Opinion. What's Old Is New Again

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Curtis B
Curtis B New Member • Posts: 9
Opinion. What's Old Is New Again

Firstly let me admit I don't shoot with a Pentax DSLR at present.  I'm posting here because Pentax made me think of something.  It's that APS-C flagship camera people are talking about.  Some people are doomsayers and think it's a mistake because Pentax isn't doing mirrorless.  I'm sort of contrarian.  So although I still shoot a Nikon DSLR to be honest I like something that charts a different course from the rest of the industry too.  It got me thinking because I was interested in a new crop sensor body for walking around.

First an analogy.  I'm old enough that when I was young we still bought our music on cassette and 8 track tapes and vinyl records.  Then along came CDs.  Before too long sales of vinyl records were declining and everyone seemed to be going with CDs.  The death of the vinyl record was an oft repeated refrain.  Well they never quite died off.  Soon enough MP3 came along.  Pretty soon it was the death of the CD.  Now I gather there's a resurgence in vinyl to where they are outselling CDs.  What was old is new again.

DSLRs (along with SLRs) might seem redundant to some but I think predictions of an imminent extinction might be premature.

Another thing: lets look at what sells well for Fujifilm.  Rangefinder cameras were the original mirrorless cameras of course so the XPro cameras sort of leverage that tradition but what are people really buying?  There's good color science of course but those film emulations are popular.  Digitalized analog.  The design of the X-Pro 3 is similar.  Instead of the place to put the piece of the film box it's a little screen.  Digitalized analog.  Then there's the X-T4.  I have buddies that love those but what is it they like about it?  It's the analog feel of the body at least in part.  It's mirrorless sure but it looks like an SLR and it sells well.

I just got to thinking maybe the DSLR come SLR retro thing hasn't quite got to where people realize it's not going away.  It is retro though.  It's all about market share and such which I get.  Market share can fluctuate though in time.  I'm willing to bet there will continue to be a niche for folks that like the SLR form particularly if it has that digital analog element.  Eventually there will be a bottom in the market probably.  Things may turn bullish for the SLR much as it did for vinyl.  It may even prove to be the case for film SLRs.  Brand new ones that aren't 50 years old etc.

It would seem everyone is betting on mirrorless though these days.  Some people use that as a basis to say Pentax should do the same.  Join he crowd right?  Or does it suggest that if the market share stabilizes and shifts like it did with CDs and vinyl records that a Pentax for instance might have a cozy little niche.  People used to characterize Fuji as a niche camera company but I think you could say that's changed.

So yeah I might be a Nikon owner.  This line of reasoning though has sort of sparked my interest in weatherized cameras for use in the outdoors too.  I think for folks that do wildlife and birding the APS-C might not be that bad an idea.  If it works there is a niche for it.  Probably a fairly large one in terms of the bird guys.  Business involves risk so I'm not predicting a massive turnaround.  Just observing that in terms of technological obsolescence it's pretty unlikely we'll see the SLR go extinct and Pentax might be well positioned if they can build on it like Fuji did.

A new flagship APS-C DSLR might seem counterintuitive.  I'm not convinced it won't work though obviously.  It might surprise some folks.  Besides I like to root for the underdog.

 Curtis B's gear list:Curtis B's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Olympus TG-6 Nikon D750 Sony a7R II Nikon D850 +23 more
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