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Thread: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

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    What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    I am just curious if some of the people who are a bit more plugged into what is going on in the pro compact world could let me know if they expect a full-frame, viewfinder compact anytime soon. Basically, an X100S with a full frame and 35/2 or faster, or an RX1 with a built in viewfinder (preferably optical, but I know how unlikely that is). I have been telling myself I would not get a compact until these things happened, but my patience is wearing a bit thin.

    It seems as though Fuji is dead-set on APS-C, given that they have a line of cameras with detachable lenses on that mount etc, while Sony seems to be contemptuous of viewfinders in general, going back years now. So I am a bit at a crossroads. Do I keep waiting for someone to make what I am interested in, compromise on full-frame and get the Fuji, or compromise on a VF and get an RX1?

    I can run the pros and cons of the second two myself (more or less), but I am interested if anyone has any intelligence or reasonable speculation about the possibility of the kind of camera I mention.

    FOOTNOTE
    If you are asking why I am not a fan of either no VF or smaller than full frame sensors, it is because I am very tied to how longer lenses render...I like having the option for some subject isolation, but also find that smaller than FF cameras just don't feel right to me. I have had this in the past with an EP1, compacts and a 20D, granted, all old cameras by now. On the other hand, I am strongly attached to optical VF's, and did not enjoy shooting the EP1 very much, even with a hotshoe optical finder. I really prefer an RF or SLR viewfinder.

    Super special second footnote:
    I currently use an M9 or Hexar AF in this role. They are both exceptionally capable cameras that I love, use a lot, and am not interested in getting rid of. What I am looking for in this compact camera would be something that can add a capability I do not currently have -- in particular, something very compact that I can always bring with me, that does well in very low light, and can do some video in a pinch. At the moment, the only thing that can do that is my phone, which of course does not have very good quality.

    Incredibly special third footnote.
    It is a holiday morning here, and this is all probably mindless and pointless speculation. Please feel free to join me in it, deride the topic or post a pic.
    Here are three photos from where I was last weekend. Staying on the farm was good for me, even if they wouldn't let me help with anything other than walking the dogs and bringing the cows home...no internet or cellphone out there to go crazy looking at RX1 and X100S information.





    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    But if you have an M9, why get an RX-1? The M9 is not that big. And if someone does come out with a 35mm camera with a another built-in viewfinder (the RX1 does have a viewfinder--that big screen in the back), I doubt it will be the size of the RX-1, more like an X-Pro1, which is the same size as a Leica M. BTW, I also have a Voightlander 28mm OVF for my RX-1 and Sony makes an OVF and EVF for the RX-1.

    Will Sony bring out the camera people dream about? Well, digital camera sales are down 40% since last year. Sony as a company is not really healthy. Sony has an APS mirrorless line that does well. They have a FF DSLR that is doing OK. The RX-1 was popular, but is a Cyber Shot and I don't think their Cyber Shot division does interchangeable lens cameras. With the industry shrinking, where is the incentive for a new very expensive product? It is "possible" but not "probable" that an interchangeable RX camera would be made--it is really expensive to go into another line of lenses for a manufacturer. And if folks just adapt their existing lenses, that is not promising from a sales point of view. Naturally, I have not been in the industry since Konica Minolta closed their doors, but it has not changed that much (if you have a camera (film or digital) or scanner made after 2000 by Minolta or Konica Minolta and a non-Japanese manual, then you probably have some of my work, in fact, some of my work is still in the RX-1 (I was doing technical writing including GUI nomenclature)). No one knows what might happen except the manufacturers.

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    Stop being reasonable! No, you are of course right. That has what has stopped me in the past, but at the same time I am looking more for a pocketable, single unit camera with AF, high ISO and video...something light and small. The M9 is not very large, but with the 35/1.4 it is fairly heavy and very expensive. What I was thinking was more something that I can just carry along with me on a bike ride, to a party or as a small digital supplement to a MF kit on a hike etc. Something that adds capabilities I don't have (something higher than ISO 1600, video, and pocketability for example). In the past I have often used the Hexar AF for this, or just my phone. But as you hint at, I think I am just getting restless...I wouldn't even pretend that this is a camera that I "need", this would certainly be more about wants than needs...
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    Stuart, having been a Hexar AF user, I can understand where you are coming from. Since I moved to digital, I have been really careful to keep my gear pared down. While I had this really great collection of film gear, I really only used a few cameras.

    Now, I did buy an RX-1 as a counterpoint to my Pentax 645D. It gave me something different to the Pentax with quality that would keep up to it. I also wanted it do do things that the 645D might be less suited for. The RX-1 is a great camera. It is not a pocket camera, although it will fit in the pockets of my GoreTex rain gear, but I usually have it in a very small bag. And I only have those two camera.

    My feeling on a go-everywhere camera is that I seldom get anything good out of them. They just make me lazy--I would like to blame the camera, but in honesty, I can't. I need a camera I enjoy using and that puts me the the right frame of mind. So what I found was the best solution is finding the best way to carry the cameras I like using. And bags are cheaper than cameras.

    Maybe you need a new bag?

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    Their second biggest mistake ;
    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    .. The RX-1 was popular, but is a Cyber Shot ...
    Cybershot? Are they mad? Yes.

    Their biggest mistake is referenced by this thread.
    Imagine doubling their sales with a Fujiesque optical/EVF hybrid in the top left corner.
    Triple the sales with the right focal length ...

    So I'm with the O.P. in asking for / wondering about a built-in viewfinder in the same concept of camera.

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulfric Douglas View Post
    Their second biggest mistake ;

    Cybershot? Are they mad? Yes.

    Their biggest mistake is referenced by this thread.
    Imagine doubling their sales with a Fujiesque optical/EVF hybrid in the top left corner.
    Triple the sales with the right focal length ...

    So I'm with the O.P. in asking for / wondering about a built-in viewfinder in the same concept of camera.
    Actually, they are very clever. The compact camera market is disappearing and to rebrand compact cameras as high-end cameras is a great idea. It even worked really well for the RX100. So the Cyber Shot, which is their compact brand, is making a very good move.

    Now, please show where you have your sales projections from?

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    Hi, Stuart. Well, as a former M9 user, and current X100s (soon to be sold) and RX1 user, I guess I should weigh in.

    To start off, I don't see an RX1 with a built-in EVF coming soon, but who knows? I for one, would prefer that Sony leave these cameras modular, because I wouldn't want the EVF in my way, since I wouldn't really use it, but I don't know which direction they'll go.

    When it comes to the X100s' hybrid viewfinder, it's a little overhyped, to me, even though I've owned both the X100 and X100s. As we all know, the EVF portion isn't exactly class leading, although the X100s' is an improvement. I bought the camera for the OVF part, but there's a trick to the whole concept...there's no way to actually tell in the OVF whether you correctly AF'd on the correct subject, so the M9's OVF leads to less drastic focusing errors, because you can "see" that the subject is in focus with the rangefinder. You may get a green confirmation light in the Fuji's OVF, but, with both horizontal and vertical parallax to deal with, focusing on something in front or behind the intended subject happens from time to time. This leads me to the RX1.

    When I purchased the RX1, I ordered both the EVF and a Voigtlander 35mm OVF (like what you used on m4/3,) and I ended up RETURNING the EVF, which surprised me. Since the hotshoe is directly over the RX1's lens, and the top plate is so thin, there is zero horizontal parallax, and only a bit of vertical parallax to contend with in the RX1. So, despite being a "dumb" finder, and needing to "visualize" a center AF point, I don't find my AF hit rate to be any worse than with the X100s. It may actually be even better, because the RX1's AF is so accurate. The metering of the RX1 is so good that I just set the camera on auto ISO in A or M mode, and the OVF works great. Of course, if there is a scene that seems particularly challenging in terms of metering or AF, I can always use the LCD, so I'm covered either way, but it is rarely necessary. That big, bright, uncluttered OVF is a joy to use, so I really don't miss my M9 at all (I was basically only using a 35/2 ASPH,) and I'm getting rid of the Fuji, as well.

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    And maybe Douglas can chime in here, but I bought the CV 28mm finder because someone has said the framing was more accurate. I mostly use the rear screen, but do use the OVF when the screen does not work for me--usually when it is really dark. The 28mm finder seems right--I found the Olympus finder for the EP-1 too tight for the 17mm, but perfect for the 20mm. Douglas, how are you finding the 35mm OVF?

    And I can hit focus by judging the center in the OVF.

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    And maybe Douglas can chime in here, but I bought the CV 28mm finder because someone has said the framing was more accurate. I mostly use the rear screen, but do use the OVF when the screen does not work for me--usually when it is really dark. The 28mm finder seems right--I found the Olympus finder for the EP-1 too tight for the 17mm, but perfect for the 20mm. Douglas, how are you finding the 35mm OVF?

    And I can hit focus by judging the center in the OVF.
    Hi. The thing with these OVFs is that they're calibrated to only be correct at one distance. My 35mm OVF seems to be calibrated to about .5m-.7m'ish on the RX1, which is a bit closer than my 35 Summicron on the M9. Both my M9 and the RX1 leave quite a bit of "air" in the frame when shooting at distance. I'd imagine your 28mm OVF may be relatively accurate at long distance, but then starts to chop off part of the frame as you move closer (others have told me this about the 28mm OVF.) Neither is really right or wrong. It just depends on what you want.

    It may also depend on whether you shoot with distortion correction enabled. It seems as if the RX1 lens may be closer to something like 32mm, but turning on distortion correction gets it closer to 35mm (nearly all m4/3 lenses do this, but, since the distortion correction is automatic, it goes unnoticed.)

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    Re: What are the prospects for an RX1 type camera with a viewfinder?

    Right, it depends on distance. At 1m or below, the 28mm is too loose. At a couple of meters, it seems good. I guess it is about habit.

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