February 25, 2006 6:00 AM PST

Digital moves to top-tier cameras

As more companies sell high-end digital cameras, they could force venerable photography brands out of business.
The New York Times

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In the end
I do think it will be lack of film that kills the print SLR.

I shoot Nikon's 6006 for print & D70 digital. Being able to use the same lenses on both is a godsend (having spent several thousand $'s on lenses, buying a digital that did NOT share lenses, was not an option). I still need print film. The 6006 still produces better quality pictures.

But even I don't buy as much print film as I used to. I can put 100-200 Raw NEF pictures on compact flash, before I even think about the print camera.
So, with Agfa apparently out of the business, it's pretty much head-to-head Kodak/Fuji. I use both, depending on the subject.

But with Kodak's growing camera business, if/once the print business drops off some more, I have to think Kodak will bail. I expect Fuji to keep diversifying too, to the point where a print film market drop will have them considering when-not-if, to get out of the print film business.

With all due respect to the rest - relying on Ilford et al for print film, does NOT sound good. I can only hope digital cameras & print facilites continue to improve to the point I don't NEED 35mm print film (I assume the medium & large format markets will be unaffected....for now).

Right now, I can't get a high quality 8X10 print from my D70. Until I can, I'll keep using the 6006 & keep buying print film.
Posted by (409 comments )
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In the end
I do think it will be lack of film that kills the print SLR.

I shoot Nikon's 6006 for print & D70 digital. Being able to use the same lenses on both is a godsend (having spent several thousand $'s on lenses, buying a digital that did NOT share lenses, was not an option). I still need print film. The 6006 still produces better quality pictures.

But even I don't buy as much print film as I used to. I can put 100-200 Raw NEF pictures on compact flash, before I even think about the print camera.
So, with Agfa apparently out of the business, it's pretty much head-to-head Kodak/Fuji. I use both, depending on the subject.

But with Kodak's growing camera business, if/once the print business drops off some more, I have to think Kodak will bail. I expect Fuji to keep diversifying too, to the point where a print film market drop will have them considering when-not-if, to get out of the print film business.

With all due respect to the rest - relying on Ilford et al for print film, does NOT sound good. I can only hope digital cameras & print facilites continue to improve to the point I don't NEED 35mm print film (I assume the medium & large format markets will be unaffected....for now).

Right now, I can't get a high quality 8X10 print from my D70. Until I can, I'll keep using the 6006 & keep buying print film.
Posted by (409 comments )
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Mavica Date Error
This story says the Sony Mavica line appeared in 1988. It should read either 1997 or 1998, not a decade earlier.
Posted by pvogel (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mavica Date Error
This story says the Sony Mavica line appeared in 1988. It should read either 1997 or 1998, not a decade earlier.
Posted by pvogel (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
rewriting photo history from the newcomer's slant
There was a lot to this article that seems to be based on the slant that tech people want to put on the history of the photo business, from people who weren't in the trenches during the film era. The claim that there was little urgency to development of film cameras during the recent last era of film, or that the production of Nikon's antique F-series manual cameras were somehow a belleweather of that era, is a bizarre claim that no cognoscenti would make. The '90's saw a torrid competition between the producers of pro and semi-pro film slr's as they fell over themselves to get to market autofocus zoom lense and image stabilization systems, as well as flash synching technologies and printing/developing interfaces with the computer. I think it's fair to say this hothouse competitive atmosphere in the waning days of film formed the technologies required for the success of the current crop of digital cameras, from low end to high.

As for film itself, those who still rely on it should understand that producing film is a complicated chemical technology requiring expensive facilities, and that once the majors such as Kodak throw in the towel it's unlikely boutique producers are going to be able to produce the ultra-fine-grain emulsions that your Kodak or Fuji plants produce. This really is rocket science, after all. Without fine film there is no fine result, and no point in continuing the technology...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
Reply Link Flag
rewriting photo history from the newcomer's slant
There was a lot to this article that seems to be based on the slant that tech people want to put on the history of the photo business, from people who weren't in the trenches during the film era. The claim that there was little urgency to development of film cameras during the recent last era of film, or that the production of Nikon's antique F-series manual cameras were somehow a belleweather of that era, is a bizarre claim that no cognoscenti would make. The '90's saw a torrid competition between the producers of pro and semi-pro film slr's as they fell over themselves to get to market autofocus zoom lense and image stabilization systems, as well as flash synching technologies and printing/developing interfaces with the computer. I think it's fair to say this hothouse competitive atmosphere in the waning days of film formed the technologies required for the success of the current crop of digital cameras, from low end to high.

As for film itself, those who still rely on it should understand that producing film is a complicated chemical technology requiring expensive facilities, and that once the majors such as Kodak throw in the towel it's unlikely boutique producers are going to be able to produce the ultra-fine-grain emulsions that your Kodak or Fuji plants produce. This really is rocket science, after all. Without fine film there is no fine result, and no point in continuing the technology...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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