The Coming Recession Will Be Good for Digital Cameras and Photography
Digital cameras, digital lenses, Photoshop, film photography, etc. may all be improved by the looming economic meltdown.
At the time of this writing, the coming recession is looming darkly, but hasn’t fully struck yet.
If there’s no other global cataclysm (meteor impact, vast plague, EMP, etc.) it will still be some time (I’m thinking Fall 2009) before we see where the financial bottom is.
During the interim, we are all adjusting, voluntarily or otherwise, to the loss of economic potentials. Photographers always get hit hard by recessions, in part, because photography is so dang expensive. Companies are seeing their sales drop, and markets receding.
I’m going to put forth the idea here that this may actually be good for users of digital cameras, Photoshop, and traditional photographic equipment, including darkroom equipment.
The market for new digital cameras, such as digital slr’s, is glutted with cameras, accessories, marketing, and conflicting info and reviews.
We’re still in the adolescence of digital photography. Growing pains are part of this time in life.
The camera chips are changing, the formats, bit depth, dynamic range, digital white balance behaviors, memory card sizes, digital megapixel count, video features, Photoshop and other editing software versions, and on…on…on.
As I’m writing this, the digital slr camera model you settled on to ‘maybe’ buy has been replaced with one that has gained a few features you want, but dropped a few also. And, it hasn’t been reviewed yet. And then your local camera salesperson says, “Oh no. You don’t want that model. It’s not that good.” What to do? Wait? Read even more digital photography web pages and ‘guide to digital photography’ magazine articles? Buy what your brother-in-law got at the big box retailer? Wait?
Here’s my take on the possible near future of all this, knowing full well how dangerous it is to predict anything in our ‘material world’ (especially when putting it in print – or blog).
The camera market is going to drop off like all retail worldwide. The result is likely to be a shake out. There will probably be fewer digital slr camera models available with better feature sets. This will likely make that part of decision making easier.
The downturn may also stem the ‘rush to market’ that drives manufacturers often. Perhaps, their R+D (research and development) teams can proceed on to the next level; maybe QC (quality control) can get the bugs out without dumping yet another model with incrementally different features onto the already saturated market.
The hope here is that everyone wants the economy (personal and global) to get better soon.
We may, as a world culture, manage the turnaround sooner rather than after a long drawn out recovery.
On the upswing side of the recession, there may very well be better cameras, with fewer dilemmas of choice, and more stable digital photography technologies.
That’s one of my current fantasies, and I’m sticking with it.
Cheers, in spite of any fears!