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back to article Samsung unveils 20Mp EVIL shooter

At IFA today, Samsung upped the ante on the EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lenses) marketplace by introducing the NX200, sporting a 20.3Mp APS-C CMOS sensor. Besides being a stills shooter capable with RAW support, the NX200 captures video at full HD 1080p at 30fps with stereo audio. Samsung NX200 Its …

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Come on Nikon & Canon

This is going to be a bigger category than DSLR. We want to put our good lenses on these babies and get connected aperture and focus, but however good Sony (NEX) or Samsung's Evil gets, they won't have the lens catalogue for another ten years (in other words, ever).

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Re: Come on Nikon & Canon

But who wants to put a whacking great lens on a tiny body which, due to the lack of a viewfinder, must be held out with the arms outstretched in order to frame the image? IMO, the ergonomics of all the EVIL cameras released so far just aren't right. Also, the larger lenses make them no match to a P&S when it comes to portability. Granted the 4/3rds offerings are smaller, but their image quality is compromised in comparison to DSLRs with their larger sensors.

Jacks of all trades, masters of none.

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Putting our existing DSLR lenses on an EVIL

The advantage a mirrorless camera has over a DSLR is that you can design much smaller lenses, since you can go to a much shorter focal length before you need to start using retrofocal designs. This makes them smaller, cheaper and better quality. Compare the size of a fast wide angle lens for a DSLR to that of an equivalent Leica M system lens and you'll see what I mean.

Using existing lenses that were designed for DSLRs on an EVIL camera negates these advantages and IMO beats the point of using an EVIL in the first place. A 17-55/2.8 with an EVIL stuck to the back of it is going to be just as bulky as a 17-55/2.8 with a small entry level DSLR stuck to the back of it, and the ergonomics, handling and performance are going to be heavily compromised by doing so.

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@AC - Re: Come on Nikon & Canon

>But who wants to put a whacking great lens on a tiny body which, due to the lack of a viewfinder, must be held out with the arms outstretched in order to frame the image?

There is an optional viewfinder which attaches to the (smart) hot shoe.

Even so I think the balance of these types of camera is all wrong and putting a nikon/canon SLR lens on them will only make it worse. Also as far as I can see th NX100 doesn't have any form of image stabiisation making handling of this model even more of a problem.

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re: Canon & Nikon

This just won't work! The back focal length for both Canon and Nikon is designed for a mirror box first then the film/sensor mounted way back (~30mm from the lens mount) Any camera using these lenses MUST accept this focal plane or introduce corrective optics. so any compatible EVIL will have the same depth (Lens mount to sensor) as any existing Canon/Nikon SLR (or a shed load of heavy complex optics - if this is even possible in this size) making the EVIL variant pretty pointless. All current Canon DSLR's have live view mode so can imitate an EVIL anyway. So basically it is possible but you wont get a nice small compact body camera.

The only way to make a compact size body work would be to add an extension tube between the body and the lens, If these were detachable you could leave it attached to the compact body (making it larger) or fit them to all your lenses, which means you'd have to remove it to mount the lenses on an SLR. All in all not an ideal solution and extra complexity of two mounts. However this would enable a range of shorter back focal length EVIL Lenses that do not need an adapter tube.

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Downside

The downside being manual focussing is much harder due to the limited optical resolution.

Of course there will be workarounds for that. But some do prefer simplicity over using more tech (electronically powered too, reducing battery life) to solve a problem.

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@AC "re:Canon & Nikon"

For the flange to back distance of Canons and Nikons you need to think more like 44-46mm.

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@AC

"The only way to make a compact size body work would be to add an extension tube between the body and the lens"

Which, of course, is precisely what the many adapters available for the NEX and micro-4/3rds cameras do. Their primary role is simply to attach to the lens and camera mount and adjust for the difference in the register distance (some have a secondary role to provide for limited electronic interfacing of provide some semblance of manual controls for the lens.

One thing to note is that short-register digital cameras with large sensors have problems with colour shift, fringing, vignetting and other nasty effects at the edge of the sensors on wide-angle lenses due to the high angle of incidence of light rays at that point. This can only partly be dealt with through special (and expensively designed) sensors, like the Leica M9's plus firmware/software fixes. There are actually unexpected advantages in SLR's large register distance, as the necessary retrofocus designs make the light rays more "telecentric" - that is they arrive at the sensor surface and its stack of AA, IR & bayer filters at something closer to 90 degrees.

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Unhappy

Not so hot

The dpreview of it and the subsequent comments lead me to sum it up as 'Meh!'.

On the subject of EVIL cameras, Nikon is supposed to be announcing one on the 21st Sept.

http://nikonrumors.com/

I'd wait to see how it stacks up alongside the Samsung & Sony units before parting with any readies 3D or not.

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Meh

See no EVIL?

I really don't see the point of putting a 200 mm lens on a camera that you have to hold at arm's length.

No viewfinder, no sale...

And what's the price likely to be, because for £350 you could get a proper DSLR (Pentax K-x) that's not much bigger. And it will take ALL your old Pentax K lenses and stabilise them too!

Meh indeed.

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Not necessarily

Video cameras have had electronic viewfinders for years. If you think video camera viewfinder then you'll understand how they work?

It's a mini display inside the camera instead of the mirror. Hence optical resolution may not be so good but you can overlay histograms and other heads up style info to assist the photographer.

Of course the capturing the image and the internal processing means the viewfinder image will lag a little, so sports photographers won't like them.

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Not quite the outer limit of the EVIL envelope

The specs at least are a little behind the Sony NEX-7 announced last week. That sports 24 MPiX, 10 FPS, a 2.4 million dot EVF, 10 FPS, ISO up to 16,000 and video at full hi-def at 50 or 60fps (depending if it's a European or US model), pop-up flash, focus-peaking and tilting back LCD.

However, the NEX-7 is an expensive option. Reputedly the NEX-5n is much better value, great high ISO (top end 25,600) but no flash, no built-in EVF and "only" 16MPiX.

The Sony NEX range is much favoured by those adapting high-quality legacy lenses due to its very short register distance, which means pretty nearly any mount can be adapted that covers the APS-C image circle and allows for manual control of the lens, even if the adapter has to have some controls added. The Sony E-Mount spec has also been open-sourced for third party lens suppliers (not something Sony have a reputation for doing).

It will be interesting to see the Samsung pricing. I'd expect it to substantially undercut Sony, but they don't seem (at least yet) to have trumped the specs.

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whoah

I think I understand about a fifth of that, but it looks impressive.

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Meh

Re Steve Jones

The number of megapixels is not everything (unless you are a Canon user...). These devices have very small sensors when compared to a full frame DSLR. I'd be very wary about using an ISO above 3200 because of the inter-pixel noise. You see it on just about any camera if you wind the ISO up enough. 6400 is just about usable with my D700. I've seen EOS 55D pictures taken at 2000ISO that were very noisy.

It might be that the SONY device has just about right ISO levels for its sensor size and that the Samsung one is just a few pixels too far.

We shall have to wait for someone like DPReview.com to do a full review/test of the Sony, Samsung and the forhcoming Nikon evil unit.

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The small photosite myth

I see you are another who has fallen for the small photositer myth which is repeated as receivedc wisdom everywhere. The important issue is not the size of the photosites (within reason), but the total sensor area as that, with suitably scaled lenses, defines the amount of light available which is ultimately what limits the image quality.

The Dynamic Range of small photosites is lower than that for larger ones as the noise floor is ultimately limited by photon shot noise. However, that ignores the increased spatial frequency of the smaller photosites. Feed that into the mathematics, and for any given output size and common technology, the noise and DR effects are cancelled out by the increased spatial frequency. Further, as on all but the Foveon-sensored SD1, sensors use bayer-pattern 2x2 colour mosaics, the colour fidelity of an image will continue to improve until the 2x2 cell size drops below the resolving power of lenses (which would need about 100MP on an APS-C sensor). Of course the (not much over 1 micron) photosites on some camera phones have long passed the abilities of their lenses to resolve detail (and they also tend to be diffraction limited), but the real damage is simply the sensor is very small and there's limited light to deal with.

There is also plenty of evidence that increased MP counts on systems cameras are not damaging image quality - quite the reverse. If you go to the DXOmark site and look at the overall sensor ratings of any one manufacturer's sensors of the same size, there is an upward trend with MP counts. Of course technology changes help too, but even on common-technology sensors, the higher MP one tends to rate higher at common technology levels.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php

Sensors can be optimised for different purposes. Nikon's FF D3S gets better high ISO than the much higher (but also older) D3X, but its optimal range image quality is worse. Hence the older, higher-MP D3X has a higher sensor rating than the D3S albeit the former is based on a Sony sensor design now a couple of generations old.

For an informed thread on this (with links)

http://reduser.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-30076.html

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Meh

APS-C not necessarily the best here

Sony have shown you can make a camera with this sensor size pretty darn small... but the optics still have to be of a minimum size. The 4/3 sensor used by the Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3 cameras is in theory slightly inferior (small sensor means more susceptibility to noise for the same photosite density and larger DOF) but the lenses are just that little bit smaller and more pocketable.

Whilst I don't doubt Canon and Nikon will enter this market segment in due course and provide lens adaptors for their usual range, it will be daft using such great big slabs of glass.

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Give me sunshine

So what is the display like in bright sunshine?

Can you actually see what you are shooting?

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Bright Sunshine will be no problem

I'm sure they'll come with a large black blanket like a nineteenth century view camera.

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Happy

Canon

Would love to see Canon make their G series into EVIL cameras. Would bridge the gap nicely. I would like to trade in my bulky but excellent Nikon D80 and 18-200 lens for something like this (but on Samsung), as I don't shoot enough to justify the DSLR bulk. Let's hope this sector does grow.

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oh dear

I thought we had got over the pixelcount race with compacts, but here it is still going on.

I had a look at some of this nx/nex stuff at schiphol & I don't see the point.

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Meh

I thought we had got over the pixelcount race with compacts,

*Cough* Hassleblad H4D-60 *cough*

See, not just low end compacts...

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Stop

I know I'm picky, but...

...is the the EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens) tag REALLY appropriate for a camera that doesn't come with, I don't know, an actual viewfinder? Seriously, though, like, it seems, a lot of other commenters, the lack of one is what puts me off a lot of these cameras. I've tried using LCD screens on cameras for framing shots and really, REALLY can't abide it, especially in sunlight.

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Re: I know I'm picky, but

You are right to be picky in that an EV isn't included but as I stated in a reply to an earlier comment, it does have an EV as an option.

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Eye-level isn''t the only viewfinder paradigm

A rear screen showing a live view image is technically a viewfinder; it allows you to do what it says on the box. You don't press your eye against it, but that's not a requirement.

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True enough, but just looked at pricing...

...for their existing optional viewfinder, and at £150 it's a pricey omission.

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WTF?

Viewfinders etc

This model is aimed at compact camera users who don't use an eye-level viewfinder anyway. You can make a body with an electronic eye-level viewfinder that carries all the extra info you may want displayed while using it. Panasonic already have several models that do this.

And per-lease the sensor area difference between APS-C and 4/3rds is tiny and not relevant to this discussion. Go back to DPR if you must keep banging on about that.

The main thing keeping the big boys (Canon, Nikon) out of this type of body/lens system at the moment is the autofocus system, which is demonstrably inferior currently.

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The wrong way around

Instead of taking the mirror out they need to take the screen out and simply allow the photographer to see the shot image in the viewfinder. Instant review.. Great

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