Monday, January 4, 2010

Will mirror-box and optical viewfinder become obsolete?

The fundamentals of SLR is being challenged...first was the m4/3 system, and now Samsung has taken another bold step:

All these mirror-less new camera systems really should be given a new name instead of DSLR, as the 'R' no longer applies. How about DXL (digital exchangeable lens) cameras?

After years of collaboration with Pentax, Samsung has finally developed their own proprietary system which shares similar concepts as the m4/3:
- no mirror box
- electronic viewfinder
- contrast detection AF system
- slim and lightweight body

The main difference is that it's proprietary and uses a bigger, APS-C format sensor. This will be a very interesting development as this system has the best of both world: compactness and larger pixel pitch (which should translate into better noise performance than m4/3). However, unless Pentax is also following, Samsung will be on their own designing and engineering a whole new set of lenses (their lenses for the initial launch ain't really that exciting). Therefore it's not surprising that they've planned for a Pentax K-mount lens adapter. I suppose part of the electronic protocol is compatible with Pentax system so that during the early stage when they don't have a good lens line up, they can rely on the abundance of existing Pentax lenses.

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