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Is the Photography World Really About to Change Completely?

Is it real this time around? Are we all going to jump ship from the DSLR form and embrace the mirrorless form? In this video, Jared Polin of Fro Knows Photo explains why he thinks it will happen soon.

Rumors of the death of the DSLR format have been circulating for years now. Remember when the micro 4/3 format was the DSLR killer? Or when so many photography stars couldn’t say enough about their Fuji X100S? Well, there is no doubt that the Sony mirrorless cameras have been the talk of the photography world for the last few years. But every time the Sony cameras are reviewed, and no matter how much the reviewer gushes about the performance of the camera, there is always the standard comment about the lack of glass and the cost of the glass that does exist. Well if Polin is correct about Canon and Nikon releasing their long-awaited mirrorless cameras with a way to adapt owner’s existing glass, things just might change forever.  

If the DSLR is about to die, how will that death occur? Will it be fast, with people giving up all their bodies over a short period of time? Or will it be slower, with most people replacing their existing camera bodies at the rate they would as if they were replacing it with another DSLR? To me, this seems like the more reasonable approach, especially if the glass will fit the new mirrorless camera body along with the old DSLR body. If that’s the case, Nikon and Canon may be disappointed with future camera sales figures when they don’t get a large bump.

So, if Nikon and Canon come out with mirrorless cameras that challenge Sony, will you make the switch? If so, will you go slowlt or jump right into their mirrorless world? Also, what features do you need in the mirrorless system to make you leave your DSLR behind? Tell us in the comments below.

Douglas Turney's picture

Doug Turney is a Connecticut based photographer who specializes in non-ball sport types of photography such as motocross, sailing, and cycling. But that doesn’t stop him from shooting other types of photography too. Doug believes photography is photography and doesn’t like to be typecast. Doug loves to travel and often shoots when traveling.

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So, this guy is predicting a market shift to mirrorless?

In other news, water is wet.

Whether or not it will happen isn't in question. The timing is. Water is wet but we have no idea when it will rain.

I think the difference here is that Jared is predicting the end of DSLRs. That the DSLR will be going the way of SLRs and at a rapid pace. For a long time everyone was saying the reason holding them back from mirrorless was because of the investment they have in glass. Now it sounds like Cannon and Nikon will permit the use of older glass on their mirrorless. So with that hurdle out of the way is it now worth the cost to convert to mirrorless quickly? Is there enough of an improvement that encourages people to convert quickly like film to digital did or is it a slower conversion?

Nobody ever told me my SLRs were dead? I'll have to break the sad news to them... Canon and Nikon would be insane not to immediately offer adapters for existing glass to their new mirrorless offerings. If, in fact, they want to make them a viable alternative to professionals they better allow pros to use their pro-glass.

Of course SLRs are not completely dead but from a business standpoint they are to Sony, Nikon, and Cannon. Will DSLRs follow SLRs for Sony, Nikon, and Cannon? I'm not so sure it will happen quickly. I do know that if there is a rush by current Cannon and Nikon users to mirrorless there are going to be some really good camera bodies available on the used market. I'll be on the hunt for some D500s, D850s, and D5s.

There are pros and cons to both DSLR's and Mirrorless. One of the big flaws with mirrorless is heat. With your sensor being active and being exposed to light non-stop, it heats that sensor up. Manufacturers need to build beefier heatsink setups to pull the heat off of the sensor. It's one of the reasons why video cameras are so much larger than photo/video cameras. They have large cooling systems.

Gear, gear, gear...Why are we photograohers so gear obsessed.

Not all of us. A lot of photographers are also tech geeks. The rest of us don't give a damn.

On another note and a bit off topic but... does anyone else find the Fro dude annoying as f...? or is it just me?

Excrutiatingly so.

Yeah just as much as every other YouTube photography personality.

Yeah, to me he's the Gary V of photography.

Meh, the fro ain't that bad. I really used to enjoy his podcast until they got that creepy third guy on there that plays stupid sound effects, has a creeper voice and tries to be funny all the time, but really isn't.

Only when he's in full schtick. His reviews are actually pretty good.

One word... "horizontical"
Or I guess in this case, one non-word

I see photography in itself changing completely not to mirrorless but to video.

Take an 8k RED (Monstro or Helium) with a 35MP sensor shooting up to 60 frames per second, and pretty much more dynamic range than any DSLR or Mirrorless camera currently. And in post you select which frame to edit, which you'd export the RAW R3D file out of RedCine X and import into Photoshop, do your Camera Raw changes/regular workflow.
Think of how many blinks in portraits you'd eliminate if you were just to rewind by literally a couple frames, no more missing that perfect shot by half a second, much more pictures to choose, and the flexibility to make a video out of the same footage, all in a form factor which is a bit bigger than a medium format camera.
I've found myself doing this a lot more lately.

Maybe for some genres. Typically, you're shooting at around 1/50 to 1/120 of a second. That won't work all the time. Also, very few people shoot video with the same concentration as photos, not that they couldn't.

Then bump up the shutter speed. The Monstro sensor is totally usable at ISO 2500 and even 3200, or the Gemini at 6400, its even pretty clean at 12800 (and that's all without noise reduction).
Sure today it may not be practical, but 5-10 years in the future these cameras/sensors would be much more available to the masses, better, and cheaper then currently.
And at least in my area since everyone and their uncle owns a DSLR/Mirrorless everyone is listing their services as either a photography and/or video company-times are changing. I/we may not like it but there could be a shift in that direction.

I wasn't disagreeing with you; merely adding a caveat to your point.

Chris I think you have hit on a much bigger change that has been talked about for years and one which I believe is actually happening. With increased capacity in cameras, audio, the delivery system, etc. video is much easier to produce and distribute today than 5 or 10 years ago. People like to watch videos and stay engaged longer than photos engage most people. Still photos will be around a long time but they just won't bring in the same money that video will.

and how much would that set up cost...... not much of future in the bulk of the photo world.

and lighting that recycles that fast :) been this debate since digital came out that it was going to replace if anything cameras that blur the lines ironic how many vid folks use still cameras :)

Hey Fstoppers,

How about you start discovering good artists and help small content creators, instead of recycling youtubers with their click bait titles?

Stay tuned Marcus. You can expect to see just that from my articles in the future. I'm conducting several interviews right now for future articles.

Spanish/British photojournalist here willing to colaborate with this magnificent website.

good to know that

It's not just them. I just saw a Q&A with Brendan Van Son and when he talked the channels/creators he watches, he only named other professionals who already have tens of thousands or millions of followers.

I agree Canon and Nikon cannot blow this one up. I also agree that Nikon may not survive this if they release a sub-par mirrorless.

Photogs have been very patient with Canikon. But that patience is overdue and photographers are not going to wait another 3 years before getting something worthy of buying.

I'm sure both companies can do it (well, not so sure about Nikon…). But they need to show the world they are serious otherwise I'm sure many photogs will make the switch right after the announcement if it's disappointing.

From what I read, they both will need adapters costing 300.00 or better to use Nikon or Canon lenses. I don't know if it's possible but wouldn't it be a game changer for either Canon or nikon to create a mount on the camera where you can just put on a lens without an adapter and get the best out of the lens. I would definitely take a closer look if I can just screw on my Nikon lens without an adapter.

Simply not possible without compromising some of the advantages of a mirrorless camera. Why would you want to start out with a crippled system?

What is the point? A lighter, smaller camera body? And the point of that is . . .? I'll keep my DSLR's thank you. I want a real viewfinder (not an electronic one) and I want some size and heft in my camera body. "Photography is about to change forever?" I doubt it.

Too right, I didn't buy the Nikon 750 because it was just too small.

Plus there are heat issues that come with mirrorless cameras. Hot sensors = increased noise.

Mirrorless makes some things easier and more convenient, but it doesn't change actual photography all that much.

But, but, but, you're not cool if you still use a camera with one of those outdated mirror thingys.

At least not until no one is using the outdated mirror thingys and then you are REALLY cool because you are using one of those outdated mirror thiingys.

Exactly, ill put all of my dslr's into dry storage and break them out once it becomes hip again.

I'd like Nikon to bring out a rangefinder style of mirrorless out, would make more room for my large nose and initially compliment their DSLRs. The EVF doesn't have to be centred anymore and why not bring out a left handed camera finally; just a different top section :-)

I get it, mirrorless is the future, but I am SO sick of reading and hearing about it! Can we please get back to the craft?

Just in the past two weeks I pulled all my gear together and started shooting to sell in order to switch to Sony. The pending Canon announcement has put me on hold, for now. What features do I need?

120FPS @ 1080p is the start. When I spend $3K on a camera and can only get 720p out of slow mo, and can spend $2K for twice the quality with Sony, that's a problem. With my obsession with the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art lens edge to edge focus points is a must. The back screen auto focus unlimited points isn't cutting it in the Canon 5D Mark IV isn't cutting it. I need the same option in the view finder. That said I love the Mark IV's AF system. It works great.

Ultimately, I'm frustrated with Canon feature upgrade camera sales approach. They need to take a page out of Sony's playbook, and just make it awesome.

I got an email yesterday letting people know that Jacobson, the creators of the first camera blimps for set stills on movies, would be shutting down in August. They directly sited the adoption of Mirrorless as the reason. Fatboy, the company I bought my blimp from years ago shut their doors a few months back for the same reason.

Oh my..his intro is sooo annoying and kinda embarrassing at the same time.

Just the intros?

Trying hard to be as polite as possible to Jared. At the end of the day, he creates so much useful content.. but some things I simply can't stand.

I don't know why, but I just can't get though one of his videos. But I'm sure he has his fans, and that's alright, everyone is allowed to like who they like. I feel the same way about Peter Mckinnon. I used to watch all of his stuff, but then after he went full time and got close to 1 million subscribers it all seemed to go down hill and now just seeing his video thumbnails make me scramble for the "not interested" button. I've actually started focusing more attention on smaller content creators. People under 5k subscribers. There just seems to be a more personal connection to them.

Totally agree. It's so good to have a choice!

So glad I shoot with Panasonic Lumix cameras; it is about time Nikon and Canon step up their game. Sony and Panasonic are the best to me and mirrorless makes it better. I am a video guy so that is why my preference is to Sony and Panasonic but I manage to pull off some great shots in photography as well.

Mirrorless? Maybe. What I really want is increased dynamic range. Infinite would be great. Depth info for each pixel for DoF and other stuff in post? Yep! Accurate white balance so no more having to worry about it and balancing differing sources.

Just like a cell phone. Most buy the crap for it's internet functionality instead of call quality. How many more functions and buttons do we need on our cameras. I wish they would forget about all the extras and video capabilities and just make great cameras for real photographers.

Water Under The Bridge

I understand that a lot of us want to have the latest "it" technology. But anyone that has photographed a Broadway show or anything with similar high contrast/dim lighting conditions knows that EVF's, regardless of how "good" of an EVF it is at this point in time, is not going to like it. Admittedly, I'm biased towards a full frame viewfinder, but Sony is driving a market that the internet's insatiable need for content and controversy is more than happy to help. Seriously, take any mirrorless camera to a photoshoot with lighting similar to a broadway play and see how much you like it.

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