Charles Lanteigne Photo
 

HDSLR?

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As soon as DSLRs that could record video came out (Nikon's D90, then Canon's EOS 5D Mark II, and pretty much every new DSLR since), people started looking for an appropriate acronym to designate them. It seems after the high profile early adopters of DSLR video stated their position (I remember Vincent Laforet briefly explaining his preference during a live seminar), the world settled on "HDSLR" (or is it "HD DSLR"?)

I disagree. In fact, I disagree just as much as I disagree with HD (i.e.: High Definition) in general, or every other "relative" term that marketing departments have encumbered us with. Yes, through a sort of general consensus, we have a rough idea of what is meant by it, but the confusion remains and is only ever meaningful during the technology's life cycle. (Anybody remembers HD (High Density) Floppy Disks? What's so High Density about them today? High Density Floppy Disks only mean anything when compared to whichever Floppy Disk was around just before.)

You see where I'm going. What comes after HD? Super HD? Mega HD? Über HD? Sure, it makes complete sense for a company selling the technology to make the value added proposition obvious—see, it's got higher definition than the one you bought last year!—but it doesn't make sense as an absolute description of what it is. As a matter of fact, "HDSLRs" just came out and are already starting to look like old news, because now everybody's talking about "4K". What are the DSLRs that record 4K going to be named? 4KSLRs? DSLRs that could record video just happened to emerge while the standard of the day was what we (unfortunately) call "HD".

And it's even worse than that, because even current "HDSLRs" don't all have the same capabilities. Some only record 720p, not "Full HD" 1080p. Shouldn't, then, the 5D Mark II be called a Full HDSLR (FHDSLR)? What about cameras that record 60 fps? They clearly offer something more than just "HD" spatial resolution, maybe we should call them Overcranking HDSLRs (OHDSLR)—not quite as awesome as those that record 120 fps, the High Overcranking HDSLRs (HOHDSLR).

Nonsense. The common, defining feature that all of these DSLR stills cameras have in common, that they did not have before fall 2008, is that they can record some form of video. They are VDSLRs, and I don't care if you don't like the sound of it.

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