First there were clunky digital cameras, basically box cameras without film.
Quickly they added autofocus.
Then came zoom lenses.
Along the way they dropped in "modes" for shooting different ways and under different conditions.
Finally, along with steady improvments, expensive "digital single lens reflex" cameras were cobbled together from existing SLR bodies.
Later DSLRS were built from scratch with both new an existing lens mounts.
On a side track, digital "bridge cameras" were built with fixed SLR type zoom lenses and electronic viewfinders (EVF) where the optical finders once were. These EVFs were adequate for many uses, but not yet up to pro standards. DSLRS still dominated that area.
Finally, improved viewfinder technology replaced prisms and the whole idea of optical "reflex" viewing in most cameras. A few cameras still offered non-reflex optical viewfinders.
The dropping of optical reflex in camera allow designers to rethink removable lens camera body design.
Eventually the DSLR look, based on the film SLR, may look as unusual as twin lens reflex cameras (Rolleiflex, etc.) looks today.
First there were clunky digital cameras, basically... (show quote
A slight segue:
We went from 120 film, completely transitioned to 35mm, for convenience and costs.
Industry tried to do the same with APS film cameras, also promising NEW! and IMPROVED! tech.
Factories rumbled. THAT didn't happen. NOT worth switching to yet another proprietary system
The consumers just didn't transition, and neither did a lot of 3rd party industry support.
So digital started to happen and a lot of APS parts and production were available.
Smaller sensors were nice, but you needed a different production and support culture. Like the OMs, etc.
The market started to stagnate and saturate, the Corps looked at 35mm sensors, and then 120 equivalents
Instead of showing me how much better these photos would be, they told me the cropping advantages,
NEW! $$$ lenses! Etc. Ho hum.
IN THE MEANTIME phone Corps were putting these same smaller sensors into their bespoke products.
Mass consumers hardly ever print 4x6s anymore. Maybe wallet sizes, sometimes, but digital is free and easy.
Turn of the century- people might "forget" that extra clunky box and accessories, but not their phones.
I visit certain in-laws a few times- do I bring my Zeiss Ikon, the Iskra, my D200, my d3200 or my D600?
And annoy everybody? Or just my ubiquitous iPhone. No worries.
I don't print larger than 8x10, and hardly ever this decade. Or two.
As long as it looks good on the PC screen, or their phone, their happiness exists.
Always have an iphone on me..