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How Can Analog Photography Be Saved?
Old 08-27-2018   #1
xayraa33
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How Can Analog Photography Be Saved?

I sort of like the synopsis of the future of film photography in this article at link at the bottom, but I suspect that predicting the future is nigh impossible.

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Old 08-27-2018   #2
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I suspect analogue won't be saved by start-up/gofundme (or whatever they're called) expensive cameras which aren't any better specified than second-hand cameras that were made by companies who knew what they were doing.
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Old 08-27-2018   #3
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i tend to agree. it's not as sexy as starting a company to make new cameras, but repair is the real key to make sure that there are film cameras to use.

if that means wrangling legal deals with camera companies to make new electronics and spare parts, so be it!
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Old 08-27-2018   #4
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At this point he runs it as business. And from this POV it is marketing histeria. Like buy gold and silver Saturday programs on AM radio.

The title of article is incorrect.
Everything which is not digital is analog. It means here is nothing really to save.
Ground glass - self making - check.
Bellows - made by small company per individual order - check.
Lenses - Here is one guy in USA who makes his own - check.
Camera - some cabinet makers will do it, carpenters - check.
Negative holders - same as above - check.
Negative - it is just glass - check
Emulsion - self made - check.
Paper for contact prints - self made - check.

You don't need to save analog photography. It is just as saving Sun.
Film photography, which is part of analog photography is different story.
Brownie and simple 135 film format P&S could be easily made on primitive factory.
Emulsion, again self made is possible. But if film base is not made anymore, film photography is pooped. It is not those clumsy startOops manufacturing level.
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Old 08-27-2018   #5
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"But if film base is not made anymore, film photography is pooped. It is not those clumsy startOops manufacturing level."

All good points that you mentioned, maybe film base will not be needed if we continue with the other points that you suggested and use glass plates just like the inventor of dry plates did (Richard Leach Maddox) which George Eastman of the later Kodak fame first emulated.
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Old 08-27-2018   #6
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Or, The Sky Is Falling, Part VIII.
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Old 08-27-2018   #7
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I hope it is saved like the Stones said, 'there's something about her (analog photography), I don't really know. She make me cry and I don't know the reason why.'

I got the quote wrong but here it is: ode to analog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aJmyIIFW6I
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Old 08-27-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
"But if film base is not made anymore, film photography is pooped. It is not those clumsy startOops manufacturing level."

All good points that you mentioned, maybe film base will not be needed if we continue with the other points that you suggested and use glass plates just like the inventor of dry plates did (Richard Leach Maddox) which George Eastman of the later Kodak fame first emulated.
I recall one RFF user who claimed to make good money on cameras like these and he showed how he used glass plate in Barnack camera.

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Old 08-27-2018   #9
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It will be saved by letting it continue to evolve.


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Old 08-28-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
I sort of like the synopsis of the future of film photography in this article at link at the bottom, but I suspect that predicting the future is nigh impossible.

https://cameraventures.com/help
Please forget this article. Because it is old and meanwhile even out-of-date because the film photography scene has evolved much and in a positive way in the last 18 months.
The author Juho was heavily critised especially by film related companies which are investing and have a positive outlook on the future of film.
Interestingly Juho now has also this positive outlook and has recently heavily invested in his company - the "Camera Rescue Center": Have a look here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAGwOsgkq-A

Under one roof there is
- a photo lab doing C41, E6 and BW
- a camera repair center with several older and very experienced repair experts and several young repair experts; also including electronic expertise
- a used camera (online and brick and mortar) shop
- rooms to held workshops.

As he now knows that there are enough manufacturers committed to film, photo chemistry, photo paper, photo lab gear etc. he has now focussed his business on camera repairs and selling used cameras.
And transferring unused "shelf-queens" back in the hands of real film shooters (there are millions of film cameras sitting unused in cupboards out there).
And I think that is absolutely the right strategy.
Juho will be at Photokina fair this September on the Fotoimpex / Adox booth (CineStill and Washi film will also be there on that booth). I hope to meet him there and have a talk.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 08-28-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
"But if film base is not made anymore, film photography is pooped. It is not those clumsy startOops manufacturing level."

All good points that you mentioned, maybe film base will not be needed if we continue with the other points that you suggested and use glass plates just like the inventor of dry plates did (Richard Leach Maddox) which George Eastman of the later Kodak fame first emulated.
There is no problem in manufacturing film base. That is one of the numerous FUD myths of the "film is dead" propagandists.
Forget it.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 08-28-2018   #12
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Wet plate and other historic processes will not go away. They are used by artists who create their own cameras, plates and chemicals. https://www.cengage.co.uk/books/9781285089317/ There's good camera building groups on Facebook, and a load of links on Jon Grepstad's site who used to be a poster here. It's not hard, even I could complete a 4x5 camera with a bought old lens and a Cambo back and simple wood work.


If you were looking for something else when you said 'analog photography' or 'saved', I misunderstood you (quite purposely I admit )
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Old 08-28-2018   #13
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Hi,

I often wonder why we say "analogue", it wasn't needed until digital came along. It would be sensible to say "camera" when we mean a film camera as that is what they were called for decades and then add "digital" for the obvious...

We've managed to cope with this idea when we say "telephone" and "mobile telephone" and so why not? Or should we say "analogue landline telephone" and then "analogue print" and so on?

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And another thing...
Old 08-28-2018   #14
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And another thing...

It would make a lot of sense to buy a lot of old cameras; all the same make and model. Strip them down and test and measure as you go and then start reassembling the best bits to make a few "as new" ones. There was a firm or two that did it with classic cars, proper Jaguars and the Morris minor/1000 come to mind...


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Old 08-28-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hi,

I often wonder why we say "analogue", it wasn't needed until digital came along. It would be sensible to say "camera" when we mean a film camera as that is what they were called for decades and then add "digital" for the obvious
I'm with you. I always cringe when I hear or read "analogue" (or analog).

I suppose someday when self-driving cars become commonplace, the old-timers who still drive themselves will be driving "analog cars".
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Old 08-28-2018   #16
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I'm with you. I always cringe when I hear or read "analogue" (or analog).

I suppose someday when self-driving cars become commonplace, the old-timers who still drive themselves will be driving "analog cars".
whether they like it or not because these stupid words are forced on us.

And, I guess they will be wearing analogue clothes but what do you call a print because the process of making it is neither here nor there; I guess solid or conrete as in "Musique concrète".

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Old 08-28-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHPhoto View Post
Please forget this article. Because it is old and meanwhile even out-of-date because the film photography scene has evolved much and in a positive way in the last 18 months.
The author Juho was heavily critised especially by film related companies which are investing and have a positive outlook on the future of film.
Interestingly Juho now has also this positive outlook and has recently heavily invested in his company - the "Camera Rescue Center": Have a look here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAGwOsgkq-A

Under one roof there is
- a photo lab doing C41, E6 and BW
- a camera repair center with several older and very experienced repair experts and several young repair experts; also including electronic expertise
- a used camera (online and brick and mortar) shop
- rooms to held workshops.

As he now knows that there are enough manufacturers committed to film, photo chemistry, photo paper, photo lab gear etc. he has now focussed his business on camera repairs and selling used cameras.
And transferring unused "shelf-queens" back in the hands of real film shooters (there are millions of film cameras sitting unused in cupboards out there).
And I think that is absolutely the right strategy.
Juho will be at Photokina fair this September on the Fotoimpex / Adox booth (CineStill and Washi film will also be there on that booth). I hope to meet him there and have a talk.

Cheers, Jan
Ah, That is interesting information.
Thanks for the update.

Please let us know how your talk went with Juho after your meeting at Photokina this coming month.
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Old 08-28-2018   #18
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The future of film photography is written in a demographic. What percentage of folks younger than 30 years are shooting film. Watch that demographic. Those of us who spent most of our lives with film are dying fast. Nostalgia and inertia won't save film beyond our lifetimes.
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Old 08-28-2018   #19
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People and companies will offer goods and services as long as there's a demand for pure analog or hybrid analog/digital photography (film scanning and printing). Theres's profit opportunities in all niche markets.

The price of those goods and services will reach equilibrium. A negative feedback loop (demand decreases so prices increase) will not result in a death spiral. Instead new equilibrium points will be set. The significant impact will be a reduction in options for the niche consumers.

I don't see the demand dropping much lower and I certainly don't think the rate of decrease in demand will increase.

All will be well as long as people continue to accept the increased costs. Fortunately the hardware side cameras, lenses, etc) generally benefits from an excess in supply.
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Old 08-28-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Ah, That is interesting information.
Thanks for the update.
You're welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Please let us know how your talk went with Juho after your meeting at Photokina this coming month.
I will do if I meet him. Photokina is always a lot of stress, time pressure and meeting people isn't as easy as you wish, because all want to talk in a short time frame to dozens, sometimes hundreds of people. Photokina is mainly a B2B fair, not a consumer fair. But I will try my very best .

Cheers, Jan
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Old 08-28-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
People and companies will offer goods and services as long as there's a demand for pure analog or hybrid analog/digital photography (film scanning and printing). Theres's profit opportunities in all niche markets.

The price of those goods and services will reach equilibrium. A negative feedback loop (demand decreases so prices increase) will not result in a death spiral. Instead new equilibrium points will be set. The significant impact will be a reduction in options for the niche consumers.

I don't see the demand dropping much lower and I certainly don't think the rate of decrease in demand will increase.

All will be well as long as people continue to accept the increased costs. Fortunately the hardware side cameras, lenses, etc) generally benefits from an excess in supply.
+1, I fully agree
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Old 08-28-2018   #22
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The future of film photography is written in a demographic. What percentage of folks younger than 30 years are shooting film.
A very high percentage!
The "digital natives" are very interested in film. Digital is mainstream, normality and therefore also a bit boring to them. Film is different flavour and a nice addition and alternation.

There have been surveys (e.g. by Ilford) showing that. Look also at facebook, instagram, youtube: Most of the film photographers there are very young.
Forums like rff and photrio with mainly old(er) members are fortunately not representative at all for the current film photo scene.

Cheers, Jan
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Old 08-28-2018   #23
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Look also at facebook, instagram, youtube: Most of the film photographers there are very young.
Forums like rff and photrio with mainly old(er) members are fortunately not representative at all for the current film photo scene.
Which tells you more about the user demographics of facebook, instagram, and youtube vs. rff and photrio than it does about film usage.
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Old 08-28-2018   #24
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People and companies will offer goods and services as long as there's a demand for pure analog or hybrid analog/digital photography (film scanning and printing). Theres's profit opportunities in all niche markets.
+1.
Basic economics.

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Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
I don't see the demand dropping much lower and I certainly don't think the rate of decrease in demand will increase.
In several markets the demand is already increasing: US, UK, Australia, Vietnam, Italy, Belgium, Scandinavia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Russia for example. More markets will follow.

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Old 08-28-2018   #25
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Which tells you more about the user demographics of facebook, instagram, and youtube vs. rff and photrio than it does about film usage.
No.
Facebook has more the 2 billion users.
And instagram more than 1 billion.
Both are growing.
To say these mediums are only used by people under 30 is simply wrong.
Photrio and rff member numbers are tiny compared to the member numbers of film photographers on facebook, instagram and youtube.

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Old 08-28-2018   #26
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Analog/film photography will be saved one frame at a time.


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Old 08-28-2018   #27
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Interesting it seems that "analogue" photography is considered by many to be industrial made film photography only. Denise Ross has instructions on her website the lightfarm on how to make film yourself http://thelightfarm.com/
Analogue photography unlike digital is in fact not dependent on manufacturers as it can be made at home without too much difficulty.

Analogue photography doesn't need to be saved as it is very much alive and far from dead.
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Old 08-28-2018   #28
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Judging from the prices of colour negatives in shops near where I live, film photography is not in danger and does not need to be saved.
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Old 08-28-2018   #29
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The one thing I never see being talked about and I believe will have increasing effects on the viability of film and especially silver printing is rapidly increasing water scarcity. In my opinion, this is the number one thing that could imperil film and the darkroom's future.

So I have been doing all kinds of experiments, building and testing of re-capture and re-circuation systems to reach my goal of a reduction in water use associated with film and the darkroom by 70%.

Water scarcity is the number one near term reality that we all face, film and darkroom usage within that scope falls way down the list as a priority in broad scope societal terms. I hope all makers of film, chemistry and paper take this to heart and make real gains in this regard.

Otherwise.....
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Old 08-28-2018   #30
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Water scarcity is the number one near term reality that we all face, film and darkroom usage within that scope falls way down the list as a priority in broad scope societal terms. I hope all makers of film, chemistry and paper take this to heart and make real gains in this regard.
Ilford's reduced water wash method works well enough and I now use it. Fill tank with water, invert five times, discard. Fill tank again with water, invert ten times and discard. Fill tank again, invert twenty times and discard. Fill with water once again, add a dash of wetting agent and that's it! None of this 'ten minutes under the tap' business.
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Old 08-28-2018   #31
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Old 08-28-2018   #32
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The one thing I never see being talked about and I believe will have increasing effects on the viability of film and especially silver printing is rapidly increasing water scarcity. In my opinion, this is the number one thing that could imperil film and the darkroom's future....

Water scarcity is the number one near term reality that we all face, film and darkroom usage within that scope falls way down the list as a priority in broad scope societal terms. I hope all makers of film, chemistry and paper take this to heart and make real gains in this regard.
I'm pretty sure I use less water in my darkroom sessions than I do taking a bath. I don't see this as a near term problem. Perhaps it is location specific.
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Old 08-28-2018   #33
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I'm pretty sure I use less water in my darkroom sessions than I do taking a bath. I don't see this as a near term problem. Perhaps it is location specific.
I take 3-5 minute showers, no baths so my wife can enjoy those..:-)

So far I have cut water usage by 50%, goal is 70%. While somewhat location specific, that too will change as the issue propagates and those who have water will be expected to not waste it because of the overall shortages.

Film is not so bad but rather fiber based papers and the required wash times. Time to innovate there.
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Old 08-28-2018   #34
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Interesting it seems that "analogue" photography is considered by many to be industrial made film photography only. Denise Ross has instructions on her website the lightfarm on how to make film yourself http://thelightfarm.com/
Analogue photography unlike digital is in fact not dependent on manufacturers as it can be made at home without too much difficulty.

Analogue photography doesn't need to be saved as it is very much alive and far from dead.
Dom,

Thank you for that link. It is a fascinating read and will keep me busy for a long time.
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Old 08-28-2018   #35
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There is no such thing as 'analog' photography, that's why it's difficult to save. There are film and digital capture mediums, two different mediums for capturing light and doing photography.

To save film photography, the manufacture of film must be a profitable venture and worth investing development money into with respect to the manufacture of film itself as well as film cameras. So it's quite simple: Buy more film and NEW film cameras, and help the film manufacturing industry become profitable again. That's what you need to do. Remember that there's no profit to the manufacturers in the sale of non-new film cameras.

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Old 08-29-2018   #36
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+1.
...


In several markets the demand is already increasing: US, UK, Australia, Vietnam, Italy, Belgium, Scandinavia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Russia for example. More markets will follow.

Cheers, Jan
But how much of these increases are due to INSTAX?
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Old 08-29-2018   #37
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Buy more film and NEW film cameras, and help the film manufacturing industry become profitable again. That's what you need to do. Remember that there's no profit to the manufacturers in the sale of non-new film cameras.
Are there more new cameras than the F6, MA/MP, and Lomo?
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Old 08-29-2018   #38
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But how much of these increases are due to INSTAX?
In my comment about the markets with increasing demand I've only referred to standard film, not Instax.

Instax is even a different case with booming demand all over the world in almost all regional markets.

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Old 08-29-2018   #39
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Are there more new cameras than the F6, MA/MP, and Lomo?
Yes, there are several options in medium format like the DW Photo Hy6 Mod.2 (former Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod.2), the Hasselblad H5 and H6 which can be used with a film back, the Alpas.
And there are more than 15 different manufacturers of large format film cameras.
And we have to wait and see whether the projects of Reflex and Ponf will have success.

But at the current phase of the beginning film revival new film cameras are not a problem, nor a slowing factor for increasing interest.
Because there are millions of film cameras in working condition still sitting unused in cupboards. There is enough potential for increasing film usage by getting these cameras back in the hands of real photographers using them.
And then later in some years with increasing prices for used film cameras it also will be again attractive for camera manufacturers to produce new film cameras. Especially as the production volume of digital cameras is still significantly decreasing. A trend that will probably continue for some further years because of the decreasing demand of digital compact cameras.

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Old 08-29-2018   #40
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Are there more new cameras than the F6, MA/MP, and Lomo?
Dunno. I don't follow new cameras all that much any more, neither film nor digital. I have all the cameras I need.

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