« on: January 08, 2014, 04:34:02 AM »
It seems that there are people with hatred of the old and good mirror. If relying on my opinion, there may be interesting mirrorless cameras for specific uses, such as photo studio and landscape. But I honestly do not see a future where mirrorless will do better, what 1DX does today. Ironically, Canon has the most revolutionary technology to mirrorless (dual pixel AF) and not yet built any mirrorless camera with this asset.
I have no hatred against the "good old" mirror. It has served me as well as it has served most of us here ... for many years up to now. When the world was still mechanical and analogue, mirror plus prism were the best possible way to let photographers see the world exactly as the their cameras were seeing it. No more "parallax problems" as with any rangefinder or two-eyed camera ... it works with any lens of any focal length from ultra-wide-angle to super-tele. The moving mirror also allowed cameras to measure ambient light levels "Through the lens" (TTL) and adding "auto-exposure" later on.
The advantage over rangefinders was so large, that over time (1960s & 1970s) the overwhelming majority of photographers anywhere on earth was willing to accept the increase in size of the cameras to provide the space for mirrorbox and prism. In the long history of pohotography and cameras, it was the first time ever, that larger boxes succeeded smaller ones. Up to then, it had alsways been the other way round: smaller, lighter, faster gear that could be used in many more places and in many more situations than the larger gear before. Maybe some compromise in image quality [smaller format imaging surface], but always huge advantages in the ability to actually GET shots: speed, handling, less bulk, less weight. That's why Oscar Barnacks invention and the small & light rangefinders were so successful. All of a sudden photographers could easily leave their studios and roam the streets, capture images "in situ" at all sorts of events from weddings to inaugurations to olympic games and any sort of sports competition.
Size does matter!
Thanks to digital imaging we now have the possibility to take things back on track: making phtographic devices smaller again, ending the "SLR detour". Combining everything that has made SLRs so successful [TTL, "seeing the framing as it will be captured"] with the superior portability and flexibility of small rangefinder cameras along with very compact lenses for the focal range used to capture probably more than 90% of all stills pictures [24mm to 100mm]. And "seeing the image as it will be recorded" ... in real time. [EVF with no discernible lag or blackout between shots].
In addition we can finally jettison all mechanical, moving parts inside a camera, allowing for much faster, more responsive, absolutely vibration-free and totally silent cameras. They stay perfectly calibrated and deliver crisp images in all sorts of environments and ambient temperatures and can be much better protected against dust and liquids (all it takes is a hi-grade, optically neutral protective piece of glass directly behind the lens mount) and against shocks / G-forces (any cheap USB-stick survives a drop from 5 feet onto concrete floor).
Basically we are talking about exactly the same advantages solid state "disks" (SSD) have over hard drive disks (HDD). And why and how quickly much smaller "solid state" memory has been replacing larger storage media that involves mechanics and moving parts. USB-sticks, flash cards vs. CDs, DVDs ... same thing.
Size matters. Speed matters. Convenience matters. And ... price matters. :-)
Luckily, "Solid State Cameras" are much cheaper to build (even with today's tech) since they can be assembled fully automated by fairly simple robots and/or by a much smaller, fairly unskilled and cheaper workforce than DSLRs. Far less hassle than aligning tiny mechanical components. Far easier to control quality. No lubrication oil splattering around inside an opto-mechanical precision device. No mis-alignment of mirror or sub-mirror assembly possible. No mis-alignment of AF-sensor and sensor focal plane possible. No mis-alignment of matte-screen and/or viewfinder prism possible. Image will always be captured by sensor "as seen on screen" [EVF and large screen on back].
Full, unfettered "video capability", no obstacles in the lightpath. Not that I personally would care for video. But camera makers seem to care about it all day long. ;-)
Yes, there are still a few challenges to be met and problems to be solved. But really nothing too difficult. AF-speed ... solely dependent on processing power and smart algorithms ... the latter can be implemented via firmware upgrade. Battery charge ... with clever design 500+ shots would be possible today in a still very compact body size with ergonomic grip and more battery charge, as better battery tech gets available. Still better EVFs ... no problem, they are coming fast and almost for free as a byproduct of ever improving smartphone technology.
So all that's needed is Canon (and Nikon) moving ahead rather than holding back. I do not want to buy another old-tech, soon obsolete mechanical beast. I want my solid state camera, and I want it soon. :-)