Can Taylor Swift get us 4K on Canon DSLRs?
It’s well known that DSLR sales are sliding now, following the worrying trajectory of compact cameras.
Then I read with great interest Vincent Laforet’s prediction that the era of stand-alone cameras is coming to an abrupt end for the mass market.
There was a very key chart in that blog post which you can see above. I believe it speaks volumes about why the mass market is migrating from hardware focussed imaging tools like DSLRs to innovative new growth areas like apps and services orientated smartphones.
Incidentally in our own little world of DSLR video, this is also why Canon were so utterly wrong to dismiss Magic Lantern as a intolerable ‘hack’.
Let’s diagnose the problem and suggest the solution…
Canon’s next step on the entry level Rebel / XXXD series is about to arrive and it will be interesting to see the video specs now Panasonic are doing sub-$1000 entry level 4K with the LX100 and FZ1000.
This time Canon are releasing two models – the 750D and a 760D, with the difference seeming to be the addition of a 70D-like top LCD panel on the 760D.
Is this a sign of things to come? The 1D C is currently sold for $12,000 in the US, however Canon in Hong Kong have just lowered the list price, according to one Canon rep to “put it in-line with the Sony FS700”. Converted to US dollars the Hong Kong street price now works out at just $7000.
This advice has been met with an arrogance built on a decade of increasing sales. Now in an era of falling shipments both companies have blamed smartphones and the world economy. For me this is unacceptable, it’s all about the product. Sales are down because the products aren’t good enough.
Sales are down every month this year compared to last. The peak months in each year are normally June and November. Taking the month of June as our sample, shipments have halved in two years. 800,000 DSLRs in June 2014 compares to 1.2 million in 2013 and 1.6m in June 2012. That’s units shipped from the factories of all manufacturers, but mainly Canon and Nikon with the lion’s share of that and therefore most responsible for the decline.
Meanwhile sales at mirrorless system camera manufacturer Olympus are up 22% year on year. There’s something even more telling from Olympus in America, previously a market where mirrorless has been a failure, sales in this region saw a huge 70% gain for the OM range. This is despite massive competition from Sony with the A7, etc. Panasonic and Fuji’s X range.