1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

So was 2020 the last year of dSLR?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by P_Stoddart, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    You're probably right Pete, I don't know what to think. Yes, clearly its a clever camera, but....the cost is eye watering! that's a lot of money to put down on something that takes pictures for a hobby. I'm assuming people must be buying otherwise they wouldn't make them.
    I saw something the other day where a guy had gone out and spent silly money on a R? plus 3 RF L lenses. Apparently he was selling as was moving back to newer smartphone as the camera was just too complicated. It made me wonder who goes off like that, just drops ten grand plus on a whim. Probably the same people who drop £60k on a motorhome...AKA Inheritance!! easy to spend when you haven't earnt it.

    Not jealous so much, but clearly there's some deep pockets out there.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Well of course affordability is different things to different folks. The day I bought my Bronny 6x6, I was next in queue to a guy buying a gold-plated, limited edition Hassleblad, complete kit, motordrive, lenses the lot. I just waved the salesman's apologies for the delay in serving me away. He was going to make so much more from this guy than me. Eventually he discounted the Bronny on account of it having been a "demo" so he was evidently in a good mood.

    Prices do fall as the novelty works off and market forces do exert themselves. I'm still amazed that the Fuji XH-1 with grip (body only) went from ~£1900 to below £800 then off the market in less than 3 years especially given, with that hindsight, that I seriously overpaid for a mint s/h one. For most things I take a roughly 10 year view - I expect a camera to last 10 years and I'll use that 10 years to save for its replacement. It is lucky that the older I get, the shorter 10 years seems to be.
  3. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    .....the shorter 10 years seems to be - lol

    I remember back in 93' / 94' I was at college doing a photo course and halfway through the term 2 middle aged blokes joined in. It transpired they were both ex-miners using a re-training program to..well re-train.
    After the first week, the lecturers asked if they liked and would be staying? both were keen to stay, both asked for recommendations for a camera to buy. There was no rush to buy, but if you wanted to a basic SLR with 50mm lens would be perfect was the answer given, if you can stretch to a Nikon then lenses could be loaned from the stores. Obviously like here on AP, all students were quick to mention models to go for, I think we all agreed a used Nikon FM-2. would be perfect.
    Following monday. in walks one of the ex-miners grinning like a Cheshire cat, had treated himself to a mint used FM-2 with 50mm lens, we were all green with envy. 30min later his mate turns up with a massive Billingham bag. Just sauntered in. we were of course wanting to see what was in it.....
    Brand new Nikon F4s. But 3 non Nikon lenses, definitely a big Tamron zoom can't remember the other 2..but they were pretty uninspiring

    Long story short, FM-2 chap learns the fundamentals, does nieces wedding, enjoys it, borrows colleges studio lights for child portraits. Within a year he's got bookings for most weekends, still using his FM-2 and 50mm. Whilst on the course the college was happy for him to loan equipment out if he could use it towards his finals. The F4s chap quit about 3mths after starting. .
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  4. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    A few weeks ago I sent an email to AP about their use inflation-adjusted figures to give an idea of the prices of cameras in old issues of the magazine converted to 'current' prices, which always makes modern cameras look like bargains. It included the following:

    In your regular 'from the archive' feature you like to quote old camera prices 'in today's money', which makes modern cameras look like bargains. If you tried the same exercise for televisions and audio equipment instead, a different opinion might result. For example, I recently purchased a decent 'no frills' hi-fi stereo amplifier for £450 that is better than one of similar specifications that cost me £600 in 1994, yet the Bank of England's online inflation calculator shows that £600 in 1994 would be just over £1,200 today.

    Within a few minutes I received a reply from the editor, which included the following:

    Regarding the 'From the Archive' feature I have taken to converting the prices of featured kit because of the number of letters I get from readers with faulty memories who seem convinced that everything was cheaper back in the old days.

    And my reply to this included the following explanation:

    My 'in today's money' comment refers to the fact that most electrical devices are cheaper now than 30 or 40 years ago, but camera bodies are an obvious exception and I am curious why, especially as so many of the mechanical parts have been replaced with electronic components and software.

    I have heard no more about this, and remain curious.
  5. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I assume the price reflects the massive investment canon has had to pour into R&D
    8 stop IBIS and 8K WOW!!
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    A camera isn't just "electronic components". What a camera does in terms of computation these days is just incredible. Go back 20 years and you wouldn't be able to do those calculations that fast with a mainframe costing millions of pounds.
  7. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I expect volumes have a lot to do with the prices. Mass market white goods, TVs etc will sale in much greater nos than top of the range cameras. The manufacturers need to make profits somehow. Not sure about your hifi comments. I had to change my CD player last year, the one I picked was a mid-range unit which was cheaper than the one it replaced from the 1990s and to me sounds better. However, my amplifier is from the late 1980s and the equivalent today costs 3/4 times the price. Top end hifi prices are seriously expensive.

    My current cameras are more capable than I am and are not used as much as I would like. If I do decide to upgrade in a few years, I will buy used as I have no desire to only have the latest models which soon become out of date.
    RogerMac likes this.
  8. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I think another factor in what goods cost is mean incomes. With some things, like a basic ball point pen, if it works it’s good enough. I don’t know how cars have behaved relative to inflation, but I suspect most of the gains in manufacturing efficiency have gone into making cars better, safer and more economical rather than more easily affordable. I guess camera manufacturers assume that keen hobbyist photographers want the best camera they can get relative to what they can afford, rather than the cheapest option for taking reasonably good pictures.

    Fortunately, what I can afford seems to have risen faster than inflation, etc. In the first few years after I left uni and started work I had a couple of very special (for me) exotic holidays. However, I found the Kodak Instamatic my parents had given me, which had seen little use until then, had spoiled a large portion of my photos. I decided to find out what was important for taking decent photos, and get a camera that was unlikely to let me down. But it was a couple of years before I had the spare cash (I think about £70) for an Olympus 35RC rangefinder. Now, in retirement, it’s clear the savings we’ve put aside, together with our pensions, should be more than enough to see us out. So I’m looking forward to spending several £K, starting in a couple of years, on a Nikon Z7II or similar and then some lenses for it. (But I’m not looking forward to convincing my wife it’ll be a good use of the money!)

  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I can't work out why you think modern cameras are anywhere near as expensive as old ones.

    A Nikon F with standard lens would have cost you £190 in 1965, which equates to £3,693 today according to the Bank of England. On top of that you'd have the cost of film, developing and printing. A Nikon D610 with 24-85 "standard" lens will cost you £1,162 or thereabouts. That's less than a third of the price for a much more useful tool, which costs (effectively) nothing to run.
    ChrisNewman likes this.
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with Chris that the cost relative to income is of more importance than simply knowing the price converted to 2021 equivalent.
    Whilst it is obvious that the cost of the basic camera has come down I am unconvinced that the comparison is entirely fair. The Nikon F was a top of the range professional model largely hand assembled and the lens was similarly complex to manufacture. The D610 isn't the top of the range and is rather more than the "basic camera". It is almost like comparing apples to oranges. The modern digital camera, as mentioned elsewhere, is a combination of camera, darkroom and accessories all rolled into one. What you get for your 2021 £3,693 with a Nikon F only does a part of the job that the D610 does making a direct comparison nearly impossible. Even a comparison with the Nikon D6 is difficult, the costs are so different but the biggest cost in 1965 was labour the final image cost many hours after pressing the shutter, today it is possible to get a publication ready image directly from the camera.

    Looked at over a period of five years, buying a D6 now is probably not far removed from the cost of the Nikon F, developing tank, enlarger etc. and cost per usable image is probably significantly lower. Unfortunately we still see only the headline price not the cost per unit of output. Nor do we consider the improvements elsewhere. I wonder how many Nikon F shutters have managed 500,000 actuation, something expected of a top professional body in 2021?

    Spending your money on a 2021 camera gets a lot more than the same, equivalent, amount would have done in 1965.
  11. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    2020 was supposed to be the last year of the DSLR but, due to Covid, it will now be 2021.

    I have it on good authority*, that sometime after April 5th, in the next tax year, they will start sending out the signal that will cause the software in all DSLRs to self destruct and you'll all have to go out and buy expensive mirror-less models. Or even more expensive iPhones. And don't think you can just keep your DSLR in a Faraday cage to block the signal - our photographic overlords are not daft, they will repeat it on a continuous basis until it gets you.

    They are not called EVIL cameras for nothing.

    * ie, I'm making this up. Or am I? Mwa-hah-hah-hah etc... :eek:
  12. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Don't worry, someone will be spreading this theory around the idiotweb right now. :(
  13. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    SXH, you should have saved your post for 1 April.....
  14. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    They're not generally called 'EVIL' cameras at all. The 'electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens' phrase was clearly come up with by someone who dislikes the idea intensely & was trying their best to kill off the technology.
    There were quite a few other terms initially suggested, but simply mirrorless has been adopted.
    Continuing to use previous terms would be similar to calling a FF DSLR a 'miniature camera' the phrase used for 35mm film cameras when they first came out :)
  15. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The whole idea of calling something miniature implies a size comparison, the largest DSLR is miniature when compared to a Whole Plate camera or one of the many aerial reconnaissance cameras. It is inaccurate when compared to a Nikon 1, I was going to say a MFT camera but the Olympus ON-D EM1X is as big as my D4.
  16. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    The term "miniature camera" was used for anthing up to 6x9cm in the 1930s, according to several books and magazines I have.
  17. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    'Electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens' may have unfortunate connotations, but the term “mirrorless” is hopelessly vague. I suspect most cameras ever manufactured were without mirrors, and only a minority of digital cameras without mirrors take interchangeable lenses.

    My own history of taking ownership of cameras is:

    Kodak Instamatic: mirrorless, film, fixed lens, fixed focus

    Olympus RC35: mirrorless, film, fixed lens, rangefinder focus

    Pentax Super A: with mirror, film, interchangeable lenses, split prism focus

    Nikon D90: with mirror, digital, interchangeable lenses, phase autofocus independent of sensor

    Fujifilm X10: mirrorless, digital, fixed lens, on-sensor autofocus

    Nikon D800: with mirror, digital, interchangeable lenses, phase autofocus independent of sensor

    Panasonic LX100: mirrorless, digital, fixed lens, on-sensor autofocus​

    So four out of seven cameras I’ve owned have lacked viewfinder mirrors, two of those are/were digital, but none took interchangeable lenses.

    We really should use terminology which differentiates between interchangeable lens cameras that rely solely on electronic views from the sensor and fixed-lens cameras with those views. It would also be helpful if the terminology differentiated between cameras with (electronic) viewfinders and those reliant solely on monitors.

    I’ve zero interest in cameras without a viewfinder; I need spectacles for a sharp view of the monitor, and on the few occasions when I’ve used live view hand-held (for example for shooting over a fence), I find the position very unstable.

    I’d be extremely reluctant to cease to have a camera with interchangeable lenses.

    The choice as to whether my viewfinder is optical or electronic is still fairly nuanced; I’m still using an OVF on my main camera, but I’ll probably replace it with an EVF camera at some stage.

  18. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    If you research rangefinder focusing you'll find they use mirrors, so it's not as bad as your suggesting. Admittedly my 5x4 monorails are mirrorless in design (& take interchangable lenses).
    Mounting a digital sensor on the eyepiece of a newtonian telescope ends up with a digital mirror system that only uses one lens (used for in both the viewfinder & image recording modes) but I've not heard people claiming that makes it a DSLR.
  19. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It used to be, not so long ago, that compact cameras had fixed lenses and compact system cameras had interchangeable lenses. The presumption was that there was no viewfinder (only LCD screen) unless otherwise stated. If there was an Electronic viewfinder that is necessarily a through the lens view though the camera may be described as of rangefinder style. E.g my Fuji XE-2 is a range-finder style Compact System Camera with Electronic Viewfinder. Otherwise an optical viewfinder is necessarily a rangefinder style e.g my old Canon GX10 was a compact camera with an optical viewfinder.
  20. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Just to add another mirror/mirrorless complication, there are also Sony's DSLT cameras, which have a (translucent) mirror AND an EVF. Though the mirror is only used for focusing/exposure.

Share This Page