Survival of the K-mount in the mirrorless world.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
bilybianca Contributing Member • Posts: 543
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Me thinks the diagrams above are pretty easy to understand - but that's not good news to Pentax fans, nor Nikon.

In the seventies, it was expensive to take photos. I got a Kodac Instamatic as a christmas gift in my early teens (the one with flash cubes, remember?). Then I could afford to burn a roll of film at least once a year, and of course a whole roll on my school trip to Rome. People with SLRs were either pros, or die hard advanced amateurs.

I got older, and started to get an income. And overall living standards were going up throughout the western world, so more people could afford fine things like a hifi stereo system, a colour tv or even a summer cottage. And of course, a high quality camera, like the ones the pro's had. The point-and-shoots also became better and better (remember the Pentax Espio?), and even the average soccer mom could fill her photo albums with pictures taken by herself. But the point-and shoots didn't really compete with SLRs, they rather were an entry to the hobby. So when I was going for the big adventure, six months in Nicaragua, obviously I would need a real camera, and bought a Pentax Program A with a kit lens. By then it was the single most expensive thing I had ever bought. But as millions of others, I could actually afford it.

2005 I bought my first DSLR. So did many, who had an old SLR and now wanted to be onboard when the new era came. And high quality photography became anyones hobby (potential quality, not quality in terms of composition, light and subject!). And a few hundred millions of Chinese, Coreans and Brazilians amongst others became part of the global middle class, and could also start to buy nice things, like a fine DSLR.

That DSLRs of any make sold as hot cakes in the late 80-s and up till 2010 isn't more puzzeling than that the sales of flat screen TVs and computer monitors slashed the sales of fat screens in the same period.

But now there are so many DSLRs lying arond in drawers and cupboards, because the 2009 buyer found that it wasn't that fun. For snapshots the mobile will do as well, since the pictures aren't put in an album any longer but shared on Instagram. These DSLR owners won't buy a new DSLR every second year, they already have one with the two kit lenses, and they never use it anyway.

It's us nerds who "need" to upgrade when, or even before, there's something new on the horizon. And we aren't that many. DSLR sales will go the same way as the sales of vinyl record players, typewriters and cassette recorders. There's still a niche market, but it's a small one.

I certainly hope that Ricoh gives us a few more Pentax models before it's all over, and I'm not at all convinced that the Pentax brand will be the first one to leave the stage. It might even outlive me! But as JM Keynes said: in the long run were all dead.

Kjell

 bilybianca's gear list:bilybianca's gear list
Pentax *ist DS Pentax K-5 Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL +24 more
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