As an enthusiast the camera market is depressing.

Started Aug 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Re: As an enthusiast the camera market is depressing.

John Miles wrote:

I simply detest the fact that in being an enthusiast I am placed in a minority that has little bearing in the way manufacturers design and promote cameras.

It appears to me now that the only viable equipment route is DSLR. Beyond that the often truly pathetic camera designs that are released offer no redeeming qualities that might tempt the enthusiast.

Well I suppose it depends how you define 'enthusiast'.  The camera company I worked for segments its market and tries to cater for as many niches as it can within the restrictions of mass production and distribution.  Bearing in mind that the smallest production run for a camera that we would consider viable was approximately 10,000 units then I think you can probably see that there comes a point where the further sub division of niches becomes difficult from a business point of view unless you become a bespoke manufacturer, in which case costs rise alarmingly, as does the selling price to you as a consumer.

Also bear in mind that we have to convince the dealers to stock all this stuff and dealers willing to do that are becoming harder and harder to find.  In fact the larger dealer chains want less models, not more, and each model that they do stock needs to be at a distinct price point and with distinct features.  Why?  Cost of inventory; the difficulty in finding and training staff to understand and to be able to sell all these variants; but most importantly to enable consumers to understand the differences and to be prepared to pay for them.

Now you as John Miles, enthusiast, know what you want (presumably) but how many like minded John Miles with the same preferences worldwide are there?  Is that a sustainable niche that would convince a manufacturer to shoulder the considerable cost and risk of putting such a model into production?  Of course you might argue that without putting the John Miles Special into production we will never know and in that you would be right.  But I, with my manufacturer hat on, have employees to pay and shareholders to satisfy and am not going to take that risk without damn good assessment of the potential and also the risk.  And that detailed analysis is what I and many others used to spend a considerable amount of time doing on a daily basis.

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