Would You Like This Wishful Thinking Camera?

agentlossing

Top Veteran
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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
As I'm sitting here without much to do, how would you like this for a camera?

  • Improved Foveon-type sensor with better DR handling and some high-ISO performance without falling apart.
  • APS-C or bigger, how about APS-H for a fixed lens compact, that might be interesting. FF if it can be kept reasonably small.
  • Fixed lens in the 40mm-45mm range, how about say 43mm? F2 aperture.
  • Macro switch
  • Viewfinder, either EVF or OVF with limited info, perhaps a fixed central AF point to aid with single-point AF using the focus and recompose method. Assuming that an all-out Fuji style OVF would be larger and pricier.
  • Twin control dial type setup like many mirrorless cameras, aperture and SS controlled by default with a single button press to open up ISO etc.
I think I could be very happy with this as a desert island style camera. There is a dearth of standard focal length fixed lens compacts, and what does exist is highly specialized. I'd love to see a more mainstream one (but I think 50mm is a little too tight). And yes, I realize Foveon is not mainstream so this is a little pie in the sky in terms of technical innovation. But I'm just dreamin' here.
 

Closest I could find- Foveon APS-H, ISO 100~6400.

Sigma switched to a standard BSI CMOS sensor with Bayer color filter array for their full-frame camera.
The price of the Foveon APS-H is down to $1100 for the body. That's pretty good. I suspect the Foveon technology is being side-lined for the High-ISO issues. Just pretend it's a film camera and no one pushes Tri-X past ISO6400.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
Yeah, Foveon starts looking bad at ISO 400, which is why the kit lenses sold with the Quattro ILCs are f1.4. Also the highlights are easily blown and look ugly. It's such a harsh trade off for what are essentially unmatched files when exposure is just right.

The reason I was thinking Foveon for a camera like this is that it would be a sort of slow-down camera, one that encouraged thoughtful composition, all that artsy stuff. It would obviously need to be less bulky than the APS-H Quattro cam, those are hampered by their DSLR style mount that has a large flange distance.
 

Tilman Paulin

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Vancouver B.C.
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Tilman
Maybe that could add sensor-stabilization to their next DP generation?
Probably not going to happen, but I'd think more realistic to achieve for them than improved high ISO...

I'd be up for the camera you describe, but I'd also be okay with a DP2m with better close-focus (and sensor-stabilization :) )


As a side note: Funnily enough I remember the original DP camera generation (the 4.9MP one) to have a pretty nice rolloff into the highlights... But yeah, the newer generations lost that...
 

agentlossing

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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
I'm not overly keen on fixed focal lengths.
Never found one i really think i can "live with".
Fairly wide with enough resolution for major cropping could work....
That exists, it's called the Leica Q. Since I have a GR III with fairly generous 24MP that crops well, I know what you mean and I agree that concept is a great fundamental all-rounder. I use the 50mm crop function fairly often even though it takes it all the way down to below 8MP. But I've also used M4/3 cameras extensively with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 at 40mm equiv as if it were a fixed lens camera, you see the world differently with a normal lens, less in wide-angle terms of capturing the scene and more in capturing details, picking out figures, working with straighter lines like architectural details, etc.
 

agentlossing

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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
Yep...I feel the same...which is why I got the Fuji X100V.
Well... sort of. The X100v is a camera that truly embodies Fuji's secret sauce, but if that doesn't happen to be your cup of tea, then it's hard to make the camera feel more vanilla. Plus 35mm is too wide to be a normal lens. It still suffers from some distortion and has a wide-angle character, in my mind, not a standard lens character. You take different photos with a 35mm than even with a 40mm.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
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Lexington, VA
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Steve
Well... sort of. The X100v is a camera that truly embodies Fuji's secret sauce, but if that doesn't happen to be your cup of tea, then it's hard to make the camera feel more vanilla. Plus 35mm is too wide to be a normal lens. It still suffers from some distortion and has a wide-angle character, in my mind, not a standard lens character. You take different photos with a 35mm than even with a 40mm.
The Fuji sauce has probably out sold the Foveon one. However, the humble Bayer sensor has eclipsed them both. I’ve seen some great results from the Foveon, but I suspect it’s useful range is still too narrow to make a really successful camera. JMHO, of course. Otherwise, I like the proposal. There is no real reason to limit the viewfinder or focus point however. That description in the OP could probably just be a setting.
 
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agentlossing

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S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
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Andrew Lossing
The Fuji sauce has probably out sold the Foveon one. However, the humble Bayer sensor has eclipsed them both. I’ve seen some great results from the Foveon, but I suspect it’s useful range is still too narrow to make a really successful camera. JMHO, of course.
You're right, of course. I have realized the Foveon requirement isn't a hill I wish to die on. It's just a dream for what could exist if technology got a sufficient boost forward. I don't doubt Sigma is hard at work trying to make these improvements, since they have a fair amount of mindshare but struggle so hard with market share due to the limitations of the current tech. The CMOS Bayer sensor has come a long way, especially with 14-bit RAWs. I like the subtleties I am able to get with the GR III sensor.
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
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Los Angeles
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John
I think it would work well with Andrews improvements.
Still a narrow field and a narrow crowd but I would enjoy it quite a bit.
Maybe a WCL and a TCL. Then again maybe not.

What I really wish for?
A large supply of old stock Merrills hitting the market at $349 each.
 

gryphon1911

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Central Ohio, USA
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Andrew
Well... sort of. The X100v is a camera that truly embodies Fuji's secret sauce, but if that doesn't happen to be your cup of tea, then it's hard to make the camera feel more vanilla. Plus 35mm is too wide to be a normal lens. It still suffers from some distortion and has a wide-angle character, in my mind, not a standard lens character. You take different photos with a 35mm than even with a 40mm.

pop on the TCL. 😜
 

gryphon1911

All-Pro
Location
Central Ohio, USA
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Andrew
Those are really nice but they make the camera so much bigger. At that point, the XE3 and the 27 is the smaller body. And yes, I know you were kidding.

yes and also, I was never one to care about the size of a camera. If anything I find that most modern mirrorless cameras are actually too small and I add on grips and l-brackets just to make them bigger and more comfortable to hold and control.
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
X100 size is about perfect in terms of usbility and smallness. I wouldn't mind something like it with a 40mm equivalent lens.

My main points that I am missing in prime lens compacts beyond 28mm are image stabilization and proper weather sealing (from what I've seen so far, around the flaps etc, the X100V isnt overly impressive in this regard).

I'm talking more OMD EM1X level, or even - this is my personal dream - a large sensor, fast lens somewhere in the 35-50mm range (40 would be fine), stabilized, EVF'd, WATERPROOF camera (depth rating 18m or more) that is small enough for a jacket or cargo pants pocket.

Alternatively, the same with a 1" sensor and 21-42mm equivalent f/1.4 zoom
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
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Lexington, VA
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Steve
Interesting counterpoint here. I read this article over on Thom Hogan's website:
He simply makes the point that it's getting harder to make a new camera that's a lot more desirable then the ones we already have. Niche cameras may become more marketable in the future because people want to spent their money (GAS) and there's not a lot new to buy. It could be that better viewfinders, ergonomics, or nifty compacts will attract more market share. Maybe a new Pen F could be like the new X100's in terms of a smaller but steady market of buyers.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Interesting counterpoint here. I read this article over on Thom Hogan's website:
He simply makes the point that it's getting harder to make a new camera that's a lot more desirable then the ones we already have. Niche cameras may become more marketable in the future because people want to spent their money (GAS) and there's not a lot new to buy. It could be that better viewfinders, ergonomics, or nifty compacts will attract more market share. Maybe a new Pen F could be like the new X100's in terms of a smaller but steady market of buyers.
I think the trend where camera manufacturers could make some headway is in more minimalistic cameras. They have been waging specs wars for so long and chasing after kitchen sink models, but if you read any photo blogs or popular photo sites, people are trending more and more towards film, and old-fashioned tech. Fuji makes cameras that look minimalist but aren't. A camera that could cash in on a simple aesthetic and offer only the basics, fast AF, a good EVF, weather sealing, tactile controls and not much more... I know what I really want out of a camera, but it's hard to put into words.
 

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