How do you feel about the future of photography?

pellicle

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I'm not worried about computational photography, it's all about glass and that's one area no amount of software can emulate.
Agreed, I don't see a way around that bit.

More accurate position and orientation sensing devices may make multiple exposures and stacking possible for things like low light wide angle high res, but I think from what I read in the area telephoto is safe for a while :)
 

quezra

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I am very happy with my current gear, and see no need to upgrade unless something breaks down. In the past, some gear could be frustrating in specific ways that made the wait for new gear eagerly anticipated (of course, then the increments were often not quite good enough and I found I could live a little longer with that NEX-5N or A7). With the A7III, I find myself completely lacking in anything frustrating so that makes me very happy. But for the industry, that's bad news if everyone is satisfied - because they need people to buy more frequently than their breakdown cycle. How they're going to address that is going to be interesting to see. Selling new features as the latest 'must have' doesn't generally work out very well (see pixel-shift).

As for the phone comparison, well, sure, if your standards are low in the first place then the phone will threaten that space. I have a Galaxy Note 9, allegedly one of the best phone cameras out there, and it really does have stunning handling of noise and a pretty smart bokeh rendering algorithm. That said, it doesn't even come close to replacing my A7III and I wouldn't even seriously consider it as an either-or choice in a pinch.

First, zoom rapidly deteriorates the image quality. When I want to shoot something with a 90mm equivalent angle of view, there is just no possible way to do that with a phone. Second, dynamic range is awful and you still cannot take any kind of backlit images or have light sources in the frame (at least they completely ruin the quality of the image color for me). Third, the noise handling is amazing for what it is on such a tiny sensor, but it still doesn't even match my NEX-5N. Fourth, when you want to take pictures with brilliant detail, the phone's tiny sensor and lens just doesn't hack it. Ever.

Now as I said, it depends on your standards. Those four points above might not ever bother 90% of the population. But they bother me.
 

Christop82

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It will come down to pros and hobbiest , but in a way it always has. It's nice to have the additional photography tool in the pocket, but I still enjoy manually focusing a lens and pressing the shutter button. The phone in my pocket may be able to replicate the image, but not the experience.
 

bdbits

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I've never really considered Mao Zedong a fount of wisdom, so I searched and browsed through some of his quotes. Apparently, he also said:

"Some people are so undiscriminating that they say a Russian fart is fragrant. That too is subjectivism. The Russians themselves say it stinks. Therefore, we should be analytical."

Does that apply to the the cell-phone-versus-camera debate? I am not sure. :rofl:
 

WNG

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I'm not worried about computational photography, it's all about glass and that's one area no amount of software can emulate.
Agreed, I don't see a way around that bit.

More accurate position and orientation sensing devices may make multiple exposures and stacking possible for things like low light wide angle high res, but I think from what I read in the area telephoto is safe for a while :)
Don't be so certain on this one! Harvard University researchers developed a planar semi-conducting glass technology 5 years ago, that can become flat lenses. Refracting light through a glass medium today, will be done by transistors bending electromagnetic waves done on the one wavelength scale. This will be the first revolution in lenses in centuries. We've been using the same refractive lens design ever since, with only evolutionary improvements. Only adding optical image stabilization made for a notable development.
I, for one am looking forward to this to progress to some day replacing the current long, expensive and cumbersome telephotos. The possible use of transparent graphene film overlays is another exciting technology.

Capasso Group Develops Flat Lenses with Same Technology Used to Make Chips

Perfect colors, captured with one ultra-thin lens | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Broadband imaging with one planar diffractive lens
 

bdbits

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I used to be one of those old guys that longed for the good old photography days before we were so reliant on electronics and other technology to take a picture. By golly, I want to be able to make pictures when the zombie apocalypse strikes! But of course, even film and the associated chemical technology is a pretty advanced thing that probably won't be available in the post-apocalyptic world. So I decided I might as well take advantage of whatever technology I can. Except autofocus. I still manual focus most of the time, not always well, but I strongly prefer the control. I have sometimes wondered if I should give modern AF a better try. Sony AF tracking is getting freakishly amazing. But I would have to buy a lot of new lenses. Still, I kind of like glass lenses and optics. It brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the process that I actually enjoy trying to make the most of, and I think it will be lost at some point. This saddens me some.

Now get off my lawn.
 

pellicle

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It’s something Mao Zedong said back in the year I was born.
yes, that's what I was thinking you were referring to. The period mentioned was essentially a way of luring any people who had differing views out into the open. They were then either killed, imprisoned and or tortured.

So I wondered what you were meaning by pointing that towards me.
 

pellicle

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Hi
excellent stuff ... thanks for posting them. I seem to recall reading about this one a few years back ... very promising
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especially for small sensor ultra thin systems (like phones)

Don't be so certain on this one!
but as I said ... "safe for a while" ... at least a few more years, perhaps longer with people starting to buck up at $1500 iPhones

I'm not one who poohoos software correction of lenses, as so far I've seen no artifacts from that which are alarming (and its usually just "simple" stuff like realigning where rays of known path land (focus). The stuff which does background blur to simulate telephoto (and perhaps also remaps faces to make it seem less like a close to the face selfie) is more computationally intensive and still we see plenty of artifacts. Its not exactly "the low hanging fruit" ;-)
 

JonathanF2

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I think this tech is still too far off to be seen in practical commercial terms. I think we'll see Nikon, Canon and Sony trying to lighten lenses using more exotic lens elements similar to what Nikon has done with their Phase Fresnel lenses.

Don't be so certain on this one! Harvard University researchers developed a planar semi-conducting glass technology 5 years ago, that can become flat lenses. Refracting light through a glass medium today, will be done by transistors bending electromagnetic waves done on the one wavelength scale. This will be the first revolution in lenses in centuries. We've been using the same refractive lens design ever since, with only evolutionary improvements. Only adding optical image stabilization made for a notable development.
I, for one am looking forward to this to progress to some day replacing the current long, expensive and cumbersome telephotos. The possible use of transparent graphene film overlays is another exciting technology.

Capasso Group Develops Flat Lenses with Same Technology Used to Make Chips

Perfect colors, captured with one ultra-thin lens | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Broadband imaging with one planar diffractive lens
Don't be so certain on this one! Harvard University researchers developed a planar semi-conducting glass technology 5 years ago, that can become flat lenses. Refracting light through a glass medium today, will be done by transistors bending electromagnetic waves done on the one wavelength scale. This will be the first revolution in lenses in centuries. We've been using the same refractive lens design ever since, with only evolutionary improvements. Only adding optical image stabilization made for a notable development.
I, for one am looking forward to this to progress to some day replacing the current long, expensive and cumbersome telephotos. The possible use of transparent graphene film overlays is another exciting technology.

Capasso Group Develops Flat Lenses with Same Technology Used to Make Chips

Perfect colors, captured with one ultra-thin lens | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Broadband imaging with one planar diffractive lens
 

Strider64

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The only time I use my iPhone XR to take pictures is when I don't have my Sony A9 camera handy or it's a place that would look odd caring a camera around your neck. Going out to dining for example would be one of those moments. Smartphones are starting to get good at take pictures with fake bokeh, but it's not perfect. For example if there's is a glass or something made out of glass in the picture it seems to struggle. I'm sure in the future the nerds developing the software will have a fix for that. However, a DSLR/Mirrorless camera doesn't have that problem and is relatively simple of getting a picture with great real bokeh. Yeah, the smartphone is probably going to replace the DSLR or MILC, but not for the professional or true camera enthusiast. I rather take a picture with my Sony A9 camera than my iPhone XR and I know I won't be getting a call or text message while I'm in the process of taking a picture. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
 

grillec

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In the last years the most developments in photo gear and software concerned the smartphones because due to the high numbers. The software to combine multiple photos or to use multiple lenses to overcome the disadvantages of a very small sensor led to a higher higher quality enhancement in comparison to normal cameras.

And new developments for cameras like BSI or image stabilisation are more effective for smaller sensors.
I think in the next years the camera producers will try to bring more software based features to their top model cameras and will not be able to present noticeable improvements in picture quality by e.g. a new sensor in comparison to the older cameras.
At the moment the camera producers want to differentate their top products in size, performance and price from smartphones and cameras with smaller sensors.
The fight for the top ranking in FF will dominate the next years.

Fuji will try to combine the features of the X-H1 and the X-T3, but also to expand their MF market.
Olympus, obviously the only active developer for mFT for the next year, showed with the EM1X that they don‘t know their target group and have to organize their product line. A small sensor in a big case with pro lenses for a price I could easily buy a FF system was not the initial idea of mFT.

Personally I don‘t like to shoot with a smartphone because the fingertip grip, settings in menu and 100% view of made pictures.
I don‘t want to buy a new mirrorless camera with the size of a DSLR and I hope the newly presented FF cameras would bring down the price for a new A7 III.
So I‘m very courious about the short-term future but I don‘t know if I‘ll like the long-term future in photography generally.
 
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slackercruster

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There's been a lot of talk recently about cellphones replacing cameras, especially now computational photography is getting more sophisticated.
Computational photography can do things that previously had to be done in camera.
For example say you take a photo with your f1.2 lens to get a very shallow DOF, then your mate takes the same photo with an f4 lens and uses computational processing to simulate f1.2. Lets suppose in this example the computational bit is so good you can't really tell the difference.
Do you think this makes photography less appealing for the enthusiast, as you use to have the equipment and skills to produce a certain effect etc but now anyone can achieve it with a keystroke more or less.
Does this seem like "cheating", does it matter how the final image is produced as long as it looks good?

Of course nothing will stand in the way of technology so things will keep progressing that's just a fact so no point in being aggrieved about it, but I can't help feeling a little bit disappointed what was once the realm of enthusiasts and pro's is now in the hands of any Joe Blogs.
I do specialized photos....highest level candid photography. I don't own a smart phone. I just bot a small tablet, but the photos are junk. I don't know about the future, but I like regular cameras....esp easy to manually adjust ones.

First 3 photos are Sony A7Rii

'A Fashionable Boomer' NYC (Candid)

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'Fashion Shoot on Wall Street' NYC (Candid)


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Selection from 'Living in a Cardboard Box' NYC (Candid)


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Infrared flash (Non Sony) - Selection from 'Living in a Cardboard Box' (Candid)


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slackercruster

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It will come down to pros and hobbiest , but in a way it always has. It's nice to have the additional photography tool in the pocket, but I still enjoy manually focusing a lens and pressing the shutter button. The phone in my pocket may be able to replicate the image, but not the experience.
Sure, snapshot shooter can do OK with cell phone.
 

davect01

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I just got a new cell phone (Samsung Note 8) and took my first "real" shot in manual mode.

Not too bad
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soeren

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The more I read about High MP counts, resolution and the endless possibilities of the digital medium the more I'm inclined to grab my Holga and a roll of Tri-X
 
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