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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
|If Canon makes a full-frame mirrorless camera, should they forego some of the potential size benefits to maintain full EF-mount compatibility? And just how compatible would it be?|
More than ever, rumors are circulating that Canon and Nikon are finally going to take mirrorless seriously by building full-frame mirrorless cameras. These rumors, which may well turn out to be nonsense, all seem to suggest that these cameras will be built around the companies’ respective DSLR mounts.
It’s an interesting quandary: develop a new, space-efficient mount or stick with your existing system?
I’m going to argue that the right answer is much clearer for a manufacturer than for the end consumer. And I think I can guess which option we’re likely to see.
The benefits of supporting your legacy mount seem obvious: the manufacturer gets to keep selling their existing lenses and the consumer ends up with a huge range of lenses to choose from. Surely there’s no conflict there?
The advantage of all (or most) of an existing system’s lenses being compatible from day one seem overwhelming. Plenty of choice, the ability to sell mirrorless cameras to existing lens owners and no reputational damage. Everybody wins, right?
The problem with building a mirrorless camera with a full-depth mount goes deeper (pun intended) than all of your mirrorless models being bigger than necessary. That said, even people who prefer larger cameras are usually referring to grip depth and spacing of controls, rather than demanding their camera has a big box of fresh air in the middle of it, for no functional reason.
No, the bigger issue is that most DSLR lenses aren’t designed for mirrorless. I’m not just talking about some designs being larger than necessary, I’m talking about the use of focus motors that are great for DSLR phase detection but that are woefully clunky when driven using contrast detection AF. Secondary sensor AF, as used and painstakingly optimized for DSLRs is very effective at telling the lens where it needs to move its focus elements to. The ring-type ultrasonic motors used in most high-end DSLR lenses are great at responding to such a command.
Contrast detection asks very different things of its lenses. Instead of racing to a particular point, they need to smoothly scan through their focus range then perform a series of back-and-forth movements to find perfect focus. The result tends to be more accurate but requires a lightweight focus element and a very differently type of focus motor.
|The K-01 used a full depth Pentax K mount which gave instant access to lots of lenses. Unfortunately, none of them had really been designed with contrast detection in mind...|
The alternative approach: on-sensor phase detection, is in its relative infancy. It may be able to make better use of existing lenses with ring-type motors, but it’s still not clear how well it can interpret significantly defocused scenes.
Also, at present, most on-sensor phase detection information is fed into what are more precisely described as 'Hybrid' AF systems: they get very close to focus using phase detection then perform a CDAF hunt to confirm the optimal position. Perhaps this will change, hopefully without the loss of the precision that mirrorless AF tends to excel at, leaving us just with the size disadvantage.
|It's notable that, when it's trying to build fast-focusing lenses for its mirrorless E-mount, Sony doesn't tend to use ring-type focus motors. In the case of the 16-35mm F2.8 GM, it uses twin piezoelectric actuators.|
Alternatively, of course, there's a risk of building a system that prioritizes backward compatibility over maximizing performance. It's noticeable, for instance, that Sony makes very little use of ring-type focus motors in the lenses its developing for the E-mount, despite having experience of using them for its DSLR A-mount.
Either way, there's a risk that we'll be offered something that fits but doesn't necessarily work as well as it could.
As an enthusiast photographer with limited lens-buying resources, one of the things that has always irritated me is seeing camera companies produce high-end lenses for their full-frame customers and carefully marketing the idea that this benefits all their users, so they need not develop anything good for their APS-C users. It’s a situation that leaves APS-C users with poor choices and the arguably false impression that by buying these poorly-suited lenses, they’re making progress along an upgrade path (a fallacy that benefits the camera makers more than the photographers).
The decision to adopt a new mount or continue with a legacy one risks the same thing: the appearance of lots of choice when what you’re actually being offered is compromise, and a situation with limited incentive for the manufacturers to dedicate their efforts towards the needs of their mirrorless users. Instead they can produce a lovely picture of their mirrorless camera flanked with 30 years’ worth of lens development and watch as brand loyalists insist that ‘their’ system has the most lenses, regardless of performance.
And this wouldn’t necessarily only apply to existing lenses. Let’s say Manufacturer X needs to develop a new fast 70-200mm F2.8 and the focusing design that would work best for mirrorless turns out to be slower than the one that suits the company’s flagship sports DSLR, which version of the lens do you think we’d see?
There is something of a precedent for this. Canon got its reputation badly burned by abandoning its FD mount – something it took some photographers a long time to forgive –whereas Nikon and Pentax pressed on with progressively trying to modernize their 1950s and 70s film mounts.
Taking the hard decision arguably left Canon in the better position: the long-term benefit was a wide-throated, all-electronic mount. With the introduction of its latest ‘E’ lenses, Nikon’s venerable F-mount has finally caught up: with autofocus and aperture operated by the lens, but with a complex series of compatibility issues cropping up along the way. And, while they are still using a somewhat restrictively narrow mount at the end of it, they've benefited from not having to burn their users on the way (though they arguably handed-off responsibility for understanding the complexities of the F-mount’s development to every user looking to buy lenses).
|Olympus expressly made the E-M1 to provide continued support for its legacy system but also developed the 'PRO' range of high-end lenses to make full use of the capabilities of Micro Four Thirds cameras.|
The other way of doing things is to develop a dedicated mount and dedicatedly support it. This is the approach that Olympus took with the development of Micro Four Thirds and, to an extent, which Canon has with its EF-M mount. Olympus, along with Panasonic, took the brave step of designing a mirrorless-optimized mount when they developed Micro Four Thirds, rather than trying to press on with Four Thirds. They then offered an adapter to use the older lenses and, with the E-M1 and E-M1 II, developed cameras expressly with the intention of maintaining support for the older, outgoing system. This meant existing customers didn’t get too badly burned and new Micro Four Thirds customers got an increasingly impressive range of native lenses designed for them.
It’ll be interesting to see if Sony takes any pointers from this, as they decide how to support both E and A mounts.
Perhaps I’ll be proved wrong in the end. Maybe Canon’s EF-M/EF cross-compatibility will end up reducing the incentives to develop interesting lenses for M series owners, in the same way that I worry sharing a mount would. Equally, perhaps Canon’s Dual Pixel AF (and Nikon’s on-sensor PDAF experience gleaned from its 1-Series cameras) will mean that there ends up being no AF compromise to sharing a mount. It may partly be overcoming this challenge that has led to its camera taking so long to arrive. At which point, using the existing mount would just mean carrying around a camera that’s a little lumpier than it needs to be.
Time, I’m sure, will tell. But, in the meantime, don’t necessarily take at face-value any promises that backwards compatibility is an unalloyed user benefit.
Sep 24, 2018
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When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|My Garden by Mitchmeister|
from The Secret Garden
|Crowded Skies by Rushlin|
from Seven types of aircraft - lighter than air
Sigma has said it will create a full-frame Foveon camera and will adopt the Leica L mount for its system. It will be able to adapt or convert SA mount lenses to the L mount, for existing users.
Hasselblad is expanding their X System with their announcement of three new lenses: the XCD 80mm F1.9, XCD 65mm F2.8 and XCD 135mm F2.8, along with a teleconverter. The 80mm F1.9 is the fastest in the system. Get all the details and check out Hasselblad's official sample images here.
Sigma has announced the 56mm F1.4 DC DN lens for Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mounts. The compact 56mm lens becomes the sixth DN lens for mirrorless cameras and will make a handy portrait lens on both systems.
Sigma has announced the 28mm F1.4 Art, 40mm F1.4 Art, 70-200mm F2.8 Sport and 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 Sport lenses for several full frame lens mounts, including Canon, Nikon and, in the first two instances, Sony E.
ON1 has announced the impending launch of ON1 Photo RAW 2019. The new version, due out in November, brings a handful of new tools and features in a revamped interface.
Fujifilm has said it is developing a 100MP GFX medium format camera that will include both phase detection autofocus and in-body image stabilization. The 4K-capable camera will sell for around $10,000.
Leica has announced the S3 medium-format camera – an S2 successor with a 64MP sensor capable of 4K video.
The GFX 50R is a 50MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. It borrows heavily from the existing 50S model but in a smaller body and at a lower price. How does it differ?
Fujifilm has announced its GFX 50R, a rangefinder-styled version of the company's GFX 50S medium-format camera. The 'guts' of the two cameras are the same, with the difference being the design, weight and Bluetooth, all at a considerably lower price.
In this episode of DPReview TV, we get our hands on Fujifilm's GFX 50R which hides a medium-format sensor in a new, more compact body. Watch to get Chris and Jordan's first impressions on image quality, video and more.
Fujifilm is adding a trio of new medium-format lenses to its G-mount roadmap. GFX owners will soon be able to get their hands on 100-200mm F5.6, 45-100mm F4 and compact 50mm F3.5 lenses. Pricing and availability have not been announced.
Micro Four Thirds users will soon get a super fast, constant aperture wide angle zoom.
Panasonic has announced it is developing two full frame mirrorless cameras: the 47MP S1R and the 24MP S1. We've been shown fairly advanced-looking but non-functional prototype cameras, and have been able to squeeze a few details from Panasonic.
Panasonic is developing a pair of full-frame mirrorless cameras that use Leica's L-mount. The S1R will feature a 47MP sensor, while the S1 will be 24MP. Both cameras will support Dual IS shake reduction 4K/60p video capture and will have XQD and SD card slots.
Leica, Panasonic and Sigma are teaming up. Expect L-mount cameras from Panasonic as well as L-mount glass from Sigma.
Ricoh has announced the development of the GR III enthusiast compact, due to ship in early 2019. The camera gains sensor-shift image stabilization and an updated 24MP sensor with phase-detection. The 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens has also been redesigned and a touchscreen added.
The 'I'm Back' is now available for a range of old film-SLRs, such as Nikon's F-Series, the Olympus OM10 or the Canon AE-1.
IRIX has announced its latest lens, the 150mm F2.8 Macro 1:1. IRIX claims the lens features 'close to zero' distortion and stands out with its 150mm telephoto focal length.
The RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM is one of four lenses to launch with Canon's new full-frame mirrorless system, and it boasts the longest reach of the range. Take a look at some of the samples we've gathered thus far as our EOS R testing continues.
Nikon's Sendai factory in the Tōhoku region North of Japan has been churning out cameras and lenses since 1971. We had the opportunity recently to visit Sendai during events to mark the launch of Nikon's new Z mount.
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.