Prepare yourselves for a new landscape

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
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meland
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Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
Nov 10, 2013

May I make a prediction?  Many of you are not going to like it, but before you throw your toys out of the pram please hear me out.

In ten or fifteen years (the exact time span is not the main point of this prediction) mainstream enthusiast photography may have gone small format.  Forget full frame.  Forget APS-C.  Forget M4/3.  These may all be then regarded as medium format and as such only the province of a few professionals and quality fetishists.

The manufacturers are already  come to the realisation that tinkering at the edges with the formats we have today no longer produces sufficient sales to support the market.  The debate about mirrorless v DSLR will have long gone.

They (the manufacturers) will have realised that what the markets really want is not ultimate image quality but small and convenient products.  Using small sensors (which will have improved a bit, although not as much as many here hope or expect) it will be possible to create small systems that have tremendous mass appeal.  While we accept the size of current products the new customer simply will not.  The market for people who will accept cameras the size of,say, a 6D or 700D (and I only mention those as roughly representative of the breed of DSLRs we have today) and huge lenses such as a 70-200/2.8, or even a 24-105/4 will be over once consumers are offered something much smaller and lighter.  In fact the whole interchangeable lens market will probably have shrunk considerably.  If you can have a good quality 20x; 50x; or even 100x zoom that is about the same size as say a current 24-70/4, and with a reasonably fast aperture, only the geeks are going to be able to justify what we currently regard as normal. Why bother with interchangeable lenses at all for most purposes?

The high enthusiasts we have today that would resist such a change will not really be a factor. Because of their current demographic many will need help in having a glass of milk and will no longer be overly concerned about anything, let alone the performance at 100%.

The sports and photo journalist professional market is already moving away from printed images. Old timers in those professions may hate this too but the future for those markets is probably video and with any still image requirement (increasingly rare) being provided for by an individual frame taken from that.

There will still be a tiny market for formats like FF but these formats will be considered rather esoteric and more like Medium Format is today.  And of course this means the cost of products in this domain will be much, much higher and the choice (and rate of replacement) far less.

Perhaps they didn't quite get it right (the lenses are too big for example) but the Nikon V1/J1 is possibly a precursor to what the manufacturers are thinking long term and what we have in store for the future.

Sorry.

Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 700D (EOS Rebel T5i / EOS Kiss X7i) Nikon 1 V1
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