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Author Topic: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?  (Read 4034 times)

gmrza

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Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« on: June 09, 2012, 09:09:04 AM »
There has been some interesting commentary about the 650D, and some of the technology in it:

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canon-eos-650d-rebel-t4i/

http://www.techradar.com/news/photography-video-capture/cameras/has-canon-revealed-its-mirrorless-technology-1083891

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/06/is-the-canon-650d-a-future-mirrorless-camera-hiding-in-plain-sight/

The two most interesting elements of the 650D are probably the touch screen, and the sensor which includes phase-detect focus capability.  These are two key elements expected to be included in a mirrorless system.  Aside from an EVF, these are possibly the main technologies Canon needs to get working correctly to make a mirrorless system which is usable.

There has been a bit of debate about the relevance of a touch-screen - especially from typical SLR users, who are used to eye-level shooting.  Smartphone upgraders are however used to using a touch-screen.

If we are seeing the technologies that Canon plans to use in a mirrorless system, what is still unclear is whether it will be an EOS system (i.e. with an EF lens mount) - which would seem to lose out on size by still having to maintain the same distance from the lens mount to the focal plane - or a different lens mount - which would in effect mean an entirely new system.
There has also been the patent for a lens adapter, which appeared to be an adapter to connect an EF lens to a mirrorless camera.  That has been taken to indicate that Canon is planning to launch a mirrorless system with a shorter flange-distance.

Canon seems to have downplayed a little the fact that the 650D has a new sensor - there hasn't been any mention about whether there has been any change to the existing 18MP sensor, apart from the addition of phase-detect AF capability.  There is the native ISO12800, however.  Does that mean we will see a difference in high-ISO performance?

If Canon is testing its mirrorless technology in the 650D, then it would appear that the only bit still under wraps is an EVF.

There is no doubt we will see a lot more speculation over the next few months!
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Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« on: June 09, 2012, 09:09:04 AM »

TW

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 11:58:47 AM »
There has been a bit of debate about the relevance of a touch-screen - especially from typical SLR users, who are used to eye-level shooting.  Smartphone upgraders are however used to using a touch-screen.

If we are seeing the technologies that Canon plans to use in a mirrorless system, what is still unclear is whether it will be an EOS system (i.e. with an EF lens mount) - which would seem to lose out on size by still having to maintain the same distance from the lens mount to the focal plane - or a different lens mount - which would in effect mean an entirely new system.
There has also been the patent for a lens adapter, which appeared to be an adapter to connect an EF lens to a mirrorless camera.  That has been taken to indicate that Canon is planning to launch a mirrorless system with a shorter flange-distance.

Canon seems to have downplayed a little the fact that the 650D has a new sensor - there hasn't been any mention about whether there has been any change to the existing 18MP sensor, apart from the addition of phase-detect AF capability.  There is the native ISO12800, however.  Does that mean we will see a difference in high-ISO performance?

If Canon is testing its mirrorless technology in the 650D, then it would appear that the only bit still under wraps is an EVF.

Well, first of all, I think it's a given that the mirrorless system will be all-new, with short flange-back and an EF lens adapter. Not much point to it, otherwise.

Also, Canon must protect from self-cannibalization. They don't want to kill the Rebel series sales when the mirrorless system arrives. This technology will protect Rebel, and provide a smooth path for new customers to move into SLR from mirrorless.
35+ years of Canon gear...good grief! Still have 2 FTb cameras in working order, too!

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 12:10:07 PM »
There are many patents issued to Canon the last two years for mirrorless technology, including a EF to new small lens converter, so its out there for anyone to see.  As I recall, the sensor hybrid focus in the T4i is one of them.

Rocky

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 12:28:40 PM »
 Canon has been using touchscreen on some of its Point and shoot couple years ago

Daniel Flather

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 01:13:49 PM »
Also, Canon must protect from self-cannibalization. They don't want to kill the Rebel series sales when the mirrorless system arrives. This technology will protect Rebel, and provide a smooth path for new customers to move into SLR from mirrorless.

No offence to the Rebel users out there, but the Rebel's target market will always think a Rebel bests a mirror-less system based on the shape of the camera, and the users who know the difference are few, and those in the know are on forums like this one, so no fooling them. 


A 24*36 mirror-less with an iPhone UI, I'll take one.
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Rocky

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 01:31:19 PM »
Also, Canon must protect from self-cannibalization. They don't want to kill the Rebel series sales when the mirrorless system arrives. This technology will protect Rebel, and provide a smooth path for new customers to move into SLR from mirrorless.

No offence to the Rebel users out there, but the Rebel's target market will always think a Rebel bests a mirror-less system based on the shape of the camera, and the users who know the difference are few, and those in the know are on forums like this one, so no fooling them. 


A 24*36 mirror-less with an iPhone UI, I'll take one.

Until the mirrorless can give me AF ( or MF with good range finder)as fast as Rebel and with at least a APS-C sensor. I will take Rebel anytime.

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 01:56:19 PM »
G1X with 24*36 and the new 40/2.8 lens.  Let's go Canon, what's the delay?  G1x is $800 as it is now, so sans lens, add 24*36, and the 40/2.8 is $199.  I should get the body and lens for $1000+/-.  —We all know it will be more.
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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 01:56:19 PM »

FunPhotons

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 03:20:41 PM »
A Phase One digital MF back has a touch interface and it looks quite usable. I don't see how a 35mm would be any different.

Marsu42

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 06:19:33 PM »
Also, Canon must protect from self-cannibalization. They don't want to kill the Rebel series sales when the mirrorless system arrives.

I'm not so sure about this - Canon knows mirrorless and evf is the future, and that the sub-$1000 market will be dominated by these systems in the near future. So rather than fearsome protection of their Rebel line, the clever way to go is to release competitive mirrorless systems no matter what, or someone else will.

At the same moment, old-school dlsrs will move up in the price range, meaning they might ditch the xxxxd line, move the xxxd and xxd up and sacrifice a possible 7d successor for a full frame in the $2000+ price range.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 10:26:49 PM »
Also, Canon must protect from self-cannibalization. They don't want to kill the Rebel series sales when the mirrorless system arrives.

I'm not so sure about this - Canon knows mirrorless and evf is the future, and that the sub-$1000 market will be dominated by these systems in the near future. So rather than fearsome protection of their Rebel line, the clever way to go is to release competitive mirrorless systems no matter what, or someone else will.

At the same moment, old-school dlsrs will move up in the price range, meaning they might ditch the xxxxd line, move the xxxd and xxd up and sacrifice a possible 7d successor for a full frame in the $2000+ price range.

I really don't believe that they will dominate the sub-$1000 market in the near future.  While they are rapidly growing in popularity, they are still just a small fraction of digital cameras sold in the sub- $1000 range.  Starting this year, sales quantities are being tracked, so we have numbers thru April, but do not have sub $1000 cameras broken out.  Those over $1000 are a small fraction of the overall number in any event.
 
of 382,438,411 Digital Still cameras produced from Jan-Apr 2012, 26,012,161 were mirrorless, or about 6%.  This does not seem to be close to dominating the number of cameras produced. 
 
It is interesting to note that huge numbers of them are going to Asia and Japan, many more than the USA and Europe and the rest of the world combined, whereas the big majority of DSLRs and point and shoot cameras go to USA/Europe and countries other than Japan and Asia.  That is the main reason why Canon will be making mirrorless, its because of the huge demand for them in Asia, where the number sold is pushing 8% of the total digital camera sales.  You can dig out the numbers here.
 
While I'd like to get rid of that mirror, It would not be at the expense of fast autofocus, lack of a wide angle lens, or optical viewfinder.  Canon released a camera back in the 1960's that was 35mm film and had a pellicle mirror.  It never caught on.  They tried again in the 1990's with the same results.  I do not think they will drop a DSLR line unless it stops making money.
 
I do think that we are going to see a fallout in mirrorless cameras at some future point.  There are too many incompatible lines, each with their own propriatary lenses.  Micro 4/3 has a advantage there.  Thats something to consider, having seen such ventures fail and disappear in the past.
 
Anyone have lenses for a Pentax 110 SLR? 

Rocky

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 10:51:21 PM »

While I'd like to get rid of that mirror, It would not be at the expense of fast autofocus, lack of a wide angle lens, or optical viewfinder.  Canon released a camera back in the 1960's that was 35mm film and had a pellicle mirror.  It never caught on.  They tried again in the 1990's with the same results.  I do not think they will drop a DSLR line unless it stops making money.
 
I do think that we are going to see a fallout in mirrorless cameras at some future point.  There are too many incompatible lines, each with their own propriatary lenses.  Micro 4/3 has a advantage there.  Thats something to consider, having seen such ventures fail and disappear in the past.
 
Anyone have lenses for a Pentax 110 SLR?
M9 is the answer to your requirement. except it gives you fast MF (0 delay with zone focus). Too bad it is so expensive. That is my dream also.

Marsu42

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 01:58:37 AM »
I really don't believe that they will dominate the sub-$1000 market in the near future.

You're correct, I shouldn't have said "near", just "future". The decisive point - whenever that'll be - will be when the live-view af works as ok as needed for the general user like with the new canon sensor, and you can hardly tell ofv from evf quality. Then the advantage "smaller & cheaper build" will matter.

And think of the possibilities of adding every possible information you want to the evf on the fly... I'll never want a evf that drains power just for looking through it, but I'll be one of the few. Even professionals might switch if evf have killer features that help them get better/faster shots & running their businesses.

gmrza

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 02:40:09 AM »

of 382,438,411 Digital Still cameras produced from Jan-Apr 2012, 26,012,161 were mirrorless, or about 6%.  This does not seem to be close to dominating the number of cameras produced. 
 
It is interesting to note that huge numbers of them are going to Asia and Japan, many more than the USA and Europe and the rest of the world combined, whereas the big majority of DSLRs and point and shoot cameras go to USA/Europe and countries other than Japan and Asia.  That is the main reason why Canon will be making mirrorless, its because of the huge demand for them in Asia, where the number sold is pushing 8% of the total digital camera sales.  You can dig out the numbers here.

I think that sums up quite well why Canon has been slow to move into mirrorless.  My walk from the office to the station takes me along St Kilda road over Princes Bridge - probably one of the areas in Melbourne most photographed by tourists (and residents as well).  Most people I see are using either DSLRs or compacts.  The numbers of mirrorless cameras are still small.


While I'd like to get rid of that mirror, It would not be at the expense of fast autofocus, lack of a wide angle lens, or optical viewfinder.  Canon released a camera back in the 1960's that was 35mm film and had a pellicle mirror.  It never caught on.  They tried again in the 1990's with the same results.  I do not think they will drop a DSLR line unless it stops making money.

Again, spot on the money.  I guess Canon has taken the view that at least until now, it could not produce a mirrorless camera that is worth spending money on.

Incidentally, what fascinates me as I watch the happy-snappers on the Princes Bridge is the number of DSLR users who seem to use live-view as their default mode of use of their camera!  For those users, there is not much use in a mirror.  (Oh, what fascinates me too is the number of people shooting straight into the afternoon sun - they are either clueless, or they know exactly what they are doing!)
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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 02:40:09 AM »

moreorless

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 03:00:47 AM »
I really don't believe that they will dominate the sub-$1000 market in the near future.

You're correct, I shouldn't have said "near", just "future". The decisive point - whenever that'll be - will be when the live-view af works as ok as needed for the general user like with the new canon sensor, and you can hardly tell ofv from evf quality. Then the advantage "smaller & cheaper build" will matter.

And think of the possibilities of adding every possible information you want to the evf on the fly... I'll never want a evf that drains power just for looking through it, but I'll be one of the few. Even professionals might switch if evf have killer features that help them get better/faster shots & running their businesses.

Long term you might be right for the lower end market but I'd guess theres also the possibility that SLR OVF's could become hybrid EVF's similar to the recent Fuji designs.

In the short term I sense that mirrorless sales in Japan are partly being driven somewhat by a technofad and I wouldnt be supprized to see them take a serious hit at somepoint in the next few years even if long term growth may carry on.

It'll be interesting to see exactly what form any Canon release takes as I'd say that may tell us alot about how they view the market. The Pentax mirrorless releases have both been very fadish to me as has the Nikon to a lesser degree with the smaller sensor while alot of the other releases like the NEX, OM-D and the Fuji X series are clearly very style focused. These arent really things I'd associate with Canon over the last decade, if they instead focus on a compact but rather straight ahead design with a good sized sensor with a new mount that seems to hint at a longer term interest to me.

I wouldnt be supprized if Canon's view is that the mirrorless market's real focus isnt going to be sub $1000 sales but rather sub $600-700 sales when your dealing with purely 18-55mm kit zooms and modest appature pancake primes that make for a more compact balanced package. The Rebel does seem to have been shifted up market a bit with the 650D and we've not heard any talk of a possible 1200D, perhaps there won't be one with a mirrorless filling that price slot and SLR's markets as a prenium product.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:17:20 AM by moreorless »

Bennymiata

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 03:26:33 AM »
I don't believe that mirrorless cameras will ever take over from DSLR's.
I've watched and listened to people in camera shops (non-experts) who are looking at the mirrorless flotilla, and when they start to compare prices etc., they generally go for the cheaper "more serious" DSLR instead and save themselves money.
They also think that they will be great photographers, and even these non-experts realise that that there is nowhere else to go after mirrorless, where DSLR's can always be expanded and added to, without having to change everything they already have.

I doubt mirrorles cameras will ever be as big in sales as DSLR's until their price severly undercuts DSLR's, as for the moment, an entry level Canon or Nikon DSLR is cheaper than a reasonable mirrorless.

As an example, I bought my wife a new G1X, and friends of mine reckon I'm crazy for paying so much for a "toy" camera when for similar money I could have bought her a DSLR.
How little they know, and the fact is she wanted a small camera, and I wanted her to have a good one, but most people don't see the value in a small camera for more money than an SLR.

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Re: Has Canon hidden its mirrorless technology in plain sight?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 03:26:33 AM »