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Author Topic: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design  (Read 27891 times)

BJL

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Kit sizes: 35mm format vs EVIL with primes vs EVIL with zooms
« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2012, 03:59:18 pm »

As far as size, my NEX-7 plus Sigma 19, Sigma 30 and Sony 50 (and the Zeiss 24, when I owned it,) is WORLDS smaller than an equivalent setup with my A900.
Prime lens users seem happy with the size of a NEX kit, within the limited offerings of primes for NEX mount, but is there anyone who (like me) likes to carry one or two _zoom_ lenses and who is happy with the size of a NEX system? Particularly in comparison to the 4/3" and 1" format alternatives from Panasonic, Olympus, and Nikon.

P. S. I am staying with the name EVIL [Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lenses] since I, and most people here, seem to want bodies with a peep-hole viewfinder as distinct from only a rear screen.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 10:23:07 pm by BJL »
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2012, 06:08:35 pm »

BTW, Douglas, thanks for posting that image of the Billingham bag w/NEX-7. I've ordered one for mine.

Sure thing, John.  I'm not sure if you've seen my little write up about the bag in another forum, but, in order to maintain its very thin profile, there are no dividers in the bag, so I use little microfiber bags from ebay to separate the two spare lenses.  This bag is super minimalist for 3 lenses, so I want you to be aware of that before receiving it.  I've got a ton of bags around, but I really like that this one is so thin, but YMMV.  It's pretty outrageous to have such a high quality, small setup. :)
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douglasf13

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Re: Kit sizes: 35mm format vs EVIL with primes vs EVIL with zooms
« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2012, 06:21:06 pm »

Prime lens uses seem happy with the size of a NEX kit, within the limited offerings of primes for NEX mount, but is there anyone who (like me) likes to carry one or two _zoom_ lenses and who is happy with the size of a NEX system? Particularly in comparison to the 4/3" and 1" format alternatives from Panasonic, Olympus, and Nikon.

P. S. I am staying with the name EVIL [Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lenses] since I, and most people here, seem to want bodies with a peep-hole viewfinder as distinct from only a rear screen.

I don't really pay much attention to zoom lenses, but, probably not, although the NEX kit zoom is actually surprisingly good and not all that big (about the same size as the silver prime in my pic from the previous page.

The trickiest thing is in comparing zoom ranges and apertures with the different sized sensors.  Since m4/3 has a smaller sensor, the 18-55 f3.5-5.6 on NEX would be approximately equivalent to a 14-40 f2.7-f4.3 on m4/3, which is faster than the Olympus kit zoom that is 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, for example, so the two aren't directly comparable.

Either way, primes are the way to go on NEX, IMO, although I do use the kit zoom for occasional video.
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JohnBrew

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #63 on: May 07, 2012, 07:59:53 pm »

Douglas, I use Leica lenses. They are quite small. They come with a nice bag from the factory so I'll see one of those works inside the pouch.

douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #64 on: May 07, 2012, 08:25:36 pm »

Douglas, I use Leica lenses. They are quite small. They come with a nice bag from the factory so I'll see one of those works inside the pouch.

I've had a ton of M lenses, although non with the Leica pouch, and I'm betting that the Leica pouches will be a little bulky.  If they don't work, I've been using this kinda thing from ebay:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/THREE-Sunglasses-Case-Bag-Pouch-Microfiber-/260852550463?pt=US_Sunglasses&hash=item3cbc060b3f#ht_640wt_1144
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John Camp

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #65 on: May 07, 2012, 10:06:58 pm »

Just as a kind of index, I took a photo of most of my traveling m4/3 system. I included the paperback book in the (iPhone) photo for scale -- the bag is roughly the size of a briefcase. I used the iPhone because for a minute or so was I befuddled about what I'd use to take the shot (I'm not where my other cameras are.)

What we have here is a two-camera system, with two battery chargers and the two spare batteries, some miscellaneous stuff like the memory card file and grey-card array, plus seven lenses: the 20mm pancake, the 14-45 zoom, the PanaLeica 45, the Olympus 45, the 7-14 zoom, the 100-300 zoom, and the 45-200 zoom. I also have the 0.95 Voiltlander 25mm, but that's on loan to a guy at another photo blog, but it also fits in the bag (and is a most...peculiar...lens.)

The difference between this and the Nex system is that the same lens equivalents in the Nex system would most likely require a roller case, rather than a briefcase. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but I chose this system of its size, not for its ultimate resolution quality. I have a Nikon system for that, and will be adding the D800e...but I don't use it all that often.



 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 10:11:27 pm by John Camp »
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BJL

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Re: Kit sizes: 35mm format vs EVIL with primes vs EVIL with zooms
« Reply #66 on: May 07, 2012, 10:52:05 pm »

Since m4/3 has a smaller sensor, the 18-55 f3.5-5.6 on NEX would be approximately equivalent to a 14-40 f2.7-f4.3 on m4/3, which is faster than the Olympus kit zoom that is 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, for example, so the two aren't directly comparable.
The thing that people have to realise and accept is that a smaller format does not magically achieve smaller lenses while having the performance fully equivalent to  larger kit in a larger format, in the sense of giving the same field of view and equally shallow DOF wide open and equal light gathering speed and low light performance --- that would require about equally large effective aperture (focal length divided by f-stop) and so roughly the same size and weight of front elements, likely leading to similar size and weigh of the lenses.

Instead, one has to accept that there is no free lunch, in either direction. With roughly equal sensor technology:
 - A smaller kit with smaller lenses is going to be "slower" in its low light handling.
 - A bigger sensor only gives better low light performance when paired with larger lenses, of larger maximum effective aperture size, as with equal minimum f-stop.

Hopefully, experienced photographers understand the basic physics of f-stop and ISO speed trade-offs and so when they choose a smaller kit in a smaller format, they are accepting that trade-off of size against speed. For me, it is easy enough to accept, due to the far higher usable ISO speeds in even the smallest interchangeable lens formats compared to what we had a decade or two ago: Micro Four Thirds or even Nikon One with the slowest kit lenses still have better low light handling that any film cameras with any lens! (And maybe some of these small system buyers have another bigger, heavier, faster kit for other tasks.)


This is why it puzzles me when some users of smaller format systems then clamor for a lens system consisting entirely of fast primes and zooms, and denigrate the smaller, slower lenses. People who want that speed from all their lenses are simply better off with a larger format. (At least up to the big price jump beyond the largest mainstream formats, meaning "APS-C".)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 11:14:53 pm by BJL »
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2012, 12:53:01 pm »

Just as a kind of index, I took a photo of most of my traveling m4/3 system. I included the paperback book in the (iPhone) photo for scale -- the bag is roughly the size of a briefcase. I used the iPhone because for a minute or so was I befuddled about what I'd use to take the shot (I'm not where my other cameras are.)

What we have here is a two-camera system, with two battery chargers and the two spare batteries, some miscellaneous stuff like the memory card file and grey-card array, plus seven lenses: the 20mm pancake, the 14-45 zoom, the PanaLeica 45, the Olympus 45, the 7-14 zoom, the 100-300 zoom, and the 45-200 zoom. I also have the 0.95 Voiltlander 25mm, but that's on loan to a guy at another photo blog, but it also fits in the bag (and is a most...peculiar...lens.)

The difference between this and the Nex system is that the same lens equivalents in the Nex system would most likely require a roller case, rather than a briefcase. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but I chose this system of its size, not for its ultimate resolution quality. I have a Nikon system for that, and will be adding the D800e...but I don't use it all that often.


  I hear ya, John. It all comes down to preference.  I rarely use more than 3 lenses with any system, and I don't use zooms, so my comparison between the two systems would be much difference.  That being said, I don't think the NEX lenses are quite as big as you may think they are.  I'd bet you could fit an equivalent NEX system in that bag, if not maybe removing one lens from the equation.  I only recently started using actual NEX lenses in favor of rangefinder lenses, because I'd been complaining about their size, but, I've been surprised how small the NEX lenses still are.  I think the size of the NEX camera bodies really exaggerate their lens size, although lenses like your Olympus 45 are certainly much smaller.
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douglasf13

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Re: Kit sizes: 35mm format vs EVIL with primes vs EVIL with zooms
« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2012, 01:01:02 pm »

The thing that people have to realise and accept is that a smaller format does not magically achieve smaller lenses while having the performance fully equivalent to  larger kit in a larger format, in the sense of giving the same field of view and equally shallow DOF wide open and equal light gathering speed and low light performance --- that would require about equally large effective aperture (focal length divided by f-stop) and so roughly the same size and weight of front elements, likely leading to similar size and weigh of the lenses.

Instead, one has to accept that there is no free lunch, in either direction. With roughly equal sensor technology:
 - A smaller kit with smaller lenses is going to be "slower" in its low light handling.
 - A bigger sensor only gives better low light performance when paired with larger lenses, of larger maximum effective aperture size, as with equal minimum f-stop.

Hopefully, experienced photographers understand the basic physics of f-stop and ISO speed trade-offs and so when they choose a smaller kit in a smaller format, they are accepting that trade-off of size against speed. For me, it is easy enough to accept, due to the far higher usable ISO speeds in even the smallest interchangeable lens formats compared to what we had a decade or two ago: Micro Four Thirds or even Nikon One with the slowest kit lenses still have better low light handling that any film cameras with any lens! (And maybe some of these small system buyers have another bigger, heavier, faster kit for other tasks.)


This is why it puzzles me when some users of smaller format systems then clamor for a lens system consisting entirely of fast primes and zooms, and denigrate the smaller, slower lenses. People who want that speed from all their lenses are simply better off with a larger format. (At least up to the big price jump beyond the largest mainstream formats, meaning "APS-C".)

  I'm always surprised how often shooters don't make this distinction, which is why I mentioned it.  The smaller formats certainly have the marketing advantage, because they can make amazingly small, fast lenses, and I think it does trick some people.   All of the lenses that I use are f2.8, outside of one f1.8 portrait lens, and I've been fine with it.

  I personally find aps-c to be the sweetspot, especially with Sony Exmor being the top of the heap in sensor tech these days, but it is really nitpicking between the systems, IMO.  For what I carry, switching to m4/3 wouldn't be all that much smaller, but, if I was carrying something like John is above, it may be a different story.
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BJL

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format size sweet spot: depends on telephoto reach desires for one thing
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2012, 02:09:38 pm »

@douglasf13 (Douglas?):
    Maybe in addition to the "primes only" versus "zoom lens user" issue, there is the issue of how much telephoto reach (and macro enlargement ability) one wants. Your longest NEX lens is a short telephoto 50mm; John and I like having a 300mm option (that's "400mm equivalent" ... in the more relevant APS-C FOV equivalency, not 35mm!) To match John's lens collection (or mine) with an APS-C format system would require something like a 70-300 and a 120-400, so (putting aside the fact that nothing longer than 200mm exists yet for NEX mount, except by using SLR lenses with an adaptor) I think the comparable kit size would be substantially larger.

On the other hand, for photographers (like you apparently) who are primarily interested in the narrower "rangefinder" range of FOV options, up to only mildly telephoto, the balance shifts in favor of a larger format, because the extra burden in size, weight and cost is not so great in that situation.

I'd bet you could fit an equivalent NEX system in that bag, if not maybe removing one lens from the equation.

P. S. A prediction: it wil be a very long time, maybe forever, before any of the new compact systems offers a zoom lens reaching longer than 300mm: the step from 300mm to 400mm was already a big jump up in price and bulk and down in sale volume for 35mm format, and so I expect the demand to be even lower and thus the economies of scale to be even worse for the new smaller formats. In-camera cropping modes, adapted lenses from other systems, adapted telescopes, and maybe tele-convertors will fill the gap.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 02:16:45 pm by BJL »
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dturina

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2012, 04:13:13 pm »

P. S. A prediction: it wil be a very long time, maybe forever, before any of the new compact systems offers a zoom lens reaching longer than 300mm

If you mean physical focal lengths, they are here already, but this is 600mm effective.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-100-300mm-4-0-5-6-OIS-Interchangeable/dp/B0043VE28S
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-M-Zuiko-75-300mm-4-8-6-7-Digital/dp/B00492GLFS
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Danijel

BJL

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I indeed meant actual focal lengths, not "FOV equivalents", and my prediction is that they will not go beyond the 300mm that is already available. Yes it is great fun having "600mm equivalent" on a camera that fits in a little bag originally designed for a 35mm film SLR with just a standard 28-105mm kit zoom lens.

If you mean physical focal lengths, they are here already, but this is 600mm effective.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-100-300mm-4-0-5-6-OIS-Interchangeable/dp/B0043VE28S
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-M-Zuiko-75-300mm-4-8-6-7-Digital/dp/B00492GLFS
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douglasf13

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@douglasf13 (Douglas?):
    Maybe in addition to the "primes only" versus "zoom lens user" issue, there is the issue of how much telephoto reach (and macro enlargement ability) one wants. Your longest NEX lens is a short telephoto 50mm; John and I like having a 300mm option (that's "400mm equivalent" ... in the more relevant APS-C FOV equivalency, not 35mm!) To match John's lens collection (or mine) with an APS-C format system would require something like a 70-300 and a 120-400, so (putting aside the fact that nothing longer than 200mm exists yet for NEX mount, except by using SLR lenses with an adaptor) I think the comparable kit size would be substantially larger.

On the other hand, for photographers (like you apparently) who are primarily interested in the narrower "rangefinder" range of FOV options, up to only mildly telephoto, the balance shifts in favor of a larger format, because the extra burden in size, weight and cost is not so great in that situation.

P. S. A prediction: it wil be a very long time, maybe forever, before any of the new compact systems offers a zoom lens reaching longer than 300mm: the step from 300mm to 400mm was already a big jump up in price and bulk and down in sale volume for 35mm format, and so I expect the demand to be even lower and thus the economies of scale to be even worse for the new smaller formats. In-camera cropping modes, adapted lenses from other systems, adapted telescopes, and maybe tele-convertors will fill the gap.


Certainly.  I generally stay in the mid-tele and wider area. In all honesty, I shoot a standard prime most of the time.  When I do need reach, I've got a Contax G 90 and a Zeiss Jena 135/3.5 that are relatively compact, but then we're talking no AF. 

Right now, I believe that longest option is the 18-200 or 55-210 for NEX, although, I guess if we're speaking in terms of the NEX-7, you could crop and get some of that reach back in relation to m4/3.

Ultimately, as the number of lenses in one's kit increases, the differences in size amplifies, especially as we start talking long lenses, as you say. 
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AdrianW

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2012, 06:45:14 pm »

An interesting article, and an interesting thread. If I may bring the latter briefly off topic - Richard commented about the viewfinder positioning on the OM-D (crossing every ocean for the sake of locomotion...crossing, sorry where was I?) being a relic from an irrelevant era.

I think having the viewfinder equivalent in the middle is a reasonable compromise. If I handed my mother a camera, she'd always hold it to her left eye - because that's her dominant one. She would curse you royally if you forced her to use the other eye... Olympus will sell some for precisely that reason.

In reality the correct location for the viewfinder is at the bottom edge of the camera - that way nobody has their nose smushed against the screen; well not unless they were a life model for Picasso ;)
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #74 on: May 08, 2012, 07:12:14 pm »

An interesting article, and an interesting thread. If I may bring the latter briefly off topic - Richard commented about the viewfinder positioning on the OM-D (crossing every ocean for the sake of locomotion...crossing, sorry where was I?) being a relic from an irrelevant era.

I think having the viewfinder equivalent in the middle is a reasonable compromise. If I handed my mother a camera, she'd always hold it to her left eye - because that's her dominant one. She would curse you royally if you forced her to use the other eye... Olympus will sell some for precisely that reason.

In reality the correct location for the viewfinder is at the bottom edge of the camera - that way nobody has their nose smushed against the screen; well not unless they were a life model for Picasso ;)

Just like any rangefinder, the NEX-7's EVF position is still certainly usable by left-eyed shooters.  In fact, it's not all that bad shooting it that way, because the line of the lens is right down the middle of your nose, since the camera is in the center of your face.  Of course, shooting right eyed is better, because your nose misses the LCD altogether.  With the OM-D, your nose is an issue with either eye.  What the OM-D did get right, though, is that Olympus extended the eyepiece out a little further from the back of the camera, which, although it adds to the depth of the camera,  I think it makes it a little easier to get your eye lined up well. I wish the eyepiece housing of the NEX-7 was a couple of millimeters longer for left eyed shooters, in particular.  I have deep set eyes, and I'm shooting right eyed, so shooting the NEX-7 without the eyecup works really well for me, but I think others have issues, especially eyeglass wearers.

This leads me to a point about size that I failed to mention with John and BJL.  Since the NEX-7 EVF is next to the lens mount, the camera height was not affected by adding an EVF.  The OM-D EVF, being above the lens mount, adds considerable height to the camera. For my prime lens setup, despite my equivalent lenses being slightly larger, the height of the OM-D is a non-starter for me, as it would prevent me from using the thin bags like the Billingham that I showed earlier in the thread.  The lens dimension of the camera is already long, so slight differences in that don't affect me much, but making the camera height longer affects my setup up quite a bit.  As usual, YMMV.

Another quick note, eye dominance does tend to be overstated.  It isn't a significant change like left vs. right handedness.  A few years ago, I switched from right eye to left eye shooting, because, despite seeming to naturally want to shoot with my right eye, my left eye was a little better.  I've since had Lasik surgery, and so I switched back to right eyed shooting again.  In both cases, switching only took me a day or two to get used to, and I've read that's common.



« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 07:15:11 pm by douglasf13 »
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BJL

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #75 on: May 08, 2012, 08:21:21 pm »

Just like any rangefinder, the NEX-7's EVF position is still certainly usable by left-eyed shooters. ...
First, a minor point: the NEX-7 is _not_ a rangefinder, and the reason that the VF of a true rangefinder is at the left edge rather than in the middle (to get as long a baseline as possible for the RF focusing system) is irrelevant. In this respect, a cynic could also accuse the VF at left positioning as a retro reference to rangefinder camera design! Still, it has some advantage for right-eyed users, and no great disadvantage for left-eyed users, whose nose needs to be turned slightly to one side no matter where the VF is located. I feel slightly less comfortable holding the camera distinctly off to the right of my head as is required by having the VF at the left extemity,and it maybe would reduce my ability to brace the camera with both elbows against my chest, but frankly all these are very minor issues, smelling a bit like ex post facto rationalizations of camera choices that were actually made for other reasosns. Namely, "bigger sensor!" vs "smaller lenses!"

Quote
Since the NEX-7 EVF is next to the lens mount, the camera height was not affected by adding an EVF.  The OM-D EVF, being above the lens mount, adds considerable height to the camera.
But if you look at these cameras from the back, you will see that this is untrue, because the height requirement of the 3" LCDs renders that of the lens mount irrelevant. In both the NEX-7 and the E-M5, the 3" LCD runs from the bottom of the body up to the bottom of the EVF window, so the height from bottom of body to top of EVF is the first main height constraint, and appears to be about equal. To either side of either EVF, nothing gets higher than the top of the EVF. So the height difference is essentially due to the E-M5 having both the hot-shoe and the new hot-shoe accessory conection port "stacked" on top of the EVF (and with the "gyros" of the stabilization system up there too, for whatever reason) whereas the NEX-7 puts the hot-shoe to the right of the EVF, so lower down.

Your bag situation has the interesting effect of making a few mm in that dimension more important than the substantially greater differences in the lengths of lenses with equal reach.
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #76 on: May 08, 2012, 08:58:57 pm »

First, a minor point: the NEX-7 is _not_ a rangefinder, and the reason that the VF of a true rangefinder is at the left edge rather than in the middle (to get as long a baseline as possible for the RF focusing system) is irrelevant. In this respect, a cynic could also accuse the VF at left positioning as a retro reference to rangefinder camera design! Still, it has some advantage for right-eyed users, and no great disadvantage for left-eyed users, whose nose needs to be turned slightly to one side no matter where the VF is located. I feel slightly less comfortable holding the camera distinctly off to the right of my head as is required by having the VF at the left extemity,and it maybe would reduce my ability to brace the camera with both elbows against my chest, but frankly all these are very minor issues, smelling a bit like ex post facto rationalizations of camera choices that were actually made for other reasosns. Namely, "bigger sensor!" vs "smaller lenses!"
But if you look at these cameras from the back, you will see that this is untrue, because the height requirement of the 3" LCDs renders that of the lens mount irrelevant. In both the NEX-7 and the E-M5, the 3" LCD runs from the bottom of the body up to the bottom of the EVF window, so the height from bottom of body to top of EVF is the first main height constraint, and appears to be about equal. To either side of either EVF, nothing gets higher than the top of the EVF. So the height difference is essentially due to the E-M5 having both the hot-shoe and the new hot-shoe accessory conection port "stacked" on top of the EVF (and with the "gyros" of the stabilization system up there too, for whatever reason) whereas the NEX-7 puts the hot-shoe to the right of the EVF, so lower down.

Your bag situation has the interesting effect of making a few mm in that dimension more important than the substantially greater differences in the lengths of lenses with equal reach.

I never meant to imply the NEX was a rangefinder.  I should have not included the word "all," as that made my point confusing.  Sorry about that.  My point was simply that left eyed users have been using cameras for a long time with a viewfinder at the side of the camera body.

Your measurements of the cameras are skewed, because the NEX cameras use a wider format 3" screen.  There is about a 14mm or so difference between the height of the NEX-7's lens mount and the height of its LCD screen.  If the EVF of the NEX-7 was centrally mounted, it would run into back of the mount, especially considering the shallow depth of the camera.

One of the main reasons I traded in my NEX-5N with the EVF was because of the added height, and, whether the height of the OM-D is tied to the location of the EVF or not, it's my biggest beef with the camera.  My good friend who owns the OM-D agrees.  I like quite a few things about it, though.  Great camera.





This height difference is noticeable in a few of my bags, and should at least be part of the conversation in terms of size, especially for those like me using only a few primes, and, as a right-eyed shooter, I like that I can get my nose out of the way.  The whole EVF assembly of the OM-D is massive, although, as I mentioned earlier, I do like how the EVF extends further out the back of the camera, which only adds a little extra length to the lens dimension.

p.s. I don't appreciate this comment, "smelling a bit like ex post facto rationalizations of camera choices that were actually made for other reasons."  The EVF location of the NEX-7 was what immediately stuck out to me about its design, and I'm sure others would agree.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 09:11:41 pm by douglasf13 »
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BJL

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #77 on: May 08, 2012, 10:10:12 pm »

Douglas,

Your point about the different screen shape probably does explain a few mm of difference, but it does not change the fact that lens mount size and such is irrelevant to the height of the bodies. It is still true that, apart from having the hotshoe and such on top of the EVF instead of beside it, the height of the rest of each body is determined by the height of the LCD plus the height of the EVF. The LCD shape difference is of course due to the format shape difference, not because Olympus chose a different shape in order to "hide" the need fpr extra height elsewhere. The main reason that the Olympus EVF is above the lens mount while Sony's is not is the combination of
- the  Olympus LCD id a bit higher, putting the LCD a few mm higher
- the Olympus lens mount is a bit smaller.

By the way, the NEX-7 body design does make a good case that there is no room for body down-sizing from further sensor downsizing: every mm of its height and width is necessitated by features unrelated to sensor size, like thr LCD, EVF, and the controls and handgrip needed to the right of the LCD. I think that even a 35mm sensor could fit in such a body, amd even with a lens mount no larger. In cameras hat have neither optical viewfinder mechanisms nor film spoole, size is all almost all about the lenses!


And never mind what I said was a minor point about rangefinders: I already agreed that there is no "nose" disadvantage for the VF at left compared to VF in the middle. It was more an aside at my suspicion that some other people (Richard Sexton?) consider the true range-finder camera's "rectangular box with VF in the top-left corner" shape to be more natural for "EVIL" cameras on the basis of a spurious association with range-finder cameras, given that EVIL cameras are in reality as "rangefinder-less" as they are "mirror-less" .

Returning to the official topic, "A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design": I sometimes wonder if a design that truly started from scratch, with no relics of the spatial constraints of the film transport mechanism or an OVF, would be radically different -- maybe a design with only an EVF, no screen on the back, could resemble a small hand-held telescope, with controls mostly on top, operated almost like a wind imstrument. (There could be a LCD on the top, for when top-down viewing for composition is more convenient, and it could flip up to vertical position for horizontal viewing.) the vastly different shapes adopted by the earliest all-electronic cameras, meaning video-cameras, is a hint that digital still camera design still has a lot of historical baggage.

My "telescope/recorder camera" would be smaller in two of three dimensions, and fit even better in your bag!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 10:53:07 pm by BJL »
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douglasf13

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #78 on: May 08, 2012, 10:56:20 pm »

Ah, I see your point now about the LCD location affecting the EVF height.  That makes sense.  The Nikon V1 is a good example of a center orientated EVF that isn't particularly tall.  I will humbly change my opinion on this, in terms of camera height vs. EVF location.  I personally still like the position of the NEX-7's EVF in terms of comfort, but, as I've mentioned, I think that Sony should have made the eyepiece housing deeper for left-eye shooters and glasses wearers.

A lot of digicams last decade experimented with cutting edge shapes that were more free from our current idea of camera forms, but, I must admit, they certainly were a little jarring to me.  I guess that I'm more superficial than I thought.  :)  At least we're starting to get this topic back on track!  LOL

Yikes.


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BJL

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Re: A Critique of Contemporary Camera Design
« Reply #79 on: May 08, 2012, 11:36:56 pm »

The Nikon V1 is a good example of a center orientated EVF that isn't particularly tall.
Yes ... but for a moment I was puzzled by the fact that the V1 is 9mm higher than the NEX7 despite both having the same 3:2 image shape. Then I looked again at all the reviews, and realised how "wide and low" the NEX7 screen is: it is in 16:9 HD video shape? Anyway, during still composition, the NEX7 (like all NEX cameras?) displays extra information to the right of the image during composition, whereas both the E-M5 and V1 display it below, so the LCD shapes seem quite different. Sony seems to have gone all out for height reduction, perhaps as a "pocketability" factor.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 11:39:37 pm by BJL »
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