Sunday, June 10, 2018


When Leica introduced the Leica SL, the first professional caliber mirrorless camera, many thought that such a design would never be capable to compete with standard DSLR cameras.  Since then mirrorless cameras have made considerable progress.  Other high end camera manufacturers have joined Leica in developing mirrorless systems of their own.

In contrast, DSLR camera sales have steadily declined.  As a matter of fact, mirrorless cameras have been the only bright spot in camera sales.  The latest GfK sales figures from April 2018 prove that mirrorless system cameras leave the SLRs behind for the first time. The onslaught of mobile phone cameras has all but eliminated the market for digital point and shoot cameras and many manufacturers have already eliminated these types of cameras from their line ups.

The last hold outs and the largest DSLR manufacturers, Canon and Nikon, steadfastly have held on to their DSLR offerings, but they obviously see the writing on the wall.  Suddenly booth companies are scrambling to introduce mirrorless systems of their own.

Even the Leica M10, as well as the other Leica M models, while primarily rangefinder cameras, 
can be considered mirrorless cameras as well

While mirrorless cameras were considered to be just for the consumer market, cameras like the Leica SL have proven that the elimination of a mirror housing does not automatically mean a lesser cameras.  Any of the professional features made popular by DSLR cameras can be found in Professional mirrorless cameras like the Leica SL as well. 

However, one point of criticism remains.  The electronic viewfinders, which have replaced the conventional mirror and prism viewfinders of DSLR cameras, to this day are inferior to some degree to the old SLR viewfinders.  The only exception is the Leica SL.  Its electronic viewfinder still has about twice the resolution of any of their competition and it is the only electronic viewfinder that is able to fully compete with conventional SLR viewfinders.

Time will tell if other manufacturers will introduce truly professional mirrorless cameras of their own, or if they will initially take the route of elevated consumer cameras in their efforts to enter the mirrorless camera market.

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