Thank you once again for your support during 2015. It was a busy year, with lots of new and interesting cameras. With your help, we will continue to bring you articles, tutorials, news and reviews of the best digital cameras in 2016. We wish you and your family a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year 2016! Bonne et heureuse année 2016!
It is interesting to peer back in time and read some of the predictions we made through the years:
We hope this is the year we see the larger APS-sized image sensors being introduced into the compact non-DSLR digital cameras, which should in one swoop eliminate the image quality disparity between the compact digicams and the DSLRs.
Of the non-traditional camera manufacturers, watch Panasonic as they position their microFourThirds System standards and mirrorless DSLRs as the Next Best Thing with smaller and lighter DSLRs and lenses.
Watch Olympus as they decide whether to develop for the microFourThirds System all the way or just put in an appearance in a show of support for their partner, Panasonic. Will the FourThirds System survive, especially if they cannot deliver the same low noise high ISO characteristic of APS-sized and full frame image sensors?
Watch Sony. Not sure what their strategy is or whether thay have a coherent one, probably still leaning heavily on brand loyalty to sell their cameras. In an interview with Yojiro Asai, product manager in the digital imaging business unit at Sony UK, Sony admitted it was not yet ready for the professional market.
We are looking forward to exciting news for 2010 as far as the new Digital Interchangeable Lens category is concerned. Expect all the major camera manufacturers to jump onto the bandwagon and start introducing their version of the “mirrorless DSLR” and/or compact digicams with large sensors.
As a new year rolls in, remember the economy is still fragile, so be fiscally smart. Don’t know if you have noticed, but this year, we have not encouraged you to buy, Buy, BUY! We’ve published deals for those who need to buy something (if you can afford it, the economy can do with your support), and the ads help keep the site up, but otherwise we’ve been pretty quiet on the marketing front. We’ve still managed to double readership during 2010, so a big Thank You! to all our faithful readers and welcome to our new readers.
We believe 2011 was the Year of the Compact Mirrorless DSLR. It is interesting to note that the best compact mirrorless DSLR, according to the majority of the reviewers, comes from Sony (Sony NEX-7) which seems to have regained some of its boldness to innovate fearlessly. We don’t know how much influence the old gang from Minolta may have contributed to that innovation, but we’d like to believe they played an important role.
Is Sony just one step away from repeating the same feat using a full frame sensor? Once again, we’ll hear that Sony itself makes DSLRs which use a translucent mirror, that it’s hard to do, etc. but technically there are really no stumbling blocks anymore to using a full frame sensor, so it’s just a matter of time.
No predictions were made for that year.
In spite of a gloom and doom prediction from NYTimes/REUTERS, the future of digital photography is becoming clearer: it’s mirrorless, high ISO quality images, fast, and seamlessly connected to our smartphone and tablet. It’s cameras that can be remotely controlled by our smartphone and tablet, that saves images directly to an external drive that is itself connected and sends selected images to our editor back at the office.
No predictions were made for that year.
So, here we are in 2016 and what do we see over the horizon?
A battle at the top to decide which camera is the best mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, as Olympus (with its OM-D line) and Panasonic (with its G, GX and GH lines) try to wrest that title back from Sony and reclaim their rightful leadership position. Sony will consolidate its newfound role by further improving the A7R II. Fujifilm updates its popular X-Pro, X-T and X-E cameras.
Samsung has been quiet, not just on the product side but also on the marketing and PR side. Rumors swirl and changes are surely ahead. The NX1 is one of the best mirrorless and it did not unfortunately figure in our Buyer’s Guide 2015 list simply because of the uncertainty surrounding it: we did not want anyone to purchase one and then hear that Samsung has pulled out of the game, leaving them without proper support. The uncertainty does them no good.
Pentax will continue to bring to market DSLRs no one really wants. It needs to go back to basics and bring us a really cheap and really good no-nonsense mirrorless. Even if it’s only a manual focus with no creative filters, just the basics, priced affordably cheap and with a good pair of quality lenses, it could carve out a special space: think of a mirrorless version of the Spotmatic targeted to those who want to learn photography on a budget!
The battle for the best (mirrorless or traditional-mirrored) interchangeable lens camera begun when Sony staked its claim with the A7R / A7R II Full-frame cameras. We can expect Sony to further dig in and for its marketing machine to double its effort to get more professional photographers to abandon their long-held DSLRs and switch to its system. As DSLR owners know, they are buying into a system of camera, lenses and accessories and, once in, it is very difficult to get a pro to change system. Pros are interested in camera system, not just cameras.
Expect Olympus, Panasonic and Fujifilm to also start targeting pros with their respective systems. But, without a full-frame camera, it may be difficult to gain pros in their corner. So, this will probably also be the year when Olympus and Panasonic will have to decide whether they can continue to improve their M43 image sensors to compete with Full-frame sensors. If the answer is negative, then should they introduce Full-frame sensor mirrorless cameras to compete with Sony?
Canon and Nikon will continue to improve their DSLRs. As for mirrorless, we expect Canon to continue hedging their bets, perhaps updating to the EOS M4 and not much else. As for Nikon, if rumors pan out for a Full-frame mirrorless with an F-mount, then it starts to get really interesting because no one knows how to build cameras like Nikon do (if we overlook the Df). And, while that Nikon mirrorless wait for quality lenses built specially for it, users can fall back to using a number of quality F-mount lenses already available. A perfect scenario for Nikon–as long as they build a worthy mirrorless camera that amateurs and pros can enthusiastically adopt.
While all of this is going on, the economy hobbles along. The digital camera market will consolidate and, when the dust clears at the end of 2016, we may well have witnessed the exit of one or more players.
You may have noticed that we have switched to a new layout for the new year. We’re in Beta now and still making changes, so if you notice any problems, thank you for dropping us a line.