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10-19-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
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My thought: a mirrored "mirrorless“ design

I am one of those who are fans of the idea of small APS-C mirrorless body.

I found many people are complaining about NEX's giant lens in a thin body, but obviously to achieve the standard flange distance, you have to have either a thin body with a big lens or a thick body. Another option is a collapsible design, while I have seen many people on this board concerning about the building quality of such a collapsible hinge.

Yet another option is to have a completely new lens designed, like what Samsung has done with their NX series. They have made new pancakes with shorter flange distance. But this also comes with two problems: 1. The old lenses of pentax are no longer usable, which is one of the major reasons many people still stay with Pentax. 2. The edge IQ could be a concern because the angle of the incoming light will have to be much smaller to really reduce the thick.

I am not sure if anyone has discussed about this idea before. This is my design: A new mirror was added to reflect all the light from the lens to the sensor. The body in theory can be made as thin as the height of the sensor, which is 15.7mm for a APS-C sensor, or 24mm for a full-frame sensor! (The current dslr design allows minimal body thickness to be 45.46 mm for pentax). If my design is really achievable, then with a pancake installed we can really put this camera into our jeans pocket.

I think the major concern will be the quality of the mirror. It must be of very high quality. No distortion, very limited absorption of light. I don't know much about the engineering of mirrors, but as mirror lens could be made in very cheap price, my guess is a mirror camera is also doable.

Let me know your thoughts

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10-19-2011, 10:13 PM   #2
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Very interesting idea! The problem that comes to mind is that the mirror must 1) be perfect, and 2) stay perfect. It's surface can't budge at all. Do stable-enough materials exist?
10-19-2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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I had exactly the same idea, and had it discussed in some other forums, ppl suggested this a typical configuration used in some small DC and Panasonic G1 or GH1,can't remember the exact model, and one of the problem is that it is hard to put the image stabilization system to it.
10-19-2011, 10:39 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by spmcrq Quote
I had exactly the same idea, and had it discussed in some other forums, ppl suggested this a typical configuration used in some small DC and Panasonic G1 or GH1,can't remember the exact model, and one of the problem is that it is hard to put the image stabilization system to it.
Good to know. Will be nice to see how this design works in other system. I just searched and seems panasonic G1/GH1 didn't use this design Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Compact System Camera Optics - Full Review

10-19-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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IIRC, it was a compact camera with 10x optical zoom that Panasonic came out with several years ago. I think around the time I got a Canon SD700 IS.
10-19-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by torpesco Quote
IIRC, it was a compact camera with 10x optical zoom that Panasonic came out with several years ago. I think around the time I got a Canon SD700 IS.
IIRC, is this a camera model? I can't even google it
10-19-2011, 11:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by feishui Quote
IIRC, is this a camera model? I can't even google it
The Canon?

http://www.google.ca/m/search?q=sd700+is&pbx=1&aq=0&oq=sd700%2520i&aqi=g6-k1d0t0&fkt=2589&fsdt=17433&cqt=&rst=&htf=&his=&maction=&ltoken=df8681a8
10-19-2011, 11:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by torpesco Quote
IIRC, it was a compact camera with 10x optical zoom that Panasonic came out with several years ago. I think around the time I got a Canon SD700 IS.
Maybe the DMC TZ1? All I can find right now is a reference to it using "folded optics".

10-19-2011, 11:23 PM   #9
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Sorry, but there are issues with this approach.
1. the idea itself - that you need a certain registration distance; while telephoto lenses won't complain, we'll have the same issues as with SLRs for wides, i.e. they will have to be retrofocus instead of simpler, much smaller, cheaper and better optical designs.
2. the design looks similar with a regular SLR, with few changes:
- the mirror is fixed (a smaller registration distance will be required)
- the sensor plane is located in viewfinder's place
- there is no optical TTL viewfinder, no secondary mirror for off the sensor PD-AF, no SLR-like metering system
I'm afraid the result will be in a mount with a registration distance only slightly shorter than for the K-mount.

I am certain G1 and GH1 don't use anything like this.
10-19-2011, 11:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by torpesco Quote
Maybe the DMC TZ1? All I can find right now is a reference to it using "folded optics".
I found it. DMC TZ1 is using a fixed mirror. Interestingly, the mirror is part of the lens.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1
10-20-2011, 12:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by feishui Quote
I found it. DMC TZ1 is using a fixed mirror. Interestingly, the mirror is part of the lens.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1
Prism, not mirror. AFAIK, all the Pentax W-series cameras use a prism too.
10-20-2011, 06:56 AM   #12
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this a mutual idea sharing. I hope pentax people from the HQ reading and monitoring this forums. paying attention to what the customers say. I personally have some new ideas to share with pentax.
10-20-2011, 08:40 AM   #13
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That's more less how a Polaroid instant camera used to project an image before their photo paper became a rarity.

You could also add a prism on top and make the mirror semi-transparent (as part of the prism face) for TTL optical viewer functionality.

I guess I gotta run to the patent office now ...

QuoteOriginally posted by feishui Quote
I am one of those who are fans of the idea of small APS-C mirrorless body.

I found many people are complaining about NEX's giant lens in a thin body, but obviously to achieve the standard flange distance, you have to have either a thin body with a big lens or a thick body. Another option is a collapsible design, while I have seen many people on this board concerning about the building quality of such a collapsible hinge.

Yet another option is to have a completely new lens designed, like what Samsung has done with their NX series. They have made new pancakes with shorter flange distance. But this also comes with two problems: 1. The old lenses of pentax are no longer usable, which is one of the major reasons many people still stay with Pentax. 2. The edge IQ could be a concern because the angle of the incoming light will have to be much smaller to really reduce the thick.

I am not sure if anyone has discussed about this idea before. This is my design: A new mirror was added to reflect all the light from the lens to the sensor. The body in theory can be made as thin as the height of the sensor, which is 15.7mm for a APS-C sensor, or 24mm for a full-frame sensor! (The current dslr design allows minimal body thickness to be 45.46 mm for pentax). If my design is really achievable, then with a pancake installed we can really put this camera into our jeans pocket.

I think the major concern will be the quality of the mirror. It must be of very high quality. No distortion, very limited absorption of light. I don't know much about the engineering of mirrors, but as mirror lens could be made in very cheap price, my guess is a mirror camera is also doable.

Let me know your thoughts
10-20-2011, 01:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by feishui Quote
I am one of those who are fans of the idea of small APS-C mirrorless body.

I found many people are complaining about NEX's giant lens in a thin body, but obviously to achieve the standard flange distance, you have to have either a thin body with a big lens or a thick body. Another option is a collapsible design, while I have seen many people on this board concerning about the building quality of such a collapsible hinge.

Yet another option is to have a completely new lens designed, like what Samsung has done with their NX series. They have made new pancakes with shorter flange distance. But this also comes with two problems: 1. The old lenses of pentax are no longer usable, which is one of the major reasons many people still stay with Pentax. 2. The edge IQ could be a concern because the angle of the incoming light will have to be much smaller to really reduce the thick.

I am not sure if anyone has discussed about this idea before. This is my design: A new mirror was added to reflect all the light from the lens to the sensor. The body in theory can be made as thin as the height of the sensor, which is 15.7mm for a APS-C sensor, or 24mm for a full-frame sensor! (The current dslr design allows minimal body thickness to be 45.46 mm for pentax). If my design is really achievable, then with a pancake installed we can really put this camera into our jeans pocket.

I think the major concern will be the quality of the mirror. It must be of very high quality. No distortion, very limited absorption of light. I don't know much about the engineering of mirrors, but as mirror lens could be made in very cheap price, my guess is a mirror camera is also doable.

Let me know your thoughts
Actually I have seen this here on this forum as a way of making a "thin" K-mount body.
10-20-2011, 01:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by feishui Quote
Good to know. Will be nice to see how this design works in other system. I just searched and seems panasonic G1/GH1 didn't use this design Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Compact System Camera Optics - Full Review
Hi, sorry for the misleading. I mixed this with my memory about the mirror structure in Oly E300/330, coz I got my idea from that structure.

I think if the technology of cmos AF used in nikon 1 is successful, and it can be applied to APS-C size sensor, then this configuration will be working.
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