Why people still choose DSLR's over Mirrorless - comments and reaction


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+








John Sturr
9 Aug 2013
I think there are a couple of factors going on here.

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.




Thomas Krüger
9 Aug 2013
Well said - in spring 2015 I will buy a used Panasonic GX7.Next month a new Canon 6D body.




George Jones
9 Aug 2013
Well, for me it's "what's the point?"  Last year I bought an RX100.  That stays weigh me about 75% of the time and is good at what it does.  I was thinking about getting an NEX6, because I like the idea of being able to carry a body and a couple of lenses in my pocket, but what do I gain over the RX?  If I'm bringing a multi lens set up I'm taking pictures of people moving at high rates of speed and EVIL cameras don't match SLRs for continuous focus speeds.

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.




Corwin Black
10 Aug 2013
I would say NEX is better choice than A77. Its nice camera, but came tiny bit too early before sensors were ready for SLT.

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.




George Jones
10 Aug 2013
By all accounts the NEX's autofocus system isn't that great for continuous autofocus, which is the only reason I would buy it.




Andrew Chew
10 Aug 2013
I seriously doubt the "X100s" is really flying off the shelves. The X100s is pretty darn expensive what it is, and the Ricoh GR is quite frankly more value for money. Heck the Nikon D7100 is higher in the sales rank on Amazon. If you ask me, if one considers how much cell phones really cost, cameras aren't too relatively expensive.




Andrew Chew
10 Aug 2013
If you ask me, here's my take of the new GX7: Considering what it contains, it's not too expensive even compared to the Nikon D7100. Why? Simple. As much as it is simpler to manufacture in some ways, the problem with mirrorless cameras is that the fundamental electronics are similar. The GX7 has to have the electronics to push about 16MP of data. In addition, the GX7 has a touch screen, and has to squeeze more buttons into a smaller area than the Nikon D7100 and has to accommodate the higher heat load at the same time. The Nikon D7100 has the benefit of greater internal volume and they have more leeway with arranging their electronics. The GX7 has less leeway. If by anything, Panasonic could save money by manufacturing the camera outside Japan and price the device 100USD lower as a result. The Nikon D7100 is manufactured in either Thailand or.. Malaysia or something if I am not wrong, with probably a relaxed set of tolerances.




Soundimageplus
10 Aug 2013
Its not really a question of how hard it is to manufacture, thats the decision of the manufacturer. We as consumers just have to decide whether we want to buy it or not. Does it offer what we want? Is it good value for money? It isn't anything to do with us how hard or easy it is to manufacture or whether its expensive or not. The rangefinder assembly on a Leica apparently costs them £1500. As far as I'm concerned, they could get of it since I'm no great fan of it. As a consumer I have every right to make my decisions on what something provides for me.

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.




Andrew Chew
10 Aug 2013
Yes, but for the manufacturer to recoup costs, they have to charge according to the manpower costs, R&D etc. Yes, they could charge less and make less profit as a result. If by anything, the problem with mirrorless is perception: people conflate mirrorless with Point and Shoots and expect to pay for Point and Shoot prices. Manufacturers did not help matters by driving the size down so much and going for the Japanese female demographic.

What's more, I suspect EVFs cost more than optical viewfinders. A piece of BK7 prism is probably dirt cheap in comparison.




Soundimageplus
10 Aug 2013
But thats nothing to do with us as consumers. If a manufacturer can't design, manufacture and sell a product that makes a profit, thats there problem, not ours. Thats the whole point of being in business. And there will be many consumers who look at mirrorless and say "Looks like a compact, feels like a compact, yet its a lot more expensive' Thats the problem that manufacturers will have with the really small cameras. Consumers rightly ask the question of the manufacturer 'Why should I buy it?' It seems, particularly in the US, none of them have come up with a satisfactory answer as yet. Your point about the Japanese female demographic is spot on and illustrates the point.




Andrew Chew
10 Aug 2013
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Yes, I agree it has nothing to do with us consumers. The problem now, is that manufacturers drove themselves into the value-proposition rut: in a bid to differentiate themselves from DSLRs, they made their cameras small and packed with lots of features, but by doing so, they went up against the problems with miniaturization and thus increased costs. And Japanese, being Japanese, had to make things worse by packing more features in order to appeal to a larger demographic. Perhaps if they had instead better differentiated their cameras in terms of features and avoid the feature creep, it might have helped them better.

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.




John Sturr
11 Aug 2013

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.




Andrew Chew
11 Aug 2013
Amazon listing it as "back ordered for 3-6 weeks" means nothing. It might even mean that Fujifilm figured it was better off shipping the stuff elsewhere and the US market worth all the effort! The US market isn't the biggest market for smallest mirrorless cameras, at least compared to Asia.

As for the "shutter speed" issue, personally I suspect the programmers decided that it was one extra too many variable to include. shrug




Iori Suzuki
11 Aug 2013
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In the U.S., DSLRs are being bought by parents who want to capture their kids at sports, plays, and concerts, for which the mirrorless cameras are generally poorer performers. It's one reason I have not sold off my Canon system even though I use it much less now that I have invested in the m43 system for most of my other photography. Most households can't or won't invest in multiple camera systems the way that photo hobbyists do. In that case, the choice of a DSLRS becomes obvious for most consumers.




Corwin Black
11 Aug 2013
Its tied a bit to feeling that "dSLR = pro". Certainly even my ages old dSLRs feel pretty pro.. and pretty heavy. :D




Paul Griffiths
Yesterday 16:54
Great article.
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.




Corwin Black
Yesterday 21:59
Canon seems to focus on future (medium format). Curious how it will play for them..

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.




Jorge Arturo
Yesterday 23:01
I agree with what you say in this post, mirrorless (specially m43) should be cheaper, and not because they are not good enough, but because people still is going to opt for an entry level dslr that cost 1/3 or 1/2 less than the mirrorless they like. Here in my country is really expensive to go mirrorless, either nex or m43 systems are really expensive, even more than on UK or US. For starters, these systems aren't sold everywhere, there's only a few stores and mostly department stores have them but only a few models. If you want for example a g5 with kit lens you'll be paying the equivalent to $900 dollars, and it's the same with the lenses, specially m43 lenses, and really few options besides the kit, the basic zoom and 2 or three more. So, something with higher specs is out of the question, gh3 body $2,000 dollars?? are you  kidding me? And don't get me started on the nex system because I wont pay bit over 1,500 for a nex7. Even my a77 which is great was on sale and 500 less than a nex. You can get a d5100 with dual lens kit for  less than $800, and it's still a great camera, not that big and with proven sensor, or the newer d5200 for around $1,000. The only ones going a bit lower are systems like nikon 1 or samsung nx, was attracted to the nx, cheap and good kit and zoom lenses, nice and cheap 30mm, what else would you need, but still not certain about nx future, that nx galaxy for me is out of the question, no buttons is a deal breaker for me, but hey, who knows, maybe panasonic, olympus and the other mirrorless decide to put a more atractive price tag and sales start scale, but that's unlikely to happen. 



Andrew Chew
06:07
Canon betting on Medium Format would be a real joke. Development on that has been generally slow for years, not least with the exponential cost and issues in silicon as it grows in area and size. If they really do Medium Format, it is really beyond me to imagine what sort of advantages they hope to get from Medium Format. The funniest part is that between Canon and Nikon, Nikon at the least has made Medium format lenses for the Plaubel Makina.

Soundimageplus
owner
13:51
+John Sturr
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!!

Soundimageplus
owner
14:02
+Andrew Chew
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.