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09-26-2009, 02:31 PM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
Yikes, those two camera designs were promising to you? I absolutely despised both concepts. I bought a Canon Powershot G2 instead of a Coolpix 995 simply because I hated that swivel nonsense. As far as the Sony 707 goes, I simply don't understand the point of camera design like that. I'd much rather have something like a Panasonic GH1 where if I don't mind a big lens I can put the 14-140mm on it, and for times wen I want something smaller mount a 20mm pancake on it. Like my Canon G2 the GH1 also has a rotating LCD, which is even more versatile than a vertical swiveling body, and much easier to use also.

Maybe I like retro too much (the Leica M9 makes me drool), but I think we have a pretty good grasp of what shape a camera should be now after a century development and the boat doesn't really need to be rocked anymore. If anything I wish DSLR makers would go back in time 30 years and make designs like the Pentax K1000 again. I'm extremely tired of standard DSLR design (K20D, D300, 50D, etc). I'd love to see grip-less SLR's come back. I never had an issue using a K1000 for hours in college just like I don't have any issues using my E-P1 now. To me a grip is just unnecessary bulk.
Well I think we disagree on almost every point

With no film transport to worry about, digital camera designers have far more freedom.

The buying public on the other hand is very conservative. The current SLR shape was the result of the first serious look at the modern camera by a proper designer (Luigi Colani) and came in with the T90.

I think the time is ripe for another review by and equally talented designer.

09-26-2009, 04:39 PM   #122
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hmm..this doesn't sound like profitable brand extension
09-30-2009, 07:50 AM   #123
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If the rumors are true Fuji will be joining Olympus and Panasonic soon:
Fuji's upcoming Micro Four Thirds camera | Photo Rumors

Perhaps Canon and Nikon can compete with m4/3's using proprietary systems, but I don't see how Pentax can. They should stop dragging their feet and join before the train has completely left the station
10-07-2009, 01:16 PM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
If the rumors are true Fuji will be joining Olympus and Panasonic soon:
Fuji's upcoming Micro Four Thirds camera | Photo Rumors

Perhaps Canon and Nikon can compete with m4/3's using proprietary systems, but I don't see how Pentax can. They should stop dragging their feet and join before the train has completely left the station

That train would be welcome to leave the station without me. Five hundred miles' distance would be too close.

10-07-2009, 06:41 PM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Well I think we disagree on almost every point

With no film transport to worry about, digital camera designers have far more freedom.

The buying public on the other hand is very conservative. The current SLR shape was the result of the first serious look at the modern camera by a proper designer (Luigi Colani) and came in with the T90.

I think the time is ripe for another review by and equally talented designer.
To be honest, the whole thing about 'digital allows newer designs' just didn't pan out. Reason? Hands and eyes and the human body didn't change. The Nikon 995 and some later smaller versions have some virtues, (less, the smaller most of the works become, ...the advatages are lost when the whole camera can just shrink) but most of the alternative plausible shapes were tried and just didn't fly. There simply aren't that many possibilities that they couldn't have tried in a hundred years of rollfilm.

A 995 was a nice way to make some use out of a P&S that would otherwise be the same size as a film SLR, but the idea did fade out as unnecessary.

I don't expect any fundamental changes at least till EVFs are realtime, people stop chimping, and someone decides it's an OK idea to wear most of a 'pro' camera on your belt. Then people'll probably be wielding something like a big spotmeter (probably with an extra handle sticking out somewhere) and wishing there was more room for controls.
10-07-2009, 06:56 PM   #126
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
To be honest, the whole thing about 'digital allows newer designs' just didn't pan out. Reason? Hands and eyes and the human body didn't change. The Nikon 995 and some later smaller versions have some virtues, (less, the smaller most of the works become, ...the advatages are lost when the whole camera can just shrink) but most of the alternative plausible shapes were tried and just didn't fly. There simply aren't that many possibilities that they couldn't have tried in a hundred years of rollfilm.

A 995 was a nice way to make some use out of a P&S that would otherwise be the same size as a film SLR, but the idea did fade out as unnecessary.

I don't expect any fundamental changes at least till EVFs are realtime, people stop chimping, and someone decides it's an OK idea to wear most of a 'pro' camera on your belt. Then people'll probably be wielding something like a big spotmeter (probably with an extra handle sticking out somewhere) and wishing there was more room for controls.
Well I like the way you think, but the trouble with elegant design is that its only obvious after someone already thought of it .... there is a solution I just havent seen it yet
10-07-2009, 07:40 PM   #127
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Well I like the way you think, but the trouble with elegant design is that its only obvious after someone already thought of it .... there is a solution I just havent seen it yet
I'm not saying that there isn't anything new that could happen, just that even with digitals, there was a brief period of design exuberance, but in fact,, most of them just didn't hold up, and we're back to the same basic shapes.
10-08-2009, 04:02 AM   #128
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Good point, RML, about the fact that humans haven't changed. It reminds me of bicycle design - materials and methods of construction have changed drastically in the past 30 years yet bicycles look surprisingly similar to their forebearers.

While the human form hasn't changed, one thing that has changed dramatically is how the human form interacts with the camera. We - those that look through a glass viewfinder - are a small minority, the rest of the world is holding cameras and camera/phones in a relatively unstable position a foot or more away from our eyes. Worse yet, older and more farsighted photographers are forced to hold the camera at arms length just to see the little screen. What's needed are designs that recognize this fact and encourage a new way of holding the camera that is functional and stable. Where, for argument's sake, are the designs that encourages users to hold the camera like a TLR, elbows braced against the body, looking down onto a large screen?

I half-joked about it in another thread, but maybe it will take an outsider like Apple to, in the words of *isteve, create an innovative design that is "only obvious after someone already thought of it." They've done it numerous times, most recently with the iPhone.

And regarding M43, while I agree with *isteve and Falcon's conclusions that the mount is - from an engineering perspective - larger than it needs to be, much of the enthusiasm for the format stems from its compatibility with legacy glass, so maybe the marketers were on to something after all. I guess that the engineers could still have responded with a smaller mount - and adapters that were small on one end and larger on the other - but that did not happen for one reason or another.

And so is M43 a dead end? I'm inclined to think no, that M43 (or some other EVIL format) will eventually replace APS-C dSLRs as the enthusiasts camera of choice. By "Enthusiast" I mean the group of people that want to take better photos (of vacation, of children, etc...) but have no aspirations of making money from their hobby. Mount size notwithstanding, their size advantages are still quite compelling when compared to dSLRs. For many, their quality and sophistication is good enough, and vacation snapshot taking entry level dSLR owners (with the standard 1 or 2 kit lens setup) will begin to envy those on the cruise or tour bus with the smaller EVIL camera. Whether or not cameraphones and/or high-end compacts will eventually rise up and overrun this market is my only question. I'm guessing/hoping no, because the advantages of good, fast, interchangeable lenses will remain...fingers crossed.

In all of this we must also consider that the nature of viewing photographs is changing as much as the nature of taking them. I imagine that even today more photos are viewed on screen (computer, phone, HDTV) than on paper, so that that the standards of "good enough" and "very good" for a vast majority of picture takers has changed. Ten years hence, will the photography enthusiast be targeting the gallery-sized print as his output or the higher-than-HDTV-resolution 60" flat panel hanging in his living room?

Interesting times for sure.

10-08-2009, 03:33 PM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I'm not saying that there isn't anything new that could happen, just that even with digitals, there was a brief period of design exuberance, but in fact,, most of them just didn't hold up, and we're back to the same basic shapes.
Yeah, sadly so, but was that buyer driven or industry driven?

But perhaps you are right. Form factor seems to be dictated by LCD screen size, mirror box, batteries and lens mount, there is not much room for anything else.
10-08-2009, 07:50 PM   #130
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John my problem is, as much as i want something smaller, add a zoom lens and suddenly it's not so small .... so you're stuck with primes to keep it 'real'.
10-08-2009, 08:18 PM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
John my problem is, as much as i want something smaller, add a zoom lens and suddenly it's not so small .... so you're stuck with primes to keep it 'real'.
Actually, if you want telephoto lenses, you are in trouble as well. 200mm lenses tend to be at least 200mm long (whatever registration distance you choose).

Micro 4/3 has a small advantage over micro APS, but tele lenses will be no smaller for the same Fstop as 4/3 versions of the same lenses. As a "system" camera, they dont make a lot of sense.
10-08-2009, 09:43 PM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
John my problem is, as much as i want something smaller, add a zoom lens and suddenly it's not so small .... so you're stuck with primes to keep it 'real'.
'Not so small' is a relative term. While an M43 EVIL with a kit zoom is not as small as a supercompact like the Canon G10, it appears to be smaller than a similar dSLR:





There are people in this thread that know way more than I do about this subject. If the photos above are somehow deceptive or misleading, please share.

Speaking as someone that just rode a motorcycle through Eastern Europe with 2 dSLR bodies and 2 DA* zooms (16-50/F2.8 and 50-135/F2.8) slung over their shoulder, any reduction in size and weight is welcome. If photography was just a hobby, or if the primary output target was the web, I'd be seriously considering the new M43s.

My point is that the current size and weight advantages of the M43 format over dSLRs is enough to make the current buyers of an entry dSLR + a couple of kit lenses reconsider their decision. Based on my (entirely) unscientific observations on my trip, there are a lot of dSLR owners that fit into this category - they buy a body with one or two kit lenses, take it on vacation, and then maybe, just maybe, buy another lens somewhere down the road. And I don't think that this is a new phenomena - just look at all the 20 year old SLRs with 2-3 lenses for sale on Craigslist. There's a whole segment of camera enthusiasts that move up to supercompacts, imagine themselves getting more 'serious' about photography, buy an SLR, but never get that serious - as serious as most of the people here. M43 is perfect for them.

And while the size advantages diminish as the focal length increases, I'd argue that the audience I'm describing aren't buying 200mm telephotos and zooms in large quantities. Further, they're probably completely happy with the 2x FOV factor of M43 and think that their 100mm zooms are, in effect, 200mm.

We - who frequent this forum and pore over lens review and discuss circles of confusion and talk about camera systems - aren't the target audience.
10-09-2009, 02:36 AM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
My point is that the current size and weight advantages of the M43 format over dSLRs is enough to make the current buyers of an entry dSLR + a couple of kit lenses reconsider their decision.
At least in Japan they seem to do, all 3 Panasonic models plus the Pen seem to sell very well. It remains to see if the K-x can steal some of those beginner customers - from the demand for the red version just reported, it seems it might do that.
10-09-2009, 03:04 AM   #134
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
At least in Japan they seem to do, all 3 Panasonic models plus the Pen seem to sell very well. It remains to see if the K-x can steal some of those beginner customers - from the demand for the red version just reported, it seems it might do that.
Sorry, Espen but you're wrong!

All G1, GH1 and most recently E-P1 had the same evolution (or involution) in sales as their novelty worn off. Although the most competent micro camera to date I suspect that GF-1 will follow the same trend in a few months.

For example E-P1 started at 11.7% in July, fell at 8.8% in August and in September made only 5.81%. G1 and GH1 are currently at 2.something % down from initial 10 percent or so. Compare this with classic cameras such as C 450D and 500D which scored over 20-25% market share for a long time. My point is that a well build and specd "regular dslr" has arguably better potential than a micro mount camera at this point based on price/performance+features ratio.

I have no doubts that there is a sensible market for such cameras but at this moment maybe the prices are too big, options to few and performance not up to par.

Radu
10-09-2009, 04:44 AM   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
G1 and GH1 are currently at 2.something % down from initial 10 percent or so.
Well, each of them sells more than 2%. The combined share is 5.3%.
QuoteQuote:
My point is that a well build and specd "regular dslr" has arguably better potential than a micro mount camera at this point based on price/performance+features ratio.
I won't object to that, I think the outlook for the K-x is very good. They only need to get it out into the shops :-) (but at least one of the chain of one of the closest shops to where I work already show the red K-x being ready for pre-order in their current flyer. The price is OK, e.g. above D3000 but well below D5000).
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