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01-20-2017, 07:30 AM   #1
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Mirror, Mirror: The 645 Digital System at a Crossroads

Can Pentax stay relevant if it sticks with the mirror? Fujifilm's new GFX 50S mirrorless medium format body raises new questions.

Read more on the PF homepage...

01-20-2017, 08:28 AM   #2
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Mirrorless is pretty neat, but people seem to forget the mirror also gives you PDAF autofocus and the possibility of way better battery life. It's a trade off.
01-20-2017, 08:58 AM   #3
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I will stick with a mirror, thanks very much.
01-20-2017, 09:56 AM   #4
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The "age of mirrorless" is simply hype. Both designs suffer from clear disadvantages. And some clear differences are quite debatable or decided by personal preference.

Clear disadvantages of the mirrorless design:
* camera must be on for framing and composition
* sensor runs hotter, worsening DR and dark frame noise
* battery life is shorter

Clear disadvantages of DSLR design:
* louder shutter/mirror noise & vibration
* mechanical complexity (cost & reliability issue)
* AF discrepancies & lens calibration problems

Debatable differences:

* physical size: easier to carry/handle mirrorless versus "more impressive" DSLR (and the total size may be the same when using high-quality lenses)

* EVF(less fidelity, lag, noise, poor battery life) vs. OVF (chimping, lack of amplification, lack of WYSIWYG on exposure & WB, lack of live histogram + focus peaking + over/under flow blinkies)

01-20-2017, 03:34 PM   #5

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Imagine a 645M that has physical dimensions comparable to the k-1 but thinner and lighter than the k-1. Add in shake reduction/pixel shift/astrotracer and a launch day adapter for current 645 lens to work on the new mount. That would be very interesting.

Short battery life is not ideal but I've never had issues carrying extra batteries.

The one thing I never understood was, Why don't camera makers take a page out of tablet/phone makers and use vapor chamber heatsink? Pipe the heat to a non critical area and increase the surface area for better cooling.
01-20-2017, 04:00 PM - 1 Like   #6

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You too, Adam? Don't you think this is a little hasty? I know you didn't write the article, but you support it by posting it on the front page of your site.

Just because we have a couple mirrorless MF bodies doesn't mean they all have to conform.

We've had mirrorless crop and FF bodies for years. Yet Pentax, Canon, and Nikon have chugged along with their 'antiquated' SLR design.

The arguments presented in the PF article are the same, tired ones we've seen for years. And this isn't simply an issue in the photography world.

This happens when any new form of technology is introduced into the consumer space. People over-react to the new technology, adopting it as quickly as possible, not considering why just that it is cool and new. Months/Years later the market, as a whole, gets their senses back and the fanfare for said technology retracts a bit. Generally it never disappears completely, but the fervor for it diminishes as it becomes just another part of the market.

Look at tablets. For a couple of years people said forget laptops, forget desktops. Those are old, outdated platforms because tablets are the future. And they sold impressively for a couple of years... but look at them now. Sales have been fading.. and are forecast to continue to fade.

While I have no doubts that mirrorless is here to stay, will continue to grow, and potentially could become what DSLRs have been for the past decade in marketshare, I also think we need to be careful in discarding what has worked for the new, shiny soup of the week just because it is new and shiny.

If anything, this forces Ricoh's hand to consider price mostly. But that is only if the Fuji system takes off. It could be a sack of garbage. We don't know because it isn't released and being used at large.
01-20-2017, 04:58 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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I think the similarities between mirrorless and SLRs are more than the differences. People make much ado about nothing. A nice OVF versus a nice EVF really is a matter of choice or taste and while we on the forum stake out our positions, most folks purchasing cameras don't care at all. The size differences, which are actually the main thing that is touted as a reason to go mirrorless are significantly less once you factor in a high quality wide aperture zoom and primarily noticeable when using a wide angle prime.

Take a Sony NEX with a G Master lens and compare it to a K-1 with any of the current Pentax lenses and the difference in size is quite minimal.
01-20-2017, 05:09 PM   #8

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Reading the article, I thought I somehow got lost and reached Fujiforum instead of Pentaxforums... the article declares the Fuji winner before any fight. Hype and more hype and no substance (nor performance measurements).

01-20-2017, 05:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Reading the article, I thought I somehow got lost and reached Fujiforum instead of Pentaxforums... the article declares the Fuji winner before any fight. Hype and more hype and no substance (nor performance measurements).
Deadwolfbones has always been more of a mirrorless guy than a Pentax guy.

That said, I assume most people buy into these sorts of systems for the glass, not for the camera bodies and it isn't exactly there yet for Fuji.
01-20-2017, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #10

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So what if he's a mirrorless guy? He should be considerate and tune down his bias.
Unless Adam decides to rename this place to or Then, I'll be out of here.
01-20-2017, 07:04 PM - 1 Like   #11
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As a practical matter the mirrorless body with large lens vs. mirrorbox body with short lens argument hasn't changed consumer behavior in the APSc or FF markets, and it probably won't in the crop MF space either. People buy shiny things and ignore their obvious shortcomings as a matter of self-justification.

I've said many times Pentax is (or is forced to be) an alternative to CaNikon, not a true competitor with them. I've thought for about a year Fuji is Pentax's real competition, and here we have an insurgent's strike, planned and developed while Pentax was busily bringing the (probable) final FF dSLR line in the industry. Ahem.

Was K-1 too little, too late - or does Ricoh have something bigger around the corner? My gut tells me there is a very large, very clever surprise coming from Pentax, and I don't mean a quick release battery grip
01-20-2017, 07:23 PM   #12
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I read somewhere that GFX is now top 10 on amazon selling list, and also top 10 on BHphoto selling list (though I can't find the list).

Pentax 645 series will probably have a hard time going mirrorless.
main reason is Pentax don't really have any EVF tech where Fujifilm already several generations in this EVF.

A K1 like Pentax 645 feature wise, and a "Full frame" MF sensor is what will make Pentax 645 differentiate itself from GFX competition.
But can Pentax price it similarly with a FF MF sensor camera? difficult.

I think this is a big challenge for Ricoh/Pentax.
But at the same time, if you use film Pentax 645, you will find there actually plenty of spaces behind the film plane (take up by film spool), so Pentax can really make 645 body less 'boxy', there by reducing it's size significantly. I think this is the logical steps.
01-20-2017, 07:33 PM - 1 Like   #13
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It's not attractive to me to switch to a less featured, no more capable, unproven system with no OVF, and barely any lenses (all expensive) just because it is smaller. Some may want this, just not me.

Last edited by mikeSF; 01-20-2017 at 07:43 PM.
01-20-2017, 07:41 PM - 2 Likes   #14

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Basically a pot stirring article on a cold winters day with nothing better to do outside.

Not bad for traffic to the site.
01-20-2017, 08:46 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I hate this line of questioning. It's a question without a solution. No matter what any of us thinks, no matter how well they explain why they think that way, minds are not going to be changed.

Besides, I essentially spent my MF money to get a K-1, and it will be a very long time before the account has been replenished.

(Hands over eyes and ear,) I can't hear you.

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