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01-14-2010, 11:07 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
"the DMC-L1 shares its optical subsystem (lens mount, mirror box, viewfinder, auto focus and exposure sensors) with the Olympus E-330"

All the tough to engineer SLR-like bits were Olympus, which supports my point. The only way to get into the DSLR market is to partner with or buy an existing player. Not so with EVIL. If you can build a TV or p&s, you can build an EVIL camera. Soon EVIL will cost less than than dslr's because of simple build and non-exclusivity.
Fair point about the cooperation with Olympus. That said, I wonder what drives the need for partnership - is it really that hard to make a mirror swing up and down precisely, or to develop a AF system, or is it just faster and cheaper to partner with someone with the intellectual property? As wondrous as we all think cameras are, it's not rocket science.

01-14-2010, 11:24 AM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
Lithos... I'm talking about the hard-core traditionalist DSLR fans (of which there are many) who want nothing other than a traditional SLR with an optical viewfinder on which they can use their classic lenses. I'm not telling Pentax to stop making these cameras. Hey, I like them too.

But when the traditionalists pooh-pooh the idea of EVILs and other new technology (many of them still have issues with auto focus!), they fail to realize that Pentax and other camera companies need to find new customers and markets in order to grow and thrive. If Pentax - or anyone else - continues to make only traditional SLRs, they risk falling slowly behind and eventually becoming irrelevant.
You make good points but look at recent history. Ten years ago, everyone made film cameras, then digital camera came along.
Now, there are effectively no film cameras being made, other than a few fringe cameras.
Film cameras are completely gone from the mainstream.
Companies won't carry parallel lines if they don't have to.
If EV becomes the new fair haired kid, conventional SLR cameras will become a thing of the past, and it won't matter if they are not as good as SLR finders.
We'll buy them because we are told to buy them and because we won't have any choice in the matter.
Now, if EV's manage to become as good as SLR viewfinders, I'm all for them, but at the moment, they have a very long way to go, and I don't want to be one of the guinea pigs.
01-14-2010, 11:39 AM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If EV becomes the new fair haired kid, conventional SLR cameras will become a thing of the past
It likely is "when", not "if", in which case I'd like Pentax to be on board as early as possible and not miss it like they did with DSLRs.
01-14-2010, 11:44 AM   #139
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This chart only has the top 3 spots, so I don't know where Pentax ended up, but in Japan at least Panasonic has huge hit on their hands with m4/3's:

Japanese Top 3 brand for the year 2009!

Panasonic jumped up to 8.7% of all interchangeable lens camera sales in Japan last year. They leapfrogged Olympus, Pentax, and Sony. I wonder where Olympus ended up. It's quite possible that EVIL's accounted for 10+% of all the ICL market in their first year of existence. That's extremely impressive. Would anyone be surprised if that number doesn't jump up past 20% in 2010? No matter what everyone wants, I simply don't see how Pentax can afford to set on the sideline.

01-14-2010, 12:02 PM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You make good points but look at recent history. Ten years ago, everyone made film cameras, then digital camera came along.
Now, there are effectively no film cameras being made, other than a few fringe cameras.
Film cameras are completely gone from the mainstream.
Companies won't carry parallel lines if they don't have to.
If EV becomes the new fair haired kid, conventional SLR cameras will become a thing of the past, and it won't matter if they are not as good as SLR finders.
We'll buy them because we are told to buy them and because we won't have any choice in the matter.
Now, if EV's manage to become as good as SLR viewfinders, I'm all for them, but at the moment, they have a very long way to go, and I don't want to be one of the guinea pigs.
Two things: First, as I mentioned in my previous post, I strongly suspect technological advances will make EVFs much, much better. Better or as good as OVFs? A good question and I'm making no predictions. Second, assuming that EVFs don't get as good as OVFs, then the professional market will demand that OVFs continue to be available.

Now, what does that mean for the non-professional enthusiast? Will DSLRs with OVFs continue to be available at affordable prices? Or will non-pros be forced to cameras with EVFs and LCDs because those will be the only cameras produced in enough quantity to allow affordable prices? Another good question. But I'm an optimist by nature... and I suspect EVFs will either get "good enough" or that OVFs will continue to be available in mid-line if not entry-level DSLRs if EVFs don't get good enough.
01-14-2010, 12:25 PM   #141
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At the end of the day the question is, "Who will become the next Leica?"

Who will be so fully blindsided by new technology and shifting consumer expectations that it turns their once-market-leading brand into a sideshow bauble? Konica and Minolta and Fuji and Kodak and Contax and others have been swallowed up by the digital revolution - who will be swallowed up by the EVF revolution? Pentax is a likely candidate because of their size. But their size could also mean agility.

My predictions? In 10 years time, Nikon will have faded and become the next Leica if they don't time the transition to EVF properly. They are too entrenched in mirror boxes and lack the financial might of Canon to get the timing of this transition wrong.

Pentax won't be around either if they get it wrong.
01-14-2010, 12:29 PM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
OVFs will continue to be available in mid-line if not entry-level DSLRs if EVFs don't get good enough.
I don't see the OVF going anywhere in the pro market or even in the enthusiast market for a very long time. Photographers prefer different things and someone will cater to that. But the entry level DSLR could go bye-bye. Again, most entry level people prefer live view (at least when they're in the store until they get used to a OVF).
01-14-2010, 12:35 PM   #143
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Good post, johnmflores.

QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Konica and Minolta and Fuji and Kodak and Contax and others have been swallowed up by the digital revolution
Isn't Pentax in a way also a victim of the getting the digital transition wrong? Or did they lose their market share before that?

01-14-2010, 12:40 PM   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
Isn't Pentax in a way also a victim of the getting the digital transition wrong? Or did they lose their market share before that?
I thought the AF era is what put a hurting on Pentax prior to digital? AF also totally wiped out Olympus in the SLR market...heck, they didn't even try and pulled out completely until the E-Series 4/3' s DSLR's.

Last edited by Art Vandelay II; 01-14-2010 at 12:53 PM.
01-14-2010, 04:39 PM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
Two things: First, as I mentioned in my previous post, I strongly suspect technological advances will make EVFs much, much better. Better or as good as OVFs? A good question and I'm making no predictions. Second, assuming that EVFs don't get as good as OVFs, then the professional market will demand that OVFs continue to be available.

Now, what does that mean for the non-professional enthusiast? Will DSLRs with OVFs continue to be available at affordable prices? Or will non-pros be forced to cameras with EVFs and LCDs because those will be the only cameras produced in enough quantity to allow affordable prices? Another good question. But I'm an optimist by nature... and I suspect EVFs will either get "good enough" or that OVFs will continue to be available in mid-line if not entry-level DSLRs if EVFs don't get good enough.
Probably in much the same way that film SLR cameras are still available.
01-14-2010, 06:34 PM   #146
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The general impression I get from this thread is that:

* Pentax is actually hiding a shitload of money in a numbered account in the Cayman Islands and that there's a loophole in Japanese tax law saying that you won't be prosecuted for tax evasion if you use that money to build an EVIL camera. Or something like that. Because Pentax sure as hell isn't using it to fix the SDM issues, bring out a full frame camera (you know, something with a proven market as opposed to this hype and speculation surrounding EVILs,) or start reminding potential consumers that they still exist and make decent cameras through the wonderful medium of advertising.

* One day, EVFs will be better than OVFs. That's the same logic you should use as an excuse to take up having unprotected sex with complete strangers and sharing needles, because one day there'll be a cure for HIV.

As it stands, the current range of EVILs are like those 4WDs you see around that have the fuel efficiency of a 4WD, are the size of a real 4WD, cost as much as a 4WD, but aren't actually 4WD, and instead are powered by something similar to a windup rubber band used on balsawood planes.

The inherit the flaws of SLRS - price, bulk, complexity (given their target market) - and with only two advantages: interchangeable lenses and a large sensor.

And, of course, there are the P&S traits: that bullshit, slow Tourist Finder, or a headache-inducing, grainy EVF, low-powered processing, and the battery life can't be good with all those electronic gizmos to run.

And, a bonus, unique to the EVIL gang: exposed sensors very close to the flange when the lens is off! I suppose that's for people who are worried they're just not getting enough use out of their Arctic Butterfly.

Of course, why stick with proven technology that's free to use (OVFs) when you can shell out millions for new, untested technology that's probably had the crap patented out of it. Why invest money in your own products when you can just send it all to your competitors?

Why are we still using box-and-prism setups? They're cheap, and they're free to use, and they're a damn sight better (pun most definitely intended,) than untested, new technology. They let you use something other than contrast AF, too.

"EVF revolution" - I'm not sure if that's pathetic techno-hipsterism, or just sad.

One question this all raises: if EVILs are the Second Coming of Oskar Barnack or whatever, why are there all these people still on a forum about a company that doesn't make one? Why haven't they immediately hocked their outdated, outmoded, unhip K-mount gear, bought a Lymp or a Panny and carved the 4/3 logo into their forehead, Manson-style?

The only conclusions I can come to are: EVILs aren't as good as their proponents claim them to be, or that these are poor suckers caught between blind brand allegiance and the slow, searing realisation that the brand they've sworn blind allegiance to isn't catering to their needs, or, frankly, as mentioned, they're WIRED subscribers and latest issue has condemned SLRs to the "Tired" column.

Go and get a Panny, I wouldn't think less of you. In fact, it'd be good to see you put your money where your mouth is.

As Wheatfield says, if makers invest a shitload of infrastructure into EVILs, they're probably not going to keep SLRs around. You know what's a better photoediting monitor than an IPS LCD? A CRT. Where can you buy one of those new, now?

For the GF1's favourable review on Luminous Landscape - the hint's in the title. Landscape. Land. Scape. Which traditionally invovles finding some scenery, which is generally stationary, sticking your camera on a tripod, taking a picture, taking your time. They probably like the live view and magnification because it reminded them of an 8x10 view cam and a loupe. You might as well grab a canvas and a brush. It's not like street shooters, or sports shooters, or photojournalists have been taking these cameras up. That's more my style. Not landscapes or or pissup pics.

For those who want capture the techno-hipster market: it'll be a good market. For about five minutes, until Apple release the iPodPussy, the world's first cocaine-white MP3 player with an artificial ******, so all the fanbois dreams can finally be fulfilled. Or filled full, either way. Then, the EVIL is relegated to the dungheap of yesterday until the next novelty that requires batteries and has the word "digital" in its title comes along.

For those who are wondering if I've been underestimating the M4/3's market penetration, would you please take a guess as to how many EVILs I've seen?
01-14-2010, 06:58 PM   #147
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Lithos,

Right at the top of your game today!
01-14-2010, 09:35 PM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Pentax is actually hiding a shitload of money...
How much more would it cost to join the m4/3's consortium and build a few EVIL bodies and lenses then it does for them to continue to pump out near worthless P&S cameras? From everything I've read the profit margin on P&S's is next to nothing. Seems like it would be more worth while to charge $900 for a glorified P&S with interchangeable lenses like Panasonic is doing.

QuoteQuote:
instead are powered by something similar to a windup rubber band used on balsawood planes.
You're selling EVIL's a bit short there. The AF system in the G1/GF1 is right on par with any entry level DSLR I've used (and a might bit better than some). No, they're not a D300, but there currently isn't a $1600 (body only) EVIL on the market either.

QuoteQuote:
The inherit the flaws of SLRS - price, bulk, complexity (given their target market) - and with only two advantages: interchangeable lenses and a large sensor
My E-P1 was simpler and a great deal smaller than any of the DSLR's I've owned. So I'm not exactly sure what you're basing that on.

QuoteQuote:
And, of course, there are the P&S traits: that bullshit, slow Tourist Finder, or a headache-inducing, grainy EVF, low-powered processing, and the battery life can't be good with all those electronic gizmos to run.
Let me know if you find a DSLR not loaded with BS junk features these days, I've been looking. About the closest I can find is the Sony A850. And the Panasonic GF1 can shoot 380 pics on a charge. I don't remember ever shooting 380 pics in a day myself, so I don't think battery life is an issue.

QuoteQuote:
And, a bonus, unique to the EVIL gang: exposed sensors very close to the flange when the lens is off!
I never once came close to touching my E-P1 sensor. I'm not even sure if you can with a lens. Perhaps if you have a seizure in the middle of a lens change you might make contact with it.

QuoteQuote:
Of course, why stick with proven technology that's free to use (OVFs) when you can shell out millions for new, untested technology that's probably had the crap patented out of it.
Well, at least for now people are paying $900+ for the same features they can get in $500 DSLR's. So perhaps that $400 difference would be enough to pay for those pattens.

QuoteQuote:
Go and get a Panny, I wouldn't think less of you. In fact, it'd be good to see you put your money where your mouth is.

One question this all raises: if EVILs are the Second Coming of Oskar Barnack or whatever, why are there all these people still on a forum about a company that doesn't make one? Why haven't they immediately hocked their outdated, outmoded, unhip K-mount gear, bought a Lymp or a Panny and carved the 4/3 logo into their forehead, Manson-style?
The logo is a bit much, but I did indeed buy an E-P1 the first week it came out. However, I realized a few months later that I missed certain lenses too much and sold it. Once they get the glass I need I'll buy another one (unless Pentax makes a digital version of the LX first).

QuoteQuote:
The only conclusions I can come to are: EVILs aren't as good as their proponents claim them to be
The E-P1 was the single best street camera I've ever used....but again, the glass just isn't there yet.

QuoteQuote:
For those who want capture the techno-hipster market: it'll be a good market. For about five minutes, until Apple release the iPodPussy
It has nothing to do with being hip. I use the tool that best suits me. Hell, right now I own nothing but film cameras and a cheap P&S for snapshots because I can't find a DSLR I like (I've owned six different ones in 2 years now). The E-P1 was by far the closest camera I've had to what I want. So hopefully the wait won't be much longer...

QuoteQuote:
For those who are wondering if I've been underestimating the M4/3's market penetration, would you please take a guess as to how many EVILs I've seen?
Ah yes, the always popular I'm the center of the universe argument. I thought Copernicus took care of that problem centuries ago. You know, I've never seen a skunk in person, but I'm pretty sure they're all around me.

Last edited by Art Vandelay II; 01-14-2010 at 09:45 PM.
01-14-2010, 10:25 PM   #149
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Well lithos, I don't think I've ever said anywhere that EVFs were currently anywhere near as good as OVFs... only that we might be surprised how good EVFs get over the course of several years.

I have stated repeatedly that I do find EVILs interesting and would consider one as a good option for vacation and travel - lighter and more compact than a DSLR but superior in terms of image quality when compared with any P&S, including megazooms. But I have also repeatedly said that an EVIL would be a second - not primary - system for me.

I'm on the Pentax site because I like Pentax's cameras and lenses - and own both. I plan to buy more. I want Pentax to continue making these products. But it's not an either-or proposition. I said in my original post that I think an EVIL might make sense for Pentax - more sense than many of its low-end P&S cameras - and that Pentax might be in a unique position to cash in on this market because of its existing line of pancake prime lenses.

But, unless we're talking about a rebadge of someone else's camera, it's possible there'll be no EVIL from Pentax before the company gets a partner to help shoulder the cost and market risk.

What I sense in the posts from some - but certainly not all - of the EVIL critics is fear. Fear of the new. Fear of the unfamiliar. Fear of change. It's no way to be. If one tries to stop or ignore progress one will always fail to halt that change and end up being left behind. History has proven this repeatedly. I understand that change can make us uncomfortable - at age 53, I've certainly felt this way at times myself. But my life experience has also taught me that if one embraces the new, one can have a role in shaping its development and application. One can have influence over the way things turn out. The important decisions are made by those who show up and participate.

No one said EVILs are perfect and will necessarily replace DSLRs. Maybe they'll just assume a roll as a higher-end, more-perfect bridge camera. Its way too early to make that call. But they do carry some advantages and there is obviously a lot of interest in them - as witnessed by the length of this string after only a few days.

Last edited by Biro; 01-14-2010 at 10:38 PM.
01-14-2010, 11:37 PM   #150
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
* Pentax is actually hiding a shitload of money...
Are you by any chance someone who responds with "Hoya is larger than Canon and Nikon combined" to the "Pentax is going bankrupt" doomsayers? Or are you one of the doomsayers? There isn't that much middle ground.

QuoteQuote:
bring out a full frame camera (you know, something with a proven market as opposed to this hype and speculation surrounding EVILs,)
If they hit with a FF camera they reach a few pros who are heavily invested into Canikon anyway. If they hit with an EVIL camera they reach a much wider market at what initially appear to be much higher profit margins. What seems a better scenario for Pentax?

QuoteQuote:
start reminding potential consumers that they still exist and make decent cameras through the wonderful medium of advertising.
... and getting the product on the shelves so people can see it. I agree with that point.

That said, you cannot really out-Canikon the Canikons, advertising or not. Sticking with DSLRs would largely be attempting that.

QuoteQuote:
One day, EVFs will be better than OVFs. That's the same logic you should use as an excuse to take up having unprotected sex with complete strangers and sharing needles, because one day there'll be a cure for HIV.
First, they only need to be "good enough" to succeed and not "better". Also, with EVFs you can see them getting better year after year. With HIV vaccines, you don't see much progress even after 30 years, so your comparison is not valid.

Also, there is a difference between a company taking business risks where the alternative is likely slow obsolescence, and you taking unnecessary health risks where the alternative is .05 additional millimeters between you and the other person or grabbing more needles at the chemists.

Do you see how your analogy doesn't apply?

QuoteQuote:
As it stands, the current range of EVILs are like those 4WDs you see around that have the fuel efficiency of a 4WD, are the size of a real 4WD, cost as much as a 4WD, but aren't actually 4WD, and instead are powered by something similar to a windup rubber band used on balsawood planes.
Not a valid analogy. They mostly get the size right, which, for now, is their main selling point. They don't get the cost right yet, but that's only more reason for Pentax to jump on board.

QuoteQuote:
The inherit the flaws of SLRS - price, bulk, complexity (given their target market) - and with only two advantages: interchangeable lenses and a large sensor.
What complexity? They can be put in auto mode like most DSLRs. And they have a decent live view unlike most DSLRs so they are more usable for the P&S crowd.

Bulk wise the GF1 + 14-45 is 543g, the K-x + 18-55L is 780g and that's comparing it with the lightest DSLR on the market; the average DSLR is much heavier. Canon 7D + 17-55 is 1445g, etc.

QuoteQuote:
Of course, why stick with proven technology that's free to use (OVFs) when you can shell out millions for new, untested technology that's probably had the crap patented out of it. Why invest money in your own products when you can just send it all to your competitors?
You could make the same argument upon the introduction of any technology you didn't invent, including AF and digital. They might as well close shop now if they take that attitude.

QuoteQuote:
untested
You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

QuoteQuote:
One question this all raises: if EVILs are the Second Coming of Oskar Barnack or whatever, why are there all these people still on a forum about a company that doesn't make one?
Perhaps they hope that company may still make one. Or they intend to run both systems and would like to support Pentax on both. Or they haven't switched... yet. By the time "all these people" are gone it may be too late for Pentax to get them back.

QuoteQuote:
As Wheatfield says, if makers invest a shitload of infrastructure into EVILs, they're probably not going to keep SLRs around. You know what's a better photoediting monitor than an IPS LCD? A CRT. Where can you buy one of those new, now?
Now that's an excellent analogy, better than the last two you used. Thank you for bringing it up.

CRTs = DSLRs

LCDs = EVILs


What you're saying is that if Pentax was a monitor company you'd want them to keep turning out CRTs in this day and age for you, Wheatfield and a few luddites. Doesn't matter than almost noone is buying them and everybody's switched over to LCDs. Doesn't matter than Pentax goes bankrupt while producing them or at least cannot really afford to improve on them any more. The one aspect of CRTs having better colour reproduction (compare with "optical viewfinder") is enough for you to ignore every other aspect.

QuoteQuote:
For the GF1's favourable review on Luminous Landscape - the hint's in the title. Landscape.
This shows you haven't read the review, aren't ready to argue on the real issues but jump on every strawman argument opportunity possible.

Although indeed, EVILs don't feature great continuous AF so they are indeed not that useful for sports/bird shooters. How many years do you give before that changes though? Two? Five?

QuoteQuote:
For those who are wondering if I've been underestimating the M4/3's market penetration, would you please take a guess as to how many EVILs I've seen?
The JDM has generally been a decent indicator of the trends to come, likely better than the outskirts of your cave^H^H^H^Hresidence.

Last edited by juu; 01-15-2010 at 12:54 AM.
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