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Do we need DSLRs to be smaller and lighter?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Hi James,

    I agree I did take an extreme example but as you know when one tries to get a point across on an Internet Forum sometimes that's the approach that is required. :D

    I used to always try to illustrate the benefit of 4/3rds by using the E-1 c/w 14-54 and comparing it with e.g. a Canon 10D/Nikon D100. Even in that case there was a weight/size advantage albeit small. However the counter argument you're faced with is when someone says

    "oh yeah but look how small a D40 is and the Zuiko 7-14mm is a beast"

    So I can adopt the same tactic by cherry picking the items I want to compare. e.g.

    Canon 1ds mk3 c/w 600mm f4 against an E-3 c/w Zuiko 300mm f/2.8 ;)

    Olympus stated that they could build a smaller lighter system by adopting the 4/3rds standard than they could if the used a 35mm sized sensor. The crop factor x2 was a stated advantage right from the start, the idea that a lens could be half the FL of one giving the same angle of view on a 35mm based system.

    That has been consistantly overlooked with public and press alike claiming that the E-System bodies should be smaller otherwise the promise of a reduced size system hadn't been delivered. Olympus respond to the criticism and release the E-400/410 and it was then criticised by the very same people for being too small :D

    My E-1 + 11-22 f/2.8-3.5 + 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 + 50-200 F/2.8-3.5 weighs in at a total weight of 2650g yet gives me an effective FL of 22mm - 400mm at f/2.8 - f/3.5. Those aren't overly expensive or exotic lenses in my view.

    Switching to the E-3 increases the weight to 2850g approx.

    I can, believe it or not carry that little lot in a Tamrac Digital 5674. See Here It's a tight fit and I'm not sure that the E-3 will fit due to the increased Prism height but we'll see.

    I can guarantee you won't get an APS-C let alone FX set-up covering the same FL and similar lens speed into that bag.

    In my view that illustrates rather well the size advantage while still working with a body that's big enough to be comfortable.

    With that said I can accept that people are quite prepared to accept the weight disadvantage (if you want to call it that) in the intrests of ultimate IQ by using a Full Frame/FX set-up or adopt the middle ground by going APS-C. That in itself doesn't mean the Olympus has failed to deliver on the promise of a smaller/lighter system.

  2. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Hi Geoff, you know I enjoy a good honest discussion, we've all had our differences of opinon, thats good :D

    I apologise for taking the thread 'off Topic' but it was fun to try to get my point across. I'll leave the thread alone now :eek: :cool:

    Cheers, Richard

    p.s. I'd like an E-410 with E-3 controls and build. An OM4ti for the 21st century (no 35mm sized sensors please /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif)
  3. hodgo

    hodgo Well-Known Member

    In Answer to the question this thread asks, NO.....I've just replaced my EOS400d after only 3 months with the EOS40D and it's much better to have the bigger camera, I've got arthritis in my hands & found the smaller size of the 400D quite awkward, whereas the bigger 40D is a joy to use despite it being a heavier camera.

  4. ChrisBrookes

    ChrisBrookes Well-Known Member

    Great big no to smaller Dslrs from me !
  5. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    In a word, NO.
  6. Dave_Cox

    Dave_Cox Well-Known Member

    I have fairly big paws and the K10 suits me. I use an OM2n slr for film, but prefer the solid chunky feel of my sadly unreliable Rolleiflexes; so I definitely don't want a smaller DSLR.
  7. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Yes. lighter. Why should my D200 be heavier than my FMn2 which in turn is heavier than my vintage Pentax Spotmatic? The lenses are just as bad. The 105 f2.8 Pentax that I used years ago weighs 322g but my newest 105 f2.8 Nikkor weighs 834g (both with caps and lens hoods on my electronic kitchen scales). Is this progress? I would like a full frame digital Nikon that weighs no more than an F100. I would accept some extra weight over that for my old Pentax to cover AF and other features. I accept a small increment in mass of the lenses to allow better corrections and close focussing, but more than doubling the mass of a 105 is ridiculous; this must be one of the simplest of lens designs to compute. I realise that to achieve the frame rate of a D3, or even an F5 and F6 requires high power to drive the mechanics and power the multichannel electronics to store the images quickly, but an enthusiast model offering high image quality, some weather proofing, and at a modest frame rate is not too much to ask. Just because I use a Nikon, I am not a brash American Nikonian for whom a massive camera is some sort of macho status symbol.
  8. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I said yes. I have small hands and find that unless working on a tripod, something along the lines of a Nikon F4/F5 (the largest cameras I've used) is too bulky. I like my cameras to be compact, I'm not too keen on big chunky grips etc. Keep the viewfinders big though!

    That said I would like to play with a LF camera. Tripodded (is that a new word?) of course.
  9. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    LF cameras are full of air. Lens at one end, film at the other and not much else in between. Of couse you would like to play with one; so would I. There is no unnescessary weight.
  10. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    I tried a demo Olympus something-or-other (think it was an E410)on Saturday in the shops... felt too small for me because there was no proper grip to hold it with.
  11. ACS

    ACS Well-Known Member

    Yep, you want a big camera, you go buy a Canon. Heck, there's enough of them out there for three each.

    I say there's a market out here for small DSLR's, unless anyone has the market research to prove me wrong :) and an E410 built like an E3 would be just the ticket...
  12. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    All logic says that a smaller, lighter SLR would be better, provided it could be as rugged and handle as well as our current personal favourite. Who wants weight and bulk if it can be avoided and the loss involves no compromise?

    But I voted 'No' because, when it came to handling my shortlist of cameras, the smaller, lighter ones had always, in my view, compromised somewhere along the line. Basically I suppose I'm saying that I think the question makes an impossible assumption - that size and weight can be reduced without compromise.
  13. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    my K10D built like the proverbial brick outhouse, feels good in the hand, solid and reliable.
    My ist film slr light as a fevver yet still feels comfortable in the hand and a joy to use.
    So....if they could please cram all the technology and possibly a bit more into the space and not have it weighing as much I'd plump for yes .........
    but would the reviews end up dissing cameras that break the mould.
  14. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Probably. Even worse, some people would believe them.
  15. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Re: Do we need DSLRs to be smaller and lighter? Sure, as long as .....

    ....solid and durable :) As an example, I offer my Pentax IST*Ds which, while being quite small and (relatively) light, has a metal chassis and is still going strong after three(3) years and close to 70,000
    shots :D


  16. In time, I think the larger advanced amateur camera (but not the £2000+ models) will go the way of the Dodo!

    Already, I feel that the rise and rise of very compact cameras and very slim camera phones shows the way the bulk of the electronics/camera manufacturers think.

    Canon, for one, with their Ixus range have shown that small need not necessarily be either fragile or cheap.

    This progression to a smaller size is not confined to compacts either. The intermediates - the so called "Bridge Cameras" whose manufacturers are squeezing more pints into quart pots. My favourite the Panasonic range (FZ20/30/50)has been largely superseded by its smaller siblings like the FZ18.

    This pattern is repeated in the lower DSLR ranges - most of the lower end of the Nikon and Canon ranges has now "downsized considerably". They are simply reacting to customer preference - they are all satisfying a distinct need by the consumer. So Olympus and the 4/3rds manufacturers are only being sensible - responding to popular demand.

    So where does that leave most of the participants of this thread the "advanced amateurs?" Where there is a small, but highly profitable market, the manufacturers will meet it - for now. If we are to believe Kodak, the lens systems are where the profits are so companies like Nikon & Canon will continue to meet your demand for a small breeze block! The 40d and the D300 are, for the time being, examples of solidity and size that will surely pass.

    Why? Well, mass production is about costs and the tooling of these unique bodies - in time this is an obvious target for cost cutting. In future, I see the advanced amateur bodies being a similar size and shape to the lower end of the current ranges, but with more features.

    My position?

    I frankly dislike the shape, weight and ergonomics of my Nikon D200. I still think that cameras the size and shape of the Nikon FM/FE/FE2 handled far better. Obviously, I live in the past!

    If Olympus would get to grips with viewfinder design and the quality of the external trim (I do think Nikon range is far better) I'd change.

    No gentlemen, I honestly think your present camera is doomed to extinction! Enjoy it while you can!

  17. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    An emphatic NO from me. The point of an SLR has never been smallness/lightness but ergonomics and stability. "Small and light" in the SLR world equates to "fiddly and unstable" in my book!

  18. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    More quarts into pint pots
    Physics dictates the minimum effective size of photosensor cells, the tiny sensors in compacts and (almost all) bridge cameras have already boasting far more pixels than is good for image quality. :mad:

    This trend started long before digital. Blame autofocus... compare a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM with a Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 manual focus for OM system - the difference in bulk is amazing. Not all that much difference in the weight though.

    The Canikon "professional" film SLRs got very large, top range DSLRs are only following the trend.

    It is clear there is a market for both "compact" and "professional" sized (D)SLRs; this being the case, why not cater for both markets; the manufacturer that doesn't is likely to feel the pinch.

    But, why can't we have small "professional quality" cameras, and large "bargain basement" designs for the impecunious who happen to prefer their cameras to handle that way?
  19. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Ah - but will the specialist models be made by "mass production"? The professional dSLR users such as the so-called togs will always want the good, solid build quality, of that I am sure. Also the discerning amateur will still want to feel (quite literally) that he/she is getting good value for money; something the size and cost of a D200/D300 but weighing 200 grams, as an example, will just not feel right
  20. Matt_Hunt

    Matt_Hunt Well-Known Member

    I actually prefer a certain amount of weight since I find it helps me keep the thing steady. I also like a bit of space between buttons and not having things buried under layers of menu - I'd rather have a normal camera with 3 buttons to do A, B and C rather than something small, light and 'whizzy' that has one button controlling access to A, B and C.

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