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Judder
29th of October 2006 (Sun), 17:42
Just wondering what is Canons next marketing strategy will be, now that DSLRs are approaching highly competitive in the market place.
Will Canon be going in the direction of full frame, 16-20 megapixel SLR,s. we will shortly be seeing compact cameras with larger sensors and medium format digital going to 30 megapixels. are we approaching a future were our EF-S lenses will be made redundant in 3-5 years time. Is this the next marketing ploy by the camera manufacturers.

Pete-eos
29th of October 2006 (Sun), 17:52
Coming soon, next 2 years anyway, improved on-board dust removal across the range and Digic III. The 450D will have 12.2 mega pixels since MP's sell and it'll have in body IS. Release of the 40D.

FF no time soon in the entry levels.

GyRob
29th of October 2006 (Sun), 17:52
it would not suprise me if Canon do away with EF-S lenses at some point they cost a lot of people a lot of money when they got rid of the FD mount so i don't think it would bother them in the slightest ,i wont buy EF-S myself just in case.
Rob.

Mark_Cohran
29th of October 2006 (Sun), 21:21
I certainly have no idea where Canon is going with their DSLR line, nor does anyone else. Anything you read here will be pure speculation and we can only make guesses based on what Canon has historically done in the past. There have been some indication from Canon (Chuck Westfall) that the 1D line will merge in the future, but there haven't been any press releases that I've seen recently that have supported this statement.

In any event, I suspect we will continue to see some incremental changes in sensor resolution up to the limit of Canon's noise control capabilities, with some additional minor improvements in AF, flash, and control systems. If any quantum leaps of technology occur, they'll be kept quite secret until Canon is ready to announce it.

I also suspect that Canon will continue to maintain it's product line differentiation to drive profits among the different market segments (beginner, advanced amateur and pro), and I would guess because of this, the EF-S lenses will be around to stay for a while.

Mark

ron chappel
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 01:45
I have a sneaking suspicion that canon hasn't got anything else up it's sleeves and we'll still be using very similar cameras in five years time :(:(
At first this sounds shocking-how could the relentless improvement NOT continue?? !!
But one must remember that the CMOS is a very mature design .They haven't come up with any significant breakthroughs since the D60,only small year on year improvements due to tweaks.

Of course in that time they've made a minor breakthrough with the 5D ,but don't expect *too* much more in that area.
Judging by the way mid range body prices have leveled out ,and (by canon's own admission) most of the DSLR's cost is in the sensor .With full frame sensors costing well over TEN TIMES what 1.6 crop sensors do, one can easily see that full frame cameras are going to be quite expensive into the forseeable future:(

Of course i hope i'm wrong! But i think unless someone comes out with a completely new type of sensor design,we will be stuck with what we've got for years to come.

dpastern
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 05:13
Ron - I totally agree with your comments. The market is levelling out, and now it's not performance that discerns models from other models, but features and price. Canon, in all honesty lost out in both features in the 400D release, the Nikon D80 is superior imho. Noise? Check out the dpreview, the D80 definitely has better noise performance at ISO 800 and above. Sadly, many Canonites won't admit that Nikon can, and does make a better camera. This tells me that Canon is either sitting on its a$$, or has no tricks up its sleeves anymore. Hopefully we'll see the market share even out, and this WILL place pressure on Canon to deliver more features and improve their cameras.

Dave

PaulB
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 07:57
it would not suprise me if Canon do away with EF-S lenses at some point they cost a lot of people a lot of money when they got rid of the FD mount so i don't think it would bother them in the slightest ,i wont buy EF-S myself just in case.
Rob.

What you seem to forget is that the FD mount was outdated by the mid-80's and Canon realised that to deliver the features that would be required to get us where we are now, in 2006, would necessitate a whole new camera system with a revolutionary lens mount.
Nikon made a lot (or did) of noise about backwards compatability by keeping their mount the same, but in truth many of their older lenses won't now fit on their DSLR bodies; and Nikon lost a lot of ground, and photographers, through the years, to Canon - still do because they can't yet offer a FF DSLR.

Jim G
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 08:15
I've since lost it due to formatting but there was a good .pdf posted here a little while back about Chuck Westfall's comments regarding Canon's possible future developments.. included liquid lenses, a base ISO 6400 sensor and various other highly interesting (and perhaps highly unlikely but hey, you never know) ideas...

Anyone got a link to that?

donboyfisher
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 08:20
I think the 1.6x factor will stay around for a long time yet. It is a perfectly useable format . . . by that i mean that it matured enough to offer good quality imaging an has plenty range via the families of compatable lenses.

Personally, i think there will always be a drive to increase the MP count, but tthat it'll level of and increase at a slower rate. Its getting to the point where i'm wondering how much of that is really necessary further down the line. OK - there are situations where hi-res is needed, but for most average consumer users, is a 20MP picture going to be better than a 10MP one when its printed out on a 7x5" ? unlikely.

I reckon that more improvements will come from ISO sensitivity / colour range and sensor data output speeds for higher fps.


Lastly, i wouldn't be surprised if a 1.3 crop factor appeared . . . but thats just speculation on how the levelling development rate will spread out and instead you'll get more variations of cameras rather than improvements.

Southswede
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 08:45
Ron - I totally agree with your comments. The market is levelling out, and now it's not performance that discerns models from other models, but features and price. Canon, in all honesty lost out in both features in the 400D release, the Nikon D80 is superior imho. Noise? Check out the dpreview, the D80 definitely has better noise performance at ISO 800 and above. Sadly, many Canonites won't admit that Nikon can, and does make a better camera. This tells me that Canon is either sitting on its a$$, or has no tricks up its sleeves anymore. Hopefully we'll see the market share even out, and this WILL place pressure on Canon to deliver more features and improve their cameras.

Dave


Well...that is one opinion....

Longwatcher
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 10:55
At this point, I would wait until PMA 2007 (8-11 Mar 2007). Announcements should show up around 2 weeks before. Given this would match with the 20-year anniversary of Canon's EOS system there is much speculation they held some things back for this (along with maybe some technical issues). There is also still the possibility of a December announcement for the new 1 series, but this is only a possibility.

See rumors section for more information: The rest is more future spectulation then rumor.

meanwhile:
I expect 1.6x format to be valid until around 2010 timeframe, but sometime after that I would expect it to fade out in favor of 35mm FF format. But if they can't get cost of FF sensors down then the 1.6x format may stay in existence much longer.

Liquid lenses are still fairly far off and I don't expect them to be available until 2012 at the earliest. But they will revolutionise lenses as we know it and may completely replace current zoom lenses and possibly prime lenses. Maybe even to the point that a fixed mounted lens may be the way to go, although I doubt it from a practical standpoint.

The best rumor I have heard for the future is the X2 rumor, which would be the way to go for Canon if I were in charge. It would be well within Canon's technical capability to produce this rumor and would indicate that they are willing to compete not just in consumer range, but across the whole range of professional users.

[The X2 rumor indicates the use of two 35mm FF sensors side-by-side (long way) to produce a MF sensor. With 22MP 35mm sensors it would be a 44MP sensor which is more then MF backs today. The rest of the rumor would be the ability to use EF lenses in a cropped mode and the new X2 lenses on current EF mounts with an adapter. Cost would be around 12k for camera and about 50% more for L equivilant lenses. - I like the rumor]

As to Nikon, I do expect them to eventually have a 35mm FF camera, but they are tied to sensor manufacturers so unless they have someone to supply them you won't be seeing one from Nikon.

I do expect Canon to eventually merge the 1-series lines and I expect the dynamic range of the sensors to increase, but otherwise most expectations are in more subtle improvements for the future.

Just my forcast for the future.

prep
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 11:36
The 6400 idea is interesting. ATM, ISO 1600 is about the point for 1 e-/DN, so getting rid of the filter loss would get close, and add a bit extra for back ilumination and that's it. All doable today if you don't mind the cost.

The drivers will be larger reticle size demands from the CPU designers, and the 4320p TV system. If that takes off the DSLR market will get very hot!

ssim
30th of October 2006 (Mon), 12:02
I haven't read all the posts above me so this might be repetitive but wanted to put my thoughts forward without being influenced by anyone else's at this point.

Canon will probably continue to add small features to its entry level DSLR's (XTi) but I would not expect them to become feature laden with all of the latest things that could be available to them. Most of the people on here are very serious enthusiasts, part time or even professional photographers. I would love to know what percentage of purchasers of a DSLR actually become active and ongoing members of a forum board like this. I would think the number would be incredibly small. Take a person that has shot with a little point and shoot for years and then decides to make that jump into the DSLR world. They maybe take their camera out once or twice a month. Do they need all the fancy features that get asked for so often here. Case in point, my sister. She wants something more than her a620 so I let her use my daughter's XT for awhile. She was totally lost with the features and trying to understand. She can't be the only techno idiot (maybe she is) out there. The point that I am trying to make is that I would like to see Canon keep the entry level DSLR as simple as possible while still providing enough features to get the people hooked. I wish some would quit asking for features of a 1 series to be in the XT series and then want to pay even less.

For those that feel they have outgrown the XT series there is always the nnD series which in my mind is the true prosumer level cameras. I personally find that the 5D falls into the upper end of the prosumer category, I certainly don't think it qualifies as a true pro level camera. This is an area where I think that they could start to add more features from the 1 series but somehow I would like to see them more modular in effect. The grip is a good example of this. You want feature xxx on your camera you can buy it for $$$.00. Again you have to remember that some people will bypass the XT series and move straight into here and they have to make them easy to use while still having some of the bells and whistle available. If we use the input on photography forum boards as a vehicle for what people want in these cameras, Canon is probably falling short of the consumers expectations. Again though, how many camera owners are happy with the way they are and do not participate in the debates here.

There are so many posts where people want the 1 series features in the 30D series body at the price of an XT. In a perfect world that might happen but this is not a perfect world. Canon has laid out 3 fairly clearly defined groups. I would like to see more integrated options in the 1 series such as wi-fi, gps location marking into exif. Professionals are willing to pay for the higher tech solutions. The cameras are the tools of their trade and as such are a tax writeoff. This doesn't help the deep-pocketed amateur but I like the way Canon has laid the product lines up to now. I truly hope that they keep the separation.

One of the things that Canon has done very well up to now is its ability to maintain lower noise at higher ISO than its competition. I'm aprehensive about a new sensor type going into the cameras at the risk of this being degraded. High ISO shooting is not for everyone but it is a comfort blanket to know it is there should you need it.

Look at any advertisement for a camera, whether it be in a photo magazine or in your local Best Buy flyer, and one of the things that gets hyped more than anything is the megapixel count of the camera. How much is enough. There is a mindset, probably planted by the advertising, that more is better. What does the normal consumer need. If you take away the 1 series bodies, the other ones are targetted moreso at the general consumer. How much does this segment need in the way of MP.

The way I would like to see Canon set up their product lines (which is pretty close to now) is that if the user wants more functionality, more resolution, etc. they can move up the product line and pay for it. I shudder at the suggestions that Canon should have just 2 product lines in the DSLR. There is really 4 now the way I see it. Like buying anything in life if you want the extras you should have to pay for it. Canon has to balance the needs of its customer base against the needs of its shareholders. It is a fine balancing act to not lose sight of either of them.

I've never invested in an EF-S lens as I didn't have a comfort level that this mount would stick around. I don't see the 1.6 crop factor going away anytime soon and think they will continue to push this. I would not want to see them bring in more of this mount if it meant that it is putting research dollars for the regular EF mount at risk.

There are things that they should be doing that can be applied to all cameras. Increased dynamic range, more accurate metering, faster and accurate auto focus. One area where they fall very short is in the combined use of their speedlight and their bodies. This needs substantial improvement in my mind. For the experienced user it works ok but for the casual consumer it is hard. Even in P mode the results are hit and miss.

I would love the ability to be able to redefine some of the buttons on the camera body. The infamous direct print button probably goes unused by a large percentage of the user group. I would like to see a back body button for focussing without losing other functionality. There is so much that can be done in this area that the list could go on forever.

I do see Canon continuing with the FF sensor. I don't see them bringing it down to the lower valued bodies. They have a niche market here and they know that they can up-sell consumers to this. What I would like to see them do is put some R&D into lenses that would match to the full frame that you wouldn't have the vignetting issue that you get now, even with some of their more expensive lenses.

Canon has one of the more extensive collections of lenses available. There will always be someone that feels there is a hole in that lineup. For me I would love to see something between the 600 f4 and the 1200. If they had a 800 or 900mm lens at one and half times the cost of the 600 I would very seriously consider the investment.

As I noted above Canon has a responsibility to their shareholders as well as their consumer base. I only hope that they can stay the course on their product lines so that if you want features x,y and z you might have to move up the line. There are some things I think that could be accomplished through firmware updates. While it is admirable to ask for new features at a lower cost I think that we have to realize that this is a very large corporation and we (at least I do) expect to pay for those new things.

DanAus1983
1st of November 2006 (Wed), 04:44
Forgive me if I appear ignorant, but what on earth is a 'liquid lense'?

Longwatcher
1st of November 2006 (Wed), 09:39
Forgive me if I appear ignorant, but what on earth is a 'liquid lense'?

It is a lens using liquid incased in a flexible polymer (plastic) instead of glass as a focusing element (or perhaps instead of all elements) thus allowing in theory to have a perfect lens for exactly the conditions you are shooting because the liquid can be exactly waht you need for that aperture at that focal length with that focus distance. In other words the perfect lens.

In practice this will not be so easy but it could significantly improve optical quality.

A liquid lens would use either pressure or magnetic fields to manipulate the liquid into the correct shapes.

rbush83
2nd of November 2006 (Thu), 13:52
It is a lens using liquid incased in a flexible polymer (plastic) instead of glass as a focusing element (or perhaps instead of all elements) thus allowing in theory to have a perfect lens for exactly the conditions you are shooting because the liquid can be exactly waht you need for that aperture at that focal length with that focus distance. In other words the perfect lens.

In practice this will not be so easy but it could significantly improve optical quality.

A liquid lens would use either pressure or magnetic fields to manipulate the liquid into the correct shapes.

To quote the first caveman plumber: "mmmm this not cheap"

Qweevox
3rd of November 2006 (Fri), 15:31
it would not suprise me if Canon do away with EF-S lenses at some point they cost a lot of people a lot of money when they got rid of the FD mount so i don't think it would bother them in the slightest ,i wont buy EF-S myself just in case.
Rob.


I agree I’m not biting on the EF-S line either. I’d love to own a few of the lens available in the EF-S line but could never justify paying money on glass that is going to go obsolete in a few years. The 10-22 and the new 17-55 but they have L prices. You would have to be an idiot not to believe the direction of the market is toward FF. The 1.6 was a compromise on cost, that’s all. No one came out with a 1.6 because they thought it was superior to FF, it was just cheaper to deliver to the customer.

All you have to do is read the posts on this and other boards. You’ll find posts that read, “I finally made the jump to FF”, or “I’ve upgraded to FF”, or “I’ve graded to the 5D”. Most consumers already view the FF as an upgrade….and so does Canon. One thing is for sure as technology increases the cost of production on FF sensors is going to continue to decline. They are already cheap enough for the high-end consumer to afford one. Not to many years ago only pros could justify paying 5-$10,000 for them. Now you can pick up a 5D for around two grand. It’s only going to get cheaper.

Oh sure, there are those “wildlife” photographers that say they like the extra reach, but as the price comes down more and more will opt for the FF. That means that the demand for 1.6 sensors will plummet. First Canon will keep something out there in the 1.6, but the upgrades will be few and far between until there aren’t anymore. The 1.6 will go the way of the Dodo, 8 track tap, and VCR.

Qweevox
3rd of November 2006 (Fri), 15:59
Judging by the way mid range body prices have leveled out ,and (by canon's own admission) most of the DSLR's cost is in the sensor .With full frame sensors costing well over TEN TIMES what 1.6 crop sensors do, one can easily see that full frame cameras are going to be quite expensive into the forseeable future:(


With all do respect…”LEVELED out”? 15 months ago, the 5D cost around $3400-$3600. I said FIFTEEN months ago. What can you get a NEW 5D for today…around two grand? No my friend I must disagree. Canon has said it is more expensive to produce FF sensors…and it is. That’s why we got the 1.6 sensors in the first place…they where much cheaper to produce. However, make no mistake the cost of production will continue to fall. I remember a salesman saying to me that the Intel 386 was all the processor we would ever need and that the 486 was just to expensive to produce for the average consumer. Guess what less then 18 months later every new computer on the shelf had a 486 in it and 18 months later the computers where twice as fast, and 18 months after that, and 18 months after that… Today the 486 is a relic from the ancient mid 1990’s. I laugh every time I think about that conversation which seems like yesterday. Moore’s Law has been proven over and over again.

In five years there won’t be any 1.6 on the shelves. In 10 years, you will be able to pick up a FF 10 mp+ made by Fisher Price for your children to play with for less then $100. In a decade or so the only difference between photographers will be in skill not gear.

CoolToolGuy
3rd of November 2006 (Fri), 17:53
I agree I’m not biting on the EF-S line either. I’d love to own a few of the lens available in the EF-S line but could never justify paying money on glass that is going to go obsolete in a few years. The 10-22 and the new 17-55 but they have L prices. You would have to be an idiot not to believe the direction of the market is toward FF. The 1.6 was a compromise on cost, that’s all. No one came out with a 1.6 because they thought it was superior to FF, it was just cheaper to deliver to the customer.

All you have to do is read the posts on this and other boards. You’ll find posts that read, “I finally made the jump to FF”, or “I’ve upgraded to FF”, or “I’ve graded to the 5D”. Most consumers already view the FF as an upgrade….and so does Canon. One thing is for sure as technology increases the cost of production on FF sensors is going to continue to decline. They are already cheap enough for the high-end consumer to afford one. Not to many years ago only pros could justify paying 5-$10,000 for them. Now you can pick up a 5D for around two grand. It’s only going to get cheaper.

Oh sure, there are those “wildlife” photographers that say they like the extra reach, but as the price comes down more and more will opt for the FF. That means that the demand for 1.6 sensors will plummet. First Canon will keep something out there in the 1.6, but the upgrades will be few and far between until there aren’t anymore. The 1.6 will go the way of the Dodo, 8 track tap, and VCR.

Although there is a lot of chatter on "this and other boards" about FF, the total number of posters to all of the online forums represents an extremely small percentage of total DSLR customers. Joe & Jane Average don't give a hoot about FF, and they will buy whatever is put out to sell. As long as crop cameras exist from "other" vendors, the competition will have to continue to sell them, since "Brand N's 300mm zoom is longer than this one." And Olympus, especially, is not going to FF - and they are using it as an advantage, just like they did with the OM-1 - and that was quite significant for their profits.

Canon may have a larger set of full frame offerings in "a few years", but I predict that the crop camera market will still be alive and well by then, and used EF-S lenses will be in demand just like used lenses are today. So make your choices as you wish, but "obsolete" is not a term I would use.

Have Fun,

ScottE
4th of November 2006 (Sat), 14:41
There is absolutely no reason to think that Canon will ever abandon EF-S format and only continue FF. EF-S already more than meets the image quality needs of the majority of photographers and EF-S cameras outsell FF models by a huge margin. Yes, there are lots of posts on this board from people who have "upgraded" to FF, but remember this board is made up of a combination of enthusiats who are pushing the limit of their equipment and elitists who perceive a status advantage to owning more expensive equipment. (Why else would they boast about their purchase?)

I believe that Canon has made a wise choice in bringing out the EF-S designated lenses.

Companies like Nikon have adapted their old mechanical mount so that it can be used on electronic and now APS sized sensor cameras. As a result, just about any Nikon lens will fit on any Nikon camera, but some mechanical lenses won't stop down on some newer cameras and lenses designed for digital do not give full frame coverage when used on film cameras. Trying to remember which lenses will work with which camera is like trying to memorize a bowl of alphabet soup. Buyer beware!!

With Canon, a mechanical FD or FM lens will not mount on an EOS camera so you don't have to worry about it not being compatable and EF lenses can be designed without have to worry about what happens if someone tries to fit them on an old FD camera. EF lenses are fully functional on every EF and EF-S camera they will fit on. EF-S lenses cannot be fitted to cameras for which they do not provide a large enough image circle. Canon is protecting us from ourselves (and selling more lenses).

As for the future, more EF-S lenses will be introduced to take advantage of the smaller image circle which enables greater sharpness (sharpness has to be compromised to provide coverage for a larger image circle) and more compact design. If you don't believe that it is possible to design a sharper lens for smaller formats, look at the lines per mm resolution of top quality 35 mm, medium format and large format lenses. Larger formats get better resolution because of the size of the medium, not because of the quality of the lenses. There is no reason to think that the trend of greater sharpness for smaller fomats will stop when moving from FF to EF-S. In the future, there will be a disadvantage to using EF lenses on an EF-S camera because the image quality will suffer compared to a similar quality EF-S lens.

The 17-55/2.8 EF-S is the first lens in this series. It has greater zoom range than any f/2.8 zoom lens of similar focal length and image quality has often been measured to equal or supass comparable "L" zooms. It features a poly-carbonate body and an extending zoom mechanism to ehance the lighter weight and more compact design that will make EF-S valuable to those who have to carry their equipment for travel or on-location shots.

There will be more to follow. How about a 50-200 f/2.8 IS EF-S or a 100-500 f/4-5.6 IS EF-S?

The biggest decision for those of us who shoot EF-S will be whether to keep our old EF lenses when we upgrade to the new EF-S lenses. I kept my 17-40 L when I got the 17-55 because I might want to use my old film cameras or find some inconceivable need to buy a FF digital camera. There will be a similar choice when the EF-S replacement for the 70-200 f/2.8 comes out. That lens has been through a lot with me. I don't think I will hesitate to dump the Sigma 50-500 when a 100-500 IS EF-S becomes available.

None of us has a crystal ball, but this is my projection of the future evolution of the Canon lines.

smsmasters
10th of November 2006 (Fri), 08:26
Canon will be releasing a DSLR with ISO 6400 and 12800.

RichardtheSane
17th of November 2006 (Fri), 06:41
Canon will be releasing a DSLR with ISO 6400 and 12800.
And your evidence is where..?


In five years there won’t be any 1.6 on the shelves. In 10 years, you will be able to pick up a FF 10 mp+ made by Fisher Price for your children to play with for less then $100. In a decade or so the only difference between photographers will be in skill not gear.

Very sweping statement there. IMO it is wildly inaccurate too.
Think bigger picture.
When the EOS system was introduced it levelled the playing field in photography somewhat. Suggestons similar to " the only difference between photographers will be in skill not gear." were about then too. OOh look, it is 20 years later now...

Secondly, why FF. What does FF signify?
Take your P/S user who has only ever had a digital camera in their life. What exactly does FF mean to them? Answer - nothing. So why on earth would camera manufacturers aim to have all cameras having full frame sensors in 5 years time when the majority of new DSLR users won't even know the significance.
All someone upgrading to an entry level DSLR wants is a camera with more control and lenses that work. Canon provide this now in 1.6. Then then offer camera's with larger sensors as an upgrade route. Now wouldn't canon be very silly if they took this upgrade route away?

Richard
One of the 'Idiots' who belive smallers sensors hare here to stay

scokar
19th of November 2006 (Sun), 16:13
...In a decade or so the only difference between photographers will be in skill not gear.

That difference has always existed :)

Sprout Crumble
23rd of November 2006 (Thu), 08:03
EFS and crop disappearing... :lol:

Its going nowhere. Get used to it. APS-C is the new standard and will remain so. FF is a niche for those that need the benefits that format brings. Anyone who believes FF is all benefits isn't firing on all cylinders. APS-C is successful because, like the 35mm film negative, it's the best compromise.

Sprout Crumble
23rd of November 2006 (Thu), 08:08
Forgive me if I appear ignorant, but what on earth is a 'liquid lense'?

Its a term used to describe the eye of a drunk person in a pub looking at a potental mate of dubious looks. It doesn't seem to focus right and tends to make things appear more attractive than they actually are... :D

blackshadow
23rd of November 2006 (Thu), 08:56
Its a term used to describe the eye of a drunk person in a pub looking at a potental mate of dubious looks. It doesn't seem to focus right and tends to make things appear more attractive than they actually are... :D

Another common term for this is "beer goggles"

dmp-potn
23rd of November 2006 (Thu), 10:04
Hello,

... In a decade or so the only difference between photographers will be in skill not gear.

We've been there for quite some time! Skill in seeing a great shot and the technical mastery to capture it at the right time with the right perspective, focus, and exposure have always ruled over who has the better camera.

Just as in the past, but to an even greater extent in this digital era, post production skill also plays an important part in differentiating photographers, as more of us are now responsible for developing our own photographs than in the film days.

Photography business owners continue to differentiate themselves with service, personality, style, packaging and business management skill rather than equipment and image/print quality since everyone has access to (essentially) the same cameras, labs, and printers.

I understand your point about how everyone from kids to soccer moms to enthusiasts to pros having access to full-frame images sensors may level the playing field a bit; however, if that didn't happen with the introduction of the fully automatic 35mm SLR in the 80's, I'd say that it's not going to happen in the next ten years either.

If anything, the digital revolution has leveled the playing field a bit in the area of post production. An average photographer with great PP skill and creativity can do amazing things with their images that a great photographer with little interest in PP may never bother to explore.

The challenge for working photographers continues to be (achieving and) maintaining relevancy in the eyes of their customers in light of changing technology, fashion, and styles.

radiohead
23rd of November 2006 (Thu), 12:09
Another common term for this is "beer goggles"

Or, for the younger drinker, "cider visor"