The Ten Trends I Am Fond Of.
1. How about smaller and lighter cameras. Anyone notice that the Canon 7D is nicer to use than the 5Dmk2 and that the 5dmk2 is easier to shoot all day than a 1dsMk3? That an Olympus EP-2 is a hell of a lot more fun to shoot than an e3? That less weight makes you less tired? That we're mostly shooting digital and all the cameras should be smaller. Thank goodness some of the camera companies are getting the message. Not all pro cameras need to be designed for lumberjacks with hands as big as Frisbees. Some people under six feet tall also pursue this hobby/profession.
2. Laptops rule. Desktops drool. When my last big, hulking tower gave up the ghost I gave up having a fan cooled missle silo under my desk. I'm not an IT guy. I'm not "hot swapping" drives and I'm not generally waiting for much except for slow loading websites and I have it on good authority that an i7 chip isn't going to hurry along a slow feed from a distant server. In 2008 I went all lap top all the time. And I love it. Need to go into the field? Laptop. Need to drive a big screen? Laptop. Need to fiddle with crap and add your own gimcracks and whizzer retarders and biforcated omegavalve flux limiters? Then you need a Windows tower and you probably don't have time to do photography what will the upgrades, patches and whatnot. If my machine is running slow I can't tell. Most times now all new Apple technology works so well it's just invisible. I'm sure it's the same on the other platforms as well.
No more 10,000 rpm fan noise. No more sticker shock.
3. Cheap CF and SD cards. The price of removable memory cards is falling quicker than the size of raw files is increasing. Amazing. For once it works out for the little guy. Right now 8 gig cards are so cheap (and I'm talking the first tier brands) that they are cheaper than the price per frame of film. In other words it would be equally cost effective, compared to film, to just shoot the cards and file them in the filing cabinet, using a new card for each project......That's amazingly cool. Especially when you consider early digital adopters routinely spent thousands of dollars for cards measured in megabytes, not gigabytes. We did the ground work. You get the pay off.
4. Lens Magic. Cameras and raw converters are getting so smart they are correcting for lens flaws on the fly. Including PS5's raw converter. Now we get optics that are 50% better just for upgrading our software. Bonus if you shoot Nikon because the camera does it all, transparently. Wow. Better edges, no vignetting and more sharpness. Like open bar.
5. I know this is old news but I love photo books you can make online and have delivered to your house in a week. They look good and they look cool and it's a great way to make gifts for family and clients. Who would have ever thought your could have a custom, hardbound book full of color images and type for less than $100. Less than the price of a decent dinner for two. Unimaginable just a decade ago.....
6. The iPad. I don't have one but I love the idea because it's only a matter of time before my publisher gets all four of my books onto the ibook store. Yes. And I've seen that it's a great way to present video to potential clients. More like this. Plus I could run my whole business on a 32 gig model (without processing images, thank you.)
7. God bless lights that are smart. The Nikon SB900's, the Olympus fl50r, the Canon 580 ex2's. Any of which can be used in groups, wirelessly, to do the kinds of things that we used to do with forty or fifty pounds of metal and explosively huge capacitors from Speedotron, Profoto and others. With the new camera performance it's only a matter of time before we all go battery powered. It just takes more coaxing to pull in the old guys. I still have some big lights..........(but I love the little ones.....).
8. VR & IS "You say potato and I say potatoe"..... Virtual tripod in your lens or body? What's not to like. Seems to offset years of coffee drinking and what not. Just remember to turn them off when the shutter speeds get higher or the camera lands on a tripod. Don't cancel out your advantages. This stuff really works. Well. So why am I racing to finish this so I can go pick up a new tripod? (Because the ash wood Berlebach's are so cute... and they do IS/VR right on down to seconds and minutes....).
9. Don't get me started on video capability. I've done seven or eight projects so far this year with Canons and Olympae and it's amazing the quality and performance your can get out of these if you shoot certain syles. If I were news gathering I might want a traditional vid cam but these are great for "on tripod" set up stuff. Can't go backwards now....
10. Price/performance ratios. We're getting Porsche performance for Hyundai prices these days. When I compare the cash we dropped in the early part of the century for six and twelve megapixel camera I can only grin and marvel at all the stuff we're playing with now. Across the board. Amazing how far digital has come in ten short years. Amazing.
There's a lot more but I'll save it for another time.