I'm fairly sure that this isn't a stupid question, but please forgive me if it is. Here goes:
Exactly what can be removed from a dSLR (or any digital camera, really) without rendering it nonfunctional?
What I would like to do, you see, is basically take an old dSLR and strip it down until nothing is left but the sensor, controls, LCD, card slot, and battery slot. This would mean removing the shutter, the prism, the viewfinder, the flash, the mount, and, of course, almost all of the body itself. I basically want to end up with a fully functioning, photo-taking sensor with an attached LCD screen.
Given that all of this stuff is integrated, though, I'm assuming that it's going to be virtually impossible to remove ANYTHING electronic without getting some sort of error message (or even complete camera death). If it's impossible to completely remove these things, could I at least remove the parts of them with no electronics? Is there some way to hack the firmware (as if I know how to hack firmware) to make it ignore parts of the camera that no longer exist?
I'm thinking that it might actually be easier to do this with a Sigma DP1 or, MUCH easier, with a Sony NEX...but I don't even feel like dropping $200 on a throw-away Rebel XT, let alone a $500 Sony. Someone tell me I'm crazy before I spend any money in an incredibly stupid manner!