|November 28, 2006
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SLR Price Drops, with More to Come
by George Schaub
The recent announcement of the $599 D40 from Nikon is just the beginning
of an anticipated flood of announcements from DSLR makers about more reasonably
priced units on the way. Granted, this is a 6-megapixel sensor, but that
might just be right for the audience Nikon has defined for this camera.
And despite the lower price it’s no laggard when it comes to features
and Nikon’s advanced image processor. In truth, if you don’t
anticipate going beyond 11x14 prints (which are easily achieved with this
and similar 6MP models with a judicious amount of image upsizing via resampling)
then this compact unit might be just the ticket.
Camera and Printing Trends
mavens put on their thinking caps in an attempt to gauge the future direction
of the photographic industry, they typically start by analyzing trends
in camera sales. Then they quantify the resulting data into various demographic
segments and product categories. In that regard, the news is mixed: digital
camera sales grew 18% in August 2006, while sales of film cameras that
month dropped by almost 54% as compared to August 2005.
Having worked with and tested the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 I can attest
to the fidelity and quality of the Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks and to
the reliability of this wide format, 17-inch wide printer. But there
were two complaints I had about the printer, which I believe were
shared by others. One is its weight and size, typical for wide formats
of the day, which required two reasonably in-shape people to manage
its heft. The other was that you had to swap out inks when you went
from photo to matte black sets. In other words, if you wanted to print
on fine art rag paper then swap out to glossy paper you had to take
some time and expend some ink to do the deed. Needless to say competitors
made much of this and cited it as one of the major reasons to avoid
this otherwise excellent printing machine.
Nikon, with its new D40, and other companies are coming onto the market with compact, relatively inexpensive DSLR cameras. This trend will continue. If and when you decide on your first or a new DSLR, how important will the lenses you already own (new and old) be in your consideration of one brand over another?
Please comment briefly on how likely you are to buy a new DSLR in the coming months, and how your investment in lenses will or will not affect that purchase.
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