Calling All ProMini-DSLRs: Is Anyone Out There? Discussion

Discussion in 'Digital Camera News' started by Laura Hicks, Mar 21, 2013.

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  1. Laura Hicks

    Laura Hicks DigitalCameraReview Editor

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    Managing Editor Jerry Jackson also contributed to this article

    The idea hit me like a flash of lightning. I was hanging out with the Canon reps in NYC checking out the newCanon Rebel SL1. The briefing was almost over and we were getting ready to wrap things up.



    Read the full content of this Article: Calling All ProMini-DSLRs: Is Anyone Out There?

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  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Erm, pros have not stampeded to the Canon 7D or Nikon D300s / D7000. The pros getting serious with the Oly E-M5 are event shooters, predominately shooting in JPG. So these choices are already on the market. And most of the pro market is sticking with full frame.

    Heck, I agree that it would be nice to have more advanced mirrorless models. And a more robust mirrorless lens selection. But I would not expect pros to drive that bus.

    The one development I could see tipping this choice would be the wedding market. If JPG was more widely accepted for weddings (which could happen, JPG ain't that bad), then "pro" level mirrorless could be off and running. The wedding market is huge.

    mumbles
     
  3. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator News/Review Writer

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    I guess that depends on which segments of the pro market you're talking about. Laura and I have both worked as full-time wedding and portrait photographers at various points in our lives and the mid-range "Pro APS-C" DSLRs are extremely popular among the working wedding and portrait photographers we know. Yes, full frame DSLRs are dominating the pro market (particularly as they are coming down in price) but a great deal of that has to do with how Canon and Nikon are marketing products and what cameras they support for their professional services programs.

    I think there's room for a compact-sized DSLR with more pro-grade features and pro-grade support. Essentially a miniaturized 7D or 5D ... make the DSLR body as small as possible but don't sacrifice all the features. Again, cameras like the OM-D and the new Panasonic GH3 are offering pro-level features but in a much smaller and lighter package. Yes, those cameras are mirrorless and we aren't talking about a new line of mirrorless cameras; we're saying small DSLRs aren't just appealing to entry-level shutterbugs and soccer moms.
     
  4. Laura Hicks

    Laura Hicks DigitalCameraReview Editor

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    I agree with Jerry. I have been in the wedding industry for 11 years. When I first started shooting weddings, I used 35mm film. I made the transition to digital one year later. I started shooting digital with the Fuji S2 Pro.

    I truly believe pros are shooting jpgs much more than you think. And APS-C cameras are an extremely popular choice with portrait and wedding photographers. Have you been to the WPPI convention? Its amazing what beautiful work can be created with entry level and prosumer DSLR cameras. I think its easy to place the success of an image on the camera instead of the hard work of the photographer. The camera is only the tool. The size of your camera and lens does not equal your photographic talents or your ability to produce an amazing product for your clients. Professionals are professionals no matter what camera they pick up that day.

    I actually do know quite a few pros that have used or currently use the Nikon D300s and the D7000 (and cropped sensor Canons too). In a sector of the market where giving the client digital negatives far outweighs giving them large prints, the need for insanely large file size is unnecessary. In fact, most clients' computers can't handle the large file size either. But I think all that is a bit of a digression from the main point.

    There is a gap in the market. Professionals (from various fields and from all levels of experience) are looking to lighten their load. Look up Will Crocket and Giulio Sciorio (I am sure you are already familiar with their work since you have an Olympus. That reference is for those that might not be.). They both produce amazing photographs with what is referred to as consumer level cameras.

    The migration to smaller cameras is upon us. I won't speak for Jerry, but I am suggesting that professional grade mini DSLRs could be a great alternative to (not a replacement for) mirrorless ILCs. I am also suggesting that it very attainable for Canon and Nikon to jump on board. And, if they don't create a compact professional level product, they might get left behind.
     
  5. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Well, now I'm confused again. Is your ProMini type to be with a traditional mirror? If that is the case, of course Oly tried that with their E-series. Which never really took off. Not that I am knocking the E-series, I seriously considered getting an E-3 at one point. So ... your thinking is that Canon or Nikon could (and should) give us a successful 4/3 camera with mirror?

    Lost Kelly
     
  6. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator News/Review Writer

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    I don't think we need to resort to smaller sensors ... we're saying the new SL1 with its APS-C sensor looks pretty good in terms of size ... but in terms of features, build quality and the complete lack of pro support the SL1 is really just for consumers.

    The E-series DSLRs from Olympus were sort of an odd duck because of the sensor size and the fact it was from ... well ... Olympus. Don't get me wrong, I was a 4/3 DSLR user (E-1, E-330, and E-3) for many years and I'm still a Micro 4/3 user, but there's a significant difference in the pro-level market penetration of Canon and Nikon compared to Olympus.

    To say that small DSLRs won't work because Olympus wasn't able to generate massive sales is sort of like saying that expensive cars with lots of safety features won't appeal to consumers because the DeLorean failed back in the 1980s. ;)
     
  7. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    OH! Now I get it. You're asking for a girlie sized 7D or D7000.

    I will get my coat now . . .
     
  8. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator News/Review Writer

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    Essentially, yes ... although I wouldn't necessarily call it a "girlie" camera. ;)

    The idea is that if there are more "serious" small, lightweight DSLRs for working photogs then there is even more reason to stay in the Canon or Nikon ecosystem and not jump ship to micro 4/3. We're not saying larger DSLRs should go away but we are saying it looks like there's a big hole in the DSLR market.

    Again, we're not seeing a "massive" number of working photographers switching to smaller mirrorless systems ... but we're seeing enough to notice, and that's usually how significant changes in the market start to take shape.

    Ten years ago almost every American had a Blockbuster video membership card and few people streamed movies and TV shows online; it doesn't take long for competition to reshape the market if newcomers offer something that's really appealing.
     
  9. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Ok. But in this "ProMini" niche I wonder if the new Fuji rangefinders are not just as serious a threat as Micro4/3? Canon could easily reformulate their new EOS-M line into a pro rangefinder. Nikon would have to start from scratch. Which would be nice to see actually.

    mumbles
     
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