In separate threads I have speculated on the comoditisation of digital cameras.. Once upon a time you could own the oldest beat up manual SLR and take exactly the same photo as the guy with the million dollar gear... Product lifecycles for professional gear were about 7 years.. Today that has changed and though I, and I expect many others too, lust after this 5D, there will be a 3D further down the track with the blasted MLU button, and a 1DIII with high frame rates and a 22mpixel sensor.. and beyond that myriad mirco improvements to get us to upgrade, just like software..
However in the software battle, I'm still using Win2000 and office 2000.. and quite productive with both. I hope the 5D will be that sort of camera for me, reliable, with exactly the features I want (except for flash)... It will just force me to do available light photography.. as the external flash unit is a brick and a half and detracts from the supposed mission of this camera which is to be discrete and light.
Yeah this multi thousand dollar camera race is similar to teh computer race, which is slowing down drastically, ex ept for high end modeling people, video, etc. Faster is better. But for the rest of the population, you can only open and use Word and Yahoo so fast.
However, yes, old cameras were as good as anything else, and even a 2000 body was pretty much top of the line for photo jornalists and the like--not those who want the best large format for whatever reason.
So where is that pro level super sealed impact resistant camera for under 3, 000? Will there ever be one? Do photojournalists need more than 8MPS or 13MPs? Where is this going? I mean before digital took off, you could buy a manual 35mm camera that took excellent pictures for 200.00. Now, if you want to get into the game and take really nice pictures, it's 3, 000. Well, the prosumer level cameras are catching up for around 1000, so tht is a good thing, but they can't compare to the 3, 000 cameras that you really do need--I mean including your lenses.
The Sony F828 has been updated with the first camera of that level with a true CMOS sensor and it is nearly as large as the 20D. It is a fixed lens with a 35MM equivalent 28-120 Zieus lens. So thay are getting better, but it's still 1, 000. How many people can afford that for their first photography class--and where I live the entire University--Humboldt State in California, USA--has gone digital.
Anyway, who knows, huh?