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Friday, 28 August 2009

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I think Sony's SLRs have been the best looking in their respective segments. The a850 looks nice to me...for an SLR. It's the Daniel Craig of the camera world.

Have SLRs ever looked good? Maybe the R8?

I for one think it looks great, a real sculpted feel, top marks Sony, now where has my daughter put her piggy bank...

I would love to have a new Sony A850; even if someone beat it first with an ugly stick! It's the photos I plan on framing, not the camera, and I'm betting they won't be ugly.

I do like cool clean lines as well as many others, but then form follows function, and, the most beautiful camera I do not use has no value at all for me.

Do they have to be black? I work in southern California and black just SUCKS in all the heat where white just might make it a little cooler. I'm really tired of black. Red? Oh yea!

You're right, the D700 is pretty ugly, and I really don't care. As for the A850, I don't think it looks very good, nor very bad. Better than average, perhaps, is as far as I'm willing to go.

But strangely, I think the Canon G11 looks pretty great, especially with the LCD closed. It looks small but firm, solid and sturdy, cobered with a nice smattering of manual dials. In an era marked by bland-to-ugly cameras, I'm drawn to that one (and the Leica m8, but that hardly qualifies as a new design).

Most photographers, I would assume, are visual people. Therefore, I think the aesthetics of the camera/lens are very important. As a golfer, when I look down the shaft of my driver, it has to have the right 'look' from above, like the head of the club wants to crush the ball. So too, for me, the camera has to have the right 'look' for it's intended job. It has to fit into the particular style of photos that I'm going for, or the given assignment. Personally, however, I'm drawn towards the boxy-ish look (for wunderplatic) of the Sony 850, and am excited someone has finally decided to play price-wars in this category.

On another note, I think it's sad that sports photography has come to dictate what 99% of the DSLR cameras look/behave like. I'm assuming it's because low-light sports photography is very demanding of a camera/lens/sensor. And, average consumers salivate at the sight of these behemoths. But it seems every dslr is a watered down version of the highest-end canon/nikons. Personally, I love the look/function/ergonomics of rangefinders. So minimal and elegant. I would love to see a full-frame digital rangefinder with as few buttons and wiz-bang gizmos as possible. Sorry, the Olympus Pen E-P1 doesn't count.

I like the price of the A850, and the thought of it, but lets be honest it is ugly, and in many ways this camera strikes me as interesting but not well formed, not just looks but specification. In a way it irritates as Sony could do so much better, if they could just influence the old Minolta guys more.

Lets me explain.

Its form and shape it does not flow, but each element is stuck together as it happens rather like someone has taken a scrap book and cut out pictures of a camera then glued it on.

Look at the disjoint between the grip and the LCD panel. Controls are glued onto the side, not integrated. So in a way it screams to me as an incomplete design. Perhaps it is because I design electronic products, but it strikes me as needlessly ugly.

Next specification, where is live view, I know that there is a kludge to preview, but what is so wrong with having a mirror that is powered up and down so you can have real mirror lock and implementing a liveview solution that uses the sensor and is so handy for tripod mounted uses, be it landscape or macro. Liveview does not have to be the solution of lesser Sony's. And the secondary display, come on you can do better, just look to the competition. Dare I mention the hot topic if you want to sell cameras Video....

then the last, killer item, and perhaps it is only in the UK, but the selling price is above the A900 and 5D MKII etc at the moment. Factor in the lenses and suddenly you see this is not a low cost full frame system.

No doubt the top lenses are great but where are the middle ground lenes. A 16-35 f2.8 is a technical wonder, but where is the top quality F4 or so lens of the same length. The lens cost nearly as much as the camera alone. Suddenly a 5 D MKII plus 17-40 is a lot lower in cost and if landscapes are your interest you will probably be interested in F8 to F16 performance.

Go up the lens range and you find a similar story.

So I find myself thinking that Sony has most of the camera components, that it is ugly is just a reflection on how the whole thing is not thought out. If you want a more affordable full frame camera you want matching lenses.

at the end of all this I find my post a bit sad. Minolta made my first SLR an SRT100, and I have a lot of affection for the brand. But I just cannot help but feel that Sony have just not thought out the whole picture and brought it all together.
That is true for the styling and the lens range and the system pricing. And what is worse, it is easy to fix. So why have you not Sony???

Personally I like the look of the A850 and A900. Nikon's D700 isn't too bad. The Canon 5Dii looks to me like someone stuck the Nikon in the oven and half-melted it.

Looks shouldn't matter, but boy is it fugly. Was it drawn up by laid-off "designers" from the Pontiac Aztek team?

The 5DmkII and D700 are actually fairly handsome. Not Leica pretty, perhaps, or like a Nikon F3 or FM3A, but quite graceful in their own understated way.

To me it looks like two different cameras that have been cut in half and glued together. But it is at least distinctive and I can understand how some people find it beautiful... just not me!

For years my fantasy has been to buy a marina and charge boat owners for moorage by "the ugly." I imagine stationing somebody out by the entrance channel with a bull horn or a radio to quote prices as the boat pulls in. If my ship ever comes in, that's what I'll do.

Personally, I think the Sony A900 and A850 look good in an old style retro 35mm film slr of the mid 60's. At the risk of being terribly un-pc, they look like cameras for manly men.

I probably have mentioned it more than once, but I think the E-3 looks really pretty. A strange woman came up to me once remarking about the same.

The Sony are definitely uglier than most, followed by Canon. The Nikons are almost OK.

YMMV :-)

Seriously. It's the ugliest, dorkiest camera I have seen in years. It manages to be both blobby and warty looking. That pentaprism treatment is hideous. What has happened to industrial design in cameras? Compare the 850 to almost any film SLR from the golden period, the Pentax Spotmatic and ME Super come to mind, They were designed to be attractive as well as functional.

Reminds me of a couple of lines from one of my favorite movies. As I recall, it went something like this: "Why did you stay? Married an ugly women. Don't ever marry an ugly women!"

It is odd and, to me, disappointing that Sony hasn't by now applied its sleek industrial design philosophy to the DSLR line. They are well known for many elegant product designs, and their point & shoots are admired by many, but the DSLR's still look so...well, Minolta.

"Looks shouldn't matter, but boy is it fugly. Was it drawn up by laid-off "designers" from the Pontiac Aztek team?"

Ahh, the Aztek. Perennial favorite for most-mockable industrial design ever. And always good for a laugh. Thanks for that, Fazal.

John, while I agree that the lens range is lacking (see my comment on the other A850 post), I do get the sense that Sony is aware, at least as far as your point goes with there not being price-companions for this camera. I think the 28-75 f/2.8 is a great idea as a start to fixing the problem. Hopefully similar glass isn't far behind.

Finally, Chris: if rumors are to be believed, you're 12 days and $8000 from having your wish. Now there's a segment I wish Sony (and Zeiss) would start playing price wars. A Sony/Zeiss Ikon to compete with the m9? I'd be all over that.

Didn't the T90 start the molded plastic look? Cameras before that seemed to be squarer with knobs sticking out on both top plates and a flat body since a motor drive was usually an option. I suspect the T90 is the progenitor of the modern camera look with the soft curves and grip on the right.

Cameras are tools for visual people, they should be beautifully designed functional objects as well. As for SLR design I think Nikon has done the best over the last 40 years but my Canon 5D looks better and better as the paint wears off and it gains some scars. Still no comparison to a well used Leica or my long suffering F3 though. First time I saw pix of the Sony FF cams I thought they must be channeling the original Japanese SLR that changed the world, the Nkon F. That pointy angular finder looks an awful lot like Nikons' first really successful SLR. A shot across' the bow? We'll see.

I disagree -- that Mercedes is GorJesus!

Sorry Mike, I have to fall in the Camp camp. And I also like the way D700 looks, it reminds very much of my favorite film camera the F100.

But when push comes to shove I'll take any camera that is easy to work with and delivers great images... even if it is ugly.

Mike

I'm not saying that I'd conjoin with it in carnal riot but, when looking at the A850, think tall brunette movie star of the 1950s sporting a cantilevered bust, a bit of sass, and a skirt split to her third rib. Those who don't like the it are welcome to the camera equivalent of one of those cutsie-poo anorexic blonde valley-girl starlets: a white EP-1.

When the T90 came out, I had a friend that called mine "Soap-On-A-Rope," if you are old enough to remember that. :)

That Sony is a seriously ugly camera.

In terms of looks, I like D700 > A850 > 5D II.

In terms of feel, all of them are too big and heavy. I sold my D700 because of the heft.

There is no technical reason why Sony/Canon/Nikon can't put a 35mm sensor in a body the size of a Pentax K7 or smaller. The first company which does so is going to have a big seller.

Funny you show the T-90, I was thinking the sony took more from the Canon F1-n with motor drive. Compare the prism and grips from each and the placement of the A-F switch vs. dof preview levers, move the dial over, and voila, F-1n.

I actually think the T-90 was a marvelous design that was ahead of it's time, at least aesthetically.

You should do a poll on most beautiful cameras.

Form should follow function.

I agree with Mike that the top Sony SLRs are more handsome than most current models, in a stolid, sturdy, utilitarian (maybe even bauhaus) kind of way, evoking slabby Topcons and Practicas of analog yore. Maybe it's that unabashedly pentaprismatic topper. Or it may have been my hands that persuaded my eyes during a couple of very brief encounters with the A900.

Well, it just goes to show... I think it's kinda pretty!

Well, it ain't pretty but it ain't ugly either. Looks muscular but not in a sleek way. More wrestler than swimmer.

It reminds of Nikkormats or F3s, the kinds of cameras that when they stop working you can slap on a Spiratone 400 mm for $30 and use it as a club in case burglars break in while you're at home.

I think the best-looking camera on the market is the Oly 410 (or 420 or 450 or whatever it is now).

Camera design (design of ANYthing) does matter to me. I dislike Pentax and Olympus because of it. But, at some point, when the product performs so well and there's no comparable alternative, i have to 'suck it up.' I've owned a few Pentax 67s, for example. I dislike the mode knob (looks too 'Fisher Price' for a $3000 camera) on the Canon 5Ds, but both the 5D and MkII have been so good, i've had to try to ignore it. I like the look of a lot of Nikons. But, i couldn't ignore that Nikon doesn't have the best range of prime lenses in the FLs i need....

I wish the Contax guys could design cameras for everyone else. They made some truly gorgeous stuff. The RX, G2, 645.... Mmmm.

The Sonys aren't really 'ugly.' But, their design does look 'overdone.' Sometimes i think that i'm too sensitive to these matters, as i'm a (graphic) designer. I wish i didn't care so much. Life would be easier.

If you handed me one with a reasonable lens, I wouldn't care if it was pink.

Provided you were paying, of course. :)

A buddy and I were discussing just a week ago that what a camera looks like does matter to us. I think Canon and Nikon are the Fords and Chevrolets of the world - functional but boring. Sony is Mazda/Toyota/Honda to my eyes. Olympus is the only company today that makes camera bodies that I think have unique style. And I like them for that.

But really, the most important non-image-making part of a body that matters to me is what the camera is like when looking through the viewfinder - can I see the image I'm making, and are my hands able to perform the necessary functions fluidly and intuitively?

"Polycarbonate and its many cousins are great materials for making cameras out of. Light, tough, stable, cheap. But I can't say as how cameras made with those materials look any good."

More's the pity since it's the one material you can make look like anything you want. But they are all so samey.

Design and beauty is funny. For example, I think a Nikon F2 Photomic is gorgeous. But it has to be the right one, this one here is pretty, and this one here is ugly. To me.

I thought the Nikon FM was beautiful. And the FE looked almost like it, but they had made a small change to the front of the prism house which ruined it for me.

Seems to me there's the makings of another one of Mike's "no comment, just vote" polls: How important is the look of a camera when deciding whether to buy it or not (ranging from 'not at all' to 'main consideration')?

I'd be interested to find out how much it matters to the collective.

pax / Ctein

It is so ugly it is nice looking. Like a pug dog. Or a modern Nikon F3HP. But seriously, it appears as if it was designed around that big old, honkin pentaprism housing. And who need Live View with such a nice viewfinder as the A900 and A850?

I like it - kind of a retro look to it. I like that big, "in your face" pentaprism housing. I much prefer this look to the rounded, slope-shouldered look of most Canon DSLRs. The digital Rebel series - now that's a hideous looking camera!

Nobody mentions this, but I don't give a damn what it looks like as long as it's form is ... functional. However, the blatant and outrageous, huge, bright ass name and symbols. what the +`#* is that orange blob on the left of the camera? At least have the decency to recess all the advertising, so I can fill it.

I'm also outraged when the dealer sticks his name on my car.

I rant, bad me.

To answer Ctein, doesn't matter in terms of the buying decision, but the A850 is ugly. If I were interested its looks wouldn't stop me. Mike, you lost me on the Mercedes analogy. The A850 looks more like something AMC would have produced.

Before replying, I found some photos of current high end (FF) Canon & Nikon bodies and was quite surprised to find that I like the looks of the Canon bodies much more. The Nikon bodies (D700, D3x) look sort of ... arbitrary. Put a button here, a button there (maybe for very practical reasons) and whatever it looks like is what it looks like. The Canons have more style; a more intentioned look.

I'm an Alpha system user (Minolta Maxxum since the 7xi back around 1991). So I supposed I'm biased. I like the A850, but if I try to view it in the proper context, I might be inclined to agree that it's ugly, but in an appealing way. It has a sort of skeletal look to it (it took a bit of thinking to find the right word for it and skeletal seems like the best word to describe my response to it). It's not pretty, but it has a certain sense of style to it. I like Mike's fat gangster in a nice suit analogy, too. It's a bull dog or a boxer or a great dane ... not pretty, maybe ugly, but ugly with pride.

As for whether it matters, it doesn't to me. I've seen cameras whose looks appeal to me and those that don't but choosing a camera (particularly an SLR, film or digital) has always been a fairly simple, practical matter. I can always convince myself that the camera I want is attractive. I did a search on the Maxxum 9 to see how much Sony styled the A900/A850 after the Minolta flagship. I'd always wanted a 'pro' film body and finally picked up a used 9 at a fair price (years ago, pre-digital, not *that* cheap) and I loved that camera. Heavy, sturdy, with a silky sounding shutter that I tripped just to hear it. A work of art. Until I found pictures of it just now and thought "ugh, that thing is ugly !"

Ugly is inthe eye of the beholder.

So what happened to chrome coloured cameras of the past?

Imagine that a850 without the handgrip. See? it's not bad. Now glue a big rectangular brick onto the side of the camera. Now it's an ugly a850. It really juts out in a very jarring way and does not flow with the line that connects to it.

So if so many are convinced that the Sony is ugly, I'm curious what DSLR is less ugly.
I like some of Luigi Colani's automobile and truck designs, and his steam locomotive is great fun, but the Canon T90 and the EOS designs are just awful in my opinion, and seem to have infected the rest of the camera industry. It's too bad because the F1 was a pretty nice design.
The problem with the rounded so called ergonomic camera designs is that they are pretty hard to grip any way other than the way the designer intended, so that if you use them all day long they can literally cause injury.
The other problem with the "big blob covered with buttons" design is that it makes it very hard to operate without looking at the camera since there aren't any edges or corners to serve as references when you are holding the camera.

The Sony looks a lot less like a giant suppository than any of the other DSLR designs.

The last SLR cameras I can remember as being attractive were the Contaxes.

That red thing on the front of the Sony is pretty ugly, but some black gaffers tape would fix that.

I once bought a Nikon F2 with the meterless prism just because it looked and felt so much nicer and I never used the meter anyway.

A lot depends on what lens is fitted also, the one in the above shot is actually a crop frame lens (perhaps a little small?). But as you have said the most important view is the one through the VF.

The plain-vanilla body as illustrated in this post is really not as bad as I suggested with the line about the ugly tree. I was really reacting to the A850 with the accessory battery pack, as shown on the 'news' page at Digital Photography Review. I defy anyone of good taste to say that's a handsome camera.

JC

"I once bought a Nikon F2 with the meterless prism just because it looked and felt so much nicer and I never used the meter anyway."
Hugh Crawford

Hugh, I bought one with the same prism because the Photomic looked like a loft conversion gone badly wrong. And its metering was rubbish, too.

Oh, and I think the A850 looks great in a functional sense. You can't apply the same aesthetics to cameras as you would to cars, otherwise NOBODY would ever have bought a Linhof Technika.

Who can remember the big bright viewfinders of 35mm SLR's and who misses them? I for one do.

DSLR's viewfinders share little with their forbearer's. I think Sony needs to be applauded for the viewfinder of the A900 which is the best of all the current crop of DSLR's & I'm sure the A850 will share its pedigree.

Is the camera ugly, that's subjective, but who cares when you have a great viewfinder, a 24MP sensor & inbody AS, & all for $2k. When alls said and done the A850 is a tool and I expect it will become to be regarded as a photographers camera. It may be missing all the latest must have features, like video, LV, auto horizon etc etc, but its lack of gadget features and unattractive looks in some peoples eyes, will not stop it from becoming a success or classic camera.

To me, cameras are like women, and the best looking women are rarely the best women. Take the Olympus E-P1 for example; I get an erection every time I see her, but when I remember how she cheated on me she doesn't look so good anymore.

My D700 is a little on the plump side, and she wears very sensible shoes, but when I see the raw files she cooks up I realize that beauty is more than skin deep. And as time goes on, true beauty reveals itself as a sum of all the parts (inside and out) and not just a perky pentaprism.

Surely the best looking SLR was the Contax RTS.

Sorry, Mike, A850 is ugly. There's absolutely no comparison to that Mercedes, which is really Cor Blimey. Where is the long bonnet on Alpha? Where is the back-located cabin? See how they achieved an impression of speed even when the car is standing still? There's nothing even comparable to that on the Alpha.

The problem with Wunderplastik is that it's form that follows the function. That is, designed to be as comfortable in hand as possible. I say "problem" because everybody started using such form. In this case, familiarity really breeds contempt. Not to mention the fact that some (all?) manufacturers don't really always hit the needed dimensions, ratios and what not for a camera to be really comfortable.

Alpha 900/850 tries to be both Wunderplastik and something that harkens back to the boxy SLR's from before. For me, it doesn't succeed. It's not that beautiful antique Mercedes nor it's an SL65 AMG Black. (Open the photo in the middle.) BTW, SL Black is kinda wunderplastik of car design, but it also draws on the principles from that antique Mercedes. You could say it succeeds in what Alpha tried to achieve.

For similar reasons, I don't like Panasonic G1. It's too small to have that Wunderplastik D/SLR look and the form also impedes the function--the grip is too short to hold comfortable. Olympus E-P1 is much more memorable, attractive and comfortable camera, even with some shortcomings in the design.

Just in passing, I like pugs and pekes. I think they are cute. :-)

sony should be commended for bucking the trend of wunderplastik cameras. the basic solids motif of the a900/a850 harkens back to the days of the nikon f and pentax spotmatic, the most beautiful slrs ever (i'd throw in the exakta varex vx, too, but i don't want to encourage leica r8/r9 fans). i don't think they succeeded in making cameras that are remotely good looking, though. the sony designers liked the idea too much to see how crude and ungainly their creation was.

if i'm going to buy something expensive, it had better look great and be well made. none of these are perfect, but i like their no-nonsense, utilitarian style and build quality. less is more:

ricoh grd ii (minus the extraneous lines of the popup flash)
leica m8 (minus the blue sensor and extra thickness)
pentax k7 (minus the goiter containing the stepper motor. ran out of room, i guess.)

one dslr stands apart from all the others, in my opinion. the olympus e-1 was an exceptional camera. the grip design was ingenious and completely unique - the perfect union of organic and technological shapes. the prism and lens mount housing is also the sleekest i've seen on any dslr. i was sorely disappointed that the e-3 did not retain this amazing design.

funnily enough, canon is making the most beautiful current dslr. the mkiii cameras almost look terrific now that the prism housing doesn't look like an elephant's forehead. it turns out that wunderplastik cameras just needed a slight touch of crispness to make them really handsome. the vertical grip is the only thing i don't like about it.

Always though it and its predecessor ugly but got shot down here for saying it. No coherence to the design. Nothing flows. Bits stuck on to bits.Wouldn't stop me for buying one if all the other boxes were ticked. As a man who drives the car Chris Bangled banjaxed who am I to complain

Holy crap, Calvin. Now want one but I'm worried that I do!

I do like the looks of the A850/A900, but they overdid the prism. Pentax nailed that look with the K-7.

I'm not really a fan of blob-cameras like the 5D's or (worse) the Hunchback of Solms (R8/R9). They really look like somebody designed them for looks and thought about ergonomics later. And screwed up the looks part.

For looks, my favourite cameras are the mid-70's 35mm SLR's before plastic and small became so important. Cameras like the Nikon F2, Canon F-1n, Pentax K2 or Minolta XK/XM. Frankly, the F2 Titan with the eyelevel prism may just be the best looking SLR ever made.

One other thing I gotta ask. Why is there a DT (crop-specific) 50/1.8 on that full-frame A850? Makes no sense. Should be the 50/1.4 which handles very nicely on the A900 and looks good to boot.

Third but last comment. For those asking about the red 'thing' which is actually orange, it's the greek letter 'Alpha' and the emblem of the Alpha line since it was launched by Minolta (who used that branding in Japan, albeit with much more subdued logos).

That is a great piece of creative language indeed. Thank for bringing it to our attention!
Photography's a hobby for most, Mike, and hobbyists are among the loudest folk. I could care less about a camera's looks, if only they would put bigger sensors = less dof and more "depth" (ooops, woke up the dog there...) in photos at regular apertures. Or whatever, but surely it must be possible to make smaller cameras with bigger image surface / "negatives"? Even these Sonys are quite big if you want to carry them around on, say, a stroll in the park.

seriously people - who cares? It's a bloody full frame camera for a price of what yesterday was a middle class aps-c. I want it. You want it. No matter how it would look, it would still be beautiful.

"nor it's an SL65 AMG Black"

erlik,
That SL65 AMG black is an even better example than the rights-free photo I found--what an ugly car, but so slick and sleek it looks cool.

BTW I had to kill your darcari.com link--it crashed my browser! First time in a blue moon that's happened.

Mike

Ugly or not, it's what you do with it that makes it beautiful!

I use an A900 which is "pug ugly", but I don't care; it a professional tool and one I love using.

People who consider a camera merely in terms of beauty are probably those who buy cameras for display (but don't actually use them too much).

Mike, quite a lot of modern, particularly high-end cars follow the wunderplastik flowing design logic. But they have a coherence which is missing in the Alpha: Aston Martin DB9, Jaguar XJ, Ferrari 458 Italia*, even Holden Maloo R8, which is a disguised pick-up truck. (Hopefully, these links will work okay.)

The Alpha looks like a Zaporozhets. Fortunately for them, it apparently works very well. :-)

* Did you know that Ferrari doesn't use computers in assembling their cars? Been there, seen that. Of course, the design is certainly something else.

I have no idea who would read this far down in the comments column, but may I say: The Sony 900, and now the 850 are kind of cool-looking if you look at them head-on, that is, from the front. The pyramid-reminiscent pentaprism is a pleasant visual throwback to the simpler days of the Nikon F meterless prism. However, if viewed from the side, both cameras have that elongated, Alien-head front-to-back extension, just like my 2 Nikon D3s do. Hideous, but...not as bad as the current Canon top-of-the-line units, which have a aesthetically-challenged, faux-stealth-bomber styling. Embarrassing and unimaginative, but possibly appealing to many Americans, many of whom have degenerated into the current cartoon culture anyway.

This is such a personal issue of taste I don't see how there could be any consensus reached on the subject. I think my own preference is a product of my age, sixty. Therefore I really like the 35mm SLR's of the 60's and 70's. The best looking of that time was in my personal opinion the Nikon F with the plain prism and the Canon F1, first model. I don't own either of these cameras because I value compactness and so selected the OM-1. I still have a couple of OM-1's and several primes and still use them. I have purchased a Oly DSLR but it has no beauty to it. I can see it has quite a few advantages over film cameras in some situations.

The 850 is handsome on the strength of the prism housing. (It is also heavy, requiring a sturdy neck, but that is a different matter.)

I'll bet that a relatively low proportion of those who've looked through the A900's viewfinder find that camera or the A850 ugly. I use an APS-C Nikon but once tried the A900 in a local London dealer so when I saw the A850 and its price, I felt something close to physical pain. I really value a decent viewfinder and it doesn't get much better than the A900's so that alien bulge up top provokes nothing but pure viewfinder lust in me. Can't see any ugliness there at all. Could anyone complain about, say, a Sport Quattro's bulges and odd proportions? Only crazy people. :)

Just like my Hasselblads, the A900 is the only other camera I find myself staring at when it's on my desk. It looks much better in person with a bigger lens.

You know what? The a850 reminds me of a Yugo, which has to hold the record for being the butt of most jokes in history. The same boxy shape that tries to look pretty but fails tremendously.
Oh, and German cars are, well, ugly.

(NB: My family owned a Yugo, which was pretty much the only car you could buy in those days. Worked just fine, and I kind of miss those days. Nobody had any money, but we lived just fine.
And there's still what you could call a subculture, I suppose, of rally racing with Yugos. See here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCxY5FR_vAM )

Anyone else notice the DT 50/1.8 crop lens on the FF a850 body? (The combo reportedly has just minimal vignetting.)

At $800, the Sony version of the 28-75mm SAM is double MSRP what the street price of the Tamron screw-driven lens. Youch.

Give me a true DMD and I won't bother about what it looks like (although, if you make it look cool, it's icing.)

Still - I can't help but wonder if your judging that particular Mercedes (whereas you could have picked any from recent years) as "ugly" really qualifies you as an arbiter of good design :)

"Have SLRs ever looked good? Maybe the R8?"
The best looking I had im my hands were Yashica FX-D with brass tears shinning on the corners. Contax 139Q is almost identical.
That A850 could be OK without that bulge on the right side.

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