DX refuses to die...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by robbie36, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    The one format you hear next to nothing about these days is 'DX' namely 'APSC sensor DSLRs'. Now we know these are 'popular' but they actually account for 90% of total DSLR unit sales (according to Thom Hogan).

    And to see that these sales are alive and flourishing take a look at these sales figues that were issued at Photokina by Prophoto Online - Das Foto und Imaging Portal ...


    Obviously mirrorless is doing quite well but DSLR sales have risen by the same unit sales (and DX accounts for 90%). Mirrorless is not just M43 of course but includes NEX, Fuji, Samsung etc... In fact if you think about it those companies have made huge investment for relatively little return.

    Even amongst DSLRs Nikon and Canon are promoting the idea that DX is dead by pushing FX but DX seems to be doing pretty alright on its own.

    When I say all this is surprising - consider all the reasons that people choose NOT to have M43 or switch away from M43. It might be to go to NEX, to Fuji etc (both quite understandable) or it might be to switch to FX as size and price has come down but NEVER is it to switch to DX.

    Now personally I wouldnt pay much attention to this data apart from the fact that I was recently on holiday and I noticed everyones cameras. And everybody seemed to have a 'DX' camera (usually with a rubbish lens) and quite frankly I have no idea why.
  2. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Here in Taiwan it seems almost everyone has a crop DLSR, a mirrorless or two, a p&s and a camera phone. Oh and add a few film LOMOs here there as well.

    FF is on the streets but not as much. Crops are cheaper, lighter and the crop-specific lenses cost less
  3. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    So many crop-sensor DSLRs have been sold over the years that they are not going to disappear from our streets overnight. Also, people are in the habit of buying or aspiring to DSLRs and the APS-C format has an attractive combination of choice, price and performance in a proven design. However, the writing is on the wall for this breed of camera. In the not too distant future it is very likely that mirrorless cameras will equal every aspect of APS-C DSLR performance, with the added advantage of being substantially smaller and lighter, especially when judged as a system rather than just camera bodies. Canon and Nikon are both more than a little behind in the development of their own mirrorless systems and this must be a long term concern to them, especially with the likes of Olympus teaming up with Sony.

    A medium term solution for these two giants is to make their full frame cameras more appealling and more affordable, which I think is why they are starting to aggressively push their FF DSLRs through both size and price reduction. It is quite likely that within a few years APS-C will have lost most of its market to mirrorless systems, but at least Canon and Nikon will be able to reclaim some of that market with affordable and comparatively portable Full Frame cameras, which are likely to retain a performance and IQ advantage over the smaller formats.
  4. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    I agree with everything you say apart from the fact that if you were going to buy a camera TODAY you would be unlikely to buy a 'crop sensor DSLR'. Except that is virtually what everyone is buying.

    There is quite an interesting blog by Thom Hogan on this - he is an adovocate of crop sensor DSLRs....

    Thom Hogan's Nikon Camera, DSLR, Lens, Flash, and Book site

    But even he places the equation as this...

    Weight -- m4/3 and NEX < APS/DX
    Size -- m4/3 and NEX < APS/DX
    Image Quality -- m4/3 < NEX = APS/DX
    Price -- m4/3 and NEX = APS/DX
    Lens Choice -- m4/3 > NEX/APS/DX
    Retro Style -- m4/3 (OMD) > APS/DX > NEX

    More specifically DX offers one advantage over 'mirrorless' namely 'focusing of moving objects' - so photography of sports for soccer mums. Thats about it.

    What you are seeing is...

    1) product inertia. What I have is the best. And if I change I have to change Lenses which is costly.

    2) Bigger must be better. Well I know small cams are not so good and the best cams are very big.
  5. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    That's mad. The main and very real advantage of DSLR systems is the wide selection of lenses and accessories. Even MFT's line-up of lenses is just laughable compared to what is available for Canon/Nikon. Come on, there hasn't ever been a fast standard zoom for MFT and the only one that was recently released is expensive and optically nothing to rave about. There's still no fast telephoto zoom available at all, just one mythical 35-100 that people's been talking about for months and it's still not in stock and crazily expensive as well. Canikon DSLRs have tons of high quality lenses available for any budget, be it OEM or third-party products from Sigma/Tamron/Tokina/etc.. It's a way more developed market with reasonable prices and choices compared to MFT where there's literally no competition and Panasonic/Olympus charging as much as they want.

    It's totally logical and reasonable for APS-C DSLR's to sell in 5 times larger numbers than mirrorless and it'll likely to go on like this for years if native mirrorless lenses will be released at such a pace as they have been for now.
  6. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    I don't dispute that DSLRs are still selling by the shed load. Mirrorless alternatives still have a few issues to address, namely CAF and lens line-up. But the writing is on the wall and within a couple of years those issues will probably be addressed. That's when we might see a major shift towards mirrorless rather than just steady growth in the market share. By acting now to make full frame more mainstream I'm sure Nikon and Canon hope to retain a much larger slice of the market than they might do otherwise.
  7. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012

    Too bad most of those lens are specific for FX or other full frame cameras. You end up with awkward focal lengths for a lot of good lenses especially primes (more reach with zooms so I suppose thats a positive). And here we go again with the m43 lenses being too expensive statement. Dont feed the troll :wink:
  8. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I think there's a lot of life left for the DX format.

    Few people in total are photo enthusiasts looking hard at different options.

    Thought process:

    1) How come my p&s/cellphone camera shots suck? I want to shoot at night/sports/better vacation shots.
    2) Go to Bestbuy/other big box retailer.
    3) Get sold on a big nikon/canon rebel from retail worker (bigger, pro looking camera=better quality/more serious)
    4) Entry dslr with kit lens = much better photos than p&s camera...customer=happy and another person theoretically enters the market for nikon/canon.
    (5) someone wants something smaller/lighter and shops around...)
  9. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    Yes, consumer inertia and unawarenwss of the alternatives will play a big part in delaying the change, there's little doubt about that.
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    DX is a marketing term coined by Nikon referring to their APS-C sensor DSLR line. It does not refer to Canon, Pentax or Sony DSLRs. And the reason you don't hear much about it is that Nikon hasn't released any new DX products recently.

    Effective distribution, marketing, and until quite recently pricing and capabilities.

    Also, you're being a bit hyperbolic about the 'rubbish lens' bit. Most interchangeable lens cameras, mirrored or mirrorless, are being used with a slow 28-80mm eq. kit lens, and the current Olympus and Panasonic ones are about on a par with the rest.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    There's no good reason for the sensor size (about 17 x24) to go away any more than there is for mu43 to go away. You can make nice mirrorless compacts using this sensor, e.g., NEX. As for DSLRs, the folks on this forum have an obvious bias toward the mirrorless form factor. Lots of enthusiasts prefer the eye level optical finder and it's no surprise they still do well.
  12. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Looking at the numbers, it seems that DSLR is peaking.. it will probably stick around the 1M point (or decrease a little) while mirrorless catches up.
  13. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Pros are full frame kind of people. Look at pro sports, nature, fashion....FF. Why? Well it has been said before....better glass and output of more sensor real estate.

    I have a 5D2, EM5 and XE1 (the wife has a 550D). They all have their place. Bigger sensor and bigger glass gives better results plain and simple. So a D800 and 5D3 will out perform a 650D or a D7000. A larger sensor mirrorless camera will perform better than a smaller one. Bigger film format did the same to smaller film format.

    Canon nor Nikon put any effort into high end glass for crop cameras. Why? Most hobby photographers didn't want to invest on a 2500+ body plus 1000-2500 dollar lenses. So crops got lower quality, cheaper lenses and pros flocked to full frame cameras the minute they came out.

    Mirrorless cameras are a niche market. Yes they are cool. Yes they do a great job, but when joe parent wants to buy a "good" camera to take photos of that new baby from birth to graduation....that parent's vision of a good camera looks like a DSLR. They pick canon or Nikon based off what their friends have, get an entry level camera and a zoom lens and life is good.

    Oh then they glue a UV filter on the front. :)
  14. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
    All the kit zoom lenses bundled with DSLRs I've seen, at least concering the last 4-5 years, are dirt cheap plastic, mass production quatlity, BUT they have more than adequate optics. This is also true of :43: kit lenses and has been documented well enough in a myriad of tests, where these kit lenses give real life results on par with much more expensive lenses. I wouldn't call these "rubbish" by any means.
  15. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
    Sorry for the double post. Nikon had their D3200 out a couple (?) of months ago. If you're talking about DX lenses you're probably right (I don't follow Nikon releases). But they will most certainly come out with a D7000 replacement sometime soon. All DSLR companies play catch up among themselves in the APS-C front at this point.
  16. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yep, and considering this fulfills the requirements for the majority of customers, theres no reason not to get a dirt cheap d3100/t3. Presumably most people wouldnt even bother looking further.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  17. dancogan

    dancogan Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 31, 2012
    SE Michigan
    I shot in Michigan's Upper Peninsula last week with 5 other amateurs. Each one was shooting full frame. Not one other mirrorless, except for my GX1. That was all I shot with, and it got more attention as the week wore on and we did some hikes up to 3 miles or more.

    At the same time we encountered a photo workshop being put on my John & Barbara Gerlach. Many, if not most, of the participants were also shooting full frame. I was surprised at the number of D800's, especially considering how scarce that camera was for a long time. But shooting landscapes, they all obviously chose IQ over size and/or weight.
  18. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Don't make the mistake of conflating full frame with DSLR: there is no reason in principle why the two are wedded to each other. There already exist full frame mirrorless cameras in the form of the Leica M8/9, and the Sony RX1 will join them soon.

    Larger sensor sizes probably have a long future ahead of them (and there's no reason to stop at a 35mm sensor: Hassleblad are doing a fine trade in cameras that cost the same as a family car with 120mm sensors), but there's no reason why cameras, whatever their sensor sizes, are going to need the pentaprism and mirror gubbins of the film days for much longer.
  19. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    There will come a tipping point, when the mirrorless market share becomes large enough for it to be noticed by the masses. Even Soccer Mums (I do hate that word, it should really be "football") will begin to notice how small their neighbour's camera is compared to their own. And if mirrorless cameras should ever become fashionable amongst the masses, then just watch them take off!
  20. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The OVF of a nice FX/FF camera like a D3/D4 is a much more satisfying viewing experience over an EVF. There is also no viewing lag from the camera going to sleep. Also battery life of DSLRs are much better than mirrorless cameras. A D800 can easily shoot 1000+ images on one battery. I doubt my E-M5 could claim the same.

    Saying that, I'm hoping Nikon/Canon do develop a mirrorless camera that utilizes their lens line-up with no concessions for size or other limitations. CDAF for example offers superior S-AF that works great for certain applications.