Trey Ratcliff, @treyratcliff, posted his thoughts about the death of the traditional SLR as we know it. I didn't quite know what to think of his far reaching ideas - and I had to think about the industry and more importantly the photographer.
His ideas maybe don't quite take into consideration what I call the 5% rule. There are going to be certain things related to process and equipment which is going to allow you to perform past the 95% of your peer group, putting you in the top 5%. This may be achieved in many areas such as approaching a job, composition, process and delivery - and when all of these disciplines are in the top 5% then a sort of state of Grace happens. Meaning - you nail it !
Now -- back to the hardware -- sure, there are those who say the camera equipment doesn't matter - and they can make pictures with some film, a lens, and a paper cup. Of course I'm being sarcastic.
Recently Sony is getting some traction with their mirrorless NEX series - and Panasonic and PEN with the micro 4/3 systems.
I have a NEX-7 on order - and I can't wait to get it and run it into the ground.
For me - during a shoot, I try to live in the 5% - the D3s sensor allows me this by being able to shoot at a printable 6400 ASA - and printable I mean this ASA was published - amazing. I could only get these photos by the way of the D3s - and I was in the 5%.
An 80-200 f2.8 lens - puts me in the 5%
9 "Full" frames per second - puts me in the 5%
There are times when most of this related to photography doesn't matter -- there are times when 95% of the time I can use an Iphone to get some great pics -- but, and here is the key to my whole argument - when someone is paying me to perform for them - I'm using the best to almost guarantee the 5%.
The SLR and the big lenses will never disappear -- be it for weatherproofing, easy external controls, great battery reserve, dual memory card slots, or lighting fast autofocus. And more imporantly, when I"m shooting a job - that's what I'll be using - else, it's amature hour.