Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

Started Mar 31, 2014 | Discussions
Bill Robb Senior Member • Posts: 3,332
Re: Where is the industry heading - some stats

GeraldW wrote:

Even if the context of a recession, it's sobering data.

Certainly it is, but let's face it, cameras are a discretionary expense, and as such is the first thing to be back burnered during a recession. I've seen a couple of economic downturns where the first thing to be whacked was camera sales.

Gabor Esperon Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

meland wrote:

The only way a user can compensate for EVF lag is either by trying to also follow the subject with the other eye that is not looking through the viewfinder (hard to do, especially with tele lenses and almost guaranteed to give you a a bad headache!). Or by luck.

Both cases are by luck. With a DSLR you press the shutter and the subject get captured a little to the right (lag) so you learn to anticipate the action and shoot when he is on the left so he gets captured on the middle.

With EVF you see the subject in the middle when he is actually already a little to the right (EVF lag), so you shoot the subject when you see it on the left so he gets capture on the middle.

In both cases you shoot when the subject is in the middle and hope for the anticipation to be correct (luck). Asuming the subject is moving L to R you shoot on X and the subject get capture on [M]:

OVF: L X [M] R

EVF: L X [M] R

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

Gabor Esperon wrote:

meland wrote:

The only way a user can compensate for EVF lag is either by trying to also follow the subject with the other eye that is not looking through the viewfinder (hard to do, especially with tele lenses and almost guaranteed to give you a a bad headache!). Or by luck.

Both cases are by luck. With a DSLR you press the shutter and the subject get captured a little to the right (lag) so you learn to anticipate the action and shoot when he is on the left so he gets captured on the middle.

Well if you happen work that way then that's possibly true.  But many sports photographers work by selecting a point at which they want their subject to be captured (a point on the circuit for a car perhaps, or a point on the track for an athlete) and then by experience they know how long in advance in terms of time to fire the shutter before the subject reaches this point in order to compensate for shutter lag.  Or for ball sports for example by pre-anticipating the timing of peak action - not by the position of subject in the viewfinder - because in many occasions you are following the action anyway.  Getting this right is luck at first (and probably remains so with many amateurs) but with sufficient practise it becomes a skill and then ceases to be luck.  Which is why if you have learned this skill and you change to a camera with a different shutter lag time you have to re-learn it.  And another reason why sports photographers rarely mix pro and consumer bodies for action, because of the differing lag times between the bodies, even if in many respects the consumer body may seem perfectly adequate in isolation.

With EVF you see the subject in the middle when he is actually already a little to the right (EVF lag), so you shoot the subject when you see it on the left so he gets capture on the middle.

The problem with EVF lag is that you don't actually know where the subject is because of the delay in the optical signal reaching you compared with the actual position of the subject.  Granted as EVFs improve and this delay becomes smaller and smaller this will become less of an issue but it is still very hard even for an experienced professional sports photographer to compensate for this, especially with erratically moving subjects.  In this respect shutter lag and EVF lag are not the same thing at all and the problem is compounded when both are combined.

In both cases you shoot when the subject is in the middle and hope for the anticipation to be correct (luck). Asuming the subject is moving L to R you shoot on X and the subject get capture on [M]:

OVF: L X [M] R

EVF: L X [M] R

TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,483
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

Tablet and especially smartphone have pretty much taken over the quick snapshot market. Not just having them with you always and not bad quality, but the ability to post to social media instantly make them the best solution for the casual snapshotter.

Good news: a lot of people are grabbing shots, who wouldn't normally have done so. The smartphone and social media are getting a lot more people into photography, and some of them are starting to want something better than what the smartphone can deliver. The future for high end photo gear actually looks pretty good, considering how many new customers are being introduced to the market. It will just take some time for that to translate into sales.

Curious omission: none of the major photo players have become involved in the smartphone camera market. I would tend to think that a company that needs to diversify (Nikon) or a company that specializes in small and precise (Olympus) could develop a serious mini camera system that would fit in a smartphone.

The industry players...

Nikon needs to diversify, soon. They have a well respected name and they have the optical skills, but do they have the will and the funding to diversify?

Canon and Ricoh are heavily invested in electrostatic printing: copiers and laser printers, and that's a declining market. Canon is more diversified than Ricoh, but both need to change direction.

Leica and Zeiss make industrial imaging and measuring equipment, heavily used in manufacturing. The more complex manufacturing becomes, the better they will do.

Olympus pretty much owns medical imaging and endoscopes for minimal invasive surgery. If they can escape the currency market disaster of ten years ago, and it looks like they're slowly getting out of that, they should do well.

Sony and Panasonic are in the same boat. Both are losing much of their consumer market to the Korean manufacturers, but both also have a presence in industrial equipment. Both Sony and Panasonic appear to be investing heavily in mirrorless: A7, A6000, GM1, GH4. Sony needs to stop making junk for consumer products, and remember what the Sony name stands for: quality.

Leica, Zeiss, and Olympus use camera developed tech in their real money makers, with the fast product cycles in the camera market boosting the slow product cycles in industrial and medical markets. Their camera products don't necessarily have to show the same sort of P&L that the other players need to meet.

Mirrorless vs DSLR... been hashed to death, but... the sheer number of high grade DSLR lenses already in use, and the sheer numbers of people who own DSLR lens collections, will insure a thriving DSLR market for some time.

In emerging markets, where there is no large base of existing owners with lens collections, mirrorless is selling very well.  It's very competitive, once the existing owner base is taken out of the equation.

One other major change that needs to occur: If you look at the last ten years, you find that the two DSLR market leaders haven't really done much innovating. The majority of DSLR advancements, beyond just increasing MP and ISO, have come from the niche players. Almost all of those innovators have abandoned the DSLR market for mirrorless, where many of the new innovations aren't applicable to the DSLR design. Canon and Nikon will have to change their conservative approach and become much more agile. Their primary source of new ideas has now become their competitor.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

TrapperJohn wrote:

Tablet and especially smartphone have pretty much taken over the quick snapshot market. Not just having them with you always and not bad quality, but the ability to post to social media instantly make them the best solution for the casual snapshotter.

Good news: a lot of people are grabbing shots, who wouldn't normally have done so. The smartphone and social media are getting a lot more people into photography, and some of them are starting to want something better than what the smartphone can deliver. The future for high end photo gear actually looks pretty good, considering how many new customers are being introduced to the market. It will just take some time for that to translate into sales.

There is an opposing school of thought that suggests that the future for high end gear is not so good because of the smartphone market. The reasoning is that more and more people are becoming totally satisfied by the quality and ease of use they get from smartphones and so feel no need whatsoever to upgrade to a 'real' camera. And so many of those people that bought a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera because, well, that's what they were told they had to do, no longer will do so. Following on from that the sales of entry level and probably mid ILCs declines and as these are the volume and cash generators that enables top end equipment the effect on top end gear is also quite profound, i.e. less choice, longer life cycles and much more expensive.

Curious omission: none of the major photo players have become involved in the smartphone camera market. I would tend to think that a company that needs to diversify (Nikon) or a company that specializes in small and precise (Olympus) could develop a serious mini camera system that would fit in a smartphone.

Actually Canon were involved in negotiations to buy Ericsson and decided not to just before Sony did. The reasons they did not do so then are probably even more valid today - most mobile phone manufacturers are not making good profits.

The industry players...

Nikon needs to diversify, soon. They have a well respected name and they have the optical skills, but do they have the will and the funding to diversify?

Canon and Ricoh are heavily invested in electrostatic printing: copiers and laser printers, and that's a declining market. Canon is more diversified than Ricoh, but both need to change direction.

Really? Most businesses copy and print more than they ever did even though there is usually an Office Manger somewhere tasked with stopping it! I don't argue that diversification can be great (if it works) but Canon's experience of diversification with flatscreen TV technology and audio speakers was not exactly a great success.  Having said that their diversification into Business Equipment was.

Leica and Zeiss make industrial imaging and measuring equipment, heavily used in manufacturing. The more complex manufacturing becomes, the better they will do.

Olympus pretty much owns medical imaging and endoscopes for minimal invasive surgery. If they can escape the currency market disaster of ten years ago, and it looks like they're slowly getting out of that, they should do well.

Sony and Panasonic are in the same boat. Both are losing much of their consumer market to the Korean manufacturers, but both also have a presence in industrial equipment. Both Sony and Panasonic appear to be investing heavily in mirrorless: A7, A6000, GM1, GH4. Sony needs to stop making junk for consumer products, and remember what the Sony name stands for: quality.

Leica, Zeiss, and Olympus use camera developed tech in their real money makers, with the fast product cycles in the camera market boosting the slow product cycles in industrial and medical markets. Their camera products don't necessarily have to show the same sort of P&L that the other players need to meet.

Mirrorless vs DSLR... been hashed to death, but... the sheer number of high grade DSLR lenses already in use, and the sheer numbers of people who own DSLR lens collections, will insure a thriving DSLR market for some time.

In emerging markets, where there is no large base of existing owners with lens collections, mirrorless is selling very well. It's very competitive, once the existing owner base is taken out of the equation.

One other major change that needs to occur: If you look at the last ten years, you find that the two DSLR market leaders haven't really done much innovating. The majority of DSLR advancements, beyond just increasing MP and ISO, have come from the niche players. Almost all of those innovators have abandoned the DSLR market for mirrorless, where many of the new innovations aren't applicable to the DSLR design. Canon and Nikon will have to change their conservative approach and become much more agile. Their primary source of new ideas has now become their competitor.

I fear you are simply repeating a lot of stuff that you have read somewhere. Perhaps you should give references and credits rather than pass off this kind of 'insight' as your own.

Gabor Esperon Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

meland wrote:

Gabor Esperon wrote:

meland wrote:

The only way a user can compensate for EVF lag is either by trying to also follow the subject with the other eye that is not looking through the viewfinder (hard to do, especially with tele lenses and almost guaranteed to give you a a bad headache!). Or by luck.

Both cases are by luck. With a DSLR you press the shutter and the subject get captured a little to the right (lag) so you learn to anticipate the action and shoot when he is on the left so he gets captured on the middle.

Well if you happen work that way then that's possibly true. But many sports photographers work by selecting a point at which they want their subject to be captured (a point on the circuit for a car perhaps, or a point on the track for an athlete) and then by experience they know how long in advance in terms of time to fire the shutter before the subject reaches this point in order to compensate for shutter lag.

I haven't shoot sports, but aren't we talking about the same? (shooting ahead of time)

Or for ball sports for example by pre-anticipating the timing of peak action - not by the position of subject in the viewfinder - because in many occasions you are following the action anyway. Getting this right is luck at first (and probably remains so with many amateurs) but with sufficient practise it becomes a skill and then ceases to be luck. Which is why if you have learned this skill and you change to a camera with a different shutter lag time you have to re-learn it. And another reason why sports photographers rarely mix pro and consumer bodies for action, because of the differing lag times between the bodies, even if in many respects the consumer body may seem perfectly adequate in isolation.

With EVF you see the subject in the middle when he is actually already a little to the right (EVF lag), so you shoot the subject when you see it on the left so he gets capture on the middle.

The problem with EVF lag is that you don't actually know where the subject is because of the delay in the optical signal reaching you compared with the actual position of the subject. Granted as EVFs improve and this delay becomes smaller and smaller this will become less of an issue but it is still very hard even for an experienced professional sports photographer to compensate for this, especially with erratically moving subjects. In this respect shutter lag and EVF lag are not the same thing at all and the problem is compounded when both are combined.

I think it is a problem of getting used to.. with EVF you don't know where the subject actually is, and with OVF you don't know where the subject is going to be. What I am trying to say is you basically use the same anticipatory skills, either with EVF or with OVF, you shoot before the moment you want to capture.

In both cases you shoot when the subject is in the middle and hope for the anticipation to be correct (luck). Asuming the subject is moving L to R you shoot on X and the subject get capture on [M]:

OVF: L X [M] R

EVF: L X [M] R

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

Gabor Esperon wrote:

meland wrote:

Gabor Esperon wrote:

meland wrote:

The only way a user can compensate for EVF lag is either by trying to also follow the subject with the other eye that is not looking through the viewfinder (hard to do, especially with tele lenses and almost guaranteed to give you a a bad headache!). Or by luck.

Both cases are by luck. With a DSLR you press the shutter and the subject get captured a little to the right (lag) so you learn to anticipate the action and shoot when he is on the left so he gets captured on the middle.

Well if you happen work that way then that's possibly true. But many sports photographers work by selecting a point at which they want their subject to be captured (a point on the circuit for a car perhaps, or a point on the track for an athlete) and then by experience they know how long in advance in terms of time to fire the shutter before the subject reaches this point in order to compensate for shutter lag.

I haven't shoot sports, but aren't we talking about the same? (shooting ahead of time)

Or for ball sports for example by pre-anticipating the timing of peak action - not by the position of subject in the viewfinder - because in many occasions you are following the action anyway. Getting this right is luck at first (and probably remains so with many amateurs) but with sufficient practise it becomes a skill and then ceases to be luck. Which is why if you have learned this skill and you change to a camera with a different shutter lag time you have to re-learn it. And another reason why sports photographers rarely mix pro and consumer bodies for action, because of the differing lag times between the bodies, even if in many respects the consumer body may seem perfectly adequate in isolation.

With EVF you see the subject in the middle when he is actually already a little to the right (EVF lag), so you shoot the subject when you see it on the left so he gets capture on the middle.

The problem with EVF lag is that you don't actually know where the subject is because of the delay in the optical signal reaching you compared with the actual position of the subject. Granted as EVFs improve and this delay becomes smaller and smaller this will become less of an issue but it is still very hard even for an experienced professional sports photographer to compensate for this, especially with erratically moving subjects. In this respect shutter lag and EVF lag are not the same thing at all and the problem is compounded when both are combined.

I think it is a problem of getting used to.. with EVF you don't know where the subject actually is, and with OVF you don't know where the subject is going to be. What I am trying to say is you basically use the same anticipatory skills, either with EVF or with OVF, you shoot before the moment you want to capture.

Not really.  With the OVF you always know where the subject is (within the limits of the speed of light) as long as it is visible in the frame.  With an EVF you only know where the subject was.

Anticipation for shutter lag is the same for both.

In both cases you shoot when the subject is in the middle and hope for the anticipation to be correct (luck). Asuming the subject is moving L to R you shoot on X and the subject get capture on [M]:

OVF: L X [M] R

EVF: L X [M] R

Gabor Esperon Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

meland wrote:

I think it is a problem of getting used to.. with EVF you don't know where the subject actually is, and with OVF you don't know where the subject is going to be. What I am trying to say is you basically use the same anticipatory skills, either with EVF or with OVF, you shoot before the moment you want to capture.

Not really. With the OVF you always know where the subject is (within the limits of the speed of light) as long as it is visible in the frame. With an EVF you only know where the subject was.

Anticipation for shutter lag is the same for both.

I think we are talking about the same thing. LOL

1----------2

EL X SL [C]

X ML SL [C]

We press the shutter at 1 anticipating the subject is going to be at 2. For practical purposes it doesn't really matter if the subject IS where we see it, or WAS where we see it. We all press the shutter at the same time and capture the subject at the same position (assuming the total lag is the same).

X = Where the subject actually is.

EL = EVF LAG

SL = Shutter LAG

ML = Mirror LAG

[C] = Capture

EDIT: Typos

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

Gabor Esperon wrote:

meland wrote:

I think it is a problem of getting used to.. with EVF you don't know where the subject actually is, and with OVF you don't know where the subject is going to be. What I am trying to say is you basically use the same anticipatory skills, either with EVF or with OVF, you shoot before the moment you want to capture.

Not really. With the OVF you always know where the subject is (within the limits of the speed of light) as long as it is visible in the frame. With an EVF you only know where the subject was.

Anticipation for shutter lag is the same for both.

I think we are talking about the same thing. LOL

1----------2

EL X SL [C]

X ML SL [C]

We press the shutter at 1 anticipating the subject is going to be at 2. For practical purposes it doesn't really matter if the subject IS where we see it, or WAS where we see it. We all press the shutter at the same time and capture the subject at the same position (assuming the total lag is the same).

X = Where the subject actually is.

EL = EVF LAG

SL = Shutter LAG

ML = Mirror LAG

[C] = Capture

Let's agree to disagree because I can see that neither of us is going to be able to convince the other on this one.

Bill Robb Senior Member • Posts: 3,332
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

meland wrote:

GeraldW wrote:

The best EVFs are now good enough for most activities. My first was in a Canon Pro 1. It was easy to use; but had a 1/4-1/3 second lag. The latest cameras have cut that lag down to under 20 milliseconds. The mirror time on a DSLR is longer than that. Your G6 has a good EVF; but even that is at least one generation behind.

However there is a difference between the lag on an EVF and shutter lag on a DSLR (what you refered to as mirror time?) and it is this:

With an SLR or DSLR you view the image in real time and then there is a small delay in between pressing the shutter button and the shutter firing. The key point is that viewing through an OVF means that the subject is exactly where you are pointing the camera (optical lag, if we can call it that, is zero. Well allowing for the speed of light anyway.) The user can fairly easily compensate for shutter lag by practise. Having said that professionals who really specialise in fast moving sports are reluctant to shoot with two bodies that do not have very similar shutter lag values because the difference throws their timing out.

Now lag in an EVF throws up a completely different issue - which is that because of the lag, especially if you are following a rapidly moving subject, the subject is not exactly where the EVF tells you it is. Even with a lag of only 20 milliseconds. And on top of that you still also have the effect of shutter lag. Of course this is not really an issue for, say, landscape photographers.

The only way a user can compensate for EVF lag is either by trying to also follow the subject with the other eye that is not looking through the viewfinder (hard to do, especially with tele lenses and almost guaranteed to give you a a bad headache!). Or by luck.

OK, so this might be a very slight problem for .0000000000000000001% of photographers.

BTW, if you haven't tried one of the recent generation EVFs such as in the X-T1 or OM-D, you might be all hat, no cattle.

Bill Robb Senior Member • Posts: 3,332
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

meland wrote:

A 20ms EVF lag + 22ms shutter lag is comparable to 40-45ms shutter lag in $6000 pro DSLR bodies.

The total lag time may be comparable but I think you've missed the point I was making.

At 250kph (very fast), an object will move approximately 1.5 meters in 22 milliseconds. It's probably not going to be very hard for a photographer to lead an object by that amount, if it's even necessary to do so.

A person running as fast as a person can run (about 44 kph, apparently), will move approximately 27 centimeters (10 inches) in 22 milliseconds.

I love how people come up with objections and make things sound like a REALLY BIG DEAL until some scrutiny is applied and it turns out to be nothing much at all.

MichaelKJ Veteran Member • Posts: 3,466
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

meland wrote:

Gabor Esperon wrote:

meland wrote:

Gabor Esperon wrote:

meland wrote:

The only way a user can compensate for EVF lag is either by trying to also follow the subject with the other eye that is not looking through the viewfinder (hard to do, especially with tele lenses and almost guaranteed to give you a a bad headache!). Or by luck.

Both cases are by luck. With a DSLR you press the shutter and the subject get captured a little to the right (lag) so you learn to anticipate the action and shoot when he is on the left so he gets captured on the middle.

Well if you happen work that way then that's possibly true. But many sports photographers work by selecting a point at which they want their subject to be captured (a point on the circuit for a car perhaps, or a point on the track for an athlete) and then by experience they know how long in advance in terms of time to fire the shutter before the subject reaches this point in order to compensate for shutter lag.

I haven't shoot sports, but aren't we talking about the same? (shooting ahead of time)

Or for ball sports for example by pre-anticipating the timing of peak action - not by the position of subject in the viewfinder - because in many occasions you are following the action anyway. Getting this right is luck at first (and probably remains so with many amateurs) but with sufficient practise it becomes a skill and then ceases to be luck. Which is why if you have learned this skill and you change to a camera with a different shutter lag time you have to re-learn it. And another reason why sports photographers rarely mix pro and consumer bodies for action, because of the differing lag times between the bodies, even if in many respects the consumer body may seem perfectly adequate in isolation.

With EVF you see the subject in the middle when he is actually already a little to the right (EVF lag), so you shoot the subject when you see it on the left so he gets capture on the middle.

The problem with EVF lag is that you don't actually know where the subject is because of the delay in the optical signal reaching you compared with the actual position of the subject. Granted as EVFs improve and this delay becomes smaller and smaller this will become less of an issue but it is still very hard even for an experienced professional sports photographer to compensate for this, especially with erratically moving subjects. In this respect shutter lag and EVF lag are not the same thing at all and the problem is compounded when both are combined.

I think it is a problem of getting used to.. with EVF you don't know where the subject actually is, and with OVF you don't know where the subject is going to be. What I am trying to say is you basically use the same anticipatory skills, either with EVF or with OVF, you shoot before the moment you want to capture.

Not really. With the OVF you always know where the subject is (within the limits of the speed of light) as long as it is visible in the frame.

You forgot to note the limits of your visual processing system. There is a delay between the time light hits your eye and when you "see" things.  When you also factor in the time it takes to decide to shoot and press the shutter, there are limits with any viewfinder to one's ability to capture an erratically moving subject.  That is a major reason why in any fast paced sporting event most photographers shoot in burst mode.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

Bill Robb wrote:


BTW, if you haven't tried one of the recent generation EVFs such as in the X-T1 or OM-D, you might be all hat, no cattle.

I have - but it's really not me that they need to please.

OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 7,686
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

justinwonnacott wrote:

Justin,

You make some really good points, so I feel compelled to respond in a few areas.

In the last decade some important factors in the growth of digital camera sales are

a) the demise and obsolescence of silver based imaging and the requirement to replace those cameras if consumers wished to make photographs

b) the low cost per picture for digital cameras

c) the spread of cheap computers and internet connectivity that is available to nearly all consumers which is a pre-requisite for a digital camera purchase. The almost universal adoption of jpg as the standard for  picture exchange.

d) the high quality, ease of operation , small size and low light capabilities of most new cameras makes it possible to take pictures nearly anywhere without any special equipment or training. Autofocus and image stabilization has made the size of the "photographable" world much larger and consumers have rushed into that world to fill it up. Making photographs has never been easier.

e) social networking has created a demand for images far in excess of the numbers required in our culture 20 years ago.

f) the convergence of video  and stills

And the above pretty well applies to all cameras, point and shoot, dslr cameras, cell phones - whose progress and development has all been shaped by these trends.

The market for cameras is saturated. At this point nearly everyone  has a reasonably capable camera, everyone knows the basics of using it and everyone has a way to share the images they make with others. Selling second and third cameras to that mass market is never going to match the intensity of the boom that was fuelled by a major paradigm shift like silver to silicon.

All good points.  Although a couple of my elderly friends don't have computers and use kiosks at places like Walmart or Walgreens, and are delighted with the cost and quality.  But they don't take a lot of pictures.  I can't imagine standing there printing 600 4" x 6" for a photo album for my last trip.  Oh, my aching back!!!

So what then?

The pace of innovation will probably slow as a result of a decreased demand in the market unless some profoundly different and irresistible innovation comes along. I cannot imagine what that would be?

In a contracting market (related to the market being saturated) the competition for remaining share can become VERY intense.  It may actually speed up development.  You can't, any longer get away with token upgrades.

Manufacturers will be selling you more aftermarket stuff in addition to your camera, more and better lenses in many varieties to choose from - at higher prices too maybe. Cases, tripods, flashes will make you lunch and do the laundry. The gear that was once the sort of equipment a professional used will become marketed to amateurs . At lower prices and quality because of a much larger market than before. Softboxes, video rigs, light stands, monitors, storage and computer gear aimed at the home hobbyist's production "studio".

Camera stores will continue to die and maybe  phone retailers will sell dslr's? Or the camera shops will star to sell phones?

Our last independent store here died last year.  The closest chain store is a good half hour away and it's not that chain's most well stocked.

Possibly photofinishing will survive and develop new life as every print becomes a "custom print" and framing, presentation and books on demand become a part of a photofinishing operations repertoire.

Only a few amateurs will have printers larger than letter size.  Costs go up rapidly if you print 11" x 17" or larger.

The demand for professional photography and training of professionals will continue to collapse as generic images become almost valueless.

Sports, wedding, and spacial event (anniversary, Bar Mitzvah, birthdays, gradiation, etc.) will continus to be needed.  Also fashion and magazine art, photo journalism, will continue to be wanted; but maybe in lesser volumes as magazines and newspapers are dropping staff photographers and going to free-lancers.  Magazines and newspapers are also dying.  There is a need for catalog and packaging artwork, and somebody has to shoot the images on the net.

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Jerry

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OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 7,686
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

It takes the mirror about 65 seconds to flip up so the shot can be taken.  That typically includes the "shutter lag" after you press the button.  During that time, the viewfinder is black - so if the subject doesn't move in a smooth predictable manner, you can't compensate.  Also, professionals make use of continuous or burst shooting and take several shots, picking the best.  If you shoot singles, to capture the "decisive moment"; it's much harder.  My point is, that for most people (let's exclude the professionals) the lags in mirrorless are smaller than the "blackout time" in a DSLR.

My own limited experience with an FZ200 against my 60D when shooting college ice hockey, is that the FZ200 is as fast, or faster, than the 60D.  For birds in flight, I prefer using the FZ200.

And there's another factor here.  Human reaction time.  It's longer than the lags in the current cameras.

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Jerry

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(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Wow, 65 seconds to flip up a mirror, thats quite some shutter lag

GeraldW wrote:

Holy holocaust Batman, will your DSLR mirror ever flip up?

It takes the mirror about 65 seconds to flip up so the shot can be taken. That typically includes the "shutter lag" after you press the button. During that time, the viewfinder is black - so if the subject doesn't move in a smooth predictable manner, you can't compensate.

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Jerry

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f8 and be there

OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 7,686
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

Thanks, Paul.

This interest in the camera industry started decades ago.  I ran an engineering department working on new product development.  Our product had nothing to do with photography; but we used cameras in the lab and in customer's plants, and almost everybody had a camera.  So we studied the designs of the various camera companies and watched their progress over time.  Particularly in things like modularity and upholding company "standards".  The idea being to avoid similar mistakes in our gear, to watch how they handled modularity, to see how good they were about backward compatibility, and how well they planned ahead.

It was fun, we got pretty good about it, and I'd still at it, 16 years after I retired.

So, I've kept an informal track, year by year, of the industry, company by company.  More recently there has been a lot of data on shipments and profits and loss, and new technologies and user habits emerging.   Fun for me to speculate on, and this forum makes it easy to get other's views.

Companies that are on their game will shift product emphasis as conditions change - I know we did.

There has to be some shaking out coming in the industry.  As much as anything, it's a battle for shelf space.  Too many models, too many brands.  Only the biggest stores can handle them all.

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Jerry

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OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 7,686
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

TrapperJohn wrote:

Tablet and especially smartphone have pretty much taken over the quick snapshot market. Not just having them with you always and not bad quality, but the ability to post to social media instantly make them the best solution for the casual snapshotter.

Good news: a lot of people are grabbing shots, who wouldn't normally have done so. The smartphone and social media are getting a lot more people into photography, and some of them are starting to want something better than what the smartphone can deliver. The future for high end photo gear actually looks pretty good, considering how many new customers are being introduced to the market. It will just take some time for that to translate into sales.

Curious omission: none of the major photo players have become involved in the smartphone camera market. I would tend to think that a company that needs to diversify (Nikon) or a company that specializes in small and precise (Olympus) could develop a serious mini camera system that would fit in a smartphone.

The industry players...

Nikon needs to diversify, soon. They have a well respected name and they have the optical skills, but do they have the will and the funding to diversify?

Canon and Ricoh are heavily invested in electrostatic printing: copiers and laser printers, and that's a declining market. Canon is more diversified than Ricoh, but both need to change direction.

Leica and Zeiss make industrial imaging and measuring equipment, heavily used in manufacturing. The more complex manufacturing becomes, the better they will do.

Olympus pretty much owns medical imaging and endoscopes for minimal invasive surgery. If they can escape the currency market disaster of ten years ago, and it looks like they're slowly getting out of that, they should do well.

Sony and Panasonic are in the same boat. Both are losing much of their consumer market to the Korean manufacturers, but both also have a presence in industrial equipment. Both Sony and Panasonic appear to be investing heavily in mirrorless: A7, A6000, GM1, GH4. Sony needs to stop making junk for consumer products, and remember what the Sony name stands for: quality.

Leica, Zeiss, and Olympus use camera developed tech in their real money makers, with the fast product cycles in the camera market boosting the slow product cycles in industrial and medical markets. Their camera products don't necessarily have to show the same sort of P&L that the other players need to meet.

Mirrorless vs DSLR... been hashed to death, but... the sheer number of high grade DSLR lenses already in use, and the sheer numbers of people who own DSLR lens collections, will insure a thriving DSLR market for some time.

In emerging markets, where there is no large base of existing owners with lens collections, mirrorless is selling very well.  It's very competitive, once the existing owner base is taken out of the equation.

One other major change that needs to occur: If you look at the last ten years, you find that the two DSLR market leaders haven't really done much innovating. The majority of DSLR advancements, beyond just increasing MP and ISO, have come from the niche players. Almost all of those innovators have abandoned the DSLR market for mirrorless, where many of the new innovations aren't applicable to the DSLR design. Canon and Nikon will have to change their conservative approach and become much more agile. Their primary source of new ideas has now become their competitor.

Another really good post.  A lot of nice insights here.  Of course, I do have a few comments.  Some years ago, when i set up a coupld of engineering model shops for the company, our Bridgeport mivertical mills were equipped with Sony digital readouts for X & Y Axis.  And in the office, a Nikon measuring microscope.

I hear your argument that technology at Olympus has flowed from the camera business into the medical.  That has been going on for quite some time, and I'd hazard a guess that the medical folks are now moving ahead on their own and no longer reliant on the photo side.  It always worked that way in companies I worked for.

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Jerry

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OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 7,686
Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

My son falls into that "opposing thought" group.  He has some older; but quite decent cameras I gave him.  He's also an engineer and he and his wife are both iphone users.  So when they went to Ireland they took their iphones and an SD850IS.  The bigger stuff stayed home.  The majority of their shots were taken with their phones, and only a few with the camera.  I've seen their shots, and it's very hard to tell which were taken with the camera.  A few were obvious because of the 140 mm equivalent focal length on the SD850IS; but at wider angles the quality was equal.

Of my three children and their three spouses, and five grand children, only my oldest daughter has any serious interest in photography, and even she uses her phone at times.

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Jerry

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Re: Where is the industry heading - some thoughts.

GeraldW wrote:

It takes the mirror about 65 seconds to flip up so the shot can be taken. That typically includes the "shutter lag" after you press the button. During that time, the viewfinder is black - so if the subject doesn't move in a smooth predictable manner, you can't compensate.

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Jerry

Can people compensate for an action that is as short as 50msec or 60msec? Typical human reaction time is 150 to 300msec. You don't want to add significantly to that reaction time, but you certainly can't compensate for any change in direction in the short amount of time that it takes for a mirror to go up.

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f8 and be there

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