Nikon D90 + Canon 5D + RED: Converging Technologies

As the earliest photographer to get his hands on the Nikon D90, I confess that a recent post on Engadget caught my attention. It called for feedback on the D90.

(Another reason I love Engadget: they know that the manufactures are listening – and this got me excited).

Regarding the D90, I’m of the humble opinion that this camera has very broad appeal. Not because of any brand loyalty or because I shot the campaign, or for any other reason really. (I’m a D3 user.) I’m talking simply conceptually here on the D90… So, for that matter, these ideas obviously apply to the the new Canon 5D –or any other dSLR that does or will soon shoot video — as well. Why do I think they have broad appeal? My personal experience tells me they do. When I look around, I’m watching advanced amateurs take photos, then shoot video and then shoot some more photos with the same device, and that is just plain cool. Dare I say it fits your “modern media/gadget lifestyle”? Sure I just barfed in my mouth when I wrote that, but we’ve honestly got to address this point: we’re ready for these devices in a prosumer, or even professional level. Hell, the iPod serves up audio (music, books, etc), photos, and videos in one device, so what’s wrong with…[click the ‘continue reading’ link below …]

…a single device that captures the same multitude of stuff?

FWIW, I don’t think these specific lines of cameras that capture stills, video, and audio were meant to “replace” anything just yet, no more than your 6 megapixel point and shoot + video camera was 2 years ago. The manufacturers are smarter than that. I know for certain that the D90 is intended primarily to have broad appeal, and I surmise that it’s secondary function is to begin reshaping how we think about pictures. I imagine the same for Canon’s angle. Consider this: aren’t these camera types really just a rally cry to address the booming dDSLR market and then they simply add value with video because it was easy to do so and because the consumers have said (through their buying habits, point and shoots, ipods, and other devices that unite previously disparate functions…) that they usually like such added values? Honestly I think these new iterations of cameras are game changers – perhaps not in their current incarnations, but certainly they are conceptually.

The D90 and it’s peer cameras have helped bring the general public to light on what cutting edge professional image makers have known for a good while: still cameras and video cameras are converging. Make no mistake. Video cams like the RED camera are able to extract 10mp still images – a respectable size image for printing. And my Nikon D3 still camera shoots 12mp images at 8-10 frames per second – approaching the speed of video. Catch my drift? This is pro quality stuff that’s converging…

I typically resist predictions, but in this case I’m gonna overstate the simple fact that one day not far from here the two camera types will be indistinguishable, save perhaps their “primary” functions at the highest end of the spectrum (video or stills, respectively). They’ll all be just something like “cameras” or “capture devices”–or as the RED camera peeps are calling it, a DSMC (digital still & motion camera)–and we’ll all know that they can record whatever is going on in front of their lens. And I think that’s pretty cool.

Thus, for now, I think giving feedback to the manufactures of these devices is the best thing the market can do – one of the reasons I’m a fan of the Engadget post. Let’s give it to them constructively. Resist posting only claims about what certain cameras are or aren’t, can or can’t, will or won’t do, and start focusing on what you want in a camera. For it’s when manufacturers get THAT kind of feedback, that we all win.

Comments are closed.
Highslide for Wordpress Plugin