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New Konost Digital M mount Rangefinder Project
Old 02-22-2015   #1
Doug
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New Konost Digital M mount Rangefinder Project

Apparently in development, a full-frame compact digital rangefinder camera. Will it materialize on the market?

http://konost.com/


ADMIN EDIT

SFAIK, only two new rangefinder lines have been launched in recent history without previous rangefinder camera manufacturing experience:

the EPSON RD1 which partnered the conglomerate Epson with long time camera maker Cosina

the Yasuhara - the first production LTM TTL rangefinder - a new Japanese company partnering with an experienced Chinese camera manufacturer

sooo... if history is any guide
If the Konost makes it to dealer's shelves
a partnership with an experienced camera maker is likely ...

but whoooooo ???
time will tell
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Old 02-22-2015   #2
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Woa, thats one ugly concept. Sounds super boring on paper too.
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Old 02-22-2015   #3
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They claim to have an innovative "digital" rangefinder design. I wonder if it's more similar to the Fuji-type digital overlay imaging. There seems to be an OVF, but I can't see that much optics fit into the body design. As-is the sensor must practically be squashed against the VF optics.

Even if it is an actual rangefinder, I don't understand the appeal. I can't see this thing being cheaper than a used M9 or what the M240 will be a few years down the road, and for practical shooting purposes the Sony FF bodies are much more than sufficient, and cheap enough to be throwaways.
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Old 02-22-2015   #4
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Looks like a Leica T..
Come in at around 1k...who knows..
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Old 02-22-2015   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emile de Leon View Post
Looks like a Leica T..
Come in at around 1k...who knows..
Not likely. Unless they can ramp up production to millions of units.

I have a bit of experience with chip fabs and OEMs. Things get atrociously expensive when you're ordering in small batches. If you order enough, on the other hand, the design/test costs are basically rolled into the material costs. This is, I gather, part of the reason why Leica digital is so unaffordable and Sony (who also uses its own fabs) dirt cheap.

That CMOSIS chip is likely to cost more than a grand apiece after factoring in development, by my roughish estimates, if they plan to sell at the quantity of digital Ms. The whole thing? Optimistically maybe $3,000.
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Old 02-22-2015   #6
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It is an interesting concept. I think the way it works is that the rangefinder window has its own little camera and they can project that into the viewfinder to make the double image. That is really innovative, and I hope they patented it. The question is if they will get funding for this...
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Old 02-22-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
Woa, thats one ugly concept. Sounds super boring on paper too.
Seriously? Zeiss and everyone else could care less about making a M body alternative, and somebody is actually trying to make one.....

No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.

Looks fine to me, and I like simple cameras that will take great lenses.

TY so much for bringing this up Doug
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Old 02-22-2015   #8
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It does look like they're shooting for a modest price level, basic manual no-frills rig. M mount... They will have the benefit of seeing what Leica has gone through. What 20Mpx full-frame sensors are available?
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Old 02-22-2015   #9
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Quote:
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It does look like they're shooting for a modest price level, basic manual no-frills rig. M mount... They will have the benefit of seeing what Leica has gone through. What 20Mpx full-frame sensors are available?
They are stating that the sensor comes from CMOSIS, the same company that manufactures the Leica M type 240 sensor. I don't recall CMOSIS offering any other FF sensor than the 24MP model in the M240, so I assumed that it was a custom-order thing.

Either way, CMOSIS has proved itself to be capable, albeit with some rough edges. I don't doubt the capabilities of this sensor - but the pricing is entirely a different matter...
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Old 02-22-2015   #10
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from the site:
"At the heart of the Konost Camera is a 20.0mp 35mm Full Frame CMOS image sensor from CMOSIS. The CMV20000 is a high resolution, high dynamic range, and high speed sensor allowing us to achieve spectacular detailed images. With 16 LVDS channels capable of running at 480 Mbps, the CMV20000 can also record videos at 30fps at full resolution, giving the Konost Camera extended capabilities besides still photography (hint*). CMOSIS has also been excellent in providing documentation, reference designs, and customer support for our application."

"The Konost Prototype uses the Zedboard development kit to drive the massive image sensor. With an onboard Xilinx Zynq All-Programmable SoC/FPGA, we were able develop our own data and image algorithms, serial controls, protocols, and memory allocations, giving us full control and features of the CMV20000 image sensor. The Konost Prototype also uses the 7″ Zed Touch Display providing live preview and user interface to the sensor. This low cost approach provides further flexibility for customization and future developments."

"All features of the Konost Prototype are custom designed. From the image sensor board, to the lens mount, and even the final enclosure, all were designed to provide maximum flexibility and usability in testing and development. The Konost Prototype is a working full frame camera with 30fps live preview, complete sensor control, and raw image data acquisition. Although designed around the M-Mount lens type, the Konost Prototype can also take all F-Mount lenses via an adapter. If you’re interested in using our prototype for your own development purposes or even professional studio work at a low cost, feel free to contact us at our contact page."
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Old 02-22-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YYV_146 View Post
They claim to have an innovative "digital" rangefinder design. I wonder if it's more similar to the Fuji-type digital overlay imaging. There seems to be an OVF, but I can't see that much optics fit into the body design.
Might be something like the Nikon green dot for acquiring focus, with the optical window used strictly for framing?
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Old 02-22-2015   #12
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take a look at this: http://konost.com/?page_id=6714

They are planning a full frame live view digital rangefinder as well as a smaller APS-C live view digital rangefinder.

Not too shabby since this is territory that the likes of Fuji, Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Zeiss have feared to tread.

Stephen
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Old 02-22-2015   #13
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Quote:
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Might be something like the Nikon green dot for acquiring focus, with the optical window used strictly for framing?
Behind the rangefinder window they have another sensor. That image is simply digitally projected in the optical VF. So it is a digital rangefinder, in the truest sense. Less prone to alignment issues when dropped? It is an interesting development tho, I am totally listening.
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Old 02-23-2015   #14
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Yeah, not the most attractive thing, but I REALLY, REALLY like the concept. All I've ever wanted is a full-frame digital rangefinder with no menus and a price tag, um, under $1,000. Guess I'll be waiting a little longer, eh?
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Old 02-23-2015   #15
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Very interesting, I wonder about the placement of the rf sensor and the OVF in their mockup. The RF sensor looks very close to the grip and potentially ver easy for someone to accidentally place a finger over it (I believe one of the models does this in the video). Also the OVF seems low, making me wonder about viewfinder blockage from the lens.

Regardless, it's very cool and if they can price it below used M9 prices I'd be very interested.
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Old 02-23-2015   #16
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It is an digital rangefinder, not sure if there is anything to block by lens.

Anyway, great project and I am looking forward to it.
And I am willing to pay much more than 1k USD for such an camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokiEE View Post
Very interesting, I wonder about the placement of the rf sensor and the OVF in their mockup. The RF sensor looks very close to the grip and potentially ver easy for someone to accidentally place a finger over it (I believe one of the models does this in the video). Also the OVF seems low, making me wonder about viewfinder blockage from the lens.

Regardless, it's very cool and if they can price it below used M9 prices I'd be very interested.
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Old 02-23-2015   #17
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Looks like, besides the FF and APS-C rangefinder models, there'll be a 1" sensor, fixed-lens plastic-bodied camera, also with digital rangefinder focusing. That actually sounds very interesting. Supposed to be released sometime in 2015, it looks like their first camera.

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Old 02-23-2015   #18
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Quote:
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Looks like, besides the FF and APS-C rangefinder models, there'll be a 1" sensor, fixed-lens plastic-bodied camera, also with digital rangefinder focusing. That actually sounds very interesting. Supposed to be released sometime in 2015, it looks like their first camera.

~Joe
Interesting and exciting to see potential alternatives/options to Leica for a one rangefinder horse race. Bring it on- could never understand why Epson did not approach a R-D2? …..
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Old 02-23-2015   #19
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the website looks like a school project to me...hmm...
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Old 02-23-2015   #20
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very interested as well, if this goes for 1000-1500 I definitely wouldn't mind giving it a try but if it's over 2000 then maybe I might reconsider an M9 again.

hopefully this takes UWA and WA lenses nicely
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Old 02-23-2015   #21
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Won't be the first one in line to get one but will follow its development and release and if everything looks good after the production has been in the hands of everyday users for a year or so will seriously look at getting one.

Price wise I'd be willing to spend $2500-3000
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Old 02-23-2015   #22
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Does it come in black!
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Old 02-23-2015   #23
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Interesting...thanks for the heads up!
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Old 02-23-2015   #24
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the video on their web site shows it with leica lens….
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Old 02-23-2015   #25
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That's a very neat idea. A true triangulating rangefinder with coincident-image focussing, that can offer the benefits of an EVF and perhaps avoid the fragility of a optical/mechanical set-up.

Still butt-ugly, though.
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Old 02-23-2015   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsterno View Post
the video on their web site shows it with leica lens….
Their specs for the full-frame model say:
Quote:
M-Mount Rangefinder Coupled
(Actually that's for both interchangeable-lens models, FF and APS)
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Old 02-23-2015   #27
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It's not that ugly for a proto-type/mock-up. Make it black and rubberized the grip.... I would bite with this form factor.

Hoping it happens
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Old 02-23-2015   #28
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They have specifications page for different planned models.
http://konost.com/?page_id=6714

Looks promising.
It seems digital RF will be visible in OVF, not a live view.
Makes more sense to me.
Camera seems to be nice and simple. M-mount, FF version - good!

Still early to say if I want it or no. No images from the camera yet.
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Old 02-23-2015   #29
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ambitious project...i like the idea for sure and i don't mind the look at all...doesn't have to be retro looking...
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Old 02-23-2015   #30
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Great concept, but change the form factor to look like the typical interchangeable lens RF's.
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Old 02-23-2015   #31
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I don't see anything wrong with "the looks", personally, but in my perfect world it's outward appearance would be as a black Nikon SP. I'd pay extra for that.
Seems an intriguing, promising approach, though. To me, at least.
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Old 02-23-2015   #32
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Love the concept, love anyone who brings a FF Rangefinder to the market, competition is great for the consumer!
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Old 02-23-2015   #33
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I applaud their efforts and wish them luck!
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Old 02-23-2015   #34
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Surely it's all just a mock up but, if not.... The first thing they need to change is the shutter dial.
Anyone notice that the bulb setting comes between 1/4000 and A[E] ??
A BIG no-no!

http://konost.com/wp/wp-content/uplo...f_slider_4.jpg
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Old 02-23-2015   #35
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Excellent approach.

BTW I'm really wondering why Leica didn't already go this way (true triangulating manual digital RF) as a new M evolution model (or side line of the M series). The basic idea is at least 10 years old, also discussed in many popular photographic fora: With an additional triangulating mini sensor you can leave at one dash the most complicated and delicate part of the mechanical RF apart and gain some place for other optical devices and electronic parts inside the camera body. Or change the body design completely.
(The mechanically jammed top of all true RF bodies was always told as reason, why there cannot be more innovation around the viewfinder)

Wondering if the Konost guys will achieve some success with their implementation approach.
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Old 02-23-2015   #36
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Their prototype seems to be still in the stage of a module camera with only the screen.
A commenter mentioned about how none of the peoples in the video focus their lens, so it could still be a non-operational dummy.

Well, when this thing become reality and with affordable price, lets hope the waiting list won't be too long.
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Old 02-24-2015   #37
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I have my doubts this camera will ever materialize. A 3D model and a website, impressive...
http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/e...referral=revst
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Old 02-24-2015   #38
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The thing is that as much as we here at RFF think this is a good idea I fail to see the demand amongst the general populace for such a tool. They generally want auto everything!

If it is successful it will have to be priced as somewhat of a niche product to be financially viable for the manufacturer ... and we all know what that means. Think back to what the RD-1 retailed for at it's release ... it wasn't a cheap camera by any stretch of the imagination! I can't see this hitting the market (if it actually materialises) for under three grand which is a lot less than an M240 granted but Leica does have a track record with digital that goes back to 2006 and they are only just starting to get it right IMO.

I note that Konost has a facebook page and has had for at least four months that I can make out ... it has less than 500 'likes' which tells me a lot about who does and doesn't want a camera like this. I'm not trying to rain on the parade here but a reality check tells me that success is unlikely in the current market.
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Old 02-24-2015   #39
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Quote:
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The thing is that as much as we here at RFF think this is a good idea I fail to see the demand amongst the general populace for such a tool. They generally want auto everything!
-Not true anymore i think. I'm not talking about papas n mamas, but general youth today is drifting towards less auto-everything cameras. Perfect technical quality gets less important, funky "artsy" effects and manual actions become more hype...
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Old 02-24-2015   #40
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I note that Konost has a facebook page and has had for at least four months that I can make out ... it has less than 500 'likes' which tells me a lot about who does and doesn't want a camera like this.
Good point, except we at rff even never heard of it (most of us) which means not that there is no interest, but only that they were not pushing it (no advertising/marketing whatsoever).
FB pages can get extremely popular within days and "likes" can go from the hundreds to the hundreds of thousands within a week or two...it depends on how they handle their marketing...
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