A salesman demonstrates a Nikon digital camera at Gitex Shopper. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Camera makers are hoping to cash in on the growing demand for mirrorless devices and boost sales as demand for DSLRs is falling.

The sales of digital cameras are falling year after year, but camera makers have concentrated on the smaller market for high-end products by chasing after the professionals who look for top image quality and lens flexibility.

The camera industry is dominated by Canon and Nikon and the mirrorless movement gave other manufacturers such as Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic a new way to challenge the leaders.

Now with Nikon and Canon entering the mirrorless segment, the camera market is again going to be competitive.

DSLR cameras use mirrors to reflect the image passing through the lens, which can be seen through the viewfinder. By eliminating the mirrors, the cameras become light and compact.

Mirrorless cameras sit between a compact camera and a DSLR. The DSLR is huge and bulky but a mirrorless camera is light as a compact camera and as powerful as a DSLR.

“We entered the mirrorless segment recently and the sales haven’t taken off because of small quantities available in the market,” said Narendra Menon, Managing Director of Nikon Middle East.

For Nikon, he said that selling into the distribution channels has not dropped this year compared to last year. Last year was bad when compared to 2016.

He said that mirrorless is a hugely growing category because of the form factor.

“We launched our first mirrorless full-frame camera Z7 in the UAE recently. We are very strongly coming into the video segment such as image stabilisation, 4K, 60 and 120 frames per second. The camcorder business has completely stopped due to DSLR cameras and now people are moving from DSLR to mirrorless,” he said.

Nikon Z7 weighs about 675 grams with battery.

“We were not strong in the video segment as a company when compared to Sony and Canon, but now we are very aggressive in the video segment with 10-bit video. In still photography, Nikon is still number one, but lost the ground in the video segment to others. Now, we are going to fight in the video segment and gain more market share,” Menon said.

Mahesh Chotrani, assistant vice-president at Jacky’s Electronics, said that people still buy cameras.

“One thing about Nikon and Canon is that they have been trying to innovate their products. Inquires are growing for the mirrorless segment and many more models are coming. Our expectation is that it will pick up well in a year’s time,” he said.

For photos, Menon said that DSLR is still the best, but for videos, mirrorless is gaining traction.

“DSLRs will still continue because of its optical viewfinder and work better in a more specific environment,” he said.