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Saturday, 30 August 2008


It was just a matter of time. The photography business has become a semi-conductor business. Remember, a digital camera is really a computer with a lens.

The relentless march of technology...

"new system will be ready for sale in the spring of 2010."

Wow. Talk about vaporware. Here I was thinking that Olympus and Panasonic jumped the gun a bit by announcing a new format before having anything to show for it.

This is very promising, especially with the interchangeable lenses, they pitch this right and we actually could have a decent and affordable digital rangefinder system. Are you listening Leica? Decent takes priority over affordable, you manage neither!

I think we've got a bandwagon here. What will be really interesting would be if Canon or Nikon (or Pentax, or Sony) jump on it.
In that case, I think it would stand a real good chance of replacing the DSLR at the bottom end of the market.

Indeed, it is quite a while until we see these cameras. I hope micro four thirds is not vaporware as well.

Maybe I'm just getting too old and too cynical for my own good but can anyone else remember the days when a new 'film' was a radical innovation?

Why are we so hung up on all this new technology crap? Does anyone seriously see any improvement to the standard of photography in the press or consumer magazines? I don't.

Has the introduction of the Canon 1Ds Mk 3 or the D3 revolutionised anything? Nope. They are full-frame cameras. Well, whoopy-do...so is my Nikon F100 and Bronica SQ-B.

For the sake of balance, I also have a Nikon D200, D300 and Fuji F40fd digital cameras. Do they make me take better photos - not at all. They are but tools and the sooner we get that through our heads the better.

If, however, Nikon, Canon (or someone else) produces a full-frame camera with no more complex operating system than an Nikon FM2n and that will produce as good results (including sharpness out of the can - NO photoshop) and at least the same exposure latitude as Kodan Portra 160, I might consider buying one. Until then, I see no point.......

Hypothetical cameras "rival" other hypothetical cameras. I was waiting to check out photokina 2008 intoductions before I replaced my old Canon S100 as my bike riding camera and now I have an excuse to wait until "spring of 2010". Heck, its got 2MP.

Just because it's vaporware doesn't mean it's not coming. [g]

Mike J.

The thing that surprised me most in that AP article was that Samsung produces a DSLR. First I'd heard of it, but it's apparently been out for a couple of years. They admit that sales are low & it's hard to get consumers away from Canon & Nikon. No wonder they want to create their own segment.

Michael, GX-10 is Pentax K10D and GX-20 is, you guessed it, K20D.

Samsung is in a similar position in regard to Pentax as Panasonic is to Olympus. Neither Samsung nor Panasonic had any experience in SLRs, although both have an extensive knowledge of compact cameras. The difference is, AFAIK, that Samsung SLRs are just rebadged Pentaxes while Panasonic did manufacture DSLRs different to those of its partner. Both have an abysmal marketing and selling strategy - it's very hard to find their SLRs outside their home markets, particularly Samsung. It's no wonder they are not on the radar.

This announcement is just pure marketing hype. I mean, "we are going to have such a camera in a year and a half." Like people will wait for their cameras and not buy micro 4/3?

For the sake of precision, I'd like to mention that vaporware is stuff that is announced well ahead of its (supposed) actual release date, but then is never actually released. Microsoft are the masters at this business and they could provide further info if required.

In my book, the micro4/3 format and now this one from Samsung are not vaporware: they are just announced very early, for whatever reason. The iPhone was also announced six months before its release, and certainly it was not vaporware.

And finally, let me say (as already suggested above) that I'm pretty convinced that Pentax is heavily involved in the development of this new Samsung standard. Although one wonders why the Pentax name was not mentioned even once in this interview.

As always, time will tell. But one thing is striking to me: the fact that Olympus and Samsung have announced already what seem the future of DSLR cameras, while the big guys have their mouths closed on this topic: is it because they have nothing to show, or because they are much behind to announce anything?

History shows that innovation can lead to big changes in the market. And the big guys should have a quiet look at the history of the iPod. In Spain we say that those who do not move are already behind.

Well, yeah, I might wait. It's not like there's a pile of money labeled "interchangeable lens compact camera; use for no other purpose" anywhere I can get at it, and I already have a bunch of Pentax lenses. If the Samsung offering comes with an adapter for K mount lenses (which, since Samsung is a K mount shop, I'd expect it shall) that's substantially less potential expenditure.

The other thing is that there's no point to such a device if it doesn't have certain characteristics; this is going to be true of all the potential buyers, though the specific characteristics will vary. Good low light performance and "copes well with horrible lighting" are two of my "it's gotta" characteristics, and those are the sort of thing where it's pretty easy to dither for a year while taking a micrometer to diverse reviews.

The way camera prices are going south, and zoom quality going up, I don´t see a lot of need for interchangeable lens on these. I would buy two cameras with complementing zooms if they would give me f4 and the range I now have with the G9, along with aps-c performance.

Samsung is the manufacturer of the K20D sensor. It seems they are encouraged by the good reviews on K20D sensor performance.
What I don't get is, why Yet Another Lens Mount(tm)? Couldn't they just buy Contax G mount from Kyosera?

Samsung may be a bit late to the party in 2010 - judging from the numnber of people reported to be under NDAs who have handled the M4/3 protoypes (including Dave Etchells at Imaging Resource) - Photokina will be showing more than just wooden mock-ups. And M4/3 will have backward compatibility to 4/3 so existing Olympus/Panasonic customers have the choice of two camera body lines. If Samsung goes out with a new mount then they will have a really hard sell against M4/3 let alone tempting C or N owners.

I would love a small, high quality, interchangeable lens camera as much as anyone. But... It appears from this article about the Samsung announcement and from everything I've read about m4/3 that these cameras will have electronic viewfinders and contrast-detection autofocus. I have yet to handle any camera with either of these features that wasn't slow as molasses on a winter morning. The EVF introduces video lag (want a demo? Hold up your compact digital and wave your hand in front of the lens. Watch how far out of sync your hand is with the view through the LCD.) No matter how fast the AF is, or how quick the shutter, video lag means that you will *always* be shooting something that has already happened and is no more. Maybe after 20+ years as a shooter, I'm just incompetent, but I have yet to find success shooting people with an EVF. I just keep missing the peak expression. (Yes, I know -- "anticipate the peak action." Riiiight.)

So I'll keep my wallet in my pocket until I can actually handle one of these little jewels.

A digital camera is a computer with a lens? Heck, no wonder they become obsolete so quickly.

Dan K.

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