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.
I read few years ago a very interesting article about future of DSRL, written from technology trends (read "mirrorless") and optics perspective (sorry, could not find the link). The author's point was that mechanics and optics develop very slow vs. computation, silicon etc. And how Canon/Nikon would likely drop mirror & pentaprism from their FF DSLRs, but keep mount & flange distance the same. Big reason behind this line of thought was optics (and reuse of existing lens portoflio). The author argued that the old 35mm DLSR flange distance is very optimal for FF sensor. I see such a system clearly focusing on high-end where as Canikon crop formats would go to size-optimized mirrorless route.
Well, Sony is clearly playing other plan and some early signals show (e.g. 90mm macro) show how short flange distance does not prevent great optics.
Just a thought.
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.
No, not all those flaws of EVF are fixable - at least in foreseeable tech roadmaps. I recommend googling "Light-Field-Displays" to get the concept. Human eye register also the depth of the incoming light arrays and focuses on different depths naturally. But with EVF the depth is flat / zero. This is again a matter of preference, but it creates very different feeling behind camera.
Another issue is light emitting nature of displays; just compare the reading experience of Kindle Paperwhite vs. iPads to get the point. Paperwhites are superb for the eye.
And then Dynamic Range. Human eye has massive dynamic range while EVFs "burn" even in completely normal scenarios.
But again, some people prefer the programmable goodies EVF can provide over these visual characteristics. And EVFs will get better (120Hz, lower latency, higher res, higher contrast / DR). Those will improve and the number of OVF fans will get fewer and fewer per tech generation.
Well, I have seen those latest FullHD EVF display modules (likely the same module than in Sony A7 R II ) and at least that pre-production sample did not convince me. But let's see the final product.
This is all about personal preferences, but for me the difference is between flat, light emitting display vs. "light-field-view" of Optical VF (i.e. gives the depth view). EVF have low DR, they lack natural depth view, and the lag (compared to optics / human eye). But as said, this is matter of personal preference - not factual right or wrong. If you are happy with EVF, that's great, but do not assume others having differing opinion have not made conscious, informed judgment.
Looks good, but that much sharper vs Nikon D810. Might be a lens issue also. Chroma noise pumps up a lot after ISO 1600 :-( It will be interesting to see how far will Sony get with A7R II.
When debating on these technology shifts it is good to focus on trends rather than current status.
Sensor development is the same for both except innovations around on-image-sensor-PDAF will shift balance for MILC. The best sensor manufacturers - Sony and Samsung are in MILC camp.
The development of mechanics is slow and expensive. The mechanical shutters and mirrors will continue to shake and limit DSLR FPS speeds where as better electrical shutters and sensor read-out speeds will play for MILC.
EVFs get better (Full HD, 2K) but will remain flat emitting displays vs. the optical "light-field view" of OVFs. It might take some time before EVFs meet the requirements of OVF-fans, but other EVF-features might turn the balance for EVF (i.e. MILC).
Processing speed will continue to increase and chips will be able to better algorithms - this plays especially for MILC since those can better utilize computational imaging.
In short, the trends play for MILC.
- A Canon FF DSLR user
cm71td: It's funny how people tend to turn everything into a contest, and root for a technology in the same way they would a sport's franchise. Then they come to DP Review and want to debate their chosen technology, and take it as a personal insult if someone prefers something different.
Whether it's "mirrorless vs DSLR", or "micro 4/3rds vs full frame", or "Canon vs. Nikon", someone is always willing to defend their chosen technology or brand to the death, and insult all others. They then root for the demise of the other technology. Very strange.
Why is it a contest? Isn't it great to have choices from a variety of technologies? Just pick the best tool for your needs and move on. Oh, and if someone happens to not share your preference of camera, don't take it personally.
@Tedolf The Single-minded-MILC-defender,
I agree - almost. Sensor size discussion boils down on DoF profile vs preference on system size/weight. However, it does not mean that Telephoto/portrait shooters should go for crop sensor. It depends how much DoF separation / bokeh they want and that back to physical size of aperture. You just cannot get 1/1.4f FF-equiv lenses on m43, for example.
MILC - DSLR choise boils down to many factors - EVF vs OVF for example. Battery life for some, existing investment for others.
LJohnK2: I think a lot of the mirrorless & EVF hating comes from folks that have invested lots of $$$ into a conventional system. I think we are at a time when its hard for a Pro or even serious hobbyist to "choose" a system.
Really for folks with lots invested in DSLR's FF or APS-C the "old DSLR" will work fine until your core gear breaks down....then you have some thinking.
The best thought for anyone getting into this either Pro or serious hobby, would be simply to buy what will suit your foreseeable future....less is more.
For me this yet-another-schoold-kid-fight-over-who's-dad-has-best-car. Fan boys keep on promoting one side and people forget how others in general make very informed conscious choices based on their own - not the Fan boys' - preferences. It is not clear-cut either or, but which system is the best based on preferences, shooting habits, existing investments, etc.
But yeah, having a sensible forum discussion in the internet is ... day-dreaming.
sunjester: Got to say, when I go birding acquiring the bird in tough conditions it takes many seconds longer with my mirrorless, and even longer with my bridge camera than with even a consumer grade DSLR.
I would say mirrorless has a ways to go yet.
Are you getting paid for promoting MILC here? You keep spamming like a desperate Fan Boy. Don't you get it how different people have different preferences and can and are free to make their own choices.
I have tested all the very best EVFs (Samsung NX1, Sony A7, Fuji XT-1, etc) and no one - I mean not a single one - is anywhere near good FF OVF (Nikon D810 gets special mention). The difference is like between a movie in IMAX theater vs. in old-standard-definition-CRT-TV.
Fan boys can claim what they claim, but I believe own eyes.
The future is mirrorless, that's clear. But let's not confuse all the parameters.
Thumbs up for Sigma for trying something new, but this lens is not for me (mostly travel photography). I sold my 16-35/2.8L II for 16-35/4L IS due to benefits of IS. But I just think I am not their target customer for this lens.
Jylppy: I hate the thought that my photos are managed & edited with a software by greedy corporation like Adobe that I do not trust. There are companies that have earned their trust, but Adobe is not one of those.
Photography is a hobby for me. Not a profession. Before I had much more time to shoot / edit photos and I could have justified the CC price, but now I open LR max once a month. Paying EUR 150 for that per year is too much. I e.g. skipped LR 5 completely due to this. Flat-fee pricing model does not fit for all.
What I meant by this comment was Adobe's "pushy" approach to drive CC. And they are using means such as "not-improving standalone version" vs. "making cloud version better". The CC/standalone desktop clients share the same code base and this new functionality is pure standalone desktop app feature. It does not need / utilize any cloud elements. If the features exclusive to CC were cloud related, I would be OK with this, but their approach is hinting even more aggressive means could be coming (delayed bug fixes, not adding new camera support, etc).
There is fine line between being "eager to market" vs. "being pushy".
I hate the thought that my photos are managed & edited with a software by greedy corporation like Adobe that I do not trust. There are companies that have earned their trust, but Adobe is not one of those.
Eric Glam: I like this camera a lot, but can't help thinking about some of the handicapping Sony did:
1. The NP-FW50 battery is just not good enough (300 shots and its empty).2. There's no Touch-screen, so no options of touch-focus & touch-snap.3. Minor quibble, but the flash sync speed could have been a bit faster than 1/250 sec.4. It's not weather-sealed, so no promises here in harsh conditions.5. Price is a bit high ($3199)...I was hoping they'd start at $2399.
I would never ever consciously put my DSLR under risk of getting "waves poured into it", but this has happened to me by accident in a river boat in China. In a narrow point of river, our ****** driver decides to rush forward while a really big river boat comes from the other direction. Our little boat's nose dives through its rear waves. We get as wet as getting water poured on us from a barrel. The water hits directly my DLSR on my lap.
After stress full drying period I inspect the camera and everything is OK. I am still using the same Canon 5DII and 24-105/4L lens. I do not want to repeat the test, but I must say I have been really thankful for Canon engineers for doing their job well.
Jylppy: But is even this enough to wake-up Canon from its denial?
For me the Canon 100D was the biggest sign of denial there is: "We can make DLSRs small too". There is so much more promise in MLC than small size. Computational multi-frame (in-camera) imaging to start with. Faster FPS, etc.
I am Canon FF user who thinks Sony has pretty decent system under development if one is willing to accept 1/4f zooms (not a bad trade-off for "travel lens"). The NEX usability and EVF are still .... meh, but that's just my opinion.
But is even this enough to wake-up Canon from its denial?
Jylppy: Thanks again for superb article! I respect your willingness and persistence to educate your readers even though sometimes the findings may annoy some of them. These articles are true gems.
It seems you want to be careful not to mention any brands here. That may help to ease the "shock to the post-rationalized views", but readers with open mind could appreciate the information. But that can be better to take up in a separate article - there was quite much to digest already in this one!
PS. Canon (aka high-downstream-noise-sensor) user
After bit thinking this, I agree that your current line is best one.
It is better to keep brand names out of the educational articles to promote the acceptance of knowledge. Otherwise Flat Earth Cult will come and "burn the witches". Then I recommend to write separate articles where the knowledge is applied to real-world cases and brands/cameras.
Never under-estimate the power of post-rationalization and people's willingness to "unhear" the messages they do not want to hear.
xiao fei: This is very interesting. I have a Canon 5DII. Has anyone done or seen tests about that camera? If I needed to boost a photo by a few stops, at what point does ISO outweigh boosting it in Camera Raw?
Hi, with Canon 5DII you should pump up ISO until 1600 and under expose after that. I have the same camera. You can check the facts yourself:
The column to focus in this case is "Read noise", since the shot noise stays the same (aperture & shutter speed).
Thanks again for superb article! I respect your willingness and persistence to educate your readers even though sometimes the findings may annoy some of them. These articles are true gems.
And where are the lens news for EOS M?