The company GoPro, currently experiencing contraction and layoffs, looks to be an exaggerated version of the accelerated business cycle typical of today. It's beginning to look a tad like all of digital photography—as we know it, anyway—might itself be a sort of extended flash in the pan*; but at least it has lasted a good twenty years and will certainly stick around for a while more. GoPro was the hero camera company (sorry) just a few years ago. That was a fast transit from latest thing to yesterday's news.
Now it's drones, apparently.
Relative to flashes in the pan, what's your take on mirrorless cameras with oversized sensors? The big Fuji system and the new little big Hasselblad seem to be the hottest topics in photography right now. Everybody's talking them up, although I feel a little like most of us are teenagers debating whether Lamborghini or Ferrari is better. Is that going to last, though? Are the big, expensive medium-format mirrorless cameras going to saturate their market pretty quickly and move on to being yesterday's heroes—ignite brightly and then disappear in a poof of smoke that would be—or will they carve out a sustainable niche, thrive and grow, and open up a new migration path away from FF DSLRs?
It will be interesting to watch.
(Thanks to Jimmy L. Day)
*An expression I like. Although it originates from 17th-century musketry, it always makes me think of Jacob Riis blowing off heaping piles of flash powder in close, cramped New York City tenements.
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Featured Comments from:
Lenya: "No idea about drones but any frequent visitor to a ski resort knows that for any representative of the Snapchat generation skiing or riding without a GoPro attached to the helmet is a major faux pas. I would guess that their demise may still be far off in the future, even if on the Snapchat time-scale."
Tom Hassler: "My money is on a short-ish fad cycle for the little big cameras. Medium format has always been for professionals and well-heeled amateurs who are chasing the image quality dragon. We are so far beyond the point of sufficiency with even the smaller mirrorless offerings that the market for 50+ megapixel 'small' cameras has got to be minuscule. Not that they won't sell, because there is always a limited but dedicated cadre of folks who can afford the nth degree of anything and enjoy owning it. Here's a hidden cost to be factored in beyond bodies and lenses: upgrading computers to accommodate those humongous image files!"
Omer: "I think there are enough 'medium' format users to justify the cameras. Reading the DPReview forums one can glean the continuing desire for more resolution and larger sensors irregardless of aesthetic photo quality. I mean, pickup trucks have been getting bigger and more expensive, and still sell like whatever. Many of them are kept spotless and used mostly to go grocery shopping. So, yeah."