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Thread: DSLR prices are going down down down

  1. #1

    Default DSLR prices are going down down down

    New York times:

    TOKYO The single lens reflex camera has long been every digital photographer's dream. Now, though, such cameras are not only available but are becoming less expensive.

    Like the film versions, digital single lens reflex or S.L.R. cameras have interchangeable lenses and the precision and functions that professional photographers and serious amateurs demand. And like cheaper compact digital cameras, S.L.R. digitals instantly display photos that can be sent to computers and edited with software.

    The catch, though, has always been the price. With top-of-the line digital S.L.R. cameras costing as much as $10,000, only artists, photojournalists and the most avid hobbyists were likely to invest in them. But in the past year, Canon Inc., the Nikon Corporation and other camera makers have introduced cheaper, more accessible models to their digital S.L.R. lines, with the price tag on some models nearing $1,000.

    Their efforts to turn a once exclusive camera into more of a mass-market item are emblematic of the broad transformation sweeping the industry. For years, sophisticated photographers held onto their analog cameras in the belief that no digital alternative could replicate the richness of film. But now, falling prices and better technology are prompting more film loyalists to add digital S.L.R. cameras to their collections.

    In Japan, where about 90 percent of the world's cameras are made, unit shipments of digital cameras began outpacing their analog counterparts last year. The United States is expected to reach this point this year, according to the Photo Marketing Association International. And with digital camera sales growing about 25 percent a year, the steady erosion of the analog camera market, which peaked in 1996, is sure to continue.

    The trend has created havoc for companies like the Eastman Kodak Company, which cut its second-quarter profit forecast by more than half, in part because of declining film sales. Fuji Photo Film, the world's second-largest filmmaker after Kodak, has emphasized its digital-camera technology. Another leading Japanese filmmaker, the Konica Corporation, merged with the camera maker Minolta in January, in hopes of remaining competitive.

    Although they still run substantial analog film-camera businesses, Canon and Nikon, the world's two leading camera makers, both based here, have jumped headlong into the digital camp. Canon expects shipments of its digital cameras to double this year, to 8.5 million units, as analog film camera sales stall. The 20 percent profit margins it earns on compact digital cameras are more than twice as much as it makes selling cameras that use film, analysts say.

    Digital S.L.R. cameras are even more profitable, analysts say, because the price of crucial components like imaging sensors have declined as sales have grown. Makers have also saved money by adapting existing film S.L.R. camera bodies for digital use. And, as consumers have grown sufficiently comfortable with digital camera technology, more are seeking the additional versatility and quality of an S.L.R. model.

    Over all, global shipments of digital S.L.R. cameras are expected to double this year, to one million. To grab a piece of this growing pie, another Japanese manufacturer, the Olympus Optical Company, plans in October to release its E-1 digital S.L.R. camera, which is expected to sell for less than 100,000 yen ($847.17), making it the cheapest digital S.L.R. camera on the market.

    The design is as much a draw as the price. In an S.L.R. camera whether film or digital mirrors enable the photographer to see the subject through the lens, rather than through a separate viewfinder that is slightly out of alignment with what the lens takes in. This through-the-lens view enables the photographer to aim more precisely than with a non-S.L.R. camera.

    This and other innovations like longer lasting batteries and increased memory have made the digital S.L.R. camera indispensable to professional photographers.

    Some magazines, with their glossy, color pages, still ask for film negatives. And many professionals say that photos taken with digital cameras, for all their improvements, are not as vivid as those taken with film, particularly when printed in larger sizes. But many publications, especially newspapers, focus on the speed of delivery and the ease of storage, which is why for many professional photographers, owning a digital S.L.R. camera has become a necessity.

    "Nowadays, you have to feed pictures directly to your editors on deadline, so there's little time to develop film," said Tetsuo Sakuma, a freelance photographer in Tokyo who uses a Nikon D1 digital S.L.R. camera he bought two years ago for 600,000 yen. "I don't have a choice but to own a digital S.L.R. camera."

    While Mr. Sakuma still has several analog cameras in his collection, some hobbyists are abandoning film altogether.

    "I already have a compact digital camera that I carry all the time, but the prices for digital S.L.R. cameras are now more acceptable and the resolution is much better," said Jackson Lin, who was camera shopping during a recent visit to Tokyo from Taipei.

    Still, while the market for analog film cameras is unlikely to grow, it will not disappear, said Hiroyasu Sato, an analyst at the Daiwa Institute of Research. "There will always be demand from film buffs, plus a lot of film cameras are already out there."

  2. #2
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    Default DSLR

    A good article and nice of you to post it here.

    From my pt of view, to take good pic, one has to start with the basics first like taking film pic first, learning the fundamentals of aperture and shutter speed....etc

    I bid my time to go digital and wait for the price to come down more.

  3. #3

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    Hehe, analog cameras, heheh, hahahah! I expect better from a major publication, but oh wait, it's NYT. =P

  4. #4

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    Well actually there are two schools of thought. The first being your standpoint, the second being that digital photography actually helps accelerate the learning.

    Camera's nowadays like the canon G3 offers users the manual controls that slr cameras have. The learning is sped up in the sense that users won't need to go through rolls of film each time and spend money developing just to see how well their photos turned out.

    Thus i think that beginners intereseted in learning photography should take advantage of technology and start digital. At the same time, read up on books and websites and of course, shoot shoot shoot.

  5. #5

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    Originally posted by YSLee
    Hehe, analog cameras, heheh, hahahah! I expect better from a major publication, but oh wait, it's NYT. =P
    I suppose straits times offers a better content?

  6. #6

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    Originally posted by FLiNcHY
    I suppose straits times offers a better content?
    False dichotomy and red herring. Just because I diss NYT jokingly doesn't mean I'll praise ST, and neither was I comparing the two publications.

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    Originally posted by FLiNcHY
    Well actually there are two schools of thought. The first being your standpoint, the second being that digital photography actually helps accelerate the learning.

    Camera's nowadays like the canon G3 offers users the manual controls that slr cameras have. The learning is sped up in the sense that users won't need to go through rolls of film each time and spend money developing just to see how well their photos turned out.

    Thus i think that beginners intereseted in learning photography should take advantage of technology and start digital. At the same time, read up on books and websites and of course, shoot shoot shoot.
    I agree. Newbies with a prosumer like G3/5700/7hi are able to grasp the relationships between aperture/shutter/ISO better than one with SLR.

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by Pepper
    I agree. Newbies with a prosumer like G3/5700/7hi are able to grasp the relationships between aperture/shutter/ISO better than one with SLR.
    Eh, why so? They all have the same controls and function anyway..

  9. #9

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    my bad, did you mean 35mm film SLRs?

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    Originally posted by YSLee
    Eh, why so? They all have the same controls and function anyway..
    yup I totally agree. the most just wait one more day for the film to be develop. Furthermore, just because the review on a digicam is practically instantenous - it doesn't necessarily mean u would be a better photographer faster either.

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by lavenderlilz
    yup I totally agree. the most just wait one more day for the film to be develop. Furthermore, just because the review on a digicam is practically instantenous - it doesn't necessarily mean u would be a better photographer faster either.
    I wanted to say something about instant gratification, but I figured I'd better not.

    What I'll add on however, is that be it film or digital, if one doesn't get the concept of how light works in the creation of a photograph, all the whizzy stuff ain't worth a bit. See the numerous questions on panning for an example.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by lavenderlilz
    yup I totally agree. the most just wait one more day for the film to be develop. Furthermore, just because the review on a digicam is practically instantenous - it doesn't necessarily mean u would be a better photographer faster either.
    hehheh actually i'm more of the opinion that nothing makes you learn faster than screwing up your shots on slide film. that's a real wake-up call and drills that mistake into your blain. with digital, there's always the Photoshop option of adjusting the image post-pro. that's a sure-way to get very lazy if you still dun grasp the basics...

    but then no amt of USM will save an out of focus image...

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by Larry
    hehheh actually i'm more of the opinion that nothing makes you learn faster than screwing up your shots on slide film. that's a real wake-up call and drills that mistake into your blain. with digital, there's always the Photoshop option of adjusting the image post-pro. that's a sure-way to get very lazy if you still dun grasp the basics...

    but then no amt of USM will save an out of focus image...
    Haha, yes, absolutely; nothing like a good heart pain to deliever a lesson that is remembered. Sad to say few share this sentiment.

  14. #14

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    Originally posted by YSLee
    Haha, yes, absolutely; nothing like a good heart pain to deliever a lesson that is remembered. Sad to say few share this sentiment.
    I couldn't agree more.

    Used to shooting with a 717, until I borrowed my friend's 11 year old Minolta Dynax 5xi, and shot with it just to have a feel of a SLR.

    I think less than 10 out of 36 exposures came out ok, more than 26 are poor.

    Wow liao, heart pain man. 26 x $0.25 = $6.50 wasted.

    Made me more determined to shoot the next roll better and take more time to compose my shots and double-check exposure before squeezing the shutter.

    My 2nd roll managed a slightly better result with 2/3 of the roll OK.

    Although now I have a S1 Pro, I am still thinking of getting a F80 to practise my shots.

    I do not like to edit my shots in Photoshop even if I could because, I find it makes me lazy and think "Underexposed never mind, just use Photoshop and adjust can already..."

    I think a photo should be viewed just as it is from the roll of film or Compact Flash.

    Any alternations after the shot is taken, is like changing the truth.
    (Personal views, no flames please)

  15. #15

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    Originally posted by Larry
    hehheh actually i'm more of the opinion that nothing makes you learn faster than screwing up your shots on slide film. that's a real wake-up call and drills that mistake into your blain. with digital, there's always the Photoshop option of adjusting the image post-pro. that's a sure-way to get very lazy if you still dun grasp the basics...

    but then no amt of USM will save an out of focus image...
    USM cannot save it. But IS can rescue you from out-of-focus image due to hand shake.

  16. #16
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    For you to learn the mistake of your film pic. I think it's impt to note down the exposure for every frame.

    W/o the exposure info, you won't know what has gone wrong.

    Similar take note of the expsoure of those correctly exposed pic. This will help you to get similar result in similar lighting/situation.

    Digital helps on this as it has those EXIF thingy.

    My 2 cents.

  17. #17

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    I cannot agree more about how film makes one learn. Digital photography is certainly more convenient, but whether one should start learning photograhy with a digital cam...the jury's still out on that one.

    But my take is this: you dont learn unless it impacts you some way, and in this case, the wallet does not lie, if it is $15 per roll, then better make sure every shot counts.

  18. #18

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    Originally posted by fruitybix
    I cannot agree more about how film makes one learn. Digital photography is certainly more convenient, but whether one should start learning photograhy with a digital cam...the jury's still out on that one.

    But my take is this: you dont learn unless it impacts you some way, and in this case, the wallet does not lie, if it is $15 per roll, then better make sure every shot counts.

    Very true..now that I am shooting film, I tend to hold back on the trigger and think about whether this shot is worth my exposure anot...

  19. #19

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    Originally posted by YSLee
    Haha, yes, absolutely; nothing like a good heart pain to deliever a lesson that is remembered.
    agree alzo .....

    itz a real heart pain to see my shots going haywire .....

    the price of developing makez me wanna find out wat'z wrong n try better next time .....


  20. #20

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    Looks like i'll be in for a major heart pain if i do use a film slr. But then again, that's what digital camera's are for. To take away all that frustration.

    My dad and his collegue went to San francisco for a seminar. My dad brought along a nikon 2500 and his collegue brought along a professional looking film slr camera. When they went sightseeing, they happily snapped photos of the sights and sounds of the city.

    They also took turns to snap each other using their own cameras and made an arranement to pass each other the photos when developed.

    Fast forward back to singapore, my dad got back and instantly uploaded his photos onto the computer and they turned out nice and good. So he printed those meant with his collegue in them. His collegue on the other hand only handed him his photos days after they returned to singapore and the photos were really really bad.

    Now, is it a matter of choosing to stick to the old ways of photography or to embrace technology, forget the basics and just get on with shooting and accepting that a good result can be achieved with little skill?

    Just like the driving of cars nowadays. People are learning how to drive automatically rather than starting with the basic fundamentals in manual. I know for singapore its still manual but in other places, the fundamental part of learning has been skipped and people just need to learn how to drive automatic.

    And everyone's happy with just automatic because it's so much easier and less work needs to be done. We are the slaves of laziness.

    Originally posted by Winston
    I couldn't agree more.

    Used to shooting with a 717, until I borrowed my friend's 11 year old Minolta Dynax 5xi, and shot with it just to have a feel of a SLR.

    I think less than 10 out of 36 exposures came out ok, more than 26 are poor.

    Wow liao, heart pain man. 26 x $0.25 = $6.50 wasted.

    Made me more determined to shoot the next roll better and take more time to compose my shots and double-check exposure before squeezing the shutter.

    My 2nd roll managed a slightly better result with 2/3 of the roll OK.

    Although now I have a S1 Pro, I am still thinking of getting a F80 to practise my shots.

    I do not like to edit my shots in Photoshop even if I could because, I find it makes me lazy and think "Underexposed never mind, just use Photoshop and adjust can already..."

    I think a photo should be viewed just as it is from the roll of film or Compact Flash.

    Any alternations after the shot is taken, is like changing the truth.
    (Personal views, no flames please)

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