How can a SLR stay relevant in the cellphone age?
It used to be that in order to capture a decent photo you needed to hulk around a SLR, but that was about 7 years ago, now everyone has a cellphone on them that can take a decent or event great photo.
Why would someone walk around with a additional device, and a quite bulky one? I for one will grab my Canon 50D only on a day I know there will be some special photos to capture, like on snowy days or after a major event. But on an average day I rely on my cellphone to capture the photo moments that come across my path. (See http://instagram.com/shmuliphoto)
The advantage of a SLR, besides the superior photo quality, is the speed you can shoot consecutive photos, with the added depth of field that can not be matched on a cellphone camera (at the moment).
I also have a Canon 6D that has built in Wi-Fi that I use mostly for photographing events. When I first got it I was very excited to be able to instantly share the high quality images through my cellphone.
But that excitement quickly turned into frustration, starting with a multi step menu connecting my cellphone to my Canon 6D, and once I finally did connect, it seemed very sluggish to view images, and kept on disconnecting from the camera while browsing through the photos.
The SLR has to become and extension of the cellphone in order for it to stay relevant in the age of instant sharing
Every once a while I was able to download all the images without a hitch, but more often than not, did I need to keep on reconnecting to the Wi-Fi connection I had setup on my SLR.
After going through the painstaking steps of downloading the photos I’m now ready to share, you first need to disable the Wi-Fi connection to get your cellphone data back (the phone thinks that a Wi-Fi connection includes internet, and automatically disables the data). And only then can you share your photos.
This is a lot of steps that one has to go through in order to share one photo, if you compare it to the simplicity we have become accustomed to with our snaps on our cellphone.
In order to stay relevant, a better system has to be created by the camera manufacturer, that easily connects the phone to the SLR and make the process of sharing seamless, maybe automatically downloads photos onto your cellphone so that you can select them as easy as you would a photo taken with your cell phone.
Implementing Bluetooth and NFC could also be an additional option to make the connection easier, less frustrating and maybe even more secure. The SLR has to become and extension of the cellphone in order for it to stay relevant in the age of instant sharing.
Sony has tried to create a camera that connects directly to a cellphone, when trying it out, I felt that we are heading in the right direction, but there was too much of a lag and processing time took too long for it to be a serious competitor with the cellphone already in my pocket. The more recent version of this camera with exchangeable lenses may be better, but I have not tested it yet.
For now the SLR and the cellphone are are too far away from each other to really be considered connected.