At the Photokina, the stands of the big players were like cathedrals, with large backlit screens as stained glass, where photographers and photo-enthusiasts could celebrate their favorite brands and compare their zooms. What struck me is that progress seemed as carved in stone as in cathedrals. The main novelty was a new format: the mirrorless camera, a few more pixels, or higher frame rate video. All things that are nice and look well on a billboard.
Nothing from the big brands, however, to help their herds face the challenges of the new needs of the market, namely more images produced faster and cheaper.
Progress was to be found at the outlying shacks of what looked to me like the new sects, those who are closer to the people and their daily worries: the startups.
There, you could find bounties of tools to allow the photographer to be lean, light and process her client’s images faster and better. Lenses that create 3D images on any camera and allow focusing after the shoot, lighting so light, modular and powerful it fits in the side pocket of a camera bag, and software so smart you actually can let it do your portrait or swimwear processing while you enjoy time with your family after you’ve actually made delivery to your clients a fun thing . There was even a hardware company showcasing a hard drive that helps photographers streamline their delivery workflow. Notwithstanding the ones who are pushing the boundaries of AI and experimenting to streamline image enhancing processes.
So, come on, Big guys, at the next Kina, come up with real workflow-optimizing solutions think about those of us who don’t have time to compare zoom lengths or f-stops around a cocktail and need to produce good images consistently and fast. Put a mike behind my lens so I can tag my images with a voice2text description of what I’m shooting and automatically generate filenames, and a 5G chip in my camera so I can stream my images to my personal cloud where my software will sort my images, send personalized selection galleries to my clients, do the post on the images they chose, send them a delivery link, and deposit my less-hard earned cash into my account. Then, I might have time to come check your expensive jewel lenses and why not, buy a couple.