When one reaches a certain age, they have the experience, and the leisure, to reflect back on all of the changes they’ve seen, all the technologies that were once cutting edge, but were replaced by something more convenient, more capable, better. The Japan News reports on one such change:
Canon announced Wednesday it would end sales of its EOS-1v, the last remaining model of film camera that the company has sold in Japan. The company’s film cameras, which symbolize Canon’s old-time roots, will come to the end of their 80-year history.
As the sales of film cameras have been on a decline due to the spread of digital cameras, the company stopped the production of the EOS-1v in 2010 and currently is shipping its remaining stock.
The company said it will continue to accept repair orders and other customer inquiries until Oct. 31, 2025, even after finishing selling the product.
It was inevitable. The advent of digital cameras and home computers cut deeply into the film and camera industry, even those early digital cameras could not compete in image quality. Where they could compete was in convenience, and that convenience was the death knell for Polaroid cameras and film.
In the late 1970s, I did crime scene photography, and used some of the best cameras available:the Olympus OM1 and OM2. For instant photography, I used a Polaroid SX-70, state of the art at the time. The quality and features of these cameras were a revelation at the time, and they served me well. But eventually, even though the new digital cameras couldn’t match the quality of Kodak film, the ability to take, and immediately see photographs caused me to sell my film equipment, and now, image quality is of sufficiently high quality that the age of film is coming to an end.
I remember my first record player. My parents got one for my sister and for me. Monoral–not stereo–and to play 45s, one had to stick a little plastic adapter into the hole in the 45. Stereo took care of those. When I think back on the miserable quality of the first home stereos, I shake my head in wonder, but they were better than a tinny sounding mono player with a cheap needle.
My first car, a mid-60s Corvair convertible, was pretty neat. My parents got it for me because I wanted a motorcycle. They were convinced I’d kill myself, so figured the car would distract me for at least awhile. It was pretty amazing: a car that had been genuinely driven only by a little old lady to church. It was actually pretty nice, and the truck looked as though it had never been opened after the vehicle left the factory floor. It had a radio common at the time: AM only, and a single, tinny speaker mounted in the center of the dashboard. Then my mother and sister took it on a trip and hit a deer, which trashed the front of the vehicle. The radio, sadly, survived. We all know what happened to the Corvair and AM radios with single speakers.
Cassette tapes were important to me as the 1970s dawned. For the first time, I, a budding musician, could actually record the pseudo-musical noise that drove my parents to distraction. Computers and CDs surpassed that technology.
Remember Beta videotapes? Mrs. Manor and I choose a Betamax machine for our first home video. It was enormous and weighed about 35 pounds! We eventually switched to a JVC VHS format, which was about eight pounds lighter, because there were far more available movies, and it had a remote control–on a long cord.
It’s amazing how much simple technologies can change society. VHS, and the ability to play and record movies at home, changed everything. Prior to that technology, if one wanted to see “adult” movies, it was off to a disreputable little “theater,” where popcorn and other goodies weren’t the point. Virtually overnight, that business disappeared. Add in home video cameras, and entirely new industries grew like weeds. Whether the growth of the porn industry is a good or bad thing is debatable, but the transformative effects of technology remain.
And on my, oh my, how motorcycle technology has changed. I’ve had a few, but I’ll never forget my first bike, a two stroke Yamaha 180. I loved that little machine, but compared to contemporary bikes, it was crude indeed. I remember–oddly soundly–having to constantly top off the oil tank. Oh how I lusted for a triple cylinder, 500cc Kawasaki two stroke street bike, the fastest crotch rocket of the day, but they were too pricey, and my parents had no doubt I’d kill myself on one of those.
And then there are cell phones…
I could go on and on, but how about you, gentle readers? What have you seen? What has changed for you?