The Economist article on mirrorless cameras

Started Jun 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
philip pj Senior Member • Posts: 1,608
Re: The Economist article on mirrorless cameras

Who has the world's best full frame sensors today?

Sometimes when opinions vary, evidence assists us in seeing who is right:

Note: Nikon use Sony sensors for their two higher Mp cameras - the D600/610 and D800/e, so I used their latest D4s; and Canon's latest FF sensor in the 6D. Both fall way behind the Sony a7r AND it also offers much greater resolution. This boost in res is pure IQ-enhancing MTF. Bottom line: Sony.

It's easy to agree 'two years is nothing' in the world Canon inhabit - the land that time forgot - they are the Rip Van Winkel of camera makers, much to the chagrin of the user base, many of whom are gnashing their teeth. Many are flocking to the a7/a7r Sonys to keep up with the rapid technological change ushered in by Sony and partners of 20 years - Zeiss. You can check out the angst and interest over at FM's Canon forum - all 115 pages of the Sony a7r - in *the Canon forum*:

start reading here:

It's similar with Nikon's base of ex-D800e users - many of whom are pleading with Sony to fix the a7r's so-called 'shutter shock' - they are essentially hard bitten pros working in landscape photography.

Two years is an eternity in this business - the electronics business. During those two years Sony has released: the RX1, a7, a7r, soon the a7s, and a99. All are ground-breaking devices. Now Canon and Nikon - what have you done lately? Not enough to please their higher end users, as explained above.

Sony have not just released another camera to work with OEM lenses, they have re-enabled - rebirthed - the whole panoply of 35mm format lenses made by just everyone else.

This may be of interest:

Now pros in, say, the PJ/event categories only need to satisfy editors and customers..advanced amateurs and pros in other fields now have the huge advantage of being able to use the best lenses made - many of which are decidedly neither Canon nor Nikon - on the best sensors available. A further point is that most of C/N's lenses are very much consumer level and many are very old, so the numbers conceal that neither maker has released many cutting edge optics of late - quite complacent of them, many impartial observers would agree.

Don't knock it, they have a business model that works, it's anchored firmly in the distant past and relies on the base staying uninformed, but it turns a profit so more power to them. Just don't confuse it with discussions of quality.

So, we see combinations like: a7r + Leica 280mm f4; a7r + Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8; a7r + Canon TSE 17/24; a7r + Leica WATE, a7r + Summilux; and so on and so forth. DSLRs still have their place, it is just no longer at the top of the image quality heap. Clients are getting second or third best. Still good enough for them, most are not up with events in the field to know any better. And of course, Sony know pros make up maybe 1-2% of the total market. They are targeting high end users who know their cameras and lenses, where the profit is.

Low light? OVFs are yesterday's items - anyone serious about ambient light shooting indoors will be using an EVF, not squinting through a piece of glass, or wearing out their welcome with an artificial image producing flash unit mounted on something that resembles a flotation device. Flash photography is verboten in so many locations nowadays.

C/N's focus aids are so poor as to not rate a mention alongside what Sony provides - fast lenses come alive on the a7/r series. Who needs to fiddle with micro-adjust for focus-shift prone fast lenses, when your EVF view comes from a live sensor feed?

All that is today, not tomorrow.

PS. It's good to see The Economist knows as little about cameras as it does about economics, consistency is a virtue.

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