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Thursday, 13 September 2018


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I'll be interested in what Panasonic has to offer with its supposed up-coming FF camera. Will it stay small? There are rumors that it could use m4/3 lenses. How is that possible? The thing about Panasonic (as a company) is, it's the same size as Sony, also makes sensors, and is good at manufacturing, and I'd have to say that Panasonic showed an astonishing facility at building cameras with its m4/3 line. Will Panasonic become another disruptive camera force like Sony? Or will it basically build a movie camera. Interesting times.

Here, I fixed it for you: https://camerasize.com/compact/#692.383,800.596,777.394,772.422,799.790,795.785,ha,t

I like where both Nikon and Canon are going. There's some real potential, especially with the glass. (Full disclosure, I'm a fast glass freak, so the big mounts are just heaven to me.) So over the longterm Canon or Nikon sound like the place to put my money. Except, and it's a big except, Sony is the home of innovation. Trying crazy ideas, and just experimenting in all kinds of fun ways. I don't know what Sony will come out with, but it's that I don't know and they could do anything, and just might, and that's exciting. Canon and Nikon, they're predictable.

One thing I do not understand when people make these print comparisons using different size sensor formats- are people upsizing the smaller format resolution in software before printing, letting it ride as is (while decreasing the dpi), or...

PS- Not sure if my tech speak was correct, but hopefully, you got the gist.

My favorite (YMMV) full-frame camera is a LEICA IIIa (15.252 oz./432.4g with film). It can use Ilford Pan F+ 50, SCALA 160 or Kodak P3200. Philistines can even use this pre-WW2 Leica to shoot color film 8-0 The IIIa requires mastering only two things, loading and button-pushing 8-) And it uses no batteries.

Why do Mirrorless cameras have the pentaprism shape, I have an X Pro 2 that is mirrorless

[I suppose because people are used to it and like it? Your guess is as good as mine. You do have the choice, though, as you mentioned. The X-E3 among others is also "rangefinder-style." --Mike]

Excess megapixels ...I don't need no stinki'n excess megapixels. I can remember when Sports Illustrated covers were shot with a Nikon D2Hs (8 FPS, 4 MP DX.) I've had editorial photos published, double-truck, that were shot with an 8 megapixel APS-C Canon 20D. Technically good looking 12x18 Costco prints were made from 20D files. Today I'd use film for B&W and an iPhone XS for color.

You don't need FFM to make quality video https://bit.ly/2QtpiWQ An iPhone XS and a good imagination is all you need.

Just wait. The second generation Nikon models will all feature "fully articulated" screens, because all the reviews will ding them for merely having flip-up screens.

Re Gx 8 Mk II, while I realize that the GX9 is a different camera , most of the features they eliminated to get smaller lighter and a lower price point were video features , so you get the sensor without an AA filter and better image stabilization and a new shutter. It seems to be more of a 'Stills ' camera. Maybe even a better one, although pared down a bit.
I believe they made changes to the view finder as well.
If it really is a totally different camera, I wish they wouldn't use the same name

In response to Stan B: The biggest thing that changes between sensors is not the pixel count but the size of the individual pixels. As an example, my OM-D E-M1 mk ii (atrocious name) has about 20 megapixels. My Canon 5D mk 3 has about 22 megapixels. The difference in pixel counts is unnoticeable without a micrometer, and printing won't show any obvious resolution differences due to pixel counts. In fact, depending on cropping, it may well be that the smaller sensor provides more pixels that actually get used. What may well make a difference is the quality of information from each pixel. A larger pixel gathers more photons, all else being equal, and hence can be less noisy, especially at high ISO. This is a moving target, because sensor technology continues to advance.

Not a K-01 Marc II, in memory of Marc Newsom's original effort?

[Now that would have been clever. I wish they'd thought of that! :-) --Mike]

For me, I went with a 4/3 and a Sony FF.

I could go for an APS-C system only as a compromise but I never liked the X Trans Sensor but loved the lenses.

The other APS-C systems do not have a lens line up that appeals. I really wish Fuji would offer an X-T3 with a conventional sensor. Their excellent lenses are calling.

Okay...in the interests of editorial and engineering accuracy, let's clarify a few things:

1) I never said that an X-T4 with IBIS was impossible.

2) What I said was that utilizing the current IBIS subsystem that Fujifilm designed to minimize impact on absolute image quality requires an increase in 8mm in thickness of the body shell (it might require a taller and longer camera body dimensionally, too, for all I know). This is one of the principle reasons the X-H1 is thicker at its minimum dimension than the X-T2/X-T3.

If (enough) folks are willing to buy an X-T4 that is 8mm thicker (and thereby heavier) than an X-T2/X-T3, then IBIS using the current Fujifilm IBIS subassembly might be possible.

Its really, really important point for folks to understand that any set of engineering specifications that describe the embodiment of a camera are 1) bound a set of functional, physical or price constraints 2) may, and usually do, involve one or more functional conflicts.

Regarding functional conflicts: Fujifilm is on record as stating that IBIS has a negative impact on absolute image quality. I am going to defer them on this because....a) they really DO know WTF they are talking about and b) they know a LOT more about this any of us do. What they did was to design the best IBIS system they could that had a minimal impact in absolute image quality, because they are also on record that image quality is, and has been, their No. 1, top requirement. It is a higher priority requirement than IBIS.

So, as I see it, it boils down to three possible scenarios, keeping in mind there is, as I pointed out above, no free lunch when it comes to engineering; you're always going to have to give up something:

1) would you be willing to buy an X-T4 with the current IBIS system if it was 8mm thicker than an X-T2/X-T3?

2) If Fujifilm were able to design a smaller IBIS mechanism that did not require an 8mm increase thickness, BUT....had more of an impact on absolute image quality, would you buy it?

3) If Fujifilm were able to design a smaller IBIS mechanism that did not require an 8mm increase thickness, and also did not have an impact on absolute image quality, BUT cost $500 more than an X-T2/X-T3, would you buy it?

Its these kinds of situations, where a design team has to make decisions about what features and functions to provide and which tradeoffs/compromises they have to deal with is why mature and disciplined product design teams perform Kano Analysis on customer requirements and Conjoint Analysis on evaluating what tradeoffs of features and functions customers are will to pay for that provides a value propostion.

This is HARD work....and most folks have virtually no clue about how hard the work really is.

We have an incredible, almost unbelievable embarassment of riches these days when it comes to cameras. Here's my 2¢: Be grateful for what you have and get on with it. Life's too short to be griping about "specs" when you should be out shooting. Even if that means shooting with, god forbid, a tripod.

I studied ergonomics, there has been studies showing people can adapt to any set-up, ergonomically good or bad, with their proper muscle memory, and think that that set-up is perfect ergonomically, and wouldn't think of changing to anything else. But still, ergonomics studies are based on the structure of the human body and their cognitive abilities.

The Canon EOS R should be a counter-example of ergonomics studies, it deviates from a lot of ergonomic principles. For one, it completely overturned the setup of their DSLR and introduced the horizontal multi-function mode dial, and then the touch bar. I'm not saying the usual DSLR scroll wheel at the back is anything good, but as an extension of a camera line, you don't introduce something that their users have to undo their muscle memory?
A touch bar is not a good type of control/input device, especially when you depend on your feel when you have your eye on the viewfinder. A scroll wheel with its texture would be much better -- you find the wheel by feel, then do your input/control, no fuzz.
In totality, your right hand now have three main input facilities - the vertical wheel behind the shutter, the horizontal mode dial, and this horizontal touch bar. Until you develop your muscle memory with these three different input facilities, you're gonna have a lot of getting-used-to to do.

The original design differences between Nikon and Canon - Nikon with two horizontal scroll wheels, Canon with a front vertical scroll wheel and a vertical scroll wheel at the back, much further down in the camera body, shows a much "better" arrangement for the part of Nikon. (did I say people can get used to any setup and find them very desirable?) For Nikon, you can put your shutter finger on the shutter and at the same time put you middle finger on the front horizontal wheel, no need to move the shutter finger from the shutter back and forth to the wheel as with Canon. Then you can maintain your grip with Nikon while putting you thumb on the back wheel. For Canon, moving the thumb further down is a stretch.

This is purely from my limited knowledge of ergonomics, fanboys, don't get upset, please.

Thanks, Bill! That much I got; I've never made digital prints that large, and always assumed that I'd have to upsize my resolution via software. My cropped 16MP sensor can go to Max length of approx 16in @ 300, I'm sure a 20MP sensor can go a bit further- but the width of those prints alone were At Least 20in, the length...

I really don’t understand this post at all. It seems all over the map. Sorry, Mike.

[It's three different subjects. 1.) the weight of a new APS-C, Micro 4/3, and FF mirrorless cameras are almost the same. 2.) A link to a popular video that makes a slightly misleading conclusion, or leads people to do so. 3.) A link to Roger's initial thoughts about the FFM wars.

None seemed quite worthy of a post on their own, or, in the case of 2.), would have highlighted a criticism of another photographer to a somewhat awkward degree.

I just reformatted the post for you, to make all that a little more clear.

Always happy to 'splain, and 'commodate,

--The Management]

Like Mike, while I await a Panasonic Lumix GX8 Mark II, I'll keep on using my Panasonic GX8 cameras as well as my beloved Ricoh GXR and its fine lenses.

Mike, that size comparison picture is very interesting. I suggest you add a Leica M camera (film or the M10; it does not matter) with its 50mm f/2.0 Summicron. I think the M will look a lot more svelte. However, the M does not have 2 card slots, IBIS, auto focus, the right well depth, ISO of 125,000, or a $125 kit zoom, so obviously one is incapable of taking serious pictures with it.

You want a GX-8ii
I want a E-M5iii
We can only live in hope...

Should we call them MILFF?

It's obvious Sony would kill the market doing a line of f2 lenses as soon as they could. They did that 28/2 then went high margin G and zeiss branded lenses. Just my 2cents

Oh and Mike, how about meeting Roger and/or podcasting a chat? I'm sure the feeling is mutual. I know I'd listen to that.

I personally, like Olympus OM-1...OM-4 lines of film cameras.

Hopefully Olympus will join Panasonic in the FF game.

Just wondering how many times in your life you will need ISO 3200 when you have fast lenses and an image stabilization that allows you to shoot handheld at a fifth of a second or even longer. Yes, smaller sensors have noticeable noise at ISO 12800. You can always find something when comparing cameras. Even the lacking of a second card slot seems invincible to some.

What always surprises me that there are few reviewers that pay attention to colors. For me they are much more significant than for example resolution.
Of course you can set a camera the way you prefer and you can endlessly change things in post processing. But the differences between the standard settings can be enormous. Here an example of a recent comparison between the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Panasonic GH5 at DPReview. The colors could be good in one of the two cameras, but they cannot be right in both. Probably neither is correct. I think they mention a few things about the colors in the video and give their preference. But man, these differences are huge!


I think you are a few years younger than me, but decrepitude accelerates with age, and the target camera changes.

My RX1 has been replaced with a heavier A7R2 just because of IBIS.

I wonder now about that idea that lenses are best stopped down 2 stops from wide open. That certainly is true of lenses from the film era, but I can’t help but feel that today’s (better) lens designs are made for wide open use. It’s possible this was done to appease the bokeh-fanatics, but on some systems, such as m43, it would seem to be a requirement, no?

A specification not mentioned so far … how much time passes between turning the camera on and being able to make a picture? My DSLR is ready before I get it to my eye. My mirrorless is not -- which can be either simply annoying or a real problem depending on what I'm trying to do.

Enjoyable post Mike

Leica Q.
22 ozs. with the lens ;)
Full frame.

No fretting about what lens to buy or add to your collection either.

I know its almost 3 years old and maybe about to be updated, that will make the used ones even more reasonably priced.

You would LOVE it. Although I'm sure you'd grouse a little about the 28mm lens until you figured out cropping to a 35 mm FOV gives you about 16mp to play with... hmm.

After untold amounts of money and angst shifting from one system to another trying to find the "kit" that is just right, I end up with A Leica Q that I bought almost 3 years after it was released and it is my go to camera. Only the second pre-owned camera I've ever owned. My first was an M6. Go figure...

I have targets too and my primary target has changed over time...which makes sense I guess. My first DSLR was a Rebel XSI (770 grams with grip) and I was excited about the long reach it could provide with its smaller sensor, an f/4 zoom, and a 1.4 TC. When I bought my 6D (770 grams without grip) I was excited by its ability to shoot in low light with a bigger sensor and an f/2 prime. When I look at the new FF mirrorless I don’t yet see a primary target that excites me. I’m not a video guy and I already have the perfect size camera for my XXL hands. As a matter of fact when I add my 6D and 40mm pancake to the camera size graphic it looks pretty good. Since I don’t make a living with my camera I will probably wait on the next gen of the EOS R.

A few thoughts:
Re: s.wolters - I definitely agree on color quality over resolution at this point (that's what won me over to Fuji from Pentax in the first place, the colors in the X100s). I'd also like to see dynamic range, especially in highlights, as given more priority than resolution. It's one of the things that looks most artificial/digital, whereas with film it was almost impossible to blow out highlights unless pointed at a strong light source.

Re: Stephen Sharf - I don't really understand Fuji's position on the image quality with IBIS. I'd prefer to have slightly less "image quality" (whatever that means) if it means having a non-blurry shot. I can always turn it off if I want max quality and don't need the stabilization. I'm also curious given the recent wide lens mount trend why Fuji stuck with a traditional ~45mm opening for X-mount when they could have done whatever they wanted. I wonder if they are kicking themselves now? They are a company that takes the long view, so I have to believe they thought through the pros and cons of IBIS and all the other lens/imaging constraints. (And as a product designer for the last 20 years, I'm very aware of how complex those constraint trade-offs can get...)

Re: Edwin - It's worth looking at the previous transition in user interface/ergonomics that Canon did, from the AE-1 to the T series, in particular the T90 that was designed with Luigi Colani. That camera basically set the pattern for SLR design, ergonomics and interface (including multi-modal dial control used in combination with function buttons) 3 decades ago, and while it was controversial at the time, has become accepted wisdom. I think given a year or so, people will adapt their muscle memories without too much problem.

Answering a commenter’s question above from my own experience: I shot a photo of graffiti with my 16MP Olympus EM5 (shot with the 45mm f1.8 lens) and was asked to make it a 4’x3’ framed print of it by a friend. They wanted to hang it in one of their client company's meeting rooms.

I think I doubled the file resolution in photoshop using one of its interpolation schemes. This doesn’t add detail, of course, but then I was able to add a slight simulated film grain. I made the grain size so that it lowered the resolution a bit, probably 12MP. My sense is that 12MP is the actual resolution of a 16MP Bayer sensor, and I think it made the digital blow-up of the digital stuff look natural.

The print looked good for what it was, and my friend's client thought so, too. The subject matter may have helped. Were it a 4'x3' portrait of a model, or a flower, or a bird's head, then maybe it would have revealed the total inadequacy of my small sensor camera (slight sarcasm alert).

I admit I wasn't too excited by the photo, myself. It was just the random result of a camera walk-about just to take a little break, get some leg activity in the winter, keep my mind's eye alive for photography. The company thought the print would inspire people to think creatively, more loosely, in advancing its business. Seems like a nice goal to me! Maybe that's relevant here with all our gear and "technicalia" discussion, all this Photokina-o-rama.

Oh, models, flowers, and birds and the desires they induce in several of us! Reminds me of stereo equipment's relationship to jazz and classical music. How many people "liked' that music because they liked how it showcased their system's fidelity, rather than needing the fidelity to experience their like of that music? Oh the lure of a certain kind of perfection.

This is all funny to me, upon reflection, as the graffiti photo reminds me of some cheesy advertisements in the mid-80s, their false adoption of supposed punk rock music principles.

In any case, yeah, a 4'x3' can be done with a 16MP file, with no doubt from me be it an impactful, emotion-laden photograph. There are some technical tricks to make that happen so that the digital enlargement does not get in the way of the photo's impact and emotional content. If only I could capture a photo like that!

I'm a hobbyist and a "Nikon Guy" and one of those who wish Nikon would have produced some compact DX primes. That Nikon only has the 35mm 1.8G DX is kind of astonishing in a way (I know..I know...there are a couple micro primes, but those are speciality lenses). As Thom Hogan would say: buzz buzz.

Lacking DX primes, I upgraded to a D750, ultimately settling with a 28mm/58mm combo. At the time I upgraded I looked at the Fuji X-T2 with a couple 1.4 primes and the net weight was equivalent to the D750 with 1.8 primes. The cost pretty close too, so I stuck with Nikon, mostly because of familiarity with the cameras, menus and that kind of thing. It's a nice set up, and makes nice images, although I'm sure for my usage the X-T2 would have been equally nice and I doubt the APS-C sensor would matter one bit for me.

All things considered, I'd be happy a couple small DX primes on a D5300, but I'm not holding my breath. I still occassionally use the D5300, and each time I do I love it. The small size, ergonomics, it just works. And it is light as a feather compared to the D750 - which by the way is not all that heavy for a full frame DSLR. (i.e. the Z6 with the adaptor would weigh about the same as the D750).

Perhaps Nikon will make a compact DX mirrorless with some small and compact primes. Why do I think this won't happen?

SteveW: "Perhaps Nikon will make a compact DX mirrorless with some small and compact primes. Why do I think this won't happen?"

A rhetorical question, but here goes, anyway: Steve, it ain't gonna happen because paranoid, punch drunk, mismanaged Nikon have lost it a long time ago and are now a rudderless ship with a few good staff still left but failing engines--a torpedoed Bismarck. They long ago lost the ability to innovate or read the market mood. They are now nothing but a bunch of scared copy cats. What a shame, say I, having used the legendary Nikons of the film era--a time when they deserved their advertising tagline "We take the world's greatest pictures."
-- a disillusioned ex-Nikon DSLR user who now gleefully uses M43 gear.

Could you please then stop wishing for IBIS in Fuji XT? So that we other wishers may get a chance to have it?

[Oh. Yes. I see your point. I can see I am standing in the way of others' happiness. Okay, I will stop wishing for it immediately. Then maybe it will come about. Thanks! --Mike]

After rereading Rogers rant I think I have found a FF mirrorless feature to be excited about. The idea of looking through an electronic viewfinder and seeing exactly what’s about to be captured while twisting the focus ring on an existing EF lens to adjust exposure compensation (or other control) sounds pretty good to a long time DSLR user. I’ll still wait for gen 2 though. Buying a brand new product that is more expensive than anything I’ve ever bought is just not gonna happen.

Speaking of Roger and cost, Roger is responsible for the most expensive gear purchase I’ve ever made. His review of the EF100-400 II pushed me over the edge. It’s a great lens so I hold no grudge. :-)

subroto mukerji: +1

Adam Richardson,
When the camera has IBIS, the sensor is on a movable mount. Turning off IBIS does not firmly lock the sensor in a vise in a calibrated position. It is vulnerable to vibration.
A non-IBIS camera mounted firmly on a tripod provides the best calibration and vibration resistance.
Of course, handheld, IBIS wins.

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