« on: March 09, 2014, 12:30:57 AM »
Like Chuck Alaimo has already mentioned, people use it in auto mode ... the auto mode does a great job in good light or subjects that aren't moving too much, so sometimes they get good images in good light (e.g. outdoor day time ... even then the image requires a computer for resizing and uploading to their facebook/twitter accounts) ... but since the average person generally uses the 18-55 kit lens to take photos of birthdays, parties and other such dimly lit indoor areas or his/her kids running around etc (i.e. fast moving subjects), they soon realize that the photos are coming out all blurry - resulting in missing the "decisive/interesting moment" ... but they see they smartphone has a "Ultra Burst Camera" app that captures 40 frames per second and it only costs a measly few dollars in a device (smartphone) that they are already carrying everywhere they go and it captures the "decisive/interesting" moment and it isn't blurry ... also the average person can instantly upload to their facebook, twitter etc ... he/she would never print an image, so why lug around a hefty DSLR!In the last 7 years, I've seen 104 people in my office (out of the 148 total staff) who bought a DSLR ... but only 9 of them are actually doing something with their DSLRs. I have an American colleague who bought my entire kit (DSLR, lenses, tripod, flash etc for $2500) in 2009, but he hardly ever uses any of that gear (I think the last he used was over 2 years ago). I think that does reflect the vast majority of DSLR customers in the past 5 years or so ... a lot of them bought DSLRs thinking that it will somehow magically transform their images, because they see other photographers take great images with DSLRs. But they do not understand the basics of photography (i.e. f/stops, aperture, ISO etc) or have the interest in post processing ... most of them use the auto mode and get frustrated that the flash keeps popping up at the most inappropriate times or their photos, from their very expensive DSLR/lens, don't look any better than their smartphone and not many are willing to carry the weight/bulk that comes with DSLRs ... eventually they give up, some sell it off, other let it collect dust ... the DSLR sales "peak" we are referring to accounts for a vast majority of people who have bought them and pretty much never used them after the first few weeks or months ... basically it was the beginners who were caught up in the hype. Lets face it, DSLR photography is an expensive hobby and the upgrades are never ending ... not everyone is willing to keep on upgrading like some of GAS sufferers.
So, now, it the more serious hobbyists / professionals who are buying/upgrading DSLRs and not the vast majority of beginners (who used to buy till a couple of years ago).
Just the day before yesterday, I gave a ride to an English lady during a bird watching trip (organized by a famous birder), and she bought her Nikon D300 + 18-200 lens 5 years ago ... she told me that she shot less than 1000 photos with it, she says that most of her images don't look any better then her iPhone 4S. So she just uses her D300+18-200 once in a great while, when she thinks she might need some reach. So why should people like her, be upgrading to an expensive DSLR/lens ... so they basically stopped buying/upgrading them ... I think that is the biggest factor in the loss of sales, the economic slow down etc are just secondary factors.
I have to wonder what people are doing to mess up a shot with an SLR, when I upgraded from a compact I was satisfied with the results even after forgetting to focus with the first few images. I was shooting from a tripod though, maybe it's just flat out unrealistic to compare the experiences of a fiddly nerd type with the average person.
If you're just looking at images on a low resolution screen and not pixel peeping a decent cellphone camera might seem fairly competitive, at least in good lighting. Chances are most people compare quality on instagram (shudders).
Once we have 4K screens on everything... and upgrade instagram, that should help (make cellphone cameras look bad).