Is the camera business dying or just returning to pre-digtal "normal"?

Years ago every time there was a gathering or a party of some sort, I was the one who arrived with a camera and took pictures. It was just "the norm," while other people probably had P&S cameras stashed in a drawer somewhere that they only pulled out when it was time for a family vacation or special event.

In 2007 I bought the first generation of the iPhone on Day One and, boy, did I get a lot of comments (not always complimentary!) about that.... I still took photos (with my "real" camera) at gatherings.

A couple or three years passed and there was yet another gathering, a celebration of someone's birthday. That day, I was upset about some news about a close friend and reluctantly went off for the party, having totally forgotten about taking my camera since I had other things on my mind. Oops. No matter, I had my iPhone...... And so did nearly everyone else at that party. I watched, amused and bemused, as people had the best time shooting selfies and photos of each other and the "birthday girl" throughout the event with their iPhones or other smartphones. I didn't even bother pulling mine out of my purse and was glad that I hadn't brought my "real" camera after all. On the surface, it would seem that it wasn't needed any more....

That was the day that I truly realized what a seismic shift had been made in the world of photography.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
24,417
Location
Moscow, Idaho
Years ago every time there was a gathering or a party of some sort, I was the one who arrived with a camera and took pictures. It was just "the norm," while other people probably had P&S cameras stashed in a drawer somewhere that they only pulled out when it was time for a family vacation or special event.

In 2007 I bought the first generation of the iPhone on Day One and, boy, did I get a lot of comments (not always complimentary!) about that.... I still took photos (with my "real" camera) at gatherings.

A couple or three years passed and there was yet another gathering, a celebration of someone's birthday. That day, I was upset about some news about a close friend and reluctantly went off for the party, having totally forgotten about taking my camera since I had other things on my mind. Oops. No matter, I had my iPhone...... And so did nearly everyone else at that party. I watched, amused and bemused, as people had the best time shooting selfies and photos of each other and the "birthday girl" throughout the event with their iPhones or other smartphones. I didn't even bother pulling mine out of my purse and was glad that I hadn't brought my "real" camera after all. On the surface, it would seem that it wasn't needed any more....

That was the day that I truly realized what a seismic shift had been made in the world of photography.
I recognize we all are different, with differing needs, motives, satisfactions, skills, etc. For me, this is true, and I've shared this several times here:

iPhone photography is like a quick trip to the 7-11 for a frozen burrito; or a contemporary airline meal : :yuck::dead::spitoutdummy:
Shooting with a DSLR/SLR is like a 7-course gourmet meal, with matching wines and music.
For me the experience of shooting is as or more important than the image I go home with. I enjoy my equipment, I'm not a slave to the image.
That's me. I value and recognize the experiences and needs of others.
 
I recognize we all are different, with differing needs, motives, satisfactions, skills, etc. For me, this is true, and I've shared this several times here:

iPhone photography is like a quick trip to the 7-11 for a frozen burrito; or a contemporary airline meal : :yuck::dead::spitoutdummy:
Shooting with a DSLR/SLR is like a 7-course gourmet meal, with matching wines and music.
For me the experience of shooting is as or more important than the image I go home with. I enjoy my equipment, I'm not a slave to the image.
That's me. I value and recognize the experiences and needs of others.
The thing is, though, that in the situation I mentioned, most of the partygoers were people who probably had a P&S stashed away in a drawer somewhere, only to be used on very infrequent occasions. Now all of a sudden here they were running around at this party shooting snapshots and selfies like mad, clearly loving the experience and it probably felt as though the party were an even more special event to them, and the bonus was that they didn't have to fuss with anything -- just take the photo and then if they wanted they could immediately share it with someone who wasn't at the party by sending it in email or they had the makings of a nice little personal album for themselves in their "Camera Roll" on their phone. That spontaneity and ability for people who didn't know beans about photography to actually shoot something and be happy with it without any fuss or muss sounded the death knell for the P&S.....

As for me, I love my iPhone and have loved each and every one of them that I have had through the years, but yes, it has limitations. That said, it is great when I'm out somewhere and see something that is kind of cool and so I pull out the phone since that is the only "camera" I have with me at the time, or sometimes even if I'm messing around here at home and want to see if an idea I've got for a photo might work. I've used the iPhone a few times as a preliminary testing device prior to getting out the serious gear.

Photos such as some of the ones I've shot and shared in my 52-Week project are not possible with the iPhone, and the process of making those photos also usually requires a bit more time, thought and planning on my part as well. I pick up the iPhone, fire off two or three shots, maybe try a couple different angles and that's it. With the "real" camera and lenses I think about the lens I need to achieve the vague idea I've got in my mind, not to mention that the image quality is significantly better. (I would hope so, given the prices of FF camera bodies and lenses!). I love the experience of shooting, the way I can become totally absorbed in what I am doing and the feeling of excitement I get when I think I've nailed the shot or the concept..... I also love the way the camera feels in my hands, and the way that looking through the EVF gives me a different perspective on the world. For me, almost nothing is more pleasurable or satisfying than picking up the camera and going out for a walk and eventually finding something neat to shoot and immersing myself in the process, slipping into the "zone." Sometimes I'll come home after an hour or so and when I look at the images in the computer there might only be two or three that are even worth processing, but that's OK; it was the entire experience of just being out there with that camera that is most important.

For a long time I really actively disliked the whole post-processing bit but I've come to grips with that in the last year or so and have learned more about what I'm doing with that (I suspect that the improvements in editing software over the past several years have more to do with that rather than any sudden development of skills on my part!) and how to get the desired results.

(I still prefer the actual process of using the camera and lens(es) to create the images in the first place, though!)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
24,417
Location
Moscow, Idaho
The thing is, though, that in the situation I mentioned, most of the partygoers were people who probably had a P&S stashed away in a drawer somewhere, only to be used on very infrequent occasions. Now all of a sudden here they were running around at this party shooting snapshots and selfies like mad, clearly loving the experience and it probably felt as though the party were an even more special event to them, and the bonus was that they didn't have to fuss with anything -- just take the photo and then if they wanted they could immediately share it with someone who wasn't at the party by sending it in email or they had the makings of a nice little personal album for themselves in their "Camera Roll" on their phone. That spontaneity and ability for people who didn't know beans about photography to actually shoot something and be happy with it without any fuss or muss sounded the death knell for the P&S.....

As for me, I love my iPhone and have loved each and every one of them that I have had through the years, but yes, it has limitations. That said, it is great when I'm out somewhere and see something that is kind of cool and so I pull out the phone since that is the only "camera" I have with me at the time, or sometimes even if I'm messing around here at home and want to see if an idea I've got for a photo might work. I've used the iPhone a few times as a preliminary testing device prior to getting out the serious gear.

Photos such as some of the ones I've shot and shared in my 52-Week project are not possible with the iPhone, and the process of making those photos also usually requires a bit more time, thought and planning on my part as well. I pick up the iPhone, fire off two or three shots, maybe try a couple different angles and that's it. With the "real" camera and lenses I think about the lens I need to achieve the vague idea I've got in my mind, not to mention that the image quality is significantly better. (I would hope so, given the prices of FF camera bodies and lenses!). I love the experience of shooting, the way I can become totally absorbed in what I am doing and the feeling of excitement I get when I think I've nailed the shot or the concept..... I also love the way the camera feels in my hands, and the way that looking through the EVF gives me a different perspective on the world.

For a long time I really actively disliked the whole post-processing bit but I've come to grips with that in the last year or so and have learned more about what I'm doing with that (I suspect that the improvements in editing software over the past several years have more to do with that rather than any sudden development of skills on my part!) and how to get the desired results.

(I still prefer the actual process of using the camera and lens(es) to create the images in the first place, though!)
I get it. My comments were just about me, hence the bolding of the word me :)
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
2,359
Location
Auburn, Washington USA
In two parallel worlds you buy a Nikon F2 (or Canon F1n) in the mid-70s. In the other you buy a Nikon D200 in the mid-90s. Ten years pass... the F2 which merely transports the film and holds the lens is still a viable film stills camera. The D200 is relegated to KEH at $189 because the technology built into the body has been far surpassed. Just my opinion before beers on a Friday...
I have a foot in both worlds. Recently picked up a Nikon FM to go with my Z7 (and my original D100 for IR). Mostly I guess because I have interest in the different results they produce. The film world reminded me that we are now used to instant gratification for results. With the Nikon FM, it takes time to get the shot (all manual), time to shoot 36 exposures, and in my case two day turnaround from a local shop to develop the negatives, then time to scan into the digital world.

Kind of nice to slow down, think, and contemplate the $0.40 total cost per shot. Although I still shoot local auto racing, birds, etc. where some machine gun bursts help.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom