Why are DSLRs so huge ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alfred Molon, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Is there any specific reason for which DLSRs are so huge, even bigger
    than film SLRs ? The CCD usually is smaller than a film frame, the
    internal electronics are highly integrated and no space is needed for
    film storage and transport. Is it perhaps because the buyers of DSLRs
    like big and heavy cameras ?
    Alfred Molon, Apr 10, 2004
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  2. Alfred Molon

    Andrew Guest

    You have to bear in mind the ergonomics of actually using the camera.
    You could make something a lot smaller, but it would probably be a
    nightmare to use out in the field.
    Andrew, Apr 10, 2004
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  3. For backwards compatibility with the humans who expect them that way! If
    it was as small and light as it could be, it would probably be called
    cheap, tinny, or plastic - oh, and too small to handle!

    The present DSLR is somewhat obsolete in today's world, and is being
    replaced by fixed zoom lens cameras for many people who appreciate the
    convenience of the single box. I think the future of DSLRs is smaller
    sensors and smaller lenses, such as the 4/3 system, possibly even without
    mirrors and "reflex" viewing - do that electronically.

    Power (batteries) still take up space and weight, though. Is cooling an

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2004
  4. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Well, something smaller is a lot more portable.
    BTW, while I'm writing this my wife is telling me "A real photographer
    doesn't use a digital camera." --

    Alfred Molon
    Alfred Molon, Apr 10, 2004
  5. So how do you get a fixed focal length lens on one of those then?
    Simon Gardner, Apr 10, 2004
  6. Alfred Molon

    andrew29 Guest

    The DSLR I use is precisely the same size as the film SLR it's based
    on. As far as I can see it uses the same body.
    To make it very much smaller you'd need to do a lot of redesigning.
    Lens' mount' f'rexample. The Olympus E-1 is an example of what you
    can achieve if you redesign everything.

    andrew29, Apr 10, 2004
  7. Alfred Molon

    bmoag Guest

    If you want to use the existing base of 35mm format lenses then the dSLR
    cameras will never get much smaller than the mid-70s designs like the
    Minolta XD11. Camera manufacturers also save money on using manufacturing
    dies that already exist for full frame 35mm cameras. Olympus does not have
    to satisfy a base of customers who have invested heavily in autofocus glass
    over the last 20 years and who have a fixed idea of what an "SLR" camera was
    supposed to look like and where the controls should be: that is the first
    "second" generation dSLR, Unless there is a move to put full-frame 35mm size
    sensors in Nikon/Canon/Olympus dSLRs these manufacturers will eventually
    move toward a new form factor as well. Having used both I do not think that
    EVFs should replace reflex mirror/prism viewing but that is probably where
    upper end camera design is heading.
    bmoag, Apr 10, 2004
  8. Purchase one that has fixed focal length lens.

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2004
  9. Alfred Molon

    ~ Darrell ~ Guest

    I recently handled an Olympus E-1, and It is bulkier than a Nikon D70, Canon
    10D or most other DSLRs. So that is the 4/3 system. I agree it's technical
    issues like batteries, cooling. But also factor in ergonomics, and a less
    likely concept, I paid $1,500 for the camera, so it better feel like a
    $1,500 SLR.
    ~ Darrell ~, Apr 10, 2004
  10. Alfred Molon

    Andrew Guest

    But not as versatile. I have a Sony DSC-U20 that I carry around
    routinely, but for much better pictures I have just bought a Dimage
    Andrew, Apr 10, 2004
  11. This all sounds like wishful thinking to me. Digital SLR sales are going
    through the roof - interchangeable lenses, optical viewfinder, and all. In
    view of the current trend and obvious trend for the immediate future, it's
    hard for me to grasp your concept of the word "obsolete".

    As to 4/3, it's interesting to note that since the Olympus E1 was announced,
    there have been 5 new dSLRs introduced by the three other dSLR
    manufacturers, all of which use APS size sensors AND have interchangeable
    lenses. And it is HIGHLY unlikely that the additionally imminent dSLRs - the
    D200, D2X, 10D Mk II, and successor to the drebel will be 4/3 systems. Nor
    would I hold my breath waiting for a dSLR with an EVF, if current trends are
    any indication. Maybe/probably some day. But not now.

    Howard McCollister, Apr 10, 2004
  12. []
    You might want to get a look through the 1MP electronic viewfinder of the
    Minolta A2 - it's a very pleasant experience! The angle the image
    subtends to the eye is about the same as my Nikon F501 SLR, and the image
    is a lot brighter indoors. If only more cameras had that quality of EVF!

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2004
  13. Alfred Molon

    Chris Brown Guest

    Quite, some of us hardly ever use zoom lenses.
    Now there's a great solution to the problem of carrying round several
    different lenses. Carry round several different *cameras*, each with their
    own lens.

    Chris Brown, Apr 10, 2004
  14. []
    Technically obsolete - of course Canon and Nikon will want to get the most
    from their 35mm SLR production lines, and while they can sell cameras at a
    high cost, they will. Quite a profitable line, I imagine, plus the
    lock-in to the lens system.

    The move to silicon sensors can free us from the obsolete form factor of
    the SLR (look at the swivel bodies Nikon Coolpix and Sony cameras for
    example. To me, it would be a pity if the chance for change were lost in
    the holy grail for a full-frame sensor, just so that existing heavy and
    bulky kit can be re-used.

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2004
  15. Alfred Molon

    Alfred Molon Guest

    It's only 300 K (640 x 480).
    Alfred Molon, Apr 10, 2004
  16. []
    Alternatively, you can carry round one camera capable of working with a
    variety of focal lengths. It's your choice - both options are available.
    Many 35mm pros do indeed carry round multiple cameras. Personally, I
    would take the zoom. The quality of optics in the top-end cameras is

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2004
  17. A number of reasons. I suspect there will be smaller SLR's in the
    future. Howeve I also suspect the high end models will remain larger.

    For now a lot of factors tend to call for the larger size, mostly just
    retrofitting the SLR systems.

    However keep in mind that larger cameras can mean larger view screens,
    more (longer lasting) batteries, more room for easier to see and use larger
    controls. Also many people find larger, slightly heavier cameras easier to
    hold steady.

    If you look at film 35mm cameras, you will find that in general, the
    professional and high end models are larger for these same reasons. This
    goes for SLR and point and shoot.
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 10, 2004
  18. No, it's about 1MP - 922,000 pixels according to the box. The impression
    is certainly broadly that of looking at 1024 x 768 computer display from
    normal viewing distance. The VGA specification is wrong (even in the
    manual!). Look at one and see what I mean if you doubt me, or see:


    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2004
  19. Alfred Molon

    leo Guest

    I do not understand your hostility over the current DSLRs. As many reviews
    have indicated that the bigger sensors in the DSLR clearly deliver better
    image quality than the compact 8MP camera. If you're satisfied with Minolta
    A2, so be it. The arrival of the DSLRs don't stop them from improving
    A2-like cameras.

    As for Olympus E-1, the price of the system is high and the cost of the lens
    is ridiculously unaffordable. I know it's all supply and demand issue but
    clearly hindering it's success. Still, the 4/3 has smaller sensor than
    competitors. By using the same concept of all CCD design, smaller means more
    noise. I would love to have a small "spycam" delivering the quality of a
    large format camera, but the current CCD doesn't cut it.
    leo, Apr 10, 2004
  20. Alfred Molon

    John Bean Guest

    And that's assuming you can find one with a lens faster than f/2 or
    thereabouts. People who have used only zoom lenses don't know what they are
    John Bean, Apr 10, 2004
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