My take on the world

September 26, 2006

Digital Canonet

Filed under: photography, technology, Uncategorized — ellitoguy @ 11:10 pm

The other day enforcer and i were throwing around the idea of a digital canonet– essentially a digital mini-rangefinder that would allow for super-discrete street shooting… basically an even smaller leica… there are certain things like this on the market both in film and digital formats, but all seem to be plagued by certain imperfections that make it a no go… take the canonet for example, known as the ql-17 (and variants), super compact package, pretty fast and handy 40mm f/1.7 lens, and full size 35mm frame… [ ]


trouble is, the rangefinder absolutely sucks, its super dim, terrible to focus, at least in all the ones ive played with… nothing compared to my m7– a deal breaker

then, there have been the digital models, like the ricoh grd [ ] which while seemingly very promising, failed to deliver given the crappiness of the sensor…

ricoh grd

— Along comes the Sigma DP1 [〈=1&parent=14&idca ]sigma dp1

generally their stuff isnt too incredibly exciting camera-wise, at least to me anyways, because their slrs have the proprietary sigma mount, and seeing as i have an extensive investment in canon glass, that in and of itself makes me discount them as viable cameras.

however, the dp1 is a compact camera, not an slr, nixing the above problem.

even cooler though, is that rather than having the tiny sized piece of crap sensors we’re used to seeing in point and shoots, sigma took the bold step of building a compact camera around the same sensor they put in their to-be released DSLR, the sd-14!

pretty cool, perhaps this camera will do the trick, because the sigma foveon sensor will indubitably kick the ass of any point and shoot it comes across, and perhaps even be comparable to my 20d.


All i want in a compact camera is this cameramakers, make me one and ill buy ten:

-1.6x or even full frame sensor, that delivers excellent high iso capabilities, ill take 6 mpixels, 8ish preferably

-fast lens, maybe something like 28, 35, or 50mm focal length in 35mm equivalent

-aperture priority, as thats what i shoot in most of the time

-compact size, and a decent, bright viewfinder, and thats it! I’ll be perfectly happy with manual focus, and prefer physical buttons to digital menus.

gimme that and ill carry it with me everywhere and be merry



  1. A digital canonet would be great as long as they didn’t jack up the price al la lecia. How hard would it be to make a digital rangefinder with a lens with 40-50mm equivlent…of course being 1.7-2.8.

    The sigma looks pretty good, except if I remember reading right, its going to be f4? a bit to slow for party / late night street shooting.

    I dunno. I think if canon or nikon or yashica or whomever else would come out with a reasonably priced digital rangefiner based on one of their classic bodies, with a fixed fast lens, they would make a good investment.

    Comment by Chadvw — September 27, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  2. yeah, the sigma is f/4 which is kinda crappy… but you know what, if this sells decently it might be a sign to cameramakers that there is once again a market for rangefinders, and maybe from then on we can get more variety…

    plus, if the sensor on the sigma is any good, f/4 is good enough for daytime photography, so if its priced right i might pick it up, if only to show support for a fledgling market id like to see develop…

    i mean, rangefinders were once a huge section of the market, i dont see why they cant come back into existence…

    Comment by ellitoguy — September 27, 2006 @ 6:07 pm

  3. i also want to be able to leave it on — with the viewfinder off — i don’t want to be having to switch the camera on and waiting for it to boot and the lens to unfold to take a photo….

    Comment by kyle cassidy — September 3, 2007 @ 4:12 am

  4. The real question is “When will somebody come up with a reasonably priced digital back for the legacy cameras”? I mean how hard can it be?

    Comment by brad — January 8, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

  5. You are not alone in wishing for a digital canonet:

    Comment by bricante — May 19, 2009 @ 9:37 am

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