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Thread started 03 Feb 2016 (Wednesday) 14:36
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Does Sony's success open the door for Canon?

 
Nightdiver13
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Feb 03, 2016 14:36 |  #1

The latest lens announcements from Sony re-kindled something I've been thinking about for a while. It seems like the high-end mirrorless market is divided into two camps (for simplicity sake): those who place a premium on weight and size, and those for whom weight and size are a secondary (or lower) consideration. These latest releases seem to support that Sony is giving the second camp top priority, where having 2.8 zooms and exceptional fast primes is key to being counted as a proper "pro" system. It also supports that they feel a strong business case for taking that direction, which could partially be due to seeing many users adapting DSLR lenses. (Of course it's not limited only to Sony. Fuji has shifted towards larger, heavier lenses as well, and even Olympus's pro line is no feather weight.)

When the pros/cons of mirrorless systems are compared to DSLRs, invariably the lack of lenses of the former is contrasted with the fully realized collection of the latter. Yet every time a Canon mirrorless is discussed, the argument against natively using the current EF mount/lenses is the flange distance and requisite body size. Well, clearly that isn't a big deal to many higher-end consumers, and seems to be supported by Sony's direction.

Given the above, has Sony paved the way so that it would make sense for Canon to bring out a mirrorless EOS body?


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romanv
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Feb 03, 2016 18:28 |  #2

Having the option of bigger lenses doesnt mean that's what everyone must use, it just means that there are more options.

Personally I'd rather see some more affordable, native mount image stabilised fast focusing 3rd party options rather than super expensive bigger top end Sony lenses.

Some of the existing Sony $$$$ lenses are pretty average even though they cost a frigging fortune.
So I'm not holding my breath that their quality correlates with price tag.

I have no idea how any of this relates to Canon at all though.




  
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Wilt
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt.
     
Feb 03, 2016 19:10 |  #3

If mirrorless means that one is forced to look at an LED/LCD EVF display to see what is in front of the lens, then anyone using an EVF is handicapped by the fact that the camera must convert RAW to a displayable JPG, and then refresh the EVF with the image. Even if RAW-to-JPG were instantaneous, the EVF refresh rate of 60Hz means that a rapidly moving subject will have moved a considerable distance before the EVF is updated!

At 1/60 refresh rate for EVF, when the subject is a race car moving at 90 MPH (88 fps), in 1/60 of a second the race car will be 26.4" PAST where it is seen in the EVF. If capturing a winning race car crossing the finish line, it will be 26.4" passed the line before you press the shutter button! EVF lag at its worst. Why should Canon emulate that kind of handicap?!


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Feb 03, 2016 19:55 |  #4
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Well, maybe not everyone shoots motor sport racing. Have you looked at the eye focus tracking in the latest Sony's? Beats the hell out of trying to do the same with a DSLR and playing the "keep the red rectangle on your subject" game.

I shot a female singer during a concert and it was pure heaven not to worry about having the singer's eyes in focus. Just setup eye focus and it followed the singer where ever she moved in the frame, nailing basically 100% of the shots. So instead of worrying about focus, I focused on composition and getting expression shots. DSLR are miles behind this ability.

Next, expand this to user defined objects that are tracked and your race car will be captured at 11fps.

It's this old hat thinking that will leave DSLR shooters behind...times are a changing.

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Wilt wrote in post #17884971 (external link)
If mirrorless means that one is forced to look at an LED/LCD EVF display to see what is in front of the lens, then anyone using an EVF is handicapped by the fact that the camera must convert RAW to a displayable JPG, and then refresh the EVF with the image. Even if RAW-to-JPG were instantaneous, the EVF refresh rate of 60Hz means that a rapidly moving subject will have moved a considerable distance before the EVF is updated!

At 1/60 refresh rate for EVF, when the subject is a race car moving at 90 MPH (88 fps), in 1/60 of a second the race car will be 26.4" PAST where it is seen in the EVF. If capturing a winning race car crossing the finish line, it will be 26.4" passed the line before you press the shutter button! EVF lag at its worst. Why should Canon emulate that kind of handicap?!




  
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Wilt
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Feb 03, 2016 20:19 |  #5

I know folks may not shoot race cars. How about a pitch at a major league baseball game? My point...

Just expressing one of the inherent limitations of EVF design. Folks fall in love with EVF and do not realize there is a downside not mentioned very often, and what the ramifications of this do in different situations. Most folk simply think, "EVF lag is tolerable, I can live with it." I'm expressing the limitation in a 'what it means for my shooting' kind of explanation, so an intelligent purchase decision can be made. The grass is not always greener...


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Nightdiver13
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Feb 03, 2016 22:30 |  #6

Hmm, this thread is off to an interesting start. Seems either people just skimmed the first post, or I did a rubbish job explaining my point.

My point in summary: When discussions of Canon's mirrorless future arise, invariably many people want a solution to use Canon's current lens library. The argument usually revolves around the fact that EF lenses require a much longer flange distance than current mirrorless options, thus necessitating an adapter (ex: EF to EF-M), because to build the body to host EF lenses natively, would increase the size (or at least depth) of the body, negating the supposed purpose of going mirrorless. But, is the underlying assumption of smaller size being paramount correct?

So... The topic I'm curious to discuss is that I believe Sony (and Sony users) are proving that there is a substantial customer base that is less interested in size and weight considerations, and more in quality and variety of lenses. Proven by Sony users adapting EF lenses to their A7x bodies, and by Sony themselves, by releasing lenses that equal or surpass their DSLR equivalents in weight and size. So, if this does hold true, it would seem there is a market for Canon to exploit by releasing a mirrorless option that natively accepts the entire EF lens library.

Thoughts?


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Nightdiver13
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Feb 03, 2016 22:39 |  #7

Wilt wrote in post #17884971 (external link)
If mirrorless means that one is forced to look at an LED/LCD EVF display to see what is in front of the lens, then anyone using an EVF is handicapped by the fact that the camera must convert RAW to a displayable JPG, and then refresh the EVF with the image. Even if RAW-to-JPG were instantaneous, the EVF refresh rate of 60Hz means that a rapidly moving subject will have moved a considerable distance before the EVF is updated!

At 1/60 refresh rate for EVF, when the subject is a race car moving at 90 MPH (88 fps), in 1/60 of a second the race car will be 26.4" PAST where it is seen in the EVF. If capturing a winning race car crossing the finish line, it will be 26.4" passed the line before you press the shutter button! EVF lag at its worst. Why should Canon emulate that kind of handicap?!

Wilt, it would seem the point of your response is to argue against mirrorless as a whole. Correct? Well, let me assure you as someone who has been using mirrorless exclusively for the last four years, that every experienced mirrorless user is well aware of all the benefits and drawbacks of current mirrorless systems, and we manage to live with our handicaps okay.

My point wasn't to suggest that Canon replace their DSLRs with mirrorless bodies, but to question if adding a mirrorless option into the mix made sense. To your topic: Sure, current EVF technology could use some further improvement, but look how far it's already come. Personally, the idea of going back to an OVF is like using a rotary phone. "WTF is this thing, and how do I get it to turn on?"


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mystik610
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Post edited over 3 years ago by mystik610. (10 edits in all)
     
Feb 03, 2016 23:02 |  #8

Mirrorless cameras are turning a corner where they are not only meeting the performance of DSLR's, but in certain aspects, relevant to many types of photography, they are actually surpassing them. As Wilt mentioned above, things like EVF refresh rates make them a less than ideal solution for sports photography, but to Holgoff's point, sports photography is a niche in the realm of photography as a whole, and things like eye focus and AF accuracy in general offer compelling benefits that DSLR's cannot deliver. Mirrorless cameras may not be the ideal solution for a sports photographer (yet), but for a wedding, event, or portrait photographer...the benefits are real. Hence Sony bringing to market the pair of f2.8 zooms and fast 85mm portrait lens that are the staple of any wedding/event/portrait photographers kit.

Circling back to your question about whether Sony has opened the door for Canon or not....the ability to use Canon lenses on a mirrorless body is not unique to Canon anymore, as Sony has unlocked that capability in the a7rII, a7II, and now the a6300. As such, Canon cannot capture the mirrorless market by simply leveraging their DSLR lenses alone. Photogs tied down with thousands of dollars of Canon EF lenses are no longer tied down to Canon cameras, and many have already left Canon cameras and brought their Canon lenses with them. The progression of mirrorless technology will accelerate the market's shift towards mirrorless cameras. Given the current trajectory, mirrorless cameras at some point will surpass the performance of DSLR's, and the winners in this new space will not necessarily be determined by the status quo in the DSLR space.

So if/when Canon brings a FF mirrorless camera to market, it absolutely needs to be competitive in all of the areas the Sony has had a head-start of several years to refine: On-sensor autofocus performance, image sensor performance, EVF performance, in body image stabilization etc etc etc. The assumption is that Canon will nail it on their first try....I'm personally skeptical because nothing we've seen of Canon's current camera and sensor offerings indicates that this will be the case, and because Canon has already stumbled out of the gate three times with the EOS-M. Meanwhile, Sony is raising the bar higher and higher year over year as they continue to bring innovations that push the technology forward as they did today (a6300).


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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 03, 2016 23:38 |  #9

Nightdiver, I think a key question behind the issue of whether or not Canon should try to directly compete with its own EVF offering, is whether or not it is necessary for any company (Canon, Nikon, Sony) to compete in all segments of the camera business, even if it uses some lines to merely be 'feeders' to its mainline product(s). One way of looking at that question is whether it is more expensive to try to enter a market subsegment vs. the financial returns of doing so. Thus far it seems that while there is a definite subsegment for EVF, the segment has stalled in its growth. Why? If a momentary leveling of demand, in the long term it could make sense to enter that market. But if other external forces account for the stagnancy, maybe it is a segment best left alone by Canon.

Just as BMW and Mercedes do not bother to compete in the $20-25K sedan segment, leaving it to others, perhaps Canon's well established dSLR market among pros and enthusiasts might net a greater return for the same $1 invested in EVF. The bean counters at Canon might be behind Canon's apparent reluctance to chase the EVF segment, after all, the EOS-M was not a success (even if hobbled by Canon's own decisions), would a fourth time be a charm -- enough to chase it yet again?

OTOH, if EVF is an product alternative using different technology, and can knock the dSLR off its throne, Canon is foolish not to pursue it. But, as I have pointed out via the EVF lag post, it cannot displace dSLR fully. While I identified two such cases (NLB, race cars), that same issue can also exist for birders attempting to track flying speedsters. No doubt there are others for whom any display lag is inferior to the purely optical viewfinder. And screen refresh rates in the EVF can be speeded to some degree, but the RAW-to-JPG chain leading to EVF update hampers it as well. The Pellicle proved to be inadequate for Canon to establish that technology for reatime optical viewfinder -- in spite of three tries there, too! Perhaps the EVF has a similar issue, limiting it to the amateur market that can live with inherent viewfinder lag.


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Feb 04, 2016 03:10 |  #10

Wilt wrote in post #17885224 (external link)
Nightdiver, I think a key question behind the issue of whether or not Canon should try to directly compete with its own EVF offering, is whether or not it is necessary for any company (Canon, Nikon, Sony) to compete in all segments of the camera business, even if it uses some lines to merely be 'feeders' to its mainline product(s). One way of looking at that question is whether it is more expensive to try to enter a market subsegment vs. the financial returns of doing so. Thus far it seems that while there is a definite subsegment for EVF, the segment has stalled in its growth. Why? If a momentary leveling of demand, in the long term it could make sense to enter that market. But if other external forces account for the stagnancy, maybe it is a segment best left alone by Canon.

Just as BMW and Mercedes do not bother to compete in the $20-25K sedan segment, leaving it to others, perhaps Canon's well established dSLR market among pros and enthusiasts might net a greater return for the same $1 invested in EVF. The bean counters at Canon might be behind Canon's apparent reluctance to chase the EVF segment, after all, the EOS-M was not a success (even if hobbled by Canon's own decisions), would a fourth time be a charm -- enough to chase it yet again?

OTOH, if EVF is an product alternative using different technology, and can knock the dSLR off its throne, Canon is foolish not to pursue it. But, as I have pointed out via the EVF lag post, it cannot displace dSLR fully. While I identified two such cases (NLB, race cars), that same issue can also exist for birders attempting to track flying speedsters. No doubt there are others for whom any display lag is inferior to the purely optical viewfinder. And screen refresh rates in the EVF can be speeded to some degree, but the RAW-to-JPG chain leading to EVF update hampers it as well. The Pellicle proved to be inadequate for Canon to establish that technology for reatime optical viewfinder -- in spite of three tries there, too! Perhaps the EVF has a similar issue,

EVFs have viewfinder lag. OVFs have mirror lag and mirror slap. Pick your poison.

limiting it to the amateur market that can live with inherent viewfinder lag.

So can most of the professional market.

I sell landscapes and travel photos and, for the most part, could care less about viewfinder lag. Same with some of my friends and colleagues who shoot weddings, architecture, product photography, studio work, live events, stage shows and musicals, etc.

It's only high-speed action photographers who have issues with viewfinder lag. But, then again, many of those who shoot action seem to have the view that 'not action' equals 'not professional', hence their constant denigration of the non-action pro bodies (5Ds, 5D3, D810, etc.) despite said bodies being better than the D4s/1Dx at just about everything other than action...




  
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Post edited over 3 years ago by mystik610. (7 edits in all)
     
Feb 04, 2016 07:41 |  #11

Regarding EVF lag....

A display technology that can eliminate perceivable lag in the EVF already exists: OLED displays...which Sony already uses in their mirrorless cameras. LCD's have been the dominant display technology for a while, and as such, have been what most have been accustomed to regarding response time, but response time has always been one of LCD's many shortcomings. The fastest LCD response times clock in at 1ms which is already faster than the eye can perceive., but current OLED's are achieving response times below .01ms.

Given that a fast enough display technology is already in place, the challenge now is to further optimize the pipeline between the image sensor and the EVF to eliminate any perceivable display lag. Accomplishing this is a matter of increasing sensor read-out speeds and beefing up the cameras processor....both of which will be resolved over time if we have any faith in moore's law.

Also....minimizing the amount of processing of the live view image can greatly reduce EVF lag even in existing mirrorless cameras. If EVF lag is an issue, just turn live view display off.

Shadowblade wrote in post #17885324 (external link)
It's only high-speed action photographers who have issues with viewfinder lag. But, then again, many of those who shoot action seem to have the view that 'not action' equals 'not professional', hence their constant denigration of the non-action pro bodies (5Ds, 5D3, D810, etc.) despite said bodies being better than the D4s/1Dx at just about everything other than action...

The detriment of viewfinder lag is unique to sports and wildlife photography. But sports and wildlife photography do not represent the entirety of professional photography. As you mentioned it is a non-issue for landscapers, but it is also a non-issue for wedding, portrait, studio....any photography that isn't sports and wildlife. Beyond that, having exposure preview and things like focus peaking, zebra patterns, etc etc offer distinct advantages that cannot be achieved with an OVF


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Feb 04, 2016 08:53 |  #12

mystik610 wrote in post #17885458 (external link)
Regarding EVF lag....

A display technology that can eliminate perceivable lag in the EVF already exists: OLED displays...which Sony already uses in their mirrorless cameras. LCD's have been the dominant display technology for a while, and as such, have been what most have been accustomed to regarding response time, but response time has always been one of LCD's many shortcomings. The fastest LCD response times clock in at 1ms which is already faster than the eye can perceive., but current OLED's are achieving response times below .01ms.

Given that a fast enough display technology is already in place, the challenge now is to further optimize the pipeline between the image sensor and the EVF to eliminate any perceivable display lag. Accomplishing this is a matter of increasing sensor read-out speeds and beefing up the cameras processor....both of which will be resolved over time if we have any faith in moore's law.

Pretty much.

If you can't tell the lag is there, it's as good as if it weren't there in the first place. A good analogy is video with high frame rates - sure, we know that it's made up of individual, discrete frames, but, if the frame rate is fast enough, the fact that it's a rapidly-changing sequence of images rather than smooth motion is imperceptible and we don't really care that it's made up of discrete frames.

Also....minimizing the amount of processing of the live view image can greatly reduce EVF lag even in existing mirrorless cameras. If EVF lag is an issue, just turn live view display off.

Dedicated hardware-based processing can do this very fast indeed - fast enough to be imperceptible. But it would require a chip specifically designed to do just that - hardly an insurmountable task if you're going to be building tens or hundreds of thousands of a model.

The detriment of viewfinder lag is unique to sports and wildlife photography. But sports and wildlife photography do not represent the entirety of professional photography. As you mentioned it is a non-issue for landscapers, but it is also a non-issue for wedding, portrait, studio....any photography that isn't sports and wildlife. Beyond that, having exposure preview and things like focus peaking, zebra patterns, etc etc offer distinct advantages that cannot be achieved with an OVF

Yep. Current viewfinders already work well for anything other than sports and wildlife. Last time I checked, they only make up a small proportion of professional photographers, albeit a very vocal and visible group. Those using technical cameras or tilt-shift lenses are also a small group, but you never hear them calling non-technical cameras 'amateur bodies' or non-movement-capable lenses 'amateur lenses'.




  
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Feb 04, 2016 08:54 |  #13

Spring Training baseball can't get here fast enough for this Sony shooter.

Canon and Nikon are great for sports, and perhaps Sony can't do Daytona or Indy yet.

To say an a6000 or A7ii/a7rii can't do baseball sounds like a dog that don't hunt to me.


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Feb 04, 2016 09:12 |  #14

I hope that Sony's success means Canon will pay attention to this market and offer some of the features the Sony Mirrorless do... pano mode, and the eye af.. no reason why Canon can't add these to their cameras.

Personally, I'm not for a million af points on the screen. I want a nice selection I can use different zone settings, covering much of the area as possible.. but I don't need hundreds. Love to see where I could select MY wanted AF points, in any combo, and then roll thru them on a dial. Like my own custom AF layout. THAT would be exceptional and fast. There are times I need the camera to do all the af for me, but many times I know where I want that point of focus at. Most of the time I don't need or want a zillion, and they get in the way when there are too many.. being able to select a sub set, and roll thru them is my ideal camera.


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Feb 04, 2016 09:31 |  #15

ksbal wrote in post #17885573 (external link)
I hope that Sony's success means Canon will pay attention to this market and offer some of the features the Sony Mirrorless do... pano mode, and the eye af.. no reason why Canon can't add these to their cameras.

Personally, I'm not for a million af points on the screen. I want a nice selection I can use different zone settings, covering much of the area as possible.. but I don't need hundreds. Love to see where I could select MY wanted AF points, in any combo, and then roll thru them on a dial. Like my own custom AF layout. THAT would be exceptional and fast. There are times I need the camera to do all the af for me, but many times I know where I want that point of focus at. Most of the time I don't need or want a zillion, and they get in the way when there are too many.. being able to select a sub set, and roll thru them is my ideal camera.

I'd take 50 points which I can quickly, accurately and dynamically select with eye control any day over 400 points which require me to scroll through them to select the right point. Throw in an intelligent zone AF system or eye-focus AF (sensitive to animal as well as human eyes) and it would only become more useful.




  
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