Superzoom, slayer of the SLR?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Battou, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Will Superzoom point and shoot cameras lead to the demise of the SLR camera? ...I Believe so.

    I have always maintained that if you can not afford one additional lens after the body with kit lens one is getting the wrong SLR. When you can sell a product that enables versatility through the purchases of additional components, You do it, no ifs ands or buts. SLR/dSLR owners spend hundreds and thousands on glass, It's a must for any SLR owner. But to be an SLR owner....This takes an investment of upwards of $1000 (USD) to buy new and roughly around $500 (USD) to buy used in the digital Single Lens Reflex market. I am just not seeing an appropriate action by camera manufacturers to build the next generation of SLR photographers. Wile the current generation SLR owner knows the real difference and has their SLR. The next generation of SLR owner is literally up shts creek unless mommy and daddy got a couple grand to spare. As you well know photography is an expencive hobbie/profession, and when the next generation photographer can get perceved equality at a fraction of the cost they are going to take it. In comes the ever powerful super zoom with it's ultra-powerful 12x optical zoom with it's 8.0MGP.

    The Canon S5 IS has an equivalent 36-432mm 2.7/3.5, with an MSRP of $349.99. An owner merely needs to push a button to go from portraits to wild life wile the SLR owner is swapping lenses or wishing they had another. With a focal range comparable to or better than that of some serious enthusiasts the possibilities are almost endless. With so much punch in one tidy little package at a fraction of the cost, In a world where less is more it comes as no surprise that the superzooms are making huge sales.

    The SLR/dSLR owner wants 85mm they go out and buy either a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM or one of the many standard zooms that focal length falls in costing anywhere from $400 (USD) (85mm f/1.8) to $1500 (USD) (100-400 f/4.5-5.6L). Should they wish to go to 400mm they go out and spend roughly $1100 USD on a useable 400mm 5.6L IS USM or $7000 (USD)on a 400mm 2.8L IS USM. These costs are in addition to what ever they spent on their body. Now if we round the focal range of the S5 off to say...35mm to 400mm, How many lenses be they prime or zoom fall in this focal range and are not being sold with this camera on the market?...37. Not including third party glass there are 37 different lenses in the Canon EF line from the cheapest Canon EF 35mm f/2 to the most expensive 400mm, the Canon 400mm 2.8L. You take away all the production costs, all the shipping costs, and what not it's still going to takes a lot of S5s to account for the missing profit from those who use this focal range, hell even half of that focal range.

    Yes, the super zoom may not compare optically to a prime L, but if it's all one ever knew, how will they know what they are missing? What incentive is there any more to buy SLR? Wile optical quality is of huge relevance to those of us photographers who are serious or have had experience with a fine prime lens. Those who can not afford the dSLR price tag turn to the film SLR or the "equally" capable superzoom. Wile film SLRs are full fledged and functional SLR cameras that can be purchased on the cheap they lack the modern convenience the average beginner wants. This in turn sways the decision to the superzoom heavily as many have the modern convenience the average beginner wants. I'm a pretty dedicated SLR user, I my self plan on teaching my kids with film based SLRs from the get go, but how many parents are going to go out and get their eight yearold an SLR camera in this day and age? Even then howmany are going to even consider film? I'm possibly one of the last of the generation where film was the only medium at the time I took up photography. I've meet kids in their elder teens who had never even seen a film P&S let alone SLR. What's more people are under the impression that Exif data is the be all and end all in training aids, this leads me to believe that parents will lean strongly to digital. Be they dedicated to photography or wishing to satisfy the curiosity of their child be they eight or eighteen it boils down to what are they willing or able to pay for a camera that may not survive and/or truly peak the interest.

    A superzoom also lacks the buyer loyalty that comes with SLR ownership. As it does not require as many additional pieces that could potentially be utilized post upgrade as noted earlier, owners can change from Canon to Nikon on the fly. This lack of loyalty could potentially breed loyalty to the superzoom point and shoot cameras. However this lack of loyalty is bad for business to put it bluntly. Customers will be less likely to tolerate shortcomings in equipment and move on to a different camera. It is in this that SLR manufacturers will begin to doubt the SLR. With fewer and fewer people who are willing and/or able to spend the kind of money it takes to own and truly use an SLR, eventually they will be to costly to produce and later abandoned.

    At this rate fifty years down the road the SLR be it film or digital will be little more than the box camera is today, just a toy for eclectic collectors to take out and play with just to say they did it.
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting thoughts, but I don't think the "Super-zooms" will ever replace SLRs. I can see SLRs as we know them be supplanted by an as yet unknown technology, but the simple fact is, Super-zooms are geared to the low/mid-range consumer market, and lack the versatility and build-quality of a good SLR. I can however see where they might eat into the entry-level SLR market, but not the prosumer or pro end.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    SLR means a mirror is used to allow viewing through the taking lens. I say who cares what the technology is, as long as I get to see through the taking lens.

    If they make small compact digital cameras with super zooms and high image quality then my photography will only get better.
     
  4. wchua24

    wchua24 TPF Noob!

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    nah...for me this will never happened . having a slr camera i giving you complete control of the pictures put come. point and shoot camera now its really evolving but still. cant level with slr. or

    maybe next time i will be wrong..haha
     
  5. A.S.H.rimp

    A.S.H.rimp TPF Noob!

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    I don't really think that's going to happen... Just simply due to sensor size. P&S's don't have the IQ of a SLR, and they never will, because their sensors are too small. Increase sensor size, and you get a camera that doesn't have 400 mm (equiv.) range. In order to keep that, you have to increase lense size - and then you get a absurdly huge P&S.
    Na... SLR's will stay around.
     
  6. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Crank that S5 or any other super zoom up to ISO 3200 or 6400 and take a picture.
    Get back to me if you think that beats a high end SLR............
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Er...take a look around. How many "What DSLR should I buy" and "New to DSLR" threads are there?

    I especially hate the last one. It translates to "New to digital single lens reflex". I mean, couldn't they at least make it a proper sentence and add "cameras" to the end of it?
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, If they ever make one with minimum specs like this.....

    Specs

    And the lens will max out at 400mm f2.8 and be an f1.4 below 85mm then I might think about it. Untill then it is just a Point and Shoot with High Hopes. :lol:
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This I definatly agree to - a bridge camera at the same cost as a low end amature DSLR body and kit lens is far superior in what it can take with regard to focal range and for many people the bridge is a far better bet.
    That said currently I don't see the superzoom cameras overtaking the DSLR market since they are made by the same people that make DSLRs - any new top end tech goes into the DSLR to keep it ahead of the compact market.
    Yes in 20 years time I expect point and shoot cameras will have just as good a noise control as the 5ds of today that is just a simple part of the constant evolution of technology.
    As for the focal lengths remember the image size - a point and shoot cann't make a photo as big as a DSLR at the same quality and many who do own good point and shoot cameras know this little fact - heck is there was no reason for the size of a 600mm prime then it would not be the size it is and physically speaking I think there is a limit as to how far out lens technology will and can go which will limit the effectivness ofa point and shoot. Bare in mind also that a superzoom compact has limitations on size and weight to the extreme to remain a low end market choice - this will hamper its evolution since whilst new lens tech might come along its size and weight might simply render it not attractive to the majority consumer base.
    I don't think DSLRs will die out - though I should point out that strictly speaking they are already dieing out as the mirrors are removed in favour of liveview features and digital veiwfinders - so whilst they might be called DSLRs they might not be ;)
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I don't think one will replace the other in either direction but I think the two will merge - as indeed we're already seeing with the Micro-4/3rds systems. (Then again, I said the same thing about video cameras and dSLRs 15 years ago and we're just NOW seeing it with the D90 :p :lol:)

    The Super-Zoom lenses are mostly low quality - and when combined with the tiny sensors really fall pretty short of a nice lens on a large sensor.

    My Konica/Minolta A2's advanced apochromat 28mm~200mm f/2.4 "GT" lens with 16 glass elements in 13 groups, two anomalous dispersion (AD) and two aspheric glass elements is exceptionally rare for a large lens "Bridge" camera and even it is nowhere near as good as many interchangeable lenses out there. Not even if it were 10mm~500mm. Again, especially when combined with small sensor sizes.

    I would keep an eye on the Micro-4/3rds systems though! :thumbup:
     
  11. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I never said it would, nore do I think it could.

    But how many of these "New dSLR users" "Have the money to it takes to own and truly use an SLR" How many of them are getting more than the kit lens.

    So, compare that to the number of "What DSLR should I buy" and "New to DSLR" threads over the past year or two posted by users who no longer partisipate on the forum as well as how ever many instances one can find where the New dSLR was sold to pay for something more important like school, of them. Then estimate how many of the ones posted now will be in continued service a year form now.

    Also, any "What DSLR should I buy" thread with a proposed budget or assumed cost under $700 should be excluded, I don't care where you go, $700 is the lowest one can expect to pay for a working dSLR with lens and an additional lens from a reputable place including semi reputable Ebay.




    Like I said, I am just not seeing an appropriate action by camera manufacturers to build the next generation of SLR photographers. As tirediron made mention to, there is an instability in the entry level SLR market. There is no true "budget dSLR", Manufacturers are marketing SLR's to people who don't need that calibur of camera and then on top of that buyers who might need that calibur of camera, but can't afford it are being given preconceptions that these P-shooters can compete with SLRs well enough to serve as an acceptable substitute. I'm sorry, No, there is no such thing as an "acceptable substitute" to an SLR.

    Crossmarketing and bridging the market is going to have unwanted side effects down the road.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think you might be seeing a proble where there is not one - DSLR sales are up at the moment since with the impending crash (ok its not really impending much more) people are getting that bigger TV = that better camera - hence all the new DSLR users. They might not go beyond the kit lens and they might not invest more - which is a waste of the DSLR, but its "what they want" a big pro camera- an image more than a tool.
     

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