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Ming tolls bell of death for DSLR

Posted on by Mike Evans

The Q-car Ricoh GR is tiny, barely bigger than a Sony RX100, yet features a superb 35mm-equivalent lens and a matched APS-C sensor. It can produce results to better most entry-level DSLRs and fits in the front pocket of a pair of jeans. I keep one for quick street shots when I don't want to carry anything bigger. 

The Q-car Ricoh GR is tiny, barely bigger than a Sony RX100, yet features a superb 35mm-equivalent lens and a matched APS-C sensor. It can produce results to better most entry-level DSLRs and fits in the front pocket of a pair of jeans. I keep one for quick street shots when I don't want to carry anything bigger. 

The bulky DSLR and its large lenses has been on death row for some time. While top-end full-frame cameras such as the Nikon D800 have a solid professional following, the lower-end models are at threat from the seemingly unstoppable flow of smaller mirrorless cameras. Even Leica, which has soldiered on with its unique M rangefinder for 60 years, is suddenly back in vogue as wealthier enthusiasts turn to lighter and more convenient systems.

When a photographer and commentator of the standing of Ming Thein begins to sound the bell of doom we know that the DSLR market is in trouble. After years tramping around with back-breaking DSLR outfits, he is now just as likely to pick up a tiny Ricoh GR and an Olympus OM-D with a couple of lenses. As Ming says:

This may or may not come as a shock, but I’m predicting the slow death of the DSLR has already begun; firstly, quality of smaller systems has caught up; technology is mature enough that there are few, if any, compromises involved in using a mirrorless camera. If my OM-D had phase detect AF and a few more pixels, I’d probably be using that exclusively for my professional work – in many ways, it’s more flexible than the D800E, and for 99% of intended end use, there isn’t enough difference in image quality. It’s not just me, either: a lot of my other pro friends are either using the heavy gear (including medium format) solely for work, and anything personal is whatever fits into a pocket.
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