Debunking a myth: why Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras aren’t what Sony wants you to believe

Size advantage? Sony A7R vs Canon EOS 5Ds R (right), both with a 85mm lens.

Size advantage? Sony A7R vs Canon EOS 5Ds R (right), both with a 85mm lens (image courtesy of Camera Size)

I came over a very interesting and educated article at PetaPixel. It’s about why Sony’s full frame pro mirrorless was a fatal mistake that can’t hold up to the promises.

The article analyses five of the apparent advantages a full-frame mirrorless camera is supposed to have for the professional photographer, and systematically debunks those myths. A full-frame mirrorless camera is supposed to have the advantage of

  • Compactness
  • Weight
  • In-Body Image Stabilization
  • You can adapt non-native lenses
  • Live Exposure Preview

Well, it’s not as easy as Sony tries to sell it. The supposed advantages fail to deliver in the real world.. In the conclusion the author says:

So we find ourselves returning for the last time to the original question: what is the point of professional grade FF mirrorless? It isn’t for the compactness (beyond shooting with just one pancake type lens), certainly not for the faster autofocus, not for faster frame rates, not for EVF/exposure preview, not for access to a high cost-performance lens habitat, not for manual focus peaking, not for the ergonomics, and almost universally not for the sake of adapting lenses.

When it comes to FF professional grade mirrorless, the answer is that there is little or no point. People are buying into it because it is an irrational fad. You end up having to buy lots of big and expensive lenses for the one tiny body, when it is preferable to have lots of smaller lenses for the one big body, since the total lens-body combination is the same anyway due to physics. In actual fact the lens-body combination makes professional grade FF mirrorless multi-lens packages larger overall. Read the article…

An article that’s definitely worth to be read before you waste your money for something that will turn out not to be what you expected and what you have been told. Better go for serious gear.

[via PetaPixel]

Our rumor about a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera gets another mention

canon rumorscanon rumors

Back in September I got a rumor suggesting Canon is actively working on a full-frame mirrorless camera. This very rumor today got another mention on the web.

I repost the rumor I got back in September:

I have been told (thanks) that Canon may indeed announce a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2016. I rate the rumor CW2 since I had so many misleading rumors about Canon’s mirrorless plans in the past. The source insisted to say that some sort of early prototype already exists, though it never came out of Canon’s labs. That’s to say that there are no test units out in the wild but just (if true) a prototype in a very early stage of development, still undergoing lab tests and development. It sounds at least plausible.

While I am sure Canon has the skills and the know-how to produce a full-frame mirrorless camera, I am pretty cautious with such rumors. A full-frame mirrorless camera is rumored since at least two years. The source promised to deliver some specs in the near future. We will see.

Unfortunately, we still do not have any specs. As I wrote back in September, the suggested mirrorless full-frame camera may likely be announced in 2016. Back then I rated the rumor CW2, today I tend more toward CW3.

The source who sent me the rumor in September promised to let me soon know more about Canon’s plans with a full-frame mirrorless camera. Stay tuned.

Is Canon Set To Release A New 4/3 Sensor Body? (Update)

Update: A friendly reader (thanks!) told me that the patent doesn’t refer to a 4/3 ratio but to a sensor with a 4/3 inch diagonal.

I am still puzzled by the Canon patent I wrote about yesterday, a patent referring to two lenses for a 4/3 format sensor: a 14-28mm f/1.4-2.4 and a 12-28mm f/2-3.2 lens. Since the only Canon camera sporting a 4/3 ratio sensor is the Powershot G1X I am wondering what is going on. Is Canon planning to release an interchangeable lens camera with 4/3 ratio sensor? Anyone?


Next EOS M And EOS 7D Mark II Rumors (Canon 2013 Roadmap Update)

New tidbits about Canon's 2013 announcements showed up, both here and at Canon Rumors. But not exactly the same tidbits.

Let's start with the EOS M. CR is reporting that

[…] one of the announcements will be to introduce a second EOS-M body. The body will be slightly bigger, and have a viewfinder. They will also introduce at least two new lenses with the body. I’d expect a telephoto zoom and a fast prime.

I have no information about a new EOS M mirrorless camera, my source told me that there will be new EOS-M lenses. Apparently Canon wants to see how well the EOS M is doing before releasing a more pro oriented body. I also got word (earlier) about two new EF-M lenses, but my source was referring to fast primes, a 35mm and a 50mm (f/2.8).

Next, the EOS 7D Mark II. Both here and at CR we got word that Canon will announce the EOS 7D Mark II before end of Q1. In addition I have been told that Canon will also announce the EOS 70D and a new Rebel (possibly the successor of the EOS 1100D). Three new DSLRs in Q1? Possible. No EOS 7D II specs.

Finally, the mighty big megapixel DSLR (~46 MB). While I have informations suggesting a Q3 announcement, CR is reporting a Q1 announcement, quoting:

The 40+ mp camera gets another mention and we should expect an announcement in Q1 of 2013. The camera will be physically bigger than the 5D Mark III, but will be smaller than the EOS-1D X. It’s noted that the sensor is currently in EOS-1D X styled bodies.

I am rather confident there will be new EF-M lenses, and also about the new DSLRs. And while I have been told Canon is testing the big megapixel DSLR, it could take some more time to get announced.


[Photokina] Zeiss Announced New Distagon 55mm f/1.4 Lens, And Will Make Lenses For Mirrorless Systems

First Photokina news rolling in. Zeiss (Click here) announced a new Distagon 55mm f/1.4 lens for full-frame cameras.

[…] a high-performance, full-format SLR camera lens with manual focus. With a focal length of 55 mm and aperture of f/1.4, this lens is the first model of a new product family designed for demanding users. Thanks to a newly developed optical design, this lens is superior to conventional full-frame lenses, and it achieves with powerful full-frame, full-format cameras an image performance that until now has only been seen with medium-format systems. The first prototype of this new range will celebrate its world debut at photokina. The family of lenses is expected to be on the market in the second half of 2013 for EF bayonet (ZE) […]

But the hot news is another. Zeiss announced its plans for the production of auto-focus lenses for mirrorless systems. And that is great!

Another highlight will be the presentation of a design study, with which Carl Zeiss will offer a sneak preview of a new family of autofocus lenses for mirrorless system cameras (CSC) that will most likely be available in mid-2013. Due to their performance and high speed, these new lenses will be ideal for deliberate photo composition, making them perfect for more sophisticated photographers as well. Carl Zeiss plans to initially offer fixed focal lengths in the wide angle and standard range as well as a macro.

There is no info about which systems will be supported. So let your speculations go wild. It would be great if Zeiss would make lenses for Canon’s EOS M system. Moreover, more high quality Zeiss lenses for Canon mounts are totally welcome. Click here to see Zeiss lenses for Canon on Amazon, and click here to see what’s on offer on eBay US, and here for eBay Germany, and here for eBay UK, eBay IT, eBay Canada, eBay France.

[Patent] New Canon Phase-Detection AF Method With Higher Accuracy And Smaller Pixel Size (for the next mirrorless camera?)

Egami (machine translated) found a Canon patent for an improved phase-detection AF. Higher accuracy is obtained by better propagation of light. The patent text also suggests, the method should improve accuracy when light is falling in with a low-angle incident. I found another thing very interesting: the patent refers to smaller pixel size, i.e. you can pack more pixel on the sensor. So, given that a phase-detection AF is particularly useful on a mirrorless camera, could that indicate that Canon is working on a higher resolutions sensor (with an improved AF) for its more pro-oriented mirrorless camera that we expect to be announced later this year?

  • Patent Publication No. 2012-151215
    • 2012.8.9 Release Date
    • 2011.1.18 filing date
  • Existing techniques
    • JP 2002-314062
    • Conventional techniques beam separation is insufficient, Ranging Accuracy is poor
      • Scattering effects due to wiring
      • The smaller the angle of incidence, it is difficult to detect
      • Smaller pixel size, the value of F becomes larger microlenses (dark), they spread the light next to almost the same in the size of the image pixel size and pixel diffraction
  • And waveguide
    • The waveguide, depending on the angle of incidence of the light flux, there is a characteristic (waveguide mode) is different states of light propagation in the waveguide
  • Canon ‘s patented
    • Consisting of waveguide waveguide and vice
      • Guiding light of two different incident direction: waveguide
      • Vice waveguide: one for each waveguide comprises a waveguide two sub-
    • Can be detected by the photoelectric conversion unit specific, the incident light at a particular angle
    • Impact of wiring
      • The incident light to propagate the core portion of the waveguide, reducing the impact of wiring
    • Low-angle incident light, by using the corresponding waveguide mode depends on the incident direction
    • Small pixel size, support by limiting the distribution of the emitted light
      • Achieved by suppressing the spatial width confinement in the waveguide propagation of light sub-