Don't be EVIL and blame the prism and mirror for large camera size

Started Aug 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Lionel Barker
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Don't be EVIL and blame the prism and mirror for large camera size
Aug 4, 2012

Time after time I see articles on electronic viewfinder and interchangeable lens cameras making the point that by removing the bulky prism and mirror they can make the camera size so much smaller.

I recently pulled out my old OM-1, inserted a roll of 35mm film, and started to use it. It’s kind of peaceful; you set the aperture, adjust the shutter speed and them focus and take the photo. It all seems much more relaxed.

Anyway my wife comments, that’s a neat and tidy camera compared to your other ones, “is it a new one?” Hmmmm…

So I photographed the OM-1 beside my smallest DLSR (D40X), which I actually really like because it’s quite “compact”, but beside the OM-1 looks quite bulky. Both have F1.8 lens, but remember the OM-1 has a full 35mm frame behind the lens wheras the D40X is only APS-C.

Now, I’m not saying we should go back to fully manual cameras, it wouldn’t work for sports, but for many cases (portraits, landscapes etc) we don’t really need that level of automation, in fact slowing the whole photographic process down if probably a good idea.

Is there a market for a compact full frame camera, which has a mirror and prism, but maybe one or motors less? … Probably not, but I for one would give it consideration.

But please don’t blame the prism for bulky modern DSLRs…

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Nikon D40X
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