May 25, 2022
DSLR is dead; long Live the DSLR
Why Canon’s latest announcement could be great news for someone wanting to get into serious photography using a DSLR
As I write this blog, Canon has just launched two new mirrorless camera models and two new lenses. The big thing about the announcement is that the two cameras are APS-C mirrorless bodies. If there needed to be a more explicit statement that Canon will no longer be producing DSLR cameras, I’d like to see it. It’s also confirmation that the M camera bodies are also destined for the scrap heap. All the camera manufacturers hope you’ll move to the new shiny mirrorless world. However, now might be the right time to buy a DSLR!
Why do I want something so last year?
OK, I have to admit, this week’s blog is designed to be challenging. The new R7 looks amazing for wildlife photographers with 30 frames per second electronic shutter speed (15FPS using the mechanical shutter, faster than the flagship R3). The R10 is almost a budget camera retailing at £899 and boosts equally impressive performance. If you have the cash for either of these two cameras and want to start getting into serious photography, buy them, and enjoy them.
Some new to photography will look at £899 plus an extra £100 for the kit lens and decide it is too much to splash out when they’re not 100% sure they’ll be able to use a serious camera. That’s why the latest announcement could be the perfect time to start your journey into photography with a DSLR.
Now, Canon has announced the first APS-C mirrorless cameras; you can bet there will be more in the coming months. That means all their production capacity will be pushed to producing new models and conversely stop production of older DSLRs. The current stock of DSLR cameras, such as the 250D and 4000D, are the last you’ll see on sale. As stock levels drop and fewer people buy ‘old’ technology, the prices will fall and fall rapidly—just the time to snap up a bargain.
What does it mean for buying new lenses?
The fear many will have in investing in the technology on its last legs is that it will quickly become redundant. Canon is still supporting the 750D and 760D models launched in 2015. It’s not unreasonable to conclude that support for the latest DSLR models will still be around in 2027. The same will be valid for lenses made for DSLR cameras – if you have an EF or EF-S lens now, there are still a good few years of use left in them.
Buying lenses for DSLRs will still be a thing five years from now. Heck, it will be a thing 20 years from now! How can I be sure of this? Two things give me this confidence. The first is that a specialist camera shop in Edinburgh sells a Pentax lens made in 1975! Secondly, I see many makes and models of cameras in my Switch to Manual workshop. I often see people arriving with cameras that are 15 years old. They still can do a job of taking good pictures and are certainly good enough for a beginner to learn the ropes. Yes, they’ll struggle in low light conditions. The auto-focus won’t be able to lock on the eyes of a bird to be sharp every time. But, in the first few years of taking photos, this won’t be a massive issue. When it becomes an issue, you’ll need to upgrade anyway, and there are converters to allow EF lenses to work on the new mirrorless cameras.
If you are thinking about taking up photography, keep an eye on entry-level DSLR camera prices, and you are sure to snap up a bargain. Come and join me on the Switch to Manual workshop, and I’ll show you how this old technology can teach you new tricks!
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About the author
As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions and was featured in a members sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at richdysonphotography.com.