Is There a War Brewing Between DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras?

Sony has become one of the camera brands that have given the industry something new. Are they creating conflict in our industry, as well as in ourselves and our decision-making processes?

Sony is leading the mirrorless camera market, and if you're considering buying a specced-out camera, one of the Sony a7 cameras or an a9 should be considered, that is if you have budget and if you have never invested in the glass of Nikon or Canon. 

Some Interesting Points and Questions to Ponder

The video has many interesting arguments. It's all speculation, but it surely is something to ponder. Nikon releasing the videos and press releases is done so you don't go out and buy a different brand. It's meant to make you wait for their camera release. Canon is silent, although they're surely working on a professional mirrorless camera body too. 

And, what will the mirrorless brands, Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Leica, and the others do when the goliaths of the industry release their mirrorless cameras? Fujifilm released the GFX 50S camera with lenses and jumped right over the saturated full-frame market. Does Sony have a plan? 

It's Not About the Gear

Just like DSLR cameras became the norm and everyone had to move from film to digital photography, going from DSLRs to mirrorless will offer better technology, but also give us a lot to consider when we're in the market for a new camera. But, it's not about the gear and rather what you do with it that matters. 


If you're going to have to buy new lenses to own the latest Nikon camera, you could just as well invest in a new camera brand too, which is exciting, but also a threat to these brands. It is a war in this regard, one that'll be interesting to keep an eye on. 

Wouter du Toit's picture

Wouter is a portrait and street photographer based in Paris, France. He's originally from Cape Town, South Africa. He does image retouching for clients in the beauty and fashion industry and enjoys how technology makes new ways of photography possible.

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"Is There a War Brewing Between DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras?"

Cameras are inanimate objects, so no.

The end.

... for now xD

Nope. There's probably a war brewing between DSLR shooters and MILC shooters for absolutely no good reason, though.


No, I think it's more like a bunch of people are hyper defensive about what works for them and the hard work they've put in to master their craft so they feel the need to deride all these kids looking for a "easy mode" and remind them that it won't make their photos better because that's how they choose to deal with a changing world.

On the other side is a bunch of people that love every bit of new technology and believe that anyone that doesn't feel that they need it is an idiot for not clearly seeing the benefits so they feel the need to deride DSLR users for continuing to invest in "obsolete" systems despite the fact that there's nothing intrinsically wrong with a DSLR and we've been producing perfectly good images with them for years.

Somewhere in-between are the people that get angry at both sides for being jackasses and, thus, getting flamed by both sides.

Then there are the others that just ignore all of it and read the comments section like they watch a soap opera while munching on a bag of popcorn.

All the while this is happening, community figures and influencers are laughing their asses off while they scream "DANCE, PUPPETS, DANCE!" and rolling in all of the money bought from the ad revenue of their click-bait articles.

I agree except with everything you wrote but there is another aspect. If, like me, someone has no use for a MILC, their ascension could easily affect the availability of new lenses. While the current available lenses will easily serve me for the rest of *my* shooting days, I'd love to see lenses, not currently available. I don't care about this one but, Nikon is making a 24-70 f/4 lens for their new ML cameras. Does that mean they won't be making one for DSLRs? It's concerning and, obviously, can make some people a bit PO'd.
Aside from that caveat, I agree with you.

Yeah... it is an unfortunate consequence of the shift that Nikon's F-mount is likely going to go the way of Sony's A-mount—at least long-term. In Nikon's case, it seems like they've at least verbally committed to continuing development for the near future so that's a hopeful sign, but I don't know... I would really love to see them refresh their current F-mount line-up entirely to the standards of their E-series lenses before making the decision to stop, but then again, that would be a big commitment.

The lens I personally want most is a new F-mount 135mm.

Just go to DP Review...the war of words has been going on for a LONG time. :-) As far as the title of the article is concerned, I'm pretty sure we all know what he meant.

I know what he meant. And normally it's all well and good to just shrug it off, but I think it's telling that there have been a bunch of similar articles in the last few days that have drummed up a larger than average response in the comments.

People go on and on about how gear doesn't matter as much as manufacturers would like us to believe it does, they complain endlessly when people compliment their work by saying, "Nice camera", but then as soon as an article like this goes up they turn around and argue relentlessly over whether gear A is better than gear B. In the words of Admiral Ackbar, "It's a trap!"

Nothing about the video or the summary is nearly as hysterical as the title implies, which means they don't even have to try to get people into these types of arguments anymore. They know that they just have to slap a provocative title on a guy talking for 13 minutes (in a fairly neutral way, at that) about something we already know, and people will jump in the fire based on the title alone. That should be insulting to you (the collective "you", not "you" in particular) but it doesn't matter, because if you insult somebody's camera they'll suspend all logic and reasoning to try to prove you "wrong".

It's something you would expect from a site that has no content of any value and openly thrives on conflict in order to make money. But if your goal is to sell education, it's a disservice to you and your customers/students to use these types of tactics; they contradict the spirit of education and undermine the pursuit of knowledge.

Lastly, the arguments themselves are already melodramatic enough as it is without having to elevate the rhetoric to the point where we're using metaphors that imply cameras will be jumping out of airplanes with M-16s and torching villages. It deserved to be shot down.

"Just like DSLR cameras became the norm and everyone had to move from film to digital photography.. "
Everyone HAD to move from film to digital photography? The 30 rolls of film sitting in my fridge right now seem to disagree.

i thought Dave F made clear earlier that inanimate objects, like your film, have no emotions.

My film definitely has emotion. It talks to me all the time. Sometimes I sit by my fridge for hours and chat with it. It gets awkward sometimes because they'll ask where I'm taking their friends, but I tell them that they're going to a better place. I leave out the part about drowning them in toxic chemicals after searing light onto them. :X


Strangers on the internet care too much about what other strangers on the internet are shooting with. Rather than fostering community it's damaging it.

Be careful with what you play with!

FS is becoming one of the sites who likes to take advantages of anything new for visibility and google rankings and creates hype around those items - such new coming Nikon camera in 2 days.

Well when you spread articles such this one and hype crowds with wording WAR in them it is absurd and shameful ! You introducing a phenomena of FEAR , HOPELESS and DYING which represents KILLING ... since word WAR brings all that with while describing a technology which is supposed to bring joy and creativity?

Freedom of speech is very nice and we still have it yet, common sense what and how to publish is lost!!!
MILC for some are awesome for some just another regular tool, but hyping crowds like this ?

No one brings a war by introducing different camera to this world but YOU or the guy in the video. Masses of regular camera users do not even have an idea why they will buy it since advertisements and hyped sites such this one is becoming will lead them to buy them... since that is what you live from, affiliates links , advertisement and google rankings!

Make your living guys, I have no issue with that, yet again titling something so absurd on the internet since someone else made a video about it ... REALLY?

Dafe F has it right in his comment bellow, "Cameras are inanimate objects, so no war."

Share love, peace, truth instead of absurdity and you gain good from those :)

Happy shooting everyone.

"Is There a War Brewing Between DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras?"

Only between morons...

It's not a war between DSLR and mirrorless. Mirrorless is the future, and was the foreseeable future even before I bought a Canon 10D. Even back when Canon was playing with pellicle mirrors, anybody should have known that somehow, sooner or later, that flapping mirror needed to go away.

The only thing I didn't know then was how long it would take that future to get here for me (and I still don't know).

I don't think it will be more than another couple of years before I'll be able to buy a camera without a mirror that doesn't require me to suddenly purchase a whole new system.

But it won't be a war. It will just be me buying what satisfies my needs at that time.

The next huge leap will be True electronic shutter strobe sync. This will be an insane game changer, normal lenses, full power strobes at 1/4000th of a second. I have zero idea if this is even possible, but I bet a few years ago nobody would have believed the A9 would be a reality, and look at it, 20fps no rolling shutter.

Re A9: Well almost no rolling shutter, on stills, it's minor from what Ive been told by some owners. It's still there in video. But your point is right. These techs keep evolving fast. Great time to be in photography. A9 is heck of a camera no doubt.

Cameras are just tools. As a D850 and D500 shooter, I would hope that the new Z-mount bodies have the same controls in the same locations so that I can use both bodies simultaneously. I can certainly see myself keeping my D850s for sports but using mirrorless for extreme wide angle and photography in very low light.

The same thing happened when DSLRs were released. Big deal... Shoot with what you want and use the technology available to do it.

it greatly depends on if this is a nuclear or conventional war and if it's a cold, proxy or hot war.

If there was a war coming it's only because people KEEP bringing up brand stuff to light up the brand loyalist.

Another plot to take over the world. Who will be the world leader?? No one really cares. I like wedding cake myself.

TLDR: competition is always good. It's never good for one brand to get complacent and lazy at the very top.

On the other hand, consumers are getting worse and worse in their insecure, whiney, jealous, catty, shallow, mine-is-bigger-than-yours, (OK, I could go on, you get the point) ...attitude.

But, don't blame mirrorless (or DSLRs) for that issuse. That's just consumerism and materialism doing its worst to modern society.

I predict that over the next 12 months there will be some truly awesome photos produced with DSLR's and with MILC's. And more produced with each in the 12 months after that and the 48 months after that...

MILC's will offer some quite beneficial features for some photographers and for others of us these new capabilities won't make any difference. When a MILC can offer something really beneficial for what I do I'll likely consider getting one but I've no idea when that will be.

There's simply nothing to war over.

Can someone please make an animation of transforming cameras which are fighting to the death.

I agree that the post is a little click baity. But in one way it may be a war for the camera manufacturer's resources. Look what happened to Sony's line of A mount cameras after they started focusing on E mount mirrorless. Although Canon and Nikon are more heavily invested in their legacy lenses, their F mount and EF mount may share the same fate. Some people may always prefer SLR's over mirrorless and won't be happy if new lenses and bodies for the legacy systems become fewer and farther between.

Better question: How does competition between big corporations affect individual photographers?

As long as I can continue to use my lenses and flash, let the war begin! I'll just photograph it!

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No war. A DSLR by any other name... Most mirrorless cameras are DSLRs. Evolution has come to the standard camera body - if the mirror isn't mechanically necessary and inhibits other features, then remove it.

I believe that reducing the discussion of mirror yes, mirror not without looking at the incredible improvements of sensor, focus, precision and good lenses that are available now for sony is losing the thread of the discussion