The Good Stuff.

11.29.2021

Random Observations. Monday Morning Opinions, Etc.

Loving the diagonal.

 I spent some quality time walking up and down Austin's current "most popular" tourist area this weekend. That would be South Congress Ave. or, as some locals call it, "SoCo." The street is lined with trendy restaurants, boutique hotels, coffee shops galore and many, many local and national retailers. If the weather is nice the sidewalks are crowded and the outdoor coffee shops even more so. 

While I was walking along with my camera it occurred to me on Saturday that I'd been out on that popular walkway for the better part of two hours and in all that time, passing by hundreds and hundreds of people, I had not seen a single person carrying or using a dedicated camera. 

Sure; there were plenty of people taking selfies, group shots or photographs of buildings that amused them but not one...single...person carrying a Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica, etc. Had this same venue existed when I first became interested in photography I can assure you that every second or third person would have had their Pentax, Olympus, Nikon or Canon over one shoulder, usually on a wide strap with colorful embroidery. 

Later in the weekend, yesterday, it was beautiful outdoors. The temperatures in the afternoon were barely into the 70s and the sky was post-rain, clean and beautiful blue. Downtown as getting its dose of new Christmas lights and ornaments. Shop windows boasted new displays and the coffee shops were doing good business. But, again, not a single person in the whole of downtown that I walked through had any sort of camera other than what was included with their phone. In the space of a couple of years cameras have vanished. Just vanished. 

And it's not like Austin isn't a tourist destination. In 400 yards of walking on Second St. I heard Spanish, French and German spoken by different groups people. And, I think, one of the Scandinavian languages as well... but in all groups from everywhere else --- no cameras. None. Non-existent. 

At first I considered that this might be the result of a demographic shift; that younger people were so glued to their phones that any other implementalia would just be a distraction for them. But dashing my assumption was a preponderance of silver-haired tourists. And, again, no cameras. No zoom lenses. Nothing. 

You may live in a city that has far more tourist traffic than does Austin and you may still see people out photographing with real cameras but I think Austin is somewhat of a "canary in a coal mine" city that tends to trend out stuff a bit ahead of the rest of the country. And it looks like we're done with cameras. 

Personal anecdote: I swim with a number of people who are somewhere around my age or younger. Three of them in the past week have, in an off-hand way, asked me if I'd like to have their cameras. Not an offer to sell, none of them need the money, but an offer to present the cameras to me as a gift; with no strings attached. I demurred and suggested they donate to one of the photo programs at the community colleges. I don't need extra cameras either. But it's telling that, to a person, they told me the cameras hadn't been used since the person acquired some recent generation of smart phone which answers all their needs for photography. 

I think we've hit a tipping point and I wonder if it's equally reflected in declining sales from the major camera makers. It's my assumption that, with the exception of people who "need" to use a camera for specific work or art tasks, that we are witnessing the slow but accelerating death of all manner of traditional cameras; mirrorless or DSLR. The grim reaper of old trends isn't differentiating. 

Writing this in no way implies that I think we should quit our jobs as photographers or stop enjoying our hobby or passion as photographers. It's just an observation. I intend to go on just as I have been and merrily sporting cameras around town. It's just that I  fear I'm going to start sticking out like a neon brilliant sore thumb in short order...

Electronic Shutters. For those of us who might keep using and buying cameras I think we're about to experience another one of those technology shifts with our gear. First Sony and now Nikon have introduced cameras with electronic shutters that have jumped over the hurdle of working well with flash sync and also reading out information fast enough to combat obvious rolling shutter effects. What was required to let makers eliminate the necessity for mechanical shutters was sensors that can read out tons of information at a deliriously fast pace along with processing components that could handle the torrent of data with equal dispatch. And I think we've hit that spot. 

I don't see this as necessarily a big win for buyers and users of the gear. We have cameras now that offer both electronic shutters and mechanical shutters and the ability to switch seamlessly between the two at need. We can have good flash performance and very fast shutter speeds in the same box. 

Yes, the images that are taken with fast electronic shutters will now have less rolling shutter effect or motion artifacts but I think few users really experienced problems from these things since the mechanical shutters do a great job right up to 1/8,000th of a second, in most of the popular cameras. Sure, now it's easier to shoot 20 or 30 fps with the electronic shutters but when has that ever been a rational and passionately felt need?

What this really means is that camera makers will be able to remove the very last set of parts that materially affect camera reliability: the actual, mechanical shutters. After the removal of moving mirrors with the introduction of EVFs a few years ago the mechanical shutters became the single most frequent reliability weak spot in all current cameras. They are fragile and all of them, no matter how great and wonderful the camera, eventually just wear out. Some far sooner than others. As the camera manufacturers move to make electronic shutters the only shutter in their cameras they are removing a big headache for themselves. They will reduce the amount of warranty work required by a huge amount. They will eliminate the entire structure of moving parts. In theory, once the investment in fast processors is amortized the cost savings should be profound. 

But don't worry. The cost savings will NOT be passed on to consumers. No, I'm betting that camera makers will market the electronic shutter as a new feature and something highly desirable. And you'll pay more for it. Instead of reading advertising about dynamic range or megapixel count get ready to hear breathless accounts from the camera maker's influencer lackeys about how shooting at 20, 30 or 50 fps has changed their lives....how they are able to capture the more perfectly perfect moment in time. The ne plus ultra of fleeting expressions. And be prepared to withstand their condolences for those poor schmucks whose cameras limit them to only 8 or 10 frames per second. A whole swath of users relegated to shooting only things that don't move. At all. 

The New Virus. Ah shit. We're back in the middle of the pandemic again. I just ordered another 100 face masks because we tend to go through them as quickly as kitchen paper towels. Once again I'm putting much desired travel plans on hold. Once again I'm anticipating clients extending their work-from-home policies (and no "face to face" photography policies) and once again I'm bracing myself to hear from a bevy of brain dead conspiracy theorists who, if they would just shut up and get their vaccines, could possibly have helped prevent this latest outbreak ..... or at least minimized its consequences. 

I'm trying to look on the bright side. Another lockdown means I won't be buying a couple of business class airline tickets to Europe or Japan any time soon. I might as well use that budget for something over the top like a Leica S3 medium format camera and some lenses. I'm not getting any younger waiting around for everything to open up again. Maybe blowing a huge amount of cash will trigger my usual personal consequences. Meaning that the minute I drop twenty or thirty thousand dollars on a camera system I don't need the virus will mysteriously vanish and I'll have to start saving for airfare all over again. I might have to take this path as a community service.... you can thank me later...

So, what are you up to on Monday morning? 

Final thought in reading around the usual suspects this morning: Are we of a certain generation condemned to live in the past and endlessly cherish the products and trappings of our youth? Is it ever okay to accept the current state of the art and enjoy it or are we forever joined at the hip with The Beach Boys, Cool Jazz, Bitchin Camaros, and analog? Is that Lady GaGa on my stream? I think so....

ADDED ON FRIDAY MORNING: Someone was foolish enough to disagree  with me about the constitution of users of Facebook. They had a whole song and dance about how Facebook was like a retirement home. I prefer facts over "fake news" so I looked up the age demographic of Facebook on a global scale. Here's screen capture:


Go to this site for more "real world" information. Not just stuff you thought up over morning coffee...


43 comments:

  1. Hi Kirk:

    Thanks for this article giving us a pulse, or sense, of what you are seeing in the hipster capital of Austin. I too no longer see cameras dangling on the necks of fellow strollers on the sidewalks around my hometown. I do not read too much into the trend other than to recognize that passionate and dedicated photographers have always been a smallish group. The digital camera phase simply brought on a bunch of toe dippers. Cell phone cameras have gotten so capable the need for a dedicated pocket/travel camera has been diminished. I dare say that most of my friends gave up their home computers too and now just use their phone.

    Also, like you, old digital and film cameras keep finding their way from friends' closets to my car trunk. I typically donate the cameras. Occasionally, something really nice comes my way. Just this weekend, I boxed up a pristine film SLR and a few nice lenses and sent them to a well known reseller firm. I am hoping to pass along a check to the camera owner (friends of mine) to cover the cost of a nice dinner out. If the Omicron variant really heats up, however, that dinner will likely be cooked at home:)

    Stay Well!

    CDC

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  2. Per Petapixel, "2010 was the year when camera shipments peaked at over 120 million units. The camera industry has become a bit-part player and is now shipping 9 million units just ten short years later." It's anyone's guess what camera companies will be left. We are getting on a plane next week to go to the East coast. Corona will be with us for the rest of our lives. Like the flu. I am not ignoring the risk. We are fully vaccinated. Life is too short to live in fear. Besides the Regeneron truck is just a phone call away!

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  3. I mostly see cameras at events at the moment, the local carnival etc, it'll be interesting to see how electronic shutters change the high end market, if they do, I'm guessing sports photographers etc might not rattle through as many bodies in a year, perhaps the shutter buttons will wear out, seems like it's little doors and stuff that might break off.

    greta came to my city in 2019 or so, and a lot of press guys were there, it was entertaining to see their 1dx's etc held together with duct tape and the way one of them changed lenses gave me the heebie jeebies, what must have been a $15-20k lens balanced on it's hood on the road as the march moved towards him, the body being waved around in a light rain, sensor exposed, I turned away traumatised at that point ;)

    someone had one of those huge canon lenses, 50-1000mm or similar, it was on a tripod...

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  4. One of the big issues now that is coming to bite us in the butt is the first world countries not doing enough to help vaccinate those in the second and third world countries. This new variant and many more to come has come from Africa. A continent not known for its stellar health care. Especially for the poor which is probably 90+ percent of the continents population. Ya I know, we need to look after our own first blah blah blah. Well "our own" for the most part have been intelligent enough to get vaccinated. The unintelligent morons who refuse will never come around. So instead of holding on to vaccines for those idiots, send it to those other countries who desperately need them. Protecting them protects us.

    When Erna and I were photographing on SoCo our cameras seemed to garner a fair amount of attention. Yup we stood out and not because we are so darn beautiful!

    Eric

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  5. Oh one more thing, if you were referring to MJ's blog I have taken it off my bookmarks. He and I are around the same age, I suspect I'm older but his interests over the past year have just left me cold. I could say more but I why bother.

    I love the past but I don't live there. I also love film photography and I love digital photography. For me it's about creating something that excites me. I use whatever tool will get me what I want. I also enjoy studying what the "new kids" are doing photographically. AA's world doesn't exist anymore.

    Eric

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  6. If phone cameras have largely replaced traditional cameras then electronic shutters have already largely replaced mechanical shutters. As fat as I know, no phone camera has a mechanical shutter.

    FWIW I live in Brisbane, Australia and regularly take a camera for a walk around a couple of areas in the city. In the city proper I can only remember seeing cameras at events and the last event I took photos at is a few years ago now. I not only saw a few cameras but even saw a couple of cameras on tripods. On the other side of the river in the cultural centre precinct I occasionally do see people using cameras but it's rare that I would see more than 1 other camera than mine during one of my walks and mostly I don't even see 1 camera.

    On the other hand, I see people shopping in camera stores when I visit one. Your post has me wondering when those people use the cameras they obviously must have, and what they use them for. I think those 2 questions may be worth exploring.

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  7. My biggest problem with buying a camera with the money diverted from other activities is, what is there then that warrants being captured in a photo? I bought a full-frame Canon earlier this year and except for a few departmental functions at my job, there's been nothing I felt worth shooting. Maybe it's more honest of me to say I haven't felt comfortable going to photogenic events that draw crowds, so my camera - and I - sit. And wait. And sit. And wait. ...

    Between the pandemic and me, I know I'M the real reason I don't shoot more often, but I miss the comfort of going to events and worrying only about exposure and composition.

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  8. Hi Eric,

    I wasn't specifically referencing any one particular blogger but I have gotten incredibly bored at reading about stuff from the good old days. We all know enough about the Time-Life period and the golden age. We all lived through the original Camaro and Mustang days. We all lived through Led Zeppelin and King Crimson. Wouldn't it be nice to concentrate for a while on the here and now? On what's happening in photography that's not predicated on rote copying of everything that arrived thirty or forty years ago? On how we practice today? Just sayin.

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  9. Terry, I totally get that. I'm dealing with the reticence, the same self-limiting lack of enthusiasm. If you find a good cure please let me know. Buying new Leicas didn't really help...

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  10. Santa Fe is basically a tourist town, and I do see a few cameras now and then, but not nearly as many as before the rise of cell phones. I used to think the cell phones were just a version of the little film Kodaks, but I no longer think that. People had those cameras, but really didn't use them a lot because of the problems of film development, printing, etc. Now, I'm seeing ordinary people who are really adept at using cell phone cameras, and use them all the time, for everything from family gatherings to note-taking on store prices. I think way, way more photography is being done, just not with dedicated cameras, and some of these people are getting really good with cell phone photography. I really wonder how many people with interchangeable lens cameras really got good with them, back in olden times, and how many were carrying them because it was the hip thing to do after the movie "Blow-Up." Maybe the kind of photography you really can't do so well with cell phones is now being boiled down to a core of true believers..

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  11. The "Blow-UP" effect. Love it. But I think you are exactly right. I saw very few cameras in Santa Fe when I was there recently. Very few. Makes me wonder who is buying all the new cameras and where they are getting used....

    Modern Anthropology.

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  12. Back when your tourists were carrying ‘real’ cameras, were they mostly men? How about now?

    It’s an accident of history that they are called smartphones if Edwin Land had survived to produce them they may well have been called smart cameras as those he described in The Long Walk https://youtu.be/zbmq9R0dtVg?t=735

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  13. Here in the Toronto area I see very few cameras when I'm out and about. Maybe one or two other people throughout the course of a day toting around the entry-level Nikon or Canon with the kit zoom. It's almost always selfies and group selfies with the iPhone or whatever. Photography is truly disposable in 2021. You share the photo of your dinner on social then get rid of it. Send a selfie somewhere and dump it. I think there are probably millions upon millions of DSLRs of various vintages sitting in closets, garages and basements all over the world. I don't remember the last time I saw a Leica actually being used by someone. I never see mirrorless cameras so I don't know who is buying those or why. It's been many, many years since I've seen a tripod or monopod in action. Cameras simply do not serve the needs of most people and they are very expensive purchases for most people in 2021. Even $500 is hard for most regular folks to part with for something that serves no real purpose for most of the population.

    I don't see any camera companies existing in a decade. Why would they? Hobbyists and professionals are not enough of a market for a half dozen camera companies. Sony could easily close up the camera division and move on to whatever the future tech will be in 2031. So could Panasonic. Maybe Canon and Nikon remain. Leica for the wealthy. Who else?

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  14. CRSantin,

    That's exactly what I believe. It's pessimistic and a bit cynical but probably 95% accurate. All that will be left are several smaller companies that continue to make products for the few professionals that will be left. Everything else will be shot on a iPhone. I was talking to a 22 year old yesterday. We both agreed, photos are more like a milkshake or a burger now than a physical thing with a long lifespan and inherent value. Finish the burger and it's gone. Then you buy the next one.

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  15. I can report from the elementary and middle schools that the cameras have been gone for about 5 years now. You might see one with a Dad that's a photographer or enthusiast, but even that is a rare occurrence anymore.

    Here in New York when I go into the city I do see folks with cameras, but I'd say 2 out of 3 are shooting film.

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  16. Thanks Sean for confirming what I've been seeing when I'm out. It's almost weird how quickly the cameras vanished.

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  17. Upthread, Frank Grygier quoted Petapixel ... "2010 was the year when camera shipments peaked at over 120 million units. The camera industry has become a bit-part player and is now shipping 9 million units just ten short years later."

    It's important to remember that the 120 million units number was mostly small, simple, inexpensive "consumer" cameras -- once called point-and-shoot -- sold at Wal Mart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon. It is those cameras that have disappeared and been replaced by smartphones. Statista reports that annual iPhone sales from 2015 through 2018 exceeded 200 million units -- and Apple isn't the world's only smartphone manufacturer.

    Looking at the big three camera manufacturers (which make cameras that many readers of The Visual Science Lab buy and use -- in addition to their smartphones), two (Canon and Sony) are very large and very active in video ranging from DSLRs up to some very expensive, complex and capable systems. These companies aren't going away any time soon although their products will continue to move up-market.

    The challenge for manufacturers will be to convert serious amateur and professional smartphone users to move up to more capable and expensive gear. The need for quality imaging will not go away.

    A final thought -- consumer screens are getting bigger, better and less expensive. Phone screens will always be a big part of the viewer experience but so will a large screen at home and at work. And big screens will need big, high quality videos.

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  18. I can't understand why Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic can't make a popular camera that easily, or even automatically, transfers images to a phone. With a smart phone one can snap a photo and in seconds text it to friends or post it on social media. With my mirrorless cameras I have to wrangle the manufacturer's insanely unrreliable app on my phone and connect to the camera. Many minutes later I ... may ... have an image to post on social media or to text to family members. My iPhone performs that immediate photo sharing with aplomb.

    My full frame camera produces far better images than my new smart phone. However, the reality is that an immediate connection with other people is usually more important than the finest 45 MP image quality.

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  19. I still see a lot of cameras around here. Maybe a lot of UW students are enrolled in a photography course just for some fun credits. But I have a nephew in high school who is taking a photography class, which started out with everyone shooting with smartphones for lack of any real cameras. But most of them got an itch for something better, so I loaned him a D7000 that was collecting dust, and it seems to be a hit with that crowd. Also, I'm schooling a few of the baristas at the neighborhood Starbucks (most of whom are UW students) in film photography, which they've been pursuing for some time. An occasional roll of Tri-X in the tip jar is always appreciated.

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  20. D. Lobato said, "I can't understand why Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic can't make a popular camera that easily, or even automatically, transfers images to a phone."

    I can't attest to either easily or automatically but the Canon R5 has that capability ...

    Connecting the EOS R5 to a Smartphone.
    https://support.usa.canon.com/kb/index?page=content&id=ART178172

    I recently saw an article by a sports photographer who was able to automatically and wirelessly send images from his Canon camera to an editor for processing and distribution in real time.

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  21. Here is a marketing piece from Canon about, "CAMERA CONNECT:
    THE SINGLE APP FOR EOS, POWERSHOT AND VIXIA"

    https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/explore/solutions-services/mobile-apps/camera-connect/

    I have no experience with this product. I don't work for Canon. I promise!

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  22. Cameras may not be too visible on the street right now, but demand on eBay for Leica M6, Minilux, Hassy Xpan, Yashica T4 and other trendy film cameras is red-hot right now: Check out recent sale prices and you'll see what I mean.

    I'm still wandering around with camera in hand, because IMO the strangeness of our current era provides it's own photo opportunities even if the mood of the photos isn't always upbeat.

    Now if only someone sold a lasting cure for "pandemic blues"!

    Jeff in Colorado

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  23. Let's face it, unless you're shooting birds or sports, a phone does a pretty damn good job. I find that the last thing that is keeping me from fully moving over to phone photography is my need to use a real view finder when shooting on the street. Some scenes are quickly fleeting and I'm not as fast on my phone as I am with my camera.

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  24. Enjoyed the post. It's the same here, a beach suburb of L.A. Only the photo enthusiasts have dedicated cameras these days. Of course the general public is getting better photos from the current generation of cell phone cameras then they ever got from their digital point and shoots or even entry level DSLRs, not because the of camera quality, but because their phones make technically good, consumer level photography so easy.

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  25. A few random, anecdotal observations. Living in the DC area the past couple of decades, noticed fewer and fewer tourists with real cameras, but saw plenty of cameras at "special occasions" such as July 4 fireworks or the spring cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin. And seeing folks carrying one or even two cameras with big telephotos was par for the course at our local bird reserve in Northern Virginia.

    We moved to the other coast at the end of this past summer, and on the cross-country drive stopped at a couple of major western national parks. Saw enough cameras at Badlands, but the real surprise was that seemingly more than half of the families at Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone had at least one member toting a real camera. And of course, there were pockets of people shooting bison and bear with real cameras.

    So maybe non-hobbyists are using their cameras for those once-in-a-lifetime trips and not for much else?

    For what it is worth, my 20-something niece was teasing me a couple of years ago for being the only person she knows who still uses a "real camera." Though I probably wouldn't be if not for my hobby of photographing birds (and other wildlife, when I can).

    Ken

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  26. Kirk, once again you ask interesting questions (you have a habit of doing this....) I reckon the rise of the phone and the demise of the (old fashioned) camera is yet another symptom of our "Modern" alienation from each other and from the world we inhabit. If we upload nearly 2 billion photos a day most of them would be selfies of the "look at me and look where I am" variety. From my own observations in places like Venice - where you do still see lots of "real" cameras - the vast majority of the tourists come for a few hours to get the "bragging rights" and then move on. Fewer folks take the time to look and see, absorb the architecture, the art and the atmosphere, that special light. I'm quite sick of having selfie sticks poked in my face. Thousands clog the alleyways, only a handful go into the churches to look at the art. A "real" camera encourages the photographer to look, stop, think and to "see" - and think about what she/he is doing - as you do when taking a portrait. (Remember the quote from Roland Barthes in "Camera Lucida") Sadly we are so bombarded by stimuli and the need for "likes" we have forgotten about the world we live in. It's all about me. Speed and convenience is what we crave, alienation results.

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  27. I think that the last few commenters have it right about who uses dedicated cameras. Bird and wildlife photographers, landscape photographers, and tourists. I regularly use my iPhone to take casual photos and video clips. But when I photograph birds I use a camera fitted with a long telephoto lens. In fact any decent telephoto work still needs to be done using a dedicated camera. And cameras with fairly recent sensors produce photos and video clips that have an overall smoothness that my iPhone struggles to match.

    That said, one big advantage to using a smartphone to take photos is that so many people do it that no one notices. A photographer or videographer using a fairly big camera gets noticed, and not necessarily in a good way. I know someone who was accosted by a belligerent pedestrian for taking photos of transit vehicles (not people) with a DSLR. Who needs that kind of nonsense?

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  28. Is using a camera just becoming a niche hobby or for professionals only?
    Possibly, in the sense that there have always been those of us interested in photography as a hobby rather than snapshots of "us on holiday". Perhaps all those DSLR sales merely reflected a sense that "I need one of these" (when most people didn't, not really for what they wanted it for) which happened to coincide with affordability at the time. That is not meant as a patronising comment, but simply reflecting that many hobbies are enjoyed by relatively small numbers of people.
    You do still see cameras in abundance at places like heritage railways and touristy places. One thing I have noticed of late, when I do see cameras in my local region, as often as not, the cameras are being used for video rather than stills.

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  29. Over here in Central Europe I still see plenty of Sunday Strollers with “real” cameras, most commonly standard lower end Canikon DSLRs, although it isn’t unusual to see wannabe Alpha Males with huge cameras taking photos of their kids. Of course everybody has a smartphone or two. But cameras haven’t vanished.

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  30. I think a lot of the purchases of DSLRs were from people who wanted a step-up from their phone camera. Over time they realised that A) the cameras in their phones kept getting better. B) They didn't like lugging around a big SLR. C) The results they got from a base level DSLR, with a slow kit lens and pop-up flash, that they didn't know how to, or really want to learn to, use properly were pretty underwhelming.

    I've been asked by plenty of friends and colleagues over the years for camera recommendations. Invariably - no matter what I say - they'll end up with an entry level Canon (it's usually a Canon) DSLR that they'll proudly tote around for a short while, before relegating it to a cupboard, having been too intimidated by all its functions to ever take it off auto. The companies may have stopped selling point and shoots, but people were still buying them.

    On the subject of electronic shutters and their cost implications - I'm sure you are right. They said EVFs would replace expensive prisms and mirrors, and yet the prices keep going up...

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  31. Great article! Cameras are disappearing! It's the phone! The awful distortions, the lousy look when actually printed! Screen is beyond super! Make a print and weep.
    As for accepting gifts of ancient relics (camera outfits) be warned! I did!

    I have boxes of Pentax Spotmatics (all no meters) and Pentax K-mount. Minoltas with lenses that are magnificent with same flares and "look" of my Leicas... Fuji, Canon Ae-1, Ae-1P, AV (my favorite for film and warmer weather). Nikon in FE, Nikkormat, F, and more lenses than i could ever carry. Digital in Nikon D-50 with FF lens (actually I bought that one C$60.).
    Lesson is there are no bad cameras* just lousy photographers!
    * Practica with auto film load. It grabs film like a East German border guard! scared to load it! all's well in freezing Toronto.

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  32. Ok but how many of all those film cameras sold back in the day spent most of their lives in drawers? People buy a lot of stuff because we're affluent and can afford to, but not many people became avid photographers. Or learned the basics of how to use the cameras. Did people ever need anything more than fixed lens compacts to take family snaps?

    I find it difficult to absorb the fact that even though millions of cameras are sold, it is a dying market. OTOH, I can believe that the world does not need upteen brands of cameras that all basically do the same thing at steadily increasing prices.

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  33. Well, Good Morning
    You act surprised at the latest changes in human non-development. Let's tackle these subjects one at a time.
    1. I thought you Texas boys just drank a strong cup of Joe, a shot of whiskey chased by a cup of bleach, and you were vaccinated :) where as us dainlions, and sunflowers out here in Oregon smash windows with our skateboards, and sniff pepper spray, while toking on a joint, instant vaccination :) all is good, right?

    The hospital I worked at had 12,000 employees their down to 9,500, there is no staff to treat these non vac covid fools, so the doctors, nurses, CNA's, RT's and anyone else that has direct patient care are refusing to treat the non vacs. They go to the back of the line, or home to treat themselves with chicken noodle soup inanna's, and horse dewormer meds. Oh ya, don't forget the pepper spray, whiskey and bleach. Very important :)

    I do not care if you get vaccinated or not, or wear a mask or not, just do not waste my time nor my tax dollars for your stupidity. Stay home! All we hear about is the new C-19 while Heart attacks, strokes, OD's, Cancer, and much much more are still going on,......so if your non vac just stay home. I had an offer the other day to come back to work and watch/check on one patient who was in a drug induced Comatose state, patient checks every 30-45 minutes for 8 hours, offer $1500-$2000 for the 8 hours. The patient was non vac, non mask, non insured. My reply, NO! I retired.

    Now onto the more important issues at hand,......cameras, and lenses or the lack of said objects in today's society. Cell phones are the new Brownies, most everyone has one, most have cameras built in so who needs a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera? Us Boomers!!

    I only see me walking around my small town with a camera these days. The Q boys and others like them sure like to follow me (a 70 year old man) around with their cell phones out and videos recording, you'd think they had better things to do, like get a job. I gave up bike riding (about 10-15 miles a day) as it got to dangerous because of these upstanding citizens and their oversize trucks. I live in a small town that use to have excellent coffee houses, great restaurant, movies in the park, and much much more until a group of interesting people $$$ got together bought up land and most of the town then got together and voted in a non-vacs, non mask, mayor and half the city counsel. Gone are the coffee houses and good restaurants. The Christian Right now parols and watches the one coffee house/art gallery that's left for non acceptable art/photos and music.
    Time to move like everyone else. Where to go...............I hear Austin is nice? I hear tell they have outdoor cement ponds that you can swim in? Go figure, what will they think of next? Cameras without mirrors?? Oh my,... say it's not so :) :)
    Take care be safe
    Roger
    P.S. If you decide not to publish my rant I understand :)

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  34. Agree with RJ on almost all his rant. And with whoever observed that photography interest and activity is way up. My cellular device is a real camera and it takes real photos. Newer models are even better. Look at all those cameras at concerts; look at all those cameras on the field after Mich kicked OSUs butt ( and just consider the craziness of all those yelling people with no personal distancing in a pandemic)… Enough. My only half serious comment is that for the vast majority of people life has become ahistorical. As a retired teacher who was in that racket for 40 yrs…there was once a place for scholars, who had experience, wisdom, and vast knowledge; that is there was an historical component to competence. None of that is very important any more. Canned computer lessons, disregard and disdain for scholarship, educators merely facilitate prescribed curricula. Finally, about boomers (like me) and their real cameras. It is an addiction, truly rooted in the past. Almost all images will have no future, no history to come.

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  35. My last phone purchase, to a Galaxy S10, was for the camera. That doesn't stop me from "investing" in single-function picture-taking devices, with both electronic and chemical sensors.

    As far as blog comments go, there are only two photo blogger sites that I peruse daily, because of their high quality and insightful writing. I'll suffer through detours into billiards, or swimming, because of that. Besides, I might just learn something. ;)

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  36. Roger, loved your rant and it's always welcome. Move to San Angelo, Texas. But visit first to see if it's right for you. Let me know and I'll go with you...

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  37. I enjoyed Roger J.'s rant above. The one thing that really disturbed me was the bit about the American Taliban patrolling the local art gallery for acceptable content. Seriously, it's time to move, there's no need to accept living like that, it's nearly 2022. :)

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  38. Kirk: “ Makes me wonder who is buying all the new cameras and where they are getting used....”

    Easy! 1.4 billion Chinese - a middel class around the same size as the total population of the USofA - easily gobbles up a major part of the cameras still produced in this World. Ten years ago, they even had a complete Street in Guangzhou, where only cameras and lenses were sold - and of course displayed. From the most expensive vintage Leicas and Hasselblads to the most recent bazooka lenses available from Canon, Nikon, Sigma and specialist outlets. The complete selection of recent product repeated in several shops.

    The same “ordinary big Chinese size” city - more inhabitants than most US States - also had a complete, several story Hi-Fi mall, with every High end and super High end up to bespoke Unit on display and ready for delivery. Most not Fakes. A few cables had Odd “markings” and attachments like “property of the hospital”, but in non-english speaking/writing regions, this happens (how good is your Chinese writing by the way ;-)

    The World has changed a lot outside the US and Europe (especially if you cared to look or even visit) the last ten to fifteen years or so. Today the digital revolution mainly takes place in Shenzhen (or Hangzhen), less in Silicon Valley (“only” old farts use Facebook these days ;-) YouTube has started filling up with “vintage TV shows” from outlets like BBC - paradise for the dementia stricken old folks. Have you looked into Apples job offers “over there” compared to other, previously important places of the World? Just as an example? They may need the odd “ordinary employee” here and there, but the real “gold position with tough requirements” are looked for in “the new World” (no longer really the third world).

    Pandemic has *also* changed the world (especially in the rich parts, where the moron minority are allowed to take the vaccinated majority hostage).

    Regards - we live in interesting times (an’ they are a’changing faster than ever ;-)

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  39. Hmmmm. Interesting visual: 1.6 billion "old farts" currently using Facebook.... And most of the "old farts" are....ready for it? Under 40. And live outside the USA.

    Haven't looked into Apple's business in China...too busy welcoming nearly 8,000 new Apple workers to Austin. Along with 17 Billion dollars worth of Semiconductor production facilities courtesy of Samsung. Oh, and the new Tesla H.Q. etc, etc.

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  40. Illustrative question: Do young people or worse - teenagers - strive to meet their equals or party in “retirement homes”?

    No. They visit their folks or grand parents from time to time. Frequently or not. Their ‘real lives’ are lived elsewhere to whatever extend possible.

    Facebook counts all users (even fleeting visitors - they supposedly warrant advertiser money also), but few - especially - teenagers live their private lives under the watchful eyes of their parents. Never been en vogue, and certainly not when I was 50 or more years younger - remember the sixties, flower power, hippies, the 1968 riots across the world, and how upset our parents were, if they got even a whiff of our ‘private lives’ amongst our equals.

    Same “procedere” for untold millenia ;-)

    When “all” grown-ups and geezers interested in a digital life seem to have finally settled on using Facebook, where do the young ones spend their real and ‘private’ digital lives? On Facebook? You gotta be kidding. They *visit* Gran, mom and pop on Facebook - the “ol’ people’s site” (if you’re fifteen even 30+ is really ancient and chances are, that your parents are at least ten years older ;-)

    Facebooks main audience is getting older. Really fast. That’s why political parties are going ape over Facebooks audience. They’re completely desinterested in persons, that cannot vote and therefore can be ignored for now.

    The youngsters still count as “users”, but are they? Really?

    Youngsters living their digital life on Facebook? You gotta be kidding!

    Regards

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  41. Always good to look at the facts instead of your anecdotal conjecture. Outside the USA Facebook dominates social media across age groups. Hard stop.

    I don't use it. I'm 66.

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  42. Anonymous, just above. Go see what I added at the end of the blog post. It's something you might learn to enjoy: facts.

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  43. I think Macro is also still an important part of the world of real cameras...

    And King Crimson, huh? I still some vinyl of their's.... might just need to put some on and have a slug of Scotch before bed. Great call, Kirk.

    Roddy

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