October 23, 2014, 11:40:29 AM

Author Topic: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]  (Read 8892 times)

rs

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 670
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2013, 02:51:43 PM »
Again, I urge you not to think of this as an engineering problem, that's the wrong approach; pricing is a business problem, not an engineering problem.

Even if all the video crap in DSLSr would really be "for free" (which it is not) I still would like to have a choice. And no, I am not interested in agrossly overpriced, useless UI retro Nikon DSLR (Df) but much more so in a a 5D IVs ... "video-free" in a Sony A7 sized body. :-)
I'm trying to think of anything that goes into making a good video DSLR that makes it either more expensive or inferior as a stills camera compared to a stills only model.

From a hardware point of view, things are different. It's bought us sensors which can run for longer before they overheat; this is good for long exposures too. It's come hand in hand with live view; this is great for landscape and macro. It's bought us live view AF and flip out screens; ok, not much use for me in stills, but grabbing overhead shots are now more likely to work out. It's bought some manufacturers (and Canon with ML) peaking; great again for landscape and macro. And it's also bought us in some cases (5D3, but not 6D, 1D X or 70D) sensors which offer perfect down sampling to video resolutions; for photography, the 5D3's sensor is a big step up over the 5D2, even if some people are jealous of the D800's resolution or it's DR. It's bought us STM lenses; no match for USM, but a step up over the buzzy micro motors. A hybrid EVF could assist with photography if manual focusing, and for checking exposure/DR.

Software costs money to develop. But once developed, it's essentially free to manufacture. So while including video increases the development costs of the software, the additional sales it generates potentially lowers the cost of the camera.

Additional video tax is avoided by crippling the video recording time to under 30 minutes.

So are photographers really held back by video enabled DSLR's?

edit: It's also helping drive forward the data throughput of sensors, camera processing and storage; all of this development done partly by Canon and partly by other companies (ARM, SanDisk etc) gives more headroom for the MP/FPS compromise on top end stills cameras.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 02:59:23 PM by rs »
5D II | 24-70 II | 70-200 II | 100L | 40 | Sigma 50/1.4 | 40D | 10-22 | 17-55 | 580 EX II | 1.4x TC II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2013, 02:51:43 PM »

jrista

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4468
  • EOL
    • View Profile
    • Nature Photography
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2013, 04:07:52 PM »
I have been unwantingly using "video-enabled" cameras for more than 10 years now. I had to pay for those video features that was forced upon me with no option to leave it out.

For the benefit of any new readers, this myth has been debunked in several other threads.

And we now have empirical evidence against the myth: the Nikon Df costs around $1000 more than the comparable D610, a video-enabled DSLR.

So video enthusiasts, please subsidize my next DSLR!

The extra cost of the Df is probably 90% artificial, simply tacked on because of the cameras "prestige" as a retro-styled, completely manual device. From an actual cost standpoint, I would be surprised if the Df actually cost more to make than the D610.

Why do you dismiss the importance of this?  There is strong demand, but from a very small market.  As Father Guido Sarducci taught us decades ago, it all boils down to "supply and demand."  Add to this the cost of distributing marginal R&D across the total sales volume, and you can't help but have a higher-priced device.

Again, I urge you not to think of this as an engineering problem, that's the wrong approach; pricing is a business problem, not an engineering problem.

And yet one more thing: imagine the support costs for any manufacturer when the flood of calls come in from n00bs who inadvertently bought the cheaper, stills-only model, and are wondering where the !@#$% the video button is.  A niche camera must be higher-priced to keep the n00bs from buying it.  As an example, why is the D800E more expensive than the D800?  This is not generated by engineering; if it were, the D800E would be cheaper.  It's driven by business/marketing/support decisions.

BTW, I do 99% stills, and often forget I have video on my body.  I really should play with video more.

I agree with you on the bit about using price to filter out noobs. But that wasn't really the point I was trying to make.

I'd also offer that the only reason noobs expect a video button and would complain if it was missing is because someone, somewhere along the line, thought it would be a good idea to put one there. Personally, I think it would have been better if cameras just stayed cameras, and camcorders or cinema cams stayed what they were. Sometimes segregation is a useful tool.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make has nothing to do with price (hence the reason I brought up the notion that the Df really can't fundamentally cost more than the D610). My point is that there IS a technical side of things here. Time, effort, money are being invested in figuring out ways to blend video and still photography technology. Canon was the pioneer, they were very successful with the 5D II, then they decided to make Cinema EOS. I thought Cinema EOS was a GREAT idea, and I had hoped it would reduce the amount of effort they put into developing video technology (i.e. DPAF) for still photography cameras.

I think DPAF has longer-term viability for mirrorless, so I don't have anything against that technology per-se, but it's initial release was most definitely video driven. Sadly, I think we could have had a higher resolution sensor with more DR instead of DPAF, and stills photographers who use DSLRs would have been immensely happy about that...but, instead, we got DPAF. It doesn't really do the vast majority of DSLR photographers any good, so, here we are, waiting ANOTHER CYCLE, for something to really, solidly improve on the still photography side of things with Canon.

That's my point. I really could have used a 7D II this year. Instead, the 7D Next (or whatever it is going to be called) replacement has been pushed. The reason? Oh, well, it sounds like it's going to get a crapload of VIDEO features, instead of a crapload of stills features. Is that going to be useful to me? Is that going to be worth the $2000+ that I have to pay, in order to subsidize features for a smaller group of users who actually want an APS-C sized frame for video purposes (and I'd offer that group is REALLY SMALL...in my experience video users really prefer the FF format as it is more cinematic, with thinner DOF/better boke for any given focal length and the like), and get...maybe +2fps

There is a technical side here, one which I don't think can be ignored. There isn't anything I can do about it, I know that. I can't help but think, though, that it is dragging out still photography improvements out an extra generation, two, farther and farther out into the future where...good grief, I might as well just bite the bullet and buy a Sony device for christ sake, and get an A7r with EF adapter (as much as I loath Sony electronics...cheap junk, has been since the 90's.) Thing is, every report indicates that A7r AF is very lackluster with EF lenses, overall support is just ok, etc. Not exactly what I'm looking for...

jrista

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4468
  • EOL
    • View Profile
    • Nature Photography
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2013, 04:22:47 PM »
Again, I urge you not to think of this as an engineering problem, that's the wrong approach; pricing is a business problem, not an engineering problem.

Even if all the video crap in DSLSr would really be "for free" (which it is not) I still would like to have a choice. And no, I am not interested in agrossly overpriced, useless UI retro Nikon DSLR (Df) but much more so in a a 5D IVs ... "video-free" in a Sony A7 sized body. :-)
I'm trying to think of anything that goes into making a good video DSLR that makes it either more expensive or inferior as a stills camera compared to a stills only model.

From a hardware point of view, things are different. It's bought us sensors which can run for longer before they overheat; this is good for long exposures too. It's come hand in hand with live view; this is great for landscape and macro. It's bought us live view AF and flip out screens; ok, not much use for me in stills, but grabbing overhead shots are now more likely to work out. It's bought some manufacturers (and Canon with ML) peaking; great again for landscape and macro. And it's also bought us in some cases (5D3, but not 6D, 1D X or 70D) sensors which offer perfect down sampling to video resolutions; for photography, the 5D3's sensor is a big step up over the 5D2, even if some people are jealous of the D800's resolution or it's DR. It's bought us STM lenses; no match for USM, but a step up over the buzzy micro motors. A hybrid EVF could assist with photography if manual focusing, and for checking exposure/DR.

Can sensors run longer before they overheat? In my experience, that doesn't seem to be the case, at least when doing stills photography. When using live view, particularly in the very cold winter weather we have here, the camera still shuts it off when the sensor starts to heat up. That can be as short as 10 minutes at times, which is absolutely no better than my now very old 450D. Focus peaking isn't explicitly a video feature, and I don't know that it was video that brought it to the table...I think it was more simply that EVF's offered the opportunity to do it easily, so they did. Flip out screen reduce sealability against weather and dust, which is a drawback for professional still camera gear...personally, I refuse to buy any DSLR or mirrorless that has an articulating screen, simply not worth it given the environments I frequently shoot in. The logic to bin pixels for video downsampling is unnecessary for RAW photography, and is one of the key areas where I think integrating video and still camera technology is costing still photographers.


Software costs money to develop. But once developed, it's essentially free to manufacture. So while including video increases the development costs of the software, the additional sales it generates potentially lowers the cost of the camera.

The stills firmware features for Canon cameras are highly refined. They needed an update for the 61pt AF system, but beyond that, any cost invested in developing video firmware features is one of the primary factors where time, effort, and money are drained from advancing still photography features. That R&D cost still exists, and still must be recouped, so still photographers are paying for features they don't need. This right here is one of the key factors that frustrates me about blended video+stills cameras...there IS an extra cost, even if it doesn't require a per-camera cost, the R&D was spent, they were spent on features that most photographers seldom use, and the R&D costs are recouped via each camera sale...so we, stills photographers, are paying for features we have little or no use for, while concurrently NOT getting features or technological improvements we could indeed use or benefit from.

edit: It's also helping drive forward the data throughput of sensors, camera processing and storage; all of this development done partly by Canon and partly by other companies (ARM, SanDisk etc) gives more headroom for the MP/FPS compromise on top end stills cameras.

The data throughput from a video sensor does not need to be as high as with a stills camera. Video needs far more limited resolution, and the best video quality is attained by binning on the sensor at the pixel level. That technology is absolutely useless for a still photographer, who expects every single pixel to provide the highest level of quality. It takes a lot less time to read out video that has been binned to 2x sampling or 4:2:2 on the sensor, than to read out each and every one of those pixels. Only if/when RAW video readout is added will video truly start to push the data throughput envelope. So, on the contrary, it is the endless march towards higher resolution native RAW image readout at ever higher framerates that is driving data throughput, image processing, and storage. The 1D X needed dual DIGIC5+ because to read out 19.1mp full sensor frames (including the masked pixels) at 14fps, you needed 500mb/s total throughput. Video, binned right off the sensor, needs about a quarter that amount of throughput.

dgatwood

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 756
  • 300D, 400D, 6D
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2013, 05:00:01 PM »
I'd also offer that the only reason noobs expect a video button and would complain if it was missing is because someone, somewhere along the line, thought it would be a good idea to put one there. Personally, I think it would have been better if cameras just stayed cameras, and camcorders or cinema cams stayed what they were. Sometimes segregation is a useful tool.

Only if by "put one there" you mean "put one in their cell phone".  Most people generally assume that a high-end camera should be able to do anything that a cheap cell phone camera can do, and if that assumption is broken, those people get unhappy.  :)  And, of course, there are really good reasons for cell phones to be able to handle video—video chat, for example—so supporting video in cell phone cameras was pretty much inevitable, which made video modes on DSLRs equally inevitable.


And it's also bought us in some cases (5D3, but not 6D, 1D X or 70D) sensors which offer perfect down sampling to video resolutions ...

That really isn't much of a benefit, BTW.  IIRC, it does make some algorithms slightly simpler, but only slightly.  And it often results in incorrect assumptions that lead to big mistakes, such as using line-skipping algorithms, which inherently cause fascinating moiré effects and thus are not generally considered to be acceptable methods of downsampling except for draft-quality rendering purposes.

The data throughput from a video sensor does not need to be as high as with a stills camera. Video needs far more limited resolution, and the best video quality is attained by binning on the sensor at the pixel level. That technology is absolutely useless for a still photographer, who expects every single pixel to provide the highest level of quality.

Except that you're likely to be using the same hardware-binned readout for live view mode or for the EVF in a mirrorless camera up until the moment that you actually take the shot, so it really isn't correct to say that it is useless for a still photographer unless you also consider both live view mode and mirrorless cameras to also be useless.  :)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 05:02:12 PM by dgatwood »

Orangutan

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 745
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2013, 05:35:39 PM »
That R&D cost still exists, and still must be recouped, so still photographers are paying for features they don't need.  This right here is one of the key factors that frustrates me about blended video+stills cameras...there IS an extra cost, even if it doesn't require a per-camera cost, the R&D was spent, they were spent on features that most photographers seldom use

First, I think you overestimate the amount of engineering necessary to integrate video into stills.  This was being done with P&S cameras as early as 1996 when film was still dominant, and was very common in P&S cameras well before it came to DSLR's.  Sure, there's got to be some extra cost, but not very much.

Second, this is why I said above it's best not to think of it as an engineering issue.  If you consider video to be a universally-demanded aesthetic feature it all makes more sense.  Sales would be lost without it these days, so the R&D must be done; I just hope to spread the cost thinly across a large market, and accept as much crossover as we can get from it.

And as regards the belief that Canon could devote their attentions to other stills-specific features (resolution, DR) were there no need to waste it on video R&D, I'll repeat what I've said several times in previous threads.  There's no reason to believe Canon doesn't already have this tech, but have chosen not to put it into products.  As long as the current products/features/capabilities sell well, there's no reason for Canon to build new fab plants and spend a lot of money continuing development to the point of sales-readiness.  I'd be willing to bet at least 37cents that when the market demands higher DR (through lost sales to other brands), Canon will have a comparable product on the market inside a year.

Of course, this would all be moot if the major governmental regulatory bodies would tell the camera industry to come up with universal mounts for APS-C, FF and MF (analogous to micro 4/3).  When consumers can freely interchange bodies and lenses from different vendors, we'll have market pressure to push advances very quickly.

Finally, to get us back on the topic of this thread, a hybrid EVF/OVF is exactly what's needed to ease the transition away from OVF.  EVF will eventually supplant OVF, except in retro designs, it's just a matter of time.  Until then, a hybrid would be an excellent way to use the strengths of each.

zim

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 741
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2013, 06:03:59 PM »
Only if by "put one there" you mean "put one in their cell phone".  Most people generally assume that a high-end camera should be able to do anything that a cheap cell phone camera can do, and if that assumption is broken, those people get unhappy.  :)  And, of course, there are really good reasons for cell phones to be able to handle video—video chat, for example—so supporting video in cell phone cameras was pretty much inevitable, which made video modes on DSLRs equally inevitable

I would have thought that 'most people' would buy a high end DSLR exactly because it doesn't do what a smartphone does.

jrista

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4468
  • EOL
    • View Profile
    • Nature Photography
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2013, 06:40:09 PM »
That R&D cost still exists, and still must be recouped, so still photographers are paying for features they don't need.  This right here is one of the key factors that frustrates me about blended video+stills cameras...there IS an extra cost, even if it doesn't require a per-camera cost, the R&D was spent, they were spent on features that most photographers seldom use

First, I think you overestimate the amount of engineering necessary to integrate video into stills.  This was being done with P&S cameras as early as 1996 when film was still dominant, and was very common in P&S cameras well before it came to DSLR's.  Sure, there's got to be some extra cost, but not very much.

Second, this is why I said above it's best not to think of it as an engineering issue.  If you consider video to be a universally-demanded aesthetic feature it all makes more sense.  Sales would be lost without it these days, so the R&D must be done; I just hope to spread the cost thinly across a large market, and accept as much crossover as we can get from it.

It's an interesting perspective. Canon did bring definite stills improvements with the 1D X and 5D III, don't get me wrong. It's just that the 7D replacement was due a while ago, and a 1Ds III replacement is long overdue as well...and the vast majority of advancements we hear about from Canon are on the video front. It just makes me wonder. Will the 7D II be some video beast, or will it actually bring a better AF system (instead of reusing the decidedly jittery 19pt one), will it improve dynamic range (which, I would offer, a LOT of photographers REALLY DO WANT!), and will it increase resolution to a meaningful level FOR STILLS photographers (or, will it instead, be an exceptionally modest increase because that better benefits video sampling?)

The business case is interesting, but it FEELS like Canon is focusing a hell of a lot more on video, and still photographer features are languishing, a lot.

And as regards the belief that Canon could devote their attentions to other stills-specific features (resolution, DR) were there no need to waste it on video R&D, I'll repeat what I've said several times in previous threads.  There's no reason to believe Canon doesn't already have this tech, but have chosen not to put it into products.  As long as the current products/features/capabilities sell well, there's no reason for Canon to build new fab plants and spend a lot of money continuing development to the point of sales-readiness.  I'd be willing to bet at least 37cents that when the market demands higher DR (through lost sales to other brands), Canon will have a comparable product on the market inside a year.

LOL, 37 cents. :D

I think the sentiment for more dynamic range already exists. It certainly seems to exist both here on CR and on DPR, and the statistics published by DXO certainly raise a lot of hairs around photography forums. People are asking a lot of questions, a lot of people ARE starting to at the very least add other brands to their kits, and things like the A7r have certainly created a stir in Canon circles. Canon hasn't responded yet, in fact they have remained particularly quiet about the DR issue...I don't think there has been one mention of dynamic range, even though Canon has mentioned they are working on improving IQ.

Of course, this would all be moot if the major governmental regulatory bodies would tell the camera industry to come up with universal mounts for APS-C, FF and MF (analogous to micro 4/3).  When consumers can freely interchange bodies and lenses from different vendors, we'll have market pressure to push advances very quickly.

Oh, I certainly hope that does NOT happen. There is too much government regulation these days, and history has demonstrated that when governments begin to regulate beyond the bare necessities (i.e. maintain safety, ensure financial security, address environmental concerns), they DIMINISH the capacity of companies to innovate (which is the ultimate result of competition). Every federal standard from the US government has been a monstrosity of epic proportions, unabashedly complex, difficult to deal with, difficult to comply with, usually requiring years more effort on major projects and significant increases in cost (I've had to deal with a number of overbearing US regulations as a software engineer, things like HIPPA, and on more occasions than not, those regulations resulted in the abandonment of major initiatives in favor of patching existing systems. I won't lay all the blame on governments, other standards can be overbearing as well...EDI was always a PITA to deal with as well.)

If an international standard for camera mounts was introduced, it would limit the ability of individual manufacturers from developing improvements or changes to their mount as necessary to support continued innovation. The EF mount, while it still uses the same bayonet attachment as it did in the 80's, has had a number of electronic improvements over the years to support better lenses, better and faster AF systems, increased power supply from body to lens, etc. Such changes would take significantly longer to not only design, but get approved, get through draft phases and eventually finalized, such that they could be employed. The chances of other companies explicitly meddling with one successful companies ability to innovate increase as well. I think governments regulating or taxing the maximum length of time video can be recorded is ludicrous. It serves for no other purpose than as an additional revenue stream, and in every other way limits the ability of companies to innovate and compete. Sometimes even the environmental concerns get in the way...the requirement in Japan that forced Canon to design a new battery for the 5D III...their prior batteries were pretty environmentally safe, especially when people disposed of them correctly (which on average, at least here in the states, people generally take care of their battery disposal pretty well). (Not to mention the fact that an official Canon battery seems to last forever...I've drained and recharged my 7D batteries so many times I'm wondering why they still work...)

I truly hope that governments stay the hell out of camera mounts. I think their intrusion via regulation would only stifle innovation and limit progress. It would do nothing to improve the situation for individuals who have years (or even decades) of investment into brand-specific lenses, and in fact could leave them with a large collection of glass that is no longer usable on future cameras from their preferred brand if, due to the standards body, the registration distance doesn't support an adapter without affecting infinity focus.

I think competition is best served by letting companies compete, not by regulating the crap out of all the minutia of their business.

/soapbox ;)

Finally, to get us back on the topic of this thread, a hybrid EVF/OVF is exactly what's needed to ease the transition away from OVF.  EVF will eventually supplant OVF, except in retro designs, it's just a matter of time.  Until then, a hybrid would be an excellent way to use the strengths of each.

I agree, a hybrid O/EVF is a good stepping stone. Personally, I'd prefer that a hybrid is where the buck stops...I don't ever want to lose my optical viewfinder, even despite some of the benefits of an EVF. So long as I can switch between the two at will...forever, I'd be a pretty happy guy.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2013, 06:40:09 PM »

Orangutan

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 745
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2013, 07:33:52 PM »
It's an interesting perspective. Canon did bring definite stills improvements with the 1D X and 5D III, don't get me wrong. It's just that the 7D replacement was due a while ago, and a 1Ds III replacement is long overdue as well...and the vast majority of advancements we hear about from Canon are on the video front. It just makes me wonder. Will the 7D II be some video beast, or will it actually bring a better AF system (instead of reusing the decidedly jittery 19pt one), will it improve dynamic range (which, I would offer, a LOT of photographers REALLY DO WANT!), and will it increase resolution to a meaningful level FOR STILLS photographers (or, will it instead, be an exceptionally modest increase because that better benefits video sampling?)

The business case is interesting, but it FEELS like Canon is focusing a hell of a lot more on video, and still photographer features are languishing, a lot.
The Nikon D400 is overdue, and the D800 has sold well, but not tremendously well.  This may suggest that Canon's market analysis has been sound.  I'm also looking at the 7D2 (or whatever it's called) as a possible purchase; however, Canon's sales have been good relative to the other brands so their marketing department may not give me the 7D2 I want.
Quote
I think the sentiment for more dynamic range already exists.
Yes, everyone wants more DR, but are they willing to change their purchasing decisions to get it?  At some point the answer will be yes, but so far it isn't.

Quote
Of course, this would all be moot if the major governmental regulatory bodies would tell the camera industry to come up with universal mounts for APS-C, FF and MF (analogous to micro 4/3).  When consumers can freely interchange bodies and lenses from different vendors, we'll have market pressure to push advances very quickly.

Oh, I certainly hope that does NOT happen.

Notice that I'm not saying governments should dictate the standard, just tell the companies to set one.  I don't see how setting a physical connection standard and an interface standard would impede innovation.

Quote
I agree, a hybrid O/EVF is a good stepping stone. Personally, I'd prefer that a hybrid is where the buck stops...I don't ever want to lose my optical viewfinder, even despite some of the benefits of an EVF. So long as I can switch between the two at will...forever, I'd be a pretty happy guy.

My pet hope is that the antiquated mirror assembly will be replaced by a trichroic prism so we can have triple-sensor modules.  That would eliminate the need for a Bayer filter and its problems (light loss, loss of spatial resolution)

jrista

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4468
  • EOL
    • View Profile
    • Nature Photography
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2013, 08:39:10 PM »
Quote
Of course, this would all be moot if the major governmental regulatory bodies would tell the camera industry to come up with universal mounts for APS-C, FF and MF (analogous to micro 4/3).  When consumers can freely interchange bodies and lenses from different vendors, we'll have market pressure to push advances very quickly.

Oh, I certainly hope that does NOT happen.

Notice that I'm not saying governments should dictate the standard, just tell the companies to set one.  I don't see how setting a physical connection standard and an interface standard would impede innovation.

Have you ever been involved in a standards body? I worked for a large educational company for about five years. I had to participate in a number of standards bodies on standards that rapidly grew well out of proportion for the original purpose they were intended to serve. Once standards (inevitably) grow that large, you end up with deadlock and lagging progress, since no one can agree on what features to include where, how they would interact, then you have extensibility which is the bane of every technical software standard...bleh.

Standards, which always require a standards body to describe, far more often than not result in stagnation, rather than innovation. There are a few times when standards bodies do well, but it is a relatively rare occurrence. The W3C is a great example of a standards body that causes standards to lag, and eventually forced the industry that depended upon their standards to simply change how they viewed and used them: Perpetually evolving recommendations, implement what you can, when you can, according to the standard, and ignore what is too convoluted or overbearing to deal with (could you imagine THAT for a camera mount standard?!?! :P)

And again, there is more than simply impeding innovation...if governments mandate that companies get together and build a standard mount, governments are forcing companies to break their own standards, many of which have established histories decades old, compatibility that stretches back 60 years or even farther. It would take years for any such new standard mount to become useful, during which time customers who have established collections of lenses for one mount or another (or even a few) are in limbo, stuck buying adapters that may only partially work, may not work well at all, or may incur some other penalty such as the loss of infinity focus.

Then, you have to deal with the inevitable case of modifying the standard to support improvements. Additional communications or power channels to support some innovation company X wants to apply. You have to go through the whole process again, spend all the time and effort bickering over minutia, all the while Company X is stalled on their attempts to provide value to their customers, and...YES...gain a competitive edge. By the time the standard finally reaches a ratified stage, quite possibly after years, is it still even a valuable improvement? Or, by that time, have they devised a newer and better way of achieving the same thing? Did they simply work around he problems of the existing mount? Did they semi-proprietize the mount for their own purposes, utilizing existing features in a non-standard (but nonetheless not disallowed by the standard) manner to achieve their goals? Bleh.

The benefit? That you can use lenses on different brands of cameras. That's pretty much it, although as it stands, for most mirrorless cameras, and on Canon DSLRs in particular, that ability already exists, and some fairly refined adapters for a number of popular and/or very old & established mounts exist (assuming someone actually really wants that ability...I'd offer that people are probably far more concerned about dynamic range than the ability to easily interchange lenses across camera brands.)

Whether it is governments defining the mount, or simply governments demanding that companies develop a standard mount, I think it is unnecessary, and MIGHT only result in some good things after a very long, drawn out, complicated process of standards discussion, debate, gridlock, and eventual production of something that could very well not be as effective or efficient as brand-specific mounts were before.

Well, I'm rather passionate about this subject. I've had experience with standards bodies, and not even one single experience was good. Standards bodies are just a 'nice' name for "inevitable gridlock" and "excessive complexity machine". I've seen the disaster that too much or improper government regulation can be (good example would be the energy crisis of California around 2000, and the expanding disaster that is Obamacare, and god, I could get into so many others...)

Quote
I agree, a hybrid O/EVF is a good stepping stone. Personally, I'd prefer that a hybrid is where the buck stops...I don't ever want to lose my optical viewfinder, even despite some of the benefits of an EVF. So long as I can switch between the two at will...forever, I'd be a pretty happy guy.

My pet hope is that the antiquated mirror assembly will be replaced by a trichroic prism so we can have triple-sensor modules.  That would eliminate the need for a Bayer filter and its problems (light loss, loss of spatial resolution)

Trichroic prisms and three monochrome sensors would be intriguing. I know that has been tried in the past with CCD sensors for video cameras. Did the technology fall out of grace for some reason? I think there may be more innovative ways of solving the light problem. Was it Panasonic that designed a microprism splitter to replace color filters? They gained a considerable amount of sensitivity that way, and increased resolution by a about 50% (instead of three pixel types, you only have two.)

I've also read about LCTF, or liquid crystal tunable filter, usually used in more advanced and inevitably manual endeavors, like high end color calibration or professional deep sky astrophotography. I've wondered whether the technology could be adapted to the nano scale, allowing full spectrum sensitivity at every pixel without the need for a prism. For any given exposure time, simply allot one third of it to each of the primary colors and do a read after each third's exposure (or, hell, you could even support more than three primaries, or alternative primaries, or shift the filter to infrared, whatever.) A prism is only going to give you about 1/3rd of the light for each independent sensor anyway, so I don't think there would be any different in light gathered per color channel, and you would still gain the benefit of capturing all wavelengths at every pixel...so you get your full resolution.

Even if we increase true sensitivity by a stop, that still wouldn't be enough for an EVF to be effective in true low light situations. During summer, I like to photograph the herons and other night birds at some of the local watering holes. With night adjusted vision, I can see pretty well to frame my subjects with the OVF. Live View is riddled with extensive noise over what is largely a black scene (ISO 3200 and fraction of a second shutter speeds.) Here is an example (I love this time of day...it's usually absolutely still, very dark, but still light enough to see a little by, VERY quiet, except for the occasional splash of a Black-crowned Night Heron nabbing a fish):


Night Heron at Night: Canon EOS 7D + EF 600mm f/4 L II  |  1/6s f/5.6 @ ISO 3200  |  Lifted by 1 stop (and +50 shadows) in LR

Similarly, with night adjusted vision, I can find and frame stars with the OVF on my 7D (which is admittedly a fairly DIM OVF...the FF 5D III has a much brighter OVF) with relative ease, where as with live view, I might only be able to pick out a few of the absolute brightest stars...I can't even see the Pleiades with live view, so I can't imagine an EVF (being much smaller with less light emitting power and dynamic range) being any better. While they are fewer than the situations where either an EVF or OVF will do, there are still plenty where an OVF is the only way. Hence my intrigue with a hybrid...it wouldn't limit me in any way.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 08:49:25 PM by jrista »

dgatwood

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 756
  • 300D, 400D, 6D
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2013, 10:40:17 PM »
Trichroic prisms and three monochrome sensors would be intriguing. I know that has been tried in the past with CCD sensors for video cameras. Did the technology fall out of grace for some reason? I think there may be more innovative ways of solving the light problem. Was it Panasonic that designed a microprism splitter to replace color filters? They gained a considerable amount of sensitivity that way, and increased resolution by a about 50% (instead of three pixel types, you only have two.)

It's still frequently done in high-end pro video gear, last I checked, but there's a reason the mass-produced, low-end gear isn't built that way.  You have three times as many chips that might be bad, plus the alignment must be exact, or else you got a terrible image.  It's a bit more fragile and a lot harder to build.

Lee Jay

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1127
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2013, 11:31:16 PM »
I am not much of a fan of EVFs (at least, so far), but I would be very interested in a hybrid EVF. There is no doubt that, if they can reach their technological pinnacle, that an EVF has a lot to offer. Simultaneously, there are things an OVF offers that an EVF never will. Having the option to switch between the two, at will, depending on your needs, in a single camera body?

SIGN ME UP!!  ;D 8)

Me too.  EVFs suck, but are necessary for video and helpful when doing manual focusing.  I'd love the 7D2 to have a hybrid viewfinder.

jrista

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4468
  • EOL
    • View Profile
    • Nature Photography
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2013, 11:34:46 PM »
Trichroic prisms and three monochrome sensors would be intriguing. I know that has been tried in the past with CCD sensors for video cameras. Did the technology fall out of grace for some reason? I think there may be more innovative ways of solving the light problem. Was it Panasonic that designed a microprism splitter to replace color filters? They gained a considerable amount of sensitivity that way, and increased resolution by a about 50% (instead of three pixel types, you only have two.)

It's still frequently done in high-end pro video gear, last I checked, but there's a reason the mass-produced, low-end gear isn't built that way.  You have three times as many chips that might be bad, plus the alignment must be exact, or else you got a terrible image.  It's a bit more fragile and a lot harder to build.

I really wonder if something like LCTF could be miniaturized and embedded into a sensor. Technically speaking, that should allow the full amount of light per pixel, but not necessarily with the same kinds of issues that layered sensor designs like Foveon have. With the increased real sensitivity, EVFs should be that much better in low light.

scottburgess

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Canonical Canon
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2013, 02:40:46 AM »
I could see Canon using the "A-1 D" designation as both an homage to the great A-1 and to connect a new camera to the past.  That particular body makes sense as a starting point for a retro-look advanced amateur digital body.  It could explain a change of name for the 7D line.  And if that were a new 35Mp APS-C with a decent autofocus system, I would consider buying one as our backup/extra magnification body.

Nothing but speculation, of course.  But it is fun to think about.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2013, 02:40:46 AM »

tron

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1862
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2013, 09:01:45 AM »
I couldn't care less for an EVF. If this rumor is trueit looks like - we do not know for sure - that Canon are putting resources in everything but the single most important thing: The improvement of their sensors. Or to rephrase my thought by replying to the Thread title the following: As long as they improve their sensors ... a lot  ::)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 04:23:45 PM by tron »

AvTvM

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1022
    • View Profile
Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2013, 01:34:58 PM »
all those woul would "love to get a hybrid viewfinder" .. .could you elaborate in a little more detail, how exactly you would like to have that implemented?

e.g.
* optical rangefinder with EVF overlay (Fuji X-Pro1 style) with or without optical parallax correction .. if yes, to what focal lengths and focus distances?

or
* fixed, semitransparent pellicle mirror (Sony SLT, Canon EOS RT) style?

or ... what else?

Willing to accept and swallow all the "unwanted effects"?
 
Let's face it, time is ripe for EVF. All that's needed is just one more little push ... a higher res [why not 4k?]  OLED display with no discernible lag [lets say less than 3ms - or any other number you consider good enough] and no blackouts between shot. POf course combined with 100% mechanics free, vibration-free global shutter (electronic).
 

Anybody unwilling to accept EVFs will be relegated to using OVFs as long as those will be available in old-style "niche" DSLRs.  Similar to analogue film cameras. 

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Canon EOS-A1 with Hybrid EVF? [CR1]
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2013, 01:34:58 PM »