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02-21-2015, 07:40 AM   #1
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Do DSLRs really need to be so thick?

Just a thought I've had for a little while. If you looked at the difference of film SLRs and DSLRS the DSLRs are so much thicker. ofcorse this is due to internal electronic gizmos but really if we can make cameras with internals as compact as all the MILCs out there why can't we make the internals of the DSLR slimmer to the spec of film cameras? I feel we should at this point have the technology to do so. This also occurred to me after seeing the 645 cut away where they discovered all the empty space in it. Any thoughts?

02-21-2015, 07:44 AM   #2
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There isn't all that much empty space in Pentax K-mount DSLRs. Yes, they could be slimmed down a tiny bit, but the mirror box / registration distance is what forces that thickness.

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02-21-2015, 07:49 AM   #3
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I'm aware of the mirror box. I'm not saying to make them the size of the MILCs but the size of film SLRs (which have the same mirror box). I feel like this thickness should be possible yet no one has done it yet. Especially when we look at how thin cell phones are.
02-21-2015, 07:50 AM   #4
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I like the size and heft - I moved up to a K-50 from a Fuji S1800 bridge and love the weight and feel of the DSLR....

we also have a small point and shoot Fuji - and I feel like I am going to break it every time I pick it up...

02-21-2015, 07:57 AM   #5
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The typical SLR only has a couple mm between the film plane and the back of the camera - just the film, maybe a pressure plate, and the rear wall of the camera. Looking at a cutaway of a K-30, you've got the sensor and associated filters, SR chassis, main circuit board, and the LCD. The LCD alone is about 6mm. Even if you threw out the LCD and SR chassis, you still have a sensor that is many times as thick as the sensor in a film camera (ie, film).

02-21-2015, 07:59 AM   #6
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In other words, yes they do (with current tech).
02-21-2015, 08:03 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The fun thing is that a Pentax DSLR have shorter distance from sensor to back of the camera, than many mirrorless cameras.

Last edited by Fogel70; 02-21-2015 at 08:09 AM.
02-21-2015, 09:10 AM   #8
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Additionally, the more/larger electronics you shove in there, the more heat and stress you're putting on it all so you do want a bit of room for that to dissipate rather than cram everything right up next to each other.

I'm sure they squeeze it all together as much as they can within certain tolerances.

02-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #9
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Undortunatelly yes... untill new "revolutionary" technology will come out where LCD screens (these might not be that revolutionary considering Samsung has something like this) and sensors are paper thin, that's the way it is for now...
02-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #10
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When you lok at the cut away, aside from the sensor thickness and back LCD display, there is nothing left to remove

The lens mount to sensor plane is fixed by the K mount design and regestry distance.

I would have to look, but I don't think there is much difference between my KX, my PZ1 and any of the DSLRs I have
02-21-2015, 09:26 AM - 1 Like   #11
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You want thin, get a point and shoot or a phone camera.

And just think of all the empty space in a frame view camera
02-21-2015, 09:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolen Quote
I'm aware of the mirror box. I'm not saying to make them the size of the MILCs but the size of film SLRs (which have the same mirror box). I feel like this thickness should be possible yet no one has done it yet. Especially when we look at how thin cell phones are.
Paste a MILC onto the back of the mirror box and you have the typical thick dSLR. Add IBIS and you have the typical Pentax. Take a look at the thickness of the new Sony A7II as a good example and then take a look at the A7II tear-down to see how much wasted space there is.

LensRentals.com - The A7II Teardown: A Look Inside Sony's New Camera


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BTW...compared to cell phone...earthworm to earthmover comparison, I would say...both move dirt...
02-21-2015, 09:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
And just think of all the empty space in a frame view camera
I think a family of mice might have taken up residence inside mine...need to get it out shooting more often.


Steve

(...to be honest, the collapsed thickness of my Chamonix 4x5 is about the same as a Sony A7II...)
02-21-2015, 09:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolen Quote
I'm aware of the mirror box. I'm not saying to make them the size of the MILCs but the size of film SLRs (which have the same mirror box). I feel like this thickness should be possible yet no one has done it yet. Especially when we look at how thin cell phones are.
So your baseline is a cell phone camera? That is a very strange comparison.

Cell phone camera sensors are tiny.. TINY. As a result, the performance is affected negatively compared to an SLR. But the main issue, already shown in the graphic, is the OVF mirrorbox and register distance that HAS to be there for K mount.

The cell phone is without a mirrorbox. If your cellphone had a mirrorbox and K mount ring it would be the size of a Pentax K mount camera.

Besides, you're attaching a long tube (camera lens) to the end of it. Can you imagine attaching a 60-250 f/4 or other large sized lens (even the DAL 18-55 for that matter) to something as thin as your cellphone? The handling would be all wrong. You want a thick base to grip with all of that weight on the front of your camera. It makes little sense to shrink the body size as long as the lens size (and weight) remains large.
02-21-2015, 11:02 AM   #15
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The fact that a digital sensor needs both electronic connection (most often from the back) and a big need for cooling adds two problems to the design that film never had to face. It simply can't be compared to a simple pressure plate in a film camera, it's way more limiting and advanced.
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