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Old May 8, 2008, 7:31 PM   #1
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I don't compose pictures by looking through the viewfinder, Iuse the live view on the camera back. I get MUCH better composition MUCH quicker that way. What I want in a camera is interchanging lenses, large sensor, high ISO, generally all the things found only in DSLR's, but I don't want an SLR at all, it just adds to the camera shake. Will manufacturers make very high end non-DSLR cameras at some point? [forget Leica] that have exactly the same benefits without the mirror? For that matter do all DSLR's have a mirror? I have a couple of film DSLR's and they have mirrors, maybe there is another way?

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Old May 8, 2008, 8:20 PM   #2
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The 'R' in SLR is for Reflex. That's the mirror. If you want to do away with the moving mirror, but still want the 'Reflex' (the redirected view)then you can use a TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) camera. If you don't mind the twin lenses but don't need the 'Reflex', then you can leave out the mirror, and what you're left with is a conventional optical viewfinder.

Notwithsdtanding the Leica (and its brethren, the Epson R-D1), there just isn't much demand for that type of camera; if you want to spend a lot of money on a lens, why wouldn't you want to look through it?
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Old May 8, 2008, 8:47 PM   #3
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Rangefinder cameras have optical VFs and interchangeable lenses, but no live view. The camera you want (as do others of us), is known as EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens), but doesn't yet exist. At least part of the reason is that in order to do it, the sensor would have to always be exposed to light, which creates problems with noise, and sensor design. Someday.

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Old May 8, 2008, 9:20 PM   #4
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I would think the next logical step would be high end P&S (I use that term loosely for a high end camera) with an APS sized sensor. Sony had the R1 a few years ago, but I don't think it really caught on and was discontinued shortly after release. Really, I don't think there's much demand as the size and cost of this camera would be equal to or more than some of the entry level DSLR's without the flexibility. With inexpensive and compact DSLR's like the Nikon D40, Digital Rebel and the entry level Oly, this type of camera would face stiff competition, and likely lose out on the price end. I'm sure we will see this type of bridge camera in the future. But like I said, I can get a D40 for the same price as the Canon G9 (canon's top end P&S), in a slightly larger package that could shoot circles around the G9. I carry a Canon a720is when I need something small because it can fit in my pocket...an APS sensor sized p&s ain't fitting in my pocket.
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Old May 8, 2008, 10:50 PM   #5
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VTphotog wrote:
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Rangefinder cameras have optical VFs and interchangeable lenses, but no live view. The camera you want (as do others of us), is known as EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens), but doesn't yet exist. At least part of the reason is that in order to do it, the sensor would have to always be exposed to light, which creates problems with noise, and sensor design. Someday.

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I knew there had to be a good technical reason. Ok...... one less thing to think about, thank you all very much!!
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Old May 9, 2008, 1:59 AM   #6
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maxpi wrote:
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...it just adds to the camera shake.
Curiously that is exactly the opposite experience that most people have. By holding the camera against your face it works to steady the camera and reduce camera shake. Holding the camera in your hands far enough away from your face to see an LCD makes it much harder to hold steady.

An optical viewfinder has the potential to be far brighter and clearer than an EVF. Of course it's possible to make terrible optical viewfinders and many of the cheaper DSLRs demonstrate that point very effectively.

Also an EVF has "lag" by its very nature, sometimes that is not important, but sometimes it is very important and it affects the way you shoot. One of the joys of a rangefinder or TLR is that you don't get any blackout when you take the picture, this makes it easier to anticipate and frame for the "decisive moment".

So I don't hate the idea of a really great EVF, but I just haven't ever seen one that was anywhere near good enough to keep me happy.

As always YMMV.
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Old May 9, 2008, 5:49 AM   #7
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Many dSLR cameras offer excellent image quality, build quality, flexibility, and handling, just as film SLRs did and still do. However, they are many times the size, weight, and cost of my ridiculously cheap Kodak Z712is 'superzoom hybrid', especially when the SLR has a good set of lenses with it.

But I have exactly whatthe originator of this thread wanted - a live though-the-lens preview, at eye level, through its EVF. It even allows, to a degree, exposure adjustment by eye that I used to do later in the darkroom, before I even release the shutter. It also allows access to the full camera menu system, without removing it from my eye.

All this could be present in a quality digicam, the size of an SLR, and looking like one, but without the weight & complexity of the mirror and pentaprism. I can't understand why it hasn't happened yet.

I seldom carried my film SLR into the wilds; I carried a 35mm compact camera instead. Now I can take good (not excellent) quality images anywhere at all, complete with 36-432mm equiv. zoom lens. I seldom use the LCD screen. On my previous digicams I had an optical viewfinder. I don't miss it or a live optical SLR view. My term for that is 'What you see is what you'd like to get', rather than my 'what you see is extremely similar to what you will get'.

I realise that I'd love a simple large scale model of my Z712 (upsized proportionally to the increase in sensor size). Then we'd really be getting somewhere. But I'd never be able to afford it.

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Old May 9, 2008, 7:43 AM   #8
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maxpi wrote:
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I don't compose pictures by looking through the viewfinder, Iuse the live view on the camera back. I get MUCH better composition MUCH quicker that way. What I want in a camera is interchanging lenses, large sensor, high ISO, generally all the things found only in DSLR's, but I don't want an SLR at all, it just adds to the camera shake.
What part adds to camera shake? The mirror slap, or trying to hold a heavier camera in front of you to use the LCD for framing? ; -)

If you're taking photos at shutter speeds that are fast enough so that you don't need a tripod, the mirrror slap probably isn't going to cause an issue. I can remember reading through a long thread about the new Sony A200 not long ago, which is missing a Mirror Lockup Feature. The tester took a lot of photos at a variety of shutter speeds trying to induce blur from mirror slap, and couldn't find a combination that caused it (at least from what I could tell from looking at the images). But, Sony redesigned the mirror mechanism on their latest dSLR models to include better dampening for less vibration, too. So, that probably helps reduce in mirror vibration related blur.

You may want to look at the new Sony DSLR-A300 (a dSLR with Live View).

It's shipping now, and has an LCD that tilts so you could keep the camera at a lower position while framing (most DSLR models have a fixed LCD on the camera's back).

Sony DSLR-A300 at sonystyle.com

This model (along with the new Sony A350) has a new Live View design that gets around some of the issues found in most other Live View systems via a separate Live View Sensor, with a design that allows the camera's main 9 point Autofocus Sensor assembly to work while in Live View mode. This eliminates the problems found in most other systems, since there is no need to switch in and out of Live View mode to use the cameras's primary AF sensors, or have the performance issues you may see with a Contrast Detection AF system using the camera's main Sensor for AF.


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