Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/08/12

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Digital SLR
From: "Phong" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 23:16:27 -0400

> Are we  simply hung up on 
> making digital SLRs look like their film counterparts?

Yes, at least for now.  

Perhaps I miss your point.
I thought by definition, SLR implies a mirror reflex 
viewing system, so by definition the view is the light 
path thru the lens, reflected by the mirror thru the 
prism then out the viewfinder window.  How does the
TFT display gets its image from ?

Why stick with the SLR viewing design as described
above ? I don't know, though I suspect something like 
a decent TFT display that provide equal or better 
viewing details than the SLR mirror design would 
be more expensive.   

Or perhaps to retain a usage paradigm already familiar 
to the SLR users, including the majority of the 35mm 
professional market, and retain such functionality as 
the ability to change focusing screens for different 

From my point of view as a user, switching to different
viewing paradigm is just not a high priority item;  it may
even be counter productive.  I prefer the money to be 
used to make the viewfinder brighter and clearer and
scratch resistant.  Wouldn't you rather have a traditional 
SLR viewing window that is as bright as the R8 ?  Yeah ...

- - Phong

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of
> Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 10:22 PM
> To:
> Subject: [Leica] Digital SLR
> Phong writes in response to my question about why a digital (SLR) 
> would need 
> a mirror:
> <<Any SLR (digital or film) uses a mirror in the viewing
> system to implement a WYSIWYG (what you see is what ou get)
> design, thus avoiding viewing problems in other systems
> such as paralax with rangefinders.  So in fact the image
> you see thru the viewfinder is more or less the same as
> will be recorded on the sensor or film.>>
> But why? Clearly a mirror is necessary in a film SLR but in a 
> digital camera, 
> if you want to see the image that will be recorded on the sensor, 
> why not use 
> a fine grained TFT display? With the display viewed through a magnifying 
> eyepiece it can be enlarged to a reasonable size for composition. I have 
> camcorders that work in exactly this way. When using a film SLR 
> you see exactly what 
> the lens is viewing, but you have only a very approximate idea of 
> what the film 
> will record - or even if there is film in the camera. Are we 
> simply hung up on 
> making digital SLRs look like their film counterparts?
> Larry Z
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