Go Big or Go Full Frame

Recently I can across some articles on what might be the upcoming trend in photography, particularly a surprisingly intriguing post from Yahoo Tech. If you want more details, that would be the place to start.

Headline and lede of a Yahoo Tech article
Screenshot of the article on Yahoo Tech for Sony’s new full-sized sensor cameras. Nothing like comparing smartphone cameras to a horde of photojournalists with giant 4 pound zoom lenses that dwarf the 2 pound camera body.

Conventionally, professional photographers use large cameras partly because a large sensor needs a large body. A large sensor needs less light than smaller sensors and can produce higher-quality images.

Sony, much overshadowed by the market tug-of-war between Nikon and Canon, has produced smaller cameras with full-sized sensors. While this in itself is not a first making these cameras affordable for the consumer—not professional—market is.

The larger the sensor, the larger the camera, the larger the price. Nikon and Canon have maintained that status quo for a long time.

Sony’s new line includes a pocket-sized camera with a sensor more than twice the size of Canon’s pocket equivalent. It is almost three-times the cost, but the cost difference evens out with the consumer SLRs.While the sensor sizes are the same as competitors on the market, Sony’s new SLRs have the pocket-sized body still, and come slightly cheaper with that much smaller size. Of the professional-grade SLRs, sensors are full-frame like non-Sony products, but the body redesign has allowed the price to cut in half.

Personally, I like larger bodies because they are easier to hold. However, especially with the weight and size of most telephoto zoom lenses, and not making much money myself, getting a smaller and cheaper camera in the future sounds just right.


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