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08-05-2013, 05:57 AM   #2311
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
My own views are influenced by a career in computing where I've seen major advances that involved replacement of mechanical ways of doing things with electronic ways. Think of a camera as a computer with a lens on the front: I think the trends will be similar.
You should re-think this analogy; it doesn't work that way.
Going from electro-mechanical computers to the current IC "beasts" it's an amazingly huge step forward; from OVFs to EVFs, it's currently a step backwards (albeit at a much smaller order of magnitude). In the first case, we're talking about the core computer function; in the second, about an ancillary but essential camera function.
If anything, you could make a parallel between the computer's HIDs and the camera optical viewfinder. The keyboard and mouse/tablet, for example, is amazingly difficult to replace for the sort of user interaction they're designed for. You just can't type text better than with a keyboard, and touch-based interfaces can't replace a mouse/tablet if you need precision. There's also the discomfort of stretching your arm to touch a 24" screen...
The computer keyboard was there, with the first terminals; and the mouse was invented in 1963.

By the way, I'm also in computing (software engineering), and I don't think it's OK to, nor that we can replace every mechanical thing.

08-05-2013, 05:57 AM - 1 Like   #2312
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Some of you need to get your hands on a Nikon V1 or V2 to see where the future is headed; good AF tracking, good EVF, 60FPS RAW bursts or 10FPS RAW until the card fills or the battery dies, whichever comes first. I have no problem tracking moving subjects with the V1. Truth told, I trust the V1 more than my K-5 to capture the moment. That's saying a lot for first generation technology.
I agree. They've nailed the AF and FPS in this line, even if other elements are....quirky to downright ugly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
I don't know enough about Sony's total systems to comment about why they are not penetrating this market. I don't know if they have the lenses they would need to make an impact as professional-grade equipment at sports events. Nor do I know whether their EVF-based cameras have all the other things that professionals at such events need. If not, we can't judge whether EVFs are the problem for Sony or whether it is all the other things.

I know professionals who believe that 2 seconds is not long enough for a camera to settle down after the mirror has flipped up, and advocate much longer delays. And I've been in hides where many occupants have been concerned that the noise of cameras firing at X fps is frightening the birds away. The problems of moving mirrors have certainly not been solved!
They've mostly been solved save for a few outlier examples. EVF has often been positioned a a solution in need of a problem, so digging up marginal problems has been ongoing. If high FPS is the goal we're getting into the market realm of video more and more. Certainly the pro newsfeeds are thinking that. That's more likely to move the market than a few hundred people in hides as we speak worldwide.

Sony has enough of the lenses. The uptake of their EVF system has been....mediocre. An eye-level EVF needs a HUGE step upwards in lag, clarity, and noise before it will be accepted as an alternative judging by the Sony offerings. No matter what you feel like you are looking at a mini-TV screen. That may not be connection with the image and subject we want in the craft of photography.

And cameras have many moving parts besides the mirror. Older, sunk cost, mechanical systems are often just as good and easier to make, assemble, warrant, and maintain than all-electronic devices. We've seen a widespread retreat to more analog dials in everything from audio systems to automobiles precisely because of the more organic feedback loop leading to higher customer satisfaction. As with many things in this market I don't see substitution but a fractured, side-by-side market (Fuji X100 comes to mind).
08-05-2013, 06:57 AM   #2313
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For those who have not already read this, Imaging-resource has a very thorough assessment of the Sony A65 EVF. They bring up several of the issues listed here: dynamic range, no true "live view" during continuous shooting, brightness that can't match outdoor sunlight (need eyes to adjust), refresh rates that fall off in dim light.

Their bottom line, though, is yes it can replace an OVF. TFWW


Sony A65 Review: Initial Test - Operation
08-05-2013, 07:13 AM   #2314
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Nothing new in there. The EVF still has significant issues, and while some might find them acceptable, others won't.
Which means no, it can't replace an OVF, not for everyone (even excluding personal preferences).

08-05-2013, 07:43 AM   #2315
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Taking pictures of paintings, I could use surely higher resolution, as long as the noise stay negligible and dynamic range high-ish. I don't complain for sure about tech improvement, only that I can't afford it right now.
08-05-2013, 09:04 AM   #2316
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
You should re-think this analogy; it doesn't work that way.
Going from electro-mechanical computers to the current IC "beasts" it's an amazingly huge step forward; from OVFs to EVFs, it's currently a step backwards (albeit at a much smaller order of magnitude). In the first case, we're talking about the core computer function; in the second, about an ancillary but essential camera function.
If anything, you could make a parallel between the computer's HIDs and the camera optical viewfinder. The keyboard and mouse/tablet, for example, is amazingly difficult to replace for the sort of user interaction they're designed for. You just can't type text better than with a keyboard, and touch-based interfaces can't replace a mouse/tablet if you need precision. There's also the discomfort of stretching your arm to touch a 24" screen...
The computer keyboard was there, with the first terminals; and the mouse was invented in 1963.

By the way, I'm also in computing (software engineering), and I don't think it's OK to, nor that we can replace every mechanical thing.
Going from mainframe computers (I wasn't talking about electro-mechanical computers) of the 1960s to the computers we see today involved lots of replacements of mechanical parts by electronic parts. At first I used punched cards as input to a KDF9. Later I used a teletype as input to other mainframes. It also served as an output device. Compare a teletype with one of today's keyboards! Keyboards are an example where things are less mechanical nowadays. My Microsoft Gaming Keyboard (I don't do gaming!) appears to have lots of electronics, but not all the levers of those early teletypes. My (cordless) mouse appears to have far more electronics (and fewer mechanical parts, for example no ball) than earlier mice. My next PC will replace some rotating disc storage with solid state discs. Compare a line printer with one of today's printers, or with a screen if hard-copy isn't necessary. The text-input product with the fewest moving parts that I've used was probably a microphone into IBM's ViaVoice. I found it too tedious to train, but later such products may be part of the future. Who says text has to involve typing?

This is a matter of replacing mechanical things when the time is right. Once this can be done, typically costs will fall and innovation will rise. (And reliability will probably rise). Designers become free to do things that were so far from being possible before that they may not even have entered consciousness. We've made a major transition from mechanical action to electronics with the move from film to digital. Lots of people found the change tricky (and some thought it was wrong or doomed), but film is now a niche in comparison. The change to EVFs is smaller than that. It isn't as though I'm speculating about some imaginary technology - EVF technology is already around and improving year by year. Given investment, this is inexorable. (Post-processing has also evolved, of course. There is a lot of difference between the mechanical parts of my colour enlarger and Jobo processing drum and the electronics of modern digital workflows).

It has been said that OVFs in SLRs are also evolving. True, but at glacial speeds in comparison! I used a Pentax S1A with an instant return mirror over 45 years ago. I used a motor drive on my LXs perhaps 30 years ago. Then over 20 years ago my SFX-n camera had auto-focus. Since then it has been more of the same - but not because the system is perfect! It is becoming harder to challenge physics. Mechanical systems don't have the equivalent of Moore's Law. They don't offer virtually free replication costs.

Replacement of individual mechanical subsystems doesn't have to wait until all are done. Aristophanes's comment "And cameras have many moving parts besides the mirror" is both true and irrelevant to this discussion: replacement can, and obviously will, be piecemeal, not all at once. Some things may not change at all - presumably lenses have to move. (But it would be desirable to reduce the mechanical parts involved in that movement and use electronics instead where possible. I don't know how far this has been done in the case of lenses).
08-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #2317
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What I meant with tracking is finding a moving object in a small field of view and following it. There is no electronic or digital gizmo that will do that, it is eye to hand coordination. I can see more and more segments of photography needing OVF less, and the advantages of a evf taking over. Obviously it isn't a simple matter of putting a screen and a big processor in a small box and making it work. The real trade offs of size, battery life, the very diverse conditions people shoot in, the different lenses, etc. The OVF isn't perfect, but it is pretty close, and a high bar for EVF's to have to meet before they are taken seriously. I don't think cost is an advantage either.
08-05-2013, 09:37 AM   #2318
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
presumably lenses have to move. (But it would be desirable to reduce the mechanical parts involved in that movement and use electronics instead where possible. I don't know how far this has been done in the case of lenses).
The aperture has to move,
until we get the technology to darken glass
at the periphery under control,
replacing the aperture with a controllable ND filter.

For focusing, we could have the sensor move instead
--- (automatic) "back focusing".
Zeiss already did it with film,
and it's also implemented in some security cameras.

It could even allow for some view-camera type
Scheimpflug differential focusing.

08-05-2013, 10:05 AM   #2319
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
Well the advantage off the smaller sensor and thus larger DOF is kicking in and helping you on these matters. I do wonder if it still works with 32mm/f1.2 wide open since that is about the same as 55mm/f2.1 on aps-c.
This is a very important factor. The smaller sensors will always appear to have more accurate AF simply because they have a much wider DoF and capture a huge area in focus compared to the much larger sensors. You have to be much farther back to match the FoV of the larger sensors and you are practically at infinity focus most of the time.
08-05-2013, 10:57 AM   #2320
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Or we can try to be very honest and to the point, which many won't really like. But it's the real reason behind the EVF/OVF tirade: many people like EVFs because the EVF with feedback is the only way for them to imagine what the output will like. Without it, they are as blind as bats.

With OVF and RF, the number of rejects is too high for their taste because OVF and RF devices require some level of imagination, skill and experience to deliver best results. There is also a room for surprises when using OVFs and RFs, which more experienced users welcome as a creative side-effect of their passion for photography.

But which many amateurs despise with passion because they feel they are totally out of the loop, cannot control a device which they have paid for— and therefore it is supposed to do *exactly as* their limited experience and imagination prescribe.
Completely agree. This is (or rather was) my case and funnily I "regressed" so much I'm less and less into DSLR, not at all into mirrorless but as a P&S upgrade, more mechanical SLR (but really there's better stuff than an MX), much more into TLR ( la Mamiya/Rollei) and even more in a Cambo view camera. Well, OVFs. And big ones.

Most users won't think before triggering. And looking into an OVF means they'll get something else if a single digital filter is used or if they convert to B&W etc. Though, they'll shoot continuous with mirrorless or phone and play with filters so the junk they took isn't as bad as it was out of the device.

Talk about using make-up to disguise the ugly into acceptable. Very common these days. Rule in fact.

Note that this isn't meant to insult anyone, sorry it is a bit bold.
08-05-2013, 11:31 AM   #2321
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
This is a very important factor. The smaller sensors will always appear to have more accurate AF simply because they have a much wider DoF and capture a huge area in focus compared to the much larger sensors.
Not true. My Panasonic GH2 would have not been able to get that motorcycle shot. The Panasonic LX7 would have failed as well, as well as the Pentax Q and a host of other smaller sensor cameras. That's the biggest failing of point-and-shoots and super zooms, and what drives soccer moms and dads to put their point-and-shoots on the shelf and smartphones in their pockets and get an entry-level DSLR. They'll keep it in green mode because they don't care much about photography, they just want shots of their young soccer playing daughter/son to be crisp and clean.




There's plenty of DOF here, but the shot would have failed had the camera focused on the line or the people in the background.

Likewise this one:




QuoteQuote:
You have to be much farther back to match the FoV of the larger sensors and you are practically at infinity focus most of the time.
I'm not trying to match anything. I'm trying to get a good shot with the tools I have at hand. I don't worship at the (paper thin) altar of DOF; there's more than one way to get a good shot.
08-05-2013, 11:45 AM   #2322
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
My Panasonic GH2 would have not been able to get that motorcycle shot. The Panasonic LX7 would have failed as well, as well as the Pentax Q and a host of other smaller sensor cameras.
If I was going to make the motorcycle shot with my Q,
I would just have pre-focused on that point in the road,
and timed to allow for the shutter delay.
08-05-2013, 11:50 AM   #2323
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Not true. My Panasonic GH2 would have not been able to get that motorcycle shot. The Panasonic LX7 would have failed as well, as well as the Pentax Q and a host of other smaller sensor cameras. That's the biggest failing of point-and-shoots and super zooms, and what drives soccer moms and dads to put their point-and-shoots on the shelf and smartphones in their pockets and get an entry-level DSLR. They'll keep it in green mode because they don't care much about photography, they just want shots of their young soccer playing daughter/son to be crisp and clean.

There's plenty of DOF here, but the shot would have failed had the camera focused on the line or the people in the backgroun

I'm not trying to match anything. I'm trying to get a good shot with the tools I have at hand. I don't worship at the (paper thin) altar of DOF; there's more than one way to get a good shot.
I guess I am too used to the SI/ESPN style of shot, where there is isolation of a sharp player against a blurred out field. But the more narrow the depth of field, the tougher it is for the auto focus system to keep up with things.
08-05-2013, 12:33 PM   #2324
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
Going from mainframe computers (I wasn't talking about electro-mechanical computers) of the 1960s to the computers we see today involved lots of replacements of mechanical parts by electronic parts. At first I used punched cards as input to a KDF9. Later I used a teletype as input to other mainframes. It also served as an output device. Compare a teletype with one of today's keyboards! Keyboards are an example where things are less mechanical nowadays. My Microsoft Gaming Keyboard (I don't do gaming!) appears to have lots of electronics, but not all the levers of those early teletypes. My (cordless) mouse appears to have far more electronics (and fewer mechanical parts, for example no ball) than earlier mice. My next PC will replace some rotating disc storage with solid state discs. Compare a line printer with one of today's printers, or with a screen if hard-copy isn't necessary. The text-input product with the fewest moving parts that I've used was probably a microphone into IBM's ViaVoice. I found it too tedious to train, but later such products may be part of the future. Who says text has to involve typing?
You're forcing this analogy, but it's as invalid as most analogies. There's no connection between your punch cards and teletypes and the optical reflex viewfinder. And, how funny, you're talking as if the current SLR viewfinder systems don't have electronics and are not controlled by computers...

Keyboards are essentially mechanical devices, and so are mices. Printers are essentially mechanical as well, with lots of moving parts - they have to mechanically feed a sheet of paper and then imprint an image using a mechanical system (cylinders or moving heads).
For typing, as I said, you can't easily replace a keyboard: the tactile feedback you're getting is priceless (and by the way, many are preferring the old keyboards because of the better feedback). There are cool gadgets like a projector-camera system, projecting a virtual keyboard on your desk on which you can type. That would make your fingers hurt in no time.
About VoiceType (sold by IBM few years ago), what device would you use to correct the voice recognition's mistakes?
QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
This is a matter of replacing mechanical things when the time is right. Once this can be done, typically costs will fall and innovation will rise. (And reliability will probably rise).
What you're forgetting is that the movable mirror's role is to allow a TTL optical viewfinder (and this is the important part, not the mirror). You're not arguing for the replacement of the mechanical parts, but also for the optical ones.
By the way, how many digital cameras can survive for 40-50 years?
QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
It has been said that OVFs in SLRs are also evolving. True, but at glacial speeds in comparison! I used a Pentax S1A with an instant return mirror over 45 years ago. I used a motor drive on my LXs perhaps 30 years ago. Then over 20 years ago my SFX-n camera had auto-focus. Since then it has been more of the same - but not because the system is perfect! It is becoming harder to challenge physics. Mechanical systems don't have the equivalent of Moore's Law. They don't offer virtually free replication costs.
My K-5 IIs is able to shoot at 7 fps and it has a 11 point AF system (9 being cross type, able to work down to -3EV). 7fps is not exactly impressive, and the 11 point AF system is much less so. Could you spot any improvement from your S1A and SFX-n?
And... there is no Moore's Law. You're trying to extend something which doesn't exist to the EVFs, nice try but it won't work.
08-05-2013, 12:40 PM   #2325
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Not true. My Panasonic GH2 would have not been able to get that motorcycle shot. The Panasonic LX7 would have failed as well, as well as the Pentax Q and a host of other smaller sensor cameras. That's the biggest failing of point-and-shoots and super zooms, and what drives soccer moms and dads to put their point-and-shoots on the shelf and smartphones in their pockets and get an entry-level DSLR. They'll keep it in green mode because they don't care much about photography, they just want shots of their young soccer playing daughter/son to be crisp and clean.




There's plenty of DOF here, but the shot would have failed had the camera focused on the line or the people in the background.

Likewise this one:






I'm not trying to match anything. I'm trying to get a good shot with the tools I have at hand. I don't worship at the (paper thin) altar of DOF; there's more than one way to get a good shot.
Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding but the inability of those cameras to not focus in those situations is because they aren't based on phase detection for their auto focusing. Not sure where sensor size comes into this.
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