Are DSLRs dead?

The debate rages online. In a popular episode of DigitalRevTV, host Kai W says that "2011 really was the year of the mirrorless camera."

Mirrorless vs DSLR
Mirrorless Olympus E-P3 compared to the traditional DSLR Nikon D3100 in an episode of DigitalRevTV.
Mirrorless vs DSLR
Mirrorless Olympus E-P3 compared to the traditional DSLR Nikon D3100 in an episode of DigitalRevTV.

Provocative headline, yes, but the point is the march of the mirrorless is apparently in full swing.

According to one report, mirrorless cameras- often referred to as CSC or “Compact System Camera”- are now outselling their DSLR counterparts in Japan (though I could not find hard data from December 2011 to substantiate this claim). And you know how that goes. What’s big in Japan…

It all started with the Panasonic Lumix G1 in 2008. Using an all electronic system, instead of a mirror as seen in scores of DSLRs and traditional SLRs before it, the G1 paved the way for a new generation of smaller, lighter (mirror boxes take space) cameras.

As one photo blogger concludes, “at the current rate of technological process, it is only a matter of time until the mirrorless systems will have advanced to a point where they are at least on the same level with DSLRs. While I am sure that also DSLRs will profit from new technologies, I, personally, am convinced that the future belongs to the mirrorless systems.”

From another article which analyzes market share trends in the camera market, and corroborates that Japan is leading the charge: “You just can’t argue with facts – Mirrorless cameras will eventually rule the interchangeable lens camera’s market, and it will happen sooner than we might expect.”

Mirrorless vs. DSLR

The debate rages online. In a popular episode of DigitalRevTV, host Kai W says that “2011 really was the year of the mirrorless camera.” Though many professionals now use mirrorless cameras, some aren’t so sure they’re superior to DSLRs. At least, not yet.

Watch the comparison in this video, which also has an informative explanation of the technical differences between the two technologies, and judge for yourself: (there’s a lengthy preamble, and numerous attempts at humor- if you want to get to it, jump ahead to 3:30)

You tell me.

Which do you think is better: Mirrorless or DSLR?

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  • DSLR. The mirror action and resulting noise is pure bliss.