We are buying a LOT of R5 and R6 cameras according to Canon's latest report

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Siobhan_K Regular Member • Posts: 232
The Leapfrog Problem

David Franklin wrote:

As a very committed R and R5 user, an exclusively a Canon digital user since about 2003, as well as a Nikon user for decades before, I think that you are underestimating Nikon.

[ . . . . ]

I think Nikon will probably succeed by the skin of their teeth. If not, there would be many larger corporations lining up to buy them off, take advantage of Nikon's huge name recognition and continue new development as Nikon-named products under their auspices.

This is a good argument. Moderate, careful, optimistic.

But . . . .

My spidey senses say Nikon is actually, truly, in big trouble--bigger trouble, maybe, than a "proud" company can realize in time to change course.

The problem, fundamentally, is that they haven't managed to leapfrog Sony on any recent inter-generational announcement. The Z6 and Z7 fell short against the A73 and A7R3 that preceded them; the Z6ii / Z7ii still struggle against the now 3-year-old A73 (!) and the A7R4 that, again, preceded them. And now Sony is already introducing amazingly compact, fast pro glass (35/1.4 GM, 50/1.4GM, 14/1.8GM), some of it second-generation product, while Nikon struggles to fill out a first-generation roadmap. And then there's all the third-party lens development around the open Sony mount. There are now four fast Sigma 35mm primes available for Sony FE, for god's sake, at price points from $600 to $1400, to Nikon's single 35/1.8.

Canon full-frame mirrorless initially suffered against Sony's pace, too; but then the R5 and R6 did actually leapfrog the A73 and A7R4 in many critical ways. And there are some interesting RF lenses Sony hasn't matched--the 28-70/2 and compact 70-200/2.8 & 70-200/4 come to mind, with more interesting designs on the roadmap headed our way.

What will the Z9 offer against the A1? Will it leap over? Or will it just struggle to hit Sony's bar, nine months later?

Meanwhile, we already know Canon's R3 will up the ante in a few interesting ways--eye-directed AF, for one. And Canon tells us the R3 isn't the RF line's ultimate flagship, leaving even more room at the top.

What I'm getting at: if you're exploring high-end imaging as a would-be "creator" (the only market segment that might actually grow), there are smart reasons to look at Canon product rather than Sony. But why would anybody look at Nikon? What does Nikon give a budding "creator" that Sony or Canon doesn't? Here we are now, Nikon: entertain us.

I'm sure people can argue some legit Nikon wins, but by-and-large those people are all existing Nikon customers. And the demographic makeup of folks converging around the metaphorical Nikon booth, so to speak, confirms it. I just don't see the creator set using them. Do any of you? Outside of DPReview's fora, the absence of excitement about Nikon--just the absence of creative people in the market using the product--is palpable.

I'll button a curt summary on this: Nikon can't exist long if its customer base atrophies into cadre of old-man-camera-collectors defensively grumbling about Sony ergonomics (which is, too often, the DPReview Nikon fora in a nutshell). Even if they'd like to survive as a brand acquisition, I suspect Nikon would face the same problem Olympus's camera division hit: what would they be worth, really, to the tiny number of organizations capable of buying them or bailing them out? Who do we imagine handful of potential suitors would even include?


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Canon EOS 5DS Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Canon 85mm F1.4L IS USM Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM +3 more
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