Z Mount Camera Wants

WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
edited January 28 in Nikon Z cameras
In my post of about a week ago, I thanked Nikon for what I thought they did well on the Z-mount. Now I am going to describe what I would like to see next and why - ie. what are the benefits?

1:
An image sensor that utilized more or all of the image circle. The current FX image sensor has an area of 864 square mm on a 36mm by 24mm sensor. The shortcomings are:

-If you want to shoot in portrait mode comfortably, you need to invest in an expensive battery grip with controls. For me, this is the main reason to buy a battery grip.

-If you want to shoot using a different aspect ratio, say 1:1, you can only use 576 square mm of the sensor (24mm by 24mm)

If you increase the size of the image sensor by 50% to 36mm by 36mm, the area would be 1,296 square mm. This would:


-Enable switching between portrait and landscape mode without physically rotating the camera 90 degrees.

-Use more area for different aspect ratios. For example, shooting 1:1 on the 46mp current sensor for the D850 will result in a 30.66mp image file. Shooting 1:1 on a 36mm by 36mm sensor (assume 30mm by 30mm as that is about as large as one can get in a 44mm diametre image circle without cutting off the corners) will yield a 47.9mp image file. This is equivalent to upgrading to medium format light.

Would a bigger sensor cost more? Sure. However, my battery grip for my D850 cost about $1,200 CAD after adding all of the doodads. So I would save the cost of the battery grip plus achieve the above benefits.

In a day or two I describe the next thing that I would like to see.



Post edited by WestEndFoto on
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Comments

  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 634Member
    I would love a square sensor. One shot and then crop.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,999Member
    Nikon wants to sell you the grip, likely has a way better profit margin.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
    Symphotic said:

    I would love a square sensor. One shot and then crop.

    The 1:1 and 4:5 aspect rations are my favorites. Less than half my shots are 3:2. So a square sensor would be ideal for me.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 841Member
    For me 36 x 24 is better than 30 x 30, but I have some other wishes for the z mount system:

    1. Long prime lenses (500 or 600 mm).
    2. AF as good as D850.
    3. A real grip.
    4. Third party support (meaning that Sigma and others will make lenses for the z mount).

    At least point 1-3 will come, and I think Nikon has mostly done a good job with the z mount so far. I am also looking at the L mount system with interest.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,816Member
    I wont be buying until they make the focus good enough for BIF.
    As for the comments on the grip I never have time to move my hand to the grip and always hold the camera for portrait with the camera grip. I usually strip out the electronics and carry spare AA or GPS tracker.
    You can do the whole 9fps D850 thing for $120..grip/battery/BL5 and charger.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,187Member
    I would like a square sensor with EVF masking of the unused parts. It probably would add only a few hundred dollars to the cost, perhaps even less than Nikon charges for their battery grip! EVF masking is just software. It may be nice to increase the rear monitor also but I think we will find more and more EVF users "chimping" on the go in their EVF viewfinder, especially outdoors. The biggest advantage would be the extra pixels square shooters get. It doesn't add pixels either horizontally or vertically to the normal aspect ratio but a few extra pixels would be added to the 5:4 aspect ratio.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,184Member
    A square sensor like that would be very nice. It would be great if they could figure out a way to not lose the corners.

    I'm trying to figure out if a 36mm high sensor would fit, given the mount contacts are on the top, and protrude inside the mount. It would be tight but maybe.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
    I will touch on that shortly MHedges.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,187Member
    mhedges: the optical light path from a lens design may be able to have a smaller diameter circle at the point of the Z mount than at the point of the image sensor.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,184Member

    mhedges: the optical light path from a lens design may be able to have a smaller diameter circle at the point of the Z mount than at the point of the image sensor.

    Yeah it may, and thats how lots of F mount lenses work, I believe. But there's not as much room to spread the light out since the flange distance is so short.

    My only complaint with how they did this mount is placing the contacts on the top like they did. It would have been better to have them on the side, or embedded into the mount itself.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
    Where are you seeing this info MHedges? Can you point us there?
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 634Member
    edited January 28
    mhedges said:


    My only complaint with how they did this mount is placing the contacts on the top like they did. It would have been better to have them on the side, or embedded into the mount itself.

    This is correct. If you want to make a 8256 x 8256 sensor there isn't room. The job would be to fit a 7000 x 7000 (49 MP) square pixel imager where you have 5500 pixels height now. If you limit to 5500 pixels square, you have a 30 MP sensor. Probably OK, but we are better off with a complete new design with larger lenses, so I don't think this will happen.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,187Member
    Look at the back of a S series lens and at the front of the Z mount with the lens off. It seem like the circle of light projected by the lens would not interfere with a square sensor. But it does look like the drop at the top in the Z mount (depending upon how thick it needs to be) to make contact with the lens would rule out a square sensor. Clearly a 5:4 ratio sensor could be made with a larger narrow ratio (the 4 in the 5x4 ratio) side (top to bottom as you look into the camera body. Thus, a larger sensor could fit the Z mount, it seems, if you went to a 5:4 ratio which is better for portraiture anyway. Once you have put the largest sensor you can fit into Z bodies you can then use software to determine which pixels are used for different aspect ratios. It is a good idea to maximize sensor size efficiency. Might as well put the biggest sensor in there you can fit in and let software determine which pixels are read at the user's option. We don't have to be chained to the past and limited to a 35 mm size sensor.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,184Member

    Where are you seeing this info MHedges? Can you point us there?

    It's just my feeling based on how the opening looks, and how the contacts extend down into the opening from the top. If they were on the side there would be no question of them possibly interfering with a taller sensor.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 634Member
    Of course, if you limit yourself to 5500 to 5500 pixels, you can have a square image sensor now with edge to edge high performance. Software allows it in the Z7.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,187Member
    edited January 29
    Sure, you could always crop square and could to that with any digital camera. But the idea is to maximize the sensor size in the new Z mount. How big could Nikon go is the question? 7,000 x 7,000 pixels equals 49 megapixels. 8,000 x 8,000 pixels equals 64 megapixels. 9,000 x 9,000 pixels equals 81 megapixels. 10,000 x 10,000 pixels equals 100 megapixels. The increase in megapixel size can be achieved by using a larger sensor or by reducing the size of the pixel pitch on the current sensor size (as has been happening) or by doing both. Why not do both? I like the idea.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
    mhedges said:

    Where are you seeing this info MHedges? Can you point us there?

    It's just my feeling based on how the opening looks, and how the contacts extend down into the opening from the top. If they were on the side there would be no question of them possibly interfering with a taller sensor.
    I see what you mean.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
    edited January 29
    #2

    So my second ask is a larger image sensor. In Ask #1, I referred to the advantage of a square sensor, particularly given that a 36mm by 36mm square sensor with a 44mm diameter image circle would result in a square that is 30mm by 30mm. Given the current f-mount sensor, the current image area in square mode is 24mm by 24mm. Given the current 46mp D850 sensor scaled to a 30mm by 30mm sensor, that would be a 47.9mp sensor.

    Now imagine that the entire 36mm by 36mm sensor was actually used – and why would it not be. That would be a 69mp sensor.

    With this sensor, I would always shoot in square mode and crop what I did not need in post. And many of my compositions lend themselves to the square format.

    Mhedges, I had a look at the issue you raised about losing the corners. Other mounts, particularly the Sony E mount, appear to have this issue. I think that the practical result of this is that some corner sharpnesss is lost. However, it would appear to not make much of a difference for the edges which is the extreme that I am most concerned about. I would gladly tolerate a bit of extreme corner softness to benefit from a square sensor, particularly given the performance of the edges on the new Nikon Z lenses.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,184Member
    WEF -

    But you also have to have the lens image circle cover the corners, right? I wonder how big the coverage is on the current Z mount lenses. I'd be surprised if it would be able to cover a 36x36mm sensor (51mm diagonal)
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
    mhedges said:

    WEF -

    But you also have to have the lens image circle cover the corners, right? I wonder how big the coverage is on the current Z mount lenses. I'd be surprised if it would be able to cover a 36x36mm sensor (51mm diagonal)

    The z mount throat diameter is 52mm. A 36 by 36 square sensor diagonal is 50.91mm. Should be OK. If you look at the Sony E mount, it looks pretty tight too and they do it. Of course, I would expect some corner performance issues, but few photographers have real reason to object to that.
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 345Member
    edited January 29
    If you want an almost square 50 MP mirrorless camera thats slightly bigger than a Z its available right now:

    https://www.hasselblad.com/x1d/

    Body only: $6.4 K @ B&H and a nice assortment of lenses.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1260272-REG/hasselblad_h_3013901_x1d_50c_medium_format_mirrorless.html

    Denver Shooter
    Post edited by DenverShooter on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,184Member

    mhedges said:

    WEF -

    But you also have to have the lens image circle cover the corners, right? I wonder how big the coverage is on the current Z mount lenses. I'd be surprised if it would be able to cover a 36x36mm sensor (51mm diagonal)

    The z mount throat diameter is 52mm. A 36 by 36 square sensor diagonal is 50.91mm. Should be OK. If you look at the Sony E mount, it looks pretty tight too and they do it. Of course, I would expect some corner performance issues, but few photographers have real reason to object to that.
    Yes but the lens itself still has to project an image circle big enough to cover, right? Think DX lenses used on FX cameras.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,012Member
    That is a lens design issue. Chances are, the current Z-mount lenses would do that, like some DX lenses do.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 1,184Member

    That is a lens design issue. Chances are, the current Z-mount lenses would do that, like some DX lenses do.

    True. I would be curious to see what the image circle is of the current lenses. I would check the 24-70 but I am not sure how since I believe the aperture is closed with the lens not mounted, so I wouldn't be able to see how it was wide open. And there is no way to manually open the aperture.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,187Member
    "Lastly, if Nikon ever decides to go with a slightly larger sensor than 35mm, it will be able to do it with the current mount diameter. It will not be able to accommodate a medium format sensor, but perhaps a slightly larger sensor that will provide better low-light performance or increased resolution could be an option."

    https://photographylife.com/nikon-z-vs-nikon-f
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