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Author Topic: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?  (Read 40902 times)

eronald

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Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« on: October 27, 2015, 08:49:27 pm »

Half the posts on the forums seem to be Sony-linked now, since the A7II, R, S came out.

And it looks as if a lot of these posts are made by people who own one of their cams.

Canon profits are down 21%

WTF is going on? I think Sony still has momentum, and as they say they're on a 6 months product release cycle (!) things are going to get even more interesting.

Edmund
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 08:54:09 pm by eronald »
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rdonson

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 08:59:49 pm »

All the interviews with Sony staffers indicate that they are full steam ahead and are looking to out innovate everyone else in digital photography.  It's interesting to see them iterating their technology as quickly as they are.  It's much more exciting than the 3-4 years for Canon to get a couple of new features that should have been firmware updates.
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eronald

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 09:09:53 pm »

All the interviews with Sony staffers indicate that they are full steam ahead and are looking to out innovate everyone else in digital photography.  It's interesting to see them iterating their technology as quickly as they are.  It's much more exciting than the 3-4 years for Canon to get a couple of new features that should have been firmware updates.

I agree with you that the mainstream makers should be doing firmware updates for functionality; this would help their models compete.

Edmund
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 10:40:30 pm »

As someone who has an emotional connection with Sony as an innovator for many years, it is really great to see them getting back to form overall, and in particular in photography!

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 11:42:06 pm »

Canon hasn't released a game-changing model since the 5D2. The 5D3 was a mere evolution, while the 5Ds almost seems like a 'me too' response to high resolution requirements.

Nikon had the D800/D810, which set a new benchmark price for 1Ds3/D3x-level high-resolution, high-performance AF bodies and introduced Exmor in a full-frame format (apart from a few, early, specialised 24MP bodies).

Sony had the A7r, A7s and now the A7rII, which, building on the foundation of the NEX-7 (and the lens collections of everyone else), have really allowed Sony to start competing at the top level (native lens collections notwithstanding).

With regards to still photography, however, Canon appears to have rested on its laurels after the success of the 5D2.
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David Sutton

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 12:50:59 am »

I'm really pleased to see a camera manufacturer not sitting twiddling their thumbs and pushing some boundaries. If the industry is getting a shake-up then Canon/Nikon have brought it on themselves.
The difficulty for me is keeping up with what Sony is doing without forgetting that my XT-1 is actually doing the job I purchased it for, and the combination of lenses and body is giving me the results I want.
A few times this year I've had to remember not to rush in to have the latest and best gear without also developing the vision to use it. Don't want to end up turd polishing.
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David Anderson

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 01:22:06 am »

Eronald, Canon profits are down because they've delayed the 5DIV too long and Sony profits are up because they release a new model every other day.
If I was a Canon user I would be happy knowing my investment in the latest and greatest will be relevant for a few years and if I was with Sony, I might get a bit tired of the quick change-over.

As a Nikon user I'm happy to sit here on the fence with the 800's and get my happy snaps while enjoying the race..  ;D

Seriously, it's all a pretty god problem to have from a photographers point of view.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 02:17:18 am »

Hi,

The wait between my Sony full frames was quite long. The cycle between the A7r and the A7rII was over two years, and between the A900 and the A99 it was four long years. Clearly, Sony has several lines of cameras so releases are frequent. Let's just say the wait for the A99 was painful and so was the wait for the A7rII. It was painful enough to seriously consider switching Canon or Nikon several times.

My feeling with Canon is that they have a tendency to keep the horses in the stable as long as possible. With the 5Ds/5DsR they have revamped much of their lens line up before releasing the 5Ds/5DsR. The new cameras were also refined to reduce vibration. The 5Ds/5DsR was released so it hit the shelves just before the Sony A7rII.

What we see is that the market gets saturated. Most cameras are simply good enough for most things we need to do. Digital cameras sensors are analogue devices, and among those possibly the most complex ones. Developing a new sensor takes say about 3 years. A company that dominates the CMOS sensor market has several generations of sensors in development simultaneously. Canon can not keep up with that.

Canon could of course put their new 50 MP sensor in a 6D style body and sell a lot of them at a lower price.

In general both DSLR and compact sales are going down, that applies to both Canon and Nikon. With mirrorless the market is still in development and gains are possible.

Sony is in a sense well positioned in the mirrorless market as they have several lines of cameras, both APS-C and full frame. It could be argued that Fuji, Oly and Panasonic make better cameras, but neither of those have full frame cameras.

Nikon D800 users are well positioned, although I understand that the D810 is a major upgrade in many ways, and the D800 has been around a long time. But happy D800 users don't earn a lot of Yens for Nikon unless they buy a lot of new lenses.

Best regards
Erik


Eronald, Canon profits are down because they've delayed the 5DIV too long and Sony profits are up because they release a new model every other day.
If I was a Canon user I would be happy knowing my investment in the latest and greatest will be relevant for a few years and if I was with Sony, I might get a bit tired of the quick change-over.

As a Nikon user I'm happy to sit here on the fence with the 800's and get my happy snaps while enjoying the race..  ;D

Seriously, it's all a pretty god problem to have from a photographers point of view.
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hjulenissen

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 02:29:48 am »

I agree with you that the mainstream makers should be doing firmware updates for functionality; this would help their models compete.

Edmund
I am all for firmware updates. The problem is how to ask for continual product development _without_ accepting lowering the quality at product introduction?

It seems that rapid software updates motivates any commercial actor to release products "as soon as the hw is done". Then early customers gets to be beta testers while the software team gets things sorted out. I don't want too much of that in a camera.

I'd like a camera that is thoroughly tested and tuned at release. And I want my manufacturer to respond to changes in customer behaviour, new knowledge etc with relevant added functionality over the product lifespan.

I will perhaps be crucified for saying this, but perhaps the software model used by Apple for their iPhones is appropriate: run (ostensibly) the "same" software across a span of product generations. Owners of new products gets better performance and added hw features. Owners of older products gets bug-fixes and added features where possible, but possibly more "sluggish" operation. The art then is to define the "cutoff point" of when and for what feature a platform is moved from "actively supported". If done correctly (and if the model suits the particular product), you get to release new hardware at a rapid pace, you keep the software implementation costs in check, and you get (hopefully) happy and loyal customers. Both software and hardware development is visibly a part of doing well in the market place, and may thus be expected to get the needed resources internally.

I expect that internally, Canon and Sony and friends re-use code and modules heavily. But there is no expectation that a new software feature (say, one that does not rely on particular hardware to run well) will be included in older products. Software innovation is (more or less) intrinsically coupled to the push for buying new products.

-h
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 02:33:50 am by hjulenissen »
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hjulenissen

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 02:38:06 am »

Eronald, Canon profits are down because they've delayed the 5DIV too long and Sony profits are up because they release a new model every other day.
If I was a Canon user I would be happy knowing my investment in the latest and greatest will be relevant for a few years and if I was with Sony, I might get a bit tired of the quick change-over.
As a Canon user, knowing that my 7D was "top of the line APS-C" for many years meant nothing to me. Why should I care if Canon release improved models every 6 months or 4 years if I don't buy them? And if I end up buying them, then that is a conscious decision where I seem to be happy that something is offered?

I have to defend spending some money on a camera because of what it can do now and while I own it. My assumption is that it will be worth zero when I am done with it. Then I will sell it cheaply, and the images that it has helped me produce will be the remaining value of the original investment.

If I was into investment I would purchase stocks or (perhaps) Leica gear.

-h
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synn

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2015, 02:49:09 am »

For years, Mirrorless was pretty much as Asia only thing (Far east, that is). But Sony has managed to turn the tide in Europe (And maybe in North America, I wouldn't know). This is why Mirrorless sales are increasing.

For most who post here who are leaning towards DSLRs for various reasons, nothing has really changed. But for a lot of mom and pops who buy their latest vacation trip special, entry level DSLRs are no longer the default option. This is where the sales are dropping in favor of the Mirrorless options. Not in the 5DS/ D810/ A7R2 stratosphere.

In my case for example, I do and intend to do my highest quality work with an MFDB and don't foresee that to change anytime soon, but my travel work, which was previously done with an APSC DSLR is now done with a Fuji kit. I am sure I am not the only one. There's not a lot DSLR makers can do to curb this trend other than release their own competent Mirrorless alternatives. The EOS M is a disgrace and the Nikon 1 series is a good platform which is destined for a niche status because of the sensor size. Canon and Nikon definitely have the right products sitting in the basement labs, the beancounters just need to be convinced that they need to sell them, YESTERDAY. Hopefully, numbers like these would be the wake up call.
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eronald

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2015, 04:07:59 am »

Canon is unhappy.

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdigicame-info.com%2F2015%2F10%2Fpost-743.html%23more&edit-text=&act=url

My japanese is really bad. Can someone translate this accurately?  "業績の足を引っ張らない事業にする"

Edmund
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eronald

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2015, 04:19:43 am »

I can understand that Canon is unhappy:
 - First Sony sold Apple and all the Android cloners superb camera modules that killed all the compacts.
 - Then Sony sold Nikon, Olympus and Pentax sensors and made them nasty competitors while increasing its revenue
 - Lastly Sony brought out lens-compatible (adaptable) AF systems on their cameras, and turned Canon into a third party lens maker.

I suspect there is more of the same to come on the lens side. If you don't need an optical finder, lens design gets much easier. And cheaper.

Edmund
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hjulenissen

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2015, 04:22:58 am »

If you don't need an optical finder, lens design gets much easier. And cheaper.
Why is that? Are you thinking about register distance of mirrorless vs SLR or something else?

While an ultra-wide angle for the A7rII may be expected to be smaller and lighter than an ultra-wide angle for a 5Dr, I am not sure how much cheaper it would be for a given "quality of results"?

For tele lenses, I guess that the difference would be close to zero?

-h
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eronald

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2015, 04:28:27 am »

Why is that? Are you thinking about register distance of mirrorless vs SLR or something else?

While an ultra-wide angle for the A7rII may be expected to be smaller and lighter than an ultra-wide angle for a 5Dr, I am not sure how much cheaper it would be for a given "quality of results"?

For tele lenses, I guess that the difference would be close to zero?

-h

I think completely different designs become possible. Only you cannot see/use the image directly, it needs to be electronically processed. Which of course is the case for an EVF non-film camera.

Edmund
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2015, 06:57:32 am »

There is a balance at play, a company can either:

1. Replace cameras on a shorter cycle, say 6 mo or 1 y

2. Replace cameras every 3 y to 5 y

If you are in case #1, you may be able to create more "enthusiasm" and momentum. If you are in case #2, you may be perceived as a non-innovative company, that is boring, etc. But in case #1, you may also be perceived as a company that lacks focus, and is just taking pot shots randomly to see what sticks (I think that Sony is now more focused than before).

Some well known Canon cameras (e.g. 5D and 7D) have had life spans of what 5 years or more? Perhaps they lasted longer because they were really good to start with? Because in spite of other lawns having greener grass, their users were happy with them? Don't know.

What I know is that in every brick and mortar photo store I go to, in several countries, EVF cameras occupy space on the back shelves, up front I still see DSLRs from Canon and Nikon. Lisbon, and Portugal in general, is now a place that has seen a large increase in tourist influx; the majority of tourists I see carry DSLRs, not EVF based cameras.

In the end, I still see a dissonance between what I read from users in this site, and the real world. It seems that a large part of consumers still prefer to stick with what is well known and perceived as traditional camera brands?

Theodoros

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2015, 08:46:05 am »

I believe that the OP question of the topic, should be rather "Is FF mirrorless taking over our corner of the world?"... IMO, Sony's success has little to do with the sensor quality, or resolution, or size... It has mainly to do with "fullfiling creative photographer's needs that other makers can't at the moment"...

FF mirrorless has advantages and disadvantages over traditional DSLRs... the main disadvantage is that it has no optical VF... This is a major disadvantage for creative photographers that use their cameras handheld as one is unable to visualize the outcome from an artistic point of view - the most important of photography's fundumentals for directing a capture... OTOH, a very small percentage of camera users are photo-graphers as to realize the problem... one can tell, by them comparing OVF cameras with EVF cameras and mostly by them confusing how good an EVF maybe for framing, with the ability of the human brain to visualize properly by having direct contact with lighting...

OTOH, there are many advantages... to start with there are many cases that the "visualization study (and thus directing)" of a scene is done without one looking through the VF, (most cases where a tripod is used) where one uses the VF only for framing... For these cases, the absence of mirror box gives a huge (technical) advantage to the user since....

1. The camera can be used with a variety of lenses that are no where near to what a DSLR line offers,
2. The camera can be used instead of an MFDB on a view camera with a much wider range of movements than a DSLR would ever have (and many less aberrations or vignetting involved),
3. The camera can be integrated into any DSLR system via adapters with the minimum possible requirement for new lenses and used in parallel to it,
4. The camera can do video much better (for all the above reasons)...

Because of the above reasons, I believe that (FF) mirrorless sales have little to do with Sony itself, but rather with filling the marketing needs with important aspects that where absent before Sony introduced the A7 series...

That said, I believe that FF mirrorless sales will continue to grow for as long as there is enough marketing saturation (which the DSLRs have achieved), but I also think that there will be more players involved in that (separate to mirrorbox DSLR) market... In fact I believe that the rest of the makers are late... something that shows how smart the "golden boys of crap" that run major firms are.... Unfortunately, the people that run photography makers companies have  little to do with photographer's needs and thus their judgement is always wrong on marketing needs...
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hjulenissen

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2015, 09:30:29 am »

Some well known Canon cameras (e.g. 5D and 7D) have had life spans of what 5 years or more? Perhaps they lasted longer because they were really good to start with? Because in spite of other lawns having greener grass, their users were happy with them? Don't know.
In my view, Canon waits for 5 years, then introduce too little innovation. I.e. they take both small steps and seldom steps.
Quote
What I know is that in every brick and mortar photo store I go to, in several countries, EVF cameras occupy space on the back shelves, up front I still see DSLRs from Canon and Nikon.
At my supermarket, the food companies have to "pay" for superior spots on the shelves. Thus, visibility in the shop tells ut nearly nothing about how popular a product is.
Quote
Lisbon, and Portugal in general, is now a place that has seen a large increase in tourist influx; the majority of tourists I see carry DSLRs, not EVF based cameras.

In the end, I still see a dissonance between what I read from users in this site, and the real world. It seems that a large part of consumers still prefer to stick with what is well known and perceived as traditional camera brands?
99% of the consumers (including all of my "non-enthusiast" friends) have abandoned their camera a long time ago and use their iPhone/Samsung mobile exclusively. When asking if they would like a better camera they reply dryly something like "why would I waste time, money and effort on a camera when this thing does all that I need"?

The question then is what is left for the camera-only manufacturers. I guess that the "pro" marked is still here. Some people will buy relatively expensive stills/video cameras to use for work or pleasure. The Sony A7 series seems to really make some buzz in that segment. Then you have the "prosumer", typically buying low-end Canon DSLRs, m43 and the like. It seems that US, European and Asian markets really differ in that segment.

-h
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Chuck Fan

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2015, 09:45:02 am »

Looking at the Americans visiting more famously scenic spots in the US (not kitschy tourist traps) over the past few months, I have to say at least half of those taking pictures came with a late model DSLR with kit lenses.

It seems to me the percentage of people with a real camera goes up dramatically the further off the main highway the scenic location happen to be.  It needn't be far at all.  2 miles seems enough to weed out 75% of the iphone snappers.
 
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2015, 10:57:28 am »

Lets see the following scenario: average photographer wants to buy a camera and lens. Say he has several options, of course, and compares a FF DSLR and 24-105 f4 zoom kit, with a EVF FF and 24-70 f4 zoom kit. The former costs around EUR 2500, the latter around EUR 3000 (say a Canon 6D vs. Sony A7II). For some, that is a significant difference. Plus, traditional DSLR systems offer an incomparable variety of lens for expanding one's system. Remember, the photographer in case does not care about using adapters and so on. All he wants is to leave the shop with the feeling and guarantee that he made a good choice for his/her money. Arguably, DSLR systems are a very compelling option for our customer. If you go APSC format, the gap is even larger in favour of the DSLR. I mean, the other day I saw a kit with two zooms being sold by EUR 300...

Another scenario is the pro photographer, who only changes if he/she sees and feels there is a compelling reason to do so. Most pros I know actually value stability, which is a reason why Canon ergonomics have changed little since say the days of the Canon T90... if it works, don't mess with it. For Sony, this is a big challenge, as they are perceived as a company that changes products lines too much, without hardly ever completing one line, or fully committing to a product line. Canon EOS and Nikon have been around for decades, they offer reliability. Sony offers "innovation" and "fun" (or does it), but all could be over in 2 or 3 years (see Sony NEX line for example). Look at Samsung NX1 as another example; is anyone using it?

Finally, a third scenario is the "enthusiast" photographer, who wants to downsize the gear, but without compromising on quality. This is where Sony is having a success with the A7 series. A great combination of size, sensor quality, and some top quality lenses (with the help from ZEISS). And with (now) reasonable menu systems and ergonomics. This is what I have changed to in the last year or so, and it is working fine for me. I can carry the same quality with less bulk and weight. But to be honest, in the back of my mind, I still have a lingering doubt that Sony will "innovate" something in the future, and drop the A7 system... Again, look at Sony NEX line, it went the way of the Dodo for Sony APSC, not to mention the A mount system...
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