Canon is no. 1 for 10 straight years

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
aftab
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Re: Based on their own survey?
In reply to Rick Knepper, Apr 27, 2013

Rick Knepper wrote:

aftab wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

aftab wrote:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/about_canon?pageKeyCode=pressreldetail&docId=0901e02480891911

A great feat, I must say. It has done this by a combination of making excellent equipment, understanding the needs of photographers of all level, great customer service and clever marketing. Lately it has been criticized for not being innovative. Yet, Canon seems to know what it is doing.

How long you think Canon will maintain its top position?

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Life is short.
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I'm not here to criticize Canon because half my kit is made up of Canon products. But, Canon may be number one today for many reasons that have nothing to do with the best current product for the market or current innovation.

For example, remember that Canon undercut the 35mm lens market for years (with fairly decent lenses if you were into telephoto styles) building a large base on extremely competitively priced lenses.

We all know how resistant uneducated photgraphers are to making changes in their kit. Fear & ignorance are rampant among the herd (no matter the brand actually).

This may be reversed sooner than later if Canon continues the trend of higher lens prices (and higher prices generally) making Nikon look like the budget SLR company these days. Folks previously afraid to change because of uncertainty about selling their equipemnt or learning a new system may be more motivated to jump off if they can't afford to shoot Canon.

I don't know how innovative the SLR biz can be since it seems like a mature industry (other than in sensors where, in my opinion, no manufacturer has it right yet) but Canon persists in sticking with the smallish incremental update model & the use of previous or lateral tech in new releases while Nikon seems to go for broke in all markets. Any significant update Canon might release these days kicking and screaming seems to be a result of being drug by Nikon.

It is obvious that Canon listened to a very small and very wrong group of people in their customer surveys. Before they can ask/survey a person about digital imaging issues, that person ought to understand digital imaging issues.

There are footnotes in the article suggesting that this is a Canon survey. Since there could be bias built into such a survey, it would be nice to know the protocols used in conducting the survey and the pool from which the surveyees were pulled. It would also be instructive to know the percentages by year. For example, if the percentage difference between Canon and the next competitor was 10% in 2003 (the year of the first affordable DSLR - the D300/Digital Rebel) and the percentage is .1 in 2012, that tells a different story.

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Rick Knepper, photographer, non-professional, shooting for pleasure, check my profile for gear list and philosophy. TJ said, "Every generation needs a new revolution".

Yeah, it was a Canon survey. But it is highly unlikely that they will simply make up such a claim.

I wouldn't think so either.

I don't think the statement that they've been No. 1 for 10 years has any value without knowing the percentage changes year to year. I mean, Avis has made money by the bucket loads being No. 2.

Another question occurred to me. Why does Canon need a survey to determine market share? Can't sales figures determine that? Surely Nikon releases their numbers.

Sales numbers for at least last few years are available from independent sources and Canon has been #1 in those years according to them.

Few months ago a friend and his wife were planning to travel overseas. They wanted to buy a new camera to take 'good pictures'. Like most common folks they never used anything other than P&S and cellphone for taking pictures. They asked for my advice. I advised them to get a superzoom. They wanted to know about entry level DSLR deals from Canon and Nikon and if the pictures would be better if they bought a DSLR.  I told them the pictures would be better from DSLRs, but they will have to carry at least two lenses (I explained focal lengths) and the price would be higher. They ended up buying a rebel with two kit lenses. I asked them why they didn't get a Nikon. They said for the same money they got two lenses from Canon as opposed to one from Nikon.

I feel that this kind of buyers constitute the majority of DSLR buyers. They want to take good pictures (better than P&S) without expending too much money. They use auto or scene modes, don't need to understand ISO or DR or other intricacies. They don't need critical sharpness, just sharp enough is enough. They like punchy vibrant colors. For them Canon is not more expensive than other brands.

The market becomes more complex if we consider more conscious photographers with greater needs. The entry of mirrorless has made things more unpredictable. But it would be sufficient to say that in this market segment (mid level to professional) Canon has got exactly what people want. Competition will have to do more than two extra stops of DR or higher MP to dislodge Canon from #1 position.

You could substitute the name Nikon for Canon in this story and it would fit 1000s of Nikon success stories too which wouldn't prove Nikon is the best or No. 1 or whatever.

Surely. The point I was trying to make was that although Canon seems to be becoming pricier, in the segment where most DSLRs are sold they are competitive.

Luckily for me, I have a mindset that I believe allows me to judge these tools with less emotion and more objectivity. Also beneficial to me: I shoot with two cameras (regardless of brand) which allowed me to "cross-over" with my 2nd camera and try Nikon. Very glad I did.

Many years ago (maybe end of 90s) I came across an ad on the back cover of Newsweek magazine. It said something along this line, 60% of all pictures in this magazine were taken with a Nikon. So, just because Canon is #1 now, it doesn't mean that it will be in near future too. But I feel that short of something groundbreaking (as happened with film to digital shift), it will be very difficult to dislodge Canon from dominating DSLR market.

Most people tend to become brand loyal for all sorts of reasons. Some make sense, some don't. We are complicated beings. Psychological attachment and loyalty to living and non-living things are built into our inner self. But most important reason for brand loyalty always been that people like the products from a particular brand for the money they pay.

BTW, I have a D600 too. I want technology to progress and all cameras to do better. But I will never like it if another brand comes up with something that is significantly better than Canon. I want to use products better than or as good as other products, not inferior. Brand loyalty? Maybe.

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Rick Knepper, photographer, non-professional, shooting for pleasure, check my profile for gear list and philosophy. TJ said, "Every generation needs a new revolution".

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Life is short.
Travel with passion.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/catch45/

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