As we’ve said, Phase One is remarkable if for no other reason than its foresight and longevity. It set the bar for many systems: it was a model for many of the developers of competing cameras, and many of the features it’s had from the start were integrated into programs like Lightroom and Aperture, as well as Bridge and Camera RAW. By the same token, we’ve seen all of the systems cherry-pick features from popular applications, and even consumer-targeted software. One of the most interesting things, as far as an industry perspective goes, is that Phase decided to adapt its industrial strength powerhouse for the DSLR market as an independent product. No other MFDB company took that gamble, and it’s a move that both served Phase One and the industry as a whole very well. Much of what happens from here for this software depends on sales of digital backs in the whole, but it’s pretty easy to see the future.
Ultimately what we’re going to be seeing is the continued convergence of this technology and the integration of more Photoshop/Bridge features in all of the systems. After the corporate shakeout that we saw in Fall ’09, Phase One is now supporting certain Leaf systems and there’s fairly reliable gossip that Leaf Capture will be replaced either by some flavor of Phase One Capture that is similar, or by Phase One Capture entirely. As the bulk of photographers move away from the tethered shooting model that digital photography started as, the software is going to adapt.