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Death of the DSLR?

July 18, 2011

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To misquote Mark Twain “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Considering the recent press releases by Lytro and their light field technology camera which would allow you to take a photo now and focus later, and the developments in photo apps for the iPhone and Androids that mimic lens effects digitally, some are predicting that the end is near for the DSLR and maybe compacts too.

Cell phone cameras are getting better with each new model released. People are using these devices to fill their photographic needs more frequently. Convenience is one reason (your phone is almost always with you nowadays). Cost is another, the camera is free with the phone. The learning curve for these camera phones is virtually nonexistent.

I sincerely hope the reports of the death of the DSLR are an exaggeration. Rampant digital manipulation of images has already brought into question the truth of photographic images. Capture an especially vibrant sunset and many will think Photoshop. While photographic images (film included) have always been subject to post capture processing, the image was of something real. The point of focus and perspective decisions had to be made ahead of time by the photographer according to his/her vision of the image being made.

If the image is taken first and then effects are applied later by choosing what looks best, then the process is reversed. Instead of having a vision of the shot you want and using your skill and equipment to get it, you can click now…vision later. No big whoop you say? Well if you don’t have to vision now, then you won’t learn to see your world in new ways while you are out in it. You’ll just learn to see new versions of the shot you already took. Big difference. You will never reap one of the great benefits of photography. You will remain a loser for life.

Since a certain part of the population will not accept being losers for life, I predict that the news of the death of the DSLR (and the compact camera for that matter) will turn out to be greatly exaggerated. So now I’m gonna stuff my pockets with AA batteries for the point and shoot, charge up the DSLR and switch this blog from why to how. The images will be stunning, the settings will be revealed. This means more pictures, less words. Next …”Wide Angle

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From → Ramblings

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