Survival of the K-mount in the mirrorless world.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
iso rivolta Contributing Member • Posts: 655
Re: The trend towards mirrorless
1

justmeMN wrote:

Mark Ransom wrote: But I get a little tired of the assumption that DSLRs are on the endangered species list.

The trend is pretty clear.

Graphic created by CIPA

I think this trend is accelerating because Canon and Nikon stopped releasing cheap new DSLRs, where the bulk of the sales was. They now offer a few new cheap mirrorless instead. You can ask if the demand drives the supply or vice versa is also true to an extent.

So DSLR is an endangered species but not necessarily critically endangered.

DougOB
DougOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
Re: The trend towards mirrorless
1

iso rivolta wrote:

justmeMN wrote:

Mark Ransom wrote: But I get a little tired of the assumption that DSLRs are on the endangered species list.

The trend is pretty clear.

Graphic created by CIPA

I think this trend is accelerating because Canon and Nikon stopped releasing cheap new DSLRs, where the bulk of the sales was. They now offer a few new cheap mirrorless instead. You can ask if the demand drives the supply or vice versa is also true to an extent.

So DSLR is an endangered species but not necessarily critically endangered.

This chart shows percentage/portion of the ILC market.  That market is shrinking in absolute size.  So DSLRs are a shrinking portion of a shrinking market.  So the question is... how small is viable?

Doug

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Alex Sarbu Forum Pro • Posts: 11,659
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

DougOB wrote:

This chart shows percentage/portion of the ILC market. That market is shrinking in absolute size. So DSLRs are a shrinking portion of a shrinking market. So the question is... how small is viable?

For Pentax, it could be quite small.

Alex

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Luis Fonseca Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Maxxum Fan wrote:

justmeMN wrote:

Mark Ransom wrote: But I get a little tired of the assumption that DSLRs are on the endangered species list.

The trend is pretty clear.

This is the trend

http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/dw-202003_e.pdf

Mirrorless won't save them

This is the last years trend but we tend to forget that camera had a boom in sales with digital cameras.

Many people that didn't have a camera or had a simple film P&S started buying digital cameras. Then came smartphone that replaced that need for digital cameras for most of the consumers.

Today the p&s camera is dead because smartphones are good enough and everyone has one on their pocket. Some niche fixed (non interchangable) lens cameras wil survive, I guess the ones with huge zooms or large sensors (1" or bigger) or waterproof may survive.

But there will always be a place for ILC.

Today ILC cameres are all excelent. Almost noone really needs a better camera than the one they already have so sales will keep going down until they reach a plateau. They will go on for a long time, but will smaller sales figures and not all will be able to survive.

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DougOB
DougOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
Re: The trend towards mirrorless
1

Luis Fonseca wrote:

Maxxum Fan wrote:

justmeMN wrote:

Mark Ransom wrote: But I get a little tired of the assumption that DSLRs are on the endangered species list.

The trend is pretty clear.

This is the trend

http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/dw-202003_e.pdf

Mirrorless won't save them

This is the last years trend but we tend to forget that camera had a boom in sales with digital cameras.

Many people that didn't have a camera or had a simple film P&S started buying digital cameras. Then came smartphone that replaced that need for digital cameras for most of the consumers.

Today the p&s camera is dead because smartphones are good enough and everyone has one on their pocket. Some niche fixed (non interchangable) lens cameras wil survive, I guess the ones with huge zooms or large sensors (1" or bigger) or waterproof may survive.

But there will always be a place for ILC.

Today ILC cameres are all excelent. Almost noone really needs a better camera than the one they already have so sales will keep going down until they reach a plateau. They will go on for a long time, but will smaller sales figures and not all will be able to survive.

I know it is clearly there in blue and red but please note the different scales for cameras vs smartphones (a factor of 10).

Will there be a place for ILCs... yes for a while yet. You are right, they are very capable.

But when Ricoh/Pentax is 3.1% of the DSLR market (2019 in Japan), which is a shrinking portion of the ILC market, which is overall a shrinking market... of course Ricoh/Pentax says there will be a resurgence of DSLRs...

Doug

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Maxxum Fan Regular Member • Posts: 452
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

No I'm looking way back beyond that date. The boom was just that a blip, but pre digital they sold more ILC's in the mid 80's onwards. So the market is dying, probably sped up with fairly hefty prices on new gear (bodies and lenses), mix in the phones, bargain buyers who still get gear but won't pay high prices (tons of s/h stuff around)

= continued decline of the industry for years ahead

So there are too many makers, prices are too high (you can only get the value up before the decline speeds up with that plan ie it has not worked), and too much s/h stuff around. There is nothing they can do except cut costs (mirrorless is cheaper to make no doubts there), and jack up prices. What they could do is what more electronics goods have happen - prices drop long term hugely. Cameras are not immune to progress, pc's used to be seriously expensive, now they are dirt cheap.

Only way to ensure they wipe themselves out is to keep jacking prices up, has not worked and never will. Camera gear isn't in high demand, even more so with Covid

Mark Ransom
Mark Ransom Veteran Member • Posts: 7,274
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Maxxum Fan wrote:

No I'm looking way back beyond that date. The boom was just that a blip, but pre digital they sold more ILC's in the mid 80's onwards. So the market is dying, probably sped up with fairly hefty prices on new gear (bodies and lenses), mix in the phones, bargain buyers who still get gear but won't pay high prices (tons of s/h stuff around)

= continued decline of the industry for years ahead

You're probably right.

So there are too many makers, prices are too high (you can only get the value up before the decline speeds up with that plan ie it has not worked), and too much s/h stuff around. There is nothing they can do except cut costs (mirrorless is cheaper to make no doubts there), and jack up prices.

People keep saying that mirrorless is cheaper to make, but I haven't seen any evidence.  I think that's just an unfounded assumption.

What they could do is what more electronics goods have happen - prices drop long term hugely. Cameras are not immune to progress, pc's used to be seriously expensive, now they are dirt cheap.

PCs have one advantage over cameras - as the technology progresses, the chips become smaller and thus cheaper.  A camera sensor is a major part of the expense, and those never become smaller.  That's not to say cameras won't become cheaper, they just won't do it on the same time scale as other electronic products.

Only way to ensure they wipe themselves out is to keep jacking prices up, has not worked and never will. Camera gear isn't in high demand, even more so with Covid

Raising prices due to lower demand just drives the demand even lower.  That's a bad feedback loop.

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Maxxum Fan Regular Member • Posts: 452
Re: The trend towards mirrorless
1

Mark Ransom wrote:

People keep saying that mirrorless is cheaper to make, but I haven't seen any evidence. I think that's just an unfounded assumption.

Pretty simple thinking, less parts (significantly so v a DSLR), and faster assembly. There are no doubts that they are cheaper to manufacture. It's pretty much impossible they're not. Even looking at Sony they save money reusing the same (IMO not that good and boring) body design

PCs have one advantage over cameras - as the technology progresses, the chips become smaller and thus cheaper. A camera sensor is a major part of the expense, and those never become smaller. That's not to say cameras won't become cheaper, they just won't do it on the same time scale as other electronic products.

I don't think sensors cost that much these days, volume is higher and it's no longer considered a bit expense where it might have been 10 years ago

Only way to ensure they wipe themselves out is to keep jacking prices up, has not worked and never will. Camera gear isn't in high demand, even more so with Covid

Raising prices due to lower demand just drives the demand even lower. That's a bad feedback loop.

That was their plan, and it didn't work out so well. Now things are different with Covid - overnight demand which wasn't that high has tumbled heavily. I suspect it won't recover either. There will be corporate casualties

Mark Ransom
Mark Ransom Veteran Member • Posts: 7,274
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Maxxum Fan wrote:

Mark Ransom wrote:

People keep saying that mirrorless is cheaper to make, but I haven't seen any evidence. I think that's just an unfounded assumption.

Pretty simple thinking, less parts (significantly so v a DSLR), and faster assembly. There are no doubts that they are cheaper to manufacture. It's pretty much impossible they're not. Even looking at Sony they save money reusing the same (IMO not that good and boring) body design

You may not have doubts, but I do.  Unless we get hard numbers from someone in a position to know, I don't see how you can draw conclusions.

Look at hard disks. Even though they're a complex mechanical device with high precision, they're still less expensive than a SSD of lower capacity.

PCs have one advantage over cameras - as the technology progresses, the chips become smaller and thus cheaper. A camera sensor is a major part of the expense, and those never become smaller. That's not to say cameras won't become cheaper, they just won't do it on the same time scale as other electronic products.

I don't think sensors cost that much these days, volume is higher and it's no longer considered a bit expense where it might have been 10 years ago

There's no doubt sensor costs have come down, or we wouldn't have sub-$2k FF cameras.  But what took 10 years might have only taken 2 years if we were looking at processors for instance.

Only way to ensure they wipe themselves out is to keep jacking prices up, has not worked and never will. Camera gear isn't in high demand, even more so with Covid

Raising prices due to lower demand just drives the demand even lower. That's a bad feedback loop.

That was their plan, and it didn't work out so well. Now things are different with Covid - overnight demand which wasn't that high has tumbled heavily. I suspect it won't recover either. There will be corporate casualties

I agree there will probably be corporate casualties, but I'm not at all anxious to see it.

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Luis Fonseca Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Maxxum Fan wrote:

No I'm looking way back beyond that date. The boom was just that a blip, but pre digital they sold more ILC's in the mid 80's onwards.

You might be right, I don't know and the graphic joins all camera sales.

So the market is dying, probably sped up with fairly hefty prices on new gear (bodies and lenses), mix in the phones, bargain buyers who still get gear but won't pay high prices (tons of s/h stuff around)

= continued decline of the industry for years ahead

So there are too many makers, prices are too high (you can only get the value up before the decline speeds up with that plan ie it has not worked), and too much s/h stuff around. There is nothing they can do except cut costs (mirrorless is cheaper to make no doubts there), and jack up prices. What they could do is what more electronics goods have happen - prices drop long term hugely. Cameras are not immune to progress, pc's used to be seriously expensive, now they are dirt cheap.

True, cameras are electronics products so their prices will fall like computers did. Lenses are a different story. They are optical products so their prices will go up like microscopes did.

Only way to ensure they wipe themselves out is to keep jacking prices up, has not worked and never will. Camera gear isn't in high demand, even more so with Covid

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ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,220
Re: Survival of the K-mount in the mirrorless world.

Ok my error - I had no idea and so many.

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DougOB
DougOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Maxxum Fan wrote:

No I'm looking way back beyond that date. The boom was just that a blip, but pre digital they sold more ILC's in the mid 80's onwards. So the market is dying, probably sped up with fairly hefty prices on new gear (bodies and lenses), mix in the phones, bargain buyers who still get gear but won't pay high prices (tons of s/h stuff around)

= continued decline of the industry for years ahead

I remember buying a SLR in 1991 and being told how they were under pressure from p&s cameras.  So not a new phenomenon but how long can a dedicated ILC system last?  Years?  Decades?  I honestly do not know...

Doug

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DougOB
DougOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Luis Fonseca wrote:

Maxxum Fan wrote:

No I'm looking way back beyond that date. The boom was just that a blip, but pre digital they sold more ILC's in the mid 80's onwards.

You might be right, I don't know and the graphic joins all camera sales.

So the market is dying, probably sped up with fairly hefty prices on new gear (bodies and lenses), mix in the phones, bargain buyers who still get gear but won't pay high prices (tons of s/h stuff around)

= continued decline of the industry for years ahead

So there are too many makers, prices are too high (you can only get the value up before the decline speeds up with that plan ie it has not worked), and too much s/h stuff around. There is nothing they can do except cut costs (mirrorless is cheaper to make no doubts there), and jack up prices. What they could do is what more electronics goods have happen - prices drop long term hugely. Cameras are not immune to progress, pc's used to be seriously expensive, now they are dirt cheap.

True, cameras are electronics products so their prices will fall like computers did. Lenses are a different story. They are optical products so their prices will go up like microscopes did.

In general I agree.  Certain things change the value/cost such as an older manual focus vs more modern AF version of a lens or an older mount, but in general I agree.

This is why I prefer a pure mechanical lens (i.e., no AF motor) for longevity after the Zombie Apocalypse

Doug

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Maxxum Fan Regular Member • Posts: 452
Re: The trend towards mirrorless
1

I'm still rockin' lenses from the 80's and 90's, they just don't go wrong (the odd time you get sticky aperture blades on some I'm good here)

I got doubts lenses today will last that long, all those ribbon cables to break and AF/aperture motors that can fail. Meantime the old stuff just keeps going

I hope there is a future for Pentax it's a classic mount it deserves more love and attention then it gets. They did some cool things other makers ignore, real attention. K1 was an example of that. Whatever happens dude there is plenty of gear around, so far I'm not swayed into mirrorless look at the prices of native glass ouch. Only fun to be had is adapting glass IMO

Don't know if it makes sense for Pentax to get into that - now we have that massive sales drop with Covid, gonna be hard for even the bigger ones to stay afloat

DougOB
DougOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
NT +1

No text.

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bilybianca Contributing Member • Posts: 543
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

Me thinks the diagrams above are pretty easy to understand - but that's not good news to Pentax fans, nor Nikon.

In the seventies, it was expensive to take photos. I got a Kodac Instamatic as a christmas gift in my early teens (the one with flash cubes, remember?). Then I could afford to burn a roll of film at least once a year, and of course a whole roll on my school trip to Rome. People with SLRs were either pros, or die hard advanced amateurs.

I got older, and started to get an income. And overall living standards were going up throughout the western world, so more people could afford fine things like a hifi stereo system, a colour tv or even a summer cottage. And of course, a high quality camera, like the ones the pro's had. The point-and-shoots also became better and better (remember the Pentax Espio?), and even the average soccer mom could fill her photo albums with pictures taken by herself. But the point-and shoots didn't really compete with SLRs, they rather were an entry to the hobby. So when I was going for the big adventure, six months in Nicaragua, obviously I would need a real camera, and bought a Pentax Program A with a kit lens. By then it was the single most expensive thing I had ever bought. But as millions of others, I could actually afford it.

2005 I bought my first DSLR. So did many, who had an old SLR and now wanted to be onboard when the new era came. And high quality photography became anyones hobby (potential quality, not quality in terms of composition, light and subject!). And a few hundred millions of Chinese, Coreans and Brazilians amongst others became part of the global middle class, and could also start to buy nice things, like a fine DSLR.

That DSLRs of any make sold as hot cakes in the late 80-s and up till 2010 isn't more puzzeling than that the sales of flat screen TVs and computer monitors slashed the sales of fat screens in the same period.

But now there are so many DSLRs lying arond in drawers and cupboards, because the 2009 buyer found that it wasn't that fun. For snapshots the mobile will do as well, since the pictures aren't put in an album any longer but shared on Instagram. These DSLR owners won't buy a new DSLR every second year, they already have one with the two kit lenses, and they never use it anyway.

It's us nerds who "need" to upgrade when, or even before, there's something new on the horizon. And we aren't that many. DSLR sales will go the same way as the sales of vinyl record players, typewriters and cassette recorders. There's still a niche market, but it's a small one.

I certainly hope that Ricoh gives us a few more Pentax models before it's all over, and I'm not at all convinced that the Pentax brand will be the first one to leave the stage. It might even outlive me! But as JM Keynes said: in the long run were all dead.

Kjell

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xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 1,457
Re: The trend towards mirrorless

If you want system with endless life, then just use M42 lenses and there alwas will be some camera which can use those .)

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