A New Form of SLR? Maybe

This new body design by Manuel Prada takes inspiration from ancient telescopic instruments, a commentary on searching for the right picture – that perfect frame. All the mechanics fit inside a barrel optimizing it for one-handed operated. This makes it easier to hold steady removing the need for optical stabilization and even tripods.

Now take issue, I’m an amateur photographer and based on this design I can already point out a few flaws. The best optical quality comes from the least amount of moving parts and this one looks like it has a boatload with all those rings. Part of being an SLR is being able to adapt or create your environment by the use of interchangeable lenses – characteristics this design seems to forgo. Lastly the flash ring around the lens barrel may in theory create even lighting but having a flash that close to the iris only serves to distort the image.

It’s an interesting design that could be fruitful provided the right technologies come along to overcome its shortcomings but until then, SLR’s aren’t going to change in form for a long time.

Designer: Manuel Perez Prada

Above (click for a larger image)


  • scarbrtj says:

    Arrrrrrrr, me maties, I likes this design.

  • carmen89 says:

    I don’t like this at all, as a photographer I don’t really want to rely on one hand to stabilize a picture when it’s a moment that can easily pass and it’s just a natural habit to use both my hands…I mean it’s not like i have a chili cheese dog in one hand and the camera in the other.

  • TH says:

    That flash would be useless.

  • macrumpton says:

    I see that rolling off a table onto a concrete floor to the sound of a grown man screaming “Nooooooo”.
    Seriously it has some merit, but having a screen (too small) where it gets coated with cheek grease is not good, and it should be oval not round.

    Rotating rings are a bad idea, since then you need two hands to operate it. Better to have a row of buttons right under the fingers that are holding the camera, so you can do it all one handed (like many existing cameras.
    Also it is way too big. Unless this is for astronomers it could be almost half that diameter and 2/3 as long, then it would fit in a pocket. Finally what about an automatic lens cap? Many modern cameras have them, and they are a big improvement.
    Aside from that I liked it…

    • blackwand says:

      That is a pretty cool idea for the flash. I am assuming with such a large design, that there is a significant zoom factor…Hopefully the circuitry doesn’t need all that space, otherwise that would be one messed up design.

  • plastikwaren says:

    The flash is interesting, but they’ve taken away the option of me adjusting the flash via changing it’s angle as I would with a traditional flash.

  • jeepingeek says:

    With the rotating rings i can hardly see how this would be any more one handed than a standard SLR. you still need one hand to hold it and one hand to turn the rings (i’m assuming for focus and zoom) unless it’s attaching itself to your eye socket which is something different altogether

  • morcheeba says:

    That flash is a ring flash – it gives you a shadow all around the subject, and it’s used for macro and fashion photography. It’s unnatural because we’re used to a single overhead light source (the sun). A lens hood usually keeps the sun out of the lens (or very off-camera flashes), not the flash mounted on the camera.

    The tube is a nice platonic shape, but it suffers from rolling. There’s a reason I bought a hand grip for my camera. And, there’s a reason a cameras have lots of buttons – it’s so that you can find the various functions by feel. The concentric rings would be horrible to control .

  • Step666 says:

    The design’s a bust because it’s just an over-grown P’n’S camera at heart.

    But there’s no reason why someone like Canon or Nikon couldn’t choose to radically redesign their D-SLR bodies into something like this.
    After all, the old problem of having to make the body large enough to contain a roll of film is gone, there’s really no need for the bodies to remain the same basic size and shape that they were when film ruled the world.

    I for one would be very interested in a more telescopic shape of D-SLR body as I’ve always found hand-held telescope to be much more stable than an SLR or D-SLR just because you don’t have to have one hand so close to your face.

  • ClintonOddfellow says:

    Eh, it seems to be destined for oblivion. I use several different lenses daily, and although I have some good all around lenses, there’re tradeoffs when you use them. A single lens is often fine for the average person who would purchase an entry-level dslr from canon or nikon, but for people like me, it’s a limiting factor. The ergonomics of such a device are a bit peculiar as well, not enough dedicated buttons, although the multiple control “rings’ seem like they’d be an interesting idea. Neat concept, but I probably wouldn’t buy one.

  • Alec says:

    If industrial designers don’t have enough knowledge about the product they’re going to design, those products only attract people’s eyes but not really suit user’s needs.

  • igreenspot says:

    @Alec, well said, don’t even think to go into real production too

  • Jan Vegt says:

    Really like this design. It reminds me of my trusty old Epoca for which I am still trying to find a digital replacement. The Epoca – like this design – was basically a tubular camera built around a lens; it did have a built in lens cap though ;-).
    Most point-and-shoot digital camera’s don’t allow for decent framing while with SLRs you tend to carry all those lenses around. Hope this evolves further.

  • HarryWind says:

    This is a perfect first step to go away from antique DSLR-Design to a form-follows-function design.
    I only miss a on top display that is swiveling like the display of the good old Sony R1.

    And of course the antique DSLR-mirror can be thrown in the bin. Use highdefinition LCD. Even a couple of years before there was a compact camera with nearly a million pixels on the screen.

  • rocknica says:

    I really dont think this would work… works like a point and shoot at the most.. I got a Nikon d80 and I can tell you from looking at this that lots has to be done

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