October 22, 2014, 08:35:20 AM

Author Topic: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing  (Read 23251 times)

sdsr

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2014, 12:31:57 PM »
Perhaps also it might be due to Americans liking the "go big or go home" approach.

Not meaning big in size, but we like things that truly excel in some category - and also bring a good value to the table.

Here is where mirrorless fails entirely, given the above statements:

- Is mirrorless the best in quality?  Nope, DSLR is.
- Is mirrorless the most compact? Nope, a smartphone camera is.
- Is mirrorless the best standalone camera value?  Nope, a point & shoot is.

So where does mirrorless fit in?  Where does it truly excel above all?  The problem is, it does not.  It is through-and-through a compromise camera.  It compromises quality for portability, but still is less portable and more expensive than many other options available.  Hence the USA fail.

If by "quality" you mean "image quality", your answer to your first question is false: the new FF Sonys are at least as good as FF dslrs in image quality, the same is true of APS-C mirrorless cameras and their dslr equivalents (fans of the Fuji x cameras tend to think they're better, especially in terms of noise), while the gap between M43 and APS-C has become negligible.  What's more, the technology of mirrorless cameras, in the better ones, makes it easier to take good photos with both AF and manual lenses.

Your answer to your second question is true.  It's impossible to answer your third question without knowing what "value" means.  It's subjective.  If you're really nit-picky about image quality, point and shoots are bad value, regardless of price.

The reason why camera sales are falling is likely that most people aren't demanding about image quality (just as they aren't re audio quality - cf the prevalence of ipods + crappy earphones); and if all you're doing is posting photos on facebook etc., a smartphone is good enough anyway.  Toss in the answer to your second question and....
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 02:55:21 PM by sdsr »

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2014, 12:31:57 PM »

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #61 on: January 04, 2014, 12:34:53 PM »
Mirrorless cameras DO NOT compromise quality for portability - mirrors don't improve IQ - period.

Well, mirrors definitely improve the iq of the optical viewfinder vs. a cheap evf :->

pharp

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2014, 12:55:17 PM »
Mirrorless cameras DO NOT compromise quality for portability - mirrors don't improve IQ - period.

Well, mirrors definitely improve the iq of the optical viewfinder vs. a cheap evf :->

It's becoming a moot point - videographers who use DSLRs, don't use the OVF anyway, they get loupes - using the 5D or 7D essentially as a MILC camera. I use a loupe for macro work in live view. If they got rid of the mirror box altogether, they could make a better form factor. Seeing that Canon is emphasizing video and has the dual pixel AF - we may yet get something like that.

I would love a sensibly designed camera with a 3" eye level EVF - could be done. It really makes no sense to have a tiny eye level EVF and a large one on the back - one large eye level one should be fine. We're stuck in the DSLR mindset.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 01:05:45 PM by pharp »

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #63 on: January 04, 2014, 12:57:59 PM »

IMO, as long as most EF-M camera users have to use the adapter with full-size lenses (along with the corresponding IQ loss), I would expect the EF-M cameras to continue to be largely stillborn except as cheap backup bodies.


I own three Eos-M cameras, my wife has one, and many of my friends now own one.  I am not aware of any loss of IQ when I strap any of my Canon lenses to the EOS-M.  Quite the opposite when I strap an 24mm 1.4 or 35 1.4 on it.  My 85mm 1.4 or 1.2 are great on the little guy.  I have improved my hand hold of the Eos-M so I can shoot at a fairly low shutter speed than I could when I first got the camera.  However the 18-55 and the 22 are both great lenses and fit the majority of needs that I use this camera for.  Which is mostly candids of people indoors and sometimes in cramped indoor spaces.  I know the focusing is slower but it seems just as accurate as I point to focus and shoot in one easy motion.

Chuck Alaimo

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #64 on: January 04, 2014, 01:42:52 PM »
So where does mirrorless fit in?  Where does it truly excel above all?  The problem is, it does not.  It is through-and-through a compromise camera.  It compromises quality for portability, but still is less portable and more expensive than many other options available.

Ignoring any prejudice towards our informed friends across the pond, your statement is valid, and that's why the whole Canon mirrorless marketing squad deserves to get fired - they ignore every rule in the book about introducing a new technology and make people confuse apples and oranges.

That doesn't mean that there isn't a big market for a good compromise camera, but afaik this is not how you market something like this (please correct me if I'm wrong here).

Mirrorless cameras DO NOT compromise quality for portability - mirrors don't improve IQ - period. The current OVF DSLR are also a compromise - only difference, we are used to those compromises, hence Mirror lock up ability. Metabones supposedly sells many, many NEX-EF adapters, so obviously, there is a market for a quality MILC that takes EF lenses.

I would love to see Canon take something like a 70D [keep the 70D] and make it mirrorless with state of the art EVF, all else the same, and see how it goes.

Mirror's may not imporve IQ, but, there is a hell of a lot of amazing photography out there that shows that a mirror doesn't do much harm either, except in some extreme circumstances, but hey, as you point out - that's what locking the mirror up is for, and live view.

Then there's the EVF - and until that tech catches up no one can really make an argument that EVF is better - the tech has to improve a lot more.  But even if we were to say that current EVF is on the same level as OVF -  look at the battery life of the A7's...you get maybe 300 per battery. 

I stand by my original theory here, that mirrorless has no identity right now.  It's living in a limbo area, straddling the market of cell phone's and P&S's.  That's why I see it as bound to fail.  Cell phone shooters won't switch, they want one device to rule them all.  And the average P&S user won't want to deal with interchangeable lenses - no matter how small they are.  And for those that want the IQ, well, we have our slr's already!  It's a proven system with decades of R&D.  I don't think I'm far off in saying that most slr users would add or at least consider adding a mirrorless body to the bag if it fit the system we're currently using.     
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Chuck Alaimo

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2014, 01:56:53 PM »
Mirrorless cameras DO NOT compromise quality for portability - mirrors don't improve IQ - period.

Well, mirrors definitely improve the iq of the optical viewfinder vs. a cheap evf :->

It's becoming a moot point - videographers who use DSLRs, don't use the OVF anyway, they get loupes - using the 5D or 7D essentially as a MILC camera. I use a loupe for macro work in live view. If they got rid of the mirror box altogether, they could make a better form factor. Seeing that Canon is emphasizing video and has the dual pixel AF - we may yet get something like that.

I would love a sensibly designed camera with a 3" eye level EVF - could be done. It really makes no sense to have a tiny eye level EVF and a large one on the back - one large eye level one should be fine. We're stuck in the DSLR mindset.

shooting with a long lens, holding thew cam in front of you looking at the live view panel is not the most stable way to shoot!!!!  That's why it's designed that way, by holding the camera to your eye you have the perfect balance to get a steady shot.  Your elbows basically form a tripod...

Notice too...most video folks also use some kind of harness or a monopod to steady the camera. 

So, from a still shooters perspective, it makes perfect sense to have that tiny OVF or EVF.  Video has different needs...
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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2014, 02:46:28 PM »
I think it is safe to say that current SLRs ergonomics are mainly designed with still shooters in mind. Reqirements for video are different but Ial design. If you want a  don't see much virtue to making video optimised SLRs around a still camera initial design. It would seem better to  just start from scratch and ditch the mirror box...

As for mirrorless still cameras, I think that a lot of effort went in making them as comfortable and efficient a tool as possible. It seems more likely to go the evolutionary way for a while rather than the revolutionary way. Remember that there is a lot of inertia in pros that  slows their move to new techs...
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2014, 02:46:28 PM »

pharp

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #67 on: January 04, 2014, 03:18:14 PM »
I stand by my original theory here, that mirrorless has no identity right now.  It's living in a limbo area, straddling the market of cell phone's and P&S's.  That's why I see it as bound to fail.  Cell phone shooters won't switch, they want one device to rule them all.  And the average P&S user won't want to deal with interchangeable lenses - no matter how small they are.  And for those that want the IQ, well, we have our slr's already!  It's a proven system with decades of R&D.  I don't think I'm far off in saying that most slr users would add or at least consider adding a mirrorless body to the bag if it fit the system we're currently using.     

I disagree with almost all of this. The future of photography is higher end gear, cameras like those made by Fuji X, Sony NEX, A7, etc - not P&S or phones. The mirror / prism hasn't changed in any real sense from it's origin, no R&D needed. Yes, the DSLR w/OVF works fine (so did steam engines), capable of great work, but they will become obsolete - when? don't know. Many of the interesting tech advancements, starting with live view have been working to get us away from the OVF, e.g. remote LCD monitors, tethers to computers, control from iPhones, etc.  If we learn anything from the history of tech advancement - mechanical devices will (almost always) be replaced by electronic ones. Just a question of time.

SLR cameras have gone from being 99% mechanical devices (film) to maybe 90+% electronic (digital) without this much hand wringing or consternation - digital just got good enough, so we changed.  It's this last step, changing from OVF with (often) excellent focusing screens to EVFs (at a time when OVFs and focusing screens are getting worse IMO) is causing so much heartache. Change can be difficult, but it is inevitable. I do agree that the change will no doubt be gradual - people will get the mirrorless 5De to go with their regular DSLR, but will eventually leave that at home. Not unlike the change from film to digital - their will be a tipping point that will seem like overnight.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 04:46:46 PM by pharp »

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2014, 05:23:54 PM »
All of this can be summed up by saying that it's a question of long-term versus near-term.

In the near term, for high-end users there is nothing better than a DSLR. In the long-term, there very likely will be. When the technology reaches that point, there will be a transition to a mirror-less system, just as there was a transition to digital.

The biggest obstacle to overcome is the viewfinder. Most photographers have no intention of ever giving up the eye-level viewfinder, so to succeed, a mirror-less camera must have a electronic viewfinder that improves upon the optical viewfinders we have today. That's a tall order. The optical viewfinder works at the speed of light, has no electronics and simply reflects light. As such, it's cheap to construct and cheaper still to maintain. (Yes, the original engineering was complex, but after 70 years or more, it's pretty well been perfected).

The tipping point will come when an electronic viewfinder is cheaper to produce and works better. How long that will take is anyone's guess, but I'd be surprised if we see it widely available within the next 3-5 years.

But, I think there is a larger point here that is being overlooked, and that is that for the mass consumer, the digital camera may be dead. I went to the Grand Canyon about three years ago and aside from the enthusiasts with their DSLRs the typical visitor was armed with a point and shoot. I went again this fall, and the majority of former point and shoot users were using smart phones or iPads. (Yes, several people were carrying around their iPads and taking pictures with them).

I frankly don't see and don't know anyone under age 30 who takes pictures with a camera. That's the market that is dead and I doubt if it will ever be revived.
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pharp

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2014, 05:35:40 PM »
All of this can be summed up by saying that it's a question of long-term versus near-term.

In the near term, for high-end users there is nothing better than a DSLR. In the long-term, there very likely will be. When the technology reaches that point, there will be a transition to a mirror-less system, just as there was a transition to digital.

The biggest obstacle to overcome is the viewfinder. Most photographers have no intention of ever giving up the eye-level viewfinder, so to succeed, a mirror-less camera must have a electronic viewfinder that improves upon the optical viewfinders we have today. That's a tall order. The optical viewfinder works at the speed of light, has no electronics and simply reflects light. As such, it's cheap to construct and cheaper still to maintain. (Yes, the original engineering was complex, but after 70 years or more, it's pretty well been perfected).

The tipping point will come when an electronic viewfinder is cheaper to produce and works better. How long that will take is anyone's guess, but I'd be surprised if we see it widely available within the next 3-5 years.

But, I think there is a larger point here that is being overlooked, and that is that for the mass consumer, the digital camera may be dead. I went to the Grand Canyon about three years ago and aside from the enthusiasts with their DSLRs the typical visitor was armed with a point and shoot. I went again this fall, and the majority of former point and shoot users were using smart phones or iPads. (Yes, several people were carrying around their iPads and taking pictures with them).

I frankly don't see and don't know anyone under age 30 who takes pictures with a camera. That's the market that is dead and I doubt if it will ever be revived.

The eye level EVF doesn't have to be better in every respect than the current OVF, just better in some and good enough overall - that seems to be the pattern with new tech acceptance. For me, the OM-D met that level, as a second camera. Not better overall, but some aspects are clearly nicer. 3-5 years for pro models? Sounds plausible. It's coming though.

9VIII

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2014, 06:25:31 PM »
Mirrorless cameras DO NOT compromise quality for portability - mirrors don't improve IQ - period.

Well, mirrors definitely improve the iq of the optical viewfinder vs. a cheap evf :->

I just don't get it. I've heard this excuse a dozen times now, and still there is no rational, logical explanation for why a person would think that looking at the subject through the OVF would improve the image captured by the sensor. They are completely unrelated.
Is there lag? Yes, but normal shutter lag is already an order of magnitude worse. Are you looking at a JPEG preview that changes colours? Yes, so use some binoculars to find the subject first, as seems to be standard practice for many, since you're not lifting a 10lb camera to your face all the time.
From what I've been reading many of the best wildlife photos are edited to death anyway.

Mirrorless cameras DO NOT compromise quality for portability - mirrors don't improve IQ - period.

Well, mirrors definitely improve the iq of the optical viewfinder vs. a cheap evf :->

It's becoming a moot point - videographers who use DSLRs, don't use the OVF anyway, they get loupes - using the 5D or 7D essentially as a MILC camera. I use a loupe for macro work in live view. If they got rid of the mirror box altogether, they could make a better form factor. Seeing that Canon is emphasizing video and has the dual pixel AF - we may yet get something like that.

I would love a sensibly designed camera with a 3" eye level EVF - could be done. It really makes no sense to have a tiny eye level EVF and a large one on the back - one large eye level one should be fine. We're stuck in the DSLR mindset.

shooting with a long lens, holding thew cam in front of you looking at the live view panel is not the most stable way to shoot!!!!  That's why it's designed that way, by holding the camera to your eye you have the perfect balance to get a steady shot.  Your elbows basically form a tripod...

Notice too...most video folks also use some kind of harness or a monopod to steady the camera. 

So, from a still shooters perspective, it makes perfect sense to have that tiny OVF or EVF.  Video has different needs...

Did you read the post? The example given is sticking a super large and comfy eye-piece on the back of the camera, not holding it out in front of you.
There are definitely much better places to put the viewfinder than top-center on the camera, another reason to like the Fuji bodies is that the viewfinder is off to the side so I wouldn't be mashing my face into the body all the time. I have to wonder if they couldn't make an SLR with the viewfinder on the side instead of the top.

I've come to appreciate the OVF a lot more as time goes by, and that it doesn't take power is great, but all the lame excuses about fictitious problems with the EVF aren't going to help anyone.
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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2014, 08:00:32 PM »
I just don't get it. I've heard this excuse a dozen times now, and still there is no rational, logical explanation for why a person would think that looking at the subject through the OVF would improve the image captured by the sensor.

I think the comment was about the clarity of the viewfinder itself, not the clarity of the shots themselves.  That said, there are two ways in which your viewfinder choice can affect the latter:

1.  If you are manually focusing, you can generally do so more quickly with an OVF, so you are more less likely to miss the shot you're taking.
2.  You're not blinded in one eye from staring into an EVF, so you're less likely to miss noticing the next shot.

:D

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2014, 08:39:29 PM »
I just don't get it. I've heard this excuse a dozen times now, and still there is no rational, logical explanation for why a person would think that looking at the subject through the OVF would improve the image captured by the sensor.

I think the comment was about the clarity of the viewfinder itself, not the clarity of the shots themselves.  That said, there are two ways in which your viewfinder choice can affect the latter:

1.  If you are manually focusing, you can generally do so more quickly with an OVF, so you are more less likely to miss the shot you're taking.
2.  You're not blinded in one eye from staring into an EVF, so you're less likely to miss noticing the next shot.

:D

more misinformation - have you actually used a camera with an EVF? Blinded in one eye - really? thats hilarious.

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2014, 08:39:29 PM »

Ruined

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #73 on: January 04, 2014, 10:21:05 PM »
Perhaps also it might be due to Americans liking the "go big or go home" approach.

Not meaning big in size, but we like things that truly excel in some category - and also bring a good value to the table.

Here is where mirrorless fails entirely, given the above statements:

- Is mirrorless the best in quality?  Nope, DSLR is.
- Is mirrorless the most compact? Nope, a smartphone camera is.
- Is mirrorless the best standalone camera value?  Nope, a point & shoot is.

So where does mirrorless fit in?  Where does it truly excel above all?  The problem is, it does not.  It is through-and-through a compromise camera.  It compromises quality for portability, but still is less portable and more expensive than many other options available.  Hence the USA fail.

If by "quality" you mean "image quality", your answer to your first question is false: the new FF Sonys are at least as good as FF dslrs in image quality, the same is true of APS-C mirrorless cameras and their dslr equivalents (fans of the Fuji x cameras tend to think they're better, especially in terms of noise), while the gap between M43 and APS-C has become negligible.  What's more, the technology of mirrorless cameras, in the better ones, makes it easier to take good photos with both AF and manual lenses.

Image quality has a lot more to do than just with the sensor quality.  You don't just magically have an image appear on the sensor, you have to get it there first.  And, even the FF Sonys are again a compromise in this area.  The EVF is a compromise, the AF system is a compromise, the body is too small to comfortably support larger fast zoom glass - making the only comfortable zoom lenses to use once again smaller compromise lenses.  Most of the native glass available is a compromise and those using an adapter for superior Canon glass have to use an adapter that slows autofocus to 2 seconds - another compromise, not to mention the potential IQ loss from the adapter itself.

So, while the sensor on the FF Sonys is not a compromise, virtually every other area of the camera required to get the image is.  Hence, the overall image quality *is* compromised.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 10:27:16 PM by Ruined »

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #74 on: January 04, 2014, 10:26:52 PM »
There's one very important thing that you are all missing here.
The fact is that a "good" mirror less camera (omd, g7 etc) are far more expensive than a dslr with equivalent iq and the dslr probably focuses faster, and more importantly for some, the dslr looks more serious while mirror less cameras look like toys.
For a lot of people who are willing to spend $1,000 or more on a camera, they want people to know they are serious.
It's just snobbery, I know, but snobbery is an important marketing tool?

Why is it snobbery to pay less for a better camera?  The logic escapes me.

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Re: The Last, Best Hope For A Digital Camera Rebound Is Failing
« Reply #74 on: January 04, 2014, 10:26:52 PM »