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Archive 2016 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading
  
 
Milan Hutera
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


gdanmitchell wrote:
It is curious, isn't it, that here you see old glass and new bodies. :-)

Dan



I'm not entirely sure if I understand your comment...



Oct 27, 2016 at 10:23 AM
jboyer
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


15Bit wrote:
Well i don't know about you, but i'd feel like a right idiot walking down the street with my DSLR to my ear and talking into the lens. I also have enough problems already keeping the thing steady when handholding, that i really don't welcome having it vibrate every time someone sends me a text message.


Quite so. I was really thinking of the communications and applications aspect of it, like being able to quickly share a picture, create a collage and other fancy stuff that phone apps can do. While many dslr are own by people that do not care for these features, having them could entice more cellular phone owner to "upgrade" their camera to a dslr.
In a number of ways, the cell phone successes are tied to the apps available to it. Why can't we use the same business model for dslr? If cell phone owners can retouch their pictures right in their phone, a dslr owner could be doing the same.




Oct 27, 2016 at 10:55 AM
ggreene
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


Milan Hutera wrote:
As for the cameras, that was another matter. There were probably 5 brand new 1DX IIs, one or two 1DX's, none 1.3x Canons (except for mine), some 5 or 6D's (one or two), a couple of 7D's and I saw a 80D as well.
As for Nikon, there were mostly D5's, D4 and D4S and D500, I saw a 810 as well. I think there were 4 or 5 Nikon shooters compared to about 10 Canon shooters.


I'm not shooting top pro events so that may explain much but I still see many 1D4's and a lot of D3/D700's on the sidelines. In fact I would say Nikon was foolish not to follow up on the D700. That is still a popular body.




Oct 27, 2016 at 12:17 PM
John Power
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


jboyer wrote:
Quite so. I was really thinking of the communications and applications aspect of it, like being able to quickly share a picture, create a collage and other fancy stuff that phone apps can do. While many dslr are own by people that do not care for these features, having them could entice more cellular phone owner to "upgrade" their camera to a dslr.
In a number of ways, the cell phone successes are tied to the apps available to it. Why can't we use the same business model for dslr? If cell phone owners can retouch their pictures right in
...Show more

There is no way that will ever happen. The entire reason the phone cameras are so popular is they fit in your pocket after the photo is taken. Try that with a DSLR.



Oct 27, 2016 at 12:37 PM
Milan Hutera
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


ggreene wrote:
I'm not shooting top pro events so that may explain much but I still see many 1D4's and a lot of D3/D700's on the sidelines. In fact I would say Nikon was foolish not to follow up on the D700. That is still a popular body.



I think everyone with the lastest and greatest bodies were working for Austrian news outlets and agencies. They put so much wear on the cameras they simply have to replace them regularly with what's available now. Especially one lady was spraying/praying so much she has to be a frequent client for shutter replacement at Nikon service center.

The one thing that amazed me so much is how grotesquely short 70-200 is on a full frame body. I took a peak on the mentioned lady's display when she was sorting out her sprayed photos during one of the breaks. She was always on 200mm and half of the frame was totally empty. The clustered AF in the middle of the frame doesn't help either.



Oct 27, 2016 at 12:43 PM
ggreene
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


70-200 is actually not that bad if you have access to the sidelines and can move up and down them freely. That may not be possible at pro events but is usually allowed for college level. Just wait for the action to come to you. Student photographers pretty much all use 70-200's at the university I work for.


Oct 27, 2016 at 02:32 PM
 

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Milan Hutera
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


ggreene wrote:
70-200 is actually not that bad if you have access to the sidelines and can move up and down them freely. That may not be possible at pro events but is usually allowed for college level. Just wait for the action to come to you. Student photographers pretty much all use 70-200's at the university I work for.


We were sitting right on the court - the tiny blue pen with white chairs right next to the Mercedes label that's on the left side of the net. On a pro tennis event, you basically cannot be closer than this.

http://www.tennis-arena.cz/userdata/articles/1508/img_0861.jpg

I'll be posting revised photos once I actually deliver the final versions for magazine publication and will play a bit more with the yellowish light that is in Wiener Stadthalle arena.



Oct 27, 2016 at 03:09 PM
arbitrage
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


I'm surprised 200mm wasn't enough from that close. What focal length was ideal?


Oct 27, 2016 at 03:46 PM
Milan Hutera
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


arbitrage wrote:
I'm surprised 200mm wasn't enough from that close. What focal length was ideal?


70-200 is ideal for full body shots, but from that distance, even on a 1,3x crop, 200mm is pretty short for "waist-up" shots, unless the player is close to you. You have to crop considerably. On FF 300mm is your standard lens and for tighter shots 400mm is good. Actually 400mm can be a bit long in some cases, so the guy with 200-400mm had the most flexible setup.

Here's a full gallery from yesterday's three marathon matches to illustrate: http://www.tennis-arena.cz/fotogalerie-murray-vs-klizan-a-dalsi-bitvy-z-vidne-15103cz/ Like I mentioned, I'll be fixing the white balance a bit more, these were prepared last night a bit hastily after I got back home from Vienna.



Oct 27, 2016 at 05:08 PM
splathrop
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


Seems like amateurs who shoot because they love to make images have little reason to be concerned. They will always be able to buy DSLRs at least as good as the ones available now. They will continue to reach very high standards of image quality and creativity which set their kind of work apart from whatever will happen with smartphones.

The message may be different for people who want to make money from photography. The merely-proficient wedding shooter may be in for tough sledding (at least to the extent that kind of work involved anything other than sales, charm, and client management in the first place). Any other kind of work which depends notably on recording images to save clients the trouble of doing it themselves will also look less promising. As always, expect superior skills to buck the trend.

Also expect stuff like online product catalogues to go all-smartphone, even if that means less quality in the images. As the typography industry found out 2 decades ago, clients who can save money by doing it themselves suddenly care much less about the quality differences which they previously used to determine who got the job.

Professional news photography may be especially affected, given the breaking-news advantage which ubiquitous phones create, and the connectivity built in. But sports photography doesn't yet look like a promising smart-phone takeover area, and may not ever.

Fine art photography, on the other hand, should promise as much (or as little) income as ever, for those who can do it. If anything, it may get a boost as the gap between DSLR image quality and available-from-your-phone image quality becomes more clearly defined, especially after the disappearance of more-capable middle-market point-and-shoots.

Probably physics is going to put an absolute upper limit on what's available from smart-phone photo magic. If you show work now to people who take their own pictures on their phones, and they gasp when they see your work, you can probably count on that continuing. Just keep in mind, what makes them gasp better have more to do with art and design than it does with something anyone can buy, like your DSLR.



Oct 27, 2016 at 05:24 PM
ggreene
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


I would have thought a 70-200 would be perfect for that distance. That's pretty close to the action. I tend to shoot loose though.

I've never shot tennis. Do you need to use a sound dampening case?



Oct 27, 2016 at 06:00 PM
rscheffler
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Wow, camera sales figures make grim reading


I haven't shot pro tennis for ~5 years, but I never had to use any kind of blimp type equipment. 70-200 would be a staple lens and with the higher resolutions now, cropping would definitely be an option. But back when I was shooting this stuff, the primes still had better AF acquisition and were somewhat sharper. I was never a fan of the 70-200/2.8 IS original version due to its AF laggyness). I got better results with the f/4L IS model and have used this ever since, also to reduce size and weight, even for most indoor events.

I'm seeing a lot more of the new 100-400 on the sidelines and would consider it for some sports. It's hand-holdable and easier to swing around for erratic action than something like the 200-400. Just that f/5.6 still feels like a barrier. Perhaps mental, but less subject isolation and higher ISOs currently dissuades me from it.


Milan Hutera wrote:
I just returned from a two day shoot at ATP 500 Erste Bank Open in Vienna and I can confirm this. The newest lenses in the photo pool were one Canon 200-400 f4 L and one Canon 300 f2,8 L IS II. There were 3 or 4 original Canons 300 f2,8 L's non-IS, one Canon 400 f2.8 L IS and one pre IS Canon 400mm f2.8 that looked like hell. Other than that, there were mostly 70-200's (L IS IIs and non-IS f2.8 and even one f4).

As for the cameras, that was another matter. There were probably 5
...Show more
gdanmitchell wrote:
It is curious, isn't it, that here you see old glass and new bodies. :-)

Dan


Makes perfect sense to me. The lenses are good enough already from the 1999 vintage first-gen IS models. Even the pre-IS lenses are very, very close in quality, just that service/support is no longer officially available. Why spend $10K+ when the lens you bought ~15 years ago is still working and long paid off? Perhaps you're stringing for an agency and need the long glass and can buy a beater copy for pretty cheap. It can be difficult to justify $10K+ when the average wire service day rate is no better than someone working an average desk job (might even be less then their daily wage).

Until a couple years ago I shot a 2004 vintage 400/2.8 IS. While the new, much lighter model would be nicer to carry around, that alone wasn't enough value to justify the considerably higher purchase price. Instead I gave up some subject isolation and low light capability and got the 200-400 for about the same price. Coupled with the better high ISO capability of the 1DX over previous 1D models, it provided me a lot more compositional flexibility and better portability. It also resulted in me selling a 600/4 IS and a 300. I believe this is one reason why Canon's 200-400 is so costly. Canon know most who buy one will use it to replace several primes that they're afterwards never going to continue on the upgrade path. I do miss the look of the 400/2.8 somewhat, but doubt I will ever go back to a 400mm or wider prime. If I shot a lot more field sports I'd consider a 600/4 again...

As for the cameras, there have been a lot more advances over that ~15 year period since the first 1D. It's primarily the cameras that theoretically provide the competitive edge (though I'd say the 200-400 was the first new lens in a long time that also offered a potential competitive edge). As mentioned, the newer models, particularly the 1DX and 1DXII will pair well with f/4 and slower lenses for indoor/night events. It lets me shoot such events with the 1.4x TC at f/5.6 and get reasonable technical results (the client very happy).

I didn't think the 1DX was worth getting based on its paper specs (I was shooting 1DIV), but gave it a try and found my technically acceptable keeper rate improved considerably over the previous 1D cameras. Faster fps rate combined with better AF was the reason, IMO. I never found the 1DIV to be a clear break from the AF quirks/problems of the 1DIII. As for 1DXII over the 1DX... I'm finding the II is slightly better in respect to AF (though a friend also shooting pro sports believes it's considerably better for AF and speed). Yes, it's a bit faster fps wise and the buffer is way deeper, which does help at times. Where I also find it a worthwhile upgrade is the cleaner low ISO files with better post processing flexibility. I use the camera for everything, not just sports, so the sensor's technical improvements interested me.



Oct 27, 2016 at 06:41 PM
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