Camera Munufacturers, please stop...

Started Mar 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,639
Re: Camera Munufacturers, please stop taking...

Ken Croft wrote:

All I want is a plastic box with a fixed prime lens and a 3" screen on the outside and an APS-C imager on the inside. How difficult can that be?

It's not difficult, but it is not at all sensible commercially (see below).

I don’t even want warranty, at that price it will be in the bin if it goes wrong and I will just buy another, so you don’t even need a backup and repair service.

You might not: but most people spending your putative £300 expect what they buy to work or be replaced. And consumer law in most jurisdictions provides warranty even if the seller doesn't want to give it. Writing This product has no warrant that it is reliable on the box in big letters might get round the law but it wouldn't entice buyers.

And you can forget the fancy box and useless CD’s just pack it in a padded bag and I will download the software and instructions from the internet.

So that saves about £1. I'm happy with downloading manuals (I do it for cameras I don't own out of interest) but lots of people prefer the discs.

If Canikon can sell a complete dslr for £300 then a fair price for my camera would be £100, but let us not be too radical, let’s say £200. At that price it would fly off the shelves and would revive the fortunes of any ailing camera manufacturer. Maybe I might even stretch to £300.

This is the weak point in your proposal: (1) you assume that a simpler camera necessarily costs less to produce and (2) you confuse the price you'd like to pay with what's fair for the producer to charge.

Simple argument first: cheapest DSLR £300. Don't incur the design costs of a completely new body, just simplify that basic camera. You take most of the controls off: that means a new body mould, which probably costs more than the saving in buttons. You don't design a complete new, simpler, set of electronics - you just don't make the connections inside. So no saving.

Now for the lens: you just take one off the shelf; cheapest about £100. Remove the mount (tiny saving) but design a new attachment to the body. So, again, there's no reduction in cost. Add the two (£300 body, £100 lens) and you reach £400.

If we assume that all other things are equal (inventory management etc) that means the fair price for this camera is four times what you suggest.

The more complicated argument is to design a complete new style of camera from scratch. This will require a complete new production line as well as design development costs. Those costs must be spread across the number of units expected to sell. It's hard to see how a complete new camera, with those burdens, could cost much (if anything) less than the simple process I described above. So the camera will cost about £400 - double your desired price and £100 over your maximum: you wouldn't buy it at that price and nor would many others.

So come on, ditch the bells and whistles, stop taking the p*ss, and give us an APS-C camera at a sensible price.

The sensible price (the one the maker could earn a profit from) is far more than you want to pay. Someone is taking the p*ss but it isn't the makers.

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First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

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