Dropping the "D" and other arcane stuff

Started Jun 23, 2014 | Discussions thread
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kkardster Veteran Member • Posts: 7,645
Dropping the "D" and other arcane stuff

It seems to me that camera makers are unnecessarily afraid of their digital technological wonders being associated with the now archaic film days of the last century and avoid any connecting reference. (The only exception being the use of 35mm equivalents, to help old dogs understand the digital world without having to learn new tricks.) Heck, they even avoid referring to 35mm digital cameras as 35mm so as not to be confused with the old film 35mm cameras that came to dominate film photography; they have to call them "full frame", as if the 35mm they refuse to mention is some sort of holy grail.

And while I'm on my soap box, isn't it time we truly cut the 35mm film and vacuum tube cords altogether? What sense does it make to continue to base specifications on ancient technologies in today's high-tech world? Why do we measure sensor sizes based on some old video frame reference that doesn't help the average person understand how big [or little in this case] a sensor actually is?

And why do we compare lenses to each other only after converting their specs to archaic (though, like old ties, now back in fashion due to "full frame") 35mm equivalents? One could argue that most people today have never even used a 35mm camera, and many who have could never afford the glass to truly appreciate what 120mm vs 300mm vs 600mm lenses have to offer. Other optic systems seem to get by quite well using specs that can stand on their own instead of having to be interpreted in 35mm terms - thinks like binoculars and microscopes. Personally - even though I bought my first 35mm camera back in the 70's of the last century (an Olympus OM-2n) and understand most of this stuff - I'd like to use FOV instead of EFL. And I'd like to see the term "equivalent aperture" banned as just more equivalent nonsense that just adds to the confusion.

OK, OK - I know this is all a pipe dream of mine and that once the marketing departments have been consulted that we'll just have to cling to the past as we adopt its "full frame" mantra as the reference standard for the future. We get to be optimists here as new models are rumored and announced, but in the end we all need to be realists and I know this will never change. But I'd venture to guess that 99.99% of all SLRs sold today are digital, so do we really need to continue to specify that it's digital in the camera type? Please, can we finally just drop the "D"? It's a good place to start!

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