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Progress, regress, and number seven24/05/2010 - 11:28 PM
After an extended and unplanned period of employment in areas removed from my chosen career path, and bouts of unemployment, I have finally made my way back to working within the IT industry. It has been a journey of seven years and, understandably, has not been without complications. On discussing this with a friend, he stated he believed life revolved around a seven year cycle. There is some evidence for this, with the average life of a cell in the human body being seven years.
This was brought into focus when I picked up a copy of a weekly photographic magazine, which by now was some seven years out of date. It made interesting reading.
Think back to May 2003. We were feeling the early tremors of the seismic shift that digital photography was about to unleash. Your choice in dSLR cameras was limited, especially if the entry fees demanded by the early adopter club were beyond your means. How does £1,500 sound? At the time, the figure was a breakthrough. The psychological £1,000 had yet to be reached. It was easy to see why the 35mm SLR was still being produced and used by so many.
Seven years ago we were on the cusp of real change. Manufacturers were more aware of that than anybody else. Minolta, the people who brought AF to SLR photography, sold out their photographic division to SONY. Contax, one of the proudest and more exclusive brands, was shuttered by its Kyocera parent who decided their future was in components rather than systems. Now the production of 35mm SLR cameras has all but stopped.
The retail landscape is very different now compared to seven years ago. Lots of smaller, independent dealers have closed or been bought out, only for the larger companies trying to corner the market coming unstuck themselves.
While all this may sound gloomy, despite the casualties, when it comes to choosing a dSLR camera, we now have more choice than ever before. And while the choice is wider, the costs are considerably lower. Photography has become far more accessible, and one place this is being felt is in photography clubs up and down the land. The digital age has brought many changes, and also reinvented photography for a whole new audience. Clubs that were once dwindling away are now thriving once more.
When a cell is replaced, the regenerated cell is a slightly less than perfect example of its predecessor and this decline being in essence the aging process. This of course is the exact opposite of how progress moves forward in the world of electronics. At least our cameras get better each generation. Movement towards new cameras form factors mean the next seven years will be equally interesting.
I hate to close on a negative (!) but it is regrettable that with such progress being made to the technology of photography, photography itself has moved backwards, with our movement and freedom more restricted than ever before.
Say no to Section 43.