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Old Oct 23, 2010, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Mirror less Interchangeable lens cameras

Samsung used a Pentax camera design and lens mount to enter the DSLR market I wonder if there is any chance that Pentax would go the other way to enter this new market.

I do not see these cameras as a replacement for my DSLR but it would make a great addition since most of the existing models of this type, like the SONY and the micro 4/3 offerings, have adapters available through third party suppliers such as Camera Quest that allow the use of K-mount lenses. One of these cameras with a prime lens of moderate wide angle (about 35mm equivalent) would make an excellent pocketable camera and then the adapter would allow yu to use any of your DSLR lenses if you so desired (although I admit that would not likely happen very often).

Any comments on this. I am considering an Olympus because it is a very nice package, I think SONY may have put small size ahead of functionality since their cameras are excellent picture takers but rather awkward to use. The larger models from Panasonic and Samsung may be more capable but are physically too close in size to something like a KX to be all that appealing.

Right now the Oly E-P1 with 17mm f2.8 and optical accessory viewfinder is heavily discounted and looks and feels like a quality piece. Maybe, but I would like a camera with Pentax written on the front, just for sentimental reasons.
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FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 1:00 PM   #2
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I think SONY may have put small size ahead of functionality since their cameras are excellent picture takers but rather awkward to use.
Yea... the Sony NEX-5 does have high IQ, with very good noise control at higher ISO speeds (for example, IMO, it's much better than the Samsung NX10 at higher ISO speeds), and I think it probably bests most dSLR models with APS-C size sensors. On the downside, it does have a tendency to overexpose a bit in some conditions shooting jpeg with it's default matrix metering (which you can easily remedy using a -EV setting with Exposure Compensation, or get around shooting raw). IOW, no big deal.

I've spent some time with the NEX-5, and yes, the UI takes some getting used to. But, it does remember most settings when changing modes (which is really very simple, except that you have an on screen versus physical mode dial, with the main control wheel on the back of the camera allowing you to "spin" it between choices). I like that it remembers where you were last when going into the various shooting menus. For example, if you last used the ISO setting choice under it's "Brightness/Color" menus, the next time you go into that section, it will still be on the ISO choice; or if you go into the Setup options again after using Format last, it will still be on the Format choice. With with a Sony 16mm f/2.8 "Pancake" on it, the NEX-5 makes for an easy to carry package, too.

The Intelligent Auto mode is also *very* good (yea, I know, blasphemy to use the Green Auto, but it works quite well, especially considering face detection and more if you're taking people type photos). If you're into Landscapes, the "Sweep Panorama" feature is really neat, too.

BTW, Sony just released brand new firmware to address some of the design complaints. See more about it here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/news/...sed_in_us.html

I haven't used the Olympus EP-L1. But, some of our members have the camera and are very pleased with it.

From what I've seen of it's photos, it's not going to match the IQ of the Sony at higher ISO speeds (very few cameras with APS-C or smaller sensors would). But, a dSLR user would probably be much more comfortable with it's ergonomics and design compared to the smaller Sony NEX models.

IOW, the NEX series probably won't be for everyone as a primary camera (for example, I'd be more inclined to look at something like the newer A33/A55 models instead, if I wanted something a bit smaller than most dSLR models, so that I wouldn't sacrifice as many external controls). But, if you really want small and don't mind using the LCD for everything, the Sony NEX series models may be worth a look.

There are pros and cons to any of them, and each user is going to have preferences in a camera (size, weight, ergonomics, control layout, etc.). ;-)
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 2:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Yea... the Sony NEX-5 does have high IQ, with very good noise control at higher ISO speeds (for example, IMO, it's much better than the Samsung NX10 at higher ISO speeds), and I think it probably bests most dSLR models with APS-C size sensors. On the downside, it does have a tendency to overexpose a bit in some conditions shooting jpeg with it's default matrix metering (which you can easily remedy using a -EV setting with Exposure Compensation, or get around shooting raw). IOW, no big deal.

I've spent some time with the NEX-5, and yes, the UI takes some getting used to. But, it does remember most settings when changing modes (which is really very simple, except that you have an on screen versus physical mode dial, with the main control wheel on the back of the camera allowing you to "spin" it between choices). I like that it remembers where you were last when going into the various shooting menus. For example, if you last used the ISO setting choice under it's "Brightness/Color" menus, the next time you go into that section, it will still be on the ISO choice; or if you go into the Setup options again after using Format last, it will still be on the Format choice. With with Sony 16mm f/2.8 "Pancake" on it, the NEX-5 makes for an easy to carry package, too.

The Intelligent Auto mode is also *very* good (yea, I know, blasphemy to use the Green Auto, but it works quite well, especially considering face detection and more if you're taking people type photos). If you're into Landscapes, the "Sweep Panorama" feature is really neat, too.

BTW, Sony just released brand new firmware to address some of the design complaints. See more about it here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/news/...sed_in_us.html

I haven't used the Olympus EP-L1. But, some of our members have the camera and are very pleased with it.

From what I've seen of it's photos, it's not going to match the IQ of the Sony at higher ISO speeds (very few cameras with APS-C or smaller sensors would). But, a dSLR user would probably be much more comfortable with it's ergonomics and design compared to the smaller Sony NEX models.

IOW, the NEX series probably won't be for everyone as a primary camera (for example, I'd be more inclined to look at something like the newer A33/A55 models instead, if I wanted something a bit smaller than most dSLR models, so that I wouldn't sacrifice as many external controls). But, if you really want small and don't mind using the LCD for everything, the Sony NEX series models may be worth a look.

There are pros and cons to any of them, and each user is going to have preferences in a camera (size, weight, ergonomics, control layout, etc.). ;-)
Jim, I have handled both the NEX-5 and the EP-L1, my impressions, The NEX has the best LCD screen I have ever seen on any camera, period. I believe Pentax is using this screen (or one of similar resolution) on the new KR and K5 (which I have not seen). Comparing the cameras the Olympus has a far lower resolution LCD and, although it is a good looking camera with a good feel, does not feel as solid as the SONY.

I would probably be more prone to buy the NEX-3 because it offers the same overall features for about $100 less, it still feels solid in spite of a plastic body and if I shoot any video at all I would just as soon have 720p in a more universally available file format.

Thank you for this response because I am seriously considering a camera of this type rather than a second DSLR body because of its portability. If I purchase either of these it will be with the pancake lens since that would give me what I really want in size and function (I often shoot with just one prime lens so that is not an issue). Your knowledge and experience from dealing with so many different cameras helps me greatly, from a value and quality standpoint I think an Olympus E-P2 may be a great camera but is far costlier than a SONY NEX-3 or even a NEX-5 so the SONY has only one stroke against it, the UI which they have substantially improved with their new firmware (I read the report on http://www.luminous-landscape.com/index.shtml which basically said they had greatly improved the photography experience with the changes they had made).

Thanks again.
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FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 9:57 PM   #4
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From what I have been seeing, it is my guess that the Pentax/Samsung line is dividing, with the future Samsung cameras being of the mirrorless type, and Pentax keeping the SLR cameras. Now that Samsung has its own mount for the NX cameras, I expect they will keep up along that line.
I have thought for some time, that a mirrorless body with K-mount lenses would be the way to go, but the manufacturers are opting for compactness and changing mounts for their mirrorless lines. My dream camera would keep the K-mount and use the extra space to seal the internals of the camera, completely doing away with the possibility of dust, and providing a totally weather sealed body, regardless of lens. I guess I am a market of one, though, and they would need several hundred thousand more to make it viable.

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 11:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
From what I have been seeing, it is my guess that the Pentax/Samsung line is dividing, with the future Samsung cameras being of the mirrorless type, and Pentax keeping the SLR cameras. Now that Samsung has its own mount for the NX cameras, I expect they will keep up along that line.
I have thought for some time, that a mirrorless body with K-mount lenses would be the way to go, but the manufacturers are opting for compactness and changing mounts for their mirrorless lines. My dream camera would keep the K-mount and use the extra space to seal the internals of the camera, completely doing away with the possibility of dust, and providing a totally weather sealed body, regardless of lens. I guess I am a market of one, though, and they would need several hundred thousand more to make it viable.

brian
Yes I see what you mean, the same flange depth with space for a high quality glass seal where the mirror would be, still lighter and more compact than most DSLR but larger than the present ILCs because it still uses SLR glass. Probably not marketable for most companies.
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 11:59 PM   #6
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the sony do not have allot of lenses, and the 2 kit lenses are a bit soft since you are a dslr owner. Both the 16mm and 18-55 suffer form the softness. the 16mm is not IS like the 18-55, since the nex do not use IBIS. The only other lens available for it is the sony 18-200HD lens, should be a good one at 800 dollars.

The m4/3, with the epl-1 I would forgo the 17 2.8 and go with the panny 20 1.7. It works great for low light on the ibis of the epl-1.
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:13 AM   #7
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the sony do not have allot of lenses, and the 2 kit lenses are a bit soft since you are a dslr owner. Both the 16mm and 18-55 suffer form the softness. the 16mm is not IS like the 18-55, since the nex do not use IBIS. The only other lens available for it is the sony 18-200HD lens, should be a good one at 800 dollars.

The m4/3, with the epl-1 I would forgo the 17 2.8 and go with the panny 20 1.7. It works great for low light on the ibis of the epl-1.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Since they are all available with K-mount adapters the most important thing for me is the IQ and the supplied lens (which will probably be the only one I would buy and would have to be a good and very compact lens, such as the 20mm Panasonic). I would get a K-mount adapter and occasionally use my current lenses, but the main purpose would be for a high quality pocketable camera .
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 24, 2010, 12:21 AM   #8
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the sony with the pancake is not as good as the epl-1 with the pancake,

If you shoot in low light, the 2 iso stop advantage of the sony is cut down to 1 with the panasonic 20 1.7 which is a super sharp lens. Then add the IS that the oly will have giving it 3 stops. Sony at 2.8 at 6400iso will not be as good IQ wise at oly at 1.7 at 1600iso.

You can check out image resources and look at the results of the epl1 vs the nex5, form 100-1600iso you will be quite surprise.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

Here are some members photo with the 20mm 1.7 on the epl1

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...shots-yet.html

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ol...m-art-wow.html
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 8:19 AM   #9
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You're comparing apples to oranges, looking at something like a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, as compared to a Sony 16mm f/2.8.

The 20mm on an Olympus model would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 40mm lens on a 35mm camera.

The 16mm lens on a Sony NEX model would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 24mm lens on a 35mm camera.

Big difference, as you'd need a 12mm lens on the Olympus to get the same angle of view as you'd get using a 16mm lens on the Sony.

Second of all, I disagree with the softness characterization. The 16mm f/2.8 has excellent center sharpness, even wide open. Sure, the corners are a bit soft, especially with the aperture wide open. But, the same thing applies to most other lenses that give you an angle of view that wide.

If you want a wider pancake designed for the Micro 4/3's system, you'd need to go with the Olympus 17mm f/2.8, which is not going to be as good as the Sony from what I can see of tests.

Also, you'd still be comparing Apples and Oranges from an angle of view perspective, as the Olympus 17mm would give you the same angle of view you'd having using a 34mm lens on a 35mm camera; which is still not as wide as you'd have with the Sony 16mm (same angle of view you'd get using a 24mm lens on a 35mm camera).

You'll find some tests of them here. Check the MTF charts and note how much better the Sony 16mm is compared to the Olympus 17mm (which would still not give you an angle of view as wide -- again, you're comparing apples and oranges in that area, since you'd need a 12mm lens on the Olympus to get the same angle of view as the 16mm on the Sony)

Sony 16mm f/2.8
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyNex5Nex3/page8.asp

Panasonic 20mm f/1.7
http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/..._o20/page3.asp

Olympus 17mm f/2.8
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/OlympusEP1/page23.asp

As for the angle of view you'd find more useful, that's up to you, as you may find that a lens like the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (same angle of view with a 4/3 system sensor that you'd have using a 40mm lens on a 35mm camera) is more optimum, depending on what you want to shoot (keeping in mind that in some conditions, you can only back up so far to fit what you want into the frame).

Also note that Sony A mount lenses with built in motors (SAM or SSM in the Sony lineup) will now Autofocus via an adapter with the latest firmware. So, that would expand your choices if you wanted a longer prime (for example the inexpensive Sony 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, or 85mm f/2.8 lenses would all Autofocus on an NEX model with the optional Sony Adapter). If you don't care about Autofocus, you'd have lots of choices via an adapter.

On the downside, you don't get stabilization via an adapter (as Sony left it out of the NEX body to keep the body size smaller, and requires stabilized lenses if you want that feature).

Again, there are pros and cons to any of them. ;-)
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Old Oct 24, 2010, 11:01 AM   #10
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I think we are dealing with a camera type here that is quite unique. In the film era the only camera that is at least somewhat analogous to these cameras is the Contax G series, a non SLR, autofocus, interchangeable lens, camera. Since we now have four companies taking a different shot at what this type of camera should be in digital we have enough variation that it invites controversy.

I will give my take on things:

Micro 4/3 - Although the mounts are the same Panasonic and Olympus have chosen rather different directions both in form factor and in image stabilization. Both offer 4/3rds adapters for their cameras and the aftermarket offers a plethora of adapters for other lens systems.
Olympus have chosen to include in-body stabilization in a form factor based on their old 1/2 frame Pen system (appropriate since the 4/3 sensor is about a half frame size). The result bears visual resemblance to a classic rangefinder camera. An external EVF is available for all but their first model (an omission that they quickly identified). Their control interface is a typical mix of physical controls and menus.
Panasonic has a chosen in-lens stabilization and all but one of their cameras have an SLR style form factor with a built in EVF. Their control interfaces are based more on having physical controls with fewer dives into menus for major features. They have introduced touch screens as another method of control and were probably first to introduce a lens optimized for video.

APS-C - We aren't sure who else will eventually show up at this party but for now it is just Sony and Samsung. Note that Olympus is the only CAMERA company here, the rest are electronic giants.
Samsung has taken the same road as Panasonic offering SLR type EVF models with SLR type controls and one more compact model with lens based stabilization. They are capable cameras but perhaps need a little more development time to catch up to the features offered by the micro 4/3 crowd. Due to their association with Pentax they offer their own K-mount adapter (limited function)
Sony has taken a totally different route, they have patterned their form factor after their very successful digicams. A user interface based on as few physical controls as possible and an extensive menu system. Right away they have created controversy since menus are one of the major bones of contention to many photographers. They have reacted very quickly to the first round of complaints and published a firmware upgrade that greatly improved the cameras. Their mount uses in-lens stabilization and seems aimed at the video market since it is shared with their new NEX videocam, the first such camera to offer a large sensor and interchangeable lenses at this price point. Their is already a range of adapters for many lens mounts with Sony's own A-series adapter offering auto aperture on all such lenses and auto focus on those with built in focus motors.

All of these systems have quality lenses (none of which are perfect), and all produce quality images (some better here, others better there), so it seems that the most important factor for an amateur like me is which is easiest and most fun to use for the price I can afford?

Next?? (No pun intended)

BTW I like them all but would probably not get the SLR style because they are still quite large, not a big improvement over a KX with one of the compact lenses.
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Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Last edited by Monza76; Oct 24, 2010 at 11:06 AM.
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