Thursday, February 16, 2006

Digital Photography - Front and back end races

I've been spending some time reading the various photo sites online over the last few weeks to see what is going to come out in terms of new camera gear at the PMA. There is a lot of talk about a new Canon dSLR to take the place of the 20D and there are rumblings that the new P&S cameras are really going to have a good show with larger/less dense sensors and (yawn) better video. But one thing that is hopefully going to happen is the end of the megapixel race. We've seen the death of the Mhz race on the desktop/laptop, but it's still lurking out there on other electronic devices with prices that match (ever thought that the camera that you plug into a computer is worth more than the computer?). Though I don't really believe we are not going to see "You need 10MP to print nice/acceptable/good for teen locker 4*6 prints" being pressed by your local BB or FS lackey this year, what we are going to see are faster memory cards. We will of course see MP continue to increase as long as people buy them because there doesn't really seem to be a real cost to the manufacturers - if 5MP is all that is being sold... then why make 3? And because so much of consumer electronics is on the stat sheet... 12MP looks better than 10MP (forget the fact that one may be better at higher ISO, the other may have smaller shutter lag... those sorts of usability points hardly ever make it to the stat sheet). Anyway I just say a review for Lexar's 133X card and i was taken aback by the first paragraph. It's not in the camera that you'll see the advantage, it's when you download to the computer. So in a way, it seems that the card makers know that the files are getting bigger and to offset that they are putting out faster cards. So even if your two year old camera doesn't ever even challenge your card's I/O capacity, these new cards with an external reader will take DL times from 5 minutes to 3. Not that big a deal for some, massive for others. After all is said and done, one thing is for sure, there will be a few better tools for those working to do digital storytelling in all it's various forms. The old stuff will get cheaper and more people will be able to enjoy. Technorati Tags: