Camera Munufacturers, please stop...

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Ken Croft
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Camera Munufacturers, please stop...
9 months ago

I have a Canon 60D which I do not want to carry everywhere, so as my always-with-me camera I have had a Canon S95 for the past two years. It produces excellent images, for a pocket camera. But I can afford a better carry-around camera and I have been looking at the much hyped and highly specified Sony RX100, both versions. Despite the hype and the spec which raises expectations, the results from published tests look just a bit better at base ISO [worse in the case of the RX100-II] than the S95. Not a lot better, just a bit, and of course they are deemed to be excellent, for a pocket camera. So I am a bit confused, and the waters have been muddied even more by three frustrating months trying to squeeze stunning images from the miniscule sensor of the Canon SX50. I failed and ebayed it, happy to take the loss.

So one evening when browsing through holiday pictures on the computer, I came across just ordinary snaps taken with the entry level dslr that I had at the time, the Canon 350D and cheapo Sigma 18-125mm. These were taken in 2006, 8 years ago, and what I saw really woke me up. The pictures were stunning in comparison to the S95, the RX100, the SX50 and all other small-imager pictures I have taken. So now I know that my next pocket camera should have an APS-C sized imager; so what have we got. At first I found the Nikon "A". Sorry, I must read that again! £650? There must be some mistake, but no, that is even a special offer price. Then I found the Ricoh GR [aka Pentax] for £560, again as a special offer. You really are taking the p*ss you lot! All I want is a simple pocket camera. I do not want the mechanical complexity of mirrors flapping about nor do I want a pentaprism. I don’t really need an adjustable movable rear screen. I don’t want a socket into which I can fit an EVF that costs as much as the camera. And I certainly do not want NFC, WiFi, GPS, VD or AIDS and nor do I really need an image stabilizer, in my film days I managed quite nicely without one. I can get all of that complication, well maybe not VD or AIDS, and Canon can make a profit, from a £300 Canon dslr complete with zoom lens. All I want is a plastic box with a fixed prime lens and a 3" screen on the outside and an APS-C imager on the inside. How difficult can that be? I don’t even want warranty, at that price it will be in the bin if it goes wrong and I will just buy another, so you don’t even need a backup and repair service. And you can forget the fancy box and useless CD’s just pack it in a padded bag and I will download the software and instructions from the internet. If Canikon can sell a complete dslr for £300 then a fair price for my camera would be £100, but let us not be too radical, let’s say £200. At that price it would fly off the shelves and would revive the fortunes of any ailing camera manufacturer.

So come on, ditch the bells and whistles, stop taking..., and give us an APS-C camera at a sensible price.

Maybe I might even stretch to £300.

Ken from the UK now in France

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Donald Chin
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

If you placed an order for a few million units, I'm certain camera manufacturers are glad to do it, the question is do you think you can sell it?

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meland
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

I have a Canon 60D which I do not want to carry everywhere, so as my always-with-me camera I have had a Canon S95 for the past two years. It produces excellent images, for a pocket camera. But I can afford a better carry-around camera and I have been looking at the much hyped and highly specified Sony RX100, both versions. Despite the hype and the spec which raises expectations, the results from published tests look just a bit better at base ISO [worse in the case of the RX100-II] than the S95. Not a lot better, just a bit, and of course they are deemed to be excellent, for a pocket camera. So I am a bit confused, and the waters have been muddied even more by three frustrating months trying to squeeze stunning images from the miniscule sensor of the Canon SX50. I failed and ebayed it, happy to take the loss.

So one evening when browsing through holiday pictures on the computer, I came across just ordinary snaps taken with the entry level dslr that I had at the time, the Canon 350D and cheapo Sigma 18-125mm. These were taken in 2006, 8 years ago, and what I saw really woke me up. The pictures were stunning in comparison to the S95, the RX100, the SX50 and all other small-imager pictures I have taken. So now I know that my next pocket camera should have an APS-C sized imager; so what have we got. At first I found the Nikon "A". Sorry, I must read that again! £650? There must be some mistake, but no, that is even a special offer price. Then I found the Ricoh GR [aka Pentax] for £560, again as a special offer. You really are taking the p*ss you lot! All I want is a simple pocket camera. I do not want the mechanical complexity of mirrors flapping about nor do I want a pentaprism. I don’t really need an adjustable movable rear screen. I don’t want a socket into which I can fit an EVF that costs as much as the camera. And I certainly do not want NFC, WiFi, GPS, VD or AIDS and nor do I really need an image stabilizer, in my film days I managed quite nicely without one. I can get all of that complication, well maybe not VD or AIDS, and Canon can make a profit, from a £300 Canon dslr complete with zoom lens. All I want is a plastic box with a fixed prime lens and a 3" screen on the outside and an APS-C imager on the inside. How difficult can that be? I don’t even want warranty, at that price it will be in the bin if it goes wrong and I will just buy another, so you don’t even need a backup and repair service. And you can forget the fancy box and useless CD’s just pack it in a padded bag and I will download the software and instructions from the internet. If Canikon can sell a complete dslr for £300 then a fair price for my camera would be £100, but let us not be too radical, let’s say £200. At that price it would fly off the shelves and would revive the fortunes of any ailing camera manufacturer.

So come on, ditch the bells and whistles, stop taking..., and give us an APS-C camera at a sensible price.

Maybe I might even stretch to £300.

Ken from the UK now in France

The market for a camera such as you describe is probably quite small and I really doubt it would fly off the shelves as you predict. Such a camera would only appeal to a niche group of enthusiasts and the mass market would not appreciate it at all. And no camera manufacturer is going to risk their reputation by providing something without a Warranty, which they couldn't do legally in many territories anyway.

But at your price point perhaps an EOS M might suit? £299 with an interchangeable 18-85 and it's quite compact. Even smaller with the 22mm f/2.0.

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Tom_N
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

All I want is a plastic box with a fixed prime lens and a 3" screen on the outside and an APS-C imager on the inside. How difficult can that be?

If Canikon can sell a complete dslr for £300 then a fair price for my camera would be £100, but let us not be too radical, let’s say £200. At that price it would fly off the shelves and would revive the fortunes of any ailing camera manufacturer.

There's the Canon G1 X. It has a much larger sensor than most compacts (larger than Micro Four-Thirds sensors, though not quite as large as APS-C ones).

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong1x/

It is selling for about £375 to £475 new. I know, double what you want to pay, but I believe that the idea is to make money on each sale – not lose money on each sale and "make it up in volume".

There's also going to be a Canon G1 X Mark II – faster lens, but significantly more expensive.

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Ken Croft
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In reply to meland, 9 months ago

You may be right about the EOS-M despite the dreadful reports about it, and of course there is no review of it on this site because they dare not upset Canon by telling the truth. Even with the 20mm lens the EOS-M is not particularly pocket-able in the way that the Ricoh GR and the Coolpix "A" are pocket-able. But I do not have a price point, I will pay what is necessary. I am not limited by a budget. I just don't like being ripped off, and that is what I believe the manufacturers are doing with the so-called "enthusiast" APS-C cameras. Yes, I do know all about how sales volume and price are related, but I do believe that that the prices are unreasonable. Would my version of a cheap APS-C camera sell to a niche market? Niche markets can be created by high prices; my camera would not be a niche camera, just good value. And sorry if you didn't get the joke, of course no company would sell without a warranty nor would they pack their product in a padded bag. I was trying to make a point about unnecessary expenses.

Ken from the UK now in France

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Gerry Winterbourne
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

All I want is a plastic box with a fixed prime lens and a 3" screen on the outside and an APS-C imager on the inside. How difficult can that be?

It's not difficult, but it is not at all sensible commercially (see below).

I don’t even want warranty, at that price it will be in the bin if it goes wrong and I will just buy another, so you don’t even need a backup and repair service.

You might not: but most people spending your putative £300 expect what they buy to work or be replaced. And consumer law in most jurisdictions provides warranty even if the seller doesn't want to give it. Writing This product has no warrant that it is reliable on the box in big letters might get round the law but it wouldn't entice buyers.

And you can forget the fancy box and useless CD’s just pack it in a padded bag and I will download the software and instructions from the internet.

So that saves about £1. I'm happy with downloading manuals (I do it for cameras I don't own out of interest) but lots of people prefer the discs.

If Canikon can sell a complete dslr for £300 then a fair price for my camera would be £100, but let us not be too radical, let’s say £200. At that price it would fly off the shelves and would revive the fortunes of any ailing camera manufacturer. Maybe I might even stretch to £300.

This is the weak point in your proposal: (1) you assume that a simpler camera necessarily costs less to produce and (2) you confuse the price you'd like to pay with what's fair for the producer to charge.

Simple argument first: cheapest DSLR £300. Don't incur the design costs of a completely new body, just simplify that basic camera. You take most of the controls off: that means a new body mould, which probably costs more than the saving in buttons. You don't design a complete new, simpler, set of electronics - you just don't make the connections inside. So no saving.

Now for the lens: you just take one off the shelf; cheapest about £100. Remove the mount (tiny saving) but design a new attachment to the body. So, again, there's no reduction in cost. Add the two (£300 body, £100 lens) and you reach £400.

If we assume that all other things are equal (inventory management etc) that means the fair price for this camera is four times what you suggest.

The more complicated argument is to design a complete new style of camera from scratch. This will require a complete new production line as well as design development costs. Those costs must be spread across the number of units expected to sell. It's hard to see how a complete new camera, with those burdens, could cost much (if anything) less than the simple process I described above. So the camera will cost about £400 - double your desired price and £100 over your maximum: you wouldn't buy it at that price and nor would many others.

So come on, ditch the bells and whistles, stop taking the p*ss, and give us an APS-C camera at a sensible price.

The sensible price (the one the maker could earn a profit from) is far more than you want to pay. Someone is taking the p*ss but it isn't the makers.

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armin304
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

If Canikon can sell a complete dslr for £300 then a fair price for my camera would be £100, but let us not be too radical, let’s say £200. At that price it would fly off the shelves and would revive the fortunes of any ailing camera manufacturer.

Ken from the UK now in France

They sell the DSLRs that cheap, because the warehouses are full with unsold stock. Here in Germany you may even get a brand new Nikon D3000 (actual model: D3300) with 18-55 for less than 200€. With the Canon 1000D it's the same. And all successors will be available in the same shops. With Mirrorless it's mostly the same. If APS-C is a must, look for a Canon EOS-M, an old Sony NEX or a Samsung NX with a pancake 16, 20, 22 or 30mm and you may get a compact kit dead cheap new. If it has to be small, I would go for the Canon or one of the tiny Sony NEX.

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Gerry Winterbourne
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

Would my version of a cheap APS-C camera sell to a niche market? Niche markets can be created by high prices; my camera would not be a niche camera, just good value.

You have this the wrong way round. Niches are small segments of a market: your proposal would appeal only to a small niche of the camera market so yours would be a niche camera.

The reason many niche products are expensive is that they are sufficiently attractive to justify premium prices: indeed, it's this ability to command premium prices that lets them survive. As your proposal offers nothing that can't be obtained cheaper elsewhere it wouldn't command a premium price (although, as I explained elsewhere) its price would be higher than what you consider good value.

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thebustos
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Sony NEX-3N goes for about £200. Just get a slightly bigger pocket....
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meland
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

You may be right about the EOS-M despite the dreadful reports about it, and of course there is no review of it on this site because they dare not upset Canon by telling the truth. Even with the 20mm lens the EOS-M is not particularly pocket-able in the way that the Ricoh GR and the Coolpix "A" are pocket-able. But I do not have a price point, I will pay what is necessary. I am not limited by a budget. I just don't like being ripped off, and that is what I believe the manufacturers are doing with the so-called "enthusiast" APS-C cameras. Yes, I do know all about how sales volume and price are related, but I do believe that that the prices are unreasonable. Would my version of a cheap APS-C camera sell to a niche market? Niche markets can be created by high prices; my camera would not be a niche camera, just good value. And sorry if you didn't get the joke, of course no company would sell without a warranty nor would they pack their product in a padded bag. I was trying to make a point about unnecessary expenses.

Ken from the UK now in France

Sorry you feel ripped off. Of course manufacturers are using a different pricing model for 'enthusiast' compacts than they are for, say, entry level DSLRs. Some of us may not like that but since 'enthusiast' compacts are effectively niche products already manufacturers have chosen to apply a greater margin to them. I think this is a trend which will only increase since manufacturers want to further differentiate such cameras from camera phones and a stripped out budget version would not generate enough profit to make them worthwhile. Many of the features would, even if removed, not reduce the price by much in any case. Also I would suggest that products like the Nikon A and Ricoh GR would not sell significantly more even if their price was significantly reduced. The enthusiast market that values such devices is small and the man in the street just isn't interested, at any price.

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Ken Croft
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In reply to thebustos, 9 months ago

My post is the result of getting up too early and feeling grumpy. But I still believe some of what I said! Maybe not all. Apologies to those who took it just a bit too seriously.

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Ken from the UK now in France

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steephill
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Surely the smart thing to do is invest your pension money in camera companies. Oh, wait I just checked the accounts. Maybe I'll just buy that Lamborghini instead.

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Dave Lively
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

Would my version of a cheap APS-C camera sell to a niche market? Niche markets can be created by high prices; my camera would not be a niche camera, just good value.

The camera you are describing would definitely be sold to a small niche market and given the low price would be unprofitable. What you are asking for is the equivalent of going to the local cable company and asking them to provide you with just the 5 channels of TV you happen to watch, in analog, with none of that pay per view or internet service for a 90% discount.

Most people that want more image quality than a RX100 can provide would also want a high quality lens which would by itself break your proposed budget. And most of them would probably find at least one item on your list of unnecessary features they could not live without. Cameras come loaded with all kinds of features because most people go shopping with a list of must have features and any camera that does not check all the boxes is dropped from consideration.

I would also recommend you take a look at the Sony NEX-3N. I am not sure how much they sell for where you are but in the US they sell for half the price of a RX100.

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peevee1
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

If you found pictures from RX100 worse than from 350D at base ISO, you are doing something wrong, because the camera has what it takes.

Let me guess, you compared pictures on pixel level, and the pixelsfrom 20mpix camera turned out to be worse than from 8 mpix camera?

Another guess - you prefer Canon's color response and failed to adjust Sony's colors according to your taste?

Both are YOUR fault BTW.

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Ken Croft
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In reply to peevee1, 9 months ago

Peevee1:

Your rather unnecessary final comment leads me to wonder what the average number of normal polite posts is in a thread, before someone decides that a snide comment is necessary.

You are of course correct on all counts peevee1. Everything is entirely my fault.

Thanks to those who made sensible and constructive comments.

I think it is time to close this thread.

Ken from the UK now in France

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D Cox
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken Croft wrote:

So come on, ditch the bells and whistles, stop taking..., and give us an APS-C camera at a sensible price.

Maybe I might even stretch to £300.

Ken from the UK now in France

For that price you can get a Sony A3000, which is a good basic APS-C camera with a good sensor.

For a little more you can get a Sigma DP2M which will give outstanding image quality at ISO 100. These are being sold off at about half price because a new model is imminent.

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MJW1
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Peevee1:

Your rather unnecessary final comment leads me to wonder what the average number of normal polite posts is in a thread, before someone decides that a snide comment is necessary.

You are of course correct on all counts peevee1. Everything is entirely my fault.

Thanks to those who made sensible and constructive comments.

I think it is time to close this thread.

Ken from the UK now in France

All too often, irony and the internet do not play nicely together.

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brianj
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Ken Croft wrote:

I have a Canon 60D which I do not want to carry everywhere, so as my always-with-me camera I have had a Canon S95 for the past two years. It produces excellent images, for a pocket camera. But I can afford a better carry-around camera and I have been looking at the much hyped and highly specified Sony RX100, both versions. Despite the hype and the spec which raises expectations, the results from published tests look just a bit better at base ISO [worse in the case of the RX100-II] than the S95. Not a lot better, just a bit, and of course they are deemed to be excellent, for a pocket camera. So I am a bit confused, and the waters have been muddied even more by three frustrating months trying to squeeze stunning images from the miniscule sensor of the Canon SX50. I failed and ebayed it, happy to take the loss.

So one evening when browsing through holiday pictures on the computer, I came across just ordinary snaps taken with the entry level dslr that I had at the time, the Canon 350D and cheapo Sigma 18-125mm. These were taken in 2006, 8 years ago, and what I saw really woke me up. The pictures were stunning in comparison to the S95, the RX100, the SX50 and all other small-imager pictures I have taken. So now I know that my next pocket camera should have an APS-C sized imager; so what have we got. At first I found the Nikon "A". Sorry, I must read that again! £650? There must be some mistake, but no, that is even a special offer price. Then I found the Ricoh GR [aka Pentax] for £560, again as a special offer. You really are taking the p*ss you lot! All I want is a simple pocket camera. I do not want the mechanical complexity of mirrors flapping about nor do I want a pentaprism. I don’t really need an adjustable movable rear screen. I don’t want a socket into which I can fit an EVF that costs as much as the camera. And I certainly do not want NFC, WiFi, GPS, VD or AIDS and nor do I really need an image stabilizer, in my film days I managed quite nicely without one. I can get all of that complication, well maybe not VD or AIDS, and Canon can make a profit, from a £300 Canon dslr complete with zoom lens. All I want is a plastic box with a fixed prime lens and a 3" screen on the outside and an APS-C imager on the inside. How difficult can that be? I don’t even want warranty, at that price it will be in the bin if it goes wrong and I will just buy another, so you don’t even need a backup and repair service. And you can forget the fancy box and useless CD’s just pack it in a padded bag and I will download the software and instructions from the internet. If Canikon can sell a complete dslr for £300 then a fair price for my camera would be £100, but let us not be too radical, let’s say £200. At that price it would fly off the shelves and would revive the fortunes of any ailing camera manufacturer.

So come on, ditch the bells and whistles, stop taking..., and give us an APS-C camera at a sensible price.

Maybe I might even stretch to £300.

Ken from the UK now in France

Could I ask what you need such extraordinarily high image quality for?

I use a 1/2.3 BSI-CMOS sensor camera for my trips and get quality that is far in excess of what I require.

My SX260 album: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5128303546/albums/sx260hs

Brian

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Serickmetz
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Apsc is a waste of time. People would rather see an even more affordable FF option (cheaper than 6d).

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GeraldW
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In reply to Ken Croft, 9 months ago

Ken,

Just get a Fuji X-100S.

The Canon 350D (Rebel XT over here) was a very good camera, and the 18-125 Sigma was not "a cheap lens"; it was quite good.  However, mine was out-performed by my S70 and a Canon Pro 1; both small sensor models.  Currently, I have an S95, and it performs quite well for me.  Are you using the S95 in Auto?  They don't do well in Auto - try Program.  I also have the 60D, and I don't find it shames my G15 or even my Panasonic FZ200.

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