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07-05-2014, 04:15 PM   #421
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I don't remember anyone characterizing those making other choices as not "groking" the concept. Quite the opposite, anyone discussing mirrorless often gets reminded that this is a Pentax forum, or that its like I've said something inappropriate in a church. But i agree with you, its all about picking the right TOOL for the right photo. And i have nothing but admiration for anyone producing an artful image, whether it be from a film camera, a conventional DSLR, or - wait for it - even from a god-forsaken mirrorless camera.

Its all good. As a vice-pres of a photo-club, i started a monthly Thursday afternoon gallery walk where we take a snap picture (with the permission of the gallery) of the best art each of us can find that month, take a simple pic back to our discussion area - and explain and discuss what composition/colors/toning practices led to such an excellent achievement. We don't restrict our discussion to just photos but paintings as well. Art is art from any source.

When you say "a DSLR is in fact a better choice", my mind jumps to this question: "for what purpose". A bird shooter in our club has 2 D4s, 200-400 f2.8 lens and a 600 f4 lens. He doesn't go anywhere that isn't accessible by car and a short walk. He and his wife use wheeled carts to carry their equipment and special gimballed tripods to the observation points. To use this equipment for street shooting would be laughable. Even weddings are a different venue than walking along a street and taking candid shots. Thankfully, Ricoh-Pentax seems to understand this disparity between applications. They market everything between the Q mount cameras and the 645Z - except a FF.

Have you ever used one of the more recent APS mirrorless cameras? No offense if you haven't. But i have both types and switch between them sometimes on a daily or weekly basis depending on what i'm doing. I worry about the future of Pentax. I cheer whenever they make a breakthru model like the K3 and the 645Z. But at the same time, i'm aware of some advantages of the mirrorless models now coming out. I don't want to see Pentax with its rich history of superb photographic design fade into history as more modern technology eclipses what they can bring to market.

Nikon, Canon, Pentax - are they leading edge tigers or are they "about to be extinct dinosaurs"? Are photographic historians going to look back at this period of time and wonder why these storied companies didn't take more effective actions to adapt to new technologies? What do the K01, the M-mount and the Nikon 1 mount all have in common? Perhaps my concern is misplaced, perhaps these companies will not become the latest Kodak, heading for the chopping block. We shall see.
Well, the issue in the case you mention is as much the lenses as the camera. Even if your bird shooter had a Sony A7 (whichever iteration), he still would be stuck shooting some huge lenses, that truthfully would be even more unwieldy on a mirrorless camera. That said, I have no trouble shooting with a 200 f2.8 or 50-135 f2.8 on my K3 all day, which I would struggle to do if I had a smaller camera.

I wonder how much space is truly saved going mirrorless. There have been pretty small SLRs with penta prisms and pretty nice optical viewfinders going way back. It is just that the main players have chosen to make very large cameras for their full frame models.

I know that EVFs are the wave of the future and that eventually most cameras except a few niche ones will have them, I just don't happen to be excited about this shift in the market.

07-05-2014, 05:24 PM   #422
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@Rondec... Well, some people were upset when they stopped making Checkers. 😄 Seriously though, I can't see the DSLR disappearing within the foreseeable future (how's that for strategic vagueness?). Sony got roundly criticized right from the start for the big lenses, somewhat excessive even by conventional DSLR lens standards in certain cases. I don't think you can say they are setting the pace there.

Those new higher grade Fuji zoom lenses do look pretty tantalizing. In this case, I think the fact they they aren't exactly diminutive is nothing to be held against them, given the reported performance. As others have noted, there comes a point where you just can't fool Mother Nature (a.k.a., the laws of physics), so they appear to be scaled properly in dimension. It's just the same old thing: do you want a performance lens, or a convenience lens? I don't think we ought to make archetypes from a few arbitrary decisions in the case of either Sony or Fuji...

...Where Sony went wrong (and I'm talking to you, too, Zeiss) is with an ill-conceived concept and design. They weren't bucking up against the laws of nature. So it isn't about whether M-ILCs are a good idea or not, it's about doing it right.

An observation: I have it on pretty solid authority (the from-the-horse's-mouth kind) that the minimum image circle diameter for Olympus's m4/3 prime lenses is a bit over 22mm. ...Ranging up near 30mm, I'm told. Look at those Olympus primes... then roll that one around in your mind awhile. Heck, I've been trying to think of a way to make my super slim 60mm m4/3 Olympus macro lens usable, also, with some APS-C sensor. A little wacky, I know, but that's a sweet little lens. Just a little over 6 ounces. The catch is, how could you turn on the manual "focus by wire" action? And how could you preset the aperture? That might be an easy one, if the lens holds its aperture setting when you remove it from an m4/3 body. I don't know yet. I'd guess not... but this trick does work with Nikon, reportedly.

Anyway, the point is to ask, what could some of these M-ILC lenses look like designed from a clean slate with a better plan? And aren't we forgetting here and there in this thread the DA Limiteds when the word, or idea, "can't" has been raised? Funny enough, it almost sounds that way. Yes, you'd need motors in 'em; but again, look at the m4/3 model.

I don't have a dog in this hunt. Call me agnostic, since I have "one of each". I'm just advocating better concept and design.
07-05-2014, 06:31 PM   #423
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I'd think there are people that have tried m4/3rds lenses on apsc or ff sensors?
07-05-2014, 06:53 PM   #424
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I'd think there are people that have tried m4/3rds lenses on apsc or ff sensors?
I wonder how they focus them, if they are doing something other than macro? The aperture thing is not necessarily that big of a deal, since that Olympus macro is sharp for general purpose telephoto work wide open at f.2.8. And you might never have cause to stop it down below f.4, since it's about optimum there, I've read. I believe I've seen an adapter advertised, m4/3 to NEX/alpha.

07-05-2014, 08:20 PM   #425
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kayaker-J Quote
I wonder how they focus them, if they are doing something other than macro?
Crud, I forgot about that. Bet not many people are doing it. Still it'd be enough to get a good idea what the lens circle is. Personally, I doubt any of the zooms cover much more than the sensor.
07-06-2014, 12:25 AM   #426
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Well, the issue in the case you mention is as much the lenses as the camera. Even if your bird shooter had a Sony A7 (whichever iteration), he still would be stuck shooting some huge lenses, that truthfully would be even more unwieldy on a mirrorless camera. That said, I have no trouble shooting with a 200 f2.8 or 50-135 f2.8 on my K3 all day, which I would struggle to do if I had a smaller camera.

I wonder how much space is truly saved going mirrorless. There have been pretty small SLRs with penta prisms and pretty nice optical viewfinders going way back. It is just that the main players have chosen to make very large cameras for their full frame models.

I know that EVFs are the wave of the future and that eventually most cameras except a few niche ones will have them, I just don't happen to be excited about this shift in the market.
Well what i was trying to lobby for was the idea of camera diversity; but i didn't explain it very well. As you noted, bird and wild-life shooters have needs for longer lenses and heftier cameras to hold onto. But many of us really don't need cameras of that magnitude. And with wider lenses, the camera weight and size can be reduced with benefit. I think a floor will develop under the dslrs at some point, and the Europeans might get there before other markets. Worldwide capitalism at work :-)

Thanks for the discussion.
07-06-2014, 12:32 AM   #427
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kayaker-J Quote
Say, I just caught your little trick of trying to bury a personal insult aimed at me under cover of pretending to respond to a post by philbaum. Not clever enough by half. The following paragraph, then, is so disjointed and buckshot wide in its spewing of anger that I can't exactly figure out which parts of it you were aiming at me, and which parts, if any, you intended for philbaum, or whomever.

I do know that nothing you are ranting about there actually pertains in any meaningful way to some idea I expressed here. My only advocacy here, if you insist on characterizing it as that, has been for two things: 1. The camera I recently bought with hard cash, choosing it over all other options -- a DSLR. (Your 2 doesn't stack up so well, does it?) ...and 2. A camera that doesn't exist yet, but which I think ought to. It's odd how you feel the suggestion of such vaporware has impinged upon your freedom of choice.

If you can take a couple of stiff drinks, as necessary, and screw up the courage, why don't you take your complaints to me directly? Or not, since I don't think you have a legitimate complaint here. I'd rather you didn't, actually, if you could just agree to lay off in the future. It's kind of sad the way you think other people have such overbearing control over your life. I hope you feel better soon. As for the marketing metric thing, I guess I have to say, bring the evidence that demonstrates how much more broadly savvy the majority of your 79%-ers are now about camera options than they were in, say, 2008. When the numbers supporting a largely two horse race haven't changed much, it typically means the underlying causes haven't changed much either. And your taking it all personally is just... off the wall. Calm down.
Wow. Personal insult, where? In here? "It's the pure truth, right? we have "all the marketing metrics" and "many reasons" - which are supposed to be so obvious no examples were given ". That was the only part referring to what you posted (if you'd read back a bit you'd understand).

If you want to see anger and insults and getting things way too personal, read your own posts. This one, and the response to cfraz. I wonder, why are you so desperately aggressive?

---------- Post added 06-07-14 at 10:37 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Well what i was trying to lobby for was the idea of camera diversity; but i didn't explain it very well. As you noted, bird and wild-life shooters have needs for longer lenses and heftier cameras to hold onto. But many of us really don't need cameras of that magnitude. And with wider lenses, the camera weight and size can be reduced with benefit. I think a floor will develop under the dslrs at some point, and the Europeans might get there before other markets. Worldwide capitalism at work :-)
Having one size for cameras is like having one size for gloves... methinks

Last edited by Kunzite; 07-06-2014 at 12:37 AM.
07-06-2014, 02:53 AM   #428
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Well, the issue in the case you mention is as much the lenses as the camera. Even if your bird shooter had a Sony A7 (whichever iteration), he still would be stuck shooting some huge lenses, that truthfully would be even more unwieldy on a mirrorless camera. That said, I have no trouble shooting with a 200 f2.8 or 50-135 f2.8 on my K3 all day, which I would struggle to do if I had a smaller camera.

I wonder how much space is truly saved going mirrorless. There have been pretty small SLRs with penta prisms and pretty nice optical viewfinders going way back. It is just that the main players have chosen to make very large cameras for their full frame models.

I know that EVFs are the wave of the future and that eventually most cameras except a few niche ones will have them, I just don't happen to be excited about this shift in the market.
Yes, one has to be carefull about anything too excting. It can lead to all sorts of problems and necessitate remedial treatment.

However, the wave of the future may well bring EVFS which offer a really big, bright image; improved and fast AF without need for calibration or FF/BF issues; an end to the mechanical shutter, another weak point with traditional designs; and greatly improved and more capable software - among other things. All of these things may make cameras lighter and less prone to faults. Smaller depends on the sensor and mount.

07-06-2014, 03:59 AM - 1 Like   #429
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Yes, one has to be carefull about anything too excting. It can lead to all sorts of problems and necessitate remedial treatment.

However, the wave of the future may well bring EVFS which offer a really big, bright image; improved and fast AF without need for calibration or FF/BF issues; an end to the mechanical shutter, another weak point with traditional designs; and greatly improved and more capable software - among other things. All of these things may make cameras lighter and less prone to faults. Smaller depends on the sensor and mount.
Biggest issue to me with EVF is battery life. Other tech has come a lot further than battery tech and it seems as though with an EVF, you would have to bring a couple of extra batteries a long, just in case. I can shoot over a thousand shots on K5/K3, use the viewfinder with the camera off, all of which goes away when you introduce an EVF. Either you end up with a bigger battery or you need to take extra a long. Not the end of the world, but still, a difference.
07-06-2014, 04:39 AM - 1 Like   #430
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Pentax probably do need to keep developing mirrorless cameras and systems because the future for DSLRs is somewhat uncertain. However, I think they need to find a way to develop their presence in that market gradually and cautiously rather than diving in with a FF mirrorless or anything so bold. Anything they do with mirrorless must not impact on their ability to develop and maintain their DSLR line at present.

As some here have already suggested, I think the way to go is with a small APS-C camera with a new short flange-back version of the K-mount, a collapsible native kit zoom and/or standard prime and an adapter for existing K-mount lenses which retains full functionality, including EXIF, AF and aperture control. I recommend the following attributes:

1) An EVF.
2) A control system close to that currently used on Pentax DSLRs
3) Conventional and serious styling (i.e. not look like a toy)

The initial market for this camera will unashamedly be as a second body for existing K-mount DSLR and lens users. I think many such users would love to have a portable body option with eye-level viewing, a familiar control system and full K-mount support. It could be taken out as a lightweight back-up on important assignments, used as a second body where quick lens-switching is necessary or taken out on its own where you want to travel lighter but don't want to compromise on lenses. The native collapsible kit lens would turn it into a near-pocketable go-anywhere camera for casual shooting or whatever. I think the EVF is critical in this market because DSLR users will not except having to compose and focus on the rear LCD. This was one of the reasons the K-01 failed in this market.

To my knowledge, there are no other mirrorless options which offer an adapter with proper K-mount compatibility, so there would be compelling reasons for K-mount owners wanting a smaller camera to stick with Pentax. This first camera would not need to appeal to a wider market because without a decent lens range, there's no way it's going to compete anyway. Over time the native lens system could be built up and new cameras developed to the point where it could compete with other systems.

The point here is that Pentax could exploit an existing need amongst their current user base without spending a huge amount on R&D for lots of lenses, thus avoiding too much loss of profit in the early stages, whilst also having a system which can develop over time and eventually compete with other mirrorless systems.

This is similar to Canon's approach with the EOS-M, except that they aimed their camera at people moving up from smart phones rather than existing Canon DSLR users. They seem to have failed within both markets because the camera is way to simplistic for anyone wanting a small second body to use with their EOS lenses, whilst also being unable to compete with the other mirrorless systems for the attentions of the upgrader crowd.

The K-01 failed to find a market too - the ergonomics and viewing and control systems were compromised too much for DSLR owners to consider, while it was too big and heavy for pretty much everyone. Its replacement should be unashamedly Pentax in both styling and substance. In my view it doesn't need a load of bells and whistles in order to find a market.
07-06-2014, 08:01 AM   #431
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Sure, they must get ready for an eventual shift to mirrorless cameras; as things are now, though, such a shift is unlikely in the immediate future. There's no emergency, I think they have time to plan it carefully and move in a way such as not to hurt the K-mount (just like you said). It all makes sense, except for a technicality - the mount, it should be modern, full electric (even if this would complicate the adapter issue) and larger diameter. Because they won't often change mounts, they would have to think as far in the future as possible.

Last edited by Kunzite; 07-06-2014 at 02:30 PM.
07-06-2014, 10:39 AM   #432
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I don't remember anyone characterizing those making other choices as not "groking" the concept.
Sorry for the slow response. I shouldn't start what I don't have time to finish.

I was responding to the comment noting that 90% of camera buyers buy DSLRs because they don't understand the MILC concept according to marketing metrics.

I disagree with that assessment. I bought a DSLR because it in fact does what I want my camera to do and no MILC can. Not because I don't understand them. I suspect others made such a reasoned choice as well.

(I don't know where the number comes from - the post I responded to and it's parent used the 90%).

QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Quite the opposite, anyone discussing mirrorless often gets reminded that this is a Pentax forum, or that its like I've said something inappropriate in a church. But i agree with you, its all about picking the right TOOL for the right photo. And i have nothing but admiration for anyone producing an artful image, whether it be from a film camera, a conventional DSLR, or - wait for it - even from a god-forsaken mirrorless camera.

Its all good. As a vice-pres of a photo-club, i started a monthly Thursday afternoon gallery walk where we take a snap picture (with the permission of the gallery) of the best art each of us can find that month, take a simple pic back to our discussion area - and explain and discuss what composition/colors/toning practices led to such an excellent achievement. We don't restrict our discussion to just photos but paintings as well. Art is art from any source.

When you say "a DSLR is in fact a better choice", my mind jumps to this question: "for what purpose".
Exactly! Different use cases. Plus, one tool works better for one person while a different tool works better for another person on exactly the same task. One size does not fit all.
QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
A bird shooter in our club has 2 D4s, 200-400 f2.8 lens and a 600 f4 lens. He doesn't go anywhere that isn't accessible by car and a short walk. He and his wife use wheeled carts to carry their equipment and special gimballed tripods to the observation points. To use this equipment for street shooting would be laughable. Even weddings are a different venue than walking along a street and taking candid shots. Thankfully, Ricoh-Pentax seems to understand this disparity between applications. They market everything between the Q mount cameras and the 645Z - except a FF.

Have you ever used one of the more recent APS mirrorless cameras? No offense if you haven't. But i have both types and switch between them sometimes on a daily or weekly basis depending on what i'm doing. I worry about the future of Pentax.
Me too. That's why I'm following this discussion.
QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I cheer whenever they make a breakthru model like the K3 and the 645Z. But at the same time, i'm aware of some advantages of the mirrorless models now coming out. I don't want to see Pentax with its rich history of superb photographic design fade into history as more modern technology eclipses what they can bring to market.

Nikon, Canon, Pentax - are they leading edge tigers or are they "about to be extinct dinosaurs"? Are photographic historians going to look back at this period of time and wonder why these storied companies didn't take more effective actions to adapt to new technologies? What do the K01, the M-mount and the Nikon 1 mount all have in common?
Remember the Newton? Disruptive technologies are usually introduced in a number of clumsy iterations before widespread adoption. Again not just because they are not understood, but also because they do not work as well in some use cases for some people as the dinosaur technology. (I think the MILC is way past the clumsy now, but still not for me).
QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Perhaps my concern is misplaced, perhaps these companies will not become the latest Kodak, heading for the chopping block. We shall see.
07-06-2014, 12:11 PM   #433
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@jonby: Amen.


@Rondec: True, though not needing a mirror box etc. could mean there is more space/weight left for a battery... or two. At least in the bag. A sensor that only turns on the viewfinder when needed would be crucial, but it's rather trivial. Many smartphones have that.
07-06-2014, 12:12 PM   #434
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Biggest issue to me with EVF is battery life. Other tech has come a lot further than battery tech and it seems as though with an EVF, you would have to bring a couple of extra batteries a long, just in case. I can shoot over a thousand shots on K5/K3, use the viewfinder with the camera off, all of which goes away when you introduce an EVF. Either you end up with a bigger battery or you need to take extra a long. Not the end of the world, but still, a difference.
First of all - thanks to all the folks that replied this morning - a lot of interesting replies.

@Rondec - you're spot on regarding battery life and EVF - it may be the biggest weakness for mirrorless. Alongside my Nex mirrorless with their short battery life, my Pentax seen to last indefinitely. My Nex has some power saving routines built-in - unfortunately some power-saving features are disabled when one uses manual lenses. Sony needs to be more aggressive in explaining what can be done for power saving.

QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
Pentax probably do need to keep developing mirrorless cameras and systems because the future for DSLRs is somewhat uncertain. However, I think they need to find a way to develop their presence in that market gradually and cautiously rather than diving in with a FF mirrorless or anything so bold. Anything they do with mirrorless must not impact on their ability to develop and maintain their DSLR line at present.

As some here have already suggested, I think the way to go is with a small APS-C camera with a new short flange-back version of the K-mount, a collapsible native kit zoom and/or standard prime and an adapter for existing K-mount lenses which retains full functionality, including EXIF, AF and aperture control. I recommend the following attributes:

1) An EVF.
2) A control system close to that currently used on Pentax DSLRs
3) Conventional and serious styling (i.e. not look like a toy)
.
I've suggested that special Pentax full control adapter before and think its the only way out. That way they can develop a new mount and contend in the mirrorless market while continuing the K3 dslr line. And all my Pentax DA lenses will be useable on this "travel" camera, or whatever people want to call it. Its innovative and solves many problems. With contrast detection, minor tolerance imperfections in the adapter don't matter much as the camera focuses on maximizing the contrast each time. All the existing K mount manual lenses will also be useable along with manual lenses from other brands.

If Pentax waits till Canikon develops it first, then Pentax becomes just another also ran. Get there first with the best should always be the goal.

QuoteOriginally posted by cfraz Quote

Exactly! Different use cases. Plus, one tool works better for one person while a different tool works better for another person on exactly the same task. One size does not fit all.

Me too. That's why I'm following this discussion.

Remember the Newton? Disruptive technologies are usually introduced in a number of clumsy iterations before widespread adoption. Again not just because they are not understood, but also because they do not work as well in some use cases for some people as the dinosaur technology. (I think the MILC is way past the clumsy now, but still not for me).
Exactly right - one size does not fit all. My older brother has Parkinsons and when he came to me recently for advice on buying a new camera, it was very tempting to me to sell him on a Nex camera and do the kind of processing i enjoy a lot along with some extra lenses to explore. Thankfully i came to my senses and steered him to a Panasonic superzoom fixed lens, easy to carry, no bags needed for extra lenses, light weight and he loves it a lot. Lots of automated features. Not the kind of thing you or I would like - but for him - fits the bill nicely. and it keeps him doing something he enjoys.

Unfortunately or fortunately, Sony seems to be the one learning the lessons on mirrorless new technology - not sure other other brands are going to be able to catch up quickly. I just wish that Sony would slow down a bit and spend more time on developing new lenses that meet high photographic standards. Instead, they keep jumping to new technology instead of efforts to settle on some model and carefully refine it.
07-06-2014, 01:03 PM   #435
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
If Pentax waits till Canikon develops it first, then Pentax becomes just another also ran. Get there first with the best should always be the goal.
Canon already have a mirrorless solution. Nikon, well, a smaller sensor one but it's there. A dozen other brands also have mirrorless.
There's no way for Pentax to be "first" in the MILC game, and being the first does not guarantee success. Kodak, Contax - those were "the firsts", and where are they?

Right now I think the question is not if they should eventually do it; but how to do it without sacrificing the present. There is still growth potential with the K-mount, and perhaps the best way of action is to continue with it, until they'll be strong enough to add another mount to their portfolio.
Also, I think the MILC market must grow quite a lot in order to support so many manufacturers. We might complain and be worried about Pentax' small market share, but if we translate it in numbers a mere 5% in DSLRs means the same volumes as 18-19% in MILCs.
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