Why Thom is wrong...

Started Sep 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 19,036
Think about it...warning, long post.

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.

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.

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.)

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

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.

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

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.

I don't think it's safe to make any prediction about death without looking at the markets and consumer behaviour.

- The market was saturated with compacts, many of which were not being used, long before smartphones became a factor. Compacts were bound to decline.

- Consumers are getting tired of the foolish pixel race. They're beyond comparing last year's 5Mp model to this year's 8Mp model. They already own 2 each.

- Smartphones actually fill the need that they've been looking for - one tool that does everything and the ability to toot to the world, immediately, and with good enough image quality. So the declining compact market doesn't taper, it dives.

- Compacts won't die completely, but Nikon have vowed to own what's left while Panasonic have vowed to reduce their compact efforts and focus on higher value/higher end cameras.

- There will be contraction and the market profile will likely look a lot like it was prior the the digital boom. Compacts don't just decline, they dive.

- Camera companies have to go back to what you were before - an enthusiast and pro camera maker. Sony, Panasonic, Fuji and Olympus have all launched higher end stuff recently because of this. A read of Panasonic's 2013 AR indicates to me that they're hanging their camera future on the GX7. And if anything can win people over, it's that camera. I really like it.

- But there will not be enough demand to keep them all in business. Some or someone will exit. The companies who can hang on will dictate what survives. But one thing is likely - Canon and Nikon will survive.

- If the trend is toward more enthusiasts and pros, then the demand for and appreciation for full frame will naturally be a larger portion of the market profile.

So, will mirrorless win? That's not the first question to ask in my mind. The question to ask is, who will survive? Then you can ask if and when things will change and what they will look like. Panasonic and Olympus probably can't cause this change on their own - they might not even continue making cameras. It will take the big three - Sony, Nikon and Canon.

EVFs could become the dominant technology for viewing which can also mean the future is smaller lenses and bodies. Unfortunately, the improvement is only incremental in my mind. A full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera would not be significantly smaller to warrant a mass switchover.

So I think that when it becomes economical and sensible for Nikon and Canon to go mirrorless in their big cameras, they will. People who own DSLRs and previous film SLR owners bought into systems and tended to keep them through many marketing / sales cycles. I don't know what that cycle is/was, but it wasn't annual. That included lenses.

Many of us still have and buy/sell old AI-S lenses. But many of us replaced them with AF-D or G lenses. So there is a cycle there and Nikon / Canon know when it is. They will make the move when the time is right. I don't think it's now. Many of us have just invested and aren't looking to jump.

Some DSLR owners are moving because they think mFT or NEX or X-trans are plenty good enough. Some are just adding to their kit. But I don't believe it's the bulk of DSLR owners. I believe the bulk of DSLR owners are still enjoying the investment they have made and will buy something new in a few years.

And you can't take Thom Hogan or Ming Thien or Ken Rockwell as indications of what's about to happen. They're just human and expressing opinions.

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