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The future for cameras

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Old Tuesday 9th April 2019, 17:09   #1
njlarsen
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The future for cameras

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The latest CIPA data shows that in February we had 35% less system camera shipments compared to last year.
the above is a quote from this page on 43rumors: https://www.43rumors.com/cipa-report...dying-rapidly/

So who is going to survive, and will the rate of innovation necessarily have to slow down for pure economic reasons?

Niels
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 07:16   #2
nikonmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
the above is a quote from this page on 43rumors: https://www.43rumors.com/cipa-report...dying-rapidly/

So who is going to survive, and will the rate of innovation necessarily have to slow down for pure economic reasons?

Niels
I dont think we can ignore the move away from volume towards higher margins, this could make a nonsense of these graphs.
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 08:44   #3
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Would be interesting to see this data for different price segments. Aggregation of data does not tell what really is going on. What price segments are affected the most? My guess is the cheaper ones.

The Z6 did drop 20% in price in 6 month so Nikon can't be selling to much of those either.
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 09:15   #4
Chosun Juan
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Fascinating introduction for the Huawei P30 Pro - the main advertising catchphrase? ..... "Rewrite the rules of photography"
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NfxwablloIw
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AhAC1bKeGL4#

That's right - the main thrust is photography! No mention of being a phone let alone smart, or of having a 6"+ HD+ screen, or of being a portable computer - no, the selling feature of this product is that it rewrites the rules of photography ..... and it pretty much does too.
Computational photography, HDR, variable bokeh, low light processing, and the biggie - a 5x optical telephoto (really at 125mm it's only near 3x, but still it's a bit of a game changer, and apparently calculates several image frames together with this for a useful '10x' telephoto ~250mm eq in addition).
https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/huawe...martphone-zoom

As soon as these optics setups are available in plus size phablets of the "Note" type with built in stylus - I'll be on board - finally upgrading my ~5 year old Samsung Note 3 :)

In goodish light this new phone obsoletes a lot of small sensor cameras and is a heck of a lot more convenient and versatile to carry than a heck of a lot of others .....

Will I still have need for a dedicated birding rig? = yes (though these days I'm looking to carry <7lbs). Will I still have need for specialist wide angle, and other fast lens? = yes, somewhat. I'm holding off purchases for (another) year or so while I wait to see whether to go with the last of the DSLR Pro DX rigs (D500S /7D III) , or whether I will go with a FF high MP high speed MILC (Z8 /R8) and just crop. I will probably use PF /DO lenses, or maybe at a pinch a looming high $ new generation 500 f4 of ~2.5kg or less.

Looking into the future I can see only one hope for the photographic industry .... and they're probably not gonna like it ....

It will require an industry wide collaborative effort with an open sourced curved sensor standard. This is the only way we will get lightweight high IQ rigs suitable for wildlife /birding /sports, and other generalist, low light, landscape, portrait, and travel photography. All formats would be represented in MILC - MF, FF, DX, MFT, and in bridge format 1" super zooms a la' Sony RX10 IV. Combine this technology with the evolving developments in AI, Computational Photography, Pixel Shift, Connectivity, and Work flow Processing, and a standardized Memory Storage format too.

Such a move will pretty much negate every development we are likely to see over the next half a dozen years plus from the traditional manufacturers ..... will they be so visionary at this time? ----- I doubt it .....

I'll do it (upon winning a mega lottery or something, unless I have a white 'knight' come to my rescue - Elon, Jeff, Bill, Warren, Richard, Mark, Lizzy, Beyoncé - you got your ears on come back?! :)



Chosun

Last edited by Chosun Juan : Thursday 11th April 2019 at 07:05. Reason: fix up telephoto focal length info, and add dpreview link
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 10:59   #5
iveljay
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Seem to remember reading articles in old 1930s (befopre my time) photo magazines on the future of photography.....most got the 'instant' photography bit right in concept + colour and a few other things.

Most of the advertisers don't exist anymore, except perhaps as part of a corporate owned portfolio of trademarks.

Then as now most folks are happy with point and shoot - then variations on box cameras, now camera phones.

The professionals whos living was photography bought expensive kit.

The folks in the middle bought stuff that looked more professional, needed some skill to operate successfully and got sharper photos for their cash, hopefully.

From my perspective right upto the mid 1990s I was using cameras built from the end of the 14-18 war onwards and processing photos for folks whos great grandad shot them at the end of the 19th century. In fact as a kid I used big old lenses off view cameras, mounted them on tubes and used them to photo birds. Most folks sketched birds for later id.

Times change, the only 'old' camera I still own is a 1954 DW Leica M3, nice but now retired.

Over the years film sizes came and went as new things came into fashion for a bit and in the end only two of the oldest were about the only survivors of the dozens that came and went into the digital age were 120 and 127, 35mm wasn't envisaged as a still film when it was launched, we have a lot to thank for a gentleman who wanted a lightweight camera to go up mountains with him.

Life is so much easier now - no more manually tracking focus on fast jets, children or racing cars ,(moving birds were impossible) .

Good quality images of same easy due to anti-shake and decent resolution and colour with an ISO of geater than 64! (OK high speed Ektachrome was around with a colossal ISO of 160).

In exchange for easier shooting and the possibility of better images, we have lost the likely longevity of most photos being currently shot, vast choice of suppliers, endless 'vital' gadgets, and local photo shops.

Whatever happens we will learn to live with it, good things and bad things, with a bit of serendipidy thrown in, the future is going to happen whatever, but on the grounds that I might be wiped out in 5 minutes by an asteroid that everyone missed, I'm not too fussed.

Its fun playing the prediction game, but I am going to spend the rest of the day enjoying myself, maybe watch the odd bird, photo something and cook myself a nice rich lasagne for this evening to be washed down with something red and alcoholic. (Asteroids permitting)

My only excuse for sitting here and writing this is that I am waiting for a delivery....some things never change - yet.

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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 07:08   #6
Chosun Juan
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Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
Would be interesting to see this data for different price segments. Aggregation of data does not tell what really is going on. What price segments are affected the most? My guess is the cheaper ones.

The Z6 did drop 20% in price in 6 month so Nikon can't be selling to much of those either.
Actually recent data from Nikon shows the Z6 selling 2:1 compared to the Z7. This has come as a bit of a surprise to Nikon who were predicting a 50:50 split.



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Old Thursday 11th April 2019, 13:56   #7
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A vast majority of people don't 'need' a camera - nor do they invest in any deep knowledge and pursuit of photography. A camera was a means to an end - want a snapshot of the fam just to remember or share where you were - the digital version of a photo album today is to put photos online to share. When there were only cameras as options, in film days, the vast majority of people bought pocket cameras and instamatics, while only the enthusiasts and photographers who really enjoyed the hobby or shot as a profession bought SLRs, TLRs, and higher-end rangefinders and such. Sure - a few people who really didn't need them bought an SLR because they thought it would get them better photos, but for the most part, it was for photographers, and pocket-cams were for the masses.

When the digital age dawned, and really started to push out film, in the late nineties/early 2000's, there weren't large sensor options with interchangeable lenses - so nearly everyone was buying a digital to replace the instamatic. But those early days of lower resolution and mediocre optics had big limitations that digital SLRs, and later mirrorless cameras, addressed. Need better low light shots? Need better shots of the baby? Want to shoot your kid playing little league? Buy a big sensor interchangeable lens camera!

What this caused was a bubble in that market, where far more people than really needed these cameras, and a vast majority with very little skill in photography, were buying these types of cameras that in the film days were the domain of the photographer enthusiast or professional...and skewed the sales charts in a way that may have fooled more than a few manufacturers into thinking DSLRs and mirrorless cameras could maintain that volume and everyone was going to start considering such cameras as necessities like a car or phone - that everyone MUST have. That meant far too many entry level bodies, price wars for cheap models, and an expectation that a new model should debut every year, or that manufacturer would 'fall behind'.

What cellphone cameras did, when they improved to the level they have now, is address the elephant in the room - most people didn't need the big sensors and interchangeable lens cameras. If processing and trickery could produce a passable, shareable photo online in low light, or action scenes that the average family and snapshooter wanted, nearly all of them would happily give up the big brick and lens combo for a slim little thing already sitting in their pocket. Digital zoom was fine for them. Stacking images to make up for low light shortcomings of small sensors was fine - tiny blemishes in the stacking or image falling apart when you pixel-peep up close didn't matter to them.

What I see this meaning for the camera industry is that it will finally go back to being what it always should have been. P&S tiny-sensor cheap cameras with little controls and mostly automation will likely die away completely, phones having taken over that segment for the masses. More advanced, larger sensor fixed-lens bodies, and more advanced models of DSLR and mirrorless interchangeable lens systems will likely be the ones that stand, while more entry-level bodies start to fall away. Manufacturers won't feel the need to bring out new models every year. Prices will go up, and controls and features get more advanced, so these cameras will be purchased by the photo enthusiasts, serious hobbyists, and professionals who will understand how to get the most from these cameras and lenses. The volume of sales will go down to frankly where it always should have been, but the profit margin per body should go up. A few manufacturers may thin out, but the strongest 4 or 5 should be able to make a profit. Just as in the film days with SLRs.
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