Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Commentary: Full Frame Future

The future is full of full frame cameras, that much seems to be clear after the release of the Sony RX1 and SLT-A99. Throw in the Nikon D4, D800, Canon 5D MkIII, along with the soon to be announced Nikon D600 and this year could be called the year of full frame. The question that beggs to be asked is, what does this all mean? Is the demand for more full frame cameras that large, or are the marketing departments at the major camera makers seeing that there isn't much room left for APS-C sensor DSLRs with the flood of interchangeable lens compacts on the market?

One thing is clear, low end ILC cameras are forcing the big two (Canikon) to move up market. Nikon's marketing department sees that ILC cameras like the Sony NEX5,6,7, Fuji X-E1, X-Pro 1, Olympus PEN cameras and Canon EOS-M are going to eat away at the likes of the D3200, D5100, D7000 and D300s. What can they do to maintain sales in the face of this onslot? Nikon's first answers were the Nikon 1 J1, J2 and V1. Not a bad start, even if the sensor is small. The second answer will be a lower cost full frame camera, namely the D600. Grab sales by getting D7000 owners to migrate to a full frame camera, and all the additional lens sales that will likely come as a result. Maybe even nab some Caon users who want a low cost full frame body, but feel put off by the poor AF of the 5D MkII. At least till Canon releases their own low cost full frame camera (7D MkII or 7Ds?).

So the future looks like it will be full of full frame cameras, are you onboard for one or are you happy with your APS-C (crop sensor) camera? Do you want a small full frame camera like the Sony RX1, even if it costs you as much as a high performance DSLR? Are you hoping that Nikon is designing a digital FM3a to crush all opposition (I'd be tempted to get one!)? Or are you just hoping the iPhone 5 has a better performing camera and wondering what all this full frame super expensive stuff is for?