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Author Topic: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial  (Read 36035 times)

jjj

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #40 on: May 21, 2015, 07:04:08 PM »

Then by definition every person on the planet is conservative, because there is far more to understand than we'll ever be able to. 
I said not wanting to understand, a very different thing. Nothing to do with context or value judgement.
However I'd say the US is pretty conservative on the whole, when seen from a European perspective.
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jjj

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #41 on: May 21, 2015, 07:06:28 PM »

My bad, I didn't realize that Michael's proposed exposure mode was magical.
It'd be helpful if you quoted who you are replying to.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2015, 01:01:33 AM »

Hi,

My take on this is that the good times are over. We are simply close to saturation. Also the cameras are essentially good enough.

Where to go now?

1) New markets. Many places in the world have expanding economies. China and India are prime examples. These markets are less saturated than the traditional ones, I would assume.

2) Moving upscale. Canon have been quite smart on improving their lens programme and eventually introduce a new camera that actually makes use of those lenses.

3) Increase margins. Lower production costs and sell higher priced products. Sony is good at this, the cameras are very simple as they remove many moving parts. Calibration and adjustment gets much easier if you move AF to sensor, remove a flipping mirror and a folding mirror on the backside of that mirror and an AF device. Just two things in order to keep things aligned sensor and lens.

4) Connectivity. A camera with built in cell phone is not a bad idea. Cell phones are practical as photographic devices but DSLRs are pretty useless as communication devices.

I would say that we have enough megapixels for up to A2 size prints, 16-24 MP is good enough for that. Going up in resolution has advantages but that may be theoretical more than practical. For instance, it could be argued that better resolution allows for better sharpening with less artefacts. Obviously a high resolution system allows for more cropping than a low resolution one.

A2 may be the largest size folks may be printing as desktop printers are normally A2 or smaller. But, if a larger print is needed the advantage of more pixels can be seen. My own experience is comparing my 24 MP Sony Alpha 99 with my P45+. Up to A2 size I cannot really see any advantage of the larger sensor. At A1 I would say the advantage of the 39 MP P45+ is clearly visible, at least at close scrutiny.

Another smart move from Sony is that they have set the E-mount free. Anyone can have access to specifications and there is no licensing. So, lot of vendors can make lenses for the Sony. The Zeiss Loxia and Batis lenses are examples of that. Now, the Loxia lenses seem to be a reiteration of the ZM lenses but the Batis seem to be constructed for Sony from the ground up. The Batis lenses go far ahead E-mount in integration, tough, that lines of lenses needs some deep cooperation with Sony.

Best regards
Erik


ErikKaffehr

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2015, 01:11:22 AM »

Hi,

A typical astronaut flying the (now discontinued) Space Shuttle used to be an Air Force Colonel or so. Mission specialists have generally some higher degree within some field of science.

A story says that they planned a day of instruction to learn the astronauts to load the IMax camera before going to space. They, just opened the camera and put in the film. Training done in a few seconds. Oh, they obviously cheated. Found the manual and read it before going to training.

I guess that any airline pilot needs a lot of training on all aspects of the aircraft they are flying, down to wiring diagrams for essential systems.

Best regards
Erik

So, you are an astronaut? (cool) Are you ok riding a rocket designed by a nerd who is not concerned about getting you to land where you are pointed at? Do you care if the fellow designing your "systems" wants you to make a soft landing? Or are you ok with making a splash at the point you were aimed at?

Personally, I would be more interested in gaining that engineers "passion" for getting me where I want to go and living through the landing. Just sayin'

Dave Millier

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2015, 08:30:25 AM »

Companies in consumer tech markets seem to be feature copiers.  Company A adds a new feature, within 6 months every competitor does something similar. Feature-wise the products tend to converge so you have lots of choice but no choice.  They also tend to feature bloat which I guess is the consequence of endless small iterations in product cycles.  As an owner of many different brands, what I see is that they differ most in form factor, control layout and operational details.  You can own a dozen cameras and find they everyone fun of them is deficient in some annoying way. I can certainly blend my idea of the perfect camera from the models I have in the cupboard but I suspect I shall never be able to buy such a beast.  The best chance we have of getting designs that are highly refined for practical field use rather than simply random collections of features is to have the decision makers on design matters being actual photographers who use the products daily.

Just to give a couple of examples:

1. Michael reviewed Canon models for years and remarked on how inconvenient it is to acutate mirror lock up yet nothing was done. If the design boss was a photographer shooting lile Michael does this would have been a major issue that needed to be fixed. I guess he wasn't and didn't care about such a trivial thing so it went on and on and on.

2. I have 3 fuji cameras and none of them is capable of  automatically displaying a histogram immediately post capture like every other serious camera can. You have to go into playback mode to see a histogram like a p&S from 1999. What's going on here, does no one at fuji ever check the highlights aren't blown? A split second glance on the post capture preview screen is all it takes and every camera provides this useful function - except Fuji. It's so annoying

Actually, here's a third:  on EVF based cameras, it is very helpful to be able to see shooting info on the screen.  It can also be very distracting to have the screen covered in a hundred icons. Many manufacturers allow some customisation of the info shown but in my experience you can never customise it exactly how you want it.  I like the my fuji's do it because it can be set to be quite minimalist, I almost like the way my Panasonic does it because you can have a minimalist screen with just the essential data BUT if you want to see the live histogram, you have to have the whole screen covered with dozens of icons!  Why don't vendors make this fully programmable?  There is a firmware hack for older canon P&S called CHCK or something that allows you to program exactly what is displayed and exactly where on the screen it should appear. This is the kind of benefits you can get from opening things up. 

I don't always agree with Thom Hogan but he makes some good points.  The good old days may have ended for volume camera sales but there is still plenty of scope to explore niche markets and pick up every sale from currently un-served customers whose needs aren't like a homogenised hypothetical mass market buyer.


Hi,

My take on this is that the good times are over. We are simply close to saturation. Also the cameras are essentially good enough.

Where to go now?

1) New markets. Many places in the world have expanding economies. China and India are prime examples. These markets are less saturated than the traditional ones, I would assume.

2) Moving upscale. Canon have been quite smart on improving their lens programme and eventually introduce a new camera that actually makes use of those lenses.

3) Increase margins. Lower production costs and sell higher priced products. Sony is good at this, the cameras are very simple as they remove many moving parts. Calibration and adjustment gets much easier if you move AF to sensor, remove a flipping mirror and a folding mirror on the backside of that mirror and an AF device. Just two things in order to keep things aligned sensor and lens.

4) Connectivity. A camera with built in cell phone is not a bad idea. Cell phones are practical as photographic devices but DSLRs are pretty useless as communication devices.

I would say that we have enough megapixels for up to A2 size prints, 16-24 MP is good enough for that. Going up in resolution has advantages but that may be theoretical more than practical. For instance, it could be argued that better resolution allows for better sharpening with less artefacts. Obviously a high resolution system allows for more cropping than a low resolution one.

A2 may be the largest size folks may be printing as desktop printers are normally A2 or smaller. But, if a larger print is needed the advantage of more pixels can be seen. My own experience is comparing my 24 MP Sony Alpha 99 with my P45+. Up to A2 size I cannot really see any advantage of the larger sensor. At A1 I would say the advantage of the 39 MP P45+ is clearly visible, at least at close scrutiny.

Another smart move from Sony is that they have set the E-mount free. Anyone can have access to specifications and there is no licensing. So, lot of vendors can make lenses for the Sony. The Zeiss Loxia and Batis lenses are examples of that. Now, the Loxia lenses seem to be a reiteration of the ZM lenses but the Batis seem to be constructed for Sony from the ground up. The Batis lenses go far ahead E-mount in integration, tough, that lines of lenses needs some deep cooperation with Sony.

Best regards
Erik



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bythom

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2015, 10:27:01 AM »

Micheal's idea for Sony is probably close to something they'll pursue. It won't help the camera industry one bit. It might sell a few more Sony cameras than Nikon D810s.

Since I was mentioned earlier in this thread and dismissed, I would like to point out that my point has been and continues to be that cameras have not progressed with the high tech progression. And I think my track record in Silicon Valley shows that I was always just ahead of the curve, not behind it or deviating from it. I'll stand by my ability to analyze tech. After all, my PhD work was in New Technology and Management. If I can't understand where tech is and where it is going, than I failed in my academic endeavors.

The camera makers treat new cameras much like a computer maker treated computers in the 90's: just add the latest CPU from Intel and a feature or two and call it new. At the point where clock speeds didn't really make much difference to what the user was doing, sales stalled. A few makers rethought the product and modernized it with new capabilities that better matched the other things that a consumer/business might be using. That is NOT really happening in the camera business. When it does happen--WiFi for instance--it happens with inadequate and limited capabilities and terrible software implementations. Why all cameras can't pull GPS data from my phone, why we're still restricted to 8.3 filenames where all the characters are reserved, why motion sensors haven't really been used for anything other than moving lens elements or image sensors (and with poor discrimination, which is one reason why we keep seeing bad results in a specific shutter speed range), why cameras don't detect temperature and adjust noise reduction, and a host of other things that are happening elsewhere in tech, I don't know. I can only think of two reasons: inability to recognize new opportunities, or laziness.

Over time, all hardware products become software devices. If there's anything I learned in my decades in Silicon Valley, this is key. If you've paid attention to what's happened to your car, it's true there, too. Detroit has done a better job of running with the trends in tech than camera makers, and that's an indictment of the camera makers, not an endorsement of the auto makers.

As for the suggestions made by ErikKaffehr, here's my reaction:

Quote
1) New markets. Many places in the world have expanding economies. China and India are prime examples. These markets are less saturated than the traditional ones, I would assume.

New markets have a habit of skipping over old technologies in tech. A good example is cellular and solar in Africa. Easier to put up cell towers and use solar panels than it is to wire huge parts of the world that don't already have them. What's happening in most of the emerging markets is that the smartphone is replacing other things very rapidly. In order to fully take advantage of a DSLR, you'd need a computer. What if you skip having a computer? ;~)

The camera companies have been chirping about how emerging economies would be the new growth for quite some time now. Then in their financials they put statements like "China's sluggish economy meant that we didn't get the growth we expected." But what's really happening is that the person you'd want to sell a US$500 camera to in China isn't buying one, they're using their smartphone.

Quote
2) Moving upscale. Canon have been quite smart on improving their lens programme and eventually introduce a new camera that actually makes use of those lenses.

This is another of the camera company mantras: when business gets tough we go upscale in order to get more dollars from fewer people. This is EXACTLY what's happening right now, and it isn't stopping the trend. Indeed, it has the potential for worsening the decline in camera sales and creating just a small, high-end niche market. This is the same tactic the HiFi companies took, and look where that got them against CDs and eventually MP3s.

You must embrace what's actually happening with all your potential customers, not try to micromanage a few of the existing ones.

Quote
3) Increase margins. Lower production costs and sell higher priced products. Sony is good at this, the cameras are very simple as they remove many moving parts. Calibration and adjustment gets much easier if you move AF to sensor, remove a flipping mirror and a folding mirror on the backside of that mirror and an AF device. Just two things in order to keep things aligned sensor and lens.

This, too is already happening. Even in DSLRs. Just disassemble a D5500 versus a D5000, for example. But it doesn't actually relate to the problem at hand: how do we sell more cameras? Demand for cameras is down (soft), thus prices for cameras will go down (soften). All cost management does is try to retain or increase margin as prices go down. But the problem isn't that prices are going down. That's a symptom. The problem is that demand for cameras is going down. Way down. Precipitously down. This means that there is something fundamentally wrong with the product definition as it is currently being practiced.

Quote
4) Connectivity. A camera with built in cell phone is not a bad idea.
Connectivity good, cell phone not so good. We don't need to duplicate a smartphone inside a camera. The Nikon and Samsung experiments in Android cameras have pretty much proven that. A camera needs to be a camera. But it absolutely needs to today connect to your other things. And it needs intelligent software inside when it makes that connection.

Technically, cameras are way behind the times. The reason why I don't want it to be a smartphone is that my smartphone is better at so many things than the camera is. Take post processing, for instance. On the back of our cameras we have basically a VGA monitor. On my smartphone I have an HD monitor. Far better. So if I'm going to change anything about the image I shot, I'd rather do it on the smartphone than the camera. Even better would be to use my tablet or laptop. But look at what Nikon's doing: their mobile app for iOS and Android limits the size of what's brought over to the phone or tablet and has no way of talking to my laptop. Dumb. Stupid dumb. It's done this way because of costs and time, in all sorts of ways. But that just solves Nikon problems, not user problems. If you don't solve the user problems, Nikon will have MORE problems ;~).

Heck, we still have USB 2.0 stuck into most cameras. And even the USB 3.0 in the D810 seems to be bandwidth limited. Thus, we still need card readers to transfer files fast. Sneaker net for the 21st Century.

Since this is the rantatorial forum, let me rant: the camera makers are headed to near extinction with their present course. Yes, Fujifilm and Sony are doing some nice things. Doesn't matter if you only sell a few hundred thousand of them a year.

Michael had one thing dead on that should send shivers down the spines--what remains of them--of the camera companies: each year fewer cameras are being sold, but each year far more images are being taken. That's the Kodak problem, all over again (each year fewer rolls of film were being sold, but each year far more images were being taken). The results, if you ignore addressing the problem directly, will be the same for the camera companies as they were for Kodak.

People think I started writing about all this to get hits on my Web site, to massage my ego, or some other silly thing. No. I started writing about the coming problem last decade because I don't want to see the business that I am part of die off. I wanted to elevate the discussion of what cameras in the future needed to look like. I even went to a couple of camera companies in Japan at my own expense and showed executives there what the world was going to look like and how they should change their product to live in it. I don't want to see Nikon (or Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Sony, et.al.) fail. But that's where they're headed with current practices. That should bother all of us who use cameras. The industry that produces our key tools is now short-sighted and in trouble. That industry is not finding new customers; it's mostly living off those of us incrementally updating our gear. That means that ILC sales will plummet more than 50% more in the coming few years down to something in the 4-6m unit a year range. At some point, it is no longer a "consumer business."



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amolitor

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2015, 11:59:43 AM »

I have a PhD in mathematics, but since I haven't actually done math in a few years, I'm no longer specially qualified to comment on the field, except in very broad and fairly vague terms. Just sayin'.

The point I am trying to make is this:

- the community of internet-famous technophile photography pundits, taken as a whole, has a general habit of telling the Camera Industry how to fix their problems by saying, essentially, Stick more technology into it, and build an awesome camera just for me.

- this is a bankrupt strategy. The pundits are telling the buggy whip manufacturers that if only they would use more modern glues the whole car problem would go away. The car problem is not going away, the buggy whip industry is going to suffer a drastic contraction, and that doesn't have anything to do with buggy whips. Going after the buggy whip side of the equation is not going to lead to salvation.

- it is, however, an excellent strategy for drawing an audience, since the aforementioned pundits have an audience consisting largely of technophiles. Telling technophiles that the answer is more technology is always a popular strategy. Whether it's right or not is irrelevant, when your job is punditry.

The DSLR makers need to plan for survival in a new world. They are not going to wish the new world away, nor will they engineer it away.

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amolitor

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2015, 01:13:42 PM »

Just to expand slightly, and point out the precise fallacy that is in play. Let's pick on Thom's USB 3.0 example.

Upgrading from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 in any product of any kind is a differentiator. The purpose of rolling this out is to separate your product from the competitor's. You're already dealing with a customer who's going to buy. The feature serves to help the customer decide which product to buy.

There are two points here:

- determining whether or not a differentiating feature is worth it or not is a solved problem. All the players have plenty of staff who know how to do it, and we should assume that they're doing it. Included in the calculation: expense of doing it, projected increase in revenues, and degree of difficulty for a competitor to match the feature. The last one is arguably the most important, incidently.

- differentiating features do not create new markets, nor do they substantively alter existing ones.

So the Internet Pundit Standard Speech is:

- the market is collapsing
- the solution is to try to capture a slightly larger slice of the collapsing market by building me a camera

To which the only really sensible response is 'Huh?'
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Peter McLennan

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2015, 02:49:17 PM »

Michael has been making this point for years, and now Thom Hogan (welcome!) has chimed in with the same point he's been making for years on his site. 

Namely: It seems like nobody at the big camera companies actually uses their products.  The camera designers do not appear to be photographers.

To which we all should be saying "WTF?". 

Kodak failed due to conservative, short-term thinking.  With few exceptions, the big camera makers seem to be displaying the same attitude. If they persist, they'll likely suffer the same fate. 

I used Sony professional camcorders for years and it was very apparent that their camera designers were photographers.  Every button, every knob, every connection point was designed with the user in mind. And if something was wrong and we complained about it, Sony fixed it.

I'm a long-time Nikon user, but were I starting over, it'd be Sony all the way for me. Many's the time I've said to myself about my Nikons "It's a good thing I can make such good pictures with this thing, because it's sure a PITA to use."

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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2015, 02:52:41 PM »

... - differentiating features do not create new markets, nor do they substantively alter existing ones...

Perhaps not, but they are like the  proverbial gym shoes when chased by a lion: they won't help you outrun the lion, but they will help you outrun the competition ;)

P.S. For those not familiar with the joke: Two guys in a jungle come around a corner and meet a lion head-on pawing the ground. One guy ever so carefully reaches into his knapsack and slowly takes out a set of Nike running shoes, never once breaking eye contact with the lion. The second guy hisses: "What are you doing, you can't outrun the lion" And the first guy says: "No, but all I have to do is outrun you"!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 03:08:06 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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AreBee

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2015, 02:57:19 PM »

Slobodan,

Quote
...like the  proverbial gym shoes when chased by a lion: they won't help you outrun the lion, but they will help you outrun the competition

I'd be willing to bet that lions prefer the taste of lean meat to fat.
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Dave Millier

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2015, 04:22:28 PM »

So, all the people who aren't interested in photography but who thought digital cameras were fun, got bored and switched their attention elsewhere (and will switch again and again). That leaves a drastically smaller market but a market of people who actually do photography and care about the fine details of their cameras, not just whether they have move MP than their neighbour Joe's.  They ought therefore, make a bit more effort to keep what's left of their customer base sweet by working hard to make their cameras work well in the field and be very practical. Kind of back to the film era, really.


I have a PhD in mathematics, but since I haven't actually done math in a few years, I'm no longer specially qualified to comment on the field, except in very broad and fairly vague terms. Just sayin'.

The point I am trying to make is this:

- the community of internet-famous technophile photography pundits, taken as a whole, has a general habit of telling the Camera Industry how to fix their problems by saying, essentially, Stick more technology into it, and build an awesome camera just for me.

- this is a bankrupt strategy. The pundits are telling the buggy whip manufacturers that if only they would use more modern glues the whole car problem would go away. The car problem is not going away, the buggy whip industry is going to suffer a drastic contraction, and that doesn't have anything to do with buggy whips. Going after the buggy whip side of the equation is not going to lead to salvation.

- it is, however, an excellent strategy for drawing an audience, since the aforementioned pundits have an audience consisting largely of technophiles. Telling technophiles that the answer is more technology is always a popular strategy. Whether it's right or not is irrelevant, when your job is punditry.

The DSLR makers need to plan for survival in a new world. They are not going to wish the new world away, nor will they engineer it away.


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amolitor

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2015, 04:28:52 PM »

Many commenters and pundits continue to conflate the problem of better serving the buggy driving market with the problem of the car.

Sony might outrun Nikon but they'll find that they're still in the jungle with a lion.

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bythom

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2015, 05:14:10 PM »

Quote
Many commenters and pundits continue to conflate the problem of better serving the buggy driving market with the problem of the car.

Your analogy might have applied to the transition from film to digital, but it doesn't apply to the transition from digital to digital ;~). Again, fewer cameras are being sold, but MORE photos are being taken. With things that have image sensors, memory, communication, etc., in them, just as do cameras. One has to conclude that there is something wrong with the way cameras are being developed, which gets me to this:

Quote
It seems like nobody at the big camera companies actually uses their products.  The camera designers do not appear to be photographers.

To a degree far more than it should be true, that's true. I have to compare Tim Cook's wearing and using an Apple watch for months before it was introduced to what I see the Japanese camera management teams doing. It's generally easy to see when a company is truly interested in the customer versus when they're not. It's generally easy to see when a company uses their own products and the ones designing it test it to the nth degree in real situations before launching it. Plus one really sad truth about camera advertising for years and years now has been this: many of those images you see in the ads weren't actually taken with the camera in question. Often not even by the brand in question.

Quote
- the community of internet-famous technophile photography pundits, taken as a whole, has a general habit of telling the Camera Industry how to fix their problems by saying, essentially, Stick more technology into it, and build an awesome camera just for me.

First, I'm a photographer. Second, I have decades of experience in consumer high technology. Third, I want my problems solved. Apparently you don't want problems solved. Fourth, there is exactly zero ways to insure that a problem you're facing with a camera product actually gets heard by someone in Japan that has a chance of fixing it. Even those of us who cover the industry, those of who use the pro products professionally, rarely get a chance to give direct input about our experiences into the teams that design the products we use.

As for "stick more technology into it," I don't know how you move into the modern era without using technology, both hardware and software. That was true when I entered the PC business in the late 70's, it's true today, and I think it'll be true in the future. We can try the alternative if you wish: take technology out of the product. Don't think that's going to make anything any better.

Quote
Upgrading from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 in any product of any kind is a differentiator.


No, it's a performance upgrade. USB is a standardized way of communicating between devices, it's not there for differentiation. NOT updating to the newest standards is akin to saying to your customers "you don't need any additional performance."  If you wanted to differentiate with the basic communication channel, you'd do something like introduce Firewire ;~). Oh, wait, Nikon once did that, then changed their mind.

My point in mentioning USB was simple: if the camera companies are going to insist on the current workflow models (and that includes for tethered shooting, which a lot of us do), it would be nice if they'd pay attention and keep the product up to date with the current technology. In other words, they can't even keep what they've been doing current in terms of technology, and it means that all of us pros in our studios are stuck with the same performance as we had over a decade ago when tethered.

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rmyers

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2015, 07:20:04 PM »

More people are using phone cameras to make images now, and for a lot of people, these are more than adequate.  Can the major camera manufacturers find a way to convert those people back to the type of cameras they make, or can they somehow jump on the phone camera train?

If no, what is left?  What is left is the enthusiast market and the professional market.  The question is how many units per year this market represents, especially with the level of performance being offered by current cameras?  The number of people that are using a camera phone represents a loss of units sold per year.  The fact that many, especially enthusiasts, have no real reason to upgrade their "traditional" camera represents a loss of units sold per year.  

How many camera companies can survive serving the reduced market?  Mergers and acquisitions could be an answer.  Real technological advances could be an answer, but is there enough market left to pay for real technological advances, if any in fact exist?



 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 09:03:32 PM by rmyers »
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amolitor

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #55 on: May 23, 2015, 09:39:17 PM »

There are two quite distinct markets.

There are the several billion picture-takers whose needs are perfectly satisfied by the smartphone. Perfectly. This market is unavailable to Nikon, Canon, et al. The market, in the industry parlance would not let them succeed because what they would need to do is build a smartphone, and the market is pretty full up on people who are very good at building smartphones.

The few million people who want a camera for one reason or another is what's left. That's what Nikon, Canon, et al have to work with. Unless someone can figure out how to create a radical market shift, this is the playing field, and it is shrinking. Fiddling around with exposure modes and USB standards is not going to make the playing field any bigger.

There's no magical "well if you just put the right tech into it, you'd capture a measurable slice of the smartphone picture takers" because, let's review, those people already possess a device which perfectly satisfies their needs. To capture any useful slice of this, you'd have to build a better smartphone (whatever that even looks like) and persuade a useful population that a Nikon-built smartphone is actually a thing they ought to buy. This is a total non-starter. Would you buy a Nikon phone? No, you would not. Nobody would.

I've said essentially this before in this thread, I think, but apparently to no effect. In fact, in the very first reply to this thread,
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 09:49:58 PM by amolitor »
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amolitor

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #56 on: May 23, 2015, 09:46:08 PM »

"USB 3.0 is not a differentiator, it is a performance upgrade"

What? "differentiator" is not the opposite of "performance upgrade". What on earth are you going on about?

Of course it's a differentiator. It does not in any fundamental way change your product, it simply makes your product do the same thing faster. So you introduce it NOT because it's a game changer, because it opens new markets, because it allows users to use your product in fundamentally new ways.

You introduce it because you think you can sell some more units on the faster performance before the other guys catch up. You introduce it because the other guys haven't yet.

And my point is that without a game changer, you're just making better buggy whips, and Henry Ford is still eating your lunch.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #57 on: May 23, 2015, 10:39:42 PM »

... There are the several billion picture-takers whose needs are perfectly satisfied by the smartphone. Perfectly.

I think, Andrew, that you are overplaying this argument.

Yes, there are those who are "perfectly" satisfied by the smartphone. And yet, there are others, within the same group, who are seeing the limitations of their phone cameras (noisy low-light situations, flash photography with permanently burnt retinas, not just red, etc.). I am actually often bugged by friends, total amateurs, who want to step up, to recommend them a "true" camera. I am trying to persuade them their phones are good enough for their needs, yet they keep coming back, asking for a step-up advice.

amolitor

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2015, 10:57:52 PM »

Well, it HAS been pointed out to me that it's a bit tautological. There IS a set of people whose needs are perfectly served by the smartphone, and for that group, by definition, the smartphone is the perfect device. But that is not the whole of what I am saying, by any means.

How big is that perfectly-served group? I dunno. It's not 100% of the cell phone picture-makers, for sure.

There's always a spectrum and some blurry lines and some overlap. I simplify, indeed, for the purpose of argument. But the basic thrust, I maintain, is correct, that the camera makers are excluded, irrevocably, from the mass market of picture-making-people, because they build cameras and not phones.
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Telecaster

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Re: "No Guts, No Glory" rantatorial
« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2015, 11:46:33 PM »

I'll just say—as someone who prefers using dedicated cameras to smart devices for pic taking, yet who uses the latter quite often as well—that unless camera makers start paying heed to the kind of tech advances their more serious customers insist upon, $$ will stay in wallets.

No more incremental upgrade BS. Michael's desire for perfect-as-possible exposure every time…do it, period. Easy-peasy full data set wireless communication with my smart devices…do it, period. Firmware updates direct-to-camera, no intermediary devices needed, with undo capability…do it, period. Idiotic shutter speed choices in Av mode with Auto ISO enabled…fix it, period (I'm lookin' at you, Sony…but not just at you). In a shrinking market you must start listening to your customers…so do it, period. Otherwise, as Thom (rightly) implies, you'll be the next Kodak. And you'll deserve it.

-Dave-
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 11:48:44 PM by Telecaster »
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