Five years after Internet bloggers and forum-goers began predicting the demise of DSLR, mirrorless camera owners gathered in New York City for their annual “DSLR End Of Days Convention” (DSLREODCon5)
At the Marriott in New York City (no, not in the big ballroom, the smaller one, about half the size of the big ballroom, with a lower ceiling and, oddly enough, more expensive to rent), enthusiasts brought their mirrorless gear in small messenger bags and no-you-may-think-they-are-fashionable-but-no-they-really-aren’t fanny packs, in stark contrast to the amount of gear brought to the annual “Backpack Man” gathering of DSLR and F2.8 zoom enthusiasts in the Nevada desert. In Nevada they bring luggage. And porters.
Manufacturers are a vital part of the event, giving attendees a chance to try out the latest Compact System Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras (CSMILCs). Some of the key attendees are:
Olympus has a booth that’s about 1/2 the size of a typical Canon or Nikon booth.
Panasonic’s booth is a lot like Olympus’ booth, but without the financial impropriety.
Fuji had one of the larger booths at the DSLREODCon5–about 75% the size of a normal booth. Fuji representatives are dressed in Victorian period costumes.
With the only full size booth, you’d expect a big show. Alas, they only have camera bodies with them. Year after year they keep on forgetting the lenses.
Pentax has a really really small booth that the other booths pick on. At least it’s not ugly like in years past.
Canon representatives came late. It was pretty clear that they didn’t want to be there.
Nikon’s booth is interesting. Bigger than Pentax’s but smaller than the rest, Nikon representatives are constantly re-organizing it before slipping out for a smoke, leaving the booth unstaffed.
One of the favorite parts of the gathering is the Pundit’s Pulpit, where bloggers and forum denizens take turns stepping up to the podium and and declaring in their own words, “The DSLR is dead! Long live Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Compact System Cameras (MILCSCs)!” Each pundit declaration is greeted with knowing nods of agreement and quiet huzzahs.
Tom Thomas (AKA “The MILCman”) helped organize the first DSLREODCon1 back in 2008. He opines, “To be honest, we didn’t think it would take this long. Based on all of the predictions made by Internet pundits, we thought that this Compact Interchangeable Lens Mirrorless System Camera (CILMSC) revolution would happen much faster.”
“At this point,” adds Harley Ford, the organizer of this year’s DSRLEODCon5, “we’re quite surprised that more people haven’t ditched their still-functioning DSLRs for Interchangeable Lens System Compact Mirrorless Cameras (ILSCMCs) that are clearly less capable with poorer autofocus and image quality and more expensive than entry level DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, and Pentax.”
Internet pundits continue to predict the death of the DSLR, yet even in a period of declining sales, DSLRs are still outselling Lens System Interchangeable Compact Mirrorless Cameras (LSICMCs) by approximately eight billion to one. And despite the longer-than-expected timeframe, enthusiasts remain optimistic.
“I’ve made a lot of friends here at DSLREODCon,” said Ford. “Just between you and me, I’d kind of miss it if DSLRs did actually see the end of their days. Then we’d be forced to change the name from DSLREODCon to…” and with that Ford’s voice tailed off, and she stared blankly into space, struggling to find the right acronym.