Are DSLRs dying?

As much as mirrorless fanboys (and girls) like to chant about the eminent death of DSLRs the reality is quite different. From the latest numbers released by CIPA (Camera and Imagining Product Association) it is clear that even though the overall number of cameras shipped across the world is declining, DSLRs are still maintaining their lead over the mirrorless market.

DSLR vs Mirrorless Shipment

DSLRs and Mirrorless Shipment Across the World

As we can see from the graph above, after the initial jump in late 2012 the mirrorless camera shipments have declined but have stayed steady. On the other hand, we see a lot more variance in the DSLR shipments but on the whole they still continue to dominate the market.


DSLR vs Mirrorless Shipments By Region

The above graph shows an interesting trend regarding the DSLR market. There seem to be big variance between DSLRs shipped to EU vs America throughout the past years but mirrorless has stayed pretty much the same in both markets.

Why has Mirrorless failed to Excite Buyers?

From the numbers alone it is quite clear that DSLRs are not going anywhere anytime soon and even with the release of some very intriguing mirrorrless camera llike Fuji X-T1, Sony A6000, Sony A7/7s/7r/7II the market hasn’t responded as positively as the camera manufactures have hoped.

Is it the lack of knowledge among new camera buyers or is it because mirrorless cameras are inferior to their DSLR counterparts? I think it is combination of both. At least in USA, we hardly see any advertisement or displays for mirrrorless cameras in big box stores while DSLRs can be found even at Walmart.

As for them being inferior to DSLRs, I don’t think that’s the overall case anymore. With the advancements in technology Mirrorless are getting to a point where they are just as good as DSLRs in most areas and even better in some. With that said, AF in low light and action photography are still two areas where mirrorless cameras still need improvements to get the blessings of the “PROs”.

So What’s the Future?

I have no doubt that mirrorless is the future and with each evolution of mirrorless cameras come closer to becoming the leaders but the technology has to mature more before it can take the crown from DSLRs as the tool of trade for people who earn their living with them.

What’s even more important is that camera companies have to rethink their marketing strategy and come out in more mainstream so that when a person is looking to upgrade from a P&S, he/she will think about mirrroless cameras than the low end DSLRs.


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