Monday, June 30, 2008

SLR's for the mases

The price of admission has fallen. Any Joe Cool can walk into a Best Buy, Circuit City, Ritz Camera, etc and pick up a sophisticated digital single lens reflex camera capable of producing professional results previously reserved for professionals and enthusiasts with the bank to spend a few grand for tools and toys. Digital SLR's are now priced where film SLR's were priced in the late 90's - and the quality of the cameras today is incomparable to the original Rebel 2000 Canon released way back when. Individuals are purchasing there second or third digital camera and have decided opinions on what they do and don't want in a camera. In a market that is constantly squeezing more megapixel into pea sized sensors (hello image noise) the quality difference has grown quite staggering. Consumers have put up with sluggish shutter lag, ISO performance and depressing battery life for years. During the previous purchases they probably didn't even consider an SLR because of the price tag or price of admission as it were. Today, consumers have the option of spending a little more to bump from the ultra-zoom market into a basic SLR and HUGE surprise ... they are buying them! It doesn’t take a professional with a four year degree in image fidelity to recognize that SLR's produce superior results.

What does this all mean? As a lover of photography I am SO excited to see people loving their images for once. Quality is starting to re-take center stage from quantity (the current king in digital photography). Quantity will probably always remain dominant in a digital society; however, it is refreshing to see people interested in quality once again. As a professional photographer most would expect me to be resistant to more SLR's floating around. After all - that means anyone has the technology in his/her hands to produce professional results ... or do they? My father-in-law is a talented trim carpenter. I could go out and buy the same tools he uses - does that make me a trim carpenter? A lot of photographers get frustrated when they see everyone and their brother with an SLR. They feel like people are encroaching on their space. Here's the bottom line: Quality is always recognized. If you as a photographer produce professionally crafted and polished images they will ALWAYS stand out from the quantity of images the average shutterbug produces. Sure - they may get a few great photos that look professional. But remember, you produce images like that every day on a consistent basis.

More individuals using SLR's is GREAT for two reasons:
  1. People are falling in love with photography again. They are capturing memories and enjoying sharing them with friends - that gives me the warm and fuzzy
  2. The increase in quantity only heightens the quality because it makes it rarer. A tool in the hands of a master is an amazing thing to behold. As long as you produce professional results - people will continue to say "oh, so now I see why you are a professional."

No comments: