It goes along some of Thom Hogan's points of view that the commercial future is probably brighter for smaller cameras than it is for larger ones. Innovation is in miniaturization... (I hope I'm not misinterpreting him).
When I look at the evolution of DX and FX cameras, I think that DX may still have a bright future for cost and quality in spite of all the hoopla regarding FX.
I'm tempted by FX, but renewing my lens setup would be expensive, and would add a lot of weight...Would quality improve for prints up to 13x19 (I have an Epson R2880) for that amount of money ? I doubt... So, my mind isn't made yet but I should probably remain with a DX camera if I'm reasonable (and I'll probably go to FX if I'm more emotional)...
I dont think it means anything. It only has one good point. Bigger sensors produce better pictures. Did you ever see the sensor on a little digi cam or even look at the lens on you cell phone camera. One step from being a pin hole camera.
Look at the chart on this page. The point and shoot camera has a sensor about the size of a pencil eraser. You're telling me that there's a reason why a sensor 20 times the size doesn't take better photos. And some how my little fuji is 10 megapixels compared to the d300s.
If you want a camera that's going to smoke the competition pick up one of those medium format DSLRs with 22 to 30 megapixels and display the images along side 4x6 prints from a FX, Dx and P&S of the same subject and compare. But then again that market isn't practical either for the every day person.
My end conclusion is you cant really look at buying characteristics for photography from a photographers stand point. Every one wants a camera that they can take to the bar. I'm not taking any of my DSLRs to the bar unless i'm getting paid good money.
It also brings up a personal question Would you pay someone the going rate to shoot your wedding, birthday party or special occasion with a P&S camera. I see a lot of flops out there because nikon and canon have been making it to easy for them to get better photos. Every once in a while I talk to them. They don't know anything about the camera. I even had one freak out when I changed lenses in front of them while shooting a bridal show. His jaw dropped followed by the words "you mean the lens can come off"
Leave the P&S for whoever needs them and the Dslrs for the others.
In my opinion I just bought 18 P&S cameras for the price of my D300s.
Wed 28-Oct-09 08:45 PM | edited Thu 29-Oct-09 11:42 AM by ScottChapin
I think for the amateur, that is probably very true, but for the serious and pros it is quatch! That's like saying astronomers want 2" tubes. The lens is so important, and rinky dink lenses will never satiate the serious photographer.
Besides, when I bought my F100 and payed a good buck for it, I never thought SLRs were arcane.
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
The IQ produced by P & S cameras is getting better all the time, however the IQ produced by DSLR's is also increasing at the same rate. Therefore DSLR's will always have an advantage over a P & S camera. For the multitude that prefer convienience over ultimate quality the argument holds true. For those seeking the ultimate in IQ the DSLR's will always winn hands down. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I think it's dead on for the average user. I think we'll see a rapid adoption of the tweener cameras. Those that fit between the low end DSLR and upper end P&S like the EP-1. Small enough to not be a burden and big enough to allow for some lens flexibility and better sensors. I tell ya, in a few years I may be heading in that direction. I'm a pure hobbyist and photography is an expensive hobby. I may be tempted in the future to downgrade to a smaller system with interchangeable lenses -- if they get the system right.
As an amateur hobbyist shooting DX cameras, I'm more interested in micro four-thirds than going FX. Part of it is the portability. Smaller cameras are easier to carry around. Part of it also is that smaller cameras don't draw as much attention. I do feel a bit conspicuous sometimes carrying around my big camera... and how many threads have we read where DSLR shooters are told "no photos allowed" (I even started one or two), when point-and-shoots seem perfectly acceptable?
The article seems right to me, and if it is, people migrating to smaller cameras will lower the demand for DSLRs, which might mean less innovation and higher unit costs, which will then further erode the demand for DSLRs.
Pour moi... for me, the DSLR will only die when a P&S can shoot 8 or 9 frames per second and produce low noise, high quality prints that my D700 now produces. But I don't expect that to happen any time soon...
If we're talking demise, I think we have to talk when - and even then I'm not sure.
I think people will continue to buy the camera that does the job for them. If a DSLR does the job but is too large, then when a smaller rig comes out that comes close to DSLR quality at a smaller size some people will make a switch or no-switch choice.
I'd love to have a smaller camera to tote around. To that end, I've just purchased a D2Hs to carry instead of my D200. Not smaller, but a much better AF system, brighter VF, better low-light resolution, better frames per second, much better ergonomics, like the smaller file-size for what the use I have; just a better camera for me - but not smaller.
I have another smaller camera, a Leica M6. It meets some other needs/desires, but as good as it is, it's a niche camera and for general shooting I'd rather have a FM2n and a battery of Nikkors (to keep oranges, oranges).
Niches will continue to be filled but for versatility the DSLR will still reign for a while. Should we continue to get advances in electronic view finder technology, the DSLR could start looking more like a P&S so the change to a blending may come from another direction rather than a P&S percolating up.
Roger It is still ISO, aperture and shutter speed, right? "Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment."
Did you guys read the whole article? I think the basic premise is correct. Never underestimate technology.
The article doesn't say that removable lenses and large sensors are going away, it says the DSLR is going away. "Digital, Single Lens Rflex" It probably will. the word Rflex is the key. Basically a fairly old, mechanical means of viewing the scene you are about to photograph through the same lens used to make the image.
I used to have a Sony Mavica camera. Yeah, the pictures were pretty much garbage but it had a 14X optical zoom and the equivalent of "Live View" through an eyepiece viewfinder or the LCD screen. No mechanical shutter, flip-flopping mirror or heavy prism.
So if you take your D300, D700 or D3, remove the shutter mechanism, prism and mirror then direct a live view image into a tiny screen... just like video cameras do... you suddenly reduced the size and weight of the camera while retaining all of it's other features.
Maybe this is not exactly what will happen. The guys much smarter than me generally surprise me with something much better than I expected, but this is the general direction that technology is headed. And this is what the author is talking about.
Image technology was fairly stagnant from the 1800's through the late 1900's. For almost 200 years, the only way to take a picture was by exposing chemicals on a substrate and processing the substrate through more chemicals.
Yes there were advances in the chemical processes and in the mechanical means for exposing the image, but the changes took almost 200 years to mature.
How far has digital photography come in just about 20 years? Many of you older guys complained about going from film to digital and there are still a few holdouts who still think film is superior to digital.
One of the often discussed problems with DSLR cameras in these forums (for every model) is how long should my shutter last? If you get rid of the mechanical aspects of the shutter, the answer becomes moot. Another problem sometimes discus is shutter noise at events like weddings... how about the only sound you hear is the barely perceptible whirrr of the focusing motor? Nice huh?
Get used to the idea that technology will replace the DSLR, and whatever replaces it will be better than what we have now.
I look forward with excitement to the death of the DSLR!
I think, in my way of thinking, is whether it is eminent vs sometime off in the distant future. I cannot even see a live view screen in daylight. I need an optical viewfinder. That will most certainly change, but it's like discussing when the D400 will arrive.
I think his statement (in essence) that film SLRs died, soured it for me. They didn't, although the demise of film.......let's not go there..LOL.
Personally, I like the viewfinder more than live view, but I DO use live view. Perhaps a viewfinder which sees an electronic image will be cool for me. But then, will another LCD screen be as cost efficient as a pentaprism?
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
>Personally, I like the viewfinder more than live view, but I >DO use live view. Perhaps a viewfinder which sees an >electronic image will be cool for me. But then, will another >LCD screen be as cost efficient as a pentaprism?
Probably not right away, the issues I see are the fine focusing that I use doing manual focus shots. I like my current mirror/prism/focusing screen. But technology is advancing at lightning speed and when they get that figured out, we will see some amazing changes in the mechanical part of making professional images.
Human beings don't like change until it is thrust upon us. After all, whoever heard of putting a camera in a telephone? Who's silly idea was that? Now who can live without one?
8 x 10 film view cameras are still being manufactured, sold, and used. The value of the image is in the art of properly capturing the moment and that skill still is not in the camera. This covers dynamic range, Depth of Field, and composition.
Do you really think a P&S will capture an image that can fill the side of a building or bill broad?
You said "will capture" implying some point in the future. Already there are enough pixels to do large prints in P&S cameras. And I think there is no reason why a P&S can't take a good picture. When we look towards the future who knows? That's why I said absolutely.
I think that way too much significance is being attached to the type of camera being used. Who cares if the DSLR dies as long as it is replaced by a better type of camera?
A pro will always buy whatever camera provides the best combination of utility and image quality to meet his specific needs.
I personally don't care if my camera looks like a typical DSLR or a p&s, or a Leggo creation on steroids. It just has to feel good in my hands, and capture the highest quality images in the industry. Maybe my pro wedding camera of the future will be a p&s. I doubt it for tons of reasons, but I also don't care. To me, my camera is a precision tool to make a living, that can also provide enjoyment when I am not working.
I also agree on the opinion that the mechanical parts will be replaced by having an electronic viewfinder and electronic shutter. An electronic viewfinder allows for e.g. display of focus point at any position of the frame and not fixed to distinct points. Also there will be the possibility of displaying more info like actual DoF etc - I'm thinking of the head up display in modern aircraft. The electronic shutter may also raise the flash synch time which is a limiting factor today. I suspect that Nikon will soon come out with a compact body with DX sensor and electronic viewfinder and shutter. We would still be able to use our valuable lenses.
Digital viewfinders have been in use on pro video broadcast cameras such the Sony Betacam for several years. Television cameras in TV studios, mobile trucks, live events and so on also use either CRT or LCD viewfinders, 4 inches wide or more.
That said, and having used these cams, the screens are bright and sometimes hard to focus. They don't have the abaility to check depth of field like I have on my film and digital SLR's right now. And of course all this uses more power too!
Sure it will eliminate some of the mechanical elements like the mirror and prism, but honestly, I would prefer to look through real glass like I currently do, than view a bright, low res viewfinder.
I think alot of the success, or lack of, in any new technology, will be acceptance, or rejection by the potential users. I'm somewhat showing my age here, but for those of us old enough to remember, what about the Edsel? a remarkable automobile for its time and far advanced for the era it was produced in. public opinion made it a very limited success. Something way outside the realm of what society accepts as the norm will be slowly accepted until real advantages are proven at reasonable costs. After all, how many VCR's are still in use? (and i STILL cant program mine)
____________________________________________________________________ When no one is looking, Pigs can walk on they're hind legs
I think this really is a gross over-simplification of the state of the technology and the application of the hardware. Point and shoot cameras are great for snapshots to record events (well, most of the time anyway).
Do they have application beyond that...sure. But, if you want to get high quality, consistent results - even under less than ideal conditions - you need quality tools. Just like one would expect to see with any other trade.
If "they" could package a sharp 24-500mm VR f/1.4 zoom with 1:1 macro capability and good bokeh, color and contrast in a 1" diameter, 3oz package and attach it to a 2"x5"x 1/2" thick camera with the features of a D700, I'd go buy two tomorrow and will happily tote all the rest of my stuff off to the Good Will.
Sadly, I doubt that will happen as "they" (whoever 'they' is) haven't even invented a single camera bag that does everything I need
And, while were on the value of "oneness", what about all that different software that we're stuck with!
>And, while were on the value of "oneness", what >about all that different software that we're stuck with!
You weren't paying close attention to the article. The author wrote of new compact cameras with interchangeable lenses already on the market.
And as for all of your software that you are stuck with, well, "they" don't care. If "they" can come up with a product that the average professional just has to have, well can't "they" just make all that more money? That is actually what "they" are in business for.
On the other hand, if they build the camera first, that still uses all of our glass, they can slowly phase out lenses like the older 80-200 to the newer 70-200VR and then the 70-200VR2.
Whatever "they" come up with, if it's better, you'll buy it eventually and so will all the rest of us.
I see that this article creates interesting replies!
I agree with this point: when something better comes out, we buy it.
I can make a nice parallel with technologies used in geomatics engineering.
1- the famous optical-mechanical stereoplotters (to make topographic maps from aerial photographs) which were slowly replaced by digital-mechanical stereoplotters and then by fully digital stereoplotters costing 10 times less and taking 25 times less space and weight. This happened over a 25 years period and today's big players are not the ones of 25 years ago. Nobody uses the old systems anymore except in museums
2- It is the same for very precise calibrated aerial photographs which are all digital nowadays.
3- It is the same for the whole cartographic process.
4- It is the same for a lot of land surveying (most of it being replaced by 3D laser scanner).
5- Remote sensing started to exist thanks to digital sensors. We now make high-resolution maps with these satellite or airborn sensors.
And it goes on and on in this field.
Mechanical technology tends to be replaced by digital technology.
Digital technology brings new capabilities.
There is no reason why this trend would not make inroads in the DSLR world... leading to smaller, lighter, quieter cameras. We'll still need optical lenses though, but their very nature can also change (ex. digitally-controlled liquid-based lenses).
In my humble opinion, the P&S will never usurp the DSLR. Why? 1) "it's all about the glass man" I think it will be quite some time before you can get the aperture/zoom availability from DSLR to P&S. I can just see some guy at a wedding with his 4" x 3" x 2" P&S and a 70-200 f/2.8 on it...
2) sensor size. Until someone comes up with a "magic bullet" sensor a couple cm in diameter that is 30 M-pixels with uber-light gathering, same deal...
They of course have their markets (P&S), but I only see erosion of the lower end of the DSLR market... It would probably eliminate a lot of the folks going to DSLR for some basic stuff (ie- how soon will all P&S take a picture when you push the button, without the 1/2 sec. wait?).
Just my 2 cents.
Dan, Peoria, Az D300, SB900 Nikkor AF 50mm 1.4D Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G AFS IF-ED VR AF VR-Nikkor 80-400 f4.5-5.6D Nikkor AF-S 18-55 f3.5-5.6G VR Sigma 24-70 f2.8 EXDG Stroboframe bracket #350 Nikon SC-28 sync cord
>In my humble opinion, the P&S will never usurp the DSLR. >Why? >1) "it's all about the glass man"
There is a lot of research currently taking place on liquid crystal lenses that are tuned with electrical charge. Some researches think these will eventually replace glass lenses with far more precision than was ever thought possible.
True, but that just speaks to specialization. I think in the <100mm realm of things the miniaturization process will continue at a faster clip. Then at some point people will think of DSLRs like people think of large format cameras today: big and unwieldy.
I might like something like a 2nd generation EP-1 (with better AF) as a compact alternative.
Nikon has filed a number of patents this year for a 2.5-crop camera and lens system. That sounds interesting too.
As sensor technology improves, smaller sensors are attractive from a size/weight/cost perspective.
Lets say DX in two generations can deliver the results of today's D3S. That would mean a bright future for DX remains.
Anyhow, for the next several years I plan to shoot FX for wide-angle and all-around and DX for telephoto. I haven't bought a serious compact yet, but I plan to when quality improves. Maybe an EP-2 or a Nikon 2.5-crop.
Gosh I hope we don't have to tank our lens kits, I just spent the last three+ years building it up! Maybe we'll still be able to use our current lenses on these mirrorless wonders.
>When I look at the evolution of DX and FX cameras, I think >that DX may still have a bright future for cost and quality in >spite of all the hoopla regarding FX.
I haven't read the article, but there is no doubt in my mind that DX and smaller is going to rule. During the Civil War cameras were built on flat bed rail cars, the operators needed ladders to operate them. Since then we have seen 10 x 8's, 4 x 5's, speed graphics, 2 1/4's. When 35 mm was introduced they were considered a P&S not worthy of serious consideration for a PRO. History has shown that as soon as smaller, and less expensive has become "good enough" that became the new standard. As technology marches forward there will come a time when a small sensor similar to those used in the present day P&S will produce as good an image as the D3, or D3X of today. It may not be during my lifetime, but the day will come. For those old enough remember the TI-99, and Commodore 64? How far we have come in just 25 years. Digital imaging for the masses has only been around for a few years, imagine the advances that will be taking place during the next 20 years.
Remember it? I worked on the design of the original TI-9900 microprocessor, and from 1975 - 1983 I designed several of the boards that went in the 99/4A! One was a Magnetic Bubble Memory board that had 92 thousand bits of nonvolatile storage! That board was the predecessor to the TI CCD technology which was later used in digital cameras and has only recently been displaced in favor of CMOS sensors.
(sorry for hijacking the thread - I couldn't resist)
M 2 cents. For the Average family photographer the P&S cameras are awesome you get great shots since the technology is great. But Like it has been said you lose lens options. you also lose alot of manual control etc. The industry will lose some of the high end consumers to the hi tech P&S market. But they are not as cool as a D3 with a 300 2.8
There's 30 something responses here and I don't have the time to read them all so if I'm repeating some one, please forgive me. Here's my two cents for what it's worth.
I can't see myself ever going to a p&s sized and style camera for shots that I need to care about. Yes, I've taken some neat stuff, framable from a camera phone....but I don't care how good the results are, if I shoot 1000 shots on a ps type camera and 1000 on my D300, I'm going to like my D300 stuff better. Why?
I like looking through the view finder and having something in my hands that feel like something. I don't know that I could ever get the feeling of well you know..... how did that guy who wrote the book describe it....I think it was "the moment it clicks..." I always know when I've captured a good shot with a DSLR, I don't with a ps. I feel it in my bones when the vr locks and the shutter is pressed, even if there is no vr, you just know it. You know the focus was perfect, you know the action was captured.
Now on FX, I may move, it's just that then I've got to buy a 400 2.8 and well you know what that costs.....
I'll stay DX, the cost to upgrad lens is not worth the improvement in noise. New DX cameras will be introduced with improved noise performance.
I'd have to purchase a 300 2.8 to equal my 80-200. One the wide end, my Tokina 11-16 is wide enough for me. I think there will continue to be amazing improvements in noise processng not only in FX but DX.
Change isn't linear. It doesn't happen in a straight line, so I don't believe that if DSLRs would go away they would go away for a smaller camera that basically does the same things. And are we talking about the death of something or the emergence of something else, which I believe to be far more significant.
For those who "take" photographs, P&S cameras will be in their pockets and in their phones. For those who "make" photographs, the tool will be a little different. Most of photography is still taking a photo of Anut Louise who you haven't seen since you left the farm, or, in my case, pictures of Grandchildren. I don't see a P&S that mounts my 70-200mm to be that big an advantage over what I shoot now if the concern is convenience and portability. It may be more stealthy which is a concern, but as long as that big, honking lens it there, even that will be a problem.
What I believe far more likely that the disappearance of the DSLR is the merging of the video and still cameras to a level beyond what anyone has spoken of.
Did I mention that the older I get, the less I like change?
A fascinating discussion. Does it really matter? Going digital was a huge change for me since I am what I prefer to call "challenged" when it comes to computers. Capturing an image hasn't changed except for the amount of information available to help us learn. The hardest part for me has been developing the images on my computer. Just having the possibilities inherent in the computer is astounding compared to sending away your Kodachrome 25 and waiting 2 weeks to get back.
Everytime my granddaughter comes over to the house she wants to see pictures. I am so glad not to have to set up the projector and screen etc.
Embrace change and accept that everything will eventually be obsolete. Geez my D300 has been discontinued.....
Agree with you, this is a fascinating discussion ! I'm happy to see it generated so much points of view.
I just read an article about mirror-less optical viewers using semi-transparent film sending half of the light to the viewer and half to the sensor... Result = lighter, noiseless, vibration-less DSLR, but still a DSLR.