Douglas F Watt: Best quote "Hasselblad is NOT a luxury brand" - I guess neither is Ferrari then.
Agreed. They are a Ferrari-Wannabe
MikeF4Black: OVF or EVF; that's really all there is to it. I hope someone continues making top leverl full frame sub 1 kg dslr's for as long as my eyesight lasts.
Don't you mean 2 kg DSLRs?
dynaxx: I know the DPR journalists are constrained by matters commercial but I fail to see how you can discuss this topic without at least acknowledging that the two biggest camera companies have chosen not to take a promising new camera format seriously.
It is the backdrop in front of which, this photographic drama is being played out. But for this, 600 odd passionate comments would not have appeared ( sorry, it is not your jaunty journalese, Richard).
I am sure you have an opinion as to why they have pretty much ignored MILC for so long it is impossible for them to change course ( 5 years for a decent set of lenses for a new mount ? ). Some say, it is the same mantra the cigarette manufacturers used ; "we are giving them what they want".
But aren't we are looking for leaders not followers in a business driven by technology ? Imagine the hoo-ha if Ford / Toyota had said they are sticking with internal combustion and not making electric motors.
It is puzzling that Canikon full appear to have their heads in the sand on that declining market share of classic DSLRs - they seem to be thinking that continuing to upgrade the sensors and CPUs and churning out models within the basic formula will stop their declining sales?
More puzzling still that the DPR has chosen to not really underscore this. Perhaps it is just caution about alienating their largest user base. But it's curious
Best quote "Hasselblad is NOT a luxury brand" - I guess neither is Ferrari then.
Jylppy: The future is mirrorless, that's clear. But let's not confuse all the parameters.
Sensor size: You pick and choose from m43 to FF based on your preferences on system size vs. image quality. The lack of mirror in MILC is not gonna make the lenses any smaller. It is the sensor size and required (FF-equiv) aperture that dictates the size of lenses.
Mirror vs Mirrorless: The latter architecture offers massive opportunities - mostly thanks to computational imaging: EVF Zebras, WYSIWYG, fast fps, lack of mirror shake. However, not even the very best EVF are nowhere near the best OVFs (e.g. Nikon D810) and this can be a major issue for a photographer - based on his preferences. For me the differences is massive.
I find the Sony's system most promising (since I prefer FF sensor and dislike Fuji's sensors) and with their improving lens portfolio it is getting ever better. However, still only Canon and Nikon offer ~24-105/4f IS lenses - Sony's 1/4f zoom is only 24-70mm.
That was my point. It's all about personal preference - except for the idea that OVF is a declining breed of VF - that's a fact. And that all those issue (putative deficits of EVF) are resolvable, while its virtues cannot be grafted onto an OVF.
Nope, not a discussion, not a debate, just your personal diatribe.
So if you looked into an EVF in a few years and thought it was initially an OVF, you would still hate it?
Sounds like you are a true ideologue!
Let's not conflate personal opinion and fact so thoroughly. You regard OVF as superior, for me, it is a huge step backwards. The limitations of the EVF for me are way smaller than its huge benefits and advantages. For me. Personal opinion and preference. Enjoy your OVF for as long as it is available. It may exist in the future as a narrowing niche product, but its heyday is clearly over. And as EVF get higher and higher resolution, you (very soon!) won't be able to tell the difference. Even now the relatively inexperienced photographer picks up an A77ii or NX1 and thinks they are looking through the lens.
StillandMovingImages: Respectfully, back in the 1980's you could buy a multifunction SLR for a few hundred dollars new, and a good lens for a few hundred more. There might have been a defect or two, but for the most part everything worked very well.
Now you can spend over a thousand dollars on DSLR or MILC bodies and an equal amount on lenses and have serious defects to contend with. If you do not believe, look at the comments on Amazon for some big ticket photography items. And NO, they are not all "Operator Errors."
We live in a time where the executive boards of companies care more about their golden parachutes than the continued operation and reputations of their companies.
I love photography and always will, but the future of the industry is being jeopardized by the disease of corporate executive boards enriching themselves and destroying their companies. The technology that will prevail has nothing to do with usability or technical acumen. The companies that survive wil dictate the type of cameras
While I agree that by definition big corporations are beholden to stockholders and boards, I don't see a severe trend of functional failure in current high end equipment. While there are always instances of that, esp. as technology becomes orders of magnitude more complex, these systems work remarkably well, all thing considered. Perhaps you are nostalgic for other reasons?
It is a nice upgrade for a 'starter' cam from Canon. The price and the AF are the downsides. Could get an A6000 or 5500 for that money. I guess if you have Canon glass . . . . but then why get a starter cam?
Marty4650: Richard, thanks for an extremely well written opinion piece, that makes a lot of sense. I think the differences between these two formats is being exaggerated, and only become apparent at the extremes. For most intended purposes, it just comes down to personal preference.
One point you made was interesting:
"For many years, most of the major manufacturers have tried (and, it seems, struggled) to make mirrorless attractive as a step-up camera for point-and-shoot users."
And then... most of the P&S users switched to camera phones instead, making even the smallest Pen, NX, or NEX camera too large and inconvenient for them. So the MILC camera makers wisely moved up market with models like the EM5, GH4 NX1 and XT1.
The battle for the bottom was lost to the camera phone. Those users wanted convenience, and not quality.
What makes this interesting is that the two major camera makers are acting as if MILC doesn't matter to them.
That's because years of easy dominance have made them believe that MILC are just upstart products for people who are not serious about DP. Getting harder no doubt for Canikon to really believe convince themselves of that, but clearly they are out of any MILC race. It's Sony, Samsung, and a few others. Richard's opinion piece is basically on the right track, although he might understate the downsides of classic DSLR LV and movie functioning and AF shooting video. Curious he doesn't mention Sony's straddling of the two approaches in the A77ii, but given that DPR reviewed that camera almost one year after it came out, could be just continuing their position of ignoring a product they think has no clear (or real) place in the marketplace.
"DxO representatives physically destroyed the SD slot on our sample to prevent anyone from taking pictures with it" - that is just this side of bizarre. Why give a prototype camera to manipulate and then destroy its SD card slot??
Then there is the problem of its only iphone compatability and fragile lightning connector?
Interesting technology but seems a like a cell phone accessory rather than a 'real' camera.
buybuybuy: Waayy overpriced at $949, despite alleged "improvements."
really, it is written as gospel somewhere that a new feature is worth ~$50? Like to see the reference on that, but in any case, let's see: 1) three new high speed modes including up to ~1000FPS (professional video systems don't even go that high); 2) 4k; 3) Super high max shutter speeds.
Three new features relative to the older model, and it goes for $950 vs. $800. So you appear right, and that makes the statement about overpriced blow up. You can be right and wrong at the same time it appears :-) . I suppose your handle says it all?
What's the competition for this that makes this overpriced??
this review of course proves that DPR has indeed been captured by the dark side of the force. Isn't the selfie stick something that women have been using for a long time??
Very nice job Dean - lots of real data for people to see for themselves.
Quite revealing and further evidence that the decline of DSLRs isn't simply that cellphones are more convenient - they are actually competitive, not better certainly, but for many purposes, esp. web posting, fully competitive with DSLRs in many contexts - perhaps not for creating the classic creamy bokeh background isolating the subject, but for lots of other social shooting, they are quite good at capturing pretty high quality images. I am amazed by what a Galaxy S6 can do . . .
Papi61: Hmm, no mention of the Samsung Galaxy S6. Is it because it wipes the floor with the iPhone?
OK. Thanks for responding, but what is this? Not you guys, but on your website???
Whose minding the store (website) at DPR? This is listed as "updated" but doesn't include results of testing of latest Android Galaxy S6, which clearly won best all around prior to the huge Sony 1" sensor being shoe-horned into a sort of cellphone body.
QuarryCat: the best thing is the tilt-able monitor.The worst are the lenses... not a single one is equal to Canon or even Nikon, prices are much higher, most lens-constructions are old.For me it seems a camera without lenses... there is not one single lens from Sony Alpha that I would like to have.
Sony should better invest all the power in one aps-c mirrorless-camera with big grip and fast action - a body like the Alpha 3000 with technic from Alpha 77 II and better sensor and less noise.... maybe even with 12-16 MP
Oh Great One - you are not listening.
Douglas F Watt: It's a shame that Sony inverted their parameter description on AF tracking to mislead almost everyone into believing that a setting of 5 would make for LEAST jumpy, when in fact it is MOST jumpy. So I have to wonder what the DPR would have said about the camera if the reviewers had had early access to Sony's own set of AF parameter recommendations available (but well hidden?) at: http://www.sony.net/Products/di/en-gb/Learnmore/4d_focus/a77/.
I also think that the JPEGs would fare significantly better if high ISO NR is set to low, and at this price point, it is probably the best all-around APS-C body.
And here's what they say about tracking AF duration of 1:
"Setting AF Track Duration to 1 (Low) enhances tracking performance on the intended subject. When shooting a swimmer's butterfly stroke or breast stroke, for example, selecting a high AF Track Duration setting could result in focus switching from the swimmer to the background if the composition is unchanged and the swimmer goes underwater. Also, setting Focus Area to Expanded Flexible Spot, which features a narrow area of focus and great capability to focus accurately on a subject, is effective."
It really should be called "AF lability" because that's what the low and high numbers mean, low and high AF lability. It's counter intuitive and Sony could be criticized for their strange description of this, but the more time you spent on a setting of 5, the more subject tracking is jumpy and unreliable.