Opinion: The DSLR is not dead
January 21, 2022
John Bridges gives us his thoughts on why the DSLR isn’t dead yet, and why he thinks it’s too soon to switch to mirrorless cameras.
If you’ve read my thoughts on why I choose to shoot with Canon DSLRs then you may already know some of my opinions on this topic. But I’ve become increasing fed of up reading about how “The DSLR is dead” simply because Canon has said their flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III camera will be their last flagship DSLR.
Does a Digital SLR stop working when a manufacturer drops it or stops producing it? No, it still works, why ditch a camera system, just because you can’t buy the replacement model? If you already have the 1D-X Mark III, are you going to stop using it? Of course not.
If you already have the lenses you like, and already use, are these going to stop working? Of course not.
Sure, you could switch to mirrorless, but why? Do you prefer having less choice? Do you prefer having fewer lenses to choose from? Are you made of money? Do you have £5000 lying around, burning a hole in your pocket, and therefore you can afford to buy the lenses you’ll need, such as the 24-70mm f/2.8 (£2359 Canon RF), and 70-200mm f/2.8 (£2729 Canon RF)? What if you want another couple of primes, such as a portrait lens and a macro lens?
Plus, you’ll need another £2400 just to get a 20MP Canon EOS R6, and that’s if they’re in stock. Sure, you could use a lens adapter, but if the lens is designed to work on your DSLR, why not just use that?
Switching to a mirrorless system or in fact any other camera brand from your current camera system that is working perfectly, is simply wasting money for something to do. Sure, some people love the idea of spending money and getting new things, as well as learning new systems, but how much time are you going to spend doing this, when you could be out there taking photos?
Early adopters, here’s one thing I don’t understand, why do you seem to prefer buying into a camera system where you are waiting for the product you need to be released in the future?
Where are the third party lenses for Canon and Nikon mirrorless systems?
If you like expensive Canon / Nikon lenses then there are a reasonable number of choices, but where are the third party lenses, will you always have to pay “top prices” for the branded originals? Will you ever be able to buy a Sigma / Tamron or another brand? Tamron and Sigma make some impressive macro and telephoto lenses as far as I can remember, and some of them are also unique to the DSLR, including the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8, and 50-100mm f1.8.
In fact, if you are to go for a mirrorless camera system, then look for a well-established system, that has both been around for a long time, and is open to other manufacturers. I’m thinking specifically of the Sony E-Mount, which gives you a wide choice of different APS-C/FF camera bodies, as well as a variety of Sony/Zeiss branded lenses as well as Tamron and Sigma (and other options), including the unique Tamron 35-150 f/2-2.8.
There’s also the Micro Four Thirds system, with camera bodies from Olympus and Panasonic (as well as others), and there is a vast range of premium and budget lenses. Sure, these camera systems may be well-established, and for those that want to buy things that aren’t available yet (like Z-Mount and RF-Mount users) it may be a little bit disappointing to realise that it is already available.
But if you’re a DSLR user, then not only do you have a range of camera bodies to choose from, but you also have the choice of new and second-hand lenses, from the widest range available, for any camera system, and that, my friends, is something that should be celebrated, rather than buried.
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