Why Americans Aren’t Buying Mirrorless Cameras

By Matthew Bamberg / Jun 20, 2013

The USA Today published an article about how Americans haven’t taken to the mirrorless cameras. Sales appear to be declining, creating the possibility that the mirrorless camera might not make it in the market.

The article briefly states a few reasons–the autofocus isn’t very good and  many consumers don’t know about it. Also, they buy what they know and they know dSLRs. Buyers are shunning these cameras when they are one of the most novel tech items known today, a camera that’s small, has a big sensor and interchangeable lenses.

Apparently, vigorous buyers’ interest in Japan has propelled mirrorless camera to 10 percent of the market. So, what gives?

My guess is bad reviews about the camera, more specifically bad reviews about the mirrorless camera’s autofocus, a detrimental camera part for any photographer amateur or pro. The autofocus performance for these cameras varies from mediocre to bad to worst because either the phase detect system of mirrorless cameras is inferior to that in  a dSLR camera or because the mirrorless camera has no phase detection and depends upon the imaging sensor to focus, making it focus slowly like a point-and-shoot.

Other than that the mirrorless cameras aren’t so bad, and, in many ways, are just as good as a dSLR. You might conclude that Americans want good autofocus. They want to photograph objects in motion where having an autofocus is vital to a good shot.

Personally, I would lean toward the Nikon 1 J1 10.1 MP HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm VR and 30-110mm VR 1 NIKKOR Lenses (White), as that camera’s autofocus has been determined to be best, outranking any of the Canon mirrorless cameras’ autofocus.

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).