Prepare yourselves for a new landscape

Started Nov 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
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meland OP
Senior MemberPosts: 5,022
Re: another obvious post
In reply to tko, Nov 10, 2013

tko wrote:

Translation. Quality doesn't sell to the mass market. Weight and convenience trumps all. Cheap and adequate works. True and obvious, a big duh moment.

Yet there are thousand of high end products that do quite well. BMW's and Mercedes. Stereos and TVs. High end clothing, restaurants, and appliances. None of which are strictly necessary, but still sell. Indeed, the first thing a new manufacturer does is to establish a high end, top of the line presence.

Typical post. I don't need high end, so you don't need high end. You use high end, so you threaten me.

Posts like this are typically written by technological challenged people who have been raised expecting miracles. The magic sensor, offering 500% more light sensitivity, the magic lens with a 100X zoom range. Sprinkle that fairy dust and make my dreams real. My cell phone is gonna beat your medium format any day now. Just you wait, and I'll show you. Really, just wait until he's all grown up.

Get over it.

I'll try to respond to this in a reasonable and non-confrontational manner.

What I was attempting to say, although perhaps I said it badly, or perhaps it is enjoyable for some to  twist what I did say around, is suggest that we are currently in a golden age for top end equipment.  It works amazingly well and is actually very cheap for what it does.  However, given that the middle aged enthusiast market is declining (and ageing) and that younger enthusiasts are not coming in fast enough to fill the gap, then manufacturers will have to realign their product portfolios.  Of course you may not agree with this statement but anyway allow me to continue.

So over a period of time DSLRs (or should I say the particular enthusiast class of camera that DSLRs and indeed mirrorless cameras, fit into, will shrink.  Not because they are any less capable but because there may be less 'enthusiasts' prepared to buy them.  And because there are a lot of people currently, who are not enthusiasts, but who nevertheless currently buy this type of equipment because there hasn't been much of an alternative.  But I'm suggesting that for the latter market there will be alternatives.

So camera manufacturers will be forced to move up market, or should I say up price, because with the shrinking volumes that is the only way that those manufacturers can remain in the market.  And that means the stuff we enjoy today, or dare I say take for granted today, will become very much more expensive.

This is nothing new - remember what happened to medium format when 35mm came along.  Remember how 'serious' photographers derided 35mm as a 'toy' format.  And yet 35mm succeeded and largely replaced medium format even for enthusiasts.  Remember how serious 35mm film photographers derided digital.  It will never have the quality of film they said.  Film will never be replaced they said.  Sound familiar?

So tko you deride me by claiming I'm technically challenged.  You assume I'm expecting a magic sensor.  No, not at all.  With 30 years behind me working both on the technical side and in marketing for Canon I do know a little bit about what is possible and what is not.  One of my responsibilities in the early days of digital was launching digital imaging to a market that I can only describe as sceptical if  not downright hostile.  I have given enough presentations to journalists, newspapers, picture agencies, dealers, and in many countries, to understand that people feel very uncomfortable at a different vision of what may be the future to the one they want or expect.

Magic sensor - no.  Revising the laws of optics - not at all.  But remember bridge (superzoom) cameras already have 100x zooms - it's just a function of their small sensors.  You may deride these too but all I'm suggesting is that with a small improvement in IQ and perhaps build quality, many of tomorrow's enthusiasts will be very happy with these small sensors and the small lenses that they permit.

The 'true enthusiast' who values IQ above all else will be prepared to pay a considerable amount for his large format (aka FF or APS-C or M4/3).  But just as has happened in the audio industry, there won't be so many of them remaining in the high end as there are now.

But by all means come back to me if you want to discuss it further in an intelligent and non sarcastic manner.

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