Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Attack of the Large Sensor Cameras

If there's anything you need to know about new cameras nowadays, it's this: the sensors are getting bigger. In every camera category, the sensors that they're using are increasing in size, and this means an increase in image quality as well (among other things). This is good news for all photographers and all fauxtographers as well, such as myself. 


The Canikon wars continue. 

Nikon announced this brute, the D600 full frame camera, which is about the size of a Nikon D3100 but has the full frame sensor of a D800 and a price somewhere in between. Yes, it's a Full Frame camera for the masses!

A few days later, Canon announced this guy, the EOS 6D, which is yeah, more of the same: a Full Frame compact SLR that won't break the bank.

Mirrorless Cameras

Sony and Fuji produce the largest sensor mirrorless cameras, APS-C sensor cameras (same sensor used in most DSLRs). Fujifilm in particular has kept the size of its system quite compact (like a rangefinder). Sony's bodies are super small and skinny but their lenses have been honking large. And now there are these cameras…

The Fujifilm X-E1 is exactly the Fuji X-Pro1 without the hybrid optical viewfinder but with an electronic viewfinder instead. It's also much cheaper. Fujifilm claims Full Frame image quality because its APS-C sized sensor doesn't use an AA filter. Judging from X-Pro1 images, yes, it does work. There are complications, however, such as using different software for RAW manipulation.

The Sony RX1 is the first Full Frame compact around, and it really changes the camera landscape. I wrote a bit about it in a previous post.

Compact Cameras

Even compact cameras have bigger sensors nowadays.

The Sony RX100 has a 1-inch sensor. This camera has impressed everyone with the image quality you get from a camera that fits in a shirt pocket.

The Fuji X-F1 meanwhile has 2/3-inch sensor. That's still bigger than most compact camera sensors, but smaller than the Sony RX100's. The camera designs are retro delicious though. I think my wife will like the meat-colored one.

So there you have it. Big sensors have arrived! My poor bank account.

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