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Consumer Digicams Turn 10



Along with the maturing digicam came an infrastructure that would have been science fiction in 1996. Eight-gigabyte CompactFlash cards? A one-megabyte PCMCIA card was considered generous 10 years ago. Sending pictures by modem?

At photokina 2006, even Adobe, the software company, is jumping into the picture-agency game with photoshopshowcase.com. Photography, the PC, and the internet have grown exponentially in steady lockstep for the past decade, and look where it’s brought us.

Everything about photography is less restricted than before. If you want to shoot 8-gigabytes of pictures endlessly at 3 fps, you can, with a camera that costs less than the Apple QuickTake. Software like Photoshop Elements—which is the focus of the new Adobe website—gives precision control over the picture, immediately, and interactively. The optimum balances of light and dark, color and saturation, contrast and luminance, can be brought out of the camera original directly before the eye, in exactly the best way to serve their intended purpose.

One of the co-developing companies of the Adobe site also developed dotphoto.com, where our own personal website resides. It’s full of pictures made under tough conditions, and they’re all digital. Most were taken since the year 2000, and many have illustrated camera reviews over the years. Take a look at our findings across camera brands and models—www.don-sutherland.com. Many of the 2,000 pictures posted could not have been made on film.

The pace of progress has been breathtaking. Ten years ago, we foresaw a future when the 6MP camera topped all possibilities, and SLRs cost tens of thousands. There has never been a revolution in photography quite like this one. To this we say congratulations, aren’t we lucky, and hold onto your hat. The second 10 years has begun.


   







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