Wednesday, July 09, 2003

That's interesting - Mobile Snaps. via Tomalak's Realm

What's interesting is the unpredictability of the situation. Noone really knows what is going to happen with these phones. As someone who has been actively involved in digital photography as a prosumer (high-end amateur) I have to say that I end up printing more and more pictures as time goes on. I give them as gifts. I put them into albums. I like how matte pictures look with borders. Are widely available eletronic photoalbums going to change the equation? Perhaps, but we are a few years away from that still.

To a large extent the debate is really whether the incredibly increased quantity of pictures taken will end up translated into some measure of an increase in the number of pictures printed. A simple example can go as follows. When a person has to pay for film, processing, and printing in a minilab regular C-41 ( typical color process) costs about $4 for film and $10 for 36 exposures developed and printed. This can easily go to $20 per roll if you do your printing in a good lab or bought film for $6 at a tourist attraction. I then go on vacation and shoot 3 or 4 rolls for a total cost of $75. With digital I might easily snap 5 to 10 times more pictures. Thus, if I print only 4 pictures per roll I end up printing the same number. If mobile phones end up producing printable pictures and increase the number of snapshots taken exponentially, we can easily end up with as many total prints as before, just no negatives.

I cannot see how any of it good news for firms that make film, but is not that why Kodak bought As for those who make paper -- it may not be so bad. It is pretty clear that sooner, rather than later film-chemicals-paper-based photography will become the domain of artists. It began with minilabs and C-41 processing, and it is continuing with more and more professional photographers choosing digital cameras or backs for their equipment.

[Listening to: What Would You Do? - Original Broadway Cast Recording - CABARET (03:32)]


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