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2016: a glut of cheap high quality digicams that nobody wants???
Old 03-29-2013   #1
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2016: a glut of cheap high quality digicams that nobody wants???

Imagine the number of really excellent, yet not "latest-greatest" digital cameras that will be around in 2016. The numbers of Canon 5Ds and Nikon 700/800s alone just boggles the mind.

Has anybody seen any articles that describe what the manufacturers' long term strategy will be?

I suspect that the future innovations will not come in terms of IQ upgrades, but rather in terms of redefining IQ and the way in which people look at things. The phenomenon of "pixel-peeping" zoom is an example of what I mean, but I guess it is just the tip of the iceberg or the crest of the wave.

Is there anybody else contemplating ways of training visual perception to resist the "latest-greatest" cyclical surge?
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Old 03-29-2013   #2
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I can't wait for this time to come... though I have a feeling a few of the more elegant examples will keep their value. I wouldn't mind picking up a RX1 and a D800 in 2016... for a fraction of the price. That said, I still think we may be in the golden age of the digital camera.
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Old 03-29-2013   #3
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... for a fraction of the price.
digital rot eventually cuts both ways
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Old 03-29-2013   #4
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IMO, we're getting close to the golden age of digital cameras. Just a couple or few more generations to go and they will be there.
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Old 03-29-2013   #5
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This is a fascinating thought. I'm afraid I don't have much to contribute, but I thank you for bringing this up.

I wouldn't be surprised if many of the innovations were in smaller cameras, like those found in cell phones. Makes me think about the idea of full frame compacts, too. Maybe we it's not our technology, but the potential hit to high end camera sales that's preventing them from being developed.
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Old 03-29-2013   #6
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IMO, we're getting close to the golden age of digital cameras. Just a couple or few more generations to go and they will be there.
Maybe you're right. On one hand we have models coming out every 6 months, so its prosperous time for manufacturers... but there is still a lot of innovation on the horizon I'm sure.
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Old 03-29-2013   #7
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Film will make a huge comeback and replace digital in 2016...just thought I'd let you all know.
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Old 03-29-2013   #8
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Yah, digital is dead!


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Old 03-29-2013   #9
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Film will make a huge comeback and replace digital in 2016...just thought I'd let you all know.
Great, super cheap digitals then...
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Old 03-29-2013   #10
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Yes, and I think the Mfgrs will have to increase the build quality in the better ones in order to sell them.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=130936
Yes, that may be the next step, an increase in quality, once digital technology becomes more mature. To this point, it would be silly to build a super high quality digital camera built to last a few decades, when it will surely be left in the dust due to technology advancements. I think the M8 and M9 are such examples that just don't make sense to me.
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Old 03-29-2013   #11
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You could have made the same statement five years ago. We are already way past the point of diminishing returns.

For $500, a Nikon D5000 can deliver results that are undiscernable in print from just about any other digital camera, even at high ISOs. Everything beyond that level is essentially overspecc'd for all but a tiny percentage of specialized pro photographers. Any great photographer of the past -- Avedon, Nachtwey, whatever -- could have built a career with that camera.

Which means that when 2016 rolls around, the same group of people are going to be fantasizing about being able to buy that year's camera -- 80MP, ISO 1,000,000, whatever -- in 2020.

And that's what camera manufacturers now rely upon -- not the reality of photographers' needs, which were exceeded years ago, but a perceived need, a psychological need to keep up.
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Old 03-29-2013   #12
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For the past ten years the technology has changed fast enough and improved signficantly enough that you had to buy the latest and greatest every couple of years or you were left behind in file size and image quality. The manufacturers are already knocking on the door of the end of "possible" with physics there, so the trend is to try to market widgets and make us think we need them... face recognition, art filters, fancier and more gimmicky auto focus, and more and more "control" over tailoring the bodies buttons and output, but there really isn't much going on in break through advances in the technology of imaging itself.

That means that your D800 or your M9P will be a competitive image-maker for some years to come. There may be more bells and whistles advertised as "must-haves" but as far as I'm concerned they're just gimmicks. The market is going to flatten soon if it hasn't already.
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Old 03-29-2013   #13
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Digital sucks. I'm waiting for the return of 126 Instamatic film. I'm hoping that will be next on Lomography's list.
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Old 03-29-2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
Yes, that may be the next step, an increase in quality, once digital technology becomes more mature. To this point, it would be silly to build a super high quality digital camera built to last a few decades, when it will surely be left in the dust due to technology advancements. I think the M8 and M9 are such examples that just don't make sense to me.
Frank, you don't buy the M8 or M9 for the same reasons you buy a digi-CaNikon. And the guts may not last any longer than any other digicam. The draw of the Leica digi-Ms is twofold; first they allow you to use your film M glass on a body that is similar in operation and feel to your film M. Second, if you're used to and like working with a bright line rangefinder there's nothing else on the market that you can get. The only thing that's crazy is the prices... but if you shop hard, there are good buys to be had.

There is, of course, the argument that there are a slew of competent digi bodies to use M lenses on now, but if you like the simplicity of operation of the M, none of them even come close. The bright-line coincident rangefinder brings a different perspective to making images that you either embrace as "right" or you don't understand it at all. And that's ok. It's not right for a majority of photographers, actually. So is buying a digi-M system irrational from a "value" perspective? Perhaps, but I've spent forty years shooting M bodies now and they just feel "right" to me. I know them inside and out, and using one is like walking. It just happens. So they have value and make sense for me.
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Old 03-29-2013   #15
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Originally Posted by DWScarpa View Post
Which means that when 2016 rolls around, the same group of people are going to be fantasizing about being able to buy that year's camera -- 80MP, ISO 1,000,000, whatever -- in 2020.
I wonder about that... and I'm not saying you're wrong, but what is going to be the advantage of 80mp? The prints that will take advantage of this will be way too expensive to make... but I guess there are different presentation methods. Hmm, billboards you can get up close to and see every little details still.

Quote:
And that's what camera manufacturers now rely upon -- not the reality of photographers' needs, which were exceeded years ago, but a perceived need, a psychological need to keep up.
I'm not so sure of this... dynamic range and ergonomics are still being hammered out. AF speed and accuracy are still an issue.
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Old 03-29-2013   #16
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FrSecond, if you're used to and like working with a bright line rangefinder there's nothing else on the market that you can get. The only thing that's crazy is the prices... I've spent forty years shooting M bodies now and they just feel "right" to me. I know them inside and out, and using one is like walking. It just happens. So they have value and make sense for me.
I think this is THE RFF QUESTION. But soon the prices (for used) won't be so high (but still really high for several years' old technology).

I got into photography when digital was just taking off, but opted for film RFs. Did some SLRS, but RFs are really incomparable for capturing human-sized relationships. Now film has become unworkable for me, I'm trying to figure out how much I want to pay to prolong the RF experience into the digital world. I think we need a separate thread for this!
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Old 03-29-2013   #17
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but I guess there are different presentation methods.
That's the only way out that I can see for manufacturers. And sites like DPreview kind of promote that, actually.
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Old 03-29-2013   #18
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Build a camera with a full frame foveon sensor that can produce clean files up to 6400 and it's all over as far as I'm concerned. I personally wouldn't care what they made after that!
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Old 03-29-2013   #19
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The DSLRs then will have incamera photoshopping. They will be voice activated. You'll just say "turn on wetplate collodion filter" or "turn on instagram 1965 Kodak" and shoot a "different" camera and era for each shot. What else can they do to resolution?
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Old 03-29-2013   #20
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I wonder about that... and I'm not saying you're wrong, but what is going to be the advantage of 80mp? The prints that will take advantage of this will be way too expensive to make... but I guess there are different presentation methods. Hmm, billboards you can get up close to and see every little details still.
The new Canon 1D is rumored to have something like 47MP. Why? Because the Nikon D800 has 36MP, and it's been getting all the attention. So at the current rate, we get to 80MP pretty soon. 80MP is not going to be that easily distinguishable from 47MP anyway, so we're nearly there.

Is there any practical value to any of this? No, not even for billboard photographers, because at some point you hit the resolution limits of the lens. But there's not much use for 36MP for most photographers either.


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I'm not so sure of this... dynamic range and ergonomics are still being hammered out. AF speed and accuracy are still an issue.
Ergonomics aren't really a technological issue, they're a matter of personal taste. Some people will tell you a 50-year-old M3 has perfect ergonomics, others will tell you they're terrible. And, of course, the $7000 Leica M has no AF at all.

Either way I don't see any huge ergonomic barrier that's going to be broken in the near future that is going to enable us to take photos we can't take on a Nikon D5000.
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Old 03-29-2013   #21
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Few people want to buy "outdated" digital cameras. This is also a fact.
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Old 03-29-2013   #22
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I wonder if there will be "cameras" except for niche applications in 2016.
If you could do everything with one device--a sooper dooper isomething--why would anyone buy a separate "camera" except for...?
Just sayin' dept...
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Old 03-29-2013   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWScarpa View Post
You could have made the same statement five years ago. We are already way past the point of diminishing returns.

For $500, a Nikon D5000 can deliver results that are undiscernable in print from just about any other digital camera, even at high ISOs. Everything beyond that level is essentially overspecc'd for all but a tiny percentage of specialized pro photographers. Any great photographer of the past -- Avedon, Nachtwey, whatever -- could have built a career with that camera.

Which means that when 2016 rolls around, the same group of people are going to be fantasizing about being able to buy that year's camera -- 80MP, ISO 1,000,000, whatever -- in 2020.

And that's what camera manufacturers now rely upon -- not the reality of photographers' needs, which were exceeded years ago, but a perceived need, a psychological need to keep up.
Precisely. Well, apart from durability and the fact that the D500 will probably be used with a kit zoom that would make ANYTHING look bad.

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Old 03-29-2013   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWScarpa View Post
Is there any practical value to any of this? No, not even for billboard photographers, because at some point you hit the resolution limits of the lens. But there's not much use for 36MP for most photographers either.
Very true. The D800 already has that issue from what I hear.

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Ergonomics aren't really a technological issue, they're a matter of personal taste. Some people will tell you a 50-year-old M3 has perfect ergonomics, others will tell you they're terrible. And, of course, the $7000 Leica M has no AF at all.

Either way I don't see any huge ergonomic barrier that's going to be broken in the near future that is going to enable us to take photos we can't take on a Nikon D5000.
Right, but this is where manufacturers can continue to make people want to buy new cameras since ergonomics are more emotional based.

Better photos is subjective. Technically better photos, yes, that will happen. Better with regard to content and framing? no. I'm of the opinion that you'll make better photos with the camera that is the most comfortable to you.
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Old 03-29-2013   #25
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Quote:
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I wonder if there will be "cameras" except for niche applications in 2016.
If you could do everything with one device--a sooper dooper isomething--why would anyone buy a separate "camera" except for...?
Just sayin' dept...
Paul
For people who aren't into photography maybe...
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Old 03-29-2013   #26
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Originally Posted by DWScarpa View Post
You could have made the same statement five years ago. We are already way past the point of diminishing returns.

For $500, a Nikon D5000 can deliver results that are undiscernable in print from just about any other digital camera, even at high ISOs. Everything beyond that level is essentially overspecc'd for all but a tiny percentage of specialized pro photographers. Any great photographer of the past -- Avedon, Nachtwey, whatever -- could have built a career with that camera.

Which means that when 2016 rolls around, the same group of people are going to be fantasizing about being able to buy that year's camera -- 80MP, ISO 1,000,000, whatever -- in 2020.

And that's what camera manufacturers now rely upon -- not the reality of photographers' needs, which were exceeded years ago, but a perceived need, a psychological need to keep up.
Hard to argue with any of this. All we need to know is that each camera is better than the last. Or different in one or two key features.
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Old 03-29-2013   #27
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Is there any practical value to any of this? No, not even for billboard photographers, because at some point you hit the resolution limits of the lens.
Assuming that DR and sensitivity continue to improve, even a typical 50mm lens at moderate apertures (say f/4) isn't Nyquist oversampled until the FF sensor exceeds 200 Mpix. And there can be sound technical reasons to oversample. Ctein has written a bunch about this and my calculations are in accord with his.

If you don't believe that, consider the pixel size on the newest cell phone sensors. Still much smaller than DSLR pixels and they are operating at or near the Nyquist limit with matched lenses. We've got a way to go. Note also that the cell phone sensors are now BETTER than DSLR sensors in terms of sensitivity per photosensitive area, because they are backside-illuminated. No DSLR sensor on the market has BSI yet. That will likely be necessary to retain sensitivity as pixel sizes continue to shrink.
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Old 03-29-2013   #28
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I went digital in my studio 14 years ago with a Dycomed 4x5 scanning back and then went DSLRs with the D1 and later generation ikon and Canons. The evolution is amazing and it's happened in just a few years. I'm now using Hasselblad high mp gear, Nikon D800 and a Leica M9. The Hasselblad edges out everything particularly in color depth and edge to edge sharpness. The Nikon beats the Hasselblad in dynamic range by 2.5 stops, 14.4 stops of information. Unfortunately the Leica is the dog of the bunch. The Leica is very good but about two generations behind.

My prediction, sensors will improve in color rendering and dynamic range. I'm not sure how many pixels we need but that will increase as well but more emphasis in image quality vs pixels. What I see changing is improving optics. High mp sensors like the D800s 36mp CMOS really challenges the best of lenses. Hasselblad has fortunately kept up with lens quality vs pixel count. Optics for DSLRs really need to improve especial in regard to wide open performance before sensors increase in mp count.

Leica on the other hand has sharp glass corner to corner wide open with the new generation of asph glass. Unfortunately it has been at the price of flare. If the sun is over your shoulder they're great but put a backlit subject in front of them an be prepared for disappointment. Nikon especially has flare under controll and can handle the extremes but their lenses suffer in the corners wide open. Nikons image quality is really edging up on Hasselblad and on paper you just can't see any difference.
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Old 03-29-2013   #29
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If there is one thing we know about our own nature it is that we never get tired of buying the latest, greatest thing.
How long have automobiles been a mature technology? A well-built car can last for 10, 20 years, if not longer. But as soon as people get a car paid off, they immediately start looking for another. If, that is, they can wait that long.

Canon, Nikon, etc. are never going to stop coming out with new cameras that offer new features the masses feel they have to have. It's just the way we are.
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Old 03-29-2013   #30
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The biggest potential problem with buying older digital cameras just might be finding batteries to power them!
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Old 03-29-2013   #31
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I think that more now than in the past (maybe just the ease of use with digital) photography is more about cameras and less about pictures.
I think this is common with the amateur / enthusiast market in general whether it be guitars (or any music gear), sports, cars, bikes, etc. A lot of extra cash, extra time, and not a lot of motivation to put the time and effort into getting better for many folks. I had a friend who tried to get into music and make a record within a few months of starting (and it sounded like it). Once it was done, he then wondered why nobody liked it. He quit soon after. I think many people think creative or performance based activities are going to be easy. For some it is, but for most of us, it is not.
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Old 03-29-2013   #32
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Few people want to buy "outdated" digital cameras. This is also a fact.
Two of my three digitals were last year's model when purchased. My 3.3 megapixel Coolpix 885 was bought refurbished from Nikon, my Samsung DSLR was a closeout.

I almost bought. Coolpix 7100 refurbished,but the store in New York refused to ship to the hotel I was staying in that month...
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Old 03-29-2013   #33
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The biggest potential problem with buying older digital cameras just might be finding batteries to power them!
Actually, my current problem is finding a 1gig compact flash card. One of my older cameras was only tested to work with 1 gig cards, and the manufacturer never tested it with a larger card The smallest WallyWorld sells is 4 gig, and I don't want to waste 75% of a card....
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Old 03-29-2013   #34
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Thumbs up

I just bought a slightly used Nikon D3 (boxed and complete with spare batteries as well) for less than the price of a D600. I'm super happy.
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Old 03-29-2013   #35
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The bigger issue might become corollary technology, like USB ports and SD cards.

There are some good scanners that are hard to keep working today because they require SCSI ports. Or how about those old Fuji digicam with xD cards.

There will always be a niche market for adapters and converters, but at some point it will become too much of a hassle to get images off the older cameras.

And let's pray manufacturers will one day agree to a universal RAW standard.
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Old 03-29-2013   #36
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I suspect my 2003 Olympus E-1 will still be going strong in three years, and I'll still be using it. As should my M9, X2, E-PL1, and GXR. I'll likely have another camera or two by then as well, presuming something interesting comes along that helps me make the photos I want. I don't think I'll have any difficulties getting batteries for them, but if I do, they'll just join the little raft of no longer working film cameras in the bottom drawer.

I don't know what the problem is. "Equipment is transitory, Photographs endure." Make photographs, and enjoy your equipment while it lasts. Don't spend more than you can afford comfortably, in cash, on equipment.

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Old 03-29-2013   #37
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someday i will be dead and then i wont be able to buy new gear...now that is what sad is really all about!
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Old 03-29-2013   #38
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2016....wow, I dunno if I will be shooting digital anymore by then. But if I am, it will have been 22 years since late actor James Whitmore's son, my then editor, handed me a $14,000 NC2000 and said, "This is the future man, ride it!"

Well I rode it alright, like a party train that just got bigger, louder, faster, hard corners, bad order track, bullet train.....you name it. The party is loud as hell now, tons of people, tons of hype....time to get off....and get some me time, some peace.....some quiet visual contemplation...

If you are true to your self, you listen the voice inside and when Steve was all gaga over this 1MP LCD free wonder-cam, that voice said...no, not forever man, I'll move on...

I just upgraded my 4x5 enlarger to a killer Saunders LPL4550XLG / VCCE unit, wow, what a top notch machine! And what a *wonderful* feeling to be moving away from something that I watched grow into a very usable medium......in order to follow my heart.

I have no regrets, I am think I am leaving digital behind right on time...the party is just too...................................

.............

...much......
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Old 03-29-2013   #39
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Join Date: May 2006
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I seldom buy the very latest camera when it first hits the shelves. I either buy new but after the next model has come out or last years model, low mileage second hand. Either way I get great deals on excellent technology that otherwise would cost heaps more.
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Old 03-29-2013   #40
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I suspect my 2003 Olympus E-1 will still be going strong in three years, and I'll still be using it. As should my M9, X2, E-PL1, and GXR. I'll likely have another camera or two by then as well, presuming something interesting comes along that helps me make the photos I want. I don't think I'll have any difficulties getting batteries for them, but if I do, they'll just join the little raft of no longer working film cameras in the bottom drawer.

I don't know what the problem is. "Equipment is transitory, Photographs endure." Make photographs, and enjoy your equipment while it lasts. Don't spend more than you can afford comfortably, in cash, on equipment.

G
By the way, note that I'm enjoying shooting with film cameras too. They become obsolete and nonfunctional over time too, requiring repairs more expensive than they're worth. Unless you're a little mad and don't mind spending for the repairs.

G
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