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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Old 08-03-2016   #41
Skiff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aristophanes View Post
Digital cameras will continue to get cheaper, in fact.
Wishful thinking. The camera manufacturers themselves have declared that prices will rise. You cannot simply compensate a production decline of 75%.
The cost cutting in some companies already has led to lower quality and worse service. Nikon is unfortunately an example for that (look at Thom Hogan for detailed analysis of that, or ask D600 and D750 users..... ).
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Old 08-03-2016   #42
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Like what? ... please provide a few models.
In last couple of days I was looking at Leica X and Panasonic LX100.
Same IQ what my Canon 500D from 2009 does. No reason to update.

And I wanted something smaller to replace my pocketable 8MP (which aren't real 8MP) Panasonic Lumix, but everything with smaller what LX100 sensor is just not worth of the payment, because of still bad IQ.
Yesterday, if I open full size file from Panasonic camera with sensor smaller what 4/3 (which is in LX100) it was total crap. Just same as my don't know how old small Lumix compact Leica Zoom lens camera is.

This one is with iPhone 5c at f2.4 and ISO50:


And this one with old Lumix DMC-FS3 at f2.8 and ISO100.


I don't need 1K USD camera for it. But I was hoping to be able to pay something like 500 USD and get small, pocketable camera which will have clean files to look at 100% crop/zoom.
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This is what may end up happening:
Old 08-03-2016   #43
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This is what may end up happening:

The refrigerator we had in my parents home when I was growing up was a Kelvinator and lasted 45 years. They inherited it from my grandparents. And they changed it later because it looked old. The new L.G. Samsung I purchased three years ago, already got damaged and the repair cost as much as a brand new one. So, I had to buy a new one.

In case of the cameras, they may be making cameras that only last certain number of years, so you can buy new ones, etc. That is why I am staying with my Leica M5, M3 and M2., in that order.
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Old 08-03-2016   #44
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Looking a bit more closely at this data, I see the following when comparing Jan. - June 2015 to Jan. - June 2016:
SLR sales dropped 17%; Mirrorless dropped 15%; and compact, fixed lens dropped 42%.

This makes sense to me; I'd bet that the compacts are dying off now that everyone seems to be carrying a smartphone around.
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Old 08-03-2016   #45
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When I am on vacation I see people lugging around huge cheap DSLRs to take the same photos, which have been taken a million times before them, to me they just seem burdened with equipment.
You mean a picture like this:



Some people talk about sales, but the CIPA figures are about shipments, not sales. Lets hope the producers became smart and adjusted shipments to sales.

Oh, I think that Nikon is in more danger then Sony. Sony could decide to go out of this business - but it is part of their imaging department that includes the very successful video business. Nikon on the other hand only has stills and if that market declines more, well, were will they find to money to make a D6 and D600 (oh, wait, what will be the successor of the D500?).
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Old 08-03-2016   #46
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Smart phones are the reason. They're probably not counted in these numbers because they're not cameras.

I truly do hope that the numbers go down though. How many million images are posted to online sites a day now? Time to see this fad peter out. If I never see another digital image w/ blown out highlights, muddy or missing middle tones, and weak colours (yes, digital DOES suck) it will be too soon.
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Old 08-03-2016   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
Skiff,

Nothing is simple anymore. Companies are sometimes bought and sold if the price is right, especially today in the twenty first century.

I see Danaher owns Leica Microsystems.

I used to be close to this but just look at all the names changes of manufacturers of this line of tools (danaher was involved at one time):

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craftsman_(tools))

I wonder how many of the Leica divisions, although seperate, use Leica glass? Is it part of Leica camera?

Checking Nikon, I see imaging seems to be their largest by sales. Didn't spend a lot time trying to figure out what imaging means. They could be selling OEM products from one division to another.

It seems funny why leica dot com shows all Leica divisions.

Black or white and usually some gray present kind of like black and white film photograohy.

At any rate, it's interesting.

Zeiss has a niche market: All satellite's and aircraft lenses, as well as the optometrist equipment.
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Old 08-03-2016   #48
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I don't think DSLR, Mirrorless and digital rangefinders will disappear, only that demand for them will get reduced and companies will have to adjust their production for that demand or leave the market. Even if some companies leave the market, others will keep making cameras because there will always be demand for them. I mean, look at Leica, it keeps making analog rangefinders even though the demand for them is pretty tiny.
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Old 08-03-2016   #49
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Quote:
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I think a lot of this is due to the maturity of the technology personally. My six year old D700 is a prime example .. aside from being 12 megapixel it's still as good as anything else I own.
No kidding, but I really need GPS, untethered, and WIFI. Well I guess I don't need any of them.
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Old 08-03-2016   #50
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Collapse? Yes.
From 2010 to now, in only six years, the market has lost 75% (!!) of its sales volume. And the decline is continuing at accelerated speed. Just look at the CIPA numbers.
That is much much more than a normal market saturation.
By the way, it is even much more than the film sales collapse some years ago: From the record in 1999 to 2007, in eight years, the film market has "only" lost 66% of its volume.
So what? That's just a maturing market where the turnover is reduced due to marginal improvements.

This is the definition of market saturation and cannibalization. And most manufacturers are not losing their shirts precisely because their floor costs are diminishing even faster (same I might add for cellphone costs; that's the real race.

The real loss has been for any camera less than a prosumer camera. If anything that has clarified the market between cellphone and dedicated cameras, leading to simpler channel and marketing.

There is no competition for consumer $$$ between film and digital. Digital overwhelmingly and completely routed film as a tech and shooting preference. Almost all the major MF film camera manufactures have ceased (Mamiya, for example).

I should point out that the 2 companies who've bled the most red ink on cameras have been Fuji and Olympus. They had the most invested in compacts, used their own sensors with those fab overhead costs. Yet both continue to serve their niches well. In fact, the companies with solid optical pedigrees (Canon, Nikon, Leica, Ricoh/Pentax, Olympus, and Fuji) are still doing just fine. It's the ones without optical engineering heritage like Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung that have been the most watched. But for Sony their camera arm is a hobby compared to their fab biz.

It's not digital versus. It's optical versus. The need for advanced optical imaging married to sensors is where the demand curve lies. Where cellphones eventually leave off superior output will still rely on optical engineering to guide the light. The camera, not even the format, is not the issue... it's the glass.
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Old 08-03-2016   #51
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Originally Posted by Skiff View Post
Collapse? Yes.
From 2010 to now, in only six years, the market has lost 75% (!!) of its sales volume. And the decline is continuing at accelerated speed. Just look at the CIPA numbers.
That is much much more than a normal market saturation.
By the way, it is even much more than the film sales collapse some years ago: From the record in 1999 to 2007, in eight years, the film market has "only" lost 66% of its volume.
And in other news PC shipments are at 2007 levels.

This despite millions more consumers in the pipe in the last 9 years.

Collapse?

Nope.

Just much, much longer upgrade cycles as tech maturation and saturation combine.

Cellphone sales are also stalling as saturation is being reached except in emerging markets. The upgrade cycle has tripled length from just 6 years ago as well.

So this is not a camera story, but a story about digital tech maturing and saturating in many sectors and sub-sectors. The digital camera sensor is just a small sub-set of the computing and tech industry.
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Old 08-03-2016   #52
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People are using digital cameras, and most people aregetting far superior images comapred to what they used to get years ago. They are satisfied with it all. There is no need to buy new cameras to get larger sensors or more resolution for extra cost. Therefore, sales slow down. People have excellent digital cameras already.

This is my view on it.
I agree. Especially because most people only post their photos on the web, flickr, facebook, etc. At those resolutions, iPhone pics can look as good as dSLR pics. Why go FF?
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Old 08-03-2016   #53
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Why lug around an extra piece of (uncool) single-purpose gear if you have a smartphone with you at all times that makes stunning pictures? Let's be real here, young kids will not buy dedicated cameras, and those kids are the future.

The exact same has happened to music devices, which have been replaced 100% (!) by smartphones. Portability is trump!

Nikon, Leica, and a few others will try to hang on to consumer demographics that will continue to spend money on dedicated devices, but at increasing costs, out of reach for enthusiasts -- and for how long? Why do you think Leica is getting into the smartphone business?
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Old 08-03-2016   #54
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... Why do you think Leica is getting into the smartphone business?
Great, I could finally get one!

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...s&_sacat=20349

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Old 08-03-2016   #55
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I'm hard pressed right now plunking down the case for a dedicated Every Day Carry (EDC) camera vs upgrading my phone to an iPhone 7. I beginning to think my iPhone is my main camera and then fast AF, telephoto and super-macro are covered by a system camera (e.g. Fuji X of some variant).

If they work out a tri-camera system (really wide, wide, moderate telephoto) for an iPhone I'd pay an extra $500 and be very happy.

B2 (;->
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Old 08-03-2016   #56
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You mean I shouldn't use my 8 track player anymore?
Only so many times you can listen to John Denver's Greatest Hits......

B2 (;->
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Old 08-03-2016   #57
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young kids will not buy dedicated cameras, and those kids are the future.
young kids buy old film cameras.
kids are the future.
ergo the future is film!
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Old 08-03-2016   #58
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Only so many times you can listen to John Denver's Greatest Hits......

B2 (;->
My 8-track ate that one a lonnnggg time ago.

Black Sabbath is still going strong though.
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Old 08-03-2016   #59
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My 8-track ate that one a lonnnggg time ago.

Black Sabbath is still going strong though.
The 8-track is actually a pretty good example. If you have the tapes and a functioning unit then keep using it until something become unrepairable. I took my 2 year old iPod Classic to the Genius Bar last month for repair and they said we don't have the parts to fix it so you need to buy a new one. I heard that one before from Leica about not having parts. So keep making stuff they can't or won't fix.
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Old 08-03-2016   #60
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It's the the four channel Quad-8 tapes that I really enjoy!
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Old 08-03-2016   #61
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It's the the four channel Quad-8 tapes that I really enjoy!
That may be true but 17 year old kids weren't shoving those under the dash of their 64 1/2 Stang in the very early 70s. Beauty is as beauty does.
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Old 08-03-2016   #62
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Camera manufacturers have to cut back on all the stupid and silly models they make or they'll close up. Too many models, too many manufacturers all trying to out do each other.

This week Nike announced it is getting out of the golf equipment business They are out of the market of which they thought they could dominate with the big signings of Rory and Tiger. Didn't work...there was already too many manufacturers out there.

Some camera companies might be going down that same road.
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Old 08-03-2016   #63
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I was working photographic sales when the digital revolution blew through and watched it decimate the industry. This is all a predictable result of what happened then. Working at a dedicated camera specialty shop, over 95% of our customers weren't "photographers". They had a camera because there were things in their life they wanted pictures of. If the camera got them pictures where they could tell what the pictures were of, that was the extent of the technical quality required. They bought the cheapest camera that would do that, they used it until it wouldn't run anymore, and they fed it the cheapest 400 or 800 speed consumer film we would sell them. This is at a camera specialty shop! If 95% of the people at a specialty shop did not care about technical quality, imagine how much worse it was at Wal*Mao, Best Buy, and Circuit City! We saw an en-masse movement to digital (in fact, it all happened in a single Christmas shopping season) the moment the cheaper digital cameras became as good as the disposable film cameras and the moment the cheapest digital SLRs became good enough to take pictures of kids play sports (D70-era). The customers only cared that it was good enough and they didn't have to pay for film and processing anymore. 95% of them did not upgrade from that 2-3MP P&S or D70-equivalent camera with the 18-whatever kit lens until something broke.

Go look at any of the major photo sharing sites and see what the most common camera is. Most of the time, it's the iPhone 6. On the months when it's not the iPhone 6, it's the Galaxy equivalent. For 95% of people, their cell phone camera has now reached the point where there's no reason to own another camera. For the 5% of the market where something better than a cell phone is wanted, what they want is available one step down the ladder compared to 5 years ago. Someone who used to want a DSLR now can get by with a cheaper mirrorless. Someone who used to get by with a interchangeable mirrorless now can get by with a fixed lens P&S. The market ate itself by improving to the point people can take one or two steps down the price ladder and have no reason to replace the camera until it breaks.

I don't see a way for the photo industry to come back from this because customer demand is already being met by non-camera devices. Walkmen didn't survive the iPod and the MP3 player hasn't really survived the coming of the smartphone. A camera as a separate object is going to become a severely niche object like a high-end turntable is now. Sure, vinyl records are enjoying a renaissance right now because hipsters think they're cool but consider how much LP sales are down from their peak and how few manufacturers of turntables there are today compared to 1960-70. If you want to know what's going to happen to cameras, look at the pricing of high end turntables today.
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Old 08-04-2016   #64
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The 8-track is actually a pretty good example. If you have the tapes and a functioning unit then keep using it until something become unrepairable. I took my 2 year old iPod Classic to the Genius Bar last month for repair and they said we don't have the parts to fix it so you need to buy a new one. I heard that one before from Leica about not having parts. So keep making stuff they can't or won't fix.
It's all outdated... computer (which these cameras and music players are) become outdated quickly.
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Old 08-04-2016   #65
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young kids buy old film cameras.
kids are the future.
ergo the future is film!
Sorry, but young kids use phones... mostly.
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Old 08-04-2016   #66
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Yeah, I know your opinion on the matter... but you still use regular cameras too. Even if you don't want us to think you do.
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Old 08-04-2016   #67
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All this digital gloom is not going to bring back film into the mainstream... so, everyone wants to talk about how digital is dying and film is dying. Won't be that cool when we have nothing.
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Old 08-04-2016   #68
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I think a lot of this is due to the maturity of the technology personally. My six year old D700 is a prime example .. aside from being 12 megapixel it's still as good as anything else I own.
I agree with you, Keith. I sold a pair of Nikon D2H bodies when I retired from working professionally for a pair of Fuji X-System cameras for lighter weight. But I still miss those old 4.1MP cameras. While I shot mostly for newspaper work, I did have images from those cameras that were blown up and used on billboards with surprising results. Why do I miss those cameras. I had the D2H model for a decade and knew them like the back of my hand. I never had any doubts about how they would perform in a given situation because I had used them for so long. Only had one body die from the metering system failure over that decade.
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Old 08-04-2016   #69
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All this digital gloom is not going to bring back film into the mainstream...
Yes.
But that is not the point. As I've explained in one of my above postings, the decline in DSC sales is so massive and brutal that the manufacturers have to look for other segments and new market niches to at least get a little bit compensation by other, additional products.
That is why we probably see new film cameras in the next years (and that does not need big investments: you can take exposure systems, AF systems and mirror mechanics simply from the latest digital cameras). Last Photokina Nikon and Canon already said that they are thinking about that. And Leica introduced their new film M-A because of increasing demand for their film M models.

When new film cameras are introduced, that is a clear sign (also for younger photographers) that film is "in" again. The film market will definitely benefit from that. The film niche will be stronger and more sustainable. And that is good for photography.
Digital will remain mainstream. And a strong and growing film niche is good for the whole photography market. It is good for all of us.
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Old 08-04-2016   #70
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... Sure, vinyl records are enjoying a renaissance right now because hipsters think they're cool but consider how much LP sales are down from their peak and how few manufacturers of turntables there are today compared to 1960-70. If you want to know what's going to happen to cameras, look at the pricing of high end turntables today.
Actually, not only hipsters involved and many turntables costs less than many modern cameras. Yes, some TT cartridges costs more than M-D, but if you go to regular retail store they have TT for $20 dollars now.
And the current amount of TT manufacturers is the same comparing to number of companies making digital cameras for consumers.

http://www.stereomojo.com/TurntableM...urersLinks.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._camera_brands

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Old 08-04-2016   #71
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Last Photokina Nikon and Canon already said that they are thinking about that. And Leica introduced their new film M-A because of increasing demand for their film M models.
Really regarding Nikon and Canon? I'll be very surprised. Leica, I think they will always make one...

Quote:
When new film cameras are introduced, that is a clear sign (also for younger photographers) that film is "in" again.
I'll believe it when I see it. I'd like to see it.

Quote:
The film market will definitely benefit from that. The film niche will be stronger and more sustainable. And that is good for photography.
Digital will remain mainstream. And a strong and growing film niche is good for the whole photography market. It is good for all of us.
Agreed, but I'm skeptical.
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Old 08-04-2016   #72
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You mean I shouldn't use my 8 track player anymore?
I recommend you use it. This could deliver a reputation as a very hip guy who is into the retro movement. You might have to beat the babes off with a stick!
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Old 08-04-2016   #73
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Really regarding Nikon and Canon?
Yes. They talked to Fujifilm and Kodak. And both said they will continue film production.

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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Agreed, but I'm skeptical.
We see this scepticism for more than a decade now: At Photokina 2002 the "experts" said film will be dead until 2010.
Now we have 2016, and film is not only alive and kicking, but even new manufacturers like InovisCoat, IP, Adox, Film Ferrania and New55 are working hard on new products (AFAIK there are currently more coating companies worldwide than sensor manufacturers).
The same people said instant film will be the first film type completely killed by digital.
And last year 5.5 million Instax cameras were sold. More than any DSC model! And Instax sales are growing since 2004, by the way (Fuji published the chart last year).
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Old 08-04-2016   #74
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Much as I'd like to see it, I don't think there's any way we'll see new film cameras being produced by the major manufacturers: I just don't see how they could possibly compete against the choice or quality of the vast existing pool of used cameras already available.
Sadly for Olympus, Nikon, Canon of today, the cameras they produced thirty years ago are still going strong, and can continue to do so for the next twenty or thirty years to come.

I think the whole idea that camera manufacturers will continue making niche cameras of any sort - film or digital - is just wishful thinking. As someone else pointed-out, look at what happened to other standalone, single function products such as the Walkman.
I remember owning a really nice, brushed metal CD-Walkman with touch-sensitive buttons as a teenager in the eighties. I recently wanted to listen to some of my old CDs while I cook in the kitchen, and took a look at what was available nowadays - and found only utterly crap plastic rubbish. I'm afraid to say that's where digital cameras are headed.
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Old 08-04-2016   #75
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I remember owning a really nice, brushed metal CD-Walkman with touch-sensitive buttons as a teenager in the eighties. I recently wanted to listen to some of my old CDs while I cook in the kitchen, and took a look at what was available nowadays - and found only utterly crap plastic rubbish. I'm afraid to say that's where digital cameras are headed.
But nobody cares about CDs anymore, so this is not a good comparison. Until digital is replaced by something else for photography, this won't happen.
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Old 08-04-2016   #76
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Originally Posted by mani View Post
Much as I'd like to see it, I don't think there's any way we'll see new film cameras being produced by the major manufacturers: I just don't see how they could possibly compete against the choice or quality of the vast existing pool of used cameras already available.
1. For quite a lot of film cameras prices are rising: Look at Hasselblads, Nikon FM3A, Plaubel Makina, XPan, lots of Mamiya models etc.. The higher the prices, the lower the difference to new models, the bigger the willingness to buy new.
Contax 645 for example are already often on their former new prices! Same for Nikon scanners.

2. Another example:
Voigtländer Bessa III: It was introduced in 2008, in the absolute digital boom times. Why? Voigtländer was very clever: They have seen that more than 30 year old cameras (Plaubel Makina) were traded for more than 1,000$. They thougt if people are willing to buy such old cameras for such high prices, they will also be willing to buy such a camera new for about 2,000$.
And they were right: More than 10,000 units of the Voigtländer / Fuji were sold, and the market niche of such folding cameras is now filled again.
But there are lots of other such niches.

3. Polaroid cameras: Dozens of millions cheap, working cameras out there. Nevertheless Impossible has just introduced a completely new instant camera.

4. There are lots of photographers who just prefer buying new.

5. Despite the digital dominance Nikon ist producing the FM10 (made by Cosina for them) and their flagship model F6. Photographers are buying them.
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Old 08-04-2016   #77
mani
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
But nobody cares about CDs anymore, so this is not a good comparison. Until digital is replaced by something else for photography, this won't happen.
But for the vast majority it already has: by phones.
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Old 08-04-2016   #78
Skiff
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Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
Instax is cute, but that would be like counting battery kid's cars sold at Walmart as part of the automobile industry.
Sorry, I've seldom read such a stupid comparison.
I am using Instax also professionally, on weddings. Works perfect. No one cares on a wedding for smartphone pics. But all care for my Instax shots as the wedding photographer. It's always one of the highlights. The couple gets a complete album of all guests already at the party.
Instax is also used in insurance, the fashion industry, the American jail system. It is a serious photographic medium. Like Polaroid have been for decades. Artists are using it, too.
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Old 08-04-2016   #79
mpaniagua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiff View Post
I am using Instax also professionally, on weddings. Works perfect. No one cares on a wedding for smartphone pics. But all care for my Instax shots as the wedding photographer. It's always one of the highlights. The couple gets a complete album of all guests already at the party.
Instax is also used in insurance, the fashion industry, the American jail system. It is a serious photographic medium. Like Polaroid have been for decades. Artists are using it, too.
Agree with that. I work as a software developer for an insurance company and they use them seriously here on car accidents issues, claims, etc.

Not sure why lots of people just see them as toys Sure they are not my solid Leica M6 but it is a serious media for certain uses (niche product?).
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Old 08-04-2016   #80
BillBingham2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
Instax is cute, but that would be like counting battery kid's cars sold at Walmart as part of the automobile industry. Of course there is the argument that a 5 year old BMW owner, could become a 35 year old BMW buyer.

Varoom Varoom, Click Click
I still lust after a 1968 Jaguar XJ6 that I had pre-hotwheels. Medium brown, the reverse bonnet was just so cool (i was a nerd even back then!)

B2 (;->
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