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05-01-2010, 10:20 PM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Laurentiu, you express a valid point of view. Nobody knows the future
You're of course right about predicting the future, but since it doesn't cost me anything, I can try my hand at it

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
However, this single sentence I quoted above can't hold true. Because FF cameras have been the main stream before the advent of digital, despite, as you say, size and prices.
Film SLRs weren't as big as modern DSLRs and they weren't as expensive either. DSLRs are bulkier, heavier, and more expensive - it's only recently that *APS* DSLRs have reached sizes and prices closer to film SLRs. FF SLRs are still much bulkier, heavier, and more expensive than SLRs from the film era, so they're not a good equivalent for the 35mm SLR cameras.

I purchased a Canon Rebel 2000 in 2000 for ~$650 new - there is no new FF camera available today at that price. And with a film camera I wouldn't have to worry about upgrading the body to get the next great sensor technology - I'd just buy another roll of film.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
With the price of the sensor becoming a negegible part of overall system cost (has happened already with APS-C and all smaller sizes, is currently going to happen with FF) I don't see the niche aspect. I rather see APS-C crushed in between two main movements: miniaturization (size) and image quality.
APS needs to stabilize the resolution and then improve IQ - the reason they have weaker IQ is because they keep bumping up the MP as they did from K10D to K20D. K-x was a step in the right direction. Really, 10MP is enough for an APS camera. FF cameras can go for 20MP and then the people that need that resolution should pick them up - the same way people that needed more resolution during the film era got into MF.

For FF to look like it's crushing APS, we would need to see signs of people slowing down development of APS cameras and lenses - I don't see any such signs yet.

And usually I've seen people getting an m4/3 camera to complement their DSLR, not to replace it. So I'm not sure how much presure is brought by m4/3. I think they put more pressure on the higher end compact segment, because it seems now a better alternative to invest in a MILC than in a superzoom.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I not only predict the death of APS-C. I even predict that FF will eventually be less expensive than high quality µFT. Because FF requires much less sophistication in the lens department (for a given image quality). And optical mechanics is what is going to be expensive. Not electronics.
Let's meet again and check our predictions in a couple of years

05-02-2010, 02:49 AM   #152
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
DSLRs are bulkier, heavier, and more expensive - it's only recently that *APS* DSLRs have reached sizes and prices closer to film SLRs. FF SLRs are still much bulkier, heavier, and more expensive than SLRs from the film era, so they're not a good equivalent for the 35mm SLR cameras.
I see what you mean. It isn't entirely true though as the *istDS was a film-sized camera and it's not "recent".

I agree with your analysis of the present. But as I posted a while back, there is already no technical reason today why FF cameras cannot be offered for about $1000 and be film-sized. This is entirely due to a separation of markets where the high-margin segment is, well ... high-margin.

What I foresee (and you disagree) is that the dam separating the two segments will break.
QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
with a film camera I wouldn't have to worry about upgrading the body to get the next great sensor technology - I'd just buy another roll of film.
Let me turn this argument against you

With a film camera, you spend extra money with each and every roll of film, just to support the larger format. With digital, you just spend the money once which is kind of a lifetime flatrate for the larger format. And the extra cost for a FF flatrate will become marginal soon enough.

So, despite the flatrate you still think that what ruled the film era won't now? With mounts and lenses already introduced?
QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
For FF to look like it's crushing APS, we would need to see signs of people slowing down development of APS cameras and lenses - I don't see any such signs yet.
With such signs, it wouldn't about predicting the future, eh? Everybody would be able to tell then.

However, if you plotted the price of FF, APS-C and FT cameras over a ten year period (to average out some hefty fluctuations) then it should be clear that all three curves are converging into one.
QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Let's meet again and check our predictions in a couple of years
Good idea. Normally, it needs about 10 years with my predictions.
05-02-2010, 03:08 AM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
You get 20% less sensor for about 20% more money.

Relatively speaking, that's a teensy (and dumb) ROI.
20% more money?? Not where I live!!!
05-02-2010, 04:41 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
20% more money?? Not where I live!!!
Checked prices where I live ...

Looks like EVIL starts at about 90% the price of a K-x (E-PL1, GF1).

Even with an EVF, you get one for about 95% the price of a K-x (G1).


However, current models with an actual viewfinder (what the EV in EVIL stands for...), it starts at 120% the price of a K-x (NX10 actually ) and climbs to 150% (E-P2) and 250% (GH1 incl. mandatory 14-140) actually.

05-02-2010, 05:34 AM   #155
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The G1 has an EVF, and it cost me the equivalent of around $620 USD with 14-45mm AND 45-200mm, and that was a year ago!!
05-02-2010, 07:45 AM   #156
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People, stop comparing dSLR and EVIL cameras. They are different for different people. They exist on side of each other.

I own a dSLR and are going to buy an EVIL camera. They won't compete each other because when I'm going to make a "prof" shoot, I'll take my dSLR. But when I'm going to a birthday party I'll take the EVIL, because I don't need all the settings etc, but then I need a small camera, with video, filters etc. to make 'fun' pictures. The great think is that with a adapter also the K-lenses will fit on my EVIL camera.

The EVIL cameras have a lot of potential for great pictures. Here are some samples:

Olympus Pen test

(dutch original: Cor Oskam Fotografie: Olympus Pen test)

Last edited by Corros; 05-02-2010 at 07:46 AM. Reason: edited url
05-02-2010, 08:57 AM   #157
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Thom Hogan predicts MILCs will be a shortlived trend:

QuoteQuote:
Mirrorless will be like Netbook
April 28 (commentary)--While all the camera makers are piling into the mirrorless market (Sony should be the next to announce, on May 11th), I expect in the end most of them will be a bit disappointed. The reason: it'll be a short trend.

IDC this week is showing CPU shipments for netbooks having declined as a percentage of Intel's deliveries this quarter, which would indicate that personal computer makers are scaling back plans for future netbook models. Other figures previously reported show that the big growth surge in netbook sales has already disappeared. Thus, netbooks may have hit their saturation mark in only a couple of years. Given that some of those Atom CPUs that IDC is tracking probably are going into tablet clones chasing the iPad, the trend may actually be worse than first appears. What's that have to do with mirrorless cameras? Keep reading.

It always struck me that netbooks weren't exactly the future of personal computing. Netbooks were different things to different people. They were a low-cost solution during economically tough times. They were a "lighter, smaller, more portable, good enough" solution for people who already had decent computers but wanted something convenient to do basic tasks like email and word processing on the road or in the living room. They were an entry point to computing for students. And let's face it, they were cute (at least as far as laptops go). But users of netbooks discovered they definitely had an upper end in terms of performance and ability.

Mirrorless cameras will follow that same course, I think: a brief rush as they lap up several overlapping and pent up demands: small, light, convenient, cute, and ultimately inexpensive. When Panasonic first announced the G1, they made claims about a large "new market" that sat between the compact camera and DSLR. Indeed, there were significant gaps between the most competent compact camera and the low end DSLR at the time, but that was an artificial gap: the camera makers simply hadn't pushed compacts or DSLRs hard enough to meet in the middle.

I wrote many years ago that I wanted a large sensor compact. Where is it? Still not here. I also wrote many years ago that Nikon and others needed small, low-end DSLRs that were essentially stripped of features, not full of auto-everything support for novices (e.g. the FM2n for digital, not a D3000). We still don't have those either. Basically, the camera makers missed the user need for smaller, lighter, more convenient cameras that were highly competent.

The mirrorless cameras we're seeing today basically bridge that gap, much like netbooks bridged the entrance gap between a Blackberry and a full-fledged notebook. Mirrorless cameras are small, light, and competent. But as it turns out, Panasonics "gap" is not as large as many in the industry think it is, and once every DSLR user has a highly competent "compact," much of the demand dries up.

The rest of the mirrorless demand comes from compct users who want more performance. Here, too, the camera companies got greedy and missed a key product slot. You can easily see it in today's Nikon lineup. Top Coolpix model? An S8000, which will run you about US$259. Bottom DSLR? A D3000, which is currently being discounted to US$499. Gee, I wonder why? The gap was too big. Both in terms of price and in terms of product size.

My guess is that we'll see the high compact, mirrorless, and low-DSLR markets merge into a more continuous spectrum of cameras at each company, perhaps even with a bit of overlap. But that will be overkill: there isn't enough demand there for every company to have a high end compact, two or more mirrorless models, and two or more low-end DSLRs and get volume growth for more than a year or two.

Pretty much like what happened with netbooks. Big surge because there really was a hole that needed to be filled. Surge ends the minute it is filled and people once again look at the performance they really need.
Thom Hogan's Nikon Field Guide and Nikon Flash Guide
05-02-2010, 09:00 AM   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Let me add my rambling to this thread.

I've been looking these days at options for a small portable camera. I'd like something small that I could carry around painlessly. Also, I'd like manual control over focusing and aperture and a decent sensor.

Some impressions:

Samsung NX - too big + a proprietary mount.
Sigma DP1/2 - I'd really like to have a compact camera with a Foveon sensor, but they're too expensive and don't seem well polished. Not that small either.
Olympus E-P1/2/L1 - interesting, I like the idea, but way too expensive. Not that small to carry in a pocket, but I get the interchangeable lens part. The E-PL1 is a step in the right direction - cheaper and with a decent set of features - but still $200 more than what would make me *start* considering it.
Panasonic G-F1 - like the E-P1/2 - too expensive right now.
Canon S90 - this looks like the best answer to my quest - small, decent price, plenty of features - I love that wheel control at the base of the lens. Might just get one.
IMO you forgot LX3 (if you don't need tele), just my 2 cents. Bulkier than S90 but nowhere near a G11 and very good wide bright lens.

05-02-2010, 09:01 AM - 1 Like   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
20% more money?? Not where I live!!!
If you want a flash they are! The Oly PEN 1 is the exact same price as the K-x, and the K-x is $100 cheaper than the GF1 (Amazon). Add in a flash and you're over 20% difference. The newer models factor that in at a 20% premium. And a longer lens as part of a kit will cost you about 200% of the similar Pentax K-x (or Canikon), and if you want a 55-300 equivalent, you're looking at a staggering amount in comparison.

They also get worse reviews, except for styling issues, from DPR, Trusted Reviews, and Amazon amongst others. They score low on low-light IQ across the board, and only average to low on IQ. Many people will buy form factor over stats, but many will not.

The most common critique of them is that they are "not much smaller than a small DSLR". And lens prices are far too high to compete. The "kit" lenses run between US$249 and $US$700 (Panny OIS) at Amazon, with ridiculous mark-ups on the limited supply of longer or wider lenses, the latter of which are pretty much non-existent.

So for opportunity cost, there is marginal difference between the M4/3 standard and smaller DSLR's, a lot of which is body dimensions created by the EVF, and battery, not so much the lens mount an sensor size. With M4/3 the consumer loses on the lens a a platform investment (and adapters actually work against the system by pointing out its buy-in shortfalls).

There appears to be no obvious cost-to-manufacture advantage, with a minimal distribution advantage, if that. In fact, the flash issue attests to costs being very high for some integrating "normal" DSLR-loke features in a smaller form factor. At that point they edge into the G11 territory, but clumsily. Personally, the ergonomics are awful on these cameras compared to the gip of a DSLR. Going retro appears to have lost them some of the better aspects that the DSLR style evolved into.

These products compete with each other because the M4/3 is directly marketed to do so on the mass appeal and marketing structure. They occupy the same price points, and the same space on the shelf. If Pentax went EVF and put a smaller battery system in the K-x, they'd get sol close to the EVIL it would be marginal opportunity cost, except the K-x would out-resolve via sensor criteria across all shooting types by a big margin.

I like the M4/3 concept, but they cannot seem to get the design right at the price points capable of competing against the dominant market thrust of APS. APS is not going anywhere judging from the slew of cameras and lenses every major manufacturer is releasing on a consistent, profitable basis. Market shifts are very rare and the conditions have to be exceptionally favourable to overcome the ingrained conservativeness of major manufacturers. Price is a function of demand I do not see intrinsic demand enough to make for such a market shift based on price, nor design.

Last edited by Aristophanes; 05-02-2010 at 09:04 AM. Reason: tpyos
05-02-2010, 10:58 AM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
If you want a flash they are! The Oly PEN 1 is the exact same price as the K-x, and the K-x is $100 cheaper than the GF1 (Amazon). Add in a flash and you're over 20% difference. The newer models factor that in at a 20% premium. And a longer lens as part of a kit will cost you about 200% of the similar Pentax K-x (or Canikon), and if you want a 55-300 equivalent, you're looking at a staggering amount in comparison

....

I like the M4/3 concept, but they cannot seem to get the design right at the price points capable of competing against the dominant market thrust of APS. APS is not going anywhere judging from the slew of cameras and lenses every major manufacturer is releasing on a consistent, profitable basis. Market shifts are very rare and the conditions have to be exceptionally favourable to overcome the ingrained conservativeness of major manufacturers. Price is a function of demand I do not see intrinsic demand enough to make for such a market shift based on price, nor design.
Very astute post.
05-02-2010, 11:03 AM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I see what you mean. It isn't entirely true though as the *istDS was a film-sized camera and it's not "recent".
I've only seen the *istDS in photos, so I don't know how small it is, but I'd be surprised if it was also lighter or as light as a film camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I agree with your analysis of the present. But as I posted a while back, there is already no technical reason today why FF cameras cannot be offered for about $1000 and be film-sized. This is entirely due to a separation of markets where the high-margin segment is, well ... high-margin.
$1000 would still be more than the price of a film SLR. But I agree FF is used in high end cameras for artificial reasons.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
What I foresee (and you disagree) is that the dam separating the two segments will break.
Actually, I wouldn't disagree with this aspect. But FF cameras will still be more expensive than APS ones, because the sensor is larger and it will be costlier to produce. The cameras will also be bulkier. And the lenses will be both larger and more costly. Thus, even if a FF camera will get within $100-300 from an APS one, it will still represent a more costly system.

Basically, there's a an artificial dam due to using FF sensors in high-end cameras - that may break. But there is a production cost dam that cannot go away.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
Let me turn this argument against you

With a film camera, you spend extra money with each and every roll of film, just to support the larger format. With digital, you just spend the money once which is kind of a lifetime flatrate for the larger format. And the extra cost for a FF flatrate will become marginal soon enough.
That wasn't an argument for film being better than digital - I just meant that a film camera was a longer term investment. DSLRs are not the same. In the film era I could have invested in an SLR and then I worried only about developing film - but that cost would be the same whether I used an SLR or a P&S. Thus, a one time investment in an SLR was worth it. But now, I have two options, both SLRs, both need to be upgraded within (let's be conservative) 5 years, so now we're talking about an extra cost for FF that is not a one-time hit - doesn't make much sense to me.

Plus, people wanting FF don't know yet how bad their FF lenses will be on a digital camera. I'd like to see FF coming to Pentax just to see how people start talking about how soft the FA77 is in corners, etc.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
So, despite the flatrate you still think that what ruled the film era won't now? With mounts and lenses already introduced?
Yes, because FF DSLRs are more like MF film cameras, than 35mm cameras. They share the lenses, but few people getting into SLRs these days are doing it for using old lenses. Pentax crowd is different, but we're also a small segment of the market.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
With such signs, it wouldn't about predicting the future, eh? Everybody would be able to tell then.
You always use signs or lack of signs to predict the future.

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
However, if you plotted the price of FF, APS-C and FT cameras over a ten year period (to average out some hefty fluctuations) then it should be clear that all three curves are converging into one.
There will always be a manufacturing difference I think.
05-02-2010, 11:11 AM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
Thom Hogan predicts MILCs will be a shortlived trend:

QuoteQuote:
I wrote many years ago that I wanted a large sensor compact. Where is it? Still not here. I also wrote many years ago that Nikon and others needed small, low-end DSLRs that were essentially stripped of features, not full of auto-everything support for novices (e.g. the FM2n for digital, not a D3000). We still don't have those either. Basically, the camera makers missed the user need for smaller, lighter, more convenient cameras that were highly competent.
Thom Hogan's Nikon Field Guide and Nikon Flash Guide
I think this is the main point - the need is for a large sensor compact, not for MILC/EVIL/whatever specifically. Just a competent portable camera for experienced photographers.
05-02-2010, 11:15 AM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
IMO you forgot LX3 (if you don't need tele), just my 2 cents. Bulkier than S90 but nowhere near a G11 and very good wide bright lens.
I actually looked at the LX3 too, but I forgot about it when I wrote that post. The LX3 advantage was that its zoom started at 24mm equivalent, but as you said, it's larger than the S90 and I like the S90 more for that lens wheel control.
05-02-2010, 02:43 PM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corros Quote
People, stop comparing dSLR and EVIL cameras. They are different for different people. They exist on side of each other.
I think you're mistaken on this count. Or rather, I think you're right, but that mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras will have a huge effect on the dSLR market which cannot be dismissed.

A large portion of the current dSLR boom consists of these camps:
  1. people who like their point & shoot cameras but want more flexibility and better image quality
  2. people with disposable income who must have a dSLR because it's clearly the better, cooler, more desirable thing

As a parent of young kids in relatively affluent area, I see a whole lot of people who think, even to themselves, that they are in group #1 when clearly they are actually in group #2. It's like the competition for the best urban stroller. Mind you, since we're completely car-free, I see the value in having a solid stroller, just like I see the value in having a dSLR. It's just that most people with either one of these might actually be better served with something else.

Anyway, sorry, got carried away there on my tangent.

The point is, the first of the groups is very well served by the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. And that's a huge, huge group — 95% of Flickr users, say. A lot of these users are happy enough going to dSLRs once they climb the learning curve, but it's not really what they're looking for.

And the second group is basically a slave to trends and marketing and what's hip on the gadget blogs. (It's no accident that full-frame gets so much love: it's an easy way to seem elite, without having to actually do any work.)

Put together, these groups basically are the mass market.

I see the same thing happening with computers as the iPad and Android take over — most people don't actually need a general-purpose computer. They just want to run some apps, play some games, edit some photos, get some work done.

In both cases, the serious, flexible tools — awesome entry-level and mid-range dSLRs, and PCs (including current Macs) — are affordable because they happen to be the same thing that can be sold to the mass market.

If the mass market moves on, those products become a niche. Right now, even the niche products (ahem, Pentax) are courting that mass market. But if there's no sales to speak of there, there's both good and bad: good, products designed for photographers, not fashion; bad, no room for low-priced product lines.
05-02-2010, 03:49 PM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
20% more money?? Not where I live!!!
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
If you want a flash they are! The Oly PEN 1 is the exact same price as the K-x, and the K-x is $100 cheaper than the GF1 (Amazon). Add in a flash and you're over 20% difference.

.... And lens prices are far too high to compete. The "kit" lenses run between US$249 and $US$700 (Panny OIS)
No I'm afraid that's wrong again...... (have you checked the prices where I live??) I can get the camera, and TWO kit lenses for less than what you quote!!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
The G1 has an EVF, and it cost me the equivalent of around $620 USD with 14-45mm AND 45-200mm, and that was a year ago!!
And the G1 has an inbuilt flash.

Last edited by dnas; 05-02-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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