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On July 23, Canon introduced the EOS M camera, the latest entry into the mirrorless, interchangeable lens market already inhabited by the Nikon 1, Sony NEX 5 and NEX 7, the Fuji X-Pro 1, and the Panasonic GH2 cameras. All these cameras are labeled as “prosumer” or “serious amateur” cameras, even though many pros are using all of these cameras in various uses.

How much longer will we need the DSLR camera form? Do we need a mirror and prism? The DSLR body is still the same as the first Kodak digital, which was simply a Nikon body with the film guts pulled out and the digital electronics jammed into it. We’re still building on a form factor that is nearly a hundred years old. Why? Is there not innovative design that can truly take advantage of the needs of the camera operator while at the same time take advantage of the technology available to us? Think about it … All we need is a box to hold the sensor.

[two_columns ]BlackMagicDesigns shook up the HD video industry earlier this year when it released the Cinema Camera, which was designed completely from the ground up. Their R&D teams realized that all they really needed was a box with a sensor inside and LCD screen on the back. Put a lens mount up front and you’re done.

Because they designed from the ground up, they simply made the “box” fit the technology and videographer’s needs. The camera was labeled as “ground breaking” but really was just recognition that we can innovate in our designs.

And in turn they came up with a camera that rivaled all the DSLR video cameras on the market and pushed into the territory that the Red cameras had been dominating. All for a price point of just $2995.   [/two_columns] [two_columns_last ]  [/two_columns_last]

 

So this brings us back to the question: “Is the DSLR dead?

Well, these mirrorless cameras are nothing more than a box with a sensor, LCD screen and a lens mount. The sensors the camera manufactures are putting into these mirrorless cameras are the same or similar to the APS-C sensors in their DSLR models. And the issue of having to buy into a new lens system is starting to be a mute point, as the Canon EOS M will take EOS lenses, and the Fuji X-Pro 1 has adapters for all camera lens choices, from Leica to Nikon to Canon EOS to Canon FD. You can simply take your existing investment in your good glass, and just put them on a smarter “box”.

Let’s forget the megapixel race … I’m betting on the first camera manufacture that puts a full-frame sensor in a mirrorless body.