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11-29-2022, 03:36 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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what's old may become new again

It doesn't seem all that many years ago when DSLRs were considered the top of the heap and mirrorless was a less relevant format. Nothing really wrong with it but the DSLR format was often considered superior. Not only that, the variety in brands and options available were so much greater for DSLR product. Possibly this changed due to new technology introduced to camera equipment or possibly it was due to a commercial need. Or, maybe it was a combination of the two.

Today, the majority of manufacturers of camera equipment seem to be firmly on the mirrorless bandwagon. I wonder if commercial realities have anything to do with this. In order to sell new product, you need to have new product. As the DSLR market has been a mature market for several years now and the sales figures for camera manufacturers have taken a nose dive in the recent past due in no small part to the enhanced quality of the cameras in cell phones, it is understandable that manufacturers thought that something new had to be introduced to jump start camera sales. Ergo: mirrorless. These have been a niche product category for years but now this format has the commercial advantage of not only making a new variety of camera readily available and commercially competitive, but you also get all the new mirrorless lens business to accessorize these cameras. It might not be surprising to see a switch back to DSLRs in about 5 to 10 years time, again to create a new product and therefore sell more product.

Turntables and LP records were considered an outdated and obsolete product 10 - 15 years ago but look at how that format has come back onto the marketplace. What was once old is new again.

As a dedicated Pentaxian, I just hope that Ricoh can keep Pentax equipment relevant as a niche product until the pendulum swings back again and DSLR comes back into vogue. Times are tough for all camera manufacturers now, regardless of which format they support. Let's hope that evolution will occur such that this product continues to evolve and succeed. Time will tell.

11-29-2022, 04:28 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yoda boy Quote
I wonder if commercial realities have anything to do with this. In order to sell new product, you need to have new product
I am sure you are right.

There is also the point that a mirrorless camera has less components that a DSLR (no prism; no mirror; no focus screen; no PDAF), yet because it is new tech, sells for a higher price. if I ran a large camera manufacturer I would have gone down the same route.
11-29-2022, 04:56 PM - 3 Likes   #3
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No going back to DSLR - at least not as a mainstream photography device. Video is a massive driver of camera sales and innovation, and DSLRs simply cannot match MILC in that department, in addition to things like size/weight and so-called computational photography.. The next step will be beyond mirrorless, maybe even beyond what we currently consider a "camera".

That said, I do think there will, for a long time, be a niche where photographers want to be able to view their subject in reality - not a digital representation. And that means DSLRs, and Pentax is now situated to be the DSLR company.

BTW, most high-performance MILCs do, in fact, have PDAF, used in conjunction with CDAF.
11-29-2022, 05:42 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yoda boy Quote
As a dedicated Pentaxian, I just hope that Ricoh can keep Pentax equipment relevant as a niche product until the pendulum swings back again and DSLR comes back into vogue. Times are tough for all camera manufacturers now, regardless of which format they support. Let's hope that evolution will occur such that this product continues to evolve and succeed. Time will tell.
Who knows what the future will bring but I think Pentax has made a canny decision. Because it hasn't buried itself in the tech required to go mirrorless and include the compromise of video it is free to advance itself in ways we can only imagine. A nice smattering of contemporary lenses. Further advances in "catch in focus" like tracking or at least catching something that is not spot centre). How about a shorter registration front with add on adapters for PK, M42, old Nikon and Canon with built in (the adapters) functionality for those old and foreign lenses.
But human nature is a fickle thing and when you look at history and notice how people leapt enthusiastically into the horrid instamatics and even more horrid 110s , forked out fortunes for 1/2 megapickle digital and currently live in that cozy paradise that their phone cameras are the end all of photography evolution and then you realise that rational thought can not forecast the road ahead.

11-29-2022, 05:45 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Video is a massive driver of camera sales and innovation, and DSLRs simply cannot match MILC in that department, in addition to things like size/weight and so-called computational photography.
These are the primary factors, in addition to less moving parts and less cost to manufacture. So most people interested in getting into possibilities offered by photography beyond the capabilities of their phones, will turn to mirrorless for the above reasons. The Pentax KP has been the best example of a full-featured DSLR designed appropriately to go up against high-level APS-C mirrorless offerings, and with better controls and useful features. But its video capabilities, along with so few lenses available for this usage, have been a drawback. The hope has been that these video shortcomings, along with LV AF performance, would be fixed in a KP II, and also the appearance of a DA HD 18-50mm WR RE PLM lens.

---------- Post added 11-29-22 at 05:46 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
That said, I do think there will, for a long time, be a niche where photographers want to be able to view their subject in reality - not a digital representation. And that means DSLRs, and Pentax is now situated to be the DSLR company.
Agreed. And some people do not like prolonged viewing of electronic screens.

---------- Post added 11-29-22 at 06:07 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
But human nature is a fickle thing and when you look at history and notice how people leapt enthusiastically into the horrid instamatics and even more horrid 110s , forked out fortunes for 1/2 megapickle digital and currently live in that cozy paradise that their phone cameras are the end all of photography evolution and then you realise that rational thought can not forecast the road ahead.
Ha Ha! Yeah, I remember seeing all that taking place and thinking the obvious- Is the convenience factor that meaningful, and with the obviously sub-standard quality of the new digital that much of a draw for not needing to bother with film such a big draw? Why, the ridiculous prices for this new, inferior digital gear would pay for an enormous amount of film + processing for years to come! it was a long time before I got my first 6mp Pentax DSLR, which still to me was just acceptable. It was not until the K200D, where I finally put 35mm film shooting on the back burner (but not yet gone), after a long enough period where I could get a new one at a good price.

Last edited by mikesbike; 11-29-2022 at 06:09 PM.
11-29-2022, 06:25 PM - 5 Likes   #6
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I rather like one of the original terms for mirrorless: EVIL (electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lenses).
11-30-2022, 01:59 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Old that has become new again? Leica M6! Launched in 1984 - and now again in 2022!

11-30-2022, 02:04 AM   #8
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I do not think that the DSLR will survive. The success of the camera without any VF will take care of that. That is the reason the phone manufacturers are improving the camera abilities of it and they call in the help from companies such as Leica. The technical improvements of camera's with phone abilities will be bigger and bigger. Most people want easy and light camera's. The DSLR, bridge camera's or the camera's with EVF are all too big, too heavy and do not fit in a pocket of your suit or jacket. Portability is the credo. Charles Dickens novel "Great Expectations" advised the readers and people in general to have portable properties. And that is the way to go with the camera. No heavy equipment, but a camera that fits in the pocket of something you wear or perhaps in a small (lady's) bag.
11-30-2022, 02:35 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
I do not think that the DSLR will survive. The success of the camera without any VF will take care of that. That is the reason the phone manufacturers are improving the camera abilities of it and they call in the help from companies such as Leica. The technical improvements of camera's with phone abilities will be bigger and bigger. Most people want easy and light camera's. The DSLR, bridge camera's or the camera's with EVF are all too big, too heavy and do not fit in a pocket of your suit or jacket. Portability is the credo. Charles Dickens novel "Great Expectations" advised the readers and people in general to have portable properties. And that is the way to go with the camera. No heavy equipment, but a camera that fits in the pocket of something you wear or perhaps in a small (lady's) bag.
Not so sure
Stepdaughter now heading for 30 -- after a life of small communications -phone, laptop - is now lining up for a desktop because of the interface.
Grandson about 12 eschews phones, tablets etc in favour of the superior interface of his desktop. (End result heads outside to interact with real things in the world).
May not be the majority of people thinking like this but then comprehensive cameras have always been a niche market.
11-30-2022, 02:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Not so sure
Stepdaughter now heading for 30 -- after a life of small communications -phone, laptop - is now lining up for a desktop because of the interface.
Grandson about 12 eschews phones, tablets etc in favour of the superior interface of his desktop. (End result heads outside to interact with real things in the world).
May not be the majority of people thinking like this but then comprehensive cameras have always been a niche market.
Doesn't a laptop with an external mouse have the same interface as a desktop?

11-30-2022, 02:52 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by slartibartfast01 Quote
Doesn't a laptop with an external mouse have the same interface as a desktop?
Yep gave her one years ago but she knew best
11-30-2022, 03:19 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yoda boy Quote
Turntables and LP records were considered an outdated and obsolete product 10 - 15 years ago but look at how that format has come back onto the marketplace. What was once old is new again.
As a dedicated Pentaxian, I just hope that Ricoh can keep Pentax equipment relevant as a niche product until the pendulum swings back again and DSLR comes back into vogue. Times are tough for all camera manufacturers now, regardless of which format they support. Let's hope that evolution will occur such that this product continues to evolve and succeed. Time will tell.
It's all a fashionista thing!
You need to compare like with like.
Turntables and LPs are very visual, people recognise the machinery as something "retro" and may well appreciate the artwork on a 12" sleeve it also all looks very "cool" when set in an appropriately decorated environment
Very few people, except for those like us "in the know", would recognise the difference between a Pentax KX and a Pentax K-x, or indeed, a Fujifilm X-T4
11-30-2022, 03:47 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
No going back to DSLR - at least not as a mainstream photography device. Video is a massive driver of camera sales and innovation, and DSLRs simply cannot match MILC in that department, in addition to things like size/weight and so-called computational photography.. The next step will be beyond mirrorless, maybe even beyond what we currently consider a "camera".

That said, I do think there will, for a long time, be a niche where photographers want to be able to view their subject in reality - not a digital representation. And that means DSLRs, and Pentax is now situated to be the DSLR company.

BTW, most high-performance MILCs do, in fact, have PDAF, used in conjunction with CDAF.
The problem is that video isn't a massive driver of camera sales. If you look at overall camera sales, they are down 30 percent from 2017. The reality is that MILCs form factor is not ideal for dedicated video. It is true that if you want a few clips, you can work with it, but if video is your main goal, then I am not certain that you are going after an A9 or Z7 or whatever the hot MILC is.

The problem is really that digital photography has matured as a market. People aren't turning over cameras and buying new ones the way they used to and many people have shifted to phones -- both for snap shots and video. Canon and Nikon had a brief improvement in sales through switching their lens mounts and letting their users know that the old mounts were not going to be supported long term. It has probably helped Canon more than Nikon.

Pentax has always been niche and they will probably always be niche. Somehow they have out lasted all of the others in their niche area and if they can figure out how to properly advertise the differences between their SLRs and MILCs and get people to see that functionally the still images are the same, but in use, the SLRs can be more enjoyable than maybe they will continue to sell enough cameras to be viable.

I wouldn't make any predictions. I expect the overall market to continue to contract and it seems likely that not everyone currently making ILCs will still be making them in five years. Panasonic has already telegraphed that they aren't going to continue working hard on still photography cameras, but focus on video. Canon and Sony seem the best off and Nikon is stuck, since that this their main business. Fuji seems to make more money off of instant film than digital photography. Anyway, most of the people making predictions are wrong, but it will take time to get to the future and find out how wrong we all are.
11-30-2022, 04:32 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yoda boy Quote
It doesn't seem all that many years ago when DSLRs were considered the top of the heap and mirrorless was a less relevant format. Nothing really wrong with it but the DSLR format was often considered superior. Not only that, the variety in brands and options available were so much greater for DSLR product. Possibly this changed due to new technology introduced to camera equipment or possibly it was due to a commercial need. Or, maybe it was a combination of the two.

Today, the majority of manufacturers of camera equipment seem to be firmly on the mirrorless bandwagon. I wonder if commercial realities have anything to do with this. In order to sell new product, you need to have new product. As the DSLR market has been a mature market for several years now and the sales figures for camera manufacturers have taken a nose dive in the recent past due in no small part to the enhanced quality of the cameras in cell phones, it is understandable that manufacturers thought that something new had to be introduced to jump start camera sales. Ergo: mirrorless. These have been a niche product category for years but now this format has the commercial advantage of not only making a new variety of camera readily available and commercially competitive, but you also get all the new mirrorless lens business to accessorize these cameras. It might not be surprising to see a switch back to DSLRs in about 5 to 10 years time, again to create a new product and therefore sell more product.

Turntables and LP records were considered an outdated and obsolete product 10 - 15 years ago but look at how that format has come back onto the marketplace. What was once old is new again.
LP sales have increased, but more importantly CD sales have declined a lot since back in the days. Today it is streaming that is the dominating format for music. Only around 20% of the music sales are physical media nowadays, but the total sales are still about the same as it was 20 years ago when CD was the dominating format.

The trend of physical media vs streaming for music has a lot in common with cameras vs smartphone sales.
As usual it is the most convenient format that get most popular and increase the most.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/04/music-sales-record-streaming-surge/
QuoteQuote:

As a dedicated Pentaxian, I just hope that Ricoh can keep Pentax equipment relevant as a niche product until the pendulum swings back again and DSLR comes back into vogue. Times are tough for all camera manufacturers now, regardless of which format they support. Let's hope that evolution will occur such that this product continues to evolve and succeed. Time will tell.

Last edited by Fogel70; 11-30-2022 at 04:45 AM.
11-30-2022, 06:04 AM   #15
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Both my young friends into photography (only one is a Pentaxian) value proper viewfinders way above small and light. They of course use smartphones as well. They don't see a need for anything intermediate between their phones and an SLR.
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