Farewell to the first decade of the new millenium

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve and we are on the cusp of a new decade. Economically, there are uncertain times ahead, with the financial vulnerability of of financial institutions, even whole countries, affecting everyone.

Photographically, there are exciting times ahead with camera manufacturers deciding to discard the megapixel wars. After all, a 5 megapixel camera will produce excellent 8x10s and even A3 prints (at a slightly lower resolution). Manufacturers  are now concentrating on image quality from full frame sensors paired with larger photosites per pixel to greatly improve image quality.

At long last, the compact camera market is being tantalized with DX size sensors in a compact body and even interchangeable lenses…..

I’m not an early adopter by habit, so I’m waiting for Ricoh and Panasonic and Olympus to iron out any wrinkles and for Nikon and Canon to enter the market in this category.

I don’t see anything new and exciting in terms of color management or workflow systems as the take-up of Lightroom and Aperture expands and improves with each version release. The in-camera white balance tools have already saturated the market and, let’s face it, spectrally neutral grey or white or black is spectrally neutral……Not much wiggle room there.

I expect to see an even greater increase in lenses with vibration reduction technology from the big two with VR technology becoming more prevalent and filtering down to even the simplest compacts.

If I can afford it in 2011, I’ll buy the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII lens which received glowing posts re sharpness across the range and for its more aggressive VR capabilities (ie allowing u to shoot hand-held at ever slower shutter speeds).

Also looking forward to the D700 replacement. This will no doubt have HD video capability and an increased megapixel count, and it remains to be seen how this increase compares with the excellent ‘noiseless’ sensor of the D700 at high ISO levels. Who knows, the trade-off between a higher megapixel count in the D700 replacement and noise-free images on the D700 at high ISOs might just convince me to pick up a second hand D700……

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and a healthy and happy 2011.

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