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Monday, 26 October 2009

Comments

Ctein, I know it's too soon to say with certainty, but I kinda feel as if I have settled, like I did with B&W film, on a couple of digital cameras: the Nikon D700 and the Nikon D200 combination. I just like how they compliment each other, and most importantly, I like the look of the negatives (files). It's a familiar feeling of contentment.

Speaking only in terms of the obsolescence of equipment, I still think there is a difference between how we outgrow digital and how we outgrew film cameras. The main difference is that back in the day when we felt we had outgrown that K1000 or whatever, the camera itself remained a perfectly good instrument. We'd sell it and move on to something else because our interests changed, not because the technology was obsolete. In the meantime, whoever we sold the equipment to could continue using it happily.

With digital, we're more inclined to change equipment because the equipment has become obsolete. If we do manage to sell the old stuff, it's because some sap doesn't know it's a piece of hardware near the end of its life, or maybe they just want a cheap camera that they don't mind losing.

The point being that in the old days the equipment was still good and usable when we were done with it, whereas nowadays cameras lose their value after only a few years, and then they become landfill.

But like you say, we're still figuring this thing out.

Not so sure I get yours. I think lots of us now does not feel the urge to upgrade any more. May be a bit more lens, or different processes (some additional film camera). I have a hard time to buy anything a week ago, when I have some free time to go to a local camera shops. I really think we reach a level where we are no longer worry about the next camera around the corner.

Good enough and thanks you.

I have to respectfully disagree with Ed. Plenty of people have outgrown their "obsolete" Canon digital Rebel, Nikon D70, etc. But these cameras are far from the end of their useful service life. They can still do exactly what they could when they were new, actually more now that better software is available. It is our expectations or perceived needs that have changed.

From Ed Hawko...."The point being that in the old days the equipment was still good and usable when we were done with it, whereas nowadays cameras lose their value after only a few years, and then they become landfill."


Two concepts proposed...usability and value. Yes, value may be gone, but a decent digital camera can be used for many, many years by someone not concerned about the latest buzz. I think we forget that it's all about making photographs, and good photographers (even ignorant newbies) can make a decent photograph with minimal equipment.

"The point being that in the old days the equipment was still good and usable when we were done with it, whereas nowadays cameras lose their value after only a few years, and then they become landfill."

I wonder how would it be if the sensors were interchangeable. So, every couple of years, you could upgrade the sensor, and perhaps the firmware together with it, but keep the camera.

Sure, it doesn't sound like a solid business practice for the companies, but then, they did survive back in the film days, didn't they?

I'm falling in with Ed here - with digital, upgrading cameras is not the same as back in film days, where folks got the latest body for that one more feature. Sure - better autofocus or frame rate was important to some, but the overall quality of images didn't really change - a 35mm slide exposed in an F2 was indistinguishable from a 35mm slide exposed in an f6(although the F6 would make getting the exposure easier). Now, though, a frame shot on a D1, or D2x, is a lot different than what a D3 or D3x can shoot - by combining the 'film' and camera, you have to upgrade if you are in a competitive environment, or, if like many, you have been making do. When 3200 films came out, everyone's slr had a speed increase - but you have to buy a D700 now, instead of a 5 buck roll of film.

I'm with Thiago on this subject. In film days some of the biggest increases in quality came from film and processing innovations, whilst the camera's themselves remained very good instruments ( eg Leica M3 ) as they still do today. I still have all the digital cameras that I have upgraded and the real difference has not been their usefulness as picture taking tools but in the rapid advances in the "digital film". I think most of us are chasing upgrades for the quality improvements in sensors much more than the improvements in the tool itself.

I used my first digital camera until, well until it no longer worked. I hope to do the same with the second one as well.

The question remains as to whether I made the right decision on the second one. I purchased it knowing it could function as a do-all camera. Or about as close as I could get given my budget. It does everything I could ask and way more.

My real quandary is whether or not my second digital camera should have been a film camera?!

meh.

I kept my 20D for five years. It was my sole camera for four of those years, it spent its last year unused in its box due to an upgrade. I've just sold it for £230, I could have got more for it had I sold it a year ago but I could not bring myself to part with it.

I expect that my current camera will be my sole camera (1ds mk lll) for four to five years, hopefully longer.

I'm still from time to time using my Fuji S3 Pro, which I bought second hand a couple of years ago, and I think went out of production a couple of years before that. It gives me HDR when I need it (better than most modern cameras), and it's fast enough for landscapes (usually!).

I think digital cameras, particularly SLRs, aren't becoming obsolete quite as rapidly as they were. There's less difference between the models of five years ago and today than between those of ten years ago and five years ago - five year old cameras are still generally quite useable, just they don't usually have the latest bells and whistles, such as live view or video (actually, the S3 does have live view - sort of, but I never use it).

I told my daughter-in-law last night - "when my ship comes in and I get that new camera I'm going to give you guys that one" pointing to my "old" 20D .... She politely asked if I had any idea about when that ship might be getting in as she gazed at the "obsolete" Canon.......

Actually another big difference is that there is no way any of us could fix a digital camera without an electronics certificate. I've replaced the shutter for my Canon 30D twice already and it cost me about $300 Cdn just for a technician to open it up and swap the shutter assembly and I had to send it off for weeks to get that done. The next time that 30D locks up it doesn't make sense for me to repair it again. I'll just sell it for parts and get the next best thing. Regardless of how satisfied I am with it, the complexity and cost of the repair will push me to upgrade.

"... With digital, we're more inclined to change equipment because the equipment has become obsolete. If we do manage to sell the old stuff, it's because some sap doesn't know it's a piece of hardware near the end of its life, or maybe they just want a cheap camera that they don't mind losing."

Nope - at least if you didn't abuse the heck out of it, it still does what it always did. Quoting ByThom.Com's D40 review, "If you can't produce 10x15" prints to your liking from the D40, it isn't the camera." You just want or expect more, or, more probably, you feel behind the times and inferior if the next guy has something newer, fancier or bigger!

The "sap" that bought the camera at pennies on the dollar is probably making a sap out of the seller, knowing it's still a very usable camera that will make prints one can't tell from the more up-to-date machines. And yes, he'll take it to places that you wouldn't dare take you new fangled fancy schmancy machine. Just take a guess at who will and get the great pics!

MS

I think you're on the right track, but I think we need to make 2 categories. One is the camera itself, the other is the recording medium.

With film cameras, if you want to change the look or the resolution or the color balance, etc. - you just tried a new or different kind of film, developer, etc. The camera didn't become obsolete because we just had to have some new film that Kodak or Fuji came out with.

But with digital cameras the sensors aren't interchangeable (at least not for 35mm and smaller sensor sizes).

I still have a Nikon D70 which I think is still an ergonomically great camera, but the sensor is showing it's age. Newer sensors have better high ISO performance and more dynamic range. If this were an F100 or an AE-1, the sensor wouldn't be an issue.

For myself, I can say that until digital gets beyond Bayer interpolation, and gives me the colors and tonality I can get with film, I'll still be keeping film cameras like Leica and Mamiya 6x7 in my rotation. I know the Foveon is out there, and it's a great idea, but I'm afraid it's just too front-loaded with compromises that I'm not willing to make.

I love Thiago Silva's idea.
I love my EOS 10D..."dinosaur" that it is in these times.
...but I can pick it up and (except for the start-up time) shoot perfectly usable to downright awesome frames without so much as glancing at the camera. ...we've become friends, years ago in fact.
My 5D, not so much, at least yet.
I would LOVE to be able to buy the latest "1" series sensor and firmware and shoehorn it into the 10D body...that, to me, is a KICKASS idea.
As for obsolescence of my 10D, all that *really* makes it obsolete is its inability to compete head to head with newer models in less than perfect scenarios (very low light image quality mostly), but since my living is earned from p/j for the most part...it matters. Nobody ever sends a pro to cover a perfectly lit scene, it seems.
(I don't consider myself a pro but the people that pay me do.)

As regards obsolescence, it seems to me that the only substantive advances that distinguish new generations of digital camera are increased pixel counts (irrelevant to me) and better high ISO performance (very nearly irrelevant to me). As I keep my cameras' ISO settings at or below 400 (except when I want grain), and only print up to A4, I can't see how my K10D & Sony R1 can possibly become obsolete as long as their shutter mechanisms last.

Photography started back around 1840--roll film got started around 1890 give or take-- The good old days? There have been a bazillion lens designs since then. Hundreds of camera co's. came and went--We are only just beginning a new camera system and we have already passed film in many respects.
Lets give it some time-- We are really partners with the camera companies--without us, there would be no them--so support you brand and buy a new camera every few years or so--- I would not like to here "Remember XYZ Camera Co. what ever happened to them". As a former commercial product photographer, I would have closed shop after the second year if they didn't change their product every year. I worked for 4 of my major clients for over 25 years each-- photographing the same products every year, boring yes, but it put food on the table and kept the studio doors open.

I'm sure back in the day, marketing and gear acquisition syndrome was fairly strong among you old-timers, especially in the mass market and especially among those that are just prone to gear worship.

But in my opinion, digital photography has raised marketing and brainless gear lust to such a level that it has eclipsed common sense in the mass market, almost completely. As it has among mosttech products from ipods to phones to games.
So much so that someone as clearly intelligent as Mr. Hawco can come to believe that my D50 is land fill or obsolete bcs. it is a few years old.

You may be able to beat my "files" with your D700, in terms of resolution or MTF or whatever technical criterion you happen to be worshipping at the moment, but that don't mean you can beat the photographs I make with it.

I've sold the two DSLRs I upgraded out of for about $600 each -- over 1/4 what I paid for the first, over 1/3 what I paid for the second. Some of the apparent "no cost of use" resale values for Leicas and such depend on inflation during the long hold time, so I don't feel like the people I sold my DSLRs to were "saps".

But it is indeed early days. I kind of expect to upgrade to something without that clunky shaky noise mirror and inconvenient optical viewfinder one of these days (but so far, not willing to give up the AF performance that would entail).

I think people are missing two points - at least that's IMHO:

- a digital camera is a computer, with a lens.

- conventional photography has been around since ~1865. It has matured. Digital, no matter how it appears, is still in its infancy. People have been trained to believe that whatever they buy should be perfect, and when it turns out to be a container full of compromises, they become angry.

Just my oberservations. Feel free to blast away. I'd like to hear MJ's take on this.

A quibble:

I have upgraded on the point and shoot side through 4 generations of Canon cameras, each time selling the "old" camera on e-bay. A few months ago I sold the SD870 that I had for two years for $160 on e-bay. I put that towards purchase of a SD980 that I bought for $310. So for two years of use, I paid about $5 a month, in effect.

I have also "upgraded" from a rebel (film), to an Elan II (film) to a 20D (dig.) to a 50D (dig) each time selling the "old" on e-bay for a very decent price.

I got better re-sale on the digital cameras than I did not the previous film cameras (but I assume that this happened right in the middle of the "transition to digital"). Also the film cameras were of low-to middling quality in the manufacturers lineup.

Really enjoyed this Ctein, it mimics my own journey through the medium of digital very well, although the technology isn't quite mature enough to say there is a life "DSLR" out there for me yet, waiting for things to get a little smaller :)

I collect digital "film"... it just happens to be contained within f-mount nikon bodies, which I get for free :).

So far I have LBCAST, Nikon/Sony CCD, Fuji S-R CCD, and CMOS. Each have spectral responses slightly different from the others... when I am in a certain mood, I reach for a certain sensor. Coupled with good glass, there really isn't much I can't do with a D2h, a 4 megapixel dinosaur. Have you seen the grain on that thing? Gobs and gobs... and it's lovely!

I'm resisting the urge to sell for now, these cameras are cheap as chips used, so there is really no point, but the fact that it took me years to figure out the ideal conditions for each sensor means, at least in my eyes, there is a lot that can still be accomplished with even the crappiest DSLR from 2002.

RAW converters get better everyday, as Robert Engle said... perhaps the obscure sensors like Foveon and LBCAST will actually be the most desirable in the future, as people enhance the hardwares initial shortcomings with better software.

Thanks for the great post, just one question... is there a digital back you can mount to your pentax?

Re Ed Hawco's comment:

In days of yore, cameras were boxes that held the technical-guts-in-a-removable-format (otherwise known as film).

Improvements in film could be put into the old camera.

Not so any more (save for firmware updates).

To Ed:

I purchased my Pentax K 10D in 2006, and since then, it has outgrown me several times...

Now seriously: that camera does much more than I am, still today, enable to try, and mind you, I try a lot of things... Sure it has been outcompeted by many other dSLRs, from Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Olympus etc... but it does EVERYTHING just as competently as it did when I purchased it.

The core of this story, IMHO, is that we photography lovers have accepted to enter into the crazy computers-like competition, where nothing is ever enough, and where more is supposed to be always more (instead of too much). Maybe one day we get back to senses, as suggested to Mike, and realize we have enough pixels, or enough noise control, or enough high iso capabilities, etc.... but at this time, we all can't avoid to drool big time over the next wonder model from our favourite brand.

My serious film camera, a Nikon FTN lasted me 30 years. In the six years I have been Digital I am onto my fourth digital camera, my Nikon Coolpix 5000 died, as did a Nikon D70. I use now a Nikon D200 and a Panasonic Lumix G1. I presume in another six years both will be paperweights.

I consider going back to film and a
trusty Super Ikonta B to be an upgrade.

I could easily still be using the Leica M2 I bought in the early 60s because it represented close to the pinnacle of development in rangefinder cameras. But think back to the first Leicas many years earlier and how they developed over 30+ years, offering better shutters and rangefinders and perhaps more user convenience. Since the M2, not so much - just adding internal light metering and maybe electronic shutter control.
But during that same time, and even more so in the 30+ years since I bought that M2, film "technology" has advanced immensely. I doubt many users of M2s still use film unimproved from the 60s and certainly not from the 30s.
Why did I sell the Leica? To move to new technology - the SLR.
Digital camera technology development is not about cameras, it's about "digital film" (somebody tried to use that term for memory cards, didn't they?) or solid-state sensors and digital image processing. Shutters, lenses, etc. are basically carryovers from film cameras (with some more concern for internal reflections and using high tech design tools) but digital camera development has been mainly in sensors and processing.
Remember Leica's add-on the their SLR which was a module that replaced the back and converted it to a digital camera? That's one approach, but is bulky and poorly integrated. But allows easy upgrades.
For the last decade, most development has been in developing sensors with more resolution and less noise. Well, we're reaching the end of that road, as sensors are now equal or better than film. Having gone through at least 5 generations of digital cameras (from 640X480 pixels to 12 MP) I don't see much reason to upgrade to higher resolution or lower noise than the D300 I have now.
What I do see coming is cameras that will compensate for distortion or other lens aberrations (like DXO can do in a computer and some new cameras from Nikon and Panasonic already do) and process images better.
What do I think we need to make digital cameras stay useful for longer periods? How about a camera operating system like a PC that allows updating software or installing plug-ins - or even better, open source software to allow alternative operating systems. You may have caught the story of some university types building some cameras for testing that idea recently.

Below are links to two recent articles in MIT Tech Rev:

http://www.technologyreview.com/article/22460/

http://www.technologyreview.com/tr35/Profile.aspx?TRID=810

And, the open source "Frankencamera"
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august31/levoy-opensource-camera-090109.html

For the several decades that i was a film photographer I avoided any cameras or other gear that were consumer items.

Now with digital, it is impossible to avoid buying a consumer product because there are only consumer products in digital (unless one can afford a digital back)

Because of this its not possible to get the camera system that one either really wants or that will have any real longevity. If they have not already, its only a matter of time before the DSLR becomes essentially a disposable item with built in obsolescence,....why make a shutter capable of 400,000 actuations if the electronics is going to give up well before that threshold? And, why make the circuit boards and components available if you can force the consumer to simply buy a new model?

....There is no digital equivalent of an old serviceable Rolleicord,...and there never will be....

Nice pictures, Mr Volk. I particularly like Ctein holding that Fujufilm digital way over his head. One in the eye (ouch!) for people demanding optical viewfinders.

The comments about the useful lifetime of old digital cameras got me thinking of my own experiences with upgrading gear. My first SLR was an old AE-1 with a 50/1.8 that my dad passed down to me when I first took a photography class in college. My dad actually bought that camera before I was born to take baby pictures of me, so it had a little history. I eventually decided that I wanted a few more lens options, and on a roll of the dice between an EOS and N80, I decided to make the jump to Nikon. Autofocus was a nice addition, but other than that, not much changed in the way I went about taking pictures.
After not having touched it for several years, I eventually sold the AE-1 to a college student who needed a manual camera for a class. I'm still not sure that was a wise move since there are times when I miss it for the nostalgia value, but better to have someone out using it than for it to sit in a drawer, right? Also, it felt good to help a poor college student out.
When I found out that my wife and I were having a baby, I decided that it was finally time to throw in the towel and buy a digital body. Not wanting to waste the money I spent on Nikon lenses, and since it had the same “feel” as the N80, getting a D80 was a no brainer (I couldn’t quite justify the price jump to a D200). This time I did notice a change in the way I took pictures, namely that I took way more exposures since the incremental cost of each exposure was so low relative to film. Still, other than being able to burn a bunch of action shots trying to capture that ONE second when my son was playing with our dog without pulling his tail or an ear, my basic approach to taking pictures didn’t change. I wasn’t able to magically take better pictures with the D80 than the N80.
Some of the best pictures that I ever took were with Velvia in the AE-1, so the only benefit that I can see of a digital camera upgrade at this point is "technically superior" raw files that I can fiddle with more and make bigger prints. But if the technically superior pictures don't turn out to be beautiful images, does it matter? I'm at the point that I have a tool that is as capable of capturing images of a technical quality equal to the prints that I want to make. I normally only print up to 11 X 14, but I have made a few 20 X 30 enlargements of pictures from the D80. Though these definitely push what is recommended “by the numbers,” the prints are still quite impressive. Of course if you get a few inches away from the big prints and look closely, they are not razor sharp at this size and there are some noticeable technical artifacts from the camera, but the images have had great appeal due to their subjects, composition and color, which to me are the important parts of the picture. Besides, what sane person other than a camera nut looking for artifacts would stand 12 inches away to view a print that large?
For me, at least, the limitations of my camera aren’t the sticking points in me making better pictures—I’m not too proud to say that my limitation is my own choice of subject and composition! I guess that means I’ve found my “lifetime cameras” in the N80/D80, even if it the latter almost obsolete in digital camera terms. It’s not that I wouldn’t like higher ISO sensitivity, in body stabilization, higher dynamic range, a more compact body, etc., but I don’t think those things would help me make pictures I liked more, so why spend the money? I definitely don’t need a $1,500 status symbol!
I wonder if story will eventually come full circle with me handing my D80 down to my son when he wants a “real” camera, but it does beg the question, why not? I take pretty good care of my gear, so it is conceivable and even likely that it will be perfectly functional in 16 years time, assuming I can still get batteries and memory cards. Of course we can never predict the future, but if I do get a new digital body before handing the D80 down to my son, I hope is it because I dropped it in a river while trying to take a waterfall picture that I really like—a goal that has thus far eluded me-rather than in some impulsive quest for a magic gizmo. By that time I may just upgrade to a good $50 D300 that someone is unloading on e-Bay!

I'm with Thiago also. The proper analogy should read that the sensor is more like the 'film', and unfortunately for us, any improvements mean that one has to buy a new camera. The future is unpredictable, given the rapid rate of technology changes. It could very well be that something new will simply displace all cameras as we know them.

In the film days I did try different cameras (borrowed or old cheap models like Yashica), but the resulting slides were almost identical in terms of quality. Each film has its own characteristics. So do sensors.

I will probably upgrade but only if there is a substantial improvement over my first and only digital, my Pentax K10. I waited until the camera hit the 10 meg sector before buying, hoping not to have to upgrade any time soon. And speaking of maturity, had I known what I knew after a few years of film camera use, I most certainly would have bought any top of the line workhorse camera from any maker and kept it for years, sending it in for periodic cleans and adjustments.

JMR

i just purchased a second 5d, as im sick of my small back up.
i took a 5dmk2 to a few weddings
after considering it i just thourght i would save the money the 5d does everything i need has all the pixels i need and im used to it
when they die ill worry about whats 'new'

The Canon 5D was a landmark upgrade for me--film to digital, full-frame, get-to-keep-my-lenses, etc. We clicked, so to speak.

I never expected to settle on it.

But, as with the darkroom somewhat, a digital camera upgrade triggers hardware thoughts--a 17-inch printer, a newer Mac with more memory, etc. (Even with a 4x5 Saunders, which I had, handling 16x20 paper was a pita, regardless of camera; and enlarging easels were a savage commitment, financially, back in the day.)

Don't want to go there. Can't afford it anyway. I try to do the best I can with 13 or so megapixels--letter-size and the occasional 13x19.

Maybe that's why I've begun to stick a pinhole lens and other retro optics on the box.

I'm having fun.

But I'm curious about making digital negatives and contact prints now.

I'm doomed.

Unless I get settled.

Define obsolescent! When people have differences of opinion, often it is the result of differing definitions, not opinions. To me, obsolescence means older techniques are not as efficient as current techniques, or cannot come close to current capabilities. This comes close to the dictionary definition which indicates "falling into disuse."


I hate to say it, but a D2h (and a lot of other cameras) are obsolete when a D700 or D3 can do things that just weren't possible five years ago. Show me the D2h exposure at ISO 12,500. On a D700, you can get a usable shot at this ISO. On the new D3s, it looks like 12,500 is the 1600 of a few years ago. Amazing. Sure you can make beautiful photos with a D2h, just like you can ride a horse from Los Angeles to San Francisco and really enjoy the trip. And this is not a knock on horses or the D2h. But the horse is obsolete with respect to transportation.


We are often told that gear does not make the photographer and this implies that we are the constraint, not the camera. But this cuts both ways. If we cannot make better, more interesting pictures with today's gear versus that of 5 years ago, then yes, we are choosing to be the constraint.

With film cameras one upgraded the film to an improved emulsion. Upgrading the hardware was less frequent. I started with an inherited Leica 3c that I still have. I then bought a Canon F1N in the 80s and after some years added a T90 and was not interested in changing to EOS models until I tried an EOS 3 some years later. In digital it is a bit like changing emulsions, if you want better quality you have to upgrade the sensor and that means everything that goes with it, the hardware that contains it. I now have a 5DII and love it, I no longer use my EOS 3 or the Leica 3c!

I'm sure I'm like many other camera purchasers in that I purchase a new camera when its capabilities appeal to me.

I've owned digital cameras since the mid-'90s, and the price I paid for that first VGA resolution camera is about what I paid for my Pentax K20D. However, the capabilities are at least an order of magnitude greater. But things seem to be leveling off.

I can't see myself purchasing a Leica M9, even though I can afford it. Will I be able to see a difference in a 16"x24" print over my K20D? On the other hand, I will most likely pick up a Panasonic GF1 as a replacement for my Fuji F30, and use it for the same purpose (as a camera for when I don't want to carry my dSLR).

Other than that, the major photography-related purchases for me will be more lenses and better photo printers.

Have a look at a book reviewed on this site some time ago: David Plowden: Vanishing Point: Fifty Years of Photography. In addition to enjoying his great pictures don't miss the Photographer's Notes where he describes his almost endless quest for the right format, camera and film with delicious British self-irony (he is American).

What was striking me most however was the following part where he writes about a camera club back in film times: "It disturbed me that there were only three of us out of the entire membership who ever set foot in the darkrooms. It appeared that most of the members collected the latest cameras and lenses but never used them."

When I begged and pleaded with my wife to let me buy the Pentax K10D back in Dec 2006 I told her I wouldn't need another camera for years. She said 10, I said 5 and we settled on 10. Now I knew by letting her "win" that I could get the K10D and still upgrade in 5 years. Since then the K20 and the K-7 have come out and I still have 2 years left until I think can upgrade (that's hoping she forgot our deal).

Thing is, I don't really need to upgrade because I think the K10D produces fantastic images and am still amazed by the level of detail it produces.

I think the notion of "upgrading film" while technically correct does not really feel comparable to me to the advances that have happened with the sensors in the last 10 years.

In the film days if you were lucky you'd wait 20 or more years and move from (say) Velvia to a slightly different version of Velvia that was faster by one stop. The point is: the changes were subtle at best and pretty slow moving.

In 10 years with digital we've increased the resolution and sensitivity of the hardware by an order of magnitude and also added a stop or two of dynamic range to boot. This is much more than happened even in the latest 50 years of film technology IMHO.

On the other hand, I think too much is made of old bodies being "obsolete". I bought a D700 this year because I liked it and I decided I wanted one and my current job pays me too much money. Does that mean I could not have used my D200 another year? No. It's still the same camera. I'm just a different user.

I guess it would be nice to have interchangeable sensors, or custom firmware. But people already complain that digital cameras are too complicated, and both of those features would make the situation even worse. Flexibility is the enemy of simplicity. Always.

If you like your current camera, stop browsing camera web sites and that will keep you happy for awhile. I also always buy previous-gen equipment on the cheap, and it tends to hold its value (relative to what I paid for it) better than if I bought the latest and greatest on day 1 of release. New Canon DSLR with HD video you say? Great! Now I can maybe start shopping for a Xsi...

If you are a beginning photographer right now, it is amazing what you can buy an old Canon Digital Rebel or Rebel XT for. People paid $3000 for a 3MP, 1.5 FPS, 3-focus point D30 in 2000 (and that was a breakthrough price too!)

I think these are some of the side benefits of rapid change, for those of us who like upgrading our equipment from time to time but want to do it on a budget.

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