Way back in 1999 I owned a 1 hour photolab and sold among other things both Canon and Nikon cameras. Back then a Nikon F50 kit would go for about $500 and Canon Rebel a shade less. What puzzles me is that it was near impossible to convince the average customer to invest in a SLR....they were always too expensive or too complicated. Today however many of the same folks invest $1K+ for a dSLR. Back then Nikon's Top of the line F5 went for about $3K. Today the D3X is almost $10K here in Canada. What happened? Have people become more wealthy? Are the companies more greedy? Is Credit that much more readily availble? Do people feel more entitled? and Is the price of this technology worth it?
New technology at what cost?(9 posts) (7 voices)
I think it's more the inflation. $3000 back then isn't worth the same now. Plus, digital is an easier medium to approach because digital is just so cheap. Delete the photo and start over.
I personally don't mind too much, as long as they keep making film. I like having both mediums at my disposal.
While inflation is certainly a part of it, I think that the move to digital also makes the average person feel like a better photographer, and entices them to move up to a better camera. I know a number of people with DSLRs who seem almost afraid to touch my film equipment.
newfie - has the prices really changed so much, I remember that when I was buying my first slr around 10 years ago I've paid around $700, now for the same price I could buy an entry level dslr, You mentioned F5 for around $3k, and is the price of D3 really much higher (considering the inflation), as for D3x it's a completely different story, as the only one film cameras You can actually compare to it are the medium format cameras (at least IMO)
The cost of equipment represents an unprecedented bargain to me. My first set of cameras was Nikon F3's at approximately $1000/body each. Then I bought a set of Contax G2 at about $1000 per body. Now I shoot a Nikon D90 - at under a $1000 for the body. BUT, when I used the F3's and the G2's I went through 10-12 rolls a day - usually Kodachrome, sometimes TriX, at a cost of? - I never spent less on film than cameras, film was the big cost. Now it's literally FREE to shoot as much as you want! That to me represents the bargain!
Digital is simply a bargain to use, you could afford today to actual shot pro or nearly pro and have fun at it. On my old Minolta 7Xi I think I tried to shoot the 5/second frame rate maybe 3 times, just to costly to do. Now big deal and 8 frames per second is lots of fun
With the difference of the dSLR to the film SLR I would not say it is either a bargain, or free to use.
Sure, in the pricing of the shot, at point of capture it is free, because you don't have to worry about the cost of developing that shot. However, I would say, that there is not much of a difference between cost per shot on film than cost per shot with the digital of the modern photographic world.
A lot of people I have heard say that it is 'cheaper' usually don't account for the cost of the development system, and the software that they have on it, where in times gone by, they would have taken in to account the cost of lab or their own darkroom.
For me, the cost per image, takes in to account the price of the camera, accessories relative to that camera, insurance, plus the price of the development system and the software involved with this (usually my development system and software lasts two cycles of camera updates before upgrade/replacement), and then the cost of storing the images over the lifetime of that camera, plus the printing costs of the image.
Once you have calculated everything that you have spent in the lifetime of that camera body, in relation to that camera body, divide all of that up between the amount of shots you have taken on that camera and you find that it is not that much different.
Sean - up to some point I agree with You but only to some extent - indeed apart from dslr You need all the other things, like software, computer, storage - and indeed it cost a lot, but are You buying a new computer only to develop pictures? in most of the cases no, so this cost should be eliminated; software - sure it cost a little, but it all depends on how many pictures You take. If You are an amateur than for sure the total cost gonna be more than in the analog times, but if You shoot couple thousands images annually than the cost gonna be much lower, not to mention other benefits of using digital format, i.e. speed and also some drawbacks like the necessity to take much more gear with You once You go out for serious shooting.
Lenses are better quality at a lower cost, remember inflation
Bodies cost is higher, they simply don't last as long and or become old technology
Printing is simply cheaper period. It will cost you app 40 cents to see each picture when shooting film and then to enlarge etc of pictures are the same. If you use a lab, your computer or whatever you need that for both formats, actually you would need a good quality scanner for your film also. On digital you medium in ready to be used just after being shot, yes if you want to get some 4 by 6 prints you have to print them
Volume: I shot app 3000 shots per year in film, that cost me app $1200 to see them, now I shot 15000 shots per year at a much lover cost. My 8 year old son properly will shoot 4000 shots this year on his smaller camera and my backup D80. I did not have the chance to shoot many pictures when I was a Kid, I could simply not afford to do it, and my parents would not have paid for development either knowing full well that most pictures would be of my toy cars. Actually my son gets a few good ones
Our Photographic hobby is not free, but I think digital has made it more fun, you can learn new skills faster and you can simply afford to shot much higher volume
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