My 2022 Non-Predictions

I woke up to the ZMan’s “2022 Predictions.”  Nothing too shocking in there except he went out on a limb and said the powers that be will force Kamala Harris to resign and be replaced and then Dementia Joe will step aside for a new President.  Now, none of this is original, many have speculated on this scenario.  The replacement president has been either Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama depending on whom you listen to.  But it’s a bold prediction because if it doesn’t happen there’s not much in the way of excuses as to why you were so wrong.  So, bravo to the ZMan for taking a bold stand.

My crystal ball is broken.  I can see nothing in the future except for some obvious trends.  We’re all going to be a lot poorer in the new year.  And that’s just obvious.  The reins of power are in the hands of villains and idiots.  Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, AOC and the rest of the “Squad” are mouth-breathing morons and everything they plan to do spells disaster for this country.  Their energy policy will nationalize the problems that California currently suffers from.  We’ll see blackouts and rolling brownouts and the cost of gasoline, diesel, natural gas and heating oil will march steadily higher.  The cost of food will skyrocket.  Basically, they will eliminate the middle-class.

Will all that bad news lead to voters throwing the bums out?  Probably.  We’re bound to have the Republicans take back the House of Representatives in November.  But will that do any good?  The system is so broken it seems that nothing can stop this runaway train we’re all trapped on.  As usual everything is balanced on a knife’s edge.  The way I look at things there are two ways all this can go.

The first scenario is that the Red States begin to take matters into their own hands and restrain the federal government from destroying our way of life.  That is the preferable way things can go.  It would allow for a controlled braking action to the runaway train we currently are trapped on.

The second scenario is the strong man.  For this scenario let me switch metaphors.  Instead of the runaway train let’s go with the forest fire.  There is so much tinder lying around after the last few years of hurricanes that one lightning strike will burn the whole thing down.  When the strong man shows up, he will be the lightning strike.  And what comes afterwards is completely unknowable.  Out of the French Revolution came Napoleon and from him came the formation of a united Germany and that led to World War I which led to the Soviet Union and on and on and on.  What is certain is that our civilization has become unstable.  The basic beliefs have been undermined by the people who run our society.  This can be seen in the disillusionment of the present generation with marriage and raising families or even working for a living.  And it has reached the pinnacle of dysfunction with the present madness over the concept of transgenderism.  A society can’t thrive when there isn’t a foundation that provides a common basis of understanding.  If we can’t agree on what is good or evil then eventually, we will come to blows.

So, there are my not so Happy New Year’s non-predictions.  More incompetence, more dysfunction and more anger.  More tinder is building up and what is certain is that eventually the breaking point will come.  Plan accordingly.  Find a safe spot for you and yours.

Sony Photography – January 2017 Perspective

Back in August 2016 I gave a retrospective of my 5 years as a Sony photography equipment shooter.  Well it’s about six months later and I guess it’s time to update my opinion and look ahead.

Since then, Sony has not issued another full frame e-mount camera.  In fact, the last full frame e-mount announced was the A7S II back in September 2015.  As a sort of qualifier, I will note that a full frame A mount camera (Sony A-99 II) was launched in late 2016.  This launch combined with the damage to Sony’s factory in April 2016 probably explain this slower release schedule.  During this time, Sony released a couple of APS-C e-mount cameras that exhibited many interesting improvements in auto-focus ability and other important features.  In addition, Sony has announced an impressive number of very good full frame lenses for the e-mount.  So, taking all these mitigating circumstances into consideration you could completely excuse Sony for this slower schedule.

Well, maybe you could but I can’t!  As a certified Sony fanatic, I excuse nothing.  I consider that Sony owes me the impossible each and every day!  Okay, rant over.

Basically, we are still at about the same point of Sony mirrorless evolution as we were back then.  Granted, the APS-C cameras claim to have improved moving subject auto-focus greatly.  And more powerful processing chips have been added to the A-99 II.  But until Sony provides a full-frame that matches the auto-focus of the top end Canon and Nikon cameras from even 5 years ago I don’t think Sony can declare themselves a legitimate option for professional photographers.

In fact, lately it sounds like some of the other mirrorless manufacturers (Fuji and Panasonic) have really solved the auto-focus issues for mirrorless.  Now granted these are not full-frame cameras but it highlights the defect of the A7 cameras in this department.  On top of this I saw an article on a popular rumor site that stated that Sony lost quite a bit of sales ground to its competitors this last year.  Taking this all together it sounds like Sony needs to play some catch up to be seen as a competitor for Canon and Nikon.

Sounds sort of bad.  Well actually, I think Sony has learned that they need to stop churning out cameras with only minor improvements.  I think they are preparing to launch a significant upgrade to the A7 line.  Whether they will launch this series simultaneously with an A9 (professional model) is unclear.  From the perspective of maximizing overall sales I think releasing the A9 later would make sense.  But to get this high-end product out quickly into the market place I rather think launching the A9 at the same time is much more exciting.  Plus, assuming that an A9 would be greatly more expensive I don’t see that these cameras would interfere with each other’s sales.

So what insider knowledge do I possess that allows me to predict the imminent release of these new cameras?  None!

I’m going strictly on gut feeling that Sony knows they have to bust out a really compelling camera (or cameras) now to stay relevant and profitable.  So, there you have it.  I am putting my incredible reputation as a soothsayer on the line and predicting that Sony will announce a ground-breaking full-frame mirrorless camera in 2017.  It will have professional level auto-focus and all the other required characteristics (dual memory cards, good battery life, weatherproof construction) that a professional camera requires.

If I’m wrong may I be forced to take no other photos but selfies with smartphones for a year!