THE DEATH OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
April 5, 2017
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This is a really interesting article about how digital cameras are perceived and why there is so little difference between them. Much like cars I think, any small car is much the same as any other, you choose one because of how it looks and is marketed. However pretty much all cameras look the same so why choose a Nikon or a Canon or any of the others? This article addresses some of the issues that I have seen come up in class with questions from students. The old assumption that a keen photographer would replace their camera every three years no longer holds. In fact if you have a camera from anytime in the last 4 or 5 years it might always do everything you want to a quality you are happy with. Here is the article by Temoor Iqbal is a London based street photographer and writer. You can find out more about him on his website
As camera makers struggle to innovate, consumers are finding little need to upgrade. The market is slowing to the point of inertia – manufacturers need to take a leftfield approach to stay competitive
In February, Nikon – the world’s second-biggest camera manufacturer by market share – published a notice of ‘recognition of extraordinary loss’. The statement admitted that, over the last nine months of 2016, the company had lost $260m…….
This decline is curious, at least in the way that it has played out. Aside from Nikon, few if any leading manufacturers have acknowledged that there is any problem. The former cancelled its planned DL series of mirrorless (high-end compact) cameras in the wake of the loss announcement, but market leader Canon released its newest professional model – the EOS 5D Mk IV – in September last year. The camera was universally recognised as an excellent, capable piece of technology, but a unifying feature of reviews was the suggestion that Canon had not changed enough from the previous model – the Mk III – to justify the upgrade……It’s often obscured by superficial features, but the fact is most high-end digital cameras are exactly the same as one another, and the same as older models from the last five years. What’s more, there’s little prospect of them changing much in the near future. As a result, there’s little incentive to upgrade as often as manufacturers would like, which is behind sluggish sales and rapidly stagnating production levels. “If you’re in the market to buy a new camera and don’t have one already…you’ll struggle to make a bad decision”, wrote tech journalist Vlad Savov for The Verge last year. “But if you already own a camera from the past half decade, you probably won’t feel any urge or need to upgrade. Digital imaging technology has matured [and] maturity brings with it a sort of developmental stagnation.”
Read the whole thing here