First, we have to emphasize here, we are not against any new medium. We are just letting you share of what we think in relation to this medium - purely from a SLR user's point of view!


Microsoft marketing slogan "Where do you want to go from here?" applies quite well for the photographic direction in terms of product development for photographic products. Where it lies itself in the crossroad now. The last one year or so, everybody is much hyped by the launching of the APS format at the initial stage, though it claims to have the full support of the mainstream suppliers of various fields within the photographic community, the initial survey on the users, feedback doesn't seem as optimistic, as evidenced by the slow responses of major camera manufacturers. Here and there, you might noticed there are some new launching of some models, but none of it causes or stir much consumers interest. Lately, there are some improvement in terms of advertising campaign by seeing some up market models like, Canon's EOS-1X, Nikon's Pronea 6i, Minolta's Vertis S-1 etc., providing some features currently employing in these topnotch APS cameras.

We feel strongly, much due to the some weaknesses in terms of architecture of the format and the approaches in market and promotion. There are some conflicts definitely, just like the medium format camera's marketing campaign are currently more aggressive trying to attract 35mm users to switch, claiming "BIGGER is BETTER", where APS are almost at the other extreme (though, some new features are considered "new" and " convenient") but none can claim revolutionary enough.

Strangely, digital cameras that stored digital images can be downloaded directly into a computer and transmitted across the world without waiting for processing are MORE welcomed to users than the APS. (We expect this particular field have greater potential for growth than that) While the conflicts switch to another ground, like storage devices (you don't need film in digital format) will have an direct impacts on traditional photographic giants like Kodak , Fuji, Agfa and so on (but NOT the camera manufacturers, as they are more adaptive and they can wait to see the changes in trends). All this changes are, as you noticed, partially, a direct robust demand for a substitute photographic products for the Internet market and of cause, the defensive minds of general public who felt changes are not necessary. It'll cost too much and too long to convince anyway.

The tremendous installed base (it took almost a century to develop) for the traditional silver halide products are too BIG and risky to have a switch now, where interim products have to launch to fill the gap temporarily, APS looks as if is the interim product to many are concerned. Until we see there are more options developed and accepted storage medium (which Kodak and Fuji are heavily under intense research and development, if not, they'll be in real trouble) and thus made them be the kingpin in this field again, we still won't see things will progress very rapidly. Every body is talking digital camera, there is an article prepared here in this site for your consumption.

Business point of view.

We still have a few years before the network PCs (scaled down version of computer that can browse the net, e-mail messages, and simple word-processing software, cost US$200-US$600 per unit) can take-off. Then, the demand for such digital medium could rocket, by then, we think the point and shoot cameras and the current respective giants in film processing could have a solution without seeing their current market leading position being eroded off.

The next view may be beneficial to current 35mm SLR users.




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