Thursday, June 23, 2016

Does the Hasselblad X1D Change Things?

Do you remember in the absolute very first Star Wars movie, when Han, Luke, and Leia are in the garbage pit of the Battle Star, and the walls start closing in?  I imagine that must be how Canon and Nikon feel.
Is how we will come to think about the DSLR?

My very first reaction when I saw pictures of the camera, was a yawn.  So it was a big version of what I already had with my Olympus E-M10!  Big deal! Yeah it was a much bigger sensor, but it WAS essentially a 4:3 sensor, and I DID have a better selection of lenses.  And the price, while something of a bargain, considering the format and manufacturer, is so far out of my financial capabilities that I saw the thing as irrelevant to my life and my photography.

However, once I started thinking about what the X1D actually meant to photography and photographers, in general, I realized that this just might actually BE the game changer, we all like to  talk about but never really see!

Click to go to Hasselblad Web site.

A medium format mirrorless camera that weighs only a small bit more than the Sony A7RII is a very remarkable thing.  And while the price is high, it is priced low enough that it will undoubtedly draw some sales away from many FF DSLR cameras particularly those higher cost, and presumably higher margin camera bodies. Particularly so for those who are interested in studio work, or possibly, landscape photography.

I think Nikon and Canon have to start thinking about what this means for the DSLR camera format.  Is it SO absurd to think that DXO/Mamiya, Pentax, Sony, or even possibly Olympus could produce a similar camera at a lower price?  A price that skirts dangerously close to the upper end DSLRs?

Canon and Nikon MUST see that the walls are starting to move.  The area in which they are free to operate just got smaller, and once some manufacturer recognizes that there is a market for a less costly camera, their ability to move freely will be even further restricted.

I would remind you that our Star Wars heros, ultimately got out of their shrinking prison, but they found it a rather unpleasant escape.  Will Canon and Nikon escape their newly encountered situation?

I don't know, but I do believe this is one more nail in the coffin of the DSLR.  the DSLR isn't going away for a while yet, but I believe the handwriting is on the wall.  And that wall is moving towards Canon and Nikon, it is their actions that will determine how well they survive.

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