Who'll still be here in 10 years time? (longish post)

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JohnNewman Contributing Member • Posts: 700
Who'll still be here in 10 years time? (longish post)

I mean, of course, which manufacturers will still be here offering their photographic goodies in a decade. I'm not trying to guess whether I or anyone else will have joined that great camera club in the sky 

Background is that I'm 72 and have been taking and making pictures since I was about 12 - so about 1958. I have used and abused most brands but am starting to put together what will probably be my final gear collection. Without being a fan-boy I could probably make a case for using most brands depending on needs, size/weight, image quality etc but what I don't want to do is put together a collection over the next couple of years and then find a little later that the chosen manufacturer has pulled out of the industry. Obviously one can carry on using such gear until it inevitably breaks down but it would be kinda nice to choose a brand that will still be there as long as I am and which I can occasionally update.

For what it's worth, I'll give my own views which aren't written in stone but are merely thoughts and guesses. If you reply, please don't be too fan-boyish but try and give reasons for your views.

Panasonic: will go FF and offer more compact type of cameras.

Olympus: will keep the M4/3 flag flying a bit longer but with fewer iterations. Both Panny and Oly have already dumped one system and it will be difficult for new buyers to justify the cost of high-end M4/3 gear when Full Frame is about the same price. However size/weight will be a consideration so small and cheap bodies and lenses to dominate.

Pentax: Oh dear and what a shame. I really can't see where this once might company is heading. I expect them not to be a player in 10 years time.

Fuji: They seem to have avoided direct competition with Sony and Canikon by going for the aps-c market and adding medium format rather than FF to their product line. I really hope they'll be around for some time as that's probably be where I'll be heading and putting my money. They will always be a minority player against what I think will be the Big Three (see below) but I think they have enough history and investment in the industry to stick around.

Sony: They want to play with the big boys and have made a huge impression in and on the market. The early success of their Nex line took them hugely by surprise and they haven't really known what to do with aps-c ever since. But they recognise that it is a feeder for FF and probably won't drop it. There's enough bodies and lenses to satisfy most users and one could probably stick with just the E line unless one wanted the benefits (and drawbacks) of FF. They have also been amazingly successful with the RX10s and RX100s. So I don't expect many changes, just occasional new bodies on aps-c. Sony's big decision though will be what to do about FF once Canon and Nikon get their mirrorless offerings fully in place in a couple of years.

Canon and Nikon: I've put these together as I reckon their future will be very similar. My guess is that they will be in about the same position in 5 year's time as they were 5 year's ago; that is dominating the market with about 80% share between them, with Sony having about 10% share (if they stick at it) and the rest filling up the spaces. What is totally unclear at the moment is what these 2 will do about their aps-c lines which make up a huge part of their sales and feed upwards. I expect small, cheap bodies but not anything like their current semi-pro lines as their will be no point if they come out with reasonably economical FF bodies.

So what do others think?



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