Opinion. What's Old Is New Again

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 7,597
Re: Opinion. What's Old Is New Again

Curtis B wrote:

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.

I mainly shoot with Nikon dSLR cameras when I shoot indoor sports or paid work.

But I also have Pentax APS-C dSLR cameras.

I used to have a Canon APS-C dSLR camera.

And I also have a Pentax Q mirrorless, along with a few compact cameras.

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.

I think, from what I read, is that some prefer the sound of vinyl versus CD.

Analog vs. digital.

My hearing is not that good. So for me personally, I would probably not hear any difference either way.

As long as the sound system I am listening to isn't crap I'd be happy.

But on the other hand, part of this might just be nostalgia. Just a desire to go back to simpler things.

Sort of like what I consider the desire to have a Volkswagen Beetle, or a Ford Mustang, or the bringing back of the Ford Bronco.

IMHO . . . if something was a good idea, and it continues to be a good idea . . . then if you keep making it, and it makes sense for someone, then why isn't that a good thing?

Like dSLR.

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


Here's my story.

I got a Nikon D5100 back in 2011 in order to chase my daughter around at gymnastics competitions.

And . . . 9 years later, I still have that camera. It still works. And it can still get shots at gymnastics . . . although, now both my daughters do cheer.

As a parent, that was probably the last camera I needed.

Where as, just before that, I was buying a dSLR every couple of years just to get better quality pictures.

IMHO we are at the point where the dSLR cameras being sold right now might very well be the last dSLR camera that we need.

So . . . that means less sales for dSLR manufacturers.

IMHO, I think companies like Nikon or Canon are recognizing that, and deciding that, hey . . . if we can't sell another dSLR (because a person already has one and its still good), then maybe they could sell some mirrorless (either to the same person, or to some other target consumer.)

But here's the issue as I see it.

If Nikon or Canon is looking at this and thinking . . . ok, no one wants dSLR cameras anymore, which we are guessing because no one is buying any right now, then we will stop making dSLR cameras.

But . . . as I pointed out, the Nikon D5100 I picked up in 2011 is still working. I am still getting the pictures I want from it. It's no wonder I haven't replaced it. LOL.

But . . . when it finally goes, will the mirrorless cameras then be good enough to shoot indoor sports?

If so, then I guess I am in the market for a mirrorless camera then.

But, if the mirrorless are still not ideal for indoor sports, and the dSLR was the better solution . . . but Canon and Nikon have stopped making dSLR cameras because they thought everyone didn't want them, guess what, I'm screwed! LOL.

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.

If Canon or Nikon stop making dSLR lenses . . . as time goes on, the dSLR lenses out there will all mostly breakdown.

Without dSLR lenses to put on dSLR cameras, there will be no need to buy a dSLR camera.

So . . . if Nikon only makes mirrorless lenses, and no dSLR lenses . . . they will be forcing Nikon users to either go mirrorless or go somewhere else.

It would seem everyone is betting on mirrorless though these days.

As I mentioned above . . . it may be because dSLR cameras now-a-days or so darn good that once you buy one, then you don't need to buy another one for 10-15 years now.

So . . . what are the camera manufacturers supposed to sell in the meantime.

If there is a market for mirrorless, then it makes sense to go after it.

If they sell a new body, then that person is going to need new lenses.

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.

For me, a good weatherized camera is why I think I keep looking at Pentax.

I think for folks that do wildlife and birding the APS-C might not be that bad an idea.

IMHO for a family camera for vacations or get-togethers, APS-C makes a lot of sense.

The sensor performance is pretty good. It is capable of a lot.

But also, the lenses don't need to be really big in order to cover a wide range.

An APS-C superzoom isn't so big that you wouldn't want to drag it along on your vacation.

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.

The other option is something like the Nikon D780.

It is a dSLR. But it can do a mirrorless mode (liveview) that has phase-detect autofocus.

What it doesn't have is an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) or the ability to use the new Z mirrorless lenses.

But . . . it is a kinda little bit of each world type camera.

Ok. But getting back to the idea of this thread . . .

. . . I am really happy with dSLR cameras. They work really well for what I use them for.

- Indoor Sports (low light / fast moving subjects / need for good AF and sensor performance.)

- Long day shoots. At competitions, I could be shooting over 8-10 hours. Not continuously. But in between routines, I spend my time making selects in-camera. A dSLR . . . I can shoot an entire day on a single battery. Which means if I bring another 2 back-up batteries . . . I am set.

- Works with the lenses I have. If I went mirrorless, I'd have to buy new lenses. That is very expensive and not in my cards. LOL.

For me, I would have been happy if everything stuck with dSLR because I have the equipment I need now.

I am happy to see the Nikon D780 because that means when my Nikon D750 wears out, I have the potential to stick with dSLR just a bit longer. Something I'd be happy to do because it would be cheaper, but also if no mirrorless camera screams out at me as saying . . . I am the solution to all your problems! LOL.

As for Pentax dSLR.

I have it in the back of my mind to have 2 more Pentax dSLR cameras.

One would be a weather resistant APS-C camera that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg for vacation.

And the other would be a full frame dSLR to use the old manual focus Pentax lenses my dad gave me.

EDIT: I am thinking that there might be some people stuck in analysis-paralysis in that they have a dSLR system. They have looked at mirrorless, but really haven't seen a system that is calling out to them. Pentax might want to try to pull in all the people happy with dSLR and lock them in as customers. Once they get a body, the body can last for 10-15 years now. And everyone could just buy the odd lens or flash unit over the next 10-15 years.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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