At 42; you are just a Whipper Snaper. Today I took 3 rolls of B/W with a Kodack IIIc. The Future is Tomorrow.
Originally Posted by shimoda
Yes i think that there will come a paradigm shift, just like what has happened every time the "zeitgeist" turned to "post" like in postwar, postindustrial, postmodernism and so on. The "era" the western world now slowly aproaches is the postdigital era, when the digital revolution is done and has made its way.
I like to compare with wrist watches. Every one who is old enough to remeber the late seveties and early eighties will remember the hype around "digital watches". This was the electronic revolution. When it was at its peak you where seen as a complete idiot, a backstriving dinosaur if you wanted an ordinary watch with a dial instad of of one with digital numbers (i think my english lacks a bit here..), especially when talking about teenagers, they where made silly by their classmates if they had an analog watch. At first they where only watches, but then they started to play sounds, had alarm, got minicalculators and what not.. But then something happened, in this area the zetgeist turned to post. Look today, most wristwatches have dials and no one gets ridiquled based on what wristwatch they have.
Another thing to draw conclusions from is BW film. When the color film made its revolution exactly "everyone" was supposed to shot in color, and every "sane" person predicted the death of black and white film. Well, as we all know, BW film can still be bought today. When we entered post-color-film the BW film went out of its hype and became judged for what it is on its own terms, not compared to color.
What we actually are talking about is disruptive technology and the characteristics of new technology is that it is not better on what the old technology was good at, or else we would just talk about development of the old technology. The new technology is better at something new. This is the basic reason that old and big companies usually get in troubble under a disruptive shift. The new is good at something new, not the old. Seen in the mirrior descisions usually look very stupid because of this, but it can only be seen in the mirror. Those who do see it on beforehand will be looked upon as crazy uncomfortable radicals, usually stashed away in small development groups with very small budgets.
Hasselblad did see the future, they where very early into digital imaging. Already at the summer olympics in California 1984 they had developed a machine to send images digitally back home around half the globe and already at this time they started to think about having this digital technology in the camera. Their electronic department also became profitable vary quick. But year 2000 they shut down the electronic department and put everything in developing a new analog camera.. They where close to go bankrupt, of course. Today we wonder why, and the answer is easy. They listened on their customers and kept on navigating by the old trusty map. People buying Hasselblad cameras did not ask for cheap digital toys with bad image quality, back in 1999 digital camreras was basicly toys with crappy quality.
Another example is the old maker of mechanical calculators Facit (1909-1998), a global player rivaling IBM at its heydays. They to saw the electronics coming already in the sixties. Ten years later their electronics department even had started to make world class mainframe computers, again rivaling IBM. But when people started to buy minicalculators they listened on their old customers, they did not ask for minicalculators that not even had a paper roll and defenitely not mainframe computers large as houses needing a powerplant. So they kept on developing mechanic calculators.. Tens of thousand got laid off and factories became torned down some years thereafter.
Christian Sandström at the Chalmers university in Gothenburg have a lot on this subject of disruptive innovation, economics and industrial transformation on his website in form of very well made slides he uses in lectures. A lot about how Kodak, Hasselblad, The camera industry has handeled the digital shift and he draws conclusions from comparing with TV makers, Facit, Swiss watch makers and more. Some of you will be sitting for hours with his slides, and it is really educating and very interesting:
So what can we expect? No one knows, we have never before known what will come. But there are lessons to draw from history, and one thing we can see is that old technology usually do not die if it is things that private persons can upheld on a hobby basis. The old technology becomes hobby and sometimes art. With the industrial revolution came factories making clothes, but we can still today buy yarn and such. Facories making furniture has been around for 150 years, but there are still people making furniture with simple hand tools.. So what about SLR cameras? I think they will be around for a very long time to come, but we will not find them in every home just as there are makers of big clocks with pendulums even if we do not find them in every home. Or look at large format cameras, they are still made today 80 years after their time.
Last edited by steelneck; 06-09-2010 at 08:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I believe what I have read in the past, that as soon as film makers turn wholly to digital acquire, film production will become a cottage industry. You cannot source chemicals in smaller quantities, and then pay wages and overhead for production without passing on the cost to the consumer, and the consumer will probably not want to pay the bill. As a videographer my tape supplier even speaks of increasingly reduced sales due to digital media.
I'd be careful about using wristwatches as an example.
A very large percentage of people in their 20s and younger:
1) either do not wear a watch, or only wear one as a "fashion accessory"; and
2) cannot read time off an analogue timepiece's face (they require a digital display).
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I guess I'm in the minority, then. I'm 23 and can read analog clocks just fine. I dont have a wristwatch because I know I wont be able to keep up with it, so I use the clock on my cell phone (which is digital, obviously, but I'd be perfectly fine if there was a display of a "real" clock on the screen )
Originally Posted by MattKing
"I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"
-Louis Daguerre, 1839-
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You asked for a prophecy so here is mine
(1) Within ~10 years, no more SLRs will be produced.... neither film nor digital. The mirror mechanism will be completely bypassed, in favour of ultrahigh resolution electronic viewfinders (EVFs). The first step towards this - "live view" - is already common to many dslr bodies, and there are already a few quite good bodies that have only EVFs. The resolutions of these screens are decent but actually still quite poor compared to what will soon be possible.
(1b) In terms of body construct, the EVFs will eventually lead to bodies roughly half as thick as they are now, but until foveon-like sensors (with r/g/b stacked at one photosite) are more favourably priced, there will be no incentive to abandon retrofocus designs. The bodies will be thinner than current SLRs but not as thin as a rangefinder.
(2) Also, with the mirror constraints removed, the actual format and orientation will also change dramatically: no more rectangle in landscape orientation! The new format of choice will be square (or even circular!), requiring no body rotation and optimizing the use of the image circle and permitting fine crop adjustments.
Maybe they will ditch the chip alltogether. Instead of using a big expensive chip, there will be a thin strip that is moved at high speed across the image plane.
Like a scan back but at high speed.
Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.
Unfortunately in the past every format debate has still, at it's base, been rooted in still photography (or painting for that matter). The nature of motion-based video is a paradigm shift.
Originally Posted by Alex1994
Your average consumer doesn't give a squat and just wants to 300,000 frames of Johnny's first step.
It's not photography itself that is the issue - it's the fact that we, as a society, are continually removing all feeling from anything and everything - while at the same time increasingly having less tolerance for that which is not "new."
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Wait a minute. I thought the whole trend is shifting towards 3D cameras, TV sets, and whatever else that go with them. So, even in the digital world there's a potential which probably will depart from what we've been so accustomed to.
But for the 3D stuff, who wants to wear the special glass just to see the images in that quality?
So, whether it'll be a SLR with a mirror or without it, probably won't become a issue...
Very interesting opinions given here. My apologies for almost starting a d...l thread but I ponder about this a lot since I imagine seeing a slight "fed-up-ness" with digital (not only cameras) in western society.
These are of course slow trends and they will never be moving in the direction you wish for or think they will.
What I have read here confirms my suspision that the traditional dSLR is coming to an end. The ultra-high ISO might give it a few more years/upgrades.
What interests me is, what will mr Average, member of Spelunka Photo Club, be using in 5 years? I somehow don't think the video-route will appeal to all.