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Author Topic: Sony NEX system - Full-frame too on the way ?  (Read 23900 times)
aaykay
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« on: May 26, 2010, 11:29:11 AM »
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The Sony NEX mount is larger than a Leica M-mount, which means a Full-frame is on the way too, even with the reduced flange-back distance.  They will probably do it through a combination of lens optics and sensor micro-lens offsetting.  Remember that the old Sony DSC-R1, with its 1.68x near-APS-C sized sensor, used to have the rear element of its 14.3-71.5mm f/2.8-4.8 lens, positioned just 2.1mms (that is millimeters) from the sensor plane and the R1 had absolutely ZERO vignetting or other aberrations.

Also, even though these initial models (NEX3/5) are consumer oriented models, the "NEX7" that is expected to be announced in September, 2010, will come with buttons/dials galore, built-in EVF and also a built-in body-based Image Stabilization (which will be firmware controlled to switch off when IS lenses are mounted - especially for video).

Sony, going by their Alpha designations, have designated their consumer-grade models with the 2, 3 and 5 designations (NEX3 and NEX5 being consumer models). The NEX7 will be a semi-pro model, with the obligatory dials/buttons but will come with an APS-C sensor (a more advanced version of the NEX3/5 sensor). Their NEX8 and NEX9 can be expected to be the Full-frame models.

I would not be surprised if a Panasonic GF1-sized Full-frame NEX9, with direct user controls all around (buttons and dials) being released, with a few high quality Carl Zeiss Auto-focus primes. Remember that since such a format does not have to contend with a swinging/flapping mirror, the wides and the ultra-wides in turn do not need huge retrofocal designs and we are essentially looking at a Full-frame 14mm f/2.8 PANCAKE, with the whole thing (camera + lens) weighing in at 350gms - unthinkable for a dSLR ! We are essentially looking at such a Full-frame camera model, with a 14mm f/2.8, 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2 and 135mm f/2.8 fitting into a tiny bag - again something that is incomprehensible in a dSLR based system. Video begins to make a whole lot more sense than when executed via kludgy dSLRs.

These NEX3/NEX5 models are definitely the start and I predict will shake up the marketplace a lot more than the micro-4/3 (which are "condemned" to perpetuity with their smaller sensor size and larger-than-needed flange-back distance which will make the bodies inordinately thick) models have.
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010, 11:32:44 AM »
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For a moment I thought I was reading dpreview forums with their wild speculation and laundry lists of "must-have" features of cameras not even announced.
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aaykay
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010, 04:08:46 PM »
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Quote from: feppe
For a moment I thought I was reading dpreview forums with their wild speculation and laundry lists of "must-have" features of cameras not even announced.

Well, just thinking aloud on the possibilities from such a product.  On the surface, what has been revealed till date do come across as some kind of p&s replacement type products, while the underlying potential is clearly far deeper.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2010, 05:26:06 PM »
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Good luck with that.
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Deep
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2010, 01:47:56 AM »
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Quote from: aaykay
These NEX3/NEX5 models are definitely the start and I predict will shake up the marketplace a lot more than the micro-4/3 (which are "condemned" to perpetuity with their smaller sensor size and larger-than-needed flange-back distance which will make the bodies inordinately thick) models have.

I read statements like this all over the internet.  Yet I look at the current offerings and note that the distance from the front of the equivalent kit lens to the back of the camera is considerably more with the NEX system.  That is the crucial dimension!

Micro-4/3 also have the many advantages of a smaller sensor - I mean advantages for the bulk of users, not pseudo-artistic or artistic photographers pushing the extremes.  Advantages are greater depth of field at a given aperture, wider apertures at a given lens size, smaller and lighter lens at equivalent focal lengths and equal apertures and so on.  The design is still more telecentric than Sony's despite the above, which makes less need to correct for vignetting and chromatic aberrations.  Or, looked at another way, Sony has to work harder to make their lenses work as well.

I am neutral on this.  I promised my Sony agent I wouldn't go either way until I had put a memory card in his camera (in about three weeks, he says) and tried the NEX5.  There will be advantages either way but micro-4/3 is by no means condemned!

Don
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Don
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2010, 03:53:06 AM »
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I've used the NEX5. image quality seems much better than the GF1.
Also, it's LIGHT. feels like a point and shoot camera. I sold my GF1 for a Canon S90 because it was too bulky. This one seems small enough to manage as everyday carry.
The only problem will be availability of lenses. So far, one slow zoom and one pancake is less than sufficient. Will look forward to at least a normal prime and a portrait prime...
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fredjeang
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2010, 10:08:18 AM »
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Quote from: Deep
I read statements like this all over the internet.  Yet I look at the current offerings and note that the distance from the front of the equivalent kit lens to the back of the camera is considerably more with the NEX system.  That is the crucial dimension!

Micro-4/3 also have the many advantages of a smaller sensor - I mean advantages for the bulk of users, not pseudo-artistic or artistic photographers pushing the extremes.  Advantages are greater depth of field at a given aperture, wider apertures at a given lens size, smaller and lighter lens at equivalent focal lengths and equal apertures and so on.  The design is still more telecentric than Sony's despite the above, which makes less need to correct for vignetting and chromatic aberrations.  Or, looked at another way, Sony has to work harder to make their lenses work as well.

I am neutral on this.  I promised my Sony agent I wouldn't go either way until I had put a memory card in his camera (in about three weeks, he says) and tried the NEX5.  There will be advantages either way but micro-4/3 is by no means condemned!

Don
Don,

If the competition did (or will do) the homeworks well, micro-4/3 could be seriously in trouble on a medium term.
But it seems that first the few competitors don't do it that well, and second, the brands that could really mine this market are in a wait-and-see position or simply are not interested.
When Sony decided to enter this market, and after the excelent results they acheived with the Apha 900 and 850, I had serious reservations
about the continuity of micro-4/3. I really thought that Sony would enter the game with a bomb, I was wrong. They entered with a fancy but not serious enough, proposal. So now, I must say that I moderate more my opinion and things seems to be more complex than I thought. They are in hands of young marketing executives so anything can be expected, except a consistent tool for the advanced-pro photographer.
In fact, micro-4/3 will keep being a great option at least for quite a long time, like it or not, and if the competitors are insisting with these wired menus and marketing orientated products, then micro-4/3 will have great time for much longer IMO.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 10:12:49 AM by fredjeang » Logged
K.C.
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2010, 11:33:36 PM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
I really thought that Sony would enter the game with a bomb, I was wrong.

They're still going to drop some bombs. They have a habit of sneaking up on us with them.  

http://tinyurl.com/29vfzyc
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2010, 11:59:57 PM »
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Hi,

Your observations are interesting. I guess that the technology leaves some options for Sony to go whatever direction they want. In my view, getting rid of the mirror solves a lot of problems:

- Less problems. Only sensor and lens needs to be properly aligned.
- Autofocus utilizing sensor is obviously more exact than phase detect autofocus, at least if they get it working.
- More freedom alignment m of choice in lens design.

Whatever Sony will build a full frame NEX camera depends on their perception of the marketplace.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: aaykay
The Sony NEX mount is larger than a Leica M-mount, which means a Full-frame is on the way too, even with the reduced flange-back distance.  They will probably do it through a combination of lens optics and sensor micro-lens offsetting.  Remember that the old Sony DSC-R1, with its 1.68x near-APS-C sized sensor, used to have the rear element of its 14.3-71.5mm f/2.8-4.8 lens, positioned just 2.1mms (that is millimeters) from the sensor plane and the R1 had absolutely ZERO vignetting or other aberrations.

Also, even though these initial models (NEX3/5) are consumer oriented models, the "NEX7" that is expected to be announced in September, 2010, will come with buttons/dials galore, built-in EVF and also a built-in body-based Image Stabilization (which will be firmware controlled to switch off when IS lenses are mounted - especially for video).

Sony, going by their Alpha designations, have designated their consumer-grade models with the 2, 3 and 5 designations (NEX3 and NEX5 being consumer models). The NEX7 will be a semi-pro model, with the obligatory dials/buttons but will come with an APS-C sensor (a more advanced version of the NEX3/5 sensor). Their NEX8 and NEX9 can be expected to be the Full-frame models.

I would not be surprised if a Panasonic GF1-sized Full-frame NEX9, with direct user controls all around (buttons and dials) being released, with a few high quality Carl Zeiss Auto-focus primes. Remember that since such a format does not have to contend with a swinging/flapping mirror, the wides and the ultra-wides in turn do not need huge retrofocal designs and we are essentially looking at a Full-frame 14mm f/2.8 PANCAKE, with the whole thing (camera + lens) weighing in at 350gms - unthinkable for a dSLR ! We are essentially looking at such a Full-frame camera model, with a 14mm f/2.8, 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2 and 135mm f/2.8 fitting into a tiny bag - again something that is incomprehensible in a dSLR based system. Video begins to make a whole lot more sense than when executed via kludgy dSLRs.

These NEX3/NEX5 models are definitely the start and I predict will shake up the marketplace a lot more than the micro-4/3 (which are "condemned" to perpetuity with their smaller sensor size and larger-than-needed flange-back distance which will make the bodies inordinately thick) models have.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2010, 12:07:10 AM »
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Hi,

The Sony patent is interesting. It seems that they have moved the autofocus assembly in front of the prism. That gets rid of of the secondary mirror assembly redirecting some of the light for focusing. A system with pellicular mirror  removes a few movable parts from the solution. Another advantage is that the mirror/sensor/shutter assembly may be sealed, much reducing the issues with dust on the sensor. We get problems with dust on the mirror instead.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: K.C.
They're still going to drop some bombs. They have a habit of sneaking up on us with them.  

http://tinyurl.com/29vfzyc
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aaykay
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2010, 01:31:26 PM »
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Quote from: ErikKaffehr
Whatever Sony will build a full frame NEX camera depends on their perception of the marketplace.

To quote Andy Westlake from DPR (the lens review expert) on whether Sony would release a Full-Frame NEX model: "It is far more about economics, than technology".  The DPR guys have had the NEX cameras from 2009 !

In other words, technologically the NEX mount is fully able to accomodate future sensor needs that go upto a 35mm Full-frame sensor. But of course a market for such a product has to exist first, before they will venture down that path, since it is not only a matter of fitting a Full-frame sensor and make it work with the the body, but also a matter of going through the expense of creating sub-components like Full-frame lenses and other things, which in turn would need to be sold in  high enough numbers to make the investment viable.  

That (the "economics" side) is probably the limiting factor when it comes to a future full-frame NEX8/9, and thus we may be looking at such a product further out in time.

As it stands, folks involved in a focus group exercise in South Africa a couple of weeks back, did try the NEX5 with lenses like the 24-70ZA, 16-35ZA, 70-300G etc  (essentially lenses with a built-in motor) and all of these lenses functioned perfectly well (via the A-mount adapter) when it came to Auto-focusing on the NEX5 (even though Sony has disabled AF temporarily in the retail versions, while they fine-tune some settings).  They focused slightly slower than Phase Detect AF but *far* faster than any of the Contrast Detect AF that one finds in dSLRs.....in other words, fully functional and usable.  AF for these legacy dSLR lenses (via the adapter) will arrive via a firmware upgrade, as per Mr.Toru Katsumoto, the Sr.GM of Sony Imaging.

Also, the president of Sony Imaging (Masashi Imamura) specifically stated that Carl Zeiss lenses for the NEX format are on the way.  And of course nobody comes out with Carl Zeiss lenses, for them to be deployed on bodies like NEX3 or NEX5.  
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 01:33:24 PM by aaykay » Logged
Fritzer
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2010, 04:31:18 PM »
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Even the APS sensor NEX models look great, if only they had a display that could be moved in every direction, which would turn it into superb waist-level-finder camera .

The trouble with the larger chips, imho, is that you can't use them in cameras with a fixed screen on the back as the only viewfinder .

Cameras equipped with the tiny, cheap 4/3 sensors etc., mostly used for internet snapshots anyway, don't show the blur you get when you hold a camera away from the body as much as a camera with a larger sensor will.
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aaykay
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2010, 04:41:25 PM »
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Quote from: Fritzer
Even the APS sensor NEX models look great, if only they had a display that could be moved in every direction, which would turn it into superb waist-level-finder camera .

The trouble with the larger chips, imho, is that you can't use them in cameras with a fixed screen on the back as the only viewfinder .

The Sony NEX screens are not fixed but are articulated.  They can be tilted 80 degrees upward and 45 degrees downward and thus can be used for waist-level or overhead shooting.
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K.C.
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2010, 06:52:13 PM »
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Quote from: aaykay
Also, the president of Sony Imaging (Masashi Imamura) specifically stated that Carl Zeiss lenses for the NEX format are on the way.  And of course nobody comes out with Carl Zeiss lenses, for them to be deployed on bodies like NEX3 or NEX5.  

So you're suggesting that any new CZ glass will be capable of working across the Alpha and NEX formats.
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aaykay
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2010, 09:32:08 PM »
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Quote from: K.C.
So you're suggesting that any new CZ glass will be capable of working across the Alpha and NEX formats.

Depends on what CZ glass gets released and to which mount it belongs.  For instance, CZ lenses in the A-mount (DSLR), especially ones with the built-in motor, like the 24-70 f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar, the 16-35 f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar and also the upcoming 24mm f/2, will work with the Adapter, upto and including the ability to Auto-focus (could also be useful for shooting 1080 line video).  The Carl Zeiss lenses like the 85mm f/1.4 Planar and the 135mm f/1.8 Sonnar will be able to "work" with the adapter, just that it will need to be manually focused  - the adapter itself will permit aperture control etc.

Now the E-mount lenses (current ones and upcoming Carl Zeiss lenses etc), would almost certainly not work with the A-mount bodies, primarily since those lenses would be designed around an 18mm flange-back distance.  In fact, the 18mm flange-back distance of the E-mount will ensure that every single dSLR lens in existence, including those from the pre-EOS Canon era, the pre-AF Minolta era, Nikon mount lenses, Pentax lenses, Contax lenses and such will all be able to function on the E-mount, via adapters.

Novoflex has announced an adapter to enable Minolta MD lenses (lenses from the pre-AF Minolta era) to work with the E-mount.  Japanese manufacturer Rayqual has announced adapters to permit Nikon, Canon FD, Pentax and Leica lenses to be mounted on the new Sony NEX/E-mount cameras.  And the camera has not yet reached the retail shelves ! The incredibly low flange-back distance of the new E-mount (lower than even the smaller sensored micro-4/3 and the Samsung NX format) is the biggest attraction for these manufacturers.
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Fritzer
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2010, 10:41:33 PM »
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Quote from: aaykay
The Sony NEX screens are not fixed but are articulated.  They can be tilted 80 degrees upward and 45 degrees downward and thus can be used for waist-level or overhead shooting.

The display can actually only be moved in one axis, so it's not of much use for vertical shots .
As for MF lenses adapted to the NEX - see above. How on earth are you going to focus while shooting a vertical format ?
No IS can compensate for this sort of clumsiness, let alone the way one looks when doing it  .

I'm hoping Sony will make some changes for the release model, as unlikely as it is .
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 10:50:40 PM by Fritzer » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2010, 04:29:10 AM »
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Quote from: aaykay
The incredibly low flange-back distance of the new E-mount (lower than even the smaller sensored micro-4/3 and the Samsung NX format) is the biggest attraction for these manufacturers.
Being "incredibly low" is scarcely a factor here, and no advantage relative to m4/3 or NX. Non-SLR mount designs naturally have far lower flange-back distance than SLR mounts, and with m4/3, NX and NEX also using smaller formats than 35mm film format, it is no surprise that all of these new lens mounts easily accommodate adaptors for lenses in mounts designed for 35mm film SLRs. This includes lenses designed for APS-C DSLRs, which use mounts with flange-back distance originally chosen for 35mm film SLRs.

Since most of this backward compatibility is manual-focus only, I doubt it will be a major factor anyway. The only AF options are 4/3 lenses on m4/3 bodies and the relatively few Sony alpha-mount lenses that have AF motors on NEX E-mount bodies, and in many cases, the different mechanical operation needs of mirrorless CD AF makes for sluggish AF.
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Deep
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2010, 08:09:27 PM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Don,

If the competition did (or will do) the homeworks well, micro-4/3 could be seriously in trouble on a medium term.
But it seems that first the few competitors don't do it that well, and second, the brands that could really mine this market are in a wait-and-see position or simply are not interested.
When Sony decided to enter this market, and after the excelent results they acheived with the Apha 900 and 850, I had serious reservations
about the continuity of micro-4/3. I really thought that Sony would enter the game with a bomb, I was wrong. They entered with a fancy but not serious enough, proposal. So now, I must say that I moderate more my opinion and things seems to be more complex than I thought. They are in hands of young marketing executives so anything can be expected, except a consistent tool for the advanced-pro photographer.
In fact, micro-4/3 will keep being a great option at least for quite a long time, like it or not, and if the competitors are insisting with these wired menus and marketing orientated products, then micro-4/3 will have great time for much longer IMO.

Cheers.
Just to update - and to prove that micro 4/3 is still viable in my eyes, I can report that I spent an hour with a Sony NEX5, took a good range of photos and video, went home and pixel-peeped ..... and ordered an Olympus EP-1.  I really, really liked the NEX but the shape with kit zoom (small yet bulky) isn't good, the pancake is too wide for a general purpose lens for me and the edges of the images were disturbing.  Plus I already have lenses which will bolt onto the micro 4/3.  Unlike others, I did not like the build of the NEX- the plastic grip feels cheap, while the EP-1 feels superb.

My thought is that, in around two years, I will probably switch because this market will start to mature and someone will make what I really want (small boxy shape with built in viewfinder and good, fast, small lens to match in the wide landscape, "standard" and portrait focal lengths).  Interesting times.

Don.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 08:10:49 PM by Deep » Logged

Don
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2010, 02:23:56 AM »
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Ha, I had just the opposite experience -- after playing with the Olympus E-PL and the Panasonic GF1, I bought the Sony NEX-5 with the 18-55mm zoom lens.
And the experience is very good. I am perhaps a bit picky since I normally shoot full-frame 24MP, but still, I find the image quality of the NEX very good and I have no hesitation to take photos at ISO1600 where there is hardly any noise.

I use the NEX in A-mode and it is very quick to set the aperture and exposure compensation. The form factor is also just right in my opinion where the NEX easily fits in a bag or can be carried on the shoulder -- I have it always with me.

Anyway, different strokes for different folks but for me it is the ideal companion to my full-frame camera. My only wish is for a nice 24mm F2 or 35mm F2 prime -- I am not impressed with the quality of the 16mm.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2010, 09:49:51 AM »
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The concept of a FF EVIL camera is just too good for not happening.
A Leica M9 type with HD video and life histogram....(I still don't care for video)
Maybe Sony will do it - if they don't I believe it will come sooner or later by someone else ...

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