Thom Hogan's June 6th commentary is a must read for any camera manufacturer. What dSLRs really need isn't so much an imporvement in image quality, or better autofocusing system, but better connectivity. In addition, the dSLR, which cost an upwards of $800, should at least have support some of the iPhone's function (read below).
You might say "horses for courses," iPhones for facebook, dSLRs for prints, but I'm sure we will all agree that cameras should take a page from the Apple's book.
Why is the iPhone Photographer-Centric?
Not too long ago I wrote "It also seems interesting that the iPhone got to HDR, pano-stitching, and more, faster than most compact cameras. Photography-centric." One of you wrote me an email that provoked a further thought there.
If you weren't paying attention--and I'm pretty sure the camera companies weren't--Apple just solved another of the dreaded problems we photographers face. Simply put, Apple devices put all photos, whether taken just this minute with your iPhone, iPad, iTouch, or built-in camera on your Macintosh into the cloud. Apple iCloud to be particular. (I'm sure someone at Nikon will say today "we already have My Picturetown, we're safe". That person should be fired.)
What problem does iCloud solve? Well, the concept of Ingest is gone. Go on vacation with your iPhone as your camera, take pictures, and they've magicly showed up already in your Macintosh's iPhoto (or even your PC's Picture's folder) when you arrive back home. You don't do anything other than take pictures. Your device will automatically transmit them to the cloud. iCloud doesn't act as a permanent storage repository, though: you have to save them to an album within 30 days, but that's a one button process. No more keeping track of cards, loading them via a card reader to your computer, storing them somewhere. Basically a tedious manual process is reduced to a single button back home. While only photos were mentioned in today's WWDC Keynote by Steve Jobs, I suspect that videos will end up the being clouded the same way. If not immediately, then not too far into the distant future.
So, virtually all regular cameras still don't even have a real-time communication capability and now they also don't have an automatic ingest ability, either. As I've been saying for several years now, the camera companies are looking more like the car companies and turning into dinosaurs that are getting seriously in danger of extinction if the don't start evolving.
Those two things taken together mean that, instead of taking a Coolpix on a future vacation or trip, you'll just take your future iPhone and when you get home, find all of your photos waiting for you on your home PC or Mac. Waiting for you. Not you waiting for them (to ingest). Or you could have reviewed them on your iPad in your hotel rooms along the way, again without doing anything other than just opening up the Photo App on your iPad.
So, if you're working at a camera company reading this, wake up! I've been warning you for over two years now. You don't have a lot of time before you lose a good portion of your customer base, and worse still, that's the younger crowd that should be feeding your sales for the next 50 years you're about to lose. 35mm film had a ~100-year run (1892 to 2003 or so). "Compact" digital cameras have had a ~30 year run (Sony Mavica in 1981 to present), but as often happens with technology, the runs get shorter with each new generation. We're rapidly moving into a nebulous storage medium, the cloud, and given Apple's introduction today, photos will be at the forefrount of that, not waiting to be admitted at the pearly gates of bit heaven at some later date. The change happenedtoday.
Still not convinced? Consider this: you and I are the first two people to show up at some spectacular news event. You've got a new D4, I've got an iPhone 5. Whose images do you think will show up on CNN first? Oh oh. That's not a good answer for the camera companies, is it?