Why DSLR makers are evil

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Rich, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. Rich

    Rich Guest

    If a new innovation (faster processor, memory, new vid card, etc) comes
    for a computer, if I have any sense at all, I can upgrade my box unless
    upgrade is completely incompatible with my current technology. Rather
    having to spend $2000 on a new box, I can spend $400 on a new video
    card and
    voila! I've got the upgrade.
    But, with the camera makers, there is no such thing as incremental
    you have to buy a whole, new camera. Now I hear Canon my be offering
    "upgrade" of their recently released top of the line DSLR. Do they
    think that
    professional photogs are all rich, that they can drop $8000 on a pro
    camera only to have to spend another $8000 9 months down the line for
    the latest contraption just to stay competitive? Or am I mistaken and
    do pros typically keep equipment (despite upgrades) for a longer
    period, say 2-4 years?
    Contrast this with the rate of change when cameras shot film. A brand
    new pro SLR didn't come around every year. Many pros shot with older
    models as well since the new ones were unfamiliar or didn't really
    offer much in the way of
    enhanced performance to warrant the upgrade. However, when Canon goes
    from a
    8 to 16 million pixels in seven months, then offers another upgrade in
    the same time frame, the pro is obliged to make the change.
    With professional salaries likely to have fallen over the past 10 years
    (owing to the radical reduction in available work because of the demise
    of newspaper and magazine readership) they find themselves faced with
    that not only costs more than SLRs used to, but that is changing at a
    far more rapid pace. If Canon goes to 23m in the next pro offering,
    pros will have no
    choice (depending on their work) to upgrade again to stay competitive.
    Which is unfortunate.
    Rich, Aug 22, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. On 21 Aug 2005 16:04:09 -0700, "Rich" <>

    Are you a Pro, Rich. if not you don't know what you are talking about
    and if you were you would be spouting such nonsense.

    A Clue: No pro pays for his camera. His clients do with the fees he
    charges them.


    "A combat photographer should be able to make you see the
    color of blood in black and white"

    David Douglas Duncan
    Speaking on why in Vietnam
    he worked only in black and white
    John A. Stovall, Aug 22, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Yes, I can see that;
    "Mr. Client, normally I charge $2000 to shoot
    a wedding of this size. But seeing as I need a
    new Canon to do it right, the bill will be $10000."
    It's all so easy!
    Rich, Aug 22, 2005
  4. Rich

    kz8rt3 Guest

    What did they do before they were pro?

    The OP was right. digital Camera's are sold on bigger, better, and

    Oh, and if I shoot, but work a grocery store, do I buy my own camera?
    kz8rt3, Aug 22, 2005
  5. Rich

    Toa Guest

    "Mr. Client, normally I charge $2000 to shoot

    That approach would work if you were planning on having only one client,

    Pro photographers are like any other businessman. They charge a fee
    commensurate with their costs/efforts and included in that fee is a
    "portion" of the cost associated with the purchase of equipment amortised
    over the expected life of that equipment. If they expected a $5,000 camera
    to last them two years and expected to have 250 clients per year then that's
    only $10 per client

    Toa, Aug 22, 2005
  6. Rich

    wilt Guest

    One consideration for everyone to take into consideration is the the
    per-photo cost passed on the client may (or may not) be quite different
    for film camera vs. the digital...buying film, paying for film
    processing, and paying for preview prints were part of the incremental
    cost of a job, which was factored in. If you no longer have to buy
    film and pay for the processing and previews, you can put some of that
    savings into equipment. This model, of course, assumes the photographer
    who is not a staffer of a publication or business that might cover the
    equipment in its capital expense budget, but who runs a studio or
    storefront business. Using some old lab prices, it would cost about
    $0.70 per photo to process film and print a 4x6 preview print. If you
    shot wedding with 300 photos, that would be about $0.85 per shot for
    film and processing and printing. In other words, in 31 jobs shooting
    weddings of 300 photos (easily done in one year for a pro with good
    quality shooting skills), the $8k body is fully paid for in film and
    processing costs!!!

    I do not defend the hyper obsolescence, but we as buyers FEED the
    behavior by demanding rapid adoption of new technology, or else we
    bad-mouth them in newgroups like this (witness all the Canon-shooting
    idiots who tell everyone else that their non-Canon is garbage for not
    advancing as rapidly as almighty Canon!...BTW, as a Canon shooter I
    find such denigrating behavior as childish beyond belief!)

    As someone not earning a living in photography, an $8k body is
    unjustifiable, and even as a pro photographer I would wish to not have
    to keep investing in bodies at such a rapid rate, since it would leave
    me more profit in my pocket. But I could easily justify an annual
    camera body on the basis of transferred cost structure!!!
    wilt, Aug 22, 2005
  7. Rich

    Charlie Self Guest

    I could probably justify it to IRS, but not myself. My Pentax *istD is
    a bit over a year old now, and there's no replacement in sight yet, but
    even if there were, I'd leave it for now. The camera is still better
    than I am, though by less than it was when I first bought it. When I'm
    closer to caught up, I'll buy the next step up, and place the D in the
    bag as a back-up. It will still take fine photos for a long, long time,
    even if there are 500 other cameras out there with "better" features.
    Charlie Self, Aug 22, 2005
  8. snipped
    Who are you to say anything is "unjustifiable"? I'm sure my Jaguar
    XJ-6 would have been "unjustifiable" to you. If I can afford it, it
    is justifiable.


    "Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
    They stood, and the earth's foundations stay;
    When God abandoned, these defended,
    And saved the sum of things for pay."

    "Epitaph on Army of Mercenaries"
    A.E. Houseman - 1914
    John A. Stovall, Aug 22, 2005
  9. Rich

    GTO Guest

    Today, I believe that with a DSLR we buy the the analogy of a 35mm camera
    body and all the negative film we would be shooting with it. Shooting one
    role per day in average results in saving roughly US$7,000 per year ($5 per
    role). For pros, DSLRs are much cheaper than 35mm film bodies, even when a
    pro has to upgrade his two camera bodies every two years. It is very likely
    that since good DSLR cameras are on the market, the life of pros has become
    much much easier. No?

    GTO, Aug 22, 2005
  10. Rich

    Darrell Guest

    It used to be you amortized your equipment over 5 years. This is a tax
    benefit. The clients used to pay a shooting fee/hourly rate that should
    cover equipment costs. But with this 9-18 month product life it is hard to
    do, but HINT! the camera you already have hasn't stopped being the camera
    you bought. It's just a tool that the photographer uses to create his craft.

    But now a days everyone is a photographer!
    Darrell, Aug 22, 2005
  11. Rich

    Toa Guest

    But now a days everyone is a photographer!


    So they would have you believe <g>

    Toa, Aug 22, 2005
  12. Rich

    MarkH Guest

    I believe the 16MPix camera replaced the 11MPix model.
    Are you suggesting that the Canon 1Ds with its 11MPix is no longer capable
    of taking acceptable photos?

    Surely the camera still works and lenses are still available and prints at
    8x12 still look fine to the customers?

    Luckily for me I am not a pro and can carry on using my Canon 10D with
    6MPix for a while yet. I am sure that in 2 or 3 years I will replace it,
    but by then I will have taken over 25000 photos and got my moneys worth
    from it.
    MarkH, Aug 22, 2005
  13. Rich

    wilt Guest

    Who are you to say anything is "unjustifiable"? I'm sure my Jaguar
    Is unjustifiable TO ME, ok????
    wilt, Aug 22, 2005
  14. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Who are you to say anything is "unjustifiable"? I'm sure my Jaguar
    XJ-6 would have been "unjustifiable" to you. If I can afford it, it
    is justifiable.

    You can afford it, but how do you "justify" it? Why do you have to
    justify it?
    Some people set limits on how much they spend on a hobby. You can
    afford the top Canon, but you probably couldn't justify selling your
    house to afford to own a top race horse, or even own a baseball team.
    Justification takes many forms.
    The previous poster's idea of justification could stem from the fact
    you will probably take the same quality of photos as an amateur with
    the top Canon as you would with a 20D or a Rebel XT therefore the idea
    owing the $8000 body is unjustifiable. However, if the poster felt
    another way, he could simply justify it by saying he likes to look at
    the camera body
    and admire it's workmanship. There is no right or wrong, it's all
    Rich, Aug 22, 2005
  15. Rich

    Steve Wolfe Guest

    If a new innovation (faster processor, memory, new vid card, etc) comes
    Your computer probably occupies two to 4 cubic feet of volume, nearl all
    of which is nothing but air - and it's made that way specifically so that
    you can upgrade it. If you want to lug around a 1-cubic-foot camera, then
    sure, you can have your upgradeability. Don't expect them to make a one-off
    copy just for you, though.

    Steve Wolfe, Aug 22, 2005
  16. And if they would have averaged 3 rolls for each of the 250 clients,
    which woul have cost $5 each for the film and $20 each for the lab
    fee, than in that two years, they've just saved $12,500 in lab fees,
    not even counting scanning or printing -- just developing and
    proofs/contacts. So that pro would likely have no great dificulty
    justifying the expense.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Aug 22, 2005
  17. Rich

    nick c Guest

    ..... and probably writes all or part of the cost off as a business
    expense as the equipment depreciates.
    nick c, Aug 22, 2005
  18. Your line-length is wrong.
    And i dont think a pro would simply "drop" a $8000 body, he would bring it
    to ebay.
    Thomas Müller, Aug 22, 2005
  19. I didn't have to "justify it".
    No a 20D and Rebel XT will not take the same quality photos as a
    If it personal it's justified.


    "Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
    They stood, and the earth's foundations stay;
    When God abandoned, these defended,
    And saved the sum of things for pay."

    "Epitaph on Army of Mercenaries"
    A.E. Houseman - 1914
    John A. Stovall, Aug 22, 2005
  20. Rich

    Jan Guest

    Obviously, your PC is not an Apple ! But, your PC analogy is a good point.

    For what it's worth, a one or two generation old DSLR can do everything
    it always could do. Personally, I shoot RAW (yuck) 6 mp on a Kodak DCS
    Pro. I could shoot 13.2mp on this camera, but rarely do I need it.
    It's a discontinued camera (though with free firmware upgrades) but it
    still gives me better performance from OLD Nikon lenses shooting on
    APS-size imagers. And while I dislike RAW for many reasons, I haven't
    found anything as good or better.

    For my less-demanding work, I shoot with an FZ-20 - also from a previous
    generation of design.

    Too many times improvements are just an excuse to pump the cash-flow

    It's hide-away headlights and vinyl roofs all over again...

    Jan, Aug 22, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.