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I was thinking about fine art photography, large prints and medium format at the weekend. Then it struck me, MF mirrorless could be the way to go for several sound technical reasons:

  • Gets rid of the huge mirror box and the vibrations from a big mirror. So the camera could be much more compact, easier to lay out and lighter. Would get away with a lighter tripod as well.
  • MF not usually used for high-speed action photography, so AF speed and and EVF would be less of an issue. Especially if EVF was high resolution and fast as with the Fuji X-T1. Few are faster than 1-2 frames per second.
  • Manual focus with focus peaking and other aids such as magnification is easier on a bright EVF than a dim glass screen
  • In the studio many MFD cameras are used tethered with a big EVF  - a laptop screen.

I love the idea of 50+MP MF camera smaller than a Mamiya 7 with AF especially if it had that undefinable "something" (micro-contrast?) that Leica and Fuji seem to have. If Phase One were to do it they would have access to all the lenses they use with their AFD and the old Mamiya AFD cameras - including a huge pool of manual focus lenses from the Mamiya 645. (and Fuji have GX680 lenses (not so many around) and designs from their MF compacts)

 

Apart from cost (and the Pentax MF is not much more expensive than top end FF Canon/Nikon) I don't see any real downsides.

 

The only problem is that the MF market is tiny so thge budget for RE&D will be limited. From a conversation with a pro dealer in the UK the market was probably only a few thousand cameras a year. Which is why Hasselblad has been financially tight for many years and no one else has entered the market, Pentax had a low key launch of their "new" camera.

 

Just a thought. Could it cause a resurgence in enthusiast/semi-pro MF like we saw with 645 introduction?

 

Just noticed David K suggested something similar in Cameracraft No 7. I don't recall reading it at the time but ...

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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It's called a digital back? They're plentiful if only slightly expensive. (Like the cost of 2 decent cars in Europe; 3 cars in the US.)

Marry it to the body of your choice. A small black box with a lens taped to it would do.

Somehow I don't think we'll see a cheap one at the next Kina.

The cheapest option at the moment is the Hasselblad CFV 50c. If you combine that with a SWC it looks like something you describe. The CFV50c is only 43.8 x 32.9mm and 800iso though.

I think an A7R with a decent lens like the Canon 17mm TSE will run rings around it.

 

wim

(who has both the TSE and SWC, but no A7R)

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It's called a digital back? They're plentiful if only slightly expensive. (Like the cost of 2 decent cars in Europe; 3 cars in the US.)

Marry it to the body of your choice. A small black box with a lens taped to it would do.

Somehow I don't think we'll see a cheap one at the next Kina.

The cheapest option at the moment is the Hasselblad CFV 50c. If you combine that with a SWC it looks like something you describe. The CFV50c is only 43.8 x 32.9mm and 800iso though.

I think an A7R with a decent lens like the Canon 17mm TSE will run rings around it.

 

wim

(who has both the TSE and SWC, but no A7R)

 

That's my point; a digital back is 90% of a mirrorless camera with no need for all that flappy mirror malarkey going crash, bang, wallop! :) Cheaper, lighter and more effective.

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As I predicted.  I had no inside knowledge - it just seemed logical from an engineering and photographic point of view

 

PhaseOne Mirrorless MF

 

I am even more convinced we will have a professional mirroless equivalent of the Canon 1D* and the Nikon D4* within the next few years - perhaps even the next generation (perhaps as a parallel model initially). Again no inside track just thinking it through logically from current state of the art.

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I agree Martin.

This might break the cycle of endless iterations  of cameras that are "good enough"[ and yet another different battery type ] and rejuvenate interest and hence the market [ albeit a limited one for MF ]

John

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I am even more convinced we will have a professional mirroless equivalent of the Canon 1D* and the Nikon D4* within the next few years - perhaps even the next generation (perhaps as a parallel model initially). Again no inside track just thinking it through logically from current state of the art.

 

Agreed, it's almost here. Next stop mirrorless and shutterless. Probably still stuck with heavy glass lens though........

...

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I dabbled once with a Leica Digilux 3 which was notable for being my one foray into the world of the mirrored DSLR camera even though it was styled to look like a Leica rangefinder.  I soon realised that I much preferred its mirror less  predecessor, the rather superb Digilux 2, and so sold it quite quickly and have been mirror less ever since.

 

I am quite convinced that mirror less is most definitely the future whether at the high end or low end of camera production. Though I don't think I'll be saving up for that Phase One though.   :P

Edited by digi2ap

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I am even more convinced we will have a professional mirroless equivalent of the Canon 1D* and the Nikon D4* within the next few years - perhaps even the next generation (perhaps as a parallel model initially). Again no inside track just thinking it through logically from current state of the art.

 

Agreed, it's almost here. Next stop mirrorless and shutterless. Probably still stuck with heavy glass lens though........

...

 

 

Can't change the laws of optics (unless you go lightfield).

 

I am really intrigued to see how quickly mirrorless will catch up with dslr AF speed, I am keen to see how the new triple motor top end lenses from Fuji do on that front - they do talk about the 50-140 as a sports lens.

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That's $43,780.00 for the cheapest option (50-million-pixel).

Which will buy me how many A7R's?

 

wim

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I am even more convinced we will have a professional mirroless equivalent of the Canon 1D* and the Nikon D4* within the next few years - perhaps even the next generation (perhaps as a parallel model initially). Again no inside track just thinking it through logically from current state of the art.

 

Agreed, it's almost here. Next stop mirrorless and shutterless. Probably still stuck with heavy glass lens though........

...

 

 

Can't change the laws of optics (unless you go lightfield).

 

I am really intrigued to see how quickly mirrorless will catch up with dslr AF speed, I am keen to see how the new triple motor top end lenses from Fuji do on that front - they do talk about the 50-140 as a sports lens.

 

I hadn't heard of these triple motor Fuji lenses. There is a mirrorless with very fast autofocus: The Nikon 1 and it's on the Alamy approved list.....

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It's called a digital back? They're plentiful if only slightly expensive. (Like the cost of 2 decent cars in Europe; 3 cars in the US.)

Marry it to the body of your choice. A small black box with a lens taped to it would do.

Somehow I don't think we'll see a cheap one at the next Kina.

The cheapest option at the moment is the Hasselblad CFV 50c. If you combine that with a SWC it looks like something you describe. The CFV50c is only 43.8 x 32.9mm and 800iso though.

I think an A7R with a decent lens like the Canon 17mm TSE will run rings around it.

 

wim

(who has both the TSE and SWC, but no A7R)

 

 

That's my point; a digital back is 90% of a mirrorless camera with no need for all that flappy mirror malarkey going crash, bang, wallop! :) Cheaper, lighter and more effective.

Lol

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Hmm. Maybe I'll have a second look at Stockimo. 

 

By the way, on Thursday, I sold my first piece of Nikon glass to Adorama here in NYC. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more money, but the amount was fair and it was all quick and painless and the people were more than polite. Also on the plus side, I needed to do no posting of adds in eBay or anywhere, no packing or shipping, and I was able to get rid of my disquieting paranoia. No one at Adorama tried to scam me or rob me.  

 

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney
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If we get mirrorless that match even my old D700 in a few key areas in a few years, I'll look at it in a few years.

 

And when we get a digital back that matches my old D700 for an all up cost of $2,000 (including body), I'll take two.

 

But in the meantime . . .

 

dd

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I guess that this is more about full frame versus crop factor, rather than mirror-less versus conventional, but....

 

And it came to pass that I had to take some photos of my wife's choir singing locally. We were using the car, so I decided to take the tripod and lug the Canon 5DII.

 

What a joy to be able to rely upon my sharp 24-105 mm f4 zoom lens and that wonderful back button focus lock. The noise at 1600 wasn't too bad either, but I'm not sure that it was all that  better than the NEX 6 would have achieved. Got back to process the pictures to discover that the depth of field was very limited, I could only have one row of singers in focus - mind you those that were in focus were pin sharp. Now had I taken my NEX, and shot at the same equivalent focal lengths, I suspect I might have got  results better suited to the purpose. Lesson learnt for future, and another nail in the Canon coffin.

 

For general stock shooting, the NEX slays the DSLR. It's much smaller and lighter, and far less obtrusive, and I can carry it all day. For fast unpredictable action and posed people photography in general, I still prefer the DSLR. Horses for courses methinks, but, as technology moves on.......

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I share the thinking Bryan. I find I am using my big Canon less and less. I shot Nottingham Festival of Words using my X-T1- better high ISO performance and so much quieter that I could use it in a poetry reading. The one event where I used the FF Canon I winced at the noise every time I pressed the shutter. I no longer prefer the dslr for that reason but do love the way it focuses, will the imminent 50-140mm f2.8 be the final nail in my dslr's coffin?

 

My X-T1 outfit goes with me pretty well everywhere in the way the Canon never did. I take a LOT more pictures these days.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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I think different Sony A7 series bodies, with one set of very high quality lenses, that would fit all your Sony A7 bodies, would be the way to go.

 

You would select the particular Sony A7 body to fit the shooting situation.

 

12 megapixel, high ISO, no noise, Sony body so you can handhold and still use available light to shoot the choir at F11.

 

A different ultra high megapixel Sony body, if you are shooting landscapes.

 

The one set of lenses, and the set of Sony bodies, would all work the same when shooting. They would also be cheaper than multiple camera systems.

 

I think that is the way Sony designed the system. Sony is very clever.

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By the way, on Thursday, I sold my first piece of Nikon glass to Adorama here in NYC. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more money, but the amount was fair and it was all quick and painless and the people were more than polite. Also on the plus side, I needed to do no posting of adds in eBay or anywhere, no packing or shipping, and I was able to get rid of my disquieting paranoia. No one at Adorama tried to scam me or rob me.  

 

Edo

 

It's likely I'll be bringing my Nikon D700 up to Adorama tomorrow. This was a true breakthrough camera; I've owned nothing that compares to it in noise control, fabulous. So when I part with that FX body (and I have several other good Nikon DSLRs), there will be no going back.  :(

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By the way, on Thursday, I sold my first piece of Nikon glass to Adorama here in NYC. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more money, but the amount was fair and it was all quick and painless and the people were more than polite. Also on the plus side, I needed to do no posting of adds in eBay or anywhere, no packing or shipping, and I was able to get rid of my disquieting paranoia. No one at Adorama tried to scam me or rob me.  

 

Edo

 

It's likely I'll be bringing my Nikon D700 up to Adorama tomorrow. This was a true breakthrough camera; I've owned nothing that compares to it in noise control, fabulous. So when I part with that FX body (and I have several other good Nikon DSLRs), there will be no going back.  :(

 

 

Looking at the sad face Ed I would say. "Don't do it."

 

Allan

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The D700 was one of my favorite cameras but I did switch to Canon with the 6D.

However,my arm/shoulder injury will now have me giving up ALL of my DSLR cameras forever.

 

I purchased the Sony A7 and really like it. Wasn't crazy about the A6000 w/kit lens but may give it another try with a better lens.

 

I will keep some of my Canon lenses to use with an adapter.

 

I plan on changing a lot of what I photograph next year and I'm going to take some time off from doing immediate deadline events.

 

L

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By the way, on Thursday, I sold my first piece of Nikon glass to Adorama here in NYC. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more money, but the amount was fair and it was all quick and painless and the people were more than polite. Also on the plus side, I needed to do no posting of adds in eBay or anywhere, no packing or shipping, and I was able to get rid of my disquieting paranoia. No one at Adorama tried to scam me or rob me.  

 

Edo

 

It's likely I'll be bringing my Nikon D700 up to Adorama tomorrow. This was a true breakthrough camera; I've owned nothing that compares to it in noise control, fabulous. So when I part with that FX body (and I have several other good Nikon DSLRs), there will be no going back.  :(

 

I know it's a hard decision to make.The D700 is a fabulous camera and nothing I've used compares as far as IQ/noise...But it is heavy as are the full frame lenses and it's loud. My 2013 injury has me selling off my DSLR gear for good this time. I look forward to the Sony A7000 next year.From what I read online,Sony has some amazing mirrorless cameras and lenses coming out. I like my photos better when I'm not in pain from lugging a big camera bag!

 

L

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By the way, on Thursday, I sold my first piece of Nikon glass to Adorama here in NYC. I would have liked to have gotten a bit more money, but the amount was fair and it was all quick and painless and the people were more than polite. Also on the plus side, I needed to do no posting of adds in eBay or anywhere, no packing or shipping, and I was able to get rid of my disquieting paranoia. No one at Adorama tried to scam me or rob me.  

 

Edo

 

It's likely I'll be bringing my Nikon D700 up to Adorama tomorrow. This was a true breakthrough camera; I've owned nothing that compares to it in noise control, fabulous. So when I part with that FX body (and I have several other good Nikon DSLRs), there will be no going back.  :(

 

As Alan says.. Don't Do it - wait a bit - Sony do have the makings but this generation isn't quite there

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Ah, John. There comes a time when living in the tomorrow no longer has a meaning. I've passed that point.  

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Ah, John. There comes a time when living in the tomorrow no longer has a meaning. I've passed that point.  

I don't think I'm so far behind you Ed, although I do not sport such a distinguished beard....

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