The 2010's saw a shift from PP (D)SLR to Mirrorless top cameras for several brands. Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Sigma have all declared that they have left the pentaprism construction. Canon and Nikon make both types. Although Pentax presented
some mirrorless cameras in different formats, they have stopped production of them and have stated that they will consentrate on producing cameras with mirror/pentaprism/optical viewer.
There are good arguments for both systems. Pro mirrorless
arguments are mainly that there is no mirror to worry about, shutter goes faster and size and weight can be reduced. Pro pentaprism/mirror argument is first of all the optical viewer vs the electronic one. In the optical viewer one sees what happens as it
happens, in true colour and with no delay. Electronic viewers will always have some degree of lag.
The transfer to mirrorless means that there are some more brands counted as lost brands, lost in the sense that they are not making PP SLR cameras
anymore. Which this site is all about.
But the 10's have also seen a dramatic fall in general for all sophisticated and expensive exchangeable lens cameras, mirrorless cameras included. Most people find their cellphones good enough to take the photos
they need for sharing or keeping somewhere in the "sky".
So, none of the established camera producers are making money anymore.
That has made some producers tremble. The image division is often only one of many divisions in the major companies.
Canon, Ricoh (Pentax), Fuji, Panasonic, Sony, Olympus are all making more money in other fields than the camera business. How long will they tolerate big losses?
Only a half year into the 20's, Olympus has had enough. They are selling their imaging
division. Olympus as a brand name is history.
For a long time it has been a kind of sport to declare Pentax as "doomed". Especially from supporters of other brands. But Pentax has developed new cameras and top og the line lenses and are looking ahead,
eager to prove that their policy will give them a bigger niche. But what if it doesn't?
Sigma may be in danger. They are still first of all producers of high quality lenses, and will not allow losses in camera production endanger the company as such.
Now that Olympus is history, how long will Panasonic cameras survive? They have developed things together, and the fall of one may endanger the other.
I would be more surprised if Sony and Fujifilm stepped out. They are in a sort of flow, at least as
concerns aknowledged products.
And Canon's dominating market share makes it out of the question to quit.
So what about Nikon? They have also been "doomed" for years, as they have only their camera/lens production to feed them. Dead before 2010!
Dead before 2015! Dead before 2018! Part of the photo press and different self centered photo blogs have "known" this for years. But Nikon is still alive and are still, by quite a few, considered "the cameraman's camera."
Will there be more
alliances between some of the remaining companies?
Well, one should never say never, but it didn't help Konica or Minolta. It didn't help Olympus either.
Next chapter of Lost brands will be concluded in ten years. What will it look
like by then?
Who will survive? Will there be only Canon, Nikon and Sony? Or Canon and Fujifilm? Or Pentax and Sony? Or none of them, because smartphones have swollowed them all?
But back to the heart of this site; the pentaprism cameras. In 10
years, will the three by now remaining producers all be there making PP DSLRs? If they survive, will Pentax be alone? Will others join?
The majority answer today is of course NO, Dslr is dead! That is however not the important question for a niche brand.
The question is rather: In order to survive and even make money, how small can the crowd be that will pay for the option?