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Are we anachronistic?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by caimi, May 20, 2013.

  1. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    Another member posted his observations on camera usage at a recent event. By far, he reported, the most commonly displayed "camera" he saw being used that day was a cellular phone. I've noticed the same at public events. Relatively little traditional camera usage, mostly people taking pictures with their phones.

    Newspapers are taking their last breaths across the country. Major magazines have stopped printing in the past year. Both are (were) major sources of still photography.

    Instagram is wildly popular - 100 million members as of February, 2013. Everywhere you look on the internet you can see its fuzzy, odd colored presence.

    Are we a dying breed / Camera users? We just read about Olympus discontinuing lower end models. How far behind is its upper end?

    I don't have the answers. Just wondering what others in this class of photographic camera enthusiasts think.
     
  2. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I don't care. I like what I do.

    I'm old enough that the label "anachronistic" could be applied to me in general, lol.
     
  3. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    I don't know how old you are, John, but the sentiment could probably be applied to me too: old enough to not give a ----. Still, I wonder how close the camera is to taking its place alongside the manual typewriter in the local museum.
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'd like to see if the new Wifi capabilities of the Olympus cameras might help to open up this new world of social media to us anachronistic types who only shoot with real cameras. We've largely reclaimed the portability, but we're still held back by workflow.
     
  5. abepak

    abepak Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jan 21, 2013
    SFV, CA
    Hmm not really. I'm not sure if I would say there are less traditional camera users. It just might seem that way in comparison to cellphone camera users. Sure, the most common camera now is the cellphone at events, but that's because EVERYONE that has a smartphone now has access to a decent camera. If you went back 10 years, traditional cameras may have been more common, but I would bet the farm that there would also have been a whole lot less "photographers."

    Newspapers and magazines are a dying breed, but that has more to do with the rise of the internet. It's just moving from one medium to another. Internet press still needs still pictures for their article.

    Instagram is popular, but that 100 million number is misleading. In my experience, a lot of those numbers comes from phantom accounts that someone made to sell "followers." I would guess that the actual number of these phantom accounts would be staggering. Then there are those with accounts, but no pictures, there are those that uses it for advertisements, etc...

    Heck many of the top users that I see actually took pictures with their dslrs, pp-ed them, then placed them on instagram, which makes them a more traditional photographer than it would seem.

    Olympus killed off their low end cameras. I've predicted that for the past 3 years. Low end p&s are obsolete. Why would anyone buy those when their smartphone comes with a camera that rivals it? Others refused to believe, but I knew lol. It isn't a threat to anyone planning on buying/using a dslr though. Phone cameras have a long way to go for them to try and cram the sensor, performance, control, and quality of a dslr into a phone.
     
  6. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I'm also old enough to be "anachronistic" and be proud to be one.:biggrin:
     
  7. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Better than atavistic!
     
  8. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Well said.:2thumbs:
     
  9. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Those using "serious" cameras were always a small minority. I can remember being at an event and seeing maybe half a dozen people with SLRs and 40 or 50 people with Kodak Instamatics. The cell phone is simply the new Instamatic, but in many more hands. Those who care about photography, as opposed to just making pictures, will continue to choose better gear.
     
  10. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    This is precisely what I was going to write. I'm old enough to remember myself as a kid, plus hordes of other people, young and old, using instant film cameras. I got my first SLR at 15 (a Practica TL1000) but continued to use a Minolta AFSv ("talker" :tongue:) for most of the photographs I took, for years to come. The "instant camera" factor was always relevant and will continue to be so. This doesn't mean more complete and mature photographic tools will not continue to evolve.

    As to the shape they will take, this is another discussion altogether.
     
  11. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Are we anachronistic? No. We are Devo.
     
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Are we not men?

    Well, I know that a number of forum members are not, but as the New Yorker cartoon says, "on the internet nobody knows you are actually a dog". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Internet_dog.jpg

    --Ken
     
  13. Wifi-enabled instant uploading means no self editing. Filtering the good from the bad is now more than ever the role of the consumer rather than the producer.
     
  14. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    This is an interesting topic. I think that the ultimate point is this: anyone who doesn't want or need the sort of photographic capabilities that can be put into a sensibly sized smartphone doesn't need a separate camera. Most people who take photographs just want to take basic snapshots. They are not to be criticised for it: snapshots serve an important purpose; not everyone has the interest in photography that we do. It is a matter of taste and preference. For most purposes, that function can be discharged by a smartphone. For those people, provided that they have smartphones, a separate camera is no longer necessary. That is why the low-end compact camera sales are declining rapidly: the people who just want to take snapshots are buying smartphones and no longer buying separate cameras.

    Actually, one might say that the people who are satisfied with smartphone cameras are not limited to those who just want to take snapshots: one can take really quite decent photographs with smartphones now, although there are noticable limitations: there are likely to be many people for whom the sort of photograph that they want to take, although more than a basic snapshot, is nonetheless well within the capabilities of a smartphone, or where portability is more important than the difference in image quality or control between a smartphone and a separate camera. For all those people, they have no need to buy a separate camera any more. Technology has improved for those people: once, they would have needed two devices to do what a single device will now do. They are better off for having the lower cost, better portability and better flexibility of a smartphone camera. They will have a camera with them all of the time whether they thought specifically to bring one or not. Indeed, modern smartphone cameras allow much more creative control than conventional low-end compacts: there is more scope for creativity with them. People who might never have got into more serious photography might well tinker with a smartphone camera just because it is there and find a whole new hobby awaiting them.

    For those who need or want a camera that has to be bigger (because of the sensor and lens size to achieve the requisite degree of image quality and/or creative control and flexibility), smartphone integration makes no sense: such people will almost certainly need a telephone (which is increasingly likely to be a smartphone), which will need to be as small and light as any other such telephone. The cameras, even Micro Four Thirds cameras, will have to be far bulkier than is practical for a smartphone, so it makes more sense to have them separate.

    There is still plenty of scope for such photography, and will be for the foreseeable future: one cannot produce the high quality images that many enthusiasts and professional markets demand with a camera whose sensor and lens size can fit into a sensibly sized smartphone. That is not an anachronism: it is a different market sector. Even for those people, the sort who post in this forum, the smartphone camera is still a great advantage: professional and enthusiast photographers still have just as much need as anyone else to take snapshots or take photographs in cases when it is not practical to have a full-sized separate camera with one.

    Samsung have tried to cram a high-ish end compact camera into a smartphone with impractical results: it is a decidedly mediocre camera with an awkward interface, and who on earth would want to carry that thing with them wherever they go just to answer the telephone, read e-mail or tell them the way to the shops? The more interesting question is when full sized cameras will start running Android, not because they are trying to be smartphones, but because it is easier for manufacturers to use a base (open source) operating system that already exists than to design the camera's internal software from scratch every time. Samsung, it should be remembered, already has a range of mirrorless cameras, and has already (see above) produced an Android powered compact; how long before we see this in their mirrorless range, I wonder?
     
  15. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    I miss the old days when I would go on vacation and be one of only a few with a camera. It was much simpler to get a good shot. 50 years of shooting will do that to you. Also, at this time of my life I have no one left to impress. :)
     
  16. lovemyoly

    lovemyoly Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Oct 7, 2012
    OP, the cell phone crowd would most likely not be shooting but for the fact their phones are cams. The true photogs may use their phone, but they also go way beyond with specialized gear.