Another "Future of Photography" post

Much in the news of photography today, much of which is not good. First up, our favorite camera store, Penn Camera, has filed for bankruptcy. They'll be closing stores almost immediately. That leaves only a very few, scattered independent shops in our area, most of which suffer from small product lines. The logo from 1987 to 2006. "Evolution of...

Second, Kodak is also filing for bankruptcy. In my opinion, this has been a long time coming, and taking our Kodachrome away was the nail in the coffin. Not that I ever liked Kodachrome. I always thought Fujichrome was a much better film.

Sony Alpha NEX-7

Meanwhile, Trey Ratcliff has posted an interesting article on his blog announcing the death of the DSLR. Instead, Trey imagines a future of 3rd generation digital cameras, most without mirrors, and many without even any kind of viewfinder except for the big screen on the back. Indeed, new mirrorless cameras like Sony's new NEX-7 offer all of the image quality of today's APS-C DSLRs in an amazingly compact package. With adapters available allowing a wide ranges of lenses to fit on the NEX cameras, they're sure to be a hit. The NEX-7 is poised to be a very capable, professional quality camera once some serious lenses are available.

Full circle?

Years ago, professionals relied heavily on superb-quality 35mm rangefinder cameras with interchangeable lenses from Lieca, Nikon, Canon, and others. They loved them for their small size and weight and excellent image quality. A glance at the pages of any new photography magazine shows some of those same players are back at it today, introducing high-end "digital rangefinders" aimed squarely at professional or semi-pro markets.

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Who Needs a Video Camera?

As manufacturers improve the control and quality of video recording in digital cameras -- including D-SLRs, advanced or transitional digicams and even the smallest of point-and-shoots -- will consumer camcorders become a thing of the past? Many cameras are now capable of producing video at resolutions and frame rates, and with compression quality, that rivals that of broadcast television.

This little video was captured using a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX9 at 1080i/60i. I "edited" the video using iMovie on a MacBook, adding Apple's camera shake removal. When exporting, I made an NTSC 480i widescreen "print" with a medium level of compression to keep the file size reasonable. Of course, YouTube has compressed it further while transcoding it for playback on their site.

Of course, this video will never replace a full-fledged video camera for professional or broadcast use, but filmmakers are embracing mid-level D-SLRs like Canon's 7D and 5D mkII for serious movie making. Even the Canon EOS Rebel T3i can produce truly professional-grade results in the right hands.

So, what do you think? Will dedicated consumer camcorders be replaced with these high-quality hybrid technologies?