The technological edge...
Digital Photography, by its very nature, demands that we develop our technological edge to its pinnacle... consider the speed of production and the demands of the Internet and WiFi. The photographer is challenged with being able to repeat and swiftly shoot his subject, then get the goods to the printer or Internet location. Unlike the film days, where your production was held up by your darkroom or your selected developer... you are now responsible with reliable digital "turn-around."
Time is money, more so, now, than ever before. This point was clearly made as I attended the WPPI Conference, last week, and sat through many of the provided Platform classes. If you want to be competitive, significant considerations have to be made concerning the reliability and capability your equipment. What you made due with in the past simply will not be competitive in the coming years. Software advancement, Internet speeds, access points and the expectations of the client all come into play and exert their respective pressure.
Why the manufacturers are choosing to ignore significant advances in technologies eludes reasonable explanation, as far as I can tell. It tends to be embarrassing to try and explain the manufacturer's rather short-sighted nature by their not addressing and adopting these changes. The clients are raising their expectations. The up and coming photographers are also.
I took the time to seek out the SONY Engineering Representative, at the WPPI Trade Show, to discuss building a camera body with RF Flash control inside of it. All he did was run behind the counter and show me a couple RF solutions that third party manufacturers had come up with, that required the use of the Hot Shoe and an SONY/Std. Hot Shoe-adapter. It had none of the true TTL control aspects of the SONY flash system and as such, was not a true solution, as there was no ratio control or flash group segregation. What is needed is a true SONY solution, because SONY (by choice) is a proprietary flash system (You make your own bed, you must lie in it). Again, through discussion, I made clear the advantages of having complete menu-control of the flash system, from the camera, itself. The representative understood the concepts involved and the restrictions currently experienced trying to make use of the third-party offerings.
SONY is unique in that it only has its OWN flashes to consider, not Canon or Nikon. Whatever road they want to take, it is exclusively their baby. Compliance is at their choice, not some outside force. Making their system reliable and improved for longer distance only improves their offerings, not those of the other manufacturers... placing SONY in the forefront of the technology... not in rear, as they are now, because SONY is not compliant with the accepted standard the other manufacturers have stuck with.
Now, I suppose ducking under a rock and saying... "the old ways still work" might be some recourse, but that attitude is just in error. You are only deluding yourself with the belief that the world is not changing. News flash... it is and it has. Change is the one constant we all can take comfort in, annoying as it may be.
I would say that those who can grasp the bleeding edge of this business are the ones who will eventually walk away with the lion's share of the profits. Those who want to play it safe, will safely retire... early! You want to do everyone a favor? Grasp the concept of an improved, better thought-out tool to work with. Forget the idea of resisting change... just make sure it is change for the right reason and one we can all live with.
The edge belongs to those willing to push their ideas forward, not sit in a cave waiting for someone to come knocking to see what's up.