Once Upon A Time There Was No Mirror

Mirrorless cameras are the hot topic in 2018. A mirrorless camera is a type of camera that doesn’t require a reflex mirror, one of the key components of DSLR cameras. The mirror in a DSLR reflects the light up to the optical viewfinder, which provides your view of the scene. On the other side, mirrorless cameras the imaging sensor is exposed to light at all times, giving you a digital preview of your image either on the LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder (EVF). Once limited to a realm of camera tech nerds and the general oddities in the camera sphere, the mirrorless camera market has really matured in recent years. The benefits? They’re compact, lightweight, offer interchangeable lenses and provide exceptional image quality, and with brands like Sony continuing to reinvent the limitations on mirrorless cameras, it’s safe to say the mirrorless trend is far more than a fad.

This notion was solidified earlier in March when Canon Marketing Japan President Masahiro Sakata spoke with Nikkei about the companies involvement in the mirrorless camera market. He admitted that the company has decided it must “actively roll out products for a growth market even if there is some cannibalization,” a term he’s used in reference to Canon’s current line of highly popular DSLR units. The Japanese camera juggernaut has been overly hesitant to move into the mirrorless market, with shadows of doubt cast upon the effects such a decision would have on their existing flagship range. Thought the comments made by Sakata, alongside the companies announcement that Canon is releasing a entry-level mirrorless camera this month, hoping to become the mirrorless camera sales leader in Japan by dethroning the current kings of mirrorless: Olympus.

HYPEBEAST reported further on the issue, stating the Canon’s years of stubbornness had inevitably been broken by the rapid increase in mirrorless users, and while they remained concerned regarding the impact a shift in focus would have, they were left with no choice but to (attempt) to become creative in the mirrorless format. Unfortunately for brands late to the mirrorless party, they’ll have the powerhouse that is Sony to compete with, who take no shortcuts in the production of their mirrorless cameras. It’s no secret that both Canon and Nikon are both currently in the processes of assessing and/or developing full frame (FX) format mirrorless cameras, though the details and timelines on these items remain scarce. This element puts them in direct competition with Sony, who’ve provided frequent, highly-requested updates to their stellar lineup of full-frame mirrorless cameras, which now includes the A7R III and A7S III, both outstanding performers and some of the best digital cameras released to date. Perhaps the most unsettling thing for Nikon and Canon is the fact that while it continues to investigate the full frame mirrorless realm, Sony shows no signs of stopping their R&D on new and innovative products to allow their users an amazing experience, from camera to lenses to durability and third party additions.

There’s no doubt Nikon and Canon have more than enough firepower to launch a full scale attack on the mirrorless marketplace, the established Sony A7R, A7 and A7S lines will remain respected, time-proven pieces of equipment that cemented themselves as proactive in the mirrorless realm, rather than reactive. In addition to being first to market, Sony have provided more updates and improvements to their existing line than both Canon and Nikon combined, and if the trends continue in any such manner, trying to derail the dominance Sony has over the mirrorless realm would be a pointless and costly endeavour that would circle the major players back to exactly what they’ve made a name for themselves with already: high quality DSLR cameras.