There's been a really good response to this post - http://soundimageplus.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/why-people-still-choose-dslrs-over.html - over on Google+
1 - Prices of these cameras - and I'm talking about as little as $200 is a magnitude
to the typical consumer. And that is not a dig - as much as it is a reality to the typical
population. We can't lose site of that fact. I even lose that reality. So these camera
companies need to get off the expectation that the typical consumer is going to update
hardware every 12 months. It's just not going to happen.
2 - Nikon and Panasonic need to shit or get off the pot and design / build a showstopper.
Try to find a x100s - it's flying off the shelves. Give me a non-compromised piece of
hardware. Nikon needs to pull a D3s off the shelf and give it to a shaman head shrink-er and build it. Good God man -- all of this hardware is at 90% of what it needs to be... either lenses, AF, Sensor -- come on. I pulled my D3s off the shelf last week and I just about had an affair with that thing - it's amazing.
I want a mirrorless camera to replace my DSLR, but what it best replaces is my compact. YMMV, of course, but for me, I'll probably end up spending twice the money on an A77, because the NEX tries to squeeze into a too small hole in my personal camera lineup.
But since X-trans is pretty much "fixed", why not Fuji? Except bit slower AF.
From image quality point of view, two dSLTs have sense. A99 and A57, rest not that much or not at all.
dSLR replacing depends on how is one "addicted" to AF. If almost not at all, then Fuji is close to perfect. If a bit, fastest AF have m4/3s (unfortunately not so great image quality). If AF is a must, then dont replace dSLR. As far as AF-C goes, mirrorless are unable to replace it, for now.
To the topic (article):
I agree with David, that price is big issue. Sure GX7 is nice camera, ticking a lot of boxes for me (Im not caring much about size or weight). But its bit like 5DMK3, something that was wanted, but years ago. Frankly when I saw price of some latest mirrorless I was bit "shocked". I have no idea how they think they will be able to sell it.
For example GX1 sold amazingly well.. when it was discounted to 200 USD. But for original price? Meh.
Manufacturers are trying to make sorta "niché" mirrorless market, but they kinda lack being Leica to be able to actually do that. Plus most of mirrorless lacks build quality to match its price. Seriously for price of some of these I would expect rock-solid build quality, not something that is kinda "plasticky-toy-like".
Another problem (particulary m4/3s) is they have really fast life cycle, which causes them to loose value incredibly fast. When its compared to decent, even few years old dSLR, then its quite striking difference. D700 has long grey beard today, yet its still around half of original price used (less or more depending on condition). First m4/3s Panny G1 is worth.. well peanuts. Maybe not fair, but compare it to D90, thats ages old, but still worth something.. And still very usable camera.
If manufacturers don't give people what they want then they obviously won't sell in the quantities they need. If as seems the case DSLR's still provide what people want at a price people are prepared to pay then they will continue to be part of the camera marketplace. I've always thought that touchscreens, wi-fi, apps etc. have a very limited appeal, which gets distorted by the amount of column inches they get on the photographic internet. Most camera buyers don't read any of that and go on recommendations, name, reputation and as I keep saying above all price.
What's more, I suspect EVFs cost more than optical viewfinders. A piece of BK7 prism is probably dirt cheap in comparison.
In all technicality, what the manufacturers need to do is reboot the sales pitch and start focusing on one or two cameras with the right mix of size and feature set that will appeal to Western consumers, while having 2 models, one entry and one enthusiast model, that cater to the small-size crowd. This will probably apply more to Olympus and Panasonic. In the case of Nikon, I'm not too sure. Somehow I think Nikon has to really cut back on the prices especially considering how the RX100 is pricing. The profit margins they are asking for is way too much.
I guess the gist of my frustration is that for these camera companies this is not their first rodeo with camera bodies. And when Nikon comes out swinging about low sales numbers etc - I just shake my head and say, "it's hard to believe, but they just don't get it".
As I said before - all of these systems seem to be crippled by something -- which keeps them at 90%.
My newest dig -- is the not coupling a shutter speed limit to autoISO - so I'm basically forced to shoot either manual, or shutter pri. And, either I'm a genius at camera design for wanting this, this feature is beyond the scope of the mechanics/design, or Sony and Nikon are too smart for me to not included it. Seriously.
And the other digression - I had the Nex-7 for over a year - and the color rendition coming out of the raw files were too much for me too harness. I've heard the argument of -- well -- who cares what the raw looks like - I can do anything to the raw in post and that's all I care about. I thought that too - until it became too much hassle to predict needed adjustments in post to get a great image. And between that and not being able to control shutter speed in Aper. Pri - I gave up with the 7.
Now -- that being said - I really want to like Sony again -- and with the rumored upcoming announcements I would think the other manufacturers will be paying much attention.
I know I bounced around a lot here -- but that's some of the backstory of my thinking.
Oh -- and back to the x100s flying off the shelves comment -- Amazon has it listed at back ordered for 3-6 weeks.. and it's been like that for more than a few months.
As for the "shutter speed" issue, personally I suspect the programmers decided that it was one extra too many variable to include. shrug
Well I've sold all my Nikon Digital SLR gear mainly 'cos it was old (D200, D50 and a load of lenses). The Nikon 1 V1 and 3 lenses has gone as well!
I've gone back to one camera one lens after purchasing the Fuji X-E1 with 18-55mm lens. Reason for selling - the gear they stayed in the bag! They weren't getting used and I found eventually that the V1 was just too small in the hand for my liking plus the low light wasn't that great over iso 800.
I don't think Nikon and Canon have a clue what to do except keep looking over their shoulders at what the other companies are producing, and churn out the same old design but with more gizmos.
I've said this before on my blog and on Google+ before, Nikon in my opinion missed a great opportunity by not using the 'old' Nikon EM and make it a "D" (digital) and full frame, mirrorless: jobs done market over - Nikon steal the show....
It can be done look at the Sony RX1.
Cause it actually is future. Regular "full-frame" reached similar state to film, where cameras are all more or less same, not that much possible things to improve, so only way is go bigger.
But theres other end, which might begin next year - FF mirrorless. Betting on Sony and hoping for some nice RF styled Fuji. :)
dSLRs will be with use for some time, but Im guessing it will soon become "niché" market for hardcore pros and enthusiasts.
I believe the back ordering is because a whole load of X100s's got water damaged. They just haven't appeared in UK stores at all. All the non ebay and far east sellers here are either "Awaiting stock' or on back order. As far as I'm aware no authentic UK stock has turned up as yet.
We are waiting for them to fly onto the shelves rather than fly off!!
Yes. Cameras like the D800E give medium format file sizes but they aren't really MF. The D800E pushes the pixel count pretty far and the high ISO performance of that camera is nothing to get excited about. No where near what current Fuji and Leica 16MP cameras can achieve.
Rumours keep circulating about Canon coming up with some monster pixeled sensor, and if its using a 35mm sized sensor then they are going to really struggle to get 45MP or even 75MP that I've heard mentioned give anything decent at high ISO's. Which is exactly the same problem that 'genuine' MF has.
Since its going to cost an arm and a leg as well, I'm wondering why they bother. Their 18MP sensor isn't that great and if you don't believe me have a look at the 700D raw samples that are around.
How they are going from a 22MP sensor to double and more than that with sensor technology thats currently hardly 'cutting edge' I'm not sure. With all this doom and gloom and falling sales figure I would have thought the sensible route was to make the most of your virtues, which in Canons case are robustness, speed, lens range and a well-respected and known brand name. The EOS-M disaster shows just how badly they fare when they step outside their comfort zone I would have hardly though trying to compete with Hassleblad, Leaf and Phase One is anything other than a road to disaster.