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kodachrome 6 703
2 Sep 2012 7:41AM
I was a Canon user in the days when the pellicle mirror was launched by Canon. It received a less than enthusiastic welcome from the photographic community and sales were quite small. From what I can remember, the then photo mags gave it a reserved thumbs up, but eventually Canon dropped the idea for lack of interest and small sales figures.

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Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
2 Sep 2012 10:18AM

Quote:eventually Canon dropped the idea for lack of interest and small sales figures

A bit of déjà vu, then! Wink

I'm not at all against novel ideas and it's good that Sony are giving this another try. But it may be a bit like 3D photography.... been around for decades but never really catches on with the mass public.
keith selmes 14 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2012 1:51PM
The EOS RT was much loved by a niche market of people like portrait photographers, some of whom could live with the dim viewfinder so long as it gave them a contionuous view of the subject, with no flipping mirror blocking the view just at the crucial moment - like a TLR, you could see just what you were taking. But for most people the treade of f wasn't needed.

I thought the idea with an SLT was that it has an EVF, and only uses the pellicle for the AF control, which is a totally different thing.
From what I have read, the only reason it's not called mirrorless or milc or EVIL or whatever is that Sony want to differentiate on the AF methd, and came up with "SLT".

Or have I misunderstood something ?
redhed17 12 842 England
2 Sep 2012 1:55PM

Quote:I just object to the implication - on the part of several posters - that the pellicle mirror must be "flawed" because Canon didn't pursue it.

I am not saying it is flawed, but am wondering about the compromises the system has. When one of the biggest camera companies in the world (Canon) developed the technology and has done nothing with it for 20 years, you have to ask why.

It could be that Sony think the technology is there to make it work, and that it's the right time for it. Sony had to try and differentiate themselves from Canon and Nikon, because their strategy of competing on choice and price, while relatively successful, wasn't about to beat the big two. They have gambled on the video, AF and FPS side of the camera, and hoped that people accept the EVF and slightly reduced high ISO performance as the cost. So far, it doesn't seem to be working. Canon not trying the technology again again could be a case of 'once bitten.....' :-/

There are pluses and minuses to each system, DSLR and SLT. To make a the change to a SLT camera, the benefits have to be really attractive. Most people know the limitations of the DSLR design and can work around them, and indeed may not see limitations because 'that's just the way they work', but to go down the SLT route is a conscious decision to compromise in areas you may not want to, and for now, for many, the EVF is the step too far imho.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
2 Sep 2012 6:06PM
There now seems little doubt that the Mirrorless Army is slowly conquering the planet - starting in the Far East where mirrorless represents more than half of sales of interchangeable-lens cameras. However, for some an EVF will never be acceptable.

One assumes Sony is trying to corner that market with the SLT. Well good luck to them but I suspect that the majority of those who don't want a CSC will stick with DSLRs.
Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2012 6:28PM
It may be Ludditism, but there are an awful lot of photographers who prefer a 'live' viewfinder as opposed to a 'live view' one. I have an EVF for my LX5, but it is nowhere as good as I want it to be.

Maybe it's me, but I prefer the pentaprism and eyepiece method for everyday shooting. I also use rangefinders, and it's interesting that a couple of niche manufacturers continue to produce low-volume high cost systems, whereas I get the feeling that Canon/Nikon et al would drop the products if the sales figures dropped that low. In the same way Canon dropped the Pellicle mirror and none of the other players even produced a commercial product, maybe demand did not warrant the expense of development costs.
petebfrance 6 2.7k France
2 Sep 2012 7:32PM
What would be nice would be an OVF that becomes a live-view EVF on half-depressing the shutter - with, of course, a histogram.....sort of, 'that's what's there' followed by 'that's what you're going to get.' Seems obvious, really Smile
Not a lot fo use, I guess, if the subject has already gone home for tea Wink
keith selmes 14 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2012 10:59PM

Quote:an OVF that becomes a live-view EVF on half-depressing the shutter

Something like this one http://www.finepix-x100.com/en/x100/hybrid-viewfinder
kodachrome 6 703
3 Sep 2012 7:55AM
A head up display overlay on the OVF like Jet fighters have on their wind screen might be the way to go. Fuji are using some thing similar on their Pro-1.
Steppenwolf 6 1.2k
3 Sep 2012 2:06PM

Quote:Frankly, even the lastest torque-converter based autos can be as quick as the automated-manual boxes (but without the complications and, in some cases, fragility)...... as can be seen from the fact that the acceleration times are quicker than their conventional manual versions.

I guess you're talking about Mercedes. The acceleration times of their slush pump models are indeed faster than the manuals, but for two reasons 1) Mercedes have never quite worked out how to make a manual gearbox so it takes a long time to change gear 2) they fit a very low 2nd gear to their manuals which means that you need two gear changes to get to 62mph. In real life the manual versions are still a lot quicker than the autos though - despite how long it takes to manually change gear it's still faster than a slush pump and the manual doesn't soak up engine power. The really funny thing is that Merc quote better fuel consumption figures for the auto too - I don't know how they've managed to rig this, but no doubt there are ways.

SM, I've driven many rear wheel drive manuals (not the GT86 yet - modelled on the legendary old '86 Corolla GT - but I will soon). The problem is that technology has moved on. Modern high performance cars go so fast and have so many gears that changing them manually becomes a full time job, if you want to be in the right gear all the time. It also wastes time - that's why F1, Rally cars and Touring cars all use automated shifting.

There's also a problem with front engine/RWD when it comes to road use. Because most manufacturers now fit huge wheels to all their cars ( a very silly fad) and also very intrusive traction control that usually can't be completely turned off, this configuration is useless in adverse conditions. That's why Mercs, BMWs (and MX5s) get abandoned by the side of the road in 2" of snow. Mercedes and BMW are now starting to make FWD cars. It does work betterthan RWD in most conditions - although computer-controlled 4WD is the ideal.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
3 Sep 2012 2:36PM

Quote:I guess you're talking about Mercedes.

No - some of the latest BMWs as well. And a few others too. Also, you cannot go by the silly 0-60 times for real world driving: any auto will, for example, be ready
and raring to go at the lights whilst manual drivers fumble around with their gearsticks and clutch pedals. Grin Americans (90% of whom drive automatics) are often shocked at how slow British traffic (predominantly still manual) is at the traffic lights "GP". Then there's the kickdown of course - again pretty much instantaneous.

I personally love my paddleshift transmission, which allows gear-changing even when in full auto mode (a bit like EV shift on a camera in AE mode!), and absolutely hated it when I had to drive a conventional manual for a few days back in January. Wouldn't want a car without a paddleshift now.

Quote:Mercedes and BMW are now starting to make FWD cars. It does work betterthan RWD in most conditions - although computer-controlled 4WD is the ideal.

BMW have made 4WD versions of many of their models for very many years. It's just that we don't get them in the UK... but that is changing.

PS: Is this still a photography site? Smile
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2012 10:56PM
Sometimes as cars advance you return to an older car and think "this is quite enjoyable" Subaru have educated Toyota a bit on this, so in the GT86 you have a car with modern direct injection but a non-turbo flat four engine that has a particular rev it till the valves bounce character and you have a manual gear box that has a pleasant snick as you move the gears and it has well weighted steering with good feedback and it has not been fitted with the lowest profile widest tyres. A rarity in the modern world that creates a car that many people rave about as being fun to drive, as much because of what it is not. I do not always agree with top gear but many road cars are ruined by being optimised for track use, not the real world. It has electric power steering that is full of feel, not often you read that together. And some of that comes from the tyre choice. Some of the driving experience also comes from the real not virtual LSD. And most people should quite rightly say its impractical, too basic and over priced.

As for snow driving, I used to agree that FWD was always better than RWD for that, till last winter. At the time we had a choice of 3 cars on the drive and in the snow an aged 106 was the best, thin tyres front wheel drive no ABS etc. But sadly it was not there and I had to get out so off I set in my modern VAG car that quickly turned out to have a few fatal snow flaws. First the tyres were too wide, so its traction was terrible causing the traction control to go wild for a bit then cut out. So after attempting to up the hill for a bit I gave up and on the decent found problem 2, no ABS off button so you could not lock the wheels and snow plough. So I dug out aged MX5 to find its tradition LSD just worked and its more modest tyres had more grip so using a car I thought was totally impractical in the snow turned out to be not so bad. And for a while it was fun driving roof down in the snow. on quiet roads it became a challenge to see how long a drift could be held.

I have no doubt that in normal UK driving conditions the VAG car is great and I like the VSC etc features and it is a highly competent car and wipes the floor in all the mathematics type measures against my ancient MX5, 0-60 in the time that used to be the preserve of real performance cars and cornering speeds that are far too fast for a car of its size. But then it is also a rather soulless beast too, with uncommunicative steering till you are well the legal road limits and is so competent its boring unless you are driving like a lunatic. It is just that it would be good to turn of some of the electronics for a bit. Keep the stuff running the engine and doing air bags etc.

And sometimes its more fun knowing that to drive fast you need to time the gear changes and knowing that you can alter its path through a curve with the throttle and you can feel through the steering how the tyres are loading. I know a car with a roof is stiffer, and yes I can feel its chassis flex but then that is just another driving parameter.

After all the old 911 has more than a few flaws in its handling character, but its hard not to love taming it. And not everyone will like it.

As for this winter I am investigating getting a spare set of steel wheels with narrower winter tyres if the insurance company will agree. And no the 5 is not a good snow car, its just a reflection on how a good car had been optimised for dry summer roads not winter ones and so was bad in the snow.

Was this ever a photography site?????
Steppenwolf 6 1.2k
4 Sep 2012 8:23AM

Quote:Sometimes as cars advance you return to an older car and think "this is quite enjoyable"

Possibly, but it's very obvious that you seem to hanker after things from a bygone age - both in cars and cameras. The MX5 is a blatant copy of the '65 Elan and the GT86 is designed to drive like the '86 Corolla GT. Front engine and rear wheel drive is also the traditional configuration. Also the camera that seems to have captured the imaginations of people on this forum is the new Olympus OMD which is designed to evoke the '70s OM-1. Maybe it says something about the average age of people on this forum - retro things remind them of their lost youth.

As far as I'm concerned I like stuff bang up to date and you can keep your 911s with everything in the wrong place - give me the GTR every time which outguns it in every department, and is also cheaper.
kodachrome 6 703
4 Sep 2012 11:20AM

Its interesting you mention the Oly OM-D with its retro OM-1 styling. My local camera shop told me most of the time it does not float the younger photo enthusiast boat and most sales [not all] were to an older generation. Although I used OM-1/2 cameras in the 70's, I much prefer the modern DSLR for its handling and comfort. The OM-D can be the best thing since fried bread, but not for me.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2012 1:09PM
Its an interesting question as to why people are excited about the OMD I thought it was because it offered small size and weight but packed comprehensive feature set and decent image quality. I agree I would personally prefer a more modern styling, (for example the Panasonic offerings) but I think it more important to focus on the "what can it do, how portable is it" type of performance. And if you read the posts of the OMD owners it sounds like they are having fun and enjoying photography. Is that not a good thing, and does that not show that some modern technology has been used to create a new product that is good? Go read the threads on the camera and decide for yourself what is getting them excited. I do not think it is the styling only, I think it is the product design and the freedoms it gives them also.

A camera is a tool and technology is an enabler for the tool to become better.

As for cars the GT86 is bang up to date for its type of vehicle being part of the trend of making it lighter, more agile, get back to driver dynamics rather than the going out of fashion cars of being over weight. It is interesting for where it uses technology, as I said the engine and fuel system are interesting and advanced as is the design of the body shell. The more modern trend is to move people out of 4x4 vehicles and making each version of the new car more agile, lighter etc. For engines there are a couple of different ways of going forwards, the end game is to meet emissions standards and improve efficiency, it will be interesting to see how the differing techniques turn out. Based on real world driving at the moment I would say the classic NA engine has some life left in it as the very small highly turbocharged petrol units need to be driven with care to get good economy, but it is early days and a lot will happen, especially as the cars go on a diet. And lets be honest those small turbo units can be fun to drive. Even FIATs twin air can deliver surprisingly good performance for an ECO unit of @900cc..

Of course the MX5 followed the path of past cars, like all luxury 4x4 vehicles ape the Range Rover etc etc. But what it also did was re-invent and re-open a market with a modern twist. And those products will continue to develop with lighter versions coming in the future. Mazda did something smart, they took a relatively modern (for the 90's) powertrain and made a light but stiff body shell and a well balanced car that was reliable. Toyota have looked at their owner profiles and market shares and decided to employ Subaru to make a suitable car for them.

Am I living in the past, no I do not think so, all I look for is the past being taken on and improved. If I were living in the past I would say the old MX5 was better than the GT86, but it clearly is not, the more modern car with its advanced technology is better.

Modern legislation has made cars stronger and offer better crash protection and improved the emissions, but it has till now mostly come at the price of efficiency, and sometimes vehicle dynamics. As the focus moves to efficiency for the future cars will get lighter, the pressure to not drive a large vehicle unless you have to will rise. So the modern design focus on reducing weight without reducing strength.

I look forwards to the next generation of cars as they will drive better. I guess I am just ahead of the wave Wink My youth is behind me but I look forwards to a life of getting old disgracefully.

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