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07-19-2011, 10:00 AM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The way Rob is putting it IMHO illustrates one aspect:
Today, making a camera (much) smaller than the lens doesn't make sense.
However, IMHO this will change.
Sooner or later, the camera will become sort of a "digital lens rear cap".
I.e., every lens we carry will have such a rear cap attached and then we may care they are small. Not unlike the GXR system except that today is too early for a GXR-like system and GXR has the fault that it still requires to change something on the camera (the module).

The reason for an exchangeable rear cap then would be to keep the digital end up-to-date while the optical lens part keeps its value.

Even now I think about a Q (with K mount adapter) to become a digital rear cap for a DA*300. Because of the Q's tiny pixel pitch (and SR system), it would deliver the same "reach" as a 900 mm lens would on the K-5 (assuming the DA*300 resolves this many lines in the center -- 330 lp/mm what some SLR lenses actually do resolve).

So, while I agree that "smaller than the lens" cameras don't make much sense today, this may change. Therefore, I think that a mirrorless mount should be designed such that "smaller than the lens" cameras are doable. Otherwise, the mount may die before it even establishes. In that respect, Sony's E mount seems more promising than Olympus µFT mount.


One last comment about the digital rear cap prediction:

The current situation (with one camera and interchangeable lenses) reminds me of the "one motor and interchangeable devices" approach of the past: One motor which could become drill, saw or grinder. Or my mother's vacuum cleaner which served as a blender and hood dryer too Electric motors used to be so valuable that the need to reuse them appears to be ridiculous a few decades later: now everything comes with embedded motor and soon everything will come with embedded computers replacing the multi-purpose PCs more and more (as anticipated by Apple).

So, my prediction is (and it is a 99% safe prediction): Future lenses will come with their embedded sensors (most likely complete with camera). The more expensive lenses will have the embedded sensor to be replaceable, primarily as a service option.
Falk,

I'm not a visionary like you, but when I want to go small, I want a small lens as well as camera. If this requires a new lens mount, then so be it. Until then, I am happy to use my (relatively) compact K mount Pentax dSLR and Limited lenses.

Rob


Last edited by robgo2; 07-19-2011 at 11:16 AM.
07-19-2011, 10:11 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
So, my prediction is (and it is a 99% safe prediction): Future lenses will come with their embedded sensors (most likely complete with camera). The more expensive lenses will have the embedded sensor to be replaceable, primarily as a service option.
Has someone told Leica?

07-19-2011, 10:39 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Has someone told Leica?

beautiful.
07-19-2011, 10:46 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
Newer lenses designed specifically for the camera will have the back element as close to the sensor as possible or use other tricks to make them extremely compact.
does this mean that the sensor will oave offset microlenses like the leica, because that is what moving the element closer tot he sensor implies, due to the more accute angle of incidence and vignetting that it causes.

sounds like a rangefinder, aimed at travel.

Ideally, 10-75mm lenses for it.

I can see going with 10, 28, 50 and 75mm as a travel kit, assuming the 10, 28 50 as a minimum are like the K or M series and small., can't do much with a good 85mm however.

07-19-2011, 10:59 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
I look at my Sigma 17-70 everyday lens and try to imagine how a new body is going to make that lens any smaller.

K mount won't take us into a significantly smaller system.

Pancake prime users are excepted, of course.
That isn't the k-mount but a big zoom lens, which is a Sigma trade mark. What about a zoom like the F 35-70mm 3.5-4.5 that is very small even at 70mm. The point is, any big honking zoom will make a compact system look large and unwieldy even on an e-p1/e-p2/e-p3.
07-19-2011, 11:43 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Sooner or later, the camera will become sort of a "digital lens rear cap".
It will look like this:

07-19-2011, 12:06 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Has someone told Leica?
Even though can't afford them I'm so glad Leica is out there doing their thing. While everyone else is trying to cram every new feature possible into their cameras Leica has remained simple and true to purpose. I can't wait to see their new mirrorless system. I'm hoping they will do something totally different than everyone else. I'd like to see something like a 1.5 crop sensor in a 4x3 ratio. If you will, a modern incarnation of a Leica M designed for digital from the ground up. Using EVF's instead of rangefinder's Leica will finally be free of the focal length restraints the M system has always had.
07-19-2011, 12:20 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
Even though can't afford them I'm so glad Leica is out there doing their thing. While everyone else is trying to cram every new feature possible into their cameras Leica has remained simple and true to purpose. I can't wait to see their new mirrorless system. I'm hoping they will do something totally different than everyone else. I'd like to see something like a 1.5 crop sensor in a 4x3 ratio. If you will, a modern incarnation of a Leica M designed for digital from the ground up. Using EVF's instead of rangefinder's Leica will finally be free of the focal length restraints the M system has always had.
and such a product will be our of reach to most people who would love to use such a system. just the way Leica likes it.

07-19-2011, 12:42 PM   #69
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Leica prices are high, but the M9 is the only camera that lets me use my 60s-70s lenses just like on my manual film cameras. I got the K-5 hoping manual mode would be simpler for all my old Pentax-M lenses (and screwmounts), but too much compromise to make them work.
So my wife uses the K-5 with kit lens while I use my M9 for my old Leica lenses, and I use my MX & LX for SLR needs.
An EVIL Pentax won't appeal to me, unless it uses an eye-level viewfinder like the Lumix.
Leica at least showed that retro digital can have appeal. But selling new bodies to use with only old lenses isn't a good business case. Leica still makes their rangefinder lenses, and since the M9 came out they can't produce lenses fast enough, even at $3,000 - $10,000 each.
Since Pentax dropped manual lenses a retro, manual body won't make sense. A full-frame manual digital body would probably benefit Cosina instead, as they could chase the manual lens market. Too bad - a digital MX is about the only new Pentax I'd buy now.
07-19-2011, 01:13 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Leica prices are high, but the M9 is the only camera that lets me use my 60s-70s lenses just like on my manual film cameras. I got the K-5 hoping manual mode would be simpler for all my old Pentax-M lenses
I bought a NEX-3 body and a $30 adapter to use my Pentax-M (and A) glass with. Worked really great until I got tired of not having a view finder and sold it. The upcoming NEX-7 might be the best camera ever for adapting old lenses when it's released in a few months. I may finally get a digital version of my Pentax LX; I can't wait.
07-19-2011, 03:20 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The way Rob is putting it IMHO illustrates one aspect:
Today, making a camera (much) smaller than the lens doesn't make sense.
However, IMHO this will change.
Sooner or later, the camera will become sort of a "digital lens rear cap".
I.e., every lens we carry will have such a rear cap attached and then we may care they are small. Not unlike the GXR system except that today is too early for a GXR-like system and GXR has the fault that it still requires to change something on the camera (the module).

The reason for an exchangeable rear cap then would be to keep the digital end up-to-date while the optical lens part keeps its value.

Even now I think about a Q (with K mount adapter) to become a digital rear cap for a DA*300. Because of the Q's tiny pixel pitch (and SR system), it would deliver the same "reach" as a 900 mm lens would on the K-5 (assuming the DA*300 resolves this many lines in the center -- 330 lp/mm what some SLR lenses actually do resolve).

So, while I agree that "smaller than the lens" cameras don't make much sense today, this may change. Therefore, I think that a mirrorless mount should be designed such that "smaller than the lens" cameras are doable. Otherwise, the mount may die before it even establishes. In that respect, Sony's E mount seems more promising than Olympus µFT mount.


One last comment about the digital rear cap prediction:

The current situation (with one camera and interchangeable lenses) reminds me of the "one motor and interchangeable devices" approach of the past: One motor which could become drill, saw or grinder. Or my mother's vacuum cleaner which served as a blender and hood dryer too Electric motors used to be so valuable that the need to reuse them appears to be ridiculous a few decades later: now everything comes with embedded motor and soon everything will come with embedded computers replacing the multi-purpose PCs more and more (as anticipated by Apple).

So, my prediction is (and it is a 99% safe prediction): Future lenses will come with their embedded sensors (most likely complete with camera). The more expensive lenses will have the embedded sensor to be replaceable, primarily as a service option.
This goes back to an earlier series of posts that I think you and I were involved in, Falk.

If we take this road, we should be looking at a completely different camera design for holding and aiming the camera,

I've no problem with the idea of a very small "thing" at the back end of a lens. Great idea. But I think we have to find a new way to mount those lenses into a grip design that accommodates a variety of lenses and caps and VF arrangements. Two or three dumb grips could cover a range of sizes of lenses, hands, weights, etc. Perhaps the image processor is a separate CPU module that snaps into the grip and handles processing and I/O tasks, taking input from the rear lens cap and delivering to .... whatever.

That breaks the system down to lens, sensor, smarts, VF, and grip. Big lenses need big grip, small lenses something smaller and/or different. One arrangement could look like a Q, perhaps with a foldout handgrip. Another provides good balance with long FF or APS-C glass.

Whatever the answer, we seem to be constrained by the idea that cameras of the future should look like cameras of the past. Traditional cameras look that way because the film and optics requirements led to the design, "form follows function".

Time to take another look at that form given that we have new ways of performing the function.

I'll get an IPA from the fridge (shudder) and see what develops from here.
07-19-2011, 03:29 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I got the K-5 hoping manual mode would be simpler for all my old Pentax-M lenses (and screwmounts), but too much compromise to make them work.
That's for sure. Having to memorize how to compensate for the meter's misfirings when using my DS with manual focus lenses pushed me back to my film bodies.

QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Since Pentax dropped manual lenses a retro, manual body won't make sense.
I've come to the same conclusion. The only avenue I could see would be Ricoh supporting SMC glass as a way of getting more people onto the GXR platform.

QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
The upcoming NEX-7
That would be an interesting design, but I'll believe it when I see it. My contact at Sony's imaging division just laughed at that mockup.
07-19-2011, 03:49 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by uccemebug Quote
Sony's imaging division just laughed at that mockup.
That's pretty sad if true. The lens on that mock up looks ridiculously large for a standard prime, so I hope that part is inaccurate, but I rather like the rest of it. How long have enthusiasts been begging for something like a digital Contax G2 now? It depresses me a bit to think someone that might actually have a say in the matter of producing one laughs at the idea.
07-19-2011, 04:10 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
and such a product will be our of reach to most people who would love to use such a system. just the way Leica likes it.
I'm not so sure of that anymore.

Without their philanthropic owner, Leica is effectively bankrupt. They need gross revenues and stable, sales, with some products at lower margins but higher turnover.

They may enter in at lower price points for the over-used "halo" effect. Leica is really the only company in photography for which this is a factor.
07-20-2011, 01:41 AM - 1 Like   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I'm not so sure of that anymore.

Without their philanthropic owner, Leica is effectively bankrupt. They need gross revenues and stable, sales, with some products at lower margins but higher turnover.

They may enter in at lower price points for the over-used "halo" effect. Leica is really the only company in photography for which this is a factor.
Not so much, they would have been gone brankrupt. But according to the lastest info from Leica, their factories are running at full capacity for both bodies and lenses, actualy they are saying that they haven't seen this level of production since the M3.

IMO, Leica is not anymore comparable to any other camera companies. It's a bit like Ferrari for car, people don't buy them as a mean of transportation, it can do it, but that's not the point. They are status objects. The same goes for Leica, it can take pictures (and very competently) but this is first a status object.

Maybe a better comparison would be mechanical watches, they measure time and are used for such, are a superb pieces of outdated engineering, but ultimately people buy them as status object.

Leica may be the only camera company in that situation, and IMO, they are making plenty of money at this time. Because, they may not sell volumes, but their margin is definitively higher than any other.
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