DSLRs are still NOT dead, says Canon

Canon EOS 6D Mark II
(Image credit: James Artaius)

Every year we hear that DSLRs are dead, and every year they keep on keeping on. And now, Canon has made it crystal clear that the DSLR is not yet dead.  

Indeed, not only does Canon say that DSLRs aren't dead yet, they still account for a third of the entire camera market, with as many as 1.8 million digital SLRs being sold last year. And it goes without saying that Canon, as the industry leader, sells more than anyone else.

• Digital SLRs are still going strong – and these are the best DSLRs you can buy right now

French outlet Photo Trend had the chance to chat to some of the manufacturer's head honchos at CP+ 2023, and suggested that Canon and others are ending their DSLRs ranges (evidenced by the lack of any DSLRs at the world's biggest camera show). 

"First of all, market figures indicate that 5.5 to 6 million boxes were sold last year," responded Go Tokura, general manager of Canon's Imaging Division. 

"At the end of last year, 70% of those sales were mirrorless cameras. CP+ is a place to present new products, and that's why you won't see many DSLRs this year. All companies are of course focusing on hybrids.

"But SLRs still represent 30% of global sales. That means there's always demand for this range – and most DSLRs sold globally are made by Canon.

"There is also a high volume of lenses that are still intended for the DSLR ecosystem. We do not envisage a sudden end to SLRs, nor an instant switch to hybrids. Sure, there will likely be a gradual decline, but the demand is still there."

What's interesting, beyond the obvious point that DSLRs are still selling in significant volume, is that Canon doesn't just distinguish them from mirrorless cameras but also hybrid cameras

It seems that Canon is starting to see, in strategic terms, that the hybrid market is where things are headed. Just as consumers expect their phone (as, for better or worse, their primary imaging device) to shoot stills and video, so that expectation carries over to traditional cameras. 

And with recent cameras like the Canon EOS R8 and Canon EOS R50, this hasn't escaped the notice of the world's biggest camera maker. 

But, yeah, anyway. DSLRs still aren't dead. Maybe next year…

If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in reading more about the best Canon cameras. If you are of the opinion that your DSLR has an expiry date, maybe the best mirrorless cameras can tempt you over. And you can join the revolution by checking out the best hybrid cameras with an equal emphasis on photo and video.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.