When the digital SLR camera first came on the market in 1999 with the Nikon D1 it was a huge leap for photography. The Nikon was a dark room killer. Snap a picture and put it directly on your computer. Kodak had been working on an analogue system all the way back in 1975, but it wasn’t until the age of the internet and sharable media that digital photography came to life.
Digital cameras, as with other tech are on a fast track. Technological advancements have built on the tiny pixelated 2.74PM images of the original and brought us incredible imaging capabilities in an ever smaller, cheaper package. Some new features are marketing for sure, but many improvements are genuine advances in our technologies, from better, more intuitive auto-focusing to higher burst rates and better ISO performance. Canon’s flagship DSRL, the 1Dx Mark II has a max ISO of 409,600. Film cameras once went only as high as 50. Don’t be fooled though, Canon’s max ISO looks like a duck made a mess on the lens, but we’ll get there too.
The more our devices can do, the more all-in-one they are, the less (other equipment) we need and the more we can keep in our wallets, well that’s the idea. Our watch can call an ambulance if we need help, and camera features put pro level tools in the hands of someone who knows nothing about photography, nor has ever taken a photography course.
Sony recently announced its updated RX 100 Mark V. An all-in-one point-and-shoot with a burst rate of 24 FPS. It shoots 4K video and can record slow motion HD video at up to 960 frames per second straight in camera. That’s VERY slow, slow motion. If you’d told someone about it 10 years ago you’d could have expected a slap in the face, such are the advancements in camera tech.
It’s all very nice, a powerhouse camera in your pocket. That is until next year when Sony adds a couple of features you wish would have come with this RX100, like a touchscreen. That of course is the marketing part. If you bought the Sony 6300 as a B-roll or short film camera you’d have been very pleased with the results you were able to get out of such an affordable camera (minus overheating issues) Eight months later and Sony has just announced the A6500. It has a touchscreen, IBIS, and oh – it supposedly doesn’t overheat.
Well, that sucks for everyone who just bought the previous model. Do-all cameras do everything you need, except they don’t. There’s always some extra feature that would make them better. And unfortunately, speaking here right after Photokina, those features keep being upgraded faster and faster. It’s all very exciting, and in many cases incredible, but these do-all money-saving devices are killing our wallets.