An interesting read about the state of the camera industry..

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Graham Hill
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Re: An interesting read about the state of the camera industry..
In reply to Cartwheels MD, 9 months ago

Cartwheels MD wrote:

Graham Hill wrote:

Daniel Lauring wrote:

It's going to get harder and harder to sell people on getting a new camera every year or two so the surviving players are going to need to figure out to work in an industry that doesn't work on that model.

Absolutely right. Despite the best intentions of the head-buried-in-the-sand crowd, most camera companies, including Fujifilm, make ZERO profits from their camera operations. Fujifilm has never, repeat NEVER turned a profit selling cameras. These great cameras exist only by the good will of Fuji's legacy. They are a sink hole that swallows up cash and nothing more.

Fujifilm as a company is actually quite profitable and healthy. They don't only make cameras, so they can afford to eat a loss in their camera division while the market stabilizes. Even if the X system is a failure, they have developed some awesome technology that could be used in OEM component manufacturing for third parties.

With that said, what Fujifilm does well, they do better than anyone else. That is because they are extremely focused and don't get distracted from making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Olympus has suspended ALL dividend payments until their cameras turn a profit.

Panasonic has stated that any business that does not produce at least 5% ROI is destined to be shut down.

While Olympus and Panasonic have awesome long-term strategies, their businesses aren't positioned to survive in the long-term. Unfortunately, they will probably be the first ones to go.

Sony at best breaks even making cameras.

Sony is just not focused enough. In order for going full frame to work, they needed to wow the world with the A7 and A7r. Instead, it was kind of like "Well...they're good." It just proves the point that full frame is not the killer app of the camera world. If it were, people wouldn't be shooting with iPhones. Their optics also leave something to be desired considering the price put on them. They aimed directly for the consumer market and fell flat on their face.

Ricoh losses money making cameras and appears to be closing down the Ricoh side of their camera division in slow motion. Pentax's future is uncertain as it too is not profitable.

Which is unfortunate because both make awesome gear, but neither of them have been real players for a long time.

Canon and Nikon, while still profitable, are seeing profits slip dramatically.

Canon will be fine and will probably be a major player in the market if they decide to focus more on mirrorless. Nikon has some troubles ahead if they don't slim down and focus. If Canon and Nikon put their weight behind mirrorless, western sales will increase for everyone.

The world economy continues to be swirling the drain. NOT a good time for the above situations.

There are too many suppliers and not enough customers in the camera business. Painful times await.

I don't really know how these are connected.

I think you do know.

Yes, camera manufacturers will go out of business. That's inevitable since the collective supply of all of them outpaces demand.

See?  You just re-stated what I just said.  Too much supply for very little demand.

But this almost never leads to dark times.

Tell that to Kodak, and Fujifilm's film group.

Market disruption is caused by innovation, and the companies who die are the ones who cannot scale or respond to the market disruptions.

Exactly my point.

You don't really want to invest so much in a camera system from a company who cannot compete in the market.

Again, you agree with me.

As the dust settles, the surviving companies will not have to pour so much money into R&D in order to make their cameras as good as DSLRs, they will be able to claim a larger market segment, and as a result, their businesses will scale to the demand. The idea that this will spell the end of the camera market is absurd.

What is absurd is your ability to formulate nonsensical ideas from my text.  WHERE do I write anywhere that the entire camera market is going to end?  Nowhere. None of my words can be constructed to mean this.  I am left to guess that you are the one with this absurd idea and so feel the need to comment on it yourself.

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"Film is not a means to the end of "looking like film"... Making film-based photographs is an end incitself for me, not some kind of elaborate photoshop plugin. If I can't put Tri-X in the goddamn thing, I don't want it."
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"Film is not a means to the end of "looking like film"... Making film-based photographs is an end in itself for me, not some kind of elaborate photoshop plugin. If I can't put Tri-X in the goddamn thing, I don't want it."
Anonymous

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