How much has technology really moved on?

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Andy Hewitt
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How much has technology really moved on?
3 months ago

I've been going through my older collection here, and just got wondering how much has technology really moved on with cameras over the years.

Here's a little timeline from some of the cameras I've used since I went digital in 2000.

First one is from an Olympus C960 1.3MP camera I got at Christmas 2000. I really liked this camera, and was rather disappointed when it failed.

Olympus C960z (2000)

When the C960 died (the card slot failed to read any cards), I bought a Minolta Z1 3MP camera.

Minolta Z1 (2003)

At this time my daughter was bought a Kodak compact 2MP camera.

Kodak (2003)

I then moved on to a Panny FZ7, but sold that quickly to go to DSLR when I found I wanted a little more in my photos. My first was an Olympus E500 8MP, but I've tried a few different Olympus DSLRs since then.

Here's one from an Olympus E1 5MP.

E1 (2004)

And then a later Olympus E420 10MP camera.

E420 (2009)

I moved on from those to go to a bridge camera, as I'd got frustrated swapping lenses while out and about, and usually having the wrong one on for a given scene.

I started off with the HS50EXR, but switched to an X-S1 after a few months, feeling I preferred the larger sensor and better DR/colours, and handling of the larger camera.

Here's one from the X-S1 at 12MP.

X-S1 (2011)

And one from the HS50EXR taken at 8MP size

HS50 (2013)

My intention here is not to set up an argument between different cameras, but to show how much difference does the technology in real terms. We're always out trying to get 'better' all the time, but I have to ask myself, does it really get better?

For sure, higher resolution helps with some images, and I guess there may be improvements in DR. However, my observation is that more often some cost cutting has been used at various times, and updates in technology have not always resulted in better images.

It's an old saying, but really the best camera is always the one you have with you when you need it. There is no double that the DSLRs can produce 'technically' better images than the compacts, but I'm enjoying my photography more than ever now with the X-S1, as it does give me very good photos, but it's far more convenient to use. I guess it's all about compromise somewhere - be it bags of equipment to get the best shot possible, or a convenient camera that is really to shoot wherever you are.

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Andy Hewitt
Using FujiFilm X-S1 and Apple iMac 27" 3.2GHz

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1 Fujifilm X-S1 Apple Aperture Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Apple iPhone 4S
Fujifilm X-S1 Olympus E-420 Pentax Optio E50
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