Michael always made my day a little brighter when I read his articles. I'm glad that he is no longer suffering.
Its a rare talent to not only be a expert on a subject, but to be able to communicate your knowledge to others in a clear and enjoyable way.
The Smart Phone business is dying, the market is saturated, and phone makers are trying to find a way to boost poor sales. I really doubt that most buyers pay a lot of attention to the camera in their phone, but even if 10% do, it can boost sales.
I liked no 5. From a technical point, its very difficult to get white on white, the camera will capture the image as gray, so you have to really master the settings manually, get a perfect exposure, etc.
The question with patents is the cost to actually produce it. The complex array of tiny lenses, lcd, and half mirror will add to the cost. Apparently, it can be fitted without increasing the hump size, and battery life might be a little better in liveview when the main LCD is off. There might be no need to turn it on for those who use a viewfinder, since the image can playback after its taken, right in the viewfinder.
A feature like that, if it works would be interesting, f/11 lenses can autofocus using liveview and you can still use the viewfinder. Smaller and less expensive f/5.6 lenses could autofocus with a 2X TC without using the rear lcd to frame the image, which is difficult in bright daytime.
I read thru the patent, which discusses the difficulties of using different methods to get the result, it makes you appreciate the thought and effort that went into this patent. This patent builds on a previous Canon patent.
I suspect that keeping the lens stopped down is something that comes with using a mirrorless camera. The pixels on the main sensor will overload with the aperture fully open and AF will be worse because of blooming.
There are a ton of new issues to be solved that the mirrorless technology brings.
Engineers have to trade off features. You can't have it all. The Professional level PJ cameras tend to value the ability to get the shot in tough lighting conditions, so a little less low ISO DR might be a good trade for high ISO performance.
Cameras do seem to be more niche oriented lately, with a particular type of user in mind. Comparing isolated features of one versus a camera optimized for a different type of user will result in articles like this one. DPR did not say it was bad directly, but the glaring headline and comparison reveals that the author of the article highly values features that Nikon feels can be traded for low light performance. I can't say who is right, its just what it is.
The service manuals I have require a precision measuring tool to assure that the sensor is aligned to a few 10 thousands of a inch. Shims are used to adjust it. The same with the lens mount. Actually, Canon sensors have a number written on the corners that need to be shimmed. The number gives the shim size.
I'd be very careful to replace any items that look like washers in the exact same location, since they might be shims of different thicknesses.
Is the minimum speed for a new or low level formatted card, or for a card that has been written to and must be erased? That's a issue for many users who do not realize that write speeds vary depending on whether the card is new or has been used and formatted with in-camera normal formatting. Low level formatting returns a card to new status, but its generally optional.
I'd be interested in the implementation of live view, in the past, its been worthless.
Sony's roots lie in making small products, and that has served them well. Sticking to what they do best will continue to benefit them. Personally, I've stayed away from most tiny things, but just the other day, I sent my vintage Sony Walkman(CD player) from the 1980's to the thrift store. It was small, but weighed ton. I still have a earlier audio cassette version.
I have several old Sony Reel to Reel decks. I fix them and resell them, they are almost always defective, they were all unreliable. On the other hand, the old Teac decks almost always work fine, possibly needing a belt or two.
While I'd hope that their products will be reliable, I have yet to see it happen, their current products are throw-away items, they are too expensive to repair, or parts are not available. I do wish that they would improve in those areas. I might yet buy one.
Release of papers, TV and radio interviews always happen when its time to ask for a initial or extension to a research grant, paid for by us, of course. That's not necessarily bad, I'm all for research, but I also take these announcements with a grain of salt. Few of them ever turn out.
If the idea had obvious merit, I'd like to think that the camera companies would be funding the research and buying up patents. However, companies can be blind to a good idea, when that happens, they become another Polaroid or Kodak. They both had the underpinnings of modern digital photography within their company, but the management could not imagine the effect it would have and did not go all out to develop it. They spent money, but it required a all-out effort if they were to become the big players.
I noticed some obvious light-dark flickering in some of the scenes. Was the camera using a fixed aperture, or was the aperture changing and causing the flicker?
Big Richard: In FY 2013 Sony sold 11.5 million cameras. In FY2015Sony forecasts only 6.1 million cameras. 47% drop.
I wonder how long Sony will stick with Cybershot and APSC? The sensor business thanks mostly to Apple and Nikon is the reason for the profits along with FF mirrorless where there is no competition.
Sony is making money and needs to stick with their profitable core: Sensors, professional video and FF mirrorless. Cybershot and NEX are the boat anchors holding them back from making higher profits. Now I see why last years A6000 replacement was cancelled, and there hasn't been a new apsc lens for 2 1/2 years.
In case you did not read the financial report, their profitable core business in sensors lost 97 million. (Batteries are part of that business unit)
Camera sensors are a very small part of that business, its dominated by cell phone, tablet sensors, and their sales is way down.
As far as profits, their other lines are doing much better than cameras. Mobile Communications up 133%. Pictures (Movies) up 227%. Game and Network Services up 45.5%. Imaging is near the bottom of the profit list.
Although it wasn't specifically mentioned, the speed and availability of parts and repair service is certainly important to someone who actually needs to have their cameras available for use. Sure, have a backup, but if it takes 2-3 months for service, you might need multiple backups, and backup lenses are expensive.
Then, there is reliability.
So, the performance and IQ are a part of the equation, but for some, not the most important or even in second place.
I realize that its expensive and difficult to gather reliability information, but availability of service centers, spare parts, and average turn-around time might be easier.
I do agree with the gist of the argument, each photographer has his needs and priorities, he also has his biases. I often see comments like why doesn't brand X have a feature brand y has? Take this to the obvious conclusion, and all cameras would be the same.
My IUSBPORT2 That I bought from B&H offers full tethering capability, including all the features of this one and controls video as well as downloading images to your device if you wish.
Certainly, the cables can be replaced. It also acts as a backup battery for a smart phone, and the unit can be used all day on one charge.
Just because someone wants your $$ for a project does not mean its a smart way to blow your money.
File size is much less important than it was 15 years ago, that's the least of my concerns about jpeg files.
Its going to take something very special to get zillions of images replaced with a newer file format.
falconeyes: Small Sony is making a solid profit year after year - despite their bold effort at innovation and R&D.
Makes me wonder where all that money within much bigger Canon and Nikon is going to ... There must be a staff of lazy/inefficient and wealthy people to be sustained ;)
Ethan, How is Sony 3X larger than Canon + Nikon? Your comment does not survive a check of facts.
Canon has a market cap of 49.8 Billion and has 191,889 Employees. Sony has a market cap of 34.2 Billion and 140, 900 Employees. They are barely alive, having lost tons of money for the past few years, and are now struggling towards profitability, having made $278 million in profit so far this FY after losing billions for years. Canon is forecasting a 3.02 BILLION profit this year, over 10X as much.
Canon could probably buy Sony, but why buy a loser? Sony just can't let go of their big money losers.
I have a tough time getting past that price, it seems excessive.
If the rumored Microsoft Surface 4 pro comes out on Oct 6, it might fill the bill. Up to 1GB memory, 14 inch screen, facter video card, it sounds like more of a photo editing tablet.