Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions
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Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
Apr 11, 2013

Thom Hogan wrote about the state of mirrorless camera sales and published the most recent data.

Mirrorless cameras continue to lose ground to SLR cameras.  The rate of increase of mirrorless sales does NOT match that of SLR's.   So not only is mirrorless not on pace to overtake SLR sales, they are in fact LOSING ground.

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/panasonics-mirrorless-claim.html

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Keit ll
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

The figures quoted in the linked article mean very little. Are we asked to compare Panasonic mirrorless sales against all DSLR sales ? Panasonic don't make DSLRs so why aren't total mirrorless sales quoted ?

If DSLR sales are steady & not in decline would that be very surprising ? The DSLR format (do the figures include SLTs ?) has been around for a longtime whereas compact mirrorless designs are fairly new & the associated technology is still developing rapidly.

It's too early to be clear as to which format is going to become ( stay) dominant & all such considerations are further complicated by the World economic situation which is impacting on all markets at the moment.

PS - don't understand your comments about fanboyism ? Do you let the opinions of others unduly bias your own attitudes & opinions ?

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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to Keit ll, Apr 11, 2013

Keit ll wrote:

The figures quoted in the linked article mean very little. Are we asked to compare Panasonic mirrorless sales against all DSLR sales ? Panasonic don't make DSLRs so why aren't total mirrorless sales quoted ?

Agreed. But he has posted comprehensive data in the past and mirrorless has never reached or exceeded SLR sales.

If DSLR sales are steady & not in decline would that be very surprising ?

No it would not.  Canon and Nikon have had very good sales selling millions of SLR's and lenses.

The DSLR format (do the figures include SLTs ?) has been around for a longtime whereas compact mirrorless designs are fairly new & the associated technology is still developing rapidly.

It's too early to be clear as to which format is going to become ( stay) dominant & all such considerations are further complicated by the World economic situation which is impacting on all markets at the moment.

PS - don't understand your comments about fanboyism ? Do you let the opinions of others unduly bias your own attitudes & opinions ?

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Keith C

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gfspencer
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

I think you have to be a real camera junkie before you look at a mirrorless camera.  The average person doesn't know what they are.  They think "expensive point & shoot with interchangeable lenses."

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ultimitsu
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

Problem with mirrorless is not a simple one.

For m43 and Nikon 1, at the least from where I am sitting, the problem is the price. One would think that savings from the mirror assembly would be reflected on the price. Lenses (m43) that are 1/2 in diameter and 1/8 in volume compared to 135 format should be in theory be significantly cheaper. But they are not. You cannot really blame Oly and Panasonic for too greedy because they are nto making money as is.

For Sony, the problem is IQ. their made flange back distance too short to make the camera as compact as they can, now they are paying the price - they just cannot make lenses perform well wide open around the corners. Once people buy into the system and want decent glasses, they can find none except use an adapter and shoot MF lenses. Not everyone's cup of tea.

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Chris R-UK
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Figures show mirrorless gaining ground?
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

The figures in the graph are difficult to estimate but my best guess is as follows:

Mirrorless 2012: 3.75m  2013: 4.8m  Growth +28%

DSLR 2012: 16.25m  2013:  17.7m  Growth  +9%

Mirrorless % DSLR sales: 2012  23%  2013  27%

Surely mirrorless sales are growing faster than DSLR sales.

(If my calculations are wrong will somebody correct me, please)

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Re: Figures show mirrorless gaining ground?
In reply to Chris R-UK, Apr 11, 2013

Chris R-UK wrote:

Surely mirrorless sales are growing faster than DSLR sales.

That's not what the text says so your calculations are off.

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olliess
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to ultimitsu, Apr 11, 2013

ultimitsu wrote:

Problem with mirrorless is not a simple one.

For m43 and Nikon 1, at the least from where I am sitting, the problem is the price. One would think that savings from the mirror assembly would be reflected on the price. Lenses (m43) that are 1/2 in diameter and 1/8 in volume compared to 135 format should be in theory be significantly cheaper. But they are not. You cannot really blame Oly and Panasonic for too greedy because they are nto making money as is.

It's always a tough call there. Make more money by selling more cameras or selling more expensive ones? The m4/3 cameras certainly are "nicer" than entry-level DSLRs, but does that mean enough sales?

It doesn't help either that there's has been a flood of discounted older m4/3 (and Nikon 1) cameras on the market recently.

For Sony, the problem is IQ. their made flange back distance too short to make the camera as compact as they can, now they are paying the price - they just cannot make lenses perform well wide open around the corners. Once people buy into the system and want decent glasses, they can find none except use an adapter and shoot MF lenses. Not everyone's cup of tea.

Just because you have the short flange back distance doesn't mean you have to use it to make pancake wides. But the resolution is enough now that they have to deal with it if you want to use rangefinder-style lenses (same problem Leica has to deal with).

Sony just doesn't have a lot of lenses.

And both formats really suffer in visibility. You can go to Best Buy and see a whole collection of Canikon and some Sony, including full frame DSLRs. There's usually also 'a' box with 'a' Sony NEX-5R, placed somewhere between the DSLR and P&S aisles. Where are the NEX-6/7 so I can look through the EVF? Where's the OM-D in the store, period?

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KCK14
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to olliess, Apr 11, 2013

Marketing in the US of Panasonic and Olympus almost nonexistent.  You have to search them out. You see Nikon and Canon DSLR's at Wal-Mart.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

rattymouse wrote:

Thom Hogan wrote about the state of mirrorless camera sales and published the most recent data.

Mirrorless cameras continue to lose ground to SLR cameras.  The rate of increase of mirrorless sales does NOT match that of SLR's.   So not only is mirrorless not on pace to overtake SLR sales, they are in fact LOSING ground.

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/panasonics-mirrorless-claim.html

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A lot of sales is driven by perception. Some also seem to buy it by lb/$. Many think that pros use it, so they can be that. Then there is marketing. Personally to me, it is also the difference between people wanting a minivan or an SUV (wait, that is not a favored term anymore... let us call it Cross over) to commute. Some might want a sports car, with automatic transmission. They might prefer if the car also drive itself home.

Mirror-less ILCs are a relatively new mainstream offering. Previously, it was mainly a niche product. Yes, Leica and like held the flag, and with manual focus and such. So, a lot of development is due and it is happening. Panasonic and Olympus recognized why mirrored approach wasn't great for m4/3, so about five years ago, they adopted a strategy that has paid off. Note: five years. Three years ago, Sony took a larger sensor (APS-C) and created the NEX-line which is very successful. Note: three years. Fuji is targeting advanced users with its x-mount, not the typical mom and dad shopping at Walmart, Sams Club and Costco. Yes, I was at Costco a few weeks ago and played with D3200, D5200 and D600. I did see the 1-series as the lone at display mirror-less option.

And I had someone approach me last week, while taking photographs at a "Miracle League" baseball opener with a question: "That is an interesting looking DSLR, can I have a look at it?" It is Sony NEX which uses no mirror and isn't a DSLR, I told her. She got interested into it, but I told her that if she were planning to use the camera for such events (kids' soccer/baseball), she might want to look into DSLR/DSLT unless she were to accept the way I mostly use my camera: manual focus.

Although, with mirror-less, fast AF isn't much of an issue with smaller sensors. It is, currently, with APS-C (and likely will be with FF). Further development along the lines is in progress, something that will take further edge off DSLR-dom.

Did I say, 3-5 years?

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Pedagydusz
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

That is interesting, because not many years ago there were zero (0) mirrorless cameras to be seen (in your sense of mirror less). And now they are losing ground? There are less than zero?

Hehehe, there is a good one!   

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Chris R-UK
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Re: Figures show mirrorless gaining ground?
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

rattymouse wrote:

Chris R-UK wrote:

Surely mirrorless sales are growing faster than DSLR sales.

That's not what the text says so your calculations are off.

Really - then please demonstrate the error in my calculations.

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Thorgrem
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In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

If we compare 2011 to 2012 we see a grow in both segments.

13,183 to 16,200 for dSLR

2,511 to 3,957 for Mirrorless

Mirrorless grows harder worldwide and takes a bigger % every year.

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Chris R-UK
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In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

Thorgrem has posted Panasonic's actual presentation sheet: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51271725

These figures show that the mirrorless market is growing significantly faster than the DSLR market and is gaining market share in terms of units.

Growth rates:

2011  DSLR +15%  Mirrorless +78%

2012  DSLR +23%  Mirrorless +43%

2013  DSLR +1-%  Mirrorless +36%  (forecasts)

sansmirror.com's statement "that mirrorless won't overtake DSLRs in sales" is wrong.  If mirrorless continues to grow faster than DSLR it will eventually overtake DSLR sales.  I repeat "if".  There are lots of "ifs" like "if" new technology doesn't obsolete both.

sansmirror.com second statement "it's not a growth market that appears to be cannibalizing DSLR sales" is correct in that the DSLR growth rate increased in 2012 although Panasonic is forecasting a slowdown in 2013.

Interestingly mirrorless has the lowest market penetration in North America and the highest in Japan and Singapore.

The figures might look different in value terms since the FF DSLR market is clearly growing faster than the APS-C market.

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vjk2
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

If you think about it, an optical viewfinder is the one thing that an iphone can never have.

So basically I'm saying that the iphone is cannibalizing everything short of a DSLR.

I traveled in Asia recently and one weird thing is how many young females are walking around with these huge hulking DSLR cameras, when they clearly...don't need something so big.

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MoreorLess
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 11, 2013

rattymouse wrote:

Thom Hogan wrote about the state of mirrorless camera sales and published the most recent data.

Mirrorless cameras continue to lose ground to SLR cameras.  The rate of increase of mirrorless sales does NOT match that of SLR's.   So not only is mirrorless not on pace to overtake SLR sales, they are in fact LOSING ground.

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/panasonics-mirrorless-claim.html

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9 years of Fujifilm camera usage, ended by rampant fanboyism.

As that article points out my opinion has always been that people overestimate the overlap between mirrorless and DSLR's.

Obviously the higher end mirrorless models like the Fuji's, NEX 6/7, OM-D and GH are offering somewhat similar handeling but the vast majority of mirrorless sales are smaller bodies with more limated manual controls than even the most basic DSLR plus of course no viewfinder. In terms of handling there much closer to compacts and I think they generally cater to former compact users who want similar handling but improved performance.

When your dealing with two different markets I think it makes sense they'll behave differently, itsd not just a case of X number of potential DSLR buyers going for mirrorless instyead each year.

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Alleg1
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Re: Actual Figures
In reply to Chris R-UK, Apr 11, 2013

Why all this arguing..use a DSLR or mirrorless as you see fit.

Have the confidence to back up your choice!

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ultimitsu
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Re: Mirrorless- Continuing to Under Perform
In reply to olliess, Apr 11, 2013

olliess wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

Problem with mirrorless is not a simple one.

For m43 and Nikon 1, at the least from where I am sitting, the problem is the price. One would think that savings from the mirror assembly would be reflected on the price. Lenses (m43) that are 1/2 in diameter and 1/8 in volume compared to 135 format should be in theory be significantly cheaper. But they are not. You cannot really blame Oly and Panasonic for too greedy because they are nto making money as is.

It's always a tough call there. Make more money by selling more cameras or selling more expensive ones?

Perhaps the problem is too many new models. Canikon offer 1 new low end body a year and 1 mid range body every two to three years. it keeps design, testing, and production cost down.

Panasonic and Olympus seem to offer 2 low end body a year - like G and GF line. Its not exactly efficient use of design, testing and production rescouces. add to that every time a new GF comes out the old one gets heavlly discounted, it does not help maintaining the perception of good value and brand image either.

As for lenses, I think they just are efficient full stop.

The m4/3 cameras certainly are "nicer" than entry-level DSLRs, but does that mean enough sales?

I dont know about that. I had play with entry level M43s, never felt they were better built than entry level SLRs.

It doesn't help either that there's has been a flood of discounted older m4/3 (and Nikon 1) cameras on the market recently.

I think the problem is not just recently, it has always been so.

For Sony, the problem is IQ. their made flange back distance too short to make the camera as compact as they can, now they are paying the price - they just cannot make lenses perform well wide open around the corners. Once people buy into the system and want decent glasses, they can find none except use an adapter and shoot MF lenses. Not everyone's cup of tea.

Just because you have the short flange back distance doesn't mean you have to use it to make pancake wides.

But that is exactly what sony is doing, they make pan cake as flat as they can. the rest is every review you come across give it a below average score.

But the resolution is enough now that they have to deal with it if you want to use rangefinder-style lenses (same problem Leica has to deal with).

I seem to remember reading somewhere Leica spent a lot of energy fitting  expensive microless to deflect light coming from hard angle to make better use of them. and that was suppose to be part of the reason why their M digitals are so expensive.

Sony just doesn't have a lot of lenses.

I think they do. Sony has been on mirrorless market for 4 years now and M43 5 years. the gap is not so big anymore. they have 7 zooms and 6 primes, more than enough to make a competitive collection if they had good IQ. I think Contax G only had 7 lenses.

And both formats really suffer in visibility. You can go to Best Buy and see a whole collection of Canikon and some Sony, including full frame DSLRs. There's usually also 'a' box with 'a' Sony NEX-5R, placed somewhere between the DSLR and P&S aisles. Where are the NEX-6/7 so I can look through the EVF? Where's the OM-D in the store, period?

I dont think we can say mirrorless do not know how to do marketing. I am sure they hire experts in that field and pay them mega bucks. I think they have tried in the past and it simply did not generate sufficient return. In New Zealand I have seen strong marketing compaign by oly and pana in the past to push their m43, but I dont see them all the time. It must mean they decided it was not worth the cost.

Likes of Warmart and Costco are not stupid, they sell whoever that give them the best deal and whatever product that can sell. If they do not stock m43, it means they cant sell them fast enough or cannot make enough money selling them.

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Ron Poelman
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Thom who ?
In reply to rattymouse, Apr 12, 2013

Getting as bad as the inevitable KR cross-posts around here.

And could we please wait at least a couple of days,
before we launch another borderline troll/inflamatory post ?
Try to savour your previous effort before firing another one in,
it's hard to keep track.

On topic ....
I got mine;
so the rate of adoption doesn't worry me one single bit.
And, yes mirrorless will cut into optical, that's progress.

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wfektar
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In reply to rattymouse, Apr 12, 2013

rattymouse wrote:

Mirrorless cameras continue to lose ground to SLR cameras.  The rate of increase of mirrorless sales does NOT match that of SLR's.  So not only is mirrorless not on pace to overtake SLR sales, they are in fact LOSING ground.

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/panasonics-mirrorless-claim.html

Just looking at the data you point out we see that over two years the growth rate of SLRs is not quite 40% whereas for mirrorless it's not quite 100%. In the same time span the share of mirrorless wrt mirrorless plus SLR has gone from not quite 20% to not quite 30%. So I suppose the statement "The rate of increase of mirrorless sales does NOT match that of SLR's" is true -- it's higher. But it takes a bizarrely twisted reading to claim that mirrorless sales are "in fact LOSING ground".

In the bigger picture, who gives a flip? Does anyone really care what anyone else is shooting? Unless, of course, you're a bean counter.

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