Sony a352 Concept DSLR Camera Design

The “Sony a352″ is a concept camera design by Ryan David Francis, a Industrial Design Student at the California College of the Arts. His aim in the design was to create a camera that focuses on how people hold cameras:

The design of the Sony a352 focuses on how a camera is held and how the user takes a picture. By allowing the user to have a multitude of hand positions, the end result is ultimate creative control.

Another designed feature of the a352 is the sloped angle of the LCD viewing screen. This feature creates a comfortable eye to viewfinder interaction by allowing greater clearance between the user and the camera.

In other words, the design keeps oil off your LCD by keeping from being pressed against your face when you’re staring through the viewfinder.

What are your thoughts on this design? What do you like or not like about it?

Image credits: Photographs by Ryan David Francis and used with permission

  • Worapol

    add a grip on right hand side so you use your left hand to control the zoom and its perfect!

  • Davesix

    The designer, who doesn't know how to hold a camera, is obviously not a photographer. How do you hang on to the thing?

  • joakimbergquist

    seems awkward.. but interesting.. I think it requires more work

  • Matty G

    It's called a concept for a reason. The idea of curving the screen away from the face is a really good idea. But yes, the grips look like they could use a little work.

  • Dan Ciskey

    Hmm…I like the idea of slanting the LCD away from the face, but that's sure as heck not how I want to hold a camera. Left hand underneath for stability and zooming/focusing. The “one hand on each side” method pictured is a lot less stable. I agree that this fella probably isn't a photographer. Interesting first try, though.

  • FG

    Interesting indeed, I'm pretty sure there's some innovations that will be considered in future cameras.

  • Ronan Rodrigues

    I liked the overall design, it is a real radical innovation in DSLRs. But it seems to be designed by someone who is not a photographer, and to non-photographers… The right-hand grip is a big problem, imagine taking a vertical photo with this camera, there would be no stability at all. The right hand wouldn't be able to hold it properly and the left hand would have to support the weight and control zoom and focus at the same time…
    The LCD is great, it's not a complete solution, but it appears to be a nice first move. After some modifications, I would buy it.

  • R v S

    The idea is good but I wouldn't buy it. I prefer the old-style camera's because of the feeling I think.

  • aaronpatterson

    Well, I am a fan of new ideas and I love thinking of new ways to design camera's but I have a few reasons why I would but it.

    1. The design doesn't seem to allow me to have the control over my lens.

    2. No grip means no one handed holding (easily at least)

    3. “longer” camera design means bigger bags.

    4. Slanted LCD is ok but just buy a eyepiece extender for a few dollars on a regular DSLR. Also “slanted will get old when your camera is level on a tripod.

    Good idea. I would recommend going back to the drawing boards with a photographer. I think the design we have now is actually one of the most efficient. Kudos to thinking of the future though

  • Shawn Parker

    I have to disagree with the majority of commenters. I think the design more than adequately accommodates holding the camera with the left hand supporting the lens from underneath. Look past the sample photo of how it is being held and look at the way it is shaped. I think this would be pretty nice to hold in a “traditional” manner.

  • Felipe Manga

    In the first picture it looked like a nice “out of the box” design.
    In the last it looks like a “out of the DSLR box” but “in the P&S box” design.
    The slanted LCD is in an angle that I think would just strain your wrists if you look at it too much, and would be a hindrance on a tripod. That and the grip is missing. :/

  • surak

    it's a sony. People who buys sony are not photographers anyway.

  • jerry1st

    luv that someone gives slr design a fresh shot. the handles need some anatomic definition, and texture – right now, single-handed shots are out of the question. with all the square bulges, i see myself holding it comfortably for vertical photos, but for horizontal shots, there is no sufficient grip anywhere on this camera. and the lcd at this angle may cater for photographers solely using the viewfinder; frequent users of the lcd, however, would be forced to take their photos either guessing or overhead. not mentioning tripod use. an extended eyepiece would make more sense to me in getting the screen away from the face, since the depth of the thing is beyond compact anyway.

  • Ian Wang

    Looks like a prop from a new Predator movie.

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  • Austin Video Production

    What a great idea, especial for video

  • kte63

    Ohhh, a canikoner!

    Come back and chat when you actually make your living with a camera.

    Mine are Sony, baby.

  • kte63

    The concept is interesting, but I have to agree that it looks like a dslr that's been forced into a P&S mold.
    I, too, would suggest spending sometime with a number professional photographers to see how they hold, use and operate their equipment, then look for ways to make it easier, more comfortable and/or less fatiguing.

  • joakimbergquist

    Haha thats just a stupid comment.

  • Travis

    Like my grandpa always said:

    “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.”

  • Dennis

    Designs like that piss me off. Where do these designers get the idea that turning something that works into something that literally looks like crap is a good idea?

    It's bad enough we have this distorted concept that our future cars should look like they came out of a kid's session with play-doh. Now they gotta go fuck up cameras too?

    The designer would probably like to own stuff that look like cancerous tumors, but I for one will stick to blocky, rigid, secure, and TESTED designs. I mean, what? Does a DSLR need to be aerodynamic now?


    Keep that in the Concept bin and don't ever bring it out to the Consumer Market.

  • vaporplume

    I'm still driving an “81 Subaru Wagon. If I want a new camera design–just make it boxier with an addd a coffee mug handle on one side

  • MorpheusX

    The idea of trying to change things that has never been changed is (in general) a good one. But…
    1. you need to be right.
    2. you need to be absolutely shure, that what you are doing is, in fact, right.
    3. you need to very resistant to criticism from people that are USED to do things in their “old fashioned” way.
    4. you need to be prepared to face the consequences, if what you are trying to do turns out to be wrong and blows in your face…

  • karlz

    The biggest problem is that the ergonomy is designed to hold it like a P&S and even when Sony has a really good sensor based stabilization the shift created by holding a heavier block with a heavier lens isn´t going to help, the lack of a grip may be a problem for bigger hands, and I don´t think it is suitable for portrait orientation shooting.

    Form should serve functionality and not the other way around.

  • j3423

    This design is a mess. No offense, but the ergonomics seems horrible. There are alot of oblique angles that would make it difficult when changing settings by pressing buttons on-the-fly.

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  • katie

    it ain't the instrument it's the musician

  • QuBe

    I like the attempts, but he still has it wrong.

    I totally agree that DSLRs need the viewfinder extended (a la medium format prism viewfinders) to better adapt to the face…(especially if you've been blessed with an ample schnoz.)

    Secondly, a proper eyecup is an absolute must.
    I use a Hoodman and I simply couldn't function without it – cutting out incident light makes my job way easier and shooting more accurate. (I can't understand why mfgs don't include a proper eyecup with prosumer or professional models…makes no sense.)

    The angled LCD in this design is a total fail for tripod use.

    I'd also like to see far more prominent thumb grips on DSLRs…like the winder on film cams of old.

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  • A7mad

     looks like a tumor

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  • rawbox

    Would love to have a go with it… Chuck in a 35mm square sensor too! Very good.