Are you at all curious about what will come next in the professional digital camera? The dslr is now at least close or better than the best 35mm professional film cameras before they went extinct. And prices just keep dropping as they once did for computers according to Moore’s law.
How will the major companies differentiate their cameras going forward? The point of how many pixels the average professional needs has been hit, as well as the noise to signal ratio, ISO ratings that far exceed film, and the ability to embed hi-definition movie cameras.
In other words, after the top specs have been reached, which is going to be dictated by the maximum size that a professional needs or wants to deal with in terms of storage, archiving, backup.
There will be classes of cameras based on megapixels, and they may all seem the same externally. But when this limit of usefulness is hit (and some of us feel it has already been hit) then the only other thing I can think of to differentiate cameras will be price, ergonomics, user interface and the brand name.
Will camera companies be able to make their product a symbol of conspicuous consumption? Will they be able to do what car companies have done for years, and introduce new models every year which will capture the photographers’ eye and wallet?
I just can’t see that happening. I can see it with consumer cameras where the camera will become part of the entire communications, and entertainment package. There is lots of room for growth there – and for making the camera / phone / texter / player / video / everythinger – a badge of honor.
But the professional is still going to be looking at what is needed to do the task at hand. And I don’t have the vision to see how that professional tool will evolve. Put on your magic visionary glasses. Can you imagine where the professional camera will be in five years? What the big differences between companies will be? Or will it all be branding at that point?
I honestly don’t know.