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What's new in camera tech? (Read 850 times)

Paul B

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What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 12:17:20 pm
I never made the leap from my Canon system to mirrorless as at the time, the A7(R) and getting the same range of lenses looked to be a bit much £££ (and was going to have the snowball effect of needing a new PC etc.) but this weekend I had the dubious honour or photographing certain elements of my Brother-in-law's wedding (N.B. I didn't really get asked or given any say in the matter it was very much a 'family' assumption that'd it just be done).

This was despite me raising my concerns that my 5DII hadn't been turned on for several years and was still on its original battery (which, along with the camera, was bought used circa 2012 from Harrisons in Sheffield). Thankfully I borrowed Peewee's much newer 6D and apart from the fact it feels like Canon purposefully crippled the camera's handling to make people buy the higher end models for event photography, all went well (or well enough that LR4 and RAW could save the day). The photos were edited on my old (Thinkpad X220, again, bought used some time ago on UKB's rec.) which I couldn't easily connect to a monitor due to a lack of available VGA ports (and no HDMI converter).

Notwithstanding the pressure to actually output something from the event, I thoroughly enjoyed getting the camera out again and it made me think about what's the main barrier to me doing so more often (apart from time) and the answer is that the bulk of my kit (5DII, 17-15, 50, 70-200 and any flash equipment) is just too much.

My question is, without needing to go and Google loads of videos, has mirrorless tech moved on much in the past 5 or so years (affordability mainly)? Is there anything in the second-hand market that might be worth looking at (I've been on Ebay looking at the Sony RX1). I had a Fuji X220 for a while and whilst it was great, 35mm was just too wide for my brain (which is happiest with 50mm or better yet 85+).

The other option is to embrace the micro 4/3 camera I bought in 2019 for my Madagascar trip (which I never got round to buying a prime for); in reality this saw little use as on routes I seemed to care less about quality and relied on my phone instead.

Johnny Brown

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#1 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 12:32:46 pm
Good aspects of mirrorless:

Most full-frame bodies post-date the megapixel race and therefore give decent files.

The reduced body depth means adapting lenses much easier and opens up a (mostly manual) world of lenses.

The bodies generally started smaller but have got bigger. Add a couple of pro-zooms and the bulk advantage mostly evaporates.

The main advantage of newer bodies is AF.

Sony: I use zooms for commercial stuff but get most enjoyment using my original A7 (smallest A-series) with primes, some adapted. (A7RII is bigger, the IS is welcome but I don't need the MP). NB, since the continued release of high quality mid-price zooms the used price of primes (even Zeiss!) has plummeted.

Paul B

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#2 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 12:42:26 pm
Thanks. I can't see MF being my thing, 'cos lazy etc.

I did quickly check the price of the used Canon 50mm f/1.2L and 85mm f/1.2L; I'm not sure what price I was hoping for, but they didn't jump out as being cheap.


Johnny Brown

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#3 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 12:52:35 pm
1.2? What happened to reducing bulk? I've no idea about Canon.

Paul B

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#4 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 01:38:02 pm
1.2? What happened to reducing bulk? I've no idea about Canon.

It's like looking at an Audi RS6, I'm never actually going to go there.

Johnny Brown

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#5 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 02:13:59 pm
 :lol:

cheque

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#6 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 04:51:46 pm
My question is, without needing to go and Google loads of videos, has mirrorless tech moved on much in the past 5 or so years (affordability mainly)?

All the best cameras from 5 years ago are much cheaper second hand of course. All the manufacturers have pretty full ranges of lenses for their mirrorless lenses now (Canon, Nikon, Sony have everything as far as I can tell), there are more non-traditional zooms (wider apertures, unorthodox ranges), Autofocus is ridiculously good on every currently available camera, even for video. All the manufacturers seem to have comparable (ie excellent) internal stabilisation too. Medium format digital cameras are a relatively affordable and practical thing now.

The bodies generally started smaller but have got bigger.

This might be the case for Sony but Panasonic full frame mirrorless started big and keep getting smaller and smaller. I switched from M43 as I realised that I like big cameras and I’d rather take one highly capable lens out than switch between primes.

Panasonic’s direction at the time (2019/20) was “we already have M43 if you want compact bodies, our full frame cameras and lenses are no compromise things that are going to be huge and heavy”. I was all for that and I’m still completely satisfied with that gear which I bought with the proceeds of selling my huge collection of M43 stuff. Since then they’ve made nothing but small(er) plastic primes, variable-aperture zooms and smaller bodies for their full frame range. The S9 they released this month has basically the same tech as my S1 but reportedly much improved AF, crammed into what appears to be an unusably small body without things like a viewfinder or a hotshoe.

I think Canon have a new generation of pro zooms that are smaller and lighter than their first mirrorless ones. The dimensions Canon chose for their FF mirrorless mount are smaller than those chosen by others so while in theory they’re restricted in how much they can push the boundaries of performance, they can make smaller lenses and also have the widest comparability with adapted lenses. Panasonic’s mount is kind of the opposite which makes the u-turn in the
« Last Edit: July 11, 2024, 05:02:50 pm by cheque »

Paul B

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#7 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 11, 2024, 06:01:06 pm
Cheers Cheque. I've just looked at how much a used A7 body is and it was pleasantly surprising.

Did I mention my 50mm 1.4 has died (focus seems to get stuck) and in error, I sold my 85mm 1.8 in an attempt to rationalise my kit. I pretty much only used the (borrowed) 85 at the weekend.

cheque

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#8 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 12, 2024, 10:05:19 am
No worries Paul.

I thought of another recent change in camera tech- they all charge via USB-C now. I can charge both of my cameras from the lighter socket in my car (presumably simultaneously) or from a portable power bank now, something which would have been extremely useful when making The Seaside.

Not sure why I left this half-finished:

Panasonic’s mount is kind of the opposite which makes the u-turn in the

…above paragraph more surprising.

Johnny Brown

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#9 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 12, 2024, 10:16:00 am
Quote
they all charge via USB-C now. I can charge both of my cameras from the lighter socket in my car (presumably simultaneously) or from a portable power bank now,

This has been a huge advantage for me. Day to day it doesn't really make up for the shambolic battery life of the older Sonys, but spend a few days off-grid and it's an absolute game changer. On Redonda I had a small solar panel and a powerbank, and left after ten days with everything full charged, while my Canon-using friend was bemoaning a days-dead camera and trying to somehow get a new battery sent out on the next helicopter.

Paul B

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#10 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 12, 2024, 01:30:00 pm
Interesting.

I was again fighting my tech and realising that the SD card in the 6D wouldn't fit in the Chromebook's MicroSD slot (my first action was to put a backup of the files somewhere safe) only to think no problem I'll just leave it in the body, plug it in via USB as I did with the 5 and us its CF, but no, no USB port that I could see  :wall:

Is everyone now paying subscription fees for LR or are people just running older versions with their standalone licenses? When I've used newer tech I've just used Adobe DNG converter first to avoid/delay this issue.

cheque

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#11 Re: What's new in camera tech?
July 12, 2024, 01:37:47 pm
I use DxO Photolab which is just a one-off payment. I was on Aperture before that so didn’t have to make a decision about Adobe.

 

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