Coping with Change in 2011
More, better, faster, cheaper. Or as they used to say back in the film days, “choose any two.”
Before digital imaging came along, the introduction of new photographic technologies had been gradual, with each new product building on—and backwardly compatible—with what has gone before. Computer companies, on the other hand, are driven by intense competition and the realities of Moore’s Law, which states that “the power of the silicon chip microprocessor will double every eighteen months, with a proportionate decrease in cost.”
Gordon Moore, one of Intel’s founders, predicted that computing power would rise exponentially over time. In practical terms, this means digital imaging product cycles are measured in months, instead of years for developing traditional optical and photochemical products. The digital camera you purchase today is quickly replaced with a newer model that produces higher quality images at a lower cost.
For many people, this is the single most frustrating aspect of the digital imaging process. Since this trend is not going to change, I have a few words of advice:
First, get used to it. This pace may slow but it’s not going to change any time soon.
Second, don’t go broke upgrading to get the latest hardware and software unless you can cost justify productivity improvements.
Third, keep all this technology in perspective. The single most important photographic accessory is still the person behind the camera.