« on: October 27, 2013, 10:04:09 PM »
"In my view, Canon are more vulnerable than anyone going forward. It isn’t just that the higher the climb, the bigger the drop at the other side – frankly their DSLR line has become boring from top to bottom."
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, Boring is as boring does.
Provocative article, though largely pointless I suspect.
One disagreement I have with all these predictions, projections and prognostications is they are essentially baseless (as are nearly all the comments relating to them). Data supporting conclusions is rarely cited and even when it is, the sources are hardly credible. Reliable, accurate market information is notoriously hard to come by, but it doesn't stop companies from selling information based on "research" that is questionable at best. The most we might hope from this kind of information is to make a few very generalized conclusions about trends. That's fine fodder for the kind of mostly nonsense flowing out of discussions like this one. And when we leave the history side of the equation, the power of future technology to make changes is almost entirely unknown (although speculation runs in continual overdrive).
My own personal nonsense has been wondering about the viability of high-end DSLR cameras for a while now. Last year I posted here that the 1DX could be the last serious DSLR Canon ever designs and manufactures. I think I allowed as to the possibility of one more iteration, but that may be it.
Lately I've wondered if most of us "enthusiasts" are not kidding ourselves or just satisfying some fetish with our 1DX and 5D3 and expensive L lenses. For me, the 5D3 with good lenses satisfies my need for excellent image quality. But, since I rarely print anything, what's the real point? Most of the stuff I shoot is seen (if at all) only on computer monitors -- so all this IQ stuff I'm striving for may be really pointless to anyone except me. I have pictures from years ago done with a Sony 3.2 megapixel camera that look as good on the screen as a lot of stuff from today's 5D3. Oh, it's comforting to know I can print a 24 x 36 or 30 x 30 anytime I like, but if I never do it, why am I really using a 5D3?
So far, my reason has been speed. I need an accurate AF and shutter actuation to happen before that millisecond when a facial expression changes as I do candid portraits and public photography. Point & shoot cameras are far too slow. Phone cameras are hopeless in this regard (although I've read about one that will show you pictures taken a second or so before you punched the shutter button -- or whatever you do on those things to command picture taking!). Even my otherwise excellent T2i is not fast or accurate enough on a consistent basis. I could get that kind of speed from my old 1VX, but then I had to settle for a chemical process to be converted to digital -- costly, annoying and time-consuming.
My 5D3 also gives me a RAW file, and that has value to me. I don't see the phone cameras delivering a 10000 ISO picture I can take with the 5D3 that can be processed into a decent looking, perhaps even dramatic, image. I could be wrong about that, but I know I like being able to process my RAW files in so many different ways. Yesterday I talked with a woman who had been looking at pictures I took for a group having a film-showing in a coffee house one recent evening. She said she was amazed that such good pictures could be taken in such a dark place. I guess none of the phone camera folks got pictures of that event!
While there are probably not a lot of non-professional photographers who have my need for speed, I'll bet many of the nature photographers do. I recently talked with a man on the observation deck of a flyway who had a $10K lens hanging off the front of his 7D. He uses that to win photography contests where birds are involved. No phone camera ever invented is going to satisfy him.
In the professional world, there are obvious needs for high-end DSLR cameras. Wedding photographers are still surviving by selling printed items. World-class journalism organizations still need the 1DX for things like the Olympics and general sports coverage. That however, may be a declining market. When a major newspaper fires it's photographers and tells its reporters to get pictures with iPhones, something is rotten in you know where. I suspect if there is some future in the pro-level markets, it may be in medium-format equivalent resolution and printed image quality. That may account for rumors we hear about Canon's new MF future.
Again, it's all speculation rising no higher than gossip level as far as I'm concerned.
What I do know is that I have never in nearly 50 years of photography been more satisfied with the quality of photographic equipment I now have to get the pictures I want. I don't know if I would feel that way if I were a 30-year-old, but for me, I could die happy today!