Interesting article posted by Kirk Tuck...All the cameras are better than you are

Started Mar 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
MichaelKJ Veteran Member • Posts: 3,466
Re: Why has mirrorless been slow to catch on...

TrapperJohn wrote:

The 'intelligence' remark is an offbeat reference there, but you have to take it in context of the adjacent passages. I believe this is known as 'self depreciating humor'.

As for why µ43 and mirrorless in general have been slow to catch on in some areas... I see this as a matter of inertia and available products. Look where it has sold well, versus where it has been slow. What else is different about those markets?

Mirrorless is selling very well in the emerging Asian nations, where there hasn't been a thriving photography market in the past, and Japan, where they're quick to adopt new consumer tech, almost to a point of obsession.

Mirrorless is clearly much popular in the Eastern Asian countries, but market share in Japan has stalled at about 40% for the past two years. In fact, market share decreased from 44.4% in 2012 to 38.0% in 2013.  Any thoughts?

It isn't selling well in the EU and US, two markets where photography as a hobby or pastime has been active for a very long time. Unlike the Asian nations, there is an existing base of owners who have a substantial investment in current gear. There is a thriving market in used gear. And, perhaps, some entrenched thinking - people like to stay with what worked well in the past. In these cases, the existing market, existing line of available gear and glass, and existing way of thinking are factors not found in the emerging Asian economies.

I assume you are excluding Japan when you say Asian countries don't have a large existing base of owners with a substantial investment current gear.

Your reasoning doesn't explain why mirrorless shipments to the Americas were 45.3% lower in 2013 than in 2012, while DSLR shipments were only down 10.9%.  Why the much larger drop in popularity?

January CIPA data does suggest things might be improving.  Shipments to the Americas were up 50.8% over the previous Jan and the value of shipments was up 144%.  This could just be a one month blip, but there wasn't a single month in 2013 in which shipments were higher than same month in 2012.

So it is interesting to note that mirrorless is selling well when it's a clean slate - no huge numbers of DSLR owners with existing gear. Eventually, the existing base will fade as a factor, as volume of production and amortization of development costs (from sales to Asia and Japan) brings mirrorles prices down, while µ43 already whips the market leaders on diversity of body style, and available lens selection is getting better every quarter.

The one thing we agree on is that the future is mirrorless.

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