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Old Mar 14, 2003, 7:46 PM   #1
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Default Why do dSLRs exist?

I read this on another site and got permission from the author to post it here.

http://slashdot.org/~ObviousGuy/journal/26559

He basically asks the question of why the 'SLR' in 'dSLR' is necessary.

Any thoughts? Flames?
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Old Mar 14, 2003, 8:07 PM   #2
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Having owned the Olympus C-4000, I have come to realize how beneficial a TTL system can be. Sure, I can use my LCD screen for WYSIWYG, but the problem with that is:

1) The battery consumption. Anyone here that uses the LCD 99% of the time with NiMH batteries will know what I'm talking about.

AND

2) Resting the camera beside your face, with your hands and shoulders tucked-in more provides stability.



Oz
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Old Mar 14, 2003, 8:59 PM   #3
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Well, I know in my case I hate a lot of aspects of digital cameras, the aufo focusing, the auto exposure, etc. and the fact that the manual tools on such cameras are next to useless (except for the histogram).

I had always used manual cameras, my first one (Agfa Isolette) had no range finder or light meter...I had to do all the figuring out in my head (although I did have a separate range finder and light meter for those times I needed help). When I got an SLR I got a fully manual one, the only thing electronic on it was the light meter but I could still just dial in the exposure I wanted.

Now I have this digital which doesn't make it easy to access, first switching to manual mode...up/down for shutter speed, left/right for aperture, hold a button down to switch from shutter speed controls to manual focusing controls, I have to remember to push a button to turn on the on-screen light-meter, and the focusing isn't very accurate...on the SLR there was a split circle with a microprism which made it very easy and quick. Most of the time I argue with the camera about focusing and have to wait for the motor to catch up.

Now I was smart to get a camera that at least had a TTL EVF (I don't know how those with just an optical viewfinder deal with this, not to mention parallax errors).

I will be looking at the next camera I get a LOT closer, and it will most likely be a dSLR so I get the functionality I had before.

I use my manual SLR for 20 years, and it was still working perfectly when I got my digital...I probably would still be using it if digital wasn't so cheap to shoot. I guess the ultimate would be if I could get a digital back for my SLR so I could still use it.
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Old Mar 14, 2003, 9:34 PM   #4
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I totally understand where you are coming from with the manual control comments. I too pine for that in a camera. Right now I'm pining for the Nikon FM3A (along with OG, it seems) which is completely manual except for the metering which can be manually adjusted too.

But what if you could get something like a dSLR without the mirrors and prism? Backwards compatibility with existing lenses. Manual focus and exposure, but with the auto features right there if you need them.

I'm with OG on this that EVFs are not quite where they ought to be but probably will be within a couple years.

Meanwhile, I'll just go play with that FM3A at the store a little more.
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Old Mar 14, 2003, 9:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauren
I totally understand where you are coming from with the manual control comments. I too pine for that in a camera. Right now I'm pining for the Nikon FM3A (along with OG, it seems) which is completely manual except for the metering which can be manually adjusted too.

But what if you could get something like a dSLR without the mirrors and prism? Backwards compatibility with existing lenses. Manual focus and exposure, but with the auto features right there if you need them.
To me the auto controls have been a more of a nusiance. I barely had to learn anything on my SLR...whereas on my digital I had to learn to live with the automatic features and how to compensate for them. Also this EV (Exposure Value) nonsense...who invented that? On the SLR I knew right away what would happen if I changed the f-stop or the shutter speed one position without thinking...with EV am I changing f-stop, shutter speed, both...iow I need to think rather than just react on instinct.

Anyway, I like the micro-prism and the split-circle focusing.
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Old Mar 15, 2003, 5:37 AM   #6
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EVFs have few advantages that some manufacturer have learned to exploit:
1. You can superimpose a real-time histogram
2. On demand grid and scale (ie interchangeable electronic screens)
3. What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) in manual mode, ie see the exposure change as the aperture or shutter is adjusted (ie no need for metering in manual) Or observe the effects of front filters right off the CCD (or the effects of the internal electronic color filters).
4. Night Vision (EVF turns to B/W but the signal is boosted just like an NVG system)
5. Digitally zoom in to help the manual focus.

Prisms have the following advantage:
1. It has the split beam for the phase detectors (always faster AF this way than the CCD based contrast of most digicams since this data have to be read out serially digitized and then computed, the phase detectors not only give distances, but also far or near info instantly)
2. Faster response than the tiny video monitor in the EVF refresh rate
3. Better resolution and accuracy than the tiny EVF (ie EVF again has their own color space!)
4. Use much less power (especially when the rear LCD is turned off)
5. Cost more to make and align (witness the few dSLR owners here who have a sharp focus through the prism, but not @ the actual CCD film plane!)

Both systems can co-exist but for cost reason I believe the EVF will always undercut the optical on cost for trade-off in performance... It's up to the photographers... who might actually end up buying both systems :lol: :lol: :lol:
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