Poll: Are these EVIL cameras?
What the heck should we call cameras that have interchangeable lenses but no SLR mirrors?
Words have always been considered powerful, mystical things--the story of the Golem is merely one example that pops into mind--but they take on more prosaic power when it comes to search engine optimization.
While there are lots of reasons why SEO is important from a content provider standpoint, as a writer/editor I really only care about one thing: will people be able to find a particular product review when they search for it?
There are just some categories that defy consensus; I still don't know what to call all those camcorders that compete with the pioneering Flip, ending up with unsatisfactory choices like "mini camcorders" or "budget camcorders" simply because they'll turn up the right models when people search.
So I'm taking a different approach for cameras like the
CNET News Poll
Frankly, I hate all the possible category descriptions. While "EVIL" (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) is the catchiest, it seems to have some Sony-related roots (pause here to appreciate that a search on "Sony" and "evil" brings up rootkit memories), not all of these cameras have or will have EVFs.
They started their lives referred to as "hybrid" cameras, but they're not really hybrids--they don't really mix different species of products. And at this point "hybrid" has really become associated with cars.
I kind of like Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera, and think it most accurately reflects the category, but "MILC" is too precious for me. Interchangeable-lens camera seems to be the most popular, and I've tentatively settled on that. But is it too hard to search on?
Some simply refer to them as Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras, which works for now since all of the current models adhere to the MFT standard. But that won't be true forever--or even for the near future, unless Samsung surprises us. And while "system cameras" may accurately reflect what they are, it doesn't really distinguish them from SLRs, which are the original system cameras
So I ask you: please vote on what we should call them. And if you have any better ideas, leave 'em in the comments.