The future of cameras - how do you think it should develop?

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lattesweden
lattesweden Veteran Member • Posts: 3,786
The future of cameras - how do you think it should develop?
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HISTORY RECAP
The Sony A7 in 2013 wasn't revolutionary in any technical way. It was as a mirrorless camera worse than what Olympus and Panasonic made at the time (the E-M1mkI for instance came that autumn too and was a way better camera). The A7 did have a fullframe sensor which gave it advantages. But that sensor in itself wasn't any special vs what same time DSLRs used. Much in the A7 felt like it was just a RX1 with an EVF and a lens mount.

(Face detect was already present in the 2008 Panasonic G1 and Eye-AF in Olympus models from 2012 and onwards).

The period after contained much incremental updates, often built with existing parts (the A7R for instance uses a sensor very like the one in the D800). The A7S had a new sensor though that was really good in low light at high ISOs but the rest was a reuse.

The II versions of the A7 series was in much the same as the mkI but with minor updates like IBIS (which was already used in many other cameras at the time) and a slightly updated body design. The sensor in the A7RII was a jump up though and it still measures in on the 6th place at DXOmark five years later (Canon R5/6 still untested by them which might or might not change that position).

Leica also joined in the mirrorless autofocus fullframe systems in 2015 with a camera that their technology partner Panasonic has done some, much, or all internals of (hard to get the full picture from trustworthy sources who exactly did what in that project). It uses Panasonics DFD technology so much is known, and it looks very much in other aspects as the base model for Panasonics own S1 series but that is a speculation from my side.

In 2017 the A9 came and it was again the sensor that made that camera possible. It became almost the first true digital camera: Continous EVF/LCD feed with no black out and 20 fps. But it only worked like that without flash. In flash scenarios it had to revert back to the mechanical age traditional shutter and black outs. It also only does 5 fps with mech shutter.

And then the period after again was back to incremental updates. Sure the A7III was a very well rounded package of Sony technologies poured together, the sensor was a new construction, but only a notch up on existing technologies. The A7RIV was much the same incremental update. And the A9II even less.

Nikon, Canon, Sigma and Panasonic joined in on the fullframe mirrorless autofocus market in the autumn of 2018. None of them came with anything new in their first releases. And the Leica SLII looks to me a lot like a slightly reworked S1R.

This year after the summer all manufacturers have launched new cameras, again only incremental updates and lots of reuse of parts: A7C, S5, Z5, Z6II, Z7II. The A7SIII is very well executed but not really anything new technology wise either. Canons sensor development woke up from the dead and the only real technology first this year is Canons 8K which turned out to have its problems with heat.

For more historical info about releases of mirrorless fullframe autofocus cameras, see the timetable above.

FUTURE
Rumors are like rumors are and they are not true until they are in the shop, but if the rumor of Canons global shutter sensor turns out to be real, then we would have the first real digital fullframe camera without any traditional parts.

The Sony mirrorless progress has much been driven by their sensor department as can be seen when looking back in history and most likely they are also working on a global shutter for fullframe. If they are near to succeeding or not we don't know but the way it looks to me at this point is that it is Canon and Sony who will do the future battle.

What do you think? What do you wish for in new technology? Where should the future camera development go? What new tech do you want to buy from Sony?

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Best regards
/Anders
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Mirrorless, mirrorless on the wall, say which is the best camera of them all?
Some images:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64169208
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64221482

FinePix S1 Sony a7 Sony a7R Sony a7S Sony a9 Sony RX1
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