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Author Topic: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?  (Read 42823 times)

MarkL

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #220 on: November 12, 2015, 08:01:01 am »

It's interesting how those who consider themselves threatened somehow by Sony report on their financials.Unit sales down but operating income up by 5.8 %.

Funny how that seems to have escaped being reported. Less junk more quality ?

I wonder if it is do with the $1000 price hike on their recent A7 body releases or perhaps it is lens sales.
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shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #221 on: November 12, 2015, 08:18:18 am »

I wonder if it is do with the $1000 price hike on their recent A7 body releases or perhaps it is lens sales.

They also moved more interchangeable-lens bodies (bith SLR/SLT and mirrorless) in Germany during the quarter than either Canon or Nikon.

Not sure about worldwide, though.
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BJL

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same story all round? camera sales down; a shift towards higher profit models
« Reply #222 on: November 12, 2015, 11:25:07 am »

So now Sony reports their camera sales are worse than Canon's slide of 24%.  Sony sales demand down 27% Nikon 11%.

Sony reports camera sales slump of 27%

It seems to be the same story for everyone (Canon, Fujifilm, Sony and several others) in recent financial reports:

1. The total number of cameras sold is down yet again, due mostly to the continuing decline in the high-volume, low-priced, very low margin  "point and shoot" market.

2. There is some compensating shift in product mix towards higher-margin products, so camera division profits can actually be holding up.  I think that this is not mostly about selling more DSLRs, but a lot of higher-level fixed lens cameras like the big-sensor compacts and the super-zooms, both of which do something that no phone-camera comes close to, while still being distinctly more compact than a DSLR.

3. However, those P&S sales are still the biggest volume part of the market for "cameras that are not also phones and computers", just not a very profitable sector.  So it is an exaggeration to say that compact P&S cameras are "dying".

4. Corporate financial reports to not break out sub-categories that are a tiny fraction of the total activity of the company, so I doubt there is any conspiracy in the news coverage of Canon, Fujifilm and Sony not reporting on the details of ILC sales.  At most, the company will briefly mention any good news in such a category.

Surprised that Sony's cellphone dropped by 3 million units in third quarter too since they seem to the be sensor king for now.

Sony is doing great business selling camera modules that go into iPhones and such,  but a bad job of persuading people to buy those modules wrapped in a Sony Android device instead of buying something from Apple or Samsung or various Chinese competitors.

Perhaps in the spirit of all those recurring suggestions that Sony could kill off Nikon by refusing to supply it with sensors, we will get the proposal that Sony Semiconductor Inc. can help is struggling sister corporation Sony Mobile Communications Inc. to kill off the iPhone and take over its market share by cutting off supplies of phone camera modules to Apple, its best customer for those modules.  But in both cases, there is a lot more to a successful product than the sensor.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 11:29:07 am by BJL »
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zlatko-b

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #223 on: November 12, 2015, 11:44:08 am »

How do they compare when both are mounted on an A7r/A7rII?

I don't know. Neither DxO no LensRentals has that comparison. However, LensRentals tests them on an optical bench, so the results are irrespective of a camera sensor.  On DxO, the Sony/Nikon/Zeiss/Sigma lenses get a boost because they're tested on a 36mp sensor, while all of the Canon lenses are held back by being tested on a 22mp sensor.

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #224 on: November 12, 2015, 01:06:54 pm »

Hi,

I am pretty sure that Roger's tests are a correct measure of lens sharpness at full aperture. Lens Rentals do not report MTF stopped down. That may be good as a means of quality assurance, but for a photographer like me - who is shooting stopped down 99% of the time - it may not be very relevant.

Something I have seen quite a few times is that lenses can improve quite a lot when stopped down a half stop.

It is definitively clear that the high rating at DxO is to a great deal caused by the higher resolution of the Sony A7r they test with compared to the 20+ MP Canons.

On the other hand, I have seen that my 90/2.8G is good enough to outresolve the Sony A7rII even fully open and it seems to perform best at f/4.

Roger has compared it to the Zeiss 100/2 Macro Planar, and the Planar was much better than the 90/2.8G, but the Macro Planar is known to have a lot of (secondary?) axial chromatic aberration which doesn't show up in the MTF curves but very much in out of focus images. I don't know if the Sony is better in that area.

Would be nice to be able to test all available lenses, but I can only test stuff I have payed for. And too much testing takes away time from making pictures.

Best regards
Erik


I don't know. Neither DxO no LensRentals has that comparison. However, LensRentals tests them on an optical bench, so the results are irrespective of a camera sensor.  On DxO, the Sony/Nikon/Zeiss/Sigma lenses get a boost because they're tested on a 36mp sensor, while all of the Canon lenses are held back by being tested on a 22mp sensor.
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scooby70

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #225 on: November 12, 2015, 07:24:35 pm »

...there are reports of a lot of black sunspot issues if shooting into lights or sun.

The Sony rumor site is reporting that Sony are working on a firmware fix for this.

I believe the Blackmagic had the same issue?
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D Fuller

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #226 on: November 12, 2015, 08:36:55 pm »

The Sony rumor site is reporting that Sony are working on a firmware fix for this.

I believe the Blackmagic had the same issue?

I'm sure they are. And yes, BM had this issue. So did Red, way back in 2007. Firmware fixed it within the first year, but there was a lot of hand wringing.

It seems odd that any CMOS camera gets released with this issue. Are they just not paying attention?
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D Fuller

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #227 on: November 14, 2015, 01:54:30 am »


D Fuller,

Blackmagic silently fixed their issues, RED got to it pretty quick and by the time I bought my first R1 it had zero issues.

In fact, I'd heard so much neg stuff about RED I thought twice until I talked to RED saw some footage and how dedicated they were into making a cinema camera.

My first R1 I use more than my second R1, much more than the Scarlet and because I'm not a huge fan of the Scarlet I cancelled my Epic order.

On the project we just finished we started with the REDs, but conditions, number of setups, the run and gun nature of the project I went with the Sony A7sIi and a 70d.

I'm mixed about the Sony.  In fact I think it's a work in progress.  You really can't compare any 8 bit or 10 bit small camera shooting h264 even at a high bit rate to a cinema camera, so looking at RED footage next to the Sony probably isn't fair.

Then again, things like banding with just a slight pull of a curve with plenty of light freaks me out, which means it's not ready for pro work.

At least with my example, maybe I've got a fluke.

I'll give it one more try on something personal, using a 10 bit recorder, but I don't have high hopes and I really had thought it would perform, though I think it will be on the used section of my shelf soon.

I have to admit, I have a lot of respect for black magic.   I don't know how well they're funded, but they have offered a lot of lower cost cinema quality cameras to a group that could never afford the rentals, much less the purchase of an kitted out Arri.

IMO

BC

Cooter,

Please don't misunderstand my comment. I'm not dissing Red at all. I think they handled the black sun issue very well. And at a time when what they were doing was truly hard, and truly breaking new ground. I owned Red One #172, so I went through a lot of those early firmware revisions. And I know how hard they worked to make that camera perform.

And I think Black Magic handled it OK too, though I wonder how they missed the noise around the issue that Red endured. But they were doing a lot of things in a short time, and those cameras were truly a work in progress when they were released.

Sony is a different story, and that was my point. Sony is a mature camera company (at least in the video worlds) with a lot of resources. And for them to release a camera with this issue is hard to understand. I'm sure they will issue a firmware fix, but really? It's 7 years on from the Red One release, shouldn't this just be a part of the standard list of things a CMOS firmware programmer has to check off? Maybe these companies don't watch each other the as much as I expect. And maybe that explains why the a7 cameras don't seem to have learned from anybody else's UI.

I'm as mixed as you are about the Sony. Ana I don't think your camera is a fluke.

I bought an a7s to compliment my Epic for low light, and for light-weight b-camera use. And to be honest, there was so much hype about it I had to see for myself. I want to like the camera, and I do like some things about it, but it frustrates me. It's slow to use, it's a PIA to focus, and the menus go on forever. And can I say this? The files just suck compared to to Red files. You better get everything the right color when you shoot, because grading is just an uphill slog. (Maybe I'm just spoiled by Redcode.)

The Sony performs well in available darkness, where pretty much nothing else works, or with plenty of light. But the high ISO stuff just seems to be a novelty. My Epic looks better at ISO 2000, and I don't  shoot much that needs more ISO than that.

I do think your demos of stabilization are interesting, so there's that for the new version.

DAF

P.S. Between you and me, (and 1000 other people on this forum, I suppose) I think the Epic is a lot more camera than the Scarlet. It's not just the frame rates, though it's nice to have those, but I think the additional processing and better compression ratios matter. You can also shoot a bigger frame than you intend to use and have room for real post stabilization in Resolve or AE. And if you kit it out with an evf and not too much other gack, it makes a pretty nice run and gun camera. It's not light, really, but with Nikkors or Zeiss ZFs I can hand-hold it all day, and I'm not young. I loved the pictures my Red One made, but I'm just not strong enough to shoot with it the way I can with my Epic.
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shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #228 on: November 14, 2015, 02:24:29 am »

The Sony rumor site is reporting that Sony are working on a firmware fix for this.

I believe the Blackmagic had the same issue?

So did the 5D2.
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BJL

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Olympus sales follow the same trend from compacts to higher spec models
« Reply #229 on: November 14, 2015, 07:09:44 am »

So now Sony reports their camera sales are worse than Canon's slide of 24%.  Sony sales demand down 27% Nikon 11%.

Sony reports camera sales slump of 27%

The first half financials from the Olympus camera division also fit the trend away from compacts, though with an overall improvement due to cutting losses on compacts by making less models and actual gains in sales of ILCs, so it went from losses to break-even. The bottom line of the summary at DPR is
"Olympus' net sales of compacts in the first half are down 11% compared to last year, while mirrorless sales are up 22%."
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 07:13:31 am by BJL »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Olympus sales follow the same trend from compacts to higher spec models
« Reply #230 on: November 14, 2015, 07:51:08 am »

Hi,

Yes, camera sales are going down. That is totally expected when:

  • Every potential buyer has a decent camera
  • Almost any decent camera is essentially good enough

So camera makers scale down, cut costs and try to increase prices by adding perceived value.

Best regards
Erik

The first half financials from the Olympus camera division also fit the trend away from compacts, though with an overall improvement due to cutting losses on compacts by making less models and actual gains in sales of ILCs, so it went from losses to break-even. The bottom line of the summary at DPR is
"Olympus' net sales of compacts in the first half are down 11% compared to last year, while mirrorless sales are up 22%."
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Hans Kruse

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Re: Olympus sales follow the same trend from compacts to higher spec models
« Reply #231 on: November 15, 2015, 06:12:21 am »

Hi,

Yes, camera sales are going down. That is totally expected when:

  • Every potential buyer has a decent camera
  • Almost any decent camera is essentially good enough

So camera makers scale down, cut costs and try to increase prices by adding perceived value.

Best regards
Erik

+1.

And pretty much the similar reasons PC sales has been going down. They are not obsolete, but they live longer despite some make poor quality to make up for it ;)

shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #232 on: November 15, 2015, 09:29:21 am »

It's a sign of transition from an emerging to a mature market, nothing more. Now that everyone who wants one has a mirrorless or SLR camera, and all of them do a decent job for basic photography, one is onlyh driven to upgrade when a compelling new or improved feature is introduced, not with every single body. In my case that's IQ - hence I bought the 5D2 (transitioning from MF and 617 film) but not the 5D3, then the A7r series. For action photographers, that feature may be AF or low-light capability.

Just like in the case of PCs - people are driven to upgrade not by each new, faster processor or other component that comes out, but only when personal needs or software creep necessitate a faster system. For internet browsing and office use, that may be once in 5-10 years (usually due to breakdown rather than obsolescence). For those working intensively with graphics software or high-end gaming, this may be every cycle.
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MarkL

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #233 on: November 15, 2015, 10:47:58 am »

It's a sign of transition from an emerging to a mature market, nothing more. Now that everyone who wants one has a mirrorless or SLR camera, and all of them do a decent job for basic photography, one is onlyh driven to upgrade when a compelling new or improved feature is introduced, not with every single body.

Yes, this is the camera market shifting back to normal after the disruption the move to digital caused so declining sales are to be expected. The digital gravy train for camera companies is ending.
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shadowblade

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #234 on: November 15, 2015, 11:12:27 am »

Yes, this is the camera market shifting back to normal after the disruption the move to digital caused so declining sales are to be expected. The digital gravy train for camera companies is ending.

There are three other competing factors here that will affect sales.

Firstly, back in the film days, anyone who wanted a camera of any sort needed a standalone model, 35mm or greater. This is no longer the case, with the proliferation of phone cameras and other 'tiny sensor' cameras, for those who just want snapshots. Therefore, the number of people who would potentially buy a dedicated camera (interchangeable lens or not) is significantly lower than in the film days.

Opposing this is the obsolescence of sensors and other aspects of digital cameras. A manual-focus film camera could serve you well for 20 years - the sensor was automatically upgraded every time a new film formulation was released, you were always up with the best of the time, and there was no AF to worry about. A digital camera, however, does not automatically keep up with the best and latest. As yet, no 35mm-format manufacturer has released a model with interchangeable or upgradeable sensors/backs. Therefore, the upgrade cycle is shorter than with film - although the proportion of people prepared to buy a camera may be lower, they are buying bodies more often.

Finally, there is the ongoing increase in the potential market size. The population is steadily increasing. Increasing wealth in developing nations, as their populations shift from poor to middle-income to wealthy, also increase the potential pool of buyers.

Whether the baseline sales of still cameras will be greater or less than in the film days is still uncertain, but, regardless, the future of digital imaging sensors has never been brighter everything from photocopiers, to fingerprint-linked technology, to 'smart' face-recognition security systems, to bionic eyes, to robotics, uses them in a multitude of sizes.
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eronald

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #235 on: November 15, 2015, 12:06:20 pm »

When it comes to digital cine, the prerequisite for film cam replacement was that no one should be thrown out of work, so bad sound and no wireless mic integration,  no decent AF, no stabiliser, etc etc. This way the sound guy still has his job, the focus puller his, the steadicam guy his. And the whole thing must cost a fortune so the rental house can pay out the backhanders. If the above weren't true, the crew would have rushed to explain to the director that the Cinealtas or Arris or Reds were unusable for "real work". Compatibility with unionised working practice is the most important feature of new industrial tech introduced into an existing workplace.

Of course, now that film has gone the way of the dodo, cameras will become more integrated and flexible. For all I know, they might even make a gadget that turns an ipad into a decent monitor viewfinder with touch focus when appropriate, and add multichannel wireless mic receivers into the camera bodies, provide in-body stabilisation, allow standard industry SSDs to plug right in and do in-camera RAID and striping, rather than demand proprietary media, output Raw straight to a connector,  and price these things like the latest batch of Sony FS*. I don't do any "professional" work but I find it amusing that cameras now look like cockroaches on life support with stuff sticking out at every angle.

Edmund

There are three other competing factors here that will affect sales.

Firstly, back in the film days, anyone who wanted a camera of any sort needed a standalone model, 35mm or greater. This is no longer the case, with the proliferation of phone cameras and other 'tiny sensor' cameras, for those who just want snapshots. Therefore, the number of people who would potentially buy a dedicated camera (interchangeable lens or not) is significantly lower than in the film days.

Opposing this is the obsolescence of sensors and other aspects of digital cameras. A manual-focus film camera could serve you well for 20 years - the sensor was automatically upgraded every time a new film formulation was released, you were always up with the best of the time, and there was no AF to worry about. A digital camera, however, does not automatically keep up with the best and latest. As yet, no 35mm-format manufacturer has released a model with interchangeable or upgradeable sensors/backs. Therefore, the upgrade cycle is shorter than with film - although the proportion of people prepared to buy a camera may be lower, they are buying bodies more often.

Finally, there is the ongoing increase in the potential market size. The population is steadily increasing. Increasing wealth in developing nations, as their populations shift from poor to middle-income to wealthy, also increase the potential pool of buyers.

Whether the baseline sales of still cameras will be greater or less than in the film days is still uncertain, but, regardless, the future of digital imaging sensors has never been brighter everything from photocopiers, to fingerprint-linked technology, to 'smart' face-recognition security systems, to bionic eyes, to robotics, uses them in a multitude of sizes.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 03:34:44 pm by eronald »
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Telecaster

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Re: Is Sony taking over our corner of the world?
« Reply #236 on: November 15, 2015, 02:39:56 pm »

When it comes to digital cine, the prerequisite for film cam replacement was that no one should be thrown out of work, so bad sound and no wireless mic integration,  no decent AF, no stabiliser, etc etc. This way the sound guy still has his job, the focus puller his, the steadicam guy his. And the whole thing must cost a fortune so the rental house can pay out the backhanders. If the above weren't true, the crew would have rushed to explain to the director that the Cinealtas or Arris or Reds were unusable for "real work". Compatibility with unionised working practice is the most important feature of new industrial tech introduced into an existing workplace.

As the longer-term trend is for everything automatable to become automated, I suspect the situation as you describe it will be a short-term thing. Eventually it'll collapse under the tech onslaught, with IMO the usual combo of both good and not-so-good consequences.

I went for a long walk in the woods this morning as it's a lovely day, sunny & unusually warm for mid-November. At first I considered taking along my A7r2 and new 25mm Batis lens, but then decided against it as I wanted to just enjoy the walk unencumbered & maybe snap a pic or three, not do photography. A smartphone is more than good enough for this.

-Dave-
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