December 22, 2014, 06:09:17 PM

Author Topic: Why are DSLRs so Big?  (Read 9497 times)

9VIII

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Re: Why are DSLRs so Big?
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2013, 05:28:49 PM »
Why are DSLRs so big? Try putting a 70-200 f/2.8 on a Sony A7 and see how well it balances and handles :)

Large & heavy full frame lenses need a large body otherwise it is a royal pain to try and grip the camera body + balance the lens.

I actually far prefer the balance of the 400f5.6 on my Rebel T3 over the 5D2 with battery grip. The 5D2+grip weighs almost as much as the lens itself, meaning you pretty much have to hold the whole thing with two hands all the time, whereas with the Rebel it pivots on the Tripod foot and is much easier to swing around from carrying it by your side to lining up a shot. It feels a lot more nimble with a lightweight camera on the back.
I don't believe there's any reason a smaller body would be a compromise in control. Look at current Fuji models, they have more buttons and dials than any Canon. At any rate, I think it would be amazing if Canon would at least start developing light weight versions of their high end cameras. From what I've heard a lot of photographers tend to have pretty sore arms after a long day of shooting.

Errrrr on a tripod yeah, it won't matter especially with it mounted on the collar. Try handholding and it's a world of difference, you ever do an all day event or wedding shoot? The 70-200 F/2.8 is an all around great lens to use but man, back when I used a rebel with one it was a pain, halfway through the day my wrist was not working the way I wanted it to. Weight unbalanced towards the front, front-heaviness, is a lot more of a pain to deal with than getting a bigger heavier camera that actually balances out the whole setup. The bigger grip is comfortable to hold and the whole thing is easier to swing around. And really, ~ 800 grams is not bad for just the body when carrying a load of lenses and other gear, once you add a flash as well then shaving off several more grams on just a single body like with a mirrorless camera (lets say A7) doesn't do much.
Fujifim's cameras are that way because their lenses are also small and lightweight, and neither are they FF, which helps reduce the size and weight big time.

Aside from grip and balance though, DSLRs on their own aren't that big, even a 5D series, take the lens off and hey it can fit in a coat pocket :)
It's the big lenses, get a pancake lens like the 40mm F/2.8 and it's all compact enough.
The only reason I'd be excited about a mirrorless FF mount is for adapting all sorts of lenses to... lenses I don't have anyways though... small and lightweight bodies would need equally small and lightweight, but still fast and high quality lenses, and I'm not looking at Leica as they currently don't offer AF

My comment was actually referring to using the camera handheld. When I go for a walk with the 400f5.6, I'm usually just carrying it around and only looking through the viewfinder for a few moments periodically. In this situation I find the lower total weight far more valuable than any handling benefits from the 5D2. With just a little Rebel on the back it puts the balance point nicely on the tripod foot, which makes it easier to carry.
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Re: Why are DSLRs so Big?
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2013, 05:28:49 PM »

Ryan Ricaborda

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Re: Why are DSLRs so Big?
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2013, 06:55:49 PM »
I would probably prefer a bit lighter and more balanced then smaller. IMHO 1dx feels fantastic but gets really heavy with big lenses or shooting half a day.

jrista

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Re: Why are DSLRs so Big?
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2013, 07:25:20 PM »
As Canon stated, they were able to reduce the size of the SL1 by developing a new package for mounting the sensor as well as further miniaturization of the electronics.  Its small enough now so that I find it difficult to use.
How big of a LCD display did your canon F1 have ?  How many buttons?  Not to mention joystick and control wheels.  You can combine them down to fewer controls, and with touch screens, maybe some of them can go away.

Even with a large touch screen, the controls would never be as convenient or reliable, and likely never as quick, as with physical dials and buttons. There is something to be said for having a large camera body with large physical controls...you have the ability to memorize button placements, button press sequences, dial rolls by notches, etc. allowing you to almost entirely automatically reconfigure a DSLR on the fly via. procedural memory, allowing the rest of your mind to focus on the art. I can't imagine ever being able to achieve that with a touch screen...especially when my face is pressed up against the camera body.

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Re: Why are DSLRs so Big?
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2013, 07:15:18 AM »
With film and manual focus plus manual aperture, there was little in the cameras. Manual film transport too meant all you needed was a tiny battery to power the exposure system, at least that is how I used my dads Tlb canon. And it still works.
Move to a T90 and you get multiple motors for film transport, more buttons and less dials. But to do this you have more electronics which go somewhere. Size goes up.
Move to a digital canon and you have to add in all those things peculiar to digital but absent with film. Rear screen, memory card(s), bigger battery, flash, dials to zoom in or change focus points and so on. You then have to have the buttons spaced such that they are usable.
Following a logical set of steps you can see how dslr bodies range from the 1 series to the rebels. My only criticism of the 1series is the weight! But even that can help with balance or unsteady hands. My 350d seemed to produce many more crooked horizons which are absent (mostly) on the 1dx.   
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jrista

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Re: Why are DSLRs so Big?
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2013, 01:31:03 PM »
With film and manual focus plus manual aperture, there was little in the cameras. Manual film transport too meant all you needed was a tiny battery to power the exposure system, at least that is how I used my dads Tlb canon. And it still works.
Move to a T90 and you get multiple motors for film transport, more buttons and less dials. But to do this you have more electronics which go somewhere. Size goes up.
Move to a digital canon and you have to add in all those things peculiar to digital but absent with film. Rear screen, memory card(s), bigger battery, flash, dials to zoom in or change focus points and so on. You then have to have the buttons spaced such that they are usable.
Following a logical set of steps you can see how dslr bodies range from the 1 series to the rebels. My only criticism of the 1series is the weight! But even that can help with balance or unsteady hands. My 350d seemed to produce many more crooked horizons which are absent (mostly) on the 1dx.   

The now decades-old Canon film 1-series SLRs that used the EF mount were roughly the same size as modern 1-series EOS DSLRs. The size of the 1-series has nothing to do with electronics. It is an ergonomics factor...always has been. The large 1-series have always had the integrated grip...its one of its selling points. The large size offers much better hand-holdability in both landscape and portrait orientations.

That is, has always been, and probably will always be one of the primary arguments for using an SLR-style camera...ergonomics. Even if you have smallish hands, mirrorless cameras are exceptionally small. They really don't fit the hands all that well, and while they certainly save on weight, for all but those with tiny hands, they end up having other ergonomically related problems, like cramping your hands into your face in an uncomfortable way.

From a weight standpoint, one of the most significant weight factors in a modern DSLR is the battery. Larger batteries with much greater capacity are usually the most dense aspect of the camera. A large battery can get you a lot more shooting time before having to swap out batteries, and/or supply the necessary power to move the mirror and actuate the shutter and write huge amounts of data to a memory card at extremely high frame rates. It's a trade off you can choose to make, however...1D X with grip and extra large battery, or 5D III with no grip and a relatively small/light battery. Perhaps at some point in the future dense, heavy batteries might be traded out for some kind of light weight fuel cell that can operate for days under the same kind of load conditions.

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Re: Why are DSLRs so Big?
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2013, 01:31:03 PM »