Re: Death of the slapping mirror

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bruce, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    Alfred Molon <> wrote:

    >New Sony Alpha 55 with semitransparent non-moving mirror, only 30% light
    >loss but always on fast phase-AF, EVF.
    >No more issues with noise and vibrations caused by a slapping mirror,
    >phase AF available when shooting video.
    >
    >Quite an interesting innovation, I wonder if other manufacturers will
    >choose the same path. The advantage over an EVIL design is the phase-AF.



    A pellicle mirror is **DEFINITELY NOT** an "innovation".

    Canon used it in their 1960s Pellix and again in the Canon EOS RT,
    plus the 10 frames/sec Canon EOS 1n HS. Nikon also flirted with
    pellicle mirror versions of some of the F series 35mm SLRs.

    All were low volume experiments that were discontinued due to weak
    sales. I predict the same fate for the Sony Alpha 33 and 55.
    Bruce, Aug 24, 2010
    #1
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  2. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    Allen <> wrote:
    >Bruce wrote:
    >> Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> New Sony Alpha 55 with semitransparent non-moving mirror, only 30% light
    >>> loss but always on fast phase-AF, EVF.
    >>> No more issues with noise and vibrations caused by a slapping mirror,
    >>> phase AF available when shooting video.
    >>>
    >>> Quite an interesting innovation, I wonder if other manufacturers will
    >>> choose the same path. The advantage over an EVIL design is the phase-AF.

    >>
    >>
    >> A pellicle mirror is **DEFINITELY NOT** an "innovation".
    >>
    >> Canon used it in their 1960s Pellix and again in the Canon EOS RT,
    >> plus the 10 frames/sec Canon EOS 1n HS. Nikon also flirted with
    >> pellicle mirror versions of some of the F series 35mm SLRs.
    >>
    >> All were low volume experiments that were discontinued due to weak
    >> sales. I predict the same fate for the Sony Alpha 33 and 55.
    >>

    >Thank you, Bruce. I was trying to remember the details of that almost
    >50-year-old device, but my memory failed me. But considering the patent
    >laws nowadays, though, I wouldn't be surprised if Sony files for and
    >gets a dozen patents on it.



    It doesn't matter how many patents Sony has.

    It won't sell. ;-)
    Bruce, Aug 24, 2010
    #2
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  3. Bruce

    dj_nme Guest

    George Kerby wrote:
    >
    >
    > On 8/24/10 11:25 AM, in article ,
    > "Bruce" <> wrote:
    >
    >> Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> New Sony Alpha 55 with semitransparent non-moving mirror, only 30% light
    >>> loss but always on fast phase-AF, EVF.
    >>> No more issues with noise and vibrations caused by a slapping mirror,
    >>> phase AF available when shooting video.
    >>>
    >>> Quite an interesting innovation, I wonder if other manufacturers will
    >>> choose the same path. The advantage over an EVIL design is the phase-AF.

    >>
    >> A pellicle mirror is **DEFINITELY NOT** an "innovation".
    >>
    >> Canon used it in their 1960s Pellix and again in the Canon EOS RT,
    >> plus the 10 frames/sec Canon EOS 1n HS. Nikon also flirted with
    >> pellicle mirror versions of some of the F series 35mm SLRs.
    >>
    >> All were low volume experiments that were discontinued due to weak
    >> sales. I predict the same fate for the Sony Alpha 33 and 55.
    >>

    > Thank you, sir.
    >


    These EVIL/hybrid cameras (lack of optical reflex viewfinder
    disqualifies them from being SLR cameras) made by Sony seem to be better
    suited to video.
    It might be the student and small-time movie makers that help them
    survive in the marketplace.
    Who really knows?
    From a video-camera perspective, the Sony A33 and A55 both look like a
    pretty good deal: interchangeable lenses and large sensor, presumably
    with an "entry level" sized "DSLR" price-tag rather than a pro-video
    camera "ultra luxury" price.
    dj_nme, Aug 26, 2010
    #3
  4. Bruce

    dj_nme Guest

    Neil Harrington wrote:
    > "dj_nme" <> wrote in message
    > news:4c75bad9$0$25361$...
    >
    >
    >> These EVIL/hybrid cameras (lack of optical reflex viewfinder disqualifies
    >> them from being SLR cameras)

    >
    > I would say as long as it's got a mirror it's a reflex. What happens to the
    > imaging after it leaves the mirror doesn't change that. If you took the
    > pentaprism and eyepiece off an SLR and adapted an EVF to the body instead,
    > it would still be an SLR.


    If the imaging sensor for the viewfinder was located in the same place
    as the focusing/matte screen of an ordinary SLR camera, then you perhaps
    could "stretch" (I would say "butcher") the term SLR camera to include
    this hypothetical camera.
    The mirror in the two new Sony Alpha cameras plays no part in the
    viewfinder, they have no reflex viewfinder at all and so can't be called
    SLR cameras.

    Call them EVIL (or hybrid) cameras and you would be accurate with your
    description.
    dj_nme, Aug 26, 2010
    #4
  5. Bruce

    dj_nme Guest

    Alfred Molon wrote:
    > In article <4c766259$0$25356$>, dj_nme
    > says...
    >> The mirror in the two new Sony Alpha cameras plays no part in the
    >> viewfinder, they have no reflex viewfinder at all and so can't be called
    >> SLR cameras.

    >
    > In fact Sony is calling it an SLT camera.


    I am fully aware of this fact.
    That's why I was particularly keen to point out that these cameras
    aren't SLR cameras.
    dj_nme, Aug 27, 2010
    #5
  6. Bruce

    John A. Guest

    On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 16:43:20 +0200, Alfred Molon
    <> wrote:

    >In article <4c7775bc$0$25361$>, dj_nme
    >says...
    >> That's why I was particularly keen to point out that these cameras
    >> aren't SLR cameras.

    >
    >... which is highly irrelevant.


    Ok... do you mean that it's irrelevant that they aren't SLRs, or that
    the camera is irrelevant in the slr-systems group?
    John A., Aug 27, 2010
    #6
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    dj_nme <> wrote:
    >Alfred Molon wrote:
    >> In article <4c766259$0$25356$>, dj_nme
    >> says...
    >>> The mirror in the two new Sony Alpha cameras plays no part in the
    >>> viewfinder, they have no reflex viewfinder at all and so can't be called
    >>> SLR cameras.

    >>
    >> In fact Sony is calling it an SLT camera.

    >
    >I am fully aware of this fact.
    >That's why I was particularly keen to point out that these cameras
    >aren't SLR cameras.



    That's a perfectly valid point. They are basically mirrorless
    cameras, but with a mirror that is there purely for focusing. They
    might have mirrors, but as far as the viewfinder is concerned, the
    mirror has no part to play.

    The mirror will, of course, be the most problematic part of the
    camera. If it is anything less than spotlessly clean, it will degrade
    the image recorded by the sensor.

    These so-called "SLT" cameras must be among the most pointless cameras
    ever produced. But that's Sony for you. ;-)
    Bruce, Aug 27, 2010
    #7
  8. Bruce

    John A. Guest

    On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 20:58:32 +0200, Alfred Molon
    <> wrote:

    >In article <>, John A. says...
    >> Ok... do you mean that it's irrelevant that they aren't SLRs, or that
    >> the camera is irrelevant in the slr-systems group?

    >
    >Since the mirror is going to disappear sooner or later,
    >rec.photo.digital.SLR-systems will go the way of the dodo.
    >OVFs will also disappear from most cameras sooner or later, replaced by
    >EVFs.


    If they do, I have a feeling it will only be a temporary absence.
    John A., Aug 27, 2010
    #8
  9. In article <>, Bruce
    <> writes
    >
    >The mirror will, of course, be the most problematic part of the
    >camera. If it is anything less than spotlessly clean, it will degrade
    >the image recorded by the sensor.
    >

    Much less than the degradation of a less that spotlessly clean sensor
    filter stack.

    A 10um sized spec of dirt on the filter stack causes dust bunny shadows
    on the image, which are small and dense at high f/#s or larger and less
    dense with low f/#s. The same sized spec of dust in the middle of the
    pellicle mirror would be at least 12mm from the focal plane, so even at
    f/16 its effect would be very limited.

    At f/16 the light forming each pixel in the centre of the image goes
    through a circle of about 0.75mm diameter on the mirror. So that same
    10um piece of dirt, which causes objectionable dust bunnies on the
    filter at f/16, blocks about 0.02% of the light to the pixel when it is
    on the mirror. That's less than 1LSB of the 12-bit signal from each
    pixel and less than the peak photon noise itself. In short, except on
    highly stacked images, it would be completely invisible.

    To have any material effect on the image, dirt on the mirror has to be
    enormous compared to the dirt that would be unacceptable on the sensor
    filter stack. Dirt particles that size are the easiest to clear either
    with blown air or vibrating the pellicle itself.

    >These so-called "SLT" cameras must be among the most pointless cameras
    >ever produced. But that's Sony for you. ;-)
    >

    No, its just you.
    --
    Kennedy
    Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
    A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.
    Python Philosophers (replace 'nospam' with 'kennedym' when replying)
    Kennedy McEwen, Aug 28, 2010
    #9
  10. Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > In article <>, Alan Browne
    > says...
    >> I also doubt the mirror will disappear as soon as some believe/hope.


    > Huge advantage if that mirror goes:
    > - no mirror movement vibrations any more (MLU no longer needed)
    > - much faster cameras (faster AF, higher frame rate)
    > - 100% match between viewfinder/LCD image and what is being recorded
    > - more accurate metering if the main sensor is used for metering


    Huge advantages if the mirror stays:
    - Zero[1] power cost to watch through the viewfinder. All EVIL
    viewfinder screens need power to display and most all will need
    significant power to light the screen.[2]
    - a few cm at lightspeed view lag. EVIL cameras need to read
    the data from the sensor, postprocess it and write it to the
    viewfinder screen.
    - inbuild non-glare function. At night all electronic viewfinders
    need lighting, and I haven't yet found one that can be turned
    down low enough to not at least damage night vision, much less
    one that does that automatically.
    During daytime the viewfinder is automatically much brighter,
    without needing extra lighting.
    - cooler (less noisy) main sensor, as it and the amplifiers and
    digitizers can be switched off unless you are actually taking an
    image now. Google amplifier glow. EVIL cameras need sensor,
    amplifiers and digitizers to run just to show something on
    the viewfinder.
    - viewfinder quality is only determined by optics, not by how
    few dots a viewfinder has. Current viewfinders have around
    VGA resolution (ca. 640x480, or ca. 1 Mio dots). That's not
    much at all --- even camera makers think so and allow zooming
    for manual focussing. (Which is a nice feature.)[3]
    - no mirror movement necessary, as soon mirrors will be optionally
    risable pellicle mirrors.[4] If you need the 33% of the light
    the pellicle mirror eats for the viewfinder, it'll rise like
    a current SLR's mirror. Further in the future is the electric
    mirror, where a current makes the mirror stop mirroring and
    can also act as a shutter.[5]
    - much faster AF, since dedicated phase detection AF sensors know
    which direction and how far the focus motor needs to be turned.
    (Additionally, the sensors are more light sensitive and/or
    more detailed than the main sensor can be.[6]) Even today they
    are programmed by the lens on how much to offset that result
    to reach an overall maximum sharpness (different colours of
    light are refracted in different degrees and the AF sensors
    sensitivity need not necessarily align with what the eye
    sees dominantly).
    EVIL cameras need to guess the direction of the focus by try
    and error and reach being in focus the same way, step by step.
    And the darker it becomes, the worse the focussing capability.
    - 100% viewfinders are possible, that's not an EVIL only feature.
    - dedicated metering sensors are better than the main sensor for
    metering, since they can be purpose built. Of course, if you
    insist, use the main sensor: see pellicle mirror.
    - Frame rate only depends on the main sensor --- just as with
    EVIL cameras. See pellicle mirror. Just keep the shutter
    open, if need be.

    -Wolfgang

    [1] near zero for overlays, as in 'drains the camera slower than
    the self discharge of the battery'.
    [2] You could use ambient light during the day, but not at night.
    [3] For these situations lifeview and back monitors were invented.
    [4] It's such a trivial idea, it must be patented by now.
    [5] It should be possible to adjust the strength of the mirror,
    too.
    [6] EVIL cameras need to mostly use the green pixels for sharpness,
    loosing 50% of the light to red and blue sensors, light is
    stopped by the green filters too --- and the distance to the
    next green pixel is SQRT(2) of the pixel spacing.
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Aug 31, 2010
    #10
  11. Bruce

    David Guest

    In article <>,
    "Neil Harrington" <> wrote:

    > >
    > > All were low volume experiments that were discontinued due to weak
    > > sales. I predict the same fate for the Sony Alpha 33 and 55.

    >
    > You may well be right, but it will be interesting to see what the price
    > points are. If their system makes it possible to turn out significantly
    > lower-cost SLRs that still take readily available lenses and system
    > accessories, along with the noise and vibration reduction, etc., and it
    > works well, it might generate a lot of buyer interest. Almost anything will
    > sell if the price is right.


    I am thinking of buying one of these, but find it difficult to evaluate
    in comparison to so many other cameras out there around that price range
    A$990 with 50mm and 200mm sony lenses

    I have been using a Panasonic Z3 which is OK, but I would like to have a
    good SLR with the aim of doing some illustrated tour articles for
    magazines.

    I had a SLR (film) some years ago but had to give it up as my eyes were
    nbg for focusing and I couldn't afford an autofocus cam at that time.

    I would not have thought of Sony as a camera mfg except for an article
    on this camera in an electronic mag - my thoughts would have led me to
    nikon or canon units in the $1,000 range.

    Advice would be much appreciated

    David
    David, Sep 1, 2010
    #11
  12. Bruce

    J. Clarke Guest

    On 9/1/2010 4:38 AM, David wrote:
    > In article<>,
    > "Neil Harrington"<> wrote:
    >
    >>>
    >>> All were low volume experiments that were discontinued due to weak
    >>> sales. I predict the same fate for the Sony Alpha 33 and 55.

    >>
    >> You may well be right, but it will be interesting to see what the price
    >> points are. If their system makes it possible to turn out significantly
    >> lower-cost SLRs that still take readily available lenses and system
    >> accessories, along with the noise and vibration reduction, etc., and it
    >> works well, it might generate a lot of buyer interest. Almost anything will
    >> sell if the price is right.

    >
    > I am thinking of buying one of these, but find it difficult to evaluate
    > in comparison to so many other cameras out there around that price range
    > A$990 with 50mm and 200mm sony lenses
    >
    > I have been using a Panasonic Z3 which is OK, but I would like to have a
    > good SLR with the aim of doing some illustrated tour articles for
    > magazines.
    >
    > I had a SLR (film) some years ago but had to give it up as my eyes were
    > nbg for focusing and I couldn't afford an autofocus cam at that time.
    >
    > I would not have thought of Sony as a camera mfg except for an article
    > on this camera in an electronic mag - my thoughts would have led me to
    > nikon or canon units in the $1,000 range.
    >
    > Advice would be much appreciated


    Just so you're aware of it, Sony bought out Konica/Minolta's camera
    operation a few years back--the early Alphas were pretty much rebadged
    Minoltas.

    Note that the Alpha 33 and 55 are "EVIL" ("Electronic Viewfinder
    Interchangeable Lens) cameras--the partially transmissive mirror feeds
    the sensor and the autofocus array, the viewfinder itself is electronic
    fed off the sensor. Some of the discussion here suggests that the
    partially transmissive mirror is a way of cheapening the camera by
    removing some moving parts, but that's not the route that Sony has
    chosen. They are not the cheapest cameras in Sony's line by any
    means--take a look at the A290 if you're on a tight budget.

    I would have expected the combination of high pixel count and partially
    transmissive mirror to be the kiss of death in a low light situation but
    apparently they show noise levels comparable to other similarly priced
    cameras so maybe Sony knows something about sensors that their
    competitors don't.

    One difference is battery life--turn off preview on a DSLR and you can
    get a thousand or more shots on a battery--battery life is really a
    non-issue. The EVF cuts that down to levels similar to any other EVF
    camera. That may or may not be an issue for you.

    Right now Sony is coming up with some very interesting designs--the
    compact EVIL NEX-3 and NEX-5, the A33 and A55 EVIL with eye-level finder
    and improved autofocus, and their regular DSLR line, all capable of
    using the same lenses (except for the lenses that are specific to the
    NEX line).

    If you go with the 33 or 55 you're pioneering--no other camera based on
    that particular concept has ever existed in the market--they may be the
    wave of the future or a totally unsatisfactory dead end.

    The worrisome thing though is that if Sony doesn't make enough money off
    of digital interchangeable lens cameras they may just drop the line
    completely and abandon the market like they did with PDAs.
    J. Clarke, Sep 1, 2010
    #12
  13. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    "J. Clarke" <> wrote:
    >If you go with the 33 or 55 you're pioneering--no other camera based on
    >that particular concept has ever existed in the market--they may be the
    >wave of the future or a totally unsatisfactory dead end.
    >
    >The worrisome thing though is that if Sony doesn't make enough money off
    >of digital interchangeable lens cameras they may just drop the line
    >completely and abandon the market like they did with PDAs.



    The NEX cameras and lenses are selling well. Sony has also announced
    a video camera using the same sensor and lenses as NEX, and this has
    generated a lot of interest. So I think NEX is probably here to stay.
    Having used an NEX 5 for a day, I was quite impressed.

    Sony's big problem is the Alpha line of DSLRs and lenses. They have
    never sold well, and they aren't selling well now. Sony's objective
    was a 20% market share but Alpha hasn't achieved much more than a
    quarter of that.

    The newer entry-level Alpha bodies have had some bad reviews. The
    full frame A850 body just isn't selling. Its A900 predecessor has
    long been discontinued but many unsold examples remain, because that
    model didn't sell either.

    The A33 and A55 are a bizarre departure from the basic DSLR design,
    introducing a problematic half-silvered mirror and an EVF instead of
    proper reflex viewing. It is difficult to imagine who the A33 and A55
    are aimed at, or who will buy them.

    So the Alpha line is looking very shaky indeed. One can imagine full
    frame bodies being dropped from the range very soon, if Sony haven't
    already stopped making them, as seems likely. That means the A700
    replacement (if it exists) will become the top of the all-APS-C Alpha
    range, meaning that Alpha users who bought Sony's Carl Zeiss lenses
    for their full frame coverage will have wasted their money.

    Also, the Alpha lenses will only work on NEX bodies in manual focus
    mode. So I can't see that being a popular option. All the signs are
    that Sony will concentrate on NEX and let the Alpha range wither and
    die.

    I can't see the Alpha range lasting beyond 2012. If the A33 and A55
    don't sell well, the end may come even sooner than that. This is not
    the time to be investing in Sony Alpha equipment.
    Bruce, Sep 1, 2010
    #13
  14. Bruce

    TomTom Guest

    Re: Death of the DSLR-TROLLS

    On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 09:26:34 -0400, "J. Clarke" <>
    wrote:

    >Note that the Alpha 33 and 55 are "EVIL" ("Electronic Viewfinder
    >Interchangeable Lens) cameras-


    You DSLR Trolls sure do love denigrating anything that's not a DSLR, don't
    you. How about if we call all DSLRs as CRAPs, for "Change-lens for Really
    Awful Pauses". Or maybe SATANs, for "Shutter Antique, Trying to Avoid
    New-century". Okay, those aren't really creative, but then I haven't sat
    there for 3 days trying to come up with something like EVIL for a non-DSLR.

    Aren't you glad that all other camera users are not as pathetically
    insecure as DSLR users are? Or else the vastly larger majority of all other
    camera uses could have easily popularized all sorts of equally denigrating
    acronyms for DSLRs. See how that works? See how obvious you all are?

    Find and popularize a different acronym if you don't want to keep
    advertising your blatantly childish insecurity.
    TomTom, Sep 1, 2010
    #14
  15. Bruce

    DanP Guest

    Re: Death of the DSLR-TROLLS

    On Sep 1, 8:24 pm, TomTom <> wrote:
    > On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 09:26:34 -0400, "J. Clarke" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Note that the Alpha 33 and 55 are "EVIL" ("Electronic Viewfinder
    > >Interchangeable Lens) cameras-

    >
    > You DSLR Trolls sure do love denigrating anything that's not a DSLR, don't


    Even the people who likes them calls them EVIL.
    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/five-reasons-you-should-ditch-your-dslr/
    See the reference to compact cameras.

    DanP
    DanP, Sep 1, 2010
    #15
  16. Bruce

    TomTom Guest

    Re: Death of the DSLR-TROLLS

    On Wed, 1 Sep 2010 14:01:16 -0700 (PDT), DanP <> wrote:

    >On Sep 1, 8:24 pm, TomTom <> wrote:
    >> On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 09:26:34 -0400, "J. Clarke" <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >> >Note that the Alpha 33 and 55 are "EVIL" ("Electronic Viewfinder
    >> >Interchangeable Lens) cameras-

    >>
    >> You DSLR Trolls sure do love denigrating anything that's not a DSLR, don't

    >
    >Even the people who likes them calls them EVIL.
    >http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/five-reasons-you-should-ditch-your-dslr/
    >See the reference to compact cameras.
    >
    >DanP


    Wow, one person's opinion, influenced by insecure DSLR-TROLLS like you.

    Were I as insecure as you I could find 10,000 more people who are not
    calling them "EVIL" and perpetrating your nonsense.
    TomTom, Sep 1, 2010
    #16
  17. Bruce

    John A. Guest

    Re: Death of the DSLR-TROLLS

    On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 17:11:44 -0500, TomTom <>
    wrote:

    >On Wed, 1 Sep 2010 14:01:16 -0700 (PDT), DanP <> wrote:
    >
    >>On Sep 1, 8:24 pm, TomTom <> wrote:
    >>> On Wed, 01 Sep 2010 09:26:34 -0400, "J. Clarke" <>
    >>> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> >Note that the Alpha 33 and 55 are "EVIL" ("Electronic Viewfinder
    >>> >Interchangeable Lens) cameras-
    >>>
    >>> You DSLR Trolls sure do love denigrating anything that's not a DSLR, don't

    >>
    >>Even the people who likes them calls them EVIL.
    >>http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/five-reasons-you-should-ditch-your-dslr/
    >>See the reference to compact cameras.
    >>
    >>DanP

    >
    >Wow, one person's opinion, influenced by insecure DSLR-TROLLS like you.
    >
    >Were I as insecure as you I could find 10,000 more people who are not
    >calling them "EVIL" and perpetrating your nonsense.


    Well, yeah. Most people just call them "cameras," and DSLRs "big
    cameras," and medium-format cameras "dang big cameras," and view
    cameras "daaaang! lookit that there big dang camera!"
    John A., Sep 1, 2010
    #17
  18. Bruce

    David Guest

    Re: Death of the slapping mirror (David followup)

    In article <>,
    David <> wrote:

    Thanks to J., Bruce, Neil, and Alfred for your info and views.

    That Nikon 3100 does sound like a good alternative at around the same
    price as the Sony, and seems to have some features that I was looking for

    The provision to take video is important to me to save carting 2 cameras
    around, and that ( I think) both the Sony and the Nikon do autofocus
    while taking video is a must have for me.

    I do note that the Nikon has a lot less pixels than the Sony, and
    doesn't have an electronic viewfinder, but am not sure if these will be
    a problem when trying to sell pics to a magazine that will want to print
    them at full page size.

    That Sony might not want to continue supporting the camera is a BIG
    Worry for me. As I am on a fixed (low) income having to throw away a
    crook camera after only a year or two is also a major worry.

    David
    David, Sep 2, 2010
    #18
  19. Bruce

    John A. Guest

    Re: Death of the slapping mirror (David followup)

    On Thu, 02 Sep 2010 16:22:05 +1000, David
    <> wrote:

    >In article <>,
    > David <> wrote:
    >
    >Thanks to J., Bruce, Neil, and Alfred for your info and views.
    >
    >That Nikon 3100 does sound like a good alternative at around the same
    >price as the Sony, and seems to have some features that I was looking for
    >
    >The provision to take video is important to me to save carting 2 cameras
    >around, and that ( I think) both the Sony and the Nikon do autofocus
    >while taking video is a must have for me.
    >
    >I do note that the Nikon has a lot less pixels than the Sony, and
    >doesn't have an electronic viewfinder, but am not sure if these will be
    >a problem when trying to sell pics to a magazine that will want to print
    >them at full page size.
    >
    >That Sony might not want to continue supporting the camera is a BIG
    >Worry for me. As I am on a fixed (low) income having to throw away a
    >crook camera after only a year or two is also a major worry.


    You might want to ask the folks at the magazine for some guidance
    since they will ultimately be deciding whether the images meet their
    resolution requirements or not.
    John A., Sep 2, 2010
    #19
  20. Bruce

    J. Clarke Guest

    Re: Death of the slapping mirror (David followup)

    On 9/2/2010 2:22 AM, David wrote:
    > In article<>,
    > David<> wrote:
    >
    > Thanks to J., Bruce, Neil, and Alfred for your info and views.
    >
    > That Nikon 3100 does sound like a good alternative at around the same
    > price as the Sony, and seems to have some features that I was looking for
    >
    > The provision to take video is important to me to save carting 2 cameras
    > around, and that ( I think) both the Sony and the Nikon do autofocus
    > while taking video is a must have for me.


    Bit of difference--Sony does phase-detect autofocus in live view and
    while recording video, the Nikon has to change over to contrast detect.

    Also, if you're planning on shooting a lot of video remember that you
    can use the eye-level finder on the Sony while shooting video, but you
    can't on the Nikon (with the mirror up the optical finder is out of action).

    > I do note that the Nikon has a lot less pixels than the Sony, and
    > doesn't have an electronic viewfinder, but am not sure if these will be
    > a problem when trying to sell pics to a magazine that will want to print
    > them at full page size.


    If you have a specific magazine or group of magazines in mind, before
    you spend money on anything you should find out what their requirements
    are. Some are quite specific about pixel counts, others not so much.

    Beyond that, pixel count is to some extent a marketing thing--more
    pixels isn't always better. All else being equal more pixels means
    smaller pixels which means more noise in the image, and there's a point
    beyond which the lens resolution becomes the limiting factor in
    sharpness--10 megapixels hasn't reached that point with APS-C cameras,
    15 has with some lenses.

    > That Sony might not want to continue supporting the camera is a BIG
    > Worry for me. As I am on a fixed (low) income having to throw away a
    > crook camera after only a year or two is also a major worry.


    If you're just buying the camera kit I wouldn't worry about it. It's
    when you have put together a good stock of lenses and other
    system-specific accessories that it becomes an issue.

    The big thing is that the Sony has a unique feature set--if you need
    those features it's the only game in town right now.
    J. Clarke, Sep 2, 2010
    #20
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