|(Picture fromWeb source)|
In fact the size factor is not only an intemporel data regarding the design of cameras it is also a decisive one. Today we are facing the same dilemma for digital photographic tasked devices. What is the magic formula in terms of weight and dimensions? The answer is that there is no need to reinvent the calculations because that has been done several times already on several studies and the results are always approaching the same compact size package. A package that have been definite early by pioneers like Oskar Barnack with its Leica (although he was first using 35mm film but with a bit narrower negative frame format).
What we learn with experience is that the picture frame format is far less relevant to the photographic users than the size (and weight) of the camera. The models which are transgressing that moto will soon or later be put aside one way or another. It is a very unforgiving market law.
|With the introduction of the OM-1 (M-1) in 1972 Olympus has redefined |
the Leica concept to 35mm (135) SLRs (Picture from Web source)
Its about that time that the first attempts to substitute traditional 35mm SLRs by digital cameras appear. The new technology of digital image captor prevent the manufacturer to produce frame sensors of the 35mm size format equivalent. This is why they defend themselves by saying that DX (Nikon) or APS-C (Canon) were largely sufficient to do the job. And as a bonus the size of the cameras and lenses appear to be similar to the old film SLRs. Canon was the first to come back with a sensor size of approximately 24 X 36mm (comparable to the 135 film format). After a few years of denegations Nikon finally imitate Canon in that way. The big advantage for them was to be able to market again the old full line of lenses issued during the film era.
Today building a digital camera will face different new constraints. The image sensor and its processor will take the place of the old negative and its cartridge of the film era. You need to accommodate an LCD screen that can be act as a live viewfinder or a picture viewer for image review. automatic and regulator system are more sophisticated and rely on battery pack power. The heating issue mainly seen during video recording has to be addressed also. And not saying that you still have to design a camera that will withstand general and intensive uses in sometimes very adverse conditions. All those aspects have received special attentions from the manufacturer designed teams with success most of the time.
|Today in 2017 the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is fully respecting|
the weight and the original dimensions of the 1972 OM-1.
But at the end you will finish with the size factor. And more and more photographers are choosing the compactness of the mirrorless models precisely for that. The picture quality output of the modern mirrorless can easily withstand the usual requirement of the virtual or printed publication even better than the traditional film of the past.
Every technological step of evolution encounter stiff resistance at its first introduction. But solutions of the past have never been eternal answers to the problematic of the future.