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Thread: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    For me, 24 MP is the minimum, and it's wonderful that we can carry a camera in the pocket which makes decent-sized prints.

    At 4000 x 6000 pixels, if we want to make a print at 360 dpi, we can make an 11x17 image and retain critical quality - as long as we don't crop.

    That's the bare minimum for me, since my prints are usually 11x14 or larger. The limit here is the 4000 pixels, the smaller number.

    I normally shoot 4x5 and 5x7 film where the numbers are a bit higher: even with an affordable consumer-grade scanner, 4x5 images are 45 MP or higher, and 5x7 are over 80 MP.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenLee View Post
    If there were a mirrorless camera like the NEX ,with an APS-C sensor that got 36 MP (or more) - and which had no problems with short lenses - would anyone care about full-frame ?

    is it full-frame for its own sake, or the notion that full-frame promises better image quality ?
    I care about FF because it is easier to get good WA lenses for them. I want a 28mm and would have a lot to choose from, plus a great ZM25. With the crop I have the ZM18, but it is slower and way bigger than let's say the 28 Elmarit.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Why is a mirrorless FF camera important? There are plenty of FF cameras with a mirror, and even though a mirrorless body can be made smaller, the lenses most probably won't (look at the size of the Fuji X-mount lenses and multiply that with...), at least not if the optical quality is going to be kept high. If Sony wants to kill the A99 and the current NEX cameras, they can of course make a mirrorless FF camera, but why would they want to do that? And who will develop and make the lenses? I doubt that it would have a high priority at Sony, a company with enough financial challenges to avoid anything that isn't certain to generate a healthy profit.

    The M and the A99 are both more or less mirrorless and they're available soon. I believe that's the closest we'll get for the time being, unless Ricoh surprises us with an updated GXR.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Why is a mirrorless FF camera important? There are plenty of FF cameras with a mirror, and even though a mirrorless body can be made smaller, the lenses most probably won't (look at the size of the Fuji X-mount lenses and multiply that with...), at least not if the optical quality is going to be kept high. If Sony wants to kill the A99 and the current NEX cameras, they can of course make a mirrorless FF camera, but why would they want to do that? And who will develop and make the lenses? I doubt that it would have a high priority at Sony, a company with enough financial challenges to avoid anything that isn't certain to generate a healthy profit.

    The M and the A99 are both more or less mirrorless and they're available soon. I believe that's the closest we'll get for the time being, unless Ricoh surprises us with an updated GXR.
    +1

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    DSLRs can also be made smaller. It isn't the mirror adding to the volume, but customers wanting a big ugly grip and important looking cameras. The size is just as much a function of fashion as anything else.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by slungu View Post
    I care about FF because it is easier to get good WA lenses for them. I want a 28mm and would have a lot to choose from, plus a great ZM25. With the crop I have the ZM18, but it is slower and way bigger than let's say the 28 Elmarit.
    That makes good sense!

    Because I shoot only longer lenses, it never occurred to me. Now I see that what is advantageous for one, is a hindrance to the other.

    That would explain the ultimate appeal of Full Frame: a sweet-spot of sorts with regards to lens size.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by slungu View Post
    I care about FF because it is easier to get good WA lenses for them. I want a 28mm and would have a lot to choose from, plus a great ZM25. With the crop I have the ZM18, but it is slower and way bigger than let's say the 28 Elmarit.
    The problem is, even if Sony ever does make a FF still NEX, I'd be willing to bet that it won't play well with wide M lenses. So, you'll either be forced to go Leica M (unless maybe Ricoh makes something,) or you can just buy the Sigma 19/2.8 for NEX, which is a good performer and small.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Why would that be a problem? Who makes Ricoh/Pentax' sensors? It is Sony.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by slungu View Post
    I care about FF because it is easier to get good WA lenses for them. I want a 28mm and would have a lot to choose from, plus a great ZM25. With the crop I have the ZM18, but it is slower and way bigger than let's say the 28 Elmarit.
    But you could actually buy lenses designed for APS rather than use lenses designed for 35mm. Just sayin'.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Why would that be a problem? Who makes Ricoh/Pentax' sensors? It is Sony.
    I simply mean that MAYBE Ricoh would make a module with a Sony sensor tuned to perform well with M lenses, since they're a smaller market, but we haven't heard much from them, lately.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    The problem is, even if Sony ever does make a FF still NEX, I'd be willing to bet that it won't play well with wide M lenses. So, you'll either be forced to go Leica M (unless maybe Ricoh makes something,) or you can just buy the Sigma 19/2.8 for NEX, which is a good performer and small.
    Douglas, I know that, but I really like these nice manual focus lenses ( I like the old C/Y Zeiss lenses even more, but don't like carrying them ), and this and of course the optical performance is reason enough for me to stick with such lenses, and that leads to searching for a cam that can accommodate them. Ideally, I would be great if there were more manufacturers that can provide a sensor for the lenses, this is why I do not want to invest heavily in a electronic mount that would be binding me to a "system" ( also one of the reasons I have not been tempted by the new SLR offerings from Zeiss ). Maybe it is a strange approach on my side, but I am trying to make the best out of it

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by slungu View Post
    Douglas, I know that, but I really like these nice manual focus lenses ( I like the old C/Y Zeiss lenses even more, but don't like carrying them ), and this and of course the optical performance is reason enough for me to stick with such lenses, and that leads to searching for a cam that can accommodate them. Ideally, I would be great if there were more manufacturers that can provide a sensor for the lenses, this is why I do not want to invest heavily in a electronic mount that would be binding me to a "system" ( also one of the reasons I have not been tempted by the new SLR offerings from Zeiss ). Maybe it is a strange approach on my side, but I am trying to make the best out of it
    Oh, I understand. I was doing the same thing for a long time. The problem these days is that, not only do we have several sub-medium formats to deal with, but we also have specific lens-to-sensor problems to worry about, so there are a multitude of factors getting in the way. That's why I gave up on M wides for NEX, because the Sigma 19 is nearly as good as anything I've tried, and it is designed for the digital sensor. I'm assuming that the upcoming NEX Zeiss 12mm will be good, too, but we'll see.

    Unless Ricoh surprises everyone with a FF GXR M option, I think that you're really only going to be happy with the Leica M for the lenses that you speak of, because I can't imagine another company tuning their sensor for M lenses, even if we do see a FF EVIL in the future.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    .. Unless Ricoh surprises everyone with a FF GXR M option, I think that you're really only going to be happy with the Leica M for the lenses that you speak of, because I can't imagine another company tuning their sensor for M lenses, even if we do see a FF EVIL in the future.
    I tend to agree with that. The camera manufacturers probably make more margin on lens sales than body sales, so tuning your latest product to be useful with someone else's lenses is an unusual thing to do. Ricoh, playing their own niche market, did an unusual and brilliant thing with the GXR-M ... but whether they'd be successful with a FF camera unit development effort is a question mark.

    People seem to be passing off the notion of a FF sensor with RF lenses as if it were now a done thing and a piece of cake, but the fact is that it remains a very difficult engineering and development job to produce sensors in quantity, at a reasonable price, that can work well with the multitude of lens designs available for LTM and M-bayonet mount registers. It is FAR easier to design sensors and new lenses as a matching pair, and likely quite a lot more profitable.

    I chose the GXR and the M9 because I want to use the lenses I have now, I'm standardized on them as my system kit. I don't want to, and won't, buy another system for the very marginal gain that it might provide. And I emphasize might.

    When the new M is available, providing it meets my expectations, I'll buy it. I like the electronic TTL camera's versatility but deep down I really prefer the optical viewfinder and rangefinder more.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Another thing to consider is that smaller sensors require lenses of a higher MTF to compete with their FF counterparts, and it is easier to make smaller lenses sharper. According to the imatest test over at lesnrentals, the silly little Sigma 30/2.8 is as good or better than the 50 Lux at comparable apertures on the NEX-7, and it's hard to beat the 50 Lux in the M line.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    The trade off to resolving power is contrast. So small format lenses have really nice resolution, but tend to be flatter than their bigger brothers.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Well, I did have some thoughts and hopes of a FF mirrorless, right up until the RX1. I have no idea how this will progress but I understand the pre-order ranking is already number two on Amazon. It’s very tempting since I can’t swing another go at the M-series with a prime. Did it and regretted it, and then regretted even more when I sold it.
    Last edited by Dan Ortego; 28th September 2012 at 13:11.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The trade off to resolving power is contrast. So small format lenses have really nice resolution, but tend to be flatter than their bigger brothers.
    I don't think there's anything to preclude smaller lenses from having more contrast. Those are just design decisions dependent on individual lenses.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Another thing to consider is that smaller sensors require lenses of a higher MTF to compete with their FF counterparts, and it is easier to make smaller lenses sharper. According to the imatest test over at lesnrentals, the silly little Sigma 30/2.8 is as good or better than the 50 Lux at comparable apertures on the NEX-7, and it's hard to beat the 50 Lux in the M line.
    Unless you are referring to the actual size of the glass, the Sigma 30/2.8 is neither silly nor small.

    It would seem that the 30/2.8 in the DP2-M is even a better lens than the E version.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Unless you are referring to the actual size of the glass, the Sigma 30/2.8 is neither silly nor small.

    It would seem that the 30/2.8 in the DP2-M is even a better lens than the E version.
    I called it silly simply in regard to it being a $199 lens vs. the price of M lenses. I don't mean to disparage it. It is certainly a good performer, and my most used lens, currently. In terms of size, I meant in regards to image circle coverage.

    It's hard to say which lens is better between the Sigma 30 and DP2-M, or if it is just a matter of sensor differences. Either way, the lens designs are very, very similar, outside of the DP2-M's rear correcting elements, which are required to get the lens so close to the sensor. The lenses likely perform quite similarly in the center and middle portion of the frame, at least.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Doug, They are different (even discounting the similar design and the extra element in DP2M). The glass elements that makes up the lens in DP2M is different. The cheaper E mount lens has no ED elements.

    Nevertheless, the 30/2.8 (E-mount) is a telecentric lens, the same can not be said of fast Leica M mount lenses.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    I don't think there's anything to preclude smaller lenses from having more contrast. Those are just design decisions dependent on individual lenses.
    You can design a smaller lens to have more contrast, but then the trade off is resolution. You cannot optimize a lens for both, but have to balance between them.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Doug, They are different (even discounting the similar design and the extra element in DP2M). The glass elements that makes up the lens in DP2M is different. The cheaper E mount lens has no ED elements.

    Nevertheless, the 30/2.8 (E-mount) is a telecentric lens, the same can not be said of fast Leica M mount lenses.
    Do we know which elements are FLD in the DP2M? It could very likely be the two last elements, which allow the setup to be smaller by placing the rear element right up against the sensor.

    Either way, the lenses in the DP2M and Sigma 30/2.8 are very similar, and certainly share on overall design ethos, with the rear of the lens differing in design to accommodate the different sensor to lens distances. The DP2M may even be at a disadvantage, since it has more elements in the design, thus the FLD elements.

    DP2M


    Sigma 30



    FWIW, the DP1M and Sigma 19 are quite a bit different, which makes sense, because getting a wide angle up against the sensor like that is more difficult.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    They (30mm) are, in fact, different.

    Take a look: Dedicated DP Lenses | SIGMA DP2 Merrill : Special Contents

    3 ED elements in DP2-M's lens.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Yes, "To maximize image quality while minimizing lens barrel length." The Sigma 30 also has two asph elements to the DP2M's one.

    The two lenses obviously can't be identical, because the DP2M's sensor is right up against the lens in order to maintain smaller size. My point is simply that these two lenses are very similar. The MTF of the DP2M's lens is a little better at f2.8. I'd be curious to see the MTFs at f5.6.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    I think Sony may have the best chance of going to a mirrorless FF IC system, but it will not be based on the RX1, but the a99. The a99 sensor has the AF sensor built into the chip. It also has a lines line. Sony had put out a patents for a duel mount. Build a body with a duel mount where it has the possibility of a lens line with a shorter flange distance. Their Alpha lens customers can use the camera as well as an opening for a future system.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Duel mount?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I think Sony may have the best chance of going to a mirrorless FF IC system, but it will not be based on the RX1, but the a99. The a99 sensor has the AF sensor built into the chip. It also has a lines line. Sony had put out a patents for a duel mount. Build a body with a duel mount where it has the possibility of a lens line with a shorter flange distance. Their Alpha lens customers can use the camera as well as an opening for a future system.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    A collapsable mount/add-on adapter that has two flange distances. I believe when I first saw this it was for Alpha to E-mount. A rumor site had located the patent application.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    A collapsable mount/add-on adapter that has two flange distances. I believe when I first saw this it was for Alpha to E-mount. A rumor site had located the patent application.
    I could see that as a possibility someday, although on-sensor PDAF isn't where it needs to be for a-mount lenses, yet. I guess that adapter for a-mount lenses could just have an SLT mirror, like the LA-EA2, but I think we're a ways out from such a thing.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    . . . . and in the meantime (although we have to do without AF) we have a FF mirrorless camera which will take pretty much any lens you want.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    ..and without any duels.*

    * I am assuming that you refer to the live view M and not the RF crippled (scratch that) er coupled ones when you say it will take pretty much any lens.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    ..and without any duels.*

    * I am assuming that you refer to the live view M and not the RF crippled (scratch that) er coupled ones when you say it will take pretty much any lens.
    Well, the RF coupled ones take any lens too. Then, without RF coupled lenses, you just have scale focus. ];-)

    I was shooting the M9 fitted with a Skink Zone Plate f/47 today. No focus necessary.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    ..and without any duels.*

    * I am assuming that you refer to the live view M and not the RF crippled (scratch that) er coupled ones when you say it will take pretty much any lens.
    yes indeed, no duels (although they can be fun, especially with super soakers).

    Of course, I like the crippled RF (but I'm not willing to fight a duel over it . . . actually Vivek - how about super-soakers at dawn in Antwerp next Thursday morning?)

    But yes, I was referring to the live view M, which seems to be the FF mirrorless camera of choice (assuming that CMOSIS sensor is okay).

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Well, I had this thought about putting together a description of (old Leica) doodahs (no super-soakers/pinholes included) one can use on the new M (with liveview) that can not be done on the RF Ms. Not sure if that would be of any use to the general public though.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Well, I had this thought about putting together a description of (old Leica) doodahs (no super-soakers/pinholes included) one can use on the new M (with liveview) that can not be done on the RF Ms. Not sure if that would be of any use to the general public though.
    For me, I don't know about the old Leica doodahs.

    What I will find useful is to be able to use my Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5, 105/2.8 and 200/4 as well as the lovely Nikkor-H 85/1.8. These are some of my favorite SLR lenses. I don't use them as much as I once might have, partly because they are best on a full 35mm format camera. But I'll never use them enough to warrant spending the bux for a D3/D700/D800/D600 body.

    All of my other lenses are RF coupled, and of them the LiveView/EVF will be most useful for the 90 and 135mm focal lengths.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Well, I had this thought about putting together a description of (old Leica) doodahs (no super-soakers/pinholes included) one can use on the new M (with liveview) that can not be done on the RF Ms. Not sure if that would be of any use to the general public though.
    I'd have thought it'd be very useful . . . sounds like a lot of work though. I'm considering an e-book on walks in the southern White Mountains in Crete . . . sounds like a lot of work though!

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    . . . . and in the meantime (although we have to do without AF) we have a FF mirrorless camera which will take pretty much any lens you want.
    Of course, but $6995 for a camera body limits the audience quite a bit. $2-3K for a camera body is still very expensive by most accounts.

    Either way, although I'm not ruling out buying an M next year, the truth is that, at my usual print sizes, I already have a very difficult time distinguishing between prints made from my FF and aps-c cameras, and I think we all fall a bit in to the trap of buying a 500hp car to drive to the grocery, so I'm not in a huge hurry to move back to FF.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Canon has built EOS M with APS-c, I wonder how long will it take them to make a "pro" FF version with an EVF?

    I have been pretty happy with Ricoh GXR-M as well, it is a tough act to follow with something "better".

    My equipment is way more capable than me now, so...

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Of course, but $6995 for a camera body limits the audience quite a bit. $2-3K for a camera body is still very expensive by most accounts.

    Either way, although I'm not ruling out buying an M next year, the truth is that, at my usual print sizes, I already have a very difficult time distinguishing between prints made from my FF and aps-c cameras, and I think we all fall a bit in to the trap of buying a 500hp car to drive to the grocery, so I'm not in a huge hurry to move back to FF.
    The very latest modern digital cameras are a far cry away from the necessity to use FF to obtain excellent useable images, so I agree totally with your thoughts here Douglas.

    I have spent some time recently with both APSc and m4/3 (Olympus OM-D) and I am amazed at the detailed, clean images they produce even at high ISO's. Who would have thought that even three years ago that a little micro 4/3rds camera could produce high DR and clean images capable of printing quite comfortably to A3 size (18"x12") and all in a small light package with excellent lenses.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    So here's my hypothesis...

    The question comes down to how adroitly Sony (or any other manufacturer) can pilot their way between the development of bodies and lenses that can be sold profitably, at affordable prices, and yet fulfill the very high expectations of the buying community. The RX1 may be a test program ... Will people buy into a dedicated full frame camera with a super quality lens at this price level? The next question after that is, will they buy into a $2000 body and $1000 lens combination for an interchangeable lens system at enough volume to be profitable?
    I think the best answer can be found in the NEX system lens line-up. NEX has been very well accepted by consumers. Yet after years of offering the line, Sony has yet to produce a lens line worthy of the capabilities of the bodies. CZ is helping them out, after years, availability still difficult. While the Sigma's offer great value, I can't see many purchasing one for a relatively expensive FF.

    Throw in the reality that Sony is now in cost cutting mode, implemented well after the development of the RX-1 was near complete. I would not hold my breath for what people would like to see from Sony or believe is technically possible. The RX-1 is a very admirable product but it's not a system.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rayto View Post
    I think the best answer can be found in the NEX system lens line-up. NEX has been very well accepted by consumers. Yet after years of offering the line, Sony has yet to produce a lens line worthy of the capabilities of the bodies. CZ is helping them out, after years, availability still difficult. While the Sigma's offer great value, I can't see many purchasing one for a relatively expensive FF.

    Throw in the reality that Sony is now in cost cutting mode, implemented well after the development of the RX-1 was near complete. I would not hold my breath for what people would like to see from Sony or believe is technically possible. The RX-1 is a very admirable product but it's not a system.
    The NEX lineup is pretty filled out now, I'd say, with the 10-18 and 35/1.8 coming soon. The 10-18, 24, 35 and 50 make for a good lineup. Digital cameras is one of the few places Sony has been doing well, so, if anything, I'd imagine that's where they'll direct resources.

    Granted, I don't think FF NEX is coming anytime soon, either.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    I think a full frame NEX is a very strong possibility. There is no technical reason it cant be done, I just think Sony has a LOT on its developmental plate right now. They are innovating at a rate that is simply shaming other brands. Personally I really want to see a FF NEX appear even though it wont be in my budget anytime soon.

    But what I really want to see is a professional bodied NEX 7 Mk. II. Keep the same body design, including the Tri Navi system, and then add all the nifty extra bits the NEX 6 has like WiFi and such. Give it a new 24mp sensor with on sensor phase detect AF. But most importantly, give it full weather and dust sealing in a strong and rugged body. And then follow through on this commitment with the development of a weather proof line of E mount lenses. As douglas said, the NEX lines lineup is pretty decent right now. Sony needs to take some of the more popular lenses and make them dust/waterproof. A sort of E-Professional (Sony EP ) lineup of glass. Yes this will add cost, but pros and serious enthusiasts will pay for them.

    Anyway, thats what I would like to see. I love my NEX 7, I would love to see a NEX 9 FF. I would really love a pro NEX body.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    We seem to be on the threshold of a brave new world in lens-and-camera technology, at least as far as FF is concerned. In the last day or so we have seen a home-made mirrorless FF camera capable of using effectively at least some Leica M lenses ( _Canon/Leica Mod DSLR Wireless Monitors ). Let's conjecture a little about future FF mirrorless cameras that will enjoy very short lens-mount-to-sensor distances, and will use electronic viewfinders.

    Mounts and adapters will become available that allow a large variety of lenses, including those requiring electronic connections and power, to be used and autofocused on a mirrorless FF body. This is not really a surprise; after all, third party lens manufacturers, e.g. Sigma, already reverse-engineer AF software (and other technologies) of leading brands, such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony, so as to allow third party lenses to be used essentially universally. In the future, adapters will allow lenses from Canon, Nikon etc to AF successfully on our FF mirrorless camera ( Kipon Developing Fully Coupled EF Adapter For Micro Four Thirds And NEX ), as well as to submit to electronic control of their diaphragms, etc, on mirrorless FF bodies that permit power to be transmitted from the camera body. (Eventually even in-lens IS may become useable.) The accuracy and speed of AF may not be as good as on bodies specifically designed for those lenses, and this may be one reason for staying loyal to a single camera-and-lens manufacturer.

    Of course, the obstacles that stand in the way of using virtually all lenses on a mirrorless FF body, at present, are partly sensor-based. However, the new sensor for the Leica M (type 240), being particularly thin, apparently will overcome this difficulty significantly, although the camera body will not have the capacity to supply power to AF other manufacturers' lenses (not even via suitable adapters). But other makers will develop similar sensors, and they will be used in mirrorless bodies that will also provide opportunities for addressing M-lens colour artefacts electronically.

    At least initially, the sensor on our mirrorless body will likely encompass several different formats, including APSC (approximately a 1.5 scale factor), Leica's M8 format (1.3 factor), and perhaps others, right up to FF. For example, a Leica M lens owner might employ their Noctilux on the full sensor, with scale factor 1; their 28mm Elmarit Pre-Asph using the format with factor 1.3; and their 18mm Super-Elmar for the format with factor 1.5. However, as sensor and other technologies advance, the different formats will likely reflect mainly the coverages of different lenses, not the challenges posed by short lens-to-film-plane distances. Of course, the format being used will be shown exactly in our mirrorless camera's electronic viewfinder, perhaps overlaid on the FF format image or perhaps in isolation.

    In this brave new world, Leica will likely prosper; happily, there will be no Leica killers. The ability to use Leica's remarkable lenses so widely will be a real asset, at least for those who can afford them. Probably Leica's most expensive, unique lenses will be among the most popular. For example, an interesting, although particularly heavy and expensive, three-lens kit for our new-world mirrorless camera, equipped with electronic viewfinder, might include Canon's 17mm f/4 tilt-shift lens, Nikon's 14-24mm f/2.8, and Leica's 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux. Each potentially would have full electronic control (although it wouldn't be responded to by the Noctilux!), and would be used on the same mirrorless body; and the Nikon lens would autofocus there, via an adapter made in China.

    One of the manufacturers' strategic problems will be to ensure a reasonable degree of brand loyalty, which in the past has been enforced through the almost complete incompatibility of lenses among different systems. That is one of many things that will change in this brave new world -- or at least, is conjectured to change, for I'm sure that these presumptions will be contested.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    As exciting as that sounds, Nettar, I'd contend that the portion of the camera population that wants to use alternative lenses on cameras is incredibly small. Not many people are going to want to resort to using really slow to autofocus, PDAF lenses on other mirrorless systems, nor are they going to want to use manual focus lenses. Of course, forum nerds like ourselves would be interested, but not so much in the real world.

    That's why I don't see Sony making a FF NEX anytime soon. They would likely need an all new mount, the lenses would be relatively big, since they don't seem too interested in taking the Leica approach to sensor design, and they're likely not going to build a FF NEX to cater to the relatively small population of alternative lens users.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    There are a lot of valid points in the discussion so far. The one thing we are forgetting is that technology is a moving target. Lens designs have certain physical restrictions using current technology. The same goes for sensors. Not too long ago, the idea of phase-det cells embedded in the imaging sensor was sci-fi, yet here they are. High-ISO, low noise characteristics from sensors with small pixel well sizes was the result of too much thinking after drinking are now becoming commonplace.

    Materials and engineering sciences are always cooking up new ways to fry an egg. New stepper motor designs, hybrid AF, global shutters, and improvements in computer designed and manufactured lens elements will allow the things were are currently speculating to come to pass.

    Let us not forget paradigm shifts as well.
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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    As exciting as that sounds, Nettar, I'd contend that the portion of the camera population that wants to use alternative lenses on cameras is incredibly small. Not many people are going to want to resort to using really slow to autofocus, PDAF lenses on other mirrorless systems, nor are they going to want to use manual focus lenses. Of course, forum nerds like ourselves would be interested, but not so much in the real world.

    That's why I don't see Sony making a FF NEX anytime soon. They would likely need an all new mount, the lenses would be relatively big, since they don't seem too interested in taking the Leica approach to sensor design, and they're likely not going to build a FF NEX to cater to the relatively small population of alternative lens users.
    I think a FF mirrorless camera is inevitable. The public and the market is ready for it, not only some lens nerds. If Sony doesn't make one soon some other brand will.
    And when it's there it will be nice for MF lens users as well


    BTW This is a statement by COO of Sony Phil Molyneux, so it's in the air.

    MW: The VG900 demonstrated that the E-mount lens mount can support a full frame sensor. Building the lenses that can cover a full frame imaging circle at that flange back distance is another matter. We'll see. The benefits of making a smaller camera with a full frame sensor and interchangeable lenses are clear. The E-mount that could do that would be a little different than the E-mount that we know today. But it is possible. Much of the lens geometry you see in the RX1 is what it would take to realize that design.

    Michiel

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Reading that interview w/ Phil M, it seems that Sony wants to be seen as "Disruptive". Creating a FF Nex camera would certainly fit that bill.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    They certainly do disruptive cameras. The newly made wide zoom gives color casts/purple corners at 10mm on the NEX-7 according to the first tests. I am sure that will not happen on the C3, 5N, 5R or the 6. It is not that they are struggling with the full frame lens designs but are having problems with their APS-C camera bodies. It took them several iterations to come up with the NEX-6 with their customers (us) being the field testers on a very large scale

    I do not see a steady progress with applied research and development but rather stabs in the dark. One of these days they will get it and then after a few models they will fine tune the product.

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    I also think that FF mirrorless is inevitable. I think that market is also ready for it, just look at the excitement every new amateur FF camera creates on forums. The manufacturers need to upgrade their cameras continuously and making them FF is one of the solutions. People love to have the best image quality they can get. Even though modern FF are very good, people still buy MF cameras. It could be silly, but it is part of the game.
    Only couple month ago I thought that FF mirrorless will arrive in a few years, now I am thinking next year. Reminds me of the times when Leica said FF rangefinder was impossible!

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    Re: Thoughts on mirrorless FF camera with interchangeable lenses in 2013?

    Full frame is the Holy Grail of low-end digital photography. It answers the question "can digital look like film?", partially. MFD has shown us that digital sensors can scale up with very excellent results. Full frame 35mm digital does an excellent job emulating its film ancestors. But why go to all this trouble? Lenses. A great deal of time, effort and money have been spent of the design of current glass. There is a heck of alot of it out in the wild. Sensors had to improve to get the most out of the glass. Asking pros to shed all of their carefully selected, finely crafted lenses would alienate them from the companies they supported. Now, sensors are exceeding the glass and the glass now has to be redesigned. The old glass is no longer up to snuff except in a retro nostalgic kind of way.

    Camera designs are at a turning point. A paradigm shift is occurring right before our very eyes. Pro mirrorless cameras are 12-24 months away. The newest generation of photographers have never even seen film. I know, I've taught them. Sure they've heard about it and seen pictures of film, but they've never done anything but digital.

    Resist or embrace, it is going to happen regardless. I myself am going all Sony: NEX-6 for daily carry and A99 for pro work.
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