12.15.2014

I made a statement about the decline of photography in 2013. Was I right or wrong? Or maybe the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Here's the link: http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2013/08/has-bubble-burst-is-that-why-camera.html

The avalanche of camera sales declines has accelerated in 2014 and the trend looks even scarier in 2015. Am I worried? What? Me worry?

More clients need more photos than ever before. They just need to find photographers who can light and see instead of just buying more cool stuff.

And if that raised your blood pressure a bit then you might want to re-read my most read blog post in the past two years. It's also a prediction of a different future....

http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-graying-of-traditional-photography.html

8 comments:

neopavlik said...

"So, as I've said, the game is over and the photo wizards made it to level 89 and no one wrote anymore code after that."

Lol. I'm not sure how I didn't comment on that the first time.

Thom Hogan had an idea of making Dslrs modular and communicating instead of "just another dslr". Those gadgets probably would've gone over pretty well if like phones the "in-crowd" could put their pictures and videos immediately up on those various websites they like.

Hopefully Canon and Nikon are ready to bring real deals back. Things got weird from 2010 to present. The $ is doing great against the yen.

Just bought a D600 with 113 shutter count for < $850...let's push those pixels ! :)

blog said...

I haven't read your original post but have to agree that sales have been plummeting. It seems the camera forums are full of those that have to have the next best thing. Yet they probably haven't mastered the equipment they already have. At least I haven't and I'm using tech that's been around for more than 5 years.

Ray said...

The wheels on the bus go round and round. All that was old is new again and so on.

Noons said...

Looking at the number of smartphones going up in baby-with-dirty-diapers position everytime something goes "ding" anywhere, I can't fail to think the actual number of photos taken has dramatically ncreased.
Is the output of that what we used to call photography?
Not any less than the 60s and 70s Instamatic flash-snaps of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the middle of the night.
Yes, exactly!
Artsy photos? No way.
But photos. And apparently folks liked them a lot.
I think we just have gone full circle: we're back in vast numbers of consumer photos that no one really appreciates but everyone wants to be seen taking.
Does that mean the end of photography? Not any less or more than back in the Instamatic days.
Just different hardware and media being used but the mass attitude is exactly the same.
Will that mean less camera choice? Without a doubt!
Is that really bad? I for one can do with less of this madness of upgrading everything every 16 months!

Bill Beebe said...

The answer for 'classic' camera makers is two-fold: cost and flexibility. Cameras and gear are way too costly, while getting your images off the camera and up to the cloud where you can share is too cumbersome for the vast majority.

That's what smartphones with cameras have solved: the cost of the camera is essentially 'free', buried in the cost of the smartphone, and the image quality has surpassed the so-called point-and-shoot cameras the vast majority used to purchase. And the smartphone, with its multiple channels of connectivity (mobile wireless and WiFi) make it dead-simple to share your images on the web for any and all to see.

Right now, some of the camera makers are using built-into-the-camera-body WiFi and a smartphone app to at least shorten the process of getting the image off the camera and up to the cloud. I use an Olympus E-M10 with Olympus Image Share on my Android Phone and iPad Air 2 to move the JPEG images off and then out. As long as I have connectivity on the smartphone/iPad I can move those images out pretty quick.

Trying to do that with expensive DSLRs is complicated and stupid. Canon and Nikon both could have really made an good impression on the low end (i.e. Rebel and Dx000 models respectively) by building WiFi connectivity directly into the cameras (without raising their cost) and then marketing a smartphone (Android/iOS) app to move them off. That would have answered the cost and connectivity issues in part. And they're brands that many consumers already know, far more than say Olympus, Panasonic, and Samsung in this arena. But they didn't.

Olympus and Panasonic are trying (with the E-M10 and LX7 respectively). I've used both and prefer Olympus, primarily due to the Olympus apps better performance. Cost is still an issue with the gear, even with the LX7 on deep discount.

WiFi, however, is not the complete answer. To use WiFi for the camera, you have to knock yourself off the regular WiFi grid. There is no "sharing" multiple access points with WiFi. Instead, newer cameras should use Bluetooth 4.1 for better connectivity and data transfer rates. Then the smart device could stay connected to the rest of the web/cloud via WiFi simultaneously. Of course, you can have that today if your smart device is connecting to the web via LTE, but for those of us who don't, we have to live with the WiFi connectivity shuffle.

It's going to be an interesting next five years, and frankly, I have no idea how it will turn out. But I have hopes...

Anonymous said...

From the essay "Has the Bubble Burst:"

"I think there are two reasons driving this incredible decline. Two bubble bursting phenomena occurring on top of each other. The obvious first cause..."

Kirk, my friend, I've been trying for a year and a half to figure out your SECOND reason.

Kirk Tuck said...

Um. Just because. No, really it's because digital imaging was in large part a trend and it's now passé. People have moved on to the next thing and away from single purpose cameras.

Anonymous said...

You've always been right on the money as long as I've read your blog.