Can Nikon produce a mirrorless camera for SLR lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by keith_bintley, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. I realise this is speculation and I don't want to waste anybody's time, but... I travel quite a bit with business and have a pocket Canon IXUS and a Nikon D700, neither of which are ideal for me. The Canon is good but suffers from the inevitable weaknesses of a small sensor, the Nikon is great but a brick for travel. No DSLR is small enough. I've been very impressed by the new Panasonic GF1 which seems to offer something in the middle. However I don't really want the expense of buying the new camera and set of lenses. My ideal would be for Nikon to do something similar so I could use my Nikon primes on a much smaller, mirrorless, body. Is this optically possible, and, more speculatively has anyone heard anything from Nikon?
     
  2. Can Nikon produce a mirrorless camera for SLR lenses? YES! I am sure any maker can do that depending on the patents that Panasonic has on the system.
    Has anyone heard about Nikon going this way/ I am sure not and even if anyone knows they won't talk about it.
    What about compromising? A small used D50/40/60 would be very compact when used with primes.
     
  3. Micro 4/3 has a very short lens mount to sensor distance. Because of that adapters have been made for almost every lens mount including Nikon F lenses.
    http://www.cameraquest.com/adp_micro_43.htm
     
  4. You can use your Nikon lenses on a current micro-4/3 camera with the appropriate adapater.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    You can adapt your Nikon F mount lenses onto micro 4/3 cameras, but the lenses will still be relatively big.
    Would you consider getting a D3000 or D5000 type body? They are small but not tiny. Maybe that can be your solution. (One problem is that currently [at least in the US] you cannot buy a D3000 new, body only. It always comes with the 18-55 VR zoom.)
     
  6. I didn't know about the adaptor and that's really helpful, thanks. I presume the focal length will simply double with a full frame lens. Will a DX lens such as the 18-70 be something different (maths is not my strong point!) One appeal of the GF1 is it so flat so can be put in a brief case etc but also, presumably, has that nice metal feel.
     
  7. Any lens will "double" on the GF1. SLR lenses are designated by focal length, regardless of whether they are DX or FX. The main difference between DX and FX lenses is the size of the image circle. The DX lenses should more than cover the sensor of the GF1. I came really close to buying a GF1 because of its cool rangefinder-like body but pulled the plug at the last minute because the G1 seemed to offer significantly more features in an only slightly-larger form factor. One consideration was using my Nikon lenses. I can't see putting a heavy lens on a camera and then holding it at arm's length to take a picture. I'd need an eye-level viewfinder for stability. So I opted for the G1. The GH1 is a better choice for movies than the GF1, so if that's important to you, consider the GH1, too.
     
  8. I'd get a D50 and move on. These are very capable (6MP) machines IMHO. They weigh about half of what a D700 does. D50=540 gms. D700's=995 gms.
     
  9. Focal length never changes but the 4/3 sensor size has a crop factor of 2X in comparison to 35mm film. The 18-70 lens on a Nikon DX body gives the same angle of view that a 29-105 lens would on film/FX. On a 4/3 camera it would give the same angle of view as a 36-140 lens. The image circle of a DX lens is larger than the 4/3 sensor but I don't think you should do that because the 18-70 is a G lens. The Nikon F adapter for Micro 4/3 has no way to control the aperture for G lenses so you will be stuck at the min aperture (f22?) unless you jam some cardboard or something into the aperture lever.
     
  10. Olympus has a new little camera that takes lenses. It looks like a mini-rangefinder. I think Nikon has its hands full creating product as it is. I think the best current Nikon camera for travel is the D5000.
    Kent in SD
     
  11. The Olympus EP-1, Panasonic G1/GH1, and GF1 are all Micro 4/3 cameras. They can all use each others lenses with full functionality as well as tons of other brand lenses with the right adapters but you will lose AF, VR, etc.
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I think most people can understand about losing AF and VR, but if you also lose the control of the aperture or you have to use an older Nikon lens with an aperture ring, the limitation becomes pretty serious. Moreover, the crop factor for 4/3 is 2x, your wide angle becomes a serious problem and most FX zoom ranges don't make much sense any more.
    Again, if your lenses are not all that small, it pretty much negates all the advantages of having a tiny camera body. In fact, you'll end up with a front heavy, very imbalanced set up.
    So regardless of whether the bodies are made by Olympus/Panasonic or by Nikon, reusing existing interchangable lenses from the 35mm era will be problematic.
     
  13. Keith, like the GF1 but better IQ, you could also consider the tiny new Leica X1; the APS sized sensor of the LEICA X1 is the biggest sensor ever put in a point-and-shoot digital camera. The 24mm lens gives an angle of view similar to what a 35mm lens would see on a full frame equivalent. (Favorite focal length of many photojournalist from the past.) Additionally, this "prime" little jewel lens should out perform any of the G class Nikkor zooms.
    As to your original question of anybody hearing anything from Nikon, no. With the exception of the recent remake of the (old rangefinder model) Nikon SP, Nikon hasn't concentrated on rangefinder cameras & lenses. Because of this, they aren't able to make a body without having to produce a new line of small lenses. Mounting your current aperture settable, SLR design lenses to a new RF style body would look akward and might just be laughable.
    There is obvious demand for the question you pose Keith; many are in the same delema:
    With Leica hanging in with their RF system, they finally produced the astonishing full frame Leica M9. Believe it or not, many in Europe are trading in their Canon and Nikon Pro gear for this M9 ! See this link to an article about this strange trade activity...
     
  14. You could buy the Sigma DP-2. No interchangeable lenses, but large sensor. http://www.sigmaphoto.com/cameras/dp2.asp
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    With Leica hanging in with their RF system, they finally produced the astonishing full frame Leica M9. Believe it or not, many in Europe are trading in their Canon and Nikon Pro gear for this M9 ! See this link to an article about this strange trade activity...​
    Gus, do you believe that article?
     
  16. I'm a bit in the same boat. I had an Ixus but lost it (it's too small, I guess), so I'm looking for replacement since a D300 is not always practical, just like the D700 isn't. Some compacts can deliver really quite nice results, but deep down I know whichever I choose, it will disappoint.
    So the micro-4/3 seems nice, but not at these prices.... They're not exactly cheap bodies to start with. Even if I can re-use my Nikon lenses, I'll still need something to cover the wide angle, so it will always turn out to be a rather significant investment. And to me, micro-4/3 is still a compromise, maybe the one with the best IQ, but also an ultimately expensive one.
    So to me, I'll either get the least disappointing compact (shortlist for now the Fuji F200EXR or Panasonic LX3) or a D40/D3000. Now if Nikon would come up with an micro-APS-C body thing, that would make the choice easy, but since there isn't such a thing, it's still a difficult choice to make.
     
  17. Shun, you're right that putting a big lens on a small body will make for a hard to use combo. Even if you use a smaller wide angle prime like a 20mm or 35mm you still have the added depth of the adapter which is shifting the bulk of the weight forward.
    I think the Nikon adapter would work better on the G1/GH1 which looks like an SLR with a built in grip.
    I have read many comments from Leica rangefinder users that enjoy using their Leica M lenses on the EP-1 and GF1. Those are much smaller lenses with smaller adapters so the balance will be better.
     
  18. My D40 is still very, very much bigger than my Ixus 870! It will be interesting to see what the new Canon S90 is like when it arrives.
    A small new Nikon non-reflex with adaptor might not be much smaller than a D40 anyway.
     
  19. I am a Nikon shooter for more than 30 years. My first camera was a FM2N. Beside this forum, I now frequent those that discuss the m3/4 systems. In fact, I bought a Panny G1 and later sold it when I learned that GH1 was coming out. For those of you who are not familiar with the m3/4 system, you should really take a look at these systems, especially the GH1 b/c it most resembles the dSLRs but with numerous innovations that would be nice to have in our dSLRs.
    The innovation of these systems comes in several folds: first is the mirror less design which removes the bulky mirror and prism, thus allowing the design of a much smaller (narrower) camera. Since the distance from the mount to the sensor is shorter, the lens is also much smaller. To send images to the view finder, it uses a state of the art electronic view finder which gives 100% view and the images are very bright and clear. Bc it is electronic, this VF can display ALL the camera status. Grid line, ISO, of course, a piece of cake. Remarkably, it can display histogram LIVE, imagine to have that with your dSLRs to help exposure adjustment. It can also preview the effect of shutter and DOF, and preview the pictures that you just take. You can do all of that without ever taking your eyes off the VF. For those who love to use MF, with Panny m3/4 lenses, the camera will automatically enlarge the view in the VF when it detects turning of the focusing ring to allow very precise focusing. The G(H)1 also has a variangle LCD to make it easy to shoot from odd angles.
    I remembered in a google search, I found someone posted a link to a patent filed by Nikon on some kind of mirror-less design. Whether this is true or not, it does not really matter. However when you see what Panny has done with the GH1, if you are a smart dSLR maker, you should take notes and begin to find ways to transfer these facinating and very useful features into the current dSLR.
    One can indeed use adapters to mount Nikon or any lenses to these cameras, if you just want to have a back up/travel system that use all the Nikon lenses. Despite this, most Nikon dSLR lenses are way too big and it is strange to mount them on a tiny and light body. Another issues is the lack of aperture ring for the G-lenses. This issue can be addressed by an adapter made by Novoflex, which is now available from B&H for preorder. It is not cheap at $300. The bottom line is that it is about time for Nikon to lose some weight. To me, the D300 appears to occupy the same spot that used to be occupied by the F100, a system of the past, but the two have nearly identical dimension and weight. If the advance of technology has helped to shrink the size of the music players (iPod!), phone (cell phone), and computer (laptop), it is about time that the same can happen to digital camera. C'mon Nikon and Canon, do something!
     
  20. Can you imagine mounting a big lens on camera with a compact-camera-sized sensor where the FOV multiplier is ~5x?
    The humble 55-200 VR becomes a 275-1000. The 600mm f/4 becomes a 3000mm lens :)
     
  21. 'With Leica hanging in with their RF system, they finally produced the astonishing full frame Leica M9 . Believe it or not, many in Europe are trading in their Canon and Nikon Pro gear for this M9 ! See this link to an article about this strange trade activity...'​
    'Gus, do you believe that article?'
    Shun, you're not suggesting that anecdotal evidence from 3 specialist London Leica dealers with a tiny inventory of available cameras (one mentions having 8) is somehow unrepresentative of what 'many' Europeans are doing? :)
     
  22. Richard to be able to predict worldwide effects you really need at least a sample of 9 :)
    Anyway I prefer a FF Leica any time over a G1 except so far I am still looking to find someone who pays for it ^^.
     
  23. with a compact-camera-sized sensor where the FOV multiplier is ~5x?​
    Which camera are you referring to? The m3/4 cameras have a crop factor of 2, so the 55-200 will become a 110-400 mm lens. However since it is a G-lens, you would need a special (=expensive) adapter to allow for aperture control.
     
  24. I don't understand all this whining and hand wringing over the size of a DSLR body. I don't have particularly large hands, but a D40 or D5000 is too small for me to hold comfortably with anything but the smallest lenses. A D200 or D300 is fine with wide-angle and normal zooms - as soon as I put on a 80-200/2.8 or similar, the grip is needed for comfortable and stable holding. I have a Leica M6 and M5 - the M6 is fine with a small lens like the 35/2 ASPH - but no longer with a 90/2 which feels much more comfortable on the larger M5. Many people choose an aftermarket grip for their Leica body - I don't shoot enough with it to really need it. I also have a Lumix DMC-FZ50 (similar in size to the above mentioned G1 but with a tiny sensor) and Sony DSC-R1 (1.67x crop factor, body similar size to an DSLR) - both cameras with an electronic viewfinder - and both viewfinders suck! The R1 makes up for it with a unconventional but quite usable placement of the LCD on top of the camera. I can't imagine putting a SLR lens on one of these m4/3 cameras and then hold it at arms length to compose the image on the rear LCD. I hope that Nikon and Canon will keep developing the digital camera - but miniaturization better not be part of it.
    To all those people ditching their DSLR in favor of the M9 - I hope none of you is one of those that keep complaining about the 98% viewfinder of the D700 - you'd be happy to get framing anywhere close to accurate view a rangefinder.
    The FZ50 has a lens which goes out to 480mm film-equivalent FOV - even with IS, it is very hard to hold that light and small camera stable.
     
  25. I don't understand all this whining and hand wringing over the size of a DSLR body.​
    I may not be able to directly answer your questions but just try to imagine that you told people the following 10 years ago:
    you carried your phone with you every where you go,
    you carry all your song AND video collections with you, where ever you go,
    you could surf the internet every where you go,
    Now imagine 10 years from now you tell people that we used to use a device that weighs more than one lb just to take pictures.
    It seems that to assume that "good" cameras have to heavier is to assume that the only way to make safe cars is to make them larger and heavier.
    Have you seen or used the EVF on the G1? Do you remember how the LCD panel first appeared on the back of the dSLR?
     
  26. They could do this with an electronic viewfinder. I do beleive some of the 4/3 cameras are doing this; please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I understand the not wanting to buy new lenses to go with another body, and I don't think it would be a horrible move by Nikon to release something similar to 4/3 that could auto focus with AF-S lenses. Taking out the mirror and focus motor would enable them to really reduce the size. The only drawback is the electronic viewfinder that some people might not like.

    Honestly, the D40/60/5000 are already a step in this direction with the lack of focusing motors. I don't see why Nikon couldn't just go 1 more step and product something even more compact.
     
  27. Now imagine 10 years from now you tell people that we used to use a device that weighs more than one lb just to take pictures.​
    That's already not true today - there is a plethora of P&S camera that can do that. But you can shrink a DSLR only down to a certain point before it becomes "too small".
    It seems that to assume that "good" cameras have to heavier is to assume that the only way to make safe cars is to make them larger and heavier.​
    This has nothing to do with "good" but all with being able to hold it comfortably and stably. Of course, everyone is welcome to carry a tripod along with their m4/3 camera - though you might admit that this would be defying the mini-format just a tiny bit.
    I have not seen the EVF of the G1 - I state in my post that I have seen the one in the FZ50 and R1 - and both are nothing to write home about. And I do remember how the LCD panel first appeared on the back of a camera - and though its resolution has changed substantially since then, chimping is about all it is good for.
     
  28. The G1/GH1 viewfinders are by no means an optical viewfinder, but coming from a CP8400 I found them extremely usable and would be willing to take their shortcomings in trade for their pluses over an optical viewfinder - especially compared to the optical viewfinders in the D3000/D5000 which seemed to me to be too cramped and hard to see with glasses. I found the G1/GH1 viewfinder to be extremely easy to use with glasses.
    Anyways, I would love for Nikon to come out with an electronic viewfinder, mirror-less design that can meter with MF lenses (and focus AF-S lenses too, but not AF-D). I have a 200/4 AIS and a 105/2.5 AIS that are quite small and would fit such a small body quite well (especially if it had sensor IS, which won't happen with Nikon). The only missing part is a small wide angle lens - the rumored 16-35/4 AFS would fit this bill quite nicely. A 12mm/4 DX would be the cat's meow!
    Nikon didn't get my $$ when I bought a Panasonic LX-3, and if they don't announce something soon they won't get my $$ when I buy a GF-1 or GH-1 and use Nikkor glass on them.
    - John
     
  29. I don't understand all this whining and hand wringing over the size of a DSLR body. I don't have particularly large hands,​
    Some of us want to have a camera with us all the time. Currently I have a Panasonic ZS1 in my pocket. A DSLR is too big to always carry with me but the Panasonic I have has a tiny sensor. I'd prefer some larger hence the interest in Micro 4/3.
    but a D40 or D5000 is too small for me to hold comfortably with anything but the smallest lenses.​
    I have used my 70-200 f2.8 and even my 200-400 f4 with my D40X (identical body as the D40) and I thought it was fine.
    For me the ability to use existing Nikon F mount lenses on Micro 4/3 is a stop gap until either a native Micro 4/3 lens exists or for some specialized purpose where an equivalent Micro 4/3 lens may never exist. I don't actually have a Micro 4/3 body but the Panasonic GF1 and the pancake lens interests me as a "carry all the time" camera.
     
  30. the Panasonic GF1 and the pancake lens​
    This tiny 20mm/1.7 lens just received rave review at dpreview. Its IQ is as good as the Nikon AFS 50/1.4 and the Sigma 50/1.4. It achieves this with a faction of the size and weight.
     
  31. The G1/GH1 viewfinders are by no means an optical viewfinder, but coming from a CP8400 I found them extremely usable and would be willing to take their shortcomings in trade for their pluses over an optical viewfinder - especially compared to the optical viewfinders in the D3000/D5000 which seemed to me to be too cramped and hard to see with glasses. I found the G1/GH1 viewfinder to be extremely easy to use with glasses.
    Anyways, I would love for Nikon to come out with an electronic viewfinder, mirror-less design that can meter with MF lenses (and focus AF-S lenses too, but not AF-D). I have a 200/4 AIS and a 105/2.5 AIS that are quite small and would fit such a small body quite well (especially if it had sensor IS, which won't happen with Nikon). The only missing part is a small wide angle lens - the rumored 16-35/4 AFS would fit this bill quite nicely. A 12mm/4 DX would be the cat's meow!
    Nikon didn't get my $$ when I bought a Panasonic LX-3, and if they don't announce something soon they won't get my $$ when I buy a GF-1 or GH-1 and use Nikkor glass on them.
    - John
     
  32. I see it as very unlikely that Nikon comes out with something like th GF1 in the near future. I'll probably buy a GF1 myself as soon as the price settles a bit. I don't need that many lenses for it anyway, just 2-3 basic ones, the rest I'll adapt from my Nikon system.
     
  33. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This tiny 20mm/1.7 lens just received rave review at dpreview. Its IQ is as good as the Nikon AFS 50/1.4 and the Sigma 50/1.4. It achieves this with a faction of the size and weight.​
    But the limitation for the 4/3 format is in the sensor.
    One problem that hasn't been mentioned is that all Nikon F mount lenses (except for a few PC-E lenses) use a mechanical control to stop down the aperture. If you need to build that mechanical control into the mini camera, it really adds to its bulk. If you use an adapter, you'll end up with not only stop-down metering but also stop-down viewfinder.
    It isn't all that simple.
     
  34. One problem that hasn't been mentioned is that all Nikon F mount lenses (except for a few PC-E lenses) use a mechanical control to stop down the aperture. If you need to build that mechanical control into the mini camera, it really adds to its bulk. If you use an adapter, you'll end up with not only stop-down metering but also stop-down viewfinder.
    It isn't all that simple.​
    No, I don't agree that the mechanical control for the aperture will add substantially to the bulk. Look at the FM10 film camera - it can use AIS lenses and it's only 2 inches in depth (Dimensions (WxHxD): 5.5 x 3.4 x 2.in. - from the Nikon website).
    The Panasonic G1 is 3.29'' x 4.88'' x 1.78'' (HxWXD). The FM-10 has a pentaprism VF to boot!
    - John
     
  35. For travel, have you considered a rangefinder? They're all quite small.
     
  36. >Can Nikon produce a mirrorless camera
    Yes, it's called a Rangefinder. It's obvious Nikon can just slap a digital sensor into their S4 but I am not sure if there's a large enough market to warrant such an effort.
    Sorry to veer off to something else but there's something called the hi-def video feature in DSLRs brewing in the market right now. Canon has invested $millions (may be even $billions) and is stirring the pot. If Nikon is not careful, it may miss the boat ... again ... like in autofocus technologies years ago ...
     
  37. Canon has invested $millions (may be even $billions) and is stirring the pot.​
    As if there weren't more important and useful areas they could spend their research money and time on ...
    (and by they I mean Canon as well as Nikon)
     
  38. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The whole idea about these mirrorless cameras with interchangable lenses is their compactness. Therefore, maintaining mechanical compatiblity with Nikon F mount lenses that tend to be fairly large relative to these compact cameras anyway makes very little sense to me. When you have a big lens in front, it totally defeats the purpose for these compact cameras.
    Therefore, if somehow Nikon wants to enter this area, I think they are much better off designing a few new compact lenses with a modern interface that is smaller and not compatible with the F mount, such that they don't need to carry the baggage from a mount designed half a century ago for some totally different cameras.
    Whether Nikon can compete in this new digital camera category and make money or not is another issue, something I am not qualified to discuss. But lack of qualification should not discourage anyone from providing opinions. :)
     
  39. It's not mirrorless and it's not digital, but if you want a small body that takes Nikon lenses and are willing to shoot APS film, get a Nikon Pronea.
    Remember them? :)
     
  40. The whole idea about these mirrorless cameras with interchangable lenses is their compactness. Therefore, maintaining mechanical compatiblity with Nikon F mount lenses that tend to be fairly large relative to these compact cameras anyway makes very little sense to me. When you have a big lens in front, it totally defeats the purpose for these compact cameras.
    Therefore, if somehow Nikon wants to enter this area, I think they are much better off designing a few new compact lenses with a modern interface that is smaller and not compatible with the F mount, such that they don't need to carry the baggage from a mount designed half a century ago for some totally different cameras.​
    Exactly! The "Right" way to do it is to have a mount that is close to the sensor so it is easier to make those wide angle optics. Nikon could certainly do this and make a special new lens line just for this purpose AND make an adapter (for lots of $$$ of course) that will allow mounting of existing AI/AIS/AF-D/AF-S lenses. AF will of course only be with AF-S lenses.
    Will Nikon do this? I certainly hope they will. Will this camera be for the mass crowds? No it will not, thus it will be quite expensive and will probably be a niche market (like the m43 cameras tend to be).
    - John
     
  41. and will probably be a niche market (like the m43 cameras tend to be).​
    I just got back from two weeks in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, and a few other US National Parks. I probably saw 100 people a day with Nikon and Canon DSLRs but I had never seen a Panasonic G1 in person until this trip. I counted about 5-10 a day. I was shocked at how popular it seemed but they were always carried by people with families, not the "serious" looking photographers. The digital P&S crowd still outnumbered the DSLR crowd by about 5X.
     
  42. was shocked at how popular it seemed but they were always carried by people with families, not the "serious" looking photographers. The digital P&S crowd still outnumbered the DSLR crowd by about 5X.​
    The popularity of iPod taught everyone a lesson: remember there was a time when we were obsessed by stereo equipment that must in some way to produce the highest fidelity. The speakers thus had to be big and not only did we need receiver, it was better to get tuner, amp, pre-amp, that were so powerful that they could together blow the window off your house. With iPod however we now realize that how much people are willing to buy something that is cool and convenient, a tool that we can take everywhere. It seems that O/N the high fidelity stereo business has become the thing of the past. The same thing is happening to photography, and I must add that this has already begun when camera first appeared in cell phone. Thus it seems that it is just a matter of time that someone will build a camera around a FF sensor, to make a compact camera with superior user interface, instead of putting a sensor in a decade-old SLR body. If Nikon does not get this done soon enough, someone will beat them to it, and it is hard to know what will happen to Nikon. Is it possible that one hundred years from now people will say that it finally takes a company good with electronics, such as Panasonic and Apple, to finally build the ideal DIGITAL camera. Well, why Apple, didn't they just reinvented the phone and just may drive Flip out of business? You just never know. Nikon was never a huge player in the rangefinder, but this may change if people start to abandon its system because of the weight and size penality. So next time when we take our 10 lbs rig to the beach for vacationing, just imagine if all of that can be shrunk into a 1-lb package.
     
  43. The whole idea about these mirrorless cameras with interchangable lenses is their compactness. Therefore, maintaining mechanical compatiblity with Nikon F mount lenses that tend to be fairly large relative to these compact cameras anyway makes very little sense to me. When you have a big lens in front, it totally defeats the purpose for these compact cameras.
    Therefore, if somehow Nikon wants to enter this area, I think they are much better off designing a few new compact lenses with a modern interface that is smaller and not compatible with the F mount, such that they don't need to carry the baggage from a mount designed half a century ago for some totally different cameras.​
    Exactly! The "Right" way to do it is to have a mount that is close to the sensor so it is easier to make those wide angle optics. Nikon could certainly do this and make a special new lens line just for this purpose AND make an adapter (for lots of $$$ of course) that will allow mounting of existing AI/AIS/AF-D/AF-S lenses. AF will of course only be with AF-S lenses.
    Will Nikon do this? I certainly hope they will. Will this camera be for the mass crowds? No it will not, thus it will be quite expensive and will probably be a niche market (like the m43 cameras tend to be).
    - John
     
  44. I'm seeing tons of new interest in lighter, high-end systems from people on message boards lately. I got so tired of lugging my D700 and lenses around that I bought a Panasonic LX3 before a recent trip to Guatemala and Mexico. I was hoping this would be my new travel camera and I'd be content to leave the heavy glass at home on most trips. Alas, I was disappointed with the image quality, but I loved the video and portability! I now wish I'd brought BOTH as they really serve totally different functions. I now realize that I will probably never be able to replace my DSLR with any P&S, just as I've never really been able to replace my tower computer with a laptop (believe me, I've tried). Bigger, heavier boxes can always deliver more and better features. When you're looking for ultimate quality you'll want to bring a DSLR (unless you're ready to move up to medium or large format). When you're looking for portability and ease of use you need a good P&S. Buy both and give up the urge to conflate them into one "super camera."
     
  45. Shun is correct. It's the large, heavy zoom lenses and their giant hoods that add weight & bulk.
    The beauty of the G1, GF1, EP1, etc...is that you can mount the so-called pancake lenses from Olympus & Pentax, as well as the tiny, fast, superb Leica optics.
    I think the best we can expect from Nikon is something along the lines of the Sigma compacts...and the upcoming Leica X1...or finally the APS sensor in a point & shoot.
     
  46. I'm in a similar situation. After using a few high-end small cameras (e.g., Canon G9), some smaller SLRs (e.g., D70, D3000), and for a year or so a Leica M8, I decided that I really wanted my D700 body and nothing else. So, I put a 50mm lens on it, and the combination is now very manageable. I got a small case that the camera just squeezes into, and it's a really nice travel/hiking package. For other times, I still have my huge lenses (e.g., f2.8 28-70mm).

    --Marc
     
  47. Sorry to veer off to something else but there's something called the hi-def video feature in DSLRs brewing in the market right now. Canon has invested $millions (may be even $billions) and is stirring the pot. If Nikon is not careful, it may miss the boat ... again ... like in autofocus technologies years ago ...​
    Blimey... and I thought the D90 was the first DSLR with video....
    I agree with the point on size; this is vital to these "in betweens". Zoomlens and bigger sensor start to bite each other at a point. If that means (like with micro-4/3rd) getting a fixed-focal pancake lens is the way to keep it small, fine but then it's missing a point as a camera system for me. I'd want a choice of focal lenghts for sure (else I'd have a Sigma DP1/DP2 already). So either multiple pancakes, or something like the Leica tri-elmar lens construction (3 fixed focal distances in one lens) - that would work (for me at least) and still reduce bulk.
    But yeah, if Nikon goes down this road, maybe they should let go of the F-mount, and design something properly for APS-C mirrorless compact. Maybe they could join forces with Canon there, or with Samsungs initiative.
     
  48. Despite the fact that i was blown away by the G1, I must also acknowledge its shortcomings as to not getting too carried away. The G1 is clearly not for action photography. The max frame rate is 3fps and there is a slight black out in the VF after a shot is taken, which limits its ability to track moving objects. Its high ISO performance is about the same as D80 although the D80 produces cleaner images in the shadow area. At the moment at least, for me and for many, G(H)1 is not a replacement for a capable dSLR, except when the weight is an issue (say for hiking, etc). These issues are inherited in the AF system and the relatively smaller sensor size of the m3/4 system so it may take a while to be ironed out.
     
  49. Keith:
    No DSLR is small enough.
    Of course Nikon can do a mirrorless camera (they did some rangefinder in the past), but as you probably want to keep the lens to sensor distance, you won't gain too much size, except if you design it à la Rollei SL66.​
     
  50. I suspect that in 5 to 10 years time when 35mm sensors are relatively cheap, numerous manufacturers will produce non reflex digital cameras with interchangeable lenses, maybe Leica M mount. Modern 35mm digital SLRs are so big and heavy that there must be a market for something smaller. Just look at how micro 4/3 has captured peoples imagination in a way that 4/3 never did because it offers very real advantages.
     
  51. However, there is something to be said for composing through the lens itself, and not relying on looking at an LCD screen or an EVF, or a rangefinder window. But I agree that modern digital SLR cameras are too large and heavy. I'd like a camera the size and weight of a Nikon D90, but with the metering, image quality, and the ability to use manual focus lenses, like the Nikon D300.
     
  52. On oktober 14th I expect a new mirrorless Nikon camera with new lenses, and with a revolutionary new sensor type which gives exeptional sharp images...
    W'll have to wait ;-)
     
  53. On oktober 14th I expect a new mirrorless Nikon camera with new lenses, and with a revolutionary new sensor type which gives exeptional sharp images...
    W'll have to wait ;-)
     
  54. Duh, I meant in the year 2011 of course!
     

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