History of The Single-lens Reflex Camera - Chronology - 21st Century

21st Century

Canon EOS D30 (Japan): first complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor digital SLR; first digital SLR intended to be a relatively affordable, advanced amateur level camera. Took up to 1440×2160 pixel (3.11 MP) digital images. Used Canon EF mount lenses with a 1.6× lens factor, compared to 135 film. The use of a cheaper and lower quality CMOS sensor allowed a price (US$3499 initial list price; US$2999 in 2001; body only) about half of contemporary professional CCD digital SLRs; giving ambitious amateurs the choice of an interchangeable lens digital SLR, in addition to the digital point-and-shoots common in the late 1990s.
Canon EOS Kiss Digital (Japan; called EOS Digital Rebel in USA, EOS 300D Digital in Europe): first sub-US$1000 high-resolution digital SLR. Well-integrated focal-plane shutter, instant return mirror, pentamirror, auto-diaphragm, autoexposure, matrix-metering, autofocus, built-in autoflash, computer-controlled design with excellent lenses and good accessory system. Took up to 2048×3072 pixel (6.3 MP) digital images using a 15.1×22.7 mm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor (1.6× lens factor). With an original list price of US$899 (body only; US$999 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S zoom lens), it sold 1.2 million units around the world in sixteen months and was primarily responsible for digital SLR sales vaulting past film SLR sales worldwide in 2004.
Olympus Evolt E-330 (Japan): first live view digital SLR. Had a secondary CCD sensor to send a live video feed to a swiveling 2.5-inch (64 mm) color LCD panel (normally used for camera function data) and allow its use as an auxiliary viewfinder when the photographer's eye cannot be at the SLR viewfinder eyepiece. A sharper live view mode was available that temporarily flipped aside the reflex mirror (blacking out the primary porro-mirror SLR viewfinder) and opened the shutter to send a live feed from the primary 2352×3136 pixel (7.5 MP) Four Thirds format MOS image sensor. Most new for 2008 digital SLRs had a live view mode. Although today live view has limitations (unintelligibility in bright sunlight, image lag with moving subjects, rapid battery drain, etc.), its perfection, plus an electronic shutter, would make the bulky and expensive precision mechanisms and optics of a focal-plane shutter, instant return mirror and pentaprism unnecessary and allow the camera to be a completely electronic device. (This has already occurred with snapshot cameras – the vast majority of point-and-shoot digital cameras lack an optical viewfinder.) In other words, the Micro Four Thirds format Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 (Japan, 2008) mirror-less non-SLR, interchangeable lens digital camera with high resolution electronic live view viewfinder and LCD might be the first of a new breed of camera with the potential to end the history of the single-lens reflex camera.
Nikon D90 (Japan): first digital SLR with high definition video recording capability. Had 12.3 MP APS-sized CMOS sensor with secondary 1280×720 pixel (720p), 24 frames per second HD video capture with monaural sound for five minutes in September. Two months later, the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (Japan) 21.1MP full-frame CMOS D-SLR came out with 1920×1080 pixel (1080p), 30 frame/s HD video with monaural sound (stereo with external microphone) for twelve minutes. The D90 and 5D II are otherwise straightforward 2008 D-SLRs. Point-and-shoot digital cameras have had video recording (usually standard definition, but HD recently) for a few years and it is expected that HD video recording will soon become a standard D-SLR feature.
Sony SLT α33 and SLT α55 (Japan): first SLRs without an optical viewfinder. What appears to be a pentaprism head is a high resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF). Had 16.2 MP (α55) or 14.2 MP (α33) APS-sized CMOS sensors with secondary 1080i high definition video capture. Also had a swiveling live view LCD panel. The SLTs' fixed so-called "Translucent Mirror Technology" reflex mirrors (a revival of pellicle mirrors ) siphon off light to their fifteen phase comparison autofocus sensors to provide continuous autofocusing in their HD video mode.

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