December 22, 2014, 02:40:12 PM

Author Topic: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation  (Read 1705 times)

StudentOfLight

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Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« on: January 18, 2014, 11:28:06 AM »
At the moment, the EOS M is the only MILC Canon markets globally and as yet we've only seen an upgrade/replacement offering in Asia which is catering to the same needs. Surely there is opportunity to create a range of different mirrorless bodies with distinct features catering to a variety of customer needs. How long before you think we will see tiered mirrorless cameras?

There are so many ways to differentiate bodies: Size, Weight, Resolution, Burst shooting speed, Buffer size, Battery life, Weather Sealing, Durability, Memory System, AV Interfaces etc...

How do think camera manufacturers could capitalize on weight savings offered by mirrorless camera designs? Also, what feature set would most suit your type of photography or your existing camera bag?
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Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« on: January 18, 2014, 11:28:06 AM »

Sella174

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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 12:22:51 PM »
Canon does everything in-house, and I would venture a guess that they don't have the equivalent EVF technology as Seiko-Epson, which would mean that Canon are quite a long ways from producing a true mirrorless camera in the same vein as those currently from Sony and Olympus.

That said, in my opinion mirrorless isn't primarily about size and weight reductions, as seems the current buzz in that segment ... but rather the fact that the electronic imaging sensor has made the "light-proof box" concept of a film camera redundant. This make the mirror obsolete, but unfortunately requires a pretty good EVF as replacement for the pentaprism. And the technology is just now getting there.

The other problem with current thinking in mirrorless designs, is the short flange distance. In my opinion it just doesn't work, due to the fact that current sensor have a problem with light striking it at angles. So, unless you curve the sensor, lens designs actually become more intricate and thus more expensive.

All of that, I've said it n-1 times that the EOS 100D should have been a mirrorless camera.
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StudentOfLight

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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 04:25:58 PM »
Is there a technical reason why a short flange distance is more desirable?

I understand that the EVF technology is not quite there yet but assuming that issue is dealt with... (Also for certain types of photography you might want to compose with Live view instead of through the optical viewfinder.)

Anyway, I'd like:
i) integrated battery grip using the LP-E4 type batteries.
ii) a built-in Radio Transmitter to run 600EX flashes and

A better battery will probably be required for running EFV and larger grip makes it easier to use for extended periods and with heavier lenses. In my mind I see a more compact 1-series form factor that weighs about as much as a 5D-III.
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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2014, 04:34:49 PM »
Is there a technical reason why a short flange distance is more desirable?

I understand that the EVF technology is not quite there yet but assuming that issue is dealt with... (Also for certain types of photography you might want to compose with Live view instead of through the optical viewfinder.)

Anyway, I'd like:
i) integrated battery grip using the LP-E4 type batteries.
ii) a built-in Radio Transmitter to run 600EX flashes and

A better battery will probably be required for running EFV and larger grip makes it easier to use for extended periods and with heavier lenses. In my mind I see a more compact 1-series form factor that weighs about as much as a 5D-III.
A short flange allows you to make the lenses about 2 centimeters shorter.... This is a huge difference in tiny kit lenses, but as you move up to bigger and better lenses it makes far less of a difference.

The short flange also means that light is now entering at greater angles and that becomes problematic for the sensor.... basically, light has to shine into little pockets or indentations on the sensor, and if it is at too much of an angle shadowing will occur. Also, bending the light more sharply in the lens increases problems with chromatic aberrations and increases reflection problems. This is why the "big whites" are so long.... avoid sharp bends... You could easily make them shorter, but image quality will suffer badly...
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scottburgess

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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2014, 05:28:25 PM »
As already noted previously in the forums, with mirrorless camera sales receding there doesn't appear to be a solid future for this direction currently.  Canon clearly projected this from their sales numbers, hence the restricted release of the M2.  It's not clear there's anything to get terribly excited about now since screen technology still has a little ways to go, the aging population (and thereby fading vision capabilities) in many countries is a limiting factor, and Canon appears to have found a way to satisfy the market for "smaller, lighter" cameras within their 35mm lineup.

In short, if you want it really small and light get an iPhone.

StudentOfLight

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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2014, 06:19:18 PM »
Some of the lack of sales can be accounted for by the lack of variety available. While other manufacturers have a couple of options available, the EOS M is all that's on offer for Canon shooters. If you already have an EOS M, you'd probably prefer to buy something that offers different capabilities. What would Canon's DSLR sales be like if they only had one DSLR option?

Thanks for posting the sales figures.

Barring any supply constraints, the market for older MILC designs would have been saturated in 2012 unless the price point was so high that potential customers would have needed to save up for years to get one. How many new MILCs were marketed in 2013? New designs can potentially target new customers by including feature sets that cater to their needs.
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Hillsilly

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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 01:42:14 AM »
As already noted previously in the forums, with mirrorless camera sales receding there doesn't appear to be a solid future for this direction currently.  Canon clearly projected this from their sales numbers, hence the restricted release of the M2.  It's not clear there's anything to get terribly excited about now since screen technology still has a little ways to go, the aging population (and thereby fading vision capabilities) in many countries is a limiting factor, and Canon appears to have found a way to satisfy the market for "smaller, lighter" cameras within their 35mm lineup.

In short, if you want it really small and light get an iPhone.

I think you'll find that some styles of mirrorless cameras will appeal more to older photographers than current  DSLRs .  I know I love the loupe features for accurate focusing and manual controls of my Fuji X-E1.  So much better than trying to navigate through fiddly buttons and menus.  The EVF also allows easier framing and focusing at night.  Fuji have recently announced that they are working on a super telephoto lens (I think they're the first of the mirrorless companies to do this?).   I can't wait until some details are released.  If they can produce something of high quality that is significantly lighter than a 100-400L, I think they're onto a winner with older photographers.

That being said. I suspect we'll see a few DLSR models specifically for geriatrics appear in coming years.  I personally think there would be a massive market for a DSLR with only a few very big, easy to access buttons to press.  In addition, some of the mirrorless benefits relate to the EVF, which will probably start appearing in more DSLRs over time anyway.

Canon have made some smaller cameras.  But where are the EF-S "L" lenses that take advantage of the APS-C sensor size?  By the time you add a quality lens to the camera, you defeat most of the benefits of the smaller body size.
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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 01:42:14 AM »

xvnm

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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 05:16:02 AM »
A short flange allows you to make the lenses about 2 centimeters shorter.... This is a huge difference in tiny kit lenses, but as you move up to bigger and better lenses it makes far less of a difference.

The short flange also means that light is now entering at greater angles and that becomes problematic for the sensor.... basically, light has to shine into little pockets or indentations on the sensor, and if it is at too much of an angle shadowing will occur. Also, bending the light more sharply in the lens increases problems with chromatic aberrations and increases reflection problems. This is why the "big whites" are so long.... avoid sharp bends... You could easily make them shorter, but image quality will suffer badly...

A lens designer can always increase the flange distance at will by extending the rear end of the lens barrel. Think a lens with a fixed, built-in extension tube. That is exactly what Samyang did with the 5 lenses they released for the Sony FF MLC E-mount. Their Sony MLC lenses have exactly the same flange distance as their Canon and Nikon DSLR counterparts: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/12/17/samyang-says-five-of-its-full-frame-lenses-now-available-in-sony-e-mount
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Sella174

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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 03:05:23 PM »
A lens designer can always increase the flange distance at will by extending the rear end of the lens barrel. Think a lens with a fixed, built-in extension tube. That is exactly what Samyang did with the 5 lenses they released for the Sony FF MLC E-mount. Their Sony MLC lenses have exactly the same flange distance as their Canon and Nikon DSLR counterparts: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/12/17/samyang-says-five-of-its-full-frame-lenses-now-available-in-sony-e-mount

We had those back in the 1970's and 1980's with the Vivitar/Soligor T/TX mount and the "universal" T-mount (not the same as the former). Worked pretty good, actually. Even Pentax made some of the tele-photo lenses with swappable mounts, usually for Nikon F-mount.

The problem is that extending the flange distance by way of an "extension" tube, makes the lens longer. This obviously negates the current objective of mirrorless and a short flange distance: compact size. A further problem with such designs, as those from Samyang and Sigma illustrate, is that they are usually "catch-all" designs, without fully realising the true benefits of any particular mount.
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Re: Mirrorless designs and future product line differentiation
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 03:05:23 PM »