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Game changer, a Sony E Mount camera that will AF legacy glass?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by lenshoarder, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    It's a rumor, but a SR5 rumor which is pretty solid. It must be pretty far along since there's already a user reporting using it. Can this be a Sony slamduck surprise announcement for next week and not just the FF NEX?

    It's a camera that focuses by moving the sensor and not the lens. Thus it can focus any lens including legacy manual focus glass and 3rd party AF glass that can't be electrically controlled.

    (SR5) UPDATED: There is a Sony camera to comeā€¦also for Nikon and Canon lens owners! | sonyalpharumors
     
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter TalkEmount Regular

    49
    Aug 7, 2011
    Philadelphia, Pa
    That's an interesting idea. I wonder how they keep the FOV on the sensor if its moving and also how the image holds on the screen. This could be a new era in design and it would make the camera almost universal.
    My M mounts are talking already.....

    Thanks for this......
     
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    First, SR5 means nothing nowadays. Remember it was SR5 that the NEX-7 successor launches in march - april this year? Yeah, exactly. Recently, both the 85mm f/1.8 Zeiss lens and the in-body stabilization in the A3000 were SR5 too, and both proved wrong. But let's say it's correct, then it might be interesting.

    It won't be as fast as lenses with built-in SSM motor, not even with a 120 hz sensor readout, it's going to use much more energy than a small SSM motor and it's going to make the body much thicker because the whole sensor assembly needs to sit on a tray with a built-in heatsink, so it most probably will be in a AX000-series NEX camera, not in a rangefinder styled body.

    All these things considered, I'm asking if this is a wise decision for Sony business-wise. Yeah, they might sell many bodies to Nikon and Canon owners, but on the cost of lens sales. Even with the faster AF performance of native lenses, most people not gonna buy lenses again they already have (considering the sensor shift AF speed is acceptable at least). Contax did it to provide their MF lenses with AF which was a good decision business-wise, but I don't know if Sony should follow a similar strategy as they already have a great lineup of AF lenses.

    So we're basically left with a SLR-styled camera without SSS (stabilizing a sensor that already moves for focusing would both decrease focus speed and accuracy, but many E-Mount lenses are stabilized anyways) that is able to focus all lenses with an acceptable, but not great speed for a high-end price. I wonder if that's enough for Nikon and Canon owners to jump ship, as they are not only sacrificing AF speed, but also the stabilization in their lenses and the menu system / button layout / ergonomics they've come to appreciate from cameras from their respective brand.

    Sure, it would be great for legacy lens users, but as Sony doesn't make any money on legacy glass and as the NEX series already is the most popular system for using legacy lenses with I'm curious whether this can be a financial success in the long run. I seriously doubt it, but let's see once the camera is actually released.
     
  4. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    I don't see how the sensor readout speed would matter compared to an AF lens. If it uses contrast AF, then the sensor readout speed applies regardless of whether it moves the sensor or focuses the lens.

    As for it using more energy, maybe/maybe not. Look at a big lens, either fast with a big aperature or a tele. That's a significant amount of glass the motor has to move. That could even be more mass than the sensor assembly. It's that mass that matters. So moving the sensor could be faster and use less energy depending on the lens being used.

    Personally I can get a MF lens focused 90% of the way in a split second. It's that last little bit that I spend most of the time on. If this does that last 10% for me that's all I need.
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Because the sensor itself gets moved, you probably need a higher readout speed to correct for a 'wrong' movement instantly. But like I said, 120 hz shouldn't be a problem as Olympus already reads Sony sensors with 120 hz. It sure will use contrast detection as that's the only way a sensor focusing system can reach acceptable speeds. But there's a reason why nobody has done it (well, not the last decade at least), and that is speed -- at least as far as I know. But I'd be happy to get surprised in this regard. The business doubts still apply, though.

    As for energy - you're right. But most E-Mount lenses use a tiny SSM motor which only moves one group of small lenses. But you also speak one more problem of this system: The sensor can only be moved a certain distance. What if a focus point of a certain lens is not within reach of this sensor? Could be easily, especially in longer lenses. I didn't do the math on it, but there is a physical limitation that no technology will be able to compensate (you could manually change the lens focus to get roughly in the territory you want, but that's about it).

    Anyway, it would be a very brave step, and if Sony does it right, it will be great for many consumers. But will it be great for Sony too? That's to be seen.
     
  6. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    That is the solution that I brought up in my last post.

    "Personally I can get a MF lens focused 90% of the way in a split second. It's that last little bit that I spend most of the time on. If this does that last 10% for me that's all I need. "

    It's just not the length of lens. Some lenses move groups within the lens so they work better this way.
     
  7. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    That may be fine with you, but it might not be for everyone.

    With 'longer' lenses I meant tele lenses, as the focusing lens group usually moves much further in those lenses so the focus plane might be out of the range of the sensor.
     
  8. Mellow

    Mellow TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Aug 18, 2013
    Florida or Wyoming
    Tom
    18mm of sensor movement! That's enormous! I can't imagine this camera would be small--wouldn't it have to leave room for all that movement?
     
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Don't forget it also has to move back, not only forward, so the camera has to be even thicker. Won't be a small body for sure.
     
  10. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    Yes, I know what you meant. Not all tele lenses have lenses that move very far. Some of the new compact tele zoom lenses don't move very far at all.
     
  11. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    Maybe. Maybe not. It has 18mm of movement. It's not 18mm of back and then another 18mm of front. It's 18mm period. Right now the sensor is mounted on a board with electronics on it. They could split that up and put the electronics off to the side and then attach it to the sensor with a flexi cable. They would have to do this anyways due to the movement. If they did that, it would buy them a lot of extra empty depth in an existing body. That Contax video overstates the size of how big the module has to be since on a film camera the entire film assembly has to be moved. On a digital camera only the sensor needs to move. Everything else can be elsewhere. Off to the side, above it, below it, in the grip if need be. It may be thicker, but it doesn't have to be 18mm thicker than the current cameras. There are ways to free up depth.
     
  12. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Every adapter is built to allow the lens to focus on the sensor plane where it now sits - 18mm deep. Now if the sensor can't move further back, it probably won't be able to focus to infinity at any lens. Of course you could manually adjust the lens' focus, but then again, if you have to do everything manually, why bother building such an AF system?

    Sure they can (and probably will) move all the electronic out of the way of the sensor, but it has to be somewhere - these cameras have to be bigger in some dimensions than the current bigger E-Mount cameras like the NEX-7, and I don't think I'd trade size (and probably a bit weight, too) for this feature.
     
  13. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    18mm movement will mean that there will be ability just for fine tuning for longer focal length lenses. 18 mm is enough for 50mm lens (infinity to 25 cm), 300mm lens will have focus adjustment from 6 meters to infinity.

    Image circle will be smaller when you move sensor forward so vignetting will be major issue with lenses with small image circle.

    Most lenses today work by internal focusing and don't move whole lens forward and backward for focusing.

    Despite this I think that it is a great idea for fine tuning focus. We could get focus bracketing for exampe and use that fine tuning with long teles. Even adjustment of 20% would be very useful.
     
  14. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    I didn't say the sensor doesn't have to move back. I'm saying it doesn't have to move back 18mm and front 18mm. It moves 18mm period. There are ways to make more space available behind the sensor.
     
  15. Mellow

    Mellow TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Aug 18, 2013
    Florida or Wyoming
    Tom
    Well certainly not if it's going to have a NEX form factor. That sensor is plastered against the back of the camera.

    Honestly, it's hard to see how it's not going to require DLSR-sized space in which to move. Which might be fine, but it's not going to be a thin NEX-like camera.
     
  16. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I'll believe it when I see it. Looks too good to be true.
     
  17. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    The sensor is not "plastered against the back of the camera". The main circuit board is behind the sensor. That can be moved. There's also a lot of circuitry mounted behind the sensor board that may be able to be moved. Take the guts of the 3N and rearrange them into the volume of the F3 and they just might be able to keep the same size of the F3 without a flash.
     
  18. Mellow

    Mellow TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Aug 18, 2013
    Florida or Wyoming
    Tom
    My statement was hyperbole; sorry. But take a look at the top of a NEX-5; given how thin it is, it's clear the sensor is very close to the back of the camera. Yes, there are electronics that might be able to be relocated, but there's certainly not a lot of space that could be "reclaimed" to allow for even a portion of 18mm of sensor movement.
     
  19. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Looks like there's plenty of room in the new A3000 body to move a sensor 6 ways from Sunday. Unless one is married to the idea that a moveable sensor camera has to be housed in a NEX style body. ;)
     
  20. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    That main circuit board alone allows for a portion of that space to be reclaimed. Also, they don't need to reclaim 18mm of space. It's 18mm of total movement. So it's more like 9mm in front, already there, and then 9mm behind. Like I said that circuit board is a few mms, swap out the swivel LCD for a stationary one and get another 2mm. In the game of milimeters, a mm here and a mm there adds up. They don't need a lot, they need 9.

    I'm not saying that they won't need to make a bigger body to fit this system in. I just think many of you picture that it has to be 18mm deeper. It doesn't. The space in front is already there so they need to free up 9mm. There's space to be found between the sensor and the back of a NEX. Maybe not the entire 9mm, but enough that the body might only need to be maybe 4 or so mm thicker. That's not a lot.

    Of course, they could also do the simple thing and move the mount forward. On all but the 3s, the NEX handgrip protrudes further forward than the mount. There's enough space to move the mount forward, and thus the sensor, so that there would be enough space behind the sensor. Overall, the camera could be the same depth.

    There are a lot of things that can be done with packaging that don't mandate that this camera be DSLR sized.