Nikon Ending Development on High-End DSLR Cameras
I care. And so might you.
The SLR format has been my friend since 1975. Of course, that was all 35mm film. Color slides or negatives, or maybe black and white negatives like Tri-X. And film photographers had all kinds of careers using them since way before my time. But when the Digital SLR came out it was truly transformative. Revolutionary. The DSLR came to rule them all. Then of course video capability came to the DSLR and almost anyone could buy-in and make their content. Documentary, instructional, or art “film”. Once again photographers, videographers, and aspiring artists all had something to show us. If not for great content for great cameras, how could YouTube exist?
I made use of each and all the above. With my Canon 7D I was able to put some good content right here, both still and video. The 7D Mark II was even better. I use them to this day.
This is not to lament the passing of the DSLR. It is to celebrate the progress made. Every configuration has its ups and downs. So what? Each type can and does enable us to take a photo. Record the video later edited to our own artistic sensibility. The big fact is cameras keep getting better.
I don’t own one of the new mirrorless cameras yet. But I probably will. In the age of more capable mobile phone cameras, the hard fact is sensor size matters. A full frame 35mm or slightly smaller APS-C sensor has it all over the micro or mini sensors behind tiny lenses in mobile phones. The ability to change lenses is not just focal length but in fact the look itself. The bokeh. The color depth. The ability to enlarge.
Of course 35mm film SLR cameras will endure. As will the DSLR for quite some time. But the writing is on the wall.
Nikkei Asia reports that camera maker Nikon will discontinue further development of its single-lens reflex (SLR) camera lineup, leaving the longtime professional standbys behind and shifting its efforts to smaller mirrorless models.
For its part, Nikon has denounced the report as “speculation” and stresses that the company “is continuing the production, sales, and service of digital SLR.” But this rebuttal does not mention the development of future SLR cameras—the company’s last new DSLR, the Nikon D6, was released in February 2020, and the company discontinued its entry-level D3500 and D5600 DSLR cameras last month. The Nikkei report indicates that Nikon’s development efforts will shift to mirrorless cameras, which are smaller and more lightweight.
Early mirrorless cameras generally couldn’t match the image quality or lens selection of DSLR cameras, and their electronic viewfinders lagged behind the real-time previews that a DSLR’s optical viewfinder could provide. But newer mirrorless cameras have largely addressed those shortcomings while retaining their smaller sizes and lighter weights. Mirrorless cameras also usually offer superior video quality, which is useful for people who need their cameras to multitask.