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Interceptor121

Digital Camera Stagnation Good or Bad?

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This discussion seems to be headed in another direction, which is a shame. The camera market and its "stagnation" is not related directly to underwater photography. We will only experience the effects of any "stagnation." These possible effects are (in my opinion) what this discussion started off about. 

However, I will bite a bit!

"Top end" underwater photography has always been a pastime for "older" people because they have the disposable income to afford the gear and associated travel. SLR or mirrorless camera users that take their cameras underwater are at the top of a pyramid, (in terms of numbers) and so will always be relatively few compared to those at the base of the pyramid.

PADI's median age for certification (since 2011) is between 30-39 years. So the majority of those entering the activity are not "young." Again this reflects the economic factors above. 

The simple fact is that there are now far more people shooting underwater now than there ever have been. When I first took pictures underwater in South Africa in the 80's, there were only 5 or 6 people in the whole country that were taking pictures underwater. Now there are thousands.

I am not at all concerned how people create their imagery, or what devices they use to do so. In terms of the pyramid model above, there is every likelihood that a proportion of these people will continue to capture underwater images and to seek to create iconic, artistic imagery and hence find that their entry level devices are limiting. These individuals will  invest in more upscale technology in order to do so. If there are more people on the base of the pyramid, this will be reflected at its apex too. 

Lastly, this is an interesting discussion in which people have expressed agreement and disagreement with a variety of points of view. There is nothing personal in it. If you wish to add a valid point, feel free to do so, but don't personalize any disagreements.

 

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Posted (edited)

This has been an interesting discussion to watch and has taken several turns. Being a member of the aging dive population certified in 1963 and taking up U/W photography in 1967 like Adam and others I have had an opportunity see dramatic shifts in the dive industry. When I moved to Florida fifty years ago I was frequently the only diver on a dive boat with a camera. I fact spearguns outnumbered cameras by about ten to one and hunting/collecting were the common interests.

 

When it comes to the age demographics of the diving industry I see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Attracting young divers has a lot more to do with mentoring than it does with economics. Every year at DEMA and I have attended a lot of years, PADI announces that they certified over a million new divers world wide during the year but they never talk about the million that dropped out of diving during the same year. What has stagnated is the ability of dive operators, dive clubs, dive certification agencies and more to keep young people involved in diving. I see plenty of young divers doing certification training at Blue Heron Bridge and I see plenty of them using GoPro’s and cellphones to capture images. The problem is that without mentoring they move on to snow boarding, hang gliding, skydiving and many other equally expensive sports. What we should be concerned with is keeping young diver’s involved in diving. To illustrate the dive industries desperate attempts to attract young people into the sport you need only look at the attached photos. At DEAM 2007 the dive industry launched sponsorship for the SCUBA Race Car. The industry spent over a million on sponsorship in an attempt to get young people who were watching stocker car racing to make the crossover too SCUBA. In hindsight the industry may still be questioning whether this was money well spent.           

 

Back to the original topic of the camera industry being in “stagnation” again I see the glass half full. I think it would be more correct to say that the industry is having growing pains just as it did when it shifted from film to digital. During that shift we witnessed winners and losers. In the U/W photo realm we lost the Nikonos line of cameras arguably the gold standard for U/W cameras to digital SRL’s. I kept my Nikonos RS and lenses for over fifteen years and reluctantly entered the digital world with an Olympus E-1 that I used most for crime scene photography in my former life. I did not begin using digital underwater until Olympus E-300/330. Adam may appreciate that among the first six lenses dropped for this 4/3 system was an 8mm fisheye, 50mm F/2 macro (still one of the best macros made) and the 7-14mm zoom.

 

With the switch to mirrorless cameras we see a move away from 20th century tech and a move toward 21st century tech. The fact is that DSLR’s will suffer the same fate as film cameras, it is only a matter of time. So the question  is which companies will best adapt and who will be left behind.

 

If you are starting to build a new system will it make more sense to buy into 21st century mirrorless glass and expect the more recent entries into mirrorless to equal or exceed their DSLR models going forward. The flip side is to invest in the excellent line of DSLR’s now available and see what the future brings.

 

Regarding glass will you want to carryover DSLR glass to a mirrorless system going forward. This did not workout as advertised when moving from film to digital and it is safe to say it won’t be the best answer when moving to mirrorless.

 

Olympus riding off into the sunset has brought on some panic and gloom but I see it as an opportunity for others to succeed. The M43 market remains strong with many new camera lines like Z-cam embracing the lens line. Olympus has many brilliant M43 Pro lenses with more to come including the 150-400mm F/4.5 Pro and 8-25mm F/4 Pro.

 

The idea that new product are revamped 2016/2017 vintage is just wrong. The Sony A7R IV is nothing like the A7R II, Nikon and Canon have announce new high end cameras like the EOS R5, Canon    EOS-1D X Mark III (an Olympics offering as Alex suggested)  Nikon D780, Sony is about to announce a completely new A7S II replacement, Z Cam E2 and more. All of these cameras have or will have housings for U/W use. Many new lenses are coming as well including  several which are applicable to U/W photography.

 

Again an excellent thread, I can buy into the premise that digital sales are declining but I can’t buy into the premise that the camera industry is stagnating.

 

I also think that the U/W photo market is excelling with a verity of new products. I have never seen so many new strobes, lenses including water contact optics, housing options and more as I have seen in the last three years.

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Edited by Phil Rudin

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Growing pain I think is not a good description of the numbers from CIPA

https://www.statista.com/chart/5782/digital-camera-shipments/

A decline of 87% from 2010 clearly there is a consequence of mobile phones improvements. My wife used to have a camera since the iphone 11 she only takes it for a special occasion most times she does the whole thing on her phone

When things go well and an industry segment is growing is easier for everyone. In a shrinking market it is harder to compete as overall numbers are reducing so even keeping market share means reducing revenues. This calls for a different approach to product development. I am looking at Sony sensor roadmap when I started this thread and specifically looking at the slow down of product release from a few brands with new models having the same sensor of 2017 (ZCAM, BMD, the new Olympus have the same identical sensor of the 2017 releases from Panasonic Olympus, Nikon last releases are the same sensors repackaged in mirrorless, or some other brands not releasing anything at all or looking at different ways to add value (see Panasonic G100 attempt)

As the segment approaches maturity and overall number of sales shrinks there will be people going out of business and market consolidation it happens in any industry segment and will happen here too. My original post was not about the stagnation being a bad thing but being a good thing as it stops the rush for the newest model and focusses people on learning how to use a camera. Of course if your business model is built around someone buying a new housing and keeping the new well you have a problem but I have sold all housings I do not use as second. I never kept two housing if I don't use them

I also think that the market might become a replacement market like appliances where people change only because of wear not because of features. The appliance market has undergone massive consolidation in the last 10 years and is larger than cameras but perhaps the same trend apply there too. 

Meanwhile we are at 4th of July and no hot models are being released. Sony now is finally decided to come out with their A7S instalment but this is around 2 years old news! It could well be that Covid-19 makes companies think twice before venturing out with new product who knows. All seems to come together now!

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@Phil Rudin & @adamhanlon I think you are both on to something. Let me add the following - my daughter (18 yrs old) has a set of friends that are all certified to dive (and a majority of them shoot somewhat regularly u/w - with the express purpose of telling the stories of their trips & dives). The challenge is that in addition to diving, many of them enjoy hiking, surfing, kite boarding, etc. and they seem to equally enjoy capturing images from those activities. Many of the images are simple "action shots" but there is constant conversation about how to capture the essence of the activity, and how to process that one unique image to best show some unique aspect (or the environment) that might get 10k likes or shares. 

I think there are significantly more people that will try to capture their experiences underwater - they just may not put up with all the idiosyncrasies that we have - which puts the onus on the manufacturers to innovate.

Both my kids shoot with housed systems in (fairly large) Nauticam housings. I can almost guarantee that neither of them will upgrade beyond the systems they have (in this form factor) without significant innovation being offered. They both want to continue to capture images underwater, but will be looking for a better form-factor and capabilities in the future.
 

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On 7/5/2020 at 6:22 AM, oneyellowtang said:

@Phil Rudin & @adamhanlon I think you are both on to something. Let me add the following - my daughter (18 yrs old) has a set of friends that are all certified to dive (and a majority of them shoot somewhat regularly u/w - with the express purpose of telling the stories of their trips & dives). The challenge is that in addition to diving, many of them enjoy hiking, surfing, kite boarding, etc. and they seem to equally enjoy capturing images from those activities. Many of the images are simple "action shots" but there is constant conversation about how to capture the essence of the activity, and how to process that one unique image to best show some unique aspect (or the environment) that might get 10k likes or shares. 

I think there are significantly more people that will try to capture their experiences underwater - they just may not put up with all the idiosyncrasies that we have - which puts the onus on the manufacturers to innovate.

Both my kids shoot with housed systems in (fairly large) Nauticam housings. I can almost guarantee that neither of them will upgrade beyond the systems they have (in this form factor) without significant innovation being offered. They both want to continue to capture images underwater, but will be looking for a better form-factor and capabilities in the future.
 

The behaviour of evaluating pictures to get more likes is typical of the new generations.

While before you had some artistic intent so you tried to do something you liked first and eventually sought some feedback to improve it now people just look at marketing themselves to create something that will make them popular irrespective of what they really like. 

In that regards this is aligned to what Adam was saying some people start than loose the wow factor and move on to something else. Those kind of user will always move to something new and rarely stick to something because all they are looking is a wow surprise factor. Having a fast workflow to get into this high consumption mode is likely to be more important than a traditional shoot lots of images wait for the end of the trip then load them into your computer and spend days processing to make them a print or something you want to send to a competition.

I don't believe the current camera manufacturers map well this type of consumer that is interested in producing wow factor out of a 1.5 Megapixel image on instagram and producing high volumes of images. This is the kind of reactivity a device with camera, processing and connectivity can give you so naturally falls into the phone space at present

Companies struggle to adapt to a completely different mindset so answers will have to come from somewhere else

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Posted (edited)

@Interceptor121 I think you might be misjudging the motivation of some of these new photographers...

My daughter made a little more than $6k (USD) online by documenting her trip to dive Komodo last summer. In my previous post I used the number "10k" for a very specific purpose - at that level of viewing/sharing commercial success starts to turn significant. Our daughter only dabbles in this - she has one friend who documents 3-4 trips a year (all adventure travel) and has made more than $35k through advertising and product representation.

I think you are colored by the type of shooting you've done in the past. I'm similarly biased, yet by watching how this next generation approaches the space it hints at a very different future. If nothing else, they are finding ways to offset costs so they can explore and experience more (our daughter is paying for her own DM training &  international travel (next summer) because she wants the experience). I think this will lead to different types of innovation focused on image capture and processing, well beyond what we see with phones today.

Edited by oneyellowtang

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On 7/7/2020 at 4:54 AM, oneyellowtang said:

@Interceptor121 I think you might be misjudging the motivation of some of these new photographers...

My daughter made a little more than $6k (USD) online by documenting her trip to dive Komodo last summer. In my previous post I used the number "10k" for a very specific purpose - at that level of viewing/sharing commercial success starts to turn significant. Our daughter only dabbles in this - she has one friend who documents 3-4 trips a year (all adventure travel) and has made more than $35k through advertising and product representation.

I think you are colored by the type of shooting you've done in the past. I'm similarly biased, yet by watching how this next generation approaches the space it hints at a very different future. If nothing else, they are finding ways to offset costs so they can explore and experience more (our daughter is paying for her own DM training &  international travel (next summer) because she wants the experience). I think this will lead to different types of innovation focused on image capture and processing, well beyond what we see with phones today.

I am not saying this is bad or good. I am just saying that a typical camera manufacturer is not equipped to provide facilities on camera to make it a small processing station. Sony who should have a clue about this does a pretty average job, Panasonic a bit better apps but still pretty bad. The online documentation of the trip etc is typically video not photos. I would not see how a bunch of photographs without narrative can be effective for that purpose. With the level of bandwidth available now video is much more effective for promotions than writing a blog and putting pictures. This is because the average person can't be bothered reading anything even content of a certain depth and prefers to play a video. GoPro here with extensive editing requirement does not help much.

On this note about video phones have an edge and next coming are drones and smaller crop cameras like micro four thirds if you wanted a professional look (assuming anybody cares) not your typical DSLR or full frame rig with huge lenses. All those trends are not helping a traditional camera supplier like Nikon, Canon, Olympus as we have seen and probably the reason Panasonic has yet to exit MFT seeing the sales figures of the GH5 camera that is typically your next step after mobile phone from what I can see.

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Some interesting thoughts and ideas especially the changing uses and styles for capturing images by people who have not necessarily grown up with SLRs.

Reading one of Thom Hogan's posts a while back (a Nikon guru), he made what I thought an interesting observations that one of the major failings of the main camera manufacturers was their inability to make it easy for an SLR to capture, transmit and share images in the way that a smartphone allows. 

As Oneyellowtang outlines above, this is a major use for recent generations: take a pic and share it instantly. But think how difficult that is with an SLR. When it comes to rapid communications, unless you invest a fortune in professional level add-ons, SLRs are cumbersome. I've given up umpteen times on the Nikon bluetooth/WiFi link. It's slow, quirky and seldom worth the effort. An iPhone: aim, click, send... and your social circle has the image. Why have companies like Canon and Nikon never cracked that?

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16 minutes ago, TimG said:

Why have companies like Canon and Nikon never cracked that?

It is my point because they are camera companies that are camera and image not consumer centric.

Same issue of Olympus keep going on a certain path without trying to exploit the video potential of MFT while Panasonic was getting the whole public of DSLR and camcorders shooters interested in portable video.

Camera will become specific devices for people that need a more creative support

manufacturers keep making the same mistakes and pushing consumers to full frame because they make money with that not realising that the majority of people can't be bothered about ultimate image quality but need to share quickly ultimately this approach cannibalises their own cropped offering but does not win a single consumer that comes from mobile phone market

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27 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

It is my point because they are camera companies that are camera and image not consumer centric.

 

They probably thought The Beatles would never catch on either.

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3 hours ago, TimG said:

They probably thought The Beatles would never catch on either.

Lol

I think camera manufacturers are set in their ways. I ran a survey in the largest GH5 facebook groups majority come from another MFT or DSLR or larger mirrorless. The response of those loosing market share is to say ours is better we will improve it further instead of understanding what is that needs to be provided that is not already there and people want.

Is a case I give you what I have not what you want. But is normal companies are traditionally looking at competitors as someone doing exactly the same thing until an alternative product or service comes that makes their product obsolete and sends them out of business

Lens manufacturers instead understand this zeiss and leica already cooperate with the likes of Sony and Huawei. You will always need a lens of some description

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I can understand the concern of many regarding the CIPA sales figures but the topic I thought was  digital camera stagnation. Cellphones and action cameras are digital cameras and I would suggest that you goggle sale figures for both from 2010 to present.  You can also go to the same site statista.com listed by 121 and you will find sales are robust to say the least. The same is true for U/W equipment to support phones/action cams. We are seeing a shift in the entire camera market described by me as growing pains. To exclude tphones and action cams from the discussion seems short sighted. 

I would guess that if you want to talk about underwater photo/video world wide phones and action cams have the lions share of the market. To assume that these cameras are all being used by amatures for FB, Insta and youtube would be a bit short sighted also. Action cams like GoPro's are being used extensively by professional film makers for the likes of BBC and Nat Geo to name just two. A good deal of the footage for programs like Shark Week is shot with action cams. 

I know dozens of top notch photographers who have never used a film camera in their lives and I am sure 1000's of cell phone and action cam shooters have never used a DSLR. These facts do not prevent them from being artistic and talented photographers both above and underwater. The cream is always going to rise to the top regardless of the equipment they use.   

If you think camera manufactures are set in their ways think about the underwater equipment industry prior to Nauticam. In ten years Nauticam has reached the top and it has forced other manufactures to step-up their game or be left behind. Sony has pretty much done the same thing in the camera/mirrorless camera industry. One of the reasons Sony has succeeded so quickly is that they have spent more time listening to their base both Pro and amateur than other manufactures (with the exception of menus LOL). 

Last regarding Olympus, I think most would have expected to see Pentax and Hasselblad exit first. So as a guy who is still seeing the glass half full remember that Sony started out by buying up the departed Minolta turning it into a contender. Perhaps the same may happen with Olympus.

I continue to have a positive outlook for U/W photography,  Wetpixel and uwpmag.com (full disclosure I am Senior Reviewer at uwp). Without a stable market we won't be around because our advertisers won't be around.

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I can understand the concern of many regarding the CIPA sales figures but the topic I thought was  digital camera stagnation. Cellphones and action cameras are digital cameras and I would suggest that you goggle sale figures for both from 2010 to present.  You can also go to the same site statista.com listed by 121 and you will find sales are robust to say the least. The same is true for U/W equipment to support phones/action cams. We are seeing a shift in the entire camera market described by me as growing pains. To exclude tphones and action cams from the discussion seems short sighted. 
I would guess that if you want to talk about underwater photo/video world wide phones and action cams have the lions share of the market. To assume that these cameras are all being used by amatures for FB, Insta and youtube would be a bit short sighted also. Action cams like GoPro's are being used extensively by professional film makers for the likes of BBC and Nat Geo to name just two. A good deal of the footage for programs like Shark Week is shot with action cams. 
I know dozens of top notch photographers who have never used a film camera in their lives and I am sure 1000's of cell phone and action cam shooters have never used a DSLR. These facts do not prevent them from being artistic and talented photographers both above and underwater. The cream is always going to rise to the top regardless of the equipment they use.   
If you think camera manufactures are set in their ways think about the underwater equipment industry prior to Nauticam. In ten years Nauticam has reached the top and it has forced other manufactures to step-up their game or be left behind. Sony has pretty much done the same thing in the camera/mirrorless camera industry. One of the reasons Sony has succeeded so quickly is that they have spent more time listening to their base both Pro and amateur than other manufactures (with the exception of menus LOL). 
Last regarding Olympus, I think most would have expected to see Pentax and Hasselblad exit first. So as a guy who is still seeing the glass half full remember that Sony started out by buying up the departed Minolta turning it into a contender. Perhaps the same may happen with Olympus.
I continue to have a positive outlook for U/W photography,  Wetpixel and uwpmag.com (full disclosure I am Senior Reviewer at uwp). Without a stable market we won't be around because our advertisers won't be around.

I guess the original intention of the post got sidetracked by the usual stuff
Going back to what you say it may be true that national geographic is using a gopro for shark, sure you can put it on a stick and if it gets crushed who cares but viceversa is not true a lot of people that use a phone or a gopro stay there
This is consistent across the number of surveys done
Most people here and the readers of uwpmag dont come for gopro and phones
Technology in the camera department is moving slow phones are moving fast the two things do not cross path. Phones have app stores you can write tools so they have much more to offer than a closed system camera
Market consolidation will happen and the market becomes more commodity I see those as consequences that cannot be avoided, will it trickle to underwater photography? Not sure is such a small segment


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31 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:


I guess the original intention of the post got sidetracked by the usual stuff

It's not necessarily a bad thing

1 hour ago, Phil Rudin said:

I can understand the concern of many regarding the CIPA sales figures but the topic I thought was  digital camera stagnation. Cellphones and action cameras are digital cameras and I would suggest that you goggle sale figures for both from 2010 to present.  You can also go to the same site statista.com listed by 121 and you will find sales are robust to say the least. The same is true for U/W equipment to support phones/action cams. We are seeing a shift in the entire camera market described by me as growing pains. To exclude tphones and action cams from the discussion seems short sighted. 

I would guess that if you want to talk about underwater photo/video world wide phones and action cams have the lions share of the market. To assume that these cameras are all being used by amatures for FB, Insta and youtube would be a bit short sighted also. Action cams like GoPro's are being used extensively by professional film makers for the likes of BBC and Nat Geo to name just two. A good deal of the footage for programs like Shark Week is shot with action cams. 

I know dozens of top notch photographers who have never used a film camera in their lives and I am sure 1000's of cell phone and action cam shooters have never used a DSLR. These facts do not prevent them from being artistic and talented photographers both above and underwater. The cream is always going to rise to the top regardless of the equipment they use.   

I see your point but If it was for action cams or smartphones, WetPixel and uwpmag would have closed down by now.

Quote

 

If you think camera manufactures are set in their ways think about the underwater equipment industry prior to Nauticam. In ten years Nauticam has reached the top and it has forced other manufactures to step-up their game or be left behind. Sony has pretty much done the same thing in the camera/mirrorless camera industry. One of the reasons Sony has succeeded so quickly is that they have spent more time listening to their base both Pro and amateur than other manufactures (with the exception of menus LOL). 

Last regarding Olympus, I think most would have expected to see Pentax and Hasselblad exit first. So as a guy who is still seeing the glass half full remember that Sony started out by buying up the departed Minolta turning it into a contender. Perhaps the same may happen with Olympus.

I continue to have a positive outlook for U/W photography,  Wetpixel and uwpmag.com (full disclosure I am Senior Reviewer at uwp). Without a stable market we won't be around because our advertisers won't be around.

 

I agree with you. Nobody knows. Perhaps a big change like this will force manufacturers to move from their positions and progress will take unexpected paths.  

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Posted (edited)

The debate has taken unexpected turns.

Instead of continuing to mourn Olympus or betting on who will be next (Nikon?), comments on children and young generations reminded me of two essays by Italian authors: Massimo Mantellini and Paolo Magrassi. which perfectly center the side theme slightly touched by @oneyellowtang and @Interceptor121

 "We live in the "good-enough society", the age of good enough: we don't need the optimal quality of the CD, MP3 is enough;  phone calls with perfect audio? Skype VOIP is more than enough".

The Internet has radically changed our approach with depth, information, social relations, markets and culture. We listen to music in new digital formats, we photograph the world through the small lens of our mobile phones. We no longer read newspapers, preferring random information that bounces off the social profiles of our "friends". But we embraced Ikea kitchens and Banksy's graffiti, new low-resolution artifacts that fill our lives today. Often through such options we can glimpse the signs of a new intelligence, other times they tell the story of our usual superficiality. In low-resolution technology real time overwhelms the archive. The Internet, the place of memory, is transformed into the space where everything will be quickly forgotten.

Let's take music: while still discussing whether vinyl or CD is better, we switched to mp3 and then to streaming. It all happened quickly while we were discussing which are the best gold cables for our high fidelity systems dusty in the living room. Then I go into my son's room and his tech equipment is very simple: a laptop connected to the internet, Youtube and two $10 plastic speakers. If I ask him "how does it sound?" the answer is "great". It sounds great.

We can do the exact same thing for photography.
The current transformation is similar to the revolution introduced by Polaroid in the era of film.  The digital image has changed skin and is now dominated by the speed of the transition to new media other than paper: social networks where our friends will be ready to welcome them and comment on them. The low resolution at least in our photos is not a simple process of degradation for practical purposes but a complex process that expands in several directions. 
A significant number of photos we see on the net are low-resolution but highly processed images. 
The software that modifies them before they are published is equipped with predefined filters and options that allow in a few gestures even on the screen of a mobile phone to make the image we have just taken more interesting, artistic or captivating. Such modifications are improvements and adulterations: They make the photos more similar to us and to the idea that we want to suggest us to others, but they intentionally betray the principle of truth. above all, they make the photos that we observe on the net all substantially similar. It's no coincidence that there are now groups of people on the internet who would like to eliminate the use of filters and who add the proud caption "nofilter" as proof of the authenticity of the look that technology has now compromised and deceived everywhere. 

Within the vastness of the digital offer, everything seemed at hand. Just then we decided to slow down, making an unexpected choice: the reduction of our expectations. Understanding this choice means understanding the contemporary.

Low-resolution

 

Edited by Davide DB
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7 hours ago, Davide DB said:

The debate has taken unexpected turns.

Instead of continuing to mourn Olympus or betting on who will be next (Nikon?), comments on children and young generations reminded me of two essays by Italian authors: Massimo Mantellini and Paolo Magrassi. which perfectly center the side theme slightly touched by @oneyellowtang and @Interceptor121

 "We live in the "good-enough society", the age of good enough: we don't need the optimal quality of the CD, MP3 is enough;  phone calls with perfect audio? Skype VOIP is more than enough".

The Internet has radically changed our approach with depth, information, social relations, markets and culture. We listen to music in new digital formats, we photograph the world through the small lens of our mobile phones. We no longer read newspapers, preferring random information that bounces off the social profiles of our "friends". But we embraced Ikea kitchens and Banksy's graffiti, new low-resolution artifacts that fill our lives today. Often through such options we can glimpse the signs of a new intelligence, other times they tell the story of our usual superficiality. In low-resolution technology real time overwhelms the archive. The Internet, the place of memory, is transformed into the space where everything will be quickly forgotten.

Let's take music: while still discussing whether vinyl or CD is better, we switched to mp3 and then to streaming. It all happened quickly while we were discussing which are the best gold cables for our high fidelity systems dusty in the living room. Then I go into my son's room and his tech equipment is very simple: a laptop connected to the internet, Youtube and two $10 plastic speakers. If I ask him "how does it sound?" the answer is "great". It sounds great.

We can do the exact same thing for photography.
The current transformation is similar to the revolution introduced by Polaroid in the era of film.  The digital image has changed skin and is now dominated by the speed of the transition to new media other than paper: social networks where our friends will be ready to welcome them and comment on them. The low resolution at least in our photos is not a simple process of degradation for practical purposes but a complex process that expands in several directions. 
A significant number of photos we see on the net are low-resolution but highly processed images. 
The software that modifies them before they are published is equipped with predefined filters and options that allow in a few gestures even on the screen of a mobile phone to make the image we have just taken more interesting, artistic or captivating. Such modifications are improvements and adulterations: They make the photos more similar to us and to the idea that we want to suggest us to others, but they intentionally betray the principle of truth. above all, they make the photos that we observe on the net all substantially similar. It's no coincidence that there are now groups of people on the internet who would like to eliminate the use of filters and who add the proud caption "nofilter" as proof of the authenticity of the look that technology has now compromised and deceived everywhere. 

Within the vastness of the digital offer, everything seemed at hand. Just then we decided to slow down, making an unexpected choice: the reduction of our expectations. Understanding this choice means understanding the contemporary.

Low-resolution

 

Could not say it better. Excellent post

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Low resolution so all the heavy modification to the image are almost invisible

It makes sense!

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Again on the up side in the time it has taken to produce the content on the second half of this second page Sony has announced a brilliant new 12-24mm F/2.8 GM lens and Canon has announced two new mirrorless cameras. The two new Canon cameras now have IBIS and dual card slots missing on the first EOS R. In addition Canon has announced four new Mirrorless lenses and two tele converters.

It seems that in spite a reduction in sales the camera market is moving forward and trying to reinvent itself with 21st century equipment. 

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"We live in the "good-enough society",

Phones are not locked in to just the software the manufacturer provides. They are part of a whole ecosystem of 3rd party just about good enough software. Don't like the way the  something on your phone works - well browse the  web and try a few 'maybe good enough' alternatives until you find one you like. Whilst I curse the poor quality of much of such software, and even more the bloatware that comes pre-installed with a new phone, the fact remains that I have a choice and eventually find something that, at least for me, suits better than the original.

Its not just the phone hardware manufacturers that are pushing the whole ecosystem forward. Their software development is limited to a few proprietary drivers and configuring an operating system. But they benefit from many orders of magnitude 'free' (at least to the manufacturer) additional development work from a world of developers.

The first big camera manufacturer to take the plunge and open up their platform to third party software could start an evolutionary rush of innovation (much of which will be barely good enough) that others will have to follow or get left behind. Rather than comparing the benefits of Nikon / Canon / Sony / Olympus, we will be comparing the benefits of what software we have installed.

But by providing a route out of stagnation, would that also result in a further 'commoditization' of cameras and shake up of manufacturers? Will Sony and Nikon embrace android, while Apple partners with Canon for iEOS?

 

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