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Author Topic: Sony Cyber Shot DSC R-1  (Read 20607 times)
Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2005, 01:48:08 PM »
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Re: 35 mm equivalence:
I thought the focal length is multiplied but the f stop stays the same
« Last Edit: December 19, 2005, 01:48:41 PM by Kenneth Sky » Logged
Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2005, 02:18:54 PM »
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Spent some time this weekend with R-1 at the store. Must say the EVF is the most limiting factor. Also, the write speed limits the shot to shot speed, especially in RAW. I'm not impressed with the plastic finish but that's personal taste.
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BJL
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2005, 05:15:44 PM »
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Re: 35 mm equivalence:
I thought the focal length is multiplied but the f stop stays the same
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For equal FOV and equal shutter speed at equal ISO yes, but resulting in more DOF and probably more shadow noise and/or less resolution with the smaller format, so that is a rather unimportant comparison.
Firstly, DOF will be different at the same f-stop due to the combined effect of the change in focal length and related change in degree of enlargement needed to get equal sized images of the subject on the prints: the smaller format and focal length gets equal DOF with a proportionately smaller f-stop.
Secondly, a smaller format is typically limited to a lower ISO speeds to get acceptable combination of resolution and low noise levels on the final prints, thus requiring lower f-stops to get comparable handling of high shutter speed/low light situations. That is why comparing to a lens of equivalent focal length and same f-stop is like imagining that one could replace a 400/2.8 lens by cheaper, lighter f/2.8 lens of shorter focal lengths and then cropping to the desired FOV. That fails because either (a) the crop gives inferior print resolution, or ( if higher resolution film/sensor is used to sustain the crop, its ISO speed is lower, so f/2.8 no longer gives as much speed.
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BJL
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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2005, 05:25:17 PM »
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With the Sony and the 5D, I don't have to do any 1.6x or 1.5x conversion
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If you wish to think of FOV in 35mm terms, you need to convert with the R1 just as much as with DX, EF-S or 4/3: the factor is 5/3, or about 1.7x.

If instead you just work with the actual format and focal lengths you have, no conversion is needed with any DSLR. Usually, I just zoom until the framing is right in the VF; I do not compute the needed focal length and then dial it in! At most I bear in mind that the transition between my 14-54 and 50-200 4/3 format lenses is at about "twice normal", to guide my choice of lens.

Likewise, I am fairly sure that photographers using MF do not multiply focal lengths by "crop factors" of about 0.6x for the sake of putting things in 35mm terms. Nor have I ever heard those familiar with MF talk about having to apply a roughly 1.7x "crop factor" when they use the smaller "cropped" 35mm format.
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aaykay
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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2005, 08:15:02 PM »
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Firstly, the actual R-1 lens spec's are f=14.3-71.5mm, f/2.8-4.8 (not 4.0).

The rough rule is simple: multiply f-stops by the same "format factor" as the focal lengths. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53902\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So going by this principle, the 16-35 f2.8L Canon Lens becomes effectively a 26-56 f4.48, when mounted on the 20D ??  And the 24-70 f2.8L becomes a 38-112 f4.48 lens, when mounted on the 20D ?  

Also, how does a  Zeiss Vario-Sonnar *T 14.3-71.5mm, f/2.8-4.8 lens cost only $500 ? Out of curiosity, how did you arrive at that pricepoint ?  From what I know, the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar *T glasses are, if anything, superior to the "L" glasses from Canon.
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BJL
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2005, 12:39:01 PM »
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... how does a  Zeiss Vario-Sonnar *T 14.3-71.5mm, f/2.8-4.8 lens cost only $500 ? Out of curiosity, how did you arrive at that pricepoint ?
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I went solely on the prices of those other lenses of similar FOV and aperture size, which therefore have front elements of similar size and design, suggesting similar materials cost and design complexity. About $340 for the Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5, $430 for the Olympus 14-54 f/2.8-3.5, $530 for the Canon 17-85 f/4-5.6IS , but with IS adding maybe about $100 to the cost, so call it $430.

These prices are all lower than I recalled, so maybe $430 is a more reasonable estimate for the Sony lens.

When it comes to digicam zoom lenses, I have seen no evidence that lenses like this one, manufactured by Sony and bearing the name Zeiss, are of higher quality or cost that those from excellent lens makers like Canon, Nikon and Olympus. Same for digicam lenses made by Panasonic and branded Leica. Such lenses are in a very different category than those actually designed and made by Zeiss or Leica.
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aaykay
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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2005, 06:19:40 PM »
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I went solely on the prices of those other lenses of similar FOV and aperture size, which therefore have front elements of similar size and design, suggesting similar materials cost and design complexity. About $340 for the Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5, $430 for the Olympus 14-54 f/2.8-3.5, $530 for the Canon 17-85 f/4-5.6IS , but with IS adding maybe about $100 to the cost, so call it $430.

These prices are all lower than I recalled, so maybe $430 is a more reasonable estimate for the Sony lens.

When it comes to digicam zoom lenses, I have seen no evidence that lenses like this one, manufactured by Sony and bearing the name Zeiss, are of higher quality or cost that those from excellent lens makers like Canon, Nikon and Olympus. Same for digicam lenses made by Panasonic and branded Leica. Such lenses are in a very different category than those actually designed and made by Zeiss or Leica.
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Okay, so that was the reason for comparing the Carl Zeiss Vario-sonnar *T lens with inferior glass and arriving at the figure you did.  I mistakenly assumed that you based the above subjective opinions on real data/information. Well, people like Dave Etchells from imaging resource, who have done objective tests on the Zeiss glass (Sony R1), disagrees with your assessment on the quality of the Zeiss/Sony glass and have directly compared the Zeiss glass to the Canon 24-70 F2.8L etc (not the el-cheapo glass you used to arrive at the number you did):, as per the below link

[a href=\"http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/R1/R1A6.HTM]http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/R1/R1A6.HTM[/url]

Some other interesting links showing the Sony/Zeiss link are:

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0103/01031301sonycarlzeiss.asp

http://www.sony.ie/view/ShowArticle.action...&site=odw_en_IE

So Sony manufactures the Zeiss designed lenses, in Japan, using Zeiss mandated methods, using Zeiss's proprietary glass composition and applies the proprietary Zeiss "T" coating on it and inspects every single one manually, using Zeiss defined objective parameters.  Zeiss allows such glass, to carry the Zeiss name with the *T symbol.  I think the Canon "L" lenses should be placed a notch below the Zeiss glass, IMO, without objective evidence to the contrary.
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BJL
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« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2005, 01:16:46 PM »
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Okay, so that was the reason for comparing the Carl Zeiss Vario-sonnar *T lens with inferior glass and arriving at the figure you did ... Well, people like Dave Etchells from imaging resource, who have done objective tests on the Zeiss glass (Sony R1), disagrees with your assessment on the quality of the Zeiss/Sony glass and have directly compared the Zeiss glass to the Canon 24-70 F2.8L etc (not the el-cheapo glass you used to arrive at the number you did)

I think the Canon "L" lenses should be placed a notch below the Zeiss glass, IMO, without objective evidence to the contrary.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54013\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Can you find a relevant comparison, like to one of the three lenses I quoted? As the happy owner of the "el cheapo" Olympus 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital, I would be interested in that comparison in particular.


Then again, the use of insulting epithets like "inferior glass" and "el-cheapo glass" and other comments suggest that you are more interested in German brand name lens snobbery and insults than in facts, so I am signing off.
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2005, 12:44:27 PM »
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Lots of pixel peeping and theorizing here about the R-1 - do you folks ever actually take photos?

Here are some observations from actually owning and using one rather than pouring over stats/tests/lens MTF comparisons/navel gazing:

EVF - it sucks less than any other EVF I've used so far. Obviously an optical finder is preferable for many reasons that I think we all know but, for my landscape/travel type of shooting, I've found it very usable. I manually set the LCD/viewfinder setting and so don't run into the shut-off when shielding the viewfinder. I often mount on a tripod with the LCD in WLF mode and or even tilt up slightly - very usable. I haven't run into extreme contrast EVF blooming yet - that's normally the weakness of EVF's for me.

Lens performance - it's sharp! The manual zoom is pretty smooth and well weighted. Manual focus works ok and feels superior to some of my Mamiya 645AF lenses in manual focus mode. (lifeless & unweighted).

Auto Focus: It's slow. I set mine to manual focus mode and press the AF button to auto-focus - just like I do with my DSLR.

Raw - there's a slight delay with writing raw but I haven't run into buffering issues. For sports/burst mode I could see this as being a deal breaker. For considered landscape/travel shots I've never run into a scenario where I'm blocked by the raw write buffer or lack of.

Build quality - it puts any similar priced DSLR to shame. This is a solid, well made, quality constructed camera.

Form factor - I kind of liked the swivel body of the F828 (hated the CA/fringing) but the camera shape is easy to hold and mount on a tripod. I do find the shape a challenge to find a suitable camera bag configuration for since it is very much a lens/right side body and so needs some bag configuration to have it rest securely. This is kind of trivial but something that you notice comapred to a regular DSLR/bag setup. (for me at least).

Image quality - so far, I've not found any issues with CA/off centre softness, etc, etc. Colour rendition is excellent, contrast & 3d depth of images excellent. Basically I find very little difference in performance to my 20D images and side by side with D2X images they hold up very well.

Overall: Is it better than a comparable DSLR? Depends on what 'better' means. A kit DSLR at this price is possibly more versatile longer term. I bought mine as a simple, high quality, well constructed single zoom digital camera for travel use instead of lugging my D2X around. Previously I used a Leica Digilux 2 and this camera has superior image quality at the expense of being bigger/bulkier. The one thing I'd like it to have is image stabilisation.

Would I buy one for sports/action use. No. For every other situation where speed isn't important I find it to be excellent. Your mileage may vary - go try one and decide yourself.

p.s. The wide angle/telephoto lenses and accessories are a joke. Bigger and heavier than the camera itself. The don't mount on the camera lens itself but to a second frame assembly - I would be worried about the exposed glass between the R1 lens and the accessory lens - in my part of the world I could forsee this attracting condensation or dust in the image path. These are certain to fall into the collector's item category in the future because I can't see anyone buying them.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 12:47:48 PM by gwelland » Logged

Graham
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2005, 02:46:34 AM »
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I find Sony's approach to the R1 interesting . . or maybe more "confusing".

They have access to all the toys in the store . . the larger sensor, good lenses, image stabilisation (used in the H1), blazingly fast AF (used in the F828 and more recent V3), options of CF or MS cards, etc, etc. Yet they choose to ham-string the R1 by leaving the fast AF, and IS, off.

Possibly there is a cost factor involved? How much would the inclusion of the AF and IS have bumped up the manufactured price of the camera?  I guess only Sony knows. Is Sony using the include-this-exclude-that design approach to place cameras into niche markets?  Again, only they know, but what it is doing is creating cameras which are Jacks-of-some-trades but no Masters-of-all. If they had included the fast AF and IS it would have put the R1 well ahead of the digicam pack, and probably ahead of many of the budget dSLR's. There would have been no purchase "maybe's", it would have been a no-brainer.

Sony appear to have done this on other models as well. The superb V3 is ham-strung with poor software in Auto mode. The H1 can only use MS media. It's almost as if each model has a little piece left out in order to limit it to some degree.

If we, as average people-in-the-street, can see these omisions then one has to assume that the Sony engineers and product developers (who are steeped in the industry) are doing this deliberately?  I understand that business is often about compromises, but the camera industry right now is extremely competitive, and I would have thought that Sony would want to put out the very best product possible in order to stay ahead. On the other hand maybe they know something about their clients which I don't! . . .

P.S. . . . I've used Sony as the example here, but there are other brands which appear to follow this principle as well.

P.P.S . . . I own many Sony products, which only adds to my frustration at their apparent design philosophy!
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2005, 10:34:49 AM »
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I find Sony's approach to the R1 interesting . . or maybe more "confusing".

They have access to all the toys in the store . . the larger sensor, good lenses, image stabilisation (used in the H1), blazingly fast AF (used in the F828 and more recent V3), options of CF or MS cards, etc, etc. Yet they choose to ham-string the R1 by leaving the fast AF, and IS, off.

Possibly there is a cost factor involved? How much would the inclusion of the AF and IS have bumped up the manufactured price of the camera?  I guess only Sony knows. Is Sony using the include-this-exclude-that design approach to place cameras into niche markets?  Again, only they know, but what it is doing is creating cameras which are Jacks-of-some-trades but no Masters-of-all. If they had included the fast AF and IS it would have put the R1 well ahead of the digicam pack, and probably ahead of many of the budget dSLR's. There would have been no purchase "maybe's", it would have been a no-brainer.

...

P.S. . . . I've used Sony as the example here, but there are other brands which appear to follow this principle as well.

P.P.S . . . I own many Sony products, which only adds to my frustration at their apparent design philosophy!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54193\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I couldn't agree more!

I was going to get the Ricoh GR digital as it seemed to build on the heritage and superb optics of the GR1 but then crippled it with poor software execution. I really like my Leica digicams yet they are ultimately compromised by Panasonic/Leicas image processing for noise.

I like my R-1 but they missed a great opportunity to kill in this market by not investing in fast raw support, fast AF and IS. Add these features and the choice between the R-1 and DSLR would be much simpler.
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Graham
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« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2005, 02:17:09 PM »
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While I find the R1 very attractive and seriously considered buying one, I didn't after looking through the EVF.  It quickly gave me a headache and you really couldn't check focus with it (among other issues).

The R1 lens and sensor provide enormous performance for little money, and I still might get one.  I certainly applaud Sony's efforts, they show increadible potential and promise.  What might be more interesting is the successor to the R1 (whenever that might be) as they look to find solutions to the issue people have with the camera.

Personally a possible variation on the R1 might make a helluva camera.  Ditch the EVF (but keep the multi-position LCD on the top of the camera) and in its place put a coupled  split-image rangefinder that zooms with the lens (like the one in the Contax G2 does).  This would give all the advantages of the R1 plus allow you to see you subject clearly and immediately, be responsive to the moment, and potentially allow better manual focusing with the split-image.  While I realize this would probably cost a significant premium over the R1, it would also be alot more useful than the R1 in its current form.

Finally, if you make those lenses interchangable and offer a set of lenses to go with it (provided you could protect the sensor), Sony might just have a real winner.
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BJL
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2005, 01:37:30 PM »
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While I find the R1 very attractive and seriously considered buying one, I didn't after looking through the EVF.
...
Finally, if you make those lenses interchangable and offer a set of lenses to go with it (provided you could protect the sensor), Sony might just have a real winner.
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Sony is indeed planning future cameras in which they remove the EVF and add interchangeable lenses: the DSLR's that they have said they will be making in a partnership with K.-Minolta.

However, do not expect a return to the rangefinder approach; the only digital rangefinders are going to be niche products like the rumored Leica digital M. See the letsgodigital web-site for the latest version of that rumor.
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2005, 03:53:41 PM »
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Sony is indeed planning future cameras in which they remove the EVF and add interchangeable lenses: the DSLR's that they have said they will be making in a partnership with K.-Minolta.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54520\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am aware of the collaboration with KM but those products will be quite different than the R1.  They will be DSLR's and the R1 is not.  The R1's lens arangement can't be used with a DSLR mirror being only a few millimeters from the sensor.  Moving it away from the sensor to accomodate a mirror they will have to re-design it and will turn it into just make it another DSLR lens -- without some of the things that make the R1's lens and its arrangement special.  Finally, it is not clear whether Zeiss will want to make lenses for KM bodies, or whether KM will allow Zeiss to make lenses for their bodies (won't transfer necessary tech on lens mount and communication etc.)

Ther reason why the rangefinder option works here is that you can keep the lens as it is (preserving its fine qualities), while give the user a real optical viewfinder amd potential one they can focus for themselves if they choose. it would be a different product than any potential Leica Digital M.  It would have an autofocus zoom lens, to start, and be much more reasonably priced.
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BJL
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2005, 04:41:18 PM »
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So you are just living in the past. To repeat, there is not the slightest chance that any company like Sony is going to turn back the technological clock by almost a century and launch a new range-finder. The way forward for the extremely short back-focus, retro-focus lens design used in the R1 will be improving the EVF, not resorting to the technology of the 1930's.

Here is a speculation based on internet forum rumors: Panasonic releasing a camera with an EVF distinctly better than the one in the R1. and using interchangeable lenses in FourThirds mount. For now those will be "SLR compatible" lenses, so not with the extremely short back-focus of the R1's lens, but "EVF only" lenses could come later.
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2005, 08:12:55 PM »
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So you are just living in the past. To repeat, there is not the slightest chance that any company like Sony is going to turn back the technological clock by almost a century and launch a new range-finder. The way forward for the extremely short back-focus, retro-focus lens design used in the R1 will be improving the EVF, not resorting to the technology of the 1930's.
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I am aware that the yway forward will be an EVF.  The problem is they have a very long way to go.  EVF are virtually impossible to use for any serious work, especially where focus is critical or subjects are moving.  The EVF will almost never be as immediate as an optical viewfinder, and it will be many years before one is develop that could be used effectively.  An opticval viewfinder and a rangefinder, might be "old" technology, but it is technology that works, and a technology that many are familiar with (including many professionals).  In the several years between now and they finally develop a usable EVF, what are they going to do with cameras like the R1?  Let them fail to reach their potential markets because the viewfinder is unusable?  Or just give up on the camera type (regardless of how good it can be) and just do DSLR's?  An optical rangefinder could be a very effective mid-term, stop gap technology that could make these camera much more popular than they are.

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Here is a speculation based on internet forum rumors: Panasonic releasing a camera with an EVF distinctly better than the one in the R1. and using interchangeable lenses in FourThirds mount. For now those will be "SLR compatible" lenses, so not with the extremely short back-focus of the R1's lens, but "EVF only" lenses could come later.
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The EVF in the Sony was supposed to be really good as well, and proved disappointing (I was ready to buy one and I just could not use the viewfinder at all). Even if the rumours are true and the Panasonic's EVF is "better" it still probably won't be good enough to use effectively.  It also seems like a real waste to put an EVF in camera with a lens that accomodates a mirror box.  There is little size savings (maybe alittle from eliminating the prism) at a significant loss to the usability of the camera.  "EVF only" lenses would, of course, need their own new bodies as they would not be compatible with EVF bodies set up to use DSLR lenses.  So I guess I don;t see the poiint of doing it now with DSLR lenses and with what is almost certainly an imperfect, EVF technology of only limited use.

I gues we'll just have to wait and see how this all develops.  I sort of agree with you in that I don't think that Sony will go down the road I suggested.  That is unfortunate, as it is quite clear to me that the R1 would sell in much greater numbers today if it had an effective optical viewfinder.  

I would also say just because a technology is older and established does not necessaarily limit it's usefulness.  People to this day, still very effectively take stunning pictures with rangefinder cameras loaded with film.  And the most advanced DLSR's on the market still use a basic mirror box and prism for viewing-- a technology that is nearly 50 years old.  Use what works while you develop something better.
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2005, 09:09:32 PM »
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I am aware that the yway forward will be an EVF.  The problem is they have a very long way to go.  EVF are virtually impossible to use for any serious work, especially where focus is critical or subjects are moving. 


Perhaps you might wish to acquaint yourself with the Genesis video camera and its 3 meg EVF.  Full sized 35 mm sensor, 12.4 megs, 50 fps.

Looks like a serious camera to me.

It's a joint project between Panavision and Sony....
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« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2005, 06:12:18 AM »
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That is hugely expensive movie equipment.  It is so expensive you can't even buy one.  Movie producers have to apply to rent one.  It's only just been use for the first time to shoot the new movie, "Superman Returns".  But let us be aware that movie camera EVF's have different requirements than film camera EVF's.  And while EVF has been used in movie cameras for some time (and that never made then good for still digital cameras), film makers and cinematographers still complain about EVF's on professional digital movie cameras.  And movie camera makers like Arri are developing similar cameras that use optical viewfinders because of the inherent compromises of the EVF -- even the one on the Genesis.   Even still, it will be a long time before technology used on limted production professional movie cameras costing several hundred thousand dollars will filter down into your $1000 digi-cam.  

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Perhaps you might wish to acquaint yourself with the Genesis video camera and its 3 meg EVF.  Full sized 35 mm sensor, 12.4 megs, 50 fps.

Looks like a serious camera to me.

It's a joint project between Panavision and Sony....
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2005, 12:32:33 PM »
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Even still, it will be a long time before technology used on limted production professional movie cameras costing several hundred thousand dollars will filter down into your $1000 digi-cam.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54588\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


And how many years ago was it that a 6 meg dSLR cost $30,000?

Current EVFs are ~ .25 megs.  Two doublings brings us to the era of 1 meg EVFs which will be 'good enough' for critical focus and DOF judgment.   I'm guessing 3-4 years.  Maybe sooner if Sony is moving into the 4/3", exchangeable lens market.
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2005, 12:44:09 PM »
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And how many years ago was it that a 6 meg dSLR cost $30,000?
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7 or 8 years, or something like that.  Certainly more than 5 years.

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Current EVFs are ~ .25 megs.  Two doublings brings us to the era of 1 meg EVFs which will be 'good enough' for critical focus and DOF judgment.   I'm guessing 3-4 years.  Maybe sooner if Sony is moving into the 4/3", exchangeable lens market.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54626\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Perhaps.  I was think more along the lines of 5 years -- close enough in this kind of rampant speculation.   5 years is something like an eternity in the digital world.  Sony tends to revise or replace digital camera models almost on a yearly basis, so we might have 4 model iterations of the R1 before a truly effective EVF is available.  IMHO, if they want these cameras to sell in significant numbers (competitive with DSLR's) over that 4-5 year period, that may have to offer an alternative viewfinder to the EVF -- and without significant changes to the lens and body relationship, that would mean some kind of external (to the imaging path) optical viewfinder, such as a rangefinder.  That is of course, only my opinion and suggestion, and Sony has shown itself foolish enough in the past not to follow my suggestions.
;-)
« Last Edit: December 29, 2005, 12:45:37 PM by Let Biogons be Biogons » Logged
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