Forks in the Road

 

According to reports back in the summer, Nikon will be exiting the DSLR market. Nikon for their part, has denied it but just following the trajectory of the camera market, it's long been clear that they are going to do it at some point. It's a matter of when, not if.

Of course this makes me slightly uneasy about my own future with my cameras. I invested in Nikon DSLRs and I'm not nuts about being on a dead end platform. 

But for now, I'm just going to hold tight. What I have is working fine and it is not holding me back in any way, so I'm in no hurry because it's going to be an expensive switch when the time comes. Eventually I'll need to upgrade because something will stop working or my gear will be so far behind the state of the art that I feel limited by it. But I'm not there yet and there's no point in spending a bunch of money now when I'm satisfied with what I have. I figure I'm probably good for at least 5 or 6 years before that happens.

The fact that I'm on a collision course with potentially a complete camera system switch makes me glad I didn't go all-in and buy a top-of-the-line camera and lenses. I'd be a lot more upset about losing my investment if I had.

There are one or two DSLR lenses I think I want to pick up before those product lines go out of production. I need a fast, longish zoom – something like an 70-200mm f/2.8 or similar. I've started shooting my kid's marching band shows and the limitations of my cheapo telephoto zoom are, in fact, holding me back. I'll need to find a really good deal on one though because I have to balance getting the lens while I can with not sinking too much more money into a dead end platform. I'll probably buy used. [Update 11/08/2022 – I ended up getting the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art lens. I did in fact buy a used one from mpb.com, which was a positive experience. Recommended.]

Candidly, I'm a victim of unfortunate timing and lack of foresight. When I got back into photography ten years ago, it was at the very peak of the digital camera market, right before the plunge when consumers stopped buying DSLRs because their phone cameras were "good enough". If I'd known that smart phones and mirrorless would kill DSLRs over the next decade, I would have obviously bought into a Sony or Fujifilm mirrorless system (Nikon and Canon had crummy mirrorless offerings at the time). But back then, DSLRs were selling well, they were cheaper, they had significant performance advantages over mirrorless, and manufacturers were investing heavily in advancing DSLR technology. The end of DSLRs wouldn't become clear to me for another 5 years or so, and even then I didn't realize it would be on an accelerating curve. I'm sure there are many who saw it coming back then, but not me, probably because I was new to the market.

You win some, you lose some.

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