As a wedding and portrait photographer it’s important for me to keep up-to-date with all of the changes in technology, but the trouble is that technology’s moving so fast these days that the manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the pace and it’s almost the case that cameras are becoming outdated in less than 6 months!
Back in the days of film (and yes, it may surprise you to know that I am old enough to remember it!) an SLR would have a life of anything from 4-6 years before it was replaced. But these days people want more pixels, video, then HD video, stereo microphones, articulated LCDs and the list goes on!
Sony have just unveiled a mock-up of their replacement high-end SLR, the Apha 700, and it’s following a path set by their consumer models in having a “translucent imaging sensor” which means that instead of the light being reflected by a mirror into a pentaprism and then out to the viewfinder, the image will appear on an electronic viewfinder. Now this has the theoretical advantage of making the camera faster between shots, as there’s no mirror to move up and out of the way before the image’s recorded on the sensor. As yet, Sony are the only major SLR manufacturer to have taken this path, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Nikon and Canon follow suit.
I recently had the opportunity to try out the new Fuji X100, which on paper looked as though it would be the ideal companion for weddings – small, light and unobtrusive for the candid shots. But, lovely as the camera is, and as much as I like it, it’s just not for me on a commercial basis.
So, and here’s the BIG question, do all of these changes make us better photographers? My personal view is that most cameras these days are more than capable of producing excellent pictures in the right hands – and I stress, “in the right hands”. A monkey can take a picture if you give it a camera, but creating a picture and understanding how the various elements of light, timing, composition etc. come into play are something that can only be achieved with time and practice – unfortunately I feel that far too many people don’t take the time to understand the basics, and that’s a real shame.
Now if someone asked me about the state of the wedding photography industry and the competence of photographers …………… well, that’s for another post!
Dorset wedding and portrait photographer
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