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Tuesday, 12 July 2022


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sadly today this 'news' and writing is typical of a lot of output to the media. i still cling to subscriptions to the ny times and wapo , eschewing the wsj. i also read a lot on the bbc website for a more informed global view

I'm not surprised. I'm a decades long Nikon SLR/DSLR user with dozens of lenses from every generation of the F-mount, but I haven't taken my D700 out in over a year. I got tired of Nikon dragging its heels on starting a line of mirrorless cameras, so several years ago, I bought a Fujifilm X-T2 as an interim step until I could determine if I could validate the praise that mirrorless was getting on the web.

Bottom line, mirrorless absolutely earns all the positive accolades that it receives. I can't take the DSLR out because of two things. First when I put that D700 in my hand, its huge and heavy. Secondly, mirrorless with its WYSIWYG finder has all but eliminated my need to bracket or do a surrogate meter reading in tricky lighting.

I won't miss the SLR.

I upgraded in the prosumer Nikon DSLRs each time from the D70 until the D7000. At that point, I felt the features and image quality (particularly sensor noise which seemed to decrease about one stop in speed each generation) were sufficient for everything I do. I haven't upgraded anything since, except to acquire the relatively recent 16-80 f2.8-4 DX VR, which is my go-to lens for events and rarely has to come off the camera. It's a superb performer, and the extra stop in speed compared to the earlier midrange DX zooms helps my old eyes compose and see good facial expressions in dim event lighting.

I switched from Pentax to Nikon after the film rewind crank on my Pentax LX fell off and got lost, and there was no Pentax distribution network for parts in the country where I was living at the time. Switched to a Nikon. Every Nikon I have ever owned is still in my possession, and none has ever really broken, although the top LCD of the F4 has some LCD-bleed. I haven't shot a roll of film in 10 years, and when I do next, it will probably be in a Leica, not a Nikon. But I still hang on to them. They are great machines.

Still, if the mirrorless Nikon FF digital cameras work with legacy lenses, then I have no problem saying "goodbye" to old tech. Anything that gets Nikon through I guess. My sense is that it matters more to me that the company can service the lenses I own, than that a particular platform for those lenses exists.

End of an era though, if true . . .

Although I'm still not a great fan of EVF, it's not the the demise of the dSLR which bothers me. It's the marginalization of all my F mount glass that has given me pause to question my future purchase(s) of Nikon equipment. The F to Z adaptor seems like a half hearted attempt on Nikon's part to give us long time F mount users a pathway forward, but in reality, a jump to a Z body ultimately means a jump to Z mount glass. It's in that expensive transition that I'm now free to consider a move to any other high end camera system. No compelling reason to stay in the Nikon camp as far as I can see. Sure, the Z9 is impressive but at that price, I'm tempted to jump to the Fuji GFX system just as much if I'm going to retire all my F mount gear.

Nikon could give me a reason to stay a loyal Nikon user by building a "mirrorless DF" that packs the Z technology into s body which directly accepts ALL F mount glass!

I think the Nikkei article was referring to shutter lag, delay between pushing the shutter release and capturing the photo, whereas Thom took it to refer to viewfinder lag. Rangefinder cameras had less shutter lag than SLRs.

And in fact the Nikkei article is so clumsily written that it's easy to read it that way. But the other way actually makes sense. Both are of course issues for some types of photography, sometimes even for the same types of photography (anything with fast action).

Flappy mirrors were a hack. They allowed a wider range of lenses to be attached usefully to a single body (and previewed accurately), and attachments like teleconverters and extension tubes or bellows, including new ones not in existence when the camera body was manufactured. But they added a lot of mechanical complexity, and they introduced shake, and they complicated lens design (requiring the rear of the lens to be far enough from the film or sensor to clear the arc of the mirror). And then again complicated auto-focus (in the early days when the sensors were at the base of the body, the light path to them being via partially-silvered spots on the mirror plus secondary also-flapping mirrors on the back). It's time for them to go.

"The current Nikon DSLRs, ranked in order of desirability"

Personally, none are desirable. Gifted with any of them, I would immediately sell, unopened.

However, I am curious what criteria lead to your conclusions?

Mine are simple:

1. Would I enjoy using it? No.

2. Would it allow me to do anything photographically that my current, mirrorless FF and µ4/3 cameras do not? No.

My last Nikon SLR was an Ftn. I did inherit an F2 and FG from my Dad. Kept them for a while, as nostalgia/memorabilia, but never used them to take pix.

Yeah, have read about that earlier today at arstechnica:


They provide a link to a reaction from Nikon however, who denounced it at


For someone who already has a collection of F mount lenses, it makes sense to continue to use DSLRs. For someone starting fresh, one of the mirrorless models with their amazing new lenses is probably a better choice. But how many new photographers today are starting out from scratch with a system camera? And what about the vast amount of used equipment out there? Where are the customers?

Such a connection between your last two posts. The rise of the phone camera and the death of the DSLR. Mirrorless holds the throne for now but I can’t help but think that something containing attributes of both is the future. More important is the fact “we” (some of us anyway) did not expire at age 63.

Clearly the problem solved by the mirror can be solved in simpler, cheaper, more reliable ways now, but I still love a good optical finder and have yet to see an EVF that feels good.

What's interesting about the article and the rebuttal is that the article seems to say product development will cease, and the "rebuttal" assures us only that everything else ("production, sales, and service") will continue. ;-)

Had my D700’s mirror not stuck in the up position, had Nikon still supported it, I wouldn’t have thought of another camera.

In sum, I have no intention of replacing it with anything, and shall continue to use its far older sister, the D200, for any snapping that I may or may not do in the future.

Investing in new stuff at my age seems silly. Furthermore, the buzz has gone. There is no intrinsic value or magic in it anymore: the cellphone can produce images that do all most people ever require, without the pain of learning technique. Studied and learned technique is reduced to redundancy, and we who spent years picking it up, bit by bit, are dinosaurs. I feel no drive to join the ranks of the point’n’shooters; there’s no satisfaction for me in that. It was a great ride while it lasted.

I guess that when everybody can do something, there’s little joy in doing it.

I noticed this evening that a local camera store was no longer advertising the Nikon D500, which it had done for close to a year as an out-of-stock item. That’s kind of a shame. I bought a used copy a few months ago, and it has become my favourite stills camera.

I certainly “get” why people like mirrorless cameras. Most of my Nikon-branded gear is from the poorly conceived and marketed Nikon 1 system. It ultimately became a practice run for the current Z system, which is better in so many ways. I bought my first Nikon 1 camera to use as a hybrid stills/video camera for a family vacation. Mirrorless cameras are certainly much better for video work than DSLRs.

DSLRs are, nonetheless, fine picture takers, and will continue to be for quite some time, long after they are discontinued. There are plenty of them on the used market thanks to those moving on to other types of cameras.

And then there was one. Despite the prior doom and gloom about Pentax's future, it turns out to be the last "major" DSLR maker, assuming the Nikkei article is true. I read Thom's article and agree that the Nikkei article is short on attribution.

Maybe Pentax will offer a mirrorless model. [You can probably bet that they would keep the K-mount for compatibility. :>) ] If not, they'd better hope that there are enough people willing to continue with DSLRs. If Pentax disappears eventually, a great innovator will be lost.

I'd like to see a K1 III, simply to address the slower frames per second speed. (I'd also like quicker write times, if I may indulge myself).

Never having owned, or even touched, a Nikon camera I’ve no vested interest in this subject. But Thom Hogan’s prediction is undeniably a bullseye: "Bottom line is that DSLRs will be abandoned by Canon and Nikon at some point. “ … to which I’d add that that point is close enough to put someone’s eye out. I suspect that customer base retention and migration are the only dslr-related activities under way at either company at this writing.

One of the great ironies or our times is that perfection is the enemy of product marketing and sales. The dslr was a nearly perfected product for its intended functions.

Always different, I'm probably the only photographer on earth who ever went back to DSLRs after using mirrorless for several years. But I know I'm not the target market for camera companies. I don't do video and that's the push today with electronic viewing and controls that boggle my mind. No matter, I'm a dinosaur and accept it. Lots of used Nikons on the market and I can't afford the new models anyway.

It will be interesting to see if Pentax does indeed emerge as the sole DSLR developer in the coming years, and they manage to grow a following because of it.

I bought a used Z6 a few months ago, and find the whole experience very dslr like, especially after turning off my histogram and just relying on the exposure meter and the viewfinder scene. For a camera a few years old, it feels like the most modern one I have used. The main thing I miss from Pentax is the nice strong contrast of the limited lenses. The Z lenses I have are very competent and sharp, but more clinical feeling.

I’m hoping that the D780 will come down in pricing - though I might be hoping for a while. I just don’t see many used copies on auction sites.
I have a pile of AIS & earlier F mount lenses that I’d like to keep, and keep using. Given the lack of AI indexing on the FTZ, the Z system just doesn’t appeal. It may do so in future - who knows the vagaries of GAS / NAS…
And the D780 would be an interesting bookend to the FM3a that I also have.

63, blimey same age as myself! Have used the D700 and now currently the D850 both great cameras. Might get another SH D700 loved that one wish I never sold it!

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