The Nikon D90 is A DSLR that also records 720p video. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 is a camera with an interchangeable lens system that doesn’t have a direct through the lens optical viewfinder and therefore needs no mirror or pentaprism. Both cameras are fairly high quality affairs aimed at the amateur enthusiast. Rumor has it the Canon will soon release a full frame camera with 1080p video capability.
I think the DSLR term is dead. In the future the EVF (electronic viewfinder) will be more then capable(perhaps it already is) of replacing the optical viewfinder and this will eliminate the need for moving parts inside the camera body. I look forward to seeing aftermarket viewfinder solutions that take advantage of the HDMI output many of the new cameras have. One could even conceive of some kind of remote or wired external viewfinder that could be held up to the eye allowing comfortable viewing of a tripod mounted camera’s output in the bright sunshine without stooping.
Video will soon be in every camera. People buying a camera are more likely to buy the camera with video capabilities all other things being equal. The inclusion of video doesn’t look like it costs much more in terms of mechanics. All of the innovation needed is either on the chip or in the in camera image processing software and hardware.
Ok so now we are left with the most likely outcome of all of this divergence and convergence. A Imaging device that
1.has interchangeable lenses
2.records motion pictures
3. does not have an optical viewfinder.
what should we call it.
Well I was recently looking at the Red user forum when I noticed the founder of the company used the term DSMC (Digital Still & Motion Camera). This struck me as a good term for this new breed of camera that is coming out. Technically it could describe a video taking point and shoot like the Canon S5 IS but since it is a new term it could easily be applied just to the new higher end, interchangeable lens, video capable imaging devices.
You might think this is kind of ridiculous but hold on a second. Isn’t there in the back of your mind some vestigial conception of a “real” camera. Well that might be why the DSLR is so popular. The lenses and the mirrors and the bodies are all what one conceives when envisioning a real camera. Unfortunately the Term DSLR doesn’t mean anything anymore. I think the adoption of DSMC would allow the photographic community to “focus” one this one general device for comparative purposes. This would then allow innovation to occur in new ways without having come up with any new names.
Here are the features of the DSMC that people will look for.
1. Interchangeable lenses(what mount, what’s available)
2. Sensor Frame size ( still seems important due to the physics of light itself) and mega-pixels
3. Video resolution and frame rate.
As a starting point I would not include the Nikon D90 because it lacks a full frame sensor. The Sony A900 couldn’t be included either because it lacks video capability. Rumor has it that the new Canon 5D(the one with the infantile moon ad campaign) will be a full frame affair with 1080p resolution video. If this is true then it would be the first fully fledged DSMC. YEAH!
So anyway I decided this new term needed it’s own blog so I made one and HERE it is. If anyone has any thoughts on this matter or want to write any articles for the new blog feel free to get in touch with me at soraxtm(at)gmail.com. I intend on keeping that blog non-commercial but all post will allow link out to other sites. In fact maybe I could just post the headline and summary on the wordpress blog and once it’s clicked it takes you to the blog where the article resides.