Why Thom is wrong...

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Dennis
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Re: About those two 800 pound gorillas...
In reply to TrapperJohn, 7 months ago

TrapperJohn wrote:

Mirrorless is not about taking a mirror out. Or trimming the sides and top down on a cheap dslr, but keeping the same large lenses, large film lens mount, and long film registration distance.

More on that at the end ...

In this market, it's worth taking a chance on a new design, now that most of the buying public isn't stuck on one brand name or one design. Rather refreshing, actually.

So you're obviously talking about what we think of today as the mirrorless camera market - the ILCs and their buyers.  And in that sense, I agree with what you're saying here and ...

Nikon designed a mirrorless system that was crippled so as not to compete with it's own DSLR. Unfortunately for Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony didn't cooperate. They did design mirrorless systems to compete with Nikon's DSLR's. All Nikon did was legitimize the mirrorless concept to many Nikon faithful, who then found how much more capable the other systems are. Oops...

I don't think that's the complete picture, but it's an interesting way of looking at it.  I think the Nikon 1 serves a niche market, but I agree that Nikon has also drawn attention to and legitimized mirrorless and in the process, driven people to consider alternatives.

Canon designed a mirrorless system that would beat Nikon,

I don't think that was their goal; rather a "me too" system like Sony & Oly & Panny did with a simple, compact entry level body based on sensors they were already using in their DSLRs.

because that's all they've been doing for the last 30 years. And so they did. Unfortunately for Canon, so did everyone else's mirrorless system, and by a wider margin.

I really had high hopes for mirrorless from both Nikon and Canon, because back when they were first rumored, NEX & m43 were both pretty "point & shoot-ish" and I figured Nikon & Canon were bound to create something more "serious" !  (I couldn't have been more wrong !)

To top off this picture of unbridled arrogance, Nikon released that long tome not long ago on how the mirrorless market was not worth considering.

They also said they wouldn't do full frame at one point in time.

A few weeks later, the Olympus EM1, the most capable mirrorless system ever, comes out to rave reviews and unprecedented preorders. Plus the Fuji XM1. Plus the NEX A3000. Plus the Panasonic GX7. For a dead market, there sure are a lot of new bodies, more than all the DSLR makers put together.

I think the A3000 points to something that's been missing - the cheap entry-level-DSLR alternative - an affordable body with a viewfinder that's not styled like a little point & shoot.  The Panasonic G's are fine, but aren't that visible in the retail market and aren't that cheap (compared to a D3100, for instance ... the kind of camera that consumers buy).

It's an exciting new world. And a much needed dose of humility to Canon and Nikon, who have become far too arrogant in attitude, and far too stagnant in design. Take off the platform specific blinders, and experience what a really first rate mirrorless system can do. A lot more than you might think.

But first rate mirrorless is very expensive.  NEX is an incomplete solution and a high end m43 kit can cost as much as a full frame DSLR kit (with less-than-high-end lenses, but lenses sufficient to produce great results on FF).  Basically, high end mirrorless is expensive enough that you have to really want it.

As for what mirrorless is "about", you're focusing on what we think of today as mirrorless.  In a few years, mirrorless may be every bit as much about how it's transformed traditional DSLR systems with full time live view, information available in the VF, quieter shooting, faster frame rates, less vibration, greater AF accuracy.  It may be that in a few years, mirrorless F mount and EOS mount bodies outsell reduced registration distance mirrorless bodies.

- Dennis

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