Why does the SLR design endure?


Whether it's a small DSLR or a big mirrorless camera the design that started with the film SLR shows no sign of going away. Cameras that have no mirrors now have a design feature that looks like a pentaprism. The early days of digital turned up some fairly radical design, but as time goes on a kind of conservatism has returned. The latest top of the range mirrorless cameras from Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and Olympus all look like cameras that could have been released any time in the last 30 years. And the SLR in it's digital form shows no sign of going away. I'm currently using mirrorless cameras only. And since I've cancelled my Nikon D3300 pre-order I will be for some time to come. I will be using my Sony A7 and A7r for the foreseeable future and for the past couple of days I've been working with an outfit that looks like the picture below. Not exactly revolutionary is it?


Now whether or not what's inside this body shape has a moving mirror or not, an optical or electronic viewfinder, software to connect with the internet or a cappuccino maker it seems as photographers and / or camera owners we can't get enough of that shape. There are the square rectangular rangefinders from Leica and their clones, but the SLR shape is certainly enduring. It gets adapted, refined, updated and backdated more times than I change my photographic gear (and thats a lot!) but it's still around. Even Fuji, who have based their modern renaissance on the 'lookaleica' concept are rumoured to be producing something very soon that looks like this.

 Now in the past I've owned both of these.



(If you think you know what these are write your answers on a postcard and send them to www.hideoussonycameras.com)

But it seems common sense has prevailed and these days a camera looks like a camera should, though we really should draw the line at this.

So whether it's retro you want or modern, or a combination of both, chances are you're currently using a camera that looks like something the characters in Life on Mars would recognise.

And that's no bad thing when the alternatives could look like this.





The stuff of nightmares!!

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