Sony Announces new EVIL Camera (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens)

firestarter

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Check out their press conference at DPReview

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1002/10022102sonypressconference.asp

"Imamura unveils a mock-up of a compact, interchangable lens camera which will be made this year, It will be based around a new Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. 'The sensor is much bigger than in compact camera and larger still than the sensors in Four Thirds cameras to give full DSLR image quality'"
 

88888888

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2008
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so the view finder will be digitalized?
Not like what you see is what you get?

i dont like it if it's that way. tried using gh1 viewfinder, dont really like it
 

El Cabong

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Dec 1, 2008
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Looks as if it will be compatible with existing Alpha-mount lenses. Wonder if Nikon/Canon will follow suit in that regard. Seems silly to have a separate EVIL line of lenses a la 4/3 vs u4/3. Obviously 4/3 is a dead format (and adapters will have to suffice until u4/3 fills in the gap), but the same can't be said for the EF-mount or the F-mount. There's enough problems maintaining EF-S/EF and DX/FX without throwing in an EVIL line.
 

Westside guy

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Interesting... but a lot of unanswered questions - the biggest one being whether their existing dSLR lenses going to be compatible with this?

I know some people are looking to see what Canon and Nikon do in this market. I expect both will release EVIL-style cameras, but given their aversion to risk I can't imagine anything particularly amazing coming from either company. I'm sure Canon's will be a nice, safe - meaning no surprises - camera. Nikon's could be anything, depending on whether their dSLR philosophy is followed (great!) or their compact camera mindset drives the design (what the heck?).
 

benzslrpee

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Jan 1, 2007
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i don't get this business model.

i think the reason u4/3 has been successful is because Oly/Panny were able to shrink the lens size/weight due to the smaller 4/3 sensor. is it possible to achieve the same result with APS-C sensors? if not, i'm not sure many will look forward to hauling around APS-C sized glass mounted on something a bit bigger than a point-and-shoot.
 

firestarter

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Is it possible to achieve the same result with APS-C sensors?
Of course it is...

For a start, you loose the whole mirror box and pentaprism.

Reducing the lens to sensor distance also produces big benefits when you build wide angle lenses (no need to build retrofocus designs).

Just think back to all the old film point and shoots. Some really small designs, despite having a fill frame 35mm 'sensor'.
 

DCBass

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Jan 23, 2004
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Different mounts necessary for EVIL

I am not sure others are clear in this one, but from what I understand, keeping the same sensor and reducing the flange distance (by removing the mirror box and pentaprism mechanisms, will require all new lens designs. A lens on a non-EVIL camera cannot be used on an EVIL camera, even if the mount was mechanically identical, because the lens will not be able to focus on the sensor that is closer than it was designed for.

This is why the micro four thirds cameras have new lenses, and why Sony's and Samsung's EVIL systems, as well as whatever Canon and Nikon come up with, will as well.

This is all fine and food since the smaller flange distance will allow for smaller lens designs, just as we have seen with micro four thirds, and should also be cheaper to manufacture.

I'm pretty sure I have this right, but if anyone has anything to add or any corrections, I'd be glad to hear it.

Cheers,

DCBass
 

El Cabong

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Dec 1, 2008
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is it possible to achieve the same result with APS-C sensors?
Yeah, the whole promise of 4/3 (not to mention APS-C) was that the smaller sensor size would create smaller cameras and lenses. Though 4/3 cameras were smaller than the average Nikon/Canon/etc offerings, they weren't more appreciably pocketable than, say, an XSi or a D40. It wasn't until the removal of the mirror box that the size was able to shrink to that of a compact. Doing the same thing with an APS-C sensor would achieve the same result, as Sony's mock-up shows.

As far as glass goes, the mirrorless design has heralded the advent/rediscovery of pancake lenses, taking what Ricoh (GR Digital series) and Sigma (DP series) tried to do with their compacts, which was to put a large aperture lens into a compact camera, and applying it to an interchangeable format. Thus, an EVIL shooter can have what people have been craving for years: a truly pocketable large sensor camera. For any EVIL camera, backwards lens compatibility will be a selling point for shooters with a large collection of [brand] glass, but the true advantage (i.e. size) will only come with new lenses designed with the mirrorless format in mind.
 

firestarter

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I am not sure others are clear in this one, but from what I understand, keeping the same sensor and reducing the flange distance (by removing the mirror box and pentaprism mechanisms, will require all new lens designs. A lens on a non-EVIL camera cannot be used on an EVIL camera, even if the mount was mechanically identical, because the lens will not be able to focus on the sensor that is closer than it was designed for.
All you need is a spacer to let you use old SLR lenses on the new bodies. Olympus sell these for the micro 4/3rds system - it just extends the lens mount out so that the SLR lens is the appropriate distance from the sensor.

Of course compatibility doesn't exist the other way 'round.
 

benzslrpee

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Jan 1, 2007
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i get what you're saying about how in reducing the flange focal distance will result in smaller body/lense size. i should probably be clearer in what i was trying to say earlier.

a full-specced 4/3 SLR is about the size of a D40, thus when taking out the mirror and prism, something slightly bigger (or a lot depending on your hands) could be created.

now take Nikon, their APS-C body is anywhere from a D40 to D300. realistically, how small can they go still from a D40 body size? i'd love to have a little(er) companion for my D50 but somehow i don't think a micro APS-C (if you will) can be shrunk past something like the Lumix DMC-G1 in terms of size.

damn, guess i'm just scared of getting my hopes up for a smaller Nikon!

...

Yeah, the whole promise of 4/3 (not to mention APS-C) was that the smaller sensor size would create smaller cameras and lenses. Though 4/3 cameras were smaller than the average Nikon/Canon/etc offerings, they weren't more appreciably pocketable than, say, an XSi or a D40. It wasn't until the removal of the mirror box that the size was able to shrink to that of a compact. Doing the same thing with an APS-C sensor would achieve the same result, as Sony's mock-up shows.

...
 

wheelhot

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I'm with the others, as much as I appreciated having a smaller camera for me to walk around casual photographing, I don't see how does having a real small body mounted on a big lens helps. First, the weight will be offset to the lens and unless they can make the lens small enough like a rangefinder lenses, then I don't really see the appeal of EVIL cameras, beside the small body of course.
 

firestarter

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now take Nikon, their APS-C body is anywhere from a D40 to D300. realistically, how small can they go still from a D40 body size? i'd love to have a little(er) companion for my D50 but somehow i don't think a micro APS-C (if you will) can be shrunk past something like the Lumix DMC-G1 in terms of size.
I guess you could think of this another way 'round.

Shutters, mirrors and pentaprism/pentamirror assemblies in cameras will always be a fiddly expensive manual component.

Almost every 'DSLR' from here on in will be sold with a sensor capable of capturing full motion video, and will have a display capable of showing it.

At a certain point you've got to ask 'what is the point of continuing with the reflex/mirror design?'. Especially at the low end, it's going to be a whole lot cheaper to produce 'EVIL' cameras, and as electronic viewfinders improve it will only be the high end photographers who still want to use a mirror.

So I don't think this is a question of why, but more like 'why not' and 'when'.
 

gkarris

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Looks as if it will be compatible with existing Alpha-mount lenses. Wonder if Nikon/Canon will follow suit in that regard. Seems silly to have a separate EVIL line of lenses a la 4/3 vs u4/3. Obviously 4/3 is a dead format (and adapters will have to suffice until u4/3 fills in the gap), but the same can't be said for the EF-mount or the F-mount. There's enough problems maintaining EF-S/EF and DX/FX without throwing in an EVIL line.
How is 4/3 dead? Did Olympus just go out of business?

:rolleyes:
 

El Cabong

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Dec 1, 2008
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How is 4/3 dead? Did Olympus just go out of business?

:rolleyes:
No, they (and Panasonic) went into the Micro 4/3 (u4/3) business. Call me crazy, but I don't think they'll be making many 4/3 cameras or lenses in the future.

Doubt it. But maybe for a change it will have a decent HD video capability.
I was joking about the built-in projector, to emphasize how stupidly the Coolpix line is developed. I agree that Nikon should really up their HD video res.
 

gkarris

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No, they (and Panasonic) went into the Micro 4/3 (u4/3) business. Call me crazy, but I don't think they'll be making many 4/3 cameras or lenses in the future.
The Olympus system (OM) never had a ton of lenses, as talking with the Olympus rep, a ton of lenses for 4/3 are just an adapter away.

My E-420 is still a lot cheaper than any Micro 4/3 camera. I think that Olympus may reduce the number of 4/3 dSLR's in their offering but I believe that they'll over a compact, mid-size, and high-end one nonetheless...
 

El Cabong

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I think that Olympus may reduce the number of 4/3 dSLR's in their offering but I believe that they'll over [sic] a compact, mid-size, and high-end one nonetheless...
I'm sure that if people continue to buy 4/3 DSLRs in significant numbers, Olympus will continue to make them. However, I think that the number of u4/3 cameras flying off the shelves, in addition to Sony, Samsung, and others making moves to break into the burgeoning market, provides little incentive for Olympus (or Panasonic) to continue making 4/3 DSLRs. As for the diversity of u4/3 cameras, Olympus is already trying to fill in the low-end with the E-PL1 (only $100 more than your E-420, which came out 2 years ago), and Panasonic already has a high-end offering in the GH1.

Olympus isn't a Nikon or Canon in terms of its size or footprint in the camera market (especially with professionals), so it has less room to experiment with different models. I predict that they'll go with the winner of the two formats, and gradually phase out the other. Panasonic has no huge stake in the camera market, but when you compare the rate that 4/3 DSLRs have been released by them over the years (2 in the past 4, with the last one in 2007) to the number of u4/3 cameras that they've released lately (3 in the past year and a half), I think it should be clear which horse they're betting on.

I think this is great! Who doesn't want a camera that can't frame a shot in bright sunlight? Composition is so overrated.

;)
I know you're joking, but apparently a lot of people want cameras that can't frame a shot in bright sunlight. Why do you think they stopped putting viewfinders in compacts?

I'm fairly certain that the average person's idea of good composition is putting the subject smack in the middle of the frame. These are the same people who use their onboard flash when taking photos from the nosebleed section at concerts and sporting events.
 

gkarris

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but when you compare the rate that 4/3 DSLRs have been released by them over the years (2 in the past 4, with the last one in 2007) to the number of u4/3 cameras that they've released lately (3 in the past year and a half), I think it should be clear which horse they're betting on.
dSLR's are just an extension of the SLR film format - how much can you really improve on a model? How often do you have to release a new one?

I think Panasonic and Olympus are rushing the u4/3 to market to try to capture the new "larger sensor" compact market.

Olympus isn't going to leave their SLR users behind. If anything, their new cameras are just updated PEN's, which have been around for a very long time.

Panasonic, on the other hand, has no dSLR's anymore anyways...
 

El Cabong

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dSLR's are just an extension of the SLR film format - how much can you really improve on a model? How often do you have to release a new one?
[...]
Olympus isn't going to leave their SLR users behind. If anything, their new cameras are just updated PEN's, which have been around for a very long time.
Well, for one thing, I think that it's a bad sign when Olympus' sole "professional" 4/3 camera (the E-3, released more than 2 years ago) has a sensor with fewer megapixels than entry-level DSLRs from their competitors, not to mention half of the remaining E-series cameras. Say what you will about MPs not mattering; I bring it up because it's an indication of a lack of development of their 4/3 DSLRs. (There are other, less marketable developments in DSLRs since the E-3 that I won't get into now.)

Although it sounds nice to say Olympus can ride on the revenues of products released years ago that are inferior and antiquated by the standards of those offered by their competitors, from a business standpoint, it makes no sense. It's the reason Olympus (and most other camera companies) refresh their compact lines every year, despite the lack of an appreciable difference between successive models beyond gimmicks like projectors and front-facing screens. Lack of development is a bad sign for any product line, camera or otherwise.

Perhaps people will continue to buy 4/3 DSLRs enough to justify their continued existence, but with EVIL technology improvements that will continue to push down manufacturing costs and equalize performance to DSLRs, I don't see much of a future in the older format. However, this is all speculation (both mine and yours), and without a working crystal ball or total control of Olympus' board of directors, neither of us can say with 100% certainty how well [x] model of camera will sell or which direction the company will take, so I think it's a good idea to just agree to disagree now, before letting this argument devolve into who can better justify a given hypothetical plausibility.
 

Westside guy

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Olympus isn't going to leave their SLR users behind. If anything, their new cameras are just updated PEN's, which have been around for a very long time.
I don't really mean to be (too) argumentative - but in what sense are these "just updated PEN's" other than the way Olympus' marketing department chose to name them?

I've got nothing against these new cameras - heck I think m4/3 has actually accomplished what the consortium was hoping to do with the 4/3 format to start with - but really, the digital PEN cameras just seem to be named to evoke nostalgia.
 

gkarris

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"No escape from Reality..."
I don't really mean to be (too) argumentative - but in what sense are these "just updated PEN's" other than the way Olympus' marketing department chose to name them?
.
They fall between cheap P&S and regular SLR's and the market is the same, not a person who wants a small P&S, nor a person who wants a full-fledged dSLR system...

It's all about the photographer anyways. I've seen people with Polariod Instants and Kodak Pocket 110's take better pics than the proverbial Soccer Dad with a Nikon D90 and some expensive $2,000 Nikon lens...

I've taken better pics with my "crappy 4/3" Olympus dSLR with the cheap kit lens (I won't even go there with the pics with my Zeiss) than people online with much "better" Nikon/Canon.
 

Jaro65

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Mar 27, 2009
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I was joking about the built-in projector, to emphasize how stupidly the Coolpix line is developed. I agree that Nikon should really up their HD video res.
I knew you were joking. And I agree with your assessment regarding the Coolpix product line. I used to have a Coolpix camera years ago and I was relatively happy with it. But then Canon came out with their G series, and I never looked back. Nikon totally missed the boat here (and they continue doing so).