In the Age of Mirrorless, Do We Really Need APS-C DSLR Cameras?

The APS-C DSLR could be on the way out in favor of lighter, faster Mirrorless models.

The APS-C DSLR has been a gateway camera for many photographers, and some higher spec’d APS-C DSLR models are still used by professionals and hobbyists alike due to their rugged bodies and good overall performance. But with Canon chosing to kill off their sports and action centered EOS 7D models one has to wonder if APS-C DSLR models are coming to the end of the road. Should APS-C DSLRs still be produced by major manufacturers going forward, or should the switch to APS-C Mirrorless cameras take place across the board?

The Canon EOS 7D and EOS 7D Mk II have been firm fan favorites with the Canon faithful. The rugged APS-C DSLRs have been staples for those who shoot sports, action, and wildlife photography for many years. But a recent article at Mirrorless Rumors has confirmed that Canon has made the decision to kill off what could be seen as Canon’s competitor to the hugely impressive Nikon D500, and this decision has raised some questions. With the company seemingly warmed up to the idea of Mirrorless cameras now, and with almost every other company focusing on Mirrorless technology, has the time come to say goodbye to the APS-C DSLR?

APS-C DSLR

Canon has been producing both consumer-aimed APS-C DSLR bodies, like the Rebel series, and prosumer bodies, like the 77d, 80d, and the 7D Mk II, for many years. The entry-level Rebel series APS-C DSLR bodies sell anywhere from $400 to $700, while the prosumer bodies regularly sell for a little over four figures. Meanwhile, other companies like Sony and Fujifilm have been selling Mirrorless APS-C cameras like the Sony a6000, a6400, and the Fujifilm X-T20, and X-T30 that exceed the capabilities of Canon APS-C DSLRs by a large margin, and they’re cheaper to boot. So Canon is probably right to start ending the life of their aging DSLR line-up.

Now let’s be clear here; the argument in question is not ‘should APS-C cameras be killed off’, but rather, ‘should APS-C DSLRs be put to rest?’ There is obviously a huge market for APS-C Mirrorless cameras. Just look at how successful Fujifilm is with the versatile X-T3 and the X-H1. There is still plenty of demand for APS-C cameras, and rightly so. But with the masses wanting the latest technology, and with consumers wanting cameras that operate more like cell phone cameras with touchscreens, the vast majority of APS-C DSLR cameras should be put to bed. So bring on the Mirrorless Rebel series Canon, there are plenty who will love them.

APS-C DSLR

I still feel that there is a market for high-end APS-C DSLR bodies. I’m not sure Canon made the right call in ending the 7D line as there are still professional photographers who want rugged cameras like the 7D Mk II and the Nikon D500 that can give that extra reach for sports and action photography.

No doubt the 7D will live on in a Mirrorless variant, and I’m sure there will likely be a Mirrorless version of the Nikon D500 at some point. But not everyone wants to jump on that train yet, and not everybody wants to have to deal with a new mount or adapted lenses. The 7D II is due a refresh, but part of me wishes a newer DSLR version of it would hit the market. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below.