Year of the
mirrorless

2019 is going to be a big year for mirrorless cameras, both Nikon and Canon will be fleshing out their lens line up for their new cameras but we will see the likes of Lumix and Sigma release brand new full frame cameras that on paper at least look dynamite. So what is next for DSLR ? Does it have a future still ? Or are we seeing so much fire that 2020 will be the year DSLR gets its notice ?

SONY SONY, SONY

The most mature full frame mirrorless platform out there has had a great head start on the other brands who were happy to sit back and watch how Sony’s market share would impact their business. Within 5 short years Sony were biting on Nikon’s heals to be the #2 brand in the US, and with good reason. The cameras were hip, lightweight and had exceptional performance, that DNA is still there today with it’s brilliant line up but there are a few things Sony forgot to look out for.

The button layout isn’t great for those jumping from DSLR, a huge bone of contention for me, as a previous Nikon shooter and current A-Mount connoisseur I found the buttons to be small, poorly presented and doesn’t have that DSLR feel of authority when I press them.

This is just a few of the issues other brands have been keeping a close eye on and while Canon, Nikon and Lumix are taking their first leap onto the mirrorless groovy bus their first products are quite astonishing good. Not a million miles behind Sony in terms of their functionality and in some cases beat out Sony’s A7 / A9 design language.

Young Guns

Looking over the shoulder of Sony are of course Nikon, Canon and Lumix as well as the rest of the L-Mount gang, and here is where it gets interesting. Nikon dropped the ball with the Z7/Z6 as those cameras suggest something should follow them up to be a little more “Pro”; $3000+ dollars for a single slotted camera seems a little pricey to me BUT the Nikon Z-Mount has a button layout to dream of, weather resistant (eyes looking at Sony here) and many of the other features Sony forgot about (top LCD etc).

Will we see another camera in the not so distant future with that next level of pro feel which will, maybe will destroy the D850 in terms of features and convert those DSLR users maybe quicker than Canon can do the same, which I think is key to Nikon beating them in the market place. If rumors are true then we have 4 unannounced cameras in the pipeline from Nikon in the next 12-18 months.

Nikon have a big year with new glass too, as the 70-200mm and 24-70mm f/2.8 will hit the market at some point, maybe coincide with a new camera ? I hope so.

Canon fluffed their lines with their new EOS R and not sure it’s even worth talking about. Silly design and unpractical, the new full frame EOS R received a very luke warm reception. Canon should receive a D- and go back to the drawing board. Over priced and feels like it was rushed to tick the box and get the mount designed for their next gen. I can’t seen anyone jumping from their DSLR range to the EOS R anytime soon. While their lens range seems a little better and the adapter looks like a good idea with the slots for filters the camera is without doubt the elephant in the room.

Lumix

Synonymous with video, the Lumix brand hasn’t really had a decent stills camera with broad appeal but with their new L-Mount S1 and S1R I think maybe a dark horse in this years mirrorless market. After a short while at CES with the physical copy I found the button layout to be far more measured than whats currently on the market. Lumix will release two cameras both with dual slots ! How about that ! A first gen mirrorless with dual slots. Sony didn’t bother with the original A7 and Nikon missed the boat completely but Lumix have two slots, one for XQD and the other for traditional SD cards as a back up.

Both cameras (S1 and S1R) are identical other than some sensor size differences and {I should image} frame rate and ISO performance although I have little information on it.

Personally I can’t wait for the new Lumix, if the AF is fast, precise and works better in low light than I will be investing.

burning my a-mount gear

This year I will be jumping fully into mirrorless however a few caveats before I do. The price of the new Lumix, if Nikon bring out a pro level camera with faster AF and dual slots or Sony redesign their A7 system which isn’t cool (as I just sold off all my Sony gear)  So which is more likely.

I already have the Nikon Z6 which for a walk about street camera it’s excellent, I mean really really good. However nothing that’s on the market right now will have me burning my Sony A99II kit just yet and I’m sure I say that for many other DSLR users (or SLT for that matter).

Until then Ill keep an eye on Nikon Z series and the new Limux, if a new Z9 (?!) maybe comes with all the bells and whistles then I will be replacing my Sony gear with Nikon for a triumphant return.

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