EOS R6 Vs iPhone 13 Pro for Photography (PICS)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Thomas A Anderson Senior Member • Posts: 1,093
Re: The only thing that is inevitable: trends never continue.

MikeJ9116 wrote:

Thomas A Anderson wrote:

MikeJ9116 wrote:

Most dedicated camera users have been dismissing the relentless fast pace of smartphone camera tech advancement for a decade.

I'm pretty sure what some have dismissed is the excessive praise heaped upon smartphone photography. Smartphones certainly have an advantage when it comes to camera sales: the camera is attached to a device that does a lot more than just make phone calls and has quickly become a necessity in our modern world.

So having a camera with you at all times is great. There are certainly millions upon millions of people who never would have purchased a standalone camera who are now gladly shooting and posting their images to Facestagramitter.com.

But as with any new technology, eventually the market saturates, technological advancements either slow or reach a threshold point at which more improvement just isn't all that necessary or compelling, and sales plateau and then fall.


The exact same thing would have happened to digital camera in a vacuum, although almost certainly not nearly as soon or nearly as precipitously, especially when it comes to the direct competitor of the point and shoot, lower end cameras.

Even in the face of irrefutable evidence that smartphone tech is the future of mainstream photography.

Again, this is only irrefutable because you're putting a camera in the hands of people whose only interest is social media primarily and not photography. I believe that is where the opposition landed on the subject: creating an entirely new population of photographers does not necessarily imply that the enthusiasts and professionals would transition nearly as quickly or certainly as the exploding numbers of new photographers on their smartphones might otherwise imply.

I have been saying for some time that traditional photography gear is ever moving toward a hobby that will be practiced by those with a lot of disposable income or very successful professionals.

That has always been true of photography. The increasing sales of film cameras over the last few decades of their heyday was due to the reduced cost of film cameras and film, not to mention the new disposable film cameras that became a thing for a few years.

That explosion in sales quickly transitioned to digital camera because the new technology present a huge new value proposition especially in the age of the internet which was just getting started in earnest. No more developing film. No more waiting. And when digital became an obvious improvement to film quality, and coincidentally everyone had both a computer and the internet suddenly, film tanked hard. A confluence of factors destroyed film photography and it is now a niche. Digital photography has the advantage of not being an obsolete technology.

We are seeing smart phone tech move to smaller ILC devices with MFT sensors. This is in its infancy but the trajectory is the same as smartphones. What smartphones did to the P&S segment these new MFT (and 1" sensor or smaller) devices will do to the ILC segment.

Lower end, cheaper bodies have always been and will always be more popular than larger, more expensive full frame bodies.

These devices will be small, lightweight and, most importantly, AFFORDABLE. They will offer superb IQ, capability and nearly all the features of a smartphone.

If the current trends continue,

Current trends never continue. That's why there's a name for this notion: extrapolation fallacy. It just means that people tend to take a very small period of time and try to make predictions into the future that are quite often very inaccurate. But often the best model we have available to us is simple extrapolation.

the last Canon camera I will buy is one with an APS-C sensor and RF mount, if it comes to pass. I have FF cameras that are plenty good to meet my requirements for the rare times I need one. I am looking to greatly reduce the load of camera gear I carry as I get older.

And it is really great that smaller bodies are becoming better and better all the time. Full frame certainly will suffer by comparison for the same reasons as I mentioned earlier: there is a threshold for quality beyond which people don't see much increase in the value proposition and also as technology improves the pace of improvements slow while also costing more and more to accomplish.

I welcome what the new generation of smartphone tech based photography gear will bring. IMO, what is coming will be nearly as big a revolution to photography as the move to digital sensors was over 20 years ago.

If you look back at audio recordings you'll see that, as the old adage goes, the more things change the more they stay the same. Records gave way to tape recordings which gave way to CD's which gave way to digital files.....and that's where we stalled out completely. A 128kbps MP3 is still the standard despite being a not great quality, and streaming has cemented the dominance of pretty poor audio bit rates. The digital photography space will stall out as well, and I'd argue we're almost certainly already at the plateau point. Most phone shooters don't care about all the extra gimmicks and fake bokeh. And I'd bet the new Google effects like fake motion blur will only be as popular as the old Instagram sepia filters that people loved ten years ago for about a week.

The ILC makers have not accommodated what the people are wanting from their imaging gear. This is why ILC sales is falling off a cliff. The billions of smartphone users are comfortable with computational photography and for most younger people this is all they know regarding photography. They have zero interest in traditional ILC gear. It would be interesting to see a chart of the average age of a person using traditional ILC gear over the past 20-30 years. I would bet the average age has been climbing fast over the past ten years.

I think the new MFT based devices are an indication where things are going for mainstream photography. This format is nearly the perfect platform for Android based cameras using computational photography. They can offer convenience, small size, lightweight, smartphone features AND function like a more traditional camera when needed or wanted. Also, the 1" format, fixed lens cameras are ripe for applying computational photography and smartphone features. I see these devices filling the need for those who are being priced out of the traditional ILC segment or are no longer being served by this segment.

Lastly, there is a desire from smartphone users for better imaging systems. I see more and more people here talk about how each new generation of smartphone imaging tech makes them use their traditional gear even less. I expect many people here will buy a MFT and/or 1" sensor Android based device that is heavy on smartphone tech when a good example comes to market. I will be one of them. Traditional ILCs are dying. The hobby of photography isn't dying. It is just looking for the format that is going to fill the needs/wants of the hobbyists, enthusiasts, some professionals and smartphone users who want more imaging capability than their smartphone can deliver. This format will be here one day in the not too distant future. We already have examples that can be bought but they need more refinement before they are ready for prime time.

You didn't really respond to any of what I said. It sounds like you believe that people who love their smartphones and the cameras that are built into those would not only spend $1,000 on a phone that they already carry around with them everywhere but then they want the same photography features in a separate camera with a larger sensor. That position seems self-contradicting and while I'm sure there are some people who want what you're proposing, I find it much more likely that a standalone camera that uses actual photographic technique and optical effects to achieve what phones are only now attempting to fake would be the real attraction to a larger camera with a larger sensor.

Long story short, it sounds like the thing you want wouldn't have enough of a market to make it commercially viable and so I doubt we'll ever see it happen.  The camera would not only have an expensive large sensor in it, it would also require the most expensive element of a smartphone which is the processor in order to make all those computational features happen.  And people will already have a phone that they upgrade every few years to pay for.

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