Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The shape of things to come

Firstly, a big thank you to all of you who have taken the time to visit this blog over the last year. I started this blog for my own amusement and as an important part of my learning process. If anyone else has found my journey interesting or useful, so much the better.

I can only apologise for my sometimes less than stellar grammar and spelling. All I can say is that I do proof read my blog before I post it and it looks fine then.

As we reach the end of 2014 it is a good time to think about the coming months ahead.

At my local photographic society we have end of year social(a.k.a Pub session). This year a lady member came along and asked the question that you should never ask in a photographic society.

"What camera should I buy?"

If you do ask this type of question the problem is not that you will not get any response. In fact the opposite, you will get many opinions, but members will suddenly revert to their tribal loyalties . i.e Nikon users will push Nikon cameras and Canon users will say only Canon cameras will do the job.  (As a Sony user I can usually duck out of these sort of discussions.)

However few of the members will ask what you want to do with your camera. Most of the most vocal commentators are semi-professionals who get very animated about lens choice. However if you are someone who only wants a camera to take family and holiday photos, lens choice is not the most important criteria because you are highly unlikely to want to carry around a selection of lenses. Instead you will want one lens with a good focal range like a super-zoom. More important (I feel anyway) is factors like low light performance, weight, size and ease of use.

I suggested the Sony A6000. Not because I am a Sony user, but I think it provides the best value per buck out there, and is the perfect take anywhere camera if you wish get great results in almost all conditions.

However I could see that my opinion was rankling some of my more esteemed and experienced colleagues, who no doubt felt I should bow down to their greater years of experience. The truth is I am never likely to reach the photographic heights of some of the members since time and money is always going to be a limiting factor and I do not have their many years of experience in lenses and cameras usage.

However there is one area of cameras which I will always back myself with, and that is technology.

I have worked in technology industry for over 30 years. I have also taken a great interest in the way technology grows and supersedes older products. For example, I could of easily told Microsoft were going to be in trouble in the tablet space and why they will always be a niche player in that area (If you are interested I highly recommend the gorilla game by Geoffrey Moore ).

Not that I have always got it right. For instance I remember having a argument 15 yeras ago with a colleague that digital cameras will never supersede film, but generally I have a good idea of the way technology is heading.

Therefore since it is the start of the new year I am going to stick my head over the parapet and make some technology predictions on the way photography will go over the next 12 months. I am fully aware of how wrong this can go. For example, I am still waiting for my personal jet-pack and flying car, but here goes

My 2015 Camera Predictions

1. Mirror-less cameras will continue to make in-roads into the professional market, taking market share from DSLR's, even at the top end.

2. Nikon and Canon will produce their 1st full frame mirror-less cameras. Nikon's especially will not gain much market share due to commercially driven design compromises.

3.There will not be much increase in maximum pixel counts in cameras. Instead efforts will be made to increase the sensitivity of existing sensors by going full frame with fewer pixels on mid-range cameras

4. Sony will continue to indicate their continued support of the Alpha series  DSLR's, while doing bugger all to actually back up the claim by filling out the product range with a model between the A57 and A77II. In the meantime they will produce 2 new mirrorless cameras, the A7S II and the A7R II.  

So there you are, my predictions set in stone(well virtual stone anyway). If you have any better ideas, or just disagree with mine, please comment.

Update 31/12/2014

As Mark Abeln reminded me

5. High end cameras to use more smart phone technology in their OS. Not only the ability to upload photos via mobile networks, but also download apps to add new functionality to the camera. Also it would be great if cameras opened up their SDK so allowed programming of new functionality. Why limit yourself to 5 stop HDR where you could expand your camera to do 10 stops aand focus stacking at the same time. Preferably using some sort of graphical programming environment.


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