The DLSR will probably die

The Computational Photographer wrote The DSLR will probably die. Are mirrorless the future of large standalone cameras?.

Let’s see why I think the reflex design is doomed, even though it has dominated serious photography for decades.

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The DSLR has to die because the mirror is too high a cost for its diminishing benefits. The mirror adds to the complexity of the camera and its manufacturing, it makes the camera bigger, and it introduces challenges for lens design. And its advantages don’t extend to video, which is an increasingly important usage case.

[…]

Furthermore, the mirror in DSLR severely constrains the design of lenses, by preventing lens elements to be placed near the sensor.

This goes in the same way as what I wrote in September in The future is mirrorless. The reflex design was addressing a constraint to be able provide a through-the-lens view which is now provided using the current sensor technology.

Zink archival quality

In today’s Instant photography there are two different technologies. The old instant film pioneered by Polaroid and now dominated by Fujifilm Instax, and the new digital printer, usually ink based, the later being pushed by the Polaroid brand (as opposed to Polaroid Originals), with Zink that uses thermal printing technology.

From All About Images, Zink Twice about Polaroid (their pun):

Polaroid and Zink have chosen not to provide any stability information on their products. One can only assume that the expected lifetime for this product must be poor, since if it were not, they would have every reason to publicize it.

Lifetime of prints is an important matter. I’m convinced that the majority of the digital photography archives will be lost to obsolete and failing technology, destructive services, etc. and that printing is one of the limited ways to preserve them. But prints have to be long lasting. Photographic paper like the Fujicolor Crystal Archive is rated for 70 years and this is way longer than Zink.

Flickr new account policy – the “Flickrpocalypse” is coming

This year, Flickr was bought from AOL, er, I mean OAth by SmugMug.

The new Flickr is changing their account policy for free accounts to a limit of 1000 photos/videos. The original Flickr was at 200. No problem, they want us, the users, to be the customers and not the product. They also need to operate in a way that is sustainable, and by do so they are giving an incentive to get a paid account (they call it “Pro”).

But there is one important detail, hidden in the fine print of another page:

Free members with more than 1,000 photos or videos uploaded to Flickr have until Tuesday, January 8, 2019, to upgrade to Pro or download content over the limit. After January 8, 2019, members over the limit will no longer be able to upload new photos to Flickr. After February 5, 2019, free accounts that contain over 1,000 photos or videos will have content actively deleted — starting from oldest to newest date uploaded — to meet the new limit.

After February 5 they will delete content, just based on date. What about these projects of the commons? What about these accounts of people that left us? They will be erasing a large cultural heritage, just like that, not taking the responsibility of stewarding the content they acquired. I think this is a bad move for them. It feels like a breach of trust ; it is perfectly ok to prevent upload on any unpaid account over 1000, but deleting it, it is not. Also they are voluntarily crippling something they need: inertia that the traffic drives, making the service more popular.

Just as a side note, my Flickr account is still under the threshold, there is currently no risk, until Flickr decide to change the limits later.

Creative Commons are working with them to mitigate the loss of some much Creative Commons material:

Flickr is one of the most important platforms to host and share CC licensed works on the web, and over 400 million of the photos there are CC licensed – representing over a quarter of all CC licensed works on the web.

And I know the Internet Archive team will be working hard on trying to mitigate the disaster.

Please, please, Flickr, don’t delete the content.

Update: it seems that there is a program to exempt institutions from this. Don MacAskill, SmugMug CEO donated 100-years of Flickr Pro to the Internet Archive, even though it is covered by the program. Also Cory Doctorow agrees with my suggestion. This is not a reversion of the delete policy, just a mitigation for the Commons.