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Nikon V1 might as well be free at $299 w/lens aka redonkulous price cuts mean desperate camera makers! One or more of Sony, Olympus, Ricoh, Pentax, or Samsung will exit the camera business in the next ten years

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2012-12-04 17:11

Nikon V1 with kit zoom for $299 might as well be free (excellent deal for a mirrorless camera w/EVF, great auto-focus; only problem is the lens line up is not yet anywhere near complete). Points out how desperate the camera manufacturers are and how much camera oversupply there is.

I really think that one or more of Sony, Olympus, Ricoh, Pentax, or Samsung will exit the camera business in the next ten years (my prediction would be Olympus even though I love their cameras and Ricoh and perhaps Sony).

Two reasons:

  1. Too many me too cameras that aren't social cameras, and
  2. competition from cameraphones which is the only camera that most people will ever buy and use in the near future and cameraphones won't be made by "traditional camera makers"

Thom Hogan: the camera industry has started teaching customers that big discounts are the norm.

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2012-11-21 00:03

Thom Hogan writes on ridiculous discounts on cameras from companies like Olympus and Panasonic, what he calls the JC Penney effect:

QUOTE

This is not just a Panasonic problem. Olympus has the same problem, so does Nikon, so does Canon, so does Sony, so does everyone. They all overproduced to demand, had lingering inventory when new products hit, and thus now have to discount the old product to get rid of it, eroding margins and teaching customers that the actual value of the product is far lower than the initial list price, which then devalues the new gear.

...

I'll repeat, the camera industry has started teaching customers that big discounts are the norm.

...

This is happening at every level of camera sales now, from lowest compact to FX DSLRs. We have a global oversupply of camera gear

...

Yet the Japanese companies still overproduce. Worse still, they overproduce when the yen is worth less against the dollar and Euro, then complain when they are still trying to sell those products at discounts later when the yen is worth more. 

From a customer standpoint, this is great (other than the fact that the gear you bought last year is worth less than 50% of its cost now, so you won't be getting much back on selling used gear). We're getting supremely good new gear at very low prices. But it's also bankrupting the camera manufacturing industry

END QUOTE

I am loving my $200 Olympus E-PL ($250 included the kit zoom which although bulky is a decent lens; check out my E-PL1 pics on flickr!) and the VF-3 EVF and the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 prime lens. Still a great camera even though it's 2 years old and obsolete. I am buying into the Micro 4/3 eco-system not into the E-PL1 itself and I am banking on the price of what I really want, the weather sealed OM-D going down to $600 from $1300 in a couple of years!

Is this sustainable for the camera manufacturers? I guess not.

Does this leave them open to disruption from somebody who can produce a truly social camera with apps, sensors and connectivity? Definitely!

Fuji X-Pro 1 is seriously tempting

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2012-01-14 17:30

The Fuji X-Pro 1 sounds fantastic. Big sensor. Some great looking prime lenses and a great EVF. The rumoured $1700 for the body plus $600 for lenses sounds a bit too rich for me so if an Olympus or Panasonic with a great built-in EVF and updated sensor becomes available I still might end up with Micro Four Thirds. Now if only there was a built-in GPS and WiFi option in a MFT 4/3 or Fuji camera then I would have the perfect social camera. Much as I love the current crop of cameras and the cameras I have, it's very annoying that none of them has built-in Internet sharing and integration and an app platform (except the iPhone but except for Slow Shutter I quickly tire of its limited camera; when compared to the N8 and my Fuji X-10 the iPhone 4 camera still seems like a toy)

I have Nokia Cameraphone Stockholm syndrome, the N8 continues to rule!

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-05-01 16:33

fern! - 043020116311 043020116308 A dandelion between the cracks 043020116231 Purple flower of Cedar Cottage - 032720114585

I have Nokia Cameraphone Stockholm syndrome :-) which means I neglect the (un)usability of Symbian in order to get fantastic photos like the ones above! I can't stop taking photos with the Nokia N8, and I can't repeat it enough, the photo quality is amazing, thanks again to the Nokia team responsible for the N8!

My question, who will top the Nokia N8 in cameraphones? Will it be somebody on Android, Windows Phone 7, WebOS, or will Canon and Nikon or some camera upstart like Panasonic do the right thing and incorporate 3G connectivity with software programmability (I love Eye-Fi but unless it's built in it's a kludge! And the built-in WiFi in various Nikons and other cameras from traditional camera manufacturers is unusable since it's not programmable and not flexible) so that an ecosystem of cameraphone apps can spawn around a fantastic cameraphone (the iPhone4 has an excellent ecosystem of cameraphone apps but without a dedicated camera button, I can't use it as my goto cameraphone).

My guess it will be be an Android cameraphone with a dedicated camera button that will top the N8 but I'd love to be proven wrong by HP, or Panasonic or other upstart. (And feel free to think that my obsession with cameras with built in connectivity that is programmable is crazy but I think there are many 1000s of people like me!)

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