There's nothing stopping a photographer from permanently attaching an Arca-Swiss plate to the bottom of a camera body with a bit of cyanoacrylate or some screws if it makes better photographs. For me, walking around with an Arca-Swiss plate on my camera made me appreciate that 1/4-20 socket is flush. Walking around with a 120mm plate made me appreciate that the 1/4-20 socket is flush both top to bottom and front to back.
Like everything in photography 1/4-20 and Arca-Swiss are defined by engineering tradeoffs. The cost of slower direct attachment of 1/4-20 is in exchange for the physical strength of bolted connection and the flexibility adopting a broader standard affords - I can build a camera mount from general components available at the hardware store (including round stock and a 1/4-20 die in a statistically unlikely universe).
edit: I left out all the electronic/software rants because photography is undergoing Cambrian explosion in regards to controls and computation (but mirrorless cameras are nothing new).
Wanting to force the weight and cost of Arca Swiss on everyone is just selfish. In fact most of these complaints are just examples of wanting everyone else to subsidize features they might not need that this guy happens to want.
The Qi demand on the other hand is just dumb. Wireless charging requires close proximity, so you'd have to set your camera down just so or it would fail to charge. With different lenses changing the balance point and accessories like portrait grips changing the shape, many people would never get Qi to work properly. Plus in a world where enthusiasts largely have multiple batteries anyway, wireless charging built into the camera seems utterly useless. I'd rather rapidly charge my battery in a dedicated charger than leave my camera on its own charging pad all the time.
These positions line up with some locations on various medium and large format cameras (where there is a lot of weight in play).
Adding Velcro doesn't seem to me like it would do much for vibration or slippage (large rotation, yes, small scale rotation, not so much), since Velcro is not a rigid connection. Rubber or similar spacers can help but it's still not great. I use a plate that's got a lip on it to prevent twisting (which was a happy accident, because I actually ordered the wrong plate).
In terms of adding a second screw, a multiple thousand dollar camera body is probably not the ideal first subject for a person who has never disassembled a camera or done similarly fine grained work. Such a person should perhaps hire a technician or practice on broken equipment first in cases where such modifications seem worth the effort/cost. Hoping camera manufacturers would design around the edge case is not much of a plan.
I don't think a multiple-thousand dollar camera body is a good target for invasive modifications unless it's already out of warranty, regardless of whether the change is being made by someone with the appropriate skills. I also doubt that the result of such a modification would be very good anyway. Without being part of the initial design (e.g. a captive nut embedded in the base), the best aftermarket modification would likely be based on either threads tapped directly into the body or a nut essentially glued in place.
I would not feel comfortable either 1) drilling into the bottom of my DSLR, or 2) taking it apart to see if I could safely drill into a given spot.
I would say there's quite a lot preventing me from modifying it, and even more to prevent normal users.
"I definitly have had issues with the tripod socket mount coming loose during carry. It is rare, and usually only after a very long time of not adjusting it but I came within a wisker of dumping my F5 one time and the D300 has seen it loosen up a couple times."
Speaking as a physically inept "software and pure maths" person with consequently no authority whatsoever on this matter, I believe this is mostly on account of the usual "thumb-screw and rubbery no-slip pad" construction of typical non-camera-specific mounting hardware: while it's hard to imagine any lens without its own tripod mount is capable of enough torque to loosen even a hand-tightened bolt, as soon as the non-slip pad ceases to be effectively rigid, very little torque is required to loosen the bolt. And as with most (all?) "rubbery" materials, stiffness of a given non-slip pad at constant compression is a function of temperature.
But I agree. I think for the majority of shots it doesn't make that much difference.
The way it works now, you have to use the 1/4 socket to get QR compatibility.
That said, from an engineering perspective the long term durability of a plastic molded dovetail when clamped in a metal Arca Swiss clamp might be a challenge because the Arca Swiss system is not designed around that degree of dissimilarity of material hardness (not that I have anything against plastic). One of the characteristics of Arca Swiss connections is that they are not based on a formal standard and this leads to minor dimensional variability among components that is mitigated by clamping the clamp tighter or buying components from a company like Arca-Swiss at the prices their products command.
Potential durability aside, a molded in dovetail would increase the bulk of a camera and generally the trend seems to be away from camera bulk all things being equal. While a molded in adapter might increase stability in some cases, in others it would decrease it. Setting a camera on a table is an obvious case. Any other mounting is also going to be through a longer lever arm and with a higher center of gravity.
EDIT: and it would not stick out awkwardly on the bottom. It would be engineered as part of the shape of the camera itself, while keeping a flat bottom that sits level, with the 1/4 threaded socket.
The tripod mount has been a standard for decades and decades.
The phone headphone jack fractured into competing standards years ago. Works fine for listening, but once you want to use a microphone you're dealing with different pinouts for different manufacturers, balkanized auto detection and signaling, incompatible plugs sizing, grounding issues with the phone case, etc. It wasn't a pristine situation when Apple left it behind.
This is true, but ultimately they are all variations on the 1/4" phone plug, which has been a standard across multiple industries since the advent of the telephone. Adding another ring to a TRS, or changing the pinout, is a minor variation compared to Apple's alternative. The phone plug is so ubiquitous that I think the comparison is valid.
My next phone will also have a headphone socket.
Furthermore, a permanent Arca Swiss would prevent innovative designs such as the Really Right Stuff L brackets (which would be my choice if I were to ever switch QR plate systems).
Furthermore, many QR plates are protected by patent. Having the classic screw isn’t.
It is many seconds faster, making shots possible that I never would have taken with my mirrorless body.
And of course, a full input mapping for all "buttons" on the camera so that I can "press" any of them from my android device. Don't even bother labeling them appropriately, just have a button signal protocol that says "the following numbers will work, and have the following N-step granularity" and then simply supply the relevant profile both on-camera (it's a USB device after all) and as download for each camera model that can be used to resolve "number" to "name of actual button on the camera".
In fact why stop there: I want that standard to be so open that any windows, linux, osx, raspi, android, iphone, etc. user can communicate with any camera. Got a Sony and a Nikon? Why would you care, just switch profile, done.
While Android on the camera itself would be a terrible idea (it would only be useful in such a stripped down config that user apps would be pretty much impossible), seemless interoperability backed by at least two open standards would be fantastic.
I guess we'll see how long it takes IKEA to make a good camera. None of these things are new, they've all been around for decades, camera makers just can't be bothered to make cameras for people. They purely make them for money.
With high quality jpegs ~5MB it would be closer to 2 seconds per picture.
I think you'd need some kind of direct cabled connection for good perf for professional photographers.
Not to mention getting all the camera and app providers to standardize on a protocol and set of features.
I love Android (I've only had Android phones since my first smartphone), but battery efficiency is definitely not its strong suit, even on a clean install on a flagship phone.
I think people are missing the point of DSLR to some extent. They aren't meant for this sort of thing. If you want onboard editing, don't use a DSLR. It is meant to be very good at one thing. It doesn't /want/ you to edit photos in place. It wants you to load them up onto a secondary computing system. I like my D90 the way it is. It can sit for weeks and not need a charge, and it is an instantly responsive camera, that happens to have a computer.
Except your DSLR (probably) isn't trying to drive a 6" 570ppi display with a bunch of always-on wireless hardware constantly being used. That 3" 270ppi on my D5300 is consuming almost nothing by comparison, and my camera is also very aggressive at turning the screen off.
It's like when people reminisce about battery lives in their old Nokia phones and forget that they didn't stare at the screen for 5 hours a day surfing Facebook. As long as the camera manufacturer limits some background services and continues doing the same aggressive display management, it should be fine. Until the day Nikon lets you install Facebook on your camera, that is...
FYI, for the most part Nikon DSLRs are always 'off' until you hit the shutter or some other button. The on/off switch just disables all the buttons so you don't accidentally hit anything. This is why people measure DSLR battery life in shots taken, not time with the camera on.
I'm not saying the design can't be improved, or that every empty recess couldn't be filled with extra battery capacity, but personally I find the current state of affairs (where you can just get an extra battery for $20 and throw it in your camera bag) better than a phone-like model with non-replaceable batteries.
I used to get around a thousand shots out of my Canon 5D3 per battery; there's a lot of mechanical power and ~25GB of processed data going into that usage. That could be either over 2-3 hours (event coverage) or over days (landscapes). So DSLR battery life isn't really measured in hours.
I don't think the batteries need to be better, particularly since you can install a grip to let you have 2 in the camera at once, and it only takes a second to swap them.
That said, adding a separate Android subsystem (that doesn't always have an LTE radio on) shouldn't add too much drain. You could easily get 4-5 hours of screen-on time to use for photo editing and processing.
And who would want to edit photos on a big, heavy DSLR when they have a much more convenient smartphone, or iPad with a better screen?
The battery drain is also an issue. DSLRs use a mechanical shutter, which is sort of antiquated today. But it means one camera battery can last for hundreds or thousands of shots, and days of standby since the main screen is rarely on.
30 minutes on the plane produced an awesome little 90 second clip I could show everyone without boring them to tears.
While my A6000 doesn't have bluetooth, it supports NFC and wifi and I can easily transfer photos to my phone. Sony's PlayMemories Android app is actually pretty cool. You can use it as a remote control - seeing exactly what the camera sees. You can adjust aperture, focus, set a timer, etc.
It's not a DSLR, but that's part of why the GH cameras are awesome. Panasonic, full-stop, makes really good gear that feels pretty modern; it has a couple of things I'll beef with, like what feels like really flimsy mini (GH3) and micro (GH4) HDMI connectors, but for the most part, I love 'em.
The other factor is updates. I've had that Nikon D80 for 10 years, never had to worry about updates and never had to hook it up to a computer. Why trade in something with a offline, baked-in firmware for a constantly moving security target, or worse, as we see in the mobile space, an OS and app landscape that will be abandoned after two or three years and left vulnerable.
I expect my cameras to be mechanically fast. I don’t want software getting in the way.
To be honest, I don't know if putting Android on DSLRs would've helped that much. Samsung tried a bit of that, too, and it didn't really work. Panasonic did, too. Eventually the smartphones just ate them up, from the bottom up. It's what disruptive innovations typically do. Incumbents usually can't win by slapping parts of the disruptive tech onto their older incumbent tech and call it a day. That doesn't seem to work usually.
So DSLRs makers becoming lens, sensor, ISP, etc makers for the smartphone industry would've probably been a more successful approach. But they were too afraid of "cannibalizing themselves". But what disrupted incumbents who fear cannibalization always seem to miss is that the cannibalization will happen whether they do it or not. Staying out of the market won't help them that much in the long term.
But Canon and Nikon never had a mobile division to realize that they need to do that, too.
The argument reminds me of Polaroid film. There were two primary use cases. Ordinary snapshooters could at one point buy a new Polaroid camera for about $10. High end photographic systems accommodated Polaroid backs. A third use case was addressed by a few specialized camera models with robust high quality construction and dedicated Polaroid film paths. But for most people, 126 or 135 or 120 or sheet film was the a happy path.
The situation is similar today. Cameras running Android are ubiquitous and popular and widely used and the happy path for many many people. High end camera systems should probably be seen as including a laptop/desktop computer as part of the pixel pipeline. And there is an increasing middle ground of dedicated quality instant publishing camera equipment with a variety of engineering priorities (drones, gopros, point and shoots, and APS-C and fullframe DSLR/mirrorless).
The most useful feature of a cellphone camera is that it is always with people.
One of the biggest reasons I still lug a DSLR around is because of how unpredictable the Android camera can be. After I click the shutter button, I never know how long it's going to be for it to finish auto-focusing on every object at once, balancing colors, downloading updates, reticulating splines and whatever the hell else it's doing in the background.
By the time it finishes my kids have started wandering and come out as smears on a landscape.
iOS seems to be a little better at this.
Versus the DSLR-- Set exposure, push button, take picture. Fix errors in post.
I'm almost certain my first digital camera wrote to floppies.
With my LX10 you can batch transfer the photos so that it makes it easier. But it's still a pain. (You have to manually connect with the phone etc)
There should be a service connection on Panasonic's side to say: this camera id is configured for these services and accounts and I should be able to view the photo on the camera and post directly to say imgur. (No phone needed)
What you really need is an API set that attaches to each function of the camera that third-party developers can use process/publish photos.
So, instead of turning on the camera and seeing a grid of apps, each one you have to figure out separately, you should turn on the camera and see the camera interface. Apps can then add additional functionality to this interface. And when it comes time to review the photo, a third-party app can enhance this section as well, perhaps to post on Instagram or other effects.
But the grid-of-apps is a horrible model for a fixed-function device like a camera. You're ALREADY in the camera, don't need to add another separate layer to interface to it. Just add the ability to enhance these sections.
Android isn't required for those features, anyway. My Nikon allows quite a bit of manipulation and pre-processing before generating a JPEG.
For some context of what a big name pro photographer might be working with, check out . He's spending a lot of money, and he's not manipulating pictures on camera and sending them to Instagram in real time.
Rather than junk up my camera with Android, why not just enable it to easily sync with the smartphone of choice, and I can Instagram/Fb the pic from there?
Sadly, the Hasselblad camera mod available for the Moto Z is widely considered an overpriced joke, but it demonstrates how you can make a "have your cake and eat it too" design using the Mods concept.
And one more dumb thing. They don't include internal GPS receivers or electronic compasses for geotagging even in fairly expensive models. The chips cost <$10 now so this is just a silly limitation. Add-on GPS receivers tend to be bulky and fragile.
a) complicated, and a good idea, or
b) complicated, because of the government.
For a start you need to deal with the laws in China. They apply not only to items sold in China, but also to items brought into the country (eg by customers). Economies of scale make this easier with widely sold products, and more painful for low volume products (higher cost of implementation per unit sold). Repeat for laws in other countries.
My point and shoot from a few years ago had two pages in the manual covering the builtin GPS usage in China.
It's easily solved by polling infrequently (you don't move a lot when taking photos) and only polling when you're actually using your camera.
You are thinking of very old and very crappy GPSes.
Today GPSes not only get a fix very quickly, but don't even use much battery. My Garmin records tracks continuously through daylight for several days until I have to replace the two AA batteries.
Cell phones are even faster because they pick up an initial approximate location from the cell phone tower and also automatically download GPS satellite ephemeris data.
Though it requires an internet connection an online database to actually compute the location. So, probably not as useful for a camera.
skyhookwireless.com is one example of a wifi location database.
Imagine full iOS integration, super fast A-11 Bionic chip (same as iPhone), high throughput wireless components, custom OS (like WatchOS), developer API, W2 chip for Bluetooth pairing, OLED screen, and beautiful lightweight aluminum housing.
That would completely change the market. But we can only dream.
I don’t think Apple will venture into dedicated camera equipment. The iPhone camera is one of the big selling points and keeps people upgrading. Apple will not sacrifice their cash cow for a comparatively niche market. A dedicated device also goes against the unification that Apple seems to pursue.
I never understood that reasoning. As an individual, I can't simultaneously develop 10 different products, but a large company sitting on billions in cash could develop 1000 niche products simultaneously.
In fact, some large companies (Procter & Gamble, 3M, General Electric) have thousands or tens of thousands of products.
To use your Apple example, why couldn't Apple create a professional camera division, giving them $25 million startup money, and tell them to never bother the iPhone team, but do give them access to the source code, engineering drawings, and contacts in the supply chain.
It seems very fashionable for tech companies to be very narrowly focused. They work on the one thing that is making the most money at that moment. If any experimental development isn't a wild success, it's shut down right away. All of those make sense if you're an individual or struggling startup, but if you have billions just sitting there, what's the harm in trying many things at once?
One of the first things Steve Jobs on returning to Apple did was to cull what he felt were unnecessary products, and product groups. You could argue that Apple is large enough now to have thousands of products, but what was clear is that Jobs had the defining vision and no single person can have a single defining vision of thousands of products.
To use your example you cannot create a camera division and not allow inter-group communication because you are then building products in exactly the same way as someone like Sony. You end up with disconnected systems, nothing integrates together well and in-fighting between the groups.
I remember looking for a 32" Sony TV a decade or so ago, and there were 5 or 6 different models all at slightly different price brackets and with different discounts everything became muddled. Sony of course were simply capturing every portion of the market they could, from the person who wanted the cheapest to the person who wants the best.
I'd like to see Apple re-focus, make single models of iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac and the Apple Watch. Stop trying to capture as much of the market as possible and just focus on a limited number of highly integrated devices.
Apple made multiple models of iMacs and MacBooks (and PowerBooks) under Jobs - I think this would be a horrible idea, for computers specifically you just can’t address everyones needs with one size of laptop/desktop screen.
Bad PR when you eventually close them down. See Google: they ran Reader for eight years and gave people plenty of time to migrate. Half a decade later, it's still used as an example of why they can't be trusted. Regardless of whether that's justifiable or not, it's an harm to the company's image. Better to just dump money into external startups (see Google Ventures) and then acquire them if they're interesting.
And from this we get the innovator's dilemma :)
The strongest one is talent dilution. If they poach talent from existing teams, then the new project must be more profitable to make that a good idea. Building a new team from scratch is not an easy task - you need management that can guarantee the same level of productivity/QA that other teams have. The team leads that can produce this kind of top quality are rare - why would you spend them on the niche market instead of advancing your main product? (unless they can find a leader who is only interested in the camera niche)
The second one would be the profitability of this niche market. Why wouldn't Apple just invest money in P&G stock(or whatever, I don't know much about the stock market) - do they really expect the investment into the camera niche market to bring better gains?
I know Procter & Gamble owns a ton of brands, and I don't know if there's any cross-effect when one brand fails. My suspicion is that Apple won't be able to get away with low scrutiny, even if they spin off their own "NotAppleAtAll" cameras. This may be a third concern for them.
Less related, but many of P&G's products are direct competitors, e.g. Ariel and Tide laundry detergent. Perhaps that's just not a business model that Apple is interested in pursuing?
Because the question faced by large companies, and even merely medium-sized and small companies, is not what can we do, but what's the best thing to do.
If I've got a product line with 100 engineers that is making me a million per engineer, and I've got a product line with 5 engineers making a quarter million per engineer, and I decide I'm going to hire 10 more engineers, even though it is true that I can't guarantee that the scaling numbers will hold when I add more engineers, it is still often the rational choice to assign those 10 new engineers to my very profitable product. In fact it can make sense to eliminate the product line with 5 engineers and put them on the really profitable product. The fact that I could do 11 projects with 10 engineers each isn't very interesting because odds are that the other 10 projects won't be as profitable, and I won't get anywhere near as much money.
Meanwhile, some other company in the market might very happily take on the less profitable, but still profitable, smaller niche. They can do it with different degrees of overhead, maybe in a different cheaper location, and perhaps with fewer compliance requirements bearing down on them, etc.
There are, of course, endless, endless nuances and "what ifs" you could play. This comment is not a course in resource allocation for business. It's just a comment intended to point you in the direction of answering the question "Why don't GooFaceZonaSoft do all the things?" in a reasonable manner. It also explains why GooFaceZonaSoft still acts resource constrained quite often, and why despite the fact the tech industry tends to develop very large giants at the top there's always, always a ton of smaller companies and there's never any risk that the entire industry is all going to consolidate into one big company, because the first thing that mega corporation would do is divest a ton of the less profitable sub-businesses, which would promptly reform externally.
If money could buy great products, Microsoft would still be relevant.
Apple continues to be unique and continues to be questioned as to the viability of their uniqueness.
I would very much enjoy playing with something along those lines.
Also, the Mac Pro fiasco makes me doubtful that Apple wants to be in any pro markets anymore.
Adding the features identified in the post would cure the "no reason to upgrade" problem, at least temporarily. But the market for serious cameras is pretty much fixed and easily saturated.
Rather than disrupt the high end consumer camera market with a camera in 2 years, they’ll do it with iPhone in 5 or 10 years.
No, it really wouldn't. Look at the heavyweights right now, they all either have a ton of expertise in optics or in sensors. That market cares more about glass selection, sensors and taking pictures than bells and whistles like iOS would provide.
Also, would they then be making camera sensors? Or would they just figure Sony (whose profits they'd be stepping on) would just take it? Do they have a 2nd source for this critical component?
Beats worked because it built on their iPhone and music streaming strategy rather than replacing pieces of either.
But that, too, would be moving in the wrong direction.
They kind of did when they released the MacBook Air.
However, I would still love to have something like I described.
I was hoping that the author would add something about the UIs of these cameras. The bodies of modern DSLRs are jampacked with every kind of knob, control, button, dial, and dongle that you can possibly think of.
To a large extent, that's kind of the whole point — these cameras are for professionals and professionals ostensibly need to be able to adjust every aspect of their picture. But in practice, 95% of users aren't using 95% of these adjusters 95% of the time. Most people are changing their aperture, exposure compensation, and a small handful of other things, and yet, dozens of other readily-available and features are still bolted onto the camera that get used roughly never.
There are other downsides besides complexity too. Fuji's mirrorless X100 series is a popular camera with consumers and for years it's shipped with an exposure compensation dial right at the top edge of its body. For just as many years the thing's been loose enough and with little enough inset from the outside that whenever you throw it in a bag or something, there's a pretty reasonable chance that it'll come out cranked all the one way or the other. Sometimes you don't notice, and there goes your shot.
The possible fixes are pretty easy — either move it in so it's less prone to accidental adjustment, or take the units off the thing so that it could optionally be reset every time you turn the camera on, but Fuji will probably never fix the problem – the way things are is the way things are, and they should stay that way.
It would be insanely great if instead of just cargo culting what they themselves have done in the past and what everyone else is doing, camera manufacturers started to think about optimizing these designs for the benefit of the user a little bit. Unfortunately, they never seem to.
That's what I actually like on the more "expensive" camera's, the ability to control everything just with single click/rotation.
I'm mostly shooting manual, on my Canon 5D I have a dial for apperture, smaller dial for shutter speed and a knob for the focus point(s). When I used Canon 500D from my friend, I couldn't use it in manual as this requires you to push one button, to then change the shutter speed with a dial (the same one that controls the apperture (or vice versa I can't remember anymore)).
But I think canon is doing it alright as the "entry" level DSLR's like 500D are meant for normal users who just want a point and click camera for most of the time, and don't need that many knobs and dials. While the professional versions have a lot of controls.
But then again, this all goes to personal preference, and most users will buy a camera that they like to use, with or without many controls. I haven't seen anyone with a 5D saying "I'm not happy with total control of my camera", but I heard more people say "Damn, I wish you could change this value much faster and not go to the touchscreen"
I use Nikon and have gone from D200, D300, and now a D700 because I love the quick and direct access to a lot of the controls. The consumer bodies are great cameras but once you become accustomed to the layout it is really useful and logical. I presume the Canon pro range is similar.
> But then again, this all goes to personal preference, and most users will buy a camera that they like to use, with or without many controls. I haven't seen anyone with a 5D saying "I'm not happy with total control of my camera", but I heard more people say "Damn, I wish you could change this value much faster and not go to the touchscreen"
There might be a few other options for design around this type of thing. I really like Leica's approach here for example: keep the settings that are really often needed on the body, relegate the less-frequently used features to menus, but then provide accessible custom profiles that are totally user-configurable and which can be switched between easily. After doing a few test shoots with a Leica Q, it feels like a nearly perfect compromise to me.
You think people aren't buying cameras on the level of the 5D because there are too many buttons and knobs, and not because the market for a $2.3k US camera is small to begin with? The thing could be completely smooth and still only dedicated camera aficionados or professionals would buy it at that price.
I see your argument about making sensible choices on smaller form factors but DSLRs aren't point and shoot.
There's only one button I "roughly never" use on my D750 (the little "i" button). Everything else gets a hot supper. And it's not just that I use those features, I mean I use them all the time. In environments where I need the muscle-memory to affect them quickly. Things like ISO, bracketing, flash and focus and aperture priority modes. I don't think I'm unique.
I won't tolerate a camera that forces me to disengage with what I'm doing so I can fanny around in a menu system.
The modern trend of replacing descriptive text with icons needs to die.
Amen. I've been casually shooting with a Nikon D70 and now a D7000 for around 15 years now. Here's an illustrated guide to every single physical control on the D7000, which isn't even a high-end camera:
...and for many of those I'd need to read the manual to find out what they even do (Fn? Lv?) and I struggle to find any reason I'd need to twiddle with, say, the image compression (QUAL) so urgently that it needs a dedicated shortcut button.
Not a snark: maybe 95% of users didn't need a semi-pro DSLR and should have gone with a smartphone or a point-and-shoot instead? The remaining 5% need those knobs and controls, and would be left with a less useful camera if they were removed or simplified.
Right! Physical buttons and dials are great, but after a certain point adding new ones isn't an improvement to the interface anymore. Too many of them makes the interface overly complex and more prone to accidental adjustment. `QUAL` is a perfect example of something that belongs in a menu.
However, I've found that smart phone cameras have gotten so good that they match or even beat the A6000 for a lot of shots so I tend to use it only for very specific kinds of pictures now.
That's because you're not using the EVF, which you should be. The single most useful feature combination I find on the x100 series cameras is the EVF combined with the exposure compensation dial. This relates to the following annoyance from the article:
> No focus information in viewfinder
Any need for this is negated by a well implemented electronic viewfinder. Fuji are killing it on this aspect. An EVF will give you: exact framing, exposure, white balance, focus, and depth of field. You get none of this in a traditional optical viewfinder. It completely removes the need to "chimp" and you can concentrate on shooting photographs rather than reviewing what you just shot.
That's a fairly strange assumption to make. A performant EVF is one of Fuji's greatest innovations, and also one of its most conspicuous. Of course I'm using it.
Unfortunately, sometimes you're shooting from the hip (literally or figuratively), and not verifying every setting before you do. Sometimes, the EVF is almost unusable because you're out in bright sunlight. The existence of an EVF doesn't compensate for poor body design.
One the one hand, quality camera's should keep upgrading the periferal hardware to keep match with modern IT-supplies and on the other hand keep a focus on durable products. Why wouldn't producers do this? Cost savings and probably price competition.
The competition (smart phones) have a whole different market. They have a product that people (regretably?) replace every 2-3 years. The market dictates the newest techniques. Pictures are sensors + software. Software has a much shorter improvement cycle. Hence, I would expect a continuously larger part of the camera market to 'fall' for the smartphone camera. Heck, the 'official' advice from my preferred reviewers is not to buy a small camera anymore, but use the savings for a better smartphone.
And then you have large old-camera corporations struggling because their highest margin products (just a guess that that was the little cameras in the former days, not the professionaly product) are falling away. So they don't have the money to keep their high-end products up quality wise nor the institutional awareness to quickly adapt. Cycle a few times... Read OP.
The old corporations in the field (Canon, Nikon, Sony) should make you pay for better firmwares (i.e. plugins or at least revisions) so that they have an incentive to keep improving their existing DLSRs. I think on my previous body there was only ONE update in x years and that did not bring anything new on the table.
Thanksfully nowadays we have MagicLantern for Canon DSLRs at least, which brings a ton of additional features for photo and video. It's still not at a parity level with the software available on phones and the like, but it's a big jump vs the base firmware nonetheless.
Canikon aren't doing new features in firmwares, seems more like bug fixes and Sony is somewhere inbetween at least with the A7-series...
Sony A7 series have also some kind of small apps you can buy and download from their store to your camera. Haven't seen that many apps there =(
Oh wow. I had the same experience. In my case I just wanted to update the existing apps I had installed. Apparently you need a Sony entertainment account to install apps (it must be a new requirement as I never had one when I installed the apps in the first place).
I tried for 15 minutes to create an account using the camera.
* My A6000 doesn't have a touch screen so I had to use the camera's wheels to operate the on-screen keyboard
* The account creation page is non-responsive.
Amazingly, I could actually use the A6000 to create an account, but it kept erroring out when submitting. Finally, I realized it would be easier to just use my laptop and to my surprise it still failed because their account creation was down. About 10 attempts later it still failed with a slightly different error, but I still received the account creation success email (?) and was able to login fine after that.
Alas, I can think of exactly no digital examples of that market structure to work. Perhaps the old-school PC hit that mark. How many of those are still around? Perhaps we can see cloud computing as hitting that mark (separating 1,2,3), but still we need a complete device (1+2+3) to interact with the cloud.
This seems more like an issue of quality control.
Which is what I don't understand. Because, as far as I know, firms should engage in product differentiation as long as it's possible.
Of course the dslr can do more, but the ease that a phone + software can make a wide range of really nice pics is eating into the consumer level dslr market. I like taking pictures, so I don't mind fidgeting on my dslr for the perfect shot. Meanwhile my wife has taken multiple great looking pics on her phone is wondering what I'm doing ;)
It's a great question and I don't know.
What I do know is that I have not bought/used a dedicated camera since about the time smartphones came along. Nor have any of my family members - they all used to have dedicated cameras used to take holiday photos, photos of their children, birthdays and so on. Now they just use their phone.
This must have an effect on the camera manufacturers.
The bar of what smartphone cameras are capable of doing keeps rising, keeps eating into the territory of what previously required a standalone camera.
All these things are competition that eat into profits, which in turn may affect those companies' abilities to produce high end cameras. Eg they may only be able to use cheaper components compared with what they could afford in the past.
Smartphones have destroyed the compact consumer camera market. There is no hyperbole there. Professional cameras? Sales of those are going down also, depending on how you define them of course (SLR is probably appropriate to call "professional")
People who buy that level of camera understand, moreso than the general public, that, for example, an increase from a 36 to a 45 megapixel sensor may be nice, but in the end the photos both cameras produce are still great and whoever sees them in print or exported for the internet would never be able to tell the difference.
I know lots of people who used to carry DSLRs everywhere but who now only carry their iPhone.
Many people do have a number of lenses and use DSLRs for creative control but they may not even be a minority. Heck, I'm a relatively serious amateur photographer and I often don't bother carrying a dedicated camera today if I know I'll just be doing some occasional casual shooting.
Snarky: It's just not thaught that way in business schools. Lookup Nikons financial trouble. Canon has no financial trouble, but seems to be quickly moving to other markets that are profitable (medical supplies). So perhaps they will just drop out of this market in a few years.
- IR Remote; Works in the studio (or in the field) because your lighting is to the sides or front (if it's behind the camera, you have shadow)
- USB/Wifi version. The typical pro is taking 300-3000 clicks before uploading to lightroom for post; between this there are many other time sucks: A) transportation back to the studio B) unpacking your camera gear backpack C) showering bathroom. I don't know how this is interfering. The field shooters are traditionally switching multiple cards from a day/week/second shooter - there HD gig and backup purposes never have them go camera to computer.
- Slow card writes; this affects burst and you'll find the best sports cameras either compensate with ram or have faster card writes. Of course, this matters more with video.
I can agree with some of the the points though; better AF UX; though I appreciate my classic dot that lights up and I can preference with a joypad. The better tripod mount. And battery grips should mount through the tripod/battery/base and need no cables (my camera battery grips work like this)
I also don't want android apps; for the most part, i even resist a program that does multi exposure for fireworks - especially now that anybody with an iphone can take that picture, probably better.
I agree with the raw stuff and perhaps the focus as well (though what he asks is just a function of modern day laziness).
I disagree with the wifi and usb issues. I can count how many times I have used wifi. And only at home. Really do not want to be having to set up wifi access at every location, do not want the security risk of wifi, and most imporant - do not want the battery drain of wifi.
As to USB - give it a couple years and the usb connections will be type C. Camera companies are very conservative and won't punt on the traditional until they are certain it won't be a hardship. USB 3.0 is already available on the d500 and d850.
The d500 and d850 for sure have UHS-II, I'm sure similar Canon models do as well.
Which brings up another point - I don't transfer files over USB either. For the most part, I take the card out and use a reader with laptop or desktop. The USB is nice to have when using other equipment but I find it no inconvenience to use the card manually.
If it had WiFi it would be a matter of hours.
Don't most DSLRs do this? I know my low end Sony Alpha will buffer about 7-10 frames from a burst before getting constrained by card write speeds.
I obviously don't expect a $2000 dslr to match a $50k Alexa in image quality, but surely they must be able to make the motion of the images smoother and less CCTV looking.
Blackmagic put out an amazing little pocket camera a few years ago with gorgeous colours and buttery smooth motion, why can't the big guys follow suit?
Often you can see the choppiness when things are moving. That to me looks like they are using a high shutter speed which is inappropriate for cine work. In still photography if you take a picture of a waterfall on a bright day at 1/1000 you'll see every crisp drop, shooting at 1/30th will give a little bit of smoothing motion blur. Using a DSLR shooting at 25 frames a second and leaving the shutter speed on auto can result in a sequence of 1/1000 second shots which will look choppy. What they should be doing is using Neutral Density filters so they can choose the appropriate aperture for the shot whilst keeping the shutter speed at 1/30 or there abouts. This will give the smoother motion images but does take skill and time.
My other bugbear is many cameramen appear to have forgotten what a tripod is. The camera wobbling about can occasionally add to the atmosphere but most of the time it is just annoying and distracting. Again a combination of lack of skill and production values.
During panning shots (horizontal, vertical), in recent films the image is blurry and uncomfortable (for me). Similar panning shots in earlier films seem cripser and more "comfortable".
Is there a technical reason (shutter speed fashion) ? Or is it in my head ?
As a camera operator, this crap technology gave me my first gray hairs. It allows for the processor and write tech in the camera to only handle one line of pixels at a time instead of the entire frame. In response, camera departments had to invent the term 'Global Shutter' to describe the proper way to do it, in which the entire frame is captured at once.
An example of a different shutter mechanism producing an odd effect, this picture https://www.flickr.com/photos/sorenragsdale/3192314056/ shows that what the camera sees isn't always the truth!
With projection and home displays lagging camera technology, I'd be surprised if the opposite didn't happen. You can do a lot of shake reduction with 2x the pixels you intend to keep.
Also I think a lot of the shake these days is added in post, partly to cover for production flaws and partly to add "atmosphere" as you say.
Though perhaps with two cameras and/or some grid projection...
That's easy to check; if there is no parallax then it was definitely added in post.
If you want to have the ability to adjust the amount of blur in post shooting at 120fps+ allows for that workflow but it’s a pain to do.
Or is it something else like a bad video codec?
Also, in film, people generally keep the shutter angle at 180 degrees. So for 24 frames per second, the shutter speed is usually 1/48 of a second.
As for codecs, that's actually where some of these cameras are making leaps and bounds. The GH5 I mentioned is capable of 10 bit recording, which means you could record ProRes HQ with an external recorder.
I think we'll have h265 10bit video in most cameras (and mobile phones) pretty soon, and that will be a marked improvement in terms of colour and dynamic range of video footage.
Some higher end Sony and Canon dSLR's shoot raw video, but I guess it's generally a niche feature, most people wouldn't want to shoot or edit raw video.
I think the video quality is down to reasonably high dynamic range sensor, and RAW sequence capture, meaning you can actually access all that dynamic range
I'm only now looking into DSLR's for a low-light option. Funnily enough, the ones that stand out to me are the Samsung NX1 and the Fuji XT2. Samsung oddly has great motion cadence, but awful macro-blocking. Fuji, unsurprisingly, has beautiful colours. Unfortunately both are only 8 bit, which is kind of a deal-breaker for me.
As an aside, how rare and cool to get to geek out on Hacker News over this stuff!
I am not going to be buying another camera with 8bit video, so will be holding out until there are more 10bit options out there. HEVC has a 10bit profile and it will be everywhere because of HDR TV's and phones, but might take a year or two to get popular in cameras.
Only after a decade of trash CMOS sensors are people starting to realize that cameras did not get exponentially better overnighy. They got worse.
Even RED cameras use these CMoS sensors, albeit very fast ones. Alexas have proper global shutters along with most Blackmagic cameras.
Rolling shutter aside, given the same settings, there should be no real differences between Arri, Red and those DSLRs in motion capture (and not in image depth, dynamic range, resolution, and color science), and I don't think there are.
All kinds of movie, TV and documentary work use high end DSLRs from Canon and co, and the motion is just fine.
Of course the idea is that motion is usually set to 24fps in both those cameras and Arri, Red etc. If you want "smooth" motion of the hi-fps variety, jack up the fps. But then it would be soap-opera like and not what most people associate with cinematic motion.
Tell me the DOF, and make finding the hyperfocal distance easier -- a button to just take me there, or a calculator that tells me the ideal distance and a display that shows me my estimated focal distance.
The 3rd-party CHDK firmware for Canons has a focus display as well. Loved it when I had a Canon for the same reasons.
High end cameras like the 1D and 5D series have always had better focusing screens and several different replacement options available.
I shoot pretty much only with old manual-focus lenses from days of yore. Most of my lenses are older than I am. They're all made of metal, built like a tank, and way easier to use. No fidgety UIs or menus to manipulate, perfectly calibrated infinity focus (slap the focus ring to the end until it stops and landscapes are perfectly sharp 100% of the time), rock-solid, don't break under pressure inside my bag, and they just work, no questions asked.
Totally agree about the lack of Arca-Swiss adoption by camera manufacturers. Camera bodies and heavy lenses could easily have a built-in Arca-Swiss shape at the bottom and still have a 1/4-20" screw hole for people who need it.
A nikon D3/D4/D5 will withstand a huge amount of abuse - at least as much as my more obviously metal pre-digital SLRs did. Another issue to be aware of is when using large, heavy lenses, a lot of stress gets put on the mount point and that most modern pro-orientated DSLRs are actually stronger than their old film equivalents in this regard, as the engineering has improved over time.
Re: arca-swiss plates - the reason camera companies don't do this is because of the licensing fee (source: I've talked to a bunch of them, and this is always their reply). I'm sure Thom is aware of this, but the licensing fee is not insignificant, and with extreme pressure to control costs it's not surprising that companies very rarely do this. Of course I personally would be very happy to see them included, but I know there are a bunch of people that don't use them, and would resent the extra cost to include them.
This is what I love about the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic-era cameras.
The only dial on the camera sets shutter speed and the sensitivity of the light meter.
If you go out on a nice day and practice shooting with "sunny 16" technique you don't even need a light meter, just set your aperture and shutter speed and get creative.
And good plastics are plastic in the traditional sense of the word: if you drop them, they'll absorb the force by deforming and then spring back into place. Metals deform permanently. In a car that's an advantage, you can just hammer it back into place. With a precision instrument a bent tool is just as bad as a broken one.
I don't know how a Rebel compares against a Nikon in a drop test -- I've dropped my Rebel without issues, but no major drops, luckily. But I can compare the pre-unibody MacBook Pros with Thinkpads from the same era. In the store, the original MacBook Pros felt and looked a lot more solid, but they were really crappy cases. OTOH, the ThinkPad's were tanks. Their plastic cases had a magnesium frame, giving them the best of both worlds. Of course, once Apple switched to unibody and ThinkPad's have started to compromise to compete on thickness the story hasn't been so clear.
That's not what I was taught plastic meant. I was taught both plastic and elastic materials deform under force, but the elastic ones (not the plastic ones) return to their original form once the force is gone …
I do prefer ABS-PC or ASA for a lot of my more-adverse condition cases. They're much more heat resilient, and chemical/UV resistant in ASA's case.
Typical metals will have an elastic zone, where they act like springs, and a plastic zone, where they don't, and then they fracture. Brittle materials have a relatively small plastic zone, ductile materials will have a large one.
I never dropped my camera though, but i do run into things a lot, doors, doorposts, fences and most of all tiny people.
Though with a bit typical lens 70-200 or some people often bring, i doubt the difference in weight of the body plastic vs metal is really noticeable. (plastic rebel XTi 556 grams vs 668 grams metal nikon d80)
Typical i have a shoulder or wrist strap, ads (no im not affiliated) peakdesigns' or blackrapids' straps and wrist bands
If any reading this still use the neckband with their cams, checkout black rapids systems or peak designs. It's so much more comfortable then 2+ kg dangling from your neck.
Lighter camera ~ more vibrations.
On this note, I am a professional photographer and have worked professionally with any form of digital, video, emulsion movie or still camera on the market and never have seen rubber on the bottom of a camera that i can remember. Maybe some have it but it's always on the plate if anything in my experience.
Screw mount is lame design I agree but arca mount is not at all a replacement for it. It's a different mount option, which itself requires a modular attachment solution which the screw mount is.
As for the GP' complaint about plastics, it just shows that there's no experience there with minor dents requiring major repairs that would have been harmless bounces with a filled polycarbonate. Probably never dealt much with focus shifts or lens element alignment problems in severe heat or cold either. They use appropriate plastics on the pro-grade stuff where they use it because it's better, not because it's cheaper.