Camera industry in crisis? Thought provoking article.

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
David Hull
David Hull Veteran Member • Posts: 6,021
Re: Camera industry in crisis? Thought provoking article.

jrkliny wrote:

David Hull wrote:

...........Suppose that Canon were to improve the feq things that remain for them to improve, what would be the return on what (for them) is probably a rather significant investment? Particularly considering the fact that their cameras seem to still seem to sell well.

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Well, if Canon is satisfied with the current level of sales, I guess they can continue to avoid making any serious improvements. I doubt that is the case. There is pressure from below as cellphone cameras improve. I see lots of people who buy DSLR cameras and are none too happy. They really do not want to carry specialty lenses and need to change them. They really don't need the DSLR horsepower when they basically just want good pictures to post on the internet. Then there is often disappointment with image quality. They expect great things from their expensive cameras but really don't know how to use them. So the results are disappointing. If DSLR cameras can improve significantly, even the beginner will see some of the benefits and many will be lured into buying more than they need. There are also a lot of serious DSLR users who would like to upgrade. Those advanced amateurs are likely to spend a lot of money on significant upgrades. For example lots of photographers bought 7Ds. A lot would upgrade for better AF, lower noise and a 30 mpix sensor. All of those improvements are well within the current level of technology.

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The other day I was walking down the hallway at work and noticed one of the marketing guys over in the corner of the building shooting one of our EVK PCB's with his iPhone.  I told him I could do that better if he just let me take the board home overnight.  I took his PCB home, set up my lighting, put up a paper white seamless background, set my 5DIII on a tripod with a 100mm 2.8 macro II lens and shot some beautiful shots that are now in the product data sheet.  You cannot do that with a cellphone -- to do that requires a good camera, a good lens, tripod, lighting, backdrop etc.  You cannot shoot portraits with a soft background using a cellphone either.  The cellphone is good for what it is designed for which is quick snaps to post on the web.  To do a whole lot more requires reasonable gear and good photographic knowledge.

For a lot of people, a cellphone is all they need, hence the cellphone sells well.  But, I think we both know that there are a lot of applications where the phone camera won't cut the mustard.  I know several people who have figured that out and picked up a DSLR as well (some after seeing what I can do with mine and asking "why can't my phone do that?").  Now, of course, they have to learn how to use the fancy camera and become a photographer -- if they do not do that they will, of course, be dissatisfied.  It is no different than 30 years ago when people were dissatisfied with their instamatic and went out and bought an AE-1 (or equivalent).  Yes I did that as well.

As for Canon, I suspect that they will make it through this just fine based on past history.  They managed the switch to digital just fine, I suspect that they will figure this transition out as well.

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