Cameras are evolving, Photography is changing, and Nikon is adapting

The days of a digital SLR are not numbered as many would have you believe, but the face of what we know about them is certainly changing.

Some are already taking the next-step with implementing the power of Android; and yes, it must be said, mobile phones have increasingly capable cameras.

As a recent buyer of a DSLR – a Nikon no less – I’ve been instantly captivated by photography, and a mobile phone will never match the capabilities of a dedicated camera. Yet I came from an iPhone 4, where the advantages to a DSLR are clear.

Had I upgraded to my spanking new HTC One, with its “UltraPixel” camera, I’d have probably been perfectly content and not sought after my beloved Nikon D5100. Yet 4mpx on the HTC doesn’t quite compare to the 16.2mpx on the Nikon.

But megapixels don’t matter, right? They don’t if you’re uploading a picture to Facebook, but if you’re printing one onto a canvas the size of your living room wall, they matter a fair bit.

The biggest threat to DSLR sales from the average consumer is just around the corner, Nokia’s Lumia 1020, mixing the company’s superior processing technology with a 41-megapixel snapper.

You aren’t going to be getting the same level of focus/aperture control, or replaceable lenses, but with this phone in hand; I would never be into the more pure form of photography I love today.

Many “old-school” photographers will judge the person next to them with a Lumia 1020, but it’s a photo you are happy with that counts, and a device such as this will be certainly capable.

As consumers, we should embrace photography becoming more accessible. For DSLR manufacturers, follow this trend closely and stay modern - or risk a serious drop in sales over the next few years.

This is something Nikon is very much aware of. Company president Makoto Kimura, in an interview with Bloomberg said: “Rapid expansion of mobile devices is a change in business environment given to us; our task going forward is to find an answer to that change.”

The current trend is Android-based DSLR’s - which Samsung’s latest effort is quite remarkable - in this field, Nikon was one of the first with the Coolpix S800C however it was widely regarded as a disappointment due to speed through running on the old ‘Gingerbread’ iteration of Google’s OS.

Kimura is staying positive: “We want to create a product that will change the concept of cameras.”

However Nikon decide to change this, us photography enthusiasts can only hope it’s as game changing as Sigma’s first zoom lens with a constant F1.8 aperture!

What do you think of the fight between dedicated DSLR’s and mobile photography?

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