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What about a digital camera dedicated to us manual lens users

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by burdickjp, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    235
    Feb 25, 2013
    I understand that the greater majority of the market wouldn't go for it, but what are forums for, if not to fantasize?

    What about an inexpensive camera which sheds all of the auto lens features and focuses on the features which benefit manual lens users. I understand there are some cameras by other manufacturers, I think Fuji among them, which are already catering to this market in some form.
    IBIS and focus-peaking make me happy, and I don't see many filling that niche well.
    I'm curious what manufacturers could strip away, and what kind of effect it'd have on price.

    I've seen that Cosina every now and then makes a cool old film camera to cater to small markets. It'd be interesting to see them and Ricoh put something together. I don't see Olympus or Panasonic being able to financially tackle anything like this right now.

    SO:
    what features would you like to see in a digital camera dedicated to manual use? Who do you think would be best suited for putting this into production right now?

    As an example I think the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 did it right by having a shutter speed knob with an A for auto. Elegant. Brilliant. Add a knob for ISO, throw an A on it, let me program lens profiles for EXIF use and I'm sold. Instead of having to flip through all the lens lengths for IBIS, you build profiles for the lenses you use, and only have to pick from them. This data goes into EXIF. TADA! EXIF for manual lenses!

    My list would then be:
    IBIS
    focus peaking
    ISO and shutter speed knobs with auto as an option.
    programmable lens EXIF profiles;
     
  2. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Uh, Leica?
     
  3. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    Jean-Paul
    Olympus PEN E-P5 except for lens EXIF profiles.
     
  4. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    235
    Feb 25, 2013
    Leica digitals seem to be Leica film cameras, but without the film. They are Leicas first. Besides, many questions here could be ended simply by saying. "Leica." Where's the fun in that? Let's really talk about it. What do you think makes Leica an answer here, and warrants the exorbitant price?

    That is, in fact, the camera sitting in my Amazon shopping cart right now, and it definitely fits my needs list, but if a camera did so while shunning the extraneous, such as all of those art filters, scenes, auto menus, etc. It'd make me much happier. Think about how much of the menus system wouldn't need to be there? How simple it could be.
     
  5. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    Jean-Paul
    That is the bit I like about the PEN 5. Two control wheels in exactly the right location. Then there is dedicated buttons for the rest. Why would you ever need to use the menu following initial setup? And if you do, then just use the quick menu...

    However I agree, I couldn't care less about all these art filters and other settings. Just give me iAuto (for the wife ;)), Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Full Manual. That is enough, the rest of in camera edits is just a gimmick to me.

    PS. For manual control you'll love the VF4 as well, I was using my panasonic G6 last sunday, and gosh the EVF is rubbish compared to the Olympus one. And also I find manual focus on the pen with focus peaking, and the rear display set to waist level finder mode absolutely brilliant :)
     
  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Heheh, okay, I suppose there's no call to be so laconic.

    Leica cameras use full-frame digital sensors, which is awesome from an image quality point of view, but the mechanical limitations of Leica's mount, design, some such thing (I don't know Leica real well, I'm not an aficionado), as I understand it, means that the lenses have to be manual focus only. I agree they seem curiously lacking in modern features, and really do seem a lot like film cameras, but they are essentially boiled down, stripped and perfected imaging machines. Nothing about a Leica is focused on features, or even usability, just the resultant image. Their lens selection is top notch and expensive, and quintessentially manual. It seems to me that that spartan, mechanical experience is sort of what you're asking for.
     
  7. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Seriously, you want simplicity, check out the back of a Leica M9. There are deliberate buttons - not even wheels, buttons - for ISO and everything else, all in one row on the left of the screen. That camera doesn't have a single extraneous feature, except maybe too much branding.
     
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    The answer is simple. If price is a concern, then Leica isn't for you.
    Just like if the price of gas is a concern, then a Lamborghini isn't for you either.
     
  9. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I don't think that's necessarily true. Leica is largely a luxury camera brand, but it doesn't have to be. They're serious tools, they just require a large investment. One I doubt I'll ever make, I know how much lens lust those shiny Leica and Voigtlander manual lenses would create for me :p
     
  10. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    235
    Feb 25, 2013
    I guess I had trouble formulating this earlier; but here's my argument against Leica:
    They had a manual camera back in the '50s which was apparently damned good.

    So they kept making it.

    It's like the Porsche 911 of cameras. No one doubts it's a good { camera, car }, but everyone agrees it's not the only way to accomplish the end its wanting to achieve. Leica has a great formula, but they're tied by tradition to keep their products working a certain way. If that way were good or bad is dependent entirely on your personal preference and pocketbook disposition.

    Anyone read up on Cosina's limited edition film cameras? How about Ricoh's GXR M-mount camera?

    The GXR is close to making the mark with the m-mount unit. It could even bring up the possibilities of different units for different mounts, allowing lenses to behave as intended, rather than in stop-down metering only. I, for one, don't mind stopped down metering, as I don't feel there's much disadvantage with an EVF and a small aperture.

    Full-frame sensors could be implemented in some units to take advantage of superb m-mount glass, while another unit could include a 1" sensor and a c-mount. All the c-mount shooters could have their own module, just for them.
     
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    A matter of perspective here :smile:
     
  12. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    If I think all the Leicas I have/I have had and all those complains here in mu-43.com it makes me smile. It's not perfect in that sense. Not even close.

    But the price of Leica tells that somebody have to pay the bills. It's easier to disable autofocus from the bulk model. Okay, that was not the question :redface:

    I feel that the new GX7 and EP-5 are kind of modern day "leicas". They are small and capable and you can use them manually (also). Probably neither of them will be in perfect working order after 54 years like my Leica IIIf is.

    If you are a purist (you dont have to be) and you like fixie bicycles and so on, I totally understand the dream of having something simple and yet very capable.
     
  13. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Quote my whole sentence; I was arguing against defining Leica as such. Context, my friend!
     
  14. Tuff

    Tuff Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Jun 27, 2013
    London
    I thought about this a while ago. A camera that uses a shorter than usual flange distance combined with adapters for various classic systems to be able to take just about any lens. But with a full frame sensor (I'm not a sensor guy/pixel peeper, but for this imaginary camera I'd want my 35/2.5 to be an actual 35/2.5). Shutter speed and ISO controls (with actual numbers, not dials that go infinitely in either direction) on the body, aperture and focus on the lens. The Fuji X100 gives a pretty good idea of how I'd want the ergonomics to work.

    It feels like this is the kind of thing that not many people would buy and would have to be a kickstarter project or something, but I can't be the only person wanting this.
     
  15. Muntjack

    Muntjack Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Jul 26, 2010
    I'm with you too. I really really would like a true digital version of my OM1 with focusing screen and all so I could continue to use my lovely old Zuikos.
    It'll never happen though.
    M
     
  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I'm disappointed at the misinformation spouted in this thread regarding Leica digital cameras!
    You know, that's not even the topic.

    The O.P. wants inexpensive, peaking, two assignable dials or even dials with numbers on, and a way to select from an internal manual lens list.
    I reckon that's never going to exist.

    Drop a few options and even the venerable G1 does a proper job as a minimal manual-lens operator : that's how mine's always been. EVF for good focus with exposure histogram, clickable wheel for shutterspeed and whatnot. Easy access to ISO, WB etc through the EVF and enough manual controls.
     
  17. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    220
    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I'd love to have a dedicated ISO dial with actual numbers as well. I have a leica M-E and an M6 and I like how the M6 has a ISO dial and wish it was also on my M-E. The only time I actually use the LCD on the M-E is to check for correct framing and changing the ISO.
     
  18. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    235
    Feb 25, 2013
    That's my sentiments exactly.
     
  19. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Sorry,
    I went to public schools and your whole sentence is still a bit unclear to me after re-reading...:redface:
     
  20. Kingsfan

    Kingsfan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    834
    Nov 22, 2010
    highland park, CA
    Q
    i find the M's usability to be perfect. that's why i use them.