Marty4650: Is there something this thing can do that I can't do with my Panasonic GM1 and my smartphone?
Wait... I think I just figured it out. It is a lot cheaper. You pay only $299 for it, and since you are using your smartphone as the viewfinder and controller, you don't need those things built into the "camera."
Not that much cheaper, the GM1 has been hovering near $300 for a while in eBay (new, sans lens)...
Mark Banas: What? No Manfrotto/Benro/RRS/My-Favorite-$5-Brand?
Oh, these are "mini-tripods" that are *height-adjustable* and can *hold up 4kg or more,* yet can pack into a small bag...
(Just thought I'd get that out there first!)
Yeah, Ultrapod, Pixi, Copter, Joby Minis, Benro's Pixi knockoff, Manfrotto's older models with center columns, the Leica linked above, maybe the tiny Gorillapods or the GPod Magnetic (so small it's really more about the magnets than the legs, but the short legs end up less fiddly)... There's a whole bunch that could be included, even ignoring your $5 Polaroid/Vivitar rinky dinks. There's a Manfrotto made for always on similar to the Minis but very different in execution, more like a plate with fold out nubs (seems less adjustable than the Mini 250/800).
MeganV: This thing gets it bass-ackwards.
It's awkward to clip a big tube onto your phone, using your your phone as the anchor.
Instead, we need a cool ergonomic camera (DSLR, anyone?) that you clip your phone into, using your phone as the viewscreen and, possibly, processing computer.
Nikon, Canon: here's your leap-frog techno-jump disruption opportunity! Skip giving your DSLRs screens and processors. Instead, just let me clip my iPhone onto the back of them. Voila, game changed. Doesn't even have to be wireless--instead of putting the camera's view screen at the end of a tilt-swivel mechanism, put a lightning (or usb-c) plug. I then clip my phone on and rock with a durable, ergonomic, full-frame ILC with real shutter-aperture dials that uses my phone as its (better) brain and (better) view screen. A camera like that could even still use an OVF and traditional mirror box!
Cameras need to become imaging "harnesses" for phones. It'd solve so many problems.
At a technical level it's not practical at all, the idea already flopped in the form of tablets that used phones as their brains (see Moto Atrix and ASUS' similar concept), and the integration of common hardware and software there was already way higher... Besides, if Canikon could manage it, so could Samsung/Sony who have way more experience with that kinda thing and actually manufacturer SoC, sensors, processors, etc.
Even at a logistical level it's a bit of a nightmare, you're selling a product that requires another product to work, one over which you have no control... Talk about tech support and QA nightmare. Then there's more obvious usage cases like, what if a call/update/tweet comes in while you use the camera, what takes precedence? What about all the extra RF you're introducing right near a sensor?
It's a nice concept in a futurist kinda way, maybe technology will make it more feasible in 10-20 years, total pipe dream right now. Which is not to say that tighter integration and communication with smartphones shouldn't be pursued right now... Doing things like changing settings or even saving and tweaking full config profiles from a phone is something that could be realized right now.
Remote control was low hanging fruit, there's so much more they could do...
white shadow: Not comprehensive enough. Where are the most popular mini tripods from Manfrotto?
Agreed, Mark already mentioned there'll be a different roundup for that kinda tripod tho. Maybe this should've been titled simply "5 table tripods reviewed" and save the mini for the other article, that's just semantics tho.
photo_rb: It kills me that companies bring out small light camera bodies that would be ideal for UAV (drone) or any remote use if only they could add a couple small features such as AV output and remote triggering.I know this can be done with WiFi but probably distance limited.
CNY_AP: It only weighs 7 ounces with the 14mm F2.5 lens. GM1 bodies are still selling for $200+ used on ebay.
So are you arguing for the GM1 or the value proposition of this? I'm confused... :p I'd buy one of these for <$150, already bought a GM1 for $320!
canonpro: Biggest problem of this over the Sony, the Olympus does not have a removable battery, its built in. So when your battery runs out (or when it final craps out) your kinda of screwed.
I think DxO had a better idea than Oly or Sony, a prime lens is more fitting of this kinda contraption... Sure you can attach a prime to this Oly but even with a pancake it ends up pretty bulky, though I realize it's more of an experimental platform than anything. I'd like to see something like the DxO but with a wireless connection or a less clunky looking attachment method... They could probably build in a clamp and just use a short retractable cable.
Impulses: A rough diameter or circumference at the mid section of the folded form of these tripods would be useful to have, that's the one measurement most manufacturers don't provide and if you're carrying one of these then every inch probably counts...
Some of these look twice as bulky as others across their mid section but it's hard to judge from numbers. There's a big difference in carrying something that's 10" long but 1" across vs 8" long but 2-3" across... Their weight and appearance sort of indicate how that pans out but still.
Nice review btw, I like that you're comparing this kinda thing since it's often impossible to find someone that's handled more than one or two of any of them. Looking forward to the roundup of the more basic/smaller and/or non adjustable ones. I've actually got or have had a few of those (Benro's, Pixi, Copter, Joby Micros & GPod Magnetic, etc) so I'm pretty curious to see how you break it down.
A rough diameter or circumference at the mid section of the folded form of these tripods would be useful to have, that's the one measurement most manufacturers don't provide and if you're carrying one of these then every inch probably counts...
Phil Askey: Great round-up but you missed out my personal favourite (and often used), the Leica Tabletop tripod, not as flexible certainly but amazingly well built.
I like the clever rotating leg design (which Joby kinda copied for their tiny tiny Micros), the odd V shape when collapsed is more awkward to pack than other similarly functional options out there tho.
Kirk makes a small 1" clamp that's very comparable (from the looks of it) to the $90 one quoted throughout the review, only it's $40 instead... There's some $30 Chinese ones on Amazon too (tho more of the mechanism is exposed on those usually, so possibly less reliable). Just saying, there's much cheaper ways to make any of these or other mini tripods compatible with Arca QR plates.
Oops, already made a similar comment before seeing this one... Being height adjustable to such a small degree seems of questionable value to me but I'm sure they're the perfect in between solution for some. I spent a while looking at that Sirui myself... Don't forget the tiny Joby Micro(s) for the other upcoming mini roundup! (that and the Copter were my favorite after trying a couple out)
You mean the Pixi? Or some of the older models with the detachable column? I think either are even more mini than most of the ones depicted here, I prefer the Cullmann Copter or the Benro knockoff of the Pixi over the Pixi (lack of a portrait drop slot and stiff mechanism)... Their older models are pretty pricey for what they are (pretty simplistic).
The Cullmann Magesit Copter should've been included if nothing else because it's also useful for flashes (the little plate on the head reverses unto a cold shoe) and because it's easy to slap a QR clamp on it. I've been tempted by the Sirui depicted here but ultimately decided it was kinda bulky, might as well carry my full size Sirui.
Class A: Good to see some balanced discussion in the article. DSLRs are by no means the "dinosaur technology" that they are often characterised as.
One point that rarely gets made is that image quality is largely determined by the lens and that lenses that provide high-quality images even in bad conditions tend to be large (that's just physics that no engineering can get around). A tiny mirrorless body more often than not then just provides an inadequate grip for such lenses, yielding a combo that is imbalanced and not well-matched, with the overall size of a quality kit negating the small body size and weight advantage a mirrorless camera offers.
Surely mirrorless cameras have their perfectly matched application areas, but so do DSLRs. This sustained hailing of mirrorless cameras as the future technology that is still misunderstood by customers got old quite a while ago already.
That's a pretty large over simplification of lens design challenges and logistics...
A shorter flange distance also helps make some lenses smaller, giving mirrorless an edge sometimes, not to mention the fact that most mirrorless systems don't suffer from the dichotomy that APS-C DSLR users face where most lenses aren't actually designed specifically for them but for FF.
On the other hand there's no denying the economies of scale and huge R&D budgets for Canikon, which enable things like Canon's $300 UWA zoom (like 50% cheaper than any other system's UWA) or their newest ultra UWA.
Taking all that into account, minor quips about balance would probably be the least of my concerns when looking at the different lens libraries, unless you're a wildlife shooter or something like that.
Camley: Thank you Richard for a good and well balanced article. It's time to chill out on the endless DSLR versus Mirrorless wars.
We also need to get away from a "Mirrorless must be small" and a "DSLR must be large" attitude.
What we need is equipment choice and financially successful camera and lens manufacturers. The loss of any supplier is a negative for our hobby.
Well, there's no escaping the fact the mirrorless bodies can be as small as a P&S (Panasonic GM, etc) or as large as a DSLR (GH4, NX1, etc) to suit your preference, often within the same system mount... Whereas DSLR can't scale quite as widely, the smallest one (SL1?) still being the size of a mid sized mirrorless body (without even taking into account lens size differences). Whether that matters or not is subjective, it's probably more relevant for enthusiasts with multiple cameras or those seeking utmost portability.
DStudio: "That was remedied with the borderline ridiculous $1,600 lens made from what has to be glass from the fires of Mordor; the Panasonic 42.5mm F1.2 Nocticron. That much bread for a Micro Four Thirds lens goes against everything (we think) the system stands for, which is why the Olympus 45mm F1.8 still stands as our studio lens."
Isn't this hypocritical? Top 85/1.4 and 1.2 lenses go for between ~$1000 and $2000 (and tends toward the higher end of this range, if you only count prices for new lenses). But this 85mm (equivalent) f/1.2 lens is outrageous at $1600?
But wait - this is the *same* article where you praise the $4500 OTUS?!
*** double-standard alert ***
I haven't used the lens (and don't shoot m4/3), but it's as if this was thrown in there just for the purpose of being hypocritical. BTW, it's $1400 and is only one star short of a perfect user rating (94 of 95, with a lone 4-star review) from NY's biggest camera retailer.
The new Panasonic 42.5/1.7 might be worth comparing against the old Oly...
Lawrencew: If you don't like a contract, don't enter into it.Is it that hard?
There's actually a guy in the DPR boards that has shot T Swift events and concerts from the press pit etc, can't remember his handle or who he works for tho but it'd be interesting to hear his perspective. Pretty sure he's even linked to samples and posted a couple here. Way too much discussion and public back and forth from both parties without really disclosing everything that's going on, makes it hard have a solid takeaway let alone stance.
Random Photographer: In the future, fanboys will wonder what this "Canikon" was as they partake in the Samsony wars.
You think the way it'll shake out is Samsung/Sony over Fuji/Pana/Oly? Or just going for comedic effect? Personally I think it's too early to call, but there'll definitely be a shake out on the long run. Then again, none of those brands are solely dependent on their camera business so who knows... With the entire industry becoming more of a niche there might indeed be room for more players, ironically.
CameraLabTester: The nice thing about these camera brands (Samsung, Sony, etc), that are definitely NOT Canon and Nikon protocol, is that outstanding improvements come via FREE upgrades through software.
The big C and N will deliberately throttle the improvements on the next model down the line...
Good onya Samsung! and the other brands too!
Impossible, a TV/toaster brand can't possibly be doing anything better than Canikon.