EVIL camera design is a type of camera design, in which camera body can take inter-changeable lenses of different focal length, but the basic design of this type of camera is same to that of a range finder camera. This design is in between a range finder camera and an SLR camera.
EVIL stands for Electronic View Inter-changeable Lens. This design has advantage of an SLR camera design, for accepting different focal length lenses, and simplicity in mechanics, similar to a range finder or a compact camera. Electronic technology has made this possible, and the design is accepted as a good option for entry level photographers.
The concept is not new as many professional medium format analog range finder cameras were offering inter-changeable lenses. However, when a lens is changed, the view also is changed. A normal range finder camera will not show this changed view in its eye piece, unless the eye piece is changed (for that particular focal length lens.)
Therefore, these range finder cameras were offering only limited number of lenses, as each lens has to have its own calibrated eye piece. Apart from the advantage of medium format, these cameras were having advantage of simple range finder design, yet, because of limitation in variety of lenses, they had a tough competition with medium format SLR cameras.
Another drawback in this design was, we have to manually change the eye piece, which must match with the focal length of the lens, which we are using, or we will shoot a wrong composition. That is the reason why these cameras were not popular in mass and had only professional use.
In case of digital camera, the electronics has removed the burden of changing the eye piece with different lenses. So EVIL camera design is now having good market response. The electronics shows the preview of an image on digital display screen and in eye piece. Even camera settings are also showed on the screen, and when the lens is changed, the view is also changed accordingly.
These cameras have contrast based auto focusing mechanism, which is comparatively slower than DSLR auto focusing mechanism. Nevertheless, it has all the best features from both designs of cameras, a range finder and an SLR.
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