Place your bets on the next to go

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Tim F 101
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Place your bets on the next to go
Feb 25, 2013

The Pentax K-01 went where it had to go, not because of its WTF styling but because it makes no sense to sell a mirrorless camera with the same register distance as an SLR.  No correct that, it makes perfect sense to sell such a camera, since it lets you cheap out on developing lenses for the system.  It just makes no sense to buy one.

Pentax is will not be the only developer who regrets their half-arsed entry in the mirrorless market.  To support a system you need lenses that people want, and it just is not cheap to make those.  IMO only the m4/3 consortium did that well, in more or less the one way that you can: they cut off their SLR development to keep their lens/body developers focused and unconcerned about mirrorless and SLR cannibalizing from each other.

Sony clearly means to brute force it and fund major development of both systems, but Sony is godzilla and Sony can do that.  The Pentax Q will do fine because the Japanese market loves expensive little gimmicks like that.  Fuji and Leica both seem well positioned to serve their upscale niches for the long term.

However, the mirrorless market has several systems whose development teams should keep their resumes updated.  Foremost is the Canon system.  Does anyone remember that Canon has a system?  Even killing the EOS-M would give it more attention than the corporate office seems to think it deserves.  That system will have a hard time of it as adaptors keep coming out that let you focus Canon lenses on better supported mirrorless systems.

Next I would put Nikon One.  I will go out on a limb and throw out this hard and fast cardinal rule of camera systems: never have more bodies than lenses.  It's easy enough to pack newer electronics into an existing body shape, but doing that too much suggests that you are primarily focused on drawing in new rubes rather than supporting your existing customer base.  In turn that suggests that your existing customer base is either not very large or not interested in staying with the system.  I suppose that the market for point-and-shoot upgraders who don't do their homework could support an indefinite purgatorial existence for the 1 system, but its development will clearly remain punishment duty for engineers who have too much seniority to fire.

I have heard that Samsung makes a mirrorless camera, although I have yet to see evidence of this in the real world.

Any thoughts?

Pentax K-01
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