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Author Topic: The camera industry in difficulty?  (Read 17961 times)

Tony Jay

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2016, 05:10:25 am »

I agree with those examples, let me write my ideas other way... What I want to say it is that the camera must still stand by its own... It's usability via software and hardware controls must be on its own... Even though you can do what you explain... Because in a great majority of scenarios one person will interact with just one camera to make just a photograph...
David, I think you will find in the near future that a camera will be connectable with the world in much the same way that a Smartphone is now.
I think this is inevitable.
The reason is simple - any kid using a Smartphone, taking pictures, posting them to Instagram and other sites is not easily going to take to a current DSLR (or even a current point-and-shoot type camera).
The difference would be a bit like a kid used to driving a Lamborghini being asked to "graduate" to a model T Ford.
This analogy is meant to describe the overall experience, not the image quality possible with good DSLR's.

Simply put, the future market for cameras IS the current Smartphone generation.
Very, very few of them will ever use or want to use a DSLR of the sort we regard as state-of-the-art today.
To them a DSLR is highly retrogressive despite the impressive image-making ability of these cameras.

The implications of this kind of future for cameras is not exactly comfortable for me but, as I said I think it is inevitable.

Tony Jay
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BrownBear

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2016, 05:23:12 am »

Simply put, the future market for cameras IS the current Smartphone generation.
Very, very few of them will ever use or want to use a DSLR of the sort we regard as state-of-the-art today.
To them a DSLR is highly retrogressive despite the impressive image-making ability of these cameras.

Bingo.

Try introducing one of them to a DSLR.   ::)

I just did so with our very artistic 17 YOA granddaughter. She's studious and very intent on outcomes, and she spent an afternoon with the DSLR.  It sparked her interest in the capabilities of her smart phone, but she hasn't since picked up the DSLR. Her complaints with the limitations of the smart phone have made her intent on the next generation of smart phones rather than a switch to the DSLR.
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razrblck

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2016, 08:00:18 am »

Bingo.

Try introducing one of them to a DSLR.   ::)

I just did so with our very artistic 17 YOA granddaughter. She's studious and very intent on outcomes, and she spent an afternoon with the DSLR.  It sparked her interest in the capabilities of her smart phone, but she hasn't since picked up the DSLR. Her complaints with the limitations of the smart phone have made her intent on the next generation of smart phones rather than a switch to the DSLR.

A very close friend (27yo) of mine is just like that. She had a Galaxy S5 Mini with a very poor camera (now replaced with a S7 for Christmas). She did buy a Sony RX100 as a more serious camera, but hasn't used it much. Some of her photos do not look taken with such a poor phone camera, at all, and she has learned a lot just by doing things.

Her biggest complaint is workflow. Even the Sony is slow and clunky to move photos from the camera to the phone and it does so only with low resolution and high compression JPEGs that look really bad. She isn't that big in sharing on social media either. She does it for selected pictures and once or twice a month, but her habit is mostly sharing privately with friends (like me).

A dedicated camera could certainly bring a lot of technical improvements and the ability to use different focal lengths, but ultimately it would be way too inconvenient (especially when shooting RAW).

The world has changed a lot. We don't need dedicated cameras anymore to record photos even for ourselves, because we always have one with our phones. But such cameras will not disappear either, as professional will always need such tools for their job.

That being said, I wouldn't really mind if a modern camera could properly do integration with phones either via Bluetooth or WiFi. The current solutions require headache inducing procedures for pairing, provide very limited functions (like only transfer for low quality JPEGs or limited camera controls) and ultimately make you waste even more time than bringing a laptop with you.
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davidgp

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2016, 11:22:20 am »

David, I think you will find in the near future that a camera will be connectable with the world in much the same way that a Smartphone is now.
I think this is inevitable.
The reason is simple - any kid using a Smartphone, taking pictures, posting them to Instagram and other sites is not easily going to take to a current DSLR (or even a current point-and-shoot type camera).
The difference would be a bit like a kid used to driving a Lamborghini being asked to "graduate" to a model T Ford.
This analogy is meant to describe the overall experience, not the image quality possible with good DSLR's.

Simply put, the future market for cameras IS the current Smartphone generation.
Very, very few of them will ever use or want to use a DSLR of the sort we regard as state-of-the-art today.
To them a DSLR is highly retrogressive despite the impressive image-making ability of these cameras.

The implications of this kind of future for cameras is not exactly comfortable for me but, as I said I think it is inevitable.

Tony Jay

Hi Toni,
I
I agree with your point of view... I think it is still compatible with what I commented... Whatever the connection of the camera, the camera will still be a useful object by its own...

Saying that, even if there is some efforts for camera manufactures trying to attract mobile phone people... (Well, really making them come back to the camera world... Probably the majority of these people had a camera in the past)... I see all of them focusing in the pro-user mainly... Look at what Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Zeiss, Fuji and other are doing... Less entry level lenses... More focused on high end lenses and pro-cameras... That it is good for us and bad for our wallets...

I don´t think the market will ever come back to the high peaks 4 years ago...

Regards,

David

Torbjörn Tapani

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2016, 11:40:08 am »

Any camera that does not upload directly to the cloud is just obsolete. The smartphone is a far more capable device than any DSLR.

In 2015 I was in BC, Canada. My friends posted videos to instagram or whatever from the mountains. I have yet to make my selects. Everyone I would share it with have already seen it.

My Sony action cam is a more useful camera than my 36 MPix DSLR. It came with the phone for "free". You should see it. It's tiny. It has wifi. I get liveview on my phone. Any camera that lacks this basic connectivity is practically useless for the smartphone generation.
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scooby70

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #45 on: December 23, 2016, 11:55:23 am »

Any camera that does not upload directly to the cloud is just obsolete. The smartphone is a far more capable device than any DSLR.

In 2015 I was in BC, Canada. My friends posted videos to instagram or whatever from the mountains. I have yet to make my selects. Everyone I would share it with have already seen it.

My Sony action cam is a more useful camera than my 36 MPix DSLR. It came with the phone for "free". You should see it. It's tiny. It has wifi. I get liveview on my phone. Any camera that lacks this basic connectivity is practically useless for the smartphone generation.

This makes me feel old :D

I'm not interested in phones, I can't see myself ever uploading / sharing a picture on social media and I have no on line presence, no Facebook, Instagram, Friendface or anything like...

I use my cameras in Aperture priority mostly, manual sometimes and shutter priority rarely. I'm a dying breed and I know it. I do wish the next generations luck but I do hope that in the future all of the wifi and internet stuff can be turned off and that the device (will they still be called cameras?) can be used as a stand alone non internet connected camera :D
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BrownBear

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #46 on: December 23, 2016, 01:02:21 pm »

I'm not interested in phones....

That's me to a "T." When I retired the cell phone was turned OFF. 

I have a perfectly good iPhone. Somewhere around here. I guess. Last time I saw it, anyway. Hard to locate sometimes because it's always off until I need to make a call. I've even heard that it will take pictures.

But I pay the bills, so I get to pick when to use it. I don't want to be disturbed by it umpteen times a day. Very few people have my cell number. And those who do know to leave a message. Or better yet, call our land line and leave a message there. We generally check our home phone for messages at least once a day. I've "returned" calls to my cell phone as much as two weeks after a message was left. If I got around to it.

No way, no how, am I going to let a cell phone run my life.  Apps are the forms you fill out when you want a loan or a job. Don't need either one.  ;D
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hogloff

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2016, 01:37:28 pm »

Flew into Little Rock Arkansas at 11:30pm. Had no idea how to get to where I was heading, but knew it was roughly 3 hours drive. Punched the hotel address into my phone gps and it delivered me right to the hotel's doorstep.

Next day after work was wanting to get some dinner. Had no idea about the restaurants in town. Used my phone to get onto the web and reviewed the available restaurants...picked one, clicked on it's phone number and made a reservation for later that evening.

On the way home I wanted to pick up my wife some chocolates...again no idea where. Internet through the phone to the rescue.

Was in Aukland last year sitting in a traffic jam...big accident. Used my phone gps and it was smart enough to know about the traffic jam and rerouted me around the traffic.

Picked up a rental in Kauai. It had a few scratches and dings. Pulled out my phone and took snaps of the damage so I would not have any issues when returning the car.

You guys can choose not to embrace technology and live in the good old days...but there is no denying there are many advantages to today's phones if you choose to take advantage of them.
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BrownBear

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2016, 02:02:43 pm »

You guys can choose not to embrace technology and live in the good old days...but there is no denying there are many advantages to today's phones if you choose to take advantage of them.

And fortunately I don't need them.  Retirement is all about slooooowing down my pace of life, so a few minutes or miles saved are immaterial.  Found some great restaurants simply by wandering, and byways are for exploring rather than rushing.  Apps are still blank forms for loans and jobs, neither of which I need.  ;D 
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chez

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2016, 02:57:03 pm »

And fortunately I don't need them.  Retirement is all about slooooowing down my pace of life, so a few minutes or miles saved are immaterial.  Found some great restaurants simply by wandering, and byways are for exploring rather than rushing.  Apps are still blank forms for loans and jobs, neither of which I need.  ;D

I'm retired and just got back from Havana where I used the phone to navigate the streets of Havana using an app. Not only did it give me directions when I needed them, but also gave me lots of historical info on buildings as I wandered by them.

You can still slow down and use technology.

You do use a channel changer with your tv and don't run up to the tv to change channels or adjust the volume. :)
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Rob C

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2016, 04:07:39 pm »

I think Tony Jay put it very well. So did the guys who ignore 'social media', which duplicates my own experience and intentions. My cellphone is for emergencies; were I to use it for navigation, it would die in minutes. I have sat on the terrace at home trying to see how close to home a map indication gets to me: hundreds of yards off! And then right back to the charger it goes, just in case of that emergency. I haven't made a picture with my cellphone for a year or two, other than to show a shop exactly what I might want to find or replace.

Cameras. I sort of agree that the days of normal cameras as we knew them are almost over. Here, in Spain, I seldom see anyone with one - it seems the cell wins every time. Hell, my photo-supplies wholesaler closed down at least a decade ago, when once he used to be thronged with guys buying materials for their photo-businesses. It's just like the processing labs. I suspect that colour film will vanish well before black/white stock; that being so, I see a continuing future for Leica's old bodies as well, and maybe even Hasselblad will some day put a tentative toe into rebirthing, or at least supplying a dependable source of spares to keep the venerable 500 Series going if only to support the brand and thus keep interest in the digital part of the business alive and well - maybe, big maybe!

However, backwards compatibility aside, I do think that cameras for professional use will continue in some form or another. They may well become ultra-expensive, the province of a very limited number of marques, perhaps thus putting the photographic professional back into the general 'professional' bracket within which he once sort of belonged. That would be nice. Democracy ain't necessarily the best system; just look around to see where it's getting us these days. Nobody expects a dentist to set up without spending mega bucks on equipment; why should snappers feel they are entitled to a different deal should they want to go professional? Frankly, I have aways felt that official qualifications should also be a legal requirement; only somebody who feels lacking in skills would worry about that. This isn't the place to fill in the details on that topic, but I would say that now, more than ever, there's a distinct need for it.

If anything, perhaps this could be the dawning of a better deal for the professional photographer, completely reversng my thoughts on where the industry had been heading...

However, I shall just hope to continue playing with my obsolete cameras until I no longer can, or just lose interest.

Rob C

John Hollenberg

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2016, 04:31:54 pm »

I have a cell phone, which I use for making calls, texting, checking the traffic.  I don't use it to take photos.  My co-workers jaws drop when they see 14X21 inch prints from my Canon ipf6300 made from Canon 5DSr or Sony A7r2 and good lenses (I am a hobbyist only).  Different tools for different jobs.
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Telecaster

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2016, 05:01:24 pm »

Re. the camera industry future-proofing itself (or failing to do so): I'm not concerned about that. As long as people are interested in taking photos there'll be companies producing photo-taking devices. They may well not be the companies we currently have, but if not so be it. As Kodak discovered, if you fail to deal with reality it'll eventually deal with you. (Note that this also applies to realms other than the photo industry, and is why I fret less about the current state of those realms than many of my peers.  ;) )

As for smartphones: in my life they're an enormous plus. During my recent travels (Hawai'i, the Big Island) I used both Apple & Google's map apps to locate and preview all sorts of off-the-beaten-path stuff. Beaches, ocean views, obscure eateries & cafés & shops and much more. When I got up during the night to take in the stars from my lanai (balcony) I knew what I'd be seeing and could time my viewing accordingly. No need to print paper tickets for my flights…I had electronic tickets. All Good Stuff!

-Dave-
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Tony Jay

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #53 on: December 23, 2016, 07:44:33 pm »

Rob, just for you:

I don't know if your "cellphone" is actually a "smartphone" or not.
However, if it is actually a smartphone then it will have two methods to determine its location.
The first one, as you have discovered, is rather inaccurate and it uses a system of triangulation from nearby microwave towers to figure out where it is.
The second method uses the built-in GPS unit and this is VERY accurate - to within a metre.

I have navigated myself thousands of kilometres through parts of Africa where signposts, if they ever existed, are now non-existent.
Particularly helpful in parts of Namibia (and other places) where one cannot even find another person to ask directions if lost.
I stress that the smartphone was on "aeroplane" mode - there was no network access anyway once I left Windhoek or other large centres - so the only way the smartphone knew where it was was the built-in GPS.

So, do a bit checking with the particular model of phone that you own - it may well have a built-in GPS - and, if so, a very accurate method of location determination.
In an emergency scenario it is possible that an accurate location determination might be very helpful.

Tony Jay
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Tony Jay

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #54 on: December 23, 2016, 08:20:17 pm »

Re. the camera industry future-proofing itself (or failing to do so): I'm not concerned about that. As long as people are interested in taking photos there'll be companies producing photo-taking devices. They may well not be the companies we currently have, but if not so be it. As Kodak discovered, if you fail to deal with reality it'll eventually deal with you. (Note that this also applies to realms other than the photo industry, and is why I fret less about the current state of those realms than many of my peers.  ;) )

...

-Dave-
All the big players in the camera market have always used their low-end offerings to cross-subsidize the development and production of the more high-end product.
Most of us are using those higher-end cameras and despite the cost to us being more than a low-end camera and lenses we have benefited from not having to pay twice or thrice more for the equipment we like to use.

This pleasant arrangement is rapidly coming to an end.
The lower end of the camera market (where the money is (was!) for the camera manufacturers) has been almost completely captured by the Smartphone manufacturers.
Now, unless someone can set me straight on this, the only camera manufacturing company that is that is benefiting from this situation is Sony.
All the others are bleeding and bleeding badly.

The market for high-end equipment is small, and for sure not all the players will be able to re-invent themselves as high-end niche players - Leica and Phase One spring to mind.
The market just cannot accommodate all the current players.
So, if this is the future then major casualties are inevitable and prices to consumers would inevitably be higher because that cross-subsidization and economies-of-scale that were always so important to these companies is lost.

However, I don't believe that any of the bigger players are just following this approach.
They absolutely and uncompromisingly need to recapture at least some of the market share that they have lost and will continue to lose to the smartphones.
The company(ies) that succeed in this endeavour will survive - the others will die.

I personally believe that the passport to success for these companies is to produce cameras that have equivalent (and preferably better) image-making abilities of current cameras along with the convenience and ease of use (and again maybe even better) of the Smartphone experience.
Why?
Simply because the future camera market is the current Smartphone generation: they simply are not going to muck around with any image-making device (whatever it is called) that does not offer them the experience they are used to when using their Smartphones.

I worry that many of the camera manufacturers will probably be incapable of making the paradigm shifts that are needed to achieve future market success despite the fact that the issue is absolutely not a technological one but rather one of state-of-mind.
The result will be a very different industry in the future with far higher costs of production (Moore's law notwithstanding) and therefore premium costs to the consumer.
I have a very strong vested interest in these companies succeeding in Royal style - I have no desire to be a prophet of Doom - because I want to shoot with really good equipment that doesn't require me to mortgage my house to acquire.

Tony Jay
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scooby70

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #55 on: December 23, 2016, 08:22:25 pm »

You guys can choose not to embrace technology and live in the good old days...but there is no denying there are many advantages to today's phones if you choose to take advantage of them.

Just to explain about my own attitude to technology... I'm not exactly living in the good old days but rather avoiding things that remind me of work. For decades I was a workaholic in the computer industry and then moved into another technology related area for another 12 years. I retired at 49 and now technology has a very minor role in my life. I have a lap top and a tablet but when I'm not using them they're off and put out of view. I hate to see computers in peoples homes, I think that if they're in view they dominate rooms so I turn mine off and put them out of sight. Someone gave me a smartphone but it's PAYG and I rarely turn it on. I'd rather sit in traffic jam and listen to the radio or the sounds of the world around me than attempt to use a smartphone to navigate a way out of it and if I want to eat out in a strange town I ask someone where to go. These are just my choices :D
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BrownBear

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2016, 09:58:30 pm »

Yeah, I've had some terrific conversations result from asking people about good places to eat. You can learn a whole lot about a town simply by showing some interest in it and asking people about their favorite restaurants. I might use my vehicle's GPS to find them, but only if needed.

Driving north on I-95 from Florida a few days back I asked an interesting looking guy behind the counter at a Pilot station if he knew of any good Japanese restaurants in the next town, where we planned to spend the night.  He got the biggest smile on his face, and the line built behind us as he asked about our favorite dishes, then went into raptures about one in particular for it's seafood udon.  We drove half an hour from our hotel, right past two other Japanese restaurants, to try it.  Darned if he wasn't right, too! 

We're timing our trip south next week to arrive at the same town in time for dinner. The Pilot guy recommended another restaurant for oyako donburi, and we plan to be there with bells on.  ;D
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DeanChriss

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2016, 04:16:28 pm »

I've been reading these posts with some interest because lately I've been noticing the same generational differences alluded to here. I've got nothing profound to say so skip this if you're looking for something very meaningful.

I got my first camera when I was a kid more than 4 decades ago. Since those first days photography has always slowed me down and made me really look at my surroundings. I regard that as a Good Thing. That applies whether I'm doing a landscape and waiting for cloud positions or the right light, or whether I'm standing in one spot all day long waiting for a bird to appear. Sometimes the mind wanders, sometimes you see and/or photograph some great event or creature that you originally did not expect. Serendipity.

A few weeks ago I was photographing eagles near a big river, or trying to, along with quite a few others. The activity level was pretty low so if you weren't paying attention you could miss a fly-by that might be the only one for a couple hours. Older photographers were doing what I was doing; watching, waiting, and trying to be ready. The younger photographers (30's I'd guess) were looking at their phones, attempting to hold them in so they could see the phone and the river simultaneously. If an eagle flew across they'd pocket the phone and take some shots. After that they'd do some brief pixel peeping and get the phone back out, or just get the phone back out. I have no idea how successful their photography was. Once in a while someone would actually talk on their phone. I think these were all long distance conversations because they had to talk really loud. Oddly enough, people often make such loud long distance calls while eating with family and friends in nice restaurants.

On a different and longer trip last fall my wife and I would usually spend at least part of any given day where no cellular signal existed. One day rather than have the phone eat the battery looking for a signal that didn't exist, I turned it off and put it in our SUV's center console. Nearly three weeks later my wife asked me where my phone was, and I hadn't yet missed it.

I've got nothing against technology. In fact studying physics and mathematics for way too long has kept me self-employed for over 30 years. I help design industrial products, now mostly small electronic stuff with even smaller radios inside. I work with people whose ages range from older than me to millennials and generation Z folks. I know for a fact that these young people are absolutely brilliant, but their ways are very different. Their phones are semi-permanently connected to their ears through some sort of umbilical cord. Not surprisingly they are not very aware of their surroundings when they walk down the hallway, but somehow they do great work. I couldn't function like that and I'm happy about it. I like being immersed in the here and now, and I like concentrating on one thing at a time, but people are just not like that anymore. True or not, a study by Microsoft concluded that human attention fell from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds in late 2015. We now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. Another study I saw (can't recall where) said our ability to multitask has increased. Maybe these cancel one another out? Regardless, I can hardly imagine many generation Z people spending lots of time taking a photo. They do want photos, but at the press of a button as they're moving on to some other task.

Happy Holidays!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 04:40:49 pm by DeanChriss »
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razrblck

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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #58 on: December 25, 2016, 11:12:02 am »

Cameras. I sort of agree that the days of normal cameras as we knew them are almost over. Here, in Spain, I seldom see anyone with one - it seems the cell wins every time. Hell, my photo-supplies wholesaler closed down at least a decade ago, when once he used to be thronged with guys buying materials for their photo-businesses. It's just like the processing labs. I suspect that colour film will vanish well before black/white stock; that being so, I see a continuing future for Leica's old bodies as well, and maybe even Hasselblad will some day put a tentative toe into rebirthing, or at least supplying a dependable source of spares to keep the venerable 500 Series going if only to support the brand and thus keep interest in the digital part of the business alive and well - maybe, big maybe!

I don't think it's far fetched at all. With modern industrial 3D printers (both for plastic and metal parts) many companies are moving their whole spare parts warehouse to the digital realm by manufacturing the pieces needed on demand. This opens up the possibility of manufacturing new parts for old models. Daimler, Fiat and Mercedes already announced their intention to do exactly such thing, and I expect some camera companies to follow suit. It would cost them a very small investment, and they could make even more money from decades old sales just by making new spare parts and giving service for old cameras.

Film is not going to die after all. There will always be people going for it, even if it's just a short lived novelty for them. If we could make it a bit more accessible (easier to process film rolls) I'm sure even more people would jump on it. C41 and E6 are expensive and more complicated processes that even passionate amateurs often cannot justify. Black and white is a lot simpler, but still requires knowledge, effort and money upfront (thanks mostly to the huge markups that "ebay sharks" put on old darkroom equipment). My younger cousins all expressed interest in shooting film, but they declined when I explained what they needed to do it themselves. Labs have pretty much disappeared as well, the few remaining are jacking up prices as time passes.

However, backwards compatibility aside, I do think that cameras for professional use will continue in some form or another. They may well become ultra-expensive, the province of a very limited number of marques, perhaps thus putting the photographic professional back into the general 'professional' bracket within which he once sort of belonged. That would be nice. Democracy ain't necessarily the best system; just look around to see where it's getting us these days. Nobody expects a dentist to set up without spending mega bucks on equipment; why should snappers feel they are entitled to a different deal should they want to go professional? Frankly, I have aways felt that official qualifications should also be a legal requirement; only somebody who feels lacking in skills would worry about that. This isn't the place to fill in the details on that topic, but I would say that now, more than ever, there's a distinct need for it.

I kind of agree, but money alone isn't a big enough barrier to entry if you want to keep quality high. There are a lot of picture snappers out there that call themselves professional photographers just because they can afford relatively high end equipment and a business. We will never stop people that lack the skills but have the means to get into this world. keeping a low barrier to entry is, in this case, a good compromise because we still get to enjoy people with real talent that otherwise would've never had the opportunity to shine.

I believe cameras with bigger sensors will become rarer, possibly more expensive. Though, they would definitely have to bring truly advanced features and stunning image quality to keep selling and compete with phones. I'm not sad to see compact, consumer cameras disappear. They were never as good as the bigger cousins nor as convenient as smartphone cameras.

I really hope for camera makers to stop releasing countless of "cheap" cameras with large sensors (APS or m43) and put all those resources in refining the higher end models instead. Do we really need a D3400? No, like we didn't really need a D3300. Even a D3200 was mostly unnecessary, as the D3100 (which I had for a time) had a really amazing sensor for such a low-end camera. Where are the DL cameras instead? Last I heard they have been postponed again to Jan 2017 (initial release was June 2016) for critical issues. Nikon, how about taking your head out of your ass and putting some serious effort into cameras that are actually interesting instead of wasting more money refreshing the D3000 line with... Bluetooth? Seriously?!

The market for high-end equipment is small, and for sure not all the players will be able to re-invent themselves as high-end niche players - Leica and Phase One spring to mind.
The market just cannot accommodate all the current players.
So, if this is the future then major casualties are inevitable and prices to consumers would inevitably be higher because that cross-subsidization and economies-of-scale that were always so important to these companies is lost.

However, I don't believe that any of the bigger players are just following this approach.
They absolutely and uncompromisingly need to recapture at least some of the market share that they have lost and will continue to lose to the smartphones.
The company(ies) that succeed in this endeavour will survive - the others will die.

I personally believe that the passport to success for these companies is to produce cameras that have equivalent (and preferably better) image-making abilities of current cameras along with the convenience and ease of use (and again maybe even better) of the Smartphone experience.
Why?
Simply because the future camera market is the current Smartphone generation: they simply are not going to muck around with any image-making device (whatever it is called) that does not offer them the experience they are used to when using their Smartphones.

I worry that many of the camera manufacturers will probably be incapable of making the paradigm shifts that are needed to achieve future market success despite the fact that the issue is absolutely not a technological one but rather one of state-of-mind.
The result will be a very different industry in the future with far higher costs of production (Moore's law notwithstanding) and therefore premium costs to the consumer.
I have a very strong vested interest in these companies succeeding in Royal style - I have no desire to be a prophet of Doom - because I want to shoot with really good equipment that doesn't require me to mortgage my house to acquire.

Agree, companies need to shift their mentality. They clearly have the technology to get up to speed, but they are not giving it enough attention and care. If I remember correctly, bcooter said a few times that clients now want video as well as stills. This is true even for event and wedding photographers (heard first hand from many local photographers). Having such capability in your still camera is now essential, but it needs to work well. Nikon is finally moving in this direction after being the first to introduce video in a DSLR, but they are still not treating it with the attention they could. Canon is one step ahead, but again both lack the convenience of smartphones. Photographers here are starting to take more pictures and video with their phones (besides their main camera gear) as well as instant cameras (Fuji Instax and Polaroid Snap) because their clients want content on the spot. They want to share a wedding moment when it happens, not wait two weeks after the fact. You would need a team and/or more equipment to do the same kind of on demand, on-the-spot delivery with traditional cameras



As for the generational gap, I can talk a bit about myself. I started photography on film and only had access to digital around 2005, borrowing the family's camera. In 2007 I got my own digital camera, but still kept film gear by my side. Though it was a time of fast change and before the big craze started by Lomography, so film was out of the question until about 2011 when I built a darkroom with some friends. Now we are able to shoot and print almost everything, limited only by the kinds of chemicals we can buy and if we want to bother with more time consuming processes. Through my friends I also have access to about 400 different, working film cameras if I want to spice it up. My experience is that, if presented with something that is manageable, people will gladly shoot film with enthusiasm and curiosity. I have helped plenty of times with photography workshops and the film based ones are always the most demanded by all age groups.

I always take my time when taking pictures, even with digital. Sometimes I go out for a walk and come back with just one or two snaps after hours being outside and looking for interesting scenes. I also can't go out without my phone, as I use it to keep in touch with my closest friends. It's amazing to be able to communicate with them instantly or share bits of my life with them. Without all this technology I would've never been able to get so close to people that for me are just amazing. When they share parts of their life with me or just hear their voice even if they are on the other side of the globe (slight lag but manageable) it doesn't feel weird at all. I feel like a true citizen of the Earth, a member of the human species. There are no borders for us. Cameras in phones are just a way to share life, quickly and painlessly, with the people we care about. But hey, I print photos as well and put them in albums, just like I love reading real books instead of e-books.

Old or new it doesn't matter, what matters are the emotions I feel when I read a book, snap a picture or share a moment with someone close without issues, limits or obstacles.
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Re: The camera industry in difficulty?
« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2016, 04:23:43 pm »

I always take my time when taking pictures, even with digital. Sometimes I go out for a walk and come back with just one or two snaps after hours being outside and looking for interesting scenes. I also can't go out without my phone, as I use it to keep in touch with my closest friends. It's amazing to be able to communicate with them instantly or share bits of my life with them. Without all this technology I would've never been able to get so close to people that for me are just amazing. When they share parts of their life with me or just hear their voice even if they are on the other side of the globe (slight lag but manageable) it doesn't feel weird at all. I feel like a true citizen of the Earth, a member of the human species. There are no borders for us. Cameras in phones are just a way to share life, quickly and painlessly, with the people we care about. But hey, I print photos as well and put them in albums, just like I love reading real books instead of e-books.

Coulda written this entire paragraph myself.  :D  I've held back some of my favorite photos from my most recent travel adventure from online sharing, instead printing them and giving them as holiday gifts.

-Dave-
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