...the typical response from legions of photographers was something like: "I'll stop using DSLRs when you pry my cold, dead hands off my Nikon (or Canon, or Pentax or.....). A few years ago I was told it would take a decade or more before mirrorless cameras outsold DSLRs.
I was also told by a huge number of working photographers that: "Real Pros will never stop using optical finders!!!"
Imagine how surprised I was when I walked into my local camera store. They finally organized all of their used cameras. These are cases filled with almost nothing but DLSR cameras. All used. All looking for new homes. All hoping to escape recycling or salvage.
Seems like a whole lot of dyed-in-the-wool DSLR adherents died all at once. Or maybe they just had their minds changed by progress. I guess that could happen. I just don't see it very often...
From February 2010: https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-would-i-design-perfect-camera-for.html
(Yeah. That was twelve+ years ago...)
When I asked the staff about the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Nikon and Canon and third place finisher DSLR cameras bodies and lenses they had on their shelves they told me that very few people even consider buying a DSLR these days and the store had been buying the used ones up for peanuts, or on trade, with the idea that a barely used, professional DSLR would sell well to people who still liked the moving mirror/optical finder technology.
The follow up? They've actually stopped buying used DSLRs because --- no one seems to want them anymore. They don't actually sell these days. But Sony A7s, Panasonic GH cameras and Olympus OM-1s, even Leicas, are flying off the shelves.
I got bored photographing the DSLR surplus with my phone and asked to see the case with the used L mount system stuff, or the used Leica SL/CL stuff. It didn't exist. Seems people don't trade them in very often. Like, almost never. Maybe it's because of all that stuff I wrote about in 2010. The tectonic shift finally arrived in spades and now it's on track to be the decade of mirrorless cameras. In whatever form/brand you like. Suprisingly people finally figured out the advantages of mirrorless cameras and EVF finders. Better late than never.
Great - at least for the next year or so, there should still be plenty of cheap replacements for my DSLRs if any of them conks out!
Ken, There are tons of them up for grabs here in Austin.
Good news for those few who still prefer the old DSLR I suppose. Imagine how many more are sitting in the millions upon millions of closets in North America, like empty beer bottles that people just can't be bothered to return. I can't remember the last time I saw someone with a DSLR. In fact, I don't see very many mirrorless cameras out there either. It's mostly people using their phones. When was the last time I saw a guy or a gal out there just taking photos? I honestly can't say.
I still see two or three guys (used in a gender neutral intention) out in downtown every week. Mostly doing the "street shooter" thing. Generally with a Fuji X100(x) or similar. Occasionally an older guy with a DSLR and a long zoom. But not much more than that.
Ouch! Those shelves look like the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB.
There are still a few used SL's (Type 601) on the market, but not as many as a couple of months ago, and prices seem to have moved back above $2K apiece
I still have some Pentax gear that I need to sell off. I don't know if the fact that it's Pentax is bad or good. It could be bad because its a niche brand in a dying DSLR market. But it could be good because Pentaxians seem to be the only ones who are hanging on with mirrored cameras.
Just realized, I am a dinosourus. Ready for the scrap pile of history.
I have been contemplating a Z system though, and do use my X100V quite a lot. But still get plenty of joy and images from my D850, and the optical path is my preferred way of seeing the world. Would have been nice to have someting more compact and ligthweight. Still can't get a native Tilt/shift lense for any of the mirrorless systems, and my favourite lens is still my 45 PC-E.
OK, wow! That’s a lot of used DSLRs!
In the near future the only use for DSLRs will be to recycle them into park benches and water bottles. ;-)
Amateur with a nice old DSLR here (Pentax 645d, not even 645Z). Yes, cameras have become faster, with more accurate focus and now feature several other goodies. Yet, my key issue remained the same over time: what to point the thing at. As soon as I know that, the old brick is still doing fine.
"I guess we can expect an increase in great photography now that people are getting rid of their dinosaurs," he says with an ironic chuckle.
Nobody will buy them? I do. I will. If I ever need to.
I played with EVF cameras since the beginning (wasn't that the Panasonic G1?). I believed what the internet influencers wrote. Bought several. Then I picked up a used Nikon D800 for cheap. It was overkill for my needs but I found I thoroughly enjoyed using the OVF. Since then I've bought a lot of used Nikon DSLR models and new and used F-mount lenses. They all perform well and I enjoy using them. I still have EVF cameras--you can't avoid them anymore. They're okay but I don't enjoy using them. Image quality? Hell, everything since 2007 has had excellent image quality. It's gotten to where everything is too damn sharp and hyper-real. It's fatiguing. If I'm not careful I might go back to shooting film. Uh...no. Not gonna do that. Not an option.
Try the EVF in a Leica SL2. It might change your mind.
Two things about cameras which may apply only to me, but:
--I never needed a great viewfinder. I mean, I'm looking at what I'm shooting with the naked eye. What I want a viewfinder to do is define the edges. Even one of the cruder EVFs will do that, and EVF is no longer crude. I don't really contemplate the image through the viewfinder. YMMV.
--Somewhat unrelated, but as a film user for forty years, where we had to change films every 36 shots, I don't want to hear about battery life. With most cameras, if you carry an extra one, you then have enough for what, 500-700 shots? How long does it take to change batteries? (Ten seconds, if you're if you're fumble-fingered.) How much does an extra battery weigh? (Nothing.) So, stop whining about it.
Agree on every point.
Adding: I'm so tired of hearing about how fast or slow a camera focuses in C-AF. Give me a break. Try focusing a Hasselblad film camera through a waist level finder...
Have you ever wondered what happens to all those extra, outdated, cameras, and lenses? Do they get recycled? Or dumped in the ocean? Or??
I think that millions and millions of outdated bodies and lenses are sitting in people's drawers at home, several generations of systems. People in affluent countries (almost everyone reading this) buy a lot of toys but many of those don't get used much. A deceased friend had an old Exacta body with 35, 50 and 135 mm lenses. He bought the equiv system in FD mount and later did something similar with Canon EOS only this time with zooms. The bodies and lenses mostly collected dust. How many others are there like him?
Something doesn't make sense. The "experts" and "professionals" on the big D review site told us with great authority for years that no technology would ever even begin to surpass their optical viewfinders. (But Leica did not count, they were for rich dentists only). But now, DSLRs aren't selling? Recall, those clowns also chanted for years that film was dead, and recently film volume has increased every year.
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