Why You Should Care That DSLRs Are Dying

Why You Should Care That DSLRs Are Dying

I am not a big tech fan; I don’t overly get involved in tech reviews, but the death of the DSLR is something that does concern me, and here is why you should be worried to.

If you have read any of my previous articles or watched my YouTube videos, you will know that I am not a big gear head. I have used the same camera for a decade before finally upgrading my kit. Dual card slots, 100 AF points, and the highest-resolution sensors do not really concern me when it comes to professional photography. Yes, I need my camera to perform certain tasks, but most of what comes out of these companies is marketing hype and designed to make consumers' lives easier, rather than offering any real improvements to professional image quality. I get that camera companies need to offer improvements in order to sell cameras, but for a long time, there haven't been any improvements that have caught my eye as a non-techy person. However, mirrorless has completely changed this for me.

My camera lives on a studio stand nowadays, and I don’t recall the last time I used autofocus or a memory card. So, most of the technological advances just pass me by. And the actual practicalities and technological advances of mirrorless cameras don't offer anything new to me either. But for many, it will be a groundbreaking change, and I think wedding and event photographers will really be the big winners here. And this change will have an effect on the value of the equipment I own when I come to sell and upgrade.

With both Canon and Nikon jumping into the mirrorless game and hoards of photographers following with both feet, it is starting to concern me that the DSLR may well be on its way out. And if not on its way out, it's certainly going to take a massive hit in value for resale, which is a big part of any professional photographers assets.

Before I go into why we should care, I want to have a quick trip down memory lane.

Consumer Full Frame

Back in the olden (digital) days, the full 35mm sensor was reserved for the flagship cameras only. They were extremely expensive and offered a reason for medium format and 35mm film photographers alike to jump into the digital world. Once this was established, the big marketing race was for the first consumer full frame camera. I managed to pick up a Canon 5D (the original) when a camera store when bankrupt in the recession. It was a thing of beauty and the envy of many of my friends: an entire 11 megapixels of full frame goodness. Any film photographer who shunned me for moving over to digital could no longer state that the sensor was too small or that the image quality wasn’t high enough. Digital cameras had finally made it to the masses in an affordable(ish) package. The two main players, Canon and Nikon, had both achieved this, and it seemed like the stage was set for digital DSLR cameras to reign over professional photography forever. 

The Megapixel Race

For years after this, camera companies competed over megapixels. I am pretty sure a phone came out some years ago which had 46 or so megapixels, while I continued to work with 20 megapixels with no complaints from my clients. But megapixels sold cameras. Photographers had anxiety over the resolution that they needed, often before downsizing it to 1,000 pixels at 72 dpi to post to a Facebook group. Eventually, everyone decided that computers were struggling and that 50 megapixels was more than enough in most studios and that anything over 20-30 was far too much in the event and wedding world. 

Autofocus and Dual Card Slots

So, we moved on from megapixels and on to autofocus, something that I could understand. Granted, I didn’t need it, but I can certainly see the merits in the majority of fields for having more and better autofocus points. Around this time, the camera companies started to add dual card slots to the models below their flagship cameras. If I were shooting weddings today, this is something that I would not be able to live without. Eventually, we had our card slots and more autofocus points than I personally would ever know what to do with. So, the camera brands moved on.


Sony and Fuji had been producing mirrorless cameras for years, even Hassleblad had a crack, but while Nikon and Canon remained DSLR companies, I assumed it was a flash in the pan and another marketing gimmick. But I was wrong. Both Canon and Nikon have produced amazing mirrorless cameras with specific lens lineups, and they have both been very well received. The benefits of a mirrorless camera seem huge in many genres, and it allows both brands to add tech that wasn’t possible in a DSLR.

So Why Should You Care About This?

There are two camps of photographers out there (broad, sweeping statement, I know): tech savvy folk and people like me. 

For the tech savvy, this is great. They can offload their DSLR cameras quickly before losing too much value and make a nice move across to mirrorless, which I am convinced is the future. If you are in this camp, get rid of your DSLR gear now before the value plummets faster than usual in the used market. Rather than waiting for a 5D Mark V to come out to devalue your current Canon camera, you now have two lines of bodies that will have an impact on your used prices. They may well bring out two other mirrorless bodies before a DSLR replacement comes out, and these will have an impact on the value that your current body holds.

What about people like me? I am useless with new tech. And it isn’t me trying to avoid it; my brain just doesn’t work like that. I upgraded my camera a year ago, and I am still getting to grips with it after a decade of shooting with the same bodies. I know that I am on a sinking ship, but I do not have that much time around my working schedule to learn new tech at the snail's pace that I absorb this information. Moving from Lightroom to Capture One was stressful enough. I have a very specific way of working, and I know that I will hold on to my gear for way longer than I should, allowing for masses of depreciation to occur before finally jumping ship and having a year of stress trying to figure out how a new camera system works. 

A lot of you will be pulling your hair out at me and thinking: "why not just jump now?" And you would be right: that would be the sensible thing to do, but logic doesn’t always win out. 

To conclude, I am a dinosaur who knows that he is going to be left behind pretty soon and standing there, holding on to some heavily devalued gear that no one will want. It will be the FD to EF lens scenario all over again. 

Scott Choucino's picture

Food Photographer from the UK. Not at all tech savvy and knows very little about gear news and rumours.

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Previous comments

I've never really heard of a pro being concerned about resale value. If my camera doesn't pay for itself over 3 years, I'm in the wrong business.

If you have £250,000 of gear on year one and by year 5 its worth £75,000, regardless of how much you have made shooting and how many times over it has paid for the camera, that to me would be a concern. Although I am extremely tight! haha

Mirrorless is a scam to make my life easier by finding the eyes and focusing on them for me. It's also a scam to make me edit less as I have a full time live preview of the final exposure.

I don't understand, you have equipment that you are using professionally. depreciation should be a part of your business expenses/taxes. If you are running a studio this should be equipment rental and should be part of your invoice. I have my cameras and lenses paid off within 6 months of having them after that I am profiting off the rental of them. I'm holding on to my three 5Ds's for a few more years, I gave four 5D miii's to my assistant who sold two and still has the other 2 and uses them all the time. I would understand this article if you were an amateur but as a pro this makes no sense.

To be fair, photography is the most popular hobby in the world.

I completely agree that this should be a concern for amateurs but this I'm reacting to his "what about people like me". Non professionals should do what makes sense to them, I personally think we are at the point where any camera made in the past 5 years is more than enough for 98% of photographers and I think that companies like Sony are praying on the hobbyist by releasing a new camera every year and trying to make believe that the old model is obsolete. Canon and Nikon have taken a much more responsible update cycle. Being that I shoot in studio 80% of the time I can't even imaging what more I would need right now.

Any professional who is predicating their capital expenditures on anything other than a cost-benefit calculus should not be in business.

As to amateurs; the whole game is a marketing scam, with no other purpose than to create a conflation between equipment and output (ability); and therefore convince people they simply must spend money on equipment which will not improve their photography/artistic ability in the slightest. After all, corporations have to survive somehow.

Yes the depreciation is all taken into account, until it happens at a rate higher than one might expect and to a stock of kit that is pretty large. There is a studio where I live that I know owns 30 wish 5DS cameras for their product studio. If they suddenly drop by £750, that's a big loss of value.

Far less of an issue for smaller outfits mind.

It's good to ground an industry that is currently feeding off the feature frenzy. I went through a bout of featureitus this year and it cost me time and money. Looking through my work before and after, the camera mattered little. All the other elements had a much bigger impact.

Other than spotting the title error - DLSR vs. DSLR - I don't agree much with the article itself, as well as some of the comments, so here goes: I'm not savvy on mirrorless so I don't know why auto focus is an argument for change, but I shoot fully manual and have for years. My favorite subjects are not fast moving, but if they do, I know how to comensate well enough with the camera in hand. I can switch to auto tracking if needed. I enjoy the learning prompted by keeping my camera long term and - as with Photoshop - I could spend a lifetime learning what my camera can do and still not master it all. I embrace tech changes as needed, but don't consider my camera one of those necessary changes, so that argument doesn't fly with me. I have upgraded occasionally, but for my own reasons and only after careful research. Mostly used bodies, new lenses. I recall only one huge leap in picture quality - the Nikon D200 to the D300. When I decided to full frame I bought a used D3s, which I still adore. Friends were switching to the lighter mirrorless, but I researched. Bought the D750 because the D780 was overpriced for more pixels - which would have caused sluggish MacPro. Again, not necessary. I'm not one to spend money to slow down a computer I chose for its fast processing.

As far as demise of DSLR in favor of mirrorless, companies will not be marketing to the same generational needs and wants 10-15 years from now so we'd be foolish to make purchasing decisions predicated on that outcome. Lastly, I think more and more, consumers are unwilling to purchase products that serve mostly to support a coporate C-level life style. Or add to landfills. There's more satisfaction in embracing what we are fortunte enough to have today.

You may wish to look at the headline again and reflect that you posted well after any typo (if one existed) was fixed.

Also, since we are on typos, WTF is a D780?

yeah a few typos crept in this week haha. My bad.

Everyone freaks out at the winds of change. I suppose it's understandable, but it's a safe bet most people trying to laugh off mirrorless are the same people that tried to laugh off DSLRs back in their early days, proclaiming how digital will never surpass film.

They compare nascent technology to technology that has had literally decades of evolution and believe it will never surpass what they have grown accustomed to.

Within the next 2-4 years all the kinks will be ironed out of mirrorless, and the DSLR will be sent out to pasture, next to the SLR.

And that will be that...

wait wait wait....we should be worried about Mirrorless overtaking DSLRS because of the potential impact it can have on resale value of DSLRS....written by someone who admits they had the same camera for 10 years??!!

Even without Mirrorless cameras, 10 years is a long time in the camera world and drops that resale value already. And if you are a PRO, in 10 years that camera should have paid for itself multiple times over. I wouldn't even sell it at that point, what will you get?

If you are considering resale value into your total cost of investment you shouldn't OWN past five years (or less even).

These are still DIGITAL cameras and digital things upgrade significantly in 10 years.....in your case....an entire camera system has been introduced and evolved and has overtaken the old standard in that 10 year period!

Although this article was a fun read, I'm not sure it had much value to me. I own DSLR and Mirrorless...both have about a zillion features...most of which are useless in the "M" mode. I speak with fellow photographers about the "this" VS "that" and most feel the same.

This is the same argument that many new folks have...if I just buy a 10,000 dollar camera, I will be a better photographer!

Scott, you run a business and I bet you are able to write off the value or depreciated value of all your gear (I know nothing about taxes in the UK).
I also bet your cameras have paid for themselves many times over.

So why are you so glum about the depreciated value of your cameras? They're tools for your job. When a camera doesn't work anymore get it fixed (a tax deduction), or buy something else (another tax deduction). If you need assistance with learning the new tech hire an assistant to teach you (also a tax deduction)... All = CODB (Cost Of Doing Business). Be happy you're doing something you love to do!

P.S. I do like your food photos!

Kind of, you have the choice to expense or depreciates. But if the prices fall faster than your release or your depreciation then you are caught out of pocket.

Most cameras will earn their cost in less than a year if your work as a pro, and even in England you can write it off in 3-5 years, i.e. you will not pay taxes for it after that, only for what you earn using it.
If you don't have enough work so that a camera pay itself in a year, you should by used until you do have enough work so that it will earn it self in less than a year...

As soon as the camera or all your equipment has earned their cost, you can't talk about lost money for it anymore... if you go out of business before it has earned its cost, and MUST sell, then you can talk about lost investments...

I honestly don’t know why people keep feeling the need to go ‘I’m happy with my DSLR, I’m not switching’.... stop getting sucked in by these articles.

I use Mirrorless, love it, but I’m planning on buying a DSLR body cos I have lenses that aren’t getting used and the D7500 will be cheap as chips soon.

And yet another story spreading the lie that DSLRs are dying. They are not. Looking at the latest CIPA numbers, DSLRs increased their lead over MILCs. Yes you read that right - hey still outsell mirrorless. Always have and still do. Yes, even a year after Canon and Nikon entered that crowded market.
DSLRs are not dying.
And let's get real. The only difference mirrorless makes is in the user experiemce, not in the actual images. And user experience is completely subjective. If I am shooting for hours, I want an OVF... No question about that.

I think it is very easy to think that your photography would be better if you had different gear. Mostly, the reason behind your pictures being good or bad is YOU, not your camera gear. There's people out there that are making the analogy between mirrorless vs dslr being similar to film vs digital. I think that's an unfair analogy. I have a nikon f-mount full frame camera. I bought it because there's a ton of used F-mount lenses out there that are wonderful japanese crafted lenses with terrific glass to be had for a bargain. F-mount is 50 years old and there were some beautiful classics that were released over the years. I purchased a 20-35mm f2.8mm nikkor which was $1850 in 1996 for $350. I've purchased some great primes for less than half of their new cost. I did break down last year and I purchased a Sony A7ii and used it for 2 months and then sold it because it didnt make my photos one bit better. And while the Sony mirrorless made pictures that were about as good as my nikon dslr, there were some bad qualities in the mirrorless like poor battery life and a lack of used lenses and a lack of lens choices. The sony wasnt much smaller or lighter and i just ended going back to DSLR and i dont regret it one bit. If people spent half as much time actually taking photos vs watching gear reviews on youtube, they wouldnt need mirrorless. I will admit one point though, mirrorless is better for video. That is for sure. With stills, you're splitting hairs. WIth video, the choice is more black and white.

Hello everyone,
I use a Sony A99 Reflex live in Mexico, and tried to switch to without a mirror just for Wi-Fi mode. some or almost all colleagues laugh and mention that my camera has already died, and when I put on sale cinestill film they die to buy it, that's where I don't agree and I don't understand it they are "technological" or (analog) I will continue with my dslr Until I rest.

Don't really care. I'm quite happy shooting with all the film, dslr's and mirrorless cameras i have. Shoot a lot of film and don't really care about what new thing is coming out. I've read some calling all this a scam and what-have-you. From a corperate point of view, this is all just part of marketing. To keep interests going and growing and trying to find new ways and things to 1. Make money and 2. Try to improve the industry and art of photography. Notice what number 1 is. I'll be very happy with the 'old' equipment I have thank you.

Great article scott however i'm staying with a DSLR the tech doesn't matter to me as a Canon shooter .

I keep reading opinions that suggest MILC systems are either “killing” DSLRs or are “the future”. Not having a crystal ball (but having both systems) I have to rely on data to discern the truth of the matter. The latest data I’ve seen suggests to me that DSLRs are still selling in greater numbers but that sales appear to have tailed off, while MILC sales have barely advanced. The problem that camera-makers are facing, with a few exceptions, is that there hasn’t been a major incentive to upgrade for most users, for at least the last two sets of model releases. Boosterism may have an influence on a few gearheads, or on high-usage professionals, but doesn’t seem to me to be affecting the overall picture.

Oh dear... more "DSLR's are Dying" nonsense. I guess this sort of thing will only end when those making a decision to switch from DSLR to mirrorless no longer feel that they have to try and justify their decision at every opportunity.

I was one of the first to hot-potato my flappy mirror box for a FF ML, before the honey came the issues. The first major occurrence was the ever loving banding (but would change my shooting style to stay hip). Then actual bullshit of solar damage, with no mirror flap to isolate the sensor from the solar rays being intensified buy my lens elements, I found varying degrees of damage to the sensors in three of my systems, I then figured "well, you're just going to have to e a lens cap on kind of guy". Then came the work flow slow downs, with the tiny gelded bodies and the lack of direct controls, it left me with the new reality of "having to do it in post" to meet the time regiments of shoots. Small bodies and the hanging pinkies were also annoying and down right embarrassing for a "pro-rig". Finally, the power issues of an always on sensor and EVF, was to much. In the end it seems that going mirrorless did not improve my work in a positive manner but rather changed me by turning me into that compromising Ass-hat that would vainly (hipster sauce style) defend my horrible relation-shit with my gold-digging MICL. What is so "The future" about seeing a video of the optics over just simply using the OVF? If you ask me mirrorless in just awkward pimply stage before the hybrid E/OFV.

can anybody, i mean anybody offload me a 1dxII?

As somebody who has used Olympus since film and their mirroless since they came out, 30# DSLRs with 50# stabilized lenses were never in my bag. The OMD M1 MkII blows the latecoming Canon and Nikon mirroless out of the water with what it can do. The smaller sensor does not have as much lowlight power, but with the pro lenses and all the built-in functions, blinding burst rate and powerful processor I have never been happier with a camera. I love 8x10 film and it still can't be matched by digital, but I have no interest in carrying around 150 year old technology that need a truck to move. Computational phone cameras are replacing it all anyway and in 10 years who knows how many of the old timer brands will still be around. Nikon could be the first to go, since they don't have any outside business from cameras like Cannon, Olympus, and Sony do. The camera business is shrinking like newspapers and photographers are a dying breed. Time marches on.

Did I read somewhere that Nikon's produced going on 100 million F mount lenses?
DSLRs have a long life yet.
But the innovation is happening in mirrorless and phones.
Oh, and Panasonic and Olympus started mirrorless a decade ago.

Overall a really meaningless and pointless discussion. In any field of human endeavour there have always been technological improvements, cameras are no different. If you look at the history of camera development since the 1830s camera designs have come and gone all having their moment in the sun. Some people hold on and extol the virtues of working with 8x10 large format film cameras for their intrinsic aesthetic. DSLRs on the other hand have nothing special to offer in terms of aesthetic over newer mirrorless cameras. People buying new cameras, for whatever reason would be more drawn to the smaller lighter bodies and lenses offered by some mirrorless brands such as Fuji and Olympus. Having said that if people who have these older cameras, 5Ds etc and are happy with them and the results they get...why replace them? Though caring about the passing of an outdated technology is rather pointless! How many tears were shed over the passing of; CDs, Betamax, DVDs, Wamlkman, floppy drives, Mega Drive, Oric computers..........the list goes on

I more or less have the same discussion with my colleagues in a secondary school. One of my tasks is teaching my pupils English but a large part of my time is devoted to trying to get my peers to use ICT in their lessons. Thankfully, many of them have moved on from the chalk board, but too many think that time will pass on without changes and they will continu living their lives without any real changes.

The only constant in life is change, so you'd get used to it. Brands come and go, tech comes and goes. Nothing will ever remain the same for an indefinite period of time.

So, wake up. Life is making no prisoners and those changes will continu to come. Better wake up and try to keep up with what is coming. And mind you, I am 59. I grew up without mobile phones, computers, flat screen tv's and any electronic devices. But trying to fight change is useless.

What is insane? You buy a Mirrorless camera with 14 pictures/second burst and with only 300 pictures battery life. You want to make pictures of flying birds... I, with Nikon d7200 and 6pictures/second burst make between 2000-5000pictures within 2hours, I need 2batteries. And the Mirrorless camera will make 4000-10000 pictures with 15batteries.. Have fun!... I like to have a versatile camera with the best picture quality as a crop sensor camera and not a B.S. Mirrorless camera. You check on Amazon how many Mirrorless cameras get sold and compare it with overpriced Mirrorless..... Mirrorless is just a fashion for stupid customer. In 10 years 50% of the cameras who will get sold will be still DSLR cameras.

You make a good point; use the gear that best suits your shooting style. I don't do a lot of burst shooting, so my 5DIV is fine for when I do. But I can't put one of those new RF lenses on my camera. That's the enticement for me.

Were Canon to make a 5DIV like mirrorless (body type, two cards, buttons, menu, etc), the first thing I'd buy for it would be a grip to give it more size and heft and to give it longer life between battery changes. I know I'm in the minority when it comes to camera size, but that's the 'subjective' thing entering the equation.

In reality you can get far more than 300 shots from the battery, those tests are stupid. There are also things you can do to minimise the impace like have the EVF on only with eye sensor so its only on when you lift it to your eye. Also in my case get a grip and add 2 more batteries and some boosts to AF and FPS etc.

Although you will get a lot more from a DSLR in general.

What you say is total bollocks born out of ignorance. I shoot wild life on occasions, birds, which I find very therapeutic. Sony A7R3 is my camera of choice with its 10fps. and a battery life of around 800 shots, which for me is fine, not being a spray and pray photographer. With a spare in my bag I never have a problem. Good luck with your 5000 pics in two hours what the hell are you taking pics of?! That to me is insane.....spend more time looking, taking over 40 shots per minute for 2 hours is loony tune photography......I image your mirror banging away machine gun style will frighten anything in the locality!

Bottom line seems to be... bottom line. Finance.

So the author should meet with his accountant and discuss depreciation and what accounting and financing changes he needs to make.

In the UK we tend to expense as its real time money and more tax efficient most of the time. From the comments, I think this may be different else where in the world

In USA, it depends on the cost and item, some things are expensed in the years purchased, and some need to be depreciated over multiple years. Leased equipment is simply an expense, IIRC.

we have similar here. Almost all cameras would be expensed though. So if you spend £100k on gear you offset it on that years tax only. So resale value on that gear is valuable.

Are you sure? In US smaller amounts can be expensed, large items are on 5 year schedule IIRC. But things are different everywhere.
Some local communities levy a tax on equipment in your business. I forgot what it was called but we'd submit a tax form to them and there would be a bill sent back...a relatively small amount but seemed pretty unfair to tax the same thing over and over and certainly encouraged grey areas in reporting what something was worth. Using your example the company with $250k of gear pays on that amount but 5 years later they pay on $75k so they may not care.

The thing is the studio gear, the computer, camera, even a 5ds will keep on clicking long after it reached junk value. So will a PhaseOne, So will a cargo van. It may become "obsolete" technologically but 9 times out of 10 the thing will still do it's job.
Last weekend I used a 11 year old 5D2 worth about $200 on job along with a 3 year old Sony worth 10x that much. So what?

The more things change the more they stay the same. The only thing that matters is getting good results. When I need new gear I always purchase what has been discontinued. I get what I need at a reasonable cost. I'm a photojournalist

The idea of mirrorless is not a marketing gimmic. It is a response to the iphone and the ability to see the images you capture in real time. Without using an optical view finder. to be able to take images from my feet and above my head in less than 2 seconds without me having a ladder or needing to hardly lean over allows for much greater composition opportunities. And the focusing has to be capable in those scenarios. Less mechanics means shorter product life cycles. Whether Canon and Nikon or others like it or not, if they want to stay in business long term, they'll need to create tech that gives tools to creators, young, creators. They can only serve the dinosaurs for so long before they are extinct. And Sony has beaten them badly by just listening to the market.

I will shoot dslr's as long as my three bodies (D600, D800 & D850) last. Everyone of them will use all F-mount lens of which there are millions of them out there in the world. If the shutter on my D850 crashes and burns, Nikon can replace it for $400 and I am back in business or buy another used one for a fraction of the cost of a new Mirrorless with the same resolution and I don't have to buy a new stable of Z glass to go along with it. I just acquired a pristine example of the 28-70 2.8 af-s D that has no af or zoom issues for $350. The modern version is what, over $2000? In a year, if I decided to sell, I could make back 100% of my cost on that lens.
So eveybody who was waiting and hyperventilating over the delays in the D850 two years ago, go ahead and abandon her for that shiny new mirrorless. There are plenty of us out there who will take it off your hands and appreciate them for the works of art that they are.

Worrying about the resale value of one's bucket of paintbrushes seems like the wrong reason to have a bucket of brushes. Now there's nothing wrong with housecleaning the bucket, pruning out those you never use, leaving room for new ones. Best to houseclean often if you want to try the latest brushes.

I'm not sure I am following your analogy Rick.

There is a world of difference between a 33 hundred dollar D850 and a ten dollar Purdy brush (of which I have several including a pristine 50 year-old shellac brush I inherited from my father).

The D850 is a capital investment while the brushes are just expenses.
The resale value of the camera does drop faster than the depreciated net book value of the camera but that doesn't diminish it's utility and value to me as a world-class instrument.

I am a collector of fine things - Nikon cameras, Beretta firearms, and various wool sweaters from Europe. I drive a 7 year old Toyota and a 1971 Boston Whaler Sport I restored, on the weekends during the summer.

The latest are nice, but no one has provided me one iota of evidence that mirrorless will demonstrably improve my craft producing hangable fine art landscapes for paying customers or that will justify the inordinate cost to switch.

You can be a hipster all your life jumping from one fad to the next or you can determine what is really important and develop your skills while saving something for retirement.

At some point people are going to discover that the technology is writing checks that they can't cash anymore as they are striving to keep up. $3500 (at the mininum) every two years is a little hard to explain to the wife.

Technically both are capital investments (as long as their use generates revenue).

Capital investment is a sum of money provided to a company to further its business objectives. 

You don't hold on to solid state gear, it's worthless after it's successor has been released. Old film cameras will hold their value where old DSLR's will absolutetly not. They will be seen as archaic and limited comparatively speaking. Heck, newest crop of phones are better in many ways that most DSLRs.

How many phones can shoot high frame rates, do long exposure shots, mount a perspective control lens to, control multiple strobes, allow manual exposure, manual focus, noise-free hi-ISO performance, give me the files to produce 450 meg panoramics and etc, etc, etc... Phones are nothing more than Instamatics when compared to DSLRs.
I have a Note 9 but it doesn't hold a candle to my 850. My D600 is even better. And I have not lost a single penny in my investment. They perform to the same exacting standards Nikon built into them when they were new.
And I predict that devices that are overly-reliant on electronics like mirrorless and phones will have greatly reduced life cycles vis-a-vie DSLRs which are designed to higher standards because of their mechanical attributes which are expected to have a shutter-life of 200 to 300 thousand actuations or more. You still see D700s and D3's out in the world after 11 or12 years going strong.
I seriously doubt a Z7 will see a quarter of that as it's Achilles Heel is it's electronics and Nikon knows you fanboys will be ready to drop another $3500 with each new shiny iteration they release.
Consider how frequently Sony releases new bodies and their older ones are not worth fixing.
I have 3 DSLRs, 3 strobes, 15 various Nikkor lenses, filters, memory cards, batteries and assorted Nikon specific gear. With the exception of two lenses, none of them are AF-capable on a Z body even with the adapter. So anyone who thinks i can shitcan this equipment and move over to mirrorless without risking a divorce is smoking way too much meth.

You really don't know how powerful current phone cameras are do you. Ask Canikon execs why the middle tier and below of the camera market is basically dead in the water. You may want to do a bit of reading and actually understand what you have as a tool. Will camera phones replace DSLRS...today? absolutely not. But they've closed the gap over a 3 year period while the behemoth product cycles of DSLRs haven't really moved forward in the last 10 years. Ask Kodak if they still believe film won't be replaced. Hell they were first with digital, but because of poor strategic planning, they LOST.

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