Why Thom is wrong...

Started Sep 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Beach Bum Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Flange focal distance and the death of the mirror...

ZorSy wrote:

Also, you claim Canon and Nikon are smarter than this and can improve their contrast detect autofocus, yet I've seen no evidence of this whatsoever. Ask yourself why Panasonic and Sony can be so good here yet Canon and Nikon so poor. The answer is quite simply the availability of resources. Panasonic and Sony are far larger than Canon or Nikon and have far more resources available to them to develop tech. It's really the same reason Panny and Sony are so good at video while Canon and Nikon (especially Nikon) are not so good.

Clueless to a degree again: Sony uses translucent mirror, hence full-time PDAF at the cost of half a stop of light (actually more than a stop, but let's settle without arguments). Panasonic, again, uses smaller sensor, DOF kicks in and generally you get "sharper" images due to a less focus error. Yes, Nikon lags with CDAF or on sensor PDAF on the current offering of their DX/FF range, hence video isn't as good as on Canon DX.So we do agree about one thing - Nikon is not good in video.

Not really. Panasonic doesn't have good CDAF because of a larger DOF. Have you tried any of their compacts, camcorders, or mFT with fast glass? It doesn't matter which of these types of cameras you use, their CDAF blows everyone else away, including Canon and Nikon by a pretty wide margin.

Same with Sony (I'd call them a close second). Olympus, in the past, wasn't noted for quick autofocus, but they've upped their game dramatically with their latest mFTs. I'm not sure about their compacts now, as I haven't tried one for a while, but I know their mFTs are excellent.

This is the reason why Panasonic and Sony are so consistent in quality across their line-up while Canon and Nikon have to cut corners in some models.

In short, I don't believe either Canon or Nikon are "smarter" in any way, shape, or form, and, in fact, are outgunned in a number of ways. My belief is that Panny, Sony, and/or Olympus will eventually overtake CaNikon in overall autofocus when they develop on sensor PDAF to perfection (combined with their already stellar CDAF). The mirror is going to be rendered obsolete eventually, and camera manufacturers with already established marketshare in cameras with short FFDs will have the edge.

Once they develop on sensor PDAF they will eventually overtake - well, lots of conditional wordings here, right? Both of these two "big" ones have demonstrated they are capable of doing it, don't you think? It's a matter of implementation: at this stage, neither system is "good enough" to be implemented on mass scale. Reputation is thing you loose in a split second and half baked products may just hurt it. Panasonic, if we speak about it, is ignorant about criticism, which reflects in sales numbers. Olympus is better in that regard but they are pushing it hard. Pen series (numerous models) was as unsuccessful as One series - lots of noise, not much sales. Low cost consumer stuff. It definitely lost to bottom range Rebels or low end Nikons (as they actually deliver). I admire Pentax (not being user) for recognising that 1 inch of flange distance does not actually make camera that much smaller - still not fitting in the pocket. We'll put design on the side here. I wouldn't mind or be surprised if Nikon introduces ILC based on DX with mirror box removed, still using F mount: even without mirror box it still wouldn't fit it the pocket and the lenses wouldn't magically shrink in size. At least on the consumer level , it would make more sense without major re-work on the imaging chip itself. But all this hypothetical ramble is made under assumption the on-chip PDAF actually works on par to PDAF speed, which is only the wishful thinking. For most people, the world is not standing still - it moves much faster than ever (still spinning at the same pace, luckily) and focusing speed still matter. Both for videos and photos - the only thing is that in video you can't zoom to a full 24MP resolution, as not there, to see all the flaws current V-AF suffers from, so it all looks "good enough" - just.

Short FFD will not have the edge with the current sensor design. Nor will make wide angle lenses cheaper to make. Not will help with long telephoto lenses as the body will eventually follow the flange size and became diminutive, compromising ergonomics. Short pancake prime, yes - but is that what buyers (consumers) really want?

We agree to disagree. The short FFD, aside from removing an inch (give or take) from the overall depth of the camera, my understanding is that it allows for smaller and cheaper lens designs, while maintaining image quality.

If you have a link to an article showing any downside to a short FFD, I'd be happy to read it. But I haven't seen one.

And, yes, the whole body/lens package will look smaller and sleaker with a smaller FFD. And, as you mentioned, this will be especially true with a pancake. People naturally go for sleeker, more svelte designs, and I believe this will eventually be true of cameras as well. Just give it time.

My understanding is the only reason CaNikon have a long FFD is because of the mirror box, and they wouldn't have done it otherwise. But, if you have a link to something stating otherwise, I'm all ears (or eyes).

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