All my sensors on one composite. When I look back, I am very impressed at the astounding rate of evolution of sensor size. Time was a good camera would be a useful tool for years and years. In fact, I still have, and occasionally use, the FTb that I got in 1975. The adolescence of digital technology has certainly shrunk that time horizon. Here are shots from all of the digital cameras I have had, compared to one another. Hope you find it mildly interesting and that you are able share your thoughts - especially people who made the transition from film to digital.
So, after decades of film, our story drops us smack into 2001, and I got my first digital camera - a Kodak point and shoot. I got the big one, the 2.2 million pixel model. (My other choices were a 1.8 million pixel model, but I thought that might not have the "legs" to last 10 years or so, and there was a 3 million pixel model [megapixel, what's a megapixel], but the 3 million pixel one cost almost $500.00. That was substantially more than my latest SLR, and Élan 7.
The Kodak came with a 32 megabyte compact flash card. Even though that allowed me to take more shots than a roll of film, I am still greedy by nature so I went to Samys and bought a 128 megabyte card. Set me back well over a hundred bucks, but who cares - I will now be able to shoot long past the batteries' (4 AAs) life span without having to swap out the card. But damn, 128 megabytes! Thinking of the progress at that time, I realized that I could put the entire hard drive contents of my first computer - a 486DX 33 - on only two of these babies! I knew a guy at the time who knew a guy who used a 512 megabyte flash card - a half a gig! But that guy is a professional and can afford almost a thousand dollars for media.
So in the lower left corner is a lingerie shop in Berlin. "The soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window." Wow. This was the one shot more than any that got me into digital. I brought the Kodak to back up my Élan 7. Of course, I didn't have the Élan with me - after all, it was night, and we were going out to dinner. I did put the Kodak in my pocket, and when I saw the low light potential of digital - that was it! Digital, to my amazement, could be a very viable adjunct to actual photography.
Next up (or rather, the landscape behind that) - some time in 2002 - the Olympus. A 5 megapixel beast. Bigger than a pack of cigarettes, and built like a brushed steel tank, and almost $600. But most important, this was no point and shoot - see, via on screen menus, I could actually set shutter speeds and apertures. Just like on a real camera! It was great - the control of an SLR, and the convince of digital. This was it, I could not imagine needing another digital camera - ever! Despite how enamored I was with the "best of both words" the Olympus brought - the "on screen" controls quickly got tiresome when compared with a flick of the thumb on my Élan, so deep inside, I was ready for what happened next.
I managed to suffer through the on screen menus for the better part of a year. In June of 2003, I saw my first 10D. (Image example shown here as the white building with the dark roof behind the landscape shot). I was at a concert, and there was a pro there shooting a concert with his new 10D. I asked him how he liked it and he explained it this way, "I've had the 10D for a week now, and I put all my film gear on EBay 4 days ago." I looked up the specs on the camera: 6 point friggin 3 megapixels! Good God! A digital sensor that huge, built into an honest to god SLR. I could use all the lenses I have for the Élan! It took a week to find a camera shop that had one, $1600, but it didn't matter - this was the zenith of photography. I popped on one of my most versatile lenses - the 28-200, and learned the meaning of the phrase "Error 99". A day or two of Google searches, and I found POTN in late June of 2003. I became member 10,194, and now we are at 204,351
At this point, we start to lose the "every camera is a revelation" excitement, the cameras have matured, but the sensor size keeps on keeping on.
Now, out of chronology, but in ascending size - the prairie shot is my 400D Rebel, 10.1 megapixels I think. Then you can just barely see the 12 megapixel street shot (literally, it is the street) taken with the 12 megapixel G9. Then behind and to the right you can see a fretboard of a bass guitar - that is from the 12.1 megapixel 5D "classic". Finally, behind it all is the 22 megapixel 5D Mark II with a beach sunset.
And all this in less than 8 years!
For me, I think the 5d Mk II will be a keeper for a while. It already out resolves most every lens I have, and most every lens Canon makes - if you believe the people who know these things.
So what about you - where did you start? Where are you now? How much do you think will be "enough".
Left to Right, across the bottom -
Lingerie Shop - Kodak P&S - 2.2 Million Pixel
Blue Sky Landscape - Olympus - 5 Megapixel
White Building - Canon 10D - 6.3 Megapixel
Prairie Landscape - Canon 400 DReb - 10.1 Megapixel
Sliver of Asphalt - Canon G9 P&S - 12 Megapixel
Bass Guitar - Canon 5D - 12.7 Megapixel
Ocean Sunset - Canon 5D Mk II - 22 Megapixel