DIR January 7, 2014 Editor’s Note: Quality, Generations and Technology

DIR January 7, 2014 Editor’s Note: Quality, Generations and Technology


The International CES always marks the beginning of the new year, making it a great time to reflect on the last year. And quite a year it has been.

If 2013 will be remembered for anything in the imaging world, it will be the year that people started questioning whether cameras are necessary anymore, given the emergence of smartphone cameras as the go-to imaging device. Headlines proclaiming the beginning of the end of the DSLR are slipping into the blogosphere. Point-and-shoot cameras are being derided for their “bulkiness.”

Can everyone just calm down?

For as long as there is a need for quality, and not just speed to Facebook, there will be a reason for the existence of a quality camera. Millennials and Gen Xers are being criticized for their flippant attitudes toward images: “Shoot it, share it and be done with it.” But when the next generation grows a little older and starts trading in their Instagram obsession for wedding dresses and baby formula, they just might start to see the true picture.

This holiday season, I posted a picture of my sister and me sitting on Santa’s lap, circa 1960. I mentioned in my post that if it weren’t for my dear mother printing that picture and putting it in an album over 50 years ago, I would never have had the chance to merge two generations of technologies—the printed album and Facebook. If not for a good quality, printed image, my history would be just a faded memory.

Is the imaging industry going through a change? Absolutely. But we have to stop challenging the validity of a quality image and start to embrace what manufacturers are now offering our customers. Quality now comes in many different forms—from compact system and long-zoom cameras to full-frame cameras in new formats. Interchangeable lenses will always offer a new and unique perspective. Quality should never be on the chopping block.

As you roam the halls at CES, search for quality and don’t compromise because it’s the easy way out.  Have a great show.