Where is the Camera Industry Headed? My take…

Where is the Camera Industry Headed? My take…

I’ll be honest. I’m over it. I’m over expensive new cameras. Why? Because cameras that have been out for a couple of years now do all I need, and then some. I am lucky to be able to do what I love for a living, and doing what I do here allows me to hear from so many hobbyists, enthusiasts and even professionals in the photography industry. I get to meet management of some camera companies and talk with them about what they do, why they do what they do and all of that good stuff.

BACK IN 2008/2009

Eleven years ago I was extremely excited by digital imaging and what was to come. The possibilities and improvements that we knew would one day come have now come! We have some amazing digital imaging products out there to choose from today and that is no lie! Even though to me it seems most new cameras released TODAY are small incremental upgrades of what come before. In the past they were pretty substantial upgrades as so much needed to be fixed and improved. Today, we live in a world where TECH has advanced to an all new level.

We have cameras that do it all and track our eyeballs, our pets eyeballs. We have cameras that have been shown with Adobe editing built in (Zeiss) and who can dismiss the newer smartphones on the market? Phones like the Sony Xperia 1 which is a gorgeous phone not only in use but appearance and function as well. The new Sony Xperia 1 has some amazing photo and video features built right in. The new iPhone 11 Pro looks like a pretty nice improvement in the imaging dept. as well. So yea, I feel things are just NOW starting to get really good with phone cameras. Yet they have a ways to go to match the best cameras we have to choose from, of course. It will not take long though, mark my words!

Smartphones such as these and others should not be ignored when it comes to high quality imaging as they have improved so much over the last few years. I’ve been doing this review thing for almost eleven years (November will be 11) now. Crazy how time flies!  Just recently for the first time during a press trip with Sony (the A6600 trip) they showed us all the new phone, and it seemed like they hoped we would talk about it, or go give one a try. Sony seems to know that the phone industry will be HUGE for photography in the near future as they never spoke to use about phones in the past. Sony always seems to be ahead of the curve as well. So that got my attention.

In fact, to me it seems that most smartphones these days are better than almost all of the early Mirrorless cameras! Better IQ, it’s always with us, and easier to use with no lenses to buy. No batteries to swap, no bags to carry, it’s easy and effective and that’s what todays generation is all about. Convenience.

One thing to note is I am not speaking about professionals. Rather the huge Hobbyist and Enthusiast market that used to exist has been dwindling some when it comes to physical digital camera bodies and lenses. Many are now happy with what they have, with their phone, with their video related body or are just tired of upgrading constantly. Doesn’t hurt that prices are rising for great lenses and bodies.

WILL THEIR BE A SLOWDOWN?

I believe that in the next five years camera sales will slow more and more, yes, even the hot full frame mirrorless segment which is doing pretty well right now. I think that finally… phones will start to explode even more as an imaging option. It’s no secret that the #1 camera in the world, going by sales, is the smartphone. EVERYONE in 2019 is a photographer with their phone in hand, and we see it all day every day. I almost feel as if dedicated camera bodies will become more niche as the years drift by. They will ALWAYS be there as there will always be those who will never succumb to the phone camera but for most of the world I see the smartphone as the future of high quality imaging.

I have been reviewing mirrorless cameras for 10 years. Mirrorless is not new, it has just been slowly maturing and has now matured. When we get a new body these days it’s some sort of gimmicky feature added to catch our attention, and truth be told I was very impressed with the new Sony A7RIV Video EYE AF feature. The Sony A7III doesn’t have it, neither does the A9 flagship. It worked well but it seems to me we have gotten along without this kind of thing since the dawn of video camera. ; ) Catch my drift?

Look at Canon. They had a huge successful run with their DSLR line. The Rebels, the 5D’s and everything in between did very well for them and for good reason. They made and still are making quality cameras and lenses. But now they hope everyone buys new with the mirrorless range (heck, I did buy an EOS-R myself) even though cameras like the 5D and others are still just as capable and take images with the same quality as the new ones. They want us to buy the new RF lenses, as we have to to get it on the new bodies! I was always told back in the 2000’s that the best DSLR lenses were always made by Canon. There are non better they said! Yet today, Canon tells us their new lenses are better, so we must upgrade! I mean, are they better? Yes and no, all depends on what kind of rendering you like.

As consumers we are expected to buy new, upgrade, to lust after the newest gear. I admit, websites like mine right here do not help as when I write a review on something I like, I am excited and that excitement comes across to you guys who get tempted to buy the new gear! That is how I make a living after all but as you may have seen or realized, I never push anything here. I do not post a barrage of sales or deals every day (though affiliates would love if I did and they do try to get me to post these deals on a daily basis), and I do not recommend cameras I do not enjoy myself. This limits my income as I refuse to review cameras I feel are a bad buy or cameras I do not like!

THE PROS…THE HOBBYISTS…THE ENTHUSIASTS…

If you are a pro making six figures or more, sure…you may need and want the latest and greatest to stay competitive. I know I would. With that said I feel the days of the average consumer buying new cameras every 6-12 months is over. I see it. The writing is on the wall, and that includes even me. I only get excited by new releases that are a huge improvement to what came before it, and sadly these days this is a rarity. I have yet to find a camera I like better (for me) than the four year old Leica SL which also tells me cameras are a very personal thing as some HATE the SL! Goes to show how we all like different things. But today cameras exist from ALL brands that are better than most of us. These cameras could last us 10 years or more, if we let it.

I STILL LOVE WHAT I DO

Back in the day this website would receive 150k visits a day, and I would make some damn serious money working day and night, seven days a week here writing about Leica, Sony, Olympus, or whatever I was in love with. But that was then, when cameras NEEDED to be better, and every year we got better. Today we already HAVE BETTER! Cameras made two years ago are amazing, and can last most of us many years. This is a good thing actually as it saves us money. It’s bad for guys like me who depend on an income but I get it..we do not need a new camera every year anymore! At least I know I do not. With this being the case I am not as excited as I used to be about NEW cameras but am even more excited about USING what I have, getting out there and shooting with what I enjoy and knows does the job I need it to do. I do get excited from time to time about new stuff if it blows me away but for the most part I see a new release and say “meh, how will this help me improve on what I do” and then I say “it won’t” because that’s the truth.

BUT WHAT ABOUT VIDEO?

In addition to smartphones taking over imaging for most of the world, video is getting huge! I predicted this five years ago when I said video will be the new standard medium to get information out and today it is just that. Today most camera reviews are done on YouTube (there are now hundreds, if not thousands of reviewers on YouTube) and not written like I do here, so I am in the minority these days. Most do focus on video content more than ever.

I feel THIS is also where photo cameras will be focusing in the coming years. VIDEO specs. It seems to me more and more who buy cameras like the Sony A7III are using them for video much more than photo use (I do as well). So I think camera companies have reached an ultimate quality with photos, but for video not so much. In fact, video features will be getting better and better and I feel this is where most improvements will be made to new digital cameras. BTW, I still feel the A7III is the best $2k full frame one can get today. 

Think of the long awaited for Sony A7SIII, that I feel is still going to be announced THIS year. It will be a video MASTER in a mirrorless body form. Many today want video improvements over photo related so I expect new cameras to improve upon 5 Axis IS, low light for video and to bring us more video quality recording options and improvements (422 10 bit in camera, 6 or 8k,  for example). I have been waiting for the A7SIII for years and this one probably will get me excited when it is finally announced. We shall see.

WRAPPING IT UP

I see smartphones taking over imaging for most of the world in the next 5-10 years. I see camera sales dwindling in the next 5-10 years and see a couple companies possibly closing up shop.  I feel there will still (and always) be photo enthusiast cameras and pro cameras but I expect the sales of these to drop over the next few years as better and better smartphone cameras become mainstream for the general public who love to take images.

Vacations and family photos used to be shot with real cameras, today it’s almost always our phones! Phones have already killed off the point and shoot market completely. They are now aiming for real cameras.

I think even Sony sees this, which is why they were giving the press, guys like me, a presentation on the new phones and the photo and video features that were really, blowing my mind some. I think it’s awesome even though I am old school. Even if phones take over and provide amazing quality in any light, I will still always use a physical camera. It’s just how I roll. Heck, I may still be shooting an SL in 5 years : )

What do YOU guys think? Where do you feel the camera industry is headed? I may be 100% wrong here, so let me know what YOU think!

WITH THAT SAID

I will always be here to talk about the new gear that excites me, the new gear that I feel is important or the new gear that I feel may be important to all of you. I am not quitting here, or slowing down any more than I have. I just want to be more selective so form now on I will focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY. ; )

I will SOON be talking about a new camera that is to be announced soon. Yep, I have some inside info…he he he. I will even have hands on with it for you guys to check out. Soon.

It will be interesting to see where the next ten years leads us in the photo world. I will be 60 by then and who knows what I will be writing about when that time comes. I expect it will be some new Smartphone with images that rival what we see today in $10k cameras. Who knows, but it will surely be a fun ride. I am getting the new iPhone 11 Pro, so will let you guys know what I think about that as the new camera looks great. Stay tuned.

Steve

PS – I have been shooting with a new-ish Voigtalnder lens for Sony FE. The 21 f/1.4 for Sony is a fantastic lens and has a pretty impressive shallow DOF for being 21mm. I will have my look at this lens VERY soon! 

 

37 Comments

  1. Mostly correct I think. Full sized purpose built cameras. Well maybe that won’t even be a correct term in five to ten year because once phones take over almost completely and dedicated cameras become relegated to professionals and niche hobby users .. and we’re moving closer to that every day, the term ‘purpose built camera’ will probably apply as much to phone cameras as to legacy cameras. So there’s a new term. Legacy camera!

    That’s what I am. I’m a legacy camera shooter. Even though I have the newest and one of the greatest in the Sony A7RIV, I kind of break the mold that new cameras are made for anyway. I have an A7RIV. As soon as I took it out of the box and put hot batteries in it, the first thing I did was turn it to full manual and go into the menus and find how to put it into spot focus mode. I mean this cameras has a gazillion features. One of the hottest being all those autofocus points and as soon as I get it I go full manual and spot focus only. And my cameras has never left manual mode. Not yet and I’ve been shooting with it for several weeks now!

    Like many reading on this site, I’ll always have legacy cameras. Hell, I collect them and particularly lenses. Lenses are the creative funnel of photographic imaging. They are so much more important than cameras anyway. In fact, I look at cameras mostly as a transparent capture device used to display what a lens can do in a given scene and lighting condition. You can draw an interesting diagram of how a photographic image is created. On the left you have the scene and all aspects that go into scene composition. An infinite number of blocks can be put on the scene creation side to manipulate what you are going to capture so it will be exactly as you visualize. Then on the right hand side of the diagram from the sensor on through to Photoshop or whatever tool you use to post manipulate the image, you also have an infinite number of variables you can employ to adjust the image to your visualization. But right in the middle of the diagram you have the lens. The lens being the single and lone point where infinite possibilities on the left get funneled down and output to feed infinite possibilities on the right of the diagram.

    It’s the lens that to me is the singular most important and interesting element in the equation of image capture. And that’s why I own around 350 of them. Having a really great camera like the A7RIV is very nice to have. But I only consider it as (about) the highest quality transparent capture medium I can use at the moment to see all the wonders various lenses can produce. And for that, I almost always shoot full manual and no matter how good phone cameras get, I’ll always need a legacy camera body to provide the platform for using all of my lenses.

  2. Interesting thoughts
    For those who abandoned digital and stuck with/went back to film, apart from shooting in very low light, nothing is really exciting about any developments in the last 10
    years. For Pros a top end DSLR from several years back is still more or less more than enough in all respects – speed, IQ, ease of use etc.
    Who needs any of these new improvements? A few pros who shoot sports or to follow a ballistic missile in mid flight ? The wickedly fast focus tracking) the 100 Megapixels? Probably landscape photographers. Hobbyists, enthusiasts and artists don’t need any of this – with any electronic item of course we need updates – but most of the stuff coming out now is merely marketing and selling features which are cool to talk about and have but won’t make better pictures.
    I’ve just bought an OM-D EM5 mk 1 – I am a good few years behind – and to be honest I should’ve bought a Mark 2 – not because of the photography features but because of the VIDEO features – and that’s where the camera industry seems to be going – I’m delighted with my OM-D even with its video capabilities – I just wish I had 60 or 25P to
    Play with as well (though it’s still not a match for my Minolta and The Film I love using)

  3. Took a trip a year ago to a local cave. Took my Fuji as well as my iphone 7 plus. Guess which handled the light inside the cave better? It was the iphone. I haven’t picked up my Fuji cameras in almost a year now. Thinking about selling off most but one, just in case. Heck I even wrote a few articles for this site touting those same cameras. For my personal needs now the quality of the iphone photos and ease of use and editing can’t be beat – and I used to carry a camera with me every where. I’m looking forward to getting the new iphone for its camera.

  4. Smartphones do what most people need. The new iphone 11 (and probably some samsungs and huawei cameras also) can really do the job when you are into family and social event snapshotting.
    Pro’s need the speed of modern digital cameras. Tethered shooting and stacking is important to them. That in combination with lightroom/photoshop digital photography really shines.

    But the enthusiasts … there might be a revival of the color reversal film. Just what you see with vinyl in audio. Only those who understand see the difference and can use it. Use the magic of the magic of the particular film. {some are quite difficult (Velvia 50), but non computal HDR by slightly underexposing a Kodak chrome 64 is with some knowledge for every enthusiast possible, if those guys bring it back on the market)

    The magic … that’s why Leica skipped the back lcd … and Fuji? Watch the upcoming Pro 3. They think the solution is in the middle.

  5. Steve, Thanks for your refreshing and honest take on the industry, photography and what you do for a living. This type of dialog is very much needed in our fast, all consuming digital age. I look forward to reading about your iPhone 20xplx and how you still love your E10 for decades past.

    Cheers!
    Chip

  6. Over the past couple of years the wife migrated from a digital SLR to her iPhone. I kept warning her that one day she will drop it off the side of a boat or other location. This past spring she finally did drop the camera, into a very large cactus at the local botanical garden. She was lucky in that the iPhone took a bounce her way and the gadget was easy to retrieve.
    I bought her a Canon RP. Nice little camera. Fits her hand perfectly (she tried a Sony X100 but the ergonomics are very poor). She still uses the iPhone but only in settings where a drop won’t be fatal.
    If enough people drop their phones somewhere they can’t retrieve them, maybe the market for actual cameras will improve.

  7. The romance of photography is disappearing with these intelligent gadgets. It is like a opening a bottle of wine with a screw on cap instead of a natural cork… no romance.

  8. “Computational” photography I suppose is the new industry buzzword now, but Bayer pattern sensors coupled with complex demosaicing algorithms have been doing this since their inception – generating accurate RGB pixel data where only R, G, or B values exist.

    My guess here is since we are reaching the limits of performance with the miniaturization of lens and sensor components. The only significant improvements can be made in software, and it appears in this case there is going to be a trend moving forward where cameras will be generating images even where pixel data is nonexistent.

  9. It’s scary how good new cell phone cameras are. Combined with the super-easy-to-use software, you can filter/fix pretty much anything with just a small touch screen. Really amazing.

    Of course, the thing that REALLY blows my mind is that all of this is done with camera sensors smaller than the Multi-Function button on my DSLR.

  10. Phones will turn real cameras and photography into the most exciting purist pursuit for the passionate and will mark the start of the most exciting era real cameras and photography has ever seen:
    This predictably happens every time new technology makes the purist form redundant for the masses. Thereafter the usurping technology makes the original form better, more purist, more exciting, more thrilling, the best and most liberated rendition ever in its history.

    The equestrian lovers couldn’t care less if a car is more convenient, doesn’t poop, and can go faster and further without resting. My equestrian friends don’t feel sad when they see people getting from a-b in a ford, instead of a horse! Cars turned equestrian pursuits into the purist thrill they always should have been.

    Engine powered vehicles liberated the lowly bicycle from being a necessary transportation tool into the most exciting thrilling purist forms of expression ever: mountain biking, BMX stunt riding, ramps, tour de france, Motor technology was by far the best thing that ever happen to the bicycle.

    The weightlifting lovers couldn’t care less if a forklift can out-lift them. Instead of merely as a way of moving heavy crap in a factory. Machines that out-lift humans turned weight lifting into an exciting endeavour for the passionate.

    Men that like to go angling, I’m pretty sure they’re not sad that they can’t out-catch a trawler, or that the banks of a river or lake aren’t swamped by the hungry masses desperate to catch a meal. Instead, commercial fishing turned angling into the exciting pursuit for the purists it is today.

    Photography was the best thing that ever happened to painting. It freed up painters from the prevailing myth that a painting had merit based on realistic depiction. Painting has had infinite more variety and excitement post-photography than it ever had pre-photography.

    Ready made and convenience foods, turned Western peoples into hippos in track-suits. But the culinary artists couldn’t care less if people order a pizza, or a microwave ready meal. Convenience food has made the pursuit of culinary art a purist exciting niche for the passionate. Best ever.

    So really. The masses will do whatever is the most expedient.
    You only have to look in a good science museum, to know it won’t be long before the masses will move on from the smart-phones on to whatever supersedes it next
    But for real cameras and photography and image making, The Best Is Yet to Come.

    • Very interesting and promising view of all these developments!
      It puts all these changes in a positive perspective.
      Thank you

      • I swapped my Sony A7 III for a Leica M10 because I came to the conclusion that even a monkey (with all respect for them) could press the shutter and get a nice picture with the Sony. I think it all comes down to the experience, and I enjoy my Leica better, even if I probably have a much higher fail ratio. I fully agree with all the nice views given by Peter above, and for me craftsmanship will remain as an artistic way of delivering amazing stuff. In summary I see a future where 99% of mankind will use smartphones with embedded computational AI, and the remainder 1% will continue to use (Leica like) camera with the functionalities to craft their own images and deliver outstanding images. I have chosen my camp already.

  11. Dear Steve, for the last 10 years I follow your web site and I have to thank you for doing such a great job to keep my photography hobby, insane! Sorry, I did not have a guts to write any comments until today.
    I am a photography hobbyist with the real world photo applications for the architectural illustrations. Over 20 years ago, I have purchased my first digital camera, Cannon Powershot Pro 70, 1.7 MEGAPIXELS camera, and still have amazing 13×19 prints in my collection.
    Few months later, I’ve got Olympus e-10, 3.7 MEGAPIXELS and again, all my prints are on the walls in 13×19 Epson printer output. Following all the trends for the last several years, I went through Fuji, Olympus M4/3s,, Nikon to Sony full frame systems, where I’ve spent so much money chasing something that actually should not be associated with the equipment, ….I am writing about experience of the moment when you take the photo and memory you hold for ever, even if the picture fades away. I am so inspired by technology, especially since I purchased my first iPhone 3, but I am still longing for the feeling, why we actually take pictures, paint, compose music or write the novel. Satisfaction of the creative part should never be associated with tools but our talents and creativity. Recently, after following your reviews about Leica, I finally got my M10-P with 35 Cron and 50 Lux….killed my credit card, but what a joy it was when I re-discovered fun of taking pictures again. I have sold most of my Sony equipment to fund some of it, and I do not look back at all. Even better, I just purchased and refurbished myself, Leica M3 from 1962,… I can not believe it how much fun it was to load the film and take it for the walk. I am so inspired by your reviews and so many incredible photographers, especially group posting on your web site. I understand that everybody has to make money somehow, but i really appreciate sharing your’s and your family personal life on this “real world reviews web site“.
    I look forward to reading your reviews and stories for the next decades to come. Keep up the good work! Photography is art not technological race. Cheers!

    • Exactly! The E-10, I loved that camera and agree you can do those 13X19 prints and I bet they are beautiful. I have 20X30’s shot with a 4MP D2Hs ; ) They look great and no one has ever looked at them and said “wow, such low resolution”. Rather…”wow, beautiful photo”.

  12. I’ve always thought the future of digital photography was with small sensors. Whats the sense of new technology if you still need a big bit of glass? I think we are starting to see this now with the computational photography being used in smartphones like the Google Pixel and iphone 11. Its obvious this will take over the general market but I think the enthusiast market and ultimately the professional market will eventually move towards smaller cameras using computational photography to get full frame IQ. Think the Sony RX100 with full frame IQ thanks to smartphone level processors. It might be a slightly bigger body so there is room for a bigger processor and battery but it wont be a lot bigger.

  13. I agree that smartphones will increasingly displace traditional cameras. Lacking a secure grip and viewfinder, personally I don’t enjoy the phone shooting experience but many people find the ease of use overshadows other considerations.
    I use multiple systems to match the circumstances.
    • For air travel and hiking, I love my Sony Rx100.6 – so small. With careful exposure and post processing, image quality can be really good especially in good light and it has a viewfinder and fill flash if needed. I feel no need to upgrade.
    • The Sony A9 is wonderful if I don’t have to carry it too far or too long. I feel no need to upgrade.
    • For birding, an Olympus E-M1.2 with long tele is effective. Again, I feel no need to upgrade.
    I’m at a place where my current gear works so well for me that incremental improvements are of little acquisitional interest though I still enjoy reading about about new cameras. It is kind of a nice place to be – though not so good for manufacturers.

  14. Maybe it’s just me, but holding my smartphone at arm’s length and squinting, trying to see the sun-drenched screen, is not a pleasant experience. Of course, I can make the screen as bright as possible, but that still doesn’t really solve the problem. Has anyone discovered a smartphone viewing method as good as a viewfinder?

  15. Hi!

    I have huge fun with my Olympus Tough, I can drop it, use it submerged, bury it in sand so the lens just sticks out, do incredible macro. I also enjoy my Olympus PEN with the 75mm lens.

    I have huge fun with my Linhof, with which I average eight 6×9 images on a five hour walk and get into a zen like trance.

    I have huge fun shooting my F1 with a 100 year old Petzval lens.

    I sometimes work twenty hours, post processing a single black and white image.

    I love the structure of film maybe even more than my images, looking at it at 100% on my screen. I’ve made four foot enlargements of 1/8 inch wide parts of negatives.

    This is all photography! This is what I enjoy!

    Am I crazy or what?

    Dirk.

  16. You should start the first real world reviews of smartphone cameras. love to see you review the s10, pixel 4, iphone 11 pro etc!!!

  17. The world is already there, is not that we’re going there. Just came three weeks ago from a huge festival in Frankfurt, more popular than Oktoberfest. I saw in three days millions of people, no exageration. I can count with my two hands the number of cameras. Phones, I can’t even say, they were ubiquitous. Cameras are dead for popular use. They’ll have specialized applications, that’s it. We are seeing the end.

    • This past July the wife and I spent 3 days at Grand Canyon North Rim. My guess is there are maybe one actual camera (and that’s usually a Canon Rebel or Nikon d3xxx bought at Costco or Carrefour) for every 1000 smart phones being used (with the exception being some Asian young women who seem to like carrying around small Sony or Canon interchangeable lens cameras). We saw similar ratios earlier this year at other places in the southwest. The migration to smart phone based photography is perhaps 98% or 99% complete.
      Earlier this week the CEO of Leica announced that Leica will open a lab in Silicon Valley to develop computational photography software. When Leica is looking to the future, it is safe to assume the trend is not reversible.

  18. Steve- Thanks for taking the time to pen such an in-depth article. I agree with your thoughts , although I am still a Fuji Guy for the long haul. I will await your NEW camera announcement to see what the next generation will bring us. Long live the REAL cameras (with real lens.)

  19. There are some things that phones just cannot and will not do. Extreme telephoto is one. Macro is another. Careful composition, tripod based is usually a PITA. Holding a cell phone to catch a rare flower in a difficult position is almost impossible, I know, I have tried several times. Having said that, I use my Note 9 camera daily for all kinds of non traditional photographic reasons. Price and sku numbers in Home Depot. Photos of roof leaks that I send instantly to the roofer. And really, the Note 9 does better exposure control for 95% of my usage than 3 of my 4 digital cameras!!! I just pull the phone out, hit the camera app icon and shoot!! This is what the Japanese camera companies are missing. We don’t need more megapixels, we don’t need to track the eyeballs on bugs and fish. We need to instantly communicate our photographs across the web directly from our cameras. If they don’t do this, the ILC camera market will shrink faster than Canon already thinks it is going to.

  20. Looking forward to when you will be talking about the not-yet-out camera! Please,please let it be the a9 ii….
    A9 is awesome but I sold it to have the ii.

  21. Yesterday, before reading this article, I made a decision to never buy another brand new major appliance, including cars, phones and, yes, cameras.

    It simply isn’t sustainable and all we are doing with this massive amount of consumer consumption is making the rich richer, the poor poorer and depleting the planet’s resources.

    When I go through my photobooks and look at prints on a gallery wall I can almost guarantee that all of my favourite photos will have ben taken with a camera that is technologically inferior to the last new camera that I bought (in many cases inferior to the camera on my iPhone).

  22. Hi Steve, I think your view of the camera future is pretty much spot on.
    Where once you would see lots of tripods and DSLR’s at events and “photo opportunity locations”, it’s now mostly smart phones.
    The ease with which a smart phone can share images on social media, is a big factor with a lot of people.
    However, there will always be photographers out there who appreciate the amazing image quality of the modern digital camera and the end result.
    As an older photographer, having spent many years with film, I find the possibilities of the modern day digital camera endless.
    To be able to try different photographic techniques and see instant results is amazing.
    Keep up your enthusiasm for the craft, your reviewing of new gear and understanding of what’s needed in the industry has always been welcome, by me and the followers of your website.
    Regards John Taylor.

  23. Great article Steve! Im really looking forward to your leica sl2 review. Leaked images look stellar and real back to basics for leica. I loved the sl, Panasonic s1/r which I feel are spiritually similar cameras. I can’t wait to see where leica takes this next.

  24. In general I agree with you. The market will go the way you think it will. I don’t think it’s totally justified – after all, no phone that I know of can match even half the features and quality of the new RX100.

    I have been criticized for saying that in the future, sports pros will be moving to integrated cameras like the RX10. (Hashtag not all). Or even just to Micro 4/3. Not for a while though, as the A9 is still the king of sports cameras, with the E-M1 X probably a very close second.

    Or maybe we will see a polarization. Consumers will have advanced smart phones while pros will have an A9 for action and a GFX100 for everything else.

    In the past, before digital, I have to assume that camera sales were fairly steady, so we didn’t see huge market shifts like this.

    And as for film itself… well, once digital can match film in the extreme highlights, it’s over. I don’t like that thought but it’s hardly the worst thing in the world.

    • Pros going E-M1 X? Why? Is there any need to decrease Picture Quality in a very competitional market?
      Sony on the other hand understands the need for lightwight, high quality Lenses like the 2.8/400 oder the 4/600. But they need more lenses like the standard 4/200-400 with integrated converter and a 2/200.
      Olympus couldn´t match the look of the pictures of those lenses unless the develop a 1.4/200.

      • We now struggle to see the difference between phones and FF for many applications. You are suggesting that EM1x can’t do more quality than needed? C’mon …..

        At this point the differences are “characteristics” more than quality

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