frame and the 30D didn't (the latter could have gone to 10MP but the pixel pitch would still have to be reduced.) The Nikon D200 is 10MP but the pixels are smaller and there is definitely more noise than a 20/30D -- I think Canon wanted to stay more noise free by keeping the pixel density lower.

    So....I think future cameras will have to go full frame if consumers want more megapixels -- given the current method of capturing digital photos. Eh?
     
  22. macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #22
    sony's 10.2 megapixel chip is aps-size. it's not 35mm but in the low end market this may be the future.

    i don't know about other dslr's. how large are the 30D chips?
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #23
    The 30D uses the same sensor as the 20D which I believe is 22.5 x 15mm. Here is an interesting interview [excerpt below] with Chuck Westfall from Canon, who speaks to the issue of image quality and pixel size:


    Q: "The 20D stands as one of the cleanest performing sensors on the market for the money, especially at high ISO. How much of this decision to stick with the same sensor is related to Canon's tendency to want to keep pixel pitch at an optimum size?"

    A: Westfall: "Our top priority with every EOS Digital SLR is maximum image quality according to product category. The image qualities of the EOS 30D, 20D and even the EOS Digital Rebel XT remain unsurpassed at their price points. We are always working to advance image quality, but at current technology levels, any reduction in pixel pitch lower than 6.4 microns would result in lower image quality at high ISO speed settings compared to our current design."
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #24
    For reference:

    Small Frame (Point and Shoot) 5x7mm
    Medium Frame (DSLR) 22x15
    Full Frame (DSLR) 24x36mm

    All can do 8MP, but when you reduce the size of the sensor too much, your noise at 400+ ISO speeds goes through the roof. For non-Point & Shoot cameras, the usable MP range is hitting a ceiling for the 22x15mm size (max may be 9-10MP before serious degradation).

    22x15mm -- optimal pixel density? ~8MP
    36x24mm -- current MP min/max = 8-->16mp

    Assuming the APS-C optimal pixel density is correct, multiplying that 1.6x to get to the "optimal" pixel size/density for full frame brings you to 12.8MP. That's the 5D!

    <keanu> Whoa. </keanu>
     
  25. macrumors G4

    Joined:
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    #25
    Math Error.

    A math error, I think.

    For a fixed pixel size the pixel count is propotional to the AREA of the frame, not the WIDTH of the frame. The 22x15mm frame has 330 square mm and the full frame has 864 square mm. So the factor is 2.618 not 1.6. So if you assume 8MP is "correct" for a 30D size frame then 21MP is "corret" for a full frame camera. If you think the Nikon D200 is about right with 10MP in a 24x16 frame then a full frame should have 22MP. About the same answers from both Nikon and Canon examples.

    My guess is that we will see full frame 24MP camera. This works out to a frame
    size of 6000 x 4000 pixels in a 26x24mm frame. "24" makes the numbers come out nice and round. This reolution would capture images with up to 80 lines per millimeter. Not as good as fine grain film but still good enough for a 20 inch wide print

    I have some experiance scanning 35mm film. I'm scanning at 4800 dpi which means the frames come out abut 7200x4800 pixels. This is enough that film grain in 200 speed color print film is the limiting factor

    But in May 2006 we don't see 20+ MP full frame camera because of the price. Neither Nikon nor Canon wants to sell $25,000 camera. Other companies cover this market and you can in fact today buy a 20+ MP medium format camera if you have the money.
     

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