Ricoh thinks photographers will start switching from mirrorless back to DSLRs within 1-2 years

May 20, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Ricoh thinks photographers will start switching from mirrorless back to DSLRs within 1-2 years

May 20, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Imaging Resource recently published their interview with Ricoh execs at the CP+ trade show in Tokyo. They spoke about Ricoh’s plans for Pentax. But in amongst the conversation was Ricoh’s thoughts on the whole mirrorless vs DSLR debate. And, apparently, they think that the people who have switched to mirrorless will switch back to DSLRs within a couple of years.

It’s an interesting conversation, and I sort of see where he’s coming from, but it sounds to me like the folks at Ricoh just haven’t really tried any recent mirrorless cameras, or really sat down and compared them in the real world.

This is maybe just another way of asking the question about mirrorless, but while the overall market for interchangeable-lens is decreasing, DSLR is decreasing more rapidly. How has that been felt within Ricoh, and what are the ways that you intend to combat that general decline?

Hiroki Sugahara: Currently, mirrorless is a newcomer, so of course many users are very interested in the new systems, they want to use [them]. But after one or two years, some users who changed their system from DSLR to mirrorless come back to the DSLR again.

Dave Etchells: Really?

Hiroki Sugahara: I believe. Because as I said before, each system has its own benefits or appealing points. The mirrorless camera is very convenient to shoot, because users can [preview the final] image before shooting. But I believe the DSLR has its own appealing point, because users can create their own image from the optical viewfinder. People can see the beautiful image through the optical viewfinder, and then think how they can create their pictures — for example, exposure level setting or white balance or ISO [sensitivity] — and then imagine how they can get [the result they’re seeking].

Dave Etchells: Mmm, mmm.

Hiroki Sugahara: That is one of the big [advantages] of shooting [DSLR] cameras, so some users will come back to the DSLR system. But it might be they use both systems, DSLR and mirrorless. Because each system has its own benefits.

Dave Etchells: Yeah, yeah.

Hiroki Sugahara: So the DSLR market is currently decreasing a little bit, but one year or two years or three years later, it will [begin] getting higher.

Dave Etchells: You think it will return, will start growing again.

Hiroki Sugahara: Yeah. Yes, yes.

There are definitely certain circumstances where DSLRs win out over mirrorless. Of that, there is no doubt, especially if you use flash and rely on a mechanical shutter. DSLRs also have a good track record of reliability now, spanning a couple of decades. That being said, the kinds of people who need that aren’t switching to mirrorless, so they won’t be switching back to DSLRs. They’ll just keep shooting DSLRs.

The statements made feel very much like simple nostalgia and a hope rather than an actual prediction on the future of camera technology.

Let’s humour him, though. Let’s say, just for a minute, that he’s right. That countless mirrorless owners will switch back to DSLRs in a couple of years. They’re still not going to be buying Pentax.

The only reason I’m still shooting DSLRs is because mine haven’t died yet. I have no need to “upgrade” to mirrorless. It would be a needless expense right now. But when my DSLRs shuffle off their mortal coil, mirrorless is where I’m going to be looking for replacements if the state of mirrorless at the time can give me all I need (global shutter, please).

Did you switch? Will you switch back? Did you already switch and switch back?

[Imaging Resource via Pentax Rumors]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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29 responses to “Ricoh thinks photographers will start switching from mirrorless back to DSLRs within 1-2 years”

  1. Lorenzo Morgoni Avatar
    Lorenzo Morgoni

    I have both mirrorless and reflex, and I prefer reflex. Only big advantage for me in mirrorless is size of the camera.
    I like Pentax cameras too, I have and use ’em… but in the end I prefer Canon :D

    1. Pete Estrada Avatar
      Pete Estrada

      I shoot Canon DSLR for my studio based flash photography and Fuji mirrorless for my street and event photography. I wont be hybrid shooter forever, but it works for me now.

  2. Sasa Janjusic Avatar
    Sasa Janjusic

    I bet they are expecting mobile phones switching to mechanical shutter… But you know what?? That ain’t gonna happen. If they in Pentax knew what people would like to use in future they would be relevant in 2019. But they are not.

  3. Burt Johnson Avatar
    Burt Johnson

    IOW, Ricoh is setting itself up to the next Kodak or Polaroid…

    After 15 years with Canon, I switched to Sony. I no absolutely no benefit in ever returning to DSLR of any brand. His nonsense about needing mechanical shutter for flash is just that — nonsense. Sony a7R3 that I use has a mechanical shutter option for those times that the electronic shutter does not work well (flash and artificial light being the two most common)

  4. Ignasi Jacob Avatar
    Ignasi Jacob

    And in four years people will switch to analog TLR again. Fact.

    1. Pete Estrada Avatar
      Pete Estrada

      Means Ricoh/Pentax is going under soon.

  5. Duncan Knifton Avatar
    Duncan Knifton

    does that mean Pentax will not be going Mirrorless….

    1. Don Barnard Avatar
      Don Barnard

      Duncan Knifton it means those who switched likely won’t be buying Pentax if they do decide to switch back to dslr from mirrorless

    2. mhiran1 Avatar
      mhiran1

      Try their GRiii to see how brilliant they could make a interchangeable mirrorless. The size of a deck of cards so easily fits in jeans pocket. APS-C sensor, sensor stabilized, amazing lens. Comfortable to shoot one handed, customizable buttons, sensible control layout and UI.

      Pentax usability is way under rated. Using my A7ii is tedious in comparison to the K1 or KP. Also, I don’t have to worry about using Pentax in the rain and they have very affordable WR lenses.

      I know finding a Pentax to try is difficult as most stores don’t stock them but if you get a chance, I think you’ll find they are well built and are very comfortable. If you appreciate quality and thoughtful design, whether it has a LCD viewfinder or not isn’t a deal breaker for everyone. And if you’re like me where I have to stare at a computer screen all day, a good large optical viewfinder feels like less of a strain on my already tired eyes.

      If compact size is your ultimate criteria, their Limited Lenses are metal and glass jewels ranging from 15mm to 77mm (they also have 21mm 31mm 35mm (macro) 43mm 40mm 70mm in compact Limited Lenses while you can also get 28mm 35mm and 50mm in a small plastic build).

      And Pentax is pretty innovative, particularly when it comes to how they use their moving sensor for more than just shake reduction. They also use their moving sensor for tracking stars, moire reduction (no aa filter), tripod framing, horizon correction, and higher fidelity multi frame photos.

      It’s a shame that Pentax has become such an outcast in the photography community – they really do make great cameras that are a joy to use.

  6. Duncan Knifton Avatar
    Duncan Knifton

    although I shall remain to shoot DSLR, I find their attitude towards mirrorless a strange one.
    Its a growing market…they’re ignoring the potential of making money, and when a business stops its self to make more, its a warning bell >…….

  7. Don Barnard Avatar
    Don Barnard

    Long time Pentax shooter … I stopped buying DSLR gear as part of a planned transition to mirrorless and have to admit I love my Pentax gear, but this point forward I will be shooting Sony mirrorless and treating the Pentax gear as nostalgia until it dies.
    If I do switch back to a dslr, it will be if Sony releases one that catches my eye.
    Who can afford to run two systems? Buying two of everything is insane.
    I switched because I shoot both videos and stills.

  8. Kevin Lane Avatar
    Kevin Lane

    There is zero chance I will go back to the technology of the 1980s.

  9. Simon Crinks Avatar
    Simon Crinks

    No chance.

  10. Andre Goble Avatar
    Andre Goble

    I shoot mirrorless, and now occasionally use film SLR now, due to my deteriorating vision making ground glass difficult.

  11. John Wojciechowski Avatar
    John Wojciechowski

    I currently shoot with a Nikon DSLR, the Pentax 645Z is on my wishlist.

  12. Giandomenico Graziano Avatar
    Giandomenico Graziano

    Aperture error?

  13. Tom Medlock Avatar
    Tom Medlock

    Back to film by 2028

  14. Huge Dom Avatar
    Huge Dom

    Given RICOH is never even the market lead of the segment, they don’t have any creditability for the claim. Pentax shooter, too.

  15. Jeebus Avatar
    Jeebus

    I’m also switching back to VHS and 8-track and corduroy bellbottoms.

  16. Christopher R Field Avatar
    Christopher R Field

    This is just dumb. But I mean come in now. Its ricoh.

  17. Christopher R Field Avatar
    Christopher R Field

    Current poll

  18. Robyn Aldridge Avatar
    Robyn Aldridge

    No way, not when I can carry something lighter! Did the masses ever switch back to the old wooden cameras?

  19. Kuba Boháč Avatar
    Kuba Boháč

    There was a time when Pentax was ahead of everybody. Don’t believe me, check out Pentax’s history. And then something happened and idiots got in charge of Pentax, that’s why Pentax is where it is.
    I was Pentax user, still use film cameras, switched to Canon, what now I see as huge mistake. Now I shoot with Fujifilm and I’m happy again.
    Not planning on going back to DSLR.
    P.S. I was hoping Pentax would release good mirrorless for 100 years anniversary but now I don’t think it is going to happen.

    1. Inspiration Avatar
      Inspiration

      as a Pentax user, I couldn’t agree more. Their management team are idiots.
      invested in something like a K01, Q, and refuse to do FF when FF was still a thing.

      Now they are pretty much repeating the same mistake by refuse to do a mirror-less.

      Idiots like this are killing the brand.

  20. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    I didn’t use a mirrorless camera before but I do use DSLR and most of the time I shoot in liveview mode. Not sure,but his comparison and how the creativity works with the camera doesn’t make much sense to me. I would like to just try a mirrorless camera once but buying new one while i have 2 working cameras is not an option – besides all the lenses i have.

  21. JustChristoph Avatar
    JustChristoph

    Other things that are on the way in the next two years…
    Phones will be replaced by tin cans joined by a string.
    Washing machines are out, pummel stones and mangles are back.
    Music downloads are out as well. Minidisk is back! who’d have seen that coming.
    Oh, and email is dead.
    And nuclear fusion is only twenty years away.
    For more information about these exciting changes turn to the BBC Home service on your radio. Did I mention AM radio is back?

  22. George P Avatar
    George P

    This opinion would be sad – if it weren’t so stupid. He obviously didn’t hear that Panasonic won the camera of the year with a mirror-less model award at that show. As a previous commentator pointed out, Pentax have gone from industry leader to largely irrelevant . . . .just like Kodak. [A Pentax user.]

  23. Kiran Qureshi - Creative Graphic Designer & Photographer Avatar
    Kiran Qureshi – Creative Graphic Designer & Photographer

    *Thumbs down* Kill me if I ever go back to DSLR! Mirrorless for the win!!!

  24. MegaNickels Avatar
    MegaNickels

    Well. He’s wrong.