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Messages - ahsanford

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16
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 20, 2014, 03:09:11 PM »
Alternative theory: Mirrorless will evolve into something that looks very different from today's cameras. All cameras today are based on the idea that the photographer holds it close to his face with the viewfinder to his eye. Even cameras without viewfinders are based on that model, which is why they are so clunky to use. They ask you to take a design that was meant to be held close to the face to keep steady and then hold it away from your face, making it hard to compose, hold it steady and operate the controls.

Ergonomically, a smart phone is actually better to use than a camera without a viewfinder. It's small, light, fits naturally in one hand and is a lot easier to balance. Plus, you can hold it in one hand and use a finger to touch the focus point without shaking it.

I'm thinking that an innovative camera designer ought to be look at how people hold and use their smart phones and start designing cameras to take advantage of the smart phone model. Of course, I'm guessing that for the near future, that would pretty much preclude the idea of large sensors and large or long lenses.

Now you're thinking.  We're wrestling with an awkward porthole to frame shots through when stepping back from the camera to frame up is certainly preferable.  Right now on a smartphone or tablet, this is great for framing but not for holding / adjusting / taking the shot.  The ergonomics need to evolve there.

- A

17
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 20, 2014, 03:06:41 PM »
LOL, that seems to negate the biggest advantages of mirrorless!...

I had somewhat the same reaction. What's the point? Once you put a viewfinder on a mirrorless (and I wouldn't want one without a viewfinder) they start looking a whole lot like a DSLR.

To answer the question: It might be the future, if...electronic viewfinders can improve to the point where they are actually better than optical viewfinders. But they have to be better, not just equal or comparable.

I think that when and if mirrorless cameras replace DSLRs, they are likely to look very much like DSLRs because the basic form factor (a box with a viewfinder to look directly through to see the subject) has evolved into the easiest to use format for cameras available. Stepping backwards to the old view camera model where the photographer looks at a screen on the back of the camera may be fine for subjects that don't move much, but just isn't very convenient for accurate and quick composing of photographs.

My guess is that the transition will be gradual and if I were placing bets, I'd bet we are at least two to three generations away from a 5D Mirrorless.

Current mirrorless EVFs have some advantages over an OVF:

  • If your eyes can process all this input, your eyeball is effectively seeing LiveView, so you are getting a true read of the shot, true DOF, a live histo, etc.
  • An EVF can amplify low light, right?  OVFs can't do that.

But the current tech has limitations -- LiveView all the time is a huge battery drain, there is some lag (i.e. 'we don't shoot many stills of moving things with LiveView'), resolution is still fairly limited compared to the fidelity your native eye can process through an OVF, etc.

A future EVF could be something special, though:

  • Modularity could lead to EVF standard mounts and interchangeability with other systems -- more options for comfort or control.
  • Electronic can be made modular (many EVFs are modular) and therefore removable.  You could imagine a cord like an off-camera flash being used to have camera in place X and your eyeball and shutter release in place Y.
  • No reason why you couldn't have a massive or tiny EVF based on the screen size, so you could pick that as well.
  • A wireless off-camera EVF (without lag!) would also be terrific.
  • Imagine control of the camera through that EVF.  In a multiple camera shoot, you could pipe different cameras' view into one EVF for the best shot and tweak things all from one vantage point.
  • We could go on and on here...

- A

18
Pricewatch Deals / 70D refurbs now available *and* on sale
« on: August 20, 2014, 12:16:52 PM »

19
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:55:25 AM »

Saw this picture today in a story at The Phoblographer:
http://www.thephoblographer.com/2014/08/20/review-sony-vgc1em-digital-camera-battery-grip-sony-a7a7ra7s/

And I think it's a stimulating photo to windup this discussion.  Do you believe this is the future, or do you believe this is mirrorless trying to be / to do too much? 

- A

20
If new 14-24 rivals IQ 35mm art and 50mm art, it would be sweeeeet lens!
But what do you guys think, is it possible to make 14mm wide lens without that bulbous front element?
I want to use my Lee filters, and I was going to buy EF16-35 F4. If this new Sigma can take filters, it makes me think again..

I would guess the jump from 16mm down to 14mm moves you from the Lee 100 setup to something silly like the enormous Wonderpana setup.

If a new 14-24 was front-filtered, it would not want to guess how freakin large that filter diameter would be.  They would likely need to make it like a built-in step-up ring just so people can use square filters without vignetting, but I'm not sure the standard Lee setup could still work then:  their wide angle rings only go up to 82mm.

Can't wait to see, though.  This FOV / filtering problem intrigues me.  It's one of the few areas of the market where the accessory actually bosses the lens design instead of the other way around.

- A

21
EOS Bodies / Re: B & H is already selling 7D Mark II Accessories
« on: August 19, 2014, 02:35:23 PM »
Amazing what a phone call can do.

I actually called B&H. My operator immediately said it was a typo and he would notify the website folks to get it fixed.  He said that it was for the 5D line of cameras. Note that both the Varavon and B&H part numbers on that page have ā€™5Dā€™ at the end.

Mystery solved, I think. 

- A

22
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 19, 2014, 02:12:00 PM »
I honestly think mirrorless is a fad, or at least not a wise investment for Canon.

People really who want the smallest size won't want/care about interchangeable lenses, and people wanting the top quality won't want all the limitations of a mirrorless system.  Thus mirrorless stuck in some jack of all trades but master of none middle ground, perhaps useful for some niche of enthusiasts but not something that would sell to most individuals, be it for hobby or profession.  You could argue that the Sony A7 is the pinnacle of what everyone has been asking for in mirrorless, and it is very clear in the USA at least its sales are terrible compared to Canon and Nikon's offerings.

And I still see Sony's A7 as a technology project, a work in progress, etc.

Consider:

  • Sony lacks many native lenses for that mount.
  • They lack Canon and Nikon's massive user base.
  • The tech is still being worked out -- it has a very low burst rate, the AF is not amazing, etc.
  • The ergonomics and controls are functional, but certainly not loved.

Now compare that list to the 70D, 5D3 or 1DX.  Those are high-performing, modern products that have been completely thought through over numerous generations and were injected into a massive user base for evaluation and improvement.  So I cannot compare mirrorless to DSLRs, at least not yet.  It's like comparing a polished professional with 15 of years experience against an unbelievably hard working kid that just graduated from college.  Apples and oranges.

So a beast of a sensor in a tiny package is not the "pinnacle of what everyone has been asking for in mirrorless", it's just a beast of a sensor in a tiny package.  I have not used the camera, but from reviews I've read, Sony needs to learn the demands of busy working photographers and put the knobs and switches where they ought to go, streamline the menu setup, offer more native mount lenses, and put their heads down on the AF and burst performance.

Now, when Sony has 5-10 years experience of developing these and improving them, I'd look out.  They will be much better.

- A

23
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 19, 2014, 01:57:07 PM »
I honestly think mirrorless is a fad, or at least not a wise investment for Canon.

People really who want the smallest size won't want/care about interchangeable lenses, and people wanting the top quality won't want all the limitations of a mirrorless system.  Thus mirrorless stuck in some jack of all trades but master of none middle ground, perhaps useful for some niche of enthusiasts but not something that would sell to most individuals, be it for hobby or profession.  You could argue that the Sony A7 is the pinnacle of what everyone has been asking for in mirrorless, and it is very clear in the USA at least its sales are terrible compared to Canon and Nikon's offerings.

I used to feel that way -- that it was all about size -- but I really have come around that mirrorless will be our inevitable future and obsolete all but the highest end of DSLRs someday.  That might be 10+ years from now due to the time needed to develop things as robust and responsive as a modern DSLR, but I think it will happen.  Here's why:

  • They are smaller and lighter.  That's a good thing for most shooters, but not all of them.
  • No mirror = no mirror slap.
  • EVF have all sorts of powerful options to provide large, bright and magnified viewfinder options.
  • Mirrorless makes the divide bewtween still and video a blurry and cooperative one.  As every photographer will inevitably become a photographer/videographer before too long (I kid), mirrorless is better positioned to support that.  Mirrorless can do all sorts of nutty things like capture video all around the time of taking a still, pull the best still from a video in post, etc.  Right now, these features (yeah, like on your iPhone) are parlor tricks for photography neophytes, but in time, enthusiasts and pros will find spectacular ways to leverage this functionality to do things DSLRs cannot.
  • Once the AF, EVF and shutter tech evolves sufficiently, Mirrorless is presumably far cheaper for manufacturers to make.

And all of this is coming from a guy who loves DSLRs and clings to his optical viewfinder at night.  Rest assured that if mirrorless obsoletes anything, it will be to our benefit and not our disadvantage -- or we won't buy them.  A high bar of happiness, control and flexibility has been set with DSLRs.  Now mirrorless has to clear that bar.  Their work is cut out for them, but I am geeked to see what we can do with our cameras when they finally pull it off.

- A

24
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: D810 users are seeing spots
« on: August 19, 2014, 01:42:06 PM »
I would never buy a new camera model as soon as it comes out.

With todays manufacturing ethic, it is just two risky.

Same as with the new 7D.  I rather other people be the first to buy/find manufacturing and design errors.

It is kinda like walking through a mine field -- I prefer waiting for the other people to go first.  LoL

Yeah, but Canon has a pretty good track record of making field announcements and repairing affected units free of charge.

With lenses, I wait for consensus in reviews and play the price waiting game.  Their lifecycles are much, much longer. 

But the shorter the product lifecycle, the earlier you have to get in.  So with bodies, I treat it like a new Apple cell phone or laptop offering.  I obviously don't buy everything, but when I do make a purchase, I do in on the very first day to maximize the time before the gear is obsoleted or outclassed by something clearly better (not necessarily the next revision, but the game changer new product that forces my hand to upgrade).  This is less a matter of 'the pride of owning the coolest new stuff' and more a matter of maximizing the time I can use the item and still have complete support from the manufacturer.

- A

25
EOS Bodies / Re: B & H is already selling 7D Mark II Accessories
« on: August 19, 2014, 12:14:25 PM »
Just for fun, I zoomed in on the grayed out silhouette of a camera on that page and monkeyed with the levels.  See attached.  Unless you are buying the [1DX-build + no Wifi/GPS] rumor with the 7D2, which might imply no pop-up flash, that looks like a 5D2 body to me.

Also, I went to Varavon's website.  This product is nowhere on it.   Leaking an accessory too soon at B&H is one thing, but surely whatever B&H posts would be public on the manufacturer's website, wouldn't it?   I would think the order of tightness of leaks to be:

  • Tightest:  Canon
  • 2nd Tightest:  People who want to get Canon gear first and not piss them off (B&H, Adorama, Amazon, etc.)
  • 3rd Tightest:  Accessory makers
  • Worst:  People like us.  ;D

So I'm a little shocked this is on B&H but not at Varavon's website.  Did someone at B&H jump the gun on this?

- A

26
EOS Bodies / Re: B & H is already selling 7D Mark II Accessories
« on: August 19, 2014, 11:57:15 AM »
Do you think that this product confirms the name of the camera?  There was discussion regarding if the 7D name would change.

It's not a confirmation -- it's a guess.  These guys (I presume) are like a cell phone case manufacturer: they don't work with Canon, they just swarm in right after launch and race something out.  In this case, I think they're guessing the name and they're hoping it's not a wildly different form factor or tripod mount hole location and praying the product they've made will work with the 7D2.

But in reality, it's not even a reveal.  The only way the 7D2 isn't the name is if:

  • The sensor turns out to not be APS-C, which the 7D brand is the flagship of.
  • Canon is planning on releasing more than one flagship-level 7D camera, so a bifurcation of the brand name, a la Sony's A7 / A7R / A7S might make sense.
  • The Mark I, Mark II style naming doesn't resonate with customers and Canon wants unique names for each of its bodies.
  • The 7D was not successful, and therefore, not a great name to build off of with a new model.

As all of the above are either wildly improbable (the first two) or patently false (the last two), I'd say with 95% probability that the new camera will be called the 7D2. 

There is a small small small chance that Canon wants to shake up the names of its brands a la Sony switching from NEX to Alpha.  But that's a move for companies who aren't leading the market.  I just don't see Canon throwing a monkey-wrench like that into our heads unless they planned on dropping/merging entire product lines.

- A

27
EOS Bodies / Re: B & H is already selling 7D Mark II Accessories
« on: August 19, 2014, 11:38:01 AM »

They could just be hedging that the 7D2 will still fit with their gear.  There is probably a good financial opportunity to get picked over a similar product that just says 7D in the accessory buying frenzy that surrounds pre-ordering a new body.

Now, they may have to change their product title at B&H the second the 7D2 is released (if something will no longer fit), but you could understand why they might gamble in this manner.

- A

28
Third Party Manufacturers / Nikon D810 Product Advisory
« on: August 19, 2014, 11:13:31 AM »
FYI on Nikon's latest postmarket findings:
http://www.thephoblographer.com/2014/08/19/nikon-europe-issues-product-advisory-d810/

I'm on the fence with this one.  Dust with the D600 100% should have been caught in evaluation period before launch.  But finding an issue that only shows up in crop mode + long exposures might be more of the weird lightning bolt of an issue you don't find until you release it to the masses.

- A

29
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 18, 2014, 10:11:04 PM »
there is nothing chaotic in the mirrorless market. Definitely less so than in the artificially crippled, "marketing-differentiated" world of DSLRs. Batteries, Battery grips, external WFT-Wifi bricks ... all of them totally incompatible even within one manufacturers line of cameras! Canon offering 5 different APS-C mirror-slappers in parallel - 1200D, 100D, 700D, 70D, 7D/7D II at the same time .. Nikon running 3 different APS-C DSLRs, all with the same sensor in parallel and moving towards 5 different FF DSLRs in parallel-  D610, D810, Df, D4s + one new rumored. And to make the mess even worse ... all of these grandfather-DSLRs "video-optimized", although mirrorless cams will always win the video game. Naturally. No mirror to be flapped out of lights' way all the time! :-)

Now where's the primordial ooze? The mess. The clunkiness. The mirror-slappin. Fat, greasy, old and heavy 19-century mechanical tech stuff?  Looks rather like Jurassic Park to me. Soon to go extinct. :P

You speak as though a side needs to be taken, and that would imply you've missed my point.  I'm not name-calling and pissing on mirrorless -- far from it.  What I am saying is that it is a market in a very early stage and tiers/price points/styles of shooters are still being worked out.

DSLRs -- and thanks for bringing that up -- have violently clear feature sets that differentiate starter to upgrade to premium to pro to flagship.  Are there too many price points?  Yeah, probably.  But do you know exactly why each higher line of camera commands a higher price? You betcha.  That lets shooters size up who they are and what features they need.  Easy peasy.  It's not better and it's not worse than mirrorless. It's just a more mature market where consumers know where they stand and can opt in as best suits their budget, shooting style, and needs.  (Hint: Canon and Nikon both play this arena really, really well, and they print money here as a result.)

Mirrorless, on the other hand, is still figuring out what people are willing to pay for and what matters most.  It's not just sensor size (see my prior comments on point and shoot FF rigs and feature laden / pro-build m43 rigs).  And until that is figured out, Canon and Nikon coming in strong wouldn't be driving the market, they would be stabbing at it in the dark, and that's not either company's style. 

Canon and Nikon seem to be content to have a basic offering to appease their enthusiasts (there are strong EOS-M devotees on this very forum, even though they admit it has flaws) while the market sorts itself out.  When it becomes clear what everyone wants, both will make a hard call on sticking with their mount/sensor combo and producing a ton of new lenses for it [Cough: Canon], or scrapping it for a new one that is more built for the future [Cough: Nikon].

In a sense, Canon and Nikon are waiting this market out before they are so committed to a mount/sensor combo that they have to ride it out in a poor competitive position.  That's pretty wise in my book.

- A

30
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 18, 2014, 06:15:24 PM »
  • 1" ... Nikon 1 ... bound to die. Sensor too small. Only one player without much of clue. Dead end, stay away. 
    mFT - many players. also a dead end. Sensor too small relative to camera and lens size. Glass does not scale proportionately. Will be around for some years to come though. Enjoy it, while it lasts. Market leaders: Oly, Panasonic
    APS-C ... very reasonable budget alternative. One stop less photographic opportuniities at significantly lower cost than FF. As in DSLRs. Will survive for many years to come. Clear market leader: Sony/E-Mount.
    FF - 135 format. 36-24. Gettinmg more affordable by the day. ANd really small. Inclduing nice pancakes that don't cost an arm and a leg. Clear market leader and innovator: Sony.

Thank you -- you actually are making my point for me.  IQ isn't everything in this market.  In mirrorless, the needs are so wide and varied that the size of the sensor very well may not be the best way to 'tier' the market!  A huge sensor typically means bigger lenses, and the folks in this market don't always welcome that.  Size, features, and useability and IQ seem to be judged hand in hand in this market.

Food for thought:  We're seeing some pros drop 'two sensor sizes down' and opt for the m43 rigs, while Sony is offering (effectively) a point and shoot FF rig with a fixed lens?!  Up is down!  Dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria!

Sprinkle in the availability of grips, hybrid VFs and weathersealed options and you see what I'm getting at -- each sensor size is trying to say "Yes we can" to as much as possible, and the definitive 'best' / market leader has not yet surfaced.  All we know is that Sony has great FF sensors, Fuji has very good sensors and the ergonomics/soul of an older film camera, and that people really love their m43 rigs for some reason.  None are a train wreck, none are categorical winners, and all are still innovating.

Again, I'm not arguing for Canon/Nikon to avoid this market, but it makes some sense that they let this chaotic primordial ooze of a market evolve further before trying to conquer it.

- A

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