The reign of DSLRs coming to an end?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MCAsan, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #1
  2. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Either way, the concept of a camera without a smartphone attached appears to be getting rare through declining sales of all digital cameras, whether mirrored or mirrorless. The debate is really whether the major camera manufacturers can survive on reducing sales...and of course some of the majors have less % of their business in dedicated cameras than others...
     
  3. mollyc macrumors 68000

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    I admit I really don't follow camera news and trends that much, despite being a relatively decent photographer.

    That said I have a hard time seeing the death knell for dSLRs just yet, or anytime in the near future, if for no other reason than all the legacy lenses out there. Maybe a slow down in production/innovation, but I don't see them abandoning this market completely.

    Heck, people are still buying film cameras!
     
  4. steveash macrumors 6502

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    I think it's inevitable. From the camera makers point of view, mirrorless offers technical opportunities and an increased rate of obsolescence. As an old-fashioned photographer, I own a mirrorless camera but still cling to my chunky dinosaurs whenever possible. I do find that the technology can be distracting. The list of cool features that my cameras have but I keep turned off is getting ever longer!
     
  5. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Two weeks ago our club has a well known photographer do a day long seminar. He shots Canon and thinks the 1Dx is the best thing since sliced bread. He had evidently recently discovered the benefits of doing focus stacking for landscapes and macro work. He was asked how he moves between the focus stacking shots. He said he moves the lens...just a little. I don't think he had a clue that modern camera systems have focus bracketing and stacking built in....just like exposure and other bracketing.
     
  6. Mark0 macrumors 6502

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    As a former DSLR user (now mirrorless) - I think that the big mirror slappers will be around for a wee while yet.
     
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Yeah, the "reign" might end but equating that with the death of the DSLR, as many have, is a bit over the top. Still, amazing how defensive some DSLR owners get about it. I think that some of the reaction is due to the fact that the two biggest DSLR makers, Canon and Nikon, aren't very innovative, especially with some of their many models down in regular hobbyist price range. So they get a rep for stodginess vs say M43, Fuji or Sony. Which is, I think, deserved. But it doesn't have to be that way. Pentax, eg, is very committed to mirrors and yet has stuff like in body stabilization, pixel shifting, etc. But as we see with companies sometimes your commitment to your base and what they want makes it harder to change. There are tons of pros out there that really don't need or want to change what they've got and don't need to in order to get the job done.
     
  8. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030

    Alexander.Of.Oz

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    I have the best of both worlds, when I put my DSLR into liveview or mirror-up, it's a mirrorless! :p
     
  9. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

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  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Once you move beyond life size, relying on in-camera tools can be pretty tricky.

    To be fair, when I'm working at larger-than-lifesize magnifications there's usually a set of "dumb" bellows between the camera and lens. It's also hard to say what lens might be there-I could be using a Nikon micro lens(probably reversed) but I might also be using an enlarger lens.

    Even working at less than life size, you can run into issues when you adjust focus with the lens rather than by moving the camera due to the way most modern lenses focus. I briefly owned and then sold a Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 AF-S VR. When I bought the lens, I'd planned to sell my AF-D(or, more fully, my AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D) but kept it instead because I found it somewhat better behaved in this regard when approaching 1:1.

    As for DSLRs going away-I can still buy new large format cameras if I want to. They may become an increasingly niche product, but I don't see them going away completely. No matter how good EVFs become, I still see true optical finders having an edge in certain applications.

    That reminds me...I need to scrape together $2600 to buy a Nikon F6 while they're still in production. I've actually never bought a new film camera, and I want to have the opportunity.
     
  11. dwig macrumors 6502a

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    True.

    The age of SLR dominance is over, or nearly so. They are a dying breed that will linger for a while in ever decreasing numbers and importance. There may be some niche where they survive, like the coelacanth, but they will otherwise vanish in the not too distant future.
     
  12. guzhogi macrumors 68030

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    It'll be interesting to see what, if any, mergers/acquisitions will happen.
     
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 603

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    Look at the next major sporting event you watch and see how many Sony bodies you see vs. Canon and Nikon.

    There again, as good as EVFs are, there are situations where even a few milliseconds of delay can make the difference between getting the shot and not getting it. That's where I see optical viewfinder staying around the longest at least in widespread use.

    The A7 and A9 do have shutter lag times comparable to the high end Canons and Nikons, but there again add in just a bit of extra lag from an EVF(it doesn't have to be much) and you can miss it.
     
  14. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    And considering film cameras still haven't disappeared, does that mean we'll have mirrorless film cameras? ;)
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

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    They're called rangefinders :) . And, yes, you can buy them new(dig deep- new Leicas make Sony look inexpensive).

    Also, don't forget that we also have cameras that lack a MOVING mirror. Aside from twin lens reflex cameras, we also have pellicle mirror cameras. The "regular production" film cameras I know of are the Canon Pellix and EOS-1RS, but there were also a few special Nikon F2s, F3s, and Canon F-1s made for the Olympics that had them. In the digital realm, I seem to recall that Sony has made more than a few. Of course, that's a less than perfect solution-you lose half a stop to the film/sensor, the viewfinder is dim(the few times I've used my Pellix, I've used a 55mm f/1.2 more out of necessity) and any damage to the mirror degrades the image quality.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 18, 2018 ---
    On second thought, you probably can't class rangefinders as mirrorless either. They use a semi-silvered mirror and a few other mirrors(including one that moves) for the focusing mechanism.

    So, that brings us to active-focusing P&S cameras that use IR or ultrasonic to measure the distance. Of course, there are also zone focusing cameras without any focus aide, and at the very low end fixed focus cameras(including disposables).
     
  16. dwig macrumors 6502a

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    As I said, a niche may continue to exist. As it stands now, DSLRs are thriving in this niche, but are continuing to exist in broader usage largely do to inertia.

    At tech improves, the shutter lag has been decreasing, particularly with electronic "shutters", and EVFs are getting more responsive. Both are beginning to press against the shutter+mirror lag in DSLRs, a lag that can't be eliminated shy of using pellicle mirror and taking the related light loss and other optical hits.

    I think if you very carefully examine the gaggle of Canikon users in the press scrum at sporting events that you'll find a fair percentage shooting short video bursts in order to machine gun the shot at very high frame rates. You can do this as well with a mirrorless body as with a DSLR. In fact in such cases the DSLR has to effective work as a mirrorless camera with a rather inferior VF to that found on a native mirrorless body.
     
  17. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    The sports photographers shooting jpg, not raw, so they can get their shots to the wire services ASAP? If so, they likely do not care much about 14 bit color depth or dynamic range for game shots.
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

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    The best mirrorless cameras(or at least the high end Sonys) have shutter lags comparable to the D5 and 1DX series. I suspect that we're running up against other issues just in terms of how quickly stuff can happen once you press the shutter button.

    I'm actually amazed at how fast the mirror moves on modern cameras. I have a bunch of Nikon F2s and a couple of MD2 and MD3 motor drives kicking around for them. To use the highest speed mode(which is 4-5fps depending on the battery pack and type of batteries) you have to lock the mirror up. An F3/MD4 can manage 5fps with NiCds or NiMHs without MLU, and an F4s or F4e can manage 5.7(I think it will get up to 6 with lithiums or NiCds). The F5 really broke the barrier at 8fps, and then the subsequent single digit Ds kept upping it.

    In any case, fast burst DO show the limitations of SLRs. The F5 already looks like you're photographing under a strobe light at 8fps. Newer cameras reduce the mirror black-out time, but at high frame rates the ultimate effect is the same. I'd be surprised if SLRs with moving mirrors push past 12fps, and I know Sony has already hit 20fps in the A9 series.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    The market will continue to consolidate, and the usage of DSLRs in the long run, will continue to contract. I think mirrorless is the future, but there will always be a place for DSLRs
     
  20. unculturedswine macrumors newbie

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    I hope that soon consumers and hobbyists will see this shift towards mirrorless and make it the go-to option; there's no need for that type of photographer to buy a DSLR anymore. Unless people have an absolute need for whatever it is DSLR offers I think mirrorless should be the default choice.
     
  21. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030

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    I find it quite interesting that nobody in this discussion has raised the ecological importance of buying and continuing to use pre-owned DSLR's, whilst they still work, rather than just buying new toys because we can.

    Just throwing the cat amongst the pigeons here! :D
     
  22. Ledgem macrumors 68000

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    I can't speak for the Sonys, but Olympus has a feature called "Pro Capture" that captures anywhere from 10 to 60 frames per second once you even half-press the shutter button, depending on which mode you use (pro capture high vs low). I don't use it so I can't offer commentary on how well it does or doesn't work, but my understanding is that it saves the burst immediately around the time you actually depress the shutter button, so that you can get that perfect moment in time.

    Cool feature. No DSLR could do that. The Sony mirrorless can't fully do that, either, because of the larger sensor... but as things continue to improve and become faster, I'm sure they'll gain that ability, as well. Unless there's some revolution in the mechanics of a DSLR, no DSLR will ever be capable of that.

    Mirrorless also allows the camera to leverage image recognition features, such as face and/or eye recognition, that a DSLR could only accomplish in "mirrorless mode." And I'm sure there's more that is possible with a mirrorless camera, but that's the current state of affairs.
     
  23. mollyc macrumors 68000

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    Why as a hobbyist should I not use my $10,000 worth of dSLR gear? I should sell all my lenses to switch to a new platform??
     
  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

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    Phase detect systems have become quite good and quite sophisticated. Don't forget that even the simplest phase detect systems use a 3 or 5 pixel CCD, and the current ones with 50+ AF points can get a course "preview" image.

    Nikons made since roughly the D810/D750 era have had "eye detect" focus, and it works amazingly accurately even in continuous AF mode(it works even better-especially with tracking-in the Multi-Cam 20K system used now in the D5, D850, and D500).

    Heck, even my D800, which is ancient by DSLR standards, does a good job with face detect. When I set it to auto point select and have a person in my picture, it consistently will "find" faces and pick AF points on them.
     
  25. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    That goes back to the long term planning of your DSLR vendor. When they introduce their mirrorless line, will they need to introduce a new lens mount or not. Since Canon lenses are used with adapters on Sony bodies.....at least Canon should be able to reuse their lenses.
     

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