NIKON D(A7/r)

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Discussions
falconeyes
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Re: What happened to the A7?
In reply to dv312, 11 months ago

dv312 wrote:

Was that a mistake

somewhere I read it is a mistake indeed. DPRs app not picking up the A7/r traffic because they merged two models into one or something like this.

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Heyseuss Hoolio
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OM-D E-M1
In reply to olakiril2, 11 months ago

olakiril2 wrote:

Nikon has produced some excellent DSLR cameras, but it lags behind in the mirrorless market. I have been searching for years a camera that will accompany me the most of the time like my old FE2 was, but nothing has met my needs. I am not stuck at the past and I don't mean retro. I mean a professional compact camera that will have a state of the art EVF and silent operation.

Size/weight is important for carrying the camera with me all the time.

EVF is important of for these low light situations that my eye is not sensitive enough. And these low light situations are actually where I shoot 1/3 of my pictures. My D800 covers the rest.

Silent is important so I can be as less obtrusive as possible.

As a second carry around camera, maybe consider the Olympus E-M1.

It's smaller than the dslr bodies (not too small) with an exceptional grip, best EVF there is out there so you can see in low light situations, 'pro' controls and buttons, excellent autofocus, smaller lenses. Pretty much if you can get past the sensor size argument and not be automatically biased, it looks like it fits a lot of needs. Not sure how important having the full frame sensor is to you, but if you're considering the Xe2 then maybe you're not only set on full frame. The camera is fast, fun, doesn't lag and just works. Believe me, I'm very happy with my E-M5 already and the E-M1 is far above this in usability.

Just for fun try this, line up all the specs from say, the D4 and compare them with the E-M1. You'll be surprised.

As carry everywhere camera, the em1 has in-body image stabilization, neither of which the fuji or sony have unless you have IS lenses. Trying to stabilize all those megapixels in the sony are kinda defeating the purpose of having a high megapixel camera to carry everywhere with you and use easily. As you said, your 'D800 covers the rest', when you have everything in control.

"Technology is already here, but a product is not. I recently tried an A7 but the loud shutter sound and the lousy shutter lag made it just a very expensive toy. Next in line is the X-E1/2 but the EVF is subpar."

That's the thing, the A7/A7r is all about the sensor, the body was just thrown around it so you can mount lenses to it, even that brings on issues sometimes. The fuji won't have as many controls.

Sorry from bring in m4/3 systems, I know there are a lot of prejudices towards it especially if you're fixated on 'full frame.' I just didn't see a lot of references towards the system in this thread, though it seems like it fits a lot of the needs.

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falconeyes
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Re: NIKON D(A7/r)
In reply to olakiril2, 11 months ago

Nikon could do an F-mount mirrorless. Very much like Pentax did with the K-01.

Especially, they could release a new kind of F-mount lens which retracts into the body.

However, they would have to solve a bare minimum of engineering tasks or it would fail: like a fast contrast AF even with legacy lenses and without the hybrid AF nonsense which fails at low light. Olympus shows how constant progress can be made in this area. Or Canon with the dual pixel AF which I consider a breakthrough technology everybody else will have to use, eventually.

Nikon however puts NO emphasis whatsoever on the live view capabilities of their cameras. IMHO, this must be their top priority now to prepare to the engineering challenges ahead of them. Nikon simply isn't ready yet.

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Grevture
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Interesting comparison
In reply to Matsu, 11 months ago

I edit your post a bit for brevity, I hop you do not mind.

Matsu wrote:

Keep in mind, I'm not saying that any of these Sony lenses are bad, I expect some to be exceptionally well corrected, the 55mm springs to mind here, just that flange focal distance doesn't appear to lead to smaller lenses.

This I think is pointing to the core of the issue: With shorter flange distance, some wide angles can be made smaller/lighter, and the same applies for slow zoom lenses spanning from wide angle to telephoto which seem to benefit the most in terms of size/weight.

That sound oddly familiar ... It seem a shorter flange distance give about the same advantages for size/weight as a smaller sensor does - the main difference for DX vs FX is the same: some wide angles can be made smaller/lighter, and the same applies for slow zoom lenses spanning from wide angle to telephoto which seem to benefit the most in terms of size/weight.

So why does not fast primes and telephoto lenses get smaller/lighter?

Well, because most of their size and heft is not primarily caused by the flange distance or by the image circle size - what matters most here is maximum aperture and the optical performance we want. Increasing either will make the lens bigger and heavier, increasing both will make it significantly bigger.

This is why the Sony 55/1.8 is bigger and heavier then the Nikon 50/1.8 - they are equally fast, but the $1000 Sony lens is probably more of a competitor to Nikons 58/1.4 in terms of optical quality, which means it will be noticeably bigger and heavier then the Nikon 50/1.8 which after all is a $225 budget lens, albeit a pretty high performance budget lens.

So basically: The main factors in size and weight for many lenses is maximum aperture is maximum aperture and the level of optical quality - flange distance or sensor format does play a role, but in most lenses it is secondary to maximum aperture and level of optical quality.

Modern DSLRs are very poorly integrated inside. Too many boards, too many ribbons, very little sub assembly optimization. I'll wager that it's not any of the mirror-box and pentaprism legacy that bulks them up, nor for that matter the AF sub assembly. These are fixed dimensions and they define only the minimum thickness, and to a lesser extent the height - depending on the type of pentaprism or viewfinder the future holds, including EVF.

A Nikon FM is 60mm deep. The registration distance of all F mount cameras is 46.5mm. That leaves 13.5mm of depth to fill for a DSLR camera with the same depth as film cameras that were universally considered more than compact enough - remember 35mm SLRs were the compact option for most of their existence. I have an iPad Air and an iPhone 5 on my desk. Have you seen what Apple fits into just over half that thickness? 13.5mm is spacious by comparison.

DSLRs were and are large for only two reasons, neither of which have much to do with the inherent operation of an SLR mechanism. At first, they were literally electronics grafted onto film cameras, and those electronics were large. They've since shrunk, profoundly, but something of the "grafted on" mentality still exists in the engineering and production side. Secondly, the marketing side adheres to something of a large=professional/serious equation. Some of this is simply practical, some of the largest lenses need a bigger camera in the interest of ergonomic sanity. The rest is a little bit of contemporary bias. With newer and increasingly capable small cameras, a portion of the audience will expect "professional" performance in a smaller package.

I basically agree, and I really appreciate you bring up one fact surprisingly many seem to forget at times - one significant reason DSLR models, and predominantly ones aimed at pros/enthusiasts, are large is because we often want them to be pretty big. To me the grip of the D3 body is actually a tad smallish and if I had a choice I would definitively opt for a even bigger grip. I shoot a lot with 70-200/2.8 on one body and a 300/2.8 on another, and doing that with a A7 sized camera for any extended period of time would be a ergonomical nightmare.

I am pretty sure there is a third reason for the relatively large size which at least up until recently has contributed. Your comparison with the Ipad and Iphone is interesting: One important reason they can be made smaller is simply the sales volumes. I just quickly googled a and it seem in quarter 3, 2013 Apple sold over 30 million Iphones and just shy of 15 million Ipads - that is only Apple, and for one single quarter. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the global DSLR annual volumes for all manufacturers, all models combined is about 20 million units in the same year.

This mean Apple (and other smartphone/tablet manufacturers) can design and use a lot more special design, bespoke components, while camera manufacturers has to rely much more on standard off-the-shelf components - and that really makes a difference when you try miniaturizing things.

Now this will improve, courtesy of the very same smartphones and tablets: They have forced a massive development of smaller and more battery efficient components, which will make it a whole lot easier to build more compact DSLR camera in the future.

Nikon is about half way there. They have the lenses, now they need the body.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, once Nikon (and Canon) feel they can get a EVF and AF performance they feel comfortable with, we will see several mirrorless designs also from them. I bet they follow the market response to the A7/A7R with almost as much interest as Sony does

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Matsu
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Re: Interesting comparison
In reply to Grevture, 11 months ago

Grevture wrote:

I edit your post a bit for brevity, I hop you do not mind.

Not at all.  I can get a tad wordy at times. 

This I think is pointing to the core of the issue: With shorter flange distance, some wide angles can be made smaller/lighter, and the same applies for slow zoom lenses spanning from wide angle to telephoto which seem to benefit the most in terms of size/weight.

Yes, but not all, as you point out.  It seems to begin affecting the design of lenses of focal length about 2/3rds of the image diameter or less, so from about 28mm and wider, depending on the ratio of flange focal distance to image diameter and maximum aperture as well.

That sound oddly familiar ... It seem a shorter flange distance give about the same advantages for size/weight as a smaller sensor does - the main difference for DX vs FX is the same: some wide angles can be made smaller/lighter, and the same applies for slow zoom lenses spanning from wide angle to telephoto which seem to benefit the most in terms of size/weight.

I'm not sure, but I know nothing about lens design, and I may be making wrong assumptions based on what I see and seems to make sense.  Often things are more complex than they appear.  That said, I think we need to consider the whole geometry of the system when considering sizes.  The ratio of register to image circle diameter in a full-frame DLSR is about 1:1 or 1:1.1, but pretty close to square in most systems.  APSC DSLRs however are very long by comparison, about 1.55:1 or 1:6:1.  Same register, but only 28mm diameter, makes the mount long and probably mutes some of the size advantage of the smaller image circle.

The Sony FE has a register around 20mm, so it's radically short, only about 0.5:1, or something thereabouts.  However, some of the lenses are physically long, and it may have something to do with angles of incidence coming into play as well.  It's curious, I wish I knew more about it. And then there's everything you mention below.

So why does not fast primes and telephoto lenses get smaller/lighter?

Well, because most of their size and heft is not primarily caused by the flange distance or by the image circle size - what matters most here is maximum aperture and the optical performance we want. Increasing either will make the lens bigger and heavier, increasing both will make it significantly bigger.

This is why the Sony 55/1.8 is bigger and heavier then the Nikon 50/1.8 - they are equally fast, but the $1000 Sony lens is probably more of a competitor to Nikons 58/1.4 in terms of optical quality, which means it will be noticeably bigger and heavier then the Nikon 50/1.8 which after all is a $225 budget lens, albeit a pretty high performance budget lens.

So basically: The main factors in size and weight for many lenses is maximum aperture is maximum aperture and the level of optical quality - flange distance or sensor format does play a role, but in most lenses it is secondary to maximum aperture and level of optical quality.

Finally there's this:

I basically agree, and I really appreciate you bring up one fact surprisingly many seem to forget at times - one significant reason DSLR models, and predominantly ones aimed at pros/enthusiasts, are large is because we often want them to be pretty big. To me the grip of the D3 body is actually a tad smallish and if I had a choice I would definitively opt for a even bigger grip. I shoot a lot with 70-200/2.8 on one body and a 300/2.8 on another, and doing that with a A7 sized camera for any extended period of time would be a ergonomical nightmare.

I use a 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8.  I'm not sure I want them mounted to anything much smaller than a D7000.  But I would for sure put my 1.8 primes on a Digital FM, if Nikon made a genuinely FM sized DSLR.

Nikon is about half way there. They have the lenses, now they need the body.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, once Nikon (and Canon) feel they can get a EVF and AF performance they feel comfortable with, we will see several mirrorless designs also from them. I bet they follow the market response to the A7/A7R with almost as much interest as Sony does

Indeed.  I very big consideration for them is what to do with the extensive lens catalogue and huge installed base of F and EF users?  Keep the mount as is?  I think so, at least for full frame, the advantages would seem to outweigh the few disadvantages.  They can offer OVF or EVF models, DSLR or mirrorless, large cameras or small ones for any number of large or small lenses, and they would all mount and work together.  The users mix and match according to their needs.

For APSC, the advantages are less clear.

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olakiril2
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Re: OM-D E-M1
In reply to Heyseuss Hoolio, 11 months ago

Heyseuss Hoolio wrote:

As a second carry around camera, maybe consider the Olympus E-M1.

It's smaller than the dslr bodies (not too small) with an exceptional grip, best EVF there is out there so you can see in low light situations, 'pro' controls and buttons, excellent autofocus, smaller lenses. Pretty much if you can get past the sensor size argument and not be automatically biased, it looks like it fits a lot of needs. Not sure how important having the full frame sensor is to you, but if you're considering the Xe2 then maybe you're not only set on full frame. The camera is fast, fun, doesn't lag and just works. Believe me, I'm very happy with my E-M5 already and the E-M1 is far above this in usability.

Just for fun try this, line up all the specs from say, the D4 and compare them with the E-M1. You'll be surprised.

As carry everywhere camera, the em1 has in-body image stabilization, neither of which the fuji or sony have unless you have IS lenses. Trying to stabilize all those megapixels in the sony are kinda defeating the purpose of having a high megapixel camera to carry everywhere with you and use easily. As you said, your 'D800 covers the rest', when you have everything in control.

"Technology is already here, but a product is not. I recently tried an A7 but the loud shutter sound and the lousy shutter lag made it just a very expensive toy. Next in line is the X-E1/2 but the EVF is subpar."

That's the thing, the A7/A7r is all about the sensor, the body was just thrown around it so you can mount lenses to it, even that brings on issues sometimes. The fuji won't have as many controls.

Sorry from bring in m4/3 systems, I know there are a lot of prejudices towards it especially if you're fixated on 'full frame.' I just didn't see a lot of references towards the system in this thread, though it seems like it fits a lot of the needs.

You might be right with the E-M1.

I revived the thread after the pictures of the X-T1 surfaced. If it has a comparable EVF to the E-M1 it might be the camera that I was looking.

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Grevture
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Agree ... Partly
In reply to falconeyes, 11 months ago

falconeyes wrote:

Nikon could do an F-mount mirrorless. Very much like Pentax did with the K-01.

Especially, they could release a new kind of F-mount lens which retracts into the body.

To me the obvious first attempt at that would be a D1000, essentially a D3200 without OVF/mirror, and a kit zoom which retract into the body to make it compact when not in use. A simple entry level camera where users are far less likely to be put off by a EVF and where AF is supposed to be pretty basic anyway.

However, they would have to solve a bare minimum of engineering tasks or it would fail: like a fast contrast AF even with legacy lenses and without the hybrid AF nonsense which fails at low light. Olympus shows how constant progress can be made in this area.

Well, interestingly Olympus best attempt so far uses that 'hybrid AF nonsense' with good effect - I shot some sports with E-M1 + 50-200/2.8-3.5 on a MMF-3 adapter. That worked pretty well considering the lens is designed to be used with FourThirds cameras and their traditional mirror-based PDAF. And yes, I also shot in pretty low light, alternating with a Pentax K-3 and with a Nikon D3s as a reference. It is not D3s AF performance for sure, but the E-M1 gives the K-3 a pretty good run for its money in terms of AF performance.

I agree the Nikon 1 cameras don't have top AF performance in low light, not as good as in good light, but they still do well compared to purely contrast-based systems.

Or Canon with the dual pixel AF which I consider a breakthrough technology everybody else will have to use, eventually.

Seems like the logical solution to me too.

Nikon however puts NO emphasis whatsoever on the live view capabilities of their cameras. IMHO, this must be their top priority now to prepare to the engineering challenges ahead of them. Nikon simply isn't ready yet.

Here I unfortunately have to agree. Take a camera like the D800, which is such a obvious studio, architecture and landscape camera. But the live view function does not seem to have gotten much quality time with the developers - it is there, it sort of barely works, but that's it. No manual focus help (peaking, useful,zooming), no real exposure help (zebra etc), abysmal AF performance ...

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Fullframer
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Re: NIKON D(A7/r)
In reply to becomeAchildAgain, 11 months ago

Im the opposite,  out of all my bodies I carry my D3S everywhere, even on vacation Usually with small prime lenses.  I tried various mIrrorless Including the Nex, M43. Etc. They dont compare.   I tried the A7. Sluggish as you found, compared to a dslr. I found.  Still have to wear it on a neck strap like D3S.

becomeAchildAgain wrote:

Glad I found this thread as I was going to start one with a similar discussion.

I use my D3 and Nikon lenses for when I need them but otherwise have always been carrying my wife's Nex-5n (with Sigma 19/30, adapter and some micro AIS, AFD lenses).. Always preferred carrying the nex over my D300 which I just recently sold.. I liked the size of the nex and really liked the tilting screen.. never cared much for an EVF.. i guess i adapted to and enjoyed the 5N for what it is..

Wife insisted she wants her nex 100%, and so here I am..

I'd be very happy with a mirrorless camera and ONE native AF lens (28-35mm) plus the ability to use my nikon lenses via adapter for when I'm feeling creative.. it has to be an APS-C one at least..

I originally thought it will be a no brainer to go with the A7 since I liked the NEX line already and was used to the Sony colors.. However, I'm not feeling too convinced after having tried one.. the two reasons being: (1) the zeiss 35mm f2.8 is not so convincing at its price point, (2) there is some slowness about the A7, not sure if it is the shutter sound that is just giving me this impression, but something about it feels SLOW.. focusing seemed reasonably fast, this slowness is felt after it locked focus... i'm otherwise fine with it despite it being a little bigger than what i'm used to with the nex-5n..

i'm thinking I will try a nex-6 body in the short term and see how things develop with this new A7 line and particularly its lenses..

I held a NIkon DF but we never clicked really, it was too big for what I'd buy it for.. the one at the store was even a lemon :).. also for nostalgia, i just use my FE2 ..

cheers..

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Heyseuss Hoolio
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Re: NIKON D(A7/r)
In reply to Fullframer, 11 months ago

Fullframer wrote:

Im the opposite, out of all my bodies I carry my D3S everywhere, even on vacation Usually with small prime lenses. I tried various mIrrorless Including the Nex, M43. Etc. They dont compare. I tried the A7. Sluggish as you found, compared to a dslr. I found. Still have to wear it on a neck strap like D3S.

So how is it having had multiple systems?  Do you still have them or do you have some and sell others?  I've been contemplating just getting different systems just because I think it'd be fun.  Do you use them all for different reasons?

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M Lammerse
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Nikon 1
In reply to olakiril2, 11 months ago

olakiril2 wrote:

Nikon has produced some excellent DSLR cameras, but it lags behind in the mirrorless market. I have been searching for years a camera that will accompany me the most of the time like my old FE2 was, but nothing has met my needs. I am not stuck at the past and I don't mean retro. I mean a professional compact camera that will have a state of the art EVF and silent operation.

A Nikon 1 will work perfectly besides a DSLR, you can even use the same lenses and it's pocketable.

Size/weight is important for carrying the camera with me all the time.

See above.

EVF is important of for these low light situations that my eye is not sensitive enough. And these low light situations are actually where I shoot 1/3 of my pictures. My D800 covers the rest.

See above.

Silent is important so I can be as less obtrusive as possible.

Again the Nikon 1 series.

Technology is already here, but a product is not. I recently tried an A7 but the loud shutter sound and the lousy shutter lag made it just a very expensive toy. Next in line is the X-E1/2 but the EVF is subpar.

You can wait for the new X in line, which has a great EVF. Literally and figural. but that model will not be that compact.

Am I the only one? Wouldn't you at least consider a professional mirrorless compact D(A7) with a D4 sensor, EVF and cloth shutter?

For serious photography work? I have tried the past months many many camera's with an EVF, including the A7. There is still not one which can give me a clear good image view  in very bright or under changing lighting conditions. But that is me, you can have totally other demands for a camera/viewfinder.

Michel

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golf1982
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Re: Interesting comparison
In reply to Grevture, 11 months ago

I am pretty sure there is a third reason for the relatively large size which at least up until recently has contributed. Your comparison with the Ipad and Iphone is interesting: One important reason they can be made smaller is simply the sales volumes. I just quickly googled a and it seem in quarter 3, 2013 Apple sold over 30 million Iphones and just shy of 15 million Ipads - that is only Apple, and for one single quarter. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the global DSLR annual volumes for all manufacturers, all models combined is about 20 million units in the same year.

This mean Apple (and other smartphone/tablet manufacturers) can design and use a lot more special design, bespoke components, while camera manufacturers has to rely much more on standard off-the-shelf components - and that really makes a difference when you try miniaturizing things.

Now this will improve, courtesy of the very same smartphones and tablets: They have forced a massive development of smaller and more battery efficient components, which will make it a whole lot easier to build more compact DSLR camera in the future.

One benefit of larger electronic size and more off the shelf parts is that is more repairable.

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Matsu
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Repairability
In reply to golf1982, 11 months ago

I'm unsure whether a highly integrated design is more difficult to repair, 'for the manufacturer'. For a third party it may indeed be more problematic to diagnose/source/replace, if it's not already difficult for them to access the required supply of custom ICs.

However, for the first party it significantly reduces diagnostic and troubleshooting variables as well as parts inventory.

I imagine that DSLRs could benefit significantly from a system on chip architecture. One chip with all processing, memory, storage buffer, I/O and pin outs to the sensor, AF, metering. This maybe less like a pile of custom ICs and more like a programmable custom low power CPU. In some ways while simpler and smaller, such a system may be even more modular and repairable thanks to programmability.

On a number of occasions different noted testers/reviewers who've disassembled DSLRs have commented on how chaotic and crowded the guts are.

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