Declining MFT/mirrorless camera sales?

Started Jan 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
desaroo Contributing Member • Posts: 751
my 3 cents
6

To clarify for some, as noted by an earlier poster: This article, which may have appeared in The New York Times, was written by a reporter for Reuters, a well-respected international news organization.

The New York Times, for those not familiar with it, is perhaps the finest newspaper in the world when it comes to reporting and editing and coverage and analysis. Many, however, find its left-leaning editorial positions off-putting. In any case, its readers (harrumph) most certainly are not dumb, as one respected poster intimated.

As to the article itself, it is preposterous to call it a "hatchet job." The piece is quite factual and, indeed, balanced in its approach. There is no attempt to denigrate any individual or company, which is essentially the meaning of a hatchet job. That is, to deliberately cut down.

The reporter stated the premise of the piece at the beginning -- that the mid-tier camera makers such as Fuuji, Panasonic and Olympus -- have a battle on their hands, not especially against Canon and Nikon, but against Smartphones. Anyone here who has stepped outside his house in the past year and had his eyes open surely cannot dispute this. Probably 90-95 percent of people these days take photos with their phones. I saw this in mid-summer on a six-city baseball junket with my son. In every city -- Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore -- and every place in it, practically everyone was taking pictures with their phones.

Here's why: They're convenient, the pictures are "good enough," and the shots can be quickly emailed or posted to Facebook or whatever other social media site these folks use. They NEVER print photos, they don't care about ISO or noise or shutter shock or vignetting or etc. A decent shot will do. It's just going to be emailed or posted on the web. That's it. They don't want a bunch of lenses and a camera bag and a tripod and all the rest. And that's how it is for most people.

And that's what the reporter was referring to. He noted that mirrorless was selling well in Japan and in Asia in general, but not in the United States and Europe. Anyone want to argue about that? I read another piece recently that noted, when it comes to "serious cameras," Americans go for "bigger is better"; that is, DSLRs. Again, if you step outside, you'll see that's also true. In general, in the U.S., right now, if it ain't a smartphone someone's using, it's a Nikon or Canon DSLR. That may change, but it hasn't yet.

Again, the fact is that neither Panasonic nor Olympus nor any other "mid-tier" camera company can compete with the marketing muscle and brand recogniton of Canon and Nikon (and to some extent Sony). That's just the way it is ... for now anyway. Mirrorless may in fact make headway, but financially it's going to be a difficult battle for the small guys.

In short, there is absolutely nothing incorrect or biased or dumbed-down about the Reuters piece. It's simply a clear statement of where things are for the smaller camera makers and the problems they face in the marketplace.

As for other questions in the OP:

Boy, I'd love to spend $1,500 or more on an Olympus E-M1 or whatever, a 12-40 lens and maybe some others, but I'm too damn old and I'll croak and my wife/widow would be furious. She's not a photographer; even point-and-shoots always intimidated her. Sigh. So I'm probably stuck with my early Panny G1 or whatever the heck it is and Oly E-PL1 and 15, 17, 14-42, 45-200 lenses. Wish I could grab more primes, 12-40 and whatnot, but doubtful.

Finally, nope, I have a stupidphone and have no plans for a smart one to take photos or otherwise.

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