In Defense of the DSLR

Started Sep 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 17,737
Re: Mirrorless is dead.

Richard wrote:

Look at all the articles both mirrorless and DSLR face stiff competition from the cell phone industry.
When Samsung and others are producing 41mp phones, consumers are going to say, hey, it is a phone, I get it for free, or discounted when I get a contract, and it is a computer, I can edit and share with it, it is always hooked to the internet so I can share my photographs with people who would never see them in the film days or before facebook, and the IQ is good enough.

I don't buy that mirrorless and DSLRs face stiff competition from the cell phone industry.  There's only so much you can do without a large sensor and only so much you can do with a large sensor without a large lens or multiple lenses.

It makes perfect sense that cell phones are destroying digicam sales.  The IQ is sufficient, so long as you can live without the zoom, and the sharing workflow has revolutionized photography for many people.

But as photographic tools, they still don't match decent digicams, and people who buy mirrorless or DSLRs have already opted for bigger systems than those digicams.  Few potential systems camera buyers are going to avoid buy a system because of cell phones.  (The sharing aspect is still a killer feature, but I don't see it being a dealbreaker).

Phones have cut into the ENTIRE camera business. DSLRs in the market place as staying about the same. That is because Pros use them and buy them. The rest of the market like pocket phones have taken a hit, even m4/3 and mirrorless are in decline. And this will only get worse

Mirrorless has the chance to get better, but it will be largely at the expense of DSLRs.  At the low end, they need to compete with $500 DSLRs like the D3100 by offering cameras with viewfinders (Sony A3000 might be a viable option, but I haven't seen one myself) ... not by offering Altoid tins with lenses sticking out of them.  And at the high end, they need to round out their systems while maintaining their size advantage.

But taken together, they'll be challenged to grow.  There's nothing new happening unless someone challenges cell phones for ease of sharing (and even then, that's limited growth).  Meanwhile, I think the biggest problem is saturation/maturation.  Most people who want a system camera have one and fewer people want to upgrade the one they have.

- Dennis

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