I am a 645Z shooter and love this amazing Sony sensored camera with insane DR and lovely image quality. But 1: I shoot in live view with an external HD monitor and loupe because the LCD isn't great for precise focus. It would be great if the new DSLR had an HD LCD to just slap an optical loupe on. But 2: The Z is a beast. If this new Pentax does actually have an ultra res 4x pixel shifting mode and a great LCD I'd likely jump ship.
Great and well balanced article! RAW compression is actually significant. I'm a professional landscape photographer making and selling big prints and I always strive for stellar print quality. I have been loving the Sony sensor equipped Pentax 645Z which has rather insane DR with extremely low noise. By exposing for the highlights it is possible to pull shadow detail cleanly out of a single RAW exposure that was unthinkable only a few years ago. The A7rii has been promoted as a truly pro uber cam and as the low noise, high DR champ. But in the trenches with a gnarly high dynamic range situation the compressed RAW file will not deliver the advertized low noise or DR like the Z actually does. You can not expose for the highlights and push the shadows 4 or 5 stops and still expect to have clean shadows. I suspect that Sony's noise and DR claims are willfully misleading and should be asterisked with "most of the time". This is not a truly pro tool to trust a lifetime image to just yet.
I applaud Barnaby's honesty. As an owner of a Leica M240 I have experienced some of the frustrations that he addresses in the T review. Contrary to Ivan's assertion real shooters do buy and use Leica but it's usually a love-hate relationship. Unless the M240 is used with the machine age technology rangefinder it is too slow for dynamic professional use. The M240 EVF cycle time is nearly a full second making it nearly useless except for studio or landscape work. I shoot weddings and could never use this camera responsibly. I have just purchased a Sony A7s which is a joy to use with the Leica glass and is delivering what I'd hoped that the M240 would bring. The EVF is excellent, bright and it allows me to focus quickly and surely. The A7s's EVF cycle time is instant and the camera is fast, intuitive and a total joy to use. The A7s proves that a pro level mirrorless camera is possible and that Leica has no excuse for their sophomoric human interface. Way to go Barnaby!
I haven't heard too much discussion about what I feel are the most compelling combination of features of this S cam - smaller file sizes, silent operation and massive dynamic range. The high ISO performance is a nice bonus too. Recently I switched from a 5Dlll, routinely using the 12 mp small raw feature for weddings, to a Sony A7r for people, using both Sony glass and Leica lenses. Even with the Leica glass and manual focus the A7r is as fast and intuitive as the 5Dlll at about half the weight. But the A7r Howitzer-like shutter is so noisy that it began to ruin the fun of shooting it. Then along came the S. THIS is perfect for me and could be the ultimate "people cam". Small, silent, non-intimidating with crazy DR and reasonable file sizes. There's no need to rip this 12 mp camera for low res or think it's going backwards in any way. Ripping this camera for it's resoulution is like ripping a great putter for not being able to drive a golf ball 350 yards. I'd call it a bullseye.
The advantage of simple is not just cheaper. It is a profound concept. I own an electronics manufacturing business and we strive for simplicity in all of our designs. Not only does it keep costs down as Roger says BUT it greatly increases reliability. The more tweaky something is to assemble the higher the likelihood of failure. Simple does not happen by accident. It is the highest of design and manufacturing skills.
Lucas_: After reading many of the responses here, I'm convinced that Adobe is "living on a cloud"! They may have to come down to Earth and realize that in a multitude of places today there's no wide band Internet and another many don't even have dial-up! Are they certain that nobody living on those places uses PS, ...or they really don't care?
By limiting future versions exclusively to the cloud Adobe just effectively announced that they are turning their backs on a not insignificant percentage of users who have been purchasing and relying on these tools for several decades. So many photographers have "grown up" with PS and totally rely on it's tools and workflow that it's rather obscene that Adobe is flushing so many of us.
Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I voted for the Canon 5Dlll but the Leica M Monochrom deserves a very special mention. Props to Leica for creating such an impractically wonderful camera for us BW photographers. No company in their right mind would do something like this. Hopefully some of the big boys will be inspired to offer a B&W only model in a more affordable format. 5DlV-BW or D900-BW anyone?
Fuji Please Please fix the few bugs that separate this camera from high end hobby to truly pro. I own and truly love this camera but it is like the Mona Lisa with bad breath. The image quality is the equal of my M9-P (yes, really) BUT the handling quirks make it suck for dynamic pro situations. The slow AF and useless MF is well documented and my solution is to shoot with Leica lenses and use manual focus. Fast, Pro, Lovely. HOWEVER THE INEXCUSABLE flaw for a "pro" camera is that the EVF (a must use for 3rd party MF lenses) does not "refresh" or let go of the current exposure fast enough to stay "in the moment". Also you get no image preview on the LCD as you must shut off the image preview when shooting with the EVF. If the image preview was selectable independently for the EFV and LCD this would be golden. A few fixes would make it professionally useful and this camera would become iconic. Fuji, just give a bunch of these to wedding photographers and listen to them. C'mon Fuji!!