Nikon and Canon
So what? Who cares if Nikon or Canon don’t have a full-frame mirrorless camera? Well, Nikon and Canon consumers care. They care a lot!
For the past couple of decades, Nikon and Canon have dominated the DSLR market. No other manufacturer got close. This market domination has meant that tens of millions of photographers have built up a photography ecosystem based on Nikon or Canon. This ecosystem will have cost those photographers a lot of money and there is no way that they are willing to give up on it and move to a new ecosystem necessary for mirrorless cameras. Plus, a lot of consumers suffer from “brand loyalty” and would rather gnaw off their own arm before switching to another manufacturer.
In short, the DSLR camera system will be alive while Nikon and Canon have no full-frame mirrorless cameras to offer their loyal consumers. Strangely, it is this exact point that leads me to believe that we are about to see the demise of the DSLR.
Why Are We About to See the Demise of the DSLR?
Recently, both Nikon and Canon have let it be known that they are launching a full-frame mirrorless camera. More accurately, whilst they have not yet made any public announcements that they are launching a full-frame mirrorless camera, they are no longer denying it or covering their R&D tracks. Both Nikon and Canon are expected to release their full-frame mirrorless cameras in late 2018 or early 2019.
When they both release their full-frame mirrorless cameras, their research and development money will slowly slide over to the new mirrorless systems. I don’t believe they will abandon DSLR cameras immediately. They will be reluctant to spend a huge amount of money on a parallel technology that would compete with their existing systems. In short, neither Nikon or Canon will want to compete with themselves. But they must eventually embrace a full-frame mirrorless system to facilitate growth and the emerging technologies.
They will also be very aware that their investors will want them to catch up with Sony, Fuji and Panasonic to ensure they don’t get left behind. Some could argue that they have already been caught off-guard with the rate of development and sales of mirrorless cameras. Sony now sells more cameras in America than Nikon. A statistic that would have been laughed at just three years ago.
If Nikon and Canon can produce a full-frame mirrorless camera that allows the use of their existing lenses, then I do truly believe that we will see the rapid demise of the DSLR. If they are forced to change to a new lens mounting system, then it could be several years longer before the demise. Regardless, their entry into the full-frame mirrorless system and the inevitable refocusing (see what I did there?) of their R&D money, will ultimately lead to the demise of the DSLR – even if it takes a decade.
What’re your thoughts?