Why Thom is wrong...

Started Sep 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,488
About those two 800 pound gorillas...

Mirrorless is not about taking a mirror out. Or trimming the sides and top down on a cheap dslr, but keeping the same large lenses, large film lens mount, and long film registration distance.

It's about smaller, lighter, less bulky, less attention drawing, less attention demanding. It's about taking a fresh look, a new approach with some very real benefits, new display and operation options that aren't possible on the more traditional systems. It's about slender bodies with short registration distances. It's about bringing dslr capability along, without lugging all that gear along.

It's also a market that, so far, is refreshingly free of the two 800 pound gorillas who became so preoccupied with each other that they were royally pwned when they came into the mirrorless market thinking that a Canon or Nikon label was all they needed, and each other was all they had to be concerned with.

In fact, I'll go so far as to say that one reason mirrorless has seen such an accelerated level of development is - Canon and Nikon are not a factor, so they're not holding it back with their duopolistic dominance. In this market, it's worth taking a chance on a new design, now that most of the buying public isn't stuck on one brand name or one design. Rather refreshing, actually.

Consider what happened when the market leaders took the public for granted...

Nikon designed a mirrorless system that was crippled so as not to compete with it's own DSLR. Unfortunately for Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony didn't cooperate. They did design mirrorless systems to compete with Nikon's DSLR's. All Nikon did was legitimize the mirrorless concept to many Nikon faithful, who then found how much more capable the other systems are. Oops...

Canon designed a mirrorless system that would beat Nikon, because that's all they've been doing for the last 30 years. And so they did. Unfortunately for Canon, so did everyone else's mirrorless system, and by a wider margin.

Does it sound impossible that two market leaders would soak hundreds of millions of dollars/euros/yen into new systems that were obviously uncompetitive? Could it be possible that Canon and Nikon were so arrogant that they honestly thought each other were all that merited consideration? That the 'little guys' and their products weren't worth considering? Is that your idea of a 'market leader'? They'd have mirrorless plodding along at a snail's pace too, if they dominated it.

To top off this picture of unbridled arrogance, Nikon released that long tome not long ago on how the mirrorless market was not worth considering.

A few weeks later, the Olympus EM1, the most capable mirrorless system ever, comes out to rave reviews and unprecedented preorders. Plus the Fuji XM1. Plus the NEX A3000. Plus the Panasonic GX7. For a dead market, there sure are a lot of new bodies, more than all the DSLR makers put together.

It's an exciting new world. And a much needed dose of humility to Canon and Nikon, who have become far too arrogant in attitude, and far too stagnant in design. Take off the platform specific blinders, and experience what a really first rate mirrorless system can do. A lot more than you might think.

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