The issue here, I believe, is not existence of photons, but the fact that people may choose terminology and concepts they find appealing.
The word photon has been coined long ago for an idea that is quite far from the current views on light and the meaning of the word has been evolving many decades.
Its current use in textbooks and papers is quite broad and may be regarded as inconsistent - in one situation photon is a dot on the detector screen, in another it is something that spreads the whole experimental setup, in yet another it is quantum of energy that gets absorbed in a tiny region of space comparable to an atom.
Such liberal use of a word may not appeal to people who like their terms general and clear, which is why they might prefer the term EM field (even in quantum theory) instead.
The possibilities of mathematical modelling of light by continuous fields have evolved to the point where they can account for many experiments that were previously thought to require the idea of particles of light. Photoelectric effect, double slit experiment, black body radiation may be approached from the mathematical standpoint where light is described by continuous fields.
In the end, explanation of an experiment involving light with words and mathematics is just that, and proves nothing about what the light "really consists of".