Are Video DSLRs dying out?
The “Pro Video” report by Futuresource Consulting suggests that DSLRs used for video applications will be dying out soon.
According to their research, European shipments of DSLRs into professional video applications dropped by 41% in 2014. They predict that in 2019, DSLRs will account for only 4% of sales within the professional video market, down from 31% at the peak of the Video-DSLR hype.
I have to say that these developments are not too surprising to me, while the downward trend is probably a bit more extreme than I thought it would be.
Let’s look at a bit of history …
By sheer accident, the photo division within Canon introduced a video mode into the 35mm full-frame Canon 5D Mark II that was usable for professional video acquisition when used correctly and the right accessories. A whole ecosystem of blogs (like this one) and accessory manufacturers developed in the subsequent years, for the first time giving a very large creative audience the opportunity to create stunning cinematic images with a relatively inexpensive and very small camera package.
It took the competition years to catch up with Canon, while everybody and their mum invested in Canon DSLRs and their lenses. Then with the Panasonic AF100, the Sony F3, later the Canon C300 and others, the first more affordable S35mm cameras were introduced … however at a much higher price point than the Video DSLRs, but with more professional video features.
In recent times, it seems that Canon decided to stop innovation in video features in DSLRs, while others like Blackmagic and particularly Sony are now capitalizing in Canon’s weakness in that sector, who have decided to focus all their pro video efforts into their more expensive (yet very successful) Cinema line.
That’s where we stand, professionals are moving to higher end cameras again, while DSLRs sell less and less because there is a lack of innovation from Canon, while Sony focus on mirrorless cameras like the A7 line of cameras, which come in at a similar price point as Canon DSLRs, but don’t technically fall in this category – which is why the Futuresource report might be not be a very accurate representation. It might say more about Canon’s DSLR sales to video shooters than for anyone else’s products.
What’s also interesting to see from this chart is that while the market for large sensor cameras has been growing still from 2013 to 2015, it will become stagnant in the coming years. This might be because of the market saturation with existing large sensor cameras that do their job well, there might be less motivation for camera owners to upgrade their gear.