Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

Started Sep 9, 2014 | Discussions
Model Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 3,594
Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
1

Some thought provoking comments on mirrorless v. traditional dSLR. Worth watching the video - to 'Nikon' and 'Canon', add 'Pentax'...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/cameras/the_mirrorless_revolution.shtml

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PhotoHawk Contributing Member • Posts: 832
Its hard to make predictions - especially about the future!

But in this case there is an exception.  I think in the future we will be giving as much thought to prisms are we give film.

Say Pentax offered two version of the K3 - one with a high quality EVF and one with an OVF all things being equal except price.  And say the price of the EVF was $100 cheaper; which model do you think would sell better?

I think in this case one can see the future clearly through the viewfinder.  And it points forward not backward.  I know things aren't exactly equal yet; but I expect the EVF performance to more completely outstrip the OVF in the near future.  I suspect its there now for a fairly significant segment of the photographic population.

SteveUK2 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

I had a Sony A77 with EVF, went back to Pentax K5 then K3, EVF was fantastic imho ... it was the "translucent mirror" (aka flimsy plastic film that cannot be cleaned) that really unnerved me. As sensor technology moves on and the cling film mirror goes into history EVF will be the future.

James O'Neill Veteran Member • Posts: 4,573
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
7

Model Mike wrote:

Some thought provoking comments on mirrorless v. traditional dSLR. Worth watching the video - to 'Nikon' and 'Canon', add 'Pentax'...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/cameras/the_mirrorless_revolution.shtml

"A recent report by CIPA and summarized by mirrorlessrumors.com shows that DSLR shipments are falling and mirrorless camera shipments are steadily climbing. "

Mirrorless rumours might be called baseless rumours.

Mirrorless are not "steadily climbing". Have a look here http://1drv.ms/1xcTKYH where I have pulled together the stats from CIPA's pages so you can compare 12 months worth of figures at six month intervals.

SLRs account for a greater proportion of the unit sales than ever before in the 12 months to June 2014.

Mirrorless sold fewer units in the 12 Months to June 14 than to June 13.

Actually the picture is more mixed than these two stats suggest

ALL classes of camera sold fewer units in the year to June than 12 months previously. Compacts are in a nose dive, SLRs have held up better, Mirrorless somewhere in the middle: so in unit terms SLRs have 4% more of a smaller market and Mirrorless 1% more, compacts 5% less.  The average selling price of SLRs is up 5% from a year ago, and the average price of mirrorless by 25%. Of course the "non-slr interchangeable", includes the Pentax Q series, and offerings from the other 3 SLR makers, plus Panasonic, and Olympus. (Not Samsung though as CIPA only looks at Japanese companies).

The simple fact is that people aren't deserting the SLR for Mirrorless despite what fans of that format say.

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Ian Leach Senior Member • Posts: 1,474
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
1

Model Mike wrote:

Some thought provoking comments on mirrorless v. traditional dSLR. Worth watching the video - to 'Nikon' and 'Canon', add 'Pentax'...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/cameras/the_mirrorless_revolution.shtml

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It is worth remembering that those two gentlemen are landscape photographers. Like me they spend much of their time with cameras on tripods contemplating their next move. A couple of sports photographers would probably have a different view of things. Maybe when mirrorless cameras have lightning quick EVF's and focus tracking at 12 frames a second they may go for the new breed.

Alex Sarbu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,862
Re: Its hard to make predictions - especially about the future!
3

PhotoHawk wrote:

Say Pentax offered two version of the K3 - one with a high quality EVF and one with an OVF all things being equal except price. And say the price of the EVF was $100 cheaper; which model do you think would sell better?

I don't know, I don't care and I don't trust the assumption that replacing a high quality APS-C reflex viewfinder system with a high quality EVF would make for a $100 cheaper product.

What I know is that I would still buy the DSLR.

Alex

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Gary Martin
Gary Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,934
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
4

The simple fact is that people aren't deserting the SLR for Mirrorless despite what fans of that format say.

The future for ILCs probably is mirrorless. But I still rarely see one in the wild, so I don't think they are driving new users into the declining ILC market. They are mostly being bought by enthusiasts who want to lighten the load a bit (as the LL article says). I'm not surprised, since many of these folks are probably worn down from carrying those big f2.8 zooms for their FF bodies. And they are an aging (and shrinking) demographic.

Most of the snapshooters who bought DSLRs are moving to smartphones, and the photography market will never get those people back, mirrorless or not.

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robbo d Senior Member • Posts: 2,681
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
2

Going out on a limb, but my impression is....... the Biggest sellers of DSLR's and camera's in general number terms, apart from online are the volume bigger chain discount stores who sell cheap entry level twin lens aps-c kits to unsuspecting newbies because they "want to get into photography".

This is where K-50 is doing so very well for Pentax.

The mirror less are gaining a foot hold in the enthusiast and Pro markets, but the Oly's and Fuji's are too expensive to compete in the cheaper volume arena, which is where actual sales % really matter.

Canikon have too good a name still and mirror less haven't yet gained a value for $$$ yet, so it's not over yet.

Smartphones have and continue to have done a lot of damage to the compact snap shooters, but interesting to see Nokia not making any noises about making a replacement for the 41mp 1020....so it appears they have reached a plateau in smartphone camera interest.

Still plenty of life in the old dog yet ........ for a while at least.

Whilst I think going back to 35mm SLR sizes is good, absolute compactness is unnecessary for the enthusiast market.... I think the Sony A7 series is a nice size factor.

I have no issues with my Pentax DSLR's in terms of size / weight.

Chris Mak Senior Member • Posts: 2,029
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

Eventually, and this is coming from a big fan of OVF's, mirror-less cameras no doubt will replace the dslr camera. But the EVF is not there yet. Apart from all the pro and con to EVF (the biggest pro for me being fantastically accurate use of MF lenses), looking through a high quality OVF may always be the better experience. I simply do not see EVF ever giving that experience. Looking through the A7r viewfinder is nowhere near as pleasing as looking through the K3 viewfinder with a Canon matte screen. But switching between K3 and A7r, there is no denying that a dslr as small as the K3 is still relatively heavy and bulky. The portability of even a FF mirror-less is a wonderful experience in itself, although the possibility alone to make these cameras (very) small, contains the danger that the mirror-less cameras are made unpleasantly small and tiny and are ergonomically bad. The Olympus EM-5 for example, is simply too small.

I can very much understand people wanting to stick to dslr, but mirror-less should normally in future replace dslr.

Chris

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Carlos U Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

It's curious, but the same guy who says all those things in the video just bought a 645Z and 6 lenses!!!

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Saludos,
Carlos.

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JNR
JNR Veteran Member • Posts: 3,124
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

Carlos U wrote:

It's curious, but the same guy who says all those things in the video just bought a 645Z and 6 lenses!!!

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Saludos,
Carlos.

Clearly, those guys don't have LBA. Some other term would have to cover it.

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JNR
www.jamesrobins.com

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Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,157
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
2

Hi,

I have both Pentax mirror-ed and Fuji mirror-less gear.  It's interesting from that position and experience to see the same old debates churning around.....

I find both systems eminently usable. The principle advantage of mirror-less is it's size.  There's simply no escaping the fact that it's smaller and lighter, even with a heavier model like Fuji's XT1.  How one reacts to this is entirely personal.  I've carried far heavier cameras (LF, MF and SLR/DSLR kits).  It's nothing to do with strength.  It's just my preference to carry smaller and lighter gear these days.  For hiking and travel, the Fuji is hands down my preferred system.

The Fuji XT1's EVF is very good and in bright light I often forget it's an EVF.  It's so good that there seems to be no difference in experience.  The refresh rate is 0.005 seconds.  That's much faster than human reaction times.   In dim light, I prefer the OVF for its acuity but it too has problems in usability, especially with manual focus, where the EVF gains up but gets grainy.  I don't know that I'd say one was always the preferable option.  The manual focus assistance devices offered with an EVF are a very real and useful benefit.

DSLRs still rule in the long lens department and in AF speed - though not AF accuracy.  This is reflected in the fact the  lenses I'd now hang onto longer than others are my telephotos.  At least part of the reason is that most mirror-less system lens lines are still under development - Fuji doesn't have a high grade lens longer than 200mm.  You'd have to predict that the longer lenses will emerge in time and whether they offer great IQ and AF will depend on their design.

Do I think either will surplant the other?  No, as long as there is demand for both.  At the present time there is that demand for both.  This is business.  Both are viable now and every DSLR manufacturer already makes mirror-less cameras.  The evolving manufacturing and sales numbers will only change the relative price of the different technologies.  Mirror-less has grown from zero sales in 2007 to whatever it is now.  I've read that it's about one out of five ILC sales, but I'm never sure of the currency of these stats.  They're sales that would probably have gone to DSLR models prior to 2007.  If anyone thinks that 20% is not significant to the DSLR manufacturers, think again, but at 80% of the ILC market, DSLRs will be around for a long time to come.

Regards, Rod

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Petroglyph
Petroglyph Veteran Member • Posts: 6,052
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

Carlos U wrote:

It's curious, but the same guy who says all those things in the video just bought a 645Z and 6 lenses!!!

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Saludos,
Carlos.

Good one! 

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Unexpresivecanvas Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

I think that uncertainty attracts all kind of soothsayers, specially the doomsayer ones. Bad news always help to sell.

For the well informed out there, not doubt the industry is going right now through a transition: cell phones and mobile devices replacing the entry level cameras. full frame getting cheaper and better (low iso registration, DR, image definition), and after so many years of stagnation, suddenly most of the large companies are getting better a glass design and manufacturing, except... (i don't mention it because they will accuse me of trolling).

Then no surprise here that Sony has kicked some butt putting an amazing full frame sensor inside a small body but with limited focus performance and some shutter shake when using large lenses.

Once EVF become cheaper and better (it will happen in 4-5 years), we will see Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony consolidating their dominant position in the photography industry as a result of developing amazing and very light full frame cameras.

Yes, traditional DSLRs will become part of the past, the same as the old daguerreotypes, the old glass negative plates, the film cameras. That's why I have a depreciation estimate of 5 years for my bodies (I save 1.2% of the replacement value of my bodies every month in order to buy the new technology 5 years down the road). The only thing that may survive longer will be the lenses.

The future full of amazing cameras doesn't scare me. Actually I can't wait for new things to come out, so I can increase the depreciation factor of the current technology that won't be good anymore. Welcome to the future if the NATO and Russians and the old USA allow us to have one!

paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,281
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
1

Some thought provoking comments on mirrorless v. traditional dSLR. Worth watching the video - to 'Nikon' and 'Canon', add 'Pentax'...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/cameras/the_mirrorless_revolution.shtml

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This video just confirms that in North America, the big market for mirrorless is among the kinds of geek wastrels who buy into two or three systems at once. Not many would want a mirrorless system as their sole option.

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"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel

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SteveUK2 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

Rod McD wrote:

.... I often forget it's an EVF. It's so good that there seems to be no difference in experience. The refresh rate is 0.005 seconds. That's much faster than human reaction times. In dim light, I prefer the OVF for its acuity but it too has problems in usability, especially with manual focus, where the EVF gains up but gets grainy. I don't know that I'd say one was always the preferable option. The manual focus assistance devices offered with an EVF are a very real and useful benefit.

...

I see where you are coming from but (when I had an A77) dim light was actually one of the scenarios where I preferred the EVF, yes is got grainy and imperfect but on an OVF you might see next to nothing, I was frequently amazed how much the EVF was able to pull out of a scene where I could see next to nothing. And my eye sight is excellent, for most people the effect would be more extreme.

I'm not saying EVF is perfected yet, but I'm under no illusions that in  a few years as chips improve and processors quicken, EVF will be where you want to be.

falconeyes
falconeyes Senior Member • Posts: 1,454
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
2

Gary Martin wrote:

The simple fact is that people aren't deserting the SLR for Mirrorless despite what fans of that format say.

The future for ILCs probably is mirrorless. But I still rarely see one in the wild,

I agree and I'd like to add ...

Over time I am slowly developing the feeling that IL (interchangeable lens) is the real dinosaur. The majority of users (both video and still) will soon be upgraders from what their smartphones can do, not downgraders for a more portable system. And they may dismiss the idea of changing lenses (i.e., going after RX kind of cameras). And rightly so, at some point we will buy lenses with builtin sensors anyway.

Therefore, any IL camera is dinosaur, be it MILC or DSLR. They are soon both niche. And this niche will soon become the high end gear niche just like what happened in high end audio. And once being this niche, new laws apply. What made tubes survive in audio. Maybe, mirrorless medium format is the real trend in the IL segment, even though none exists yet ...

Anyway, main trends will be:

  • multi lens smart phones, incl. lens arrays
  • integrated lens+sensor modules, as add on to smart phones, tablets, watches and glasses

None of this was discussed, therefore, I would avoid the term dinosaur in a discussion like this with such short sighted vision.

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Falk Lumo

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petreluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,190
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?

falconeyes wrote:

Gary Martin wrote:

The simple fact is that people aren't deserting the SLR for Mirrorless despite what fans of that format say.

The future for ILCs probably is mirrorless. But I still rarely see one in the wild,

I agree and I'd like to add ...

Over time I am slowly developing the feeling that IL (interchangeable lens) is the real dinosaur. The majority of users (both video and still) will soon be upgraders from what their smartphones can do, not downgraders for a more portable system. And they may dismiss the idea of changing lenses (i.e., going after RX kind of cameras). And rightly so, at some point we will buy lenses with builtin sensors anyway.

Therefore, any IL camera is dinosaur, be it MILC or DSLR. They are soon both niche. And this niche will soon become the high end gear niche just like what happened in high end audio. And once being this niche, new laws apply. What made tubes survive in audio. Maybe, mirrorless medium format is the real trend in the IL segment, even though none exists yet ...

Anyway, main trends will be:

  • multi lens smart phones, incl. lens arrays
  • integrated lens+sensor modules, as add on to smart phones, tablets, watches and glasses

None of this was discussed, therefore, I would avoid the term dinosaur in a discussion like this with such short sighted vision.

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Falk Lumo

Everything becomes a dinosaur eventually; you just have to wait for long enough. But if that waiting encompasses a fair proportion the productive working life of a photographer, for example, then the comparison becomes kind of pointless. Over the next 5-10 years? It's a fair bet that mirrorless will become much, much more prevalent as the tech improves and the problems holding back mirrorless - like very fast DSLR-quality AF and tracking - are licked. But will that immediately obsolete everyone's investment in Nikon and Canon lenses? Nope, not a chance. The entire source of Canon and Nikon's dominance comes from their lens mounts and the simply huge pool of legacy equipment both mounts support. Neither will let that go without a heck of a fight and they would be crazy to do so.

An integrated lens and sensor module is an attractive idea for long telephoto lenses, I'd have thought. It would remove one of the main problems here: attaching a relatively tiny MILC body to a huge lens, and having to make the MILC's lens mount beefy enough not to snap off. All you'd need is a controller module with a screen which could be attached to any similar lens. Lock-in to particular brands? Bound to be, I would guess. But it will move to chipped + software rather than hardware + mount. Form factor for all this? Who knows, but it may be that the requirements of high-quality video will have a heck of an influence here.

It's important to remember that at least at the moment, smartphones cannot do everything. In fact, they are still not much beyond the era when the camera was added as a marketing feature more than anything else. Ergonomically, a smartphone is a picture-taking disaster in many situations. It's far from a given that simply clipping a lens/sensor module on to the phone will really work. We simply don't know whether consumers will warm to the idea or reject it as too fiddly and impractical compared to a dedicated device.

There's still plenty of life in cameras and plenty of folks out there who value photography as something distinct from snapping away. However, the Japanese camera industry needs to get out of its deep rut and start making equipment which fits in with the way folks live and work today. From what I've read, this year's Photokina is a good example of that. For all their (in)convenience and (dis)integration with everyday life, 90 per cent of the products on show might as well come from the Devonian era or the planet Zanussi.

I love your suggestion that the divide between fixed lens and ILC will become more pronounced. A well-done bridge camera - horrid term, time for a new one - is a very attractive proposition, imho. Too bad almost no one is making a really really good one; most are cheap in all the wrong ways. That industry and its rut again.

falconeyes
falconeyes Senior Member • Posts: 1,454
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
1

petreluk wrote:

I love your suggestion that the divide between fixed lens and ILC will become more pronounced.

I love how well you expressed yourself. Esp. the one sentence above.

The one point I wish to stress beyond what you said ... maybe ILC become enough of an enthusiast high image quality niche that sensors smaller than 35mm stop being significant at all for ILCs.

Remember that after all, it's not the sensor making a camera small or big, it is the physical lens aperture (which is the same for a 25mm/2.8 FT and 50mm/5.6 FF) and optical complexity (which is higher for a smaller sensor but same physical lens aperture and resolution).

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Falk Lumo

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McSpin Regular Member • Posts: 482
Re: Trad dSLR - finally, the beginning of the end?
6

After watching that, I get the impression that the best camera for the job, is not even a remote thought in the conversation.  It's become,  what will the masses prefer?  What will sell well?  What is easy to carry?   All stuff that is irrelevant to me and I'm sure to many others.  I has to be important to manufacturers, but to those who want the best tool for the job, this video won't help you much.

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