Why DSLR is not dead and it won’t be any time soon

Jul 17, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Why DSLR is not dead and it won’t be any time soon

Jul 17, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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With both Nikon and Canon soon joining the mirrorless game, the old question of the faith of DSLRs rises again: will this be the end of DSLR cameras? In this video, James Popsys gives his take on the topic. He believes that DSLRs will stay with us regardless of the mirrorless cameras, and let’s see if you agree with his arguments.

YouTube video

A funny thing is that James has been using a Panasonic G9 for the past few months. But he used to use a Nikon D750, and he still believes that DSLRs are here to stay. At for a while. James thinks that the faith of DSLRs depends on the existing DSLR owners; that is, how many of them would consider switching to mirrorless and what would it take for them to do so. Despite so many good mirrorless cameras being available, many photographers still prefer DSLRs, for a variety of reasons.

When it comes to sales, it’s true that the sales of DSLR cameras have been decreasing over the past couple of years. At the same time, the sales of mirrorless cameras are more or less steady, or with a slight increase. This doesn’t look good for DSLRs, but there are still more of them sold then mirrorless cameras.

If the DSLR sale continues to fall, James believes that camera companies will focus on high-end markets. This is in a way confirmed in Nikon’s statement from last year, saying that the company’s focus in the future will be medium to high-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. But DSLRs will still be around.

In James’ opinion, the lower-end market is going to die anyway, and not just for DSLR cameras. But, he believes that there are only two possible scenarios in which DSLRs will die out completely. First, if Nikon and Canon stop making them, which isn’t very likely, at least not in near future. If they want to completely ditch the DSLR production, their mirrorless cameras need to be flawless and beat the competition – which probably isn’t going to happen just yet.

Another scenario is that Nikon and Canon make mirrorless cameras that are in every way as good as their DSLRs, yet weight a bit less. This is where many people might decide to switch systems, but again, it’s still doesn’t look feasible in near future.

Of course, this is just an opinion, based on personal thoughts and perhaps some sales data. I agree with James and don’t think that DSLRs will die out, at least not in the near future. What are your thoughts on this topic?

[Are DSLRs dead? via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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14 responses to “Why DSLR is not dead and it won’t be any time soon”

  1. Darius Liktorius Avatar
    Darius Liktorius

    Disclaimer: I’m heavily invested in Canon and do *not* own a single Sony photo product. That said, I believe the reason DSLRs are still around is because of investment in glass from manufacturers (e.g. Canon, Nikon) who refuse to offer top quality mirrorless bodies as good as a Sony. If Canon would and even provide one in a pro-sized body with a large enough hand grip, I bet pro DSLRs would start to fade into the sunset…

  2. Douglas Smith Avatar
    Douglas Smith

    Consumer version might be close. Phones have even kicked many p&s cameras to the dust closet

  3. u_m_rasmussen Avatar
    u_m_rasmussen

    But.. you don’t answer your own question: why will people keep buying Sales…

    1. Huge Dom Avatar
      Huge Dom

      Well, DSLR had a steady decline of single digit % for over many years while Mirrorless jumped 30% last year. Of course it may not be that way all the time but the momentum is there for mirrorless.

  4. Steven Soblick Avatar
    Steven Soblick

    Two words for why DSLR’s will be around for a long time: cost.

    1. Huge Dom Avatar
      Huge Dom

      Cost is less to produce a Mirrorless body and likely lens too however. So, the push from manufacturers will be mirrorless.

  5. Alfonzo Avatar
    Alfonzo

    There’s 1 main reason why DSLRs will not die anytime soon. Low light autofocusing. Does anyone shoot nightlife venues?I took my Sony a7iii through it’s paces at one of my jobs and it failed miserably. The red and blue lights confused the hell out of my camera. The evf could not read contrast when those lights hit my subjects. It was a disaster. But I had no issues when using my Canon 5diii. The mirrorless technology has that one major flaw that will cause me to not abandon DSLRs. Until they improve upon that working photographers will never jump the DSLR ship.

    1. Graeme Taylor Avatar
      Graeme Taylor

      You obviously haven’t tried the fuji X-T2. Low light focusing easily on par with a SLR (with appropriate lens of course)

    2. Marcel van Leeuwen Avatar
      Marcel van Leeuwen

      ??? I have been a concert photog for the last 20 years and have used the A7III now on multiple festivals and concerts and i have had NO trouble with the AF. Even EYE-AF was working brilliantly. (p.s. i also work at a camera rental and i pick up multiple systems, anything that is available). I think you should retry the camera with good native glass.

  6. 孟恬 Avatar
    孟恬

    Are young photographers still going for DSLRs? If not i guess it’ll die out with us who still use them. Because i think it’s mostly habit.
    I used those great Sonys, and i hate the digital viewfinder. I hate that they are so light, i need more weight. I hate their battery usage and i keep losing extra batteries. I used my Canon 60d for 4 days in Burma on one charge. I didn’t have time to charge it, because we had so many power outages. And it was on stand by most of the time, so i was ready to shoot within the blink of an eye.

    But, as I said, I guess that’s all mostly a question of habit.

  7. JustChristoph Avatar
    JustChristoph

    The opinion forwarded by James Popsys is fundamentally flawed. There is a broadly accepted wisdom that the point of mirrorless cameras is that they are more compact and light. Furthermore that they are trendily retro. This misses the point. It may come as a surprise to anybody reading this who is not a camera aficionado that there is a mirror whacking around inside every DSLR. How weird is that!

    The DSLR form-factor will not disappear any time soon, because this is a tried and trusted platform on to which you can attach a serious lens. But do you really need to be told that the mirror shakes the camera around while it oh-so-slowly clangs away inside your camera body? It is a limiting factor – if not THE limiting factor – on the way to technically better cameras. It cannot survive the need to progress and keep a technical distance from smart-phone cameras. No amount of bleating about DSLR superiority will stop the mirror disappearing, even if everything else stays the same.

    The professional camera of choice in the near future may well look very similar to the DSLR of today, except for the tell-tale smaller distance between the sensor to the lens. It will be intrinsically lighter and therefore, in order to ensure a good balance with the lenses, may have a larger battery or perhaps advanced IBIS hardware built in.

    How far are we away from this scenario? Going by past history, much nearer than you may want to believe.

  8. Mark McLaughlin Avatar
    Mark McLaughlin

    Frankly I like the weight of my Canon DSLRs. Weight means inertia…and inertia means stability. I think the lightweight mirrorless cameras will appeal to women. Many women I know complain that the DSLRs are too big for their hands and too heavy and bulky. Frankly, I like the fact that my Canon bodies are built like tanks. Plus, I just don’t think the mirrorless cameras are there yet in terms of reliability, features, durability, weather sealing, and they don’t have optical viewfinders. I want 100% optical viewfinders.