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There is not enough room where the image comes in to the camera to provide for sensor tilt and shift, and still have a mirror big enough, and still have a metering system. Even if you had lenses that had big enough image circles, they just could not work with a tilt shift sensor with a mirror. You would likely need to give up the reflex viewing that a DSLR normaly has, and for the same reasons you would not have exposure metering via a system that depends on the mirror to get its light from the image. Also, the current style of autofocus would go away when the mirror does.
A dedicated sensor only style camera, with good live view, could likely be designed, but as mentioned, the market is very limited. But the live view could still do exposure metering and some form of auto focus or focus confirm at full aperture, and then could stop down for exposure. If focus information was made available from the live view sensor data in some form, it could be specific to different parts of the image based on user preference or settings. And the camera could have automatic cycles included to evaluate focus as it stops the lens down in increments, to show what aperature is required to get all points in focus. Lots of possibilities, but not too much need or demand overall.
Once you think in terms of removing all the mirror related stuff from a camera, you revert to something much like a view camera. That then means that there is no reason to use the retrofocus design for wide angle lenses, making it easier to build high quality lenses with large image circles at lower cost with less distortion issues. But that would mean that you would need a whole new family of lenses to get nice performance, which is also unlikely because of the limited market.
Be glad that Canon has built two very nice tilt shift lenses with modern designs for us to use. They project the tilted and shifted image into the center of the current camera geometry, although the exposure metering gets messed up. Most things can be done with the current TS-E lenses, now that the alignment axis between tilt and shift is user selectable to any angle. This all reminds me that I need to get out more and use my gear, including my TS-E lenses, to create images.
Edited on Jan 25, 2012 at 09:29 PM · View previous versions