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Author Topic: Sony A9 to be A-mount?  (Read 12116 times)

Torbjörn Tapani

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Re:
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2015, 04:39:27 pm »

Canon changed mounts in 87 and they are doing ok. So it can be done. And for Sony to take customers from the Canikons they will have to overcome the entrenchment of old lenses. With E mount and adapters the can attract users from any system. Makes a lot of sense to me at least.
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BJL

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Re:
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2015, 05:29:35 pm »

Canon changed mounts in 87 ...
Indeed, and Minolta did the same in 1985 when it changed to "A-mount", and for similar reasons: the transition to auto-focus was a good opportunity to ditch some historical baggage and redesign the lens-camera interface around modern realities, 1980's version.  Doggedly sticking with 1980's state of the art in lens-mount design choices is a bit like sticking with that other great innovation of the '80's, the audio CD.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2015, 06:50:22 pm »

It would probably make sense for Sony to release an FE mount a9r with killer features (true 16 bits DR 50 mp sensor, sensor stabilzatin, sensor shit super resolution, still significantly improved EVF, weatherproof and none of the small glitches of the a7r) at a price point ensuring they make a healthy profit on the body alone.

My guess is therefore a 3,500+ US$ price point.

Another alternative would be to release more exclusive FE Zeiss lenses both compact and of the highest quality. The 50mm f1.8 is there, the 35mm f1.4 seems to deliver on the image quality front, maybe not on the compactness yet. Those should be no compromise designs at a high margin price point.

Price is IMHO not relevant as it seems that many of the strongest promoters are 50+ years old man will sufficient cash looking for a light solutions not compromising quality. At least it seems tobe the target demographics here at LL.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 08:11:09 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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barryfitzgerald

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Re:
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2015, 07:43:12 pm »

Indeed, and Minolta did the same in 1985 when it changed to "A-mount", and for similar reasons: the transition to auto-focus was a good opportunity to ditch some historical baggage and redesign the lens-camera interface around modern realities, 1980's version.  Doggedly sticking with 1980's state of the art in lens-mount design choices is a bit like sticking with that other great innovation of the '80's, the audio CD.


A lens mount is a lens mount there is nothing new in more recent mounts they are all bayonet. Contacts have been added, very little has changed E mount offers nothing new in lens mount design. Though it does bring more problems to the table with native lenses which suffer more due to the closeness of the lens to the sensor.

Adapters are fine but they are not quite the panacea some suggest, and even if Sony bagged a lot of users they'll bring their own glass and invest little in Sony lenses thus as we've discussed already most of the profits are in the lenses not the bodies. There won't be any pain my end I paid peanuts for most of the lenses I own and had a free ride with IBIS too, I can't match that with another maker. Some folks just don't get it not everyone digs mirrorless I'm in the process of dumping my X mount gear it's nice enough but offers nothing I can't do with A mount for less cost, and with every lens stabilised Fuji just can't match that despite an interesting sensor. Handling wise the smaller bodies just don't cut it for what I want to do, in the end I decided like a lot of SLR users I was just better off with a good quality premium compact for those days I don't want to take the bigger bodies out.

It might work for some people I get that, but as the only choice it sucks plain and simple. If I were a travel photographer I might dig micro 4/3 quality is good some nice (smaller) lenses too. I can get that. E mount offers a smaller body and bigger lenses I already have a lens collection there is no point buying another one. Very few users I know dumped their SLR gear many ignored ILC's entirely and some bought a body to play with adapters. That's not moving people to mirrorless it's selling them a body. Don't expect Canon or Nikon to dump their mounts either not going to happen.
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BJL

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one big change in lens mounts is flange to focal plane depth
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2015, 09:16:49 pm »

A lens mount is a lens mount there is nothing new in more recent mounts they are all bayonet. Contacts have been added, very little has changed E mount offers nothing new in lens mount design.
You are somehow overlooking one significant an often discussed detail in lens mount design: the 1980's requirement that the A-mount be deep enough to accommodate the SLR viewfinder system, and the added flexibility in both lens and body design that the far shallower E-mount allows.  It does seem though that Sony has done a poor job so far of offering the smaller, lighter zoom lenses that many people like to use with smaller, lighter mirrorless bodies -- even if using bigger, faster lenses at other times.
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shadowblade

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Re:
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2015, 09:30:56 pm »


A lens mount is a lens mount there is nothing new in more recent mounts they are all bayonet. Contacts have been added, very little has changed E mount offers nothing new in lens mount design. Though it does bring more problems to the table with native lenses which suffer more due to the closeness of the lens to the sensor.

Adapters are fine but they are not quite the panacea some suggest, and even if Sony bagged a lot of users they'll bring their own glass and invest little in Sony lenses thus as we've discussed already most of the profits are in the lenses not the bodies.

That's for Canon and Nikon - established players who have been continuously in the camera business for decades - not Sony, which has only been on the scene for a few years.

You can only sell lenses if people are using your bodies and moving completely over to your system.

Quote
There won't be any pain my end I paid peanuts for most of the lenses I own and had a free ride with IBIS too, I can't match that with another maker.

You're one of the lucky few, then.

How do you expect Sony to get someone who has tens of thousands of dollars worth of Canon or Nikon gear to dump it all and switch over to them, when their lens choices are so limited? Sure, Minolta had some, but those are essentially ancient lenses designed for the film era which won't hold up to a modern 50MP sensor.

In both the Canon and Nikon lineups, there are some standout lenses in each system that make a compelling case for buying at least a foothold in them - TS-E lenses, 200-400L and the supertele 500/600/800L for Canon if you're into wildlife, 14-24 for Nikon. I can't say the same for A-mount.

Quote
Some folks just don't get it not everyone digs mirrorless I'm in the process of dumping my X mount gear it's nice enough but offers nothing I can't do with A mount for less cost, and with every lens stabilised Fuji just can't match that despite an interesting sensor. Handling wise the smaller bodies just don't cut it for what I want to do, in the end I decided like a lot of SLR users I was just better off with a good quality premium compact for those days I don't want to take the bigger bodies out.

No-one's forcing you to use mirrorless.

For landscape work, I hate the SLR form factor. Most of it is dead weight - all I really need is the sensor and the LCD. I never used the viewfinder.

Obviously, for wildlife/action, it's a different story.

Quote
It might work for some people I get that, but as the only choice it sucks plain and simple. If I were a travel photographer I might dig micro 4/3 quality is good some nice (smaller) lenses too. I can get that. E mount offers a smaller body and bigger lenses I already have a lens collection there is no point buying another one. Very few users I know dumped their SLR gear many ignored ILC's entirely and some bought a body to play with adapters. That's not moving people to mirrorless it's selling them a body. Don't expect Canon or Nikon to dump their mounts either not going to happen.

Canon and Nikon already have established places in the photography world. Sony needs to carve its own niche, and it's not going to do so by aping the big players and trying to muscle in on the SLR business with a system which, for all intents and purposes, is identical, except with a poorer lens selection and no proven track record in photography. No-one's going to dump their current lenses just to buy into a new system which is more-or-less the same and has no guarantee of being around in ten years' time. Mirrorless is that niche - Sony does it better than anyone else, and they would be able to do it even better if they can get past the fixation on 'mirrorless' meaning 'small' and just build a capable, high-performance camera, with the emphasis on the 'performance' part rather than the 'small' part.

Mirrorless doesn't mean small. Mirrorless just means no mirror box and pentaprism, and an electronic viewfinder. I would welcome it if they built a full-size (but not necessarily full-thickness or SLR weight, because mirrorless doesn't need the thickness for the mirror box or the weight of the pentaprism setup) mirrorless body which emphasised performance rather than small size. This fixation on size rather than functionality has been the biggest problem with mirrorless and why it's having difficulties breaking into the professional world (apart from non-action usage). From video cameras, we know that viewfinder lag can be reduced to only a few milliseconds (unnoticeable) instead of the few hundred milliseconds of current mirrorless cameras, which are restricted to low-power processors due to their small size restricting them to weak batteries. And AF systems and processors have, similarly, been slow, because power restrictions h. With a full-size camera containing a decent battery (e.g. with current video cameras, most of which are mirrorless). these restrictions don't exist.

Build this camera and they can gradually encroach on Canon's and Nikon's ground while they build up their lens collection and their photography credentials. You're selling them bodies now, many of which are being used with their old lenses (which is possible on E-mount and thus lowers the barrier and disincentive to switching), but, as your lens lineup grows, you're also slowly selling them lenses. Eventually, when their current lenses are old and have outlived their purposes (i.e. when the current 70-200L II is seen in the same light as the ancient 70-200 f/2.8 without IS, or the even older 80-200) they will have no problems switching across to your now-large and diverse lens lineup, since their previous equipment will have served its useful purpose and they won't just be dumping it for a new, untried system that does pretty much the same job.
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shadowblade

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Re: one big change in lens mounts is flange to focal plane depth
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2015, 09:40:03 pm »

You are somehow overlooking one significant an often discussed detail in lens mount design: the 1980's requirement that the A-mount be deep enough to accommodate the SLR viewfinder system, and the added flexibility in both lens and body design that the far shallower E-mount allows.  It does seem though that Sony has done a poor job so far of offering the smaller, lighter zoom lenses that many people like to use with smaller, lighter mirrorless bodies -- even if using bigger, faster lenses at other times.

They've also done a poor job of offering the larger, more capable lenses to take maximum advantage of the highly-capable full-frame mirrorless bodies. The A7s has the best low-light capability of any camera out there, but there are no E-mount f/2.8 zoom lenses, and not many even wider primes, to make a true low-light monster. The A7r has unsurpassed image quality in terms of resolution and DR, but there's no really great UWA for landscapers, no tilt-shifts for architectural and landscape photographers and no decent full-frame macro. At the moment, it can only sell bodies because it doesn't have the lenses to back it up - to use the system professionally, you pretty much need third-party lenses, unless your work is restricted to a select range than uses only a few common, not-too-long and not-too-wide focal lengths.
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jfirneno

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2015, 10:14:56 pm »

I've no data to know what's shifting or not but I suspect that the post earlier is correct E mount is doing pretty well with bodies, but lenses really they're badly priced most of them and I see DSLR users picking up a body to use with an adapter not investing heavily in the system. If Sony did drop A mount I would not throw money at E mount I'd abandon it entirely I'm not alone in that thinking either the adapter route is not really a satisfactory solution for some users. E mount does not offer what I'm looking for at all

Dumping a 30 year mount will do untold damage to Sony as well as alienate many customer it would not be in their interests to do so. Sony's inability to tackle the Canikon dominance is their own fault they had a wonderful opportunity but didn't invest enough in IBIS and the potential cost savings on lenses with that. E mount won't be any different it's not going to wipe out the top 2 makers either. A lot of users won't even consider E mount no matter how many lenses they have and so far a lot of them have been horribly priced and not as good optically as you might expect. It's very naive to think that shifting strategies all the time works it just doesn't Canon are so heavily entrenched it's near impossible to move them esp from the pro market that's not going to change either. The E mount flurry will fade away and it will be another third placed system something A mount is already at right now.

The growth is simply not there. Dumping A mount won't help Sony bar annoy some long term users who will never trust the company ever again. Even observers will be very cautious about investing in their products Olympus moved from OM mount and the effects of that are still felt today some users won't entertain the company at all based on that alone, then the dumping of 4/3 for micro 4/3 did even more damage. Changing mounts is commercial disaster in big letters users hate it and there really is no need.

I own both A-mount and E-mount full-frame cameras.  I would say that Sony is carefully negotiating the transition from A-mount to E-mount to maximize the number of existing A-mount users who will eventually switch over.  I think they will continue to support the A-mount lenses and provide full capability adapters on the E-mount as long as the E-mount lens catalog is incomplete.  Sony says it'll continue to produce A-mount cameras but if the auto-focus on the E-mount ever reaches the level that Canikon presently provides I believe Sony will curtail further A-mount camera production and confine support to lens adapters.

Regards,
John
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barryfitzgerald

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2015, 09:34:59 am »

2 comments I have no idea what Sony plan but I'd be unlikely to invest in their E mount system if they dumped A mount the form factor doesn't suit me handling wise that's a major problem and one which is often overlooked I'd rather invest in Nikon or Canon.
Second point the so called smaller lenses never happened not even remotely the only ILC maker to have small lenses (comparatively) is micro 4/3, bar the odd pancake prime that's turned up. In fact some of the newest lens designs are big even compared to SLR sized lenses this is further compounded we've time warped back to the 70's in handling and ergonomics it's a step backwards not an improvement small bodies with big lenses doesn't work very well.

As for the old crusty Minolta lenses all I can say is use a few and be surprised they're well up to modern sensors many of the lenses and all are stabilised which is a massive advantage. The only shame is Sony didn't have the foresight to put more resources into A mount. My ancient Minolta glass has far nicer rendering than the Fuji X lenses I had not even close the lens designers knew how to deliver on that area.

Lots of observers from outside but inside the circle many A Mount users just don't really care much about E mount, most SLR users don't really dig ILC some small number switch are very vocal about it but represent a minority of buyers.
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jfirneno

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2015, 09:49:20 am »

2 comments I have no idea what Sony plan but I'd be unlikely to invest in their E mount system if they dumped A mount the form factor doesn't suit me handling wise that's a major problem and one which is often overlooked I'd rather invest in Nikon or Canon.
Second point the so called smaller lenses never happened not even remotely the only ILC maker to have small lenses (comparatively) is micro 4/3, bar the odd pancake prime that's turned up. In fact some of the newest lens designs are big even compared to SLR sized lenses this is further compounded we've time warped back to the 70's in handling and ergonomics it's a step backwards not an improvement small bodies with big lenses doesn't work very well.

As for the old crusty Minolta lenses all I can say is use a few and be surprised they're well up to modern sensors many of the lenses and all are stabilised which is a massive advantage. The only shame is Sony didn't have the foresight to put more resources into A mount. My ancient Minolta glass has far nicer rendering than the Fuji X lenses I had not even close the lens designers knew how to deliver on that area.

Lots of observers from outside but inside the circle many A Mount users just don't really care much about E mount, most SLR users don't really dig ILC some small number switch are very vocal about it but represent a minority of buyers.

Barry:
Based on what Sony has already done and the way their customer base is developing I would say their future will be e-mount.  Based on what you've stated, you will be shifting to Canon or Nikon when that happens.  Then the good news for you is that because Minolta lenses are still usable via adapters on present Sony e-mount cameras you will be able to sell your Minolta lenses for at least some amount.  This value can then be used to buy Canikon gear.  So at the least you should be grateful to Sony for buying Minolta.  If they hadn't those lenses would be worth essentially nothing.

Regards,
John
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shadowblade

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2015, 10:16:41 am »

2 comments I have no idea what Sony plan but I'd be unlikely to invest in their E mount system if they dumped A mount the form factor doesn't suit me handling wise that's a major problem and one which is often overlooked I'd rather invest in Nikon or Canon.

Is it the E-mount, or the form factor?

What if they released a full-sized E-mount camera with the functionality and length/width of an SLR - only that, instead of a mirror box and pentaprism, it contained an EVF? It would weigh less, too, despite having the same length and width and ergonomics - the lack of mirror box and heavy pentaprism means it would be thinner and lighter, even if you kept the grip the same for handholding.

The biggest mistake made with mirrorless has been to design and sell them around small size rather than functionality. A full-sized version with all the added features that an EVF and lack of mirror allows would be fantastic. The miniature cameras made so far compromise on too many aspects of performance for shooting anything other than landscapes/architecture (where they essentially function as digital backs) and you still need full-size lenses anyway if you want to take the best possible photos.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 10:19:23 am by shadowblade »
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Torbjörn Tapani

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Re:
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2015, 01:05:12 pm »

A big pro body would have users expecting DSLR level performance so I think using the mirrorless technology to make cameras smaller is one way of offering something the DSLR cannot compete with.  As technology matures (AF, EVF etc) time will come when a pro body mirrorless makes more sense and can go head to head with Canikon.
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jfirneno

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2015, 01:54:59 pm »

As for the old crusty Minolta lenses all I can say is use a few and be surprised they're well up to modern sensors many of the lenses and all are stabilised which is a massive advantage. The only shame is Sony didn't have the foresight to put more resources into A mount. 

Barry:

I don't disagree at all that some of the Minolta lenses are excellent.  I have a Minolta 200mm F4 Macro that is not only an amazing macro lens but a damn fine 200mm of any type.  The 135 f1.8 was probably designed by Minolta with Zeiss's help or blessing before Sony bought Minolta.  It's an outstanding lens.  And being able to continue to use both of these lenses on e-mount is why I think Sony should be commended.

Regards,
John
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barryfitzgerald

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Re:
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2015, 08:11:02 pm »

A big pro body would have users expecting DSLR level performance so I think using the mirrorless technology to make cameras smaller is one way of offering something the DSLR cannot compete with.  As technology matures (AF, EVF etc) time will come when a pro body mirrorless makes more sense and can go head to head with Canikon.

Sony will never be able to go head to head with Canon or Nikon they had a chance with A mount couldn't see how to develop it properly (everyone else could)
Nothing will be any different with E Mount, they just don't quite get it (don't really listen to feedback don't use firmware to fix problem in a timely manner) very capable of making a good sensor and they have good ideas they can't finish it properly though

I can use A mount lenses on any ILC body there is nothing to tie users to E mount not really. Heck even the E mount bodies with a built in flash can't support wireless via an on-board flash there are more reasons than one to say Sony have not really developed the platform to competitive levels. I'd consider any dropping of A mount to be a strong signal to avoid Sony in the future many users will feel the same way it would do the company untold damage why invest in E mount if that will disappear over time too. Once bitten..

As it is I don't think that will happen because it would be deeply unpopular, but Sony have to do a lot more work with A mount that's for sure
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dwswager

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2015, 04:17:01 pm »

Mount changes can't be compared.  At the Time Canon changed mounts, lenses held a higher position in the priority than they do now.  Most 3rd party lenses were crap and the body didn't really bring as much to the table as it does now.  Today, the body sets the performance ceiling on the output and there are some good 3rd party lenses.  That is Canon's problem today.  They have great lenses and a great line up of lenses, but their bodies are limited to 3-5 years ago quality when released.  Don't get me wrong, a mount without lenses people want and need won't work, but it is a lot easier to entice someone to come on board if you are already offering a better quality output in a smaller/lighter package. 

I never say never, because I don't want to end up like the CEO of RIM ("We don't need to innovate; we have the best product in the market!"  Bye Bye Blackberry!)
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Telecaster

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2015, 04:49:53 pm »

Yesterday I got to play a bit with an A7ii and a new Sony/Zeiss 35/1.4. Lovely lens. But also too freakin' big IMO for the camera it was mounted on. Which leads me to wonder if the upcoming A9, or whatever it gets called, will be a larger camera.

-Dave-
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shadowblade

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2015, 05:04:24 pm »

Yesterday I got to play a bit with an A7ii and a new Sony/Zeiss 35/1.4. Lovely lens. But also too freakin' big IMO for the camera it was mounted on. Which leads me to wonder if the upcoming A9, or whatever it gets called, will be a larger camera.

-Dave-

It's no different to a large telephoto with an SLR. You hold it by the lens rather than the body, or you use it on a tripod.

Although the new lens is an E-mount lens, so hopefully that suggests the A9 will be E-mount too.
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Telecaster

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2015, 09:28:32 pm »

It's no different to a large telephoto with an SLR. You hold it by the lens rather than the body, or you use it on a tripod.

It's a *35mm* lens. Way too big for situations where I use a non-zoom of that focal length. YMMV, of course. I'll stick with the f/2.8.

-Dave-
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uaiomex

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Re: Sony A9 to be A-mount?
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2015, 10:42:46 pm »

I've heard the new 28mm is a real keeper.
Eduardo


It's a *35mm* lens. Way too big for situations where I use a non-zoom of that focal length. YMMV, of course. I'll stick with the f/2.8.

-Dave-
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BJL

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are mirror-less bodies too small for bigger lenses, and can that change?
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2015, 10:05:15 am »

It's a *35mm* lens. Way too big for situations where I use a non-zoom of that focal length. YMMV, of course. I'll stick with the f/2.8.

-Dave-
It's no different to a large telephoto with an SLR. You hold it by the lens rather than the body, or you use it on a tripod.
I mostly agree about how to handle bigger lenses, but when using those lenses, I have come to want a deeper hand-grip than many mirror-less camera offer, for things like briefly supporting most of the weight as I move my left hand along the lens, and to more comfortably carry the camera at my side as I walk.  With most lenses, such a grip still would not protrude as far forward as the lens, so there is little real loss in compactness.  (And as a bonus, there is room for a bigger battery and more, bigger buttons and dials!)

The Olympus E-M1 has moved a bit in this direction (so that some complain that it is too big!), perhaps in concert with Olympus adding some bigger, faster lenses to its MFT offerings: see the image from http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_OMD_EM1/ :


So maybe the upper end of the mirrorless market is moving beyond selling primarily on low size and weight, and start presenting itself as providing superior tools for some (not all!) photograph usage -- particularly in comparison to "APS-C" format SLRs with their often cramped OVFs.
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