Last days of the DSLR?

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  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Hi all,

    My last job took me all over the hemisphere, and I think I would put the Sony A7 system really high on the list of all available systems (waiting on the lenses to come on line).

    As always, my very best to all,

    Mike
    Hi Mike, it seems to me that it is easy for us to get our photosystems backwards.

    My comment is based on my own personal philosophy (and as such, reasonable people can argue about this) that the lens largely determines the image, both in composition and quality. The camera is just something that bolts on to the lens. It has a lot more buttons and certainly has a huge impact on image quality, but at the end of the day, I believe that a camera should be judged based on how minimal an impact it has on the image quality transmitted by the lens. This impact might be due to pure technical image quality, poor ergenomics distracting the photographer from taking a great shot, or a variety of other reasons.

    Sure, cameras have a significant impact on image quality, but the lenses are here to stay and will marginally improve over time. Think your camera is lacking? If your complaint is features, try a different camera. If your complaint is image quality, either spend more money or wait until the next generation (I chose the later option as the D3 line was beyond my financial reach at the time).

    Nikon and Canon are both great? All those lenses, many great, to choose from. The cameras are even decent, only throw aways after 2 generations.

    Now let's consider this Sony A7 line. How many lenses are available? The answer is 3, and one is a crappy slow zoom, so it doesn't count in my book (I am being unfair here, I know, but in my book, the usuable FX line is about 20-25, not 50 something).

    Sorry Sony, but I don't buy cameras, I buy lenses. No amount of greatness in a throw away after 2 generation camera is going to make me buy into a system with only 2 or 3 lenses and the promise of 5 (are you kidding?!?!) by next year. When you have 20 prime lens at F1.8 or faster in your lineup with at least half at professional grade, then we will talk. For the users on this forum that shoot zooms, you better have a solid lineup of professional grade F2.8 to F4.0s. Ah! But our adapters make our lenses compatible with XXX number of lenses form a variety of manufacturers. Sorry Sony, adapters are fine on $300 lenses, but don't cut it consistently enough for professional grade lenses.

    Back in the 80s and 90s when I was buying professional grade audiophile equipment made in the USA and UK, Sony was considered a joke in my circle - a lineup designed by marketers, not audiophiles. Unless they can design a system and stick to it buy building it out, then nothing will have changed.

    Mike, in respect of your post, I don't want to sound like I am invalidating it. From what I have read, you command alot of respect and have honestly come by it. The Sony product may actually suit you quite well and I do understand the appeal. It is the first alternative to Leica at a reasonable price with auto-focus. I am begging Nikon to produce exactly this, the Neica. I simply want my Neica to come from a serious camera company (preferably Nikon) that will stay committed to the system and not abandon it when the accountant advises that ROI has slipped below X%, not some fly by night marketing company.

    And Sony DOES deserve credit for shaking up the market. My bet is that Nikon and Canon are letting Sony perform R&D and after the test results come in, will get their act together in a couple of years and eat Sony's lunch - I seem to recall Msmoto's comments about a golf game about a month ago on this.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ jshickele - no worries.

    Of course, some would say that Zeiss lenses hold up very well on their own, so don't holding out the love for Nikon glass if that is the crux of your argument. True the Zeiss products for A7 are immature, but my guess is that they will be pretty good at a minimum, but I digress.

    The Sony 7 and others that will follow it, and many will, are designed for street work and travel work and are aimed at a professional market that gets short shrift. Three or four lenses and a small flash kit for a working gal or guy who do corporate publications or government journals who need to shoot hundreds of pictures a day while writing copy for publication.

    There are thousands of these professionals who need lighter equipment. Some are not looking to nab a Pulitzer for their photo skills - as often as not they want to line up the people in the sales division in a pleasing way for the article that's written about them.

    It may seem unattractive and plain-Jane, but that is the bulk of mass communication and photography that pays bills, and many aren't paid badly,either, thank goodness.

    It's also from where the bulk of terrific photos and solid writing come from, too. There are great unsung photographers that make fantastic photos that tell stories and writers who write copy that is dynamic and bold.

    My point, which I've been crappy at getting to is that the Df is a failure to those photographers. It adds squat, diddly nothing poo to them. It is marketing crap.

    The Sony A7, OTOH, is usable technology. It brings something worthwhile to the table. Instead of bring a step stool to a shoot so you can raise the camera a foot or two above the crowd and get a good angle, your can raise the camera with your arms frame with the LCD viewfinder on back of the camera (and similarly lower it to the ground for a dramatic low angle shot). Or you can pass the camera to a non-pro, if the subject matter requires it, and it often does, and as him or her to take this picture. Here is one of me taken in Honduras getting a briefing on training by the commander of the Honduran Air Force taken by the US Ambassador to Honduras (who didn't do anything but push the button a few times) with a Nikon 35Ti (I think, it might have been a FE2) many years ago.

    image

    It was for a newsletter written ancillary to the journals I edited for the US Air Force. And the photo wasn't half bad at all.

    Of course, that LCD panel is but one tiny, but important usable piece of technology. There's a lot more, and I think there's more to come.

    The pros I'm referring to have to upload snippets of video for the web. Possibly make small videos for their companies or for the government offices (I know this since I've trained both corporate and government offices in how to do just that) - the Df cripple that, foolishly, and the Sony A7 (and others that follow) will make that a priority.

    You can go farther and do more if you carry only what you need to carry. Lightweight cameras are a godsend. People can claim heavy cameras make for steadier images and offer whatever proofs they want. I use a tripod or a faster shutter speed if need to, but a lighter camera system will my day much better. This comes from carrying a lot of equipment a long time in trying circumstances.

    Nor did I intend to mislead you or anyone that I have a need for a new system now. My active years as a journalist have long passed, although I want to champion their causes and they are many.

    Intelligent reasonable men and women have differences of opinion and can grow from discussing their differences and similarities. Doing something differently isn't the same as saying that doing it differently is the only right way of doing it.

    My best,

    Mike
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited December 2013
    Very wise words indeed. I am looking forward to a "Neica" with lots of lens choices for all the reasons you describe above.

    I also agree that the DF is not a real alternative for a pro, but as an enthusiast, I happen to like it. However, forced to choose between my D800 and a DF, I would take the D800 without a second thought. I see myself buying a refurbished DF down the road though. It certainly is a niche, and if Nikon makes a tidy profit on this niche, then my hat is off to them.

    And I hear you on Zeiss. It is one of the few 3rd party lenses that I am tempted to buy. My ONLY concern is future compatibility with future Nikon cameras and the lack of auto-focus. No other concerns.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited December 2013
    Celebrated travel photographer David duChemin, who notably switched from Canon to Nikon a few years go, ditches all of his SLR gear for his upcoming 6-week Africa adventure.

    http://davidduchemin.com/2013/12/mirrorless-to-africa/
    Post edited by Ade on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited December 2013
    This is not good…..LOL. Last night I was on the Fuji sight looking at this stuff. And, thinking about all the Nikon gear I have and letting it go. However, this will most likely not happen until I am too feeble to carry it.

    Currently, I believe I will possibly get into Fuji when the next generation "Pro" mirrorless is announced, hopefully with better FPS and high ISO.

    I like to grab snaps with my Olympus Pen E-PL-2, but the viewfinder at eye level is something I miss. Here is a typical snap of a group of friends grabbed with the Olympus which I carry in my purse. Quite adequate for the end purpose in a local Porsche club magazine. These are "Girls in Porsches", FYI. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/11624924486/
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • rmprmp Posts: 568Member
    Msmoto, that Pen, is the only pen you need: those Great Shots are the proof.

    I think I will drop a DSLR for a mirrorless, when I can keep my Nikon glass, but I do wish new Nikon glass would match or exceed Zeiss.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    Msmoto are those PEEPS I see there?
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @Parke1953

    I believe they are….LOL….but not mine.
    Msmoto, mod
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,209Member
    Don't compare the price of the D1 to the Dxxxx series. Compare it to the price of the D4. Why? Same build quality, and equivalent feature set. Sure DX vs FX sensor, but back then DX was big.
    DX was big for Nikon, but Kodak actually made some full frame DSLRs- the DCS-14n.

    I'm not sure why they didn't follow through with it- maybe they though DSLRs were stupid and film was still king?
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,373Member
    Kodak blew it with digital, the evidence is there for all to see. The DCS-14n was not exactly a great camera, unless you wanted to use wide angle Nikkor lenses as they were intended. Image quality wasn't anything special, compared to the Canon 1Ds it was competing with at the time.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited December 2013
    Bought the Sony NEX-7 in April 2012, at last there is a kind of quality lens, the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4, (1000.- euro). This 2200 euro combo cannot match my 5 year old D300 with the 24-70mm f/2.8.

    Due to a lot of reviews I expected that the top new 24MP sensor in the Sony NEX-7 should be a lot better then the old 12MP from my D300, forget it. They manage to get things better then a good compact, but that is all.

    So I moderate my greed and wish for lighter stuff for the next 2 or 3 years, don't trust reviews anymore and make photo's as I always did. I do that now with my D600, which I can compare with a mid frame camera, due to dynamic range.

    With the 50mm f/1.8 on it, I can photograph in the dark and it is small enough to carry around in my bag. You cannot find a Full Frame combination for that price that can beat this combination.
    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited December 2013
    .......I, don't trust reviews anymore.........
    here is an interesting one
    http://petapixel.com/2013/12/23/bit-a7r-sanity-rising-trash-talk-fanboy-ism-actual-facts/#more-127425

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • Nice article, thanks for the link, he writes:

    Sony seems to have made: it already has at least two excellent lenses, maybe more.

    Sony said the same when they announced the NEX-7, even with a timeframe in 2012 but changed that to, nothing in 2012 and nothing in 2013 for the NEX-7, so first see then believe.

    I also like a light super quality camera (who don't). Let's see the A7 with the 70-200mm f/4 they announced, this lens is available mid 2014 ???, bit late, weights a ton again and that is the main problem, how to make light quality long lenses for mirror less.
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited December 2013
    Celebrated travel photographer David duChemin, who notably switched from Canon to Nikon a few years go, ditches all of his SLR gear for his upcoming 6-week Africa adventure..

    I'am very curious how his wild life photo's looks like after this trip and how he manage to shoot hunting cheeta's, lions, big birds etc. with this equipment, because that is what I want to learn. without minimal 400mm, 500mm , 600mm f/2.8 lenses and slow autofocus.
    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited December 2013
    Nice article, thanks for the link, he writes:

    Sony seems to have made: it already has at least two excellent lenses, maybe more.

    Sony said the same when they announced the NEX-7, even with a timeframe in 2012 but changed that to, nothing in 2012 and nothing in 2013 for the NEX-7, so first see then believe.
    Roger Cicala made that statement based on tests by himself and other trusted reviewers (linked below), not based on Sony's promises.

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/12/sony-a7r-a-rising-tide-lifts-all-the-boats

    This is part of what he wrote:

    "The A7R delivers amazing resolution. At least as good as a Nikon D800e. The two Sony-Zeiss prime lenses (the 35mm we tested, and the 55mm tested by SLRgear.com) are excellent. Hopefully other native-mount lenses will also be excellent."
    Post edited by Ade on
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited December 2013
    Yes that is correct Ade, but if that excellent result is not possible with a FF camera and simple prime lenses for those prices ......
    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    two other quotes


    A good electronic viewfinder is still not an optical viewfinder.
    •It’s slow. It wakes up slow, focuses slow, and it takes 1.5 images per second.


    I don't think the DSLR is dead yet
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    I´m with Ton. Mirror less cameras are at the same stage as electric cars - good idea, but...... not there yet.

    My Olympus E-P1 is good for a lot of things but it is not a match for even a D90. The sensor is good but the rest is lacking in performance. A camera must not get in the way when you want to take a picture. I don't want a small and light camera with a lot of menu diving. I want a camera with a lot of buttons so I can change settings fast. I want lenses. I want a full system.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,
    My Olympus E-P1 is good for a lot of things but it is not a match for even a D90. The sensor is good but the rest is lacking in performance. A camera must not get in the way when you want to take a picture. I don't want a small and light camera with a lot of menu diving. I want a camera with a lot of buttons so I can change settings fast. I want lenses. I want a full system.
    @ henrik1963 - and that's okay for you or anyone else. That's why there are choices...

    Different boats for different folks... to get to different shores.

    In the long run, I _think_ the mirror less cameras will have legs. The interface for the user - whether it is buttons, a dial or what not - needs to be intuitive.

    Most mirror-less cameras provide the user with information on the screen (which is usually customize-able) to allow for more - not less - manipulation of the raw image, something to think about when considering the controls of a camera like the Df.

    Even a D7100 in Live View can be focused critically by using the (+) to enlarge the image and the depth of field preview button can 'preview' the final image. :-)

    These are genuine tools that are logical extensions in the DNA of mirror-less development that includes the LCD panel. I, for one, embrace them as terrific tools for getting the job done right.

    But I don't argue that there are other ways of doing work.

    My best,

    Mike
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    @MikeGunter: Nikon can make a small menu driven camera too :-) And they did - Nikon 1 v2 - great idea - but too costly.

    What I´m getting at is why would you want a Sony Nex size FX camera - how well will that work with the 70-200 2.8 or a 400 2.8? I can see a Leica size camera with the classic primes . 35-50-85.

    If you want small look at M43 - that makes a lot of sense.
  • brownie314brownie314 Posts: 72Member
    I don't' think anyone here is married to a mirror in a camera body. This article makes it sound like some great change is coming in photography. Too much is being made of mirrored/non-mirrored cameras. It really is more of a technical issue. It will not make a huge change in the way we make images.
    There is some potential for smaller/lighter pro bodies. But in reality, you can't make a pro body that much smaller because it starts to become a less useful tool because you start losing external controls, and it just doesn't feel right when it becomes too small and light (as an example look at Sony's A77 or A99).
    With all of these new mirrorless camera bodies coming out - guess what - they all look kinda similar to what is already out there in mirrored form (either digital, or from the distant film past).
    In the end, yes the mirrors will disappear. It will eventually be useless baggage. It will take a while for evf's to get good enough and on sensor phase detect combined with contrast detect focus to be faster than current dslr's - but it will happen. When? Who knows. But when it does - what really will change? So we won't hear mirror slap and feel the vibration. That will be the only change. OK, maybe a few small things like enabling focus peaking all the time. That would be nice. But really minor overall for most photographers.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ henrik1963 I don't know much about Nikon's camera, but the M4/3's are great. I have a Panasonic GH2 and a half dozen lenses for video work and think it out does Nikon for video.

    While any of smaller mirror-less cameras offer smaller packages, the Sony 7A is the subject of the thread and the raisons d'être of my comments, not the Nex cameras.

    The larger format offers, or should, greater dynamic range, more detail in their images and video.The results I've seen thus far seem to prove that as far as the other mirror-less cameras are concerned. The Sony certainly went matched with a Zeiss lens holds it's own with any own with any other full frame body.

    @ brownie314

    "I don't' think anyone here is married to a mirror in a camera body. This article makes it sound like some great change is coming in photography. Too much is being made of mirrored/non-mirrored cameras. It really is more of a technical issue. It will not make a huge change in the way we make images. "

    It's an art based in technical issues; fundamentally how we make images is based upon the knowledge and mastery of those specific issues.

    Nonetheless, I think people are saying that they are married to their equipment. But maybe they really aren't. When I started, I shot with a 5x7 view camera and a Koni Omega roll camera and a Rolliflex and switched to Nikon in Vietnam. I went back to a Rolliflex for the Associated Press, then back to Nikon, then an RB67 and Nikon again. I've seen changes.

    Mirror-less seems like a big and fruitful change. Whether it is an enduring fixture to the landscape is yet to be seen. But in due time, I think it will be, in large part, what working joes and janes will want in their bags.

    My best,

    Mike
  • brownie314brownie314 Posts: 72Member

    It's an art based in technical issues; fundamentally how we make images is based upon the knowledge and mastery of those specific issues.
    Mike,
    I agree. It is an art that is linked to technology because the tools we use to make images are handed down to us from the engineers that create them. In that way, yes, it is a partly technology driven art form.
    However, my point was that the specific change that the article that this forum post is based on is talking about mirrorless cameras vs dslr's. And my argument was that mirror, or no mirror, you will have master exactly the same things to get great images. The tools even look similar (mirrorless cameras look very similar to dslrs, as opposed to the difference between dslr's and say TLRs). The article that this forum post was based on claimed (or implied) there was some huge change coming to photography by way of removing the mirror from the camera. My point was that mirror, or no mirror, the tool will look basically the same and the user will interface with the device in almost the same way. And the photographer will use exactly the same skill set to get images that are pleasing. That is what I meant by mirror, or no mirror being more of a technical issue than a real issue for real photographers to worry about.
    On the other hand, based on the short resume you gave in your last post, I am no person to argue with a person of your considerable experience. So I fully accept that I could be wrong about this issue.

    Regards,
    Bryan

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @ brownie314

    "And my argument was that mirror, or no mirror, you will have master exactly the same things to get great images. The tools even look similar (mirrorless cameras look very similar to dslrs, as opposed to the difference between dslr's and say TLRs). The article that this forum post was based on claimed (or implied) there was some huge change coming to photography by way of removing the mirror from the camera. My point was that mirror, or no mirror, the tool will look basically the same and the user will interface with the device in almost the same way. And the photographer will use exactly the same skill set to get images that are pleasing."

    No disagreement at all here, either. My point, lost in the din created by my own clamor, is the essential freedom of weight in a smaller body for the shooter and what _I_ perceive as opportunities for future enhancements from Sony (or perhaps other camera makers) under the brand of Zeiss (or others) - that is to be hoped, _and_ the additional advantages gained by virtue of weigh loss/mirror loss/meaningful technology gained.

    It is likely that that some see professionals using LCD panels as amateurish or silly. I don't. I personally saw Ansel Adams use a 4x5 camera's view back to preview his shot in Big Sur. It doesn't seem like a stretch to think that a LCD panel would work as well to preview a shot.

    There''s a host of other features it can be used for, too, as you pointed out. Making tools easier to get the shot shouldn't be seen as a bad thing.

    My best,

    Mike

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