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View Full Version : SLR .. without the SLR?



Balrog
04-13-2005, 01:34 PM
Seeing as how a whole lot of P&S users are used to having the image preview available on LCD before taking the shot - even using it for framing (just about everyone I know with a digital camera, anyway), how about introducing a camera with SLR specs (e.g. APS-C sized sensor, interchangeable lenses, powerful AF motors, etc), but with the SLR mirror+prism removed?

It's something nobody's done yet, but I can see several advantages for the average point and shoot user:
1) SLR quality! crisp, clean, high dynamic range, high ISO availability, etc etc.
2) Complete expandability - the full glory of professional lenses available for those who want them.
3) More familiar - for people who want more quality yet don't want to go SLR.
4) Less size / weight - sure, the *ist DS and the Rebel are tiny in SLR terms, but remove the mirror+prism entirely and you could probably make them even smaller...
5) movie mode! GOOD looking low-light movies from a digital camera, for once!
6) small benefit, perhaps, but .. no need for mirror lockup anymore? :)

The only drawback would be not having a live view anymore, which is obviously not what professionals would want, but hey, this isn't targeted at them - I think a large, high-res LCD+evf which gained up nicely in low light and had a good refresh rate (60fps+) would be plenty for most ordinary folk...

What do you all think?

speaklightly
04-13-2005, 06:49 PM
Balrog-

With Nikon rolling out two new dSLR's and I would imagine Olympus and Panasonic will be doing the very the very same thing before the year is over, your suggestion will probably happen because they are looking for customers who are crossing over from P&S digital cameras.

Sarah Joyce

timmciglobal
04-13-2005, 08:36 PM
Something that most people don't get as far as why no full frame P&S is that full frame or 1.6 crop requires 1) a bigger peice of glass and 2) bigger sensor/better energy managment.

"Noise" will happen in a full frame senor or a 1.6 sensor if you leave it energied (on, "preview LCD" like in the canon 20DA version) and requires cooling off period to prevent damage to sensor/image noise issues. This negates the purpose of a dSLR or a P&S (picture this: use it for 15 min then it requires 5 minutes to cool down)

The issue of glass size is huge too. A 28>135 lens costs 400 retail, if a P&S with a 1.6 crop wanted 36>120 your going to need to add quite a bit of money to the cost.

I've played with the pro1 a lot and I've found it to be a great dSLR alternative. Great lens, great ISO 50 performance.

Now if you ask me the thing they SHOULD develop is a high ISO P&S by lowering pixel counts. Make a sensor with 4 megapixels designed with purpose of providing very useable ISO 400/800. THAT product would be nice, but unfortunatly consumers are "hooked" on megapixels and as such anything under 5 today is considered "low end"

Tim

Balrog
04-14-2005, 07:00 AM
Glass size shouldn't be too much of a problem -- as Sarah pointed out, I'm thinking the whole 4/3rds thing could do very well here. The lenses will obviously be more expensive, but a basic kit shouldn't cost too much, and at the higher end of the P&S market, I'm sure there will be lots of people who think the extra image quality is worth it..
Noise, though .. hadn't thought leaving the CCD on would be such a big problem ..

Rhys
04-14-2005, 08:52 AM
One suggestion I made to Nikon was that a digital MF SLR would bridge the gap between people like me who have MF lenses and MF bodies and those who have digital AF outfits. I don't know if they'll do this but if they will then it'll make a big difference to me. I'll be able to use my existing Nikon outfit with a digital body. It'd even be worth my while in that case to fly the 2000 or so miles to my mother's house to bring it all home.

jeisner
04-14-2005, 03:51 PM
^^ Yep one of the advantages of Pentax, they don't change their mounts to make previous lenses incompatable... I love using my old manual pentax lenses on my *ist DS, all work fine, NO exceptions...

DiJ
04-14-2005, 06:11 PM
Now if you ask me the thing they SHOULD develop is a high ISO P&S by lowering pixel counts. Make a sensor with 4 megapixels designed with purpose of providing very useable ISO 400/800. THAT product would be nice, but unfortunatly consumers are "hooked" on megapixels and as such anything under 5 today is considered "low end"

Tim

Thats the usual assumption but I see no point doing that at all. Sure a 4mp canon G3 has less noise than a 8mp pro1 if you view at 100% size. But if you resize the 8mp pro1 picture to 4mp. It actually will looks smoother.

Dont believe? See for yourself. These are 4mp A80 and pro1 test images from imaging-resource.com. A80 has slighty less noise than G3. Both camera at iso200. Pro1 picture resize to match A80 picture size.

speaklightly
04-14-2005, 07:23 PM
DiJ-

Good point! and just for the record, Fuji has already, and rather quietly, introduced the F-10 which already sports a high ISO setting of 1600!

Sarah Joyce

ktixx
04-14-2005, 08:28 PM
Seeing as how a whole lot of P&S users are used to having the image preview available on LCD before taking the shot - even using it for framing (just about everyone I know with a digital camera, anyway), how about introducing a camera with SLR specs (e.g. APS-C sized sensor, interchangeable lenses, powerful AF motors, etc), but with the SLR mirror+prism removed?


Once you remove the mirror and the prism you remove your ability to see. To be able to see you would also have to remove the shutter and replace it with an electronic shutter. By doing all this you have completely removed the parts that make an SLR Camera, an SLR Camera. Basically all you want is a higher quality point and shoot, with a lot of manual features. Before I purchased my 20D I had used nothing but an LCD Screen to frame my shots, now that I have used a viewfinder, I don't think I could ever go back. I hope this helps
Ken

Singh
04-14-2005, 09:30 PM
I donít think that it would be a wise idea to remove the optical view finder of the SLR. But it surly will be nice to get a live preview on the LCD.