Boats at Sunset

The End of DSLR Era?

Technology presumes there’s just one right way to do things and there never is. – Robert M. Pirsig

Will DSLRs become obsolete soon? They have been around for many years and we all love them. The perfect combination between a single-lens reflex camera (SLR) and digital technology. A photographer’s dream come true. No film to change, see the picture right away and, if you don’t like it, delete it and forget it. Yes, bulky and heavy but definitely worth carrying the extra weight.

There is no question that DSLRs have been facing some competition from point and shoot cameras. New and updated models come out every couple of months. How about camera phones and smart phones? Even tablets have decent cameras – although it’s very strange seeing people taking photos with an iPad.

Sometimes I think that the best camera is the one you have on you. I took the photo in this post with my iPhone because it was the only camera I had with me when I saw this shot. But it’s true that a smaller camera I would probably bring with me more often. In fact, I wish I had one this past spring as I was lugging my 5D Mark II through Italy.

The competition is about to get even stronger. You may have heard of the new Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras (MILC). These little cameras really mean business. Not only are they equipped with great sensors, but they also allow interchangeable lenses. Canon EOS M for example offers an 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and an ISO up to 12800, expandable to 25600. Much lighter and smaller than any DSLR, it also allows you to use your Canon lenses (Mount Adapter required). Most of the benefits of a DSLR in a smaller, more compact size. It sounds pretty irresistible doesn’t it?

Here is my opinion – I haven’t touched the EOS M yet, but I see at least one major drawback: no TTL (through the lens) view finder. I really like to see what I am taking and looking at the LCD display just doesn’t cut it for me. It does look very tempting since I would be able to use my current Canon lenses. Would I consider buying one? I am not sure. I do believe that these cameras would make a good back-up option, but will they totally replace the DSLRs? Probably not. Or at least not yet. It is very interesting to see how they will evolve and what kind of market they will attract. Certainly not professional photographers; but how about photo hobbyists who currently use an entry level DSLR? We can only guess for now and let time tell.

Would you trade in your DSLR for a mirrorless camera? How do you think they will impact the DSLR market?

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