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11-06-2014, 10:19 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
... teeny tiny bit pessimistic. Just a tad.

Consider, if nothing else, your vision will assure a continued supply of customers for glorified
poster prints at art fairs around the world. Your vision would lower the bar considerably below
current standards, making it a shoe-in career for anyone willing to pixel-peep and pay attention
to anything beyond a quick grab snap-shot.

More seriously, photography didn't kill painting and digital won't kill photography. It may alter
the careers of some but anyone intent on pursuing a more qualitative approach to photography
will find opportunities for work. ...

As being in the graphic arts business, I can tell you that in the bookmaking industry, during the past 10 years the whole industry has changed towards the "paperless" books. I still do book editing and publishing, but almost every publication done now stays as ebook or pdf file. Printing is no longer done (no hardcopy). Reason is simple: 1) save production costs and 2) save on the environment issues (paper).

Compared to this situation, and to the fact that every day, home electronics and especially "display" screens are getting bigger and cheaper, it wouldn't surprise me that in 5 years, it will be cheaper to buy a 60 inch super HD flat screen that to print a poster the same size on quality photo paper.

Or course, digital will not kill photography, but the "customer expectancy" (average) will not produce enough business to high end photo gear producers, in order to keep the industry going. It would be like film. Of course you can get film today, but at what prices. Also with pro oriented photo labs... there still are, but only less than 10% of what it was 10 years ago.

Look at the music industry. 30 years ago, the CD literally killed the LP record. Of course, you can still find some LP's, but at what price and with extremely reduced variety. Now, the CD is being killed by the "download" with tools like Itunes or such. Of course, there are still plenty of CD's available, but the big chunk of the business is flocking towards the "download". Have in mind that this also changed how people purchased music. With the CD, you bought it because you liked 2 or 3 songs out of a dozen in the CD... now, you buy ONLY the song you want. In other words, with the CD, even the bad (not so good) music got sold. Today, if its not good, it won't sell at all. Period!.

What I am afraid, is not that photography will disappear. Of course it will not, but customer imaging market will change so much from what we know it right now, that there may come a time where not enough of "us" are left to keep the business of high end photo gear running. Or probably will, but at sky high prices and very reduced availabilities.

11-06-2014, 11:49 AM - 4 Likes   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
"Image capturing devices" market is changing a lot faster than any of us could have predicted 5 years ago. According to some marketing and behavioral experts, in less than 5 years some brands like Nikon (whose 80% business comes from photo gear sales), may well disappear.

Point, shoot, collapse: Why big camera companies are the next BlackBerry | Financial Post

What this article does not mention, is what could happen to brands like Pentax, Olympus and others who are subsidiaries of bigger corporations that have good business levels in other products as medical imaging, office machines, home electronics, etc.

What do you think? Are we following the dinosaur, LP records, 8track tapes, VCR's and portable CD players path?

Are we ready to accept a smartphone as a good replacement for our beloved gear?

Not me of course, but I do recognize there may come a moment in time, where the quality photo gear sales are so reduced, it may become impossible to produce or will be priced so high, it may be impossible to buy.
Pentax will be out of business in 5 years. I have this on a good source. The manager of a Wolf Camera in Chattanooga, TN told me this in 1989. I would get an update from him, but his store closed about 20 years ago.

sarcasm
11-06-2014, 11:50 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
In five years I reckon I'll still be rockin' a Pentax K-mount DSLR, and my camera bag will be chock a block full of pretty much the same glass as I have now.
The body will have a 36x24 sensor, and its performance will be quantum leaps beyond what we currently have, and life will be sweet.
Pretty much this! Only, it should come with a good looking assistant.

Camera
11-06-2014, 12:09 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote

Look at the music industry. 30 years ago, the CD literally killed the LP record. Of course, you can still find some LP's, but at what price and with extremely reduced variety. Now, the CD is being killed by the "download" with tools like Itunes or such. Of course, there are still plenty of CD's available, but the big chunk of the business is flocking towards the "download". Have in mind that this also changed how people purchased music. With the CD, you bought it because you liked 2 or 3 songs out of a dozen in the CD... now, you buy ONLY the song you want. In other words, with the CD, even the bad (not so good) music got sold. Today, if its not good, it won't sell at all. Period!.
I think it safe to say you and I live in two very different markets for music. Here, in Austin, TX, and in most big cities in the US,
Europe and Japan, at least, LPs never got killed by CDs. They certainly receded into a product of much lesser demand but
they were never eliminated. The resurgence I mentioned is also very much alive, though it's being produced by a VERY different
source than it was before the introduction of the CD. Big labels are out of the LP business for the most part but in their place
there are thousands and thousands of micro, (100 copy production runs), to small (100,000 copy production run) labels
putting out music on LP right now. Yes, LPs have now become a premium product and does cost more, comparatively, than
it used to, but it's also being pressed on better quality vinyl and probably sounds better than ever before. The variety has, if
anything, increased even if total volume has decreased over vinyl's peak in the early eighties. 20 years ago there were
several dozen record shops in Austin. 10 years ago all but 4 or 5 had closed. Today there are at least a dozen and all are
doing brisk business in vinyl. (*)

The internet devastated the entrenched big label monopolies of the music industry. In its wake has been a true revolution
for music as thousands and thousands of small labels are all now on a level playing field with those giants and even
independent musicians can get there music 'out there' with relative ease. There is more good music, and bad, to be had
and heard, at lesser cost and across a broader spectrum of mediums than ever before.

I see a similar phenomenon happening with film. Seems a vast majority were willing to toss away their film gear and
go digital, only for a sizable minority to later decide they missed the format. Virtually all the big film producers are out
of the game or have greatly reduced production, but new players are producing film to satisfy that demand. I know, apples
and oranges, and it's still early days for the film revival but I do think if there is demand someone will supply. We are
consumers and manufactures adore us for that.

(*) Curiously, there is also a resurgent interest in the audio cassette, just about the worst mass medium to ever be used
for music. It's as if a bunch of 20 year olds all decided it would be hip to starting shooting the 110 film their parents used.

---------- Post added 11-06-2014 at 01:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Pentax will be out of business in 5 years. I have this on a good source. The manager of a Wolf Camera in Chattanooga, TN told me this in 1989. I would get an update from him, but his store closed about 20 years ago.

:sarcasm:
I would double like that if I could.

11-07-2014, 01:30 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Second point - and VERY VERY important!!!!

Cameras don't matter. Lenses matter. Machine vision is the future. Machine vision needs lenses. Companies that can design and produce lenses for machine vision will rule the imaging business. I believe Ricoh Imaging has at least a presence in machine vision.
Very good point!! All good IQ will always require good optics. Maybe the camera as we know it might disappear somewhere in the future. But smaprtphones and future wearable devices like google glass may connect and interface with lens & sensor combinations for better quality.

Back to Pentax... Do they design and build their own lenses? I thought they had that done by Tokina and sorts?
11-07-2014, 03:25 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
Its interesting how different people foresee the future in certain form of "convenience" to their own agenda. Sometimes quite objective and others, a little bit utopic.

Of course I would like to see Pentax still going strong in 5, 10 or 20 years ahead, but I am afraid there is one single situation that is really CHANGING the imaging concept in people, which is their perception of "quality" (as the article mentions).

Let me explain: 50 years ago photography took its biggest leap in history towards making photo shooting available for the "sunday shooter" noob, with the introduction of the Kodak Instamatic cartridges. The once famous cartridge (126) and later with the 110 format, took care of the single most important technological barrier between the completely photo ignorant person and the "photographer of the house" who usually pulled out his Exacta, Asahiflex, Nikon, Minolta, Praktica, Leica or other "spooky" device jammed with knobs, numbers, buttons and levers.... which scared the crap of your average Joe by those days.

At the same time, another company founded by Dr. Land (Polaroid) offered us the magic of "instant results", which running shoulder to shoulder with the Instamatic cartridges, caused an instant "quality standard decrease" in what regular people expected.

Later was the Disc system along with the 110 cartridges who dominated more than 60% of the total consumer photo business worldwide. Of course, business was doing fine, but a what cost? By lowering more and more the quality of the pictures produced.

By mid 80's to mid 90's, the industry flourished with the 135 mm point and shoot cameras. Even Pentax was considered number 1 worldwide in this segment, which provided the cash flow for developing more and more sophisticated point & shoots as well as SLR, to later switch to digital systems. Of course, other brands had their own share. C & N as well as Minolta, Fujica, Yashica, Contax, Rollei, etc.

With the surging of the digital era, another phenomena happened. All of a sudden, less and less pictures were printed. The mini-lab business started lowering their participation in the photo industry and only a few remained. Few years later, slide film was gone to a point that there may be less E6 labs in the total western hemisphere than nuclear shelters. With digital also happened another curious phenomena. While people was shooting more pictures limited only by the memory size in their cameras, less and less pictures were actually being printed. Probably only one in every thousand photos taken, were ever printed on (photo) paper and displayed in a frame or pasted in a photo album.

All those pictures were being stored in hard drives, diskettes, CD's and flash drives. Sometimes their owners never backed up their systems and sometimes saw how the first 5 years of their kids in photos, were lost forever because a computer virus or a damaged CD disk or diskette. During the film days, if anything happened, at least you had the negatives... but with digital, nada!

Home photo printers started showing. Of course, consumables were expensive (still are) but at least, started giving us a nice possibility to print our own pictures at home, and better yet, print only the ones we want and not the whole roll of film...

Everything was fine until two major players in the photo thing showed up: Social networks and smartphones! Now, all of a sudden, printing is no longer a needed and we are being dazzled by the computer and smartphone screens to appreciate not only our pictures, but everyone else's too! This two single players automatically lowered our quality standards again! Everything looks great on a smartphone screen! Yes, its small and can't appreciate if there is out of focus, blurs, grain, noise, or whatever pixel peeping issue we may try to find... And of course, since we inadvertently lowered our quality standards, now with also think the camera in the smartphone is just great!

Of course, all my previous description is too generalized. Of course, there is still lots of people like us that find "offensive" when someone dares to compare the IQ from an Iphone to one produced with a K3 & DA15. But we have to admit it: At Instagram level, is almost impossible to tell a difference! (snif snif snif).

I am sure 5 years ahead (or even 10), there will be photo enthusiast that will still cherish their beloved cameras and lenses. Some of us will be still pixel peeping and debating about this or that lens.... discussing how the "big ones" fell from mount Olympus to the deepest abyss in the ocean and how we are like endangered species who refuse to accept change.

I see the future today in a very different way we saw the future 15 years ago: remember? Many of us said that digital will never take over film due to quality issues... but sadly enough, digital took over! Finding film today is as rare as finding gasoline in "Mad Max", remember? It really hurts down deep when I see someone asking about how "reliable" some rolls of film may be if dated for expiration 20 years ago...

I am not pessimistic, just realistic. If the photo industry players keep doing things the same way as today, they are doomed without a question. The only survivors will be the ones that find that special added value the will keep their products selling in a quite different technology market.

BTW, the same way smartphones are taking over the "consumer imaging business" today, I am sure in a not so distant future, another technology will come that takes over the smartphones. Think for a split second about one device today that is considered just as an expensive toy with very few real world applications: Google Glass.

At the speed technology advances, I bet we will be able to see (in the next 10 to 15 yrs), a new type of "wearable" device, that will take care of communications (phone), imaging (camera), file sharing (wi-fi), info handling & access (browser) and about two dozen more apps that we still don't know may exist and never knew how we could live before without them.

And during those days of implanted electronics and devices (the Borg!), I am also sure there will still be some Pentax enthusiasts, still taking pictures with their beloved cameras or probably staring at them as dead electronic bricks, because no longer you can find replacement batteries or memory cards for them.

But hey! Don't be sad. I am not saying Pentax will die. I am just saying that photo gear as we know it today, will undoubtedly die, but I am sure Ricoh Imaging will come out strong, evolving into the new technologies and providing us with great gear for many years to come, under the Pentax brand of course!

A glimpse at the future 20 years ahead!

Pentax and Borg in the same post. Cool.

Seven of Nine. My favourite Borg.
11-07-2014, 06:51 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Very good point!! All good IQ will always require good optics. Maybe the camera as we know it might disappear somewhere in the future. But smaprtphones and future wearable devices like google glass may connect and interface with lens & sensor combinations for better quality.

Back to Pentax... Do they design and build their own lenses? I thought they had that done by Tokina and sorts?
Pentax have been designing their own lenses for a long, long time. Some Tokina lenses..I believe.....like the 10-17, the 12-24...were Pentax lenses before they were Tokina. I think you have it the other way around.
11-07-2014, 07:02 AM   #38
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I believe i 5 years Pentax will be on the verge of releasing a Full Frame, I'll still be predicting.. "It's almost done.

QuoteQuote:
Back to Pentax... Do they design and build their own lenses? I thought they had that done by Tokina and sorts?
Lenses by Hiakawa Jun, and he was just one of Pentax's designers... notice the 10-17 was designed at Pentax...

DA 10-17mm Fish-Eye
DA 14mm f2.8
FA ★ 24mm F2.0 AL
FA 28mm F2. 8AL
FA 35mm F2
DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
DA ★ 55mm F1.4 SDM
FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
FA ★ 80-200 F2.8
FA ★ 85mm F1.4 (IF)

11-07-2014, 01:43 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Coincidantally, I was at the wedding of a befriended couple. They are hardcore sky-diving enthusiasts. Tool of choice for that is, of course, go-pro. They decided not to hire an expensive photographer to take a bunch of photo's they'll pay an arm-and-a-leg for, glue in a book and only look at every 20 years. But they had two friends follow them around with their go-pro's mounted on their shoulder instead. Not very elegant, in my opinion. But they can actually re-live their entire wedding in a very intimate, fun and modern way. I don't think it will catch on...
That's pretty awesome but they should have had gopro's directly on the wedding couples heads to record their perspectives...BrideCam and GroomCam GoPro Combo Pack coming soon
11-07-2014, 02:07 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anthen Quote
Originally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
In my case not hard to predict
1. My camera bag
2. My office
3. My work
4. My holidays
5. And still depleting my bank account Some things are hard to predict like new technology, but my behaviour after my first pentax camera in 1973 is much easier.

You forgot one: 6. Everyday on this forum


I plead guilty as charged
11-07-2014, 10:45 PM   #41
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I think the traditional camera will have to go upscale to survive. Smartphones to DSLRs is like digital watches to mechanical units. Rolex and Omega seem to be doing pretty good in the luxury market. I think we'll see Pentax, Sony, Nikon, etc follow the same path. Let smartphones become the Citizen and Seiko watch equivalent while the A7 and the K3 become the Rolex.
11-07-2014, 10:57 PM   #42
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in 5 yrs? I hope I 'upgrade' to a 645z.
... or a Sony Mirrorless Medium format...

but definitely will still have my film medium format cameras.
11-08-2014, 02:44 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Pentax will be out of business in 5 years. I have this on a good source. The manager of a Wolf Camera in Chattanooga, TN told me this in 1989. I would get an update from him, but his store closed about 20 years ago.

:sarcasm:
LOL Good one.
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