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12-28-2012, 06:10 AM   #916
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I'm sorry, Laurentiu, I don't see that much benefit from going with mirrorless.
No more bouncing mirrors that degrade IQ.

Solid state: no more servicing, calibrating, cleaning, repairing and replacing parts.

Free your LBA: shorter registry distance to mount even more lenses.

Space saving because of the dissapearing mirrorbox.

Manufacturing cost saving.

Commercial aftermarket possibility: Exchangeable EVF's? How about being able to exchange the standard EVF with a giant waiste level EVF? Or with one that helps you shoot panorama foto's to ensure stitching software can stitch them? A dedicated MF EVF? Or the top-of-the-line-version that can do all a pro can dream up? EVFBA: Electronic ViewFinder Buying Addiction, you heard it here first.


QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
All digital cameras are computers. How fast they process files, how quickly they can do things like generate HDR files, depends completely on the memory and processor that is placed in a camera. Upper end cameras tend to have faster processing and deeper buffers, while lower end cameras, the opposite. This is true for mirrorless and for SLRs alike. But, what you find is that in general, the mirrorless cameras are less responsive at a given price range than SLRs at the same price range.

In addition, the biggest thing "feature" going for mirrorless cameras is the fact that Olympus and Panasonic have to have fire sales in order to get rid of their stocks of cameras. The race to the bottom in mirrorless kills the market when it comes to financial gain for the companies involved. Currently, there is a lot more money to be made in SLRs in the mid to high end range.

Honestly, the biggest feature for mirrorless technology is the fact that the cameras are small. This "feature" has been sold and sold hard. Sony and Olympus showing tiny cameras with pancake primes and slow zoom lenses to demonstrate how tiny the packages are. But, in the United States, size is not that big a deal once you get over pocket sized. Most people don't want primes, they want zooms and professionals want fast zooms and those are anything but small, whether you are talking mirrorless or traditional SLR.
This is all true... for the lower tier mirrorless cameras that have been released. There have never been any mid, high or pro lever EVIL cameras yet. Until now, that is: That Sony seriously looks really very cool. Like I said in the the other thread: An FF EVIL camera, that can even mount M-glass and use SR with it... That could have been Pentax right there.

Yes, removing the mirror saves space indeed. But it does not make an ILC pocketable suddenly. You're absolutely correct. I've never seen any sense in downsizing cameras myself either. But why not just put that extra space to some pro uses?
- Like an SSD drive bay? Put an end to the shitty cards.
- Simply a bigger battery?
- Bigger faster autofocus motor?
- A sensor mechanism that can move towards and away from the lens, so it makes any manual lens autofocus? New lenses wouldn't need any moving parts anymore. They could last longer then the legacy glass that we all love.
- Upgradable buffer memory unit? (I would have upgraded my K5's buffer if it was possible.) (Hey, another aftermarket posibility for the manufacturer.)

Really, the possiblities are endless. Who knows what more creative people then I can come up with once the restrictions of the mirrorbox, mirror, prism, and shims, all have been removed?

But, seeing the speed with which Pentax tackles innovation: Maybe, instead of the above outlined digital LX, they can build the cutest most colourfull FF camera then? That seems to be the only realistic expectation we can have from Pentax.

12-28-2012, 07:10 AM   #917
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Am I correct in remembering Pentax patenting a system of overlaying digital information on an OVF like the Fuji X100 does? If you could have a system like that, you could perhaps have a mode where the mirror is locked up and the OVF turns into an EVF, so you'd have the best of both worlds. Or get your hybrid on like Fuji, but better. Retaining the clarity and ease of the OVF whilst using some of the extremely useful options available with an EVF.

I do think it's undeniable that viewfinders MUST become more digitally integrated now. If not full EVF then at least Fuji style.
12-28-2012, 07:55 AM   #918
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
No more bouncing mirrors that degrade IQ.

Solid state: no more servicing, calibrating, cleaning, repairing and replacing parts.

Free your LBA: shorter registry distance to mount even more lenses.

Space saving because of the dissapearing mirrorbox.

Manufacturing cost saving.

Commercial aftermarket possibility: Exchangeable EVF's? How about being able to exchange the standard EVF with a giant waiste level EVF? Or with one that helps you shoot panorama foto's to ensure stitching software can stitch them? A dedicated MF EVF? Or the top-of-the-line-version that can do all a pro can dream up? EVFBA: Electronic ViewFinder Buying Addiction, you heard it here first.



This is all true... for the lower tier mirrorless cameras that have been released. There have never been any mid, high or pro lever EVIL cameras yet. Until now, that is: That Sony seriously looks really very cool. Like I said in the the other thread: An FF EVIL camera, that can even mount M-glass and use SR with it... That could have been Pentax right there.

Yes, removing the mirror saves space indeed. But it does not make an ILC pocketable suddenly. You're absolutely correct. I've never seen any sense in downsizing cameras myself either. But why not just put that extra space to some pro uses?
- Like an SSD drive bay? Put an end to the shitty cards.
- Simply a bigger battery?
- Bigger faster autofocus motor?
- A sensor mechanism that can move towards and away from the lens, so it makes any manual lens autofocus? New lenses wouldn't need any moving parts anymore. They could last longer then the legacy glass that we all love.
- Upgradable buffer memory unit? (I would have upgraded my K5's buffer if it was possible.) (Hey, another aftermarket posibility for the manufacturer.)

Really, the possiblities are endless. Who knows what more creative people then I can come up with once the restrictions of the mirrorbox, mirror, prism, and shims, all have been removed?

But, seeing the speed with which Pentax tackles innovation: Maybe, instead of the above outlined digital LX, they can build the cutest most colourfull FF camera then? That seems to be the only realistic expectation we can have from Pentax.
To this point, PD AF is so far ahead of contrast auto focus, it isn't funny. The only solution for mirrorless to this point has been to put PD AF on the sensor, which I guess is OK, but it is still chasing traditional SLR focusing ability.

All this space saving is to no end. Ask a wedding photographer using a 70-200 f2.8 lens if they really want a smaller camera. Try shooting outdoors in sub-zero weather and trying to push tiny fiddly buttons with gloves on. There is just a size below which, there is no point. For people who want a D3200 equivalent with a kit lens, it probably doesn't matter if they get a mirrorless, or a bridge camera, or an APS-C SLR. They will all perform about the same, with the lens being the major limitation, not the camera body. But, for people used to features that semi-pro SLRs offer, mirrorless is still lagging behind considerably with little advantage.

As to future advantages, it is hard to predict them. Obviously, you can make most SLRs function as a mirrorless camera, just by using live view and locking the mirror up. Then, you have the "best" of both worlds. I just don't see any SLR slaying function at this point other than size, which isn't that big a deal in my book.
12-28-2012, 08:23 AM   #919
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
All this space saving is to no end. Ask a wedding photographer using a 70-200 f2.8 lens if they really want a smaller camera. Try shooting outdoors in sub-zero weather and trying to push tiny fiddly buttons with gloves on. There is just a size below which, there is no point. For people who want a D3200 equivalent with a kit lens, it probably doesn't matter if they get a mirrorless, or a bridge camera, or an APS-C SLR. They will all perform about the same, with the lens being the major limitation, not the camera body. But, for people used to features that semi-pro SLRs offer, mirrorless is still lagging behind considerably with little advantage.

As to future advantages, it is hard to predict them. Obviously, you can make most SLRs function as a mirrorless camera, just by using live view and locking the mirror up. Then, you have the "best" of both worlds. I just don't see any SLR slaying function at this point other than size, which isn't that big a deal in my book.
Either, you haven't read my post, or you just don't understand. I'm absolutely fine with that, but why do you quote and respond to me then? You go on about cameras being to small en fidgetty whilst you quote my post in which I state that instead of shrinking the camera, the extra space should be put to use to hold other features.

12-28-2012, 09:03 AM   #920
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Either, you haven't read my post, or you just don't understand. I'm absolutely fine with that, but why do you quote and respond to me then? You go on about cameras being to small en fidgetty whilst you quote my post in which I state that instead of shrinking the camera, the extra space should be put to use to hold other features.
Sorry, I just don't see the features you mention as being particularly useful. I prefer using cards than having an SSD in the camera. I don't think it is reasonable to think that the sensor could be moved to auto focus manual lenses and the auto focus motor is strong enough as is -- too strong and you'll beat up your lenses.

I am fine with a shift to mirrorless, I just see point and shoots and low end APS-C cameras being threatened a lot more right now than enthusiast and above cameras. I just don't want to lose features just in order to achieve a little smaller sized camera.
12-28-2012, 10:30 AM   #921
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
If tech B can do all that tech A does, just as well, while also providing some new advantages, then it will replace tech A.
In the first place, it's rarely the case that tech B can do all that tech A does. In comparing one technology with the other, it's always a matter of tradeoffs, rather than one being equal in some areas and superior in the rest. Nor is it even true that the newer, more advanced, and "better" technology always wins. How many people use electric toothbrushes? I remember having one as a kid in the 70s. They are currently making a bit of a comeback; but I will confidently predict that, since most people prefer the experience of using"analogue" toothbrushes, the newer technology will not replace the older.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
And there are things that a MILC can do that an SLR just won't be able to do - simply because a MILC is about real time image processing, while an SLR is just about looking through the lens and there is not much benefit coming from that.
So photographers are going to turn their backs on for a camera that does "real time image processing"? If the only advantage of digital was real time processing, a lot more photographers would be shooting film. One of the decisive advantages of digital is that a gave the photographer, through computer-based PP, direct greater control over the final image.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Moving to full time image processing is just the natural evolution of technology and now with 5 companies fully committed to such approach, it cannot be mistaken for a fad
Well, if 5 companies are committed to it, then it must be important! However, what is really going on is that many people who buy cameras aren't very good photographers. They lack the talent necessary for taking compelling images and they lack the necessary judgment for applying PP to their images in a tasteful, appropriate manner. For such "fauxtographers," real time image processing may serve as a useful placebo to help conceal, at least in their own minds, the poverty of their talent. Most serious photographers (with the exception mainly of some professional event photographers) shoot raw. The ability to shoot raw was the primary reason why I switched from film to digital. I don't think I'm alone in desiring to control how my own images look, rather than surrenduring that privilege to the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
The natural end to this trend is for high end cameras to become P&S with large sensors and interchangeable lenses, i.e. MILCs. Why would you have an SLR mechanism if it has to be disabled to access this new functionality of a camera?
Because most serious photographers have no interest in accessing P&S functionality! If I wanted to access P&S functions, I'd purchase a P&S camera. DSLRs are for serious photographers who don't require the digital crutches embedded in so many of these horrid little P&S and cell phone cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Thus, betting that the SLR will be relevant long term (and by long term I mean < 10 years, not decades or more) lacks any argument on which to base such bet.
There is little or any evidence that MILCs will repace DSLRs within 10 years, and a great deal of evidence that no such thing will happen. DSLRs are the money makers with the higher margins. They are the cameras that serious photographers and professionals (the people who buy the lion's share of the expensive lenses and accessories) gravitate toward. Photographers have already invested millions of dollars in big, heavy SLR glass, and will favor whatever camera best fits the glass they wish to use (i.e., a DSLR). For serious photographers, the lenses are often more important than the camera. Moreover, most serious photographers over the age of 40, and many over the age of 30, learned photography using SLRs. They're accustomed to seeing the world through an OVF. It's rooted in the way they visualize and do photographer. Generally speaking, at least half the population tends to be resistance to change. These so-called "neophobes" will only accept change if there are significant advantages to doing so. They won't accept change or give up their OVFs merely because it satisfies some false technological ideal of "an all digital" camera or "real time" image processing or any other such techno-nerd nonsense.

Currently, the big draw of MILCs is their compact size. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be any market for larger MILCs: let's face it, the K-01 was a failure. Size is the MILC's principle selling point, not some fetish with real time image processing. It's been fairly well established that compact cameras don't play nice with the big zooms favored by so many serious and professional photographers. Most serious landscape photographers not only use large zooms, they also shoot on tripods. Having a smaller camera is going to be of little use to them, as once you begin toting around a large zoom and a tripod, having a smaller camera isn't going to make your kit significantly lighter or easier to carry around, and, worse, will lead to serious balance issues when you put that big zoom on the tiny camera and then place that tiny camera on a ball head. Form follows function; and for some types of shooting, the form of the MILCs is all wrong for the job at hand.

We'll have a better idea what sort of threat MILCs pose to DSLRs when camera companies get serious about making larger MILCs (and that will probably won't occur for some time). Until then, we're pretty much operating in the dark when it comes to making long-term predictions. What we can confidentally predict is that compact MILCs can never be an adequate subsitute for a DSLR. Attaching a 70-200/2.8 lens to a compact MILC is sort of like a dog walking on its hind legs. It can be done, but it's not something that can ever be done comfortably or well.
12-28-2012, 10:38 AM   #922
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Solid state: no more servicing, calibrating, cleaning, repairing and replacing parts.
Instead sensors and EVFs that wear out fast? I wonder how long a sensor that is used with live view all the time will last before the amount of dead pixels start to get noticeable?
12-28-2012, 10:47 AM   #923
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
There is little or any evidence that MILCs will repace DSLRs within 10 years, and a great deal of evidence that no such thing will happen. DSLRs are the money makers with the higher margins. They are the cameras that serious photographers and professionals (the people who buy the lion's share of the expensive lenses and accessories) gravitate toward. Photographers have already invested millions of dollars in big, heavy SLR glass, and will favor whatever camera best fits the glass they wish to use (i.e., a DSLR). For serious photographers, the lenses are often more important than the camera. Moreover, most serious photographers over the age of 40, and many over the age of 30, learned photography using SLRs. They're accustomed to seeing the world through an OVF. It's rooted in the way they visualize and do photographer. Generally speaking, at least half the population tends to be resistance to change. These so-called "neophobes" will only accept change if there are significant advantages to doing so. They won't accept change or give up their OVFs merely because it satisfies some false technological ideal of "an all digital" camera or "real time" image processing or any other such techno-nerd nonsense.
.
I wouldn't want to guess whether DSLRs still make sense in 10 years. Probably not, because you'll want to use all the cool features that e.g. extremely high fps rates may give you (think e.g. high quality versions of the auto panorama stitching tools that even camera phones provide today, but also always shooting a few seconds of 60 fps 9000x6000 video when you take portraits, and tools to help you pick the frame where the smile is just right).

12-28-2012, 12:06 PM   #924
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
....
Because most serious photographers have no interest in accessing P&S functionality! If I wanted to access P&S functions, I'd purchase a P&S camera. DSLRs are for serious photographers who don't require the digital crutches embedded in so many of these horrid little P&S and cell phone cameras.
....
I certainly won't argue for against many of the points you make in your lengthy post but this one certainly caused me to stop and take notice. Specifically, the comment "DSLRs are for serious photographers..." caught me off guard. I'm under the uninformed impression that maybe 10% or so of DSLRs are purchased by serious photographers. Along with that, aren't the sales figures of a D3200 perhaps an order of multitude greater than that of a D4?

I don't doubt DSLRs will meet some needs better than MILCs for a long time to come. No way are they going away or should. OTOH, I struggle to see how the subset of users who have needs which DSLRs will likely fulfill better than MILCs in the future is more than just a significant minority of potential buyers.
12-28-2012, 12:33 PM   #925
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Sorry, but even if Pentax would be able to develop a similar camera in a rush, putting all their resources to get it out on the market just before Sony's, what would they gain? Being there one-two months faster?
If Ricoh never thought about all this until now, yes, it's probably too late. But I am not sure why you read my comments as an ask for Ricoh to start doing something new now, at this very moment. They are just comments about what should have been their plan when they picked up Pentax - that happened more than one year ago.

My hope is that Ricoh has been working towards this goal for the last year and that is why all the products released so far are things that Hoya/Pentax had in the pipeline - since they were already designed, releasing them could be done without distracting their designers as they were working on an entirely new system. Releasing products like the K-5 II suggests to me that Ricoh is buying time to develop something.

Of course, I may be wrong. Ricoh might not have had any designers left after Hoya fired Pentax staff, so this time might have been spent trying to hire people back. Or they might design a new product, but something else than what I am thinking about. We'll see.

QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
Instead sensors and EVFs that wear out fast? I wonder how long a sensor that is used with live view all the time will last before the amount of dead pixels start to get noticeable?
Have you heard of such issues for P&Ss? They've been around for more than a decade. Have you heard of them for MILCs? They've been around for 4 years now.

Most likely, you'll never use a camera long enough to hit such "sensor fatigue" issues. You'll want to get the new model with more processing power and faster everything, rather than stick around with the old one until you start noticing sensor failures.

BTW, with the GXR, you would count this as a lens failure
12-28-2012, 12:53 PM   #926
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Have you heard of such issues for P&Ss?
My trusty old Canon A-40 died a sensor death,
but it was a total catastrophic failure (everything purple),
not a steady pixel-by-pixel decay.
12-28-2012, 01:10 PM - 1 Like   #927
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
My trusty old Canon A-40 died a sensor death,
but it was a total catastrophic failure (everything purple),
not a steady pixel-by-pixel decay.
My very first Pentax -- an Optio 550 -- met the very same fate.

Of course, it was a defect that was repairable under recall, not really an expected outcome of wear-and-tear.

That was a good li'l P&S. Slow, but good.

Outside of weird defects like that, I don't really think about "sensor wear" as a real-world problem these days. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to purchase a MILC or EVF on that basis.
12-28-2012, 02:05 PM   #928
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote

[snip]

Because most serious photographers have no interest in accessing P&S functionality! If I wanted to access P&S functions, I'd purchase a P&S camera. DSLRs are for serious photographers who don't require the digital crutches embedded in so many of these horrid little P&S and cell phone cameras.

There is little or any evidence that MILCs will repace DSLRs within 10 years, and a great deal of evidence that no such thing will happen. DSLRs are the money makers with the higher margins. They are the cameras that serious photographers and professionals (the people who buy the lion's share of the expensive lenses and accessories) gravitate toward. Photographers have already invested millions of dollars in big, heavy SLR glass, and will favor whatever camera best fits the glass they wish to use (i.e., a DSLR). For serious photographers, the lenses are often more important than the camera. Moreover, most serious photographers over the age of 40, and many over the age of 30, learned photography using SLRs. They're accustomed to seeing the world through an OVF. It's rooted in the way they visualize and do photographer. Generally speaking, at least half the population tends to be resistance to change. These so-called "neophobes" will only accept change if there are significant advantages to doing so. They won't accept change or give up their OVFs merely because it satisfies some false technological ideal of "an all digital" camera or "real time" image processing or any other such techno-nerd nonsense.

Currently, the big draw of MILCs is their compact size. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be any market for larger MILCs: let's face it, the K-01 was a failure. Size is the MILC's principle selling point, not some fetish with real time image processing. It's been fairly well established that compact cameras don't play nice with the big zooms favored by so many serious and professional photographers. Most serious landscape photographers not only use large zooms, they also shoot on tripods. Having a smaller camera is going to be of little use to them, as once you begin toting around a large zoom and a tripod, having a smaller camera isn't going to make your kit significantly lighter or easier to carry around, and, worse, will lead to serious balance issues when you put that big zoom on the tiny camera and then place that tiny camera on a ball head. Form follows function; and for some types of shooting, the form of the MILCs is all wrong for the job at hand.

We'll have a better idea what sort of threat MILCs pose to DSLRs when camera companies get serious about making larger MILCs (and that will probably won't occur for some time). Until then, we're pretty much operating in the dark when it comes to making long-term predictions. What we can confidentally predict is that compact MILCs can never be an adequate subsitute for a DSLR. Attaching a 70-200/2.8 lens to a compact MILC is sort of like a dog walking on its hind legs. It can be done, but it's not something that can ever be done comfortably or well.
Lol, so price has nothing to do with it? Or simpler controls (touch screens?) Or video (Panasonics)? Or that the vast majority of those who buy a camera don't need or want f2.8 zooms and all a DSLR can do?

Smaller and lighter has a great deal to be said for it, too. No one is going to stick an f2.8 zoom on a mirrorless compact camera. They will use a smaller zoom with a higher crop multiplier on a MILC with a smaller sensor or use a DSLR. Done. Job's a carrot. See m43 zooms, e.g. FWIW, I live in one of my country's biggest tourist towns. I hardly ever see tourists with FF cams and very, very few big zooms of the 70-200mm f2.8 kind on APS-C or FF either, just a handful a year. Regular folks don't take gear like that on holidays half way round the world.

The "serious and professional photographers" you mention are only a small proportion of the whole market. Those who need, really need, fast high-end zooms are a simply minuscule number compared to all those who buy a camera.

No one (I hope) is suggesting that DSLRs are about to vanish. For certain kinds of photography they are clearly the best option. But ... they are overkill for an awful lot of folks. Until recently, these buyers had no choice. It was a compact or a full-on DSLR even if the DSLR was more than they wanted to spend, had capabilities they would never use and would take monster zoom lenses they would never buy. Now in the mirrorless sector they do have a choice, one that increasingly offers very well made and capable cameras at an attractive price, cameras too which can do some things DSLRs struggle with. What's not to like? Camera-makers like any other electronics company need volume sales to keep the whole show on the road. The question is whether the volume in the market will prefer MILCs or merely dabble at them around the edges but mainly stick to the traditional DSLR. Obviously no one knows the answer to this but it would be a brave man (or the head of Pentax, perhaps, lol) who said that the traditional DSLR, which is expensive to produce, will see off MILCs and remain the camera of choice indefinitely.

The irony is that the "serious and professional photographers" you mention have been mollycoddled for years. They have pro networks to support them, a wide choice of superb fast lenses from different manufacturers and a wide choice of superb but traditional DSLRs to use them on. It's the regular guy who's been shafted, the message being do it the DSLR way or hit the highway. Now there is choice in the market. No more "Want fast frame rates or decent video? Want to be thought "serious"? It's 7500 bucks or goodbye". I see that as an excellent and liberating thing.

Last edited by mecrox; 12-28-2012 at 02:16 PM.
12-28-2012, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #929
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There isn't a valid argument to assert that a mirrorless camera will outlast or be less problematic than a dSLR. It is more about the manufacturing quality of each individual product than about the format itself. Mirrors don't degrade IQ, lens elements and filters can though. The mechanics of an SLR can fail, sure, but so can electronics, in fact even more so. Film SLRs can be serviced to keep functioning for generations; the same cannot be said for digital products, sensor wear or not. That too is no argument to abandon dSLRs in favour of analog tools. So the argument for MILC cameras is more a matter of personal preference and suitability to needs than a practical or longevity issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Ask a wedding photographer using a 70-200 f2.8 lens if they really want a smaller camera. Try shooting outdoors in sub-zero weather and trying to push tiny fiddly buttons with gloves on. There is just a size below which, there is no point. For people who want a D3200 equivalent with a kit lens, it probably doesn't matter if they get a mirrorless, or a bridge camera, or an APS-C SLR. They will all perform about the same, with the lens being the major limitation, not the camera body. But, for people used to features that semi-pro SLRs offer, mirrorless is still lagging behind considerably with little advantage.
I agree with this, and as a shooter with large lenses for weddings and events (the reality of having to shoot with fast zooms) I need a solid camera I can firmly grip in my right hand so my left can support the lens and control the zoom ring. The support of this gear should be equally balanced to feel comfortable and safe shooting in this way for hours. Building a mirrorless camera to this size and weight might be an idea but is probably counterintuitive. I also frequently use small fast primes, and find no disadvantage holding a solid dSLR body such as the K-5 or even K20D. I actually found the K20D/K10D fit me ergonomically like a hand in glove, perhaps even more so than the K-5 body does, but the K-5 does feel just fine even for long shoots. And I have small hands.
12-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #930
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Regular folks don't take gear like that on holidays half way round the world.
These folk aren't the only target market.

QuoteQuote:
The "serious and professional photographers" you mention are only a small proportion of the whole market. Those who need, really need, fast high-end zooms are a simply minuscule number compared to all those who buy a camera.
I'm not sure about that. We do know that Compact sales eclipse those of APS-C, which eclipse those of FF, which eclipse those of MF cameras. This is a given, and the market researchers in all of the photographic companies know this. Yet still we have the 645D, and both Canon and Nikon have multiple generations of FF cameras that have sold well, notwithstanding marketing efforts by these companies to sell them. The point is that despite the proportionally low number of FF/fast lens customers to the total number of camera buyers, these enthusiasts do exist (and indeed are Pentax's niche) and are willing to invest significant amounts of their earnings to fund a hobby and vocation that both brings them personal fulfilment as well as results that clients may desire about what they can create themselves. Bear in mind that there is a fair proportion of non-professional photographers who haven't hesitated to buy Canikon FF dSLRs.

QuoteQuote:
No one (I hope) is suggesting that DSLRs are about to vanish. For certain kinds of photography they are clearly the best option. But ... they are overkill for an awful lot of folks. Until recently, these buyers had no choice. It was a compact or a full-on DSLR even if the DSLR was more than they wanted to spend, had capabilities they would never use and would take monster zoom lenses they would never buy.
Disagree. Many people getting into photography develop their skills and 'grow' into their gear's capabilities. Ask an enthusiast used to the responsiveness to a modern dSLR to now do the same line of work they do with a current generation mirrorless, and you aren't likely to have a great proportion of happy campers.

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it would be a brave man (or the head of Pentax, perhaps, lol) who said that the traditional DSLR, which is expensive to produce, will see off MILCs and remain the camera of choice indefinitely.
dSLR RRP may well be higher than that of mirrorless cameras of similar output specs, but the journey is just as important as the final results. And in photography, the results can also be determined by the journey. That is to say, ergonomics, responsiveness, and real time viewfinding are all important. Mirrorless cameras are bridging the gap quite well between the compact camera and the dSLR, however dSLR technology is accelerating just as that of MILC. There isn't a ceiling to dSLR capability, and as such it will still be a sought after format alongside MILC, just as we have seen with other brands, but professional dSLR and MILC address the needs of quite different photographers.

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The irony is that the "serious and professional photographers" you mention have been mollycoddled for years. They have pro networks to support them, a wide choice of superb fast lenses from different manufacturers and a wide choice of superb but traditional DSLRs to use them on. It's the regular guy who's been shafted, the message being doing it the DSLR way or hit the highway. Now there is choice in the market. No more "Want fast frame rates or decent video? Want to be thought "serious"? It's 7500 bucks or goodbye". I see that as an excellent and liberating thing.
Fast, responsive gear is not cheap to produce. Having choice is always a good thing, but we already have that - even with current generation dSLRs. You want 7fps and 1080p video? You can get it even with a brilliant 16Mp sensor for stills for under $800 nowadays. This may still be too expensive for some, but we shouldn't feel entitled to getting professional grade equipment not essential for human survival for less than half of what an average full-time worker earns in a week.
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