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02-04-2019, 09:33 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Will the mirroless market implode in a price-war?

So far junior strategists in camera companies have solved their issue of massive customer exodus by adding incremental features to cameras and hiking price levels.

Suprisingly to them now everybody does that and is after the exact same two or three wealthy kids out there.

So this small corner now is overcrowded with not a lot of USPs visible between the Canon, Nikos, Sonys and Panasonics.

And the fun fight begins:
Aside from the loosers to this game, the people who recently bought any of these gadgets non-discounted or new in general, this sounds like we will see lots of interesting offers with prices going down fast.

With the market still dropping as a whole and the fight now started, this will likely see some victims down the road. The current approach simply is not sustainable.

I do wonder if this will not speed up self-destruct simply by alienating even the fanboys who yesterday bought very expensive cameras and today see used equipment resale values drop like a stone as a consequence of the discounts.

02-04-2019, 09:49 AM   #2
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Likely what will happen is that lowering the price and capability of the body will accentuate the weaknesses of the technology.

So far to get an equivalent viewfinder to a DSLR requires a very expensive mirrorless camera. Some aspects of photography don't require a decent viewfinder and are productive with live view. But some do.

There doesn't seem to be anything particularly compelling about the Nikon and Canon offerings that would move anyone except if it is very cheap.
02-04-2019, 09:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
Will the mirroless market implode in a price-war?
Now that the hype of 2018 has passed, I have trouble seeing mirrorless camera as different from DSLR. Same thing, same thing. It is obvious that the core of the market is full frame now. The market will follow as usual. To me, full frame is almost the new apsc, except some people cannot afford it, so, there will be entry level models I suppose. The new high end is medium format cropped, Fuji showed the way, Pentax 645 still live in the old paradigm (medium format is for professional paradigm). What happened is digital sensors get cheaper per square mm, full frame sensor are as cheap as apsc sensor used to be, there is no reason for full frame not to be the mainstream format in photography, mirrorless or not it doesn't matter.
02-04-2019, 10:05 AM   #4
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Nothing unusual at all about the discounts in mirrorless or DSLR categories. Pentax K1II is now $1800 on Amazon. Canon and Nikon DSLRs have price drops. The range of models will likely narrow among all the brands in the future. As for the trade in schemes, nothing new here either. It's been done in the past. FWIW, the SONY a7III continues to list at $1999.00 on Amazon, holding very solid. That would indicate that it has hit the hot buttons of many buyers whereas the Nikon and Canon equivalents (in theory) really aren't equivalents in some key features and performance areas.

02-04-2019, 10:11 AM   #5
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I view mirrorless as largely driven by manufacturers. They *should* be cheaper than dslrs due to simpler assembly and parts. They havent been marketed as such for obvious reasons. Perhaps there's room for dramatic price reductions?
02-04-2019, 10:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
Nothing unusual at all about the discounts in mirrorless or DSLR categories. Pentax K1II is now $1800 on Amazon. Canon and Nikon DSLRs have price drops. The range of models will likely narrow among all the brands in the future. As for the trade in schemes, nothing new here either. It's been done in the past. FWIW, the SONY a7III continues to list at $1999.00 on Amazon, holding very solid. That would indicate that it has hit the hot buttons of many buyers whereas the Nikon and Canon equivalents (in theory) really aren't equivalents in some key features and performance areas.
I thought Sony announced a $200 price drop on that model yesterday.

EDIT: Apparently it was a $200 off promo (BH Photo was one outlet), but didn't run for whatever reason

Last edited by gatorguy; 02-04-2019 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Added detail
02-04-2019, 10:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
They havent been marketed as such for obvious reasons. Perhaps there's room for dramatic price reductions?
The cost isn't in the hardware anymore, especially for mirrorless camera without AF drive motor (other electronic appliances are cheaper while built with more parts than a MILC camera). Price is driven be R&D costs and low volumes compared to other electronic kind of electronic devices. That, however doesn't exclude 2 or 3 products pricing approach: low-end, mid, high-end, with the high-end models making more of the margin and the low-end making the mid-range look better value. Anyway,, photographers who view photography as an art form would tend to rely less on camera specs (eventually willing to have bare done camera with good large sensor in it), will get the cheaper model, and other photographers who are more into camera specs will get the more expensive models. Choice is a good thing.
02-04-2019, 11:22 AM - 5 Likes   #8
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Big silicon sensors will always be more expensive, more power-hungry, and have lower max frame rates than smaller silicon sensors. And some buyers will always prefer physically smaller cameras and lenses to larger ones. "Equivalence" (dare I use that blasphemous term) shows that almost any format can take almost any photograph with some very limited exceptions driven by lens availability such super-shallow DoF in FF or super-long telephoto in smaller formats. All modern cameras have great photographic performance which means buyers can gravitate to the size of format that has the size of cameras and bodies they prefer for ergonomic & weight reasons.

There may be a short-term surge in FF buyers given the recent launches of new FF models, but I doubt FF will truly replace APS-C or even M43s in the long-term.

02-04-2019, 11:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Now that the hype of 2018 has passed, I have trouble seeing mirrorless camera as different from DSLR. Same thing, same thing.
I have to agree; most mirrorless cameras are laid out just the same as a DSLR, and the only difference is the viewfinder. But with the freedom to put the viewfinder and other components in different locations, cameras could be produced that are optimised for different sorts of photography. This is a good reason to incorporate a mirrorless camera (or two) into an existing DSLR system, making the whole system more versatile.
02-04-2019, 12:13 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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I will confess to really liking my MFT mirrorless. I was looking forward to the new Olympus that was released just last week, with features such as in-camera image stacking and instant (=hand-holdable) ultra high resolution pixel shift imaging (50mb), BUT, Olympus decided to supply an integral, non-removable vertical grip with multiple control buttons, dials, and an extra battery kicking up the price to just shy of $3000 and the weight up higher than a K1. I think the latter will really kill sales as the whole point of MFT was compact and light weight.
02-04-2019, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
There may be a short-term surge in FF buyers given the recent launches of new FF models, but I doubt FF will truly replace APS-C or even M43s in the long-term.
I agree with your logic (the choice of the customer), free market like it is theoretically in the USA. However, camera makers have shown, by investing heavily in advertising, how customer wants can be aligned to what is sold to them. I cannot buy a apsc camera if all Japanese camera makers decide to only make new full frame cameras. In 5 years from now, if there is no new DSLR model, only mirrorless, and I want to change my K1, what do I do? I'm afraid I can only buy what is offered (mirrorless) or nothing.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 02-04-2019 at 01:23 PM.
02-04-2019, 01:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I agree with your logic (the choice of the customer). However, camera makers have shown, by investing heavily in advertising, how customer wants can be aligned to what is sold. Customers can only buy what is offered to them, they won't go on strike when their micro 4/3 camera will stop working and the only thing they can buy to replace it is a compact full frame camera for $3000. From what I see, it looks like some conspiracy by all camera companies, somehow they all agreed to make similar moves, and I suppose there are some professional conferences / meeting for camera makers , the same way as for car makers and semiconductor chip makers go to the same conferences. The market is defined by both customers and suppliers, somehow the suppliers decide what is good for them, customers don't have full power.
I agree with the logic of heavy advertising and restricted product availability in many markets but not this one.

First, investing heavily in advertising in a shrinking market is a recipe for bankruptcy. Growing ad dollars divided shrinking unit volumes force the wholesale price of each unit to go through the roof just to break even. That sounds like a big up-hill battle in a down-hill market.

Second, it may be true that customers can only buy what is offered to them but this cabal of camera makers can't prevent customers from picking smartphones as the affordable alternative to $3000 FF cameras. And, at some point, one of the members of the conspiracy (or a non-member like Fuji or Aberg Best) is going to realize they can sell a metric buttload of cheap $500 M43 or APS-C cameras for $1000 to grab all the customers that want a standalone camera but can't afford (or don't want to afford) the $3000 model.

The ad-driven conspiratorial model you suggest really only works in growing markets where the consumer really has no choice except to buy from the conspirators.
02-04-2019, 01:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I will confess to really liking my MFT mirrorless. I was looking forward to the new Olympus that was released just last week, with features such as in-camera image stacking and instant (=hand-holdable) ultra high resolution pixel shift imaging (50mb), BUT, Olympus decided to supply an integral, non-removable vertical grip with multiple control buttons, dials, and an extra battery kicking up the price to just shy of $3000 and the weight up higher than a K1. I think the latter will really kill sales as the whole point of MFT was compact and light weight.
Hmmm.. I'd think that the availability of an ergonomically-large MFT body could only grow Olympus volumes to encompass photographers who want a larger body. Olympus is only doing what both Canon and Nikon have done before -- offer both jumbo-body built-in-grip models and smaller models, too. This strategy lets dedicated enthusiasts or pros have both a large-body model for "serious" or studio work plus a small-body model for travel, street, and casual shooting with lenses and accessories interchangeable on both bodies.

Are people really going to refuse to buy a nice compact Olympus because Olympus also happens to offer a big one?
02-04-2019, 01:45 PM   #14
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From MPOV, I would be more tempted by the features of the new Olympus IF they dropped the integral vertical grip and shed about 25~30% of the weight and 15~20% of the price.
02-04-2019, 02:13 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
From MPOV, I would be more tempted by the features of the new Olympus IF they dropped the integral vertical grip and shed about 25~30% of the weight and 15~20% of the price.
The features(or some) will filter down to the em1(3) em5(3) when they are developed,may be this year for Em5(2015 release).its due.



QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Are people really going to refuse to buy a nice compact Olympus because Olympus also happens to offer a big one?
Well,no...theres a choice now from the Pen series up to M(a)X1 , buy the body that suits.

---------- Post added 02-05-19 at 08:19 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Hmmm.. I'd think that the availability of an ergonomically-large MFT body could only grow Olympus volumes to encompass photographers who want a larger body. Olympus is only doing what both Canon and Nikon have done before -- offer both jumbo-body built-in-grip models and smaller models, too. This strategy lets dedicated enthusiasts or pros have both a large-body model for "serious" or studio work plus a small-body model for travel, street, and casual shooting with lenses and accessories interchangeable on both bodies.
OLY offer lots!small to big,wide to long...light to heavy.The PRO glass is very good and completes with the arrival of the 150-400(with the built in 1.25x TC)

Last edited by surfar; 02-04-2019 at 02:21 PM.
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