Evolution of camera

Technology then and now: A look back inspired by Paul Simon’s legendary song “Kodachrome”

  • book T-ROC Staff
  • calendar Mar 21, 2022
  • clock 3 mins read

I was cleaning out the basement recently, and I came across an old Nikon camera and work that dated back to 2009. Most of what I found was business cards, trade show passes—and paper, so much paper, which was the norm for that time. I also found some jump drives that had video footage from focus groups I’d filmed on behalf of a client. Turns out the focus groups were about cameras (which explains the Nikon camera in the box). So I went down memory lane, and watched some of the footage, just to see what consumers wanted in a camera back then—13 years ago.

In 2009, what these focus group subjects wanted was an easier way to capture photos. Here are just a few of their comments, so we can gauge where we were as an industry in solving these consumer needs.

• Subject 1: I take so many pictures and I’m always seeing my photos out of focus or missing the subject, and it takes hours to find the best shots.
• Subject 2: I have a two-year-old who’s moving fast. I just want to reach for my camera and hit a single button. I don’t want to adjust anything or make decisions like portrait or sunlight I just want to push a button and boom.
• Subject #3: Be great if we can get all that new technology I hear about like multi-lenses and flash and just funnel all that into a small camera that all I have to do is shoot a picture and be done.
• Subject #4: I have all these new photos just sitting on my camera and I just want them to automatically transfer over to my computer wirelessly and then click on something and see all my pictures ideally in a beautifully organized folder and I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it.
• Subject #5: The security of the pictures is really important to me. My parents and grandparents had boxes of photos, but our generation stores our photos digitally in our cameras and family computer and I worry about losing them. So being able to easily back up these photos, and without a time-consuming process, would be great.

After reviewing for the first time in over 10 years, it became very obvious to me that in most cases all of these needs have been solved for some time now. But what really surprised me is not one of the participants’ ever-connected pictures and video capturing related to a personal cell phone. And none of them even mention the word phone. Much less iPhone.

If you think about it, today’s camera phone technology solves or has the capability to provide just about every customer need requested in this focus group from back in 2009.

Of course, today’s DSLR technology has evolved for both professional and amateur photography enthusiasts, but I think what stuck with me the most when I was reviewing b-roll footage was just how big and clunky the video cameras were being used to shoot these events. And then realizing that today, that same event would be captured using a cell phone a tenth of the size!

That’s what stood out to me. Oh, and it reminded me to give another listen to Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome.” Highly recommended.

To learn more about how T-ROC brings the power of people and technology together to build innovative solutions for manufacturers, brands, and retailers, get in touch with contact Lou Kindschuh, Vice President of Business Development, [email protected].


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