Advantages of SLR in today's world

Started Nov 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
shigzeo Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
Re: Advantages of SLR in today's world

harri manni wrote:

Advantages, lack of EVF, super fast AF, ergonomics, massive selection of lenses.

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//Harri - My blog:

Personally, I find current SLR ergonomics poor. They are build with grip in mind, not rest. Traditional SLRs were basically boxes that rested naturally against a palm. Today, they must be supported mainly by fingers in a fuller grip. Fuller grips have less support because the hand isn't winding around the camera, and there is no natural close to the shape of the palm, so the camera tends to slip downward more often than prior models.

Mirrorless cameras like the X-Series are designed a little more like SLRs from the past, and can be held without gripping. I think the argument for 'ergonomics' has 100% to do with the grip portion conforming to a hand. But, while that can be less tiring for quick reorientation, it is less sure for steady, controlled shots.

I have a D800, a D200, and an FE. The FE is by far the most natural to hold, never requiring finger/hand gymnastics to reach ISO, shutter changes, or aperture switching. If Nikon brought out an SLR with traditional ergonomics, size, and a traditionally large/bright viewfinder, oh how happy I'd be. The eye is important and as viewfinders get smaller and dimmer, and the camera is made to mould to a hand rather than weight naturally against the palm, ergonomics get poorer and poorer.

Currently, true ergonomics (firm, natural grip, bright/large viewfinder, and lighter weight) have taken a large back step. It's been on since the F4-F5 era where SLRs abandoned traditionally small(ish) bodies with great viewfinders.

The mirrorless market have only a few cameras with good viewfinders: OM-D, X100, NEX7, X-E1 (X-Pro 1 positively tiny, smaller even than D5000) and A99. Apart from that group, viewfinders are small, cramped, and afterthoughts. That will change. I also hope that mirrorless cameras take advantage of size to dig into the palm rather than force fingers to grip around an artificial pillar, leaving very little to no room for the palm to support their weight.

Size is important. Today's cameras have to be big to feel secure, whereas yesterday's cameras could be small and still be easy to operate.

I'm waiting, enjoying my D800 (despite its many flaws), but when mirrorless cameras catch up with good viewfinders and hopefully native 35mm frames, I'll jump.

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