Olympus will be the only camera brand without a full frame DSLR from the original big 6 Japanese camera makers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Minolta and Konica) of the 1970s. Konica of course never made it to the digital age, and even Contax/Yashica marketed a full frame before withdrawing from the photo equipment market.
rsjoberg: I will get the D500 sometime this year. The moment I heard about it I knew I wanted it. I started into Nikon with a D200, then went to a D7000. I've stayed with my DX lenses, a 12-24 f4 and a 17-55 f2.8, and I have the first version of the 70-200 f2.8, so the D500 was made for me.
I still like the results from my Fuji S2 pro and Nikon D100. Got them both used, and see no reason to upgrade. LOL Seriously, even an entry level DSLR camera will outperform the D200 in terms of image quality.
The market leaders are trying to maintain the status quo, which is artificially high prices for full frame models, and higher than justified prices for high end APS-C models, meanwhile the entry level full frames are poorly constructed with plasticky bodies. All of this is done to maximize profit margins. The DSLR market as a result will likely continue its slump, until some realistic pricing scheme comes to pass.
Apparently this is Nikon's answer to the Canon 7D, but is there still a market for high end APS-C models?
Mirrorless cameras are not any smaller than DSLR cameras as a system. Because of the shorter lens flange to sensor distance, telephoto lenses are actually longer because whatever length is reduced fro the camera has to be added to the lens. So, people who carry more than 1 telephoto lens will actually see an increase in size and weight. Size and weight of wide angle lenses can theoretically be reduced, but only if a wide angle is re-designed to take advantage of the shorter lens flange to sensor distance. Unfortunately, many wide angles still use the reverse telephoto design, either because it is an existing design done for DSLR cameras originally, or it is designed that way to minimize vignetting, or the fall off of light at the corners. Therefore if size and weight are of paramount importance, it is better to buy a mirrorless that has a small sensor AND also lenses that are designed from scratch to fit that sensor size.
Anastigmat: The APS-C camera is obsolete. Bring on the affordable Full frame. All DSLR cameras, excluding medium format and professional 35mm models like the 1D-X and D4, should be priced below a thousand dollars. As long as FF prices stay above the magical $1,000 level, and as long as cameras like the 5D and D810 are priced near $3k, the DSLR market will continue to shrink.
Ask yourself, would you buy an APS-C camera or a FF if they are the same price and they are exactly the same in every way except the size of the sensor? The only reason for APS-C models is lower price, but lower price alone is not enough to sustain the APS-C market if people really want FF but the price of a FF is simply beyond the reach of the average photographer.
The APS-C camera is obsolete. Bring on the affordable Full frame. All DSLR cameras, excluding medium format and professional 35mm models like the 1D-X and D4, should be priced below a thousand dollars. As long as FF prices stay above the magical $1,000 level, and as long as cameras like the 5D and D810 are priced near $3k, the DSLR market will continue to shrink.
Frank_BR: Do not worry about Canon. It will always be remembered as the largest manufacturer of office equipment in the world. 50 years from now someone will remember that Canon had built one day a type of camera with obscure technology called DSLR.
The demise of the SLR is grossly exaggerated. Just a short 12 years back, film SLR sales were near zero, and people were buying fixed lens digital cameras with puny sensors. The SLR was supposedly dead. Then Canon introduced the D30, followed shortly by the 10D and Digital Rebel. These were the first "affordable" DSLR cameras, and the SLR was far from dead. Nikon followed with the "affordable" D70, and the SLR was reborn from the ashes like the mythical phoenix. What the DSLR market need is an affordable full frame, a full frame that is priced the same as the D70 and Digital Rebel were in 2003, i.e. below $1,000, and the market will be revived. OTOH, neither Nikon nor Canon may do what is necessary to save the DSLR market. We shall see.
rhlpetrus: Just a figure for people to think about: Nikon sold 150K early mirrorless cameras, also known as rangefinders ;-), back in 1947-1960. So, about 12K cameras a year. They survived and actually prospered, then launched the Nikon F etc. Now they sell, say 10 million cameras, between dslrs, mls and compacts. Yes, that has declined from the peak around 2010-2012. So? Will they survive? Canon has the office division that will keep them up. Nikon relies heavily on cameras (over 50% of sales now), but they also sell other equipment. Maybe people get too excited by these things, they are just companies.
Canon and Nikon are keeping full frame prices way too high. This news story says that unit sales have declined, but profits are up. That means profit margin is way too high, and that in turn means retail prices are also way too high. High prices discourage sales, especially when prices for other items, such as gasoline, keep falling. When inflation is rampant, people feel the urge to buy because they think that if they wait, then prices will just go higher, as their money keeps losing value. The opposite is true when there is deflationary pressure. As prices fall in general, people are reluctant to spend.
The market for APS-C DSLR cameras is saturated. Most people who want one have already gotten one. Upgrading to another one with more pixels is getting tiresome. People want to move to full frame, but the prices are still too high for most. Yet manufacturers are reluctant to start a price war on full frame models. The market will keep shrinking until full frame prices start to fall to affordable levels ($1,000 or less).
I notice that the most popular cameras in this site are mostly full frame models. The APS-C camera market is declining sharply. All we need is some affordable full frames.
Camera for people like Donald Trump.
WestSeattleDan: I am old. I loved the 35mm SLR cameras from the film era. Hated the dark view in VF of APS-C digital cameras. Then I bought my son a Nikon D-700 and wow what a view. I had a Pen F back in the day for back-packing.
I have a Pentax K100D and two Pentax film bodies. I would not count out Ricoh in this FF game until I see what they present.
I do not care about video and would like not to pay for that feature.If I want to put snapshots on the Internet, I have a Samsung cell phone. For better Internet pictures I use a Nikon v1.
For great photos how about a Pentax FF that is Weather resistant, compact, with a great view finder for openers. The only Pentax lenses I have are all FF.
Don't count Ricoh out until you see what is coming and at what price.
Go Pentax-Ricoh. ... It ain't too late unless they imitate what is already out there, but they need to get this right
Even though Pentax is entering the FF market and there is more competition, I don't see a sudden surge in the DSLR market because what the world needs is a FF that is close to the magical $1000 price line. It is magical because most consumers do not want to spend more than $1000 on a camera. The DSLR market did not take off until the introduction of the <$1,000 Digital Rebel and the equally inexpensive Nikon D70. Right now the lowest priced FF is still about $1,500. It is getting closer to the magical price point, but it may take a few more years, if ever, for that to happen. Until then, the DSLR market will continue its current slump.
Marksphoto: wonder what took them so long and what market are these aimed at since Nikon and Canon users have already their money invested into glass. Think it's a bit too late for Pentax to enter the FF market?
Someone inside Pentax simply refused to market a FF. The same thing happened inside Nikon. Some executives simply refused to release one. These old executives were then shown the doorway and Nikon released its first FF a year and a half later. Not sure whether anyone was relieved of his duty inside Pentax but it appeared that if they are going to stay in the DSLR market they will need a FF, because the only DSLR maker that existed during the film era still without a FF are Pentax and Olympus. Olympus is not doing well in terms of market share, and neither is Pentax. So, Pentax has little choice but to finally enter the FF market. It is better late than never, but not much better if it is so late.
zakaria: IMO they will bring a capable camera at decent price.they did it with 645z.
Actually Pentax priced some of its recent high end APS-C models higher than the competition. Don't hold your breath waiting for a Pentax FF that undercuts the competition in price.
Graham Austin: A lot of people saying the FF ship has sailed, just speaking for myself here, but I have been holding out for a decent FF that is affordable and isn't mirrorless not made by Nikon or Canon... who else makes this?
You are not alone. The world has been waiting for an affordable full frame for 5-10 years, but prices remain stubbornly high for marketing reasons. The lack of competition in the FF market is partly to blame. I can still remember in the mid 1980s when CD players and CD prices were also artificially high. Then Sony released an affordable portable CD player and the market changed. Most people brought that player because of its low price and used it at home. What we need for the DSLR market is a similarly low priced FF model, perhaps in the neighborhood of $1,000 or less. Until then, the APS-C market will stay stagnant and few users will upgrade to FF. Mirrorless cameras are not the answer, FF sensor or not.
I love to see the return of TTL Off the Sensor automatic flash but it is extremely unlikely. We are stuck with pre-flash "TTL flash" for the foreseeable future. Another feature I would love to see is the return of the aperture coupling ring in the body, so that the K mount lenses without the electrical contacts will work without having to push a green button. A third feature I would like to see is interchangeable viewfinders but the mockup does not show that to be a possibility.
Anastigmat: Many Pentax users have moved on, tired of waiting for a Pentax FF. Not sure if they will return. It is one of the biggest blunders in Pentax history to have refused to release a FF until the DSLR market took a downturn.
It is nutty for people who don't want FF to openly and vociferously oppose it. Even if they don't want one, why should they oppose it? Why not let the consumers decide for themselves what they really want to buy?
Petroglyph: I wonder if Ricoh will re-badge Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 & Tamron 150-600 S as Pentax lenses? Apparently, the new Pentax will be manufactured at the same Tamron plant as those two.
Rebadging indepedent makers lenses is nothing new. All camera makers do it. Nikon has rebadged some Tamrons recently. Way back in the early1980s, several camera makers rebadged some Tokina lenses. The Pentax FA 100mm f3.5 macro lens is a rebadged Cosna.
Anirban Banerjee: SDM motor again? SDM has been a disaster for Pentax. What happened to the newer DC motor?
Yes, unfortunately Canon uses the same term USM for ring type motors, which are really fast and for the much slower gear driving motors.