Dear Sony: Here's an idea for the Cyber-shot RX1 firmware before it ships...

Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by adanac, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Before I begin, I'd like to thank Sony for bringing out the RX1. It may just turn out to be a ground breaking camera beyond merely being the first of its kind - the first live-view mirror-less compact camera to be announced and it'll be the first to ship when it hits retailers shelves in later December. Regardless of how one feels about this particular camera I think we can all agree that Sony through the RX1 and some of its other cameras is pushing photography in new directions and that's exciting to see.

    One criticism of Sony's push towards Electronic View Finders is that they don't allow the photographer to see beyond the frame, unlike most Optical View Finders.

    In other forums, notably those connected with the Ricoh GXR, I've discussed with members an idea I'd like Ricoh and other camera makers implement - when a user selects something other than the native aspect ratio, don't black out the cropped area but instead display "frame lines" as an overlay.

    This could be a user selectable feature. Further more the feature could be tuned such that the output files have crop marks imprinted upon them, or the frame is cropped in-camera. Or.. simply show the grid lines as a framing aid and allow the user to crop after the fact.

    A number of APS-C cameras I've used permit the selection of 1:1 - a square - aspect ratio. This typically is implemented by blanking out the left and right side of the frame. In an EVF camera if you instead displayed those areas, the photographer would "see beyond the frame".

    Of course not everyone likes to shoot 1:1 so perhaps this feature wouldn't be well used.

    But, and its a big but, the Sony RX1 changes things, quite a bit. The 35mm sensor is larger than APS-C (and Canon APS-H) in all dimensions, which means that an APS-C (or APS-H) crop, if implemented in camera in the way I describe above, would allow the photograper to see beyond the frame in all four directions. Furthermore an APS-C / H crop on a 24 megapixel full frame sensor will still retain sufficient pixel count in the remaining crop that high image quality will be preserved.

    In short - a full frame camera like the RX1 is actually two cameras in one - a full frame compact and an APS-C (or APS-H) camera. You could even crop to 4/3 format or any format, with diminishing resolution of course as the cropped area gets smaller.

    With a fixed lens camera like the Sony RX1, simply through in-camera (or post-processing) crop you effectively have a 35mm fixed lens on full frame and a 53.2mm fixed lens on APS-C. Make that crop function assignable to a user defined button and suddenly you can change "focal length" via crop, on the fly.

    Word is that Sony has implemented some sort of in-camera crop.

    What is unknown is if they've done it in the manner I've described - super-impose framelines and leave the balance of the frame visible in the finders so that 'seeing beyond the frame' is possible.

    As the inability to see beyond the frame in typical EVF equipped cameras is one of the number one objections of photographers that are wedded to traditional optical finders, the facility I've described could be very helpful in introducing those folks to EVF equipped cameras for the first time.

    And I'd find the capability handy too!

    I doubt I'm the only one whose discussed this sort of capability before - my objective is to throw some mud against the wall and see if it sticks. Does anyone else here see some potential for a "virtual" beyond the frame view?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    Jun 27, 2012
    I find that would be a very useful feature, those who wouldn't need it would not use it so there would be no reasons from sony to object on this feature. I like using square format also, I discovered the merits of that format using the hipstamatic application on the iphone, having the rest of the frame visible and being able to decide either on the fly of the final crop or decide in PP is indeed a great feature!
  3. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    All of us who have shot SLRs and DSLRs have become quite used to not seeing beyond the frame lines, seems like it would cause more confusion than help.
  4. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    Jun 27, 2012
    You may well be right, but that is something RF shooter actually enjoy, seeing beyond the frame lines, although I'm not a RF shooter I like the idea of having the possibility and those who don't, needn't use it.

  5. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    I just think that seeing outside the frame lines is an overrated feature and many times it just adds to confusion. In the heat of the moment it is easy to miss the frame lines and compose to the edge of the frame.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I understand Bob's point, but I'm not sure I'm cool with camera companies leaving out potential functionality just because some people may need use it correctly.

    I rarely use high speed burst and frankly I think that most people use it wrong, but I'm glad I have it on my camera. More options are better....especially when people are spending $2,700 on a camera.
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