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Author Topic: No one knows anything article.  (Read 27961 times)

OldRoy

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2014, 12:58:39 pm »

Q: "Why should the camera business be expected to be any different?"
A: Because the number of variables are minute in comparison with film making.
Roy
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amolitor

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2014, 01:52:48 pm »

All I got out of it was 'Nikon did the Df, which was not a success, therefore Nikon is a bunch of idiots' followed by 'Fuji has done a whole bunch of different things, many of them duds, therefore Fuji is a bunch of geniuses'.

Which seems, when looked at carefully, to mean that Michael likes Fuji and does not like Nikon.
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trichardlin

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2014, 02:12:00 pm »

...Yes, we all like different things, I don't think Michael is denying that.  But he's wondering why manufacturers, despite their huge resources, go down a cul-de-sac in design terms...

Well, Michael answered that question himself in this article: nothing ventured, nothing gained.  A lot of times, you don't know if it's a cul-de-sac until you get there.  This is somewhat the point of the title of article.  These companies are simply trying different experiments and see what works.  Nothing wrong with that.  It's all fun to use these stumbles as punching bags every once in a while, but it would be sadder to see them stop trying.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2014, 02:18:17 pm »

This was an overdue rant straight to the point.
Lets hope some people will listen.
Usually things fail because of the simple stuff done wrong - not the complicated.
Michaels article pointed that out nicely.
Cheers
~Chris

hubell

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2014, 02:37:08 pm »

It's somewhat surprising to learn that I'm a "wealthy aficionado".

 ;)

The only way out is the liberal use of duct tape. [G]

michael

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2014, 02:44:04 pm »

Q: "Why should the camera business be expected to be any different?"
A: Because the number of variables are minute in comparison with film making.
Roy

Really? As someone who has worked in both fields, I don't know that I'd agree.

Different animals of course, and only used by way of analogy, not to be used literally.

Michael
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Dan Vincent

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2014, 02:53:56 pm »

I don't really think the "sony has four lens mounts" thing holds up if compared against other makers. Canon has EF/EF-S and the EOS-M mount, Nikon has the various permutations of F-mount (DX, screw drive, older style lenses, and on and on) and the 1 Series. Nikon really has the same problem for their DX users as well. It is unfortunate.

hubell

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2014, 03:01:43 pm »

As I get older, I find myself less and less willing to accept the drudgery of carrying a 35 pound pack of high end camera equipment and lenses, and yet unhappy about accepting the compromise in image quality that a smaller kit would entail. If only someone would build a camera with medium format image quality (or close to it) that would fit in the palm of my hand and have a set of lenses that were comparably sized. Well, Sony has done it. That, to me, is the only truly groundbreaking product produced by any of the camera manufacturers, who just keep regurgitating endless iterations of the same old stuff. Yes, the selection of native FE lenses is very limited at this point, but the two primes  that Sony has released so far are simply unbelievable. I would so much rather walk around with the FE 55 f/1.8 bolted to my camera (with the 35mm FE lens in my back pocket) than have 23 zoom lenses to choose from for one of the M43 cameras. God forbid that Sony decided that it couldn't break the mold and had to build the A7 with an A mount.

Zerg2905

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2014, 03:17:37 pm »

There is a little story about one KV-2 tank during WW2... Just FYI, the KV-2 hardly was an innovation in 1941. However, when the innovating Germans wanted to cross that bloody bridge, the KV-2 said. "Niet!". When the "friendly discussions" ended, a couple of dozens of "innovators" were burning. The conservative KV-2 took about 135 hits and went home. The morale of the fable: sorry folks, but I think Canon knows what is doing. P. S.: with their crude machines built in large numbers, Russians won the war. And even if geopolitics changed today, you don' want to mess with them. So far, Canon is not quite Kodak or Xerox. And Sony knows this.
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Telecaster

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2014, 05:05:19 pm »

All I got out of it was 'Nikon did the Df, which was not a success, therefore Nikon is a bunch of idiots' followed by 'Fuji has done a whole bunch of different things, many of them duds, therefore Fuji is a bunch of geniuses'.

Which seems, when looked at carefully, to mean that Michael likes Fuji and does not like Nikon.

C'mon, that's fanboy-style exaggeration. Michael owns & uses Nikon gear. And Fuji gear. And Olympus gear. Etc. His article comes from the perspective of someone familiar with lots of different equipment. When you have that perspective, the desire to cheerlead any particular brand diminishes. That doesn't mean you possess pure objectivity—nobody does—but it takes much of the tribalism in owning photo gear out of the picture. So to speak. I'll take that broader perspective any day.

-Dave-
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peterottaway

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2014, 07:25:43 pm »

As I get older, I find myself less and less willing to accept the drudgery of carrying a 35 pound pack of high end camera equipment and lenses, and yet unhappy about accepting the compromise in image quality that a smaller kit would entail. If only someone would build a camera with medium format image quality (or close to it) that would fit in the palm of my hand and have a set of lenses that were comparably sized. Well, Sony has done it. That, to me, is the only truly groundbreaking product produced by any of the camera manufacturers, who just keep regurgitating endless iterations of the same old stuff. Yes, the selection of native FE lenses is very limited at this point, but the two primes  that Sony has released so far are simply unbelievable. I would so much rather walk around with the FE 55 f/1.8 bolted to my camera (with the 35mm FE lens in my back pocket) than have 23 zoom lenses to choose from for one of the M43 cameras. God forbid that Sony decided that it couldn't break the mold and had to build the A7 with an A mount.

I am in a similar situation. Although I must admit that when I initially purchased my A7r it was with the intention of simply using the A mount adapter. Whether Sony produced a comprehensive list of lenses was not one of my highest priorities. But having used the camera for a few weeks and also  the FE 24-70 / 4.0 zoom for the last few days I can see little point in worrying about what Sony does with the A mount from here on in.

Using the A7r with the 24-70 zoom is like coming back to using my old Olympus OM 2n. Have been cleaning and dusting my A mount lenses and even though I have been using them for many years, they now just seem big and heavy and even somewhat clumsy in comparison. I just can't see much point in lumping around my CZ 16-35, Minolta 28-70 and 80-200  or for that matter the 85 / 1.4 unless I really have to. I can still see  a reason for using my 70-300 on my Nex 7 and the 70-400 on the A7r but for the rest I will be looking to see what new FE lenses Sony or Zeiss will produce.

Those of you who are wedded to D4 / D800 or EOS 1 fine, I certainly don't need or want them. And I suspect a lot of others will come to the same conclusion.


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kevin weil

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2014, 01:30:27 am »

While Michael is describing the effect on the camera business, this is something that is true in just about every industry that does product development, whether its software, computer technology, cell phones, manufacturing, etc.

I work in software product development in a technology sales company.  Not in the traditional sense like Microsoft.  I've been doing this before there was a world wide web. 

I disagree with the fundamental conclusion that "no one knows anything" explains why so "many dogs are produced".  It's not something you can lay on the product planner - that role is usually not in charge of any particular project's funding.  Neither are the teams of individuals in charge of gathering industry best practice and customer experience feedback. Frequently the role in allocating funding for a project does not have control over the capacity and simply buying more capacity to develop is not always possible or practical.

It's also a case of companies with such a varied product portfolio (Sony, Panasonic, for instance) that they've developed a scatter gun business model like PC makers.  You make a vast variety of different products and you'll cover a targeted percentage of the addressable market to make money for shareholder - lets not forget what these public companies are in business for.

Occasionally these companies can not only recognize a trend but accurately predict and produce something transformational (for them anyway), such as Sony's A7R.   However they are never going to be able operate their camera business on its own.  Like any company diversified like this each business has to carry its weight.  They may have P&L responsibility but they also are accountable to revenue targets.

It's not surprising that Michael has a fondness toward Phase One.  They have a small team that can laser focus on the camera business and their product.

What I'm hoping to see is some of these companies like Phase One take notice to what I think is a similar company but in the automobile business - Tesla Motors.  Their stated philosophy is that over time they will be able start producing more inexpensive models but maintain the same quality level.

The cameras business just needs more of these small business innovators to make the niche market more accessible...

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Jonathan Cross

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2014, 04:49:42 am »

Excellent article, Michael - it got me thinking.  I am a Canon user, and one who believes that that, if I can get my brain and eye bits right, a good image is dependent on not only the body (inc sensor) but also the lens.  Good glass tends to be big and heavy.  I do have a Leica 35mm Summicron on a Fuji X-E1 and love it - they seem made for each other and the lens is a lovely size.  I do wonder how big the lens would be, however, if it had all the electronics and motors to enable auto focussing and body controlled aperture, let alone be a zoom.  People often talk about having good smaller, lighter, bodies but if one uses good glass with all the electronics, there is a danger that it will feel unbalanced and not be a happy experience.  I will be interested to see how big and heavy the new Fuji weather sealed zooms will be.

In defence of the manufacturers, they may be between a rock and a hard place, on the one side the demands of the customers for the best in a small package at the cheapest price and on the other by the physical limits, particularly re lenses, of producing high quality that is easy to use, versatile and light.  The market is looking very mature, and the only way a manufacturer can grow is by eating into someone else's market.  Many are satisfied with smart phones' output that can produce good images in favourable conditions and demand for consumer cameras may well be going to slow, if it is not doing already.  If I was a manufacturer I would be scratching various bits of my anatomy wondering how to satisfy more demanding users and make a profit to fund development.

Perhaps Google should persuade Phase 1 to fit their systems into spectacles. 

Ah well, must be off to a photographic exhibition to look at the Fufi X-T1, us users are never satisfied.

Jonathan
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Jonathan in UK

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2014, 07:27:55 am »

Well, to be honest, Michael's piece was a bit "extremista", so it is only fair for people to reply with polarized and exagerated opinions. If we stick to the facts, and not opinions, camera sales are declining, in all segments, including DSLRs. It is a concern for all camera companies, and I am sure they have inteligente staff looking at the causes and trying to mitigate the trend.

Canon being still number 1 in sales, it is only natural for them to be conservative in their product introduction and development. The fact that they are still number 1, in spite of all the funerals that have been predicted, only attests to the brilliant strike that was the introduction of the EF lens mount and EOS series of cameras all those years ago. Anyone that used a EOS camera, or even a T90 20 or 25 years ago, can pick up a EOS camera today and feel familiar with it instantly. Brilliant design, IMO.

Perhaps the fact that Canon have been under less pressure to change, or to make radical innovations, is due to the fact that to keep being successful, they are the ones that need to change less? All the other companies are trying to carve a place for themselves, or trying to catch up with Canon. And that is the reality.

Of course they can go under and go belly up, but if Canon seriously enters the mirrorless market, they have the potential to make a dent on other mirrorless companies. I think that overall, their approach has been more consisten compared to others. Fujifilm are doing wonderful things in the X system, but eventually they too felt the necessity of making a "DSLR look-alike" XT-1, and will be introducing f2.8 zooms. Why? because they hope that people will buy them in significant numbers, because people still feel that DSLRs are better and "proper" cameras...

Ray

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2014, 07:28:49 am »

Crikey! You really are all gear heads. I thought I was a bit obsessive. But I'm not, by comparison with you lot. Get a life for Christ's sake!  ;D
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Jim Pascoe

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2014, 11:11:34 am »

Crikey! You really are all gear heads. I thought I was a bit obsessive. But I'm not, by comparison with you lot. Get a life for Christ's sake!  ;D

No Ray - you are obsessive about gear.... ;D
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Ben Rubinstein

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2014, 12:23:15 pm »

Funny how Hasselblad H cameras quoted as "offered nothing more than incremental enhancements over previous versions" even with the advent of True Focus, possibly the best innovation in AF in the past two decades is compared to P1 whose DF has had zero innovation whatsoever but the connection with Mamiya which has produced this embarrassment to a modern company "shows a company that understands what it needs to do to survive and grow in a specialized segment of the marketplace.". Sorry but it's laughable.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 12:27:28 pm by Ben Rubinstein »
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michael

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2014, 01:07:07 pm »

Sorry, but True Focus is just a gimmick in my view.

True, Phase is long overdue for a new camera, but in terms of lenses and backs they're second to no one.

Michael
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 01:50:51 pm by michael »
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2014, 01:32:17 pm »

...
True, Phase is long overdue with anew camera, but in terms of lenses and backs they're second to no one.
...

Most likely the number of photographers where these differences between modern MFDB systems really really matter so much is minimal anyways.
IMO most things in general fail because of simple stuff like forgetting spare batteries, not fastening the tripod correctly,
focusing or framing the wrong way, seeing and thinking in a convoluted way, hating or loving the assistants or models (they call it "talents", right?) or whatever ....
And I'm pretty sure you'd shoot great images even with a Zeiss Ikonta, Holga,  Brownie, Pinhole, Colt Revolver or a cellphone, even in Antarctica ... but I'm carrying coals to Newcastle ...

I'm quite happy to see more stuff like Alains articles or the recent article about flying toasters ...

Cheers
~Chris

Telecaster

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Re: No one knows anything article.
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2014, 02:16:42 pm »

Speaking of innovation and disruption, one of Thom Hogan's latest pieces addresses this in relation to the across-the-board declines in sales of interchangeable lens cameras.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/warning-bells-sound.html

I'm rooting for someone to come along and take a rototiller to the photo industry. Don't know who it'll be, don't know what the "killer app(s)" will be, but a true resurfacing of the landscape—which, despite all the turbulence over the past dozen or so years, never really happened with the advent of electronic photography—is IMO overdue.

-Dave-
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