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Andrew Reid

Consumer DSLRs "dead in 5 years"

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EOSHD weekend report

Engaging the uninterested general public with dedicated cameras was never going to be sustainable - not with smartphones around.

But I think the decline of consumer DSLRs will actually be the best thing to happen to photography and video in the digital era.

Finally companies will have to get innovative, putting more weight behind enthusiast and pro orientated camera line-ups.

[url=http://www.eoshd.com/content/11409/consumer-dslrs-dead-5-years]Read the full article here[/url]

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I think the most vulnerable company is Nikon, with the decline of compacts Nikon have nothing else to rely on, what else does Nikon make? Spotting scopes and binoculars? Much of Canon's profits actually comes from their corporate printing business and that should keep them afloat and unlike Nikon, Canon actually have a professional broadcasting division. 

 

Sony in the past decade have been arguably the most innovative company, of course Sony also have a tendency to pursue exotic tech like SLT that ultimately was a failure, but again Sony is a massive conglomerate that can shoulder losses. On top of that having 45% of the sensor market means that Sony can makes profits from Nikon, Pentax, and so fourth. 

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Clearly Nikon need to diversify. Historically they've been bad at that. Turning down the chance to own Adobe in the early 90's example numero uno.

 

Nikon should do a Cinema EOS.

 

Next they should sell lots of DF cameras. If the specs are to be believed it's the only retro inspired shooting experience where you can use a huge range of existing Nikon DSLR lenses on without compromises to AF or sensor size. The full frame D4 sensor also gives incredible quality images.

 

Nikon should gracefully bow out of the compact market or do what I suggest and make that Nikon-backed iPhone camera upgrade case. Must be thin and not be a drain on the phone's battery. Must not be wireless, must go into the lightning port and be instant to activate. Must have good apps to go along with it.

 

Then they should go all out into the software world. Buy some companies. Put out their own rival to Photoshop and Lightroom. And we're not talking Silkypix :)

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Sony in the past decade have been arguably the most innovative company, of course Sony also have a tendency to pursue exotic tech like SLT that ultimately was a failure, but again Sony is a massive conglomerate that can shoulder losses. On top of that having 45% of the sensor market means that Sony can makes profits from Nikon, Pentax, and so fourth. 

 

The problem with Sony is that their brave innovation usually turns out to be ill conceived. You mention SLT but that is the tip of the iceberg.

 

That's why the A7 line and RX10 are so refreshing. They are sensibly thought out.

 

Who the hell is gonna use a QX on their smartphone? It's way too bulky and difficult to operate.

 

Sony had their chance with the Cybershot phones. I used to have one. They were the best all round feature phones in the era before smartphones. Then the software overtook the hardware side and the rest is history, written by Apple.

 

If you look at Android (and Samsung) they have basically copied Apple. That isn't really innovation.

 

Samsung seem determined to throw features and new stuff out there, the complete opposite of Canon, but without the brains of Canon!

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time runs.

japan sinks.

walk around london now everyone is snappy snapping or iphone samsung video ing.

nikon will get a panasonic connection at some stage if it does not go under or is asset stripped sooner.

the elephant in the room alas and know body talks about is cancer from fukishima.

you see the spent fuel pools are on a broken roof enough radiation to kill everyone in japan and dose the rest of us.

maybe the world should talk rather than ignore the fukishima equation.

ge of america helped japan build nukes on fault lines not clever unless like david attenborough,prince phillip and bill gates that humans are a plague on the earth.

camera only digital device will become like a film camera for the hipster pixel peepers only.

maybe lovely fuji should make us a radiation heavy metal foot tester with the usual superb build quality.

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1. Does GoPro fit into this?  Remember around NAB time, it seemed like everyone just assumed they'd usher in a new hobbyist cinema camera revolution, but nothing came of it.  Their GoPro Studio software gives them potential "easier to use" conversion workflow for CineForm.  Look at the trouble Dave Dugdale had getting up to speed with raw video on the BMPCC and you'll see why Canon can't "sell" raw video to its hobbyist userbase with the current shitty software landscape.

 

2. Has Canon even acknowledged Magic Lantern exists?  What do they, at a corporate level, think of it?  Getting one of their reps to talk about it might be a great scoop.

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1. Does GoPro fit into this?  Remember around NAB time, it seemed like everyone just assumed they'd usher in a new hobbyist cinema camera revolution, but nothing came of it.  Their GoPro Studio software gives them potential "easier to use" conversion workflow for CineForm.  Look at the trouble Dave Dugdale had getting up to speed with raw video on the BMPCC and you'll see why Canon can't "sell" raw video to its hobbyist userbase with the current shitty software landscape.

 

2. Has Canon even acknowledged Magic Lantern exists?  What do they, at a corporate level, think of it?  Getting one of their reps to talk about it might be a great scoop.

 

GH3 is easier to get up to speed with than the BMPCC for the general enthusiast audience. The problem is this audience DOES care about image quality and the GH3 just isn't enough. That's exactly where GoPro should step in. Hope they are working on something. CineForm due an update too.

 

Canon haven't officially said anything about Magic Lantern, despite me prodding them to do so! I guess they have their reasons. Not that I'd agree with them. Software is important!

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1. Does GoPro fit into this?  Remember around NAB time, it seemed like everyone just assumed they'd usher in a new hobbyist cinema camera revolution, but nothing came of it.  Their GoPro Studio software gives them potential "easier to use" conversion workflow for CineForm.  Look at the trouble Dave Dugdale had getting up to speed with raw video on the BMPCC and you'll see why Canon can't "sell" raw video to its hobbyist userbase with the current shitty software landscape.

 

2. Has Canon even acknowledged Magic Lantern exists?  What do they, at a corporate level, think of it?  Getting one of their reps to talk about it might be a great scoop.

That is a good point about software limitations, also hardware with the lack of affordable and up to spec recorders/cards around (it'd be hard to get a good response for suggesting the super expensive Sandisk products, or even the cheap but potentially unreliable Komputerbay cards), and people in general just not having the fast guts in their computers to speak RAW without stuttering. Marketing RAW does seem like a difficult, if not bad decision to even the high end of consumers and enthusiasts. But of course, just make a ProRes shooting camera!! Blackmagic, thankfully, have pushed for that and have very good looking results. And GoPro is still cool and all but what I feel is if there isn't something real special to use it for then it's no more special then any other camera (with a fixed fisheye). All the uber-cool sports and action shots have been made that are hard to top, and looking at similar Contour, and how they just shut their doors and seemingly went out of business... though, it's hard to tell what's going on, maybe they're still alive I dunno.

As for the topic here, cheapo DSLRs have no future because they've been the same circa 2009, right at the HDDSLR video revolution, everyone bought D90s and soon after even more T2is, and what's this? The sensor in the rebels are still the same? Nothing has really improved over the T2i expect a heftier price tag each time? Well no wonder I keep coming across users that are still stuck with that camera, they still use the kit lens and most haven't quite improved in their photo/video taking but even they understand there's no upgrade in that camera class, with higher end cameras being "unjustifiably expensive". And a lot of people have gotten their DSLR they wanted, whether brand new with a deal, or a recent-enough used model. There's no need to upgrade because to most people all DSLRs are just as good, more expensive ones are naturally "better" but only for "professionals", and easy to use lower models serve the purpose of being of good enough quality and also cool enough to let all of your neighbors know you're some pro photog.

Though, lately all I see for lower end digital are Mirrorless ones from Oly or Panny, plenty of Oly DSLRs too, rarely a cheap Canikon DSLR now

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But of course, just make a ProRes shooting camera!! 

 

Totally agree on this point.  RAW is great, but the BMPCC has shown that simply moving to 10-bit makes all 8-bit cameras look like a joke.  For the big players to have not gotten on-board by now is utterly baffling.  Especially since ML has proven the existing hardware is completely capable.  Some codec licensing deals and a few months of firmware dev would pay for itself 50x over.  

 

 

GoPro

 

When we talk about GoPro we're not talking about their existing product line, we're talking about a hypothetical future "cinema hobbiest" line that would, in theory, come with a set of 4 adorable little swappable lenses, offer manual exposure control modes, shoot 10-bit CineForm ProTune Log-Curve at 2.7Kp30 and 720p120, and cost something reasonable (say under $650?)   Maybe even bonus features like mic input and monitor output, depending on cost.

 

Why would GoPro do this?

 

1. Zero legacy baggage.  Canon and Nikon have pressure from multiple directions to not innovate in video.  They have existing professional video products which will be affected, and they have bread-and-butter wedding photographer customers that get angry that their photo cameras are being complicated by video features.

 

2. Unlike those same players they have CineForm.  No messy codec licensing issues to worry about.  

 

3. Most Importantly:  They are a marketing powerhouse, and they seem to have an effective supply chain and retail presence.  They've shown they can make a compelling argument why people need to buy their product, and they can manufacture and distribute it.

 

-EDIT- 4. They've already saturated their own market.  They can keep improving the existing GoPro by making it smaller, but is that going to bring them substantial earnings growth?  Their days of quadrupling revenue in a year are long over unless they come up with something fresh and new.

 

 

Advantages #1 and #2 also apply to BlackMagic, but BlackMagic is straight up terrible at #3.  BlackMagic has Da Vinci Resolve, which is fantastic, but they also need to offer a hobbyist-level workflow like GoPro Studio if they ever intend to sell into that market.

 

 

 

cheapo DSLRs have no future

 

People buy cheapo DSLRs for many reasons, but there's a giant market segment that just want to take better pictures than their cell phones are capable, and don't want to blow $3000 to do it.

 

How many people walking around with the T3i Kit from Costco are actually getting better pictures than their cell phones?  Not many.  Why?  The kit lens is junk and won't give them the low-light capability and holyshit BOKEH they expect from a "better than a cellphone" camera.  

 

So maybe the future of the low-end DSLR is Sigma showing up on the scene with a light mirrorless body offered with a wide-aperture kit lens, and low-noise sensor that's actually worth a shit in low-light and gives people their insane bokeh, and has on-camera shooting modes that make amateurs able to use it effectively (imagine a Canon 'creative mode' that actually works properly).  Then actually backs this product up with marketing savvy to tell people why these features will make them an instagram hero.

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so I guess the era where every mum and dogs have their own DSLR is over?  Most people who bought DSLR rarely brought it out after a few times/months, since it is just too bulky and can't instagram the photos.

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DSLR's still make you look like a pro to a client.

 

That's the perception. This hurts mirrorless and innovation, mainly in the US market. A client doesn't know the difference between a 1000D and a 1D. To the layman they look similar.

 

But the article is not really about the working DSLR world. It's about the consumer DSLR world. Big difference.

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"dead in 5 years" is needlessly hyperbolic.  Multiple times on this forum and in other places I've mentioned the plataeu in the DSLR world.  You package all the requests and gripes people have about DSLRs today and they don't amount to a hill of beans.  All the basic photo functions of DSLRs have been addressed in sub $400 models.  I purchased at refurbished 600D just a few months ago for $350 and if someone asked me what improvements I think it needs I would really have to think long and hard before answering the question.

 

Most people in the Western world with any discipline what so ever that want a DSLR have one already.  And it is a mature product.  There is literally no reason for just about any consumer to "upgrade" the camera they already have.  And that isn't a bad thing.  I've been shooting with the same medium format film camera for years.  My dad uses his stills camera from way back in the 70s.  That is not unusual for analog cameras.  This idea that something is "dead" because millions of lemmings aren't going out and running up their credit cards at Christmas each year to purchase a new one is and artifact of the digital world.  But the digital world is going to have to understand it matures just like the analog world.

 

Even iphones aren't anything special anymore.  The fever has broken and people are realizing they can get cheaper more functional devices with andriod or windows phone installed.  Apple's stock is going to crash.  Maybe not in a year or five years but we all know smartphones are heading to commodity land.  If you are planning on retiring 15 years from now with the Apple stock in your 401K you may be in for a rude awakening.  Will smartphones be "dead" at that time?  No.  We just won't have a ridiculous media frenzy with each lukewarm Apple phone/iOS update.

 

By the way the video world is in a very different place in the product cycle.  There is still tons of space to innovate and reduce cost.  When we are seeing 1080p, 60 fps, no moire/aliasing, 10 bit codec, global shutter, at least APS-C sensor size, and zebras/focus peaking/etc in something that costs less than $500 then I will declare that we are approaching the commoditization phase of the video world.  And that won't be a bad thing.

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Drop in sales could be attributed to lack of real tehnological advance, in photography world you can't tell the difference bettwen a d700 and a d800, or a 5d mark 2 and a 5d mark 3 on a print, wedding albums and stuff like that.

Same thing with crop sensors, canon is squezzing the same sensor tehnology for so long ( except 70d ) that there is no point getting a "new" renamed DSLR.

Canon won't die but Nikon might because of the old lens design, what will they do with that stupid aperture lever when mirrorless cameras are getting unconformable good, how to make the switch with those lenses.

I am not surprised canon is stepping up so much in video area, stills is so done, you can shoot with a mark3 5 years from now and not feel the need for an upgrade, in Nikon camp people with d3s can end their photography career with that body.

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I think the most vulnerable company is Nikon, with the decline of compacts Nikon have nothing else to rely on, what else does Nikon make? Spotting scopes and binoculars?  

Also rifle scopes and rangefinders. I worked at a Cashier at both Cabelas and Bass Pro (my dreaded day jobs when I was pursuing photography) and Nikon was one of the best selling brands in optics at both stores. 

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so I guess the era where every mum and dogs have their own DSLR is over?  Most people who bought DSLR rarely brought it out after a few times/months, since it is just too bulky and can't instagram the photos.

 

Yep that era is over.

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so I guess the era where every mum and dogs have their own DSLR is over?

 

No.  I sold my old DSLR to a mom a few months ago.  All that was presented was new camera sales.  They didn't show all the sales from ebay and craigslist.  You can't keep pumping new cameras into the the unverse at the same pace.  You reach a saturation point.  And it's not like the old cameras just disappear into the ether.  They are still kicking around in the secondary market and finding new life.  The same as film cameras.  I've purchased no less than 4 film cameras in the last five years.  Those sales numbers don't show up in any industry reports.  If you tried to predict film sales based on new film camera sales you would be very confused.

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I dont think point and shoots are dead. the digital variety are just not fun to use and are a real pain. I'd love a digital one of these to carry around in my pocket, full frame and all. Olympus%20XA2-2.jpg

 

the sony rx is a step in the right direction. in 10 years they'll be a hundred quid :-) as far as consumer dslrs are concerned, yep theyre fucked lol. The new sony mirrorless offerings show where that's going. Sony really need to get their lenses sorted out, that's really nikon/canon's only real advantage these days. Dslrs will go they way of the rangefinder and tlr.

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