All camera companies have lost their minds

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
antoineb
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,953Gear list
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They're just wondering and trying many options, is all
In reply to Airless, Jan 9, 2013

Airless wrote:

50 cameras announced in a week, almost all of them trash. Among the biggest epic fails were Panasonic and Fuji's 9 small-sensor compacts EACH and the outrageous dumbing-down of Nikon 1, the J3 is a non-update of the J2 three months after the J2 was a non-update of the J1, which is still better than the S1 and all four cameras are overpriced compared to the V1, but not as overpriced as the V2...LOL Nikon have fun going bankrupt on your one inch system with crummy lenses that was doomed from the start. Oh and as if that wasn't bad enough they announced an underwater housing for $750, which only a damn fool would buy because anybody with that kind of money to spend on underwater housing can afford a better camera than the J3, it's like trying to sell a $10,000 Kia coupe with an option for a $10,000 stereo system.

The other companies all failed pretty hard too though, like the three "tough" cameras from Olympus that almost nobody will buy, I mean really one model wasn't enough? And five superzooms from Fuji is really comical, and they didn't even update their one actually good superzoom, the X-S1. Even the relatively lightest offenders like Canon, Samsung, and Sony announced a combined 15 trash cameras plus the NX 300 which is a total ripoff of the NEX-5R.

So basically, 50 cameras that nobody wants and will make less money than any one Apple product launched next year, no wonder all of these guys are going broke.

Your analysis may be right - though I find it needlessly tough.  What would you do if you were them?

- the high-margin DSLR business isn't so buoyant anymore, and seems under clear secular threat from mirrorless.  Less and less people, even people who own a DSLR and have used it a lot (like me, 29'000 shots in 2 years w my D7k), are sick and tired of the size, weight, bulk, AF that's not perfectly precise, can't film, etc.

- the mirrorless market is nice but as it's eating into DSLR rather than growing the market, it's nice mostly only for people who weren't anybody in DSLRs to start with.  Canon finally came up with a decently spec'ed mirrorless but with slow AF and a few other quirks, and Nikon came up with the "1" on which my analysis is the same as yours: useless.

- the compact camera market is becoming increasingly useless:  for most purposes any decent cameraphone delivers a similar image quality with the advantage that you don't need to think about taking it along as it's always with you, and neither do you need an extra charger, a memory card, you name it.  Some premium compacts, or superzoom models, still have a nice niche positioning but they're just niche.  So this market is collapsing.  BUT, launching new me-too models in this segment is very low-cost, so manufacturers are trying their luck in all directions - like you I don't think this is good, but what choice do they have?

Today many people like me, who can afford nice stuff and are enthusiast photographers, do NOT want another DSLR which is going to make zero difference in image qualtiy, while remaining heavy and bulky and with all the quirks from that obsolete design.  And personally I also don't want to invest into another "system" for now.  My dream camera is something like an RX100 - decent IQ in a very portable package so I can have it always with me but don't need to lug all those bricks.

Frankly I think board meetings at camera makers must be painful these days - it's just tough to see why the future will be good to them.  Just think what happens when smartphones will offer IQ matching high-end compacts or low-end DSLRs, and will have say a 3x or 5x zoom:  people like me who could have afforded a big DSLR, won't buy it...

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