Why do DSLR cameras look so different?

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Analog SLRs before them and Mirrorless cameras after them are all quite boxy and have a distinct industrial “camera-like” appearance. Why do DSLRs look like black blobs?

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Care to explain or provide examples of what you’re talking about?

SLR and DSLR only difference is how they have the light capture element be it film or digital sensor. SLR vs mirror less just is a mirror vs a prism for the viewfinder.

What appearance thing are you looking at?

(Non Digital) SLR cameras look nearly the same as DSLRs, with the exception of DSLRs that don’t have removable lenses (do they have those). The mirror, and the area it needs to swing through take up a lot of space.

Digital and ‘analog’ mirrorless cameras also look pretty much the same. They small and flat because there’s no mirror (the viewfinder isn’t routed through the lens)

Here’s some examples, the P&S cameras and the SLR cameras, IMO, look pretty similar.

[DSLR camera](https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/mVEhQU5grHExywfQsDoAYj-1024-80.jpg.webp) [SLR Camera](https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-2405092478071/pentax-k1000-35mm-slr-student-camera-with-lens-used-6.gif)

[Digital mirrorless](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point-and-shoot_camera#/media/File:Canon_Digital_IXUS_850_IS-ar_5to4-fs_PNr%C2%B00268b.jpg) [Film Mirrorless](https://shootitwithfilm.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/5-Point-and-Shoot-Film-Cameras-by-Kathleen-Frank-on-Shoot-It-With-Film-02.jpg)

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The main difference between any of them is mostly going to come down to aesthetics. Things like how the manufacture places the components inside. Do they want a big hand grip on the one side? The difference between a roll of film vs batteries. A big difference, I think, is that face that the old, film, point and shoot cameras often didn’t have an (externally) moveable lens, while nearly all digital P&S cameras have it and it’s a hallmark of DSLRs (and SLRs).

I think your premise is somewhat flawed, analog SLR started to be designed this way with Canon’s T90, about 35 years ago, and there are enough mirrorless cameras (i.e. Panasonic’s G6), and the reason was and is Ergonomics.

To some degree, some mirrorless cameras reintroduced the less ergonomic “retro” design, which was good enough when they were mostly using smaller and lighter lenses.

With lenses for mirrorless also having bigger apertures and therefor being bigger and heavier, their designers are back to realising that having bigger grips is actually helpful