While Zack Arias and loads of others are touting the end of the DSLR, sales and consumer data has seriously shown otherwise. DSLRs are still great cameras, but if you try to recommend a mirrorless camera to most folks, they’ll scoff and want to go more for the professional look than anything. And while the mirrorless camera world has surely come a far way in the short couple of years that it has been around, there are still many things that companies can do to put the nail in the coffin.
Fix the Flash Sync Problem
One of the biggest problems I’ve encountered over the years with every big camera manufacturer in the mirrorless game is that they put severe limitations on their hot shoe. How so? Try hooking a PocketWizard unit up to your Micro Four Thirds camera, Fujifilm X series camera or Sony NEX camera and then try setting it to second curtain flash. Though it’s rare, second curtain flash is a technique that is used by many professional event shooters and even portrait shooters. Something this simple isn’t allowed and instead you’ll need to use an actual flash in order to do it.
But try to do this with a DSLR and you’ll see that it’s as simple as one, two, three.
Seriously, why would something so simple be restricted for so long?
Get a More Serious Look
One of the reasons why so many folks spring for DSLRs is because they have a more serious look and so they feel like a professional. And for mirrorless cameras to challenge this, companies will need to find a way to make their cameras look, feel, and act more professional. One of the most professional feeling cameras currently out there is the X Pro 1–but it only feels that way to the street photography and rangefinder aficionado crowd.
While we’re not saying that everything needs to look and feel like a DSLR, we are saying that some sort of more professional feel is needed.
Expand The Lens Lineup
The big two companies always love touting that they have loads and loads of lenses. Granted, Micro Four Thirds and Samsung have some of the most lenses out there for their systems. Though it’s been proven that many people perhaps buy one lens and no others, a lens system is still the foundation of a camera system–and that is how you win over the pros. Once the pros are won over, the consumers will follow.
And they may even get out of P mode: for professional.
Work With More Third Parties
The general consensus amongst many review sites is that last year (and even this year) are the years of the third parties. Rokinon, Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina are all producing excellent glass after years of being bashed (and we’re not saying that because most of them are advertisers). Mirrorless camera system makers should be trying to embrace the third parties when it comes not only to lenses: but flashes, radio accessories, straps, cases, etc.
One of the biggest things I learned when creating the Phoblographer is the power of collaboration and working with others. And it’s something that many businesses also try to do–but the camera industry should try to create better synergy with one another and focus more on giving the consumer what they want.
Make Direct Focusing Simpler
If a user wants to focus on an area in a scene, chances are that hey go through the process of focusing and hoping that the camera focuses on the subject that they want. And when it doesn’t, they try again and again.
The touchscreen is a solution to this, but we also know that many folks don’t like using them still (we’re looking at the snub-nosed folks engrained in their older ways). With this said though, many DSLRs have a thumb stick or buttons to directly hit to move the focusing point. Mirrorless cameras should have this too since they tout their focusing speed so much.
Maybe it may also win over the crowd that chooses to focus and recompose all the time.
More Weather Sealed Cameras
Weather sealed and tougher cameras are often used by the professionals that need something that can keep up with them. Sometimes it calls for shooting in the rain while others require shooting in the deserts in sandy environments. Building the cameras (and lenses) tougher will be an absolute necessity.
No–seriously, we’re not even joking about marketing right now. Sony did an excellent job making fun of DSLR owners in a viral internet video series and Samsung tricked people into thinking that a DSLR took better photos when the camera in use was in fact a mirrorless camera–but someone needs to find a way to convince folks that these mirrorless cameras can do everything that a DSLR can.
And at the moment, they can’t.
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