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Death of the DSLR (1 Viewer)

Remember that most recent DSLRs are already part way there with live, view, live view is complex with mirror systems, and they need do little more than add the eye level EVF in place of the reflex view finde, and it results in a less complex system for them to manufacture.

With a much slower AF system and a sensor that overheats after a short time (see reports of 5DII and 7D video).

If you want to use phase-detection autofocus then you need to divert some of the light to the AF sensor. That either means a mirror that has to flap out of the way, or a loss of light to the one place you really need it - the sensor. Contrast-detection AF (as used in the live-view Live Mode focus method) is a lot slower than phase detection. And probably always will be.

Then you have the problem with thermal noise. When sensors get warm they produce more noise (which is why big astronomical CCD are cooled to a few K). Maybe when we have room-temperature superconductors we can have sensors that aren't affected by thermal noise. But, until then, we're faced with the fact that having the sensor always-on is going to cause big problems.

So, yes, the death of the dSLR is imminent. As soon as we have contrast-detection AF that is as fast as phase-detection (which means a dedicated chip about 100 times faster than a Digic 4) and we've invented room-temperature superconductors that can be used at nano-scales.

I ain't gonna be doing any breath-holding.
 
This may be unfair, but I think it's possible that some have just responded to the thread title, and not the article. I would imagine that some older members would have responded similarly when the first Digital Camera was introduced. I can imagine Film being defended with an almost religious fervour. Shouts of "Digital will never replace Film", must have been common.

I don't have a background in Physics, so I don't understand today's technology behind reproducing an image digitally. But I, like almost everyone else, have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Camera manufacturers have some idea, but even they don't know what advances there'll be in 5 years. And even if they did, they wouldn't tell the Consumer. The tried and tested strategy of releasing incremental updates to products works too well to change it.

So I think that, if it suits the Camera Manufacturers, I'll be using a compact in 5 years time that's as good as present day DSLRs. It's not about whether it can be done, but about whether it will be profitable in the future to do it.

All MHO of course, I'm sure that most will disagree.
 
So I think that, if it suits the Camera Manufacturers, I'll be using a compact in 5 years time that's as good as present day DSLRs.

Sorry to be boring by repeating myself - but any technological advances that can make a compact as good as today's dSLRs will also be applicable to tomorrows dSLRs to make them even better. And the laws of physics aren't going to be changing anytime soon - which means that having a huge lump of glass to collect the light and big buckets to detect it is always going to be better than a small lens and sensor.

Yes, it's possible that they might make a PnS that's 'good enough'. Oh wait, they already do! Most people use their cameras to take photos to display on their computers or digital frames, or to stick on Facebook. Virtually any PnS made over the last 5 years is good enough for that.

In fact, I see the market changing in totally the opposite way to Ben Gottesman. Instead of dSLRs dying away, I think we're going to see the death of the bridge camera and the PnS, leaving the market split between dSLRs (for people who want to take real photos) and camera-phones.

We're seeing cameras in phones that are 'good enough' for Facebook - and have the huge advantage of being able to upload the images straight to Facebook or Flickr. I know of several people that have given up with their PnS cameras, because their phone does the job adequately and they've always got it with them.

And a lot of those phone-camera users also own dSLRs - for when they want to take more than a simple snapshot.

So why bother with an in-betweener when the 'good-enough' and portability factors are better solved by a phone and the high-quality end is better covered by a dSLR?
 
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Sorry to be boring by repeating myself - but any technological advances that can make a compact as good as today's dSLRs will also be applicable to tomorrows dSLRs to make them even better. And the laws of physics aren't going to be changing anytime soon - which means that having a huge lump of glass to collect the light and big buckets to detect it is always going to be better than a small lens and sensor.

Yes, it's possible that they might make a PnS that's 'good enough'. Oh wait, they already do! Most people use their cameras to take photos to display on their computers or digital frames, or to stick on Facebook. Virtually any PnS made over the last 5 years is good enough for that.

In fact, I see the market changing in totally the opposite way to Ben Gottesman. Instead of dSLRs dying away, I think we're going to see the death of the bridge camera and the PnS, leaving the market split between dSLRs (for people who want to take real photos) and camera-phones.

We're seeing cameras in phones that are 'good enough' for Facebook - and have the huge advantage of being able to upload the images straight to Facebook or Flickr. I know of several people that have given up with their PnS cameras, because their phone does the job adequately and they've always got it with them.

And a lot of those phone-camera users also own dSLRs - for when they want to take more than a simple snapshot.

So why bother with an in-betweener when the 'good-enough' and portability factors are better solved by a phone and the high-quality end is better covered by a dSLR?

Yes, an excellent example of the almost religious fervour defending the DSLR.|=)|

Again, everything that you just posted is based on your understanding of today's technology. And the laws of Physics are interpreted differently every time there's a new theory (Quantum Physics, String Theory).

So I'll stick with being uncertain what the future holds.
 
Yes, an excellent example of the almost religious fervour defending the DSLR.|=)|

Again, everything that you just posted is based on your understanding of today's technology. And the laws of Physics are interpreted differently every time there's a new theory (Quantum Physics, String Theory).

Sorry, there's nothing religious about it - unless you classify realistic objectivity as a religion. And I reckon my understanding of physics is probably not too shabby (after all my degree is in physics and chemistry).
 
Sorry, there's nothing religious about it - unless you classify realistic objectivity as a religion. And I reckon my understanding of physics is probably not too shabby (after all my degree is in physics and chemistry).

OK, I'll play for a little longer, then I really have to go:

A couple of things, what you don't have is a crystal ball.
Now, knowing nothing of Physics, and having no degrees, means that I can't argue about what can and can't be done today (well I could cut and paste from Wikipedia, but that would be pointless). But let's suppose that a new material was discovered/invented that had properties far superior to glass. And this material was unbelievably (by today's standards) efficient at collecting light. Wouldn't this change the rules slightly as far as lens size?

Also, the title of this thread was "Death of the DSLR", are you saying that there will always be DSLRs? Of course there will be top of the line Cameras that most people can't afford, but will they be DSLRs as we know then today?

Incidentally, I actually never intended to comment much in this thread, I just thought that others might find the article interesting.
 
But let's suppose that a new material was discovered/invented that had properties far superior to glass. And this material was unbelievably (by today's standards) efficient at collecting light. Wouldn't this change the rules slightly as far as lens size?

Yes. But a big one will still gather more light than a small one.
 
Cannot see the end of the DSLR for some time yet. Have seen articles of this ilk before.

.......

I think we have a similar discussion here as there was some years back about analog vs digital. And see where analog has gone. It's basically shrunk to the point where it is merely a small niche product. Plus some "oldtimers" who still use it. But those will diminish as they age and eventually die.

Additionally, there is the big problem when travelling by plane. I used to have my tele and other lenses together with my scope and camera bodies in my carry-on. Needless to say it was way heavier than allowed. But as nobody usually checked, it was no real problem. These days, I simply could not do this anymore. This has definitely helped my shying away from getting a DSLR. Though I hate the slow reaction of the alternatives I now use. But I can't do what a good friend of mine does by flying business class so that he can have more carry-on.
 
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Yes, an excellent example of the almost religious fervour defending the DSLR.|=)|

Again, everything that you just posted is based on your understanding of today's technology. And the laws of Physics are interpreted differently every time there's a new theory (Quantum Physics, String Theory).

So I'll stick with being uncertain what the future holds.

Chris, honestly, I think you are missing a point or two here. It's all very well to be uncertain about the future. BUT there is a pretty big difference between general uncertainty, and claiming that we cannot predict anything.

Sure, our understanding of physics has changed over the years (as has our understanding of science in general). But when it comes to optics, our understanding hasn't changed much since Newton. And a quantum based lens is pretty far off into the future (plus, that would probably mean that you either wouldn't know what you where taking a picture of - or where your camera was!).

When in comes to cameras today there are a couple of certainties that won't change in the future (guaranteed): physically larger sensors have the potential of delivering better images than smaller sensors; physically larger lenses have better light gathering capabilities and the potential of delivering better images than smaller lenses. These things will not change in the future - period! What will change is that the bar will be raised with respect to image quality in general. Yes, we will undoubtedly see compact cameras that deliver IQ comparable or even superior to present day's prosumer dSLRs - with low-end lenses at least. But by then the bar will have been raised for the dSLRs as well. There is one reason I feel 100% comfortable making that prediction: technology works its way down in the camera classes, not up. So when improved technology (lenses, sensor or otherwise) hits the compact cameras, it is usually already established in the more expensive cameras. As long as that continues, compact cameras will always be following the dSLRs with respect to IQ, and not leading the way.

The only thing I am religious about (and I guess the applies to many other "defenders" of dSLRs) is image quality. Would I change to a compact camera that would give me fast wide-angle, fast super-tele (16-800/2.8, and everything in between), 1:1 macro, fish-eye, and a 4-stop IS with the image quality of EOS 5D2 + EF 200/2.8L, combined with the user control and AF of an EOS 1D3? Of course I would! Even if it was considerable more expensive than the compact super-zooms of today (say the same price as an EOS 7D and an EF 100-400L IS. However, I am quite convinced that such a camera is not waiting around the corner.

Thomas
 
Just want to add to this interesting discussion that one of the limiting factors concerning image quality is the OPTICS. Granted they can keep improving glass technology, etc, but it is still a physical thing, not electronic, so there is a limit to what you can do, at least in the near and middle future. You probably cannot create a 600mm 2.8 lens that is the size of a walnut, just to give one obvious example.

Of course, you can always electronically manipulate what comes out of the lens, but you are still limited by the physical aspects of the lens (as in "garbage in, garbage out"). So, no matter how much you shrink your sensors, it doesn't buy you too much if you have to attach these to a big lens.

I suppose eventually they won't be using glass for lenses, or any kind of optical thing, but some other technology to capture the view, but that will be a long time coming, I should think.
 
And a quantum based lens is pretty far off into the future (plus, that would probably mean that you either wouldn't know what you where taking a picture of - or where your camera was!).

Actually, a quantum camera would be a great idea. It would take images using every possible combination of aperture, shutter speed and iso - then collapse down to specific values only when you looked at the picture :smoke:
 
TBH, Thomas, I'm not really missing any points. In my naive way I'm trying to get people to say what they think about what is, and isn't, possible.

I've found over the years in forums, that if you just ask a question, you don't always get an answer. But if you behave a bit like a Troll, people get a little irritated and actually post interesting responses. In the end I tend to learn more than by just asking the question.|=)|

I have no idea where Cameras are heading, only the Manufacturers will decide that. I suppose that they could respond to pressure from Consumers, but only if it affects their profits.

A couple of questions spring to mind:

Does Cannon/Nikon/et al, actually need to produce better P&S type cameras, or do they make enough profit from their top end lenses and cameras?

And on Optics; if a new (yet to be discovered) material can gather all of the visible spectrum of light, in a much reduced size. And if everything that the Human Eye sees, is faithfully reproduced. What would be the advantage of increasing the size of this new "Lens"?
 
If you want to use phase-detection autofocus then you need to divert some of the light to the AF sensor. That either means a mirror that has to flap out of the way, or a loss of light to the one place you really need it - the sensor. Contrast-detection AF (as used in the live-view Live Mode focus method) is a lot slower than phase detection. And probably always will be.
That's a good point, Hollis. I keep thinking that the primary function of the mirror is to allow the thru-the-lens view, but indeed it does also provide the super-fast phase-detection autofocus capability. So I guess I should stop disparaging that seemingly anachronistic "flapping mirror"! Of course, they could come up with a new way of focusing that doesn't require the splitting of the image, but I want it NOW! ;)
 
The sad fact is a lot of it is marketing, with the average punter needing to look 'profesional' and never buying anything than the kit lens. The Olympus E-300 sold worse than the very similarly performing E-500 because it didn't look like a 'pro' slr.

The public will buy cheap copies of whatever the 'pros' are using - so when the 'pros' stop using slrs - then they will die.

In the mean time many of us have all the cameras & lenses we shall need for a long time and perhaps that is why sales are tailing off?
 
Fair enough Chris - well-thought provocations are always interesting (and you did get a certain amount of response).

Frank: I didn't think about that! And a quantum camera would have to be compact to say the least.....

Thomas
 
Is this thread just meant to wind up anyone has bought or is contemplating splashing out on expensive equipment !!!!
I don't understand anything about physics, chemistry, maths you name it but anyone looking back in history can see the changes over time.No doubt the man with the horse never thought the motor car would catch on. I never realised all my music records( still call them that) would be consigned to the attic because I can't play them so it's pretty well certain that the DSLR will be history too in years to come and mine may well be in the attic too one day. I would hope so too because although I am prepared to lug my 500mm lens around now, had it been one of those box cameras on a stand with a towel over my head I might not have been so keen.
The question isn't if but when will the DSLR be out of date. Personally, the sooner the better but in the meantime I intend to enjoy what's available now as I might be well past my sell by date when the changes eventually happen.
 
Is this thread just meant to wind up anyone has bought or is contemplating splashing out on expensive equipment !!!!

Honestly, no, I did think people would find the article interesting. Although I did find some parts of this thread quite entertaining.|=)|
 
Is the DSLR dead?

No, Its market share is dying.


Nikon and Canon won’t allow these cameras to disappear, too much invested by both Companies.

Both will maintain a high priced product for the mid-range to professional market.

Some will argue that these products are already over-priced, but if there’s no new competition, a high RRP can be maintained.

The market will shrink into a specialist group, with the compact expanding well into the entry level DSLR. People will drop out of the DSLR sector as these compacts get better.

Is DSLR digital images any better than film at the moment? At the top end, no, not really!

Is the compact image better, no, but people’s expectations are being lowered, because of cost and convience.

Sensors and software will improve, so, increasing the elimination of skill and expertise, certainly as we are seeing now, there will be more dumbing down of skill levels. Whether that’s a good thing remains to be seen.
 
really? I had no idea that this was happening, more and more people I know are buying DSLRs so I was assuming that the market for the was expanding.

Seems like Canon agree with you -

' the company said: 'while demand for digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras displayed solid growth, demand for compact digital cameras remained sluggish amid continued price declines.'

From their quarterly report.

Another beautiful rumour spoiled by an ugly fact.
 
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