[email protected] said:The discussion on mirrorless is a great example of why the term slr is increasingly inappropriate. If you stuck a mirrorless mechanism in the 1dx, would it not be an slr? And, on the other hand, if you took the existing 1dx shutter mechanism and installed it into a rifle-shaped mount that had balancing weights to adjust for different lenses, would it not be an slr?
Um...the answer to both questions is: No!
The 1D X is ONLY an SLR so long as it is an SLR: Single-Lens Reflex. That implies a very specific design with rather specific construction to support the notion that the camera is a single-lens reflex camera...a camera that reflects light from a single lens to the viewfinder, allowing the operator "through the lens" framing. Take away the mirror box, and no matter what you end up with, it will never be an SLR. It'll be something else. A mirrorless is called a mirrorless, or an ilc, because it quite simply is NOT an SLR, and never will be because it can't be.
[email protected] said:Great discussion. My personal opinion is that the slr market is severely hindered by our pre-conceived notion that a camera should look like an slr. In the future, I'd anticipate this model to be broken. Right now, some people think of it as a shutter mechanism, as the name implies. Most people think of it as the big "camera-shaped" hunk of metal and plastic that makes it look professional-ish. I don't think the shape is at all optimized, however, for taking pictures, except for the use of very small lenses.
As others have pointed out earlier in this thread, when digital SLRs first hit the market, they took on a variety of different forms and shapes. All of those shapes failed, and the DSLR took over.
Timeless designs don't become timeless for no reason. The basic SLR design has persisted for decades. Many, just as you are now, probably proclaimed just the same things when the film SLR was first phasing into the DSLR. Obviously some companies even tried to mix things up a bit. The the SLR design is timeless. The earliest forms of SLR came onto the scene, what, in the 1920's? That is about NINETY YEARS. That's a really long time for the same basic camera design to persist.
Why does it persist, though? I mean, as early as the late 30's/early 40's SLRs had taken on the form they still have today. The general concept of an interchangeable lens camera that allowed through the lens composition was solidified by the 40's at the latest. It persists today because it is the most convenient design. Your comment above, that "the model is broken", is either entirely naive, or simply baiting. Well, sorry for taking the bait, but the SLR design is the farthest thing from being broken. It persists because it is the best form people have found to assist them in serious photography.
Modern DSLR's, particularly from Canon, are highly ergonomic. Their shape fits the hand ideally. Their weight nicely balances against the average size of DSLR lenses. Their button placement allows for optimal efficiency when changing settings during operation, allowing for procedural memory to support operation without the operator ever taking their eye away from the viewfinder! The modern DSLR body is really the pinnacle of camera body design. It persists because it's the best. Not because it is broken.
"Most people" aren't photographers. Most people don't really care about photography...they care about snapshots and visual chit-chat and instagram. The DSLR wasn't designed for most people. It was designed for photographers. So long as photographers persist, the DSLR will persist. It best solves the problem of critical photography for critical photographers. Perhaps someday someone will simply remove the mirror from the DSLR, and replace the pentaprism with an EVF...but will leave the general DSLR body design alone. I predict that the first company to do that will be the hero of the critical photographer (for a while). I predict Canon will do it best, and maintain their dominance in the market of providing critical equipment for critical photographers.
Everyone else? The snapshotters (and also the critical photographers who want something in addition to their DSLR...so basically everyone), will go with whatever is most convenient...damn the quality, damn the capabilities...they just want something that will snap photos and do instagram. Having 36mp and extensive DR doesn't mean squat to the snapshotter...they are going to obliterate all that such fancy technology has to offer anyway when they pass it through one of those (sorry, gotta say it) hideous filters for exhibition on instagram.
Sony, as the original article that the OP quoted says, makes "cool technology", but has rather bland packages that they put that cool technology into. For a critical photographer, the technology is important, but the package is more important. The A7/r is an intriguing technological advancement...sensor wise and due to the fact that it's mirrorless...but it's package kinda sucks. Everyone, even Fred Miranda, has mentioned how it doesn't really handle AF all that well (even with Zeiss lenses), and that functionally it isn't on the same playing field as Canon and Nikon. And it's small. That might be nice if the most important thing for you is portability...but it would still be better if that amazing sensor was packaged in a better body. I'd take a Canon 5D III style DSLR body with a Sony Exmor in it every time over the A7/r. (Hell, I'll still take the 5D III with it's 22.3mp Canon sensor over the A7/r!) The bigger body is one of the things that makes the 5D III so appealing...it is an ergonomic masterpiece packed full of exceptional technology in addition to the sensor, built on nearly 90 years of refinement of the best camera body known to man.