Imaging Resource recently released an interview with a group of executives from Ricoh, the company that produces Pentax cameras.
When discussion turned to mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs – and decreasing DSLR sales – things got especially interesting.
Said Hiroki Sugahara, General Manager of the Marketing Communication Department:
Currently, mirrorless is a newcomer, so of course many users are very interested in the new systems, they want to use [them]. But after one or two years, some users who changed their system from DSLR to mirrorless [will] come back to the DSLR again.
When questioned by the interviewer, Sugahara further explained:
The mirrorless camera is very convenient to shoot, because users can [preview the final] image before shooting. But I believe the DSLR has its own appealing point, because users can create their own image from the optical viewfinder. People can see the beautiful image through the optical viewfinder, and then think how they can create their pictures–for example, exposure level setting or white balance or ISO [sensitivity]–and then imagine how they can get [the result they’re seeking].
So the DSLR market is currently decreasing a little bit, but one year or two years or three years later, it will [begin] getting higher.
Could Sugahara be right? Might DSLRs soon be making a comeback?
Personally, I don’t think so. While some people do follow the latest trends, mirrorless cameras have the specs to back up their popularity: they’re lightweight, they’re compact, and they produce top-notch images. And mirrorless systems will just keep getting more and more appealing, as electronic viewfinders improve and mirrorless lens-lineups expand.
Of course, there are reasons to stick with a DSLR. For one, DSLRs tend to be more rugged than mirrorless cameras. And electronic viewfinders can have lag issues. But mirrorless technology is improving, and how many photographers will switch back to DSLRs for a more rugged body?
Not to mention the questionable reasoning employed by Sugahara. Sure, the occasional photographer may not be happy with an electronic viewfinder. But will photographers really prefer the greater challenge provided by a DSLR optical viewfinder, as Sugahara seems to be implying? In my experience, capturing stunning photos is hard enough. Photographers won’t want to make it harder on themselves.
What do you think? Will DSLRs rebound? Or is mirrorless the system of the future?
Share your thoughts in the comments!