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03-07-2012, 04:00 AM   #1
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MF shooters -- how much do you hate the idea of a mirrorless 645?

Well, the K-01 is here, and we recall an interview with a Pentax engineer a few weeks ago who speculatively floated the idea of mirrorless eventually going all the way "up" to FF and MF. Now, let's sidestep FF for a moment, and talk about MF (which is why we're in this forum, of course).

I'm not a MF shooter, but it seems to me that MF shooting is typically done in a contemplative style: tripod, manual focus, etc. Aren't these exactly the circumstances in which mirrorless systems have an advantage? No mirror slap, focus peaking, a large display that is easily viewed from a distance. And the drawbacks of mirrorless -- slower AF and the slower display than an OVF -- would seem to be largely irrelevant for MF shooters.

Despite all that, I expect you'd all hate the idea. So feel free to tell my why this notion is utterly idiotic and a violation of everything that you hold dear.

03-07-2012, 05:56 AM   #2
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I would like the ability to have a smaller camera and still be a 645 based system, but I don't much like the idea of the EVF. I was at Focus On Imaging Show in Brimingham and had a play with both the new 5D and the Fuji Pro 1X. The Fuji looks interesting, as does the Canon. The hybrid VF on the Fuji was very clear and excellent. If Pentax could equip it with one of those, then that's a compromise I could make
03-07-2012, 07:32 AM - 1 Like   #3
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It is a camera, not an ethical dilemma.

I have used plenty of medium-format system from 6x6 to 6x12. All were used handheld for documentary work--and traditionally, there are a large number of photographers that have used medium format handhled. Why is medium-format relegated to slow tripod work only? And you can drop the myth about mirror "slap"--I use the 645D handheld with shutter speeds of 1/15 and get sharp images, just like many reflex cameras. And one more myth, mirrorless AF is not always slower--the E-P3 and Nikon J1 are as fast as a DSLR.

A mirrorless MFD camera would be interesting--I have an E-P1. The idea that it is mirrorless, in and of itself, is not a reason for being good nor bad, although a compact body would certainly appeal to me. However, I would need to see the actual camera.
03-07-2012, 07:48 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I use a film 645 and I'm (very) slowly saving up for a 645D. From experience with several EVF's, I've come to very strongly dislike them. But still, if mirrorless would make a digital MF system cheaper, I would go for it. I would rather shoot MF mirrorless NOW then MF with a mirror in two years.

03-07-2012, 11:07 AM   #5
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I use the 645N and really love its viewfinder. I cannot see much size advantage to a mirrorless 645D other than less height—the registration distance would remain the same, but perhaps it would be cheaper. Perhaps: a good hybrid VF also takes its investment.

That said, I agree with Yamanobori that it's not an ethical dilemma. A good hybrid viewfinder, when presenting advantages elsewhere (silence or cost), would not be anathema in my book.

I use my 645Ns on a tripod, but far more often handheld.

BTW, the Title, "How much do you hate...", is hardly an open question. Are you soliciting critique of mirrorless per se? Why? I guess you'll find this crowd here non-dogmatic.
03-07-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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At this point with MF sensors being CCD not CMOS there is little likelihood of mirrorless in the near future, and as pointed out the registration distance would be problematic unless they came out with a new mount and made an adapter for the old lenses to the new mount. the Idea of a more compact MF though is very appealing, along the lines of a Mamiya 6 or 7 for instance with a Fuji type hybrid finder could be very appealing (Mamiya 7ii is still in production so it's apparent there is at least some limited demand for this idea)
A mirrorless MF has the potential to be more compact than most of the Pro FF cameras
03-07-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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Well, a mirrorless 645DII could be very much smaller as the space behind the sensor usually used for the roll film holder could be made smaller by moving the card slots and moving the electronics around the mirror box.
03-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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Is the only advantage size? That doesn't seem to matter much in MF, since you need all the space on the body for solid tactile controls. I don't see the real win here.

03-07-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
At this point with MF sensors being CCD not CMOS there is little likelihood of mirrorless in the near future, and as pointed out the registration distance would be problematic unless they came out with a new mount and made an adapter for the old lenses to the new mount. the Idea of a more compact MF though is very appealing, along the lines of a Mamiya 6 or 7 for instance with a Fuji type hybrid finder could be very appealing (Mamiya 7ii is still in production so it's apparent there is at least some limited demand for this idea)
A mirrorless MF has the potential to be more compact than most of the Pro FF cameras
A digital version of my old Bronica RF645 !!!!! Yummy....
The new Fuji is very very close to this and IQ is even better than the old MF...... Makes yer think doesnt it.
03-07-2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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You mean something like a digital Mamiya 7! Woo! Hoo!


Steve
03-07-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
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Many studio photographers shoot tethered, so I don't see why a EVF 645D is a bad thing.
I shoot a Mamiya RB67 and some TLRs, and I could certainly welcome it if my TL viewfinder was instead a similar sized LCD panel that I can zoom in for better focus confirmation (as well as getting other info displayed on the screen)

If the mirror box can be done away with for a smaller more portable system, I can see it easily matching (or kicking) 135 format FF.
Think Mamiya7, but digital or even Pentax 67 but lighter w/o prism and mirror.
In fact, I think its a winner if it costs about $6000 for one.
I'd certainly get one.
03-08-2012, 05:05 AM   #12
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I don't know why anyone would hate it. Two of the most popular medium format cameras on the market are the Mamiya 7 and the Fuji GF670. They are both mirrorless!
03-08-2012, 06:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
It is a camera, not an ethical dilemma.
A mirrorless MFD camera would be interesting--I have an E-P1. The idea that it is mirrorless, in and of itself, is not a reason for being good nor bad, although a compact body would certainly appeal to me. However, I would need to see the actual camera.
Thanks, that's an interesting reply. Though what I was getting at (rightly or wrongly), is that it seems to me that mirrorless systems have strengths and weaknesses that are a little different from those of reflex cameras. And, the thought continues, those strengths and weaknesses actually lend themselves quite well to the medium format space, perhaps more so than compact and APS-C cameras.
03-08-2012, 07:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
BTW, the Title, "How much do you hate...", is hardly an open question. Are you soliciting critique of mirrorless per se? Why? I guess you'll find this crowd here non-dogmatic.


Yes, the lack of hysteria here has been a welcome respite from what I've seen lately in other parts of these forums.
03-08-2012, 07:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by asw66 Quote


Yes, the lack of hysteria here has been a welcome respite from what I've seen lately in other parts of these forums.
MF format shooters are less about the brand and more about the result. if a mirrorless 645d comes along many will see the value. it's about the image quality in this arena not size. (ever shoot a mamiya RB or RZ67 you need a sherpa but damn it is a nice camera)
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