February 18, 2006
Source: USA TODAY
Written By Jefferson Graham
LOS ANGELES — Mary Pat Dorr is a longtime Southern California wedding and portrait photographer who has refused to switch to digital. She swears by film and the trusty Minolta film cameras she takes to all her jobs.
“I still believe film has better quality,” says Dorr. “And I’m not willing to switch.”
But how long can she hold out? The entire photography industry is going through a sometimes painful and costly transition to digital. Film sales declined about 30% last year, according to the Photo Marketing Association International (PMAI).
Meanwhile, digital camera sales increased 12.6%, to 20.5 million units from 18.2 million the previous year.
Analysts who cover the photo industry say that while film and film cameras won’t disappear, they could go the way of vinyl record albums and typewriters.
“In 10 years, we see everything being digital,” says Chris Chute, an analyst at market research firm IDC. Film eventually will become a high-end niche product for art photographers and die-hards, he says.