Continuation of CSC (Compact System Camera) in retreat

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,486
The trend, not the snapshot

CSC's in four years have risen from nonexistant to near the top of the list. In Japan, which is a bellweather for the rest of the world, CSC's occupy two of the top five entry level interchangeable lens systems. The #2 selling entry level? Oly EPL2. #5 is Panny GF5.

They've done this in a short period of time, and even more telling: they've done this without being one of the Big Two , which is somewhat unprecedented. Even Sony with its customer base and marketing muscle never achieved that sort of market penetration. There is the Nikon One, but it's not doing that well.

Perhaps I should have said 'are obliterating', if you look at the trend over the last two or three years and not last quarter's sales. Looking at last quarter, entry level dslr's are still outselling CSC's, just as looking at a snapshot of a rabbing running in front of a speeding car would reveal that the rabbit is ahead. Look at the trend instead of the snapshot, and you see not only the closeness, but the rate of gain.

CSC's have done this not by being better, but by being good enough and a lot more convenient, in a market that's governed as much by trend and style as anything. Most entry level dslr's weren't bought by enthusiasts, they were bought by weekend snapshotters and never made it out of P mode. To those customers, the smaller size of the CSC's is more attractive than the advantages the entry level dslr offers, which seem to dimish with each new generation.

The amateur grade dslr's will not be replaced by CSC's, their owners place a premium on performance over size and convenience, and want a body that handles well with larger fast lenses, especially lenses they already own. Most CSC's are clumsy affairs when fitted with fast zooms. So the amateur grade dslr, the D7000's, 60D's, will still be the amateur's preferred choice. The one area of concern for dedicated amateurs is - those entry level dslr's are C/N's big cash cow, very profitable and they sold in volume. If C/N continue to lose sales in their most profitable line, that might diminish R&D funds for the less profitable high end line.

As for the EVF... well, that's up to the individual. If you're basing that on P&S EVF's, that simply isn't the case any more. I've used OVF's since the mid 80's, and found the P&S EVF's to be a bad joke: fuzzy, laggy, long blackout times. Since getting the EM5, I'm sold, and not looking back. It's not fuzzy, not laggy, has no blackout period, the resolution is good enough not to be a problem, and it's a whole lot better in just about every other way.

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