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Lenses / Re: 14-24L & 24-70L II Talked About Again
« on: July 12, 2011, 02:20:14 PM »
I'd just like to know how bad the price for the 200-400 will be...

United States / Re: Heat Waves
« on: July 11, 2011, 07:39:27 AM »
I know not everyone would want to shoot a lot of IR, but it was about the only idea I could come up with.

And thanks for the info on that photo. I kinda guessed it was either a zoo or somewhere more wild. I've got closer before in captivity but can certainly appreciate the increase in difficulty of shots in more open areas.

United States / Re: Heat Waves
« on: July 10, 2011, 02:32:37 PM »
Thinking a little laterally here, the moving air causes variable refraction does it not? The degree of refraction varies with wavelength, and it looks like, for the classic prism example, red light seems to be refracted less. Would imagining in infra-red reduce the effect of it? Just be aware that IR is diffraction limited faster than at visible wavelengths.

On the lion photo, anyone got more info on where that came from? I can imagine many safe ways to get a shot like that while at the camera yourself.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Mirrorless on the Horizon?
« on: July 06, 2011, 04:48:05 PM »
I don't really need the back LCD, but it will never go away in a mainstream camera.  It is one of the features that attracted the masses to digital cameras, they can tell if they actually captured a photo, and many carry their cameras with them to use as a display gallery to show photos they took.
It could be radical and still be mainstream. I'm not saying remove the ability to playback images on the body, I'm just saying remove it from the back. If they can come up with some kind of hybrid EVF like on the X100 for example, you could review that way.

The big user of space is the mirror.  EF Lenses are designed with a focus distance to account for a FF mirror.  Remove the mirror, design new lenses with a short distance to the sensor, and a huge reduction in size occurs.  Thats why the 35mm film point and shoot cameras were much smaller.
As before I was thinking in two parts, one of which was how small could you make a DSLR? Specifically one that would be compatible with existing accessories. As such, the mirror box stays in that case. I was looking at other areas where size optimisation could occur.

Once you remove the mirror and design a new set of lenses, the size of the sensor doesn't have much effect, its the lens design.
Not entirely true... only shorter focal length lenses could get some benefit. A longer zoom or prime wouldn't get smaller just because you move the mount slightly closer to the sensor. Big sensor still means big lenses (for a given quality, FoV, equivalent f number, ignoring DoF). Look at m4/3 using various compromises to help make lenses simpler. Distortion is less corrected and they rely on software to fix it. Olympus claim a small 75-300, but that's in part because it is slower than anyone else's similar zoom.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Mirrorless on the Horizon?
« on: July 06, 2011, 02:15:10 PM »
The DSLR is bigger than the SLR due to the battery, memory cards, a whole bunch of electronics and motors inside the body. Plus every body wants a hand grip for the DSLR.
Look at compact digital cameras, they also have a ton of electronics in them. I can imagine the "stuff" would easily sit in place of where the film rolls would otherwise go. The mechanics between a SLR and DSLR I think would be near enough the same. I do think the LCD on the back is one of the biggest consumers of volume, so removing that would allow bodies to get much smaller. That also removes the need for the power so batteries could be smaller too.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Mirrorless on the Horizon?
« on: July 06, 2011, 01:23:34 PM »
I think there are two questions here, with two possible partial answers:

1 - how small could they make a DSLR? I have a film EOS that's much smaller than any digital, so could they shrink one down further? I think the film camera size comes down to only needing space for a thin strip of film before the back of the camera. Now we have a sensor with filter assembly on top of it, and typically a LCD display behind that. Let's say the rear LCD was ditched, and they just relied on the viewfinder for everything (possibly X100 style electronic-hybrid?). How small could that get? Would it be interesting to people? With a small prime on I think it wouldn't be that dissimilar in size to current bigger mirrorless models.

2 - if they go mirrorless, where in the range would they target? The m4/3 and APS-C sensor size is pretty much covered by existing players for example. Could Canon bring something new to that space and not come out with a "me too" product? The tiny sensor like Q I find hard to take off, as you're competing directly with compacts there, and to me I can't see why I would want one over a compact unless the price is slashed right down, but then what's the point? The rumoured small-ish sensor Nikon is more interesting, as you can get smaller lenses than current APS-C models (assuming you're not after strict DoF equivalence) without compromising too much on image quality. That would be a more logical positioning keeping both compacts and SLRs out of the way of self competition. As a wild card, could they go high end only? Go full frame, and make a Leica for the 21st century. I don't think they would have any trouble undercutting Leica pricing anyway...

What threw me off was how the D7000 basically failed to leapfrog the 7D.
The D7000 was never intended to. While the D7000 does have a nice build and rich feature list, it is still targeted at a lower level than the 7D.

Lenses / Re: Patents: Diffractive Optic 2.0x & 1.8x Teleconverters
« on: July 02, 2011, 07:34:48 PM »
If they can be made small enough, maybe they could be put into lenses more frequently like the announced 200-400 extender?

Do you think Canon sits around doing nothing between camera launches? They must already be working on the 7Dmk2 right now. But they're pretty good at keeping secrets so I wouldn't expect much news until much closer to launch, whenever that is.

CaNikon don't synchronise releases so there's always the inevitable leap-frogging. If the D400 doesn't blow away the almost two year old 7D that would be a major failing on Nikon's part, but the further question then is by how much? Even if it is "better", do you need whatever it will be? At what cost? In the same way, there's the 1D4 if you really do need something more now.

Personally I don't like playing the waiting game for something better that may or may not come along. If you need something, get it now. Don't worry about the future if you are missing the present.

Canon General / Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« on: July 01, 2011, 04:36:30 PM »
from what I've heard about the latest olympus m4/3s cameras ... the AF is getting there.  I think the rebels are going to see some major change over the next few development cycles.
For one-shot focus, it isn't getting just there. It has got there. The recent Panasonic models were already "DSLR fast" and the new batch from Olympus announced yesterday are claimed to be even faster. I think one shot AF speed is no longer an issue, at least in the m4/3 camp. I don't know how NEX or others will compare.

Mirrorless' weakness is still when you need depth tracking AF. There was an interesting Patent from Olympus that might provide that, with some other tradeoffs. Otherwise if one-shot can get any faster, they might be able to brute force their way into it. Note the mirrorless AF speed comes as much from the lens as the body, like with SLRs. The thing is they are making fast focus speed a design choice, which isn't so much the case in SLR land. There may be a cost to Olympus' faster focus lenses though, as their earlier lenses achieved the faster focus in part by using a design where only one optical element moves. There may be a trade off for optical quality here.

Canon General / Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« on: July 01, 2011, 02:59:33 PM »
Not in DSLR sales.  If I remember correctly from the last sales numbers I saw, Nikon & Canon combined are around 85% of sales.  That's a small slice of pie left for everyone else.

If you're talking P&S and bridge cameras, that would be much closer to the truth; there are a lot of players in that market though.
There seems to be a trend in the press to count "interchangeable lens cameras" as a group and work units out as a market share. No surprise that shows Sony/Olympus/Panasonic growing at the expense of Canon/Nikon. The big question is therefore are "mirrorless" cameras going to kill DSLRs, and where things go from there. I wouldn't expect any quick change whatever happens.

Canon General / Re: Pentax Gets New Owner
« on: July 01, 2011, 02:53:58 PM »
the Nikkei business daily said earlier it would be about 10 billion yen ($124 million). ($1 = 80.530 Japanese Yen)

In 2007, Hoya bought Pentax for $1 billion.  Now they're selling it for 12% of what they paid?  Probably incorrect, but if true, ouch!
Not unheard of in business. Where I work in my "day job" they bought another company before the economic situation, and sold it after. The difference in loss is comparable, but someone decided it was the best thing to do.

$124M isn't much in absolute terms. If I can just get a multi-rollover lottery win I could afford it... :D

Lenses / Re: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS
« on: June 27, 2011, 06:34:25 PM »
Constant aperture is easy, as long as it is slow enough :P f/5.6 should be dead easy, especially for a short zoom 200-400. I'm struggling to think why anyone would want one though, over the 100-400. I suppose possibly it would be closer to prime quality but is it worth the trade? You have a zoom or prime. Something that doesn't do much of either seems a bit redundant and too narrow a niche. And a built in extender on a f/5.6 lens is almost pointless, as anything under 1 series wont AF with it.

If the "extender" lenses catch on, maybe they could in future do something like a 100-300 f/4 extender as a baby model.

Lenses / Re: Canon Patents This Week
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:05:11 AM »
I'd take the 35mm macro, although the 35/2 isn't bad for close ups already... sometimes it is refreshing to use a wide angle macro to keep the background instead of the longer focal length stuff that blurs everything out.

EOS Bodies / Re: 60D + EFS17-55 f/2.8 - £1000 at Tesco
« on: June 22, 2011, 07:23:07 AM »
Order status: cancelled and refunded. Unlike the others I never got a call from them at any time.

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