Have you ever witnessed a piece of technology so grand that you knew it would change the world eventually? When digital cameras hit the mass market, I knew your traditional 35mm camera was dead. Sure, the quality of film photography was better in the beginning, and I still think film takes better pictures. But for everyday snapshots, you just can't beat that little digital camera.
During Christmas, my Mother-in-Law mentioned that she couldn't find 35mm film at the grocery store anymore. I thought nah, people buy film for the Holidays, they're just out. So on our shopping adventures yesterday, I stopped in the photography section of my local Wal-Mart to pick her up some film. They had a couple rolls of Advantix film and a four pack of 800 speed 35mm and that was it. Lots of throw-away cameras, but no film. Three do-it-yourself kiosks for downloading your pictures, but no film.
Huh, maybe the mega-grocery store would have some. Nope, same deal. Lots of disposable cameras, a couple rolls of Advantix, and a few four-packs of 800 speed 35mm. Not even an empty peg where the normal speed film would go.
Now we were on a mission to find either 200 or 400 speed film. Our next stop took us to our local mega-drug store and sure enough they had film. Not a wide selection, mind you, but they had enough to choose.
So what's the significance? Certainly film's not going away. But in the very near future, I'm expecting that the only place you'll be able to pickup film is at a camera shop. I think everything film related becomes a botique item and may actually revive many camera shops that have been wondering about how to survive in a digital world. In the mean time, I wonder if there is a market for Cannon AE-1's on ebay....