Just read the rumour about the 5 Series split. I was wondering, with the D800 announced and priced ($3-$3,5k body) and Canon bound to respond within this same spec and price range (it seems for both), where does this leave average photographers - whether enthusiast or pure amateur/hobbyist.
I am almost certain there are more casual (even pro's) photographers out there that are PRICE sensitive rather than SPEC sensitive. In the film days, full frame cameras were truly available in all shapes, sizes and prices.
Being a 60D user, I regularly contemplate my upgrade path. The 7D is a very specific cam - well sealed & sports level AF. And FF appears to be that next step in IQ, low noise and DOF control everyone raves about.
What I would like to see is a rebel FF body - Call it a 6D or whatever:
- 1DX Sensor - this will give Canon another body to get volumes up on the sensor
- Upcoming 70D body and Movie features - another re-use
- Current 7D AF - paid off tech
Priced at at under $2k body only. I can then either use F4 "L" zooms or 3rd Party lenses, with a non-L primes for low light (seeing that the new 24-70 is another price shocker).
Outside of 7D users, I guess most APS-C users are also not too heavily invested in glass, and if so, I suppose some of that is crop body specific in any case. So moving to full frame is not really "switching systems" for most APS-C users. So from where I am sitting a low cost FF body might just steal some other brand customer to Canon also.
Yes the 5D mark II will be available soon second hand, but Canon doesn't make any money from that.
Am I really alone in thinking, as a Hobbyist, that a $2k FF body will be awesome and the current Price trend seems ridiculous? Can Canon make money with such a lower priced FF body with parts from the wheely bin, bearing in mind future L lens sales? Will this cannibalize sales of other bodies? Or does every single FF user out there crave for the 36MP 61 AF pt monster at $3,5k body only as rumoured?
What about the price trend? Sure, cameras that are on par with what used to be very affordable 35mm film bodies and matching lenses are still expensive. And even that is relative. When the Canon A-1 came out (and I would say that is a fair comparison to, say, a 5DII) it was about $600 with the FD 50 1.4. In today's money that is about $2000.
And good digital SLRs that match that kind of quality are still relatively new. I never jumped onto the DSLR wagon because I could not see myself spending 6 or $7000 on a full frame camera when they were first available. And I simply never wanted a crop camera for a number of reasons. Now prices have actually come down and people who want the digital equivalent of an A1 or whatever can have that (and then some of course). Sure, it was nice when amateurs could actually get a used simple SLR and essentially get the same outcome as from a much more expensive pro model (lenses and skill set aside).
Eventually you may get "full frame" in cheaper and smaller cameras. But that may take a while - simply for marketing reasons. Once Fuji or Samsung or any of those guys come out with an affordable 35mm sensor camera (range finder or SLR) with exchangeable lenses things might change. At the moment you only get this at the 2000+ level - which, again, is quite an improvement of where things were 5 years ago or so.
As far as the cravings: not sure. Depends on where things are going. AF points, higher ISO etc will personally not phase me since I have little use for, especially while the gizillion of AF points are still being located around the center. Higher resolution? Sure, why not - though I'm still unclear of what you can do with it other then crop more. Printing technology is still stuck in the 8MP range somewhere unless you print really big. So it's kind of pointless.