MFT shipments down

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Rriley Forum Pro • Posts: 21,846
Re: Riley, you make a good point

Marty4650 wrote:

The only times where cameras get dumped is when they are discontinued, replaced by newer models, or simply when someone blundered by building too many of them, expecting a sales share that never materialized. I think the later is what happened with the EPL1, since they built so many of them that there are new bodies selling for under $200 today.

Remember from the beginning EPL1 looked different and was sized slightly differently than the surrounding Pen models. Thats testament to how cheap a camera can be, where I suspect that models such as EPL1 have been especially designed for volume production and farmed out to one of the third string makers such as Sharp. Sharp were owned by Panasonic, not sure if they still are but the 3 have had a long relationship. Its said that Sharp built the E-1 and designed much of the sub assembly.

I also think Olympus learned from this and used more conservative forecasts after that. The OM-D is still selling for very close to list price more than a year after introduction. There doesn't seem to be very many left over E-P3s. This was a smart business decision by Olympus.

I think this is the flip side to the pricing strategy that existed in the E410/510 days, which saw some odd occurrences in pricing that became globally difficult to track with world currency fluctuations a too little a buffer. Without keen observation stock ends up being squirreled away below cost, which is counter to what they are here for.

In the here and now, essentially both push and pull marketing strategies can be happening at the same time, just with different models from different plants, but also with different purposes.

This market pretty much operates by pull and not push.  The most successful companies build what people want, not what they can sell for the cheapest prices. Nikon and Canon have been successful because they have built what people want. And while it may seem like "APSC is dead" Nikon and Canon still continue to build these APSC cameras and sell them in much greater quantity than FF and MILC cameras combined. Again, a smart business decision by Canikon.

It goes to the inflexibility of volume manufacture, where these days high volume plant are designed around products especially suitable for volume manufacture. The component fit, the tolerances, the use of machine screws, IC circuits and modular components meld together with a trained workforce with such synchronicity the plant cannot operate at much above or below its designed output.

Its a manufacturing process that sees the holder in it for the long haul through good times and unexpected market downturns. So from a pure statistic point of view a market downturn might have little effect on plant output and subsequent sales numbers, but prices and therefore profit will certainly suffer. Volume manufacture releases the rewards in the good times, but is a lead weight around a companies neck in the bad or uncertain times.

I also think the term "cheap full frame camera" is a misnomer. There are some stripped down models that are cheaper, but they are still not cheap by any means. The cheapest full frame cameras still cost twice as much as a good APSC camera, and make the OM-D and GH3 look like relative bargains. And once you go beyond the "nifty fifty lens with a plastic mount" the better full frame lenses certainly aren't cheap.

I think the intent is to bring cheap FF down to high end APSC prices, historically around $1700-1800 is the place to be. We will see this in the near future, maybe a year or so out.

But "cheap" is a relative term. The Canon 6D and the Nikon D600 are only cheap when you compare them to a Canon 1Dx or a Nikon D4. They are pretty expensive when you compare them to a Canon 60D or Nikon D7100, which are cameras better suited for amateur shooters.

Putting it plainly, full frame will always be a niche product for high end users. It has become the new medium format. Even if the makers can someday get the price down to $499, they will still be too large and heavy for most users. Most of the mass market thinks that even M4/3 is too big, and prefer their camera phones. Canikon might be going in the wrong direction with these. But, like I said, they cover all the bases too.

Yes I think FF is a niche too, but Olympus entire operation is one of a niche builder or should be. For which I think Fuji do this more successfully from the product design standpoint, and weve seen Fuji consolidate this IP over the last few years. The question is, is it profitable and can they continue to innovate.

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