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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 didn't buy the Panasonic GX1 because I was blown away by the X100 hybrid viewfinder

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-12-22 16:39

So I am looking for a camera w/built-in Fuji X100-like hybrid viewfinder + interchangeable lenses. Anybody know of one :-) ? Perhaps Fuji will make one such camera in 2012? Pretty please? Oh and it would be so awesome if it had a GPS and WiFi connectivity built-in too so we can finally have a social camera that's not also a phone !

Cisco Flip débacle: Social Cameras must have wireless connectivity & magic fairy dust won't turn Enterprise companies into consumer companies

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-04-14 19:42

Cisco Flip débacle lessons:

  • Social Cameras must have wireless connectivity (I like Dave Winer's crazy good Social Camera idea but there's lots of room for innovation here that Cisco, Nokia and many others have missed and that companies like Color, Eye-fi et al are trying)  &
  • Magic fairy dust won't turn Enterprise companies like Cisco (or the late lamented mismanaged Nortel) into consumer companies :-)

N8's camera continues to amaze me - especially macro mode

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-03-31 08:01

Purple flower of Cedar Cottage - 032720114585
The N8 camera software is awkward and it pains me that the iPhone has become the social camera instead of the N8 or other much better cameraphones but I still am in love with the photos it takes like this macro photo of a flower in Cedar Cottage.

50000 photos & 6 years with a Camera Phone

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2010-07-19 06:35

Inspired by Jen's 2,045 Days with a Camera Phone:

  1. I have over 35000 (35823 as of this writing) public photos tagged "cameraphone" on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/tags/cameraphone since I bought my Nokia 7610 1 megapixel cameraphone back in June 2004
  2. Over 90% of those were with Nokia Cameraphones
  3. most of them were with the N95 (7643) and N82 (20, 554 as of this writing)
  4. Combine the 35000 public plus over 10000 on my private kid flickr account plus the ones that I didn't download and I have over 50000
  5. Needless to say I love my N82 :-) and its "triumph of the lofi" sensor
  6. I also love the non blurriness of my digital SLR and Lightroom but hate the fact that WiFi and GPS are not built into DSLRs (they both should be! All cameras including cameraphones and SLRs and point and shoots will be social cameras in 10 years or less!!!!)
  7. And like Jen I have tried the N8 under NDA and it's fantastic
  8. Therefore even though (like Jen), Symbian is not my fav operating system anymore:
  9. N8 + ShoZu + gravity = a winner so I am getting one (and an iPhone 4 as previously blogged; it would be silly for me not to use the awesome cameraphone power of the iPhone 4)
  10. And Jen, I assume when you write:
    1. " I will be purchasing a Nokia N8 and then tracking down a QT developer to help me flesh out the code of my mobile app idea. Here's to 2,045 more days of camera phone photography. ;o)"
    2. that python is ok? Right Jen :-) ? If so I'll help you write a prototype. I don't do C++ :-)

Nokia could win big with a social camera

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2010-06-30 07:36

Dave Winer has been writing for many years about a social camera. I have been writing for years about how ShoZu + Nokia Cameraphones are killer apps and built-in ShoZu would be a killer app (e.g. Nokia should buy ShoZu).

My current thinking is:

Canon or Nikon's sensors and lens +  Nokia phone with "comes with world wide connectivity and built-in easy to use app for uploading photos and HD video to all popular social sites e.g. flickr, facebook, picasa" + sideload to your Computer and OVI files (i.e. Eye-fi done right, not as an aftermarket kludge - don't get me wrong, unlike Dave I love my Eye-Fi card; it's done well but at the end of the day it's a hack!) for backup in real time using ShoZu-like technology to do it in the background and auto-resume if connectivity lost  =

an awesome social camera that would sell well

The current Nokia solution is Share Online which is:

  • a) hard to use 
  • b) hard to configure 
  • c) doesn't work in the  background and auto-resume like ShoZu  
  • d) requires folks to figure out the whole "3G/WiFi don't automatically switch to 3G when I am roaming" dance

As Dave points out if Nokia doesn't do it (and Nokia is the only company with all the pieces including camera hardware and software, ShoZu-like tech, etc) and the biz dev clout to do something like a "Comes with bandwidth" partnership like Amazon did for the Kindle), somebody else will do it e.g. Apple or Google or some social camera upstart.

 

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