Mirrorless Cameras (MILC) and Lenses

snowhiker

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#1
I'm starting a new thread for "Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras" (MILC) and Lenses as I didn't see a thread on this subject.

Interesting story at PetaPixel titled, "Nikon Patents 2 Full Frame Mirrorless Lenses: 52mm f/0.9 and 36mm f/1.2" Very interesting.

An f/0.9 and f/1.2 scream "high-end" and upscale. A direction that Nikon leadership says they want to steer the company toward.

The current Nikon F-mount can't accommodate AF lenses faster than f/1.4* so perhaps Nikon is working on a new, high end, MILC camera system. The article also describes a patent for an adapter that will allow older Nikkor lenses, even older screw drive D-series lenses, to work with a new mirrorless camera.

Seems risky to introduce a new high-end MILC camera that doesn't work natively with the current Nikon F-mount. Obviously flange distance is an issue with a MILC camera using the existing F-mount.

Will customers be willing to buy all new "NF" (new-F-mount) lenses for their new "high-end" MILC camera? Huge gamble. Maybe Nikon is using a dual strategy approach. 1) Convert the current Df camera to MILC with current F-mount and 2) Create a new MILC/lens mount (and f-mount adapter) system. Then decide which system is financially/technically possible within Nikon's current financial/technical budgets?

Or maybe Nikon's future MILC camera will be some type of "medium format" camera like the Fujifilm GFX 50S system.





* There is the 50mm manual focus f/1.2 lenses that will mount and work on higher-end Nikon DSLR bodies.
 

LunarMist

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#3
I'm not sure what they are up to, but many patents do not result in commercial products.
 

snowhiker

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#4
I'm not sure what they are up to, but many patents do not result in commercial products.
True. However, mirrorless is the future. Not sure when, but it will happen. Mirror, shutter, AF modules, etc are all complicated pieces that cost a ton to design, manufacturer, repair, warranty, etc. Canikon need to cut production costs to stay profitable in the ever changing camera world.
 
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#5
I am shopping around for a mirrorless for timelapse. Would like it to have the Intervalometer built-in, have good dynamic range, support enough resolution for ~5k video (to motion crop to 4k), and be reasonably weather resistant. Just started looking, have another week before I need to buy.
 

Tannin

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#6
It's the mantra, isn't it. "Mirrorless is the future". But then, they said the same about Yahoo, Netware, and Myspace.

Call me when a mirrorless camera can do what an SLR can do as well as an SLR does. Actually, don't call me, call my grandchildren 'coz I'll have been pushing up daisies long since.

I'm not dissing mirrorless. I really like the fact that finally, finally, finally we have a viable high-quality camera type that isn't an SLR. Not since the glory days of rangefinders has there been a viable choice in serious cameras. But I get a bit tired of semi-bright mirrorless evangelists pretending that it is somehow magically "the future" anymore than rangefinders were. Mirrorless is a future, that's all.
 

snowhiker

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It's the mantra, isn't it. "Mirrorless is the future". But then, they said the same about Yahoo, Netware, and Myspace.

Call me when a mirrorless camera can do what an SLR can do as well as an SLR does. Actually, don't call me, call my grandchildren 'coz I'll have been pushing up daisies long since.

I'm not dissing mirrorless. I really like the fact that finally, finally, finally we have a viable high-quality camera type that isn't an SLR. Not since the glory days of rangefinders has there been a viable choice in serious cameras. But I get a bit tired of semi-bright mirrorless evangelists pretending that it is somehow magically "the future" anymore than rangefinders were. Mirrorless is a future, that's all.
Weren't the same sentiments made "back in the day" regarding digital cameras? Vis-a-vis film and digital coexisting because digital would never equal film? I don't actually know if this is true, as I wasn't interested in photography during the film-to-digital transition, but would suspect the transition from mirror to mirrorless would be similar.

Film is now, outside of a few very 'nichey' situations, completely dead. Done. It may take some time. Maybe a lot of time, say 10-20 years, but the mirror/shutter/AF-module/etc will eventually go away. If a company can't raise prices or increase sales the only way to increase profits would be to reduce costs. Smartphones have decimated the low and mid range camera markets and are slowly eating away the 'mid-high end' of stand alone cameras. The only long term success for camera manufactures is the very high end upscale markets. Wealthy, or at least very serious amateur, 'enthusiasts' and actual pro photographers are all that will be left of non-smartphone-carrying-photographers.

I have a feeling that kids born after the start of the smart phone era, say 2007'ish, will never buy a 'starter' Canon Rebel or Nikon D3300 type camera because they've always had and used smartphones and wouldn't see the point. But if they become seriously interested in photography they will buy a 5D4 or D850 level camera because 10 years from now (generally speaking) you'll have to go that high to get 'better results' than a smartphone. At least in the eyes of those future purchasers.
 

snowhiker

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#9
From Nikon Rumers: "New interview with Tetsuro Goto from Nikon: “full frame is the trend, if Nikon will go mirrorless it must be full frame."

The plot thickens.

This might just be some random guy inside Nikon talking about his own preferences and have no relation to what Nikon's plans are for their upcoming/future MILC camera. But full frame would definitely be a bold, if not challenging and risky, statement from Nikon. They better not F-it-up whatever they do.
 

LunarMist

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#10
From Nikon Rumers: "New interview with Tetsuro Goto from Nikon: “full frame is the trend, if Nikon will go mirrorless it must be full frame."

The plot thickens.

This might just be some random guy inside Nikon talking about his own preferences and have no relation to what Nikon's plans are for their upcoming/future MILC camera. But full frame would definitely be a bold, if not challenging and risky, statement from Nikon. They better not F-it-up whatever they do.
Well, they have not done so well with the ML croppers and it would be a transition. I hope they can find a better EVF than the S*nys.
 

Tannin

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#11
Weren't the same sentiments made "back in the day" regarding digital cameras? Vis-a-vis film and digital coexisting because digital would never equal film? I don't actually know if this is true, as I wasn't interested in photography during the film-to-digital transition, but would suspect the transition from mirror to mirrorless would be similar.

Film is now, outside of a few very 'nichey' situations, completely dead. Done. It may take some time. Maybe a lot of time, say 10-20 years, but the mirror/shutter/AF-module/etc will eventually go away. If a company can't raise prices or increase sales the only way to increase profits would be to reduce costs. Smartphones have decimated the low and mid range camera markets and are slowly eating away the 'mid-high end' of stand alone cameras. The only long term success for camera manufactures is the very high end upscale markets. Wealthy, or at least very serious amateur, 'enthusiasts' and actual pro photographers are all that will be left of non-smartphone-carrying-photographers.

I have a feeling that kids born after the start of the smart phone era, say 2007'ish, will never buy a 'starter' Canon Rebel or Nikon D3300 type camera because they've always had and used smartphones and wouldn't see the point. But if they become seriously interested in photography they will buy a 5D4 or D850 level camera because 10 years from now (generally speaking) you'll have to go that high to get 'better results' than a smartphone. At least in the eyes of those future purchasers.
Yes, and the same sentiments were also made about 101 different wannabe technologies which have disappeared without trace and no-one even remembers them anymore. The difference here is that digital brought wonderful new capabilities to the table, and (over time) could do things that film simply cannot do, and (in broad) can do everything film did at least as well or better. Compare with mirrorless which offers .... what? Well, a small saving in cost and weight. Set that against the significant loss of utility involved in not having an actual viewfinder and what do you get? You get a different way of doing things which some people like, some people don't like, and most sensible people regard as a horses for courses thing.

I agree with your thesis that smartphones are slowly eating the high-end and mid-range camera market, and that the high end (or at least the upper mid-range) will be the only segment to prosper long-term. The sensible conclusion to draw from it is that DSLRs (with higher cost and weight but superior utility) should do just fine, while mirrorless should struggle. Actually, I don't buy that. There is plenty of room for mirrorless cameras to survive and prosper. They will (and already do) sell well against cheap DSLRs and expensive bridge cameras - the vast bulk of mirrorless sales are at the low end - and have a small foothold towards the upper end of the market too. Rangefinders sold alongside SLRs for how long? 50 years? I wasn't around for all of that bit it was a very long time. The only way that mirrorless cameras will ever take over the serious end of the market is when they start providing a proper viewfinder as good as or better than the one provided by an SLR. So far, that hasn't happened. Better EVFs are the key here. Is it possible to make an EVF that can compete? Probably yes, eventually. But it might be a long time. They are nowhere near it now.
 

snowhiker

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#12
Compare with mirrorless which offers .... what? Well, a small saving in cost and weight.
Correct regarding the weight. Some of the MILC lenses are actually heavier than their mirror-flapper cousins. Now regarding cost. Savings in cost for the consumer or manufacturer? I don't think MILC cameras that will compete/take-over the 'high-end' DSLR market will be cheaper for the consumer to buy, but cheaper for Canikon to manufacturer. And that, I feel is why MILCs will happen, eventually.

Better EVFs are the key here. Is it possible to make an EVF that can compete? Probably yes, eventually. But it might be a long time. They are nowhere near it now.
This. Agree. Hence my 10-20 year statement. If EVFs provide the same the benefits of optical viewfinders with low lag, (low single digit millisecond range) with a 6-8mp resolution then yeah, the DSLR, as we currently know it, will go away.
 
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#13
I can see EVF to an external monitor being better than DSLRs for studio work now. 100% crop to a large 4k color-correct display would be awesome. I've started to fly my drones the same way (video output to large screen) instead of goggles. Better on the eyes and easier to see details. Obviously not for Tannin and the walkabout birding, but in situations where setup time/space/cost aren't an issue...there could be something there. Perhaps the medium/large format studio stuff?
 

LunarMist

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#14
Professional video is still mostly done with video cameras, I*LCV cameras are for low end and consumer one-man video stuff.
 

LunarMist

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#15
If EVFs provide the same the benefits of optical viewfinders with low lag, (low single digit millisecond range) with a 6-8mp resolution then yeah, the DSLR, as we currently know it, will go away.
They do need better resolution, faster refresh, better brightness range, and lower power. Ass of now the battery drain is horrific when waiting on a subject. A DSLR uses no power to look through.
Presumably the resolution and refresh will be decent in a few years, but I'm, not convinced about the range and power issues.
 

Tannin

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#16
I'd be happy with an EVF for some purposes, not for others. For landscapes at moderate focal lengths where you have time to think about things and set up the shot just so, and EVF would work for me. All I really need to see is the framing. (Have I excluded that power pole? Is my horizon straight? Have I left enough space on the left? stuff like that.) I don't need accurate colour reproduction or high resolution or fast response, and I can see exactly what the scene looks like with my bare eyes.

But anything at long focal lengths or involving rapid choices, not a chance. And in 20 years I won't need one either, I'll be more interested in a performance upgrade for my walking frame.
 

Tannin

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#17
Correct regarding the weight. Some of the MILC lenses are actually heavier than their mirror-flapper cousins. Now regarding cost. Savings in cost for the consumer or manufacturer? I don't think MILC cameras that will compete/take-over the 'high-end' DSLR market will be cheaper for the consumer to buy, but cheaper for Canikon to manufacturer. And that, I feel is why MILCs will happen, eventually.
I see mirrorless gradually eating away at the low-end SLR market, replacing the X00D ("Rebel" in the US) range over time, or at least supplementing it. But I also see mirrorless as a genuine alternative to pro and particularly semi-pro models, just the way rangefinders used to be a genuine high-quality alternative to high-quality film SLRs. I can't see them becoming the standard, but I do see them as having much more than a niche role.
 

LunarMist

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#18
Unfortunately the change to the EVF will happen more quickly and extensively than you and I may like. :(
 

Stereodude

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#19
Unfortunately the change to the EVF will happen more quickly and extensively than you and I may like. :(
Luckily for you your camera doesn't have an expiration date and no one is going to come confiscate it from you, so you won't be forced to upgrade to one with an EVF unless you want to.
 

LunarMist

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#20
Luckily for you your camera doesn't have an expiration date and no one is going to come confiscate it from you, so you won't be forced to upgrade to one with an EVF unless you want to.
The serviceable life is 5-7 years, so it is not very long.
 
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#23
I'm pretty sure mirrorless better fits my new usage pattern (closer to a P&S, but not willing to give up features). So the question is whether I should unload all my Canon gear and go Sony, or hold off until the Canon mirrorless arrives and keep the glass.
 

LunarMist

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#24
I'm pretty sure mirrorless better fits my new usage pattern (closer to a P&S, but not willing to give up features). So the question is whether I should unload all my Canon gear and go Sony, or hold off until the Canon mirrorless arrives and keep the glass.
I'm not sure why you would consider the form factor of the FF Sony E bodies to be a good thing. They are harder to use than Canon or Nikon due to the poor ergonomics, though the a9 and a7RIII are a bit better than their predecessors
 

LunarMist

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#26
Mainly the smaller total volume. Being able to carry it in a smaller bag means being able to have it with me more often.
You should look at the APS-C bodies and lenses rather than the full flame system. Other than a few smallish short to mid-tele primes, most FF E lenses are about the same size as DSLR lenses.
I'd suggest you look at the a6500 for Sony. I'm not so familiar with the Fuji, but the funky, non-Bayer X-Trans array is quite controversial. Jpeg users don't have the PP issues.

The a7R III is surprisingly heavy for the size and the cramped handgrip makes it rather uncomfortable. My Canon lens adapter is lost in some cluster**** dimension of the UPS so I have been able to use the body for anything yet.
 

paugie

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#27
for camera stuff, I read "theonlinephotographer.com" blog. just last week, he had an article saying Sony and/or Fuji

still have the old pentax body which is useless above iso800
for now, the camera I use (not regularly) is an entry-level Panasonic Lumix which falls under this thread's topic
 

snowhiker

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#32
The internet bloggers and YouTubers have spoken, and it seems the new Nikon MILCs are somewhere between blah and EPIC-FAIL.

$3400 camera that only has ONE memory card slot? Really? I guess the Z8 and Z9 "pro" cameras will have TWO memory card slots and be $4-7k.

$600 for a 50/1.8 lens?
$850 for a 35/1.8 lens?
$1000 for a 24-70/4 lens? ($600 if bought as part of a kit)
$250 for FTZ (f-mount to z-mount adapter) ($150 if bought as part of a kit)

As as Nikon Fanboi I'm a sad panda. Sony execs just had a huge sigh of relief. All Canon has to do now is show up and they'll look like goddamn geniuses.
 

LunarMist

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#33
The AF seems to be suboptimal to say the least. It's a premature response to video Milleniums and the Eastern tiny hands markets. Canon subminiature MILC bodies have been poor as well. The good part is that the DSLRs have a little more life.

I'm more interested in the 500/5.6 PF.
 

snowhiker

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#34
I'm more interested in the 500/5.6 PF.
If the actual MFT charts match the published Nikon theoretical ones, the 500/5.6 PF should be a very, very good lens. Matched with a D850 or D500 and you have some serious, QUALITY, reach for not too much cash. At least a lot less than a 10k 500/4 lens.
 

Stereodude

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#35
So apparently the rumors have Canon announcing their first full frame mirrorless camera on Sept. 5th. (maybe)

  • 28MP full frame sensor
  • Dual Pixel Auto Focus
  • IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation)
  • 10fps shooting
  • 4k@30fps
  • 1080p@60fps
  • Priced $1,900
 

snowhiker

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#36
^^^^ About the same as the Z6. Except the Z6 is only 5.5 fps with full AF/AE, instead of the listed 12 fps.
 

LunarMist

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#37
So apparently the rumors have Canon announcing their first full frame mirrorless camera on Sept. 5th. (maybe)

  • 28MP full frame sensor
  • Dual Pixel Auto Focus
  • IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation)
  • 10fps shooting
  • 4k@30fps
  • 1080p@60fps
  • Priced $1,900
It's what I would expect in the entry FF class. We'll see if Canon can make a better EVF in a few years when it appears in the better bodies.
I find the EVF a real hassle for fast changing conditions with long lenses. It's not even possible to see the subject without dialing in the exposure. That makes for a tiring day when waiting a long time on wildlife.
At least Canon and Nikon can have decent ergonomics otherwise instead of the crap controls of the Sony.
 

LunarMist

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#38
^^^^ About the same as the Z6. Except the Z6 is only 5.5 fps with full AF/AE, instead of the listed 12 fps.
My Sony is only 8 FPS rather than 10 without AF, but even the Canon and Nikon pro bodies are a few frames slower without AF.
5.5 FPS vs. 12 is really a joke, indicating a mismatch of internal components in the design. Who will capture a static subject at 12FPS? :(
 

LunarMist

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#40
Well there is this funny clip of high frame rate photography on a static subject.
It's not so easy to change framing rate quickly/easily unless there are some custom buttons to program for that. I usually use full speed for anything that might involve action.
Of course a leopard or especially a lion sometimes just stares at you, and you shoot a burst at 10-12 FPS because that speed may be needed again seconds later when the animal is moving around.
It's the same with AF. I use continuous AF with the back button focus and lift off as needed for static subjects. I don't know the specific behavior of that body, but I would not select a framing rate where AF did not work continuously.

Obviously I don't use continuous framing or continuous AF for landscapes.
 
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