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Explore Apr 16, 2011 #57

 

See this amazing lily in a lightbox... www.flickr.com/photos/jungle_mama/5624564537/in/photostre...

 

A simple Water Lily has transformed into an elegant beauty! The light. The shadows tracing stamen-like forms on its pale lavender petals. Dark shadows highlight the depth of this golden-throated blossom. And it is adorned with a watery "glass ring" around its neck! The wondrous result of water tension* making the surface rise up and appear glassy.

 

The water pond sales center not far from us recently closed its doors. We were sad at our loss but delighted to buy more lilies for our ponds at half price so the owners could recoup some of their investment. I purchased five pots of lilies on a cold morning in January when they were dormant and leafless. Now finally in April they have come alive!

 

This is the first one to bloom. I'll need to get down in the mud of my pond to pull out the ID tag and discover its its name. Coming soon...

 

*Surface tension is a property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force. It is revealed in floating of some objects on the surface of water, even though they are denser than water, and in the ability of some insects (water striders) and even reptiles (basilisk) to run on the water surface. This property is caused by cohesion of like molecules, and is responsible for many of the behaviors of liquids.

 

Biscayne Park, FL

www.susanfordcollins.com

  

via

 

Does the thought of investing in the stock market give you a case of the heebie-jeebies? You’re certainly not alone. In fact, 61% of adults find investing in the stock market to be scary or intimidating, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.

 

And especially when you’re a newbie or an investing chicken of sorts, you may have gotten wind of misconceptions that may add to the confusion. To help you get your head around how investing works, and to allay your fears, we’ve reached out to financial experts on what these myths are and turn them on their head.

 

Here are a handful of the most common myths about investing, debunked:

 

Myth: Fees correlate with returns. The more you pay your financial professional, the higher your odds of success.

 

Truth: Quite the contrary. The truth is that usually the lower the fees, the much higher are your odds of success, explains Dejan Ilijevski, an Investment Manager and President of Sabela Capital Markets. “High fees only guarantee that more wealth will trickle up from your account to the pockets of your broker or advisor,” says Ilijevski. “Fees and costs squander returns.”

 

Myth: As you near retirement, you should become increasingly conservative with your investments.

 

Truth: While this may be the case for some individuals who will be drawing on their investments early in retirement, it’s certainly not true for everyone, explains Leah Hadley, President and Senior Financial Advisor of Great Lakes Investment Management. “Many individuals are living 30 plus years in retirement,” says Hadley. “That’s a long time to plan for.”

 

Hadley encourages clients to consider the bucket strategy instead. As part of your investment strategy, determine how much money you’ll need in the short-term (fewer than two years), midterm (2 – 10 years) and long-term (more than 10 years). “For funds that are invested long-term, I encourage clients to continue to be as growth-focused as they feel comfortable,” says Hadley.

 

Myth: Somehow the return on an investment is tied to the type of account. For example, you will get a certain return on a Roth IRA.

 

Truth: An account is merely a vessel in which an investment is carried, explains Jason Spencer, CFP:registered:, Enrolled Agent (EA), and founder of the fee-only firm Financial Planning Fort Collins. “While it’s also true that tax-favored accounts will generally come out ahead once you factor in the tax implications of investing, it doesn’t change or impact the raw rate of return each investment in the account will earn on a period-to-period basis,” explains Spencer.

 

Myth: You have to beat the markets to succeed. Speculation works.

 

Truth: Speculative strategies like stock-picking and market-timing have long been proven as myths, explains Ilijevski. “To beat the markets, you need to know tomorrow’s news,” he says. “And no one has a crystal ball. Even if trying to beat the markets provides the opportunity for outperformance, net of all fees, it’s still a losing strategy.”

 

Myth: You should wait to invest because the market has to be at its peak. It’s best to wait until after the market corrects or experiences a downturn before you contribute cash to your brokerage accounts.

 

Truth: If you do this, you’re trying to time the market – and that sets you up for failure, says Eric Roberge, CFP:registered: of Beyond Your Hammock. “The truth is that to succeed as an investor, especially if you’re in your 30s and 40s and have long time horizons, you need to prioritize time in the market.

 

“No one knows what the market is going to do tomorrow,” says Roberge. “We know that markets move up and down, but we never know with certainty when they’ll go up or down, or how dramatically they’ll move up and down when they do.”

 

That’s why you need to invest strategically, and for many people, dollar-cost averaging provides a good framework for consistently investing over time. The other key? “Stay in the market, and don’t try to jump in and out based on current events – or worse, what the financial media says,” says Roberge.

 

Myth: I should start investing when I earn a good income.

 

Truth: Time is the greatest asset in investing, explains Ian Bloom, a financial life planner at Open World Financial Life Planning. “It’s actually highly recommended that you start the process of saving and investing early in life,” says Bloom. “Time will do the ‘magic’ of compounding returns and building your wealth slowly. And on the behavioral side, living with 80 or 90% of your income only sucks if you’re used to 100%.”

 

Myth: What they say on the news actually corresponds to how my portfolio is doing.

 

Truth: The news usually quotes two or three specific indexes when they are talking about market performance, says Bloom. He explains: A good portfolio is made up of all different types of investments. For instance, a diversified portfolio might have stock investments – usually within mutual funds or ETFs – within four or five major categories, “It might have bonds, commodities, and real estate on the other side,” says Bloom. “Most of that isn’t tracked by the S&P 500 or the Dow.”

 

Myth: It’s likely that I could lose all my money in the stock market.

 

Truth: “This particular myth comes down to folks’ emotional reactions to the returns they receive,” says Bloom. “As it turns out, if you’re investing money for your future self and you don’t need it right now, a drop in the market does not mean you lost any money,” says Bloom.

 

Remember: You still have the investments. It’s just the value of your investments decreased – for the time being. “The only time you officially recognize a loss is if you sell when the market’s down,” says Bloom. “Building a portfolio to account for things like how long you will be invested, as well as getting a firm understanding of your investments, usually goes a long way.”

 

Myth: The stock market is just a casino.

 

Truth: For those who see stock prices going up or down rapidly and think investing in stocks is no different from gambling, I’d assert they’re doing it wrong.

 

“Now, if you’re day trading and trying to figure out what’s hot from one week to the next, then yeah, they’re basically sitting in a casino,” says financial planner Sean C. Gillespie of Redeployment Wealth Strategies. “But the most important difference between investing and gambling is a plan.”

 

Investing in stocks, when done properly, is an inherently long-term activity. “By that I mean at least a 10-year horizon, and preferably 20. Add sufficient diversification – buy at least the entire S&P 500, if not the entire market – and now you’re sitting at a different kind of roulette wheel, where 30 or 31 squares out of 38 are black and there are no numbers. If you understand how to play that wheel, you’re on your way to better understanding how to invest.”

 

Myth: Investing is only worth it for rich people.

 

Truth: Investing is how you become wealthy, explains Bloom. “You don’t become wealthy from having a good income,” he adds. “You become wealthy from things you do with your income to generate a long-term benefit for you – that’s investing.”

 

Myth: Complication equals sophistication.

 

Truth: Too many people think their advisor is giving them good advice if they present them with complicated investments, explains Lauren Zangardi Haynes, CIMA:registered:, CFP:registered: of Spark Financial Advisors.

 

But one should be very wary of complex financial products. “Frequently, complex products are simply a way for big banks and brokerage houses to hide fees and commissions,” says Haynes. “We all want to believe that we are smart enough to select the ‘best’ investment, which will provide us with the ‘best’ return – or at least better than our neighbors. This is really an exercise in ego, and it’s dangerous to your wealth.”

 

Hopefully demystifying these myths about investing will help you make heads or tails of what, to most, is a confusing muck of jargon and concepts. In turn, you’ll feel better informed and more confident about investing.

 

If you want to try your hand at the stock market before committing to it in real life, join our Fantasy Stock League, where you can earn real cash.

 

The post Investing Myths, Debunked appeared first on ZING Blog by Quicken Loans.

 

www.quickenloans.com/blog/investing-myths-debunked

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_0015_FINAL

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_0013_FINAL

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_9929_FINAL

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_9925_FINAL

The Wreck.

 

Some may consider my title to refer to the rusting boat that has been tied up, abandoned and is now semi-submerged. However, the semi-domed building behind may also fit the bill.

 

'The Big Idea, Inventor Centre' was opened in the year 2000 at a cost of £14 million but failed to attract enough interest and closed only 3 years later, after racking up large losses.

 

Built on part of the former ICI/Alfred Noble explosives site it was one of Scotland's prestigious Millennium Commission projects.

 

Various reasons were mooted as to the reasons for its failure such as the Glasgow Science Centre opening in 2001, however I would need to confess that my initial reaction to discovering about its existence was that of 'who is going to go to Irvine to see something like that?'

 

It occurs to me that the building has some (vague) similarities to the Glasgow Science Centre building, in that they both resemble giant lemon segments, with a hard curved outer rind and a glass-sided cross-section.

 

Given the large amount of public money invested in this via the Millennium Commission, European funding and Scottish Enterprise it makes me wonder who was accountable for such a failed undertaking. Why were the appropriate agencies not talking to each other with respect to the viability of 2 projects so similar in concept, so close together, less than 25 miles apart?

 

Certainly, the building itself is far from a wreck and may yet find another use. It remains in good condition and could be re-purposed, although you'd need to wonder who would risk the further significant investment that would be required for that.

 

In so far as the rotting vessel in the foreground is a visual metaphor for the original project, one has to wonder whether the building itself may yet discover a new life or will ultimately suffer the same fate.

 

The quantity of bird pooh splattered on the decking may also be a metaphor. I'll leave you to figure that one out for yourself.

 

:copyright: All my images are copyright. Please respect copyright.

 

Thank you.

The Clash 'Train In Vain' - Play this track here.

 

¿Whats this iPod Shuffle set all about? Read about it here

 

"Train in Vain" is a song by the British punk rock band The Clash. It was released as the third and final single from their third album, London Calling. The song was not originally listed on the album's track listing, appearing as a secret track at the end of the album.

 

This was because the track was added to the record at the last minute, when the sleeve was already in production. It was the first Clash song to crack the United States Top 30 charts and in 2004, the song was ranked number 292 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

 

In the US, the song's title is expanded to "Train in Vain (Stand by Me)", the words "stand by me" dominate the chorus. It was titled "Train in Vain" in part to avoid confusion with Ben E. King's signature song "Stand by Me".

 

"Train in Vain" was added after the deal for The Clash to write a song for an NME flexi disc fell through, and as Mick Jones commented, "The real story on 'Train in Vain' is that originally we needed a song to give to the NME for a flexi disk that NME was going to do. And then it was decided that it didn't work out or decided the flexi disk didn't work out so we had this spare track we had done as a giveaway.

 

So we put it on London Calling but there wasn't time because the sleeves were already done." The result of its late addition was that it was the only song without lyrics printed on the insert, and was not listed as a track, although its presence is announced as the title and position on the original vinyl record was scratched into the vinyl in the needle run-off area on the fourth side of the album.

 

'Train In Vain' sums up the 1960's British Beeching report.

 

The 'Beeching Axe' is an informal name for the British Government's attempt in the 1960s to reduce the cost of running British Railways, the nationalised railway system in the United Kingdom. The name is that of the main author of The Reshaping of British Railways, Dr Richard Beeching. Although this report also proposed new modes of freight service and the modernisation of trunk passenger routes, it is remembered for recommending wholesale closure of what it considered little-used and unprofitable railway lines, the removal of stopping passenger trains and closure of local stations on other lines which remained open.

 

The report was a reaction to significant losses which had begun in the 1950s as the expansion in road transport began to attract passengers and goods from the railways; losses which continued to bedevil British Railways despite the introduction of the railway Modernisation Plan of 1955.

 

Beeching proposed that only drastic action would save the railways from increasing losses in the future.

 

Successive governments were more keen on the cost-saving elements of the report rather than those requiring investment. More than 4,000 miles (6,400 km) of railway and 3,000 stations closed in the decade following the report, a reduction of 25 per cent of route miles and 50 per cent of stations. To this day, Beeching's name is unfavourably synonymous with mass closure of railways and loss of many local services. This is particularly so in parts of the country which suffered most from cuts.

 

Bury Bolton Street station was originally on the line from manchester Victoria to Accrington. Lines were closed between 1966 & 1980.

 

Bolton Street Station, with its original features, was rescued from demolition and placed in the care of the East Lancashire Railway, a preservation group. The line to Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall was re-opened as a heritage railway, under the name East Lancashire Railway in 1987 and has since been extended to Heywood. The line and station have since become a leading tourist attraction in the area.

 

Checkout more cool stuff from my photostream.

 

Keep in touch, add me as a contact www.flickr.com/relationship.gne?id=33062170@N08 so I can follow all your new uploads.

 

¿Whats this iPod Shuffle set all about? Read about it here

 

These are my 2008-2015 images, view my most recent images at @HotpixUK-2019 - www.flickr.com/people/167831053@N02/ including my second 365 one a day project

 

(c) Hotpix / HotpixUK Tony Smith - Hotpix.freeserve.co.uk WDCC

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_0027_FINAL

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_9975_FINAL

But the pattern of response to Florence will be more predictable. Already, corporate donors are pledging commitments to aid affected areas, and fundraisers for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and GlobalGiving are under way. [Photo: Resilient Response] These rapid response efforts are crucial, but according to the nonprofit Center for Disaster Philanthropy, they too often signal the end of the line. Around 70% of the money and resources donated after a disaster goes to immediate response efforts, but in reality, recovery requires a long-term investment. Just 5% of money raised after a disaster goes toward extended recovery and rebuilding efforts, which is often where residents find themselves at a loss for aid. While federal programs like FEMA also provide assistance to affected people immediately after a disaster, grants for home repair and recovery generally only amount to a few thousand dollars, with no promise of extended or on-the-ground support. Over the past several years, the CDP has worked to educate corporate donors, philanthropies, and the broader public about effective disaster response strategies (its Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, bit.ly/2QNs7lP

So how long have we had to write about "the death of D-SRL " thing to make it actually happen?(updated)

  

Many camera forum experts suggesting Nikon should go FX mirrorles soon, or they must fail........many of them say something like below all the time.

"The writing is on the wall. Cost-cutting is a mantra with camera makers today and a big, complex prism and mirror assembly cost more than an EVF. They will all disappear. I'd be curious to see the relative costs of manufacturing of say a Nikon D810 and a Sony A7R2. The CEO of Sigma won't want to completely ruffle the feathers of Nikon or Canon who stubbornly resist the move to at least a credible line of mirrorless cameras so he's not going to come out and say, "reflex is dead" but it is going to be, as dead as plate film cameras became when 35mm roll film arrived."

 

Yeah the mirrorless fanatics are always aggressive and some times stupidly bellicose to any one does not share the same extremely positive view on their beloved so called Mirrorless that they believe to be some kind of real disruptive innovation of camera..........but really?

 

We always hear this kind of extreme mirrorless fanatic arguments in every camera related forum these days, but now I have to ask them how long have you been saying the same BS already? I think I was one of the very first of this kind to have said about it in 2011 as I got my first NEX5n, but has anything changed since then?

 

And why if it is so much cheaper to build a decent all around mirrorless camera like the A7R2 or the XT2 than a similarly performing D-SLR of their respective sensor class, then why these mirrorless at least decent ones are so much more expensive than the same class similarly specified D-SLRs?

The Nikon D810 costs only about 2100 US, the Sony A7R2 costs 3200 US or so still, if the EVF is so much cheaper than the decent quality OVF in the D810 class of cameras , then why is the Sony so much more expensive?

 

Are those Sony/ Olympus/Fuji fanatics do not feel cheated or shafted by those mirrorless makers they defend to death if, as they say, the EVF bodies are so much cheaper to build than the similar performing OVF bodies?

I used to think it is really cheap to build the so-called mirrorless when I was on my second NEX7, but the average price of the decent mirrorless cameras with a great EVF have never come down, actually it seems going up not down.

The NEX7, which was obviously designed for higher end APS-C market than the A6XXX bodies was much cheaper than the A6300 or the A6500, let alone the Fuji XT2 or the X-Pro2.

The Olympus EM1 was much cheaper than the EM1MK2, the Panasonic GH4 was much cheaper than its successor the GH5, and all of those m43 tiny sensor cameras are much more expensive than the Nikon D7200 , see my point?

At every level, the average price for a decent mirrroless body is increasing........every year and much less cost effective than a decent D-SLR like the D7200 is now.

Maybe it is the economy of scale but the mirrorless price seems never come down, and the average build quality of the so-called mirrorless cameras seem to be deteriorating rapidly, the NEX7 was the best built mirrorless besides the super expensive Panasonic GH5 and the oversized Samsung NX1 and it was really cheap back in 2012.

Since the NEX7 era, those mirrorless fanatics claiming the same coming total extinction of D-SLRs every month(if not every day), but the market share of the mirrorless is just not increasing at all, in fact, decreasing.

The market share of the mirrorless cameras peaked in late 2013 with about 28.4 percent(of the entire ILC market) after the first A7 launch, but after that it has been gradually decreasing, and strangely enough no big media talks about it.

I am not a D-SLR fan at all, in fact far from it. I have been a mirrorless shooter since the first NEX5 and always believed the current form of so-called mirrorless would take over up to almost 90 percent of the entire ILC camera market and having written about that more than 90 times since April, 2012, but in reality it has never happened(yet).

If any of those mirrrorless fanatics were right, by now every D-SLR should have been all dead, or at least should have become an irrelevant player(super nitche products like Leica M). But in reality, they still own about 74.2 percent of the entire ILC market.........this means the so called mirrorless makers have only 25.8 percent of the market share.

It is really deplorable.....pity!

 

So why are mirrorless cameras not selling well?

Well there are many reasons but I think the main reason is the price- most of mirrorless cameras do not seem to be a good value, they are way too expensive for what they can do especially as a whole system, and thay really do not look innovative or different enough to make those long time Canon or Nikon shooters with lots of CN glass / accessories to move to any of those so-called mirrorless systems......

 

Since Canon has owned about 55 percent of the entire ILC market since about 2015,until these mirrorless makers takes some of Canon's market they will never gain anything or even not make any money..

 

Now the sad reality is that none of these mirrorless makers are breaking even but reporting some big loss every year, even Sony is not profitable at all(the entire company seems to be profitable, though).

Contrary to the forum consensus Sony has lost about 5 percent of their market share since they fully moved to E mount main, when they reported their all time peak market share in the year end of 2012, they had about 14.1 percent of the market share. Now they have only about 11.2 percent of it. Fuji is about 6 percent or so. It is really pathetic.

Honestly, Sony has been a big loser in terms of sheer sells. They have invested more R& D money than any other player in this game, but they haven't got any profitable return from it yet.

Canon, on the other hand, has invested so little money and gained about 14 percent of the market share in just last year alone.

I think until Canon seriously decides to disrupt their own EF mount D-SLRs with their version of the Sony A7R or Fuji X-T2, the mirrorless market share always stays very small-kind of irrelevant. In 2012 when I had my second copy of Sony NEX7, I thought by now Sony would've already become no1 in this business, but it never happened...........

As we look at all the major mirrorless camera makers financial results, we must wonder why they are not doing really well, not gaining anything over Canon and Nikon.

Nikon hasn't done anything right in the last 4 years or so, and almost all their recent products have had an issue or two, or even recalled,but in terms of sheer market share and sells they are doing much better than any of these over-hyped mirrorless makers. Nikon's finanical issue at least their camera division is greatly exaggerated and at least still much more robust than any of the mirrorless players.

 

Now many people ask us why so many people actually GOING BACK to Nikon or Canon recently despite of the incessant silly claims from the mirrorless fanatic camera sites that mirrorless have gained much sells and almost completely killing the lazy two asleep camera giants- that is never happening..........

 

Well it is easy because the so-called mirrorless systems are all flawed and overpriced at best. They all have a few serious issues as a whole system and that is why many of those real working event pros going back to their old systems after having evaluated one or two so-called mirrorless systems for a month or so........many of them are not very rich to keep many camera systems for their work, and for work Nikon or Canon system is much more reliable with better support.

It is really as simple as that.

Anyway I tried to write about the current state of each of the 5 major mirrorless players below:

 

1>Sony: As many of our customers rightly pointed out, it is the most interesting one besides Panasonic right now. Honestly as a long time Sony system user(I've owned both A and E but mostly FF E mount stuffs now) with lots of E mount only lenses, I want to Sony to become the no1 dominant player in this business(other wise, I will lose too much money in transition). They have a lot of good things going for their system now. Sony has done many things actually right or at least interesting; trading their already established market share in D-SLRs for a similar MILC market share.

Since they thought the new MILC market would definitely be the future and quick to take over most part of the D-SLR market, but that never happened yet, and in the process Sony has lost some big money on their stills camera business, however, their big and powerful enough motion camera division and sensor division have made more than enough money to make up for it. So the entire Sony DI (digital imaging) group is reporting some profit but the stills business is not doing very well.

I think the so-called mirrroless would eventually eat the big part of the ILC market but not so soon because Sony and other mirrorless makers trying to shift themselves to only high-end market with an unreasonably steep price hike thrown in every iteration.

So they have a lot of issues in the short run, but in the longer run I am quite sure they are doing it right. The way Sony has integrated their excellent video and stills products really change the way low budget productions shoot their films. Also Sony is the only one FF camera manufacture to give us the choice of 3 different sensors in the same type of boring but solid A7X2 type body. While the A7X2 bodies are still not perfect, not as durable as the most powerful Panasonic or Samsung crop sensor bodies such as the GH5, the NX1, the A7R2 and A7M2 are both arguably already great cameras and in case of the A7R2 probably we can safely say it is a great camera, or at least the best all around FF camera ever made in this price range. The lens line is also becoming quite solid with high quality but compact Zeiss Batis line primes and Sony GM series zooms, they are quickly filling out the gap in their lens line and I would say maybe they do not have as many lenses as Canon or Nikon legacy mounts, but the average lens quality is much higher in Sony system since all Sony FE and E mount lenses are new designs without silly film-era-lens design stipulations.

So they might be the best positioned for the future, especially in the long run, however, they still have to execute on that future by carefully listening to their long time customers like us.

They must improve the A7X2 body quality further in the upcoming A7X3 series, or need to add a new more rugged pro grade system that can withstand freezing cold weather in a series of harsh winter mountain shooting sessions. They need to improve tethering capability with Capture One, but I am sure this one will be rectified very soon since Sony has been closely working with Phase One for this, and this is why we can get the C1 for Sony so cheap. Thanks for the Phase One-Sony deal, and I think this is the biggest pro of the Sony E and A system over Canon Nikon Fuji. After all, Capture One Pro is the best RAW developer.....

Another so-called Sony specific issue was that they just exhausted users by updating 3k bodies every 8 months or so, but this one also already fixed. The clear sign for it is the long life span the A7M2 has had and the A7R2 seems to have had. They will not be replaced by the end of this spring...So in case of the A7M2, it has had 3 years of life and it is a long time for any tech product.

As I said the second generation A7 series bodies are already very good, so unlike the first original series , they would not update these in a rush, and I think it is a good thing.

Sony haters always pan them for their terrible customer support especially repair quality and unreasonably expensive charges for that, but it is really improving and I must say it is now one of the best at least in Asia. They have the thoroughest most complete distribution channels in camera business, and they have the most service stations throughout Asia.

Nikon used to have the best service at least in Japan, but now both Sony and Canon have surpassed them in this department.

So Sony is getting better and quickly fixing all known bugs and issues at faster pace than any one else in this game.

However, in the even longer run,their extreme focus on expensive high end market will eventually force them to go the same path they went in the HiFi audio market..

 

2>Fuji: They also have reliability issue and more seriously they have RAW converter issue , it is really hard for any Windows user to find a decent quality RAWC for the X-T2 or X-T20. On top of that, the silly design over functionality kind of retro UI and ergonomics aren't every one's cup of tea..........

I always want to love a Fuji X something when it comes out and try it every time new X body comes out, but every time I end up hating the silly retro user interface and lack of DXO support.

Also, most of Fuji X bodies I tired had terribly bad battery life, actually they were all much worse than my A7X cameras in this regard. So I really want to love the X system, but I must admit it is an overpriced style over functionality kind of system and I do not like their cameras at least until they give us non-retoro body with normal Bayer or organic sensor choice.....I do not like the X-Trans at all, and I consider it worse than the latest generation m43 sensors used in the GH5, the EM1MK2, or the Pen F.

Their Kaizen policy may have led their poorly designed X system this far.

But like many of Ex-Xsystem users pointed out, they can no longer gain from just listening to their customer requests, as customers just think in terms of existing things, not possible new things. If they want to get more new users coming into their odd obscure X system, then they must become better at internal innovation that solves real user problems that their users do not even know how to solve, or they cannot even imagine having those problems in their existing Fuji cameras.

Personally, I think, if Fuji continues the silly retro-style over actual usability concept, they will eventually fail it miserably.

 

3>Canon EOS M mount: well what I can say? honestly the EOS M5 is a great body in real life, but its spec sheet is way behind the time for the suggested price, especially for Video market. It has no 4k, no 120p, no 422-10bit, no proper microphone jack, etc. And the sensor is , while it is a bit better than the poor Xtrans 24mp sensor, still way behind the current Sony 24mp chip in the latest Sony APS-C such as the A6500. But other than that, at least in real life practical use for stills, it is really surprisingly a good camera with very cheap, compact but sharp lenses.

The EF-M22mm f2 is a stellar lens really sharp for the price and even in absolute sense.

It beats the oversized Fuji XF23mm f1.4 hands down without the super annoying X-trans artifacts. The EF-M11-22 and 55-200 are both quite decent zooms too. The EF-M11-22 actually beats the expensive Fuji XF 10-24/4 in resolution and distortion control, and the Canon lens is about 4 times cheaper than the Fuji.

So while the EOS M5 is not on par with the very latest mirrorless APS-C cameras over 1k range in spec sheet comparison, it is actually a very cheap and decent performing system, especially if you already have some of good Canon EF or EF-S mount lenses. The adapter is cheap and it is made by Canon-not by any obscure lens maker or mount adapter maker unlike the Sigma EF-E adapter or the SpeedBooster crap, and therefore all native Canon EF , EF-S and EF-M lenses are 100 percent compatible with the EOS-M5.

That is why despite of many very negative views on this system from self-proclaimed armchair forum experts , the EOS M system is rapidly gaining its market share, it is just super economical and actually a very practical system. I personally like its very organized menu and highly sophisticated intuitive touch interface.

 

But I think for pro level FF mirrrorless system, Canon will definitely use the EF mount since going a totally new mount does not make the FF lenses much smaller or better.....so why should Canon give up the already completely electronic EF mount with the biggest lens catalog to date.

 

4>Olympus: As Thom says it is already a very matured system , maybe almost as matured as the Canon Nikon D-SLR duo...........and I think almost all bugs and quirks of the systems are already ironed out effectively, and almost all their products are now excellent.

But this clear sign of the system maturity means that they've already done almost everything they could conceive of for the system and nearing to the point where there they have no way to make significant improvement in every future iteration.

Or at least it is extremely difficult to get any extra out of the m43 sensor from now on, they are already getting very close to that point that they have once reached to in their Original 43 era in 2010 or so. Unless there is a big new sensor tech breakthrough they will eventually reach the point and will suffer from the hell of the small sensor IQ limit that they have set up for themselves.

 

Even if there is a big sensor tech breakthrough in the next 2 years time, that will also benefit the bigger sensor groups, too, and therefore the big IQ gap between the m43 vs the 35mm format will not become smaller.

Actually the excellent set of m43 primes can mitigate or even defy the m43 sensor limits........but that actually makes the m43 system much more expensive than a basic FF system with a set of moderately fast primes or f4 type of zooms.

And the faster you want to go with the system the bigger it gets and this basic optical logic also applies to m43 system. At this point m43 loses almost all its meaning and becomes as heavy and big as the bigger sensor rivals.

But if you can accept the obvious sensor size related IQ limits , then it is an excellent system.

It is the most well balanced system in many ways; it is very fast in both operation and AF speed, it is very practical with the super effective dust buster system, it is very tough and well sealed, and it can be very small with a set of light lenses(if you give up a couple of stops of light gathering power).

So IMHO, I really think Olympus should focus on developing moderately fast super sharp primes and zooms, not repeating the same mistake they made in their 43 era with the huge set of f2 zooms and f1.2 primes. They shouldn't try competing with so-called FF for DOF to DOF , but design more balanced system based around a set of super sharp f1.8 primes and f2.8-4 zooms for those who do not want or need the super shallow DOF or the extra light gathering power of the 35mm system at the big cost of huge back breaking size and weight.

Still even the sensor IQ limitations the m43 is a very interesting and very well balanced system for many many people who do not need the ultimate speed or thinnest DOF that the so-called 35mm FF plus a set of fast primes and f2.8 zooms provide...... For me if they can solve the sensor size related IQ issues, it's the best system for me. In other words, if they could make the sensor shift high resolution mode works for handheld work, I would definitely choose m43 over so-called FF or APS-C.

So to me it seems like a race between Sony makes the FE system fully functional without the many known FE system related quirks and bugs(with better more intuitive UI), vs m43 makes the high resolution mode works handheld or some amazing sensor tech breakthrough like the complete utilization of the Organic sensor for consumer market actually occurs.

 

IMHO, the point of sufficiency issue is really overlooked by many FF fans, but at some point a smaller sensor system- the APS-C or the m43 gets there for many of us and at that point many of us will ditch the so-called FF system, or at least some of us will find the smaller sensor format better balanced..

Personally I really really hate the term FF and I think we should use "35mm format" instead of FF. The FF sounds too arrogant and stupid....The sensor size is always relative to the other formats and the 35mm is not the biggest sensor format. So why do we have to call it FULL FRAME?

 

5>Panasonic: In my honest opinion, Panasonic has been the true tech innovation leader in ILC market after Samsung gave it up completely in 2015. It is really interesting how they've taken a shifty calculating tactic and made it really work for them: the most complete form of hybrid-ability. They have made over three dozen mirrorless cameras in eight years and they were the very first company to have actually materialized the current mirrorless concept, but almost no one talks about them for their stills aspects at all but solely for their incredible video integration in their stills cameras. So they basically succeeded in their tactful game-changing mission.

Now after the incredible GH3, GH4 and everything after that, the game has been changed successfully for them and now it is played by their set rules not by others.

So many hats off to Panasonic. But do not forget although most of people see the Panasonic flagship camera series the GH as the pure video flagship and if you do not care much about video, it is not for you, it is actually even as a pure stills camera probably the best m43 ever, and in terms of sheer functionality and speed it beats everything else in the market regardless of sensor format or body class.

I think Panasonic is unfairly underrated. Even the cheap G85 is incredibly good for the modest price and size, and also in absolute sense. It is blazingly fast, the AF is incredibly accurate, it can even beat the best D-SLR like the D500, the D5, the 1DX and the a99MK2 in lowlight AF department, it is really incredible. The GH5 is really extremely good, competing only with itself.

I really believe that Panasonic would actually dominate the mirrorless market if they were to design a GH5 FF for around 3000 USD price market. Even a FF version of the G85 may make them the no1 in this catergoy and only second to Canon in the entire ILC business. The GH is and the latest G are extremely reliable and extremely tough, built like a real tank to withstand heavy use out in the field, even in an extreme cold mountain or a frozen lake or even in the North Pole.

It is splash/dust/ freeze proof, freeze-proof down to -15-degrees in addition to splash / dust-proof construction. Like Panasonic themselves say this camera can go everywhere you can.

I think Panasonic should make a larger sensor version of the GH5 and the G85, with a high resolution square format 32 by 32 or at least 24.6 by 24.6 sensor, then I am sure they will be able to completely change the way this game will be played, and really reignite the sluggish stills camera industry.

So I guess I really want Panasonic to succeed in this game that may help them to design a second larger sensor version of their already excellent 43 system.

I mean if they come up with FF GH5 or G85 tomorrow with at aleast 5 lenses, I would sell all my Sony and Nikon so-called FF cameras......

 

As I write above there is no-even one- flawless camera system from any of mirrorless manufactures, however, if you pick up two or three of these above with two different sets of strengths, then it may be at least for you good enough systems even if you do have to own two different sets of lenses. I personally concluded although I really want to go only one brand kit for practicality reason, for now I at least need 2 brand kits and for me that seems like Panasonic or Olympus and Sony or maybe Canon.

The m43 and the Sony FE make a great combo and that can cover almost everything I do with my cameras........I find m43 the best suited for video, macro and light travel stuffs and probably for street, I think I use my Sony for more tripod based stuffs or high resolution required stuffs or when I need a good manual focus lens such as the new Voiklander 12mm f5.6 or 15mm f4.

Now, I just tried the new Voiklander 40mm f1.2 and it is incredibly good, I will definitely get this one for my A7R and A7R2, and this lens will instantly make my A7X system an indispensable camera system to me.

 

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina and Zeiss, Sony seems to have developed arguably one of the best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon are trying very hard to shut all thirdparties out of their respective FF system at any cost. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and those people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no focus peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard, let alone to the fastest mirrorless cameras like the XT2 or the GH5.

  

Having said all above points though, I must admit it's all about short term view of the business, and I must also admit my gut feeling tells me the final winner of the future camera market won't be any of these traditional camera companies, they have no vision for the future, and that is the real problem.

I think the final winner is something like the Light L16 with a bit better sensor tech and much more powerful internal processor. The future is computational camera not the so called mirrorless, we camera fanatics always see it from a traditional camera user's view point, and so we tend to overlook what is actually important to many of normal camera buyers.

 

The real biggest problem of the Japanese camera companies is that they do not listen to the young people: there are many young people who I know are actually interested in photography but find it too expensive for their meager income.....but the entire industry is trying to up the average camera price every iteration, so how they can get the young interested? Bieng young means usually not rich, many times poor.

And even before discussing about the price issue, we must realize that no current major camera companies have actually tried inventing new 21st century U.I. for the smartphone generation boys and girls, they've never made it always connected or programmable, so how can the smartphone generation people get interested in any of the old 20 century minded camera systems that forces them to buy many many lenses and accessories to do anything well.

 

The camera companies've just listened to the forum fanatics too much too long, and remember the fanatics are mostly old men in his 60s or 70s. Plus, the Japanese camera companies are all run by almost 70y/o men in expensive grey suits that does not understand the real needs of the young people........so they do not see why their products are unappealing to the young.

 

I am sure there are very extremely talented young engineers, and managers in these camera companies, but the old bosses do not let them do anything really interesting, the old bosses just force the young managers to share their dated 1990's idea of how cameras should be like.

I also know as a camera dealer, many young boys still interested in a serious camera, but not the system idea. I've found this out by interviewing 120 boys(younger than 25) who bought one of the major mirrorless or D-SLR mount system cameras from us and returned it. The top reason why they decided to return it was that they felt the system burden was just too much to keep on their shoulder.

They told us when they realized how many lenses they'd actually need to do all what they wanted to do with their camera, they decided to give it up. It was too expensive and too annoyingly space-taking, and that'd be a big burden on them as they were still very young and therefore they need more money for many things.

 

So the current trend of upping the prices of all cameras to make up for the lost unit sales will not work, actually it will kill the industry. Like Thom Hogan's latest article says it very well, I think the companies may not be dying but the old fashioned photography industry, especially the accessory makers, publishers, LCD protector makers, etc, are all dying with the idea of the 90s style of print based photography that always discussed at sites like Luminous Landscapes and DPR. So the only one real solution to the industry is to ignore the old fanatics and listen to the smartphone generation people.

  

UPDATE :I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

 

The D800 boom in many camera fora made Nikon really damn stupid , but is Nikon the only one real victim of it?

  

UPDATE2: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

 

After all, a good camera system requires a set of great glass and speed lite system and determination to support it.

If the body alone performance is everything then the A99MK2 is selling like hotcakes every where, but in reality no one takes that high risk.....because no one trusts Sony that much.

I think sometimes public perception of a manufacture is very important, and Sony needs serious effort to improve their brand image, just a couple of great bodies do not do all the bad name fix for them.

 

So now I am not very positive about the current form of mirrorless and strongly doubt any of these Sony, Fuji, m43,etc would survive......say more than 5 years....

It is basically the same boring tech used as in the D-SLR, nothing new or revolutionary at all.....and so I think Nikon still has some time left to figure the best way to do mirrorless out for the longer term future since none of the current mirrorless doing it right. In other words, if they ditch the F mount and go all electronic mount like the FE or EF but with a bit wider mount throat design , then they would have the best FF mount system in the market. But they must do it very quick and do it right at the very first try just like when they did it with the D3/D300 launch......back in 2007.

  

UPDATE: I think Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

Now I strongly believe Nikon is really dying.

   

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_9927_FINAL

The 'Beeching Axe' is an informal name for the British Government's attempt in the 1960s to reduce the cost of running British Railways, the nationalised railway system in the UK. The name is that of the main author of The Reshaping of British Railways, Dr Richard Beeching.

 

Although this report also proposed new modes of freight service and the modernisation of trunk passenger routes, it is remembered for recommending wholesale closure of what it considered little-used and unprofitable railway lines, the removal of stopping passenger trains and closure of local stations on other lines which remained open. The Helston line was one such example.

 

Helston railway station was the terminus of the Helston Railway in Cornwall, in England (United Kingdom). It was later operated by the Great Western Railway (some called it Gods Wonderful Railway) but has since been closed.

 

Helston secured its place in history when it became the first place in the country with a railway-operated bus service. These GWR road motor services met trains at the station and carried passengers on towards The Lizard.

 

The Beeching report was a reaction to significant losses which had begun in the 1950s as the expansion in road transport began to attract passengers and goods from the railways; losses which continued to bedevil British Railways despite the introduction of the railway Modernisation Plan of 1955. Beeching proposed that only drastic action would save the railways from increasing losses in the future.

 

Successive governments were more keen on the cost-saving elements of the report rather than those requiring investment. More than 4,000 miles of railway and 3,000 stations closed in the decade following the report, a reduction of 25 per cent of route miles and 50 per cent of stations.

 

To this day Beeching's name is synonymous, in an unfavourable way with mass closure of railways and loss of many local services. This is particularly so in parts of the country which suffered most from cuts.

 

Many old lines are being resurected by volunteers and enthusiasts such as this one. The Helston Railway Preservation Society are working on the Trevarno branch line and hope one day to run a short service.

 

Their sister organisation, the Helston Diesel Group, has acquired a two car Park Royal Diesel Multiple Unit (shown here), and two Ruston & Hornsby shunters, all now based at Trevarno. One of the shunters has been restored to use.

 

NB: Like all the images on this stream, full size prints up to 30x20inches are available, Check my profile for how to contact me.

 

Checkout more images away from home from my photostream.

 

Keep in touch, add me as a contact www.flickr.com/relationship.gne?id=33062170@N08 so I can follow all your new uploads.

 

(c) Hotpix / HotpixUK Tony Smith - Hotpix.freeserve.co.uk WDCC

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_0026_FINAL

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_9976_FINAL

So how long have we had to write about "the death of D-SRL " thing to make it actually happen?(updated)

  

Many camera forum experts suggesting Nikon should go FX mirrorles soon, or they must fail........many of them say something like below all the time.

"The writing is on the wall. Cost-cutting is a mantra with camera makers today and a big, complex prism and mirror assembly cost more than an EVF. They will all disappear. I'd be curious to see the relative costs of manufacturing of say a Nikon D810 and a Sony A7R2. The CEO of Sigma won't want to completely ruffle the feathers of Nikon or Canon who stubbornly resist the move to at least a credible line of mirrorless cameras so he's not going to come out and say, "reflex is dead" but it is going to be, as dead as plate film cameras became when 35mm roll film arrived."

 

Yeah the mirrorless fanatics are always aggressive and some times stupidly bellicose to any one does not share the same extremely positive view on their beloved so called Mirrorless that they believe to be some kind of real disruptive innovation of camera..........but really?

 

We always hear this kind of extreme mirrorless fanatic arguments in every camera related forum these days, but now I have to ask them how long have you been saying the same BS already? I think I was one of the very first of this kind to have said about it in 2011 as I got my first NEX5n, but has anything changed since then?

 

And why if it is so much cheaper to build a decent all around mirrorless camera like the A7R2 or the XT2 than a similarly performing D-SLR of their respective sensor class, then why these mirrorless at least decent ones are so much more expensive than the same class similarly specified D-SLRs?

The Nikon D810 costs only about 2100 US, the Sony A7R2 costs 3200 US or so still, if the EVF is so much cheaper than the decent quality OVF in the D810 class of cameras , then why is the Sony so much more expensive?

 

Are those Sony/ Olympus/Fuji fanatics do not feel cheated or shafted by those mirrorless makers they defend to death if, as they say, the EVF bodies are so much cheaper to build than the similar performing OVF bodies?

I used to think it is really cheap to build the so-called mirrorless when I was on my second NEX7, but the average price of the decent mirrorless cameras with a great EVF have never come down, actually it seems going up not down.

The NEX7, which was obviously designed for higher end APS-C market than the A6XXX bodies was much cheaper than the A6300 or the A6500, let alone the Fuji XT2 or the X-Pro2.

The Olympus EM1 was much cheaper than the EM1MK2, the Panasonic GH4 was much cheaper than its successor the GH5, and all of those m43 tiny sensor cameras are much more expensive than the Nikon D7200 , see my point?

At every level, the average price for a decent mirrroless body is increasing........every year and much less cost effective than a decent D-SLR like the D7200 is now.

Maybe it is the economy of scale but the mirrorless price seems never come down, and the average build quality of the so-called mirrorless cameras seem to be deteriorating rapidly, the NEX7 was the best built mirrorless besides the super expensive Panasonic GH5 and the oversized Samsung NX1 and it was really cheap back in 2012.

Since the NEX7 era, those mirrorless fanatics claiming the same coming total extinction of D-SLRs every month(if not every day), but the market share of the mirrorless is just not increasing at all, in fact, decreasing.

The market share of the mirrorless cameras peaked in late 2013 with about 28.4 percent(of the entire ILC market) after the first A7 launch, but after that it has been gradually decreasing, and strangely enough no big media talks about it.

I am not a D-SLR fan at all, in fact far from it. I have been a mirrorless shooter since the first NEX5 and always believed the current form of so-called mirrorless would take over up to almost 90 percent of the entire ILC camera market and having written about that more than 90 times since April, 2012, but in reality it has never happened(yet).

If any of those mirrrorless fanatics were right, by now every D-SLR should have been all dead, or at least should have become an irrelevant player(super nitche products like Leica M). But in reality, they still own about 74.2 percent of the entire ILC market.........this means the so called mirrorless makers have only 25.8 percent of the market share.

It is really deplorable.....pity!

 

So why are mirrorless cameras not selling well?

Well there are many reasons but I think the main reason is the price- most of mirrorless cameras do not seem to be a good value, they are way too expensive for what they can do especially as a whole system, and thay really do not look innovative or different enough to make those long time Canon or Nikon shooters with lots of CN glass / accessories to move to any of those so-called mirrorless systems......

 

Since Canon has owned about 55 percent of the entire ILC market since about 2015,until these mirrorless makers takes some of Canon's market they will never gain anything or even not make any money..

 

Now the sad reality is that none of these mirrorless makers are breaking even but reporting some big loss every year, even Sony is not profitable at all(the entire company seems to be profitable, though).

Contrary to the forum consensus Sony has lost about 5 percent of their market share since they fully moved to E mount main, when they reported their all time peak market share in the year end of 2012, they had about 14.1 percent of the market share. Now they have only about 11.2 percent of it. Fuji is about 6 percent or so. It is really pathetic.

Honestly, Sony has been a big loser in terms of sheer sells. They have invested more R& D money than any other player in this game, but they haven't got any profitable return from it yet.

Canon, on the other hand, has invested so little money and gained about 14 percent of the market share in just last year alone.

I think until Canon seriously decides to disrupt their own EF mount D-SLRs with their version of the Sony A7R or Fuji X-T2, the mirrorless market share always stays very small-kind of irrelevant. In 2012 when I had my second copy of Sony NEX7, I thought by now Sony would've already become no1 in this business, but it never happened...........

As we look at all the major mirrorless camera makers financial results, we must wonder why they are not doing really well, not gaining anything over Canon and Nikon.

Nikon hasn't done anything right in the last 4 years or so, and almost all their recent products have had an issue or two, or even recalled,but in terms of sheer market share and sells they are doing much better than any of these over-hyped mirrorless makers. Nikon's finanical issue at least their camera division is greatly exaggerated and at least still much more robust than any of the mirrorless players.

 

Now many people ask us why so many people actually GOING BACK to Nikon or Canon recently despite of the incessant silly claims from the mirrorless fanatic camera sites that mirrorless have gained much sells and almost completely killing the lazy two asleep camera giants- that is never happening..........

 

Well it is easy because the so-called mirrorless systems are all flawed and overpriced at best. They all have a few serious issues as a whole system and that is why many of those real working event pros going back to their old systems after having evaluated one or two so-called mirrorless systems for a month or so........many of them are not very rich to keep many camera systems for their work, and for work Nikon or Canon system is much more reliable with better support.

It is really as simple as that.

Anyway I tried to write about the current state of each of the 5 major mirrorless players below:

 

1>Sony: As many of our customers rightly pointed out, it is the most interesting one besides Panasonic right now. Honestly as a long time Sony system user(I've owned both A and E but mostly FF E mount stuffs now) with lots of E mount only lenses, I want to Sony to become the no1 dominant player in this business(other wise, I will lose too much money in transition). They have a lot of good things going for their system now. Sony has done many things actually right or at least interesting; trading their already established market share in D-SLRs for a similar MILC market share.

Since they thought the new MILC market would definitely be the future and quick to take over most part of the D-SLR market, but that never happened yet, and in the process Sony has lost some big money on their stills camera business, however, their big and powerful enough motion camera division and sensor division have made more than enough money to make up for it. So the entire Sony DI (digital imaging) group is reporting some profit but the stills business is not doing very well.

I think the so-called mirrroless would eventually eat the big part of the ILC market but not so soon because Sony and other mirrorless makers trying to shift themselves to only high-end market with an unreasonably steep price hike thrown in every iteration.

So they have a lot of issues in the short run, but in the longer run I am quite sure they are doing it right. The way Sony has integrated their excellent video and stills products really change the way low budget productions shoot their films. Also Sony is the only one FF camera manufacture to give us the choice of 3 different sensors in the same type of boring but solid A7X2 type body. While the A7X2 bodies are still not perfect, not as durable as the most powerful Panasonic or Samsung crop sensor bodies such as the GH5, the NX1, the A7R2 and A7M2 are both arguably already great cameras and in case of the A7R2 probably we can safely say it is a great camera, or at least the best all around FF camera ever made in this price range. The lens line is also becoming quite solid with high quality but compact Zeiss Batis line primes and Sony GM series zooms, they are quickly filling out the gap in their lens line and I would say maybe they do not have as many lenses as Canon or Nikon legacy mounts, but the average lens quality is much higher in Sony system since all Sony FE and E mount lenses are new designs without silly film-era-lens design stipulations.

So they might be the best positioned for the future, especially in the long run, however, they still have to execute on that future by carefully listening to their long time customers like us.

They must improve the A7X2 body quality further in the upcoming A7X3 series, or need to add a new more rugged pro grade system that can withstand freezing cold weather in a series of harsh winter mountain shooting sessions. They need to improve tethering capability with Capture One, but I am sure this one will be rectified very soon since Sony has been closely working with Phase One for this, and this is why we can get the C1 for Sony so cheap. Thanks for the Phase One-Sony deal, and I think this is the biggest pro of the Sony E and A system over Canon Nikon Fuji. After all, Capture One Pro is the best RAW developer.....

Another so-called Sony specific issue was that they just exhausted users by updating 3k bodies every 8 months or so, but this one also already fixed. The clear sign for it is the long life span the A7M2 has had and the A7R2 seems to have had. They will not be replaced by the end of this spring...So in case of the A7M2, it has had 3 years of life and it is a long time for any tech product.

As I said the second generation A7 series bodies are already very good, so unlike the first original series , they would not update these in a rush, and I think it is a good thing.

Sony haters always pan them for their terrible customer support especially repair quality and unreasonably expensive charges for that, but it is really improving and I must say it is now one of the best at least in Asia. They have the thoroughest most complete distribution channels in camera business, and they have the most service stations throughout Asia.

Nikon used to have the best service at least in Japan, but now both Sony and Canon have surpassed them in this department.

So Sony is getting better and quickly fixing all known bugs and issues at faster pace than any one else in this game.

However, in the even longer run,their extreme focus on expensive high end market will eventually force them to go the same path they went in the HiFi audio market..

 

2>Fuji: They also have reliability issue and more seriously they have RAW converter issue , it is really hard for any Windows user to find a decent quality RAWC for the X-T2 or X-T20. On top of that, the silly design over functionality kind of retro UI and ergonomics aren't every one's cup of tea..........

I always want to love a Fuji X something when it comes out and try it every time new X body comes out, but every time I end up hating the silly retro user interface and lack of DXO support.

Also, most of Fuji X bodies I tired had terribly bad battery life, actually they were all much worse than my A7X cameras in this regard. So I really want to love the X system, but I must admit it is an overpriced style over functionality kind of system and I do not like their cameras at least until they give us non-retoro body with normal Bayer or organic sensor choice.....I do not like the X-Trans at all, and I consider it worse than the latest generation m43 sensors used in the GH5, the EM1MK2, or the Pen F.

Their Kaizen policy may have led their poorly designed X system this far.

But like many of Ex-Xsystem users pointed out, they can no longer gain from just listening to their customer requests, as customers just think in terms of existing things, not possible new things. If they want to get more new users coming into their odd obscure X system, then they must become better at internal innovation that solves real user problems that their users do not even know how to solve, or they cannot even imagine having those problems in their existing Fuji cameras.

Personally, I think, if Fuji continues the silly retro-style over actual usability concept, they will eventually fail it miserably.

 

3>Canon EOS M mount: well what I can say? honestly the EOS M5 is a great body in real life, but its spec sheet is way behind the time for the suggested price, especially for Video market. It has no 4k, no 120p, no 422-10bit, no proper microphone jack, etc. And the sensor is , while it is a bit better than the poor Xtrans 24mp sensor, still way behind the current Sony 24mp chip in the latest Sony APS-C such as the A6500. But other than that, at least in real life practical use for stills, it is really surprisingly a good camera with very cheap, compact but sharp lenses.

The EF-M22mm f2 is a stellar lens really sharp for the price and even in absolute sense.

It beats the oversized Fuji XF23mm f1.4 hands down without the super annoying X-trans artifacts. The EF-M11-22 and 55-200 are both quite decent zooms too. The EF-M11-22 actually beats the expensive Fuji XF 10-24/4 in resolution and distortion control, and the Canon lens is about 4 times cheaper than the Fuji.

So while the EOS M5 is not on par with the very latest mirrorless APS-C cameras over 1k range in spec sheet comparison, it is actually a very cheap and decent performing system, especially if you already have some of good Canon EF or EF-S mount lenses. The adapter is cheap and it is made by Canon-not by any obscure lens maker or mount adapter maker unlike the Sigma EF-E adapter or the SpeedBooster crap, and therefore all native Canon EF , EF-S and EF-M lenses are 100 percent compatible with the EOS-M5.

That is why despite of many very negative views on this system from self-proclaimed armchair forum experts , the EOS M system is rapidly gaining its market share, it is just super economical and actually a very practical system. I personally like its very organized menu and highly sophisticated intuitive touch interface.

 

But I think for pro level FF mirrrorless system, Canon will definitely use the EF mount since going a totally new mount does not make the FF lenses much smaller or better.....so why should Canon give up the already completely electronic EF mount with the biggest lens catalog to date.

 

4>Olympus: As Thom says it is already a very matured system , maybe almost as matured as the Canon Nikon D-SLR duo...........and I think almost all bugs and quirks of the systems are already ironed out effectively, and almost all their products are now excellent.

But this clear sign of the system maturity means that they've already done almost everything they could conceive of for the system and nearing to the point where there they have no way to make significant improvement in every future iteration.

Or at least it is extremely difficult to get any extra out of the m43 sensor from now on, they are already getting very close to that point that they have once reached to in their Original 43 era in 2010 or so. Unless there is a big new sensor tech breakthrough they will eventually reach the point and will suffer from the hell of the small sensor IQ limit that they have set up for themselves.

 

Even if there is a big sensor tech breakthrough in the next 2 years time, that will also benefit the bigger sensor groups, too, and therefore the big IQ gap between the m43 vs the 35mm format will not become smaller.

Actually the excellent set of m43 primes can mitigate or even defy the m43 sensor limits........but that actually makes the m43 system much more expensive than a basic FF system with a set of moderately fast primes or f4 type of zooms.

And the faster you want to go with the system the bigger it gets and this basic optical logic also applies to m43 system. At this point m43 loses almost all its meaning and becomes as heavy and big as the bigger sensor rivals.

But if you can accept the obvious sensor size related IQ limits , then it is an excellent system.

It is the most well balanced system in many ways; it is very fast in both operation and AF speed, it is very practical with the super effective dust buster system, it is very tough and well sealed, and it can be very small with a set of light lenses(if you give up a couple of stops of light gathering power).

So IMHO, I really think Olympus should focus on developing moderately fast super sharp primes and zooms, not repeating the same mistake they made in their 43 era with the huge set of f2 zooms and f1.2 primes. They shouldn't try competing with so-called FF for DOF to DOF , but design more balanced system based around a set of super sharp f1.8 primes and f2.8-4 zooms for those who do not want or need the super shallow DOF or the extra light gathering power of the 35mm system at the big cost of huge back breaking size and weight.

Still even the sensor IQ limitations the m43 is a very interesting and very well balanced system for many many people who do not need the ultimate speed or thinnest DOF that the so-called 35mm FF plus a set of fast primes and f2.8 zooms provide...... For me if they can solve the sensor size related IQ issues, it's the best system for me. In other words, if they could make the sensor shift high resolution mode works for handheld work, I would definitely choose m43 over so-called FF or APS-C.

So to me it seems like a race between Sony makes the FE system fully functional without the many known FE system related quirks and bugs(with better more intuitive UI), vs m43 makes the high resolution mode works handheld or some amazing sensor tech breakthrough like the complete utilization of the Organic sensor for consumer market actually occurs.

 

IMHO, the point of sufficiency issue is really overlooked by many FF fans, but at some point a smaller sensor system- the APS-C or the m43 gets there for many of us and at that point many of us will ditch the so-called FF system, or at least some of us will find the smaller sensor format better balanced..

Personally I really really hate the term FF and I think we should use "35mm format" instead of FF. The FF sounds too arrogant and stupid....The sensor size is always relative to the other formats and the 35mm is not the biggest sensor format. So why do we have to call it FULL FRAME?

 

5>Panasonic: In my honest opinion, Panasonic has been the true tech innovation leader in ILC market after Samsung gave it up completely in 2015. It is really interesting how they've taken a shifty calculating tactic and made it really work for them: the most complete form of hybrid-ability. They have made over three dozen mirrorless cameras in eight years and they were the very first company to have actually materialized the current mirrorless concept, but almost no one talks about them for their stills aspects at all but solely for their incredible video integration in their stills cameras. So they basically succeeded in their tactful game-changing mission.

Now after the incredible GH3, GH4 and everything after that, the game has been changed successfully for them and now it is played by their set rules not by others.

So many hats off to Panasonic. But do not forget although most of people see the Panasonic flagship camera series the GH as the pure video flagship and if you do not care much about video, it is not for you, it is actually even as a pure stills camera probably the best m43 ever, and in terms of sheer functionality and speed it beats everything else in the market regardless of sensor format or body class.

I think Panasonic is unfairly underrated. Even the cheap G85 is incredibly good for the modest price and size, and also in absolute sense. It is blazingly fast, the AF is incredibly accurate, it can even beat the best D-SLR like the D500, the D5, the 1DX and the a99MK2 in lowlight AF department, it is really incredible. The GH5 is really extremely good, competing only with itself.

I really believe that Panasonic would actually dominate the mirrorless market if they were to design a GH5 FF for around 3000 USD price market. Even a FF version of the G85 may make them the no1 in this catergoy and only second to Canon in the entire ILC business. The GH is and the latest G are extremely reliable and extremely tough, built like a real tank to withstand heavy use out in the field, even in an extreme cold mountain or a frozen lake or even in the North Pole.

It is splash/dust/ freeze proof, freeze-proof down to -15-degrees in addition to splash / dust-proof construction. Like Panasonic themselves say this camera can go everywhere you can.

I think Panasonic should make a larger sensor version of the GH5 and the G85, with a high resolution square format 32 by 32 or at least 24.6 by 24.6 sensor, then I am sure they will be able to completely change the way this game will be played, and really reignite the sluggish stills camera industry.

So I guess I really want Panasonic to succeed in this game that may help them to design a second larger sensor version of their already excellent 43 system.

I mean if they come up with FF GH5 or G85 tomorrow with at aleast 5 lenses, I would sell all my Sony and Nikon so-called FF cameras......

 

As I write above there is no-even one- flawless camera system from any of mirrorless manufactures, however, if you pick up two or three of these above with two different sets of strengths, then it may be at least for you good enough systems even if you do have to own two different sets of lenses. I personally concluded although I really want to go only one brand kit for practicality reason, for now I at least need 2 brand kits and for me that seems like Panasonic or Olympus and Sony or maybe Canon.

The m43 and the Sony FE make a great combo and that can cover almost everything I do with my cameras........I find m43 the best suited for video, macro and light travel stuffs and probably for street, I think I use my Sony for more tripod based stuffs or high resolution required stuffs or when I need a good manual focus lens such as the new Voiklander 12mm f5.6 or 15mm f4.

Now, I just tried the new Voiklander 40mm f1.2 and it is incredibly good, I will definitely get this one for my A7R and A7R2, and this lens will instantly make my A7X system an indispensable camera system to me.

 

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina and Zeiss, Sony seems to have developed arguably one of the best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon are trying very hard to shut all thirdparties out of their respective FF system at any cost. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and those people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no focus peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard, let alone to the fastest mirrorless cameras like the XT2 or the GH5.

  

Having said all above points though, I must admit it's all about short term view of the business, and I must also admit my gut feeling tells me the final winner of the future camera market won't be any of these traditional camera companies, they have no vision for the future, and that is the real problem.

I think the final winner is something like the Light L16 with a bit better sensor tech and much more powerful internal processor. The future is computational camera not the so called mirrorless, we camera fanatics always see it from a traditional camera user's view point, and so we tend to overlook what is actually important to many of normal camera buyers.

 

The real biggest problem of the Japanese camera companies is that they do not listen to the young people: there are many young people who I know are actually interested in photography but find it too expensive for their meager income.....but the entire industry is trying to up the average camera price every iteration, so how they can get the young interested? Bieng young means usually not rich, many times poor.

And even before discussing about the price issue, we must realize that no current major camera companies have actually tried inventing new 21st century U.I. for the smartphone generation boys and girls, they've never made it always connected or programmable, so how can the smartphone generation people get interested in any of the old 20 century minded camera systems that forces them to buy many many lenses and accessories to do anything well.

 

The camera companies've just listened to the forum fanatics too much too long, and remember the fanatics are mostly old men in his 60s or 70s. Plus, the Japanese camera companies are all run by almost 70y/o men in expensive grey suits that does not understand the real needs of the young people........so they do not see why their products are unappealing to the young.

 

I am sure there are very extremely talented young engineers, and managers in these camera companies, but the old bosses do not let them do anything really interesting, the old bosses just force the young managers to share their dated 1990's idea of how cameras should be like.

I also know as a camera dealer, many young boys still interested in a serious camera, but not the system idea. I've found this out by interviewing 120 boys(younger than 25) who bought one of the major mirrorless or D-SLR mount system cameras from us and returned it. The top reason why they decided to return it was that they felt the system burden was just too much to keep on their shoulder.

They told us when they realized how many lenses they'd actually need to do all what they wanted to do with their camera, they decided to give it up. It was too expensive and too annoyingly space-taking, and that'd be a big burden on them as they were still very young and therefore they need more money for many things.

 

So the current trend of upping the prices of all cameras to make up for the lost unit sales will not work, actually it will kill the industry. Like Thom Hogan's latest article says it very well, I think the companies may not be dying but the old fashioned photography industry, especially the accessory makers, publishers, LCD protector makers, etc, are all dying with the idea of the 90s style of print based photography that always discussed at sites like Luminous Landscapes and DPR. So the only one real solution to the industry is to ignore the old fanatics and listen to the smartphone generation people.

  

UPDATE :I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

 

The D800 boom in many camera fora made Nikon really damn stupid , but is Nikon the only one real victim of it?

  

UPDATE2: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

 

After all, a good camera system requires a set of great glass and speed lite system and determination to support it.

If the body alone performance is everything then the A99MK2 is selling like hotcakes every where, but in reality no one takes that high risk.....because no one trusts Sony that much.

I think sometimes public perception of a manufacture is very important, and Sony needs serious effort to improve their brand image, just a couple of great bodies do not do all the bad name fix for them.

 

So now I am not very positive about the current form of mirrorless and strongly doubt any of these Sony, Fuji, m43,etc would survive......say more than 5 years....

It is basically the same boring tech used as in the D-SLR, nothing new or revolutionary at all.....and so I think Nikon still has some time left to figure the best way to do mirrorless out for the longer term future since none of the current mirrorless doing it right. In other words, if they ditch the F mount and go all electronic mount like the FE or EF but with a bit wider mount throat design , then they would have the best FF mount system in the market. But they must do it very quick and do it right at the very first try just like when they did it with the D3/D300 launch......back in 2007.

  

UPDATE: I think Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

Now I strongly believe Nikon is really dying.

   

via WordPress ift.tt/2yJnmBw

 

The law offices of Pomerantz LLP in New York have filed a series of civil suits against MGT Capital Investment and its executive officers on behalf of several of the trading firm’s past or present customers. The suits allege that between October 9, 2015 and September 7, 2018, the company violated laws set forth by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that resulted in damages to several of its clients.

 

Between 2013 and April 2016, MGT described itself as “engaged in the business of acquiring, developing and monetizing social assets in the online and mobile gaming space, as well as the social casino industry.” In May 2016, however, the company revamped itself as a cybersecurity firm and developed bitcoin mining operations in both Washington state and Sweden. It was during this time that the company’s shares rose to some of their highest levels.

 

Stephen Schaeffer is the chief operating officer of MGT. Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, he said that he believes any monetary losses suffered by clients are relative to the bearish conditions being witnessed in today’s crypto market.

 

“The bitcoin mining market has been tough,” he commented. “There’s no sugarcoating that. Our share prices exploded with the price of bitcoin, just as the difficulty rate for miners drastically increased. As bitcoin dropped, so did the value of our shares, but for miners, things got even worse because the difficulty rate stayed quite high. That means we’ve been spending considerably more in energy costs than we were last year.”

 

He continued, “I believe we hear too much redirect from miners on how great mining is and has been. Well, that’s true for a longer time frame. I have personally been mining since 2012 with an average monthly profit of about 15 percent. This, however, is not true in 2018. Profitability has been very marginal, and, for those not paying the absolute lowest prices for power and running lean operations, it has resulted in losses or even the closing of operations for some.”

 

Schaeffer contends that the company has taken steps to address some of these financial issues. MGT is currently working to move its miners from its Swedish facility, where costs have been too high and unpredictable, to the U.S. The company is negotiating with a number of locations in the country’s central northern region and anticipates relocating its mining operations back onto American soil very soon.

 

But the plaintiffs tell a different story. In 2015, Barry Honig, a leading small cap investor, and several of his associates purchased shares in MGT and obtained control over its management team. The suits claim that Honig forced the company into a “misleading stock promotion” that sought to drive up the prices and respective trading volumes of the company’s stock holdings. Honig is accused of later dumping his own shares for a serious profit while taking “numerous steps” to conceal his team’s involvement.

 

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs also say that Honig repeatedly made false and misleading claims regarding MGT’s operations and compliance policies, and that customers were never informed of the illegal pump-and-dump scheme. In addition, they say the defendants have a long history of engaging in illegal conduct relating to the sale and purchase of securities, and that they exercised inappropriate control over the company and placed MGT in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

 

While Shaeffer says he cannot comment on ongoing litigation, he did state, “Mr. Honig has no role within MGT other than being an early investor years ago. In fact, MGT was sued by Mr. Honig in a claim that was dropped with prejudice. I joined the company as an employee after Mr. Honig was no longer an investor. Mr. Honig has never had the authority to speak for the company and he’s had no input into the company.”

 

In September 2016, MGT’s CEO Robert Ladd received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) demanding “certain information” from the company. The commission filed a complaint against MGT two years later and subsequently published a report stating that executives were involved in the illegal pump-and-dump system. As a result, shares in the company fell to less than 40 cents each, roughly 91 percent less than where they had been during the company’s peak period.

 

“We made public the SEC subpoena in an effort to be fully transparent to our shareholders,” Schaeffer said. “The nature and intent of the document was a request for information regarding a group of specific accredited investors who had invested in the public company prior to 2016. There were no specific claims or allegations made at that time, just a request for information regarding communications between the company and these particular investors.”

 

An original version of this article incorrectly stated that MGT received a subpoena in 2016. The article has since been amended to convey that the company’s CEO received the subpoena.

 

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

 

Class Action Suits Launched Against Cryptocurrency Mining Investment Company syndicated from smartoptionio.wordpress.com/

 

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

via WordPress ift.tt/2P12ws5

 

Zoom Telephonics (OTCQB:ZMTP)(OTC: OTCQB:ZMTP) is an asset-light engineering and architecture abutting based in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

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Since we aboriginal wrote up Zoom about two years ago at $2 per share, the aggregation has added than angled its revenues from $14M LTM to $33M LTM, bigger gross margins by 800bps, accomplished solid bottom-line profitability, and paid off debt so it is now in a net banknote position. The business advance has been exceptional.

 

The cogent advance in both revenues and profits is attributable to (1) the roll-out of new WiFi networking articles and (2) bazaar allotment assets in the direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) cable modem market.

 

In 2016, Zoom’s bazaar allotment of the DTC cable modem class was in the single-digits. Today, Zoom owns 30% of the market, about 6x higher. The class is now a three-way “oligopoly” with Zoom, Netgear (NTGR), and Arris (ARRS) calm accounting for 90% of sales.

 

Two factors explain Zoom’s success. First, Zoom’s designs are best-in-class with its articles consistently accepting top chump ratings on Amazon vs. Zoom’s peers. Second, starting in 2016, Zoom entered into a abiding authorization with Motorola to use its top-100 all-around cast on Zoom’s products. The aggregate of abundant articles and a abundant cast is a one-two bite that’s been adamantine to beat, arch to abundant advance on both the top and basal line.

 

The numbers are compelling. Assuming $45M revenues over the abutting 12 months (as artefact roll-outs abide and the class grows at a double-digit clip), a $30M break-even level, and a 30% net incremental accumulation margin, Zoom’s net assets would be $4.5M and its antithesis would be abutting to 30c per share.

 

That puts this debt-free, advance aggregation at beneath than a 6x assorted of net assets – far too bargain for a business with so abundant befalling ahead.

 

Zoom’s beauteous business success has not been reflected in Zoom’s banal price. Today, Zoom’s shares barter beneath the amount at the time of our aboriginal write-up.

 

Why? Allotment of the account is that Zoom charcoal off-the-radar of best investors, trading on the OTC with a non-promotional administration aggregation that has been focused on the business, not on administration the disinterestedness adventure with investors.

 

Another affair has been the animation in Zoom’s after-effects quarter-to-quarter. As a micro-cap with best of its sales from its portfolio of cable modem SKUs, the aggregation does not (yet) accept some of the stabilizers of a above business.

 

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For example, in Q2 2018, Wal-Mart (~10-15% of Zoom’s sales) absitively to abate the admeasurement of its cable modem class and cut one of its two Zoom SKU’s. Instead of managing the account down, Wal-Mart blew out of the SKU at heavily-discounted prices.

 

Many of the modems were biconcave up by third-party distributors in East Asia, who promptly re-listed the modems on Amazon as “new” for below-list prices – which acquired problems with Amazon’s algorithm and acquired Zoom to briefly lose the coveted chump “buy box” on its listings to the third-party distributors. As a result, Q2 2018 acquirement advance alone came in at 10%, black investors.

 

We anticipate the issues from Q2 2018 are in the rear-view mirror, and that Q3 2018 should be aback to “normal” as the discounting we saw in Q2 2018 has disappeared. That said, the Q2 aftereffect showed how important it is for Zoom to abide growing and diversifying its acquirement and accumulation streams to add “ballast” to the business.

 

Finally, there has been affair about assumption planning. For 40 years, Zoom has been run by its CEO/Founder Frank Manning, who is advancing retirement age. Without a almsman in place, there has been ample “key man” accident to the Zoom story.

 

The aggregate of these factors, added the about attenuate clamminess in Zoom shares accustomed abundant cabal ownership, has larboard Zoom’s banal trading at a atom of our ambition amount of $5-7 per share.

 

Zoom’s advertisement two weeks ago that it has assassin a new President and COO, Joe Wytanis, is a big deal. The announcement, in our view, sets the aggregation on a bright cardinal aisle while advisedly de-risking the advance thesis.

 

First, Zoom’s assumption planning is now solved. With a bright #2 who has authoritative acquaintance and abysmal industry ability and contacts, the “key man” accident in a Zoom advance has been finer eliminated.

 

Second, accepted CEO Manning has been a afraid and abortive apostle for Zoom’s disinterestedness story. All break are that COO Wytanis, who has able advice abilities and a history of acknowledged media assignment and messaging, can be a agitator to allotment the Zoom adventure with a broader abject of investors and allure absorption to the stock. Zoom can re-list its shares to the NASDAQ barter already its actor disinterestedness alcove $5M (almost there) and its banal trades aloft $3 per allotment for bristles after days.

 

Third, and best important, is the befalling to aggrandize Zoom’s cable modem sales above DTC. In the cable modem category, alone 5% of sales are DTC – 95% of cable modems are awash B2B to cable companies for accession in chump homes. Despite authoritative 30% of the DTC market, Zoom’s sales to cable companies are finer zero.

 

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In added words, the cable aggregation befalling is 20x the admeasurement of the DTC market. This presents tremendous, alpha upside for Zoom.

 

Zoom’s cable modems are already able and accustomed by the cable companies – they aloof don’t buy them, as Zoom has never had a sales baton in abode able of arise the market.

 

With COO Wytanis’s arrival, for the aboriginal time Zoom has such a being in a position to drive these sales. Wytanis was amenable for cable aggregation relationships at Infosys, at Scientific-Atlanta/Cisco, and at SMC Networks, so he brings a abysmal rolodex and abounding longstanding relationships to the table.

 

We anticipate COO Wytanis can advice Zoom to assuredly able the cable aggregation market. At 20x the admeasurement of its absolute DTC market, the abeyant upside for Zoom is enormous.

 

B2B cable modem sales are acceptable the “lowest blind fruit” for Zoom. But there is accession befalling for the aggregation that may be alike bigger.

 

As Zoom has broadcast its cable modem sales, it additionally has added articles that anatomy allotment of the “Connected Home” and Internet-of-Things (“IoT”) ecosystem. For example, the aggregation afresh launched software-enabled cellular sensors that can accidentally adviser homes over the cellular arrangement for baptize damage, electricity loss, heat/cold issues, and added abeyant problems.

 

With Zoom already affairs so abounding WiFi networking accessories into chump homes (modems, routers, ambit extenders, etc.), there is an befalling for Zoom to body a powerful, consumer-friendly ecosystem of affiliated devices.

 

On COO Wytanis’s anterior call, he again accent that this is the approaching of in-home technology articles – and that he sees Zoom as an outstanding belvedere from which to body a Affiliated Home business.

 

In added words, COO Wytanis has a bright eyes for Zoom’s future. The aggregate of advance from new artefact roll-outs and the DTC cable modem category, added aberrant upside opportunities with cable companies and Zoom’s “Connected Home” business, action investors “lots of means to win” on a position in Zoom’s shares.

 

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As with any investment, there are risks to a position in Zoom shares. The US tariffs on China, admitting apery aloof a few dollars per device, charge be anesthetized on by all sellers of cable modems and routers. In addition, Zoom charcoal a baby aggregation and the accession of COO Wytanis does not acceding a acknowledged access into cable modem sales to cable companies.

 

But that said, we don’t anticipate investors are advantageous for the upside. At beneath than 6x advanced earnings, and with no net debt on the antithesis sheet, Zoom is a well-capitalized, growing, assisting business with a approved clue almanac of business execution.

 

In advancing quarters, we see Zoom (1) demonstrating that the issues from Q2 2018 about the Amazon “buy box” are in the rear-view mirror, (2) extending its authorization acceding with Motorola, and potentially accretion it to accommodate added Affiliated Home products, (3) accomplishing an up-listing to the NASDAQ, (4) alpha to access the cable aggregation bazaar that is 20x the admeasurement of Zoom’s absolute DTC market, (5) relaunching its broker communications accomplishment with a beginning disinterestedness adventure and COO Wytanis’s involvement, and (6) steadily architecture a artefact apartment of Affiliated Home accessories to position the aggregation for area chump appeal is headed in years to come.

 

As anniversary of these catalysts is achieved, we see abundant upside to both revenues and profits – and an alike added acute risk/reward for Zoom’s shares. At the accepted allotment price, we amount Zoom a “Strong Buy.”

 

The columnist of this announcement and accompanying bodies or entities (“Author”) currently holds a continued position in this security. Columnist may buy added shares, or advertise some or all of Author’s shares, at any time. Columnist has no obligation to acquaint anyone of any changes to Author’s appearance of ZMTP. Please argue your financial, legal, and/or tax admiral afore authoritative any advance decisions. While Columnist has approved to present facts it believes are accurate, Columnist makes no representation as to the accurateness or abyss of any advice independent in this note. The clairvoyant agrees not to advance based on this note, and to accomplish his or her own due activity and analysis afore demography a position in ZMTP. READER AGREES TO HOLD HARMLESS AND HEREBY WAIVES ANY CAUSES OF ACTION AGAINST AUTHOR RELATED TO THE NOTE ABOVE. As with all investments, admonition emptor.

 

Disclosure: I am/we are continued ZMTP.

 

I wrote this commodity myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not accepting advantage for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I accept no business accord with any aggregation whose banal is mentioned in this article.

 

Editor’s Note: This commodity covers one or added microcap stocks. Please be acquainted of the risks associated with these stocks.

 

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So how long have we had to write about "the death of D-SRL " thing to make it actually happen?

  

Many camera forum experts suggesting Nikon should go FX mirrorles soon, or they must fail........many of them say something like below all the time.

"The writing is on the wall. Cost-cutting is a mantra with camera makers today and a big, complex prism and mirror assembly cost more than an EVF. They will all disappear. I'd be curious to see the relative costs of manufacturing of say a Nikon D810 and a Sony A7R2. The CEO of Sigma won't want to completely ruffle the feathers of Nikon or Canon who stubbornly resist the move to at least a credible line of mirrorless cameras so he's not going to come out and say, "reflex is dead" but it is going to be, as dead as plate film cameras became when 35mm roll film arrived."

 

Yeah the mirrorless fanatics are always aggressive and some times stupidly bellicose to any one does not share the same extremely positive view on their beloved so called Mirrorless that they believe to be some kind of real disruptive innovation of camera..........but really?

 

We always hear this kind of extreme mirrorless fanatic arguments in every camera related forum these days, but now I have to ask them how long have you been saying the same BS already? I think I was one of the very first of this kind to have said about it in 2011 as I got my first NEX5n, but has anything changed since then?

 

And why if it is so much cheaper to build a decent all around mirrorless camera like the A7R2 or the XT2 than a similarly performing D-SLR of their respective sensor class, then why these mirrorless at least decent ones are so much more expensive than the same class similarly specified D-SLRs?

The Nikon D810 costs only about 2100 US, the Sony A7R2 costs 3200 US or so still, if the EVF is so much cheaper than the decent quality OVF in the D810 class of cameras , then why is the Sony so much more expensive?

 

Are those Sony/ Olympus/Fuji fanatics do not feel cheated or shafted by those mirrorless makers they defend to death if, as they say, the EVF bodies are so much cheaper to build than the similar performing OVF bodies?

I used to think it is really cheap to build the so-called mirrorless when I was on my second NEX7, but the average price of the decent mirrorless cameras with a great EVF have never come down, actually it seems going up not down.

The NEX7, which was obviously designed for higher end APS-C market than the A6XXX bodies was much cheaper than the A6300 or the A6500, let alone the Fuji XT2 or the X-Pro2.

The Olympus EM1 was much cheaper than the EM1MK2, the Panasonic GH4 was much cheaper than its successor the GH5, and all of those m43 tiny sensor cameras are much more expensive than the Nikon D7200 , see my point?

At every level, the average price for a decent mirrroless body is increasing........every year and much less cost effective than a decent D-SLR like the D7200 is now.

Maybe it is the economy of scale but the mirrorless price seems never come down, and the average build quality of the so-called mirrorless cameras seem to be deteriorating rapidly, the NEX7 was the best built mirrorless besides the super expensive Panasonic GH5 and the oversized Samsung NX1 and it was really cheap back in 2012.

Since the NEX7 era, those mirrorless fanatics claiming the same coming total extinction of D-SLRs every month(if not every day), but the market share of the mirrorless is just not increasing at all, in fact, decreasing.

The market share of the mirrorless cameras peaked in late 2013 with about 28.4 percent(of the entire ILC market) after the first A7 launch, but after that it has been gradually decreasing, and strangely enough no big media talks about it.

I am not a D-SLR fan at all, in fact far from it. I have been a mirrorless shooter since the first NEX5 and always believed the current form of so-called mirrorless would take over up to almost 90 percent of the entire ILC camera market and having written about that more than 90 times since April, 2012, but in reality it has never happened(yet).

If any of those mirrrorless fanatics were right, by now every D-SLR should have been all dead, or at least should have become an irrelevant player(super nitche products like Leica M). But in reality, they still own about 74.2 percent of the entire ILC market.........this means the so called mirrorless makers have only 25.8 percent of the market share.

It is really deplorable.....pity!

 

So why are mirrorless cameras not selling well?

Well there are many reasons but I think the main reason is the price- most of mirrorless cameras do not seem to be a good value, they are way too expensive for what they can do especially as a whole system, and thay really do not look innovative or different enough to make those long time Canon or Nikon shooters with lots of CN glass / accessories to move to any of those so-called mirrorless systems......

 

Since Canon has owned about 55 percent of the entire ILC market since about 2015,until these mirrorless makers takes some of Canon's market they will never gain anything or even not make any money..

 

Now the sad reality is that none of these mirrorless makers are breaking even but reporting some big loss every year, even Sony is not profitable at all(the entire company seems to be profitable, though).

Contrary to the forum consensus Sony has lost about 5 percent of their market share since they fully moved to E mount main, when they reported their all time peak market share in the year end of 2012, they had about 14.1 percent of the market share. Now they have only about 11.2 percent of it. Fuji is about 6 percent or so. It is really pathetic.

Honestly, Sony has been a big loser in terms of sheer sells. They have invested more R& D money than any other player in this game, but they haven't got any profitable return from it yet.

Canon, on the other hand, has invested so little money and gained about 14 percent of the market share in just last year alone.

I think until Canon seriously decides to disrupt their own EF mount D-SLRs with their version of the Sony A7R or Fuji X-T2, the mirrorless market share always stays very small-kind of irrelevant. In 2012 when I had my second copy of Sony NEX7, I thought by now Sony would've already become no1 in this business, but it never happened...........

As we look at all the major mirrorless camera makers financial results, we must wonder why they are not doing really well, not gaining anything over Canon and Nikon.

Nikon hasn't done anything right in the last 4 years or so, and almost all their recent products have had an issue or two, or even recalled,but in terms of sheer market share and sells they are doing much better than any of these over-hyped mirrorless makers. Nikon's finanical issue at least their camera division is greatly exaggerated and at least still much more robust than any of the mirrorless players.

 

Now many people ask us why so many people actually GOING BACK to Nikon or Canon recently despite of the incessant silly claims from the mirrorless fanatic camera sites that mirrorless have gained much sells and almost completely killing the lazy two asleep camera giants- that is never happening..........

 

Well it is easy because the so-called mirrorless systems are all flawed and overpriced at best. They all have a few serious issues as a whole system and that is why many of those real working event pros going back to their old systems after having evaluated one or two so-called mirrorless systems for a month or so........many of them are not very rich to keep many camera systems for their work, and for work Nikon or Canon system is much more reliable with better support.

It is really as simple as that.

Anyway I tried to write about the current state of each of the 5 major mirrorless players below:

 

1>Sony: As many of our customers rightly pointed out, it is the most interesting one besides Panasonic right now. Honestly as a long time Sony system user(I've owned both A and E but mostly FF E mount stuffs now) with lots of E mount only lenses, I want to Sony to become the no1 dominant player in this business(other wise, I will lose too much money in transition). They have a lot of good things going for their system now. Sony has done many things actually right or at least interesting; trading their already established market share in D-SLRs for a similar MILC market share.

Since they thought the new MILC market would definitely be the future and quick to take over most part of the D-SLR market, but that never happened yet, and in the process Sony has lost some big money on their stills camera business, however, their big and powerful enough motion camera division and sensor division have made more than enough money to make up for it. So the entire Sony DI (digital imaging) group is reporting some profit but the stills business is not doing very well.

I think the so-called mirrroless would eventually eat the big part of the ILC market but not so soon because Sony and other mirrorless makers trying to shift themselves to only high-end market with an unreasonably steep price hike thrown in every iteration.

So they have a lot of issues in the short run, but in the longer run I am quite sure they are doing it right. The way Sony has integrated their excellent video and stills products really change the way low budget productions shoot their films. Also Sony is the only one FF camera manufacture to give us the choice of 3 different sensors in the same type of boring but solid A7X2 type body. While the A7X2 bodies are still not perfect, not as durable as the most powerful Panasonic or Samsung crop sensor bodies such as the GH5, the NX1, the A7R2 and A7M2 are both arguably already great cameras and in case of the A7R2 probably we can safely say it is a great camera, or at least the best all around FF camera ever made in this price range. The lens line is also becoming quite solid with high quality but compact Zeiss Batis line primes and Sony GM series zooms, they are quickly filling out the gap in their lens line and I would say maybe they do not have as many lenses as Canon or Nikon legacy mounts, but the average lens quality is much higher in Sony system since all Sony FE and E mount lenses are new designs without silly film-era-lens design stipulations.

So they might be the best positioned for the future, especially in the long run, however, they still have to execute on that future by carefully listening to their long time customers like us.

They must improve the A7X2 body quality further in the upcoming A7X3 series, or need to add a new more rugged pro grade system that can withstand freezing cold weather in a series of harsh winter mountain shooting sessions. They need to improve tethering capability with Capture One, but I am sure this one will be rectified very soon since Sony has been closely working with Phase One for this, and this is why we can get the C1 for Sony so cheap. Thanks for the Phase One-Sony deal, and I think this is the biggest pro of the Sony E and A system over Canon Nikon Fuji. After all, Capture One Pro is the best RAW developer.....

Another so-called Sony specific issue was that they just exhausted users by updating 3k bodies every 8 months or so, but this one also already fixed. The clear sign for it is the long life span the A7M2 has had and the A7R2 seems to have had. They will not be replaced by the end of this spring...So in case of the A7M2, it has had 3 years of life and it is a long time for any tech product.

As I said the second generation A7 series bodies are already very good, so unlike the first original series , they would not update these in a rush, and I think it is a good thing.

Sony haters always pan them for their terrible customer support especially repair quality and unreasonably expensive charges for that, but it is really improving and I must say it is now one of the best at least in Asia. They have the thoroughest most complete distribution channels in camera business, and they have the most service stations throughout Asia.

Nikon used to have the best service at least in Japan, but now both Sony and Canon have surpassed them in this department.

So Sony is getting better and quickly fixing all known bugs and issues at faster pace than any one else in this game.

However, in the even longer run,their extreme focus on expensive high end market will eventually force them to go the same path they went in the HiFi audio market..

 

2>Fuji: They also have reliability issue and more seriously they have RAW converter issue , it is really hard for any Windows user to find a decent quality RAWC for the X-T2 or X-T20. On top of that, the silly design over functionality kind of retro UI and ergonomics aren't every one's cup of tea..........

I always want to love a Fuji X something when it comes out and try it every time new X body comes out, but every time I end up hating the silly retro user interface and lack of DXO support.

Also, most of Fuji X bodies I tired had terribly bad battery life, actually they were all much worse than my A7X cameras in this regard. So I really want to love the X system, but I must admit it is an overpriced style over functionality kind of system and I do not like their cameras at least until they give us non-retoro body with normal Bayer or organic sensor choice.....I do not like the X-Trans at all, and I consider it worse than the latest generation m43 sensors used in the GH5, the EM1MK2, or the Pen F.

Their Kaizen policy may have led their poorly designed X system this far.

But like many of Ex-Xsystem users pointed out, they can no longer gain from just listening to their customer requests, as customers just think in terms of existing things, not possible new things. If they want to get more new users coming into their odd obscure X system, then they must become better at internal innovation that solves real user problems that their users do not even know how to solve, or they cannot even imagine having those problems in their existing Fuji cameras.

Personally, I think, if Fuji continues the silly retro-style over actual usability concept, they will eventually fail it miserably.

 

3>Canon EOS M mount: well what I can say? honestly the EOS M5 is a great body in real life, but its spec sheet is way behind the time for the suggested price, especially for Video market. It has no 4k, no 120p, no 422-10bit, no proper microphone jack, etc. And the sensor is , while it is a bit better than the poor Xtrans 24mp sensor, still way behind the current Sony 24mp chip in the latest Sony APS-C such as the A6500. But other than that, at least in real life practical use for stills, it is really surprisingly a good camera with very cheap, compact but sharp lenses.

The EF-M22mm f2 is a stellar lens really sharp for the price and even in absolute sense.

It beats the oversized Fuji XF23mm f1.4 hands down without the super annoying X-trans artifacts. The EF-M11-22 and 55-200 are both quite decent zooms too. The EF-M11-22 actually beats the expensive Fuji XF 10-24/4 in resolution and distortion control, and the Canon lens is about 4 times cheaper than the Fuji.

So while the EOS M5 is not on par with the very latest mirrorless APS-C cameras over 1k range in spec sheet comparison, it is actually a very cheap and decent performing system, especially if you already have some of good Canon EF or EF-S mount lenses. The adapter is cheap and it is made by Canon-not by any obscure lens maker or mount adapter maker unlike the Sigma EF-E adapter or the SpeedBooster crap, and therefore all native Canon EF , EF-S and EF-M lenses are 100 percent compatible with the EOS-M5.

That is why despite of many very negative views on this system from self-proclaimed armchair forum experts , the EOS M system is rapidly gaining its market share, it is just super economical and actually a very practical system. I personally like its very organized menu and highly sophisticated intuitive touch interface.

 

But I think for pro level FF mirrrorless system, Canon will definitely use the EF mount since going a totally new mount does not make the FF lenses much smaller or better.....so why should Canon give up the already completely electronic EF mount with the biggest lens catalog to date.

 

4>Olympus: As Thom says it is already a very matured system , maybe almost as matured as the Canon Nikon D-SLR duo...........and I think almost all bugs and quirks of the systems are already ironed out effectively, and almost all their products are now excellent.

But this clear sign of the system maturity means that they've already done almost everything they could conceive of for the system and nearing to the point where there they have no way to make significant improvement in every future iteration.

Or at least it is extremely difficult to get any extra out of the m43 sensor from now on, they are already getting very close to that point that they have once reached to in their Original 43 era in 2010 or so. Unless there is a big new sensor tech breakthrough they will eventually reach the point and will suffer from the hell of the small sensor IQ limit that they have set up for themselves.

 

Even if there is a big sensor tech breakthrough in the next 2 years time, that will also benefit the bigger sensor groups, too, and therefore the big IQ gap between the m43 vs the 35mm format will not become smaller.

Actually the excellent set of m43 primes can mitigate or even defy the m43 sensor limits........but that actually makes the m43 system much more expensive than a basic FF system with a set of moderately fast primes or f4 type of zooms.

And the faster you want to go with the system the bigger it gets and this basic optical logic also applies to m43 system. At this point m43 loses almost all its meaning and becomes as heavy and big as the bigger sensor rivals.

But if you can accept the obvious sensor size related IQ limits , then it is an excellent system.

It is the most well balanced system in many ways; it is very fast in both operation and AF speed, it is very practical with the super effective dust buster system, it is very tough and well sealed, and it can be very small with a set of light lenses(if you give up a couple of stops of light gathering power).

So IMHO, I really think Olympus should focus on developing moderately fast super sharp primes and zooms, not repeating the same mistake they made in their 43 era with the huge set of f2 zooms and f1.2 primes. They shouldn't try competing with so-called FF for DOF to DOF , but design more balanced system based around a set of super sharp f1.8 primes and f2.8-4 zooms for those who do not want or need the super shallow DOF or the extra light gathering power of the 35mm system at the big cost of huge back breaking size and weight.

Still even the sensor IQ limitations the m43 is a very interesting and very well balanced system for many many people who do not need the ultimate speed or thinnest DOF that the so-called 35mm FF plus a set of fast primes and f2.8 zooms provide...... For me if they can solve the sensor size related IQ issues, it's the best system for me. In other words, if they could make the sensor shift high resolution mode works for handheld work, I would definitely choose m43 over so-called FF or APS-C.

So to me it seems like a race between Sony makes the FE system fully functional without the many known FE system related quirks and bugs(with better more intuitive UI), vs m43 makes the high resolution mode works handheld or some amazing sensor tech breakthrough like the complete utilization of the Organic sensor for consumer market actually occurs.

 

IMHO, the point of sufficiency issue is really overlooked by many FF fans, but at some point a smaller sensor system- the APS-C or the m43 gets there for many of us and at that point many of us will ditch the so-called FF system, or at least some of us will find the smaller sensor format better balanced..

Personally I really really hate the term FF and I think we should use "35mm format" instead of FF. The FF sounds too arrogant and stupid....The sensor size is always relative to the other formats and the 35mm is not the biggest sensor format. So why do we have to call it FULL FRAME?

 

5>Panasonic: In my honest opinion, Panasonic has been the true tech innovation leader in ILC market after Samsung gave it up completely in 2015. It is really interesting how they've taken a shifty calculating tactic and made it really work for them: the most complete form of hybrid-ability. They have made over three dozen mirrorless cameras in eight years and they were the very first company to have actually materialized the current mirrorless concept, but almost no one talks about them for their stills aspects at all but solely for their incredible video integration in their stills cameras. So they basically succeeded in their tactful game-changing mission.

Now after the incredible GH3, GH4 and everything after that, the game has been changed successfully for them and now it is played by their set rules not by others.

So many hats off to Panasonic. But do not forget although most of people see the Panasonic flagship camera series the GH as the pure video flagship and if you do not care much about video, it is not for you, it is actually even as a pure stills camera probably the best m43 ever, and in terms of sheer functionality and speed it beats everything else in the market regardless of sensor format or body class.

I think Panasonic is unfairly underrated. Even the cheap G85 is incredibly good for the modest price and size, and also in absolute sense. It is blazingly fast, the AF is incredibly accurate, it can even beat the best D-SLR like the D500, the D5, the 1DX and the a99MK2 in lowlight AF department, it is really incredible. The GH5 is really extremely good, competing only with itself.

I really believe that Panasonic would actually dominate the mirrorless market if they were to design a GH5 FF for around 3000 USD price market. Even a FF version of the G85 may make them the no1 in this catergoy and only second to Canon in the entire ILC business. The GH is and the latest G are extremely reliable and extremely tough, built like a real tank to withstand heavy use out in the field, even in an extreme cold mountain or a frozen lake or even in the North Pole.

It is splash/dust/ freeze proof, freeze-proof down to -15-degrees in addition to splash / dust-proof construction. Like Panasonic themselves say this camera can go everywhere you can.

I think Panasonic should make a larger sensor version of the GH5 and the G85, with a high resolution square format 32 by 32 or at least 24.6 by 24.6 sensor, then I am sure they will be able to completely change the way this game will be played, and really reignite the sluggish stills camera industry.

So I guess I really want Panasonic to succeed in this game that may help them to design a second larger sensor version of their already excellent 43 system.

I mean if they come up with FF GH5 or G85 tomorrow with at aleast 5 lenses, I would sell all my Sony and Nikon so-called FF cameras......

 

As I write above there is no-even one- flawless camera system from any of mirrorless manufactures, however, if you pick up two or three of these above with two different sets of strengths, then it may be at least for you good enough systems even if you do have to own two different sets of lenses. I personally concluded although I really want to go only one brand kit for practicality reason, for now I at least need 2 brand kits and for me that seems like Panasonic or Olympus and Sony or maybe Canon.

The m43 and the Sony FE make a great combo and that can cover almost everything I do with my cameras........I find m43 the best suited for video, macro and light travel stuffs and probably for street, I think I use my Sony for more tripod based stuffs or high resolution required stuffs or when I need a good manual focus lens such as the new Voiklander 12mm f5.6 or 15mm f4.

Now, I just tried the new Voiklander 40mm f1.2 and it is incredibly good, I will definitely get this one for my A7R and A7R2, and this lens will instantly make my A7X system an indispensable camera system to me.

 

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina and Zeiss, Sony seems to have developed arguably one of the best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon are trying very hard to shut all thirdparties out of their respective FF system at any cost. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and those people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no focus peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard, let alone to the fastest mirrorless cameras like the XT2 or the GH5.

  

Having said all above points though, I must admit it's all about short term view of the business, and I must also admit my gut feeling tells me the final winner of the future camera market won't be any of these traditional camera companies, they have no vision for the future, and that is the real problem.

I think the final winner is something like the Light L16 with a bit better sensor tech and much more powerful internal processor. The future is computational camera not the so called mirrorless, we camera fanatics always see it from a traditional camera user's view point, and so we tend to overlook what is actually important to many of normal camera buyers.

 

The real biggest problem of the Japanese camera companies is that they do not listen to the young people: there are many young people who I know are actually interested in photography but find it too expensive for their meager income.....but the entire industry is trying to up the average camera price every iteration, so how they can get the young interested? Bieng young means usually not rich, many times poor.

And even before discussing about the price issue, we must realize that no current major camera companies have actually tried inventing new 21st century U.I. for the smartphone generation boys and girls, they've never made it always connected or programmable, so how can the smartphone generation people get interested in any of the old 20 century minded camera systems that forces them to buy many many lenses and accessories to do anything well.

 

The camera companies've just listened to the forum fanatics too much too long, and remember the fanatics are mostly old men in his 60s or 70s. Plus, the Japanese camera companies are all run by almost 70y/o men in expensive grey suits that does not understand the real needs of the young people........so they do not see why their products are unappealing to the young.

 

I am sure there are very extremely talented young engineers, and managers in these camera companies, but the old bosses do not let them do anything really interesting, the old bosses just force the young managers to share their dated 1990's idea of how cameras should be like.

I also know as a camera dealer, many young boys still interested in a serious camera, but not the system idea. I've found this out by interviewing 120 boys(younger than 25) who bought one of the major mirrorless or D-SLR mount system cameras from us and returned it. The top reason why they decided to return it was that they felt the system burden was just too much to keep on their shoulder.

They told us when they realized how many lenses they'd actually need to do all what they wanted to do with their camera, they decided to give it up. It was too expensive and too annoyingly space-taking, and that'd be a big burden on them as they were still very young and therefore they need more money for many things.

 

So the current trend of upping the prices of all cameras to make up for the lost unit sales will not work, actually it will kill the industry. Like Thom Hogan's latest article says it very well, I think the companies may not be dying but the old fashioned photography industry, especially the accessory makers, publishers, LCD protector makers, etc, are all dying with the idea of the 90s style of print based photography that always discussed at sites like Luminous Landscapes and DPR. So the only one real solution to the industry is to ignore the old fanatics and listen to the smartphone generation people.

  

UPDATE :I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

 

The D800 boom in many camera fora made Nikon really damn stupid , but is Nikon the only one real victim of it?

  

UPDATE2: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

 

After all, a good camera system requires a set of great glass and speed lite system and determination to support it.

If the body alone performance is everything then the A99MK2 is selling like hotcakes every where, but in reality no one takes that high risk.....because no one trusts Sony that much.

I think sometimes public perception of a manufacture is very important, and Sony needs serious effort to improve their brand image, just a couple of great bodies do not do all the bad name fix for them.

 

So now I am not very positive about the current form of mirrorless and strongly doubt any of these Sony, Fuji, m43,etc would survive......say more than 5 years....

It is basically the same boring tech used as in the D-SLR, nothing new or revolutionary at all.....and so I think Nikon still has some time left to figure the best way to do mirrorless out for the longer term future since none of the current mirrorless doing it right. In other words, if they ditch the F mount and go all electronic mount like the FE or EF but with a bit wider mount throat design , then they would have the best FF mount system in the market. But they must do it very quick and do it right at the very first try just like when they did it with the D3/D300 launch......back in 2007.

   

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So how long have we had to write about "the death of D-SRL " thing to make it actually happen?(updated)

  

Many camera forum experts suggesting Nikon should go FX mirrorles soon, or they must fail........many of them say something like below all the time.

"The writing is on the wall. Cost-cutting is a mantra with camera makers today and a big, complex prism and mirror assembly cost more than an EVF. They will all disappear. I'd be curious to see the relative costs of manufacturing of say a Nikon D810 and a Sony A7R2. The CEO of Sigma won't want to completely ruffle the feathers of Nikon or Canon who stubbornly resist the move to at least a credible line of mirrorless cameras so he's not going to come out and say, "reflex is dead" but it is going to be, as dead as plate film cameras became when 35mm roll film arrived."

 

Yeah the mirrorless fanatics are always aggressive and some times stupidly bellicose to any one does not share the same extremely positive view on their beloved so called Mirrorless that they believe to be some kind of real disruptive innovation of camera..........but really?

 

We always hear this kind of extreme mirrorless fanatic arguments in every camera related forum these days, but now I have to ask them how long have you been saying the same BS already? I think I was one of the very first of this kind to have said about it in 2011 as I got my first NEX5n, but has anything changed since then?

 

And why if it is so much cheaper to build a decent all around mirrorless camera like the A7R2 or the XT2 than a similarly performing D-SLR of their respective sensor class, then why these mirrorless at least decent ones are so much more expensive than the same class similarly specified D-SLRs?

The Nikon D810 costs only about 2100 US, the Sony A7R2 costs 3200 US or so still, if the EVF is so much cheaper than the decent quality OVF in the D810 class of cameras , then why is the Sony so much more expensive?

 

Are those Sony/ Olympus/Fuji fanatics do not feel cheated or shafted by those mirrorless makers they defend to death if, as they say, the EVF bodies are so much cheaper to build than the similar performing OVF bodies?

I used to think it is really cheap to build the so-called mirrorless when I was on my second NEX7, but the average price of the decent mirrorless cameras with a great EVF have never come down, actually it seems going up not down.

The NEX7, which was obviously designed for higher end APS-C market than the A6XXX bodies was much cheaper than the A6300 or the A6500, let alone the Fuji XT2 or the X-Pro2.

The Olympus EM1 was much cheaper than the EM1MK2, the Panasonic GH4 was much cheaper than its successor the GH5, and all of those m43 tiny sensor cameras are much more expensive than the Nikon D7200 , see my point?

At every level, the average price for a decent mirrroless body is increasing........every year and much less cost effective than a decent D-SLR like the D7200 is now.

Maybe it is the economy of scale but the mirrorless price seems never come down, and the average build quality of the so-called mirrorless cameras seem to be deteriorating rapidly, the NEX7 was the best built mirrorless besides the super expensive Panasonic GH5 and the oversized Samsung NX1 and it was really cheap back in 2012.

Since the NEX7 era, those mirrorless fanatics claiming the same coming total extinction of D-SLRs every month(if not every day), but the market share of the mirrorless is just not increasing at all, in fact, decreasing.

The market share of the mirrorless cameras peaked in late 2013 with about 28.4 percent(of the entire ILC market) after the first A7 launch, but after that it has been gradually decreasing, and strangely enough no big media talks about it.

I am not a D-SLR fan at all, in fact far from it. I have been a mirrorless shooter since the first NEX5 and always believed the current form of so-called mirrorless would take over up to almost 90 percent of the entire ILC camera market and having written about that more than 90 times since April, 2012, but in reality it has never happened(yet).

If any of those mirrrorless fanatics were right, by now every D-SLR should have been all dead, or at least should have become an irrelevant player(super nitche products like Leica M). But in reality, they still own about 74.2 percent of the entire ILC market.........this means the so called mirrorless makers have only 25.8 percent of the market share.

It is really deplorable.....pity!

 

So why are mirrorless cameras not selling well?

Well there are many reasons but I think the main reason is the price- most of mirrorless cameras do not seem to be a good value, they are way too expensive for what they can do especially as a whole system, and thay really do not look innovative or different enough to make those long time Canon or Nikon shooters with lots of CN glass / accessories to move to any of those so-called mirrorless systems......

 

Since Canon has owned about 55 percent of the entire ILC market since about 2015,until these mirrorless makers takes some of Canon's market they will never gain anything or even not make any money..

 

Now the sad reality is that none of these mirrorless makers are breaking even but reporting some big loss every year, even Sony is not profitable at all(the entire company seems to be profitable, though).

Contrary to the forum consensus Sony has lost about 5 percent of their market share since they fully moved to E mount main, when they reported their all time peak market share in the year end of 2012, they had about 14.1 percent of the market share. Now they have only about 11.2 percent of it. Fuji is about 6 percent or so. It is really pathetic.

Honestly, Sony has been a big loser in terms of sheer sells. They have invested more R& D money than any other player in this game, but they haven't got any profitable return from it yet.

Canon, on the other hand, has invested so little money and gained about 14 percent of the market share in just last year alone.

I think until Canon seriously decides to disrupt their own EF mount D-SLRs with their version of the Sony A7R or Fuji X-T2, the mirrorless market share always stays very small-kind of irrelevant. In 2012 when I had my second copy of Sony NEX7, I thought by now Sony would've already become no1 in this business, but it never happened...........

As we look at all the major mirrorless camera makers financial results, we must wonder why they are not doing really well, not gaining anything over Canon and Nikon.

Nikon hasn't done anything right in the last 4 years or so, and almost all their recent products have had an issue or two, or even recalled,but in terms of sheer market share and sells they are doing much better than any of these over-hyped mirrorless makers. Nikon's finanical issue at least their camera division is greatly exaggerated and at least still much more robust than any of the mirrorless players.

 

Now many people ask us why so many people actually GOING BACK to Nikon or Canon recently despite of the incessant silly claims from the mirrorless fanatic camera sites that mirrorless have gained much sells and almost completely killing the lazy two asleep camera giants- that is never happening..........

 

Well it is easy because the so-called mirrorless systems are all flawed and overpriced at best. They all have a few serious issues as a whole system and that is why many of those real working event pros going back to their old systems after having evaluated one or two so-called mirrorless systems for a month or so........many of them are not very rich to keep many camera systems for their work, and for work Nikon or Canon system is much more reliable with better support.

It is really as simple as that.

Anyway I tried to write about the current state of each of the 5 major mirrorless players below:

 

1>Sony: As many of our customers rightly pointed out, it is the most interesting one besides Panasonic right now. Honestly as a long time Sony system user(I've owned both A and E but mostly FF E mount stuffs now) with lots of E mount only lenses, I want to Sony to become the no1 dominant player in this business(other wise, I will lose too much money in transition). They have a lot of good things going for their system now. Sony has done many things actually right or at least interesting; trading their already established market share in D-SLRs for a similar MILC market share.

Since they thought the new MILC market would definitely be the future and quick to take over most part of the D-SLR market, but that never happened yet, and in the process Sony has lost some big money on their stills camera business, however, their big and powerful enough motion camera division and sensor division have made more than enough money to make up for it. So the entire Sony DI (digital imaging) group is reporting some profit but the stills business is not doing very well.

I think the so-called mirrroless would eventually eat the big part of the ILC market but not so soon because Sony and other mirrorless makers trying to shift themselves to only high-end market with an unreasonably steep price hike thrown in every iteration.

So they have a lot of issues in the short run, but in the longer run I am quite sure they are doing it right. The way Sony has integrated their excellent video and stills products really change the way low budget productions shoot their films. Also Sony is the only one FF camera manufacture to give us the choice of 3 different sensors in the same type of boring but solid A7X2 type body. While the A7X2 bodies are still not perfect, not as durable as the most powerful Panasonic or Samsung crop sensor bodies such as the GH5, the NX1, the A7R2 and A7M2 are both arguably already great cameras and in case of the A7R2 probably we can safely say it is a great camera, or at least the best all around FF camera ever made in this price range. The lens line is also becoming quite solid with high quality but compact Zeiss Batis line primes and Sony GM series zooms, they are quickly filling out the gap in their lens line and I would say maybe they do not have as many lenses as Canon or Nikon legacy mounts, but the average lens quality is much higher in Sony system since all Sony FE and E mount lenses are new designs without silly film-era-lens design stipulations.

So they might be the best positioned for the future, especially in the long run, however, they still have to execute on that future by carefully listening to their long time customers like us.

They must improve the A7X2 body quality further in the upcoming A7X3 series, or need to add a new more rugged pro grade system that can withstand freezing cold weather in a series of harsh winter mountain shooting sessions. They need to improve tethering capability with Capture One, but I am sure this one will be rectified very soon since Sony has been closely working with Phase One for this, and this is why we can get the C1 for Sony so cheap. Thanks for the Phase One-Sony deal, and I think this is the biggest pro of the Sony E and A system over Canon Nikon Fuji. After all, Capture One Pro is the best RAW developer.....

Another so-called Sony specific issue was that they just exhausted users by updating 3k bodies every 8 months or so, but this one also already fixed. The clear sign for it is the long life span the A7M2 has had and the A7R2 seems to have had. They will not be replaced by the end of this spring...So in case of the A7M2, it has had 3 years of life and it is a long time for any tech product.

As I said the second generation A7 series bodies are already very good, so unlike the first original series , they would not update these in a rush, and I think it is a good thing.

Sony haters always pan them for their terrible customer support especially repair quality and unreasonably expensive charges for that, but it is really improving and I must say it is now one of the best at least in Asia. They have the thoroughest most complete distribution channels in camera business, and they have the most service stations throughout Asia.

Nikon used to have the best service at least in Japan, but now both Sony and Canon have surpassed them in this department.

So Sony is getting better and quickly fixing all known bugs and issues at faster pace than any one else in this game.

However, in the even longer run,their extreme focus on expensive high end market will eventually force them to go the same path they went in the HiFi audio market..

 

2>Fuji: They also have reliability issue and more seriously they have RAW converter issue , it is really hard for any Windows user to find a decent quality RAWC for the X-T2 or X-T20. On top of that, the silly design over functionality kind of retro UI and ergonomics aren't every one's cup of tea..........

I always want to love a Fuji X something when it comes out and try it every time new X body comes out, but every time I end up hating the silly retro user interface and lack of DXO support.

Also, most of Fuji X bodies I tired had terribly bad battery life, actually they were all much worse than my A7X cameras in this regard. So I really want to love the X system, but I must admit it is an overpriced style over functionality kind of system and I do not like their cameras at least until they give us non-retoro body with normal Bayer or organic sensor choice.....I do not like the X-Trans at all, and I consider it worse than the latest generation m43 sensors used in the GH5, the EM1MK2, or the Pen F.

Their Kaizen policy may have led their poorly designed X system this far.

But like many of Ex-Xsystem users pointed out, they can no longer gain from just listening to their customer requests, as customers just think in terms of existing things, not possible new things. If they want to get more new users coming into their odd obscure X system, then they must become better at internal innovation that solves real user problems that their users do not even know how to solve, or they cannot even imagine having those problems in their existing Fuji cameras.

Personally, I think, if Fuji continues the silly retro-style over actual usability concept, they will eventually fail it miserably.

 

3>Canon EOS M mount: well what I can say? honestly the EOS M5 is a great body in real life, but its spec sheet is way behind the time for the suggested price, especially for Video market. It has no 4k, no 120p, no 422-10bit, no proper microphone jack, etc. And the sensor is , while it is a bit better than the poor Xtrans 24mp sensor, still way behind the current Sony 24mp chip in the latest Sony APS-C such as the A6500. But other than that, at least in real life practical use for stills, it is really surprisingly a good camera with very cheap, compact but sharp lenses.

The EF-M22mm f2 is a stellar lens really sharp for the price and even in absolute sense.

It beats the oversized Fuji XF23mm f1.4 hands down without the super annoying X-trans artifacts. The EF-M11-22 and 55-200 are both quite decent zooms too. The EF-M11-22 actually beats the expensive Fuji XF 10-24/4 in resolution and distortion control, and the Canon lens is about 4 times cheaper than the Fuji.

So while the EOS M5 is not on par with the very latest mirrorless APS-C cameras over 1k range in spec sheet comparison, it is actually a very cheap and decent performing system, especially if you already have some of good Canon EF or EF-S mount lenses. The adapter is cheap and it is made by Canon-not by any obscure lens maker or mount adapter maker unlike the Sigma EF-E adapter or the SpeedBooster crap, and therefore all native Canon EF , EF-S and EF-M lenses are 100 percent compatible with the EOS-M5.

That is why despite of many very negative views on this system from self-proclaimed armchair forum experts , the EOS M system is rapidly gaining its market share, it is just super economical and actually a very practical system. I personally like its very organized menu and highly sophisticated intuitive touch interface.

 

But I think for pro level FF mirrrorless system, Canon will definitely use the EF mount since going a totally new mount does not make the FF lenses much smaller or better.....so why should Canon give up the already completely electronic EF mount with the biggest lens catalog to date.

 

4>Olympus: As Thom says it is already a very matured system , maybe almost as matured as the Canon Nikon D-SLR duo...........and I think almost all bugs and quirks of the systems are already ironed out effectively, and almost all their products are now excellent.

But this clear sign of the system maturity means that they've already done almost everything they could conceive of for the system and nearing to the point where there they have no way to make significant improvement in every future iteration.

Or at least it is extremely difficult to get any extra out of the m43 sensor from now on, they are already getting very close to that point that they have once reached to in their Original 43 era in 2010 or so. Unless there is a big new sensor tech breakthrough they will eventually reach the point and will suffer from the hell of the small sensor IQ limit that they have set up for themselves.

 

Even if there is a big sensor tech breakthrough in the next 2 years time, that will also benefit the bigger sensor groups, too, and therefore the big IQ gap between the m43 vs the 35mm format will not become smaller.

Actually the excellent set of m43 primes can mitigate or even defy the m43 sensor limits........but that actually makes the m43 system much more expensive than a basic FF system with a set of moderately fast primes or f4 type of zooms.

And the faster you want to go with the system the bigger it gets and this basic optical logic also applies to m43 system. At this point m43 loses almost all its meaning and becomes as heavy and big as the bigger sensor rivals.

But if you can accept the obvious sensor size related IQ limits , then it is an excellent system.

It is the most well balanced system in many ways; it is very fast in both operation and AF speed, it is very practical with the super effective dust buster system, it is very tough and well sealed, and it can be very small with a set of light lenses(if you give up a couple of stops of light gathering power).

So IMHO, I really think Olympus should focus on developing moderately fast super sharp primes and zooms, not repeating the same mistake they made in their 43 era with the huge set of f2 zooms and f1.2 primes. They shouldn't try competing with so-called FF for DOF to DOF , but design more balanced system based around a set of super sharp f1.8 primes and f2.8-4 zooms for those who do not want or need the super shallow DOF or the extra light gathering power of the 35mm system at the big cost of huge back breaking size and weight.

Still even the sensor IQ limitations the m43 is a very interesting and very well balanced system for many many people who do not need the ultimate speed or thinnest DOF that the so-called 35mm FF plus a set of fast primes and f2.8 zooms provide...... For me if they can solve the sensor size related IQ issues, it's the best system for me. In other words, if they could make the sensor shift high resolution mode works for handheld work, I would definitely choose m43 over so-called FF or APS-C.

So to me it seems like a race between Sony makes the FE system fully functional without the many known FE system related quirks and bugs(with better more intuitive UI), vs m43 makes the high resolution mode works handheld or some amazing sensor tech breakthrough like the complete utilization of the Organic sensor for consumer market actually occurs.

 

IMHO, the point of sufficiency issue is really overlooked by many FF fans, but at some point a smaller sensor system- the APS-C or the m43 gets there for many of us and at that point many of us will ditch the so-called FF system, or at least some of us will find the smaller sensor format better balanced..

Personally I really really hate the term FF and I think we should use "35mm format" instead of FF. The FF sounds too arrogant and stupid....The sensor size is always relative to the other formats and the 35mm is not the biggest sensor format. So why do we have to call it FULL FRAME?

 

5>Panasonic: In my honest opinion, Panasonic has been the true tech innovation leader in ILC market after Samsung gave it up completely in 2015. It is really interesting how they've taken a shifty calculating tactic and made it really work for them: the most complete form of hybrid-ability. They have made over three dozen mirrorless cameras in eight years and they were the very first company to have actually materialized the current mirrorless concept, but almost no one talks about them for their stills aspects at all but solely for their incredible video integration in their stills cameras. So they basically succeeded in their tactful game-changing mission.

Now after the incredible GH3, GH4 and everything after that, the game has been changed successfully for them and now it is played by their set rules not by others.

So many hats off to Panasonic. But do not forget although most of people see the Panasonic flagship camera series the GH as the pure video flagship and if you do not care much about video, it is not for you, it is actually even as a pure stills camera probably the best m43 ever, and in terms of sheer functionality and speed it beats everything else in the market regardless of sensor format or body class.

I think Panasonic is unfairly underrated. Even the cheap G85 is incredibly good for the modest price and size, and also in absolute sense. It is blazingly fast, the AF is incredibly accurate, it can even beat the best D-SLR like the D500, the D5, the 1DX and the a99MK2 in lowlight AF department, it is really incredible. The GH5 is really extremely good, competing only with itself.

I really believe that Panasonic would actually dominate the mirrorless market if they were to design a GH5 FF for around 3000 USD price market. Even a FF version of the G85 may make them the no1 in this catergoy and only second to Canon in the entire ILC business. The GH is and the latest G are extremely reliable and extremely tough, built like a real tank to withstand heavy use out in the field, even in an extreme cold mountain or a frozen lake or even in the North Pole.

It is splash/dust/ freeze proof, freeze-proof down to -15-degrees in addition to splash / dust-proof construction. Like Panasonic themselves say this camera can go everywhere you can.

I think Panasonic should make a larger sensor version of the GH5 and the G85, with a high resolution square format 32 by 32 or at least 24.6 by 24.6 sensor, then I am sure they will be able to completely change the way this game will be played, and really reignite the sluggish stills camera industry.

So I guess I really want Panasonic to succeed in this game that may help them to design a second larger sensor version of their already excellent 43 system.

I mean if they come up with FF GH5 or G85 tomorrow with at aleast 5 lenses, I would sell all my Sony and Nikon so-called FF cameras......

 

As I write above there is no-even one- flawless camera system from any of mirrorless manufactures, however, if you pick up two or three of these above with two different sets of strengths, then it may be at least for you good enough systems even if you do have to own two different sets of lenses. I personally concluded although I really want to go only one brand kit for practicality reason, for now I at least need 2 brand kits and for me that seems like Panasonic or Olympus and Sony or maybe Canon.

The m43 and the Sony FE make a great combo and that can cover almost everything I do with my cameras........I find m43 the best suited for video, macro and light travel stuffs and probably for street, I think I use my Sony for more tripod based stuffs or high resolution required stuffs or when I need a good manual focus lens such as the new Voiklander 12mm f5.6 or 15mm f4.

Now, I just tried the new Voiklander 40mm f1.2 and it is incredibly good, I will definitely get this one for my A7R and A7R2, and this lens will instantly make my A7X system an indispensable camera system to me.

 

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina and Zeiss, Sony seems to have developed arguably one of the best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon are trying very hard to shut all thirdparties out of their respective FF system at any cost. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and those people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no focus peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard, let alone to the fastest mirrorless cameras like the XT2 or the GH5.

  

Having said all above points though, I must admit it's all about short term view of the business, and I must also admit my gut feeling tells me the final winner of the future camera market won't be any of these traditional camera companies, they have no vision for the future, and that is the real problem.

I think the final winner is something like the Light L16 with a bit better sensor tech and much more powerful internal processor. The future is computational camera not the so called mirrorless, we camera fanatics always see it from a traditional camera user's view point, and so we tend to overlook what is actually important to many of normal camera buyers.

 

The real biggest problem of the Japanese camera companies is that they do not listen to the young people: there are many young people who I know are actually interested in photography but find it too expensive for their meager income.....but the entire industry is trying to up the average camera price every iteration, so how they can get the young interested? Bieng young means usually not rich, many times poor.

And even before discussing about the price issue, we must realize that no current major camera companies have actually tried inventing new 21st century U.I. for the smartphone generation boys and girls, they've never made it always connected or programmable, so how can the smartphone generation people get interested in any of the old 20 century minded camera systems that forces them to buy many many lenses and accessories to do anything well.

 

The camera companies've just listened to the forum fanatics too much too long, and remember the fanatics are mostly old men in his 60s or 70s. Plus, the Japanese camera companies are all run by almost 70y/o men in expensive grey suits that does not understand the real needs of the young people........so they do not see why their products are unappealing to the young.

 

I am sure there are very extremely talented young engineers, and managers in these camera companies, but the old bosses do not let them do anything really interesting, the old bosses just force the young managers to share their dated 1990's idea of how cameras should be like.

I also know as a camera dealer, many young boys still interested in a serious camera, but not the system idea. I've found this out by interviewing 120 boys(younger than 25) who bought one of the major mirrorless or D-SLR mount system cameras from us and returned it. The top reason why they decided to return it was that they felt the system burden was just too much to keep on their shoulder.

They told us when they realized how many lenses they'd actually need to do all what they wanted to do with their camera, they decided to give it up. It was too expensive and too annoyingly space-taking, and that'd be a big burden on them as they were still very young and therefore they need more money for many things.

 

So the current trend of upping the prices of all cameras to make up for the lost unit sales will not work, actually it will kill the industry. Like Thom Hogan's latest article says it very well, I think the companies may not be dying but the old fashioned photography industry, especially the accessory makers, publishers, LCD protector makers, etc, are all dying with the idea of the 90s style of print based photography that always discussed at sites like Luminous Landscapes and DPR. So the only one real solution to the industry is to ignore the old fanatics and listen to the smartphone generation people.

  

UPDATE :I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

 

The D800 boom in many camera fora made Nikon really damn stupid , but is Nikon the only one real victim of it?

  

UPDATE2: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

 

After all, a good camera system requires a set of great glass and speed lite system and determination to support it.

If the body alone performance is everything then the A99MK2 is selling like hotcakes every where, but in reality no one takes that high risk.....because no one trusts Sony that much.

I think sometimes public perception of a manufacture is very important, and Sony needs serious effort to improve their brand image, just a couple of great bodies do not do all the bad name fix for them.

 

So now I am not very positive about the current form of mirrorless and strongly doubt any of these Sony, Fuji, m43,etc would survive......say more than 5 years....

It is basically the same boring tech used as in the D-SLR, nothing new or revolutionary at all.....and so I think Nikon still has some time left to figure the best way to do mirrorless out for the longer term future since none of the current mirrorless doing it right. In other words, if they ditch the F mount and go all electronic mount like the FE or EF but with a bit wider mount throat design , then they would have the best FF mount system in the market. But they must do it very quick and do it right at the very first try just like when they did it with the D3/D300 launch......back in 2007.

  

UPDATE: I think Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

Now I strongly believe Nikon is really dying.

   

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所

 

So how long have we had to write about "the death of D-SRL " thing to make it actually happen?(updated)

  

Many camera forum experts suggesting Nikon should go FX mirrorles soon, or they must fail........many of them say something like below all the time.

"The writing is on the wall. Cost-cutting is a mantra with camera makers today and a big, complex prism and mirror assembly cost more than an EVF. They will all disappear. I'd be curious to see the relative costs of manufacturing of say a Nikon D810 and a Sony A7R2. The CEO of Sigma won't want to completely ruffle the feathers of Nikon or Canon who stubbornly resist the move to at least a credible line of mirrorless cameras so he's not going to come out and say, "reflex is dead" but it is going to be, as dead as plate film cameras became when 35mm roll film arrived."

 

Yeah the mirrorless fanatics are always aggressive and some times stupidly bellicose to any one does not share the same extremely positive view on their beloved so called Mirrorless that they believe to be some kind of real disruptive innovation of camera..........but really?

 

We always hear this kind of extreme mirrorless fanatic arguments in every camera related forum these days, but now I have to ask them how long have you been saying the same BS already? I think I was one of the very first of this kind to have said about it in 2011 as I got my first NEX5n, but has anything changed since then?

 

And why if it is so much cheaper to build a decent all around mirrorless camera like the A7R2 or the XT2 than a similarly performing D-SLR of their respective sensor class, then why these mirrorless at least decent ones are so much more expensive than the same class similarly specified D-SLRs?

The Nikon D810 costs only about 2100 US, the Sony A7R2 costs 3200 US or so still, if the EVF is so much cheaper than the decent quality OVF in the D810 class of cameras , then why is the Sony so much more expensive?

 

Are those Sony/ Olympus/Fuji fanatics do not feel cheated or shafted by those mirrorless makers they defend to death if, as they say, the EVF bodies are so much cheaper to build than the similar performing OVF bodies?

I used to think it is really cheap to build the so-called mirrorless when I was on my second NEX7, but the average price of the decent mirrorless cameras with a great EVF have never come down, actually it seems going up not down.

The NEX7, which was obviously designed for higher end APS-C market than the A6XXX bodies was much cheaper than the A6300 or the A6500, let alone the Fuji XT2 or the X-Pro2.

The Olympus EM1 was much cheaper than the EM1MK2, the Panasonic GH4 was much cheaper than its successor the GH5, and all of those m43 tiny sensor cameras are much more expensive than the Nikon D7200 , see my point?

At every level, the average price for a decent mirrroless body is increasing........every year and much less cost effective than a decent D-SLR like the D7200 is now.

Maybe it is the economy of scale but the mirrorless price seems never come down, and the average build quality of the so-called mirrorless cameras seem to be deteriorating rapidly, the NEX7 was the best built mirrorless besides the super expensive Panasonic GH5 and the oversized Samsung NX1 and it was really cheap back in 2012.

Since the NEX7 era, those mirrorless fanatics claiming the same coming total extinction of D-SLRs every month(if not every day), but the market share of the mirrorless is just not increasing at all, in fact, decreasing.

The market share of the mirrorless cameras peaked in late 2013 with about 28.4 percent(of the entire ILC market) after the first A7 launch, but after that it has been gradually decreasing, and strangely enough no big media talks about it.

I am not a D-SLR fan at all, in fact far from it. I have been a mirrorless shooter since the first NEX5 and always believed the current form of so-called mirrorless would take over up to almost 90 percent of the entire ILC camera market and having written about that more than 90 times since April, 2012, but in reality it has never happened(yet).

If any of those mirrrorless fanatics were right, by now every D-SLR should have been all dead, or at least should have become an irrelevant player(super nitche products like Leica M). But in reality, they still own about 74.2 percent of the entire ILC market.........this means the so called mirrorless makers have only 25.8 percent of the market share.

It is really deplorable.....pity!

 

So why are mirrorless cameras not selling well?

Well there are many reasons but I think the main reason is the price- most of mirrorless cameras do not seem to be a good value, they are way too expensive for what they can do especially as a whole system, and thay really do not look innovative or different enough to make those long time Canon or Nikon shooters with lots of CN glass / accessories to move to any of those so-called mirrorless systems......

 

Since Canon has owned about 55 percent of the entire ILC market since about 2015,until these mirrorless makers takes some of Canon's market they will never gain anything or even not make any money..

 

Now the sad reality is that none of these mirrorless makers are breaking even but reporting some big loss every year, even Sony is not profitable at all(the entire company seems to be profitable, though).

Contrary to the forum consensus Sony has lost about 5 percent of their market share since they fully moved to E mount main, when they reported their all time peak market share in the year end of 2012, they had about 14.1 percent of the market share. Now they have only about 11.2 percent of it. Fuji is about 6 percent or so. It is really pathetic.

Honestly, Sony has been a big loser in terms of sheer sells. They have invested more R& D money than any other player in this game, but they haven't got any profitable return from it yet.

Canon, on the other hand, has invested so little money and gained about 14 percent of the market share in just last year alone.

I think until Canon seriously decides to disrupt their own EF mount D-SLRs with their version of the Sony A7R or Fuji X-T2, the mirrorless market share always stays very small-kind of irrelevant. In 2012 when I had my second copy of Sony NEX7, I thought by now Sony would've already become no1 in this business, but it never happened...........

As we look at all the major mirrorless camera makers financial results, we must wonder why they are not doing really well, not gaining anything over Canon and Nikon.

Nikon hasn't done anything right in the last 4 years or so, and almost all their recent products have had an issue or two, or even recalled,but in terms of sheer market share and sells they are doing much better than any of these over-hyped mirrorless makers. Nikon's finanical issue at least their camera division is greatly exaggerated and at least still much more robust than any of the mirrorless players.

 

Now many people ask us why so many people actually GOING BACK to Nikon or Canon recently despite of the incessant silly claims from the mirrorless fanatic camera sites that mirrorless have gained much sells and almost completely killing the lazy two asleep camera giants- that is never happening..........

 

Well it is easy because the so-called mirrorless systems are all flawed and overpriced at best. They all have a few serious issues as a whole system and that is why many of those real working event pros going back to their old systems after having evaluated one or two so-called mirrorless systems for a month or so........many of them are not very rich to keep many camera systems for their work, and for work Nikon or Canon system is much more reliable with better support.

It is really as simple as that.

Anyway I tried to write about the current state of each of the 5 major mirrorless players below:

 

1>Sony: As many of our customers rightly pointed out, it is the most interesting one besides Panasonic right now. Honestly as a long time Sony system user(I've owned both A and E but mostly FF E mount stuffs now) with lots of E mount only lenses, I want to Sony to become the no1 dominant player in this business(other wise, I will lose too much money in transition). They have a lot of good things going for their system now. Sony has done many things actually right or at least interesting; trading their already established market share in D-SLRs for a similar MILC market share.

Since they thought the new MILC market would definitely be the future and quick to take over most part of the D-SLR market, but that never happened yet, and in the process Sony has lost some big money on their stills camera business, however, their big and powerful enough motion camera division and sensor division have made more than enough money to make up for it. So the entire Sony DI (digital imaging) group is reporting some profit but the stills business is not doing very well.

I think the so-called mirrroless would eventually eat the big part of the ILC market but not so soon because Sony and other mirrorless makers trying to shift themselves to only high-end market with an unreasonably steep price hike thrown in every iteration.

So they have a lot of issues in the short run, but in the longer run I am quite sure they are doing it right. The way Sony has integrated their excellent video and stills products really change the way low budget productions shoot their films. Also Sony is the only one FF camera manufacture to give us the choice of 3 different sensors in the same type of boring but solid A7X2 type body. While the A7X2 bodies are still not perfect, not as durable as the most powerful Panasonic or Samsung crop sensor bodies such as the GH5, the NX1, the A7R2 and A7M2 are both arguably already great cameras and in case of the A7R2 probably we can safely say it is a great camera, or at least the best all around FF camera ever made in this price range. The lens line is also becoming quite solid with high quality but compact Zeiss Batis line primes and Sony GM series zooms, they are quickly filling out the gap in their lens line and I would say maybe they do not have as many lenses as Canon or Nikon legacy mounts, but the average lens quality is much higher in Sony system since all Sony FE and E mount lenses are new designs without silly film-era-lens design stipulations.

So they might be the best positioned for the future, especially in the long run, however, they still have to execute on that future by carefully listening to their long time customers like us.

They must improve the A7X2 body quality further in the upcoming A7X3 series, or need to add a new more rugged pro grade system that can withstand freezing cold weather in a series of harsh winter mountain shooting sessions. They need to improve tethering capability with Capture One, but I am sure this one will be rectified very soon since Sony has been closely working with Phase One for this, and this is why we can get the C1 for Sony so cheap. Thanks for the Phase One-Sony deal, and I think this is the biggest pro of the Sony E and A system over Canon Nikon Fuji. After all, Capture One Pro is the best RAW developer.....

Another so-called Sony specific issue was that they just exhausted users by updating 3k bodies every 8 months or so, but this one also already fixed. The clear sign for it is the long life span the A7M2 has had and the A7R2 seems to have had. They will not be replaced by the end of this spring...So in case of the A7M2, it has had 3 years of life and it is a long time for any tech product.

As I said the second generation A7 series bodies are already very good, so unlike the first original series , they would not update these in a rush, and I think it is a good thing.

Sony haters always pan them for their terrible customer support especially repair quality and unreasonably expensive charges for that, but it is really improving and I must say it is now one of the best at least in Asia. They have the thoroughest most complete distribution channels in camera business, and they have the most service stations throughout Asia.

Nikon used to have the best service at least in Japan, but now both Sony and Canon have surpassed them in this department.

So Sony is getting better and quickly fixing all known bugs and issues at faster pace than any one else in this game.

However, in the even longer run,their extreme focus on expensive high end market will eventually force them to go the same path they went in the HiFi audio market..

 

2>Fuji: They also have reliability issue and more seriously they have RAW converter issue , it is really hard for any Windows user to find a decent quality RAWC for the X-T2 or X-T20. On top of that, the silly design over functionality kind of retro UI and ergonomics aren't every one's cup of tea..........

I always want to love a Fuji X something when it comes out and try it every time new X body comes out, but every time I end up hating the silly retro user interface and lack of DXO support.

Also, most of Fuji X bodies I tired had terribly bad battery life, actually they were all much worse than my A7X cameras in this regard. So I really want to love the X system, but I must admit it is an overpriced style over functionality kind of system and I do not like their cameras at least until they give us non-retoro body with normal Bayer or organic sensor choice.....I do not like the X-Trans at all, and I consider it worse than the latest generation m43 sensors used in the GH5, the EM1MK2, or the Pen F.

Their Kaizen policy may have led their poorly designed X system this far.

But like many of Ex-Xsystem users pointed out, they can no longer gain from just listening to their customer requests, as customers just think in terms of existing things, not possible new things. If they want to get more new users coming into their odd obscure X system, then they must become better at internal innovation that solves real user problems that their users do not even know how to solve, or they cannot even imagine having those problems in their existing Fuji cameras.

Personally, I think, if Fuji continues the silly retro-style over actual usability concept, they will eventually fail it miserably.

 

3>Canon EOS M mount: well what I can say? honestly the EOS M5 is a great body in real life, but its spec sheet is way behind the time for the suggested price, especially for Video market. It has no 4k, no 120p, no 422-10bit, no proper microphone jack, etc. And the sensor is , while it is a bit better than the poor Xtrans 24mp sensor, still way behind the current Sony 24mp chip in the latest Sony APS-C such as the A6500. But other than that, at least in real life practical use for stills, it is really surprisingly a good camera with very cheap, compact but sharp lenses.

The EF-M22mm f2 is a stellar lens really sharp for the price and even in absolute sense.

It beats the oversized Fuji XF23mm f1.4 hands down without the super annoying X-trans artifacts. The EF-M11-22 and 55-200 are both quite decent zooms too. The EF-M11-22 actually beats the expensive Fuji XF 10-24/4 in resolution and distortion control, and the Canon lens is about 4 times cheaper than the Fuji.

So while the EOS M5 is not on par with the very latest mirrorless APS-C cameras over 1k range in spec sheet comparison, it is actually a very cheap and decent performing system, especially if you already have some of good Canon EF or EF-S mount lenses. The adapter is cheap and it is made by Canon-not by any obscure lens maker or mount adapter maker unlike the Sigma EF-E adapter or the SpeedBooster crap, and therefore all native Canon EF , EF-S and EF-M lenses are 100 percent compatible with the EOS-M5.

That is why despite of many very negative views on this system from self-proclaimed armchair forum experts , the EOS M system is rapidly gaining its market share, it is just super economical and actually a very practical system. I personally like its very organized menu and highly sophisticated intuitive touch interface.

 

But I think for pro level FF mirrrorless system, Canon will definitely use the EF mount since going a totally new mount does not make the FF lenses much smaller or better.....so why should Canon give up the already completely electronic EF mount with the biggest lens catalog to date.

 

4>Olympus: As Thom says it is already a very matured system , maybe almost as matured as the Canon Nikon D-SLR duo...........and I think almost all bugs and quirks of the systems are already ironed out effectively, and almost all their products are now excellent.

But this clear sign of the system maturity means that they've already done almost everything they could conceive of for the system and nearing to the point where there they have no way to make significant improvement in every future iteration.

Or at least it is extremely difficult to get any extra out of the m43 sensor from now on, they are already getting very close to that point that they have once reached to in their Original 43 era in 2010 or so. Unless there is a big new sensor tech breakthrough they will eventually reach the point and will suffer from the hell of the small sensor IQ limit that they have set up for themselves.

 

Even if there is a big sensor tech breakthrough in the next 2 years time, that will also benefit the bigger sensor groups, too, and therefore the big IQ gap between the m43 vs the 35mm format will not become smaller.

Actually the excellent set of m43 primes can mitigate or even defy the m43 sensor limits........but that actually makes the m43 system much more expensive than a basic FF system with a set of moderately fast primes or f4 type of zooms.

And the faster you want to go with the system the bigger it gets and this basic optical logic also applies to m43 system. At this point m43 loses almost all its meaning and becomes as heavy and big as the bigger sensor rivals.

But if you can accept the obvious sensor size related IQ limits , then it is an excellent system.

It is the most well balanced system in many ways; it is very fast in both operation and AF speed, it is very practical with the super effective dust buster system, it is very tough and well sealed, and it can be very small with a set of light lenses(if you give up a couple of stops of light gathering power).

So IMHO, I really think Olympus should focus on developing moderately fast super sharp primes and zooms, not repeating the same mistake they made in their 43 era with the huge set of f2 zooms and f1.2 primes. They shouldn't try competing with so-called FF for DOF to DOF , but design more balanced system based around a set of super sharp f1.8 primes and f2.8-4 zooms for those who do not want or need the super shallow DOF or the extra light gathering power of the 35mm system at the big cost of huge back breaking size and weight.

Still even the sensor IQ limitations the m43 is a very interesting and very well balanced system for many many people who do not need the ultimate speed or thinnest DOF that the so-called 35mm FF plus a set of fast primes and f2.8 zooms provide...... For me if they can solve the sensor size related IQ issues, it's the best system for me. In other words, if they could make the sensor shift high resolution mode works for handheld work, I would definitely choose m43 over so-called FF or APS-C.

So to me it seems like a race between Sony makes the FE system fully functional without the many known FE system related quirks and bugs(with better more intuitive UI), vs m43 makes the high resolution mode works handheld or some amazing sensor tech breakthrough like the complete utilization of the Organic sensor for consumer market actually occurs.

 

IMHO, the point of sufficiency issue is really overlooked by many FF fans, but at some point a smaller sensor system- the APS-C or the m43 gets there for many of us and at that point many of us will ditch the so-called FF system, or at least some of us will find the smaller sensor format better balanced..

Personally I really really hate the term FF and I think we should use "35mm format" instead of FF. The FF sounds too arrogant and stupid....The sensor size is always relative to the other formats and the 35mm is not the biggest sensor format. So why do we have to call it FULL FRAME?

 

5>Panasonic: In my honest opinion, Panasonic has been the true tech innovation leader in ILC market after Samsung gave it up completely in 2015. It is really interesting how they've taken a shifty calculating tactic and made it really work for them: the most complete form of hybrid-ability. They have made over three dozen mirrorless cameras in eight years and they were the very first company to have actually materialized the current mirrorless concept, but almost no one talks about them for their stills aspects at all but solely for their incredible video integration in their stills cameras. So they basically succeeded in their tactful game-changing mission.

Now after the incredible GH3, GH4 and everything after that, the game has been changed successfully for them and now it is played by their set rules not by others.

So many hats off to Panasonic. But do not forget although most of people see the Panasonic flagship camera series the GH as the pure video flagship and if you do not care much about video, it is not for you, it is actually even as a pure stills camera probably the best m43 ever, and in terms of sheer functionality and speed it beats everything else in the market regardless of sensor format or body class.

I think Panasonic is unfairly underrated. Even the cheap G85 is incredibly good for the modest price and size, and also in absolute sense. It is blazingly fast, the AF is incredibly accurate, it can even beat the best D-SLR like the D500, the D5, the 1DX and the a99MK2 in lowlight AF department, it is really incredible. The GH5 is really extremely good, competing only with itself.

I really believe that Panasonic would actually dominate the mirrorless market if they were to design a GH5 FF for around 3000 USD price market. Even a FF version of the G85 may make them the no1 in this catergoy and only second to Canon in the entire ILC business. The GH is and the latest G are extremely reliable and extremely tough, built like a real tank to withstand heavy use out in the field, even in an extreme cold mountain or a frozen lake or even in the North Pole.

It is splash/dust/ freeze proof, freeze-proof down to -15-degrees in addition to splash / dust-proof construction. Like Panasonic themselves say this camera can go everywhere you can.

I think Panasonic should make a larger sensor version of the GH5 and the G85, with a high resolution square format 32 by 32 or at least 24.6 by 24.6 sensor, then I am sure they will be able to completely change the way this game will be played, and really reignite the sluggish stills camera industry.

So I guess I really want Panasonic to succeed in this game that may help them to design a second larger sensor version of their already excellent 43 system.

I mean if they come up with FF GH5 or G85 tomorrow with at aleast 5 lenses, I would sell all my Sony and Nikon so-called FF cameras......

 

As I write above there is no-even one- flawless camera system from any of mirrorless manufactures, however, if you pick up two or three of these above with two different sets of strengths, then it may be at least for you good enough systems even if you do have to own two different sets of lenses. I personally concluded although I really want to go only one brand kit for practicality reason, for now I at least need 2 brand kits and for me that seems like Panasonic or Olympus and Sony or maybe Canon.

The m43 and the Sony FE make a great combo and that can cover almost everything I do with my cameras........I find m43 the best suited for video, macro and light travel stuffs and probably for street, I think I use my Sony for more tripod based stuffs or high resolution required stuffs or when I need a good manual focus lens such as the new Voiklander 12mm f5.6 or 15mm f4.

Now, I just tried the new Voiklander 40mm f1.2 and it is incredibly good, I will definitely get this one for my A7R and A7R2, and this lens will instantly make my A7X system an indispensable camera system to me.

 

Just a couple of years ago, Sony E mount haters always made fun of the E mount system for its(then) very poor lens lineup. But now ironically enough, with some serious help from Coshina and Zeiss, Sony seems to have developed arguably one of the best lens line in the FF class in just a matter of a year or so and I think we have to give some serious credit to Sony for keeping it an open mount system unlike Canon and Nikon are trying very hard to shut all thirdparties out of their respective FF system at any cost. Nikon has sued Sigma for a several times already and they have lost a lot of money and customers over that.

Sony E mount has the widest range of digital optimized MF(manual focus) lenses and those people who find precise MF-ability more important to them than super fast C-AF will always choose the Sony FE system. I mean it is almost impossible to really precisely MF on your Nikon with their poor soft LV image quality..no focus peaking,etc. The Canon D-SLRs at least have very good LV and LV exposure simulation mode, but the Nikons including the latest D5600, the D500, the D5 do not have that. The LV speed of the latest Nikon is basically the same as the 7year old D7000, in fact, Nikon has made no progress in this area since the D600.

It is really pity and the Nikon D-SLRs-even the best ones are not comparable to any of the Sony A7X series cameras in this regard, let alone to the fastest mirrorless cameras like the XT2 or the GH5.

  

Having said all above points though, I must admit it's all about short term view of the business, and I must also admit my gut feeling tells me the final winner of the future camera market won't be any of these traditional camera companies, they have no vision for the future, and that is the real problem.

I think the final winner is something like the Light L16 with a bit better sensor tech and much more powerful internal processor. The future is computational camera not the so called mirrorless, we camera fanatics always see it from a traditional camera user's view point, and so we tend to overlook what is actually important to many of normal camera buyers.

 

The real biggest problem of the Japanese camera companies is that they do not listen to the young people: there are many young people who I know are actually interested in photography but find it too expensive for their meager income.....but the entire industry is trying to up the average camera price every iteration, so how they can get the young interested? Bieng young means usually not rich, many times poor.

And even before discussing about the price issue, we must realize that no current major camera companies have actually tried inventing new 21st century U.I. for the smartphone generation boys and girls, they've never made it always connected or programmable, so how can the smartphone generation people get interested in any of the old 20 century minded camera systems that forces them to buy many many lenses and accessories to do anything well.

 

The camera companies've just listened to the forum fanatics too much too long, and remember the fanatics are mostly old men in his 60s or 70s. Plus, the Japanese camera companies are all run by almost 70y/o men in expensive grey suits that does not understand the real needs of the young people........so they do not see why their products are unappealing to the young.

 

I am sure there are very extremely talented young engineers, and managers in these camera companies, but the old bosses do not let them do anything really interesting, the old bosses just force the young managers to share their dated 1990's idea of how cameras should be like.

I also know as a camera dealer, many young boys still interested in a serious camera, but not the system idea. I've found this out by interviewing 120 boys(younger than 25) who bought one of the major mirrorless or D-SLR mount system cameras from us and returned it. The top reason why they decided to return it was that they felt the system burden was just too much to keep on their shoulder.

They told us when they realized how many lenses they'd actually need to do all what they wanted to do with their camera, they decided to give it up. It was too expensive and too annoyingly space-taking, and that'd be a big burden on them as they were still very young and therefore they need more money for many things.

 

So the current trend of upping the prices of all cameras to make up for the lost unit sales will not work, actually it will kill the industry. Like Thom Hogan's latest article says it very well, I think the companies may not be dying but the old fashioned photography industry, especially the accessory makers, publishers, LCD protector makers, etc, are all dying with the idea of the 90s style of print based photography that always discussed at sites like Luminous Landscapes and DPR. So the only one real solution to the industry is to ignore the old fanatics and listen to the smartphone generation people.

  

UPDATE: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

  

UPDATE2: I think Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) now as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

The D850 won't change anything, it is just another boring D-SLR iteration, nothing more!

  

UPDATE3:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

      

The King, after suffering such a great financial loss in his latest investment, was exceedingly disheartened and gloomy. So gloomy that his noble friends were beginning to worry about his health. So worried, that they sent Sir Godfrey and Sir Phillip to fetch the Jolly Jumble Jester triplets.

 

Upon arriving, John, James, and Joe immediately began their popular routine, they sung their songs and danced their dances, yet the king's depression remained. His royal brow still was wrinkled in consternation, unable to forget his lost money.

 

At length, the jesters, desperate, attempted their most daring and tricky trick yet. James jumped on John, John jumped on Joe, and Joe, about to jump onto a ball, had the misfortune to miss his footing! Down the brothers went, crashing to the hard marble floor below. The spectacle was so hilarious that the King burst into a roar of laughter and the whole hall of spectators followed suit.

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To expand your wealth and achieve specific financial goals, you’re going to have to make some investments. However, those investments come with the significant risk of potential loss. Fortunately, the investment world has grown to offer more investment options and ways to assess those options. This includes more opportunities for individuals and companies to get […]

 

The post How to Choose a Startup Investment appeared first on ReadWrite.

 

How to Choose a Startup Investment published first on antitheftbackpacks.tumblr.com/

 

I dati dell’Istat sulla produzione industriale fanno scattare una vera e propria sirena d’allarme sulle condizioni della nostra economia. Da 22 anni non si registrava un livello più basso: nel 2012 -6,7%.

“Un dato che fa venire i brividi. Purtroppo si tratta dell’ennesima conferma al declino incontrastato dell’economia italiana.

Di fronte ad una contrazione della domanda di mercato così marcata come quella che si è registrata nel 2012 (pari al -4,7% secondo le stime O.N.F. – Osservatorio Nazionale Federconsumatori, con una caduta della spesa di oltre -33,4 miliardi di Euro) la produzione industriale non poteva che registrare un fortissimo calo. Andamento dettato dalla gravissima perdita della capacità di acquisto delle famiglie: basti pensare agli aggravi a cui queste ultime devono far fronte nel biennio 2012-2013, pari a +3.823 Euro a famiglia (2.333 nel 2012 e 1.490 previsti per il 2013).

I dati diffusi oggi sull’andamento dell’industria lasciano presagire un ulteriore peggioramento del 2013: la caduta di produzione, infatti, inciderà negativamente sul versante dell’occupazione, alimentando nuovi record del tasso di disoccupazione e cassa integrazione e contribuendo sempre di più alla contrazione del potere di acquisto delle famiglie.

Anzi, come denuncia la CGIL, lo Stato fatica a reperire i fondi necessari per garantire la cassa integrazione in deroga nel 2013.

Alla luce di tale tendenza risulta del tutto inutile e aleatorio aggrapparsi alle speranze di chi vede la ripresa alla fine dell’anno: questo non potrà avvenire senza serie ed immediate misure di emergenza per il rilancio del potere di acquisto delle famiglie e per lo sviluppo economico del Paese.

Per questo ribadiamo che il primo punto all’ordine del giorno del nuovo Governo dovrà essere quello di affrontare seriamente, con responsabilità e mezzi adeguati, questa grave situazione, avviando:

- interventi per il rilancio della domanda di mercato (attraverso il sostegno alle

famiglie a reddito fisso);

- misure per la ripresa degli investimenti per lo sviluppo tecnologico e la ricerca;

- un piano per il rilancio dell’occupazione, specialmente quella giovanile, anche attraverso l’allentamento dei patti di stabilità degli Enti Locali (per intervenire soprattutto con pratiche di manutenzione, sicurezza ed edilizia);

- l’abolizione definitiva del nuovo aumento dell’IVA in programma da luglio;

- eliminazione dell’IMU sulla prima casa per i bassi redditi.

  

The Istat data on industrial production trigger a real siren on the conditions of our economy. For 22 years not seen a lower level: -6.7% in 2012.

"One thing that makes me shudder. Unfortunately this is the umpteenth confirmation undisputed decline of the Italian economy.

Faced with a shrinking market demand as marked as that which occurred in 2012 (equal to -4.7% estimated ONF - National Observatory Federconsumatori, with a fall in expenditure of over -33.4 billion ) industrial production could only record a very significant drop. Trend dictated by serious loss of purchasing power of households: just think of the burdens that they must meet in the years 2012-2013, amounting to Euro +3,823 per family (2,333 in 2012 and 1,490 planned for 2013).

The figures released today by industry trends suggest a further deterioration in 2013: the fall of production, in fact, adversely affect the terms of employment, fueling new record unemployment and layoffs and contributing more and more to the contraction purchasing power of households.

Indeed, as reported by the CGIL, the state struggling to raise the necessary funds to ensure the layoffs in derogation in 2013.

In light of this trend is completely useless and random cling to the hopes of those who saw the shooting at the end of the year: this can not happen without serious and immediate emergency measures to boost the purchasing power of households and economic development of the country.

This is why we insist that the first item on the agenda of the new government will be to deal seriously with responsibility and appropriate means, this serious situation, by running:

- Action to boost market demand (through support to

Fixed-income families);

- Measures for the recovery of investment for technology development and research;

- A plan to boost employment, especially among youth, through the relaxation of stability pacts Local Authorities (especially to intervene with maintenance practices, safety and construction);

- The definitive abolition of the new VAT increase scheduled for July;

- Elimination of the IMU on the first home for low income earners.

Le retribuzioni a febbraio, secondo i dati diffusi oggi dall’Istat, sono praticamente ferme. Non poteva giungere notizia più nefasta per l’economia.

Su base annua la crescita sfiora appena l’1,4%. Un livello irrisorio, soprattutto se confrontato con l’aumento di prezzi e tariffe che, nonostante quanto rilevato dall’Istat, non ci risulta registrino alcuna frenata.

Nel biennio 2012-2013 l’aggravio a carico delle famiglie (tra prezzi, tariffe e tassazione) calcolato dall’O.N.F. – Osservatorio Nazionale Federconsumatori, risulta pari a ben +3.823.

A tutto ciò si aggiunge l’incredibile pressione fiscale nel nostro Paese, che ha raggiunto la quota impressionante del 52%. Una situazione che determina una continua perdita del potere di acquisto, ormai incontrastata, di fronte alla quale l’immobilità delle retribuzioni risulta ancora più allarmante.

Le più disagiate sono le famiglie a reddito fisso: al di là del fatto che i dati sul tasso di inflazione sono fortemente sottostimati dall’Istat, la forbice tra la crescita dei prezzi e quella dell’inflazione risulta comunque pari allo 0,5%.

Questo si traduce, per una famiglia media (di 2,5 componenti) monoreddito in una ricaduta di 153 Euro annui. Invece, per una famiglia monoreddito di 3 componenti, il divario equivale ad una diminuzione del potere di acquisto di 184 Euro annui. È evidente che tale situazione è divenuta del tutto insostenibile per le famiglie, che ormai sono costrette a ridurre persino i consumi di prima necessità, come quelli alimentari.

Per non parlare della contrazione dei prestiti attestata da Bankitalia che testimonia l’impossibilità, per molte famiglie, di ricorrere all’indebitamento.

In uno scenario simile le famiglie e l’intero sistema economico hanno bisogno di risposte concrete e rapide.

Per questo bisogna avviare il prima possibile interventi urgenti quali la definizione di un serio piano di rilancio economico, a partire dalla ripresa degli investimenti per lo sviluppo tecnologico e la ricerca; l’allentamento dei patti di stabilità degli Enti Locali, per dare possibilità di intervento per il rilancio occupazionale; nonché l’eliminazione definitiva dell’aumento dell’IVA previsto a partire da luglio, che avrà effetti disastrosi per le famiglie e per il Paese.

  

Wages in February, according to data released today by ISTAT, are practically still. Could not have come more ominous news for the economy.

On-year growth barely touches the 1, 4%. A ridiculously low level, especially when compared with the increase of prices and tariffs that despite the findings by ISTAT, there is no SIGNING braking.

In the years 2012-2013 the burden on families (including rates, fees and taxation) calculated by the ONF - National Observatory Consumers Association, is equal to +3823 well.

To all this is added the incredible tax burden in our country, which has achieved its impressive 52%. A situation that causes a continuous loss of purchasing power, now unopposed, in front of which the immobility of wages is even more alarming.

The most disadvantaged are the fixed-income families: beyond the fact that the data on the rate of inflation are strongly underestimated by Istat, the gap between the growth in prices and that inflation is still 0.5%.

This translates to an average household (2.5 members) earner in a relapse of 153 euros per year. Instead, for a single income family of 3 components, the gap is equivalent to a decrease in the purchasing power of 184 euros per year. It is obvious that this situation has become totally unsustainable for families, who are now forced to reduce consumption even basic necessities, such as food.

Not to mention the decrease in lending attested by Bank of Italy which testifies to the impossibility for many families to borrow.

In this scenario families and the entire economic system in need of prompt and substantive responses.

For this we must start as soon as possible urgent interventions such as the definition of a serious economic recovery plan, starting with the recovery of investment for technology development and research, the loosening of the stability pacts of Local Authorities, to give the possibility of intervention for new job creation, as well as the final elimination of the VAT increase expected in July, which will have disastrous effects for the families and for the country.

I find daylight landscape photography to be a total loss most of the time lately. Friday had a spectacular sky all day while I was working. It's hard for me to get motivated to get out somewhere worthy with a time investment since the conditions change rather dramatically and often quickly, while varying greatly from area to area. Most of the time it's Sonic Clear, and we are in drought status making one of my normal winter go-to's (waterfalls and streams) unavailable.

 

I awoke this AM at 6:30 and the custom is to look out the back window towards the east and noticed some interesting clouds. Too rare to pass up so I jumped in the car and headed up the parkway to the east facing flanks. This time of year the sunrise is perpendicular so hard to find much of interest for the foreground, but the sky was rather colorful, much as one can ask for now it seems.

 

Waiting for the Sun

Feel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org This microstock required lots of post processing to get the blue tint. I also needed a bounce card to get more detail in the glasses.

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_0018_FINAL

This is “Red Shift”, sister ship to the ill-fated scientific research vessel “Event Horizon”. Earth’s Deep Space Exploration Conglomerate were close to cancelling research into gravity drive technology as a direct result of the loss of “Event Horizon” on her maiden voyage in 2047. After much debate research was allowed to continue, albeit with greater scrutiny. “Red Shift” was commissioned in 2048, and began successful gravity drive trials in 2059.

 

The model measures approximately 175cm in length, 95cm wide, and stands 36cm high. This equates to around 210 studs long and 110 studs wide. I have no estimate of the number of elements used – but it was a lot, and they are not superglued. The gravity drive was constructed around a 24 stud diameter SNOT sphere, and hinge system for the wings consists of a combination of technic ball and socket joints and hinge plates.

 

Thanks must go to Alan Stew for assisting in the installation of 108 LED lamps in the mid-section for lighting (a lot of soldering!). LED torches were built in to the nacelles for additional engine lighting, and the Lego train LED light system was used to achieve front section and bridge lighting. The size of the model presented a photography challenge, made slightly more straightforward by the model disassembling into 5 main sections, and help from my very patient wife.

 

Note: This is my offering for SHIPtember - a Lego building tradition, where a huge spaceship is constructed in September. The “Ship” part refers to the acronym S.H.I.P; meaning Seriously Huge Investment in Parts. To be classified as a SHIP, a model must be in excess of 100 studs in length.

 

DS3_9972_FINAL

A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones. The particles of which the beach is composed can sometimes instead primarily be of biological origins, such as whole or fragmentary mollusc shells or fragments of coralline algae.

Wild beaches are beaches which do not have lifeguards or trappings of modernity nearby, such as resorts and hotels. They are sometimes called undeclared, undeveloped or undiscovered beaches. Wild beaches can be valued for their untouched beauty and preserved nature. They are most commonly found in less developed areas including, for example, parts of Puerto Rico, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Beaches often occur along coastal areas where wave or current action deposits and reworks sediments.

 

Although the seashore is most commonly associated with the word beach, beaches are found by lakes and alongside large rivers, as well as by the sea or oceans.

Beach may refer to:

small systems where rock material moves onshore, offshore, or alongshore by the forces of waves and currents; or geological units of considerable size.

The former are described in detail below; the larger geological units are discussed elsewhere under bars.

There are several conspicuous parts to a beach which relate to the processes that form and shape it. The part mostly above water (depending upon tide), and more or less actively influenced by the waves at some point in the tide, is termed the beach berm. The berm is the deposit of material comprising the active shoreline. The berm has a crest (top) and a face — the latter being the slope leading down towards the water from the crest. At the very bottom of the face, there may be a trough, and further seaward one or more long shore bars: slightly raised, underwater embankments formed where the waves first start to break.

The sand deposit may extend well inland from the berm crest, where there may be evidence of one or more older crests (the storm beach) resulting from very large storm waves and beyond the influence of the normal waves. At some point the influence of the waves (even storm waves) on the material comprising the beach stops, and if the particles are small enough (sand size or smaller) , winds shape the feature. Where wind is the force distributing the grains inland, the deposit behind the beach becomes a dune.

These geomorphic features compose what is called the beach profile. The beach profile changes seasonally due to the change in wave energy experienced during summer and winter months. The beach profile is higher during the summer due to the gentle wave action during this season. The lower energy waves deposit sediment on the beach berm and dune, adding to the beach profile. Conversely, the beach profile is lower in the winter due to the increased wave energy associated with storms. Higher energy waves erode sediment from the beach berm and dune, and deposit it off shore, forming longshore bars. The removal of sediment from the beach berm and dune decreases the beach profile.

The line between beach and dune is difficult to define in the field. Over any significant period of time, sand is always being exchanged between them. The drift line (the high point of material deposited by waves) is one potential demarcation. This would be the point at which significant wind movement of