Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?

Started Apr 27, 2012 | Discussions
normsmith
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Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
Apr 27, 2012

This may have started some time ago for me with the release of the GH2, as I always felt it was too expensive for where it sat within the whole camera spectrum. As a consequence I bought the G3 instead. I think the GH2 is the better camera but not enough to cover the gulf in price difference ( as of last september). I am guessing that the GH3 will be equally highly priced.

I note the new Samsung NX20 is going to be much dearer (in the UK) than earlier models.

I would really like to own the OM-D, but that is a hefty price for what you actually get.

I do own the Nkon V1, which likewise I think is too expensive.

The new Fji seems dearest of all - though many are comparing it to Leica quality, which would costs several times more - so perhaps that is a bargain

Anyway, I make these judgements partly in keeping with my own family budget considerations but mainly with regards to the pricing of fine cameras such as the likes of the lower and mid range DSLR's,like the excellent Nikon D5100 and the soon to be released D3200 (same price) and the Canon equivalents.

The prime arguement between the systems has generally been portability Vs ultimate image quality and response times - though for many styles of photography and many needs this gap is rapidly closing.

Am I missing the point on pricing?
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Patrick2968
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

new technology always expensive. R&D is the most spending division.

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Louis_Dobson
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

Something is worth what someone will pay for it.

MFT is selling quite well, so no, it is, by definition, not over-priced.

Personally, I find cheap dSLRs unpleasant to use. And I find big, expensive ones tiresome to carry. The OM-D works for me (as an idea, camera arrives Monday) because it offers high end dSLR performance in a portable package. And my E-PM1 works for me because I can keep it in my pocket.

The IQ of all competent cameras is more or less the same. Only the D800 is better than the rest, and (for my specialist purposes) Canon and the low end Panny sensors worse. If one is obsessed with high ISO then a D4 is good. Otherwise all cameras are fine. The difference is not the IQ of the shot, but getting it.
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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Apr 27, 2012

Louis_Dobson wrote:

Something is worth what someone will pay for it.

MFT is selling quite well, so no, it is, by definition, not over-priced.

Personally, I find cheap dSLRs unpleasant to use. And I find big, expensive ones tiresome to carry. The OM-D works for me (as an idea, camera arrives Monday) because it offers high end dSLR performance in a portable package. And my E-PM1 works for me because I can keep it in my pocket.

The IQ of all competent cameras is more or less the same. Only the D800 is better than the rest, and (for my specialist purposes) Canon and the low end Panny sensors worse. If one is obsessed with high ISO then a D4 is good. Otherwise all cameras are fine. The difference is not the IQ of the shot, but getting it.
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You forgot to mention the Pentax K5 as a good one

Have you seen the "low end" Panasonic GF5 sensor performance ?

Hope soon DXO test it, because the images I have seen were really good, for that kind of camera

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SuvoMitra
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Apr 27, 2012

Louis_Dobson wrote:

The IQ of all competent cameras is more or less the same. ... The difference is not the IQ of the shot, but getting it.

If only it didn't take us (well, me at least) a small fortune and years of wasted time chasing the latest and greatest to take this in. I'm thinking of the number of times I've read "it's not the camera ... it's the photographer" in this sea of tech talk, known it was the truth, but managed not to let it get in the way of shopping.

Surely there are some situations (such as night-time or indoor sports or events) in which people are being paid to produce brochure-style, smooth, richly coloured, sharply focused shots. It's probably got to be a D800 or a D4 with the fastest lenses for these people, or they won't get what they are paid for. They hire most of this kit most of the time anyway. Outside of this, the photographer's eye and skill on the camera and computer make the image. Differences in cameras are a rather small element in the differences in potential, and even there, how the things feels to hold and use is probably most important.

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muddyfunster
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

the prices on bodies depreciates quite quickly, maybe the E-M5 will be different, so bargains can be had if you look around. Some of the lens prices on the other hand are ridiculously high, the Olympus 75-300 is a fine example at over £500 in the UK, but then you can pick a Panny 14mm up for a few pennies, swings and roundabouts.
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Ulfric M Douglas
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Mirrorless often over-priced
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

normsmith wrote:

This may have started some time ago for me with the release of the GH2, ...

I'd say it started with the Olympus e-P1 at around £800 for far less features than the £500 Lumix G1.

Then they had the gall to release the e-P2&VF-2 package for almost a thousand pounds!

The GH2 was absolutely not overpriced as it featured a very expensive (for good reason) lens in the kit.

So ... some models are released overpriced while others (G3) quickly settle at entry-level DSLR prices, which is good.

I see the whole MILF pricing strategy as quite odd.

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Louis_Dobson
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Re: Mirrorless often over-priced
In reply to Ulfric M Douglas, Apr 27, 2012

Does one want MFT to be stuck in the ghetto that is entry level dSLRs?

I don't.

I've no use for entry level dSLRs and don't want a camera that competes with them.

Ulfric M Douglas wrote:

normsmith wrote:

This may have started some time ago for me with the release of the GH2, ...

I'd say it started with the Olympus e-P1 at around £800 for far less features than the £500 Lumix G1.

Then they had the gall to release the e-P2&VF-2 package for almost a thousand pounds!

The GH2 was absolutely not overpriced as it featured a very expensive (for good reason) lens in the kit.

So ... some models are released overpriced while others (G3) quickly settle at entry-level DSLR prices, which is good.

I see the whole MILF pricing strategy as quite odd.

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Lucas A
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to muddyfunster, Apr 27, 2012

muddyfunster wrote:

the prices on bodies depreciates quite quickly, maybe the E-M5 will be different, so bargains can be had if you look around. Some of the lens prices on the other hand are ridiculously high, the Olympus 75-300 is a fine example at over £500 in the UK, but then you can pick a Panny 14mm up for a few pennies, swings and roundabouts.
--

Exactly! The mirrorless market is very competitive at the moment, and their technology is costantly improving. This means more models are being made and prices of old bodies drop very quickly. The OP should keep an eye out for old bodies especially when new bodies come out. You can get some fantastic deals

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SkiHound
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

The GH2 is a terrific video camera and that's a significant part of the opening price. As a stills only camera the G3 offers way more value, IMO. Though some of the GH2 features, especially the ability to shoot in different formats without cropping significant resolution, sets it apart. I'd say the E-M5 is more designed to go compete against enthusiast cameras like the D7000, D7, etc. Weather sealed magnesium body, two control wheels, lots of programmable function buttons, what seems to be a really outstanding IBIS system, optional grip, etc. The entry level SLRs from Canon and Nikon have good imagers and matched with good lenses can produce really terrific IQ. But the bodies don't feel that solid, they don't have the same level of control, and they take some short cuts. IMO the G3 is a much closer competitor at the entry level.

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Marla2008
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to SkiHound, Apr 27, 2012

New releases are highly priced, but as someone else mentioned, they drop rather quickly. And some are better priced than others (Panasonic, except for the GH-2 at release, seems priced lower than Oly for comparable specs).

The relatively recently released GX-1 is already dropping price very quickly, and at this point it must be among the very best value of the market !

I now have a firm (paid for) pre-order on an E-M5, but depending on how it performs I might keep alongside with it.

Overall the high end offering is very over priced, look at the Nex7 and Fuji X Pro, they're in high end APS-C territory price.

Nikon is planing to release a cheap FF model (cf Nikon rumors) without AF motor (à la Dxxxx series), maybe as low as $1500, which may change the game a bit ?
I feel the E-M5 is priced just acceptably to be a really hot seller ?

Marla.

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Laszlo13
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to Marla2008, Apr 27, 2012

Marla2008 wrote:
....

Nikon is planing to release a cheap FF model (cf Nikon rumors) without AF motor (à la Dxxxx series), maybe as low as $1500, which may change the game a bit ?
I feel the E-M5 is priced just acceptably to be a really hot seller ?

Marla.

Thanks for the heads up, just checked out the D600 rumors. I think a low priced (and if possible smaller) full frame would be a great product, and give more options on the market. The rumors about a lack of focusing motor is puzzling. Aren't Nikon's Dx lenses designed for the APS crop factor? So a new set of full frame lenses would need to be released - rumored at just f4? That would kind of defeat the purpose of making the cam full frame.

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kenw
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Just buy older models...
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

The newest high end models are pricey - as you observe. Not particularly more expensive than a lot of intro DSLRs, but perhaps a but more expensive.

The one nice thing is that Olympus and Panasonic have been constantly updating their products and flooding the market with oodles of camera bodies. That means there are always plenty of inexpensive bodies if you are willing to purchase an older model. We've seen $300 GH1's, $150 EP-1's, cheep GF3s and GF2s. As you point out probably the best bang for the buck on the newer models is the G3.

So no, I don't think it is over-priced really, there is just a wide spectrum of models with different prices.

Similar story on the lenses front. Some great bargains of moderate quality. Actually a few excellent lenses at decent price (45/1.8). Some great lenses that are expensive (7-14). And some I'm sure one could argue are just too pricey (75-300 maybe). Lenses don't depreciate in value the way bodies do so you don't have the "buy the older model" and just have to take what is available. Fortunately compared to the mirrorless competition we have way more choices. Naturally Canikon DSLRs have vastly wider ranges of choices and so you are more likely to find the price/performance point you want for a lens simply because there are so many more options.
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Louis_Dobson
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to Laszlo13, Apr 27, 2012

No, the current g model lenses would work fine. What would not work would be my old primes, reducing their value! Grrr!
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danijel973
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

Yes, the pricing of higher-end models is weird, as it competes with very fine dSLRs, and you really need to make sure that's the kind of camera you need. It makes sense to buy an older model on a discount as a cheap thing, as I did, but recently I was in an electronics store and they had Nikon dSLRs, Olympus, Sony and NIKON EVILs, and the prices were about the same. Having that in mind, if an enthusiast wanted to choose a system I would probably point him towards entry level Nikon or Canon, and certainly not EVIL, which I see mostly as a second system for people who already have an SLR with several lenses -or, alternatively, as a single system for people who want image quality but don't want to bother with an SLR.

But having in mind what you are getting, I don't think the price is excessive. It's right there with the enthusiast compact cameras such as Canon G11 or whatever they have now. The price overlap with dSLRs is probably due to the fact that the entry level dSLR prices have dropped to more sensible levels.

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Richard Biffl
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Re: Mirrorless often over-priced
In reply to Ulfric M Douglas, Apr 27, 2012

Ulfric M Douglas wrote:

I see the whole MILF pricing strategy as quite odd.

Uh, maybe you meant MILC?

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Marla2008
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Apr 27, 2012

"cheap" f4 and 3,5-4.5 FF zooms will be released along with the D600, all other A-FS lenses will work in DX auto crop mode (a genius feature IMO) and all motorized third party lenses (a lot of very good HSM Sigmas) will AF as well I might very well get this cam myself, especially if it's a bit smaller. I'm really hooked to FF so I could consider maintaining both a high end m4/3 system and a low end FF one !

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bskeet
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

I agree with Louis that something is worth what someone is willing to pay.

But bear in mind what many have mentioned, that the bodies decrease in price quickly. $150 for an E-PL1 body? The frugal m43 buyer would buy two year old bodies and put any extra $ into lenses.

He says as he waits for his E-M5 to arrive. Sigh.

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benarden
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to normsmith, Apr 27, 2012

normsmith wrote:

The prime argument between the systems has generally been portability Vs ultimate image quality and response times - though for many styles of photography and many needs this gap is rapidly closing.

  • Not too sure about this;

Check out the IQ bet ZS20 ( Shirt pocket sized ) and e-Pl1
Micro 4/3

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-zs20-tz30-review/8

Am I missing the point on pricing?
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  • but getting refurbished 4/3 equipment may be the way to go.

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peevee1
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Re: Is mirrorless becoming over-priced?
In reply to Marla2008, Apr 27, 2012

Marla2008 wrote:

The relatively recently released GX-1 is already dropping price very quickly, and at this point it must be among the very best value of the market !

G3 is basically the same, PLUS EVF and articulated screen and better grip and better flash, and costs less, and weights approximately the same. Only $618 for black body with standard 14-42. Pretty good value!

Compared to that, GX1 with the same lens should cost $400 or so. Whoever buys it for more than G3 is out of his mind!

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