Well I have a contrarian view on this and know I will annoy a large group of readers.
First, many writers today are young “J” school grads, with limited chops, no appreciation of history or a view not much beyond their millennial group of hipster friends. Plus many are freelance writers, as is this article’s author, or even unpaid interns trying to break into the journalism business. Controversy is great for attracting attention.
Second, The original article by Reid is very good, aimed at camera enthusiasts, not snapshot phone users. The linked article does seem to be a bit of a “me too” view with a few added “oh, my goshs” thrown in. Nothing really new was added, just a few editorial opinions from someone who seems to be on the “DSLRs are dying” bandwagon. There are any number of similar articles about the “Death of the Point-n-Shoot Camera”. Or remember all the “Film is Dead, Long Live Digital” bandwagons. These bandwagons kind of remind me of the chariot race in “Ben Hur”.
Third, this is a financial article. Seems targeted to the investor class and not to photographers. You know, the people who read about photography, use appropriate tools for the job at hand and don’t give a crap as long as they have what they need to complete the job or fulfill their artistic vision. So yes the consumer market is declining and that impacts stock prices.
Fourth, ego. Mine in particular. When I was shooting weddings there were any number of guests who would show up with mid-range or higher SLRs (yes, this was the analog era). I was the hired “professional” I felt it necessary to move to medium format cameras and lenses to set myself apart.
I don’t expect a plumber to show up and use Design Lobby craptacular cheapo tools. But I bet a plumber could complete his work using just those tools. I knew what I was doing and an SLR would have been adequate. But not amazingly, my work improved when I used better tools plus these tools looked different from the guests’ cameras.
Among professionals there is the ego-driver “my dick is bigger than your dick” school. As stated I really felt that the system I used was the best tool for completing my vision. But from a pure ego standpoint, yeah I was sucked into the swinging dick contest.
To sum up when I am among a group of PnS, camera phone users I know the images I am creating will be a darn sight (no pun intended) better. For two reasons. One, I know what composition, exposure, framing, dynamic range and depth-of-field are and how to use them. Second, my tools are better. Sometimes I am a bit sad that these people will get home and go “oh, this sunset with the snow capped mountains was so much prettier when I was there”.
I even had this philosophy when shooting weddings. Shooting the staged alter returns I knew I had the best position, subjects’ attention and best lighting. Sometimes I would tell those with their little PnS cameras or disposable cameras “give me your camera and I’ll take a shot for you”
Even as the consumer DSLR market continues to shrink there will be demand for good tools by professionals. We will see more innovation in camera functions and less crapware designed to attract the masses. Just because a gegaw can be put into a camera doesn’t mean it is a useful function.
Look for a smaller base of camera manufacturers, more useful functions in cameras. Professionals will get along just fine using analog and digital cameras, phones, tablets and even plastic cameras if the device helps them complete their vision.
And I am not going to talk about where stock prices or the DSLR may go.