Prepare yourselves for a new landscape

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meland
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Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
5 months ago

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.

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Marx81
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

Well , perspective depends from point of view .

Out of the western richer bloc , Australia and Japan , future , as you paint it , is reality already :

Half year after presentation Canon 5D3 was nowhere to be seen around in the Philippines .

So I got mine in Bangkok .

Printing is getting less and less relevant , screen view of photos no doubt requests less quality .

At the moment the planet seems hungry of smartphones , more than anything else .

In this world photography is a commodity not art .

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Fog Maker
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

meland wrote:

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

The photographic image as such is disappearing from many fields,

like real estate, catalogues and what not and gets replaced

by computer generated imagery...  And this is only the beginning.

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RedFox88
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

meland wrote:

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.

In case you haven't followed, the nikon 1 is not doing well.  It dragged down all camera sales profit and a year ago they had to drastically cut its selling price just to clear their produced inventory.

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meland
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to RedFox88, 5 months ago

RedFox88 wrote:

meland wrote:

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.

In case you haven't followed, the nikon 1 is not doing well. It dragged down all camera sales profit and a year ago they had to drastically cut its selling price just to clear their produced inventory.

Yes I know that.  Perhaps it's just too early as a product for today's consumer - and as I said earlier it's not quite there, i.e. lenses are too large.

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pavi1
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

meland wrote:

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.

You could have stopped here. Nothing new, a least for the last century. The masses have always preferred small camera to  ultimate quality.  That will never change. There will always be a market for quality of different levels. For now my level is DX. It will never be 8X10. It might be FX in the future. It will never be iPhone unless I give up photography as a hobby.

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icycool123
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

Different tools work better for different jobs. For e.g. you can use only a spoon to eat spaghetti. It can be done, but itll be far more effective to use a fork. For sports, portraits its far more effective with full frame. Yes you can do it with smaller formats, but its far easier to achieve with full frame.

For travel and food photos, small formats are easier. Better with greater depth of field with the same aperture number to show where you've been (touristy shots where everythings in focus). Also indoor restaurant photos to show several dishes in one photo etc....

Know which tool works best for which job to get the most out of your tools. Unfortunately few of us can afford several systems.

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quadrox
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Nothing to see here, move along.
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

Sorry, but I think you forgot to specify what part of your description is different than todays reality. Millions of people make do with smartphone cameras as it is. So called professional photographers participate in advertisement where they praise this phone or that instead of a DSRL. Anything larger than a point and shoot will only be used by enthusiasts, and enthusiasts will always exists.

In other words, nothing to see here, move along.

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Glen Barrington
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OK. . .
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

It just hardware.  As long as I can make the photos I want, and I'm not dead, it's all good.

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Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos. . .
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howardroark
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Predicting revolution is not revolutionary.
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

meland wrote:

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.

All you must do to get a feel for the future is look to the past. When photography was first developed it was inconvenient and the sole province of artists and professionals who could afford the equipment and had the expertise to use it.

Since then there have been many, many advancements that have made photography much more accessible, much cheaper, and much easier for everyone to use. Polaroid, self-winding automatic film cameras, the Brownie, digital cameras, one hour developing, color film, not to mention the smaller formats or the simple fact that film chemistry advanced to allow much faster exposures instead of many seconds.

And with each of these advancements people predicted the demise of anything that wasn't as cheap or easy or fast or convenient. We are so impressed with new technology, especially the photography types, that we forget how useful the old ways were. We also forget that so many people have zero interest in being excited and surprised by new cameras and simply want what they want. Artists want a wide variety of attributes, regular people want convenience or quality or something cool or a mix of all that, and photographers who want to keep striving to improve their skills don't always want whatever is the most convenient or trendy....and some do.

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.

Things that work don't cease to exist just because they've been around forever. Most people don't know how a DSLR or an ILC camera works they just care what it does. And DSLRs still work, still perform the tasks many people want with great proficiency, and are becoming higher quality at lower costs because established technology is cheaper to produce and has already been refined over many, many years.

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 markets are much more varied than you give them credit for. A new market has emerged in the form of cameras built into smartphones and now everybody thinks that is converting people from one segment to another rather than converting a few and creating a whole new market segment of its own with its own new adopters. True, touchscreen technology and wireless data will surely be incorporated into digital cameras as it becomes cost efficient and more demanded by people, but small size is never going to be the only thing people care about. There will always be people who will only bother with photography if it is very convenient and cheap, and that is a legitimate market segment that the camera makers couldn't really access until smartphone cameras brought those people out of the woodwork.

I think all those superzooms and small sensor cameras are beyond the people you think will want them already. Most people have a tipping point where size or quality are either very important or can be sacrificed for the other. For smartphone users image quality and flexibility is much less important than convenience and sharing on social media. For someone who want the best image quality, size can only be meaningful within a very large range where something only becomes too large if there isn't a significant enough increase in image quality or price becomes too high. Some people really do need a combination of both and that's where the G1 X or RX100 really struck a chord. The G1 X was the perfect balance of performance, size, image quality, and price that I personally needed for a convenient carry-about camera. For many if it's not already in their pocket (smartphone) they don't care.

As for interchangeable lenses and superzooms, optics will still evolve much more slowly than digital technology and, therefore, will be the gateway to truly superior image quality. Many people will be introduced to photography through their lazy, lousy smartphones and then realize that they can have great pictures with a little more money and effort. Conversion of market segments will go both ways.

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%.

Polaroid, 35mm, 110, and disposable cameras never did what you suggest and digital photography will be the same way.

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.

As mobile consumption of data increases it will still be important to avoid super high definition video for every single occasion where it is possible, whereas very high quality images will require much less data and load times and will look amazing on tablets and phones. Internet speeds are not increasing as fast as you might think and the inconsistent wireless data networks are still fairly slow and bogged down by increasing traffic. Cell data also eats up battery life we don't have and most of our content is so compressed to reduce file sizes that video isn't all that impressive. No doubt it will improve. What new technology will come about to throw tablets on their noses?

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.

Sorry for what? Sorry because you're that convinced you're right and we won't like it? ILC camera sales have been low and flat for two years, which have been arguably the two most exciting years of their evolution into usefulness. DSLR have been high and in most quarters growing. I think there certainly will be new market segments, new consumers in each, and a greater fragmentation in general. However, your conclusions are based more on the initial trends in some new developments and less on very similar developments that have occurred in the past and only enriched the field of photography rather than being so revolutionary they've made all other technologies obsolete.

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Amamba
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In reply to meland, 5 months ago

The average consumer was always content with lower quality, lower cost, higher convenience cameras. It's not like a typical film P&S camera of the 80s / 90s loaded with typical off the shelf 800 speed film (convenience) and developed in the local CVS 1-hr lab was producing spectacular output.

The big difference is in who is pocketing the profits. Back then, the pro / prosumer cameras and the consumer / mass market cameras were all made by same manufacturers, so the sales of mass produced cheap stuff fueled the R&D and manufacturing of the higher end stuff.

Now it's the smartphones, so the companies like Apple and Samsung are eating into profits of Nikon and Canon.

Sony could have benefited from this shift but they seem unable to turn a profit in electronics. Go figure.

It could go one of two ways. Either the smartphone manufacturers will branch out into the higher end prosumer market (Samsung seems to be trying to do just that). Or the prosumer market would eventually die out, and the choice would be either to go with your phone camera, or shell out $$$$$ for specialized pro level photo / video gear. And it all depends on where the phone cameras are 5-10 years from now, i.e how many people are willing to spend extra on midrange stuff. There's no reason why they can't eventually come up with a phone camera sensor that matches current mirrorless APS-C sensors and the only differentiating factor is lens characteristics (which can be mimicked to some extend by software).

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tko
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another obvious post
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

Translation. Quality doesn't sell to the mass market. Weight and convenience trumps all. Cheap and adequate works. True and obvious, a big duh moment.

Yet there are thousand of high end products that do quite well. BMW's and Mercedes. Stereos and TVs. High end clothing, restaurants, and appliances. None of which are strictly necessary, but still sell. Indeed, the first thing a new manufacturer does is to establish a high end, top of the line presence.

Typical post. I don't need high end, so you don't need high end. You use high end, so you threaten me.

Posts like this are typically written by technological challenged people who have been raised expecting miracles. The magic sensor, offering 500% more light sensitivity, the magic lens with a 100X zoom range. Sprinkle that fairy dust and make my dreams real. My cell phone is gonna beat your medium format any day now. Just you wait, and I'll show you. Really, just wait until he's all grown up.

Get over it.

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chkproductions
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago
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SomebodyFamous
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

I have my own thoughts on this and they are... sit tight and wait to see what happens

http://www.britphoto.us/2013/11/where-is-photography-going.html

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MoreorLess
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

meland wrote:

RedFox88 wrote:

meland wrote:

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.

In case you haven't followed, the nikon 1 is not doing well. It dragged down all camera sales profit and a year ago they had to drastically cut its selling price just to clear their produced inventory.

Yes I know that. Perhaps it's just too early as a product for today's consumer - and as I said earlier it's not quite there, i.e. lenses are too large.

You canna change the laws of optics.

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RedFox88
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

meland wrote:

RedFox88 wrote:

meland wrote:

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.

In case you haven't followed, the nikon 1 is not doing well. It dragged down all camera sales profit and a year ago they had to drastically cut its selling price just to clear their produced inventory.

Yes I know that. Perhaps it's just too early as a product for today's consumer - and as I said earlier it's not quite there, i.e. lenses are too large.

Are you crazy?  the nikon 1 lenses are small, not large!

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Amamba
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Re: another obvious post
In reply to tko, 5 months ago

tko wrote:

Translation. Quality doesn't sell to the mass market. Weight and convenience trumps all. Cheap and adequate works. True and obvious, a big duh moment.

Yet there are thousand of high end products that do quite well. BMW's and Mercedes. Stereos and TVs. High end clothing, restaurants, and appliances. None of which are strictly necessary, but still sell. Indeed, the first thing a new manufacturer does is to establish a high end, top of the line presence.

Typical post. I don't need high end, so you don't need high end. You use high end, so you threaten me.

Posts like this are typically written by technological challenged people who have been raised expecting miracles. The magic sensor, offering 500% more light sensitivity, the magic lens with a 100X zoom range. Sprinkle that fairy dust and make my dreams real. My cell phone is gonna beat your medium format any day now. Just you wait, and I'll show you. Really, just wait until he's all grown up.

Get over it.

BMW and Mersedes don't have the highest quality. Not even near. They sell on snob appeal.

There's nothing wrong with "good enough" when it's really good enough .

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Lee Jay
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I'll make my own prediction
In reply to meland, 5 months ago

I predict that in 10-15 years, shoe manufacturers will have realized the folly of producing adult-sized shoes.  Everyone needs child-sized shoes when they are children, and there's a great deal of savings for the manufacturers in continuing to manufacture those shoes into adulthood instead of developing whole new manufacturing lines for the larger shoes.  Those savings can be passed along to the consumers of shoes.  Further, children's shoes are lighter than adult shoes, thereby saving energy for the owners who have to move them around thousands of times each day.

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SomebodyFamous
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to Lee Jay, 5 months ago

Lee Jay wrote:

I predict that in 10-15 years, shoe manufacturers will have realized the folly of producing adult-sized shoes. Everyone needs child-sized shoes when they are children, and there's a great deal of savings for the manufacturers in continuing to manufacture those shoes into adulthood instead of developing whole new manufacturing lines for the larger shoes. Those savings can be passed along to the consumers of shoes. Further, children's shoes are lighter than adult shoes, thereby saving energy for the owners who have to move them around thousands of times each day.

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Lee Jay

You're mixing up an essential item that everybody needs with an electronic toy that we buy because we like them, not because we need them.

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I take photos for my own pleasure. I write books for my own pleasure too. If people buy them then fine. If not then I don't really care. The fun was in writing them. Income is just icing on top of the cake.

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Lee Jay
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to SomebodyFamous, 5 months ago

SomebodyFamous wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

I predict that in 10-15 years, shoe manufacturers will have realized the folly of producing adult-sized shoes. Everyone needs child-sized shoes when they are children, and there's a great deal of savings for the manufacturers in continuing to manufacture those shoes into adulthood instead of developing whole new manufacturing lines for the larger shoes. Those savings can be passed along to the consumers of shoes. Further, children's shoes are lighter than adult shoes, thereby saving energy for the owners who have to move them around thousands of times each day.

You're mixing up an essential item that everybody needs with an electronic toy that we buy because we like them, not because we need them.

You're mixing up analogies.

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Lee Jay

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