Dismal Outlook for Mirrorless.

Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Well diddums to them. Less than 59 million for the year, poor them boo hoo. Maybe they should spend more time on R&D and improve what they have instead of trying and failing to outdo everyone else.

Yes It would be a royal pain for us not to have a bazillion new bits of gear every year to moon about over and get jealous of those with the funds to keep buying, but the reality is that its not smartphones which are killing off the industry, its themselves. We don't actually *need* new cameras every year. We need the existing ones to get decent firmware updates. That kind of thing. They should take a leaf from the Fuji book. I've become mad about my X100 all over again with the v2 firmware. And Fuji is making fewer new cameras than the rest of them.

oh well, my $5 (accounting for inflation)


Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
It's the low-end, 1/2.3" sensor, fixed-lens camera market that's really being eaten by smartphones. Enthusiast compacts - at least as they currently exist - may be in trouble, too. But larger sensors and cameras like the Olympus Stylus 1 may fix that.

And then there's this: http://www.43rumors.com/next-good-n...ecovers-from-their-years-of-financial-crisis/

I'm in the financial news business. And it's amazing to me how little the so-called "expert" analysts know. The problem is, most have a very short view of things in terms of time. And no patience. We're in a period of transition from PCs to tablets, to wireless connectivity and from analogue to digital photography (No, the transition isn't over yet. Most consumers have dropped film but haven't yet settled on their preferred platform.).

The camera market will ultimately stabilize and work out its problems. But financial markets hate uncertainty and want everything settled in a quarter or two. That's not going to happen and they'd better get used to it. Just as the camera makers are going to have to realize that professionals and enthusiasts are their real customer base for interchangeable-lens cameras. They'll have to concentrate on providing that base with fewer and better (perhaps more expensive) products that aren't replaced every year. And they can provide sensors and lenses for smartphones.

All this may very well mean the market for "serious" cameras shrinks and becomes much like it was for most of the 20th century. But I suspect none of us really knows what the final shake-out will look like.

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Don't pay attention to so called "industry analysts". They're just doing the same as fortune tellers. If the prediction doesn't come true, it's soon forgotten. If their prediction happens to come true, they're the ones who KNEW it...

One example that I like to cite is Pixar's movie "Up".
One big-shot financial analyst predicted it was going to be a failure, because the main characters are an old man and a young boy.
Apart from being one of my favourite Pixar movie of all time, "Up" won 2 Oscars (5 Oscar nominations) and did better at the box office than all other Pixar movies except Toy Story 3 and Finding Nemo... :)


Nov 30, 2013
in 5 years (maybe less), only eccentrics that hang out on photography web fora will use dedicated cameras (of any kind). And in 10 years, even most of those will have found better ways to create an image.
I agree. If my cellphone took pictures as good as any other camera, I would not own the other camera. I used to have a bunch of cheapo P&S cameras to throw in a pocket or backpack. Since the iPhone 4, no more.

In fact I wonder why I still have a few more serious compacts.


Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Three and a half years ago, I bought a Canon Rebel T1i for my wife to use. She used it for a while but has not touched it since she got her iPhone 5. For her purposes, IQ of the iPhone in good light is not significantly different. On the other hand, the phone is always with her, and uploading pictures to Facebook could not be easier. She is actually a pretty good photographer, but is not a photography enthusiast. So, that's a DSLR that will never be replaced.

There are a number of people who have bought DSLRs in search for better image quality, who have probably found out that in most cases, straight out of camera JPEGs (in good light) are actually not that much better than what you can get from your mobile phone camera. Those are DSLR sales that will likely not be repeated.

I believe that DSLR and mirrorless sales will probably be limited to professionals and enthusiasts. The question is whether there are enough of us to keep all of the current manufacturers in business.




Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Meh. I think we are just seeing more people with cameras, including phone cams. Without phones, many of these folks would have bought a cheap P&S and then never have it with them. The fundamental truth here (are you ready???) is that people always carry their phone cam. That is a huge advantage for most folks and has wildly increased the number of shots being taken. My prediction: With all these folks doing photography, some of them may decide they like it and buy something better. Dedicated cameras will survive just fine, but maybe in smaller numbers.


Jan 1, 2014
Colorado Springs
My prediction: With all these folks doing photography, some of them may decide they like it and buy something better. Dedicated cameras will survive just fine, but maybe in smaller numbers.

A family friend's son works at a local Target in the electronics department. I saw him at work a few days ago and asked him about camera sales for Christmas. He said that they only had two big hits: the Pentax WG-3, and the Nikon AW110 - both similar waterproof adventure cameras. They sold out of the Pentax first, and then the Nikon about a week later. He also said that they generally sell more cameras in spring and summer than during Christmas.

My prediction: More adventure cameras from all makers.


Aug 4, 2013
I have concluded for a long time that Sony will end up being the leading camera manufacturer in the world. They are pretty-much the Microsoft of the electronics industry. Sometimes late to market but always focussed on the long run. Nikon and Canon are just not innovating - I have never understood why their top end camera have to be so damn large and heavy. It is like they created a marketing myth that if it is professional then it has to look professional. I suspect that myth is now rapidly unravelling along with their sales projections.

In a world where 99% of imaging (my guess, btw) is now online IQ is no longer the key driver because unless you are Salgado it is unlikely your published images will ever exceed a few hundred pixels in width at 72dpi.

I've also been fairly down on Panasonic for some time. Basically, the m43rds format was a major innovation but as it will never exceed 16mpx by definition or because of the small size of the sensors deliver Sony-like high-iso performance it is a technical dead end. That is why I sold all my m43rds kit when I could - although I did keep my GH-2 and 100-300 for backyard birding. While we live in a competitive marketplace I am afraid there is no room for Panasonic or Olympus.

The only compassionate thoughts I have are about Fuji. They deserve to prosper because apart from Sony they are the only other innovative camera and lens manufacturer in the market. It is fair to say they alone invented the serious amateur/semi-professional mirrorless market that Sony is now determined to conquer.

Just my two cents and of course you are more than welcome to disagree with everything I state.



Jan 1, 2014
Colorado Springs
Interesting thoughts. I do agree with you that Canon and Nikon are playing it too safe. Canon was really innovative in the early digital era as they had to play catch-up with Nikon, Sony, and Fuji. But since becoming well established in the DSLR market, they've gotten a bit boring. Nikon sells hundreds of point and shooters for every one of their DSLRs, but are known primarily as a DSLR company.

But the bokeh crowd loves 4/3rds mirrorless cameras and have done remarkable things with them (they've also caused the price of M42 lenses to increase. ) I'm seeing some very artistic and creative photos from the mirrorless users.

Panasonic's Lumix G5 and G6 cameras are built to hold the types of lenses that people are putting on these cameras - Takumar 135s, etc. I was shown a Sony NEX3 with a 70s era Vivitar 200mm lens mounted on it. I was afraid to pick it up. I thought that the weight of the lens would break the mount.

I think Panasonic and Olympus will survive. As mentioned above, Pentax has its first post-Ricoh hit with its WG series adventure cameras. How about a m4/3 sensor adventure camera with GPS, LEDs, survival guide, and solar charging? The niche is there.


Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
From Mike Johnson:

"Meanwhile, Olympus predicts that 24/7 Wall Street itself will bite the dust during the coming year, prey to increasing competition on the Web."


RT Panther

Dec 25, 2012
I have never understood why their top end camera have to be so damn large and heavy. It is like they created a marketing myth that if it is professional then it has to look professional. I suspect that myth is now rapidly unravelling along with their sales projections.

Then there's the very DSLR-like Lumix GH2 & GH3 and the Olympus E-M1.....:wink:


Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
Sofia, Bulgaria
I'm constantly amazed that anyone gives these snake oil merchants the time of day. These are the same people who signally failed to spot the biggest economic collapse in 80 years, which is doubly surprising since their employers contributed so heavily to bringing it about. Might as well consult Paul the Octopus.

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