description of camera design I would like to have

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Guest, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have thought about the design of a digital camera I would like to have.
    Two existing camera designs have some features I would like to include in
    this design. I like the live view of a point-and-shoot camera. But I also
    want the viewfinder style of an SLR camera (hold camera up to face instead
    of out at arms length).

    So I have this idea.

    Remove the flip up mirror of a digital SLR. Replace the focusing screen with
    an LCD display. Keep the pentaprism and eyepiece from the SLR, but now it is
    focusing on the LCD display instead of the SLR's focusing screen. The logic
    in the camera can insert information over this display much like a P&S camera
    does.

    Create a new lens mount similar to the SLR lenses of the same manufacturer.
    Shorten the distance between the lens mount to the sensor plane. This can be
    done since the SLR mirror is gone. This shorter distance will allow better
    and/or less expensive optics for normal and wide angle lenses, especially
    with an APS-C sized sensor frame. An adapter can mount into this new mount,
    and host a regular SLR lens by extending the mount distance out to where an
    SLR lens would mount. This will allow using the SLR lens line with this
    camera design.

    Focusing would be primarily done with a combination of infrared rangefinding
    and detection of sharpness at programmable points in the sensor frame.

    Taking the picture could be done one of two ways. One is to simply capture
    a scene from the live sensor. It would also be possible to use a focal plane
    shutter just like an SLR (close the shutter, clear the sensor, open the
    shutter, close the shutter, save the sensor, then switch back to live view).

    This would not be an SLR. But it could complement an SLR system for some
    types of photography, especially wide angle where the closer lens to sensor
    plane distance would make it easier to produce distortion free wide angle
    lenses with proper color corrections. It should be modeled and marketed as
    a complement camera to the SLR products. A low end entry version could also
    be used as an easy step between P&S consumers moving slowly up to SLR.
     
    Guest, Sep 28, 2008
    #1
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  2. Guest

    dj_nme Guest

    <snip>

    Your description pretty closely matches the Micro-FourThirds standard
    announced by the FourThirds group a few months ago, except that it uses
    a FourThirds sized sensor instead of your wished for APS-c.
    There are two Micro-FourThirds cameras that that will be released
    shortly: one is the much described Panasonic DMC-G1 and the other is as
    yet un-named Olympus mock-up shown at Photokina.
    The only real differences between your wish and the DMC-G1 is that there
    is no pentaprism (what's that needed for? An eyepiece pointed straight
    at the EVF screen does the same thing, without requiring a chunk of
    expensive, machined glass.) and it seems to use contrast detection AF
    only (with no IR RF mechanism).
     
    dj_nme, Sep 28, 2008
    #2
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  3. Guest

    Eric Stevens Guest

    It's depressing the number of times I have had to say this recently -
    This is a feature of the now obsolete Sony F707.


    Eric Stevens
     
    Eric Stevens, Sep 28, 2008
    #3
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | wrote:
    |> I have thought about the design of a digital camera I would like to
    |> have.
    |> Two existing camera designs have some features I would like to
    |> include in this design. I like the live view of a point-and-shoot
    |> camera. But I also want the viewfinder style of an SLR camera (hold
    |> camera up to face instead of out at arms length).
    |
    | Phil, any with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) matches this requirement.
    | There are dozens to choose from
    |
    | Otherwise, as MG mentioned :
    | http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08091202panasonic_DMC_G1.asp
    |
    | which uses the new Micro Four Thirds standard for compact cameras with
    | interchangeable lenses.

    Looks pretty much like what I want. Now I hope other manufacturers like
    Canon and Nikon come along with the same concept.

    This is still very new. So new B&H doesn't even have a price or date, yet.

    Specs say it has a 1920x1080 resolution, but no video recording capability.
    I know most SLRs don't have the video mode. But that would be a nice add-on
    for special circumstances. Consumer video cameras are lousy and ENG cameras
    are expensive. This capability in an SLR form factor would be an improvement
    over consumer video cameras at a reasonable price, especially if they can do
    HD.
     
    Guest, Sep 28, 2008
    #4
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | wrote:
    |> I have thought about the design of a digital camera I would like to
    |> have.
    |> Two existing camera designs have some features I would like to
    |> include in this design. I like the live view of a point-and-shoot
    |> camera. But I also want the viewfinder style of an SLR camera (hold
    |> camera up to face instead of out at arms length).
    |
    | Phil, any with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) matches this requirement.
    | There are dozens to choose from
    |
    | Otherwise, as MG mentioned :
    | http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08091202panasonic_DMC_G1.asp
    |
    | which uses the new Micro Four Thirds standard for compact cameras with
    | interchangeable lenses.

    I just noticed that the "four thirds" system is a 2x factor focal length,
    compared to the APS-C which is 1.6x. I would consider the APS-C size the
    smallest I could go for. I'd rather have full-frame but I know those are
    expensive sensors.
     
    Guest, Sep 28, 2008
    #5
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | wrote:
    | []
    |> I just noticed that the "four thirds" system is a 2x factor focal
    |> length,
    |> compared to the APS-C which is 1.6x. I would consider the APS-C size
    |> the
    |> smallest I could go for. I'd rather have full-frame but I know those
    |> are
    |> expensive sensors.
    |
    | Some people say that the noise in 4/3 sensors isn't a lot greater than
    | that in APS-C, but I feel the jury is still out. Might be interesting to
    | see what Canon, Fuji, Nikon or Sony could do in 4/3-size sensors, but I
    | think they are committed to their present mounts, at least at the moment.

    Since Canon and Nikon has SLR lines for APS-C and full frame, it would make
    no sense for them to offer a camera of this type in any other sensor size.
    The APS-C size would be appropriate for the entry level model. If there is
    any need for a high end professional model, that one could be full frame.


    | Full-frame will likely not be as small and light....

    Of course. But not everyone needs them this small and light. I have a 450D
    and it's actually smaller and lighter than I would like. Of course it depends
    on the person. People who have only done P&S would find the 450D to be big
    and heavy. I used to carry around film based FE-2 and FM-2 equipped with motor
    drives and large lenses (135mm f/2.0 and 100-300 f/5.6) and that was not any
    difficulty for me, even with the pack containing 4 more lenses and extra film.

    I'm looking at getting a battery holder/grip and more batteries just to add
    some "ballast" to the camera. Eventually, I'll move up to a 50D or 5Dm2 if
    I stay with Canon (the 450D was purchased to try out Canon for my move to
    digital).
     
    Guest, Sep 29, 2008
    #6
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | The only real differences between your wish and the DMC-G1 is that there
    | is no pentaprism (what's that needed for? An eyepiece pointed straight
    | at the EVF screen does the same thing, without requiring a chunk of
    | expensive, machined glass.) and it seems to use contrast detection AF
    | only (with no IR RF mechanism).

    If they can make an LCD work through a straight line optical path, fine.
    I suggested the pentaprism design so that the same eyepiece optics in the
    matching mirror based line could be used with the LCD based viewer. That
    and the greater optical path length through the pentaprism would allow use
    of a larger LCD for better resolution. I'm thinking of this as NOT for the
    P&S market, but for the high end hobby through to pro market, parallel to
    the SLR model line, intended to use the same accessories as much as possible,
    especially lenses, but also other attachments ranging from special eyepieces
    to battery packs to anything else that could make sense. The only difference
    would be the closer mounting of lenses which would be an advantage for wide
    angle lenses, with an adaptor to extend the length for mounting regular SLR
    lenses at their proper distance.
     
    Guest, Sep 29, 2008
    #7
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | It's depressing the number of times I have had to say this recently -
    | This is a feature of the now obsolete Sony F707.

    And this now obsolete Sony F707 was compatible with which company's line of
    SLR lenses? Canon? Nikon? Pentax? Olympus?
     
    Guest, Sep 29, 2008
    #8
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | You haven't been keeping up. The latest Canon dslr's have live view; from
    | memory the eos 450D - Eos 40D Eos 1ds Mk111 and the soon to be released
    | Eos 50D and Eos 5d Mk 11

    Actually, it is that very live view mode in the 450D that inspired this whole
    idea in my mind in the first place. The "not keeping up" aspect is only about
    the fact that I didn't know about the Panasonic G1.

    So tell me how one sees the live view mode through the eyepiece while holding
    the camera in the "natural for an SLR user" position at the face, which works
    better than at arms length for P&S cameras?

    Of the many points for which the design I describe is intended, one of them
    is to be able to hold the camera at the face as one normally does with an SLR
    when not using a tripod. Now if such a camera also has a back LCD screen (2
    total) then I don't see a problem with the live view also being shown on the
    back. The sensor that tells the camera if you are holding it up close can
    be used to shut off the back LCD when using it at the face, and shut off the
    viewfinder LCD when not using it at the face, to save battery power. That
    would allow more convenient tripod use.
     
    Guest, Sep 29, 2008
    #9
  10. Guest

    Eric Stevens Guest

    I'm just pointing out that this now obsolete Sony incorporated many
    unusual features which people on this news group now say they want to
    have. I was making no claims about lens systems.

    You can read about the camera here
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyDSCF707/



    Eric Stevens
     
    Eric Stevens, Sep 29, 2008
    #10
  11. Guest

    dj_nme Guest

    The DMC-G1 has an actual 1.4mp (not 470k pixels x 3) EVF, so in this
    case the prism may be redundant.
    The Panasonic Mu4/3 camera seems to be aimed at the same market segment,
    as it can be readily adapted to use 4/3 lenses with a special adaptor tube.
    It even looks like a "mini SLR".
    That appears to be the intent of the Mu4/3 system as it stands at the
    moment.
    The Olympus version looks more like a P&S like than the SLR styled
    DMC-G1, but it really remains to be seen what the Oly camera will
    actually be like.
     
    dj_nme, Sep 29, 2008
    #11
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | wrote:
    | []
    |> Since Canon and Nikon has SLR lines for APS-C and full frame, it
    |> would make
    |> no sense for them to offer a camera of this type in any other sensor
    |> size.
    |> The APS-C size would be appropriate for the entry level model. If
    |> there is
    |> any need for a high end professional model, that one could be full
    |> frame.
    |
    | Most likely, yes, although there is the chance of selling 4/3 micro lenses
    | more widely than /just/ Canon or /just/ Nikon. Imagine where Nikon sells
    | lenses to fit on a 4/3 Canon camera, and they prove to be better than the
    | Canon ones. Imagine where you might have the choice of a Sony, Nikon or
    | Canon lens for your camera, rather than just 3rd party vendors like Tamron
    | or Sigma. Imagine having true IS/VR lenses for 4/3 rather than the poor
    | compromise which in-body stabilisation gives. Unlikely, but not
    | impossible if the lens vendor thought they could make a nice profit from
    | it...

    Is that ability to make lenses that work on other camera something that the
    manufacturers would want stronly enough to make a camera of this design (which
    I might call "single lens display" or "single lens direct" or SLD for short)
    and use the 4/3 system? If it is, then I would think they would be making
    lenses with cross-compatible mounts much as companies like Sigma and Tamron
    do now. It does not appear that either Canon or Nikon want to make lenses to
    fit the other's cameras in their full-frame and APS-C designs (competitive
    aftermarket).

    Or at least I hope it would work that way ... to discourage them from going
    with the 4/3 system in an SLD camera.
     
    Guest, Sep 29, 2008
    #12
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | wrote:
    |>
    |> | The only real differences between your wish and the DMC-G1 is that there
    |> | is no pentaprism (what's that needed for? An eyepiece pointed straight
    |> | at the EVF screen does the same thing, without requiring a chunk of
    |> | expensive, machined glass.) and it seems to use contrast detection AF
    |> | only (with no IR RF mechanism).
    |>
    |> If they can make an LCD work through a straight line optical path, fine.
    |> I suggested the pentaprism design so that the same eyepiece optics in the
    |> matching mirror based line could be used with the LCD based viewer. That
    |> and the greater optical path length through the pentaprism would allow use
    |> of a larger LCD for better resolution.
    |
    | The DMC-G1 has an actual 1.4mp (not 470k pixels x 3) EVF, so in this
    | case the prism may be redundant.
    |
    |> I'm thinking of this as NOT for the
    |> P&S market, but for the high end hobby through to pro market, parallel to
    |> the SLR model line, intended to use the same accessories as much as possible,
    |> especially lenses, but also other attachments ranging from special eyepieces
    |> to battery packs to anything else that could make sense.
    |
    | The Panasonic Mu4/3 camera seems to be aimed at the same market segment,
    | as it can be readily adapted to use 4/3 lenses with a special adaptor tube.
    | It even looks like a "mini SLR".

    But what would Canon or Nikon do? These are companies with a big line of
    lenses for full-frame SLRs, and a few APS-C specific lenses (mostly wide
    angle and budget zooms).


    |> The only difference
    |> would be the closer mounting of lenses which would be an advantage for wide
    |> angle lenses, with an adaptor to extend the length for mounting regular SLR
    |> lenses at their proper distance.
    |
    | That appears to be the intent of the Mu4/3 system as it stands at the
    | moment.
    | The Olympus version looks more like a P&S like than the SLR styled
    | DMC-G1, but it really remains to be seen what the Oly camera will
    | actually be like.

    Certainly any lens system could gain by a camera design that can place the
    lens closer to the sensor. But is this would Canon/Nikon would do if they
    made a camera like this (Which I might call "single lens display" or "single
    lens direct" or SLD for short)?
     
    Guest, Sep 29, 2008
    #13
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | On 29 Sep 2008 00:12:30 GMT, wrote:
    |
    |>
    |>| It's depressing the number of times I have had to say this recently -
    |>| This is a feature of the now obsolete Sony F707.
    |>
    |>And this now obsolete Sony F707 was compatible with which company's line of
    |>SLR lenses? Canon? Nikon? Pentax? Olympus?
    |
    | I'm just pointing out that this now obsolete Sony incorporated many
    | unusual features which people on this news group now say they want to
    | have. I was making no claims about lens systems.

    If it were compatible with Canon lenses, it would have become a camera of
    more interest by many Canon system owners.

    If it were compatible with Nikon lenses, it would have become a camera of
    more interest by many Nikon system owners.

    In any case, one factor of its failure could be the lack of a variety of
    lenses, and quality lenses, for it. My point is, that I do not believe its
    failure necessarily reflects on the general concept being without interest
    sufficient to support a market. If Canon or Nikon made such a camera (Which
    I might call "single lens display" or "single lens direct" or SLD for short),
    I believe it would sell more than one made by Sony. While Sony has its own
    following, it isn't particularly by high end hobby and certainly not by
    professional photographers. I believe lens compatibility _is_ particularly
    important to get beyond the P&S crowd. Sony just made a high end P&S camera.

    The kind of camera body shape I envision for SLD is not one like the F707,
    although in theory one could be made like that, and it might make an option
    of interest for many people. Instead, the shape I envision is simply like
    the classic SLR, which is derived from general cartridge/roll film cameras
    that set the spools off to the side instead of behind the film plane as
    Hasselblad backs do. That gives a two sided grip. This shape would then
    be thinner front-to-back accounting for the shorter mount-to-sensor distance.

    But that vision doesn't have to dictate the product going to market. If it
    ended up with an F707 shape, and otherwise supported attachable lenses of the
    full Canon or Nikon line when made by those companies, then I would see it as
    fulfilling a market interest I do believe exists.
     
    Guest, Sep 29, 2008
    #14
  15. Guest

    J. Clarke Guest

    Actually, Leica, Panasonic, and Olympus have cross-licensed the 4/3
    system and all sell cameras and lenses for it. Meanwhile, Canon has a
    relatively short flange distance on their cameras, allowing many other
    manufacturers' lenses to be used with an adapter, while Nikon has a
    relatively long flange distance, allowing many of their lenses to be
    used on other manufacturers' cameras with adapters.
     
    J. Clarke, Sep 29, 2008
    #15
  16. Guest

    J. Clarke Guest

    I doubt that either Canon or Nikon would be foolish enough to alienate
    their current customer base by going to a different mount unless there
    was a significant gain in capability.
    Don't be too sure that "any lens system could gain by camera design
    that can place the lens closer to the sensor". You might want to
    research the difficulties this caused for Leica in designing the M8.
     
    J. Clarke, Sep 29, 2008
    #16
  17. Guest

    Eric Stevens Guest

    I bought it as my trial entry to digital. I was mostly very pleased
    with it. Within its range, the lens was fabulous (but I could have
    done with a wider wide angle without using an adaptor). The ability to
    use either view finder or screen was very useful. The way the lens
    pivoted on the body was a great feature when trying to take
    photographs at difficult angles. Its ability to focus in the dark was
    wonderful. The only real disappointment was the flash offered by Sony.


    Eric Stevens
     
    Eric Stevens, Sep 29, 2008
    #17
  18. Guest

    J. Clarke Guest

    Well, to "support detachable lenses of the full Canon or Nikon line"
    you'd have to first get a license from one of those companies to use
    their mount and get them to provide you with the technical information
    necessary to support it. I don't know about Nikon but Canon has
    historically been very reluctant to part with that information, with
    the result that third-party lenses and TTL-metering flash units have
    had compatibility problems with Canon cameras. I certainly would not
    buy a third-party EOS-mount camera unless I was certain that it was
    designed with the cooperation and support of Canon. Nikon does have
    such a deal with Fuji apparently, but it seems to involve Fuji
    purchasing camera frames from Nikon and putting their own electronics
    in them, so perhaps such a thing could happen with Nikon lenses.
    Where's the real gain though if Nikon doesn't produce a new mount with
    a shorter flange distance?
     
    J. Clarke, Sep 29, 2008
    #18
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | Actually, Leica, Panasonic, and Olympus have cross-licensed the 4/3
    | system and all sell cameras and lenses for it. Meanwhile, Canon has a
    | relatively short flange distance on their cameras, allowing many other
    | manufacturers' lenses to be used with an adapter, while Nikon has a
    | relatively long flange distance, allowing many of their lenses to be
    | used on other manufacturers' cameras with adapters.

    So what if Canon and/or Nikon chooses to make a camera of this design (SLD
    as I called it earlier) ... what is the chance they will go with APS-C vs.
    4/3?
     
    Guest, Sep 30, 2008
    #19
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    | I doubt that either Canon or Nikon would be foolish enough to alienate
    | their current customer base by going to a different mount unless there
    | was a significant gain in capability.

    What about if the compatible mount is by means of an adapter that extends
    the mount flange out to the distance their SLR lens line uses?


    |> Certainly any lens system could gain by a camera design that can
    |> place the lens closer to the sensor. But is this would Canon/Nikon
    |> would do if they made a camera like this (Which I might call "single
    |> lens display" or "single lens direct" or SLD for short)?
    |
    | Don't be too sure that "any lens system could gain by camera design
    | that can place the lens closer to the sensor". You might want to
    | research the difficulties this caused for Leica in designing the M8.

    The shorter the focal length, the more it gains by being closer to the film
    or sensor plane. Very wide angle lenses (like 16mm and shorter in full frame
    dimensions) are tough to get both correct color and correct geometry without
    a lot of expensive compensations. Of course there are counter issues, too,
    such as uniformity of film/sensor coverage. A lens 1mm from the film/sensor
    plane is going to have a hard time covering things. BUT ... a little bit
    closer, especially for the smaller APS-C size, can reduce the cost of a good
    wide angle lens.
     
    Guest, Sep 30, 2008
    #20
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