Is the 5D MKIII Gaining Sales Momentum?

Started Nov 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
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rkodama1
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Is the 5D MKIII Gaining Sales Momentum?
Nov 12, 2012

I am starting to monitor Amazon’s deals as we approach the Holiday Season.  Last December, I bought a 5DMK2 for $1900 from Amazon’s lightning deals.  At that time, that price was a bargain deal.  I was just looking at Amazon’s top selling DSLR’s and saw the 5DMKIII in the 3rd position.  Are the recent price drops for the MK3 greatly helping sales?

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-SLRs-Cameras-Photo/b/ref=amb_link_6742562_1?ie=UTF8&node=3017941&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-5&pf_rd_r=0XWSXQZH2WTN3461KHAQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1401626742&pf_rd_i=515382011

In fact, 7 out of the top 10 DSLR’s are Canon bodies of which 3 are FF cameras.   Before I proceed, let me state that the Amazon “Most Popular” products may not necessarily reflect the real world market and is based on a complex calculation of current and historical sales that are specific to Amazon.  I look at this information as one indicator of possible trending in the market given that most of us do not have access to industry data.  What I find even more interesting with this list are the bodies that missing in the top 10 spots.

Several months ago the harbingers of doom were predicting a mass exodus of Canon users due to the introduction of what many believed was an over-priced, inferior camera aka the 5DMKIII (you can consider the 6D as relevant here also).   I agree that Canon’s sensor technology/performance is behind that of Sony/Nikon but we really don’t understand what impact this will ultimately have on Canon’s position in the DSLR landscape.   I believe there is a good chance that Canon knows exactly what they are doing and their current sensor offering or lack thereof is part of a longer term strategy that none of us undestand.  What do I mean by this?  I work for a medical device company that is a division of a Fortune 500 company.  Like most companies, we have a limited budget for R&D and product development investment and the reality is that we cannot pursue all technologies that may be beneficial to our company.  We have to carefully assess and prioritize where we invest our dollars and our new product offering is a compromise that is designed to maximize top line revenue, operating profit and working capital generation where the latter 2 are critical.  OP and Working Capital are important because this is what allows us to reinvest dollars into future R&D projects.  FWIW, we also have many customers who are unhappy with our product direction although we do spend time gathering the “voice of customer” through focus groups, surveys, etc.

It is possible that Canon limited their investments on the sensor technology side to favor lens development and new body design.  In other words, based on their understanding of the market, new lenses and greater improvements in DSLR bodies would drive greater customer loyalty and new customer business than an incremental improvement in sensor performance.  I am not saying that Canon is abandoning sensor development; it’s that they may not be investing at a high level because of limited resources and other areas may drive a greater return on investment.  For all we know, they may have their next generation sensor coming out in a year or two.  BTW, these are not short term decisions but are strategic directions that were established 3 or 4 years ago.  Canon also may not have anticipated Sony/Nikon’s progress in sensor design and may be scrambling to re-evaluate their development focus or they may be exactly where they want to be.  Only Canon knows the true situation and whether their strategy is working.  However, when I see information such as Amazon’s DSLR rankings, I have to think that maybe there is a method to Canon’s madness.

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Randy

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 100D Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM +7 more
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