This looks quite interesting. I'm worried that it will need either a red-dot sight (or a spotting scope) to find the subject at these super long telephoto ranges. Zoom out zoom in may work ok, if the IS is really much better than we've seen in earlier superzooms, but it is a pain and a bit tricky at the 1200mm of today's max zooms. Without a flash mount the external red-dot site options are pretty much gone (L bracket?)
Given the price comparison between this and the A6000 one is forced to conclude that Nikon doesn't really want to sell this camera in the US, where they have pushed the price up with mandatory features. It costs 50% more than the A6000 for less camera. That is a huge gap. So, why?Presumably Nikon thinks it can avoid "disturbing" the US market's infatuation with large cameras like its dslrs. This camera exists for Japan and Europe. To avoid making the US sub too mad at HQ it allows it to sell it but bumps up the price because "HQ knows best."This sounds like a "spiral down" strategy to me. Time will tell.
wb2trf: It would be interesting to see if the correction values matched any other commercially available lens, as a kind of fingerprint of another manufacturer's design left inside the lens.
I guess that the other implication is that the camera menus don't give you the choice of turning off lens correction, as, for example Sony does. If that choice were present, then this sleuthing approach to detecting its presence would be unnecessary.
My point was that if one found a menu in the Leica that allows turning off lens correction for some lenses, a menu like that in the Sony A6000 for example, even if the option to turn it off was grayed out (as you suggest it is for the 16-50 Sony which I don't own so can't test) then one would naturally wonder "why is this here set to, unalterably, 'auto' when you (Leica) say you don't use software correction?"
So, I suppose they have omitted that option, unlike Sony who has it in the camera and selectable for at least some lenses.
It would be interesting to see if the correction values matched any other commercially available lens, as a kind of fingerprint of another manufacturer's design left inside the lens.
quezra: I've always felt the "enjoyability" factor was a way to slip in a whole lot of subjective bias. And I still think this is the case after reading this, even though Richard seems to be leaning toward the positive. It's striking that this turn of opinion did not come into the A7 or A7R reviews, which have much more of these "features" Richard appears to be discovering for the first time in the A6000, including a much better dial setup. It's suspicious that the main thing happening between these cameras and the A6000 was in fact the A7S announcement and how seriously that camera was being taken by the film world... suddenly the mirrorless Alphas had to be taken seriously and it needed a shift in official line from DPR that justified it.
What is most interesting is this is the first review of a Sony camera where, on reading the negatives, I didn't immediately think WTF? so at least they are starting to avoid raising pointless quibbles.
I think the merely personal has very little useful role in a site like this. There is simply no way to know if the personal preferences of any particular writer align with one's own. So the information is useless. On the other hand this site, which presumably has the resources to develop new forms of objective testing, seems not to do so in any creative directions. For example, since optical testing is the oldest form of camera evaluation and is comparatively easy, we have that redundantly here with DXOmark and many other sites. Camera testing could use reports developed with some large moving machinery that would objectively test AF and AF tracking. This technology quality causes significant % of actual lost photos whereas, today, IQ differences within a sensor size grouping are very slight. Instead we are going to get mere subjective reports about AF, which I consider almost completely unreliable, except in a gross categorization way.
wb2trf: Apple's rewarded history is to think big. In this case the entire camera industry is geriatric and ready to be knocked over. Phone cams are taking the low end and mirrorless (all-electronic cameras after eshutters reach the high end) will knock out dslrs. Further, China manufacturing with Apple design can knock out Japanese, as it has in so many other areas. So, they could be looking to make a dedicated imaging peripheral, ie. a camera. Make it software e-compatible with all lenses, using merely mechanical couplers, if necessary. Lastly, the big untapped factor in camera design now is 3rd party software apps inside the camera. A few camera companies have timidly hinted in that direction, but the old guard camera makers are clueless about this. That is the big apple ready to be grabbed. So, I say , think big Apple, the camera industry is yours for the asking.
Mario G, I'm not sure if you seriously couldn't understand what I was saying, which I grant could have been clearer, but I thought was clear enough. What was intended was that it be fully compatible with all lenses. This requires a mechanical coupling, but not an optically active coupling if the flange to sensor distance is very short. It also requires software that provides compatibility, and of course, electrical contact compatibility.
Apple's rewarded history is to think big. In this case the entire camera industry is geriatric and ready to be knocked over. Phone cams are taking the low end and mirrorless (all-electronic cameras after eshutters reach the high end) will knock out dslrs. Further, China manufacturing with Apple design can knock out Japanese, as it has in so many other areas. So, they could be looking to make a dedicated imaging peripheral, ie. a camera. Make it software e-compatible with all lenses, using merely mechanical couplers, if necessary. Lastly, the big untapped factor in camera design now is 3rd party software apps inside the camera. A few camera companies have timidly hinted in that direction, but the old guard camera makers are clueless about this. That is the big apple ready to be grabbed. So, I say , think big Apple, the camera industry is yours for the asking.
The 1 System was an outcome of an internal battle between Nikon marketing and Nikon engineering in which marketing decisively won. At the time the 1 was planned, they thought they could just confuse the mirrorless market as a way of damaging it and exploiting it while protecting dslr sales. "Nikon says mirrorless is not about serious photography" is the message the 1 was designed to deliver. Unfortunately this was a very bad idea.
Mirrorless, entirely on its own, is relentless as a technology. It lowers cost for equivalent IQ. Ultimately deadly. Sony, by a factor of the 2 the largest sensor maker, is going to drive it until there is nothing left but phone cams and mirrorless.
Unlike the far more diversified Canon, Nikon can't afford a "portfolio" approach of treating cameras as a "dis-invest" cash cow. So, the 1 System is going to become a landmark mistake for Nikon: here Nikon bet on marketing when they should have had engineering build the best mirrorless possible. RIP
The price just makes no sense. Why would anyone pay $1200 for a 1" sensor when they can get APS-C in the A6000 for $800. Would anyone lose that much sensor IQ to go from 11fps A6000 with AF (and even more PD points) to 20fps.
The only thing that makes any sense here is making a 70-300mm OIS lens for the system. That lens might be very nice for birding. But, again the price/IQ question is at best a "maybe" at $999.
If one cares about Canon in the camera market, there is nothing here that is encouraging. From external evidence it appears that Canon had decided that, for a diversified company such as they are, it is time to "harvest" in the camera market, ie. treat it as a slowly shrinking cash cow not worth investing in. Given the current market dynamics this would be a classic prescription that a management consultant, internal or external, might make. Of course such portfolio strategies can never be discussed inside the market that is being treated as a cash cow, such as in this interview. In fact, however, the pattern of this interview is about what I would expect if this "milking" was indeed the Canon strategy, as I guess that it is.
When business is headed down for strategic reasons companies always underestimate how fast it will go down and how low it will go. In this case the strategic issues are that phone cams are hurting all segments, but particuarly P&S, and mirrorless is slowly hurting dslrs. The mirrorless status is similar to that with cell phones a few years back: the adverse impact of mirrorless on Canikon is just starting. I'd expect to see several marginal players per year exit the business over the next two years, companies like Olympus, Panasonic, Rikoh. Then Nikon is most vulnerable: they are most dependent on cameras, they source their chips from their competitor (Sony) and they are in denial about the impact of mirrorless, as shown by the Nikon 1 being a "try to confuse the market" strategy. Canon looks like they have already deemphasized camera development, about 2 years ago, and are pursuing a "milking market share" strategy. That's smart business. All in all, expect winnowing.
km25: 24MPs is a little high for APS-C, I would rather give up a few MPs for better low light use. The 24MP is fine for the mass market, but I think most serious photographer would rather a better balance, leaving 24MP for FF. I fell as if 16-20MP is best for APS-C in all the noise tests I have seen.
The idea that fewer pixels is better, always, is just a myth, perpetuated as a calling card for dpr pseudo-cognoscenti.
If the focus on this is really as fast as Sony says, and I have no reason to doubt it, that is huge. Nikon got superfast focus with the 1, but that is a quite small sensor by comparison. Doing that with 24mp APS-C is a complete game changer. The only question in my mind is whether to grab this or wait for the 7000, if there is going to be one.
Although the story naturally compares complexity of this camera to high end dslr's, the simplicity message is most relevant in the low end market. A tear down of the A3000 vs the d3200 would show how brutal is the problem for dslrs in the high volume low margin end of the market. Fundamentally all dslrs are of similar manufacturing complexity. I'll bet that the contribution to overheads from the sale of each A3000 at $369 is 2x that of the entry dslrs that it competes with, and the image quality is as good or better.
Nikon's situation is particularly untenable unless they get help from some external factor: they're wedded to an obsolete electo-mechanical design and they are dependent on Sony for their best sensors. Whatever they do, Sony can match IQ in higher margin lower cost product. They need to offer a professional mirrorless camera soon. I think they will do it, but maybe not soon enough.
DH2000: While I am admiring Sony’s engineering marvels. It occurs to me that DPReview staff may have a different take. Following summary may appear in the upcoming A7r review:
“Despite being a high-end, full-frame camera (and one which uses the same sensor as the Nikon D600/D610 and Canon’s 6D), the company's latest casing, dubbed Bionz C for reasons that presumably made sense to someone, uses only two different screw sizes. A typical Nikon or Canon camera has four to seven different screw sizes by this point. We are a little bit surprised by Sony’s strategy here, as a7r suffers from many of the same issues as Sony's compact cameras. These issues include a far too compact layout, to the point that one particular screw is neither visible nor easily reachable. While this may not be a problem for some photographers, the aforementioned issues will become more noticeable if you 'push' the boundary of the case. “
No doubt. How did you get that text ahead of time?
This is potentially a very interesting camera for those, like me, who shoot birds in flight with a superzoom. The problem of spotting and tracking at zoom levels above 800 is one of the biggest problems. If this dot sight works, it could make a big difference. Unfortunately there are a lot of small factors that affect usability. For example, the Canon SX50 blacks out the vf/lcd during high speed burst shooting, which is a killer for shooting while tracking. Image quality of course is another. It will be interesting to learn more.
wb2trf: What a dumb review. There are a few reasonable criticisms, but there is this overall tone of snarkyness that is merely a gloss on stupidity. Start here: "despite the best efforts of Sony's UX designers to bury the relevant option at the end of page three in the custom setting tab of the menu setting. 'Release w/o Lens: Enable'" Now lets think for one minute. Since every option has to go somewhere something must be at the bottom. Since there is never a need to reverse this decision, you literally set it once for the life of the camera, where should it be? At the bottom of course.Next, we have the crazy complaints in the paragraph that begins, "I can't remember the last time I used shutter priority (I'm an aperture priority kind of guy)" This paragraph is completely idiotic in its entirety. He writes as if he is disappointed that aperture priority isn't useful. Of course not! Secondly the choice of 1/60th can't be "biased in firmware" as there is no information to use. Dumb.
"Aperture priority" is a assertion of control over aperture in a camera that controls aperture priority electronically. It is not an observation of the fact that aperture control is on the lens for an MF. No need to tell the camera it can't control aperture! There is therefore absolutely no reason to use aperture priority with a manual lens. You don't seem to understand that. The modes that make sense to use, independent of brand of camera, are P, to give you auto shutter, or S (with or without auto ISO) if you want to assert a shutter speed. You need to put down your AF habits "I'm an A man" and think. Your gripe is about the P program for the shutter. You think that instead of using S you should be able to set a minimum shutter that can float upwards under P control in bright conditions. That's a nice feature idea that has nothing to do with manual lenses. Hand shake is only one half of the reason to set shutter. Subject movement must be handled using S. So is it a big deal?
"Certainly, for 50mm lenses or longer, you'll need a steady hand to really be able to get a clear view of what's sharp and what isn't. A lower magnification option would be more user-friendly " This is his complaint about 7.2 as the minimum magnification for manual focus assist. The problem I have is that 7.2 often isn't enough to hit the focus right! I use 14x a lot, and have no problem hand holding up to 200mm. I wouldn't want less than 7 as the starting point. I can't really question that he may have shaky hands, but I don't think I"m particularly skilled in this area. I think his suggestion is a bad one.
There is no question that nailing critical focus, particularly if you want, or must accept, very shallow dof, is difficult. It always has been. If you must work quickly or anything is moving it really makes you appreciate AF. A lot of practice is a big help, as it has been since these old lenses were first made. There is no way that I know around that.
"Aperture Priority" mode is not an acknowledgement by the user that the aperture can only be set on the lens ring. Such acknowledgment is pointless. It is an assertion of control over the aperture when aperture is controlled through the camera, which it can't be for a manual aperture lens. It is therefore inherently a useless mode with a manual aperture lens. That has nothing to do with Sony. We don't need self-proclaimed "aperture priority guys" doing reviews of manual aperture lens use, we need people who think about what it means to use a manual aperture lens on a modern camera.
What a dumb review. There are a few reasonable criticisms, but there is this overall tone of snarkyness that is merely a gloss on stupidity. Start here: "despite the best efforts of Sony's UX designers to bury the relevant option at the end of page three in the custom setting tab of the menu setting. 'Release w/o Lens: Enable'" Now lets think for one minute. Since every option has to go somewhere something must be at the bottom. Since there is never a need to reverse this decision, you literally set it once for the life of the camera, where should it be? At the bottom of course.Next, we have the crazy complaints in the paragraph that begins, "I can't remember the last time I used shutter priority (I'm an aperture priority kind of guy)" This paragraph is completely idiotic in its entirety. He writes as if he is disappointed that aperture priority isn't useful. Of course not! Secondly the choice of 1/60th can't be "biased in firmware" as there is no information to use. Dumb.