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01-16-2010, 08:51 AM   #181
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Regardless of whether or not we want Pentax to replace DSLRs with EVILs Pentax will likely have at least one in their line up. I would not be surprised if it becomes a standard thing for all manufacturers to have at least on DSLR-like EVIL in their lineup.

What we may be seeing is an evolution of digital. While in many ways different than the film-to-digital transition that began in the 90's for consumers, it seems to me to bear some resemblance.

The technology and cost is not there yet. Just like 1MP DSLRs cost an arm and a leg when they first came out and their quality wasn't as good, same with EVIL.

Just like Film shooters saying digital will never make it, I predict that eventually EVIL will make it.

We aren't there yet. But we will be.

01-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #182
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Every single "improvement" in photographic equipment in the past 75 or so years has been at the expense of quality.
Roll film replaced sheet film, and image quality went down. 35mm replaced roll film, and quality went down.
Colour replaced B&W and image longevity went down.
Digital replaced film and both image quality and image longevity (without major intervention from the user) went down.
Kodak's TMAX being a classic example of what might happen with EVF vs OVF.

T-grained films are a lot cheaper to produce than standard cubic-grained ones so Kodak hyped the crap out of them (I'm sure Wheatfield knows this story, but here it is for the rest of you.) Because it was new technology, Kodak sold it at a premium, as it was meant to be better 'cause it had finer grain. So it was cheaper to make, but sold for more. It was "new."

They did this by replacing some of the silver in the film with dyes coupled to the remaining crystals, just like in C-41 film. Much cheaper.

Unfortunately, it sacrificed a few other things that are equally, if not more, important. A lot of photogs didn't like the tonality, which is the most important trait of BW film. Latitude (especially compared to Tri-X) went down, as did the DR, as the film grains were uniformly small. Cubic-grained films have big and small crystals. Big crystals absorb more light, little ones absorb less. Thus, the big ones let the shadows hold more detail, while the little ones stop the highlights blowing out as much. Incidentally, Fuji uses this exact same principle in their SuperCCDs.

The plan was for Kodak to a) make more money by charging more for this "advanced" film, and b) get the demand for old films to drop off to the point where they be justified in axing them from their product lines. Thus, they both saved money and made money, at the expense of the photographer, but keeping their hands clean the whole time.

Infamously, this didn't happen. TMAX sales went up a bit, until a large chunk of Kodak's consumer base realised they didn't like them, and went back to Tri-X and Plus-X, or back to Ilford or Fuji or wherever. So Kodak was forced to keep the old films on, due to demand. They did axe a shitload of others, though. They keep insisting TMAX is superior to anything out there.

TMAX still costs more than Tri-X, by the way. Even though it's cheaper to make - it's new, after all.

So do I think EVFs will become cheaper in the long run? Probably not, for the same reasons they're slated to be The Next Best Thing. You'll find that the camera companies will be touting them as The Next Best Thing for an alarming period of time, and charging for it. I don't think there'll be some mass democratisation of the format amongst camera lines, not for a good while. There's too much money to be made in the novelty aspect. Does anyone else here really think a blank Blu-Ray disc, for example, cost about a hundred times more than a DVD-R to produce? No. It's just that it's new.

Camera companies will try to milk EVFs for as long as possible. I doubt Olympus is gonna replace its all the prisms in all its DSLRs with EVFs, because then you lose the image that EVFs are more costly (I'm working on the hypothesis that they EVFs become cheaper to make than mirrors and prisms,) and thus they lose the reason to charge a premium for its EVF cameras (granted, they've got only one. Which was an update of a camera they'd released six months before. A Leica manager must've gotten loose in their boardroom.)

This seems to be all the EVIL cameras goals. Not to become a better bog-standard DSLR, but to be a premium point-and-shoot.

Do people need to see exactly how the image will turn out? No. Enthusiasts (and above) will learn how to judge a scene, and learn how their camera reacts to it. Consumers will say the mantra they've uttered for decades: "That one didn't turn out," and move on.

QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
Furthermore, even if the quote were real it would only show how easy it is to underestimate the future advance of technology - something that you, the detractors of EVFs are also doing now.
So overestimating is the answer? Is that it? Being optimistic is right, and being pessimistic about a particular thing, is wrong?

Do you, by any chance, think that nuclear-powered car Ford was showing off in the fifties, was a good idea? It's just as easy to overestimate, which is what you're doing, as it is underestimate, which is what I'm doing.

At the end of the day, they're still estimates, which are basically just guesses with better credentials.
01-16-2010, 09:28 AM   #183
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its early days for EVIL camera's they will sort out all the issues with them.

Eventually they WILL totally replace DSLR once the technology is able. (300dpi digital viewfinder, 60fps would probably be indistinguishable to your eye from a real view finder)

I would bet they make evil cameras that look like dslrs later on also, for people who prefer the large size etc. Give it 5 - 10 yrs.
01-16-2010, 09:32 AM   #184
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Every single "improvement" in photographic equipment in the past 75 or so years has been at the expense of quality.
QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
Just like Film shooters saying digital will never make it, I predict that eventually EVIL will make it.
Imagine the conversation among portrait painters when the camera started stealing their commissions...

"The image quality is abhorrent! Anything that moves appears as if an apparition!"

"It is impossible to keep a small child still for a photograph. A skilled portraitist can, with deft skill, imagine and portray the child as still even as it writhes in its mother's arms."

"Oh yes, and no color!"

"And so small!"

"It will never replace the skill and craft that we posess."

"Agreed!"

"Here here!"

"I just purchased one."

"Gasp!"

"What?!"

"Sir, you are no longer welcome here!"

"Wait. Before you depart, can you tell us...why?"

"It's quite simple, really. A matter of economics. I can conduct 5 sittings a week now, instead of just 1. You are all quite right about the quality, but my customers love them and the novelty of it. I've actually had to turn business away! But don't worry, I still love painting, and will continue to paint for my own personal pleasure. Good day."

The interesting thing about this SLR/EVIL debate and one that separates it from the other technology-driven changes (film to digital, CRT to LCD, etc..) is that the other transformations had clear impact on the final product - the printed image, and image on a screen, etc.... Here, we are not discussing the impact of EVIL on the final image, but rather the impact of EVIL on the photography process. I daresay that - all other factors being equal (sensor and lens characteristics) you can't look at two images and identify that one was taken with an SLR and one was taken with EVIL.

I'm enjoying this discussion, but it's been getting a little hot under the collar lately. Might I suggest that we all take a chill pill before it gets too petty and acrimonious and ultimately shut down by the mods?

01-16-2010, 09:39 AM   #185
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
So overestimating is the answer? Is that it? Being optimistic is right, and being pessimistic about a particular thing, is wrong?
That's a false dichotomy. Quite obviously, overestimation is bad just like underestimation.

QuoteQuote:
Do you, by any chance, think that nuclear-powered car Ford was showing off in the fifties, was a good idea?
Probably not. Remind me, how much market share did it capture? None, you say? Well, how many were even built? None again? Well, why are you bringing it up then?

There is a huge difference between a pie in the sky concept and a working product that has captured significant market share and keeps capturing more.

Do you understand the difference?

QuoteQuote:
At the end of the day, they're still estimates, which are basically just guesses with better credentials.
That's true, and only time will show which were accurate and which weren't. And it doesn't matter that much to me. It matters to Pentax though, but they obviously aren't reading this thread.

P.S. I enjoyed the Kodak's TMAX story, thanks for posting it.

I agree that if Oly/Pana can keep their grip on EVFs through patents or market dominance then the cost savings may not come through.

However, it seems like others are joining in now with Samsung NX and so forth, so I expect prices to come down over time (just like Kodak didn't get away with its plan back then due to Ilford and Fuji providing an alternative product).

Last edited by juu; 01-16-2010 at 10:36 AM.
01-16-2010, 09:48 AM   #186
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Kodak's TMAX being a classic example of what might happen with EVF vs OVF. ...

Infamously, this didn't happen. TMAX sales went up a bit, until a large chunk of Kodak's consumer base realised they didn't like them, and went back to Tri-X and Plus-X, or back to Ilford or Fuji or wherever. So Kodak was forced to keep the old films on, due to demand. They did axe a shitload of others, though. They keep insisting TMAX is superior to anything out there.
Thanks for sharing the TMAX story - interesting read. But I think the difference in the analogy is that Kodak had an inordinate share of the market and with that could try to exert an inordinate amount of control on the marketplace. I don't think that Olympus and Panasonic are in a similar position and will be able to charge premium prices for long. Last year, maybe, but that's the reward for being first to market. But I wouldn't be surprised if three more camera makers announced EVILs this year (Samsung being the first), making the market for EVILs much more competitive, with the resulting impact on price.

But you are right that some companies are able to charge considerably more than the actual value of their products. Luxury fashion brands come to mind, Leica comes to mind, as does Apple, but to a lesser degree (hardware may be a commodity, but good software isn't). These are brands that have worked hard to cultivate an image that people want to be associated with. So when you buy a Leica, you not just buying a camera, your buying a history and a tradition and an aura, as silly as that sounds.

I don't think that Panasonic of Olympus have either the market control or brand position to do what Kodak did with TMax.
01-16-2010, 09:59 AM   #187
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
I really don't care to be able to say, in some point in time that has yet to arrive, "Yeah, I was using those on Pentax before it was popular," like an insufferable indie music fan. At which point, if it arrives, you hypermodernists will probably be bitching about how Pentax isn't putting out a camera with a retina-projection display, because you're jealous now that every man and his dog has an EVF camera and it's just not cool anymore.
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
EV cameras will probably replace SLR cameras because they are good for manufactuerers and by marketing them as the newest thing, people will buy them, in much the same way they bought LCD monitors when they were expensive junk and DLSR cameras when they were expensive junk.
They'll sell because people are stupid sheep who do what they are told, not because they are better...
You two seem to be under the impression that there are no advantages to owning an EVIL over a DSLR. Furthermore, I'm getting tired of hearing that only sheep or people too dumb to think for themselves would buy one. Both views are 100% false.

Advantage #1: Video
Even though I don't care about video myself, I challenge you to find a DSLR anywhere that also doubles as a video camera as well as the Panasonic GH1. Why should a family invest into two devices when an EVIL can do both?

Advantage #2: Live View
I prefer either an OVF or EVF over live view on the back of an LCD myself, but I am in the minority there. The vast majority of consumers prefer composing on the back of an LCD. That has nothing to do with being sheep, they simply prefer what they prefer. Again, try and find a DSLR anywhere that works in live view better than an EVIL.

Advantage #3: Size
We've been over this a thousand times. The average consumer (and many serious enthusiasts such as myself) prefer smaller cameras. While a DSLR can be small (Olympus E-450), they simply cannot be made as small and as light as an EVIL.

Advantage #4: Cost
While not the case yet since they're new, it's only a matter of time before they will be cheaper than DSLR's. How will it be possible to make a DSLR with all the moving parts and a prism cheaper than EVIL two years from now?


Given those four advantages, how does it make someone a hipster or a sheep to choose an EVIL over a DSLR? A DSLR has exactly two advantages; the OVF (which is only an advantage to some, it's a disadvantage to others) and faster AF (which will even out sooner or later). The fact is vast majority of people have to give up nothing when choosing an EVIL over a DSLR; and if they've never used a DSLR they will think it's the greatest thing since slice bread.

Now, as far as why would an enthusiast choose one; simple, it's all about the size. I challenge anyone to find a better street camera than a Panasonic GF1. It is so easy to take candid shots with a camera that size. People usually don't even notice, and even if they do since you're composing using an LCD you can pretend like you're reviewing pics on the back then snap the pic when they go back to doing what they were doing. I "shot from the hip" all the time with my EP1. Then of course there is travel and hiking use. Again, an EVIL is better suited to those purposes (especially after Oly makes a weather sealed model).

In my ideal money doesn't matter world I would have a large full frame DSLR to use around the house, for strobist and studio work, then an EVIL for everything else. The DSLR would never leave the house if when on foot.
01-16-2010, 10:07 AM   #188
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Good post, Art, and a good summary of the discussion so far.

01-16-2010, 11:03 AM   #189
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I see many more advantages in using EVF, but it might take some time before they are all implemented.

- No reason to make VF less than 100%, and easier to make large VF on small sensor camera.
- Option to have VF stabilized with SR.
- Exposure, white balance and other image parameters can be seen in VF before picture is taken, and also possible to overlay live histogram in VF.
- Distortion correction and highlight/shadow correction can be made visible in VF before picture is taken.
- Improved manual focus by 100% view of pixels in VF
- Improvement of AF can be made, and AF can made much more flexible. (AF-C can be improved as AF can work over whole VF area).
- Faster shutter response before picture is taken.
- Less risk for BF/FF.
- Camera can be made quieter.
- Higher FPS possible.

This is just a few examples of thing that can be made different with EVF, but the possibilities are almost unlimited.
01-16-2010, 06:13 PM   #190
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fogel70 Quote
I see many more advantages in using EVF, but it might take some time before they are all implemented.
One more; true DOF preview. It's pretty cool seeing the bokeh halo's exactly as they will be recorded in real time.
01-17-2010, 02:19 AM   #191
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Advantage #1: Video
The only advantage is that with an EVIL, you can take a movie looking through the electronic viewfinder. With a DSLR, you have to use the LCD.
Otherwise, there is no technical reason why a DSLR couldn't be as good as the best EVIL.

Advantage #2: Live View
No reason why on a DSLR it wouldn't work as well as on the best EVIL.

Advantage #3: Size
True enough, even though I think we haven't seen the smallest DSLR yet. But in some cases, bigger are better.

Advantage #4: Cost
Well... the EVF itself is not free, you know
Right now, EVILs are more expensive than they should be; I doubt 2 years from now 'Cost' will be an advantage for them.

And... you sort of play down two real advantages for a DSLR.
The OVF - no viewing lag, no processed view, faster manual focus, faster DOF preview, better battery live.
AF speed - fast EVILs are as good as entry level DSLRs, and that's an achievement. It won't be easy to match the speed of the better phase-detection AF systems, you know? And let's not even talk about the best - for that, a miracle is needed.

The EVILs have a chance because they are fighting with dumbed-down DSLRs, on an uninformed market. They will eventually succeed; but on a purely technological level, they are nowhere near surpassing a good DSLR as a general-purpose photographic tool.
But that's only my opinion.
01-17-2010, 04:23 AM   #192
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
[And... you sort of play down two real advantages for a DSLR.
The OVF - no viewing lag, no processed view, faster manual focus, faster DOF preview, better battery live.
AF speed - fast EVILs are as good as entry level DSLRs, and that's an achievement. It won't be easy to match the speed of the better phase-detection AF systems, you know? And let's not even talk about the best - for that, a miracle is needed.
The VF lag will not be a big problem I think, and without the mirror lag there will not be much difference between EVIL and DSLR.
One advantage the EVIL has it that images can be saved to buffer memory before the shutter button is pressed.

The AF speed might be a problem of the first gen EVIL, but give it some years and I suspect AF in EVIL to surpass the best DSLR of today. With the mirror box removed continuous focus can be active even when the picture is taken. With more CPU power in EVIL AF speed can be much better than today.

To judge the future of EVIL by looking on today's EVIL is like looking on the first gen DSLR and think that all future DSLR would have the same technical limitations.
First gen products of any type has often high price, low performance and many technical limitations that future models will not have .
01-17-2010, 05:03 AM   #193
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I don't share your optimistic views. This will be fixed, that will be improved - is it that easy?
The VF lag issue; please note that I'm talking about previewing the picture, not the shutter lag. In other words, the EVF is showing us the yesterday's view, while an OVF has no lag at all.
In contrast, a reasonably small shutter lag is easy to live with. But even here, the EVF has no advantage over OVFs.

Saving images to the buffer? Full resolution images? How many and how often? We're getting into serious problems here, the bandwidth being limited and so on.
I doubt the CPU power, sensor readout speed, bandwidth between components will increase as much, as fast as you say.

AF speed. Again, we're talking about contrast detection AF vs. phase detection AF. In theory, phase detection can take a single reading then focus the lens in one single step to achieve 100% precise focus; while the contrast detection AF must take several readings at different focus distances. And while in theory a CDAF is absolutely precise, I'm afraid in a real products precision will be traded for speed.

To sum it up, IMHO EVFs are nowhere near to the point they can replace DSLRs (not as in: selling as well as, but: being as good as). If there is a bright future in which I'll gladly give up my DSLR for an EVIL, that's a long distant future; and please don't be mad at me for not being impressed with the EVILs until that distant future become present.
01-17-2010, 06:21 AM   #194
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
To sum it up, IMHO EVFs are nowhere near to the point they can replace DSLRs (not as in: selling as well as, but: being as good as).
Kunzite, you have expressed your points well and they make sense.

However:
a) "Being as good as" depends on how you define "good". "The best camera is the one who you have with you", so portability should be one aspect of "good"

b) If they are significantly better in some ways (lighter/smaller, cheaper, more user friendly with DOF/etc preview) than DSLRs while "good enough" in others, it would be enough for them to largely replace DSLRs at least in the low-end market

c) What about "selling as well as"? Shouldn't Pentax make business decisions based on that, as opposed to "being as good as" - if we want them to be around in the future?
01-17-2010, 06:37 AM   #195
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BTW, I made a quick price/weight comparison between the K-x and GF1 that I think is relevant to the discussion. Don't want to cross post, so here's the link:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/885713-post15.html
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