We just got the question What do I need to consider to choose between dSLR, mirrorless, or a compact as my first "serious" camera?, and really, it's a clear dupe of an earlier question:

Should I buy a DSLR to get started?

which is itself a dupe of

Is an SLR camera a must when learning?

The twist, though, is that those questions are from 2010 and 2011, and the landscape has changed dramatically then, with advances in both premium fixed-lens camera (both big and small) and the whole field of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

I think at this point the best thing to do might be to make the old questions dupes of the new one, especially since there are already good, current answers.

I know this goes against my usual feeling about "refreshing" questions, but this one feels like an unusually strong circumstance. What do you think?

5 Answers 5


I'm mostly just a lurker but came into Meta for this very reason. The new one addresses for example Mirrorless Cameras as a possible alternative to DSLR where the old one rightfully doesn't.

Either leave both open or close the old ones.


This is just my take, but I agree with null that these questions are NOT duplicates. They are substantially different, and it's not beyond conceivable thought that a newb may have already come to the mirrorless vs. dSLR decision and only want to know about dSLRs, too. So the dSLR-centric questions/answers are still relevant.

The only questions that should be considered as duplicates of each other are the dSLR ones, and the newer "now mit Mirrorless!" one should probably be independent of them. I'm voting to reopen the newer question because it would be very very nice to have more POVs and answers on it, and it's a perfect opportunity for anyone who put together a dSLR-only answer to post/move an updated version onto the newer thread, while leaving those who don't want to move/update their posts as still-useful information, albeit in a slightly more historical context, on the older question(s).

While the intent behind the questions is the same (i.e., "tell me what camera I should buy?"), the actual questions themselves are different, due to the changing landscape so combining the questions doesn't really make sense.

In addition, we may also want to consider retitling the "mit mirrorless" thread to be even MORE generic (i.e., "How do I decide what type of "serious" camera I should start with?") so that when the next-best/hot-thing after mirrorless comes along, we're not doing this all over again, but can simply update stuff in place, without being restricted by the question title.


Another possibility occurs to me — we could simply delete answers from the old question which haven't been updated in several years (and undelete them if they are edited). As I note in comments elsewhere, the original question hasn't become dated, it's just that the landscape changed underneath the answers and the old ones just aren't as complete as they might have been.


Wouldn't it be best to simply merge the two questions and all their answers?

  • Now that there a bunch of answers to both, maybe so.
    – mattdm
    Sep 18, 2015 at 21:03

make the old questions dupes of the new one

I don't like that, because they aren't duplicates. You say yourself that

the landscape has changed dramatically

declaring something a duplicate that is "dramatically" different doesn't work for me.

I think the ideal solution is to lock them with a historic lock. As it looks, this is not the original purpose of such a lock, but it fits the situation perfectly.

I propose that:

When a good question becomes obsolete and/or its answers become obsolete due to advancements in technology, the question gets a historic lock. It is explicitly not a duplicate of newer "versions" of that question, because the context changed. When the time is right for this lock is difficult. The "time" of the question is mostly determined by the period in which the answers were given (which can be continuously added). The question should be locked when most of the answers become obsolete.

The question should be marked as a historic lock, so that people are aware of it being "old" content.

I agree that it can be a good idea to link to a newer version, so that people that find the old question can quickly find the current one.


It's not a duplicate, so let's not make it a duplicate. A historic lock + optional links to current question(s) appears to be more appropriate. I am aware that it is almost the same thing.

  • The question isn't dramatically different. The question is identical. It's only that meaningful answrs need to be dramatically different. I don't think historical lock is appropriate, because I don't think the outdated advice is interesting at all from that perspective. It's jusr outdated.
    – mattdm
    Sep 13, 2015 at 14:45
  • 1
    Looking at the link you gave, however, the historical lock doesn't just mark content that's outdated, but that would also currently be marked as off-topic for the site. In this case, the older questions are still on-topic. They're just narrower in focus.
    – inkista
    Sep 13, 2015 at 19:31
  • 1
    The historic lock might be good for those older once-on-topic shopping questions, tho.
    – inkista
    Sep 13, 2015 at 19:50
  • @mattdm and that's exactly why I think the historic lock is better suited for this situation, it is able to denote the "outdatedness" of a question, whereas a duplicate is just that on first sight: a duplicate, possibly as relevant and up to date as that other question.
    – null
    Sep 13, 2015 at 19:52
  • @inkista yes, as said, it's not the intended purpose of the historic lock. I do not see a problem giving it dual purpose here on photo.SE though. Even somebody new to the site will understand the word "historic". Not exactly the camera you are looking for.
    – null
    Sep 13, 2015 at 19:56

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