The thing to remember is that there were a lot of cheaper or more basic SLRs aimed at the same market as digital bridge cameras - people who wanted better quality than the average compact but didn't want to pay for a fully fledged bells and whistles pro-spec SLR. This is presumably where all the Miranda/Cosina/Chinon stuff came in, as well as the Pentax MV/MV1 (which are so simplified that they don't even tell you what shutter speed they intend to use!)