Joined: 16 May 2007
Smartphone cameras pose a serious threat to the DSLR market
Smartphone cameras do not pose a serious threat to the DSLR market
The argument for:
Do onboard cameras on smartphones represent a significant nail in the coffin of the conventional digital single-lens reflex camera market? If we want to use that descriptive, yes, it is a nail. The question then arises, though, of how many nails you need to seal the coffin. DSLRs are not that far removed from smartphone devices in that they all use sensors and they all have a mega-pixel count. The main difference is that with a DSLR you can change the lens rather than rely on the zoom capability of the smart device, be it a tablet or a phone. A lot of the decisions purchasers make come down to a matter of convenience.
The DSLR, as it stands, will continue to change and evolve as it has done for decades. But, I can also see how smartphone technology will become more influential in the way cameras are developed, whether they be DSLR or mirrorless.
The argument against:
I don't think that the smartphone will cause the death of the conventional digital single lens reflex camera. But I do think that the DSLR market is slowing down, partly because the technology has reached a high level of maturity. Over the past five years a number of incremental improvements have been made in successive iterations of the camera, and it is significant that these increments are becoming ever smaller.There is one significant exception to this trend and that is increased low-light capability of the sensors, which, in a way, is helping to rejuvenate the DSLR market, especially for top professional photographers. Now we can shoot in light conditions that were once impossible if you wanted to achieve any degree of final image quality.
And so the DSLR market has slowed down, but I don't think this is necessarily because professional photographers are swapping to smartphones. Photographers in this sector of the market are finding that they don't have to upgrade their hardware so often to keep abreast of the technology. Camera technology is so advanced now that, unless you work at the very highest end of the market or in a specifically demanding niche sector, you really don't need to get a greater degree of quality in the final image than what we are already getting from our DSLRs.