You Get What You Pay For

I don’t know exactly what that means, but it sounded kind of catchy when I was coming up with a title. So have I got a deal for you. Check out the specs on this state-of-the-art camera:

  • Format – SLR
  • Sensor Type – CCD
  • Effective Pixels – 1.5MP
  • ISO – 100, 200, 400
  • Focal Length Multiplier – 2.6X
  • Frames Per Second – 2fps for 5 frames
  • Image Format – Uncompressed RAW (no JPEG)
  • Weight – 3.75 pounds
  • PRICE – $7,995.00 USD

That, my friends was the Kodak DCS 420 digital SLR. Released in 1994, it was the king of the hill in digital cameras. Those beautiful 1.5MP images were the toast of the town and they sold like hotcakes to working professionals the world over. So, for a mere $8000 you could own a camera that had worse resolution as most cell phones do today. By the way, that price tag works out to about $11,683 in 2008 dollars. So in just 14 short years, the image sensor has grown to 24.5 MP, or about 17.5 times the resolution. I’m just wondering what the D3X would have cost in 1994. Let’s see, at around $5,700 per MP, it would work out to about $139,650.

Is the D3X expensive? It is to me and most shooters I hang around with. Is it worth the price to commercial and fine art photographers who are printing large and need a rugged, professional camera, I am betting yes. Let’s face it, not every camera that comes out of Canon or Nikon or anyone else’s factory is going to be meant for every photographer. The fact that I have been reading a lot of griping and sniping about the D3X price leads me to wonder why no one is crying foul at Hasselblad or Phase One for the price of their digital backs, and they don’t even include the camera. The truth is that Nikon has always served the needs of different segments of the marketplace. The D1 was a professional camera, the D1x was meant for studio and fine art photographers, the D1H serviced the needs of the press, the D100 was for pros and advanced amateurs, and the D70 was for the advanced amateur. And just as now, they were priced accordingly.

So don’t be a hater, just realize that not all technology that comes out is meant for every shooter but in the long run, it will benefit everyone by driving up the quality of the technology and making it more affordable in future cameras. By the way, you can pick up a nice DCS 420 for about $69 on eBay.

Peace Out

  • http://mpalmerphotography.blogspot.com/ Mike Palmer

    I guess it is human nature to complain about things that are out of reach. long time no hear from you Jeff, hope your holiday was exceptional.

  • http://kblawson.wordpress.com Ken

    Jeff,

    A nice post, but a small protest. One does not always get what you pay [paid out] for. Like my 401k, Enron, Ford stock,etc, etc.

    God bless all those who can buy this new Nikon. Way over the top for me. A good value?? From what I have seen in the marketplace and the quality I have seen in my D300 and others its not that good of a deal…..I am a dyed in the wool Nikon user, but for those with the kind photobot shop….and the money, buy it…..but I predict it will be $5,900 by the end of 2009. Then I will buy the regular old D3 and dump my D300.

    Ken in KY

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  • http://www.photographyandthemac.com Robert Lachman

    Jeff,

    Nice post. I sort of forgot about the start of the digital camera era. I can remember when those were the cutting edge. We used the Canon version at the newspaper were I work. Those camera were really heavy plus they used those big cards. I can’t remember what they were called. It’s hard to believe anyone would buy one of those old cameras for $69 on eBay. I guess for an antique collection.

    I remember when we got our first CD burner at work which cost about $4000. I think the blank CD’s cost about $4 each. Ain’t technology great.

    Keep up all the great work on your website.

    Robert

  • http://dickebacken2.wordpress.com/ Waffelrezepte

    Nice Post. I searched the whole net for informations like u shared it on this post “You Get What You Pay For”. Thank you very much, it had helped.

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