The writing is on the wall – the end of the digital SLR is nigh – 1st 9 chapters of Khen Lim’s treatise now published

Written by Gary on November 3rd, 2013

Khen Lim continues his lessons of history with the 1st 9 chapters of his 20 chapter treatise on “The end of the dSLR” – see http://www.ayton.id.au/wiki/doku.php?id=photo:kl:dslr:dslr_end1.

While Khen is preparing the final 11 chapters, here are my thoughts on this issue.

1. cropped sensor dSLRs have little future other than sports

  • their lenses will always be bigger than Micro Four Thirds and the image quality of Micro Four Thirds is adequate for 90% of scenarios, so why carry bigger, heavier lenses?
  • Canon and Nikon really just viewed these as consumer and enthusiast level cameras with no real pro versions of either cameras nor lenses although the aging  Nikon D300S and the Canon 7D are at least semi-pro level cameras.
  • very few lenses are pro quality, so if you want pro quality you need to buy a full frame pro lens and if you are going to pay and carry these heavy, expensive toys then you may as well have a full frame camera to get the best use out of them
  • Micro Four Thirds cameras are less intrusive, more portable, quieter, and the electronic viewfinder adds far more functionality than is possible with an optical viewfinder
  • electronic viewfinder and electronic shutter technologies will advance far more rapidly than old optical technologies
  • they are still useful for sports as they give more telephoto reach than a full frame camera and the higher end cameras offer better C-AF tracking with less viewer blackout than current mirrorless cameras.

2. full frame dSLRs will increasingly be replaced by more versatile, smaller, lighter full frame mirrorless cameras

  • the shorter sensor to lens mount distance of mirrorless cameras means that almost any lens ever made can be fitted
  • the electronic viewfinder allows far more functions than optical viewfinders, including movie mode, face detection AF, live histograms, magnified view or focus peaking for more accurate manual focus
  • the cameras will be smaller, lighter and cheaper
  • now if only Olympus would make a full frame version of the OM-D E-M1 with weatherproofing and built-in image stabiliser, even better if they can add a global electronic shutter for full output flash at all speeds.
  • as more and more non-professionals enter the increasingly more affordable full frame market, professionals will move to the medium format dSLR market to distance themselves in the marketplace from what full frame  non-professionals can offer, this will further squeeze the full frame dSLR sales.

see also:

It’s now a new world with the latest Micro Four Thirds – why would anyone bother buying a cropped sensor dSLR anymore?

The 1st 3 chapters of Khen Lim’s 10 chapter treatise on the history of the Micro Four Thirds system – now online

 

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