Will point-and-shoot cameras be able to compete with camera phones? got the harsh treatment of being converted to community wiki and then closed. Should Are DSLRs a dying breed, making now the time to switch to a mirrorless camera system? get the same treatment? If not, is there an essential difference between the questions? And if there isn't, should the earlier question be un-cw'd and reopened?

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  • I'd say it should be closed as 'not constructive', since any answers are entirely subjective, however didn't see much point flagging it as it's already been answered by a mod... – forsvarir Jan 9 '12 at 12:16
  • I did think quite a bit regarding the future speculation guideline before posting the question, but posted it to get answers on the factors going for the DSLR system, especially from the investment angle. I'm ok with the post being converted to a CW if there is a consensus, though @jrista's answer is quite comprehensive. – ab.aditya Jan 9 '12 at 13:23
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    I have a strong belief that community wiki is the wrong choice for subjective questions, because ownership is an important component of a good subjective answer. I think these should either stay or be closed, but we should make a community decision and be consistent with it. – Please Read My Profile Jan 9 '12 at 13:35
  • I'm going to go ahead and put forth two possibilities to vote for. And those I will mark community wiki. :) Feel free to edit each answer and add points for each side. – Please Read My Profile Jan 9 '12 at 13:37
  • Additionally, community wiki is not a way to save a subjective question from closure/deletion; it can only be granted by a mod IIRC too. – Rowland Shaw Jan 11 '12 at 12:39

These questions should be closed

No one can predict the future. Questions about future models are clearly out-of-bounds, and general questions like this should be too. The truth could end up in a way no one can predict, and no one can know the right answer now.

Additionally, these questions are likely to stir debate and arguments, which is against the charter of the site.

And, since the future is a moving target, the answers may become quickly irrelevant.

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  • No one can predict the future, however I think there is a fundamental difference between the point of the meta thread you linked, and the questions at hand here: cameras vs. technology. I think questions that speculate about specific unreleased cameras are simply unanswerable shopping questions. I'm not sure that the two questions you are referring to here should be counted the same. Its one thing to speculate about say the 1D X...its rather pointless. But discussing future options at large seems to be a different thing entirely. – jrista Jan 10 '12 at 22:50
  • I'm not sure if we want to ban ALL speculation in ALL forms, or only ban speculation about specific unreleased products. I think there are some fairly definitive answers when it comes to "phone vs. P&S" and "mirrorless vs. DSLR", and I think those questions can be answered to the point of getting accepted. I think that its useful to the photographic community at large to recognize that no camera created throughout history has EVER simply died and disappeared never to be seen again...people love using old tech for aesthetic purposes, some prefer film to digital, some prefer P&S over a phone. – jrista Jan 10 '12 at 22:53
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    All that said, I think the older question that was closed could stand to be reopened. I think it has distinct value far above and beyond what speculation about a single unreleased product might bring, and the longevity of that value is also most likely significantly longer. – jrista Jan 10 '12 at 22:55

In short, I'd say no speculation:

I'd be inclined to vote to close as 'not constructive' as:

this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion.

Or even (at a push) 'too localised' as:

it is only relevant to ... a specific moment in time

However, as the discussion has been brought here, I'd rather the community reach a consensus (or kill it themselves) first (as a moderator, my vote would be binding); additionally, at least one other moderator looks like they'd disagree, as they've answered...

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These questions should stay

While there is a speculative component, it is possible to provide good answers with

  • expert opinion
  • references to facts
  • consideration of other possibilities

These answers will have a subjective component, but will still be useful to readers who do not have their fingers on the pulse of the industry as much as some of the experts here do.

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