What Camera Brands Will Be Left When the Mirrorless Dust Settles?

I think most would agree that we're near the day of a major shift in the photo industry, and after that change, there will be some winners and losers. This great video takes a comprehensive look at the future of the industry beyond just the biggest brands.

Coming to you from Tony and Chelsea Northrup, this great discussion takes a look at the current state of camera sales and the directions manufacturers are headed in to try to assess where the industry will be when all the dust settles. When we talk about the upcoming mirrorless wars, we generally talk about Sony, Canon, and Nikon, and it's easy to overlook to the many other brands, namely Fujifilm, Pentax, Olympus, and Panasonic. As overall sales shrink and competition intensifies, the individual niches the smaller brands occupy may become unsustainable, and we may see a bit of a rearrangement of the landscape we know now. The Northrups have some good insight into how each brand's current position in the market will play into where they end up in the coming years, and it's an interesting segment to listen to. What do you think the landscape will look like in five years? 

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25 Comments

I think Sony and Canon will be leading the full frame with Nikon not to far behind in sales. Fugi and Olympus will still be about the same as far as sales numbers and Pentax users will still be waiting for the K3ii replacement and talking about the two lenses on the roadmap.

user-156929's picture

Whatever the Northrups think, the opposite. I don't think it's interesting because I am a photographer, not an industry analyst.

Christian Durand's picture

Tony does not like Fuji and it shows , he said that Fuji only as ASPC cameras witch , of course is a lie ...... What bout the Fuji GFX50 medium format .....?

Lenzy Ruffin's picture

Actually, they own an X-T2 and he consistently talks about how much he and Chelsea enjoy using it. He says it all the time and calls it one of the best designed cameras he’s ever used.

I do think the “APS-C isn’t for pros” argument is one he would do well to reconsider. Many people, myself included, make good money with crop sensor cameras.

I’ve made way more money with my X-T2 than I did with my 5D3, which I still own. It’s not about sensor size. Technology advances and today’s APS-C outperforms yesterday’s full frame. As is the case with horsepower in cars, you reach a point of diminishing returns.

At ISO 5000, I can still produce images that I can sell with my X-T2. Beyond that, I’ll just add some freaking light. I don’t need to be able to shoot at ISO 25000.

And the overwhelming majority of people earning a living with their cameras are not going to benefit from more than 24 megapixels, so the argument that full frame is necessary for pro work is no longer valid (if it ever was). I wish he’d not said that part because it undermines everything else he says.

Tony constantly makes up facts in his photographer documentaries. He has no credibility at all. So on a subject he knows little or nothing about, I think the President has more credibility with his crowd size of his inauguration.

I disagree. Most of his stuff is well researched.

Rob Davis's picture

A thirty minute video of these two waxing about mirrorless? How did I die and is there any way out of this Hell?

user-189304's picture

You weren't silly enough to watch it, were you?

Next you'll be watching the Fro's YouTubes.

Tony Tumminello's picture

Or worse: the Angry Photographer!

user-189304's picture

*shudders at the memories*

user-189304's picture

The only thing I'm interested in is what has been the cost of R&D and marketing by comparison to Nikon's capital position, and likewise for Canon when they release their product.

Ill buy the mirrorless Dust after it settles. It will be much cheaper....

Kirk Darling's picture

The evolution to mirrorless is nowhere near the change of the landscape that the tsunami of the SLR replacing rangefinders, TLRs, press cameras. This is just an evolution, not a paradigm shift.

Nick Rains's picture

What 'mirrorless dust'? Just camera manufacturers naturally responding to demand and making the most of the availability of the increasing quality of EVFs with all of their intrinsic and substantial advantages. I use the Leica SL which still has the best EVF on the market despite being over 3 years old now. I have one remaining Canon 5D3 body and find it amazingly clunky in comparison - haven't used it for ages now. Mirrorless is a no brainer for me and has been for three years now.

Rex Larsen's picture

The Sony has great specs. It feels odd in my hands and I can't get used to the Star Wars viewfinder, LCD.
At the biggest sporting events most everyone uses Canon. Just an observation.

I think the Patriots will win the Super Bowl

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Casio forever! Polaroid a close second...

David Moore's picture

Taco Bell.

Jan Kruize's picture

Blablablablablabla.......

Kim Ginnerup's picture

Everytime Northrups discusses this, fullframe is the only thing that matters. All pro’s use fullframe according to Tony, which as far as I can read is not true. I saw Kevin Rabers video that Tony mention, and that is by far more nuanced. Who wins? No clue. I believe most of the brands will still be here. A fullframe sensor will by definition always be ahead when it comes to DR, Noise level, pixel count. But there is price to pay in higher price, bigger lenses and more weight. Choose the right tool for the job.

A large part of the market consists of non-pros who still buy lots of stuff.

Christian Lainesse's picture

I think the camera/lens industry will plateau. What needs to happen next is better, cheaper printers and papers.

David Pavlich's picture

I would say cheaper ink. :-) Good printers aren't really that expensive. Consider that a 400mm f2.8 L is around $9000 US. A 44" Canon printer is around $4500 US and at the moment, there is a $1000 rebate available.

However, a set of 330ml ink tanks would run about $1746 ($194X9). I have an Epson P800 and the per ML cost is around $.69. The Canon 330ml tank per ML cost is around $.58 per ML. It does get cheeper as the tanks get bigger, but it's still quite expensive.

Regardless, I love home printing and the advantages outweigh the cost.

Christian Lainesse's picture

Oh yea I forgot to mention the ink...

Nick Chiarizia's picture

Goes to show how the Northrop's have their heads in the sand and lack credibility. The rate of technological change and development in Mirrorless cameras and lenses, and the emerging change toward affordable medium format systems will surpass mass marketers Cannon/Nikon full frame.