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Author Topic: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)  (Read 5244 times)

Guillermo Luijk

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DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« on: March 11, 2018, 06:18:56 AM »

Periodically I update and plot the DLSR vs Mirrorless shipment figures from CIPA (http://www.cipa.jp/stats/dc_e.html). I changed the format to include:
  • Yearly average DLSR+Mirrorless sales: this figure gives us an idea of how stable is the interchangeable lens market vs mobile photography.
  • Mirrorless market share (%) vs total DSLR+Mirrorless sales: when Mirrorless sell the same as DSLR this value will reach 50%.

http://www.guillermoluijk.com/misc/cipa.png



Looking at the plot in 2017 I get two insights:
  • Interchangeable lenses camera sales have stopped going down as in the previous years and are stable at about 1 million bodies/month. These sales could be the critical mass of those for whom a mobile phone is not a suitable device to satisfy their photography needs. Mobile phones are continuously improving, so we can't expect this limit to last forever.
  • 2017 has been the best year for Mirrorless cameras since the showed up in the market: not ony for reaching the highest market share vs DSLR, but also in absolute sales (see the weight of the red area on the plot).

My guess is that if the present trend continues we can expect some stability in total DLSR+Mirrorless sales for the next couple of years (~1 million bodies/month). The Mirrorless vs DSLR convergency should be reach around the end of 2020. But...

If Canon and Nikon finally enter seriously into the game with a FF Mirrorless body before the end of 2018, I find reasonable that the Mirrorless vs DSLR equity is reached before the end of 2019. After all, every Canikon mirrorless customer will count twice, as a Mirrorless newcomer and (probably) as a DSLR lost sale.

Your thoughts?.

Regards

Herbc

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 11:10:02 AM »

Yep, as a longtime LF photographer, then DSLR and then mirrorless, I can't see the value in DSLR  when mirrorless full frame does everything I personally need.
Some pros need what DSLR can offer now, plus they have really big inventory of older DSLR equipment, so the upward trend of mirrorless should be pretty steady, but DSLRs have a really big foothold.
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Two23

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 12:44:48 PM »

Historically, the trend has been for smaller cameras ever since about 1900, when roll film really started catching on.  If this were 1918, most of us would be shooting a 5x7 camera (half plate if you're in the British Empire.)  I think the current sales numbers reflect three things:  (1) the upgrades from model to model have been modest compared to cost  (2) camera phones are convenient and have become more capable  (3) smaller cameras with small lenses are good enough for most people that want more than a camera phone.

Every time something new comes out, I evaluate what it might do for me.  I look at the latest mirrorless cameras and ask, "What capability will this give me vs. what I already have?"  Few of them have an autofocus system that match my D800E, and those that do cost over $3,000.  Some are much smaller and lighter, and that would be a plus for travel or high altitude hiking.  (But only if there are correspondingly small lenses.)   I don't have any desire to spend a lot of money on a camera body--they lose value so fast and rarely has a camera made any noticeable difference in my photography.  (The movements of a 4x5 are an exception.)  So, I keep shooting the Nikon D800E that I bought for $1,600 a couple of years ago.  It does all I want it to do, with the exception of being a bit porky on high altitude hikes.  For that I have bought a Nikon D5300 that works fine.  As a Midwestern guy, I tend to look at value first.  The difference in cost between a Nikon D800E and either a D850 or a Sony a7RIII is about $2,400.  Will there be a noticeable difference in my shots?  Doubtful.  Will I be able to sell more photos or book more wedding/portrait business?  Definitely not.  So, I keep what I have since the difference in performance doesn't even come close to the difference in cost.  I'd rather continue to slowly upgrade lenses, or spend the money on something that will make a difference--travel.  Thus, for me, Nikon and Sony's competition isn't the latest camera their competition offers, but the previous model selling for half on ebay. :)  I do plan on eventually buying a Nikon D850, but I'll wait until used ones start selling for <$1,600.  I really, really hate spending money on digital cameras.  I find I have just as much fun shooting a Kodak Brownie made in 1904.  In the past I've wasted thousands of $$ buying the "hot camera of the day".  Made no difference in my images.  For me, photography is mostly my creative outlet.  If I didn't do photography I'd be learning how to play the oboe or cello.



Kent in SD

Below photo shot with a 1932 Kodak
Brownie Model F, Ilford FP4.

Garrettson, South Dakota
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 12:51:19 PM by Two23 »
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mecrox

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 02:36:01 PM »

The mirrorless camera companies have proved more adept than the DSLR ones at selling features, and Iíd imagine that features are what drawn in new buyers - facial recognition, eye-tracking, pixelshifting, panorama modes, video, good apps and connectivity, viewfinder overlays, etc etc. Size is a feature too but the real secret sauce is the overall wealth of features the mirrorless platform allows. And with the A9 Sony pretty well cracked the last missing feature which is advanced tracking AF. There are many many DSLRs out there but if the mirrorless outfits continue with the features then Iíd expect them to do very well. The unknown is whether Canon and Nikon make a good fist of entering the mirrorless sector seriously, I guess.
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BJL

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DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA) & Canon-Nikon mirrorless
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2018, 07:35:34 PM »

Thanks for the data analysis Guillermo.

I am also fairly confident that ILC sales are settling down after a bubble in the transition to digital and subsequent rapid updates when the young technology was improving rapidly, and the new level will be enough to sustain most if not all the current players. (I mainly fear for Pentax.)

On the SLR/mirrorless market share split, my hunch is that a lot of mainstream ďconsumerĒ ILC buyers more or less start with ďCanon or Nikon?Ē, as evidenced by the rapid sales gains of the objectively mediocre Canon EF-M mirrorless system. So the expected expansion of mirrorless offerings from the big two will greatly increase sales of mirrorless camera systems. For one thing, it could remove the stigma of ďmirrorless must be inferior because the best professional brands do not take it seriouslyĒ.

The next question is whether that Canon+Nikon insurgency will shake out any of the smaller players.
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Two23

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 08:24:14 PM »

I think the main impediment to Nikon & Canon isn't the cameras, but rather lenses.  Fuji et al. have had a ~5 year head start on them.  Simply making an  adapter for existing lenses won't be enough, I don't think.  If I buy a smaller camera, I will want smaller lenses to go with it.  I think in terms of "system", not pieces.


Kent in SD
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 09:04:56 AM »

Agree, Kent.  The market seems mature, so what will lure prospective purchasers?  Switching systems is v expensive even with trade-in.  Just upgrading the body is expensive enough.  I have no need of more pixels as I do not print bigger than A3+, (13x19").  Certainly the speed with which some companies bring out new models makes me think that they do not believe they have ever got it right, so why buy?  I would rather spend my money now on improving my skills and the joy of making images and printing the best.
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Jonathan in UK

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 12:00:05 PM »

<snip>
If Canon and Nikon finally enter seriously into the game with a FF Mirrorless body before the end of 2018, I find reasonable that the Mirrorless vs DSLR equity is reached before the end of 2019. After all, every Canikon mirrorless customer will count twice, as a Mirrorless newcomer and (probably) as a DSLR lost sale.

Your thoughts?.

Regards

IMO, every sold Canon or Nikon FF mirrorless body will be most often a Sony lost sale, not a DSLR lost sale. Currently, there is only one conventional choice for FF mirrorless: Sony. It will be good to have more choices.
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the_luminous_french

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 07:31:12 AM »

i was a canon shooter, then i swap for nikon D800 ( shadows details and mp )... now i've bought an A7R III... by far the more universal camera i've never used !
but still some room for improvements...
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Kevin Raber

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 10:39:46 AM »

Watch the On The Rocks video on the home page of this site for a discussion on this topic.
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Kevin Raber
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bcooter

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2018, 09:29:40 PM »

IMO, every sold Canon or Nikon FF mirrorless body will be most often a Sony lost sale, not a DSLR lost sale. Currently, there is only one conventional choice for FF mirrorless: Sony. It will be good to have more choices.

I agree with Roger Deakins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfYeS_20dXo   that he doesnít care if itís an I phone or an Arri.    Every camera has itís place, but if you know itís limitations and advantages, anybody that is any good can make excellent images.  Not pixel count down to the micro level,  because that doesnít interest me or adding 4 more stops of lattitude, because Iíve always felt that every image that interests me turns into an 8 stop world. 

Maybe thatís why I like ccdís or better put lower Iso which makes you really use the light, whether itís Godís light, arriís or profoto.     

I own mirrorless (not including the REDs)  from full frame to micro 43.   99% of the time (when I use them) itís for motion imagery, though I find the little olyís and panasonics hold up well in stills, they seem to shoot above their specs.

Iím not knocking mirrorless, but honestly except for people like Chris B. that use them on a shift camera as a digital back, or e-commerce guys/girls that are shooting in studio, turning a gazillion shots a day plus video at the flip of a switch, I kind of donít see the point. 

Like Iíve said before, virtually every digital camera is mirrorless if you use the lcd to focus and frame.   Sure the Sony A series is smaller, but so is the battery use limited and even now, I would be very surprised if any mirrorless camera will focus as well as a top end Canon or Nikon.

I think the lure of mirrorless is the size and the cost, but when Iíve run the costs of duplicating everything I carry in my Canon cases with the newest Sonyís that ďwillĒ track focus with lenses, filters, all the stuff I have to work with there is almost zero difference in price.  Actually I think with the costs of top of the line Sony lenses, the new A series camera systems will be more.

But once again, this is all personal choice.   

If someone made a camera for me, it would be around apsC, with a 4/3, 16x9 and super 35 crop built in that you could switch to, but still capturing the full sensor crop.    The viewfinder would be optical with a clip on evf as an option and every lens would have some stabilization and the camera would track focus in still and motion as well as the 1dxII.

But thatís just me.

Bottom line we have a lot of tools to work with, even film.




IMO

BC

Guillermo Luijk

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2018, 02:53:12 AM »

Sure the Sony A series is smaller, but so is the battery use limited and even now, I would be very surprised if any mirrorless camera will focus as well as a top end Canon or Nikon.

I think the lure of mirrorless is the size and the cost,
(...)

The Sony A7 III is being reported as having impressive battery life, on pair with any demanding professional situation. Regarding AF, A9 and A7 III users are experiencing AF speed and accuracy in the same level as D500's, with the advantage of having a much broader AF points coverage and highly effective AF modes (e.g. face, eye) non existent for DSLR systems

Just a sample of professional social photographer, he is in love with eye AF for portraits.

A7III + MC-11 + Canon 135 F2

Oscar Fernandez Zugazaga by Oscar Fernandez Zugazaga, en Flickr

Mirrorless is no way only about size and cost, it's simply the next pardigma in digital photography.

Regards

bcooter

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2018, 03:12:54 AM »

The Sony A7 III is being reported as having impressive battery life, on pair with any demanding professional situation. Regarding AF, A9 and A7 III users are experiencing AF speed and accuracy in the same level as D500's, with the advantage of having a much broader AF points coverage and highly effective AF modes (e.g. face, eye) non existent for DSLR systems

Just a sample of professional social photographer, he is in love with eye AF for portraits.



No




BC



Guillermo Luijk

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2018, 03:20:41 AM »

Yes

Jack Hogan

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2018, 04:16:47 AM »

I think splitting the market into DSLR vs mirrorless makes less sense today than it perhaps once did.  Today it is Medium format vs Full frame vs aps-c vs m43 vs 1" etc.

The size of the sensing area dictates the vast majority of compromises in the physics of image formation, the rest is mainly just packaging for different applications.  Whether a camera is built like a tank or whether it has a mirror or not has more to do with intended use than anything else.   

As far as trends are concerned I am convinced that, as EVF technology improves further and sensors get better at being on for long periods of time, the mirror will capitulate to the many advantages of computational photography, just like CCD capitulated to CMOS a decade ago.

Cheers,
Jack
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David Sutton

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2018, 04:24:22 AM »

Mirrorless is no way only about size and cost, it's simply the next pardigma in digital photography.

Regards

A bit strong. The invention of photography was a new paradigm. Digital has done to photography what Kodak did to wet plates.
It's always going to be a mixed bag. My Canon 5 focussed faster than my current Fuji, but the mirror assembly introduced focussing errors that meant I couldn't be sure I'd nailed the focus on both ends of a zoom. And I'd get tired faster holding the thing.
I wonder whether camera manufacturers will find mirrorless cheaper and easier to manufacture once they have the lenses in place. That could be the real game changer.
David
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pegelli

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2018, 05:17:25 AM »

My take on this:

People still paint
People still use film
DSLR sales are still double that of mirrorless
DSLR's will be in use for a long time to come

Mirrorless is just another tool, one I like very much and now is my main tool, but in my mind it doesn't invalidate prior tools that still exist.
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pieter, aka pegelli

bcooter

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2018, 07:00:03 AM »

Yes


NO        At least not  I'n my world., or anyone that is serious and shooting people that are moving.  Have fun.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 04:11:04 PM by bcooter »
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KLaban

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2018, 07:22:56 AM »

@ Guillermo Luijk

Be aware that the link to your website is not working.
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Guillermo Luijk

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Re: DSLR vs Mirrorless trends (CIPA)
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2018, 09:32:07 AM »

My take on this:

People still paint
People still use film
DSLR sales are still double that of mirrorless
DSLR's will be in use for a long time to come

Mirrorless is just another tool, one I like very much and now is my main tool, but in my mind it doesn't invalidate prior tools that still exist.

All that is correct, and some people make their own cameras with a wooden box as well. It's a matter on how many people use each technology.

Regarding interchangeable lens systems, a niche by itself because of smartphones being so widely used, DSLR will become a subniche. The reason is clear: DSLR advantages are vanishing and disadvantages increasing. Just think what a newcomer who has been taking pictures with a mobile will prefer, having to fiddle with light meters and try&error exposure or look at what their picture will look like, just as in their phone.

Regards
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