Death of the DSLR

Started Oct 31, 2009 | Discussions
icexe Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Death of the DSLR

interesting article about the growing threat big sensor/compact cameras pose to DSLRs.

http://www.gearlog.com/2009/10/death_of_the_dslr.php

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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 37,813
Quite provocative.

Threat? Death? How dramatic. Did you read it through, and actually get to the last paragraph?

Unsure whether to label this gullible or troll bait .

-- hide signature --

...Bob, NYC

'Well, sometimes the magic works. . . Sometimes, it doesn't.' - Little Big Man

http://www.bobtullis.com

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JudyN Veteran Member • Posts: 4,520
Re: Death of the DSLR

Very interesting article. Thanks for posting it. I have long believed that a large percentage of the people who have been "convinced" to purchase a dSLR are not well served by their toys and would do much better with a good superzoom. I read once that the camera industry hates point and shoots because once you get your camera you are done. We don't even buy film! But get an interchangeable lens camera, and your fun has only started and every issue of the photography magazines have more things for me to buy! So since they weren't selling enough with all those good P&S cameras out there, they had to convince a whole bunch of people that their pictures were bad because they didn't have the right camera.

I hope these first few cameras do finally end the antiquated design of SLR cameras. I was waiting for something like the G1 and I am very happy with it. For years I've been wanting larger sensor, interchangeable lenses, EVF. I got it finally!

It was interesting to read the comments. Most of them didn't seem to get the article at all. Some sounded like they thought the author was telling everyone to get a P&S. Others extolled (of course) the virtues of OVFs but seemed to think that lacking an OVF automatically meant you are holding an LCD at arm's length and peering into an LCD.

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Aleo Veuliah
MOD Aleo Veuliah Forum Pro • Posts: 14,743
Re: Good article (nt)
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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

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river5 Regular Member • Posts: 458
Re: Death of the DSLR

Good article.But some replies make me think one thing:C&N users can't stand that cameras like PEN and GF1 are not manufactured by the big boys.That was also the case of SSWF and live view some years back.
--
river

sacundim Senior Member • Posts: 1,111
Who cares about "antiquated"?

JudyN wrote:

I hope these first few cameras do finally end the antiquated design of SLR cameras.

People keep saying stuff like this, but I just think this complaint about DSLRs being an "antiquated" design is just silly. We use plenty of "antiquated" things in our everday lives, even in cases where supposedly superior alternatives have been contemplated. Like, for example, we still use non-waterproof furniture:

There are good reasons to go for all-electronic, mirrorless camera systems. "They're new and modern" isn't one of them.

JudyN Veteran Member • Posts: 4,520
Re: Who cares about "antiquated"?

sacundim wrote:

There are good reasons to go for all-electronic, mirrorless camera systems. "They're new and modern" isn't one of them.

Nor is because we've done it this way since the 1950s a reason to keep doing it this way. Did I say I thought the mirror should be deleted from cameras just because we can?

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mailman88
mailman88 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,135
Re: thom's review spanks both GF1 and EP1

Thom at least says, these camera's are better than the compacts. So with that said...Long Live the DSLR!

http://bythom.com/panasonic_GF1_review.htm

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phototransformations
phototransformations Senior Member • Posts: 2,846
Re: thom's review spanks both GF1 and EP1

Although I bought my G1 as a companion to my DSLR, I find I never lug the DSLR around anymore. The G1 has brought back to photography, for me, a more spontaneous way of working I first felt with the Canon Powershot G1. The articulated screen and live view, and the relative compactness of the package, make it painless to carry around a reasonable amount of gear (camera, charger, extra battery, two lenses) to places I would never both with a DSLR. Do I want to sell my DSLR? No. Will I use it half as much as I did before? Also no. The EVF and articulated screen, and ease of focusing manually, change my sense of shooting dramatically, for the better.

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Tim in upstate NY
Tim in upstate NY Veteran Member • Posts: 7,120
Re: Death of the DSLR

river5 wrote:

Good article.But some replies make me think one thing:C&N users can't stand that cameras like PEN and GF1 are not manufactured by the big boys.That was also the case of SSWF and live view some years back.

. . . You might want give some thought to checking your anti-canikon issues at the door here at this mFT forum.

. . . There are a large number us from the dark side here now who are buying into mFT and many are even opting for the E-P1. There hasn't been any brand war silliness here so far and it would be good if it remained that way IMO.

. . . Most that I've seen here including myself who use C/N DSLRs are still going to continue using them in addition our new mFT cameras and it wouldn't be a very pleasant place here for us if we had to suffer through any inhospitable behavior directed at us.

Lets all be nice

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2005magnum Veteran Member • Posts: 4,473
Re: Death of the DSLR

With the incredible growth of photography desire for better equipment has grown. I find that when I am out shooting with my large DSLRs I am approached by folks who own digital P+S cams who want to know about the DSLR. There is a strong desire among a lot of P+S shooters who would like to own a DSLR. They want it, but are reluctant because of price, fear of the technology and what appears to be a very complicated and sophisticated equipment.

Yesterday, I was meeting with some folks. I have my offices decorated with images I had taken and printed. Two of them immeadiately started asking me about moving up to a DSLR. I always ask what they want to shoot and if they have young kids, I generally recommend Canon or Nikon. If they are older and are looking for light weight gear, I generally recommend Oly and Pany and of course, m4/3.

The point is that although the marketplace is dominated by P+S and cell phones, there will be a small percentage of those folks who want to move up.

94
94 Senior Member • Posts: 1,074
Re: Quite provocative.

Bob Tullis wrote:

Threat? Death? How dramatic. Did you read it through, and actually get to the last paragraph?

Unsure whether to label this gullible or troll bait .

...Bob, NYC

I'd go with pompous, specious, and ignorant.

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OP icexe Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: Quite provocative.

well, I certainly hope you weren't referring to me as a troll. I simply quoted the title of the article itself, not inferring that I agree or disagree with it. I just thought readers of this forum might find something like that interesting, that's all.

Bob Tullis wrote:

Threat? Death? How dramatic. Did you read it through, and actually get to the last paragraph?

Unsure whether to label this gullible or troll bait .

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 9,822
Re: Death of the DSLR

an interesting proposition which maybe has some validity in relation to the "Consumer" market.

I on the other hand have just gone out and purchased a 40 year old SLR (Canon EX EE with a 4 lens kit for £100) - just for the pleasure of rediscovering "Proper" film based photography.

It joins my G1 and canon 50D kits each of which get their fair share of my time.

(Its a bit like the arguments about Vinyl based sound systems following the advent of CD / DVD systems. )

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KCampbell Senior Member • Posts: 2,057
One key faulty assumption

The entire article hinges on this assumption : "Given that owners aren't taking full advantage of their DLSRs ..."

The hypothesis is that a DSLR is no better than a compact if you don't use the extra capabilities, which is a bit like saying a BMW is no better than a Hyundai for collecting groceries, yet BMW seem to do OK. I would agree that for many, many owners of inexpensive DSLRs a micro 4/3 is conceivably an equally suitable choice, but death of the DSLR as an entire market segment? No.

Kevin

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JudyN Veteran Member • Posts: 4,520
Re: Death of the DSLR

2005magnum wrote:

Yesterday, I was meeting with some folks. I have my offices decorated with images I had taken and printed. Two of them immeadiately started asking me about moving up to a DSLR.

This is one reason so many people have big heavy expensive DSLRs -- they think the camera takes the pictures. It does not and a DSLR will not make you a better photographer. It will allow you to take better pictures in certain ways and different pictures (less DOF, for example) but it will not make you a better photographer. It might even make you a worse photographer, or a photographer who leaves the camera at home rather than taking it.

Becoming a better photographer primarily takes work in your brain. Looking at other people's work, "seeing", reading, taking lots of pictures, and, very hard for some, trying to be objective about your own work. It's a journey, and equipment is only part of the equation.

Judy

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wooac Regular Member • Posts: 126
Re: Death of the DSLR

Micro Four Thirds establishes a new profit line for camera companies but it's not going to kill off the dSLR, the SUV's of digital photography. For a few years, Nikon and Camera were pushing prosumers to dSLR's because they are much more profitable than the price sensitive P&S market. There's not that much different between a D5000 and a D90 or 500D and a 50D just as there wasn't a great difference between a Chevy and a Cadillac. Micro Four Thirds has the potential of hurting the profit margins for dSLR's but only if they cannibalize the low end dSLR's and prevent the move up the dSLR food chain. So far there hasn't been enough models or volume to conclude that they are real threats.

MadsR Senior Member • Posts: 2,235
Re: Death of the DSLR

You may call it what you want, but it is a quite accurate history lesson. And, I would say, a 90% or so plausible forecast of the market.

It will probably not be µ4/3 cameras that "take over the world" since they are targeted somewhat higher with exchangeable lenses and full manual control. But large sensor (at least 4/3 size or APS-C sized) true compacts with a fixed 5x zoom and a "good enough" auto program, would eat away most of the market for same sized sensor cameras in large bodies...

I am in no way in doubt that the entry-level DSLR cameras are going away. They will be a thing of the past... Sort of a transition period from analogue to digital thing... They are already feeling the limitations of the design, since they can't get much smaller, they can't get any more accurate with AF and metering, and they don't offer much over just first generation µ4/3 cameras, the next generation will probably surpass DSLRs in at least metering and AF accuracy (They are already ever so slightly more accurate in AF) and they will gain so much in AF speed that the faction of a hundredth of a second DSLRs still would have is of academical use. And the features you gain, like face recognicion, object tracking, etc. will make the DSLRs look even more dated.

The market will be ultra small compacts will small sensors. larger compacts (pocketable) with x2, x1.5 sensors, a small market for crop sensor interchangeable lens cameras, and an even smaller market (much the same size as today) for large sensor interchangeable lens cameras which might provide a mirror and crystal box, and an exclusive larger than 35mm sensor cameras...

And yes, I also expect that the next Nikon compact will be a fixed lens somewhere in the 3x to 5x zoom, large(r than current compact) sensor, with full automatic mode, aimed at the market just below D3000, which will most probably either be a success to the point where it will completly eliminate sales of the D3000 or be a total fiasco, followed by tries from Canon and Sony...

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MadsR Senior Member • Posts: 2,235
Re: One key faulty assumption

KCampbell wrote:

The entire article hinges on this assumption : "Given that owners aren't taking full advantage of their DLSRs ..."

It is a completly valid assumption... A large percentage of buyers of the entry-level DSLRs, like rebel and Dx000 cameras do never buy into more lenses, flashes and do not shoot raw and PP their pictures before printing (unless they have to... in which case they will switch at the first real oppotunity)

The hypothesis is that a DSLR is no better than a compact if you don't use the extra capabilities, which is a bit like saying a BMW is no better than a Hyundai for collecting groceries, yet BMW seem to do OK. I would agree that for many, many owners of inexpensive DSLRs a micro 4/3 is conceivably an equally suitable choice, but death of the DSLR as an entire market segment? No.

The market have shown this before... When compact film cameras became "just as good" quality wise as SLRs sales dropped rapidly. And though your comparison with cars are valid, it is also true that sales of SUVs have all but stopped, and the most bought BMW is their small(ish) 3 series, not their bigger cars... And their sales are so much lower than Hyundai's...

Also, if you read the article he does not point that µ4/3 is going to kill DSLRs, the "next generation" compacts with fixed lens zooms and large sensors are... People will buy a pocketable camera with rivaling IQ to an entry-DSLR in a heartbeat.

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MadsR Senior Member • Posts: 2,235
Re: Who cares about "antiquated"?

Really.

Just because you can, is not the argument here... The argument is because it makes sense to do this, it will happen.

The mechanical flip mirror + prism design is a solution to a problem that no longer exist... It was designed because people wanted to see what they were shooting through the lens they were using, and the only way to let light through the lens and either up to your eyes or onto a film is a mechanical moving part infront of the film.

To take a better parallel than waterproof furniture (for which there is a very good reason not to have them) you could look at LPs, CDs and portable MP3 players. the all mechanical LPs are no longer used mainsteam because the system is antiquiated. It is vulnerable, non-portable, etc. CDs replaced LPs so fast because it was a much less mechanical design, though still with moving parts, it used digital elements. Today everything is on MP3 players with no more mechanical parts. The same is happening to cameras (and in many other places). The age of mechanical (even micro mechanical) products is ending, we are witnessing it

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