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Old Dec 11, 2003, 2:38 PM   #1
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Default SLR? ZLR? Changing definitions

Reading a photo magazine's review of the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-F828, I was stunned to see the writer claiming that composing a photo via the LCD screen is not possible with any other D-SLR. In another spot, they drew a distinction between SLRs and ZLRs, indicating that cameras such as mine that don't use interchangeable lenses aren't SLRs. I always thought a single lens reflex camera was so designated, not by the removability of its lens, but by where the image in the viewfinder comes from. Am I wrong?
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 2:58 PM   #2
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Barbara, SLRs use a mirror that moves up out of the way of the film/ccd plane. that's where the R (reflex) comes from in SLR. your
camera does not have this mirror. also i think most, if not all, SLR
cameras have interchangeable lenses and most here consider it a
requirement to be SLR designated.

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Old Dec 11, 2003, 3:15 PM   #3
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The way I understand it, a camera doesn't need interchangeable lenses to be an SLR, but what it does need is a mirror assembly that lets you look through the same lens that takes the picture. Take for example the Sony DSC-D770. It is a true SLR in that looking through the viewfinder means looking through the main lens through a mirror, but it has a nonremovable lens.

EVF-equipped cameras like the 828, 717/707, Minolta 7 series, etc. have the single lens, but lack the reflex mirror action. They're SL, but not SLR. They're a new category of camera. Perhaps they could be called SLEVF cameras. I usually just refer to them as pseudo-SLRs.
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 3:19 PM   #4
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Okay, so now we most definitely have a tangle since a ZLR, which is the description, I guess, of my Oly E-20N, stands for Zoom Lens Reflex. There's that word "reflex" in there, and it's surely confusing the issue.
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 3:23 PM   #5
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"UrbanPhotos," by your description, my Oly is an SLR. I am most definitely viewing through the same lens as the camera uses to take the picture. I don't even have to turn on the camera to see through that lens, and I often do it just that way when looking for a good composition if I suspect my batteries are low.
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 3:28 PM   #6
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Zoom lens reflex doesn't make any sense in describing the E-20. Whether a lens is zoom or fixed-length doesn't enter into whether it's an SLR.

The E-20 is in a class by itself, as far as I can tell from Steve's review. "The E-20 (and E-10) uses a beam-splitting prism to allow the camera to act like a conventional SLR even though it does not have the usual mirror found in its film counterparts. "

That means it falls between EVF-equipped cameras like the Sony F-717 and true digital SLRs. You're looking at a real image through the main lens, just like on a standard SLR. The only difference is that it's accomplished differently than with the mirror system of a film SLR or the film-like dSLRs (like the Canon EOS series). I'd say the E-20 should be classified as an SLR. That's how it's classified in Steve's reviews...
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 3:34 PM   #7
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That's kind of what I thought, too, that it should be classified as an SLR. Otherwise and as time goes on and innovations continue, we'll all get buried in acronyms (as if we aren't already). It would be akin to saying a car with a rotary engine is a pseudo-car.
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 9:04 PM   #8
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'Consumer' type cameras are actually SLR.

Slated Later for Replacement. :roll: :shock:

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Old Dec 11, 2003, 9:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
-Barbara, SLRs use a mirror that moves up out of the way of the film/ccd plane. that's where the R (reflex) comes from in SLR. your
camera does not have this mirror. also i think most, if not all, SLR
cameras have interchangeable lenses and most here consider it a
requirement to be SLR designated.
It bugs me when a concept is defined in the context of an implementation.

The reflex concept is that the same image that strikes the film plane is intercepted and reflected to a [ground glass] screen for compositon and focusing. With a twin lens reflex camera such as the Rolleiflex, there was a fixed mirror that reflected the image. It didn't "move up out of the way". It was in the optical path of a second, auxillary lens. The early single lens versions of the reflex camera concept used a movable mirror that was mechanically flipped out of the direct path from the subject to the film plane just prior to the shutter being released. This brute force method of time sharing the optical path of a single lens system worked just fine for decades as an implementation of a reflex system. The Oly E-10/20 use a more sophisticated method of time sharing the optical path--the optical beam spliltter.

Just because the optical path implemen tation used on t he Oly E-10/20 does not employ a mechanical flipping mirror into and out of the optical path but rather, uses a different and innovative form of 'mirror'-- a partially silvered beam splitter prism, does not alter the fact that it is a reflex camera, and since it has but one lens, it is therefore by definition a Single Lens Reflex camera.

...my $0.02 worth[/i]
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Old Dec 11, 2003, 10:52 PM   #10
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As far as I know, only one camera maker uses "ZLR" to describe their cameras. I think they are trying to invent a term, hope it catches on and then be the first "ZLR" (and have it mean something.) Personally, I think its stilly. But then again, I'm an idealist who is also a realist.

Many, many people think that a "SLR" has to have replaceable lenses. They don't (as has been described by others above.)

Marketing people who do that should be smacked, especially when there is a proper term for it already.

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