A New Camera
I decided in Autumn last year that I was going to move away from my Olympus camera system. I want to say straight away that I still think it is a fantastic system with very accomplished cameras and exceptional lenses. My decision was based on the introduction of a full frame mirrorless camera by Nikon, which is compatible with my existing dSLR Nikkor lenses. In addition all the cameras use the same battery type and it provides a simplification I was looking for with a similar menu system and handling characteristics. It will become my travel camera of choice as I doubt I will continue to get away with taking a full frame dSLR and lenses on holidays involving flying as the size (and more importantly weight) of carry on baggage is further restricted. I had a heart stopping moment last year when I headed to South Africa when the check in staff were intent on preventing me taking my camera equipment with me on to the plane!
So on Christmas Eve a parcel arrived with the new Nikon Z6 camera. I've taken my time to evaluate the camera. It is nearly everything I had hoped for in terms of integration with my other Nikon system. It is slightly heavier than the Olympus body/lens combination it replaces but overall I am very happy with my decision.
Reading commentators on the photographic industry, you get the impression that they see mirrorless as the future for at least the consumer and prosumer (amateur?) photographers. There has been a real slow down in camera sales in recent years. Compact cameras, other than the very high end units, have been taken over by phone cameras for the majority of people. The drive to ever higher megapixel sensors has now reached a point where the vast majority of users will never need the resolution on offer. After all, how many of us actually print our images much larger than A3 size, if that? Camera manufacturers need to keep selling cameras and lenses or their business model fails and the profits dry up. I've read of at least one major company whose camera division is subsidised to keep it going by other electronics divisions making non-photographic equipment.
Mirrorless has been the one growth area in recent years, but even here there has been a slow down. Canon and Nikon joining the full frame mirrorless suppliers list is a natural progression to soak up some of that growth. Even within the mirrorless arena, the smaller sensors have slowly disappeared (Pentax Q, Nikon One (CX)). This is partly to do with the limitations in performance for smaller sensors (and was part of the reason I made my move away from Olympus). Micro4/3rds is now the smallest sensor you find in this type of camera. It will be interesting to see where things go in the next few years.