Why Thom is wrong...

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
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The future's so bright . . .
In reply to Richard, 10 months ago

Seems like a reasonable look at one possible future to me, Richard.  That said, after pondering the logic as you'd suggested, I had a few thoughts.

Richard wrote:

And Mirrorless is dead. Now before you go getting emotional, ponder the logic.

1.DSLRs act like mirrorless as they are right now. They push the mirror out of the way when they go into live view. The first objection is that the AF is faster on mirrorless, sure using on sensor AF on a DSLR. Right now that is true but if you think Canonikon is going to sit on the hands and not improve live view to the point it is better than current mirrorless, I think they are smarter than that. It will happen or Canonikon will die. Mirrorless will lose the AF advantage in live view.

I'm missing the evidence for your CaNikon confidence, here.  It's true that both companies are clearly putting r&d into better on-sensor focus systems, but neither is yet coming away with a clear victory.  The Canon 70D's "dual-pixel" phase sensor, as a case in point, really does dramatically improve live-view performance, but it's still not as fast or as confident as Olympus's contast-detection for stills.   And, in time Canon took to develop it, Olympus cooked  some improvements into their system such that the new EM-1 now offers true phase-detect continuous performance.

So, it looks (to me, anyway) like all the parties are inching forward, and the relative advantages among them haven't decisively changed.   Olympus is still the fastest single-shot AF in town.  I guess we'll have to see things like EM-1 vs. 70D continuous video AF results to really judge more.

Of all the players, it seems at the moment that Nikon is really lagging in this area.  But maybe they've got something in the works that we don't know about?

2. Canikon already have EVF, on the back of the camera for live view. They also can use a laptop, tablet or smart phone as a remote. They have had this for some time. Mirrorless has no advantage there.

Well, except that Olympus cooked a remote wi-fi implementation into the OM-1, and most Nikon DSLRs require an extra off-camera dongle to do similar stuff.

3. Canikon can make smaller dslrs with APS-C that will be able to compete with mirrorless or they can produce better EOSM and V1 units. Again, they cover Pro, Advanced amateur, beginner, small size DSLRs. (they both produce point and shoots too.)

The new tiny EOS SL1 definitely gives mirrorless cameras like the OM-D and GH series a run on size, but the OM-D and GH cameras are so much better specified.    The SL1 uses the ancient 18 megapixel sensor, doesn't have an articulated screen, doesn't offer AF fine-tune (so that wide-aperture shooting is gonna be tough).   I can't imagine anyone choosing an SL1 over a GH3, for example, for video.

And the Nikon 1 cameras really do silo you into their sensor size: you have to be cool with limited shallow DoF options to like them, though certainly there's plenty of great photography for which that'd be OK.

I guess what I am saying here, again, is that I see valid CaNikon competition, but I don't any real advantages, andi don't see any real evidence that any are coming.  As with your other two points, it seems like they've left a door or two open for competitors to exploit, and competitors have.

At this point mirrorless has no advantage and has disadvantages compared to Canikon solutions.

Well, I can think of a few.  Micro 4/3 has a wonderful lens system right now, with exceptional primes.   CaNikon do, too, but only for FX and at a serious cost premium.   Pentax, maybe, comes closest with their dA Limited glass.   Panasonic micro 4/3 is really wonderful for video: excellent codec / output / audio flexibility that only Canon really approaches.   Olympus offers the industry's best image stabilization, and it's in-body, so it covers any lens you mount.

And then there's the EVF.   Some love it, some hate it, but it does enable some interesting possibilities if you're inclined to take advantage of them.  Seeing your exposure, white balance, tone curve, and histogram live, while you shoot, through the viewfinder opens some big doors for many kinds of photography.

So is mirrorless really going to be dead? No, I think M43 because of the number of lenses and market penetration even though small will survived as a niche market camera. BUT I only think there will be 2 major players, Sony and Panny, possibly Sony and Oly but Oly seems to be on its way out or at least to a reduced market share and segment at this point.

Thom can predict, but so can I. I think that cell phones will only get better and be good enough for the masses, and Canikon will take up the rest of the market with some mirrorless being niche while other disappear. Because Japanese culture is different, it is hard for me to predict what they will buy. I am sure budding Asian markets will embrace cell phones, with pros and advanced amatuers buying Canikon.

Why are you sure of this?   I thought the word was that mirrorless was doing incredibly well in Asia--that it's only in North America and Europe that mirrorless sales are flat.  Is that not true?

Canikons strength is not just DSLR, it is lenses APS-C for smaller cameras and FF which mirrorless lacks.

Well, the rumor mill tells us we will have a full-frame Sony NEX mirrorless in a few days, so there's the end of that CaNikon exclusive.

I think most camera people know these points already and if they are honest with themselves, they already know mirrorless in its present form is not where it is at.

Being honest with myself, I find the latest round of mirrorless products to be well-specified, capable, and pretty desireable.   I don't know that I would want one for photographing sports or events, but for fine art, portraits, fashion, I think they might actually be the better tool at the moment for many different styles.

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