by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2012
Following the race for more pixels, manufacturers are now comparing formats. Due to the drawbacks of high pixel densities, which are very difficult to manage in small sensors, the focus is now on the advantages that large image sensors have with regard to achievable image quality, ISO sensitivity, and creative possibilities. Perhaps because APS-C sensors are now also used in many mirrorless system cameras, some of the DSLR manufacturers have promoted full-frame 35-mm cameras and made them the main new products they are presenting for top-of the-line photography. Lower pixel densities on larger image areas have the advantage of less image noise, higher ISO sensitivity, expanded image possibilities through selective sharpness (bokeh) and, last but not least, enabling faster processing options and shorter picture sequences. Canon, Leica, Nikon, and Sony had new higher-end gear. The Nikon D600 was on show as was the new Canon 6D, both from the confines of mobbed stands! Fujifilm were busy with their XPro 1 but had also added the new XF1 at the smaller end of the scale and the neat, viewfinderless X-E1.
At the slightly smaller end of the scale, our own Damian McGillicuddy had flown in to present the new 4⁄3 Olympus camera, but such was the general crush we only got to see him in the departure lounge on the way home! Damian is following in the footsteps of David Bailey and Patrick Litchfield as the face of Olympus cameras! Having briefly lost contact with him as he moved studio, the Big Dog is due back on the pages of Professional Imagemaker anytime soon.
The mirrorless systems have done away with pentaprisms, to be replaced by high resolution screens such as the Epson/Seiko, Ultimicron, which was on display (pardon the pun!) on the Epson stand (http://global.epson.com/ products/htps/ultimicron/index.html). The quality was compared by looking through mocked-up camera viewfinders and was impressive.
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