Gordon E Moore's Law (circa 1965) states that even though the cost of computers halves every two years (on average), the number of transistors on a microchip doubles. Gordon E. Moore was the co-founder of Intel.
Are developers pushing Moore's law too fast in the name of progress. Are sales more important than releasing a tried, tested and perfectly working product.
Recalls, firmware updates and even incremental product updates are all the rage these days.
Problems With the DJI Action 2
Reading just a couple of early reviews has highlighted potential problems with the new action camera from DJI. It appears to overheat when filming in 4k at high frame rates. Even for a short period of time.
The whole point of this camera is to film certain sports and events that may run for long periods.
Maybe a lengthy ski or mountain bike run. Perhaps a travel vlog or b roll for a long tutorial you are creating.
Reliability shouldn't be a factor. We need to trust the kit we use, especially when using it for paid work. These gadgets are not "toys" or fads any more, they are fast becoming professional grade tools.
Go Pro Hero 10 Issues
Go Pro have released a firmware update to prevent the Go Pro Hero 10 camera overheating, similar to the DJI Action 2. The camera has been known to overheat and even shut down after just 20 minutes recording regardless of frame rate.
That is seriously not good.
I have bought pretty much every Go Pro on release but held back this time. Were my spider senses telling me something? Firmware now available here.
Canon EOS R5 Overheating Fix
I have been a fan of Canon for decades. My first Canon camera was the EOS 5 in the 90's. A robust, superb camera and the first with eye-controlled focus.
I've since owned a ton of Canon DSLR's including the D30, 10D, 20D, 40D, 1D Mark II, 1D Mark III, 5D, 5D Mark II and 5D Mark IV.
Canon's recent line of mirrorless offerings are superb and the EOS R3 is mind-blowingly gorgeous. The R3 has me thinking seriously about grabbing one, but can I justify the cost?
Will this camera enhance my work over what I already own if I buy it? Will my clients even notice or is it an egotistical ("yeah, I've got the R3...), knee-jerk, hyped purchase? I've made a few of those.
After all, even the mighty Canon have been having some issues with the EOS R5 until a $400 fix was announced. Could I trust the R3 until "the results are in"?
This Canon EOS R5 fix required a copper plate to be installed at significant cost that would solve the issue. The camera would overheat when recording in 8k for longer periods.
Listen to the Tech Reviewers
Listening to some reviews of the DJI Action 2 on release date highlighted the problems with overheating. What is the point of that?
Why not let reviewers rip with the cameras way earlier and then listen to the feedback BEFORE releasing the product? That way you can address any problems before releasing it and give people a fully tested, reliable, working and outstanding product.
Why Do You Upgrade Cameras?
I absolutely love anything to do with tech, especially in the digital media space. Whether it's photography, video, drones or even music, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting kit.
Gear that will either enhance my work or excite me enough to push me to get off my a** and get out there and be creative.
Perhaps I got this attitude from my "wartime" grandparents but I take care of my kit. I research to the n'th degree before spending good money on anything. Once I know it works and performs well, I keep it as long as possible.
Mostly, I'll only upgrade when the benefits are significant enough to justify the cost.
"Will this purchase add to the bottom line of my business by providing a new or higher quality product or service for my clients"?
"Am I being swayed by swanky advertising, cleverly appropriated "leaks" and that all too common online hype?"
This was the first company to make me" break rank" from Canon. Mostly for video. Whereas the Canon EOS 5D Mark II was groundbreaking for its 1080p video, the Panasonic GH4 knocked it for six.
The GH4 offered incredible 4k video quality and a ton of useful features in a small form camera only bettered by the Panasonic GH5.
I still use the GH5 a lot for B roll as well as filming reviews and tutorials. It was so ahead of its time when released and so jam-packed with features, it is still highly relevant today.
Why I Bought the Panasonic S1H
My most recent purchase of significant value was the superb Panasonic S1H. Even with the new Canon mirrorless offerings tempting me, I decided to stick with Panasonic and even bought this camera more than a year after release.
Note: Maybe that is the way to do it? Wait until the camera has been on the market for a while so you can buy with confidence.
The S1H is a larger mirrorless camera due to the built in, but incredibly silent fan on the back. It's a compromise but a worthwhile one as I can safely and confidently film in 6k for as long as I like. With no heating issues.
However, the autofocus is BAD! Sort it out Panny...
Getting on a bit
Maybe it's my age or maybe it's a financial awareness thing but I've changed. Rather than listening to the hype and jumping on the buy-on-release bandwagon, I've learned to hold back.
When it comes to my main cameras (photo, video and drone), I keep them for as long as possible. I only tend to upgrade when I feel that newer tech will advance my business, efficiency or creativity.
I flew the DJI Inspire 1 for more than 5 years until its untimely demise. That was despite better and flashier drones being on the market.
However, when it comes to "sub £500" gear, I tend to be a bit more carefree. I'll grab something for either reviewing or playing with in the hope I can also use it for my business.
If not, I'll sell it in perfect condition a few months later and see the reduction/loss in sale price as a kind of rental fee.
E.g. Buy a Go Pro for £450. Sell 6 months later for £350. That's 6 months "rental" at £16.66 a month ; )
Are Drones Released Too Early?
As mentioned earlier, my main drone (Inspire 1) died in December 2020 during an ad shoot at sea. Rather than buying an ageing (but still brilliant) Inspire 2, I waited.
I knew the Mavic 3 was in development so last year, I bought the DJI Air 2 to get me by. At least until the Mavic 3 was released. Well, that wait is over and...
Once again, I am (along with many others), disappointed by the poor offering on release despite being overall, a superb drone. Once again, a product release that isn't yet ready for market.
Unbelievable! Check out my thoughts on the DJI Mavic 3. I was so disappointed, I ordered the DJI Air 2s to keep me going until a more suitable M43 drone such as the XDynamics Evolve 2 is released in Europe.
Update November 21st 2021: I've now had my hands on the DJI Mavic 3 so have my thoughts changed? Read and watch my full review of the Mavic 3.
I'd rather spend my time learning and being creative with the kit I've got than chasing the rainbow that is (mostly) just incremental (but tempting) upgrades.
Some of my lenses are over 15 years old and still produce superb images. My tripods are over a decade old and are still solid as a rock. Light is light and I still use two old Canon speedlights and a bunch of aging (but reliable) LED lights.
Don't Fall For the Hype (and Leaks)
Don't fall for the hype. Try not to waste your valuable time on "rumour" or "leak" pages and sites. Use your time learning the art, producing great work or building your business.
Whatever you're waiting for will come. When it does, make sure it's what you need and that it works as expected. It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement and buzz of a new product launch but think about how much time you waste.
Actually sit and work out how much time you spend trawling rumour sites and product leak pages. How could that time be better spent? Use that time to get out there and actually earn the money for that new product.
...there's a thought!
Final Thoughts on Moores Law
I hope manufacturers start to get enough feedback from customers to get them thinking. Listen to people, pay attention and act on that feedback.
I tend to be quite faithful to a company that I love, am used to and that produce great products. I'm happier to wait a few extra months for a product that works rather than jumping ship to someone else because my "bestie" company is starting to fail with its R & D.
Maybe companies should stick to the 18-24 month rule of Moore's Law. They should hold back from releasing products every 12 months "on the dot" to appease their investors and/or catch busy sales periods, and get them fully market ready.