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Author Topic: Why the camera industry is in the dumper  (Read 5661 times)
Petrus
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« Reply #60 on: March 16, 2014, 12:34:40 PM »
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In 1984-85 I travelled around SAE, China, Tibet and Nepal for 7 months, and carried at one point 270 rolls of Kodachrome 64 Pro in my backpack. That was 9700 frames. Cost of film and development at today's prices would be around 4800€.

Now the same amount of RAW frames, at 6x7 film quality or better, would fit on 10 32GB memory cards, costing about 270€. And weigh less than one roll of film. With the price difference alone (and cards can be re-used) I would buy a nice travel camera kit, from Fuji system for example (and the cameras can be also reused or sold…).

Actually last year I was in Tibet again, and shot over 1000 frames on some days. My 7 month film supply would have lasted only ten days at that pace.

Things were NOT better then.
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Rob C
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« Reply #61 on: March 16, 2014, 02:10:16 PM »
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In 1984-85 I travelled around SAE, China, Tibet and Nepal for 7 months, and carried at one point 270 rolls of Kodachrome 64 Pro in my backpack. That was 9700 frames. Cost of film and development at today's prices would be around 4800€.

Now the same amount of RAW frames, at 6x7 film quality or better, would fit on 10 32GB memory cards, costing about 270€. And weigh less than one roll of film. With the price difference alone (and cards can be re-used) I would buy a nice travel camera kit, from Fuji system for example (and the cameras can be also reused or sold…).

Actually last year I was in Tibet again, and shot over 1000 frames on some days. My 7 month film supply would have lasted only ten days at that pace.

Things were NOT better then.


No, of course not, 'things' were pretty much the same, only pictures were better. I wonder what your honest rate of 'keepers' was then and is now.

I found this delightful quotation this afternoon, from good olde David Bailey, of course:

"Oh, I love digital. I think it's great - it makes my film pictures feel more exclusive."

;-)

Rob C
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #62 on: March 16, 2014, 02:28:48 PM »
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I get the impression that this thread is suffering from an injection of the perverted mindset that suggests that "professional" photographers have some sort of "right" to be able to earn a living from their occupation. And that they object because the world has changed and there is no longer much of a market for their mediocrity.

The great driving forces of the art and craft of photography have always been in the hands of the genuine amateur who were not encumbered by crassly materialistic considerations such as income, profits, client opinions, client demands, cost/benefit analyses, etc., etc., etc.

Alongside those mainstream photographic activities, there was still space for a few exceptionally talented "professionals" to make a living. We may have secretly despised them for prostituting their craft in the pursuit of filthy lucre (or we may not - after all, it did not concern us). Now, however, we seem to be assailed on all sides by girning, moaning, malcontents who complain that a few amateurs are taking away their livelihoods by producing (as they always did) better quality art at no cost to the consumer.

So, please, if "professionals" do find their "profession" threatened in the 21st Century, then so be it. Many other old trades have become completely redundant and buried in the mists of history. Is it not time for "pro-photographers" to let go and accept a substantial downsizing of their realm. There will always be a commercial need for the very best - but that may be a relatively small proportion of the current cadre of pretenders.

This thread began with the question, "Why is the camera industry in the dumper?" that has nothing to do with professional photography. The industry always has been driven - and always will be - by the amateurs who are right at the cutting edge of technological and artistic advancement.
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Justinr
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« Reply #63 on: March 16, 2014, 02:45:21 PM »
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I take it as read that everybody has knock backs, none of us are immune.

But anyway, I ran the figures through a historical value calculator ( http://www.measuringworth.com/index.php) and came up with the following  for the FM2 kit -

A simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is £1,251.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying £594.00 by the percentage increase in the RPI from 1989 to 2012.



And for the F4 -

A simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is £2,572.00. This answer is obtained by multiplying £1,415.00 by the percentage increase in the RPI from 1991 to 2012.

So the F4 would be lie somewhere between the D800 and D4 at today's (2012's) prices while what you paid for the FM2 would buy you Nikon's entry level D610 with a some change, but not a lot.
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Justinr
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« Reply #64 on: March 16, 2014, 02:54:24 PM »
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I get the impression that this thread is suffering from an injection of the perverted mindset that suggests that "professional" photographers have some sort of "right" to be able to earn a living from their occupation. And that they object because the world has changed and there is no longer much of a market for their mediocrity.

The great driving forces of the art and craft of photography have always been in the hands of the genuine amateur who were not encumbered by crassly materialistic considerations such as income, profits, client opinions, client demands, cost/benefit analyses, etc., etc., etc.

Alongside those mainstream photographic activities, there was still space for a few exceptionally talented "professionals" to make a living. We may have secretly despised them for prostituting their craft in the pursuit of filthy lucre (or we may not - after all, it did not concern us). Now, however, we seem to be assailed on all sides by girning, moaning, malcontents who complain that a few amateurs are taking away their livelihoods by producing (as they always did) better quality art at no cost to the consumer.

So, please, if "professionals" do find their "profession" threatened in the 21st Century, then so be it. Many other old trades have become completely redundant and buried in the mists of history. Is it not time for "pro-photographers" to let go and accept a substantial downsizing of their realm. There will always be a commercial need for the very best - but that may be a relatively small proportion of the current cadre of pretenders.

This thread began with the question, "Why is the camera industry in the dumper?" that has nothing to do with professional photography. The industry always has been driven - and always will be - by the amateurs who are right at the cutting edge of technological and artistic advancement.

Plus 1.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 03:00:49 PM by Justinr » Logged

mezzoduomo
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« Reply #65 on: March 16, 2014, 03:51:21 PM »
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I get the impression that this thread is suffering from an injection of the perverted mindset that suggests that "professional" photographers have some sort of "right" to be able to earn a living from their occupation. And that they object because the world has changed and there is no longer much of a market for their mediocrity.

The great driving forces of the art and craft of photography have always been in the hands of the genuine amateur who were not encumbered by crassly materialistic considerations such as income, profits, client opinions, client demands, cost/benefit analyses, etc., etc., etc.

Alongside those mainstream photographic activities, there was still space for a few exceptionally talented "professionals" to make a living. We may have secretly despised them for prostituting their craft in the pursuit of filthy lucre (or we may not - after all, it did not concern us). Now, however, we seem to be assailed on all sides by girning, moaning, malcontents who complain that a few amateurs are taking away their livelihoods by producing (as they always did) better quality art at no cost to the consumer.

So, please, if "professionals" do find their "profession" threatened in the 21st Century, then so be it. Many other old trades have become completely redundant and buried in the mists of history. Is it not time for "pro-photographers" to let go and accept a substantial downsizing of their realm. There will always be a commercial need for the very best - but that may be a relatively small proportion of the current cadre of pretenders.

This thread began with the question, "Why is the camera industry in the dumper?" that has nothing to do with professional photography. The industry always has been driven - and always will be - by the amateurs who are right at the cutting edge of technological and artistic advancement.

+1....yes. Nicely summarized.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #66 on: March 16, 2014, 03:55:39 PM »
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These cost calculations are totally nonsense in my opinion.
Film and digital are so grossly different in look, usability and everything -
it just doesn't make sense to use the cost factor as a significant separator these days.
Take what you need for the job or artistically and good is.
Any attempt to say film or digital is better or worse as a general statement is plain bunk in these days.
For a specific use case that's a different question.
Purely subjective, of course ...
Cheers
~Chris

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Justinr
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« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2014, 06:02:06 PM »
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These cost calculations are totally nonsense in my opinion.
Film and digital are so grossly different in look, usability and everything -
it just doesn't make sense to use the cost factor as a significant separator these days.
Take what you need for the job or artistically and good is.
Any attempt to say film or digital is better or worse as a general statement is plain bunk in these days.
For a specific use case that's a different question.
Purely subjective, of course ...
Cheers
~Chris



They are totally nonsense in that nobody working commercially is likely to switch back to film (I appreciate that LF film is still a tool of the trade) but it was suggested that digital was/is more expensive than film and I think that notion is now safely debunked.
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Isaac
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« Reply #68 on: March 16, 2014, 07:55:35 PM »
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The great driving forces of the art and craft of photography have always been in the hands of the genuine amateur who were not encumbered by crassly materialistic considerations such as income, profits, client opinions, client demands, cost/benefit analyses, etc., etc., etc.

The industry always has been driven - and always will be - by the amateurs who are right at the cutting edge of technological and artistic advancement.

For example?

Claims without justification are easy to make.
Claims without justification are easy to dismiss, for example - Bilge!
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KLaban
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« Reply #69 on: March 16, 2014, 08:33:40 PM »
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I get the impression that this thread is suffering from an injection of the perverted mindset that suggests that "professional" photographers have some sort of "right" to be able to earn a living from their occupation. And that they object because the world has changed and there is no longer much of a market for their mediocrity.

The great driving forces of the art and craft of photography have always been in the hands of the genuine amateur who were not encumbered by crassly materialistic considerations such as income, profits, client opinions, client demands, cost/benefit analyses, etc., etc., etc.

Alongside those mainstream photographic activities, there was still space for a few exceptionally talented "professionals" to make a living. We may have secretly despised them for prostituting their craft in the pursuit of filthy lucre (or we may not - after all, it did not concern us). Now, however, we seem to be assailed on all sides by girning, moaning, malcontents who complain that a few amateurs are taking away their livelihoods by producing (as they always did) better quality art at no cost to the consumer.

So, please, if "professionals" do find their "profession" threatened in the 21st Century, then so be it. Many other old trades have become completely redundant and buried in the mists of history. Is it not time for "pro-photographers" to let go and accept a substantial downsizing of their realm. There will always be a commercial need for the very best - but that may be a relatively small proportion of the current cadre of pretenders.

This thread began with the question, "Why is the camera industry in the dumper?" that has nothing to do with professional photography. The industry always has been driven - and always will be - by the amateurs who are right at the cutting edge of technological and artistic advancement.

Hmm, perhaps you’d care to step out from behind that piece of soft fruit?
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Petrus
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« Reply #70 on: March 17, 2014, 01:16:55 AM »
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No, of course not, 'things' were pretty much the same, only pictures were better. I wonder what your honest rate of 'keepers' was then and is now.


At that time I filed away about 30% of the frames, and my slide show consisted of 1900 slides arranged for tandem projection. That means 20% ratio for "good" shots.

Last summer I shot 5005 frames in 3 weeks, out of which I developed about 400, and my Picasa/Flickr albums hold about 180 frames for a "good rate" of 4%.

Both trips produced 9 "good" pictures per day. Naturally the standards have changed also in 30 years, now many of the old slides look only so-so.

I do think that not needing to think about "wasting film" means that the quality of "keeper" pictures has gotten slightly better on the average. There is a possibility of taking chances and even using the "spray and pray" method sometimes. The average quality of the total number pictures has possibly fallen, but that is inconsequential as professionals only show a sampling of the best and the rest never see the light of a monitor.
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Justinr
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« Reply #71 on: March 17, 2014, 04:55:45 AM »
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Rob

If I may refer back to your closing post on the 'Links to Photographers' thread I feel it worth pointing out that Professional photographers are not consigned to the dustbin by any means, it's just that the meaning of 'professional' has changed considerably and clinging on to the more halcyon days of sunny beaches and having your film costs met by the customer is no longer conducive to turning a buck in the business.

Other professions have had to adapt, accountants welcomed accounting programmes that took the slog out of their work and then their customers discovered the spreadsheet for themselves; there are pills and potions available over the counter that help keep us healthier and fitter than ever before so the medical trade has also had to change, gone are the days of whipping the appendix out on the kitchen table and a couple of aspirin for afterwards. IT has changed the face of engineering completely, look at how well made and how complex cars are nowdays, Issigonis designed the Mini on the back of an envelope, wouldn't happen today, and compare the ancient Triumphs of the Meriden co-operative with the Hinckley built bikes in your local showroom now. In fact the only trade that has still managed to retain vestiges of its traditions is law, but they make a living out of being cantankerous so no surprises there.

The time of pro photography just being Newspapers, magazines or the chap on the high street doing weddings and portraits is long gone, there is still money to be made from it and 'professionals', that is, those who do it for money, will still be around but the job has changed, just like everybody else's job has.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 05:24:35 AM by Justinr » Logged

Rob Whitehead
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« Reply #72 on: March 17, 2014, 08:06:47 AM »
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Walter,
I had to look up the meaning of axiomatic, still little idea as to how you used it. Either confirming it or questioning it,  I can't hear the tone of voice you typed it in. Anyway cross stitch might be easier. :-)

Lolz, I have a notes doc of 'words to add to my vocabulary' and had already added that after reading Walter's post as it sounded impressive. My gf says that it means 'self-evident' - and says she's going to use it tomorrow herself (she already knows more big words than me).
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Carpe lucem
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« Reply #73 on: March 17, 2014, 08:22:13 AM »
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I've seen some pretty silly threads on LuLa, and, embarrassing to admit, have engaged in a few, but this one certainly takes the prize. The camera industry isn't "in the dumper." The camera industry is evolving and adjusting to new technology. The camera industry will be just fine, but it'll be a different camera industry.

Damn, there I go again.
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« Reply #74 on: March 17, 2014, 01:43:27 PM »
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Photographs in many ("inferior/crappy/non-artistic") new forms are incredibly important to the communication and relationships between people, particularly young people. You know, the young: So easy to deride, so difficult to truly understand and respect.
You can understand the yoof not quite understanding the viewpoint of older folks, but all old people were young once surely. Yet they rarely seem to get young people.
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jjj
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« Reply #75 on: March 17, 2014, 01:55:48 PM »
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In 1984-85 I travelled around SAE, China, Tibet and Nepal for 7 months, and carried at one point 270 rolls of Kodachrome 64 Pro in my backpack. That was 9700 frames. Cost of film and development at today's prices would be around 4800€.

Now the same amount of RAW frames, at 6x7 film quality or better, would fit on 10 32GB memory cards, costing about 270€. And weigh less than one roll of film. With the price difference alone (and cards can be re-used) I would buy a nice travel camera kit, from Fuji system for example (and the cameras can be also reused or sold…).

Actually last year I was in Tibet again, and shot over 1000 frames on some days. My 7 month film supply would have lasted only ten days at that pace.

Things were NOT better then.
The original part of this debate was about changing to digital years back not now. When a 1Gb card would have cost a lot more than €270.
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KevinA
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« Reply #76 on: March 17, 2014, 02:13:59 PM »
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I get the impression that this thread is suffering from an injection of the perverted mindset that suggests that "professional" photographers have some sort of "right" to be able to earn a living from their occupation. And that they object because the world has changed and there is no longer much of a market for their mediocrity.

The great driving forces of the art and craft of photography have always been in the hands of the genuine amateur who were not encumbered by crassly materialistic considerations such as income, profits, client opinions, client demands, cost/benefit analyses, etc., etc., etc.

Alongside those mainstream photographic activities, there was still space for a few exceptionally talented "professionals" to make a living. We may have secretly despised them for prostituting their craft in the pursuit of filthy lucre (or we may not - after all, it did not concern us). Now, however, we seem to be assailed on all sides by girning, moaning, malcontents who complain that a few amateurs are taking away their livelihoods by producing (as they always did) better quality art at no cost to the consumer.

So, please, if "professionals" do find their "profession" threatened in the 21st Century, then so be it. Many other old trades have become completely redundant and buried in the mists of history. Is it not time for "pro-photographers" to let go and accept a substantial downsizing of their realm. There will always be a commercial need for the very best - but that may be a relatively small proportion of the current cadre of pretenders.

This thread began with the question, "Why is the camera industry in the dumper?" that has nothing to do with professional photography. The industry always has been driven - and always will be - by the amateurs who are right at the cutting edge of technological and artistic advancement.
And my original point was/is there are not the number of dedicated enthusiasts to keep pitching up for al the new R&D and myriad of new cameras. There are many that call themselves enthusiasts but lack the in the blood dedication. I would also add that not only is digital expensive for pro's with lost revenue on various outlet streams. It's also more expensive for the hobbyist, how often can you upgrade, replace worn out printers etc. Even the weekender once they got a Hassy probably never intended buying anything else. A major upgrade once was Kodak or Fuji's expense with a new film.
We are all now expected to look upon the latest top line camera as disposable, even a car holds it's value better than a top line Canikon.
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« Reply #77 on: March 17, 2014, 02:20:48 PM »
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Depends on what you are shooting. A lot of people would quote for a job including film costs. And even so, doing a job without film would offer a competitive advantage over a fellow who was going to add film to the bill. Not everyone was shooting glamour and fashion in exotic locations for wealthy clients. Are we talking about going back to film now, or changing over to digital 10 years ago BTW?
Well seeing as it was yourself who started this off by talking about switching to digital 10+ years ago, have a guess. As for those throwing in the cost of film, well they are the same idiots who are doing work for peanuts now and undercutting everyone. God knows why you think glamour and exotic locations have anything to do with this as many clients paid for film.
With wedding photographers, they shot very little compared to today, spent less time covering the wedding/doing PPing and could also sell prints to other guests, so possibly more profitable in that some of today's digital shooters.

Quote
A roll of 220 costs roughly twice as much to develop because it has twice the surface area, hence twice the chemical requirement. Sure, there may be some savings on labour but not an awful lot. The scanning per frame will be the same, so £14 per roll of 220 for that alone
Economies of scale mean it doesn't quite work like that.

Quote
My 12mp FF is giving better results than my Bronicas ever did and I don't have to worry about fancy drum scanners to ensure the negative is held flat.
But your FF gives a different look to a MF camera and wasn't even available then, so not comparable. And if you are shooting such huge amounts of film, why wouldn't you use 35mm. And if you were shooting that much MF, the client would be paying or you would be losing money.

Quote
BTW, were you working as a pro ten years ago?
Yes. And at the time digital was very, very expensive compared to now.

Quote
Edit; I forgot the cost of the film - around £6.00 - 6.50 per roll, let's call it 40p per shot bringing the total to £1.27 per frame and if we take the top Nikon (D4) as £4,000 then 3,150 shots will see it paid for. What's the shutter count on your main camera?
You are cherry picking figures from then and now and not comparing like with actual like. The cost calculator you used does not take into account anything to do with how photographic earning or the any particular business may have changed, so the figures are utter bokum.
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KevinA
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« Reply #78 on: March 17, 2014, 02:24:55 PM »
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In 1984-85 I travelled around SAE, China, Tibet and Nepal for 7 months, and carried at one point 270 rolls of Kodachrome 64 Pro in my backpack. That was 9700 frames. Cost of film and development at today's prices would be around 4800€.

Now the same amount of RAW frames, at 6x7 film quality or better, would fit on 10 32GB memory cards, costing about 270€. And weigh less than one roll of film. With the price difference alone (and cards can be re-used) I would buy a nice travel camera kit, from Fuji system for example (and the cameras can be also reused or sold…).

Actually last year I was in Tibet again, and shot over 1000 frames on some days. My 7 month film supply would have lasted only ten days at that pace.

Things were NOT better then.
And those Kodacchromes in a few libraries would of likely returned you what? A decent profit on your trip. Beats 20,000 given away by Getty.
Each of those 1000frames in a day are basically worthless to anyone but you.
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Petrus
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« Reply #79 on: March 17, 2014, 02:56:18 PM »
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And those Kodacchromes in a few libraries would of likely returned you what? A decent profit on your trip. Beats 20,000 given away by Getty.
Each of those 1000frames in a day are basically worthless to anyone but you.

It was not a work trip, but an extended holiday (and character building exercise, eighties in China...). Even then the sales from the photos paid the whole trip, all the expenses, for both me and my wife.

Those 1000 frames a day I shot on my last trip to Tibet yielded enough keepers to pay for the trip and then some. I do believe, like I said in a previous post, that having the possibility of shooting practically unlimited number of frames does result in better quality of top ten frames than stingy old school shooting with film. The rest 990 per day can go to the digital hell or heaven, costing nothing.
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