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Large sensor - small body

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by slothead, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I continually wonder why someone can't design a standard 35mm sensor (or larger) in a small body (an OMD or smaller). I suspect that most of it is industry political, but I sure wish they could get over it.

    I love the size of my OMD and I miss the sensor size and the resolution of my old Nikon D800, but I sure wish they were one-in-the-same camera. I refuse to lug around a large 4lb camera/lens, but I really want to be able to record large detailed landscapes efficiently (and we all know the options in creating a large image with a small sensor camera - so let's not get into that).

    When I look at the lens mount and sensor inside it on my OMD and think about what I saw on my D800 there is no good explanation why the cross-breeding couldn't take place. Sure it would be a major design effort, and maybe there would be as large a market as I might imagine, but I think it could be marginally profitable (but probably not as much of a money-maker as the greedy industry kings demand).

    To expand on this thought, when I look at an APS-C sensor or a Mu43 sensor inside its lens mount, there looks like there is so much wasted space! Granted there is a lot of electronics required to interpret, process and store large sensor image files and to do so at speeds that allow fast frame rates, but there has been so much accomplished in the technology from micro-miniaturization, I can't believe that it isn't easily possible. I would even sacrifice that extreme frame rate for the large, resolved sensor. I suppose that I will have to wait for the industry to get their act together and make design headway. I hope they can pull it off before I can no longer get out and about in the countryside...

    (How on Earth do they make that 41MP sensor on the cell phone that they have been advertizing lately?)
     
  2. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    Hi Tom

    you've made a great point, who doesn't want that, right? I think during recent years, Sony has showed us some real revolution. Not only they are publishing the FF NEX system soon but also the wireless lens (or whatever you may call that). M43 may have to overcome more to include a FF sensor but that's not impossible. Panasonic seems to be in development of new sensor with Fuji that would enable relatively shorter flange distance or larger sensor design without losing more IQ.
     
  3. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    贾一川
    Thanks for the tip (I didn't know about the FF NEX), so I'll keep an eye on that. Maybe these guys aren't as lame as I was assuming...
     
  4. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    I would think it's not any "fit" thing. Sony has one example of that (RX1). With FF the lenses would grow too much to be in the small department anymore.
     
  5. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    The RX1 (fixed lens "compact" with full-frame) certainly shows that it is possible. The problems are:

    1) Cost - the RX1 is close to $3000 without a viewfinder. I imagine that any FF mirrorless body will be well north of $2000, making for a very limited market.
    2) Size of lenses - unless you go the Leica way with MF only, the lenses will be extremely large compared to the body. The RX1 benefits from being a fixed lens, so that the lens actually goes all the way back into the body (I believe that the shutter is part of the lens unit.) This will be especially true for telephoto, since there is no crop factor.
    3) Designing lenses/sensor - short distance from mount to sensor and large lens opening makes for sharp angles to the sensor. This requires micro-lenses and the like to correct.
     
  6. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    Sony have produced an e-mount camera with a 35mm sized sensor, but it is a camcorder, and not meant for photography. There's rumours that they will make a full-frame NEX body at some point, but this is just rumours. In the meantime, you can always go ahead and buy an M9... *sigh*
     
  7. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Perhaps there is a wonder large-sensor/small form-factor camera in our future... one can hope.
     
  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Put an SLR hump on the RX1 to house an EVF, make the lens interchangeable, and we're done. A bit bigger but still small. Flatten it a bit and call it a NEX :smile: However, that price has to drop quite a bit before APS-C or mu43 is threatened. $1000 to $1500 is tops for many folks no matter how good it is.
     
  9. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Sadly, even if they did put a full-frame sensor in an OM-5D size body, it would still require those honking big lenses. The net weight and size savings would not really be all that much unless you only used the slower prime lenses.
     
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The reason is digital sensors are directional. The light needs to hit pretty much straight on. The large lens mount compared to the sensor size is actually a big part of the m43 design
     
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Pentax made reasonable pancake/small lenses for 35 film cameras. If you want small you need to stick (roughly) with primes under 80 mm with f2.8 max. You can still put on that honking fast zoom when needed. Or have a crop mode for smaller honking zooms.
     
  12. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    What size "large detailed landscapes" are you not able to create with mu43? I realize there is more detail from a large format camera compared to a mu43 in general but is there that great a difference between FF 35mm and mu43? I know you didn't want to get into that discussion but that part of your comment intrigues me the most.
     
  13. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Wow, so many responses to address. I'll start here.

    In my office I have a 6' wide 2' high landscape made from 3 (or 4) stitched images from my D800 (a whole lot of pixels). It is just stupendous in terms of detail even at that size. I have not tried, but I don't think I can produce that detail at that size with my Mu43. Does that answer your question?
     
  14. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I'm not sure I agree Dave. I am completely happy with a 24 or 28mm f/2.8 (that is not large or heavy) and those (the ones I still have) were designed for 35mm format.

    I agree with another poster that mentioned that the detectors (what we at NASA call sensors) are designed for "straight-on" light, and that indeed could make a difference - I hadn't considered that, but I suspect it could be dealt with easily (I never disqualified the use of newly designed lenses).
     
  15. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    I would absolutely love a all manual full frame interchangeable lens camera- no bells and whistles at all, no auto iso etc. It would be the perfect student camera. It would also have to be smaller than the average DSLR as it doesn't have any additional guts to it other than the sensor and mirror box etc.

    When I was a wee student, I learned on a Pentax K1000, there's no equivalent for that now. Well- the closest would be an old 5D classic.
     
  16. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    To me it looks pretty full already:-

    Digital Photography 001 Â* Daystar


    The actual recording area of the sensor is a relatively small part of the whole assembly and then there are all the other electronics that were not needed in film cameras:-

    Low Pass Filters Explained | What Digital Camera


    I'm sure that if it was easy, or even possible, to put a FF sensor in a body the size of an OM-D then Canon and Nikon would have already done it to nip :43: and other cropped format mirrorless systems in the bud.
     
  17. uscrx

    uscrx Mu-43 Veteran

    440
    Aug 26, 2011
    Shasta Cascade
    Yeah.. we men like large ***** on small framed women...

    I see a major parallel here..

    :tongue:
     
  18. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    For example
    Totally, Completely...Okay
     
  19. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    "In my office I have a 6' wide 2' high landscape made from 3 (or 4) stitched images from my D800 (a whole lot of pixels). It is just stupendous in terms of detail even at that size. I have not tried, but I don't think I can produce that detail at that size with my Mu43. Does that answer your question? "


    No, I'd be interested in seeing the same stitched images taken witrh an OMD or GH3 to see what details it lost.

    Also, how many 6' x 2' landscapes does one produce. A more realistic wall hanger size,
    A3 or A4, is perfectly do-able by mu43.
     
  20. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    Leica lenses aren't 'honking' by any means, at least until you get into the telephoto range. The M system also has no mirrorbox and is full frame, so it basically has the same constraints that a full frame NEX camera would. When you remove the mirror, you get certain design advantages, particularly with wide angle lenses. There would be a certain increase in size, but you wouldn't be walking around with DSLR - sized lenses necessarily.

    This has been largely fixed by the use of microlenses. The only digital body I can think of in recent times with poor corner performance is the NEX-7.