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Old Oct 1, 2006, 11:54 PM   #11
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i think most people who have been around photography for awhile would be surprised at the rate digital has taken over. Innitialy manufacturers took slow easy steps to guage the market, some resistance to digital would have been noted.

Cameras for awhile became plastic boxes untill the urge to join SLR and 'SLRlike' became a reality. Now you could have a digital camera that even looked like a camera, and for awhile they couldnt make enough of the things.

Once the manufacturing system became more organised, with suppliers for reliable and good performing components came online, dSLRs were blended into the existing film range. New junctions in the market were created with terms like pro and 'semi' pro, point and shoot.

So basicly today we have a broader range based around user requirements for what you need to have to carry with you, or for more serious requirements. The old terms of rangefinder camera, twin lens, 6x6, and reflex cameras have all but dissappeared.

Personally I like a camera to look like how i expect a camera is, a case in point is the R1. Which is a very good camera with, for me anyway a terrible apperance that I just cant get used to, and one or two other difficulties. Like the weird free LCD, and the strange concoction they have for accessory lenses.

dSLRs are no different, manufacturers are keenly aware that evolution is better accepted than revolution. So cameras have taken this road of metamorphosis that isnt over yet. It may yet come about that the SLR will start to be replaced with a blend of video and P&S with interchangeable lenses. This would require deeper bodies that would cosmeticly look different.

The recent release of the Leica M8, and of whom Leica virtually created the 35mm camera. The M8 is at its heart a digital camera that looks for all the world like a 1958 rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses. The walls are closing in on the SLR, for this is now just about 11% of volume production and its getting more difficult to justify the excentricity of the moving mirror and the mechanical complexityand costs it involves.


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Old Oct 2, 2006, 1:10 AM   #12
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Digital range-finders aren't the answer. The slr design is much more versatile than an rf and this is still true with a digital sensor. Still, range-finders do have advantages in a few areas and I don't really understand why there aren't a lot more digital models. They should really be cheaper than dlsrs, with smaller, simpler designs and small lenses.
I believe that the electronics behind lcd viewers will eventually allow high enough detail for them to be as good as an optical view-finder. When this happens they will also be good enough for accurate metering and focus. Dslrs will then die out to be replaced by live-view cameras with interchangeable lenses. This is still a fair few years off though.
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Old Oct 2, 2006, 1:24 AM   #13
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jacks wrote
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Digital range-finders aren't the answer. The slr design is much more versatile than an rf and this is still true with a digital sensor. Still, range-finders do have advantages in a few areas and I don't really understand why there aren't a lot more digital models. They should really be cheaper than dlsrs, with smaller, simpler designs and small lenses.
I believe that the electronics behind lcd viewers will eventually allow high enough detail for them to be as good as an optical view-finder. When this happens they will also be good enough for accurate metering and focus. Dslrs will then die out to be replaced by live-view cameras with interchangeable lenses. This is still a fair few years off though.``
oh agreed
with zooms particularly you run into problems
so what about better EVF's

if there is to be a cheaper rangefinder camera it wont be made by Leica, lenses for those things cost more than some cars. It would be made by some japanese firm i guess. Cut and shut from a scandalised dSLR

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Old Oct 2, 2006, 3:05 AM   #14
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The SLR design (digital or film is largely irrelevant to this issue) isa very clever solution to the problem of how togive the photographer a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" approach to photography.

It is only one model however, and many others are possible; EVF, rangefinder, focussing screen, etc.

Barring some spectacular advances EVFs are always going to have some very significant resolution and lag problems compared to optical viewfinders.

IMO the reason the SLR model works so well is that it is a very versatile model and succeeds moderately well at just about every type of photography, isn't too large, isn't too expensive to make, it's a very good all-rounder, and in some fields is unparalled. There is no real alternative for shooting sports and wildlife for example.




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Old Oct 2, 2006, 3:35 AM   #15
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if im not mistaken
in the transition from movie film to video, now pretty much complete, you can likely see the solutions or part therin and the directions it will go

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Old Oct 2, 2006, 5:49 AM   #16
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I think you are all missing the point of the SLR design.
First, this is a design that has been refined and perfected to it's current state of the art over the last 50 or 60 years.
Second, the SLR uses SEPARATE sensors for autofocus and exposure. That translates into increased performance of the camera. AF is much faster and often more reliable (accurate) than digital p&s cameras.

Digital p&s cameras and the Sony R1 rely on software to determine autofocus and exposure from the image on the camera's sensor. This is significanly slower than the AF performance of the dedicated sensors in SLR's.

To get the image to the AF and exposure sensors in an SLR requires a mirror, actually more than one mirror, to accomplish this task.

Professional photographers demand this high level of performance in their tools and the camera manufacturers are delivering the cameras that meet their needs. Also, many advanced amatures also demand this level of performance.

So the presence of the mirror and the OVF is not because camera manufacturers will not make such cameras, it is because the SLR design is a proven quantity and because, to date, there has been no alternative to achieve the same level of performance.
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Old Oct 2, 2006, 6:51 AM   #17
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well i share some of that reasoning, it is afterall the state of the art
this is not to say
you cant make an interchangeable lens rangefinder that incorporates fast/accurate AF
for the mirror is used as a part of the process mostly because its already there
and slrs are generally more sophisticated because it is the sophisticated end of the market. nothing in the technology is so impossible or so set in stone

and looking aside from that
its not like slrs dont have their problems
the noise of the mirror in candid situations
the shake shock a moving mirror gives
maybe you have mirror lock up, but how much do you see then ?
why else would live view have been introduced
then there are the wriggles performed that emulate OTF exposure, unnecessary in a P&S

to cut it short, there are a number of very innovative features and technologies that slrs incorporate, but I cant think of any that cant be done simpler and cheaper in a rangefinder design. yes there are parts of that, in need of improvement to truly take on the slr role. but the appearance of a number of rangefinder like cameras from epson and the new sigma, leicas M8 and digilux 2 and sister LC1, the ricoh GR that are feeling the boundaries of the technology out. and with good reason

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Old Oct 2, 2006, 8:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
there are a number of very innovative features and technologies that slrs incorporate, but I cant think of any that cant be done simpler and cheaper in a rangefinder design.
SLR's and Rangefinders co-existed in the film world, and SLR's were king. SLR's and rangefinder/p&s digicams co-exist today, and the SLR is king.

If someone builds a good rangefinder (M8!), it will be recieved well by the market, but it will never take top slot. There many reasons for this, many are listed above, but the bottom line is that the SLR design delivers the absolute top performance and always will. And yes, of course niche markets exist, of which you are obviously a big fan. Your opinion is clearly not shared by the majority of the market and I will not accept that its because of false perceptions on the majority part. Get over yourself!
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Old Oct 2, 2006, 8:38 AM   #19
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never is a word either used bravely or foolishly

get over that...

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Old Oct 2, 2006, 6:47 PM   #20
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Riley: The discussion was about SLR's, not rangefinders. That aside, how would you implement getting the image onto a separate AF and exposure sensors without a mirror?

It seems to me there is no other alternative. yes, you could use a beam splitter, but then you have to give up a certain amount of the incoming light to direct at the sensors, if you do not swing the beam splitter out of the way at the time of exposure. Oh wait, the mirrors we use now do that already and are a tried and trusted technology.

By the way, the beam splitter (pellicle mirror) has been tried before and it was not exactly a resounding hit. The loss of light is something no photographer wants to give up, especially in low light situitations. Okay, maybe you would accept the light loss.

So I am waiting to hear how you would implement redirecting the light to the separate AF and exposure sensors, without using a mirror.
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