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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Comments

Looks to me that the NEX-6 is one more "Goldilocks" camera. So much fun.

Nikon are certainly looking after us photo types. I love the specs that are published, but I'm still going to stick with my D300, especially as most of my pics end up on Flickr anyway.

As Strobist.com is saying, it only syncs to 1/200th. That reduces the efficiency of using flash to match or knock down ambient. A non-starter for many folks. Others will never miss the feature. My Pentax K-5 only does 1/180, and I'm frustrated by that. 1/500th used to be available on Nikon, and some current Nikon models can go as high, using finagling, to 1/8000. A small feature, but big if you need it. It has me thinking of bailing on Pentax. Then again, those Limited lenses in my bag have me staying.

The Sony A99 is very interesting indeed, but just a couple of notes there... First, it is not technically a DSLR, as it is not a reflex lens camera (i.e. you do not view an optical image through the primary lens). The SLT configuration means that the mirror does not flip up, but that is unrelated to its designation as a reflex or non-reflex camera. I do find it interesting that Sony seems to be completely abandoning the KM legacy of "real" DSLRs, for which I feel there is still not substitute for today in anything with an EVF (not to say that there are not some strengths to contemporary EVFs).

I don't think a *flipping* mirror is required to be a "reflex" camera. The mirror on my Twin Lens Reflex is supposed to be stationary.

Not that Sony calling the mirror "translucent" is any better. I don't want too much of definition 1 (below) in my image path.

1.
permitting light to pass through but diffusing it so that persons, objects, etc., on the opposite side are not clearly visible: Frosted window glass is translucent but not transparent.
2.
easily understandable; lucid: a translucent explication.
3.
clear; transparent: translucent seawater.

While I ordered the Sony A99 to go with my A900, I love the idea of the Pentax K-5 IIs!

[[the D600 becomes the cheapest full-frame DSLR you can buy.]]

The 5D Mark II is still in Canon's line-up, as far as I know, and is priced at Amazon.com under $2K.


Probably cliché to say, but: what a great time to be a photographer! :)

A lot of people have been touting the size of the D600. Unless the specs I've seen are incorrect, the A99 is only 50g heavier and the physical size is a wash.

At any rate, being in charge of a photographic product development department isn't for the faint of heart these days. It's certainly getting messy.

Hang in there, Mike! We are all rooting for you! Gooooo Mike!

The Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 was announced for DSLRs. They just dropped the hint about mirrorless lenses alongside it.

Interesting and significant that all three of these puppies reportedly use Sony sensors. Sony can't lose.

When those Carl Zeiss lenses come out, I'll still be fantasizing.

Also, I sincerely apologize for almost mocking you in the comments for taking that Sony RX1 picture seriously. It's not so much that I decided against it, in fact I was 100% sure that thing was a hoax meant to tease uber-enthusiasts like you, but I was busy.

"The Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 was announced for DSLRs."

Sorry. Fixed now. And thanks.

Mike

Carl Zeiss also said they would be producing auto focus lenses for full frame cameras i.e. Canon and Nikon. They state they will surpass in optical quality the current line up of lenses for those mounts and reach medium format resolution. I assume they meant that it would be equivalent to medium format lens and film resolution combined (as medium format lenses actually resolve less than 35mm lenses because of the increase in film size). Could be great times for DSLR shooters using 22mp+ cameras.

Mike, the new Pentax sans AA filter sounds like a helluva deal compared to the Leica Monochrom. For about half the price of the Leica body you could have the Pentax body and enough Limited lenses to take care of all your shooting needs.

So far, the Nex 6 is the most rounded camera of all announcements. No word from Canon yet. Are they coming with a bombshell or they are they just presumptuous?

I'm presented with a dilemma.

I really, really like the images I get from my NEX7, and it's allowed me to rediscover the basic goodness of a few of my underutilized MF lenses. (OM Zuikos are my favorite.) Using native lenses, the Tri-navi controls make the absence of traditional aperture ring and shutter speed dial tolerable, and a new aftermarket button guard widget that was recently released finally tamed the ^#%@^ video button. I've come to embrace working with a good EVF in a way I never expected, especially being able to previsualize at exposure in B&W. I'm almost ashamed to admit my M6 rarely gets any love since the NEX7 came home six months ago.

But.

The design and control set of the Fuji X-E1 are extremely attractive to me. It seems to have the same EVF as the NEX7 (good), it has the Fuji-style focus and DOF scale in the EVF (better), and the lens lineup is very promising. If Fuji can get their act together and release a quality 35mm-e prime it may be enough to budge me off the NEX.

The other Photokina announcement I'm happy about is the Nikon1 18.5mm f/1.8. Sure, I wish it were a 13mm f/1.4, but I'll still be picking one up - it will allow me to completely abandon the 10-30mm kit lens for everything other than vacation travel. The combination of 10mm, 18.5mm and 30-110mm makes a potent little pocket kit. Hopefully Nikon will continue to develop the N1 lens line.

"Sony's FF lens line is much more limited than Nikon's"

Mike,

I'm not trying to pick on you, but (as a Sony a850 shooter) I hear this often online, but remain puzzled by it. Sony has f/2.8 "professional" zoom lenses that cover 16mm-200mm, two high-grade zooms that extend out to 300mm and 400mm, a range of primes from 20mm to 500mm including some delicious Zeiss primes and the singular 135 STF variable-bokeh lens. From third parties, you can get a tilt-shift adapter that lets you use any Mamiya 645 lens or Hassleblad-compatible 6x6 lens. Samyang has announced an upcoming 24mm tilt-shift lens.

Forgive me, but what else do you need? What exactly is "much more limited"? The only thing I could think of would be leaf-shutter lenses, but how many companies offer those in 35mm or APS-c anyway?

Don't get me wrong; Nikon's selection is stronger, and the practical availability of Nikon lenses, particularly on the used market, is far stronger. But I guess I get a bit defensive hearing the "much more limited" statement so often cited. For most people, Sony's lens line is more than adequate.

Thanks for letting me rant a bit.

Is the new Pentax the cheapest camera on the market without a low-pass filter?

I bet Carl Zeiss will make multiple mount lenses, perhaps at least m43 and Nex. Easy enough to make them for Nex, then use a smaller circle for m43. Only problem would be the larger size, but it would leave open the possibility of other mounts too.

I feel like the NEX-6 makes the NEX-7 uninteresting now. The paradigm of contrast detect AF only, from the main image sensor is turning out to be a brief blip on the radar for mirrorless compacts. Clearly the future will be some sort of hybrid system. Presumably the sensor on the NEX-7, while nice, lacks the physical hardware that enables such capability.

The only caveat is that it looks like the manufacturers are going to need to few generations of iteration to figure out how to do hybrid phase/contrast AF really well on the software side.

Thanks, Mike. I preordered the NEX 35/1.8 through your link.

I must admit, the D600 looks nice, but it isn't doing anything revolutionary price-wise, since the Sony A850 was all magnesium and came in at $1999 when new. That camera was the real deal.

Interesting article with links, at Lifehacker. Title says it all

How to Get Off the Upgrade Treadmill and Stop Wasting Money on New Tech
http://lifehacker.com/5942915/how-to-get-off-the-upgrade-treadmill-and-stop-wasting-money-on-new-tech

Hi Mike,
Your comment about Sony's lens line up being limited, consider this:
Sony can mount Zeiss lenses which autofocus. These lenses are tested to be the best in category offerings by many lens testing websites, vis a vis Canon Nikon offerings. Take a look at Photozone reviews of these.

I know of following ZA lenses for Sony:

ZA 24 F2
ZA 16-35 F2.8
ZA 85 1.4
ZA 135 1.8
ZA 50 1.4 (just announced)
ZA 24-70 2.8

Sony has a 135 2.8 STF which is considered to be a cream machine, perhaps a Minolta lens.

Apart from these Sony also has G series professional lenses which perhaps you know very well about. They have just launched a 300 2.8 and have a 80-400 G for the sports shooter.

Mark,
If you've got what you need, then obviously the lens line looks complete to you. But if you don't have what you need in Sony's line and it exists in Nikon's, then Nikon is going to look better to you. All I said was, check first to see if the brand of camera you're interested in has the lenses you need.

Mike

I'm curious to see if the rumored Panasonic GH3 is announced. I know I'm in the minority here by wanting a single camera that does stills and video (both of them high quality and with a lot of manual control), and I also want it in a smallish package.

With regards to Bill's comment about Sony abandoning the KM legacy of "real" DSLRs, I think they've decided that unseating Canikon by making conventional cameras will take decades. Instead of beating them at their own game, try to change the rules. On SLR-style cameras video has so far played distinct second-fiddle to stills. Sony's making a game attempt at giving them equal standing without making too many compromises. Photographers who don't need video will ignore them, but those who need both will have good reason to give Sony's cameras serious consideration. If it weren't for the size consideration, I'd likely be taking a serious look at the Sonys rather than waiting to see if Panasonic will deliver (and yes I've looked at the NEX line but while the bodies are small the lenses tend to still be large because of the large sensor.)

I have a feeling that the K-5II S is my current goldilocks :) Sometimes evolution is preferable to revolution at least where the sensor and handling of the K-5 is concerned. AF under tungsten at wider than f/2.8 is a bit of a lottery with the current model so I'll be really interested in the claimed improvement of more precise AF and a range of -3EV to 18EV.
Lots of despair and woe is me on display at the various Pentax sites but on the whole an intelligent mid life upgrade. PentaxRicoh may a few teasers of their direction on show at Photokina yet! :))

Mike- That A99 looks hideously close to the Leica R8 of yore...

@Anurag,

That is an old Minolta lens.

@Mark,

It's not just about practical availability. I want to be able to buy a replacement for my Minolta 28/2 if it should ever break. The compact f/2 glass (28, 35, 100) that Minolta had back in the day is just not being replaced/brought back by Sony.

There's an anecdote that I read a while back about how a Minolta enthusiast went to a trade show shortly after Sony bought out Minolta. Sony had just released a rebranded 35/1.4, which Minolta had already had in the redesign and reissue pipeline for a while. Apropos to that, the enthusiast asked the rep when Sony was planning on reissuing the 35/2. Allegedly the Sony reps reply was that they'd just released the 35/1.4, it was really selling well, and the 35/1.4 was just all around better then the 35/2, so who could possibly want a 35/2? This reply discounted the fact that the 35/1.4 was 2-3x the price that the 35/2 had been going for when it was still available new, and was probably double the weight. Different strokes for different folks.

The D600 is being sold as a small FF camera. It's interesting to compare it to the K-5 II, a very nicely compact DSLR:

http://camerasize.com/compare/#378,372

I can't help but wonder how small a FF DSLR Pentax could make if they wanted to.

Mike, my current Goldilocks camera might be the Fuji X-E1. Can't wait to testdrive one with the 35mm f/1.4.

I can't believe that noone seems to be upset or excited that Sony is abandoning the weird Minolta flash shoe, finally. I mean, not like anyone bought Sonys for flash work, but for a company so intent on playing their own formats a welcome choice, esp. on the NEX cameras.

Looks like Nikon hit the sweet spot again with the D600, especially for the dedicated Nikon shooter.

New toys for all the boys (and girls) who wish to spend their monies what ever the currency.

Personally I shall wait, maybe forever. Just sold my still new in the box 20" iMac back to my dealer as he is short of such devices as the new iMacs are due any time. There is always a time lag between announcement and delivery.

As for the new photographic toys; do you really "need" the device or is this just your way of saying
gimme gimme more?


The Nikon D600 is the most disappointing photo announcement ever. The D600 is less good in many ways than the D700 (higher res, but I never run out of resolution as it is, and if resolution is what you wanted the D800 is where you need to be), and only slightly cheaper.

Mark, the obvious missing thing in the Sony line as you describe it is wideangle lenses. You also don't go into how fast the various available primes are.

Zeiss mentioned wide and normal lenses. These are available from several OEM and Third Parties for DX mirrorless cameras. What about the fast 90mm (=135) or 100mm (=150) lenses that nobody makes??? For Full Frame I mainly use a 135mm lens.

Olympus is the ONLY company making a lens that suits my style, the 75mm f/1.8 (=150mm). Although I prefer DX to M4/3, I'll bypass NEX 6/7 and Fuji X-E1 and get a OM-D E-M5. The Olympus 12mm f/2.0 (=24mm) would work well for the few times I need a wider lens.

Please don't tell me I should get an adapter and buy my lenses off of E-bay.

Miserere,
You think that's fun, try this.

Mike

If I would be 100% sure that my photographic future is digital then I would probably sell all my till now collected Leicas & Co to buy one of these RX1s, but whenever I scan a frame of TriX or APX400, or look at a print of them or even on screen, I know I will shoot film as long as possible.

Miserere,
You think that's fun, try this.

Mike

Oh yeah, now we're talkin'! :-D

My wife is really happy the RX1 doesn't have a lens closer to 50mm because I might be tempted by it, and I'm not even a Full Framer. If Sony releases an RX2 with a 50mm f/2 lens and an EVF, I'm in trouble.

Nikon's new D600, under two pounds / $2100?

That's a bloody good exchange rate!

@David, @Peter, @Mike:

You're all correct, of course. I'm not really arguing about the "more limited" part of the original statement, but rather the modifier "much".

Without trying too hard to collect lenses, just buying used lenses from private sellers when it seemed like good deals, I'm now somewhat surprised to find that I own the 20/2.8, 24/2.8, and 50/1.4 primes in addition to zooms from 24 to 300mm. I'll freely admit that I'm unusual in that I already owned a bunch of Mamiya 645 glass, so a $600 adapter from Mirex gave me five tilt-shift lenses (35, 45, 55, 80, and 150). My larger point is that that selection is probably enough for most people. If your photographic vision is best expressed through a 28/1.4, you're absolutely right that the current system is a limitation.

I'll freely agree that there are certainly finer points missing from the primes, and I agree that I wish Sony would reintroduce the f/2 collection. Hopefully now that they've recommitted to full-frame, perhaps they'll work on some of those holes.

Now, the NEX/e-mount series -- that line is desperately short on lens choices if you're not looking at adapting legacy lenses.

Okay; I'll stop quibbling over a single adjective and attempt to bow out quietly and go back to drooling over the thought of new gear that I really don't need. Thanks for the discussion.

@Rob L,

I would guess that the only people that care, are those that have large, long-standing investments in Minolta flash gear. When that shoe was still semi-relevant Minolta was way ahead of their time in flash.

However, those same people already own multiple adapters for converting from iISO-to-ISO shoes.

I'm amazed by all of the hand wringing in regards to the D600. Frankly I don't get it.

For years many of us expended countless electrons, begging camera makers to give us a compact, full frame DSLR at a reasonable price. Now we got it and so many are still complaining. Not all mind you, but an awful lot of people are.

It only has 39 AF points!
No dedicated AF-ON button!
The viewfinder frame is square, not round!
It's built like a toy! I need a magnesium body with titanium top and bottom plates or my cat will eat it!
It's too small! (I knew this one was coming…)
It won't do 8fps!
The shutter only goes to 1/4000th!
It's no D700!

Good grief.

It's got a brand new 24MP sensor that may even outperform the D800 in terms of exposure range and noise, simple because there are 12 million less pixels crammed in to the same space.
It's just under 800 grams. That cheering you hear behind you is your neck and spine.
You can carry two of them in your Domke F6.
You can buy three D600 for the cost of a D4 or four of them in the case of the Leica M9.
There is a 100% viewfinder.
It's weather sealed. Sort of.
It's got uncompressed HDMI out for the video crowd.
It supports nearly all manual focus lenses
It has the more advanced 2048 pixel matrix meter from the D800/D4.
It has some of the ergonomic improvements of the D800/D4.
It uses the D800 LCD screen.
It uses the same battery as the D7000/D800 (EN-EL15)
It's full frame for $2000.

Have we really become this spoiled?

At this point my only question is 'can you swap the focusing screen for a split screen Katzeye'. If the answer is 'No.', it's still not a deal breaker.

This is probably as close as we will ever get to a digital Nikon FM, unless someone at Nikon green lights a real retro project in a sake fueled moment of enlightenment.

I've been waiting for a reasonably priced compact FF camera for a long time. I had to give up on Leica, since they started to cater to the 1% and threw their legacy customers under the bus, so I welcome Nikon and the D600 with open arms.

Mike,
The Sony RX1 is a street photographer's dream come true! A very wealthy street photographer who can afford a camera at this price strictly for one purpose, but a dream come true anyway. What I don't understand about it is why it has P and S modes when the aperture control is a ring around the lens' barrel, but I'm relatively new into photography and there must be something I'm missing here. (I use OM lenses on my E-P1 and I can't shoot with said exposure modes; I think Sony could have made it with a shutter speed dial, à la Fujifilm: it would have made more sense.)
And then there's the Nikon; full-frame for less than USD 2,000 is nice, and I've chanced to see some sample images and found resolution to be terrific, but there are bucketloads of chromatic aberration and the moiré makes small sizes unfeasible. Great for (very) large prints, and you can forget the chromatic aberration issue if you happen to have DxO editing software, which does an outstanding job at removing it, but it raises the question whether we really need all that sharpness and detail. And the D600 needs expensive lenses, something most people seem to forget when they buy high quality bodies.
These cameras are the response for the increasing demand of bigger sensors. Nowadays there seem to be many who believe they'll become great photographers if they have a camera with a large sensor in its innards. Maybe in five years we'll see a compact camera with a medium format sensor and a fixed 70mm lens; Sony has built itself a reputation for cameras with tiny bodies, big sensors and huge, disproportionate lenses, so who knows?

Nobody questioned what the Konica Hexar (AF) was intended for, so why all the questions about the reasoning behind the Sony RX1? The Sony RX1 is inherently a digital reincarnation of the original Konica Hexar - and that's not surprising if you remember that Sony took over the Konica Minolta camera development team.

I have mixed feelings about the switch back from the iISO to the ISO shoe. Mechanically, the iISO shoe is much better than the ISO shoe, much easier to mount and dismount especially single handed especially with auto-locking. You slip it on and clicks into place. Push a button and it's unlocked.

The ISO shoe dates back to 1913 and manufacturers have had to engineer hacks to make sure flashes would stay securely mounted. Even the better methods are not as fluid as mounting an iISO flash.

It's only recently that third party manufacturers have begun to produce native iISO mount flashes and accessories in any great number. You can easily now get inexpensive iISO fitting radio flash triggers off ebay and amazon. It's a testament as to how far Sony has come from relative obscurity when it first took over the Konica-Minolta camera division to the point where third party accessories for the iISO shoe have become commonplace.

I think that it's a case of an entrenched inferior de facto standard finally defeating a technically superior solution due to market inertia rather than inherent merits. The iISO shoe is not perfect (sometime it can be a bit wobbly, tolerances could be tightened up) but had it been subject to the same amount of development which other manufacturers have had to apply to make the ISO shoe half decent, I think it could have been a far better standard shoe had others adopted it.

It was never a big deal to use an adapter from iISO to ISO. I have cheap adapters which I use for mounting radio triggers. Any problems with dodgy contacts is invariably the fault of the radio trigger ISO foot and the fiddly screw tightening mechanism. The iISO mating procedure is practically foolproof in comparison.

Clearly Sony needed to revamp the electronic interface of the flash shoe to incorporate all the features they were going to add (e.g. audio, EVF). They could have modified the iISO shoe, adding extra contacts and improving the tolerances. I guess by going back to the mechanical design of the ISO shoe, there's going to be one less criticism with which to bash Sony cameras. It's as if they've been bullied into accepting an inferior mechanical format.

Apart from the PC-sync connection, I can't think of another camera interface so dearly needing a well engineered update in its design. Sometimes "standards" do get in the way of progress.

Cheers,
Daniel.

sony's on fire. the a99 is looking good in pretty much every way. in a few months, sony will even have 2 out of 4 lenses that i want the most (zeiss 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 accounted for, 35/2 and 28/2 still missing). i suppose the only thing that i might rather get is a pentax full frame dslr with an optical viewfinder.

the 35/1.8 OSS makes me want to get a nex-5r or wait for the nex-7 upgrade (mainly for PDAF). three cheers for all of the image stabilised primes that are being introduced lately!

the rx1 was so close to being the holy grail, but they had to ruin it by "keeping it as small as possible." while the rx100 really is the ultimate jean or shirt pocket camera, the rx1 is not quite the ultimate jacket pocket camera. a built-in viewfinder, which i find greatly preferable to an accessory viewfinder, and image stabilization would have made this camera gobsmackingly spectacular. goldilocks must not have been part of the team. unlike the rx100, the rx1 doesn't strike me as being meticulously thought out. the exterior doesn't even look like it was designed by the same team. drats.

Pardon, Mike, can't help myself (pride of ownership). How about this:


Ricoh GXR-M + Zeiss Distagon T* 4/18 (27 mm-e) ZM

Only for those for whom manual focusing is not a deal-breaker. Lens choice (apart from native tele-zooms, absent a Pentax mount module) is not a problem. For autofocus lenses, Ricoh GXR has 3 APS-C "kit" lens modules: a 28 mm-e and a 50 mm-e (both f/2.5 primes) and a 24-85 mm-e f/3.5-5.5 zoom.

I'll consider the RX1 (over the DP2-M), if and when it comes down in price, eventually. Can't order them through your links, though. Expediting dutiable gear over here can be more expensive than a budget Manila-HK-Manila flight (unless I have a relative vacationing over there).

It'd be interesting to see what the Nikon and the Sony internal architecture is like...If you look back and forth between the two, they are very similar. The Nikon has a couple of extra buttons, but all the critical ones seem to be in the same places, and sometimes, even at the same angles...maybe there's more cooperation here than we know. :-)

Wow, they're really pulling out all the f/stops!

Mike, as pertains to the NEX-6, I think you've missed a few headlines worth noting: The hybrid AF, first and foremost, should be a big deal. But what could end up being the game changers for a certain generation of photographer is the built in wifi and the Playmemories app system. The already-announced updates, like smart bracketing and time-lapse, are exciting, and if Sony develops this platform, we might see a lot of new functionality added to these cameras over time. Time will tell with that. Meanwhile, using a smartphone as a remote and being able to instantly transfer photos to phones and tablets could be a big deal for those of us young enough to enjoy instant photo sharing but discerning enough to hate to do it with the cameras built into our phones. It is functionality that lacks universal appeal, but it is pretty unique right now, and could become a Big Deal for a wide range of users, from photojournalists to the instagram crowd.

i can't believe you folks are seriously calling the d600 a compact anything. it's giant! if i set it next to any of my film slrs it makes them look like the rx1. speaking of which, that thing looks very nice. shame about the lack of flip up lcd and built in evf.

Meanwhile back in NYC this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Pjl31cyDY is the "available real soon now" camera that I want.

The new K-5s are welcome, but Pentax has a seriously fractal lens lineup. Huge holes, tight concentrations, and an oddball overall look. Reliability is the twenty-ton elephant in their room.

Zeiss is on a roll. A wide angle Sonnar and a long-normal Distagon - they're just showing off.

Sony is stealing the show, especially with those little blue badges to lend their electro-pop image a touch of gravitas. The negative reaction to the RX1 is baffling - it seems like the perfect walkabout camera for the gimmick-averse photographer, and with flash sync up to 1/2000 it should have had the strobist types drooling all over their keyboards. I just wish it were weather/dust sealed.

Nikon are quietly plodding along making excellent photographic tools. You can't help but hate them for that.

Canon are either hiding deep down in their foxhole, or sniggering at those who have sprinted away from the start line and are going to fade long before the final bend. Looking forward to a full-frame Rebel.

Full frame is the new medium format - big, heavy and unaffordable. I can appreciate the realities of production engineering which inflate the expense of full frame bodies, and lenses to satisfy pixel-peeping reviewers, but it's a shame that market segmentation reduces choices so dramatically. The 7D/300s type of camera seems to be dying on the vine, which is a shame because they offer fantastic photographic usability in a reasonably sized and priced package.

Harry -- the D600 represents regression from the D700 for me. And several of the things you list as virtues are just additional jabs of the pitchfork for me -- like it using a new battery, so if I added a D600 to supplement my D700, I'd need to buy and carry multiple new sets of batteries.

It's not *much* regression; but hey, so far there's been no upgrade path from the D700 for a LOT of years, and that looks to remain true (short of jumping up to the top-level pro gear for more than twice the price, which is simply impossible for me; the D700 was s significant stretch, and I may yet regret it in the end, if I get orphaned here).

It offers one benefit of any interest -- higher res. But I don't have any need for higher res, the D700 is marvelously adequate. If higher res were my issue, I'd buy the D800, for not that much more. The D800 is a real game-changer for people who need the higher res (i.e. people printing 4x6 feet -- there must be a lot of them around!), but that's not me.

For some reason the RX1 reminds me of Sony's "just because we can" Qualia range.

As a Samsung NX user I have to agree that Sony is on fire. The NEX-6 with PZ is another sweet spot, and the E-mount lens announcements are game changing. On paper, of course. Must ... use ... the ... camera ... I ... have ...

I think the Sony RX-1 is a fascinating little camera (with a BIG price). Too bad they couldn't have foregone the popup flash for a popup EVF.

@Will,

Hybrid AF is a big deal, but historically proprietary software platforms by camera makers have all been pretty mediocre in terms of support and development.

Although both Nikon and Samsung's execution on their "Android" cameras strikes me as a bit ho-hum, finding some way to co-op Android and leverage the existing development community there seems to be the right way to go.

However, as you say I think we'll have to wait and see what happens to the wider software ecosystem.

I'm seriously impressed with all the new products as technical "tour de forces" but not to the point of buying any of them.

To me, "convenience" means a zoom lens, which is why I'm buying one for my Xpro1 ;)

Steve, old fogie and proud of it.

After all the press on the coming full frame value priced Nikon coming this summer, it's been quite a let down to see the actual delivery! If I could afford 2100, I could afford 2900 for the D800, and get a PC sync connection and more rez in the bargain. Most importantly, one of the reasons I bought Nikon originally, was that a lot of the top end iron shot .tiff files, and from what I can read of this on-line, this does not, and thus, major deal breaker for me.

Nikon claims (as I've asked them), that they only put the .tiff option on cameras they consider "professional", even tho this actually can't be a major financial problem; if the software in the camera exists to shoot jpeg, raw, and tiff, it seems like it would be more of a problem to make two different softwares, one that eliminates the tiff for "amateur" cameras. Go figger, I just don't know why they ALL don't shoot tiff, regardless of pricing, it's just a "no-brainer". No time to argue with all the people on here shooting raw and "processing" like a black & white darkroom, and all their other analogies. If you've spent your career "nailing" color transparencies, you want to shoot tiff, and burn and deliver. That's it!

Anyway, Nikon had the chance to make a real statement here, if the 1500 dollar price point that was being bantered around the internet had been a reality, it would have virtually frozen my search for a new digital camera system that I had more of a functioning affinity for, and kept me in the Nikon stable. As is, the search goes on...

As a buddy of mine said, a 1500 dollar price point would have virtually buried their APS-C cameras, except for the very bottom of the range. But I think most people are ready for some model compression here; I remember when there was a Nikon and a Nikkormat, and that was it. Then the mayhem started...

Now it is more likely that I'd really want to try and develop and interest in the Nex-6. I actually think everything is going this way anyway (less moving parts, less problems), and in some ways, after looking at the Nex-7, I think it's easier to manual focus than my Nikon that has a "light-pipe" screen in it instead of a conventional ground glass; there's no way in hell I've ever been able to focus that thing manually.

Kudos to Sony for abandoning that goof-ball hot shoe. No one denies that it didn't work perfectly, it's just the same as a million other things that didn't get adopted that were "better", like Beta tape for home recording and jpeg 2000. As a Microsync user, this has warned me off Sony/Minolta products because it's just too much of a problem to retool, or for god's sake, have all those adapters piled on top of the camera, defeating the feature of small size with the Micro-sync. Sorry, but it's got to go...

Struan,
Wikipedia says the largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1974 and weighed 12 tons. Just sayin'....

Mike

Told ya the RX1 was real.

Though I didn't believe the price the first time I heard it! That's just ridic.

e

The NEX-6 has some nice, new features, but I'd still choose the magnesium body, tri-navi, and 24mp of the NEX-7. Plus, apparently, the new on-sensor PDAF of the NEX-6 is only supported by one of the current NEX primes, the Zeiss 24/1.8.

Has anyone noticed that the hybrid AF (phase-detect AF) on the NEX-6 will only work with _zoom_ lenses, and will NOT WORK with prime lenses other than the Zeiss 24/1.8?

If phase-detect AF is not on offer with the 35/1.8, that just kills my idea of buying the NEX-6 and 35/1.8!

I might be a heretic, but I don't really get the "full frame fever".
On the early days of digital, I get it, bigger sensor = better sensor.
But today, what's the real difference (meaning not on paper, but on real life) between the IQ of a full frame sensor and (insert sensor type here)?
I'm sure the D600 is a marvelous camera, but is the IQ really that much better than a, say, K5 output?

"I might be a heretic, but I don't really get the "full frame fever". On the early days of digital, I get it, bigger sensor = better sensor. But today, what's the real difference (meaning not on paper, but on real life) between the IQ of a full frame sensor and (insert sensor type here)?"

Gaspar,
My experience is limited, but remember what Ctein always says about the phrase "all else being equal"--which is, all else is never equal. My experience has been that bigger does not necessarily = better.

A full-frame sensor has two big advantages in a DSLR: it tends to restore viewfinders to a generous size, and it restores legacy lens focal lengths to their accustomed angles of view.

Neither of those advantages accrues to the RX1. Two possible advantages that do is that the widest aperture will permit a little less depth of field than a lens of the same maximum aperture on a smaller format sensor; and, a 24 MP FF sensor allows really generously large prints with spectacular quality. Somewhere on this blog there's a picture of me holding a large A900 print, but I'll be damned if I can find it.

But as I mentioned, "all else" is never equal. What remains to be seen is how well the RX1 implements its design; that will make all the difference.

Mike

Gaspar Heurtley,
The deal with full frame is that you can get similar shallow depth of field* as you could with 6x6 medium format film - particularly if you are willing to crop. E.g. a "normal" 80mm f/3.5 is equivalent to a square cropped 35mm f/1.4. Cropping is no problem when you've got 24-36 megapixels.
So full frame is a Hasselblad or Rollei substitute, and usually used for equivalent purposes.

Will

*kind of a goldilocks format for bokeh hunters, really, especially if you can control shooting conditions.

"I can't help but wonder how small a FF DSLR Pentax could make if they wanted to."

I'd say just a little bit deeper than the RX1 (for the mirror) and just a bit higher (for the prism). But no wider.

Even smaller if they did some kind of EVF trick. But that would make it not exactly a DSLR.

Mike, I think you're right. A 12 ton elephant is the right analogy - unlike the 20 ton version it would only be occasionally unreliable. Like SDM lenses.

The big two are doing the obvious things to improve their cameras. Sony is thinking and working a bit harder, both in hardware and in firmware. Kudos to them. I won't be buying an RX1, but were my kids grown, and no longer racing around dimly lit sports halls, I could see myself doing so, especially if a matched 2x afocal converter was available.

DDB:

the D700 is marvelously adequate

which just makes me that much more sillily pleased that I got one, on sale, not long after it came out. Four years later (decades in digital camera years!), the D700 is still the sweet spot for me, and nothing that's come out since (in DSLRs) has tempted me.

The two things the new Nikons DSLRs have that the D700 doesn't are the U1/U2 settings dials, and the min shutter speed set to inverse of the focal length. Nikon could fix both with a firmware update, though I don't suppose they ever will (does anyone actually use the settings banks? useless). Sigh. But those minor quibbles aside, not enough to get me to "upgrade".

It's a bit too heavy and far too expensive to carry for climbing though, which has me looking at the NEX-6 and Oly OM-D hard, though both are far into the would-I-cry-if-I-dropped-it? range. But so's the Sony RX100.

Good choices to have to make.

"The deal with full frame is that you can get similar shallow depth of field* as you could with 6x6 medium format film"

Hmmm - as someone who owns an f1 Noctilux for 35mm and also a Hasselblad - the 6x6 film gives much shallower depth of field, and a far more beautiful transition between the focus and out-of-focus areas. The difference between 35mm full-frame and APS-H is pretty minimal, in paractice.

Did you just skim over the X-E1 on this post or...?

"Did you just skim over the X-E1 on this post or...?"

byazici,
No, we did a whole post about the X-E1 last Sunday.

Mike

If the D600 is really a D7000 body with a FF sensor, perhaps Pentax can put a FF sensor inside the K5 body.

mani,
Well, I've been wrong before about shallow depth of field :) It seems to be my specialty.

Will

Mike,
Your post doesn't include a nice picture of DP1 Merrill, starting to ship just now. Well, technically it may not be a Photokina baby, but its a new camera.
I played with a DP2 recently, and to say that it is mind-blowing is an understatement.
You must check the RAW files, and let everyone know how you feel :)
Let me tell you this: nothing comes close (while looking at one file at 100 percent)

Harry Lime wrote:
For years many of us expended countless electrons, begging camera makers to give us a compact, full frame DSLR at a reasonable price. Now we got it and so many are still complaining.
[...]
It's too small!

How big are these people's hands?????? Have they seen it next to a D7000, for example?

http://camerasize.com/compare/#378,7

The single biggest reason I wouldn't buy a D600 is because it's too big! I suppose one man's pea is another man's bowling ball.

Mike,

I am actually surprised about your RX1 disdain :-) Think full frame, available light, street photography and leaf (quiet) shutter.

- Raist

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