Declining MFT/mirrorless camera sales?

Started Jan 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
Optical1
Optical1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,096
Re: Declining MFT/mirrorless camera sales?
1

Len_Gee wrote:

Greetings,

A non-geek photog ( she shoots with a Canon G12 on Auto Mode ) emailed this article to me:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/12/29/business/29reuters-japan-cameras.html?hp&_r=3&

So, she got me an iPhone5 as a Christmas present. The iPhone5 camera IQ is not too bad in good light and makes it convenient to upload pics for sharing on social media sites , self pics of my travels, and to quickly email pics to friends and family. Not so good IQ in restaurant/pubs, just OK, I reckon.

I'm thinking of just using iPhone5 as the backup to my existing MFT or Sony RX100 when on vacation trips since I'm just a casual photo enthusiast snapping memory type photos. And I have no illusions of taking award winning Nat Geo type photos. I'm at the age where small and light kit is good.

Questions:

Do you agree with the NYT article?

How many of you are planning to add more MFT/mirrorless cameras or lenses to your stable in 2014?

Why? Need or G.A.S. ?

And, do you use your smartphone as primary backup to your MFT /mirrorless kit(s)?

Regards and happy 2014.

Articles like this are misleading in my opinion because they seem to confuse lagging sales of compact cameras with mirrorless camera sales.  Now, obviously mirrorless cameras sales are not the majority of the market, but their market share has increased since their introduction - and with new models that are pushing FF DSLRs in capability (such as the A7/A7R) and m43 models that are pushing APS-C cameras for capability, it is only a matter of time before the market in the US/Europe begin to catch up with Asia.  To say that mirrorless cameras are dying, is similar to saying that hybrid/alternative fuel cell vehicles are dying because the majority of the market belongs to conventional vehicles, when in fact they are just new to the market and are simply overcoming design compromises as technical limitations are designed around.  They are the future, just as mirrorless cameras are the future.

A small sensor like those found in a cell phone will never replace an ILC for me.  I use my camera phone regularly to document things when I'm at work, and when I'm out and about - mainly due to the convenience of always having the phone with me.  However, I rarely - if ever - use my camera phone to take the type of pictures I use my m43 camera to capture.  The lack of interchangeable lenses, and the laws of physics almost certainly guarantee that this will always be the case.

Even compact cameras I don't believe will be entirely replaced by cell phone cameras.  The type of compact cameras that are being replaced by smartphones are relatively entry level/budget cameras. As an example, my company used to purchase roughly 25 compact cameras per year simply to document site conditions.  The need for these cameras has been eliminated because each of our employees has a smartphone that allows them to not only document the site conditions, but also to send/share their findings on demand.  Budget cameras do not possess this ability. However, I can see high-end compact cameras such as the RX100 or Ricoh GR continuing to exist for camera enthusiasts as backup and go everywhere cameras.

The lone aspect of this article that I agree with is the portion about the connectivity of camera phones, and the ability to send photos on demand.  This feature needs to be improved upon in future cameras.  It should be simple to connect any camera to a wi-fi network (or smartphone) to easily text/email photos or upload them to social media sites such as facebook/twitter.  
As for my purchasing plans, I will likely add an E-M1 to my stable in the coming year.  I may also return a full frame DSLR to my kit, as I plan to pursue more wedding work and will be pushing the low-light/high DR limitations of a m43 sensor and will need the focusing capabilities of a true pro level DSLR.  However, I do look forward to the day that mirrorless models can overcome these limitations and deliver on the high end of the market.

-K

 Optical1's gear list:Optical1's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Sony RX100 Ricoh GR Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +18 more
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