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Should I continue to invest in DSLRs?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Bazarchie, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Some photography magazines and forums are adamant that mirrorless is the future and as the main manufacturers are not investing in DSLR R&D, so they say, it is foolish to continue buying into a DSLR system as they will not be supported long term and used prices will plummet. This applies to cameras and lenses.

    While I reluctantly agree that mirrorless is the future I cannot see DSLRs falling off a cliff in the next 10-20 years and I will continue to buy new lenses and upgrade my cameras.

  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Not at all foolish.
  3. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    A good camera is a good camera, as it is with lenses. I will be sticking with a mirror until Mirrorless can make a battery last a day, especially in the cold.
    Done_rundleCams and RogerMac like this.
  4. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Nonsense! SLR cameras won't cease to be good cameras just because mirrorless have taken over the production lines. If you want to keep using them do so. I have noticed that there are a lot of used D500s about now but there aren't a lot of D5s, D850s or other top of the range SLRs which suggests the users aren't moving to mirrorless just yet.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Buying a camera is not, in the main, an investment. As far as I can see current lens lines are supported by the mirrorless cameras using adaptors so there is no loss of utility. Once the evfs match optical finders (and they are not far off) there are advantages to mirrorless now that AF performance is matched. I'm not so sure that there will continue to be DSLRs launched at the upper end of the market which is where Sony, Nikon and Canon seem to be aiming. You can add Fuji to that list, although the X series is middle ground they are also undercutting the "not quite Medium format" market
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Nikon are planning to launch a D6 next year and that will be their top of the range model.
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I think Canon will do a 1Dx iii but after that?
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    We shall see.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Indeed. I think the 5 series is at end of life. I bought a 5 Ds having gotten fed up about 5Div rumours and a merger between that and my Fuji X-H1 in a 1D body and a better EVF would be a dream full frame camera.
  10. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Much the same was said about film SLRs but look what happened... That said it's arguable that film cameras were undermined by the fact that DSLRs used the same mount and lenses without the need for an adaptor plus they handled much the same as the film bodies users were used to.

    I don't doubt that mirrorless is the future, if nothing else the various marketing departments will see to that, but the inferior battery performance, current lack of lenses (for certain systems) and the need for adaptors that causes may slow the rush enough to ensure the DSLR survives a reasonable time.

    Even if they stopped making DSLRs tomorrow the existing cameras will keep on working and turning out quality pictures long after the production lines are silenced...:)
  11. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member


    You buy cameras as an investment? There's optimism!

  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    As I see it, there are millions of SLRs, both film and digital, and tens of millions of lenses. They aren't going disappear over night so the market place will still have a huge number of SLR cameras and lenses for a considerable time to come. Then there is the fact that Canon and Nikon have produced a relatively small number of mirrorless bodies over a limited range of models and a relatively small range of native lenses. The limited supply of mirrorless equipment will, realistically, constrain sales and keep SLR sales levels up, to some extent.

    If I were to have the desire to switch to mirrorless I would want two bodies, with grips for portrait format, and three native lenses 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 with a 1.7x converter, as a minimum. Several of those items just aren't even on the road map for the Nikon system yet so I couldn't just pay up and switch even if I wanted to. There will be photographers with specialist needs who will have to wait a long time before there is suitable mirrorless equipment available to replace their SLR based systems.

    The frenzied cries of "Switch now" from some quarters are a best misplaced, simply aside from perhaps Sony there is no mirrorless system that has everything that is available in the Nikon and/or Canon systems. Until these exotic and esoteric items become available for mirrorless systems there will remain a place for the SLR. New users may well opt for mirrorless systems but the specialist and those needing long and/or fast lenses will still buy SLRs because they, currently, don't have any other option.
  13. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I have gone the other way, in as much as I will keep and use my dSLR camera system, but will not make any more investment into it or into any other system..

    A couple of years ago I bought a 'Premium' bridge camera. In a year or so time I may upgrade to whatever is current. It could be a different make entirely. It wouldn't matter. The quality produced is easily good enough for A3 size competition prints. I now carry one camera with lens of 24-400mm. I don't need a system.

    I'm not suggesting at all that this is the way for others to go, it just suits me.
  14. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Depends if you have already invested in decent lenses that may not work with a new mirrorless camera body, or perhaps only work with limited functions and require an expensive adaptor.

    Perhaps you are asking the wrong question, and instead ask 'Should I continue to invest in new DSLRs?' There is so much mint-condition used stuff available secondhand, possibly as a result of the rush by many people to buy a new and expensive mirrorless system in the hope that their photography will dramatically improve. Unless you have a large budget, every though of spending money on new kit should be tempered by 'do I really need it, or merely want it?'.
  15. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Being a cheapskate I often buy used gear, but not always. I restrict myself to companies who offer a warranty rather than say ebay. I am well aware of the need it/ want it argument. Whether I buy new or used isn’t really the issue. If DSLR were to redundant prices will plummet, new and used.

    At present I am fortunate to have both systems but I prefer DSLR and hence will continue to add to my collection. Invest was the wrong word but I’m sure people knew what I meant.

    I will never be a good photographer as I do not have the necessary vision or artistic talent to see great shots. If I could afford a Canon 1DX mark ii, would I go for it, of course I would as it is likely to have better AF for bird photography.

    The merchants of doom suggest that I should only add to my mirrorless collection. I disagree.
  16. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I really can't see the production of SLR cameras being halted just yet.
    Nikon have 12 DSLR models available with production lines in several countries. No company wants its production lines idle because that is hugely expensive and there aren't enough mirrorless models to go around. So logically Nikon will continue to manufacture DSLR cameras on most lines and switch others to producing mirrorless models. The current models of mirrorless camera broadly equate to the D750, D850 and D500 in terms of pixel count but they aren't entirely equivalent in other areas. I would expect to see a broader range of models with additional features over the coming years.

    At some stage the base model SLRs will be replaced with closely equivalent mirrorless models and the production lines switched, with similar changes around the other models. I might expect that as each model becomes due for a refresh it would be replaced with a mirrorless model but I am sure that will be driven by demand. The D6 is already in the pipeline but I suspect there is also a mirrorless equivalent being developed to sell alongside it. Developing another 9 camera models isn't a quick process and until Nikon have an adequate range of mirrorless models they will need to continue to produce SLR models.

    We shall have to wait and see on that.

    Another reason DSLRs won't disappear is inertia, many an amateur photographer has a DSLR that isn't the latest model but is more than adequate for their needs. If they haven't upgraded it in, say, five years why would they suddenly decide to ditch it and buy a mirrorless model? Answer, they probably won't they will keep using it until they are forced into changing it by failure or loss. If all these photographers decided to switch to mirrorless tomorrow there wouldn't be anything like enough stock so it is in the interests of the manufacturers to manage the transition and to ensure that their legacy models are recognised as reliable and effective cameras.
  17. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I have both mirrorless and DSLR cameras. Both have their merits, when I am going to be walking around quite a lot I choose the CSC (Fujifilm). I consider in performance terms it actually beats my Nikon D610, I would always choose the Fuji in low light, I consider it far superior, indeed it would most times be my camera of choice.

    Nikon are late to market with mirrorless in terms of anything other than a tiny sensor, the three current models are certainly not bottom end of the market products, those will be dripped in over a period I would expect, I would doubt that there will be anything much in the D3X00 sector. Higher end products are more profitable, to date Nikon have little in the really affordable end with mirrorless cameras, let alone lenses-look at the price of the fairly standard primes that have been released so far. In truth I have been tempted to sell most of my Nikon gear (I do use film at times), there are some circumstances where I would choose the FX DSLR over the Fujifilm CSC, but not all that many.

    There is always resistance to change, it's human nature. The original concept of mirrorless was reduced weight and bulk, the more recent FF releases from Canon, Nikon and Panasonic don't really embrace that, I certainly don't regret choosing Fujifilm, it's a camera I will carry when I would leave a DSLR behind and it actually performs better under many conditions (imho).
  18. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    I'm guessing, and it's only a guess, conventional dSLR's are pretty much as advanced as they're going to get. Any 'lmprovements' for future models will be minimal. On the other hand mirrorless is relatively speaking still in its infancy. As photographers, whatever your current view on mirrorless, we should look forward to the future.
  19. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I am sure this was said about APS but, just as with that system, much of the technology that will advance mirrorless cameras can also advance SLR cameras. The EVF is one that won't, in any obvious way, improve the SLR but who knows what may be possible.

    I wonder what on sensor phase detection focusing might do for an SLR? Alignment error detection and correction, improved focus tracking and subject movement anticipation, eye detection focusing after shutter release?

    Could on sensor metering allow, one day, selective area exposure compensation?
  20. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think this is almost the case. It is hard to see how the better DSLRs can be improved which is why I wondered if the Canon 5Div would be the last. A problem is that the market has become accustomed to obsolescence rather than maturity so it demands new products, whether or not they are needed. Mirrorless cameras are well out of their infancy. Actually, once the viewfinders are "better" than optical, they probably run into a wall in terms of technical innovation. Now that AF is sorted it is hard to see where they go.

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