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$6000 cameras could be the norm soon?


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27 minutes ago, Tim Sewell said:

It's hard to say it's gone wrong. It's so-called creative destruction. There's simply no need for a mass consumer camera market any more. Every home used to have a camera, be it a compact, a SLR, a Polaroid or whatever. No-one needs those any more because everybody (even the children) has a phone that will take better snaps with fewer skills, in a format that allows instant sharing.

The instant sharing part is a very important piece of the puzzle.  When I am doing a photo shoot there are more pictures of the model on her Instagram page from her cell phone during the shoot than I am going to deliver for the whole session and the model spends more time trying to set up her phone for behind the scenes footage than she does listening to my directions.

Also, I always say, thanks to cell phones the expectation is for quantity, not quality and an Instagram filter to fix it in 2s vs me spending hrs in Photoshop and Lightroom refining every detail. People don't care anymore if their heads are cut off, the composition is terrible, the camera is slanted, the WB is off, etc. The only thing they care about is if they are in the picture and if it got uploaded while it was happening; as if all of their "followers" will disappear if they don't get a constant stream of selfies from a model they have never met.

Photography and Videography are a dying art and camera makers moving to the higher end to offset the lower sales was inevitable. These days reviews of a $6000 camera gets more views than the actual video and images taken with that camera.

 

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1 hour ago, Tim Sewell said:

It's hard to say it's gone wrong. It's so-called creative destruction. There's simply no need for a mass consumer camera market any more. Every home used to have a camera, be it a compact, a SLR, a Polaroid or whatever. No-one needs those any more because everybody (even the children) has a phone that will take better snaps with fewer skills, in a format that allows instant sharing.

In the 1990's, a good capable and forward thinking management at Canon would have been in talks with Adobe, and would have bought a controlling stake in the company. Out from that, the company would have sprung all kinds of software and technological services, before going into online photo sharing in a big way, 5 years before Facebook.

In the early 2010s, a good and correct thinking Nikon management would have been deep in talks with mobile networks around the world and Apple, looking to create a standard e-sim for all customers so that their network contracts worked with the multiple devices they own. Rather than a sim card, onboard chip could hold digital subscriber info and connect to 4G networks. When the 4G era really got going, therefore, camera companies would all have the connectivity ready to go in their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and a one-button press to share shots online. Also, larger back screen, touch screen UI, in-camera editing and filters, plus proper OS to run it all.

None of this ever happened of course which is why the chart looks like it does above, rather than being the fault of consumers switching to smartphones. It is more that the Japanese camera corporations did nothing to mitigate it.

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3 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

In the 1990's, a good capable and forward thinking management at Canon would have been in talks with Adobe, and would have bought a controlling stake in the company. Out from that, the company would have sprung all kinds of software and technological services, before going into online photo sharing in a big way, 5 years before Facebook.

In the early 2010s, a good and correct thinking Nikon management would have been deep in talks with mobile networks around the world and Apple, looking to create a standard e-sim for all customers so that their network contracts worked with the multiple devices they own. Rather than a sim card, onboard chip could hold digital subscriber info and connect to 4G networks. When the 4G era really got going, therefore, camera companies would all have the connectivity ready to go in their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and a one-button press to share shots online. Also, larger back screen, touch screen UI, in-camera editing and filters, plus proper OS to run it all.

None of this ever happened of course which is why the chart looks like it does above, rather than being the fault of consumers switching to smartphones. It is more that the Japanese camera corporations did nothing to mitigate it.

Don't know the reality on other markets - but here, having a Sim card in the camera would get zero sales.

People here use its smartphone SIM for all the mobile traffic. Notebooks and other deviced are used in tethered wifi connections - except a couple of financial market friends, no one have a dedicated sim card for their notebooks or iPads when the devices have the option.

Mobile fees are kind of expensive here - and, oddly, data-only SIM card plans are MUCH more expensive than the phone ones.

As people don't want to spend more money to have two devices to take photos, people don't want to pay two connections for their devices.

Some mobile apps (Panasonic and Fuji) already have the option to automatically import all the photos that you take with the camera. But you still have to open the app and have it connected - the Bluetooth enabled cameras make the connection process easier, but still slow because of the wifi handshake protocol.

Direct upload to the social networks, even if the camera suports it, have hassles too: people could want to put some filter (more computational need), cameras would need a good keyboard, with prediction and hashtags, and the most glaring problem: the social networks are closing their APIs for 3rd party vendors. They WANT you to use the app, to monetize targeted ads.

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2 hours ago, MrSMW said:

If the next 2 announced are less than half the price, ie $3k top XH2 and GH6, some balance will be returned to The Force.

I'm not sure what the chances are for that - potentially lower than you might think.  

Consider the options:

  • The new models are impressive and expensive....  "it's the end of the world - $6K cameras have doomed civilisation"
  • The new models are impressive and affordable....  "today our company is closing its doors due to low unit profit of recent releases and the failure of the compact camera market"
  • The new models are modest upgrades and affordable....  "WTF that's not impressive - WORST CAMERA EVER"
  • The new models are modest upgrades and expensive....  "what the absolute @#$$"

Personally, I think the GH5 is actually very close to perfection, and so a modest upgrade of its weaknesses, even just some of them, would justify its existence.  The hype train that seems to expect new cameras to be spectacular won't let the "we've taken a solid performer and given it a solid incremental update" message gain traction.  These days things are either spectacular or despicable, and no logic of common sense can cut through the mania.

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Just here to say, I wanted the new Fuji to have an open gate video mode enabled SO BADLY. That alone would’ve put me in “sell all my other bodies for a switch” high gear. 
 

I’m still holding steady without a sweat... GH5S for anamorphic, Pocket 4K for easy Raw, C200 from work if good AF is needed. 
 

I want LF video just because I find it interesting and really want to explore it. The S1H is tempting, but that darn AF keeps it from being the monstrous all-rounder I’m after. Hopefully the S2H fixes AF. If not, hey... S1H prices will probably drop at the same time and make that purchase more justifiable.

 

I think the shaky market is still at a point where it may be a good thing, pushing the manufacturers to condense their lineups and get solid features into all cameras... but I guess we’ll see.

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Well the other part of the equation is that digital cameras last a long time for most consumers and semi-pro's. Unless you do timelapse with mechanical shutter beating your shutter to death, how many shots a year do you put on your camera ? 5K ? 10k ? with a shutter good for 150-200K releases you've got 15-25 years worth of life with that camera. Longer if you use it less. Couple that with minor improvements in resolution for mid to lower priced cameras, minor improvements in DR, those two big selling points just aren't . Most cameras are in the 20seomthing megapixel range and even the higher 36MP sensors aren't that much of a jump up for _most_ users when their current camera is perfectly good for their needs. Only 4K displays has pushed the res limitation a bit. Until we have mass market 6K (computer) or 8K screens will anyone feel any real need to push the pixel count up on the sensor. Current cameras produce really respectable DR and color for the most part. More than good enough for most people's needs now and for a while. 

 Maybe the only real thing that might push someone to get a new camera body is better AF. We have most of that with phase detect and face recognition thats pretty good, again for most people's needs most of the time.

with feature needs covered, the want to upgrade is low, esepecially when looking at the price of new cameras. Fuji has done well with good retro design in the bodies, great color that is their own, and kept pricing for the S35 cameras affordable enough what while its a decsion of thought to get a new one like a Xpro3, its not such a giant investment you really have to plan and think it out hard for a lot of people. indeed keeping it under $2k + APSC has proven a good combination.

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Reading a review of the new Leica M10-R I thought maybe i could get a cheap old Leica digital M.      Thinking an M8 is now over 15 years old, surely they MIGHT be affordable....Nope, a body only M8 costs as much as a Nikon D780 DSLR or Olympus EM1-X M43 flagship.

Looks like I will be using my Sony A7s for a few years more.

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One would think Samsung would be able to jump right back into the enthusiast camera market using the same technologies they already use for their phones. Big beautiful screens, blazing fast processors, computational photography, etc. Why not try to capture that extra slice of the market? Adding the benefit of lowering BOM cost and improving the margin on a product you sell millions of every year.

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14 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

None of this ever happened of course which is why the chart looks like it does above, rather than being the fault of consumers switching to smartphones. It is more that the Japanese camera corporations did nothing to mitigate it.

Well of course - but history is littered with dead industries whose players failed to foresee the full effects of technological change. But in terms of actual hardware, there was and is literally nothing that could save mass-market camera sales. You have to remember that the vast majority of the millions of point'n'shoots that used to be sold every year weren't in daily use - they sat in drawers, brought out for the annual holiday, birthdays and Christmas. People who worked in mass-market photo labs used to laugh about rolls of 24 frames that were bookended with snaps from 2 consecutive festive seasons. So when you arrive, accidentally (don't forget, cameras in phones started out as a minor value-add) at a scenario where everybody has a far higher (for them) quality camera in their pockets all the time that they don't even have to think about putting in there - well; tell me what camera makers could have done to their products to make them attractive enough for Joe Schmoe to put his hand in his pocket for a separate device that he has to remember to get out of the drawer.

It's by no means a happy situation, but it is what it is and it's where we are. With the benefit of hindsight we can debate whether or not it was inevitable. We can posit ways in which CaNikon etc could have safeguarded their businesses - but the ways in which they could have done that, including the strategies Andrew suggests, might have saved their businesses, but wouldn't have done anything to preserve any kind of market for consumer cameras sufficient to continue supporting higher end gear for enthusiasts.

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16 hours ago, herein2020 said:

The instant sharing part is a very important piece of the puzzle.  When I am doing a photo shoot there are more pictures of the model on her Instagram page from her cell phone during the shoot than I am going to deliver for the whole session

This is what many camera brands have been failing at doing elegantly for a long time. 
They need to fix this asap if they want to get a grip on their falling sales.

15 hours ago, Nikkor said:

6000$ is the new 2500$. Central Banking doing it's job.

This too. 

End the Fed.

13 hours ago, MrSMW said:

If the next 2 announced are less than half the price, ie $3k top XH2 and GH6, some balance will be returned to The Force.

I hope it is not US$3K, or even $2.5K

The GH5 already at sub $2K was setting a record for the most expensive cameras Panasonic ever released when it came out. 

But like @Nikkor was referring to....image.png.5d203cf0182959f1b289a38452b5b8b3.png

  

3 hours ago, billdoubleu said:

Why not try to capture that extra slice of the market?

Unfortunately that slice of the market would be merely a rounding error in their annual financial report for Samsung.

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12 minutes ago, IronFilm said:
13 hours ago, MrSMW said:

If the next 2 announced are less than half the price, ie $3k top XH2 and GH6, some balance will be returned to The Force.

I hope it is not US$3K, or even $2.5K

The GH5 already at sub $2K was setting a record for the most expensive cameras Panasonic ever released when it came out. 

Well I hope it's all under $1k...but being serious, I don't think an XH2 is coming this year as anything but possibly an announcement towards the end of the year, but Fuji say they are committed to making one.

I'd expect it to be circa $3k unless it's something totally 'different'.

The GH6 has more chance of arriving this year (I think there might be some news in an updated thread elsewhere?) and maybe is more likely in the $2-2.5k price bracket?

But big jumps are not necessarily out of the question, just look at the Sony A7SIII and Canon EOS R5 which now look like absolute bargains next to the Sony A1.

It is all a bit concerning however, these seeming huge price increases because as someone who currently operates with 3 bodies..though could move to 2 through use of zooms, I can't really as a small business, especially in these current climes, realistically consider bodies at 6k a pop, plus glass.

I'm perfectly happy with my S5 other than the AF tracking question which I will not fully be able to answer until I have actual weddings and then it will be a case of either, yes, I can live with that for the next 3 or so years, or whether I just go for the safer bet which is the XT4, or whether either company pops out the curve ball that is the XH2 or GH6.

Much as I'd like a GFX100S, not only is it overkill for my needs, it doesn't actually meet my needs.

The new Sony does (meet my needs but is arguably overkill but fairly future-proof, as much as anything can be), but I'd be looking at 15k+ to go in that direction and that to me is 5 years of kit. 

But as I keep saying, not an immediate concern because although on paper, I still have 17/18 paying gigs booked in for this year, the first/next in just over 2 months, the reality is I don't think there is going to be anything (for me) until Summer at the soonest and by then most of my remaining booked jobs will have bailed.

So no particular rush here, but like many, I'd like to know what's coming so I can plan and make informed purchase decisions. Unlikely I know, same as it ever is!

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16 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Unfortunately that slice of the market would be merely a rounding error in their annual financial report for Samsung.

I'm not sure I buy that. It's more about ROI than market size anyway. Especially, at this point anyone should be able to see that the market is poised for an upswing. Everything cycles.

The market is still there in my opinion, it just needs to be motivated. And an incredible product from Samsung would do that. The Android phone market was nothing for many years. It wouldn't exist as it does today without Samsung. They grew that segment, hell, they ARE that segment.

I have no doubt there is a big enough percentage of young demographic that would love to upgrade from their phone camera if you gave them an attractive option. These kids live in a worldwide image-centric culture the likes of which we have never seen. You won't convince me that they view their phones as the be-all and end-all.

I think the camera industry has hit rock bottom due to it's own fuckery. And we could consider it a growth industry at this point with the right products. Elon Musk is going to journey to the center of the earth and fly to fucking mars before the camera manufacturers get their collective heads out of their asses.

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Broadcast TV in Italy is still SD in many cases and image/content is shittier everyday, I can't understand how people watch mainstream TV. 2K is good for most Hollywood movies. The need for 4K is low (unless you do Netflix stuff) and even worse for 8K. I have a Fuji X-T3 and I can't see a reason to change it if not for recording long takes.

The 6000$ camera could be a 3500$ if they expected to sell millions. But I imagine that nowadays to be in the X00 thousands units is the realistic option. Plus you can always apply coupons and sales to a 6000$ and make it cheaper. But you can't go up in price if your 3500$ is not selling good enough. 

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2 hours ago, Xavier Plagaro Mussard said:

The need for 4K is low (unless you do Netflix stuff) and even worse for 8K

It's not so much for the output that folks use or want more K's in their life, but for the starting point in terms of sheer quality, or the 8k downsampled to 4k sensor use, or just the ability to punch in either in post, or even using a prime to get the equivalent of 2 focal lengths out of 1 single prime.

French TV is utter shit and I've seen some Spanish so can imagine Italian 😂

Hurrah for Netflix!

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