Is the super zoom all in one the future of photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JDDavis, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #1
    Ok, it's Friday and I'll throw this out just for fun :cool:.

    We've had a few friendly discussions on the future of photography. What form will unseat or surpass the DSLR or will anything ever? Cell phone cameras? Mirrorless or M4/3 cameras. Some tech we haven't thought of?

    What about these new model super zooms? The Nikon P900 is out and starting to get a lot of interest.

    http://nikonrumors.com/2015/03/26/this-is-how-the-nikon-coolpix-p900-cameras-83x-zoom-at-2000mm-looks-like.aspx/#more-90394
    http://www.nikon.com/news/2015/0302_cpx_03.htm
    http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/compacts/nikon_cpp900/overview

    Would you trade your DX body and bag of lenses for a single body/lens combo with 16mp sensor and a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 lens (that wasn't a gimmick)?

    Clearly there is a lot that the P900 can't do. It's low light will stink (ISO 6400) and the sharpness will not measure up to pro FX kits but what it is and what it's putting out is pretty impressive.

    But, If Nikon can build this camera...what if they put all of their FX and pro lens brain power into building a true pro all in one super zoom? The P900 is a $600 camera and it's kinda awesome for what it is. Extrapolating engineering costs, capability, and consumer costs....what would a P900 that cost 5x that ($3000) be capable of?

    Could this be a possible future path of photography? If Nikon built a $3k - $4k P900 like camera that rivaled a D750 with a 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 I'd be pretty tempted to give it a whirl. I wouldn't even need 2000mm. 600mm would be pretty awesome.

    Just thinkin':rolleyes:
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    Ok, I'll play. As a pro glass user, I'd love to have one lens to replace them all, 24mm-200mm f2.8 to replace the lot. Of course that won't happen. The distortion would be awful.
    Plus from Nikons point of view, they make more selling me a range of lenses, than developing one that would be outside most people's price range.
     
  3. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

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    #3
    All I want is a 6mm-500mm f1.2 lens that is less than 10 pounds.

    But I think I have a better chance at getting a flying car. :p
     
  4. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

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    #4
    and costs less than $1000

    sign me up for those.
     
  5. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #5
    Agree with you all, but....

    Here's the P900. If you take a close look at it, it clearly could tempt some people who were looking at entry level DSLRs. Of course from a standard business model perspective there would be no motivation to build a P900 that cannibalized their high end FF sales. But, it's proving to be a surprisingly capable camera given the lens range. I don't think distortion is as big an issue with this camera as you would think it should be. What if it's wildly successful and seriously eats into Nikons entry level DSLR sales. That could be a signal that the market is there for more.

    I'm pontificating :eek: on the fact that Nikon built a surprisingly decent camera with an optical 83x zoom lens and they put it on the market. If they could do that, how far could they take the all in one lens and if it was far enough how many of us die hard DSLR users would jump for a solution like this?

    Sure, a miracle camera like that could kill the FF body + bag o' lenses market. Something will probably kill it eventually. As Capone said, you rob banks because that's where they keep the money. If Nikon figured out they could sell more miracle FF 14-600mm f2.8-5.6 cameras than the current portfolio of cameras and lenses and make more money...then guess what.

    All hypothetical of course. Perhaps, engineering wise, it can't be done or the margins aren't there. Full disclosure, I wouldn't get rid of my FF body and bag o' lenses but if I had the money I'd pick one up and add it to the kit.
     
  6. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    It might interest casual wildlife photographers. Other than that, very few people realistically need >200mm. With a 5.5 crop factor, I can't imagine this camera having spectacular acuity, decent low light performance or even remotely shallow DoF.

    I think a camera like the rx100 has a better shot at eating part of the DSLR market.

    But for that price, just give me a cheap body and a couple of prime and I'll be happy.
     
  7. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

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    #7
    As others have mentioned above, it comes to basics of optics. There is simply no way to build a lens, which would be 14-200 2.8 on a full-frame body, which wouldn't be extremely heavy / massive / expensive.

    It might be a decent competitor to an entry-level DSLR, especially with its zoom capabilities, which are impressive however a 1/2.3 in. sensor might be an issue for some for sure.
     
  8. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #8
    I use different cameras for different jobs but can't think of any use for one of these. The sensor is too tiny and resolution too low (lens as well as sensor). At the long end with f6.3 you would need a rock solid tripod which I can't imagine the average customer for one of these wanting to carry around.

    The money of any serious photographer would be best spent on a used full frame camera and a decent lens which these days can be picked up for less money.
     
  9. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Personally I see many more people just using their smart phones. I do it when I'm just doing family snapshots out in the park, etc, and the results are better than I ever got with a compact camera. For casual stuff the smartphone is now the way go to in my opinion.

    For more serious stuff however it depends upon your subject I guess. A lot of the older guys in my camera club have ditched their DSLR's and gone micro 4/3rds. Much lighter, but sill plenty of control and I can see the appeal given how much my camera gear weighs.

    Until other formats have the responsiveness and lens range of DSLR's however I can't see me changing any time soon for wildlife. For lens choices though I've started to look more at primes and just take a single lens, or possible two lenses with me. If a 10-600mm f/1.4 lens was available that didn't cost the earth and weighed <1.5kg would I go for it? Maybe. I still like the way a prime lens makes me think before I take the picture, where a zoom just makes me lazy.
     
  10. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

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    #10
    Completely agree on this one. For me it's a smartphone plus a DSLR based on a situation and definitely see the point abut the primes. My 50mm always makes me think more.
     
  11. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #11
    I wouldn't want to lift a 24-2000mm f2.8-f6.3 lens. My Sigma 50-500 is already too heavy!

    Others have already pointed out the issues with these superzoom cameras and I wouldn't bother with one either. While they may represent the future of photography for some people I'd expect most people will be happy with their cell phones (just like most people used to be happy with their Kodak Brownies) and serious photographers won't be happy without the heavy bag of gear.

    I've got a D810 and a wide array of lenses, mostly primes, and I use a tripod most of the time.
     
  12. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #12
    Again, I agree on all accounts. Shaunp I'm right there with you. My position on this subject is not that the P900 can replace your DSLR it's merely a question in that as far as they have advanced this type of camera, if they continued to advance this form to compete with a FF DSLR the perhaps it could be one of the possibly mysterious white unicorns that could be "the future of photography":eek::eek::eek:.

    If you are interested, take a moment to read up on the camera and check out some sample pics. No, I would absolutely not trade my D750 for this. But, the concept is interesting. Would I be interested in a camera of this form factor if it produced pro results for a pro price. Yeah, probably.

    http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Compact-Digital-Cameras/COOLPIX-P900.html#!

    My hypothetical question for people that know way more about lenses and sensors than I do was if they could make a camera with these capabilities at this price...could they make a "pro" version one day. In my uneducated opinion I would say that a P900 type camera has a better shot at competing against a DSLR one day than a mobile phone camera ever will (though that may happen one day too).
     
  13. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #13
    That's a very big IF.

    They say "never say never" but this comes mighty close! We are so far away from this now. The only chance I can see is new sensor technology to make a 1cm diagonal sensor that can equal for DR and noise a 4.3cm diagonal sensor (FX) -- that's 16 times the area. And one can only assume when technology reaches that point the FX sensor at that time will be even better! Then you face the lens problem. The only FX zooms that are a match for prime lenses have a very small zoom ratio (and are also very heavy). The only thing that saves these super-zooms, and probably the reason that none of them provide RAW image output, is they have lots of in-camera distortion correction. I can only guess they still aren't pro lens quality, but it should be possible with enough computational power to correct. The problem with distortion correction is it play havoc with resolution. So your 16mp camera won't be able to produce a 16mp quality image, ever.

    Now for a novice camera, this isn't really a problem. If you take the image and resize it for the web or Facebook you would never know the faults. But a large print won't take a close examination.
     
  14. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a

    Wahlstrm

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    #14
  15. winkosmosis macrumors member

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    #15
    This is why we need to look at equivalent aperture, before declaring super zooms to be the future of photography.

    The P900 has a 1/2.3" sensor and a 4.3-357mm f2.8-f6.5 lens. Nikon advertises it as 28mm-2000mm but if you do the math (multiply by 5.62) it's really equivalent to 24mm-2000mm.

    OK, 24-2000mm, great!

    But wait, you also have to multiply the aperture to get equivalent aperture to go along with that equivalent 28mm-2000mm. 4.3*5.62=f16 and 6.5*5.62 = f37.

    For DOF and light gathering ability, this setup is equivalent to a full frame camera and lens that is 24-2000mm f16-f37
     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #16
    :eek: LOL.

    I wonder what such a lens would look like for FF?

    Anyway, I think 5 years ago, uninformed consumers purchased cameras based on MPx and Zoom. A 15Mpx 10x zoom was awesome. Now I don't think these uninformed consumers care... They're using their phone which has x0 zoom. :p
     
  17. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #17
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #18
    A superzoom was the answer for me...at least to a couple of questions. I love 'em.

    I was in the market for a longer lens for my Oly E-M10. They seem to fall in two categories: good ones for big bank, or so-so ones for a couple to few hundred bucks, often pretty slow and maybe more like a telescope with an adapter.

    But since no one is paying me to take pix at the European Qualifiers, I'm in the low price range. I do a lot of camping and wanted something to get that occasional wildlife shot I might not otherwise be able to get with a 300mm on my M10, even with some cropping after the fact.

    Canon fortuitously had a sale on a HX50 (1000mm superzoom with the small sensor) and I thought hmm, I might get about the same quality with the HX50, even with a smaller sensor, than the M43 with cheap glass. So I plonked for it, and it's worked out well. It's also a handy camera to have when I don't wanna carry a bunch of stuff. Good value for the $300.

    Sure, I'd maybe recommend a FZ1000 or whatnot to someone, if the long lens was maybe your go to. But I still like the M43 better. But for outdoors use, the superzooms are a fantastic deal.
     
  19. HantaYo macrumors regular

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    #19
    A bridge camera is on my horizon hopefully real soon. Mostly for bird watching and wildlife photography.
     
  20. Miltz macrumors 6502

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    I think the future is smart phones. If Apple is able to find a way to increase detail and dynamic range on a 10MP sensor, That will be the future. Clearly the problem is how to make something fit in their ever thinner phones. If they solve that engineering issue, Apple will have the best Digital Camera period. I think around 15% of the time I wish I had a zoom. Zoom is more of a marketing gimmick to me and it distracts from shooting. I'm not saying that having a zoom doesn't have it's place, but it's small. Additionally the environment distortions that you encounter most of the time at 83X zoom really affects image quality.
     
  21. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #21
    Yes but I'd take an optical zoom over a digital zoom any day of the week.
    The only way to incorporate that into a 10mm thick iPhone is with an add on.
    For me an iPhone is great for snaps. I use mine a lot at work to document damaged deliveries etc.
    But for serious photography I want to choose my lens, apature, shutter speed and ISO. For me, that means a DSLR where you don't have to navigate through menus to do all that.
     
  22. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    #22
    I was mulling over this future of cameras thing and came to the conclusion that while one day all things may be possible from a tiny digital sensor and lens with lots of processing - gigapixel resolutions, digitally created shallow depth of field, digital zoom and angel of view... many of us will also long for a more genuine, hand crafted experience. Just like today, there are those who don't want the tech getting in the way of their creativity and those who want absolute control of every detail; those who only shoot automatic and those only shoot manual, and a growing number still, that are returning to film. We all take different pictures in different ways so why would we all settle for the same kind of camera? We don't all drive the same car or wear the same clothes.

    The camera phone (or small digital device, as I expect in 10-20 years none of us will be carrying phones) is one future, the super zoom another, I expect there will also be people collecting 'classic' DSLRs and 'vintage' Macs to process their 'more authentic' files and I'm sure as much film will be sold then as now, perhaps more. I don't see the market converging into one format (the opposite in fact) but I do think that it will go through some radical changes. I think there's lots to look forward to.
     
  23. marmiteturkey macrumors 6502

    marmiteturkey

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    #23
    Super-high resolution sensor (or multi-exposure composite images a la OM-D5ii) and cropping in post are more likely as pro solutions I think.
     
  24. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

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    #24
    Multi exposure composite images are only possible with certain types of images.
     
  25. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #25
    Photography will not have just a one size fit all solution so I would venture it will continue to evolve into various new paths and solutions.

    I tend to think a bit different - as we break the barriers of pixel count, why not end up with a camera that has a very tiny sensor, at least 200 megapixel coverage and a simple but very sharp lens so that we start wide and simply crop down to 16 megapixel for the portion one wants. Maybe have a lens that is simply a 2:1 zoom that is very fast and between that and the high megapixel count, you end up with the same results as a super zoom but in a far smaller package. It would be also nice if the camera would make certain adjustments when you go for that tight crop as your image to maximize the quality of the info captured. We already see Canon coming out with a 120 megapixel sensor so it certainly is possible.

    There are so many ways one can go to reduce size and gain options.
     

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