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Author Topic: If you had been told in 2001.....  (Read 23886 times)
DavidJ
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2006, 12:33:28 PM »
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Agreed - music students studying at a conservatoire quickly outgrow student instruments which will limit their progress. Some instruments do wear out and deteriorate with time but the technology generally is not changing at the same rate as it is for photography at the moment.

Although I covet a 5D I have taken more images with my 10D in the last 2 years (my skill is the limiter to the quality of the pictures I take) than I had taken in the last 10 with my EOS 5.

David
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David Allen
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2006, 01:44:06 PM »
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As a matter of interest, what relevance has any of this to the thread, I wasn't arguing equipment or even photography, just pointing out facts about how quickly and dramatically everything has changed.
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DavidJ
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2006, 03:09:14 PM »
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Fair comment. The thread had moved away from your original post!! The speed of change in photo technology is exciting and disconcerting. Other art forms have not had to make such adaptations at such speed.

David
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David Allen
paulbk
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2006, 06:14:47 PM »
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I’m involved with designing the next generation of nuclear power plant. The mechanical hardware is the easy part, pipes, valves, reactor core, etc.. The problem is the transition from a conventional hardwired control room to digital. In the old days control boards were big steel consoles (30 feet long) full of hardwired switches, meters, and paper trend charts. The old boards were designed to be a “standup board,” meaning the operator stood at the rail while operating the board. And on a busy day the operator would put on a few miles walking up and down the board.

With the push to use a digital interface many problems arise. With a conventional hardwired board if you want to know what a certain parameter is doing, you turned your head and fixed your gaze at the appropriate meter or switch. Or in the worse case, you took a few quick steps to get close enough to read a meter. In other words, the operator could scan the board and very quickly get a overview of integrated plant status. Now take those same thousands of parameters and control logic and pipe them through a digital interface:
How many “screens” do we need to limit paging so that the operator can access desired data fast.
How big each screen? How reliable for 24/7 operation?
What display technology to allow upgrade over the next 40-60 years?
Who will make spare parts and support software drivers and hardware?
Should it be “touch screen” or pointing device (mouse, trackball)?
If touch screen, what if a fly (bug) lands on the screen in the wrong spot?
If touch screen, what if a rubber band breaks and flies into a screen?
If mouse, what if the damn thing dies? Or sticks? Or batteries go dead (wireless?)?

Digital technology is wonderful thing. Mostly.
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paul b. kramarchyk
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2006, 09:19:34 PM »
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As a matter of interest, what relevance has any of this to the thread, I wasn't arguing equipment or even photography, just pointing out facts about how quickly and dramatically everything has changed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65115\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sorry, Pom. We sort of hi-jacked your thread   . Some of these comments belong in the 'hardware fetishist' thread. I would make the general comment that the rapid digital transformation of photography is in part due to our fascination with gadgets. The P&S digicam is an attractive item. It's small, compact and a true marvel of miniaturisation, but I bet quite a lot of them are relatively unused. I know my shirt-pocket sized Sony T1 is. After the first few months of demonstrating to everyone what this little camera could do and how amazing it is, I sort of lost interest. I would rather lug around a heavy 5D that can take better quality images (technically) at ISO 1600 than the Sony T1 can at ISO 100.

I look forward to a 22mp successor to the 5D which, hopefully, will have as low noise at ISO 3200 as the current camera has at ISO 1600.
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Ray
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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2006, 09:48:44 PM »
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The old boards were designed to be a “standup board,” meaning the operator stood at the rail while operating the board. And on a busy day the operator would put on a few miles walking up and down the board.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65144\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Paul,
I would have thought that advances in computer technology would have a lot to contribute to the viability and safety of nuclear power plants. Unfortunately, people often take an emotional stance on an issue that might have been a responsible concern in the distant past, but ceases to be relevant, or at least as relevant, as technology advances. I'm thinking about the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The plant was an obsolete installation even by the standards of that period.

I think we should move forward with nuclear energy. Australia's in an ideal position to take full advantage of the potential of nuclear energy, but doesn't, presumably for political reasons rather than sensible environmental, economic and scientific reasons. We have the uranium; we have the remote, geologically stable regions for waste disposal; we even invented processes for containing radioactive waste, such as synrock, but we do nothing but burn huge quantities of coal, which we also have lots of.

Sorry again, Pom. Was that relevant?
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2006, 03:57:33 AM »
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Sorry again, Pom. Was that relevant?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65169\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think the relevance is that moving from film to digital means that we have a much more complicated user interface than previously. Also, there are aspects of an analogue interface (aperture ring, focus ring, knobs and butons - mirror lock up?) that are more convenient and easier to use than having an all digital touch screen/menu arrangement.

Even with all those options, there are still some manufacturers who for political, practical or manufacturing reasons don't want to or haven't managed to implement a good quality user interface - perhaps comparing apple V microsoft, canon V nikon, etc...

Yes we have advanced technology, but we ourselves have not evolved at the same pace - where for instance would I stick a USB cable from the camera? (that's a rehtorical question, you don't need to post a response!). Also, if someone came up with a very radical concept for a digital camera would we accept the nuclear design over the coal design. Just as well then that the Australians don't build cameras.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2006, 04:01:26 AM »
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How many “screens” do we need to limit paging so that the operator can access desired data fast.
How big each screen? How reliable for 24/7 operation?
Why not use several screens, representing one thing at a time, so that several operators can see the same thing simultaneously?

How about limiting the amount of "passive" information (non-changing states etc.) and clutter, and focus on what changes?

Etc.  

The problem isn't necessarily in the technology or the availability of such, it's in the application of it.

But I think the most important concern you raise, is that of hardware and software lifespans. Windows XP has just set a record in the Windows world for how long it's been available in retail without a replacement version, yet four-and-a-bit years is a pitiful amount of time. IBM provides a longer life-span -- decades -- for their hardware and software (s/360 through zSeries, AS/400), but you pay the price.

And this brings me to my prediction for future dSLRs: the product release cycle will slow down again, bringing lifetime up for the semi-professional and professional models. I'm unwilling to commit to a timeline for this, since I don't think we're even half-way in technical improvements in todays cameras (as evidenced in an earlier vision I posted here). Maybe twenty years from now?

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I would have thought that advances in computer technology would have a lot to contribute to the viability and safety of nuclear power plants. Unfortunately, people often take an emotional stance on an issue that might have been a responsible concern in the distant past, but ceases to be relevant, or at least as relevant, as technology advances. I'm thinking about the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The plant was an obsolete installation even by the standards of that period.
That is an oft-repeated statement, but it wasn't really the problem. The Chernobyl plant was by no means unique (except for being the source of a horrible, ongoing disaster), and at least for the following decade or two, many other plants from the same design template (if you could call it that) were in production use. Unless I'm mistaken, many of them still are; few of the ex-USSR states have been able to afford upgrades or replacement energy generators.

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I think we should move forward with nuclear energy. Australia's in an ideal position to take full advantage of the potential of nuclear energy, but doesn't, presumably for political reasons rather than sensible environmental, economic and scientific reasons. We have the uranium; we have the remote, geologically stable regions for waste disposal; we even invented processes for containing radioactive waste, such as synrock, but we do nothing but burn huge quantities of coal, which we also have lots of.
Uranium is a scarce resource. If Australia wants to bet on nuclear energy, thorium reactors seem the safest course right now.

As for waste disposal, no satisfactory solution has been implemented yet, as far as I know. I have a few suggestions as to how you can warn future generations over a time span of 100,000 years, but I bet they aren't popular. I also know about a safe place for waste disposal, but nobody seems inclined to spend the resources to send the waste into the Sun.
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Jan
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2006, 04:57:29 AM »
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I didn't mind the topic going off track, just didn't want heaven forfend to be in any way advocating the opposite of the golf story!

Of course it isn't the equipment that matters, just that many people are being forced into a certain photographical concept, that of the DSLR, when all they want is a rangefinder, many people need or want the highlight latitude of film but will be forced to work with digital because film will go away or at least become scarce and expensive. The technology is moving maybe too fast bulldozing everything in its way and what it could do with is a 1-2 year hiatus for everything to slow down, for people to think over what has happened and only then continue. This mad crazy rush isn't healthy, certain companies being able to rise above their competition which then has to close up shop isn't healthy, lack of competition isn't healthy and the removal of an entire age of photography within 5-7 years is far too fast to be healthy.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2006, 05:05:53 AM »
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As for waste disposal, no satisfactory solution has been implemented yet, as far as I know. I have a few suggestions as to how you can warn future generations over a time span of 100,000 years, but I bet they aren't popular. I also know about a safe place for waste disposal, but nobody seems inclined to spend the resources to send the waste into the Sun. 

Wouldn't the moon be as good and far cheaper? At least I don't think anyone is living there at present and it would be better than it being here...
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jani
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2006, 05:48:00 AM »
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Wouldn't the moon be as good and far cheaper? At least I don't think anyone is living there at present and it would be better than it being here...
It wouldn't be as good (the waste remains dangerous for many kiloyears), but it would be far cheaper.

As for safe disposal on Earth, that's also possible and probably cheaper than doing it on the Moon, but I'm afraid I won't get people to agree with the safety measures and warnings a friend and I came up with:

 - multi-layered (5, 10, whatever, in 3D) sarcophagus, each layer strong enough to withstand conventional explosives and extreme high magnitude earthquakes
 - the central core contains most of the waste
 - small amounts of dangerously radioactive materials/waste between each layer
 - large amounts of deformed human corpses (real or artifical) between each layer
 - deeply embossed pictograms (think Ramses II style) describing horrible death and mutations on the outside of each layer
 - place the sarcophagus somewhere only a direct hit from a civilization-killer asteroid will crush it

The small amounts of nuclear waste between the layers should be dangerous enough that anybody who breaches a layer will get sick and probably die, unless well protected against radiation. Increase the amount, radioactivity and half-time of the radioactive materials for each layer closer to the central core.

This means that if anyone is as bluntly stupid as e.g. the archaeologists and treasure hunters of the 1800s and 1900s, ignoring warnings of horrible death, and decide to breach the sarcophagus, they'll get the message.

Perhaps one could skip the human corpses (real or artificial), although I suspect that none-too-subtle hint might be important.
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Jan
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2006, 09:41:01 AM »
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I had written a whole diatribe based on how one could trust humans to screw up anything and everything entrusted to them ending in  a rant on the stupidity of letting crazies like the Iranian PM be entrusted with nuclear technology due to political correctness while we slit our own throats to save them the bother....

But then I couldn't be bothered!  

In a quote from a Terry Pratchet: If you put a sign above a big lever with the legend 'End of World, Do Not Touch' then the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.

Says it all for homo supposedly sapiens.
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HiltonP
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2006, 10:39:54 AM »
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The technology is moving maybe too fast bulldozing everything in its way and what it could do with is a 1-2 year hiatus for everything to slow down, for people to think over what has happened and only then continue. This mad crazy rush isn't healthy, certain companies being able to rise above their competition which then has to close up shop isn't healthy, lack of competition isn't healthy and the removal of an entire age of photography within 5-7 years is far too fast to be healthy.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65203\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I cannot agree more, but sadly I believe that some of the larger players are probably fueling this headlong rush because they know it is puting many of their competitors out of business. If the trend continues as it has done in the last 3-5 years we might be left with only 3 or 4 serious camera manufacturers (some of whom might also be sharing technologies) and that cannot be good for us.

There almost seems to be a hard edge to equipment purchase these days, even for the most novice photographer. Thirty years ago you bought a camera happy in the knowledge that it had been on the market for a couple of years, and would be for more years to come. Now there is a scramble to buy only the latest model, or should one wait for the next one?! . . . Even social p&s buyers are asking about their cameras lifespan!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2006, 10:47:28 AM by HiltonP » Logged

Regards, HILTON
Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2006, 10:56:23 AM »
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Of course it isn't the equipment that matters, just that many people are being forced into a certain photographical concept, that of the DSLR, when all they want is a rangefinder, many people need or want the highlight latitude of film but will be forced to work with digital because film will go away or at least become scarce and expensive. The technology is moving maybe too fast bulldozing everything in its way and what it could do with is a 1-2 year hiatus for everything to slow down, for people to think over what has happened and only then continue. This mad crazy rush isn't healthy, certain companies being able to rise above their competition which then has to close up shop isn't healthy, lack of competition isn't healthy and the removal of an entire age of photography within 5-7 years is far too fast to be healthy.

Amen.

I am an amateur who shoots slides, negs (and some 4 mpix non-DSLR digital). Now and then I will shoot something that I then print in 5x7, 8x12 or 11x14 and hang on my wall because I like it. At my rate of usage, film and developments costs were not onerous. I liked the fact that someone else worried about calibration and keeping their processing equipment current, and I thought that what they charged me for it was reasonable. Quality was a matter of finding the right lab and I did. If the reasonably priced film-processing industry goes away, as it seems to be doing, I will have to spend a lot of time and money on equipment and self-training, to end up at the point where I can print the occasional 5x7, 8x12 and 11x14 to hang on my wall. In some ways, it grates that I will have to expend energy to end up back where I already was. Some of the journey may be fun for its own sake, however; at least I hope so.  

I am a high-tech kind of guy, not a Luddite, and I don't want to sound cynical because it's a lousy way to live. I understand that the digital changeover has been a boon to pros, and it's given amateurs new toys to play with. But I didn't need or want new toys.

Prices of D-SLR's will need to come down a lot, and ease of calibration and standardization across devices (colour rendition etc.) need to become a lot easier to manage before I can say that the change improved my life. As it stands, I may have to spend a lot of valuable time doing things that I didn't need to before, just to put some prints on my walls. It's the nature of transitions, though, and I accept that. But some things are getting thrown out that were maybe good to have, as you say.
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paulbk
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2006, 03:02:25 PM »
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I’m sure this has been said before in one way or the other.... but here’s my two cents.

The biggest beef I have with the current state of digital photography is that you have to buy a whole new camera body just to upgrade the sensor. What a waste! I have an 8 mp, Canon 1D mark II. The body, buttons, dual processors, and fit & finish are high quality marvels of modern manufacturing. With a little luck and care it should last me 10 years. What a shame that I have to sell the camera just to get a few more mega pixels and take advantage of gains in sensor technology.

I want to love my camera and recall the stories that go with the scars of use. But with digital, it’s like falling in love with a fast track floozy. Here today gone tomorrow. You tend not to invest much soul in the relationship. Or maybe I should say, you can’t fall in love with anything that needs batteries.

I’m hoping the next big step in design is upgradeable sensor and firmware. I don’t know if I’m being too practical or too romantic?
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paul b. kramarchyk
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2006, 04:48:19 PM »
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So,

If I understand this correctly what we need is a new camera that has a thorium reactor; triple encased body shell; interchangable digital sensors (with the ability to slip it a bit of film every now and then); multi-screen user interface that only shows the changes since the last shot; two levers - one marked 'pull to end the world', the other marked 'pull me sucker', the first one not actually doing anything, the second causing the thorium reactor to drop out and end the world.

And provided it doens't run on batteries then we should all be able to fall in love with it.

I think Sony are planning to release it in September with a new model release every three months for the next five years (and yes it will have an easy to access mirror lock up button ;-)
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Ray
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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2006, 07:38:13 PM »
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David,
What a clever summary! I like it     .
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John Camp
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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2006, 08:15:42 PM »
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I don't have a problem with the replacement of cameras every few years, and I didn't when I replaced the Nikon Fs every few years. Besides, you're not replacing the whole camera, only the body -- with a DSLR, the lenses remain usable. The rest of the camera is a complex mass of electronics, and I suspect that trying to fit a different sensor into old electronics would probably cost as much as new electronics; can you imagine the hand work involved? When I got a sensor upgrade on a Kodak DSLR, it cost $1500, and that supposeedly was at Kodak's cost. A better camera, the D200, now costs about $1500, and that includes *lots* of profit.

On nuclear waste, one of you technies answer me this: why not build a railgun on one of our old nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, and fire ceramic-dipped steel/nuclear-waste phone-poles into the sun every few minutes?

I know, I know, Green Peace would complain that we're polluting the sun. But other than that?

JC
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Ray
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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2006, 08:54:08 PM »
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... I suspect that trying to fit a different sensor into old electronics would probably cost as much as new electronics...[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65278\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Of course it would, and totally impractical too. We must all have experienced the problem of upgrading our computers. A motherboard is designed to accept a specific range and type of processors and peripherals. After a couple of years it becomes a waste of time and money to upgrade just part of the computer, such as the processor. Better to buy a new computer.

The old film camera body could be considered just a box to hold the film in place. The modern DSLR body is more like an integrated, but specialised, computer. The parts of the camera system that you can fall in love with are the lenses. There's no rapid change taking place there.
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Ray
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« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2006, 01:14:10 AM »
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BTW, I hope you are all looking forward to the day you can buy a Blu-Ray recorder with a 50GB storage capacity (and potential 200GB capacity) on a disk the size of a current DVD disk. You might need it to record future Canon 22mp images, not to mention re-recording all your previously archived material on CD and DVD, which I'm sure you are terribly worried about   .
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