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25 new DSLRs


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#21 timoma

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 01:13 PM

Does the market really NEED 25 new DSLR designs?


Hmm,

Does the market really need 250 different mobile phone designs? I mean, look at them. You can make your calls, manage your calendar, read your emails and whatnot with all of them. There is really very little real differentiation between the models, right down to the very chipsets they run on.

It's a consumer goods business now guys. Differentiate or die. And this has little to do with real features or quality of images. Ok, yes, there's better sensors and software etc, but this alone does not dictate the frantic pace of releases we are seeing today.

What does is our insatiable desire for new toys.

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#22 photovan

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 01:52 PM

...250 different mobile phones...
... You can make your calls, manage your calendar, read your emails and whatnot with all of them....

...and take photos and shoot video...

hmmm... a 1ds IV on which I can make calls, manage my calender and read my emails...now you're talking.

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#23 drsteve

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 04:41 PM

Does the market really need 250 different mobile phone designs? I mean, look at them. You can make your calls, manage your calendar, read your emails and whatnot with all of them. There is really very little real differentiation between the models, right down to the very chipsets they run on.


They can slice, dice, surf the net, make coffee, and yet not one of them can make a decent phone call without interference or dropped calls! Go figure.

At the risk of hijacking this topic, my favorite was AT&T's ad slogan "Fewest dropped calls", which essentially says "Yeah, cell phones suck, but we suck less!"

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#24 timoma

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:40 AM

They can slice, dice, surf the net, make coffee, and yet not one of them can make a decent phone call without interference or dropped calls! Go figure.


But neither do the current DSLRs seem to be able to produce a decent image despite what else they may be capable of doing. At least judging by the frequency we need to upgrade the things. :)

I'll get my coat...

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#25 tjgreen

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:28 PM

Wow timo, way to drop a stinkbomb and run for the exit. :) Good point though, sort of.

Personally, I don't think there's much we should/could do, frankly, since it'll take care of itself. This is just the way a product lifecycle works. For those of you who know it, skip this, but it goes something like: invention, slow adoption, burst of innovation, widespread use, gradual hardening, stable, declining, dead (or reinvented as something else). We're very much in the innovation phase, so product cycles are short and meaty - lots of significant improvement, lots of market differentiation. As the curve flattens out and incremental improvement gets harder and more expensive, product cycles will lengthen and improvements will be less compelling (i.e., we'll quit buying a new camera every two years).

The housing folks would get killed if they stuck to the old model; they can't afford to invest that much on a system that's obsolete in 6 months, and neither can we. What I'd rather see is comparable innovation in housings. You're basically putting a fairly powerful computer inside a box; there's got to be a way to exploit that better. Maybe it could be like the ipod; when I plug my ipod into my car stereo's ipod jack, I can control it through the car radio, not the ipod - there's no reason to maintain that interface. When they come out with a new ipod, it'll probably work just fine with my car radio. Imagine a housing like that - connected to your camera via USB, no hole-through knobs/buttons since you wouldn't need to press anything on the camera, just a standard set of electronic buttons or touch-screen interface. Then, when a new model was released, you could buy a software update instead of a new housing. Or with this new generation of wireless-enabled cameras, what about a way to upload pics on the boat without opening the housing? No more changing memory cards, dripping water on your camera, and increasing the risk of a flood.

If someone actually does something like that I want a cut, of course.

Edited by tjgreen, 06 February 2008 - 12:35 PM.

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#26 onokai

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:50 PM

[quote name='Alex_Mustard' date='Jan 23 2008, 04:20 AM' post='155270']
While I love my Subal housings, I would be the first to admit that my Subal D2X does not have the attention to detail of a Subal F5 housing. It was also a damn sight more expensive. Of course it works and the ergonomics are perfectly acceptable, but I miss those good ol' days!

Alex

Alex those days are still here I still love my two subal F5 housings and use them both. Yet to see a comparable viewfinder as well. Mark

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#27 John Bantin

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:10 AM

I have more than 500,000 underwater pictures in my library. Some were taken more than twenty years ago (with what is today VERY obsolete equipment).
When I come to look for a picture, it's the content that matters. No-one rejects a picture because of what it was shot with. If my Nikonos RS had not flooded and I could get film processed easily, I bet I'd still be using it.

We live in a consumer society. My house has some new furniture that has already lost most of its value; some older furniture that is good for firewood; and some very old furniture that has become very valuable indeed.
I have two cars in my drive. One is 12 years old and one is almost new. Both are equally good for doing journeys in! The older car has so little residual value, it was not worth selling.

I have a fantastic tool kit. What a pity I don't have the skills for good quality joinery!

If you want good photographs - get a good photographer!

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#28 Paul Kay

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:51 AM

Leica have just announced this:

"Leica M8. With the introduction of a perpetual upgrade program, every LEICA M8 is a high-quality digital camera, in which today’s and tomorrow’s users will always be able to incorporate the latest refinements and developments in handling ease and technology."

The idea being that current cameras will be upgradable and modifiable to incorporate later advances in the same body - and they apparently might even include sensor/format changes (well as usual this is sketchy but not ruled out). OK, its expensive but I have to say that familiarity helps with ergonomics and whilst ergonomics might always be improvable I'd be more than satisfied if Canon had gone down the same route and retained the 1D body shape and simply upgraded the innards - even offering this as a service.

So to answer your question Alex, no we don't need housings for loads of new cameras what we need is a reality check by more camera manufacturers who need to realise that constant modifications might be a marketing tool but may well be becoming a little more unattractive to consumers (my opinion anyway).

I'm intrigued that many wetpixelers are vociferous about taking care on reefs but are apparently satisfied to upgrade for nuances of capability without considering that old equipment eventually dies and joins the vast quantities of scrap which are an environmental issue themselves.
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#29 John Bantin

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:20 AM

I'm intrigued that many wetpixelers are vociferous about taking care on reefs but are apparently satisfied to upgrade for nuances of capability without considering that old equipment eventually dies and joins the vast quantities of scrap which are an environmental issue themselves.


Paul,
Are you saying my basement is an environmental issue?
JB

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#30 craig

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:36 AM

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#31 Paul Kay

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 08:38 AM

OK Craig I was just stirring it....... John's basement sounds a little iffy though.

My more serious point is that the continual new model scenario is simply not sustainable - I wonder if its worth starting a thread on who feels constrained (really constrained) by their current equipment. As far as I can see, a real move forward for underwater photographers with genuine visible improvements will only occur when ports are redesigned (non-concentric domes perhaps) or thinned (silicate glass?) or whatever - optics are now the constraining factor. I'm dubious that a new camera model will really do anything other than provide a nuance of difference
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#32 John Bantin

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 09:26 AM

OK Craig I was just stirring it....... John's basement sounds a little iffy though.

My more serious point is that the continual new model scenario is simply not sustainable - I wonder if its worth starting a thread on who feels constrained (really constrained) by their current equipment. As far as I can see, a real move forward for underwater photographers with genuine visible improvements will only occur when ports are redesigned (non-concentric domes perhaps) or thinned (silicate glass?) or whatever - optics are now the constraining factor. I'm dubious that a new camera model will really do anything other than provide a nuance of difference



But the manufactures (of everything) are in the business of selling kit. They encourage us by introducing new models. If we stop buying and continue to use what we've got , there will be a recession. OOPS!

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#33 MikeVeitch

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:22 AM

O- I wonder if its worth starting a thread on who feels constrained (really constrained) by their current equipment.



That would be me..

I had to borrow someone's D80 to shoot a cover a while ago..

And i might or might not have gotten a recent sale for a large scale print, I say may because D70 file not so good when going to the size it was needed for...

I do take donations though if anyone is interested..

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#34 tjgreen

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:37 AM

John, you're making a dangerous amount of sense, gonna have to ask you to tone it down. It always comes down to the craftsman; there were guys working 400 years ago doing better joinery with hand tools than I do with my power tools (and I hate them for it).

For the record, my car is 10 years old, and has the one feature I really want - it's paid for. My D80 is only a year old, but since it's paid for too, I'm planning to keep shooting it until one of us dies (hopefully not me).
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#35 herbko

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:00 AM

My more serious point is that the continual new model scenario is simply not sustainable - I wonder if its worth starting a thread on who feels constrained (really constrained) by their current equipment. As far as I can see, a real move forward for underwater photographers with genuine visible improvements will only occur when ports are redesigned (non-concentric domes perhaps) or thinned (silicate glass?) or whatever - optics are now the constraining factor. I'm dubious that a new camera model will really do anything other than provide a nuance of difference


The reality is that underwater is a very small fraction of the DSLR market. The rest of the camera buying public wants the latest and greatest technology when they shop for a camera and don't care much about minor differences in body shape and control locations. The camera makers will probably continue to replace their products with new models every couple of years driven by competition if nothing else.

The problem this creates for underwater photography is that a 2 year product cycle leaves no time to refine housing designs. Since I'm new at this and never owned a refined film housing, I don't know what I've been missing, but I can't imagine this is a big impediment to photography.

We can choose to get off the upgrade cycle any time. I'm with Steve. I'm don't plan to replace my 3 years old Canon 5D in the foreseeable future.
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#36 craig

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:13 PM

Herb said it. The market forces that drive dSLR models have nothing to do with underwater use. Underwater manufacturers have to do the best they can with existing market conditions, and those who do will enjoy the best success. The current trend in dSLR development IS sustainable for a while even if it doesn't benefit us as underwater photographers. It would be great if camera manufacturers valued the same things we did but so far they don't.

We don't have to be slaves to each and every model upgrade but housing manufacturers kind of have to play along. I don't feel the steady flood of new models is ultimately a negative for them. It's an opportunity, not a curse. Obviously, the ones with the tools to respond quickly are in the best position while the ones with lengthy development cycles may be forced to adapt or lose out.

Sadly, there are some good manufacturers that will probably not get the support they merit, whether it's Sony or Leica or Hassy or whoever, but at least we have a choice of compelling manufacturers, lens lines, and housing systems that are outstanding.
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#37 tjgreen

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:25 PM

Sadly, there are some good manufacturers that will probably not get the support they merit, whether it's Sony or Leica or Hassy or whoever


Craig, did you just implicitly recommend MF underwater? :wacko:
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#38 craig

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:48 PM

Haha, I'd be perfectly happy to see great support for all manufacturers.
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#39 John Bantin

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:43 AM

I am a little concerned that Alex confesses to loving a chunk of metal (Subal). I would say I love my wife and my children. Alex - you gotta get out more!

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#40 tdpriest

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 07:05 AM

There's always something else...

... I'm not convinced by the full-frame sensor (heresy), but I am sure that I want better low-light capability than my D200 offers. I'd go for a D300, but only if my housing can be tweaked: I AM a consulting-type doctor, but I can't afford a new housing every year.

If camera design is going to be incremental, with fewer major revisions, then could the housing manufacturers build in some flexibility, with user-changable components that could adapt to two or three similar cameras? It's pretty clear looking at the housings that the differences between one model and another are often pretty small.

I am appalled that Anthis Nexus have moved away from the Master port design for the D300 housing. I certainly won't be upgrading as I have a substantial investment in the old port design.

Perhaps I should have bankrupted myself with a D2X and given up, but then I'd want the D3X for it's low-light performance...

... maybe housings and cameras should be passed down the food chain, like classic cars: Alex or John can have the new model for a year, then it passes to a keen amateur, then to a newbie, and so on...

Tim

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