Alpha Corner - Twoj przewodnik po fotografii

The evolution of Dream Camera

Evolution of dream camera

The evolution of dream camera – in 5 year steps. 1998 – film SLR, 2003 – 35mm DSLR, 2008 – 35mm DSLR, 2013 – mirrorless? Evolution in graphs, selected numerical data. ISO sensitivity range, maximum shutter speed, number of AF points, continuous shooting mode maximum FPS, weight in grams, viewfinder magnification and finally: priorities – photography, additional functionalities and video. 2018 – camera for photography won’t be desired anymore?

Disclaimer: Dream camera specifications include a mix of technology achievable at the given year put together in a camera that would fulfill most of the requests I encountered in a discussions from that time. Although debatable ( as each person has a different desires ) it’s meant to show a social changes that occurred in a photographic community during last 20 years.

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    Plastek ________ on 11 03 2013 11:51

    Hehe, nice summary!
    One thing I see here though is how the whole crazy pursuit for mirrorless reminds a run of the lemmings more than anything else.

    Suddenly people forgot what matters in photography.

    Previously everyone complained about Pentax or Sony – how few lenses are there, and how undeveloped systems they had – now they go for cameras that got… 15 lenses? According to Wikipedia in m4/3 there’s 41 AF lenses, including the “refreshed” versions (eg. Olympus 14-42mm (oldest one), the L one, the II, and II R – 4 versions of the same lens) – and that comes from 4 different manufacturers. Suddenly the amount of lenses isn’t an issue any more, even though people used it as an argument against Petnax for years.

    Previously people complain each time manufacturer updated a body and removed a single button from it – now they jump into a systems where they don’t even have a separate button for switching AF modes, not to mention anything more sophisticated (even if bodies like OM-D in did can offer more control than DSLR – they are still behind in many aspects).

    Previously people complained when AF system got issues with locking on and tracking a moving car after the sunset – now they are uber-happy if AF can acquire a lock after half a second in a single shot mode (something Fujifilm still hasn’t mastered, lol).

    Previously people complained when buttons were placed on a position that required you to move a hand from most comfortable grip on a camera – now they pick mirrorless that doesn’t have any grip at all.

    Seriously – what happen during last 2-3 years is the greatest downfall in quality of camera as a “photographic tool” ever since I remember. Yes, recently we seen some good things – like plastic D600, second sub-2000$ full frame ever – but as many people try to convince me – it’s a dying breed. Sure I hope not. Cause this would mean we go into a dark age for photographer, and a renaissance of plastic toys.


    -Plastek….. “Crazy pursuit of mirrorless?” Your take is about as egocentric a view on photography as I’ve seen.

    I’ll tell you what I see…arrogant old school photographers who think the majority of shooters care about NUMBER of lenses available…absurd, the average owner has 3 lenses. The only people I know carrying more than 5 are either ignoring two of them or spending more time changing lenses than shooting.

    You have to understand, sports photography is a tiny, tiny TINY fraction of all shooters…and they tend to be the LEAST artistic, on the whole, they’re practically videographers, just pointing and shooting…but they sure are LOUD about how “the only good cameras are the one’s that can capture high speed action without the shooter doing any thinking.”

    The MOVING mirror IS the dark ages of photography…the minute we invented digital, the moving mirror was DEAD, it’s just taken backward companies like Nikon and Canon 17 years (so far) to figure it out.

    When Sony released SLT’s, TWO and a HALF YEARS AGO, they started the beginning of the future…and it’s so far 2.5 years and running that Canon and Nikon are farther and farther behind.

    In 3 or 4 years tops, SLR will be extinct…and pros, and self-centric people like you will work your butts off to convince everyone Canon or Nikon led the charge…instead of the real visionaries, Panasonic and Sony.

    Now that they’re putting phase detect RIGHT ON THE SENSOR, it’s really just a ticking clock before the OVF and the stupid flipping mirror are fossils. And you’ll have to go back to all the forums you made an idiot of yourself on and do some hardcore deleting, lol.


    Hehehe, DSLRs ain’t going anywhere :) Perhaps some manufacturers, like Olympus, might drop them, but as for everyone else? The SLR will still be a tool for work.

    On-sensor PDAF exists already, and the benefits are insignificant. In best case: It’s as good as CDAF. In some cases: it’s worse. (tiny, pixel-sized sensors gathers very little light and got loads of issues with perceiving light depending on the angle, causing lots of various issues, most notably: it OSPDAF doesn’t work as soon as the lights go down while dedicated PDAF and CDAF still work fine) – oh, and before you ask: I’m aware of Nikon 1. I’m also aware of the depth of field it got, and I’m also aware how it switches back to CDAF in a dim light (exactly like EOS-M).

    I don’t know if you heard the news, but the mirrorless “boom” is slowing down – in 2011 first time ever sales of mirrorless dropped 17% in UK market, while DSLRs went up 6% (than mirrorless went up 14% in 2012, with DSLRs going up 2% – quite nicely suggesting that the raise of mirrorless doesn’t affect DSLRs as much as you try to show). Another interesting thing for you to consider is that DSLRs sales constantly grow ever since the first mirrorless was released in 2008.

    As someone smart said: You want convenient, you buy a P&S. You want real creative control, IQ, you buy into a DSLR system. Mirrorless falls into cracks between these two taking a former spot of rangefinders and bridge cameras.

    You say that Plastek got egocentric a view on photography – I say that you got the same, only your egocentric view is in a different direction.

    Both systems will co-exist quite nicely, and there’s no reason I see for SLRs to die, especially: to the mirrorless. TBH: I would expect mirrorless market to steal some of DSLR market, somehow it doesn’t happen, but I suppose it’s just a matter of time, still though, in the end: a wide choice of lenses, and SLR form-factor will most likely remain on the market, as DSLRs still got a lot to offer, from full frame sensors down to AF-D modes (implemented in Sony’s A99) and similar. You say 3-4 years for DSLRs to die? I say 3-4 years till mirrorless sales stop raising world-wide and market stabilizes.
    Keep in mind here that a new big enemy of the mirrorless is just waking up: the large sensor compacts. Right now the RX1 is better than any mirrorless on a market. ANY. Even if for some odd reason you qualify Leica as a mirrorless. And that’s just a beginning. Canon shown with 100D that SLRs can be as small as mirrorless, most likely others will follow. List of reasons to buy mirrorless goes down from quarter to quarter.

    pingu666 ________ on 24 03 2013 06:26

    the 100d looks chubby compaired to a nex system, which looks like someones got a camera and attached a vacum cleaner and sucked it till its as thin as possible. having that 45mmish flange distance and mirror/viewfinder stuck on top vs a mirrorless with 17-20mm flange and no viewfinder or mirror stuff does make it smaller.

    a mirrorless camera that gave plenty of buttons, good ergonomics and good focus speed, (EVF’s are already there/very close) could replace a dslr camera for alot of enthusaists just fine.


    So does the NEX look chubby with almost any lens available for that system.
    Someone made a comparison and both: size and weight of 100D are roughly identical to most of the APS-C mirrorless cameras with lenses.
    Short flange distance doesn’t make camera automatically small. It just gives an option to manufacture a small one. See Panasonic GH3 or Olympus OM-D – these are in size of regular DSLR despite of having short flange distance and tiny sensor.

    You say that mirrorless can replace a DSLR – I say that a Point&Shoot with large sensor can replace DSLR in every way that mirrorless can, while offering less hassle, much more portable body (actually one you can hide into a jeans pocket, unlike nearly every mirrorless camera), and better, less cluttered UI. Only case where mirrorless makes total sense is if you got rangefinder lenses and no camera to use them with – than you buy mirrorless and still can use 3rd party glass on it.

    pingu666 ________ on 24 03 2013 18:55

    yeah a mirrorless with lens is still a decent size, but i guess thats needed for a large sensor, and some size is added by having swappable lenses.

    are there any m4/3 or aps-c point and shoots that are small and have a decent lens?


    for 1″ sensor (Nikon 1) we have RX100 with 10,4-37,1mm f/1,8-4,9
    For ~m4/3 there’s G1x (sensor between m4/3 and APS-C) with 15,1-60,4mm f/2,8-5,8
    In APS-C sensors we’ve got:
    Sigma DP1M with 19,8mm f/2,8
    Sigma DP2M with 30mm f/2,8
    Fuji x100 with 28 f/2,0
    Nikon Coolpix A with 18,5 f/2,8
    And for Full Frame we have Sony’s RX1 with 35mm f/2,0

    With RX1 being especially fun case, cause it seems like that’s the sharpest 35mm lens ever tested by DXO yet it’s smaller than any digital fullframe camera that ever went into a mass production.

    And it seems like that’s just a beginning of the storm, cause both: Sony and Pentax/Ricoh are already confirmed to work on APS-C compacts, with more manufacturers surely to follow their steps. We live in interesting times :)

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