'Will the DSLR die? Will small cameras rule the world?' at The Visual Science Lab

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, May 28, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    READ ON at The Visual Science Lab
     
  2. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    Still to agenda driven, he contradicts himself multiple times, and he is as always condescending. Things will always be changing, and stills are going to get lost in a video world, but very little of what he said has anything to with the size of the cameras.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'd be surprised if 10 years from now there are more than an a couple really high end cameras with mirrors. But I think a certain amount of the argument is really semantics anyways. I still think 10 years from now people will be using cameras that are shaped like DSLRs even though they longer need to be. People don't take to change too quickly and marketers understand that.
     
  4. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    For some reason my browser doesn't open blogspot url's so I can't comment on the article, but I must say I really don't believe that stills will become less popular, let alone "get lost", due to video. By freezing time they show us something video doesn't unless you pause it at just the right time, and they have a contemplative nature that video just doesn't offer. I'm 100% convinced that stills are here to stay :smile:
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Someone should tell him that overly "clever" webpages are not so clever. It is a goofy user interface.
     
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Bob, what do you see as being Kirk's agenda? I've been reading him for a while now, and while I don't find every one of his arguments compelling, I can't say that I see much of an agenda. He likes smaller cameras and advocates for them, but I don't see him getting paid by anyone to make this case.

    Condescending I can sort of see. It doesn't strike me that way, but I can understand why it does you.

    I don't know about small cameras ruling the world, but I think that really big cameras (bigger than Leica M9/Fuji XP1) are going to be much less common than they are now. There was a time when people used cameras the size of an AE-1/FM2/OM1/K1000/etc, and the main reason why cameras much larger than that became popular is that that size was needed to incorporate technology (autofocus, motor drive, etc), not because people wanted bigger cameras. Likewise, mirrors will probably become much less common if what people say about the cost of a mirror and associated OVF is true.

    I think most of us can agree that the cheapest, least fully-featured class of cameras are going to be included in whatever multifunctional small computers we carry everywhere, whether they be smartphones, Google glasses, surgical implants, or whatever else the future brings :rolleyes:.
     
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  7. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    For me the agenda comes with the dialogue the choice of descriptors, not implying he is being paid just the slant of the viewpoint becomes too subjective with little objectivity.
    I think he wants so badly too make the point that small cameras are better that he makes a very bad case, that large DSLRs are the size they are only because of the “marketing machine of the PRO camera”.
    Like you said they had to make the cameras the size they are because they really had no choice, trying to get all that crap and technology in there. They also are bigger because they are more rugged in everyway.
    Just take my Kodak DSC doorstop is easily twice as big as my Canon MkIVs, to say nothing of the dramatic weight difference. . For me the argument is more; that most people do not need a “Pro” camera for their everyday image creations. But one could make the same argument for every tool that has a “Pro and Amateur version”, power tool, hand tools, kitchen tools, cars, trucks and so and so on.
     
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  8. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    This is not what I want, I have almost no interest in video but one cannot ignore the tidal wave of change, video is pushing stills out of the way. It is true in the feature set of new cameras, in news capture, Internet content growth needs and in client demand.
    I love stills, but talk to the photojournalist of today and most have to capture video as well as still with the emphasis on video.
     
  9. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    Well, some nice headlining for traffic. Which isn't a criticism.

    I agree with Bob about some of his articles. On the other hand, I prefer an opinion to bland regurgitation.

    I just don't see it being a big vs little issue. I feel that sort of misses the point.

    I sense that we see large numbers of mid and entry level DSLRs around because digital reduced the cost of obtaining large numbers of high quality images, and it became worth it to try having a 'real' camera. For the camera makes it was a matter of feature and structure slimming to cut the prices.

    technology and innovation have evolved. Smaller cameras can do a lot more than just a few years ago, so the casual guy can spend (a bit) less, get a camera that's easy to carry and that can often grow in capability if needed.

    Some of that technology will feed across into what are now larger cameras. This is already happening. But what won't alter for many pros and serious amateurs is the need for maximum resolution and quality, robustness, a comprehensive system to cover a range of work, and an international network of repair and replacement with pro service standards.

    So to the extent the quality and robustness can fit, then pro camera may get smaller too.

    But we'll end up kind of where we were much of the time, as far as size is concerned: many pros with larger cameras, and the more average photographer with smaller cameras.

    But, of course, predicting the future is merely a hobby.
     
  10. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    Edited for clarity (sorry about the last post which created some confusion)-

    Here's a video camera that one can pause and get a usable RAW file at 5700 X 2200 pixels. Think of it as a STILLS CAMERA that is capable of shooting BURST RATES of 24 - 40 frames per second.

    Currently it's HUGE and not very useful as a carry around camera, but here's hoping that as with all technological innovations, that will change. In the process what could also change is the way we make STILL PHOTOGRAPHS.

    The obvious CONS are that we would need to sift through a LARGE number of images to get to the one we like, very big SD cards and HUGE storage requirements on the computer. This will obviously not interest the casual shooter who couldn't be bothered with sifting through the sheer volume of images, but I can't think of a reason why a pro would not want this flexibility, even though it GREATLY increases his workflow.

    As an enthusiast, the way one would use this camera, IF they finally managed to squeeze one into the size of say, an X100, would be to shoot in short bursts of 1-5 seconds, resulting in 24 to 120 pictures at FULL RESOLUTION, and quit worrying about missing a 'moment'. Currently there are cameras with high burst modes that do this, like the Nikon 1 series, but their buffer fills up pretty fast and they have tiny sensors. No DSLR (or large sensor camera) currently being made can shoot at these speeds.

    I'm not sure I would buy this camera though, because I'm not interested in photography enough to go through all this effort to get a usable image, and it doesn't seem like FUN. But then that's just me.

    Do watch the video before commenting, its a nice video that explains the possibilities of a new technology rather well.

    [video=youtube;B2EB0PTAyME]https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=B2EB0PTAyME[/video]
     
  11. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    The biggest argument against video for me is *I* want to decide how long I want to look at something. That, plus 99.999999% of "amateur" video is nausea-inducing rubbish...
     
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  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I will simply state that still photography will not die in my lifetime because I'll continue to do it. It may reach a point where its terminal, but its up to each of us to keep it nominally alive. I'm just not interested in video except to shoot the occasional short burst to capture something that a photo wouldn't. Like a child's play or recital or ball game or the guy playing two flugelhorns simultaneously in Washington Square Park or the guy singing opera in Central Park down by the boathouse...

    The argument that 99.9% of video is nausea inducing rubbish irrevlevant - 99.9% of EVERYTHING (photography included) is garbage! Why should video be any different??? Didn't keep painting from replacing hieroglyphics or photography from replacing painting...

    -Ray
     
  13. Julien

    Julien SC Top Veteran

    749
    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Julien
    Video has been there for more than a century. I see no reason why it should kill photography. I think text, stills and video have there own strengths each and will continue to coexist.
     
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  14. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    hmm.

    there was a time, let's not forget, when the advent of still photography was supposed to portend the death of painting

    oils, watercolours, prints and most sculpture don't move ... will they die too now? Killed by small cameras that make videos?
     
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  15. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    I think there's a point that's getting missed entirely. What the Red Epic shoots is not just video, it shoots full resolution RAW images (5120 X 2700 pixels) at 24 frames per second. That's a full frame DSLR (actually slightly smaller than full frame with a cinema aspect ratio) with a "burst rate" of 24 frames per second (Peter Jackson is currently shooting "The Hobbit" on Red Epics at 40fps), for as long as you hold down the shutter. So it's not about shooting video, it's still about shooting stills, only about a huge amount of stills. The way a photographer (not videographer) would shoot this camera, would be in short bursts of 3-5 second videos and pick and choose his "decisive moment" in post. The end result would be a still photograph, selected out of many still photographs that made up the "video".

    Of course memory management would be an issue and currently most computers wouldn't be able to keep up with the sheer amount of data, but SSDs are getting cheaper by the minute, soon we'll think nothing about having 300-400TB drives. We're a while away for any of this being pocket-able though, so I won't be holding my breath.
     
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  16. stanleyk

    stanleyk SC Top Veteran

    558
    May 23, 2011
    Taylor, Texas
    +1

    I knew I didn't need the that $899 imported Italian coffee maker that takes up my whole counter and makes a demitasse cup. :smile:

    I have a D700 + assorted heavy lenses. Unfortunately, there isn't an X mount version of the Nikon 35mm F1.4 G. I've also used an variety of APSC and MFT cameras. To be honest I haven't used the Nikon since I got the X Pro. In the end all these cameras do a lot of things well. It's just you can do more with a D700 than you can with an X Pro or MFT camera.

    I'm not sure the size of the camera has much to do with photography anyway. It's more an argument about cameras than photography. You could give me a Leica S2 and William Eggleston a Holga and he will be the better photographer every frame. Undoubtedly the two are not mutually exclusive but there is a difference between between cameras and photography.
     
  17. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    well, I think there're 2 seperate stages we need to recognise in this discussion: capture and presentation.

    In terms of capture, it may well be that cameras start shooting bursts and you can choose your favorite still image, although I'm sure many people will not want to bother with that and just keep shooting single still shots.

    In terms of presentation, stills aren't going anywhere. No way! A still image that you can let your eyes glide over for as long as you want is just too powerful, and pausing a video to look for that perfect moment and then take it all in will be too bothersome for most consumers - there'll always be a market or an audience for carefully selected moments frozen in time. Sure, with people often not bothering to read anymore, a video might be a convenient way for many journalists to tell their story, maybe even a more viable one. That doesn't take anything away from the difference in experience that exists between watching a still image (whether or not it's taken from a video feed is irrelevant) and watching a moving image.
     
  18. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    There will always be some form of stills but yes sadly video is the overall future.
     
  19. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    I agree with you that an average consumer might not be interested in sifting through a huge amount of images to get to the one he wants. But for pro photographers, answerable to clients, who don't care how the image is made as long as they get the right image, its a huge blessing.

    At no point is still photography going away, I'm not suggesting that at all. An image one can ponder on, will always have an audience, be it on screen or as print. I do think the way we arrive at the image will change (is changing). Currently we are in the very early stages of development of this new kind of camera, and they are huge and hugely expensive. But that will change.

    Here's an example of David Fincher shooting for Vogue on the Red Epic - Red in Vogue | The Inspiration Room
     
  20. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The thing that I hate about video is that it requires my attention for exactly 2 minutes and 47 seconds (or whatever) to get it's message across. A still image I can choose to view for as long or as little as I like.

    I also don't want to be sifting through hundreds of near identical images for the best one. I generally find that taking one image is sufficient to capture what I want.

    I guess that I do have the luxury of being able to choose to do what I want since what the paying consumer wants does not impact on my bottom line.
     
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