Prepare yourselves for a new landscape

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions
SomebodyFamous
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to Lee Jay, Nov 10, 2013

Camera = electronic toy

Shoes = essential item

Given the choice between a camera and a pair of shoes, which is a barefooted person going to go for?

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Lee Jay
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to SomebodyFamous, Nov 10, 2013

SomebodyFamous wrote:

Camera = electronic toy

Shoes = essential item

Given the choice between a camera and a pair of shoes, which is a barefooted person going to go for?

You entirely missed the point of my post.

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Brendan Delaney
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to Lee Jay, Nov 10, 2013

Agree - Two ends of the market. Always were...

Images for memories, sharing and being a part of one's life.. (99% of people) Box Brownie/Film compact and high st lab/ P&S / Cameraphone.

Art and professional photography...Glass plates /medium format/highend SLR/DSLR.

What happened briefly in the 1970/80s and in the past 10years is that the camera companies managed to sell cheap/volume (D)SLRS to the first market. That time is now ending.

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stevo23
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 10, 2013

meland wrote:

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.

So how do you think this current trend toward full frame that we're seeing will play out? First Sony, now Olympus and Fuji are making noises about it. Do you think this is just a short and passing fad?

I wonder myself although I don't think 135 will go away. When a Nikon D800 is only $2700 - as far as I'm concerned, it can stop there and I would be happy for a long time.

We should have a vault with all our predictions in it and every so often, we pull them out and review them and those who are correct should get a free camera. (How about a vintage Kodak Brownie?) We could call it the Brownie Awards.

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meland
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Re: another obvious post
In reply to tko, Nov 10, 2013

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.

I'll try to respond to this in a reasonable and non-confrontational manner.

What I was attempting to say, although perhaps I said it badly, or perhaps it is enjoyable for some to  twist what I did say around, is suggest that we are currently in a golden age for top end equipment.  It works amazingly well and is actually very cheap for what it does.  However, given that the middle aged enthusiast market is declining (and ageing) and that younger enthusiasts are not coming in fast enough to fill the gap, then manufacturers will have to realign their product portfolios.  Of course you may not agree with this statement but anyway allow me to continue.

So over a period of time DSLRs (or should I say the particular enthusiast class of camera that DSLRs and indeed mirrorless cameras, fit into, will shrink.  Not because they are any less capable but because there may be less 'enthusiasts' prepared to buy them.  And because there are a lot of people currently, who are not enthusiasts, but who nevertheless currently buy this type of equipment because there hasn't been much of an alternative.  But I'm suggesting that for the latter market there will be alternatives.

So camera manufacturers will be forced to move up market, or should I say up price, because with the shrinking volumes that is the only way that those manufacturers can remain in the market.  And that means the stuff we enjoy today, or dare I say take for granted today, will become very much more expensive.

This is nothing new - remember what happened to medium format when 35mm came along.  Remember how 'serious' photographers derided 35mm as a 'toy' format.  And yet 35mm succeeded and largely replaced medium format even for enthusiasts.  Remember how serious 35mm film photographers derided digital.  It will never have the quality of film they said.  Film will never be replaced they said.  Sound familiar?

So tko you deride me by claiming I'm technically challenged.  You assume I'm expecting a magic sensor.  No, not at all.  With 30 years behind me working both on the technical side and in marketing for Canon I do know a little bit about what is possible and what is not.  One of my responsibilities in the early days of digital was launching digital imaging to a market that I can only describe as sceptical if  not downright hostile.  I have given enough presentations to journalists, newspapers, picture agencies, dealers, and in many countries, to understand that people feel very uncomfortable at a different vision of what may be the future to the one they want or expect.

Magic sensor - no.  Revising the laws of optics - not at all.  But remember bridge (superzoom) cameras already have 100x zooms - it's just a function of their small sensors.  You may deride these too but all I'm suggesting is that with a small improvement in IQ and perhaps build quality, many of tomorrow's enthusiasts will be very happy with these small sensors and the small lenses that they permit.

The 'true enthusiast' who values IQ above all else will be prepared to pay a considerable amount for his large format (aka FF or APS-C or M4/3).  But just as has happened in the audio industry, there won't be so many of them remaining in the high end as there are now.

But by all means come back to me if you want to discuss it further in an intelligent and non sarcastic manner.

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meland
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to stevo23, Nov 10, 2013

stevo23 wrote:

meland wrote:

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.

So how do you think this current trend toward full frame that we're seeing will play out? First Sony, now Olympus and Fuji are making noises about it. Do you think this is just a short and passing fad?

I think it will remain for a while for the high end enthusiast and professional markets. After which it will retract to much smaller volumes, somewhat like MF achieves today.

As a volume product, I'm not sure many manufacturers that are not already in it will adopt it. Designing and making a range of FF lenses when you have none is too expensive to enable a return on investment for the small volumes  and I don't believe there will be enough purchasers  committed enough to sustain it anyway.

I wonder myself although I don't think 135 will go away. When a Nikon D800 is only $2700 - as far as I'm concerned, it can stop there and I would be happy for a long time.

We should have a vault with all our predictions in it and every so often, we pull them out and review them and those who are correct should get a free camera. (How about a vintage Kodak Brownie?) We could call it the Brownie Awards.

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meland
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Re: Nothing to see here, move along.
In reply to quadrox, Nov 10, 2013

quadrox wrote:

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.

"Nothing to see here, move along." That's such a cliché isn't it.

Of course enthusiasts will always exist. The difference from today's reality is that the enthusiast's format probably won't be FF, APS-C or M4/3 but something with a sensor (of whatever technology/design that exists then) that is very much smaller.

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meland
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to MoreorLess, Nov 10, 2013

MoreorLess wrote:

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.

Not trying to.

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meland
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to RedFox88, Nov 10, 2013

RedFox88 wrote:

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!

Actually for the size of sensor this camera has they could be quite a bit smaller. And no, I don't think I am crazy.

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pavi1
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Re: Nothing to see here, move along.
In reply to meland, Nov 10, 2013

meland wrote:

Of course enthusiasts will always exist. The difference from today's reality is that the enthusiast's format probably won't be FF, APS-C or M4/3 but something with a sensor (of whatever technology/design that exists then) that is very much smaller.

So you think the laws of physics will change? Will the speed needed to reach orbit also change? Perhaps on a new planet the laws of physics will be different.

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drh681
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Uh huh... 110 film, Kodak Picture disc, the original APS film...
In reply to meland, Nov 10, 2013

I could go on.

The depths of small have been found, and they live in your phone camera.

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meland
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Re: Nothing to see here, move along.
In reply to pavi1, Nov 10, 2013

pavi1 wrote:

meland wrote:

Of course enthusiasts will always exist. The difference from today's reality is that the enthusiast's format probably won't be FF, APS-C or M4/3 but something with a sensor (of whatever technology/design that exists then) that is very much smaller.

So you think the laws of physics will change? Will the speed needed to reach orbit also change? Perhaps on a new planet the laws of physics will be different.

Who said anything about the laws of physics?

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HornOUBet
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 10, 2013

Sounds like you read Kirk Tuck......

Kirk Tuck & Visual Science Lab

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meland
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to HornOUBet, Nov 10, 2013

HornOUBet wrote:

Sounds like you read Kirk Tuck......

Kirk Tuck & Visual Science Lab

Never heard of him but I will take a look. Thanks.

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Leswick
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 10, 2013

Although the picture doesn't look all that optimistic for DSLR's (if you take the iphone invasion into account), but many of us can easily hold onto the D4, 5DIII, D800, 6D, D610, etc. for years and retaining IQ and quality of enlargements.  Till manuf. come up with 1/2" sensor that excels the current FF....we can continue to polish/buff our crystal ball and wait for D710/D400 (whatever) :>).

Don't want to predict anything since the landscape has a tendency to shift (and often)...look at A7r arrival....though without much optics in the vortex.  Each of us will make a decision when we come to that fence.

Leswick

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Darrell Spreen
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to SomebodyFamous, Nov 10, 2013

SomebodyFamous wrote:

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.

Oh....I think the point is that one size doesn't fit all.  Seems to be true in everything, so why not in photography?

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Darrell

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HornOUBet
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Re: Prepare yourselves for a new landscape
In reply to meland, Nov 11, 2013

meland wrote:

HornOUBet wrote:

Sounds like you read Kirk Tuck......

Kirk Tuck & Visual Science Lab

Never heard of him but I will take a look. Thanks.

Unfortunately, I am one of the graying ones he is talking about... but while I love a quality camera, I find myself wanting more and more to just put a compact super-zoom in my pocket and get the shots I can, and not worry about the rest... I know that is not exactly what he or you are describing, except that possibly the younger generations are worried more about content, and not pixel peeping.... my 2 cents anyway....

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Aberaeron
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to Brendan Delaney, Nov 11, 2013

Brendan Delaney wrote:

Agree - Two ends of the market. Always were...

Images for memories, sharing and being a part of one's life.. (99% of people) Box Brownie/Film compact and high st lab/ P&S / Cameraphone.

Art and professional photography...Glass plates /medium format/highend SLR/DSLR.

What happened briefly in the 1970/80s and in the past 10years is that the camera companies managed to sell cheap/volume (D)SLRS to the first market. That time is now ending.

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With even the paparazzi professionals being replaced by reporters with iPhones, I don't really think that the expensive 'professional' DSLR has much of a future. If the volume of high end product drops significantly, the remaining products in that sector will have to rise in price. There is no room for a rise in price because the cat is out of the bag and people know that less expensive cameras will do the same job. And so do the professionals know this also, and they will have to become more efficient and have lower costs in future, not higher costs, if they are to derive a meaningful income from still images. In fact the demand is already there for combined still and video shooters. If neither the camera manufacturers nor the photographers get in the groove on this, there are plenty of others to take their place. Low cost, efficient workflow, innovative products and services, that is what the market will increasingly demand of both professional photogs and equipment manufacturers. Nobody can afford a stagnant market for long. They just will not survive unless they rise to the challenge.

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Lee Jay
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to Darrell Spreen, Nov 11, 2013

SomebodyFamous wrote:

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.

Oh....I think the point is that one size doesn't fit all.  Seems to be true in everything, so why not in photography?

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Darrell

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SomebodyFamous
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Re: I'll make my own prediction
In reply to Aberaeron, Nov 11, 2013

Aberaeron wrote:

With even the paparazzi professionals being replaced by reporters with iPhones, I don't really think that the expensive 'professional' DSLR has much of a future. If the volume of high end product drops significantly, the remaining products in that sector will have to rise in price. There is no room for a rise in price because the cat is out of the bag and people know that less expensive cameras will do the same job. And so do the professionals know this also, and they will have to become more efficient and have lower costs in future, not higher costs, if they are to derive a meaningful income from still images. In fact the demand is already there for combined still and video shooters. If neither the camera manufacturers nor the photographers get in the groove on this, there are plenty of others to take their place. Low cost, efficient workflow, innovative products and services, that is what the market will increasingly demand of both professional photogs and equipment manufacturers. Nobody can afford a stagnant market for long. They just will not survive unless they rise to the challenge.

Look at the B&H catalog. There are two pages of medium format digital. Some doesn't make it past 16 megapixels. Medium format users don't care about high-isos - they want maximum quality and use low isos.

The vast majority of the medium format digitals are 40 megapixels or under. That's pretty much a Nikon D800. I suspect MF users would use the same complaints that DSLR users use against compact sized sensors.

There are a couple of 50, 60 and one 80 megapixel sensor. The prices are well out of the pocket of the average amateur though at up to about $40K.

The fact I see fewer medium format cameras that amateurs can afford makes me suspect that the medium format market is shrinking with former medium format people using the 35mm format instead.

I can well see a gradual downsizing of cameras. To be honest, I can't really see much point in anything other than the 28 - 1,000 superzooms for most amateurs.

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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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