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Andrew Reid

Sony - the new Canon!

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The only thing you can do is complain and whine. Is that what a "wanna be" needs to hopefully grow up one day? Disappointing. Following your blog for quite some time now, but it get's worse post by post. Could you please stick with productive things instead of bashing companies (especially Sony) for new gear, you don't understand?

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I am surprised that the top camera companies aren't trying to hire you as a consultant to help improve their products, Andrew.

Many of the things that you rant about are valid points. But the Japanese are a strange sort anyway, they embrace change very slowly.

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20 minutes ago, chrisE said:

The only thing you can do is complain and whine. Is that what a "wanna be" needs to hopefully grow up one day? Disappointing. Following your blog for quite some time now, but it get's worse post by post. Could you please stick with productive things instead of bashing companies (especially Sony) for new gear, you don't understand?

I understand that the honest truth in written form is hard to take for fanboys, but remind me now who needs to grow up.

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I understand your points. But you want a perfect camera and they won't do it because then what's left?

A stills camera that films it's just a stills camera deep down.

If you want a stills camera with raw video and 10 bit or whatever, what's the point of the company on having pro cameras? That would make them obsolete.

Firstly they are a company, and they care about profits, like every company in the world. 

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All sorts of innovation remains. Not just larger numbers on the box.

Modularity. Add ons. Different grips. Different interface jacks at the side. Slot in LCDs. Wireless modular follow focuses.

Exposing at 1/50 F2 in daylight without pissing around with filters.

Better dynamic range.

More film like colour profiles.

Better design and styling of bodies and lenses.

More soul and character.

More photographic DNA.

Better controls.

Larger screens.

Better touch screen interfaces designed afresh from ground up.

Human-like focus pulls using the AF system, not the quick digital looking racks.

A.I.

Apps.

Wireless focusing modules.

LiDar.

The list is fucking endless... But all Sony sees is higher megapixels and faster processors.

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 I do not see how they are any different to any other camera company.     Sure there Is a bit of sameness about the cameras but that applies to just about everything and if they added too many things different to previous models rather than incremental improvements you would either get a much longer time between models or  people would abandon all their previous gear (and possibly the company) especially with cameras that have few add ons like the RX100 series.     I think Canons issue is they reiterate the same camera but at a point that was long passed by others many models ago (with sensors) while Sony has not reached that point (yet).

 

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45 minutes ago, chrisE said:

The only thing you can do is complain and whine. Is that what a "wanna be" needs to hopefully grow up one day? Disappointing. Following your blog for quite some time now, but it get's worse post by post. Could you please stick with productive things instead of bashing companies (especially Sony) for new gear, you don't understand?

What is there to understand? I actually, just today, picked up a used RX100VA from BHPhoto for $700, I've owned every RX100 except the III and VI, and I wholeheartedly agree with this post. The idea that only positive things should be written is absurd, if it weren't for posts like these there may be some poor bastard who actually goes out and spends $1200 on this camera. I'll buy a used one for cheap(ish), but yes, please don't encourage Sony to keep doing this crap. Stop releasing a new version every year with some small, incremental changes just to try to trick people into feeling like their awesome, 9-month old camera is now archaic. Come back to us when you have some real changes. Eurgonomics, UI, codec, something. The biggest revolution in this camera line was last year's, with the lens, and most would say that was a step backwards in many ways. Keep going Andrew.

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I largely agree with you. But honestly, I don't care how ugly the camera is or how difficult it is to use.

I just want enough DR to capture the colors of the sunset and still see details in the shadows of the person in the foreground. I would also like to record a clean image in candlelight. And a beefy enough codec to handle that DR (preferably RAW).

Here's hoping for the A7SIII!

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48 minutes ago, chrisE said:

The only thing you can do is complain and whine. Is that what a "wanna be" needs to hopefully grow up one day? Disappointing. Following your blog for quite some time now, but it get's worse post by post. Could you please stick with productive things instead of bashing companies (especially Sony) for new gear, you don't understand?

You can leave / stop reading. It's his site / forum. 

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Great piece, Andrew, and I agree with the premise. These offerings lack 'soul' and the analogy to Toyota couldn't be any more accurate.  

Cameras have become part of the tapestry of culture (both as tools used for the creative arts and as accessories that we carry around with us) and as such, demand some attention to aesthetics and ergonomics. I don't see Sony innovating nor even evolving with each life cycle of their product. It's the death of imagination and the murder of the beautiful at the hands of technocracy. 

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Why not just make your own camera?

Unless Panasonic adds dpaf I don't expect any manuafactor to have this perfect camera you've been ranting about. 

Sony just like every other "camera brand" knows their target market, clearly better than we do. 

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I would be happy if they would extend battery life and recording time.  I had the IV and it was a great pocket cam, but I'd rather carry a bigger body around with one battery than a pocket camera and five batteries.  I agree with @Brian Williams that used is the way to go since competitive pricing is lacking innovation as well.

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Maybe they should look at leica for innovative design.

In fairness to Sony it has to be said that canon has been  slinging the same old tech every 4 years, while Sony at least updates their models to the latest and greatest. But of course this frantic pace is silly and I would feel unappreciated as a Sony customer if my cameras worth drops 50% each year. 

 

But seriously, with the acquisition of Minolta Sony actually owned a great design dna. The alpha mount cameras slrs are great to use. Remember handling one and thinking, damn, that handles better than my nikon. 

But then Marketing decided that the only mirrorless advantage they could sell is smaller size. That's where they are still stuck. And they can't let it go, because its the only differentiator they have. 

And I think something similar to apple and imovie Pro happened. Wrong department in charge of a redesign. The a6xxx series feels like an apsc point and shoot. And the a7x series feels like a point and shoot with an evf bolted on. 

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

sony-rx100-vii.jpg

Stuck in an iterative rut with no experimentation on form or concept, with no imagination or new ideas, Sony is in danger of becoming merely a "specs" company, designing only by committee and median user feedback.

Read the full article

The RX100 in its current form is a great camera, the body does not need much in the way of change. Consumer products are supposed to be upgraded each year, as new electronic components come available. This sort of iterative cycle is both normal and desirable, it gives you newest tech available when you buy your camera. High end models leave you with old tech for years because sales numbers don't allow constant updating, otherwise they would do the same with them. It is not a bad thing. The three basic internal components which get updated as newer tech comes out are the sensor, the SLI and the processor. In this model it is the sensor that is upgraded.

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It is exceptionally lazy that Sony have put no effort in the design of the RX100 after seven versions...and it does make a difference how a camera looks and feels in your hands when using it. They make all these different versions yearly yet drag their heels with the A7S M3 - what's that all about? And their menus are super convoluted, their memory recall being the one saving grace. I, for one, would welcome a much simpler interface, not because I'm a luddite, but because the D-pad and multiple tabs menu system is just so tedious. We, as customers, should demand stuff outlined on Andrew's wish list - all right, we may not get it all but it would surely make sense to listen to users who are serious about buying their products . If they are going to sell a camera that has all these super cool video specs then they shouldn't leave out important stuff like 10 bit and raw. I mean, it 1200 bucks, FFS!

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Just for perspective, for the same price as this camera you could buy three Panasonic LX15s, which have the same sensor size, the same stills resolution, very similar video capabilities, and a faster lens. And while I've never actually used an LX15, it wouldn't surprise me if it can record video for longer than the 5 minutes that the RX100vii is rated for.

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10 minutes ago, theraywong said:

It is exceptionally lazy that Sony have put no effort in the design of the RX100 after seven versions...and it does make a difference how a camera looks and feels in your hands when using it. They make all these different versions yearly yet drag their heels with the A7S M3 - what's that all about? And their menus are super convoluted, their memory recall being the one saving grace. I, for one, would welcome a much simpler interface, not because I'm a luddite, but because the D-pad and multiple tabs menu system is just so tedious. We, as customers, should demand stuff outlined on Andrew's wish list - all right, we may not get it all but it would surely make sense to listen to users who are serious about buying their products . If they are going to sell a camera that has all these super cool video specs then they shouldn't leave out important stuff like 10 bit and raw. I mean, it 1200 bucks, FFS!

Because they sell a lot more RX100 than a7 cameras. That makes annual updates economically feasible.

I don't have a problem with the RX100. I have a mark 3 and a mark 5. They are great travel cameras. 

Reason for not updating video specs has been explained a thousand times (metaphorically), so I  am not going to do it again. There comes a point where you realize that no matter how hard you hammer a nail, it ain't going in.

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I’m pretty pleased with my S1s. Paid like $1800 for one body and it just smokes so many other cameras for the price. If Panasonic adds CFExpress and internal ProRes RAW to card, keeps updating video capabilities via firmware like Samsung NX did, I’m pretty happy.

Never much cared for Sony anyway. Panny and Samsung I like.

I get the sense that Andrew has been spending time with tech disrupters (focus device prototype guy and others.)

I don’t want to see the photography industry die either, but I feel like manufacturers HAVE been upping the ante in terms of pace of offering new features accelerating, larger feature sets for a given price, AND aggressive discounts on new models.

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