The announcement of the upcoming release of these two new cameras has resulted in a rush of opinion on both sides of the equation. Many have condemned the new cameras for a variety of reasons, a significant number profess no need to buy it, and a few are excited about it. The silent majority, I believe, like me, are on the sidelines wanting to get more information before passing judgment.
Failure to Innovate: The Danger of Drawing a Line in the Sand
Quite a few people say they see no need to step up to a 50mp camera. They say they have no need for that kind of resolution and their clients aren’t asking for it.
This kind of thinking is remindful of the moment digital file results started approaching and surpassing the quality of film. Many photographers drew a line in the sand. They said they would never abandon film and migrate to digital technology. Today, I am certain that 99% or more of those photographers are no longer in photography or eventually converted to digital even though they were late to the party.
Failure to keep up with changing technology and technique is a death sentence in an innovation centric field like photography. Any photographer who passes a very close look at this new camera series by fixating on one feature such as the size of the sensor, dynamic range, or noise without considering all of the features packed into these new cameras runs the danger of being left behind as standards in the field change.
Compensation and Compromise
Quite a few people are advocating changing cameras and camera systems to either the Sony A7r or the Pentax 645Z citing, in particular, more dynamic range. Although they both have some attractive features, I would warn seasoned Canon and Nikon users from making a reactive jump. Both Sony and Pentax systems involve significant compensation and compromise.
Sony. If you carefully read reviews and comments by users, even the most ardent fans slip in remarks about a variety of issues. Menus are convoluted and the proprietary accessories create a lot of unhappy workarounds and adjustments. Because Sony has put little r&d into their lenses, third parties have developed adapters for the far superior Canon lenses. However, comments about this kind of compensation include difficulty in removing the lens from the camera, quality disparities of the adapters themselves, and softness at the edges of the frame. The solution for the softness, some say, is to crop the image in post processing. Wait a minute! Then it’s not a full frame!
Pentax. Great camera, super medium format images, great dynamic range. Only 3 lenses! Again, failure to invest in lens r&d comes home to roost. Even though they say the camera will work with their entire line of lenses, almost all of them are old lenses using old glass made from old technology. Tilt/Shift lenses are critical for architectural/landscape photography. Canon makes the best; Pentax makes none. Or…you can compromise by investing in a Horseman tilt/shift lens and adapter (another adapter!) for around $5100.
Under the Hood
In conclusion, I would wait to find out more about these new cameras. Canon scored a home run with the 5D MIII. They’re not even going to discontinue it. I would think the developers at Canon had lots of things in mind while they worked on these new cameras over the past 3 years. They have applied for numerous patents for different aspects of the camera systems. I’m going to take a careful look under the hood before passing judgment.