Photography was more fun 30 years ago. The pursuit of quality had many different alternatives and each one had a different result.
When digital photography was in its beginnings I was very excited about all the different possibilities. Instead manufacturers decided to grab one film camera in its line and just put a smaller sensor. Voilß, here is your digicam!
Film was restricting for the shape, form, size, etc. of the cameras. Sensors can be fabricated in any size and put anywhere inside a camera. The possibilities for variety in digital cameras is mind boggling! Despite this, we are still in the middle (I think) of the transition after 12 solid years of very successful sales. The transition means this lack of variety of cameras to choose from and the so many missing features that pros loved so much and that disappeared with digital cameras.
Sensor design and manufacturing have proofed to be very complicated, but c'mon! we still don't have a true 645 sensor after all these years! (very close but not there yet).
Prices are still insane. Question No. 1: How many parts are in a last generation digital back? Question No. 2: How many parts are in $42,000 2012 japanese car? I know, oranges to apples (as usual).
Truth is, film photography came the other way around. Large format photography was born on the same day photography did. Digital photography started with the tiniest format possible to grab an image. I think, this is the origin of why so many professionals feel the emptiness of the format, of the approach, of the possibilities. Sometimes as a photographer, I feel like an orphan, like an abandoned child. Digital cameras are of course the true nirvana of the casual or recreational photographer.
So, the blame is not only on camera manufacturers. I see they are struggling to compete and even sometimes to survive but I see 2 things missing in their operations: True imagination and bigger balls. I could mention greediness but I remember they are not Mother Teresa.
P.S. I read Mammy645 post about "The digital revolution" in the "Great time to buy HB" thread and liked it so much that inspired me to write down my own thoughts on the theme (but didn't want to hijack). Thanks for reading.