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POLL: Nikon says mirrorless competes against the compact cameras not against DSLR’s. What do you think?


Nikon said that mirrorless cameras are competing against the compact camera market and not taking away any shares from the DSLR market (via Mirrorlessrumors). Is Nikon talking nonsense or not? We have one of the largets “mirrorless” readers community and it’s about time to ask you if your Micro Four Thirds camera did replace your compact camera or DSLR camera. Let’s see if Nikon is telling us the truth ;)

You are using your m43 camera and...

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P.S.: Nikon announced another DSLR, the Nikon D5100. No sign of mirrorless cameras yet…

  • Miroslav

    As I’ve said on MR, people who want better image quality than P&S had only one choice four years ago: DSLR. Now, there are mirrorless cameras as well. P&S upgraders choosing mirorrless instead of DSLR will surely make DSLR market smaller. I won’t be buying a DSLR anytime soon, but may purchase new waterproof compact for diving – I’m not taking more than 200 EUR under water :).

    • Do you really have to quote yourself all the time? Sorry, it’s not the first time you do this kind of post. If you have something to say it, then just say it. No need to quote your dpreview forum messages with the date and everything…

      • Miroslav

        In year and a half of posting on dpreview and here, I’ve done partial copy/paste for, say, the third time, never quoted the date… And I have something like twenty posts on dpreview – since fall 2009. Either you’ve mistaken me for someone or you’re working for some spy service :). There are many people here repeating the same things all over again, much worse than me. Admin copied his MR post, so I’ve copied part of my reply. The only thing I’ve been stubborn about is fast wide prime, but I’m not the only one :). What are the other things?

      • Vlad

        So, Elniorg, all your rant is about “As I’ve said on MR”? Lol, dude. Leave the guy alone and keep it on topic.

  • bilgy_no1

    The poll misses one option: m4/3 replaced both compact and DSLR. Which is the case for me.

    • Ulli

      “it replaced both compact and DSLR”
      thats one of the poll options

      • bilgy_no1

        NOt when I first looked :-)

  • DonTom

    Goody, Nikon misses the point!
    I bought a m43 instead of a DSLR as part of upgrading from a P&S. Mirrorless is and will continue to eat into top end compacts and bottom end DSLR’s. There will always be a place for top end DSLR’s, and it is great to see the top end compacts stepping up to compete as well.
    @Miroslav: +1 I love the progress made in waterproof/ shockproof compacts.

  • Bu

    I’d like to select two as I neither use DSLRs or compact cameras any more, just mirrorless ones :)

  • Brod1er

    Wishfull thinking from Nikon methinks. I see mirrorless replacing all but the full frame DSLRs being used for sports. Cameraphones will eat low end compact camera sales.

    • Yes, I think that is more or less true. There will be APS-C DSLR still, especially those with high end specs such as the D60 or D7000. I also believe that Four Thirds will be around for a while. The E-5 can hold its ground pretty well for many use cases. Who knows, maybe Olympus will release yet another FT DSLR before they abandon Four Thirds for good.

    • I kind of understand background of Canon and Nikon. They think in long term and in long term, I too think, we will have only FF(*) and compacts (**).

      But I think both Canon and Nikon have to lie to their customers now since they have missed it. m43 alone didn’t justify the worries – but coming of NEX and NX changed everything IMO. Now they have to come out and deny its relevance.

      (*) That’s provided that there would be no further advancements in the optical design and larger sensors would be still required for shallow DOF. Otherwise, even APS-C or 43 has a chance to take the place.

      (**) Because all improvements and advances of ILC apply to compacts too. If e.g. Canon G12 had really worked as it looks on paper, who in their right mind would pick ILC instead? But that’s the thing: G12, compared to the ILCs, looks nice only on paper. After all, most amateurs and hobbyists will be pretty happy about f/2.8-xx 24-400mm fixes lens camera, provided it is fast and IQ is OK up to say ISO 3200.

  • Mirrorless camera’s like those around now won’t ever replace my DSLR, in fact, I don’t think ANY mirrorless will EVER replace my DSLR. Once Oly stops making them for real, including lenses, I’ll switch brands, probably Nikon.
    Unless I could afford a digital 6×6 by then… I love the specs on the Pentax 645D.

  • Arkersaint

    Of course Nikons’s assessment is wrong…

    But Nikon’s strategy may be right…

    Just avoiding cannibalisation…

    Without missing the train !!!

  • Owen

    I sold a nikon DSLR to get an m4/3 setup… though now i somewhat regret it.

  • Marc

    In my youth I used a good quality analogue film camera. It was small enough to carry in a small bag and the weight was around 500 gr., it had an ovf as well. Ever since the digital age I missed it. DSLR are much bigger and heavier. P&S lack the viewfinder and often have inferior IQ. People want small, lightweight camera’s with good image quality. I think Nikon is in the wrong here.

  • Ahem

    I haven’t really used my DSLR since I bought an E-PL1, and will be selling it soon.

  • Jón

    I think they overlap.
    I can understand that a buyer might choose between a Canon G12 and Olympus E-PL2 and Nikon D3100 and Panasonic G2 or even Olympus E-PL2.
    And mirrorless have more or less replaced the ‘Prosumer’ camera category.

  • Nikonaut

    I have not replaced my dlsr with a mirrorless camera. I replaced my old dlsr with a new one. Mostly because replacing all my Nikon glass would be to expensive (when available) – and the quality of the EVF.

    I suspect what Nikon are refering to is the availability of fast objectives and the size of the sensor. My ideal camera would be a mirrorless camera with a large sensor (for beautiful bokeh) and a Nikon-mount.

    In my view, all of these are things compact cameras can’t compete with.

    • > My ideal camera would be a mirrorless camera with a large sensor (for beautiful bokeh) and a Nikon-mount.

      My ideal requires fast AF and that is already known to be nearly impossible with heavy legacy glass… :(

  • Has this become a Micro-FT only page? Then perhaps the domain name should be changed accordingly?

    I’m missing the “I’m not using a Micro-FT camera at all, because my FT DSLR suits my purposes still much better” option…

    • +1

    • Unfortunately Rob…I think that the way the market has developed that 4/3 cameras, like the apparently excellent Olympus E-5, are being grouped with the DSLR’s basically because of the size of their body and lenses. When you compare hardware to something like the Pentax K-5 with those new limited pancake lenses I think you are toting around more hardware with an E-5 then your are with a similar APS-C camera.
      Micro 4/3 made everything so much smaller. Maybe the URL should change?

  • I went from an Olympus E-330 to an E-PL1.

    I doubt anyone now would buy any Four-Thirds DSLR besides the E-5. I know that Olympus and Panasonic didn’t have the biggest DSLR market share, but the majority of those users have or will go to Micro Four-Thirds, if they decide to stay loyal to those brands.

    That being said, I’ve been very disappointed with Olympus’ Micro Four-Thirds lens offerings, since optical quality was the reason I went with Olympus in the first place. Loving the Panasonic primes though, and am very tempted to take the plunge and get the Panasonic/Leica 45mm f2.8.

    Unless camera phones take a massive leap and get huge sensors, or unless DSLRs shrink remarkably, you can’t beat the combination of image quality and form factor of the mirrorless cameras. And as Olympus and Panasonic release more Micro Four-Thirds cameras and lenses to cover more segments of the market, and improve on things like dynamic range, low light performance and focusing speeds, they will only close the gap more and more.

    Now if it would just happen a bit quicker! :)

  • George

    just around myself ,
    There is NOT a single person who sold their DSLR gear and bought a mirrorless.
    Bunch of them bought mirrorless next to their DSLR gear.

    I think Nikon is right about this, we all saw market shares, mirrorless is going good but check out DLSR units that have been shipped. DSLR selling more and more every month.

    So i think it is very clear that mirrorless is not eating anything from DSLR market at that point of view.

    The only place where Nikon is wrong that couple of people i know bought mirrorless who are coming from P&S. They would buy DSLR if there is not any mirrorless.

    • Nothing here. Sorry.

    • Inge-M


    • Vlad

      Which numbers are you reading? Many times mirrorless is in fact included in the DSLR category. In any case I don’t come to the same conclusion.

  • KjKe

    I think Nikon is wrong. Mirrorless is more a replacement for DSLR than for compacts. I never use my DSLR stuff any more. The weight and size of the lenses just makes it into a no-option. I however often use a rugged compact for special purposes (underwater/beach/dirty environments). What has really replaced my compact camera is my mobile phone (for snapshooting).

  • As far as the poll goes….
    There was not a choice there that fit me truly. I picked: “I am not using any compact cameras any more.”
    ….but that is not because I “moved up” to Micro 4/3. I use my DSLR and my M 4/3 equally. There are quite a few things that my GF1 just cannot do that my DSLR can do so well. So my ideal pick would be: “Alternate between DSLR and Micro 4/3”.
    My main reason for not using a compact camera is that “for me” …any camera without a viewfinder is basically useless for serious photography. Now…that is just for me.

  • Anentropic

    I voted ‘it replaced both’ – not because I had both types already but because, like others here, I traded up from P&S to mirrorless (GF1) *instead of* to a DSLR.

  • Personally I need a m4/3 camera for specific situations where a compact or a DSLR are not suited for the job. I can see how a mirrorless camera can replace a compact, but currently the performance magin between DSLRs and EVILs makes the latter less capable for many applications. However, I am convinced that things are going to change within the next couple of years.

    On a side note, Nikon’s statement confirms its intentions to make a mirrorless system based on a rather humble sensor.

  • Luther

    Nikon is in denial. 4/3 has replaced my compact as well as prevented me from pursuing an SLR. 4/3’s IQ is excellent and ‘good enough’ for me (and probably a LOT of other people).

  • Maybe the poll should have asked about “usage” instead of “replacement,” since I suspect that comparatively few of us completely get rid of one camera to replace it with another.

    For example, at the time I got my Panasonic G1, my camera usage was almost 100% DSLR. (I’ve never owned a compact because the lenses are too slow.)

    Once I had the G1, usage shifted to about 70% DSLR and 30% mirrorless. Now that I have a GH2, it’s running about 40% DSLR and 60% mirrorless. Give me a few more wide-aperture lenses and I’ll probably never touch the DSLR except when I need to use wireless flash.

  • Dr_LHA

    I had to vote for “I’m not using my compact any more”, but that’s because a while back I decided I needed to take the leap from compacts to “big boy” cameras, and surveyed the market. I came this close to getting a bulky DSLR, but instead decided that the trade offs (slighly worse picture quality, but much smaller size) associated with M4/3rds cameras would give me a better experience. I’ve been a happy owner of a E-PL1 since.

    So I guess I vote for the 5th option: I would have bought a DSLR had mirrorless cameras not existed.

    • Mr. Reeee

      I have to agree there. I voted I’m not using a DSLR anymore, because it seemed closer to what I wanted.

      I used Nikon prosumer cameras and an Olympus P&S underwater camera. I’ve WANTED a DSLR for years, but never bought one simply because of the ridiculous size and bulk, which only increase as the size of the sensor increases. Why is that?

      Had Nikon produced a full-frame DSLR with similar proportions to the Nikon FM2 manual 35mm camera I used (and still have), I’d have bought one in a heartbeat. (There’s still time for that Nikon. You can do it!)

      So, I bought a Panasonic GH2 because it was the closest thing to a DSLR without the penalty of size, weight and overall bulk of the system. It’s funny, but side by side the GH2 and FM2 are nearly identical. The GH2 a bit fatter, the FM2 wider and heavier.

  • WT21

    My situation didn’t quite fit — Compact mirrorless is by far my primary camera, but I’m not using a compact because of a combination of cell camera and compact mirrorless. I still have my DSLR, but because I have a modern mirrorless camera, I moved down to a used DSLR body, primarily for quick, accurate telephoto focus. My NEX and EP1 have replaced most of my other need for a DSLR.

  • LOL…just read something on PetaPixel….
    One of the choices for the poll should be:
    Replaced Point and Shoot with iPhone 5! LOL.
    It will have an Sony 8 megapixel sensor.
    Really for us..if you have a Micro 4/3 or a DSLR, or BOTH…your cell phone is now or is eventually going to fill that gap when you just need a casual camera for grip-and-grins.

  • Where’s the option “I own DSLR(s) only!”??

    I understand that times are changing, but still this is the “FourThirds Rumors”, not “*MICRO*! four thirds Rumors”.

    And I plan to use my Oly til either it falls apart or a camera is released which would make me really want to buy it.

  • TC

    My GF2 is good for dinner pics but when I need to get the money shot at some big event my DSLR comes out.

    Mirrorless definitely made my put my Nikon compact away…

    • darth

      but if you want to get the money shot with video, its the mirrorless GH2 who comes out and the DSLR who goes back in the bag… (in case you dont want to use a proper camera)

      • Chris #2 – Electric Buggaloo

        This. This right here is why Olympus and Panasonic should be sharing technologies instead of competing with each other.

        If Olympus can make a dynamite stills cam, both the Oly and the Panasonic can go in the same bag and use each others’ lenses if need be. You can’t shoot video and take stills at the same exact time.

  • akey

    If I switch from a compact to a mirrorless, instead of switching from a compact to to a DSLR, should I call mirrorless a ‘DSLR replacement’, or a ‘compact replacement’?

  • Dan

    Their head is in the sand. My GH2 replaced my Nikon D70. I’ll never go back to a DSLR! DSLRs are specialty cameras now.

  • Igorek7

    In view of just released Nikon D5100, the Nikon’s product managers had to make a statement like this. In any case, the expected “Nikon Pro” mirrorless ILC may appear anytime soon.

    • vam

      And the Nikon D5100 is definately smaller than the D5000 which it replaces so it seems to me they’re trying to make their begginner DSLRs as small as possible as that’s the only way for mirrored cameras to try to compete with the demand for the mirrorless ones without creating an own mirrorless product line.

  • Snowbird_UT

    Interesting poll but it doesn’t tell the whole story. There are several choices missing such as:

    -Replaced my compact with my mobile phone.

    -Bought a large sensor compact over m43.

    I primarily shoot with my E-1s and L-1s with PL and Zuiko SHG lenses. I have never owned a compact of any kind unless you count my 70’s era rangefinders and CLE. My iPhone is my only small sensor camera that is used for quick grab shots. I preordered a X100 while continuing to hold out for a high-end rangefinder-esq mirrorless with built-in EVF and some fast primes ala my old trusty CLE gone digital. I don’t think I am alone here in this segment were IQ and high quality glass is given priority. If Oly give up on DSLRs I will be buying a Nikon so I guess in a way they are right but personally I think they are missing the EVIL boat.

  • Duarte Bruno

    Next time you post a poll I suggest you either make it multiple choice (answering 1, 2 & 4 could be perfectly logical) or make sure the choices are so clear they don’t overlap. ;)

  • darth

    what Nikon is saying is nonsense. having a mirror or not having a mirror is just a technological detail… in the end, they both shoot for the same market.

  • Matt

    I’ve been holding off on a micro 4/3rds camera to see what Nikon does. I’m heavily into a D700 lenses and flash but find myself using my Canon S95 more and more. A 4/3 or APS sensor Nikon rangefiner-like camera that used the Nikon flashes would find me dumping the D700. I find myself questioning how much I need all its capabilities given the brick-like weight and considering my options.

  • I’m sure that both Canon and Nikon are developing mirrorless ILCs. Any talk to the contrary is just an attempt to protect their current market position. More and more consumers who didn’t grow up with DSLRs won’t accept that they can’t see what the photo will look like before they take it. Imagine applying corrections to an image in Photoshop and not being able to see the results until you clicked an OK button at the bottom of the screen. That’s just not good enough. Never mind the benefits of a good EVF for video. Really it’s just a matter of time before every ILC is mirrorless. In 5 years I expect only the high end bodies for professionals with huge investments in lenses to still contain a mirror.

    • bonzoo

      “More and more consumers who didn’t grow up with DSLRs won’t accept that they can’t see what the photo will look like before they take it.”

      I dont think so. DSLR have an almost instant playback on their rearscreens and taking a picture is “free”. In my opinion body/lens size & picture quality are pushing people towards mirrorless cameras.

    • Miroslav

      “Imagine applying corrections to an image in Photoshop and not being able to see the results until you clicked an OK button at the bottom of the screen.”

      Well said.

  • RW

    Its an interesting poll, but in some ways, it fails to identify some of the most likely alternatives:

    1. Better and better cell phone cameras will be the death of traditional compact cameras – not mirrorless. m43 still just isn’t small enough to be with you “all the time” like a cell phone.

    2. Full frame and other large sensor cameras becoming smaller and smaller to become size competitive with m43. I know that people will chime in here about how that is not *possible* – but we shouldn’t underestimate technological advancement. Add HD video, an option to “toggle to live view”, and auto focus to a camera based on the Leica M9 and its done.

    For myself – my compact camera days are over. I have a half frame DSLR, a full frame rangefiner, a GF-1, and a cell phone camera. They all have their uses and they all come out to play from time to time. If I was forced right now to get rid of 2 of those systems, I would keep the full frame rangefinder and the cell phone. That is the optimum combination to me. But then, I don’t shoot sports or wildlife – so the lack of long zooms isn’t much of a constraint to me. My ideal lens set s a 24, 50, and 100 combo. Your mileage may vary.

  • The Master

    I wouldn’t give anything Nikon says much weight, at this point in time. I’ve used their cameras, since the early 1980’s and I got fed up in recent years, with what seemed like a total lack of awareness to the changing digital world. Every electronic device was getting smaller and Nikon was getting larger with huge lenses. I believe Nikon could have taken a good portion of the older peoples market and even got some of the rangefinder crowd, if they would have made a manual focus Digital FM2 body with a good sensor, so people could use the excellent old AI and AIS lenses, some of which are still made. Instead, Nikon seemed to go the bigger is better route, specially with lenses, in a world that wanted smaller. Well, I don’t know how much business they lost, because of this, but they did loose mine.

    • Mr. Reeee

      I have an FM2, use my old AI lenses and just bought a used Nikon 60mm f2.8 macro lens to use with my GH2. Got to the dpreview forums and see thread after thread discussing the use of “legacy glass” on M4/3 cameras.

      Just because people are stupid enough to drive SUVs when they don’t need them, doesn’t mean we want to carry the photographic equivalent just for a large (full-frame) sensor.

      There’s a sizable market opportunity Nikon seems completely oblivious to.

  • I was ready to buy a DSLR, but was always hesitant because of size and weight. The LUMIX GH1 moved me over to buy and replaced my superzoom compact. I would say Nikon is justifying their decision, or perhaps can’t figure out how to get around mirrorless patents, because M43 definitely competes with DSLR. The forums are full of people who have abandoned DSLRs in favor of M43… Al

    • Rand

      Al Jimenez, I have thought about upgrading my superzoom to GH1 (or something similar) as you did but what holding me is lack of longer reach (well, there are tele lenses for m43 but they are just big!) – but looking at picture quality from m43 cameras I think it is possible to get some longer lens reach with cropping/”digital zoom”. Have you tried that?


  • Joey

    still use my dlsr as it better for many things, like my m4/3 and think it has great potential to be the perfect travel system, only really use my compact for rock climbing now as most social shots are with iphone.

  • CDMc

    How about ‘Didn’t upgrade Current DSLR body, but bought m43 instead, to the detriment of my current brand’

    That’s what I did – 40D sat in a cupboard – it’s only been out to run some comparisons to my GH2. Once some of the new lenses come out I’ve got a feeling the Canon gear will be sold.

    I was annoyed that canon had dropped AF adjust on the 60D, and I’ve had enough adjusting PDAF at workshops. How many of the forums are going to be full with P&S upgraders who think that their cameras are ‘soft’. Video, well manual focussing at arms length on the 60D did not appeal.

    Nikon are shooting themselves in the foot – they are the main possiblity to push HDSLR/ILC – they have no video division to protect. Canon lost £1300 of my cash, how many Nikon users will do the same?

  • Andi

    The poll does not include all the possible points…I use both, DSLR and EVIL. And most time I like the G1 more, but sometimes I still need my DSLR. But, it is completly wrong to say, that Evils do not compete against DLSRs. Most time my G1 does even better than my other stuff.

    (I’m very sorry for raping your language, but I’m not a native speaker;))

  • pdc

    The G1/G2/G10/GH1/GH2 are direct competitors of any APS-C sized DSLR.
    Full frame (35mm) DSLR is another story.
    Nikon and Canon continue to have their heads firmly buried in the sand.

    • pandoala

      “Nikon and Canon continue to have their heads firmly buried in the sand.”

      Totally. They are just putting up a brave face for not seeing it (the potential of mirrorless) come earlier. If they think DSLR are so great, why are they putting live view on all their new DSLR? After all, the only advantage of a DSLR is the mirror/prism assembly that provides undelayed ‘what you see is what you shoot’. Replace that with a high refresh rate high resolution electronic viewfinder and the playing field is even.

      • sam (original)

        I agree with you both, Canon really missed a trick with the 60D, I was expecting them to bring it out with a full frame sensor as the true follow up to the 10D. They could have cleaned up had that camera had a full frame sensor.

        M4/3 is a much better option than APS-C in terms of size, weight, cost (if you are buying prime lenses) and the image quality difference is not that much.

        Cost out a Canikon with a 35mm-50mm f1.x equivalent lens and the Panasonic option and it is an easy choice.

    • twink

      I’m surprised that a big company such as Nikon could be so clueless…

  • Hmmm … I have an old Nikon F401x (a 35mm SLR camera), a Glitt 35mm (a rangefinder type camera), a mobile phone with camera (actually 2 and one of them have optical zoom), a 5MP cheap (at it’s time was quite expensive) compact camera and a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 with 14-140 and 20mm lens

    When I got GH1 it was a troubled choice, I had this nice bridge type camera with a ‘cheap’ price tag and lots of manual controls and gimmicks (that GH1 lacks) on my eye, I feared that quality provided by it would made me buy something better not so far later… Then I saw Canon 550D, cute camera, nice image quality, video features were quite nice… but… the size and lens price I would want to get made me twist my nose… then I saw GH1… and after a cautious analysis of pros/cons: *buys* :D

    Well, true to be told I would love the best of each realm … but that is not possible :/

  • mochapaulo

    Some friends around me are really going to mirrorless from DC but not going to join DSLR. Just simply several reasons, budget, weight and the body design. Except budget, DSLR seems can’t fulfill the 2nd and 3rd reasons. And I think C and N should think about it seriously.

  • fleckster48

    I agree that I haven’t given up my DLSR. I really like to travel with my GF1 and its great for street shooting and places where they don’t allow professional cameras because they think my Panasonic is a point and shoot. I also like the ability to shoot video and look forward the future MFT cameras.

  • m4/3 has replaced some of my older tape based cameras for certain kinds of video work (GH1).

    When I’m shooting certain personal things, I tend to use my GF1 instead of lugging out my full frame Nikon bodies. I can carry my GF1, 7-14mm, 20mm & 14-140 and have the whole kit weigh a lot less than my D700 without a grip and one or two normal primes. If I tried to bring along a 2.8 zoom of any kind, the lens alone would almost weigh more than my whole m4/3 stills kit. I’ll only use my D700 for personal work if I need the lowlight performance or the use of one of my specialized Nikon lenses.y

    For event and performance based shooting with really low light levels, there isn’t a current m4/3 offering that has the same high iso performance and long, fast zoom range that a DSLR does. When you need to shoot 8fps or higher, you have to use a DSLR.

    I’m usually having to shoot at iso 3200-4000 on my D700 at 2.8 when shooting a lot of performances to get a decent exposure and to still be able to freeze action relatively sharply.

    I try to always carry my GF1 with the 20mm mounted along with me all the time, just depending on what other stuff I’m carrying with me each day. I usually have my S95 in my coat pocket just to have something with me that is better than my iphone camera.

    Again, is is all just for me and my own usual styles of shooting. Of course, I’m a bit odd and still try to shoot some medium format film from time to time. :)

  • I skipped DSLR for EP2… love it and now going with a Leica so it’s not so much about money as it is small lightweight, good looks ect. ect.

  • Steve H

    I bought a GH2 with the 14-140 mm lens and the 20 mm/F1.7 lens and it has pretty much completely replaced my Olympus E3. I would have bought the E5 if it had handled video better, but 720p and the cost was a non-starter. If I need waterproof, I still have the E3 and 12-60 and 50-200 4/3 lenses I can pull out… but I rarely do, and I’ve been loving the GH2, and I’m still using it primarily for stills.

    So, yeah, Nikon is dead wrong as far as I’m concerned.

  • mochapaulo

    Just some suggestion for Panasonic series. The flash system is poorly designed that without any support for wireless TTL or remote. I think she has to face it to compete with Olympus PEN.

  • Nick clark

    Hmmm bit of a misleading poll to me. Yes, the GH2 replaced my dSLR, but that’s not because m43rds cameras do the dSLR thing better than dSLRs, but rather because dSLR’s were never entirely suited to the way I shoot. For me compactness was one of my major considerations. On the other hand, if speed and durability was more important then something like a K-5/E-5/7D/D300s ect would’ve been much more appropriate…

  • Joel

    m4/3 replaced my DSLR and I have sold prints taken with it, so for landscape (up to a3) I think it has no serious downside compared to APS-C dslr.

    I never had a compact so can’t say it replaced that too, though I do take it out far more often than I did my DSLR so you could argue it fits two purposes..

  • Sean

    I replaced a compact camera with the GF1, but at the same time I bought the GF1 and a couple of m4/3 lenses INSTEAD of upgrading my Nikon D200 to a Nikon D300 (or even D700). I still use my D200. So Nikon is right and wrong. m4/3 cameras do compete with compact cameras, but they also compete with DSLR cameras. Some people have given up DSLRs all-together, but not me. I just decided that for my purposes I would rather have both a GF1 and a Nikon D200 instead of just buying a new Nikon DSLR.

  • Steve

    There will always be those who value low weight and sheer portability over highest quality imaging. But as good as the mirror-less cameras are, they are no substitute for either a crop camera or full frame if IQ is valued above all. I’ve owned the G1 and the GH1 and have tried a couple of Olympus 4:3 cameras as well. The 4:3 sensor just doesn’t cut it when it comes to providing true photographic integrity. Sure, the files are clean at lower ISOs, the colors are/can be great, the JPG engines are really quite good on all of these 4:3 sensor cameras. But something is missing. Call it depth, form factor, “soul,” real-life grit, etc., etc., etc. All I know is that my experience with every one of the 4:3 cameras I’ve used … mirror-less or not … has lacked a certain quality that is very easily seen in the output from classic cameras like the Canon 1Ds, 5D, 40D and 450D, the Fuji Super CCD sensor cameras, the NIkon D2xs, D200 and D700, etc. The 4:3 and M4:3 cameras simply are no match for these amazing tools.

    I value low weight as well. So what I’ve done is carefully select low-weight, high quality lenses for when I travel with my Canon 40D or 5D. Problem solved.

    Nikon is quite correct in their marketing evaluation of the mirror-less cams. They are heavily eating into the compact camera market and, yes taking away SOME slr sales … but not all that many.

  • sam (original)

    I was going to buy a 5D II with a 50mm f1.4 lens and had been about to purchase when I started looking at M4/3 cameras, ideally I’d get a digital Mamiya 7II/ Mamiya 8D with a 6x7cm 100+ MP sensor but I think that will take some time to arrive – with the same dynamic range and resolution as Fuji 50 ASA slide film. Second choice would be a Leica M10 (I want full 1080p video for that kind of cash) w/ 28mm f1.4 Summilux. (but that is going to cost about the same as a deposit on a house, or a couple of years travelling and taking photos on a budget).

    I went for the GF1 when I realised I could buy a £30 adapter and use my Dads old nikkor lenses. For about the same cost as a Canon 550D/600D body I now have a GF1 with the 20mm f1.7, an excellent Nikkor 50mm f1.4 for portraits and a really sharp Kiron 70-150mm macro lens, the only focal length the format is lacking (exactly like APS-C) is decent wide angle primes. I’m going to test out the 14mm f2.5 in the next few months, ideally I’d like something wider with shift (and maybe tilt) for architectural and still life photos. With wide angle I really dont care about speed once it is wider than 28mm equiv – an f5.6 is fine if it is cut your eyes sharp across the whole frame. (I need to use filters, I’d consider the 7-14mm if it could)

    My next camera will be a GP1 if panasonic get it together to make a decent rangefinder style camera with an electronic/optical/hybrid viewfinder and things like this:

    Focus stop – near-far not the weird focus by wire like the 20mm.

    Full 1080p, variable frame rate 720p, maybe 2k/4k with Thunderbolt I/O and a dedicated SSD Drive.

    Weather sealing enough to not worry about rain or seawater splashes.

    Stereo sound recording.

    Remove all the logos from the front of the camera (yes even the Lumix one) and you will instantly make it uber cool – like a black Leica MP.

    I don’t need built in flash, I prefer not to have one.

    Teathered shooting with Capture One.

    Built in timelapse system – this can be done all in software much better than with external hardware.

    Coupled with the improved video and timelapse functions what would be really cool would be a new motion control range of tripod heads that would be programmable from the camera.

  • Bob Welsh

    I have been Nikon DSLR since their first – and SLR since long before most of you readers were born. My first Exacta VX said “made in USSR occupied Germany.” There have also been a few Leicas and Contaxes in my history. So when my son kept getting equal or better photos than me at various family events with his EP 1, I was intrigued. I borrowed it for a week. I then bought an EP2 with EVF and 20mm Lummix.l Lately I have added the Oly 9-18 and an Nikon adaptor. I have been carrying both systems on numerous self assigned projects – from sunlite landscapes to indoor action. The m4/3 has become a clear winner for image quality -forgetting the weight and bulk issue.
    My biggest surprise was a competitive outing with the Nikkor 12-24 against the Oly 9-18. It didn’t take pixel peeping for the Oly to be the winner -both detail and tonality. eBay will be seeing my Nikon equipment. And I can’t believe this outcome.

    • T Gas

      There are many people out there going for more portable gear. Imagine what will happen when the MFT sensors allow better low light shooting.

      A built in VF would make them unbeatable!

  • Gato

    We have to remember that the Nikon mirrorless is rumored to have a smaller chip and a more compact form than current mirrorless cameras. So while current mirrorless seem to be competing with APS chip DSLRs, the Nikon entry may be aimed more at the high-end compact market.

    • T Gas

      I read this type response all the time.

  • Vlad

    In recent years, DSLRs became cheaper and the line between the pro market and the consumer market started to blur. WIth mirrorless it gets even blurrier. On one side you have the compact size, on the other the almost identical IQ. It would be naive to think that mirrorless aren’t eating into the DSLR share.

  • MP Burke

    A local photo store has a display of mirrorless cameras with the caption “compact system cameras, digital slr quality just got compact”.
    I presume Nikon will market their offering with a catchy line such as “not as good as a dslr”, or maybe they could have “A baby Nikon, small and noisy”.

  • aimee

    I have a canon 5d mark II, and I love that camera it is the best camera I have ever owned! The image quality is amazing I have even used it replace my Medium format film systems like my Mamiya 7. However, I like to have a camera with me all the time and the 5d is too heavy and expensive to just have rattling around in my bag. This is why I like the mirrorless systems and wish nikon and canon would get on board. Wouldn’t they rather have me buy one of their more expensive mirrorless systems then a cheap point and shoot while I still spend my hard earned cash on their DSLR lines as well?

    I have the Olympus EPL-1 as my camera I carry around, and I do like it. However, it has some draw backs like really poor low light performance and I really don’t like the flash. Also, since I do most of my work for larger prints I wish it had a bigger sensor. If the Leica M9 wasn’t so expensive I would own it already, but can’t justify the price. I’m probably not the average user but do think there is a market for mirrorless systems.

  • T Gas

    I have not sold my other gear like I’ve seen so many others on the net have done, but I pretty much use the GF-1 exclusively, especially for travel.

  • cokids

    The demographic is aging and as it ages, heavier, larger cameras just don’t cut it! We have hands, wrists and necks that just can’t handle the weight any more!

    With a few trade-offs we can carry a lighter camera that does MOST of what the old DSLR did.

    Just my 2 cent’s worth!

  • Richard_K

    Of course this is “” club.

    The choice “it didn’t replace my DSLR and/or compact camera.” absolutely cannot be a winner. Ha ha ha

  • Alex

    Speaking in long term, FF will replace Medium format. ML cameras will take APS-C place and some entry level FF. Lets take it clear, everything is becoming smaller. I think that in 15-25 years smaller sensors will replace todays FF market.

    Bad m43 performance is a mith. Smaller sensor has more DOF and you can use faster optics (F/0.95 for example). So, you will have the same performance in low light and DOF.

  • Nikon’s mirrorless system maybe complies with their statement. Their bodies and lenses wouldn’t interst a pro or someone really serious about photography. It is almost like Nikon and Canon are trying to protect their pro DSLR maket and subconciously made their mirrorless systems lacklustre because of that.

    However, the Micro 4/3 system, with bodies like the GH3 and the OMD – and Sony’s NEX system – completely nullify Nikon’s statement. Panasonic has no big DSLR market to protect, and Olympus has seen the writing on the wall in regards to their 4/3 market, and have gone full speed ahead in creating really good bodies and lenses in micro 4/3. Sony is an interesting player, they have good bodies in mirrorless despite having a full size DSLR market. Their focus peaking feature is really popular because you can use any lens effectively.

    Olympus has really good primes like the 45mm f/1.8 and the 75mm f/1.8
    Panasonic has really good zooms like the 12-35mm f/2.8 and the 35-100mm f/2.8

    Fuji has a good start, but needs more lenses that would attract a pro.

  • I guess I just don’t understand the ‘gotta have a mirror’ thing. SLRs were developed because before them, there was not way to do through-the-lens viewing. With electronic capture devices replacing film, electronic view finding is the obvious way to do through-the-lens viewing. A mirror is a solution for a problem that no longer exists.

    I understand that in some high-speed applications, the delay caused by electronic viewing is an issue, but it is one that will be solved and once done, there is no rational reason for having an optical viewfinder.

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