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Mike Smith
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Articles written by Mike Smith

Why 2018 Was When Nikon Pivoted to Mirrorless (and Canon followed)

By 2018 Apple was worth $1 trillion, the US-China trade war had intensified, LeBron James reached 30,000 NBA points, and Black Panther starred in the box office. Camera manufacturers finally stopped flogging the dead horse of DSLRs, with 2018 truly the year of mirrorless. But what happened?

How 2011 Fundamentally Changed the Camera World

It was the year that Osama Bin Laden was killed, Barack Obama was President, the Space Shuttle was retired, and "Game of Thrones" was premiered. Meanwhile 2011 turned out to be one of the most pivotal years in camera history, putting us on the path to where we are today. Here's what happened.

Why 2003 Was the Tipping Point: Nikon Relinquished Its Advantage and Canon Cemented Its Digital Future

It was the year of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, iTunes, the final Concorde flight, and the invasion of Iraq. George W. Bush was President, and Tony Blair Prime Minister, whilst Serena beat Venus at Wimbledon and the Devils won the Stanley Cup. In cinemas "Matrix Reloaded," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Finding Nemo," and "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" first aired. But what happened during 2003 in the photographic world?

Pentax: The Dying Brand?

Pentax is one of those loved brand names that inspires confidence and loyalty among its followers, a result of its engineering excellence and value for money. Yet, it has been largely absent from the camera market in recent years. Has it slipped into a commercial coma, and will life support be switched off shortly?

How 1995 Saw the Birth of the DSLR but Manufacturers Kept on Making Film Cameras

Bill Clinton was President, John Major was Prime Minister, the 49ers won the Super Bowl, and Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf were Wimbledon champions. It was the year that the Space Shuttle docked with the Mir Space Station, the World Trade Organization was formed, there was a serin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, OJ went on trial, the Oklahoma City Bombing took place, Windows95, Dolly the sheep was cloned, eBay went live, and Braveheart, Toy Story, Babe, and The Usual Suspects were released. But what happened in the photographic world?

How 1987 Led to Canon's Domination of Photography

In 1987, Ronald Reagan was president, Mathias Rust landed his light aircraft in Red Square, and the stock market crashed on October 19, dropping 22% in a single day. Fox also made its primetime debut, the Simpsons aired for the first time, and "Robocop," "Dirty Dancing," and "Good Morning Vietnam" were all released. But what happened in the photographic world?

Are Photos Living Entities?

A photo is taken in an instant, snapped as you perceive the moment, recording indefinitely the raw values encoded from the sensor to the memory card. How then can a photo be a living entity?

Have You Bought an Experimental Camera and Not Realised It?

Cameras are expensive, and you spend your hard-earned cash in the expectation that not only will your purchase be the latest and greatest, but that it works out of the box. Would you still buy it if you knew it was at least partially experimental?

Is the Sony E-mount Already Becoming Obsolete?

Mirrorless… the one design to rule them all. The master of the full frame is undoubtedly Sony, however has it inadvertently introduced a short-lived shelf life with some in-built obsolescence?

What is the Best Way to Fire the Shutter?

It is surely the simplest of operations — instructing the camera when to take a photo. Surprisingly, for such a straight forward task, there are a myriad of ways to actuate the shutter. What are they and what is the best?

The L-Mount Alliance: Too Little, Too Late?

The L-Mount Alliance marked the culmination of a remarkable period in the history of the (digital) camera. However in five years time, will we look back and see this as the beginning of the end? Was the L-Mount Alliance simply too little, too late?

Isn't Boudoir Just Softcore Porn? [NSFW]

The visual arts have a long history with the naked form. What could be more natural than nakedness, more natural than how we entered the world? Or are we kidding ourselves, and is boudoir just softcore porn?

Will This Be the Next Camera Manufacturer to Fold?

Selling cameras is a tough business and it's only getting tougher. The market for digital cameras is contracting at a dizzying rate, so which camera manufacturer is going to fold next?

How Long Do Your Images Speak For?

When you look at an image, how do you interpret it? Is it able to inform you about what has preceded the events that are depicted and what is about to happen? The ability of an image to "speak" is something John Berger believed lifted it from being ordinarily graphic to providing a visual narrative.

Why Camera Manufacturers Are No Longer Relevant

It might seem with the focus upon the remarkable achievements of the latest smartphone cameras that traditional camera manufacturers have realized they are playing catch-up and trying to chase down the proverbial boat. The truth is that they've already missed it.

Top Five Life Rules for Photographers

Photography is a microcosm for the real world, and in many ways, it mirrors it. Here are my top five rules for life that I've transferred to photography.

The Next Camera You Buy Should Be Film

To take The Buggles out of context — digital killed the film star. But just as podcasts are one of the biggest growth areas in media, so is film on the up. Forget buying digital. Your next camera should be film, and here's why.