Is the DSLR becoming an extinct beast ?

Is the DSLR becoming an extinct beast ?

Little by little the telephones,compact and bridge cameras are getting better and better ! Could this mean that we will no longer be deforming our bodies with a DSLR, 4 lenses and all those little bits and pieces around that we need to press a button, they seem to be getting heavier and heavier, or is it me getting older and older.

Well can a little camera replace all that of course not. Let’s have a look at the new Nikon coolpix P900


Quote from Nikon


TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the COOLPIX P900 as the top-of-the-line model in the high-performance COOLPIX P series of multi-functional compact digital cameras that support full-scale photography.

The COOLPIX P900 is equipped with an 83x optical zoom lens that supports super-telephoto shooting at the equivalent of up to 2000 mm*1 (up to 166x*2 when Dynamic Fine Zoom is used). The camera defies conventional thinking regarding super-telephoto photography with adoption of a Super ED lens element in a lens that maintains a fast maximum aperture of f/6.5 at the maximum telephoto position, dynamically achieving superior image quality with super-telephoto shooting.pic_150302_03_01

It also offers excellent basic performance with features that include Dual Detect Optical VR, which supports camera shake compensation equivalent to a 5.0-stop*3 increase in shutter speed, and a shooting time lag of approximately 0.12 s*4. The P900 is also equipped with a variety of features that make photography more fun, including an electronic viewfinder with built-in eye sensor, GPS/GLONASS/QZSS support that enables recording of location data with images, and support for NFC, which easily enables Wi-Fi® connection to a smart device*5.



Read whole article here

The P900 seems to do everything a DSLR would do 7fps, time lapse,auto,manual,aperture priority,time priority ,auto/manual focusing, 1920×1080 video, stabeliser, zoom microphone !! I’ll stop there.

It even tells you where the best locations are around you.


Now if everything is how they say it is, what could be the disadvantages for me the biggest, is the electronic viewfinder and is that dynamic fine zoom, a posh way of saying digital zoom ? WAIT PHILLIP WAIT a moment ! this blog is not about the new coolpix 900 it’s about DSLRs


Now can you imagine using a compact instead of a DSLR ? Well on certain occasions I can. I know a lot of us carry one in the car , just in case of course !


Beware it could be the start of the change over. When we see the results obtained with these nasty lightweight pretend cameras and comparing with the hassle of carrying all the DSLR gear it starts to be attractive.


the superb results we can get with DSLRs, should of course be significantly better, if of course we are prepared and have the right lens on the camera. Often is heard that familiar cry “ I missed it I didn’t have time to change the lens and set the camera “.


I’ve just tried ,getting my camera bag out of the boot, opening the bag, taking out the camera body , changing the lens, The best I could do was 28 seconds and that meant leaving the bag open and the changed lens with no caps just lying there.


With the compact in the dashboard I could do it between 4 and 5 seconds, believe me a lot can be missed in 23 seconds.


We might start to get lazy and use it more and more. I’m certain that could be the case for the internet photographer, after all quality isn’t that important, so why not use a phone or compact.


We spend hours reading about great cameras and lenses, seeing which ones are slightly unsharp in the far corners of the image, comparing the prices of lenses that cost twice the price as a good compact. Then once we’ve spent a fortune, we shoot, then upload the result to flicker or suchlike.


Even at more and more camera clubs they project digital images, I know a club that some members never do a print, on top of that 60% when asked admitted they only work on auto, mind you they all have full frame Canons or Nikons with the same make lenses , not a Sigma or Tamron in sight,except in my bag.


When I gave a talk to them I mentioned I do A3+ printing at home, several asked me why !!! Do you know, I didn’t have an answer !!! I don’t do exhibitions , I don’t sell prints , I put them in a draw and occasionally give one away.


So why do I crave the new Canon D5 IV ? Probably for the same reason I crave an E type Jaguar it does the same job as a Ford Fiesta but wouldn’t it be nice to own and drive one.


Street cred plays a big part as well, frankly I’ve never understood why a top end body looks so similar to a lower end body, if I were a manufacturer , I would make it look different, so it says “I paid a fortune for this so I must be a pro“


Back to the subject please Phillip !! Are DSLRs Dying ? the answer is yes, but it will happen in stages , firstly the R will disapear, it will become a DSL or a DSM or some other combination that will be a posh description of a mirrorless camera. It’s almost certain to happen for the lower end, over the next 3 or four years as the viewfinders improve. Then gradually go towards the high end cameras.


The top end will still be around in 10 years, in my view. Although we should be at around 900mp sensors by then and using a laptop for retouching 4gb images. Still being uploaded to flicker in most cases J


For me the future is, in 10-15 years that there will have been a complete revoloution in photography, that will replace all existing systems, particularly the product photography market.


I’ll follow that up in my next blog.





Retired advertising photographer, now living in the Gers France and having a great time.

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