Camera phones are destroying the DSLR market....

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
MichaelKJ
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Re: No, they are not.
In reply to TrapperJohn, Nov 11, 2013

TrapperJohn wrote:

Cell phone cams killed the P&S market.

True, for the most part.  Although, I wouldn't extend your observation to enthusiast P&S cameras.  For example, my wife mostly uses her iPhone, but continues to get out her S95 (low end enthusiast?) when she wants a better quality photo.  OTOH, she hasn't used her dSLR in 2-3 years.

They probably helped kill off the entry level DSLR.

Entry level DSLRs aren't dead yet, although it obviously makes sense to attributed a significant portion of their sales decrease to camera phones.

And the tech lovers who were buying DSLR's in the 2000's, now have new darlings to marvel over: the smartphones and pads that came out in the late 2000's.

I don't know of a single enthusiast or amateur, one who puts more than snapshot effort into their photos, who view a cell phone camera as a DSLR replacement.

The DSLR market has been declining in the past two years, but I attribute it to other factors.

Isn't this observation inconsistent with your comment above that camera phones "probably helped kill off the entry level DSLR"?  Are you only referring to the enthusiast DSLR market?

Sensors are peaking in performance. They're not getting much better than those of last year or the year before, in terms of benefits under typical photo circumstances. Nor are increases in the old staples of MP and ISO helping - current models are already beyond what most of us use, most of the time. 5mp to 10 was a huge leap. 16mp to 32 - not that noticable because most of us aren't really putting 16 to serious use.

Most of the advances made in the last couple of years have been of benefit to the mirrorless cameras. Sensor tech has brought the smaller sensor close to a par with the larger ones, in terms of what most people tend to want: MP, ISO to 3200, noise. PDAF on sensor, which is of little to no use on a mirrored DSLR, is eliminating the CAF advantage of traditional PDAF off of the focus screen. And advances in the latest EVF's, which are getting very good, aren't of much use to systems that have an OVF.

And yet, mirrorless' share of the ILC market has been constant for the past two years.

What this has done is to suppress the 'upgrade every two years' cycle that most of us have been doing for the last seven or eight years. There just isn't as compelling a reason to upgrade that frequently as there once was. The only upgrade of any noticable degree is size - the smaller mirrorless systems do offer a real benefit, if size is a problem.

So I see the current DSLR slowdown not as a crash due to cell phones, but a correction to what was an unsustainable economic model of the mid to late 2000's. The golden age of the DSLR. Sooner or later, that 'upgrade every two years' would hit a stopping point, when the cameras couldn't be improved enough to offer a compelling reason to continue buying them at that rate. Current DSLR's are hitting that stopping point.

If this is true, and I believe it is, DSLR sales will slow sales loss next year, and stabilize. There will be some erosion to smaller CSC systems, but there's so much glass out there for the DSLR that doesn't work all that well on the smaller systems, that the DSLR as we know it will be the most economically viable choice for enthusiasts and amateurs for some time.

Again, are you referring only to enthusiast DSLRs?

What exists today works very well. Fortunately, cameras are far less susceptible to panic than the people who use them.

Cameras may be, but company executives, other employees, and investors are a different matter.  The recent comments made by Olympus are a perfect example of a company/department trying to adapt to very stressful conditions.

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