Yes and No James.
When I look at let's say 5 years ago and now there is a HUGE difference in workflow speed, options in Photoshop and filters I now use on a daily basis etc.
Could you not work with something from 5 years ago.... yeah of course.
But it's so handy what we have now
I think you and I have different business models, but if we don't let's look at it this way.
The last few days we have been processing out thousands of images from a project, shot with two different camera makes, (plus two video cameras).
We're processing in light-room, because for some reason the latest C-1 is acting up on our machines and we don't have time to trouble shoot. (We will later).
Frank, yes the tools are more powerful, but interesting is that whatever I see on the back of the camera, isn't close to the computer in light-room and the galleries we produce are just a semi-close look of what the finals will really look like once we go into actual post production, work layers, color, tone etc. etc.
It's funny, when we started with the original 1ds we set the white balance, some tone effects and used the out of camera jpegs for galleries and it was fast, easy, pretty good and I thought at the time digital was magic.
I could process out a 4 days shoot of web galleries and post them online in a day. Today, we average about three days for each day shooting.
Now some of this is the economy and client expectations have changed, as we shoot approx. three times the set ups we did in the 1ds days, so I guess the post production time is a wash.
Still, during the time of the 1ds to our 1dx we've spent, $48,000 in canon bodies (upgrades).
Whew, even that number makes my head spin and honestly, the cameras are better but not over the moon better.
BTW: that doesn't included another 60k for digital backs about the same for computers and software, about the same again for drives and servers, same again for lenses, same again for lighting and grip and none of this includes the video we've added to our repertoire.
These numbers are close more than a nice house in the suburbs, actually almost anyplace in the world, except Hong Kong. (does Hong Kong have suburbs?)/
As far as the CC method, no I'm not crazy happy about it, seems there could be a better way to handle it and I think it's overpriced, though honestly I think most of the equipment we use today is overpriced, except for the Nikon D800 (sorry to mention that) the Canon 5d series and the new mirrorless cameras that have come to the market.
I still hold to the thought of whether we buy, rent, or subscribe, we've all been caught up in the subscription model when it comes to digital.
Buy a camera, then your going to need to upgrade your software to process it, Upgrade your software, you'll probably have to go to a new operating system, if your computer doesn't handle that, then it's on to a new computer and since most of these programs are touching nearly a gig, you'll need new internal drives and of course more external drives, probably with different drive interfaces and the wheel keeps turning.
Now, about every two days, I as well as every other photographer on the planet gets a survey someone wants you to fill out, usually a camera or software company.
My suggestion is keep the prices low, keep the upgrades serious not partial and think about all of the other changes a photographer has to make every time they upgrade.
Actually my suggestion is to ask me what I estimate a job today, compared to 2007 and set your camera prices to the same level most of us are working at today.
So my original thought of keeping a 1ds1 forever . . . I think it sounds pretty good.
P.S. The cameras I'm enthralled with right now are the micro 4-3 system. In one large messenger bag I have three bodies, 7 lenses, one light, radio and on camera sound, headphones and accessories.
These cameras have calibration for the lcds, wi-fi, fast lenses.
We can shoot stabilized video that is very, very good, stills that are more than acceptable and the cost of all of this is under 5k.
Now in my view that's where the market is going, maybe not 4-3, (I hope it does but . . .) if not 4-3 then smaller lighter faster mirrorless cameras.