Why Are Cameras Dying Off?

Started Jul 13, 2013 | Discussions
Vandyu
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,973Gear list
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to Darrell Spreen, Jul 14, 2013

I understand your concern, Darrell. This is an era of settling rather than excelling. I am concerned that the future generations of mankind will become so complacent that we will actually forget to think for ourselves. It is alarming to me to read the spelling and grammatical errors on our major news websites. There is no accountability or concern for accuracy. I've avoided teaching because I would fail so many students that I would also be deemed a failure.

-- hide signature --

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." (A.A. Milne)

 Vandyu's gear list:Vandyu's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Nikon D80 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
estero
Regular MemberPosts: 481
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to Vandyu, Jul 14, 2013

I think most people taking pictures are not so particular in the quality of the picture. They just want a quick snapshot of something. What they end up with is using their phone camera.

This is the same as the disposable film cameras that people purchased by the thousands not so long ago. People do not want to carry around a bulky camera while on vacation.

I have seen many pictures that people have taken and what they think is great might look that way on a small 4 or 5 inch screen but when blown up they don't look as great.

Phone cameras have come a long way but I still prefer a decent point and shoot camera and not a cell phone.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
chr1st1an
Regular MemberPosts: 155Gear list
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to Darrell Spreen, Jul 14, 2013

Darrell Spreen wrote:

chr1st1an wrote:

I think is the way things evolves. It happened to the music in the '90s. When mp3 appeared it was more convenient to have 1 little device capable of playing and storing 1000 songs in mp3 format than to carry 80 compact disc in a case. And yes, the standard mp3 files that everyone have doesn't have the same sound quality, but who cares? For most people the sound is the same (even for me). Is a trade, quality for space and convenience.With cameras is the same. Who cares if the phone doesn't take images with the same quality of a dedicated camera? most people use the images for sharing on facebook and I see thousands of horrible images with tons of "likes" and comments like "very good picture", "so nice!", etc. And again, is a trade, the phone is always with you and you can also talk, surf the web, play music, videos, etc. I think Samsung got the point with the galaxy camera.
Nothing is forever!!! just 60 years ago people travel from a continent to another in a ship. Now we travel in airplane, even having just 70 cm (or less) between our seat and the seat in front of us, and ships are only for pleasure and containers.
Just my thoughts

Christian

I think your summary is pretty good, but I think it is a bit sad (no reflection on you). It seems to reflect a trend toward mediocrity rather than excellence. Where is that likely to take us?

You say that many of the images on facebook are horrible and people don't seem to notice. But if photography means anything special to someone, they notice. Some of us grumble about it.

You mention the convenience of MP3 files with lesser quality and no one cares. In this case, I definitely care. I can hear big differences between my MP3 files and my quality audio sources. There is nothing from my MP3 files to compare to the way a subwoofer stirs the senses as it reaches down to an extremely deep bass note in a good recording.

You mention the cramped seats we get with air travel today and I have read that many people are about at their limit and are now complaining loudly. Airlines seem to have taken the "low road" to try to return to profitability.

What's going to keep us on the cutting edge if we always settle for good enough -- or less? (Sorry for spouting so much philosophy).

-- hide signature --

Darrell

Well I don't think is a trend toward mediocrity. People who cares about taking good images are still here and I'm sure is always increasing its number. The same goes for the music. But also there is a major part of people who some time ago had bought a compact camera just because they wanted to take casual pics and now they have the choice of buying a new compact or use their cell phone. And we know what have they chose.

Christian

 chr1st1an's gear list:chr1st1an's gear list
Canon PowerShot A620 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Create Dont Imitate
Junior MemberPosts: 28
Like?
Camera companies and software vendors own fault
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 14, 2013

Too many useless camera "upgrades"... consumers have wised up.

Too many shady software vendors... trying to trap comsumers into neverending [for the rest of your life] subscriptions they dont want.

All of this is a huge black eye for the artform of photography.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Miles
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,701Gear list
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 14, 2013

My opinions only, I claim no authority:

The beginning of the digital camera age was measured in the efforts to buy the best image quality for your money. Sensor and screen pixel counts were close to equal, so very slight increases in image quality were major talking points, and upgrading to the next generation of camera was a must to preserve those precious memories in ever better quality.

But by 2010 the humble point and shoot had pixel counts far exceeded any quality of screen available. And the phone camera came into its own.

Camera ownership is on the increase. When else in our history can it be said that everyone has a camera about them almost constantly.

The phones have cameras and the point and shoots from five years ago or more still take great photographs.Until something breaks there is no need to buy again, and some of those sales will transfer to using the phone instead.

The phone is not placed well to take on high zoom cameras however, nor are they of such image quality that can be had from a camera. So whilst the low zoom point and shoot might be taking a drop in sales, High zoom and high end cameras nee only feel a temporary dip as those content with phone images depart.

Cameras sales are to some extent capped by relatively poor screen resolutions  that we are seemingly fully prepared to accept. Blu-Ray has a resolution 1920x1080 or thereabouts; less than 2Mp. Yet I'm perfectly happy with that. doubling that size is still only 8Mp. So since 8Mp cameras went on sale no-one has needed the upgrade; especially given that we were suddenly accepting the lesser quality from phones.

Lenses will always sale. By that I mean that the big lens is (currently) something the phone can't do. So cameras utilising a 'big' lens, whether as a fixed or lens change camera, will see stability in the future.

Some want more than their phone image quality, learn that tiny sensors are 'to blame', and go straight for the DSLR. But good sensors are shrinking in size and creating a slowly developing middle ground - the 4/3" territory.

The ground as yet to be revisited by camera manufactures is the area of sensor size between the 4/3" cameras and the point and shoot crowd. As this area develops, and the small sensor continue improving, the equivalent but smaller lenses will draw people into this sales area. They will come from all over, being phone or DSLR people alike, so an effect on DSLR sales at least might be noticed eventually.

-- hide signature --

__________________________________________________________________________
The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright, non-extending Leica 35-420mm F2.8-3.7 lens. I live in hope that Mr Ichiro Kitao, Mr Michiharu Uematsu and Mr Yoshiyuki Inoue have triggered the update to the FZ50. Please update the FZ50. It is unique and users of it cannot update without compromise of one or more of its combination of features. Full tribute here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=42366095 . Performace diagram here: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/3862228415/photos/2623982/fz50-performance-range

 John Miles's gear list:John Miles's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Timj351
Senior MemberPosts: 2,029
Like?
Re: Camera companies and software vendors own fault
In reply to Create Dont Imitate, Jul 14, 2013

There's a lot of great comments in this post. I think most of the smart phone camera users are the same type of casual camera user's that have always been around. Their not interested in the technical side of it, they just want a convenient camera to have with them. Most of them understand that the images aren't the greatest but they work well for their needs. I think smart phones are great for this and the latest technlogy is pretty impressive for what it is. However, there is a small segment of the smart phone users that I find annoying. I like to call these people "self proclaimed camera experts" and they are ones that buy into all of the hype and advertising about the incredible photo quality of these devices and now fully believe that they are every bit as good as a DSLR. Some of these people even have their own DSLR's but, when they do use it, they never take the camera off Auto, have no clue what a Raw image is, and have only ever printed about a half dozen images at 8"x10". 99.9% of their images are viewed on their smart devices or a computer. Nonetheless, they rave about their amazing photos and scoff at people who use dedicated cameras and lenses like we are the ignorant ones. I have several friends that fall into this group of new "camera experts" and I have realized that trying to talk about picture quality and what the determining factors are is exactly like talking about religion and politics anymore. These people will not believe you no matter what facts you provide. They only see that their images look great on their small devices and that they have lots of megapixels. I have finally made it a point to never debate, even in a friendly manner, the various points of image quality to these people. If they want to believe their images are superior to anyone else's than that is their issue. Ok, mini-rant is now over.

As for smart phones completely taking over the compact camera market, I don't think so. It will be much smaller but I think there will still be plenty of good options to choose from. I would actually like to see the market less saturated anyway. The serious compacts and larger format pro and enthusiast cameras are still going to be a strong market I think because that is a separate group where higher image quality is still needed or desired.

-Tim

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Create Dont Imitate
Junior MemberPosts: 28
Like?
Re: Camera companies and software vendors own fault
In reply to Timj351, Jul 14, 2013

I think smart phone users will remain smart phlone usersr because they simply dont need anything else. It suits their needs.

Of course the pro and advanced amature will continue to be interested in higher end cameras... just as they always have in the past. But I used my last film camera for 15 years... and I will continue to only purchase new equipment when major advances are  made.

Many of the major advances that should be here already... arent. Eliminating the vibrating mirror... eliminating the vibrating mechanical shutter... eliminating the AA "blur" filter... will ALL have to occur to get my business. There are a lot of camera companies around... one of them will step up to the plate and make better cameras. Maybe one of the big companies or maybe a smaller more nimble company.

The bigger problem is... it looks like some of the camera companies are hooked on explosive growth and can no longer exist on slower growth.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
FRANCISCO ARAGAO
Regular MemberPosts: 163Gear list
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 15, 2013

Well I've lost count of the number of people I saw photographing beautiful tourist attractions with an iPad 2.

The image quality of the iPad 2 is simply atrocious to say the least.

I always wonder why these people do not buy at least one $ 100 camera, when there are so many reasonable options very small in size.

jmgiv wrote:

Not a particularly perky article.

john

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/were-taking-more-pictures-ever-so-why-are-cameras-dying-6C10607491 .

"You would think that in a world where hundreds of thousands of photos are shared every minute, camera makers would be absolutely in heaven. Instead, they're struggling to maintain both their income and their relevance...For almost a decade, digital camera sales mounted as people ditched their old pocket 35mm cameras for digital cameras of all shapes and sizes, with shipments peaking at 120 million in 2008. Then growth stalled...consumer trends — combined with the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan, affecting camera makers' production lines — caused the photo industry to withdraw into a sort of stasis, from which, sales-wise at least, it has never emerged...While point and shoot sales are collapsing, taking billions off the bottom line, DSLRs and mirrorless systems are selling well. But if the Canons, Nikons, and Pentaxes of the world are not just to survive but to thrive, they need to change big time; hence the comments from Nikon's President."

 FRANCISCO ARAGAO's gear list:FRANCISCO ARAGAO's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40 Sony Alpha DSLR-A200 Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Sony Alpha NEX-6 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cyril Catt
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,002
Like?
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

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Richard
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,764
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to Cyril Catt, Jul 15, 2013

Cyril Catt wrote:

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

I think it will be better. Image standards like gif and jpg will never go away. We still have slide view projectors right now.

I think all your images of you and your family will fit onto one memory card. You will have 3 duplicates that will cost you less than a photo album. If the images degrade, a computer will be able to take the data from all 3 and retrieve all the information.

You may have 1 or two pictures that have lasted from 150 years ago, your great great grandchildren will be able to see video and thousands of pictures. How many pictures from 150 years ago have we lost due to light/water/air damage and loss. I think that digital photography will lose far fewer, only those without backups will suffer catastrophic loss.

I believe right now, I have every picture I have taken from my first digital camera, a casio point and shoot all the way until now, backed up across 4 computers, then 3 more on sibling and parent computers that are in a different location. I have external hard drive backups of each. Each time I get a new computer. I dump all the images to the new computer and because hard drive space continues to increase the new computer does not even feel it.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
cshy1
Forum MemberPosts: 52
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 15, 2013

There are probably many different "individual's" reasons for camera sales dropping.  Many of my friends use their phones more because the use is more "intuitive" and they get features they want.  I, for one, have a lot of money in my pocket that I wanted to spend on more frequent camera purchases, but I could get the features I wanted.  Phone companies aggressively chase competition with latest innovation.  I feel the camera companies tend more to re-package the same things with slight change in shape and minor upgrades.  I have tried to contact one company a few times regarding desired features or concerns, but got pretty much a wall in the face.  I will still spend more and upgrade more frequently when I get REAL upgrades as opposed to new technology being slowly metered out over time.  Yes, I think camera companies are to blame for holding back and sitting on new tech instead of offering it right away like phone companies do.  Just my two cents.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ludwik123
Regular MemberPosts: 268Gear list
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 15, 2013

Cameras are not dying.   They are mutating and evolving into smartphones and tablets.

The new craze is the tablet.

There is plenty of talk on how the smartphone is smaller and more convenient than a compact.  However increasing number of people are taking photos with 10inch tablets!!! How is this convenient ?

The tablet is flat so easy to carry, it is easy to hold.  And it is easy to compose a photo on a 10inch screen.  Much better than a compacts 3inch or smartphones 4 to 5 inch and a DSLR s viewfinder.

I suspect nikon may start supplying optical systems to other companies tablets.

The next trend could be tablets with a 200mpixel 3inch sensor.  And a flatish optical lens system supplied by nikon.  no optical zoom, just the equivalent to a 10X zoom using nokias pureview technology.  A DSLR killer ?

 ludwik123's gear list:ludwik123's gear list
Olympus C-765 UZ Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR Olympus XZ-2 iHS Olympus SZ-16 iHS +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cyril Catt
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,002
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to Richard, Jul 15, 2013

Richard wrote:

Cyril Catt wrote:

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

I think it will be better. Image standards like gif and jpg will never go away. We still have slide view projectors right now.

Richard, I am less optimistic than you. Sure, the standards may continue, but they are likely to be superseded by new ones, and as that happens, the software to read files in those formats may be less easy to find or use. How many slide projectors are being manufactured today? And how many are being sent to the dump?

I think all your images of you and your family will fit onto one memory card. You will have 3 duplicates that will cost you less than a photo album. If the images degrade, a computer will be able to take the data from all 3 and retrieve all the information.

But how long will images last on a memory card? How long will SD, SDHC, etc. be standards? If I send you a 5.25" floppy disk, or even a 3.5" one, could you read it?

You may have 1 or two pictures that have lasted from 150 years ago, your great great grandchildren will be able to see video and thousands of pictures. How many pictures from 150 years ago have we lost due to light/water/air damage and loss. I think that digital photography will lose far fewer, only those without backups will suffer catastrophic loss.

I believe right now, I have every picture I have taken from my first digital camera, a casio point and shoot all the way until now, backed up across 4 computers, then 3 more on sibling and parent computers that are in a different location. I have external hard drive backups of each. Each time I get a new computer. I dump all the images to the new computer and because hard drive space continues to increase the new computer does not even feel it.

Yes, I have similar distributed archives. But their continued existence will depend on people continuing to rearchive them as technology changes. Will all my descendants be as diligent about retaining pictures of someone they never knew? I think there may be a better chance of pictures printed with archival materials, and kept in archival conditions, surviving for 150 years than there will be for digital files to be faithfully copied as technology changes, because people are fallible.

-- hide signature --

Cyril

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Stevie Boy Blue
Contributing MemberPosts: 759
Like?
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

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Beefy_SAFC
Regular MemberPosts: 436
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 15, 2013

PART 1:I've just had a weekend in London and I can only speak on the basis of what I saw and my own experiences.

1) Many people seemed to be content with their mobile phones, which can now deliver a good quality photograph. Whilst they lose having, say, an optical zoom, the digital zoom is sufficient for what most people want to do. They can then immediately forward a photo to a friend on the opposite side of the world if they want, which is a massive advantage over the normal digital camera.

They probably do have a digital camera but it gathers dust at home as just something extra to carry. Another observation here in the UK is we're having a hot summer (it's looking like a long, hot one too) and women especially have less pocket space to carry extras (lots of summery dresses on show), so it would be the mobile phone only (same on a night out, compact, slim, easily to slip into a handbag, etc.). Any women on here wish to comment?

2) Others were using models of digital cameras they bought after they ditched their film cameras. The camera does the job for them and it has to be something special for them to upgrade. All they want is something that takes photos for them.

3) The third set were those with bridge, DSLR and mirrorless cameras. They are the high end users who want quality and functionality from their camera.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Lightpath48
Senior MemberPosts: 2,115Gear list
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 15, 2013

People are finding their images from other devices satisfying enough for their end uses (small displays). I think this is especially a trend among the young.

 Lightpath48's gear list:Lightpath48's gear list
Nikon D3300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Beefy_SAFC
Regular MemberPosts: 436
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to Beefy_SAFC, Jul 15, 2013

PART 2: I took a travel zoom with me (Panasonic TZ30) and also had a mobile phone. My choice of camera was based upon having I could slip in my pocket. I can carry either a phone or a camera, but not comfortably both. My other pocket has my wallet. I therefore stowed whatever I was not using in my backpack out of the way.

On a night out, unless for a specific reason it would just be the mobile phone simply because I need to limit what I am carrying.

I also have a large bridge camera (Canon SX50HS), however, that is starting to gathering dust. It is just too big to carry round and I will only take it if I know I'm doing any wildlife photography. It is for this reason I don't have a DSLR or mirrorless camera as the extra lenses would be extra bulk. The Canon may actually go as I'm finding I rarely take the zoom beyond the 20x provided by the TZ30.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Beefy_SAFC
Regular MemberPosts: 436
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to Beefy_SAFC, Jul 15, 2013

PART 3: Samsung may be on the way to the right device to revive the compact digital camera market with their Galaxy cameras with android capacity and connectivity. However, it is not yet a phone. If Samsung add phone functionality, then they may be onto a winner. But it is still a little bulky for many and it will have to be slimmed down to mobile phone proportions to be a real success. The problem is engineering the substantial optical zoom into a near-mobile body.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Richard
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,764
Like?
I think you miss the point..
In reply to Cyril Catt, Jul 15, 2013

Cyril Catt wrote:

Richard wrote:

Cyril Catt wrote:

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

I think it will be better. Image standards like gif and jpg will never go away. We still have slide view projectors right now.

Richard, I am less optimistic than you. Sure, the standards may continue, but they are likely to be superseded by new ones, and as that happens, the software to read files in those formats may be less easy to find or use.

It is not only software but hardware. How many phone, tablets, mp3 players, TVs, even point and shoot cameras themselves, read these formats. Unless everyone throws them away the will be plenty of them around to read. Even now, you can convert your pictures and your 8mm film movies to current formats.

How many slide projectors are being manufactured today? And how many are being sent to the dump?

You can buy projectors on Amazon new right now and the still sell film scanner and there are still many places that will scan, but you have to be on it because as we move closer to 150 years out there will be less of the conversion places and they will probably cost you more money to convert but they are still around.

I think all your images of you and your family will fit onto one memory card. You will have 3 duplicates that will cost you less than a photo album. If the images degrade, a computer will be able to take the data from all 3 and retrieve all the information.

But how long will images last on a memory card? How long will SD, SDHC, etc. be standards?

They will be around long after you and I are dead. Readers will be around even longer.

You can buy a 3.5 floppy with every card reader for $17 http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-CRW-FLP2-Internal-Writer-INTERNAL/dp/B00666NLLW/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1373895089&sr=1-6&keywords=internal+floppy+drive

If I send you a 5.25" floppy disk, or even a 3.5" one, could you read it?

I have a 2 computers that read 3.5 floppies so in answer to your question, yes. As far as the 5.25, if I really needed to read it, the answer is yes, I can buy an old computer that has a drive. The  5.25 drives are sold as used. I have friends that still have these old computers. But remember most people have pulled the data off of these old machines and moved important stuff to newer media and harddrive/computers.

You may have 1 or two pictures that have lasted from 150 years ago, your great great grandchildren will be able to see video and thousands of pictures. How many pictures from 150 years ago have we lost due to light/water/air damage and loss. I think that digital photography will lose far fewer, only those without backups will suffer catastrophic loss.

I believe right now, I have every picture I have taken from my first digital camera, a casio point and shoot all the way until now, backed up across 4 computers, then 3 more on sibling and parent computers that are in a different location. I have external hard drive backups of each. Each time I get a new computer. I dump all the images to the new computer and because hard drive space continues to increase the new computer does not even feel it.

Yes, I have similar distributed archives. But their continued existence will depend on people continuing to rearchive them as technology changes. Will all my descendants be as diligent about retaining pictures of someone they never knew?

It is no difference that paper copies, the people that come after you have to want to know who you are. I have old picutres, before my mother died, I asked here to write down on the back of great great grand parents pictures who they were and relationship to the family. If she did not do that those pictures would be thrown away after I am dead but I have shown them to the next generation, you can only hope one of them takes and interest to same them. Same with digital, you will have to name all the pictures and their relevance to your family if you do this the chances of them sticking around is much higher.

I think there may be a better chance of pictures printed with archival materials, and kept in archival conditions, surviving for 150 years than there will be for digital files to be faithfully copied as technology changes, because people are fallible.

I agree, you may have greater chances passing them on.  In the end it does not matter what format, people who are interested in family genealogy will make the effort to continue to update this information and keep it in current formats

In my family there are several doing this, and we share what we have with each other and will pass it on to future generations explaining the importance of keeping this stuff around and passing it on. There always seems to be someone who wants to do this in families, you just have to make sure it gets passed on.

Everything that was passed on was passed to me, I have scanned a prepared everything for the next generation. I think I know which one I will pass it to and because I can easily make copies, on hard drives and memory cards, I will hand them out to all and explain why this is important and why they should keep it. And I will print some of them out and buy several good digital photo frames, then all you can do is hope.

In the end regardless of format, it will not be if it is hard copy or digital, it will be if there is someone interested to carry the information on to the future.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Lee Cawley
New MemberPosts: 15
Like?
Re: Why Are Cameras Dying Off?
In reply to jmgiv, Jul 15, 2013

Is it just a simple matter of there being more people "taking photos" and less people "being into photography"?

I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, but more the fact that some people take and share photos all the time, almost as part of their daily activities. Whereas the number of people who dedicate time to doing nothing but taking photographs, may not be increasing.

I know if I'm out and about, I might snap an occasional shot with my phone. But if I really want to take some pictures, then my DSLR is used. Smartphones have put the snapshot ability into the hands of every person with a phone... this is a radical change from how people have been exposed to cameras in the past. No longer is it necessarily a dedicated expensive purchase option, it's just there in the pocket, whenever you need it.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads