Let's just pretend for a moment that DSLRs are officially dead and we're left with nothing else, but mirrorless cameras and cell phones. What would that mean to photographers?
With so many articles discussing and predicting the death of DSLRs and rise of mirrorless cameras, there are lots of debates in the comments sections. There are people who are happy about it. Others are totally against it. Without any bias, let's say it really happens and the conveyor line labeled "DSLR" finally stops and the lights of the large manufacturing hangar are turned off.
Stories of Old
In order to think of possible outcomes we can relate the situation to something we have already seen in the past. For example, the cease of production of certain types of classic film stock. What happened then? Well, that film stock was not available in the stores. Did that stop photographers? It did stop those who were relying on film stock for their business. For example small photo businesses had their income mostly from developing film. But these are labs, not photographers, you might say. That's true, but lots of them were sporting both disciplines and their businesses were supported by a stronger and a weaker leg. The stronger one was the tool. Such experienced some tremendous losses.
What happened to the real film photographers? Did that stop them from creating art? No. They just started using other tools. For some the transition was technically painful, to others the pain was emotional. Several decades later the tools got better and the modern complaints are "no two card slots," "doesn't shoot 4K," "it's only 25 megapixels," etc. Art didn't stop with the stopping of a conveyor line for a particular tool.
Some Will Be Doomed, Others Not
What will happen if DSLRs are no longer available? You will be predestined of failure if:
- You are into the trade industry and you only sell DSLRs.
- You are technically servicing only DSLRs.
- All your money comes from investment in public stock on financial markets related solely to DSLRs.
- You are a member of secret society who swore an oath and cursed yourself if you would ever have used anything else but a DSLR.
In case you are not any of those, you will simply have to change your tool for making your imagination a reality. You may not find the new gadget that attractive or perfect, but think about vintage artists who used wooden sticks with horse hair at the end, dipping them into a solution of crushed rocks and linseed oil to create masterpieces which we still admire today. Yes, I'm talking about oil painters. They did well. They still do well with the same kind of instruments.
Times change. Industry changes. Technology changes. A visual can be represented by lots of means today. The most important tool is your imagination. It should not be bound by the tools. If it is, try unshackling yourself as soon as possible. Don't worry about the gear markets unless you have financial benefit from them. Worry about art. Be an art-ist, not a tool-ist.