Why Are Cameras Dying Off?

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

For what it’s worth, this is just my opinion, considering I've not read much of the thread thus far.

By 2025 (if not sooner), DSLR and bridge camera photography will be more of a niche pastime than it already is, unless both of these types of camera become smaller and lighter. Only those earning a living by – or the real hardy enthusiast amateur-type hobbyist – will stand by the current weighty/bulky models until something more suitably portable comes along. In this respect, there are already many photographers crying out for miniaturisation of the gear on offer. Once any manufacturer designs a smaller sensor that can truly compete with those found in current DSLR’s re noise to ISO output, the shift will gather momentum and spread virtually across the board, albeit a more gradual process for those photographers who, for whatever reason, have to be seen to remain faithful to bulkier stuff just so they can appear more professional to those who may be impressed by their actions. Never underestimate the human ego and the levels of stubbornness born of it! Manufacturers will always have to cater for this type of photographer; hence extortionately priced top-end models should remain in the mix of wares on offer for those who like to splash out, and to be seen doing so.

Then there’s the completely different type of 21st century photographer who’s happy to snap away at anything within the range of their lens and who wants to share each moment instantly across the internet. Quite simply, the modern day compact camera now has no place in the everyday, all event-snap shooter’s armoury. He or she merely caries a mobile phone, arguably the modern day electrical equivalent of the do-it-all Swiss army knife. Whether it’s an I-phone or whatever, they are all-in-one gadgets for the bulk consumer market that loves nothing more than the sheer convenience afforded them in a virtual instant.

It doesn’t matter one jot to this type of snapper if the image quality of their smart phone camera is below that attainable with a ‘proper’ compact camera (although many would argue that phone images are very good these days). It simply means that whilst they’re out with their friends, they no longer need to carry both a phone and a separate camera. Their gadget is an all in one package, hence in the world of the bulk consumer and truly amateur photographer who is entirely happy with his phone images, the real compact camera is a fully redundant item. In many cases, such an old-hat device would be viewed as extra luggage and a further unnecessary step to getting their party images uploaded to facebook or twitter, or whichever social website he or she chooses to share them. Beyond perhaps cropping, this type of consumer has no interest in post processing their photos. To them, it’s all about speed and how quickly they can share the moment. Chances are: if you were to ask any of the millions of folk involved in this snap-and-instantly-share type of photography why they don’t use a compact camera, they’d tell you that they don’t need one. Thing is, manufactures can only survive by meeting the demands of their consumer market. It may be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but the consumer market for photographic wares is changing toward a less is more demand. Something extra to carry is an inconvenience if it is regarded as unnecessary and compacts probably fall deeper into this category by the week.

Only time will tell exactly where the future of the compact system lies, but surely any manufacturer who refuses to adapt to what the bulk market requires is destined to lose revenue. As for any consumers that refuse to move with the times, they’re probably destined to remain disappointed for a very long time, and I can envisage quite a few folks holding onto to and using their ageing gear with no hope whatsoever of seeing the updates they might crave.

With that, I bid you all happy snapping and kind regards,

Stevie Boy

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