Why Are Cameras Dying Off?

Started Jul 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Cyril Catt
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Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 15, 2013

The gestation period of 35mm cameras was in the 1930s, but world war II paused their development until the '40s and '50s, when developments and new models began to come thick and fast and numerous hopeful companies started up and several failed. As 35mm matured, and its use increased, plate cameras died off, but roll film use continued, probably because until automated equipment became commonplace contact prints were initially much cheaper than enlargements. Over the next few decades innovations were much slower and the confusing choice between many new models slowed.

Digital photography's genesis was in the '90s, and by 2000 the technology started to take off, riding on the wave of innovations in other digital technologies, so the surviving digicam companies tend to have an electronics background, but are often teamed with an experienced optical firm. However, as digital capabilities increase, the need for expensive optical work appears to be decreasing, and globalization is driving a reduction in the numbers of increasingly larger companies.

Meanwhile, current devices appear to satisfy the immediate needs of many, if not most, image makers. But whether, in 150 years, my great-great-grandchildren will be able to look at images of me, as I am currently able to look at images of my great-great-grandparents from 150 years ago, remains a question.

Cyril

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