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By Dave Pagenkopf
Thom Hogan publishes several blogs of interest to photography enthusiasts -- amateuer and professional alike -- on his web site: http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/. Two of his recent articles (“Did Good Enough Win” and “Sports Illustrated Lets Remaining Photographers Go”) describe some of what is going on in the world of photography these days that make for interesting reading on many levels. For photography enthusiasts like myself we have seen the progression from film-based DSLRs to digital DSLRs and now to mirrorless and smartphones. Photography is like video and audio in that the medium has moved from physical atoms to digital bits. Once camera technology shifted from physical to electronic medium then the swift current of Moore’s Law took over and radically changed the entire camera and film business. As consumers we have enjoyed the progression.
Let’s take a minute and look at what is happening on the commercial side of the photography business. In his first article cited above and in many of his others, he highlights again the declining sales of DSLR cameras. In brief, a DSLR camera made in the last few years is perfectly fine and there is little reason to upgrade.
What we see is that for many people the smartphone can take pictures that are good enough for many people. The smartphone has the advantage of being convenient, always ready, and integrates the camera function with other smartphone apps. These benefits outweigh the inherent photographic quality compromises and people are leaving their single purpose cameras at home.
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