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Author Topic: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)  (Read 7321 times)

Dan Wells

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State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« on: November 21, 2018, 01:03:11 am »

On a rainy night in the suburbs, when my Z7 and Fujis are snug in their bags because there's nothing to shoot...


    Rather than a war for market share, the present state of the camera market seems to me to be roughly  five fragmented markets... Canon and Nikon play in all or most of them, Sony is in several, mostly at the higher end, Fuji picks and chooses where to compete, and everyone else is in odd segments here and there

1.) Low-end - $500 to $1000 for body and lens - (losing sales rapidly - mostly to Apple and Android).  Everybody's scrambling around trying to find something compelling to get people off their phones. Nobody's making much of a profit, while bad kit lenses make phones more competitive in image quality than they should be ,especially as phones get better at computational trickery. The sensors are excellent - even the lowest-end sensor in a $500 camera is capable of far more image quality than most 35mm film. It is very difficult to build a decent lens to this type of budget, and just about every sensor is let down by the kit lens (the one exception I know of is that you'll often see a Fuji with their excellent 18-55mm f2.8-4 right at $1000). A good lens can get a great deal more image quality out of any inexpensive camera.

 The only way to get some market back, if it's possible at all, is to make a very instagram-friendly camera (something like Snapbridge that actually works, if not a SIM card in the camera itself) - ideally with a better lens that makes the IQ difference from a phone more obvious. Sony could abandon the low end (when did they last release a camera under $1000)?   APS-C rumors from them focus on a high-end body, probably above the A6500. Olympus and Panasonic may also abandon the lower end of their line (although Oly will almost certainly keep their E-M5 and E-M10 lines going at the upper end of this bracket). Canon has most of the volume, while Nikon may be closer to the Instagram-friendly camera than anybody else (Snapbridge doesn't yet "really work", but it's closer to the idea than other apps). Fuji is effectively out of the low end in the West, although they're quite successful in Asia and they find no harm in putting a few bodies on a boat... Pentax is more or less gone - do they or don't they keep the KP (and the K1 series one category up) going for people with old lenses?

2.) ~24 MP midrange ($1000 - ~$2500). These are incredibly capable cameras, and there's money for decent lenses at this level. APS-C and full-frame coexist, although everyone except Fuji has better lens lineups in full-frame. This is where any "war" between the manufacturers is taking place. There are a lot of cameras with similar capabilities in this range, and all of them are capable of excellent images.  Fuji's not going anywhere... Neither are Sony, Canon or Nikon (the latter two will find a balance between DSLR and mirrorless, and may shift more to mirrorless over time). This market is relatively healthy, except that it's where everybody's running for shelter from the collapse below it. There's enough money to turn a profit, and to make lenses out of something other than the bottom of Coke bottles  :) Is there enough volume for four players, all counting on this segment for much of their profit? The others will probably push Pentax, a distant fifth player, out and slam the door, although the existing models may continue at low volume, especially if the K1 line continues to undercut other high-res options by $1000 or so. Panasonic is going to have a hard time getting the S1 into the crowd.

3.) High-end Micro 4/3 (and, arguably, the Nikon D500, which is in between the unusual Micro 4/3 cameras and the more standard 24 MP group) - below 24 MP, lower dynamic range, but very high speeds or exceptional video.  While they are in the same price range as the 24 MP midrange, they have more unusual combinations of features. Can they stay viable? I really hope so, because the odd cameras from both Olympus and Panasonic offer something that the 24 MP army does not. They're much more different from the mainstream 24 MP choices than the 24 MP choices are from each other. There are action shots that only an Olympus will get until you spend thousands more, and there's an indie film niche for Panasonic. I don't think Olympus is going to succeed in pushing the top of the Micro 4/3 market out to $3000, but I really hope they stay strong in the $1500 range... The other place there's room for Olympus and maybe Panasonic is in rugged, highly functional cameras that undercut the midrange (priced like a low-end camera, but have IBIS, weather sealing, etc.).

4.) The Pixel Monsters. Nikon, Sony and Fuji have what are probably highly profitable businesses here, and I can't imagine any of them dropping out easily. Canon may or may not get into this game - the EOS-R lenses look suspiciously like they're meant for a different body - they'd make sense on a pixel monster, but they might also make sense on a mirrorless sports body or a high-end general purpose camera. The present fourth competitor may be Hasselblad, rather than Canon? The E0S 5Ds sensor isn't competitive against what's out there now, and it won't be if it shows up in a mirrorless body - they'd need something that is at the limits of current technology. The resolution is plenty, but the dynamic range and noise performance is merely good, while it takes great to play this game. Does Panasonic have any chance in the pixel monster market? They're up against competitors with superb sensors and full lens lines. Fuji reaching 100 MP medium format at a non-Phase price could restore this to being two different markets, instead of one that contains the best image quality in full-frame plus most of the volume in medium format (the >$10,000 or so portion of medium format is a separate market, but the volume is tiny).

     Right now, there is not a huge price difference between ~$4000 for top full-frame IQ (depending on lens choice) and ~$5000 for a GFX with a lens ($6000 with the zoom). Image quality is also very close between the very top of full-frame and 50 MP medium format. I loaded the D810, A7r mkIII, D850 and GFX 50s into DPReview's image comparison (I didn't have real-world images from all four in the same place, which would have been better). The result was D810<A7r mkIII<D850<GFX 50s, all with roughly even steps, all of the differences noticeable - none huge. The D850 is clearly closer to the Fuji than the D810 is to the D850. 

       There is a vast price gulf between 50 MP medium format and anything significantly higher than 50 MP.  Quotes on new ultra-high end systems are hard to find, but used 100 MP CMOS systems are over $20,000. Even an 80 MP CCD back with a maximum usable ISO of 200 or 400 is $13,000 or more used without a camera or a lens. Fuji coming in with something that is significantly different from the best of full-frame, at a price that isn't Phase pricing could change the game.

5.) The sports/photojournalism market. This is a war, but the two main combatants have been at it since the 1970s!  Canon and Nikon have been trading blows since Canon entered the pro market in 1971 with the original F1... Nobody else has ever snuck in on them - Pentax and Minolta tried in film days, neither getting any significant market share. Will either or both of the main players try a mirrorless body in this market? Or, perhaps a hybrid with optical and electronic viewfinder options through removable finders? That's actually not that hard to engineer - it does, of course, need the full-depth mount to accommodate the mirror - it simply runs in live view full time if it has an EVF mounted... Sony has tried to break into the high-end sports market with the A9 (after several earlier halfhearted attempts with DSLRs) - but neither the A9 being rarely seen in the wild nor the  $1000 slashed off the price last week looks good for them. I wonder if the third player in this market is actually Olympus, rather than Sony? While the E-M1 mk II is a $1500 camera competing on an uneven field with $5000+ cameras, it's specialized for the same market. While I'm not sure how it's calculated and over what time period, B&H's best-selling list has the Olympus significantly ahead of the A9 (although behind a bunch of normal-speed Sonys). Olympus is certainly aiming to push further into this world if rumors of a $3000 EM1X are true...

If I were (in rough order of overall market share - everyone through Fuji is certainly going to make it, not so sure below):

Canon - I would be concerned about collapsing low-end volume, having more exposure down there than anybody else. Above the low end, does lagging sensor quality begin to weigh against a huge lineup of excellent lenses? If they buy or develop some new sensors, Canon's bodies are in great shape above the low end. Popular DSLRs buy time to get mirrorless right, and the low-end to midrange EOS-M line gives a presence in lower-cost mirrorless - probably not worth trying to dislodge Fuji from higher-end APS-C mirrorless. Leading in the sports/PJ market, and may or may not be concerned about the high-resolution market.

Nikon - I would be rethinking my APS-C strategy... APS-C versions of the Z line? Mirrorless using the F-mount (unlike in FF, the mount diameter isn't a problem)? Keep pushing DSLRs - if so, how do you improve them at the low end? Image quality's fine, how do they become compelling against phones? Unlike Canon, Nikon's line from the D610 on up is in great shape - every sensor is excellent, the cameras handle really well and the FF lens line is the equal of Canon's in most areas. F and Z both have their place in full-frame.  Like Canon, there's some time to get the mirrorless lineup fleshed out because of DSLRs and a long history of great lenses. Nikon may be in decent shape to release a camera that works well with phones, but they wish the D3500 were mirrorless to do it - is their best APS-C mirrorless strategy to keep the F-mount and essentially replace low-end DSLRs? Again, high-end APS-C mirrorless is a Fuji minefield - not worth it unless they can do something Fuji can't (and come up with the lenses).

Sony - I would be very concerned about APS-C, happy with where full-frame is going. Why bother with APS-C bodies above the $500 level unless you're going to make great lenses to go with them? This is even more true for Sony than others, because they so often have a $1000 last-generation FF body - why use an FF lens on an APS-C body if the right body is accessible? The cheap APS-C bodies don't provide a gateway to the A7/A9 line, but the $1000 older A7 bodies do... Is it even worth replacing APS-C bodies at all, when the FF line is so much more successful? It's not like they have a lot of great old APS-C lenses people care about... Sony has leading models in two segments of the FF market (standard 24 MP and pixel monsters), and is finally backing them up with lenses.

Do they care about the sports market or anything in APS-C? They've jumped into the sports market repeatedly, most recently with the A9, but never really put the support into staying? If Sony cared to, they might be in a good position to build a phone-friendly low-end camera, because they have consumer electronics experience - but they have the worst APS-C glass around (except, possibly for Pentax's limited line). High-end APS-C is even more of a Fuji minefield for them than for Canon or Nikon, because they're up against Fuji more directly (mirrorless to mirrorless), and their APS-C lens range doesn't even have the depth of Canon's or Nikon's. They're probably better off throwing full-frame bodies against the top of Fuji's range while ignoring the X-E series.

Fuji - I'd be really happy, if my sensor supply were assured. The odd-size sensor strategy with high-end APS-C and relatively inexpensive medium format seems to be working, and both body and lens lines are class-leading. They compete in the 24 MP midrange, and among the pixel monsters. They show more interest in keeping good positions in those markets than in seriously competing at the low end (at least in North America or Europe - the X-A line sells very well in Asia) or in the sports or photojournalism market. Interestingly, they are almost always competing directly against Sony, although never with the same sensor size - they use really good APS-C to compete with 24 MP full-frame, and medium format in the pixel monster range. Fuji is essentially not involved in collapsing market segments, they grow market share each year, and they are in a good position with both of their lens lines. Their one concern should be if everyone else starts pushing full-frame only in the midrange (as may be happening), APS-C sensor development might stall. If few non-Fuji APS-C bodies sell for over $700 in a couple of years (the D500 and EOS D80 range gets abandoned), and Fuji has an APS-C line reaching up to $1800 or so, will they create enough volume by themselves to keep work going on continuously improving sensors?

Olympus - Can a lineup that has different pluses and minuses than essentially anything else survive? From a photographer's viewpoint, Olympus being in the market provides a lot of different choices - notably a true sports/PJ camera at a much lower price (and weight) than anyone else, and some very light, rugged options. I'm dubious about a $3000 Olympus body, but I think the OM-D lineup is as interesting as anything out there, especially if they can get the E-M1 line down to around $1300 and ruggedize the E-M10 successor so it becomes the ultralight of choice for adventure.

Panasonic - Their real strength is video... I have high hopes for the S1 and S1r line if if their video features are exceptional - very little otherwise. The S1 will be pushing right into the most crowded part of the market (the higher end of 24 MP) with a limited lens line. There are four strong contenders already there (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji), all with full lineups, and with Canon and Nikon offering both mirrorless and DSLR options. They have to differentiate themselves, and their known video expertise seems like the way to go. The S1r will be hitting three strong contenders among the pixel monsters, with Nikon offering both mirrorless and DSLR options, and again, all with full lens lineups. The more video-oriented their Micro 4/3 bodies are, the better they sell...

Hasselblad - They may actually be more relevant/likely to survive than Pentax, because they only care about one segment. They need to worry about Fuji, and to a lesser extent about the highest resolution bodies from Nikon and Sony, but nothing else competes with the X-series (the H-series competes poorly against Phase One, but their volume is probably in the mirrorless X-series).

Pentax - is the small volume of bodies for people with existing Pentax lenses worth it for parent company Ricoh? They once had a niche as the only people doing serious weather sealing on affordable cameras and lenses - everyone else reserved it for a few top models over $3000. First Olympus, then Fuji and Nikon caught up... There are now highly sealed options starting around $1000 from multiple players, and all the others are more mainstream than Pentax.

At PhotoPlus this year, Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fuji had huge booths - the first three have done so for years, while Fuji keeps expanding their presence. Panasonic and Olympus had small booths, much smaller than in years past, while Pentax had a tiny booth hidden away (the size usually reserved for labs, small software companies and Chinese tripod makers). Hasselblad didn't show up at all.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 01:18:41 am by Dan Wells »
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faberryman

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 10:03:30 am »

One thing you didn't mention was professional support. Canon and Nikon have it in spades. Sony and Fuji have it in name only. Pentax nada. Olympus nada. Panasonic nada.
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hogloff

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2018, 10:04:14 am »

Why do you feel Fuji is sitting pretty? I don't get that impression from their revenue numbers.
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Dan Wells

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 10:49:27 am »

Fuji is small by comparison to the other three, but growing and more differentiated than the others. They could get caught if the market collapses back to the point where everything is full-frame or above (which would actually strengthen  Nikon and Sony, both of whose weaknesses are in APS-C). Fuji offers very similar image quality to low-end full-frame (not like the pixel monsters, but they're much more expensive, and Fuji is competing there with medium format) with great, somewhat smaller lenses and well-made bodies that are a joy to use. As long as APS-C is viable as a midrange and up option, they're in good shape.

As for the pro support, that could kill Sony at some point if they don't catch up. Fuji isn't as involved in the markets where it matters most (the stereotypical NPS or CPS member is a photojournalist). If Olympus is serious about high-speed photojournalist cameras, they have to deal with it! Panasonic has an easy out - they certainly offer that kind of support on their broadcast video cameras - just declare the GH series and the full-frame S series eligible, maybe for a price! As a matter of fact, Sony could do the same thing - I don't know how either would work with the internal structure of the companies. Pentax is a zombie anyway - if they can make a small profit turning out bodies for people's old lenses, they will...
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hogloff

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 11:35:14 am »

Fuji is small by comparison to the other three, but growing and more differentiated than the others.


In 2018, ILC market share for the big 3 ( Canon, Nikon and Sony ) went up by 6.2% for a whopping 87.3% of all sales. The rest was divided up by the likes of Fuji, Olympus, Pentax, Leica, etc...

Not many crumbs to fight over once the big three feast. Now with the big 3 having a mirrorless option, I wonder how that will affect Fuji sales going forward. Now a Canon or Nikon shooter needs to look elsewhere for a smaller mirrorless system. I don't see this as a rosy picture for Fuji.
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Telecaster

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 04:34:07 pm »

In 2018, ILC market share for the big 3 ( Canon, Nikon and Sony ) went up by 6.2% for a whopping 87.3% of all sales. The rest was divided up by the likes of Fuji, Olympus, Pentax, Leica, etc...

Not many crumbs to fight over once the big three feast. Now with the big 3 having a mirrorless option, I wonder how that will affect Fuji sales going forward. Now a Canon or Nikon shooter needs to look elsewhere for a smaller mirrorless system. I don't see this as a rosy picture for Fuji.

Cameras & lenses are a decimal point figure on Fuji's balance sheet. I bet they make 'em more for PR purposes than direct revenue generation. Thus they can continue past the point where other companies would have to get out.

-Dave-
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Telecaster

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 04:42:22 pm »

Conjecture: the photojournalism landscape changes so much in the next 5–10 years that sports photography as a business all but disappears.

If so this would take a rototiller to all forecasts based on the present state of affairs continuing largely unchanged.  :)

-Dave-
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chez

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 05:10:31 pm »

Cameras & lenses are a decimal point figure on Fuji's balance sheet. I bet they make 'em more for PR purposes than direct revenue generation. Thus they can continue past the point where other companies would have to get out.

-Dave-

Or they can get out without much pain to their bottom line.
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chez

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2018, 05:11:48 pm »

Conjecture: the photojournalism landscape changes so much in the next 5–10 years that sports photography as a business all but disappears.

If so this would take a rototiller to all forecasts based on the present state of affairs continuing largely unchanged.  :)

-Dave-

I highly doubt sports photography is any money maker for either Canon or Nikon. Such a small niche market.
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Two23

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2018, 09:12:57 pm »

There is a segment you didn't mention.  I'm thinking of collectors/users.  The numbers of people aren't huge but my guess is they are growing and they tend to have a fair amount of cash.  The market is flooded with common 35mm cameras made from the 1960s to the 1990s so those hardly bring enough money to justify postage.  However, the high quality and more esoteric stuff can be quite valuable.  I'm thinking of  20th C. Rollei, Hassleblad, Leica as well as the more obscure Robot and Plaubel Makina.  The prices on truly historical gear from the 19th C. has also been rising, especially the bigger brass lenses (covering 8x10 or larger) and cameras made before the 1880s.  Looking in my closet I'm pretty sure I've spent considerably more on that kind of gear than I have on state of art Nikon & Sigma.  Most of us who buy seem interested in the history and will go out and make photos with our acquisitions.  The wooden cameras and brass lenses have an inherent beauty, and many of the collectible cameras (such as Kodak Bantam Special) have a solid "cool factor." :)  Judging from increasing prices and posts on dedicated forums I do think there is a sales increase in this segment.


Kent in SD
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DP

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2018, 09:18:24 pm »

Fuji offers very similar image quality to low-end full-frame (not like the pixel monsters, but they're much more expensive
new 42mp A7RII (A7R mark II) is $1600 right now ... where is your much more expensive ?
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DP

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 09:27:31 pm »

Fuji is ...more differentiated than the others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony

Products:
Consumer electronics
Semiconductors
Video games
Films
Television programs
Music
Computer hardware
Telecommunications equipment

Services:   
Financial services
Insurance
Banking
Credit finance
Advertising agency
Network services


Fujifilm

Operating income ¥230 billions
Net income ¥150 billions
Total assets ¥380 billions


Sony:
Operating income ¥713 billions
Net income ¥508 billions
Total assets ¥19 trillion


Fujifilm will be long gone before Sony caves
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Dan Wells

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 11:48:42 pm »

I did not mean more differentiated as a company (Sony and Panasonic are both keiretsu - Japanese companies that make everything - and no other camera maker qualifies, although Nikon is a relatively independent branch of the Mitsubishi keiretsu). My meaning was that Fuji cameras themselves are more distinctive than the others (unique semi-retro design, highly consistent system with no bad lenses, XTrans, very good handling).

To me (and this is completely subjective), Fuji and Nikon make the best-handling cameras, then Canon, Olympus and Pentax, then Panasonic, with Sony bringing up the rear (although the III generation and the A9 are better than their predecessors).

Sony is so broad that they could abandon cameras and never notice it (I don't think they will - they have to be happy with how the A7/A9 system is doing)... They may very well abandon APS-C - they don't need it, and they aren't any good at it - look at their APS-C lenses (their FF lenses are a different story, and they keep getting better while APS-C stagnates)

I've always said that I don't think any of Canon, Nikon, Sony or Fuji are going anywhere (the market could probably use one less player, but all four are pretty entrenched, and all have mid to high-end lines with very loyal user bases). Any losses will come from Panasonic, Olympus, "Kodak" (A Chinese company who bought the name and has a couple of low-end Micro 4/3 bodies and a lens or two), Pentax (already a zombie) and Hasselblad. Leica is propped up by collectors and Phase One does something so different from anyone else that their business model is unique.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 11:57:20 pm by Dan Wells »
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2018, 02:05:21 am »

We all have our points of view on this. I think Sony is very good at APSC. I think Fuji and Olympus have great APSC cameras but they just look kind of like mini SLR’s while Sony actually came up with something quite different to that.
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Dan Wells

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2018, 02:26:08 am »

We all certainly have differences of opinion on camera design and handling - and that's why it's in no photographer's interest to lose any of the major manufacturers (even if it's one whose wares don't fit your style, they do fit a colleague's).

They all prod each other, too - if Panasonic weren't out there, nobody would be doing 4K video. Lose Sony, and Nikon never releases the Z-series, nor Canon the EOS-R. If Fuji weren't around, Sony and others might never have improved their controls. Even little Pentax may be responsible for weather sealing spreading down other manufacturers' lines.

Whether the low end of the market survives at all may be dependent on whether someone gets "plays nice with phones" right - once any of them get it, they all have to work on it relatively quickly...
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hogloff

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 10:22:27 am »

We all certainly have differences of opinion on camera design and handling - and that's why it's in no photographer's interest to lose any of the major manufacturers (even if it's one whose wares don't fit your style, they do fit a colleague's).

They all prod each other, too - if Panasonic weren't out there, nobody would be doing 4K video. Lose Sony, and Nikon never releases the Z-series, nor Canon the EOS-R. If Fuji weren't around, Sony and others might never have improved their controls. Even little Pentax may be responsible for weather sealing spreading down other manufacturers' lines.

Whether the low end of the market survives at all may be dependent on whether someone gets "plays nice with phones" right - once any of them get it, they all have to work on it relatively quickly...

I think it's too late for the low end of the camera market...even if the cameras integrate better with the web. Who is going to want to carry a camera at that level when they already have a phone on them that does a great job. No one!

The low end ship has sailed and won't be turning around.
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Telecaster

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 04:20:44 pm »

My earlier conjecture about the (possible) collapse of sports photography as a professional thing potentially has big implications for the high-end amateur market. If pros stop buying spike driver bodies and mondo biggo tele lenses, what'll motivate status-craving, pro-imitating amateurs to keep buying 'em? If amateurs instead respond by becoming more practical minded about their gear, then all sorts of interesting developments are likely to follow.

-Dave-
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John Camp

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 04:53:43 pm »

I think you're discounting fashion.
Fuji is a distinct case, as is m4/3. People will buy Fuji not because it's better than Nikon/Canon/Sony, but because it's more fashionable. You can see that in any camera forum, where people rave about Fuji's image quality, which, frankly, isn't really distinctively better for anyone other than a photo-phile pixel-peeper. Plus, anyone interested in making larger prints (which is really the only place a different might appear) APS-C is basically as good as FF, and the differences will close as technology matures. I would suggest that Fuji is a special case, as Leica has been for a while. The images will be fine, but that's not really the reason to buy Fuji. But: fashion goes on forever -- see Leica.

The real competition is Nikon/Canon/Sony, and of the three, I have the least faith that Sony cameras will be here in thirty years. Because Sony is sorta..unfashionable. It's common. For the past few years, Sony's been doing well, because it's been innovative. But the the products of the three main FF manufacturers are quickly converging, to the point where the only distinctive factor may be some subtle ergonomic preferences. Once the technology shakes out, and they're all selling the same thing, then fashion reasserts itself. Historically, Sony has not been willing to struggle for minor profits on what is to them, marginal products. See the various Walkman products, or the video disk. If they dropped cameras entirely, it would make no visible difference in their profit.

I think the most interesting developments will come with m4/3 especially if a desperate Pentax decided to join the consortium. M4/3 has a couple advantages over FF and APS-C -- one being the size of the equipment, the other being the quality of the images, which sort of link together. If the quality is good enough for any print you're likely to make, and certainly good enough for any on-screen display (and even billboards) then the whole size/weight thing becomes more important. But one critical issue here is what happens with processing tech. Olympus is hinting that the tech in it's much ballyhooed uber-m4/3 will be as good as FF, and I think the possible reason for that is that they've taken a close look at all the phone-based photo processing, and they're about to introduce that to m4/3. If that is the case, then the whole m4/3 ecology becomes really interesting. What I don't understand is that the new uber-camera is virtually the size of smaller DSLRs, which gives up much of m4/3s advantages. Maybe once the tech stabilizes, they'll be able to shrink the bodies again...that this is an expensive test-bed.

I agree with Dan's view of cell phone quality -- it's really all that any ordinary person needs for scrapbooks (paper or electronic) and messaging and so on. The problem with them is that they don't have the flexibility of serious cameras, and probably never will have. Trying to make an iPhone into a serious camera would push costs, and about 99.1% of the customers could care less; what they've got now is good enough, and will certainly displace most point and shoots, I think. There will be a few people like me who really like the small pocketable 1" sensor cameras with decent zooms; and with more sophisticated processing, they could become more important.

IMHO.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 04:57:04 pm by John Camp »
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faberryman

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2018, 05:29:46 pm »

I didn't realize that Fuji was fashionable. In what circle?
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BJL

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Re: State of the camera market (mirrorless and otherwise)
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2018, 08:31:24 pm »

Phone cameras are enough for a lot of casual photography—but fall miserably short as soon as much telephoto reach is needed: even a modest “200mm equivalent” is way out of reach except with a crop to less than 1MP. And as soon as that sort of telephoto goal leads from a phone to an interchangeable lens camera, the smallest format is the natural choice, not 35mm
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