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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
|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.
Open letter to Panasonic: Innovations in manual focus could make Lumix S a winner for cinematographers
Feb 17, 2019
Feb 16, 2019
Feb 19, 2019
Feb 19, 2019
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a more powerful dual-grip evolution of the E-M1 II. Aimed at sports shooters it promises improved AF, including advanced subject recognition, along with the highest-ever rated image stabilization system.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
|Precious Past Dreams by Domenick Creaco|
from Your City - Industrial Landmark (rerun)
|Aurora by ALAziz|
from Best Photo of the Week...
|Cold rock by jr|
We've had a little more time to shoot around with Panasonic's high-resolution full-framer and thus, top off our sample gallery. We've also had the chance to add a whole lot of Raw conversions.
Lens manufacturer Tokina has officially released details, price and on-sale dates for the Opera 16-28mm F2.8 lens it first showcased at Photokina in back in September. Expected to ship mid-March in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, this wide-angle zoom will cost $699.
InukTech is planning to...well...kickstart its Kickstarter campaign for a unique take on a transformable tripod it calls Inuk.
The Ricoh GR series has long been a favorite of street photographers, and the latest iteration - the GR III - brings a new sensor, redesigned lens, in-body stabilization and on-sensor phase detection. We spent some time with a pre-production model in London and have some initial impressions to share.
The Ricoh GR III made its official debut today, and DPR contributor Damien Demolder got his hands on the camera for a quick photo walk through London. Take a look at the results.
Ross Lowell was a man of many talents who had more than 25 patents to his name, created a lighting company and created gaffer tape, a staple in the camera bags of photographers and cinematographers the world over.
Light has announced it's teaming up with Sony to combined experience and technology in their respective fields to create the next-generation of multi-camera smartphones.
The Ricoh GR III will be going on sale this March for $899. It has a 24MP APS-C sensor, newly designed 28mm equiv. F2.8 lens, in-body image stabilization and on-sensor phase detection.
Ricoh's new WG-6 is the company's latest waterproof camera, with a 20MP sensor, 28-140mm equiv. lens and the ability to go 20m/65ft underwater. If you need something that's both crushproof and chemical-resistant, there's the G900, which is designed for industrial use.
Version 6.0.0 of the open source image editing application digiKam is a major update and has been two years in the making.
Lomography has launched the Lomogon 32mm F2.5, a compact lens with full frame sensor coverage and a unique wheel of aperture stops that protrudes from the barrel.
At its Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S10 and S10+ with a triple rear-camera array, as well as a more basic S10e model with a dual main camera unit. As expected, the S10 series' display is the center of attention with a hole-punch style front-facing camera embedded in the screen.
Picktorial for macOS gets a major 4.0 update with new DAM, improved search functionality and overall stability improvements.
Samsung wasted no time unveiling the Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked event today – a foldable device with a 4.6" display when folded, and 7.3" display when unfolded. The device contains a total of six cameras – three on the back, two inside and one front-facing camera.
The Mi 9 combines a 1/2" sensor in its primary camera with ultra-wide and tele options to cover a wide range of focal lengths.
Photographers Ben Horne is asking for help to find the owners of a battered Fujifilm camera that fell from the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park.
Taiwanese lens manufacturer William Optics is proposing to make a flatfield Petzval lens aimed at star gazers and photographers that it claims is the world’s sharpest 250mm.
After a rare Seattle snowstorm finally subsided, DPReview editor Jeff Keller was able to escape the snow and spend some time with the impressive Fujifilm X-T30, a camera that offers a lot of bang for the buck.
Given that it uses the same sensor and processor as the X-T3, it's no surprise that the Fujifilm X-T30 is capable of producing some excellent photos. We took a pre-production X-T30 all over the Seattle area and have plenty of photos for your viewing pleasure.
Tamron has announced three new full-frame lenses slated to launch in the middle of 2019: an SP 35mm F1.4 Di USD and 35-150mm F2.8-4 Di VC OSD for DSLRs, as well as an ultra-wide 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD for Sony E-mount cameras.
Roger and his team at Lensrentals have switched things up and decided to build a lens rather than tearing it apart.
George Mendonsa, the gentleman kissing a woman believed to be Greta Zimmer Friedman in Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic image titled 'V-J Day in Times Square,' has passed away at the age of 95.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? We conducted a live Q&A that you can watch here. We'll be trying to address those comments we didn't get to in the comments.
Version 3.0.2 of Skylum's Luminar software has been improved for both Windows and macOS systems.
Until now, the word 'bokeh' has been a noun. But that may very well change with the help of Apple's recent video advertisement.
The EF-M 32mm F1.4 is a welcome addition to Canon's APS-C mirrorless lens lineup. It's a good performer all-around and enjoyable to use on the EOS M50, and we hope to see more like it introduced to the EF-M range.
The data breach we reported on last week did not only affect 500px but a total of 16 websites, including mobile image sharing platform EyeEm, Animoto, Artsy and Fotolog.
Camera Rescue, a Finnish organization determined to rescue more than 100K analog, has already saved 46,000 cameras and plans to more than double that number by 2020.
Independent lens manufacturer Sigma has announced that its new 28mm T1.5 cine lens for full frame sensor cameras will be available from the middle of March.
Panasonic has announced the impending release of two new cameras, the ZS80/TZ95 compact camera and the FZ1000 II superzoom camera.