Mirrorless Takes Another Hammering

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
John Koch
Regular MemberPosts: 441
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Mirrorless: Catch 22
In reply to rattymouse, 11 months ago

Camera manufacturers are either losing money or making less money.  Critics suggest that they cut the prices, in order to sell more.  But that simply means more losses if the margins ar negative.  Other critics say the cameras should be accompanied by more high-end features, which would simply cannibalize DSLR sales.  There is no win-win solution, folks.  Smart phones are picking up market share and gouging the camera business across the board.

It should be obvious to all that the P&S market has imploded and the loss of revenues on consumer cameras can't be good for the high-end market, either.

There is no evidence that any manufacturer of mirrorless NEX or m4/3 has reported a real profit on those product lines, per se.  None break out the margins, segment by segment, for the simple reason that there is no reliable way to apportion the shared costs.  The quarterly reports will always cite some double-digit rise in sales for a new product, which is meaningless if the base is zero (since it is new), and profits for the imaging as a whole still drop or turn negative.

See page five of the Olympus report.  I thing people are deluded by discussion of units of new models or revenues alone.  Look at the operating margins.  In the case of Olympus, which has lots of debt, it's also important to consider debt expense, which is charged after operating costs.

http://www.olympus-global.com/en/common/pdf/financial145PBe_2.pdf

Sony would still be losing money, too, were it not for the entertainment segment, which an activist investor wants the group to spin off.

Panasonic is mired in a similar fix.

Nikon and Canon get by, but can't be happy with the prospects for cameras.  The decline may be permanent.

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