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Old December 9th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #1
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The end of consumer video cameras?

Just returned from a Carribbean cruise up the Amazon River and I was surprised how many of the 270 passengers shot video and stills with their iPads.

I shot video with a Canon HV40, another guy shot with a Sony, unknown model, and a German guy used a JVC,
he was happy it uploaded direct to Quicktime. A few used Canons and Nikons for stills.

But about 30-40 other passengers employed iPads to shoot their stuff. I asked a few how they stored and showed it, the general answer was ..
'nothing, I just show it on my iPad, I don't even print the still shots, the display is good enough and I can send them to friends.'

They also handled their email and social media while relaxing around the Silver Cloud. A lot has to do with the size and weight of general luggage
requirements and allowances. The ship has 24hr IT help in your suite, and its internet room with 8 computers was mainly deserted. Signs of the times.

Cheers.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

It sure is a sign of the times. P&S market is taking a huge hit because of cell phones with their cameras. There's numerous times when I would just take a pic with my phone. I wonder which direction the P&S industry & consumer video cameras will go next.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:08 PM   #3
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

I connected with a college buddy over the weekend, we were comparing notes on our respective re-discoveries of the joys of still photography.

Me: "Have you been using Aperature or Lightroom for your pix?"
Him: "No, those are like photoshop, right?"
Me: "Kinda'... they do light image work, the most common editing tools are easy with them, but they also have integrated file management... collections, flags, sorting, print these, upload these to flickr, that kind of stuff. Way more of that than photoshop."
Him: "OHHHH... I'll have to check that out."

I'm thinking that's what your shipmates are getting out of their iPads that they don't with a still or video cam, built-in file management, AND the display device, like you said, an instant photo album.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

I was quite amazed the past year how many emails I have received from my wedding clients that had a note in it saying "send from my ipad", I do however find it looks silly when someone holds a 10 inch tablet in front of them to take a photo or film something, good that it can't be used as a phone.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

Very interesting. My grandkids don’t even do email; it’s all iPods and such devices, texting, Facebook, Twitter and so on while printing photographs does not even come into the picture. My granddaughter is taking photography at high school and I bought her a NEX 5n along with a couple of lenses but most of her photographs are taken with her iPod. Haven’t visited with her in a while but come Christmas that will happen and I’m interested to learn what she is learning in her photography class.

I believe pixel peeping is quickly going the way of the dinosaur and fuss-potting over DoF restricted to a few gear-sponsored cranks who are in it for the money. And if you raise the subject of the cinematic look and 24p blank stares and eye rolling will be the most frequent response outside of a few people locked into the rapidly disappearing past.

My EX1 sits looking somewhat forlorn, its lens cover closed and gathering dust, in the closet while my CX700v never leaves the glove box in my car (just in case). I should have already upgraded to the FS700 and/or the CX760v while my fantasy about the Blackmagic Cinecamera is rapidly loosing traction.

As you might have guessed I am not a professional; that is making a living (or not) out of this business but rather a retired enthusiast with tons of time on my hands. Right now I’m hanging out near Akaroa where the cruise ship season is getting into full swing and yes, not too many real cameras either video or stills to be seen but tons of cell phones and tablets.

Image capture among the masses is certainly changing and camera enthusiasts (gear-heads) are a dying breed. This is not to say such stalwarts as frequent this delightful place will cease to exist but Mr Hurd might want to think outside the box about what this community might look like 10, or even 5, years down the road. Well, there will always be the gainfully employed professional. Maybe!

OK, gorgeous day today and lots of people-shooting opportunities as the Sun Princess pulled into the harbour early this morning and the village will be swarming with life. Where’s my Samsung Galaxy 4?

Last edited by John McCully; December 9th, 2012 at 08:13 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

Evolution of technology is nothing new, and often follows the same trend. A "new thing" comes along and a large section categorically states that it will never catch on. An equally large number of people predict that it means the end of what went before, period.

Good example was the first introduction of the telephone. The first camp tended to say "what's the point of getting one? Noone else has one, and what's wrong with telegrams anyway?" Second camp predicted letter writing would be dead within a couple of years.

Obviously, we now know that neither side got it right - what happened was that the telephone did catch on, but coexisted with letter writing for a very long time (and still does). Certainly in the early years, the telephone opened up new opportunities, it wasn't just a replacement for a letter.

And it's a similar story here. Yes, the use of camera phones, even iPads (clumsy cameras though they make) is seeing increasing use, but largely it's taking images that previously wouldn't have been taken. It's satisfying a demand for a transient sharing of pictures that previously didn't (couldn't) exist.

But will it replace (as opposed to supplement) "true" cameras, or "true" photography? I don't think so, and partly down to attitude, partly to technology. I've personally heard of several cases where somebody relied on his device as his "album" - and was surprised when a fault, accident or theft lost all their memories. Trouble is that the more photographs you take, the more difficult management becomes. Most people just leave them on the device that captured them. Coupled with changing technology it's widely prophecised that future generations will actually be left vastly LESS imagery from our era than from the days of film. Vastly more photographs taken, vastly fewer surviving very long.

So whilst I'm sure that camera phones etc will be increasingly widely used, I still see a place for the committed photographer. And yes, even for dedicated cameras for quite a long time to come. What is still missing from such as iPad cameras isn't absolute image quality, but far more versatility. A good camera doesn't make a good photographer - but it can certainly help!!
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

I"m not even close to as talented as most of the folks here, but I guarantee I come home with video 10x better than those folks who use their iphone or ipad on vacation. I, too, think it's ridiculous to see folks using ipads to video.

The difference, however, is that I want my videos to look better. Those folks are quite happy to just capture the moment and share it. Quality is not as important as convenience to them. If that's all they want, then that's okay.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #8
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
largely it's taking images that previously wouldn't have been taken. It's satisfying a demand for a transient sharing of pictures that previously didn't (couldn't) exist.
David, you expressed what I couldn't put my finger on. Many people are simply happy to capture the moment and share it. Nothing more. They understand that the capture doesn't have to be perfect. Now, instead of describing in a phone call to your friends what went on last night at the office party, they will have already seen the video you posted on Facebook while the party was still going on!

Personally, I think it is making face-to-face contact (or even verbal contact) less and less important to a whole generation. That concerns me because I have no idea what that means for society in the future.

I wonder if you're right about how there will be less photos and videos in the future. I tend to doubt that simply because there are billions more than 50 years ago and digital storage is so cheap and convenient. Databases in Facebook, flickr, etc., will not disappear. They'll probably be transferred to storage media that we don't can't envision yet. I'll bet online management methods -- tags -- will make accessing media feasible for a long, long time.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
My EX1 sits looking somewhat forlorn, its lens cover closed and gathering dust, in the closet while my CX700v never leaves the glove box in my car (just in case).
I bought a Sony HX30V for myself to take on my ski trips as being easier than taking my CX700. I normally use a NX5U with the little Sony's to shoot shows and for long format the video camera is going to be around for a while I think. However for a short 15min performance recently my wife used the HX30V and I used the CX700. The HX30V gave us both a shock as the picture was so good compared to the CX700. I am used to the CX700 making my NX5U look a little old at times !!!! The NX30V has the wireless upload etc like the tablets or phones but a much better lens and picture. I have not got used to them but my ASUS Transform takes nice photos and video as does my Sony Xperia T cell phone. I just haven't got used to using them in that way !!! Will wait and see what CES hold in a month !!!

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Old December 9th, 2012, 09:42 PM   #10
 
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

iPods, iPads etc are nice toys but I doubt they will seriously every cause the end of camcorders or still cameras ever. They complete lack any ergonomics, manual controls and are prone to break down after 4 years. Obsulescence. I mean the digital camera never destroyed the Kodak instant camera - you can still get them!
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Old December 10th, 2012, 02:03 AM   #11
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

iPhone vs Hasselblad (and Nikon).
large print comparison on the street: 'It might be the same camera'

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Old December 10th, 2012, 07:26 AM   #12
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

IMHO, there's multiple forces at work simultaneously and trends don't always go forever or in a linear fashion... other forces come into play.

To break it down, there's acquisition and distribution. Since cameras were affordable to and operable by regular folks, consumers bought cameras, took photos and distributed them based on the technology. However, the the acquisition quality of consumer cameras was historically observably worse than those who had gear that could (with proper skill) achieve higher acquisition quality. This the pro photographer/hobbiest had value.

When better quality cameras became affordable and automatics made regular folks able to acquire better photos without skill, better gear was used by regular folks. Professionals benefited by the greater demand and technology drifted downward which caused more people to become more skilled. Acquisition quality was observably better and consumers suffered through the distribution headaches of digital because they provided sufficient value. The professional/hobbiest lost value.

All these things ebbed and flowed as print, acquisition, image processing chips etc evolved. I think there's a quality level at which if a camera can acquire at that level, it will satisfy regular folks and they won't suffer the extra space of bigger cameras/lenses, hip holsters, computers etc of "better" gear. So if iPads and phones take a picture that looks good enough on the screen and makes distribution easy, it sets the bar that other form factors have to break or distinguish themselves from. But it required technology to be able to achieve that quality level and easy of distribution. An iPad without affordable wireless data plans is an awful camera compared to a PNS.

Regardless, the effect of consumer demand for professional gear driving down costs simultaneous with technology driving down costs was a nice afterburner boost.... while it lasted.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #13
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

I suppose it depends on what perspective you look at it from. Maybe there has been a big hit to the camera market by mobile phones. I know I purchased a Nokia N73 purposefully because it incorporated a decent pixel sized camera in it several years ago now and I’ve watched how IPhones, etc. have evolved to be relatively capable over the last decade.

For me though; I would never have gotten into ‘photography’ at all with film. The cost of film and development just made it something that I might have liked to pick up as a hobby, but would never have gotten involved in.

I’m sure there are market experts that know exactly where it is headed, but I might guess that with all the people exposed to digital photography on their IPhones and Ipads it introduces more people to taking photos than might have ever been likely to have been involved before digital. Some might take their interest more seriously and want better results than what their device offers and some will be perfectly happy.

How that breaks down in helping or hurting the dedicated camera market I wouldn’t speculate, but I would guess the overall trend being more people/market exposed to ‘photography’ being a good thing = more innovation, less expensive, etc.

With that said, I took a gander at Flickr to see if anyone uploaded what they shot with the DSLR’s they were lugging around over the weekend shooting the same things I was taking pics of with my ‘point and shoot’ Canon G1X. I thought maybe I would see some really artful photos compared to my talentless snapshots. Wow! Not really and some of the junk they uploaded from their camera phones was pretty sad. LOL Barely recognizable.

Maybe the trend will swing back when they figure out the trash they are getting as memories of their precious babies in comparison to the other mommies and daddies that bought a real camera. LOL
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Old December 10th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #14
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Garrett View Post
With that said, I took a gander at Flickr to see if anyone uploaded what they shot with the DSLR’s they were lugging around over the weekend shooting the same things I was taking pics of with my ‘point and shoot’ Canon G1X.
Jason do you post in the flickr G1X group?
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Old December 10th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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Re: The end of consumer video cameras?

The end of consumer video cameras.....yeah right.
I remember not that long ago that when we all got computers, it was said to be the end of paper.

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