Are DSLR's becoming an endangered species?

Not many people use a 35mm film camera any more. Even less a medium format one. When was the last time you saw a photographer with a tripod in front of them and a cloth over their head?

The majority of cameras used and sold are small and light. Most are compact cameras, but more and more are m4/3, NEX, NX and the like. Great image quality, of that there is no doubt, but threatening the DSLR? well maybe not yet.


The marriage of large(r) sensor and compact camera is unfortunately being dominated by the compact camera half at the moment. This may change with the NEX-7, but currently manufacturers seem to be rushing towards ever increasing (decreasing?) miniturisation. The point of a DSLR isn't just its sensor size and image quality, but the construction of a picture taking machine that makes it possible to take pictures in difficult situations, with reliability, precision and speed. A good DSLR is a responsive intuitive machine which lets us as photographers do what we do with ease, and frees us up to concentrate on what we do best, create images.

I'm as enthusiastic as anybody else about the possibilities that these small(er) cameras can bring. But what I see so far is just that. Possibilities. 

A lot of what you you read here is discussion/tests/reviews etc. of mainly these small, light cameras and I do enjoy using them. But whenever I simply have to get the picture, and I'm in any kind of pressured situation, out comes the Nikon D7000. If I'm working indoors, and undertaking any kind of commercial work, out comes the D7000 again. 

Is the future of m4/3 and CSC's as the providers of cameras for the "enthusiast" the "advanced amateur" or the "hobbyist" and for "professionals" to have a bit of light relief with? Or is somebody on the verge of giving us something serious and yet seriously small?

Sony might have it ready and waiting. Fuji claimed they had it with the X100, but unfortunately though they made a nice camera, it wasn't the game changer that many of us want.

35mm was treated as a joke for many years and yet became the mainstay of many photographers and it is very early days in the development of CSC's, but I do hope that this potential doesn't disappear under a mountain of gadget driven plastic. I'd be very happy to put my D7000 on ebay but thats not something I'm contemplating anytime soon.