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03-01-2011, 05:19 PM   #496
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QuoteOriginally posted by uccemebug Quote
Very, very impressive. Having observed the buying habits in Tokyo over the past five years, I'd bet that December sales are as large a proportion of sales in that country as they would be in the west. You don't want to be anywhere near a Bic or Yodobashi camera that month....
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
What's interesting about Japanese sales data is the sheer volume of cameras sold, and the fact that some end-of-cycle products like the Nikon D90 still command amazing sell-through #'s.

Put it together and you see the exact same trend experienced since the late 1960's in cameras: people own both an SLR and a smaller unit. I suspect a very large # of mirrorless sales are as 2nd units for those same D90 buyers.
One of the reasons for large volumes sales of end-of-cycle products like the Nikon D90 here in Japan, is that they are so heavily discounted. Consumers in Japan tend to like new models, so the old models often have very low prices. And this is not just the discount stores, as places like Bic or Yodobashi will often undercut discount stores to get rid of old models just as the new models get onto the shelves.

One other point, yes, I think many people in Japan will buy a 2nd mirrorless camera, because particularly Panasonic G series are a lot cheaper in Japan, than in the US (unlike many other brands)

For example, the Panasonic GF2 with 14mm F2.5 lens, can be found in the US(B&H) for around $700. In Japan, you can get the GF2 with 14mm F2.5 lens AND the 14-42mm lens for the same price.

If you get the old model GF1 body only, it's only $300.

And if you go for quality second hand, it's even cheaper in Japan (Japan has the cheapest second hand lenses in the world).
For example, I've seen almost new GF2 bodies, for as little as $260.


There also a reason that sales volumes can go up in December and June..... These are the months when the Japanese workers' bonus is paid!!! (it has nothing to do with Christmas!!!!)

03-01-2011, 05:24 PM   #497
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
lol I thought you were the guy who preferred research to anecdotes.

Or do you think if perhaps the anecdotes support your world view then they are worth relying on?
My anecdote shows there is a huge variety of options for differentiated buyers, including a dinosaur like me who lugged an MF film camera into a canoe. The market as a whole is not rallying around the m43 "standard' any more than they are rallying to FF or anything else. What we see is APS-C DSLR's scoring extremely well, especially given the rocket ship growth of the last decade, in fact triggering this growth.

Statements here have been things like "my friends" or "mother" will never buy a DSLR again as if these are general market truisms. If there is any truism in the camera market it is that there are no truisms. It has always been a fractured market. Even that ancient data I posted showed huge growth in........disposable cameras!

The CIPA data demonstrates stellar growth for ILC's, especially on the whip end of a worldwide recession. (Cameras are not recession-proof, but pretty darn near. Sales grew every year of the Depression I read once). The whole ILC market is growing.

If I may borrow a truism from an anecdote, maybe the ILC growth is due to the fact that P&S's have universally slow shutters which is maddening and triggers near-rage in our Lizard Brains. I know this because everyone told me so. Maybe quality matters and people are shifting to ILC for that reason, tripling the weight they carry to get over shutter lag (actually, it's likely celphones and market saturation, but one can hope).

Maybe those who quake at the wee size of the Canon S95 or the story I told of the guy who wanted more "grip" on an m43 (remember: he was brand agnostic) could have used this:

Richard Franiec's Camera Accessories

Last edited by Aristophanes; 03-01-2011 at 08:33 PM. Reason: tpyo
03-02-2011, 08:00 AM   #498
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
For example, I've seen almost new GF2 bodies, for as little as $260.
I've only been gone from Tokyo for two months and I miss the used gear market already.

QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
There also a reason that sales volumes can go up in December and June..... These are the months when the Japanese workers' bonus is paid!!! (it has nothing to do with Christmas!!!!)
Well sure. 4/18 of your yearly salary landing on your plate at once will have that effect. My favourite was the summer bonus season, when that cash was converted to nomikai (drinks parties).

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Maybe those who quake at the wee size of the Canon S95 or the story I told of the guy who wanted more "grip" on an m43 could have used this:

Richard Franiec's Camera Accessories
Amazing that that's a market. They're certainly not fooling around with their design & construction....

"The contour of the grip provides a natural, comfortable way of handling the camera, even one-handed, and adds a substantial feeling of safety and assurance to otherwise slippery and gripless body. And unlike the Leica grip, the Custom Grip don't obstruct the battery/card door.

The adhesive used for mounting the grip is VHB (very high bond) 3M clear transfer film for unparallel bonding power in all possible environmental conditions. Despite the holding power, the grip can be carefully removed without damaging the camera finish or leaving a stubborn residue. After removing it, you can cover the adhesive with the original slick backing material for storage so that you can reattach the grip later. "

To take this back to the original topic, I've got no problem with the smaller sensor size and am keen to see what Pentax comes up with. Hopefully something fun. ;^)
03-02-2011, 12:17 PM   #499
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i think the coolest thing besides the grip is the cable release for the LX very good idea
i like an old school idea adapted for the modern world (and i have the cable anyway for several of my film cameras)

03-02-2011, 07:02 PM - 1 Like   #500
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Saw this today on Mirrorless Rumors:

www.mirrorlessrumors.com/mirrorless-market-growing-worldwide-japane-leads-the-change

QuoteQuote:
Japan: “CSC sales in Japan accounted for one third of all changeable lens cameras sold during December and one quarter for 2010 as a whole. The global share of CSCs almost quadrupled in 2010 compared to the previous year to stand at 11%, or almost one million of all changeable lens cameras sold.”

World: “Whilst Japan leads the way, other regions have seen consumers rush to adopt this new camera type. Western Europe (8%), LATAM (19%) and Asia Pacific (18%) have all witnessed a significant increase in share for CSC products.”

With the entries of Pentax and Nikon we can expect an even greater share in 2011. Samsung already said that they expect mirrorless to surpass the DSLR market share within 2015.
03-02-2011, 07:58 PM - 1 Like   #501
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Excerpts from Thom Hogan's state of mirrorless
QuoteQuote:
What Nikon needs to accomplish with mirrorless this year to make mirrorless uses truly happy:

Introduce a competitive mirrorless body.
Introduce multiple lenses with the body and produce a clear forward picture of future lenses, lenses that will be valued by the potential buyer, not just a list of me-too lenses.
Find something that distinguishes a Nikon mirrorless camera from the competition (e.g. image quality, flexibility, technology, build quality). Note to Nikon: you're known for engineering, not smallness.
Get the product to users fast (before May), at a price that is competitive, and with a marketing program that is better than the competition.
Prognosis: For Nikon, Poor. Sony has the image quality position, Ricoh the innovation position, Panasonic the video position, Olympus/Panasonic the full system position. Pentax will take the smallest camera/lens/system position. There aren't really any positions available, so you have to go the competition one better, and clearly so. I doubt Nikon will do that. They've yet to prove that they can do that with any true low-consumer product. Nikon is also averse to lens roadmaps, and if they provide one for mirrorless, then the question becomes why don't we have one for DX and FX?
---
Prognosis: For Pentax, Poor. Pentax has made a poor choice in attempting the "really small system camera" again (they tried and failed in film many years ago with 110 film). It's difficult to imagine where they're going to sell this product, amongst other things. The type of store that could sell it (e.g. Ritz stores in the mall) don't exist any more, let alone carry Pentax as a brand.
---
Within the mirrorless market, Sony and Panasonic (assuming they ever learn how to distribute) potentially will be our leaders, with Samsung and Olympus trying to hold on for traction. Pentax doesn't have a chance that I can see, given their offering. Nikon, too, is going to be considerably challenged by this market. In some ways, Canon is being wise to wait, as there's another little hidden gotcha that isn't getting discussed (but will once Nikon and Pentax introduce): once you choose your mirrorless lens mount, you're stuck with it. Choose wrong and you'll die, because having to abandon a mount and start again is not going to work. Olympus and Panasonic are fighting the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde nature of m4/3: yes, it's a small mount, but it also means you're stuck with a smaller sensor. The smaller sensor means you have lower sensor costs, but you're behind on image quality. Sony and Samsung chose well. Ricoh initially chose poorly with their lensor idea, but the M-mount will save them. Pentax chose wrong, IMHO. Nikon and Canon remain to be seen, but choosing wrong can hurt you if you're not careful.
Interesting, if Thom's as connected as people seem to think he is.
03-02-2011, 08:45 PM   #502
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
Excerpts from Thom Hogan's state of mirrorless
Interesting, if Thom's as connected as people seem to think he is.
He is, but he got his 1st fact wrong.

The first mirrorless ILC launched was not the Olympus PEN, but rather Panasonic's G1.
03-02-2011, 09:30 PM   #503
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True dat. I also agree with Thom's assessment of Pentax's chances in the mirrorless market - provided that ultra-tiny camera (the rebadged Kenko deal) is the ONLY mirrorless camera they do. If they split their target and do a mirrorless APS-C camera, then all bets are off.

03-02-2011, 09:41 PM   #504
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
He is, but he got his 1st fact wrong.

The first mirrorless ILC launched was not the Olympus PEN, but rather Panasonic's G1.
A quibble, but:

QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
Prognosis: For Pentax, Poor. Pentax has made a poor choice in attempting the "really small system camera" again (they tried and failed in film many years ago with 110 film). It's difficult to imagine where they're going to sell this product, amongst other things. The type of store that could sell it (e.g. Ritz stores in the mall) don't exist any more, let alone carry Pentax as a brand.
I can see how this applies in the US. But it's just not true in Japan, and Hoya's been making most of its cameras with the Japanese market in mind. Besides, I'd bet a small & light unit that retains the cheap & cheerful theme would sell well on Amazon....

QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
If they split their target and do a mirrorless APS-C camera, then all bets are off.
I was wondering today about what's been said about the K5 & 645D sharing technology. Is that something that Hoya could possibly push down to the MILC range? And if APS-C becomes a mirrorless market....

Hogan certainly writes like he knows exactly what Pentax has coming out, doesn't he. And some interesting comments about Sony's lack of follow-through on lenses. It sounds like he's saying they need a partner, ahem.
03-03-2011, 03:04 AM   #505
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Thom has been predicting the death of Pentax for years and years and years now.

The sales data so far does not support a "good" prognosis for Samsung.

We don't know enough about Pentax's system to write it off.

Ricoh won't be saved by M-mount, at least it won't be a runaway success. Perhaps enough to keep it afloat for a little bit longer.

QuoteOriginally posted by Thom Hogan:
Sony's use of pellicle mirrors and the huge development interests in EVF and contrast AF means that a low-end DSLR could (and will) go mirrorless.
See the contradiction? SLT isn't mirrorless. It is prism-less and OVF-less. The register distance stays large and that has a significant impact on overall system compactness.

But he does make a good point, surely it is a route Canikon can take.

QuoteOriginally posted by Thom Hogan:
Further Prognosis: the question is how much of the high-end compact market and low-end DSLR market the mirrorless cameras will take. My prediction is: a lot. [..] The low-end DSLR is going to compete on two things, neither of which they'll be able to hold onto for long: autofocus performance and price.
Exactly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Thom Hogan:
I've rarely seen a big consumer electronics company fail so completely as Panasonic has at actually delivering product to customers. They seem unsure of themselves
Yep, GH2 could have easily had 3x sales it seems except for it being out of stock everywhere.

QuoteOriginally posted by Biro:
I also agree with Thom's assessment of Pentax's chances in the mirrorless market - provided that ultra-tiny camera (the rebadged Kenko deal) is the ONLY mirrorless camera they do. If they split their target and do a mirrorless APS-C camera, then all bets are off.
Yeah, and what if they do a FF DSLR at the same time!?!
03-03-2011, 03:28 AM   #506
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
Yeah, and what if they do a FF DSLR at the same time!?!
I have a shrine at home to pray for for exactly that...
03-03-2011, 03:43 AM   #507
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QuoteOriginally posted by kales Quote
how many SLR mounts there was?? pentax was also late when they change from M42 to PK. Why didn't they choose to join Nikon F or other?
It was to keep the same registration distance as the m42, and thereby enable a simple conversion of the whole lens produciton line from m42 to K mounts without having to make up new optical designs.
03-03-2011, 03:54 AM   #508
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GH2 DPreview samples are published, although they take their sweet time with the review.

I've shared some comparison shots (although one hadn't loaded fully) here:
Comparison

K-7 is probably quite similar with the still produced NX10 (which doesn't have raw available)
60D is here just as an example of a recently released APSC camera

Make your own conclusions about how similar or different the performance of the different sensors is, and how much of it is due to sensor tech and how much due to sensor size, something that has been a frequent topic in this thread.

Last edited by juu; 03-03-2011 at 08:53 AM.
03-03-2011, 05:44 AM   #509
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Thom Hogan is guessing just like everyone else is. I see EVIL cameras pushing more into the bridge camera market and lower end dslr market than anything else. If they have better IQ than bridge cameras and are a similar size or smaller, they will do well in the long term. Remember that there are far more point and shoots sold every year than SLRs.

As to whether or not Pentax does well, a lot has to do with style, rather than IQ. The kx was a big hit, not because of its amazing sensor and smash-bang features, but because of its many colors available. Particularly in the Japanese market, style is a big part of purchasing decisions.
03-03-2011, 07:03 AM   #510
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QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
Yep, GH2 could have easily had 3x sales it seems except for it being out of stock everywhere.
The GH2 presents an m43 dilemma.

It goes toe-to-toe at price points where IQ may very well trump portability, and does so trying to challenge the same markets where Canikon (and Pentax) have established lens mount loyal customers. That's a big reason why we have not seen (as Hogan points out) "pro" or WR bodies from m43. Those customers are much harder to crack because they are heavily invested elsewhere and where the advantages of a compact system are less pronounced.

Low-end mirrorless will (eventually) get into the same commodity pricing that plagued SLR's. So between these two forces, that's why we see Olympus talking up a "pro" m43, but also explains why Sony is offering 2 mounts. They can keep a known and popular form factor, but also backwards compatibility for those seeking superior IQ, larger bodies, eventually maybe larger (FF) sensors, lots of accessible manual controls, ruggedness and WR, etc.

A schism is forming in the market where the majority who prefer convenience over IQ and other tangibles are going to turn to MILC sans VF, but for manufacturers that will probably trend towards commodity pricing and maybe weak profits. These customers will go for an NEX or m43 or whatever comes from Canikon, Pentax, Ricoh, etc as a step up from P&S, but will be price point conscious. This group will definitely impact dedicated videocam sales (another reason why Canon has been hesitant to enter). Bridge cameras have declined for awhile, but there will still be a market segment that wants a larger form factor and a versatile lens, but has zero interest in ILC. The segment will shrink, but endure (Oly just released a new one).

The minority of the market will not compromise as much, especially on IQ (it never did even in the dark days of SLR sales). They may look to pellicle or continue with the evolution of the DSLR (and OVF preference) but this segment will drive some very good after-market sales on core photographic equipment (as distinct from Apple's ecosystem where after-market generally means iPhone cases). Imagine if you make tripods; which one of those is your market? For many in this segment they will play in both camps and perhaps EVIL cameras will be the main breadwinners here. System compactness and register distance (as in a whopping 9mm) are not impediments when compared to the benefits of backwards compatibility. In fact, too small form factor may be a negative for many.

Profits in prosumer and pro ILC cameras have traditionally not been made on volume sales of bodies; they've been made on after-market sales, especially of lenses for manufacturers because they can make multiple lens sets off of switched production lines, and glass is best made in very large batches inventoried until the next assembly cycle. This is the reverse for retail where the yearly sell-through of bodies by model year has been the prime consumer driver, whereas lenses take up shelf space and overhead and it can be very hard to gauge consumer appetite (which used to vary enormously depending on what was featured in certain magazines). Right now, after-market lenses on mirrorless are price prohibitive. As small as they are, a 20% premium cannot help but diminish sales. That will change, but it's a prime reason why the GH2 is not produced as much, I suspect. Panasonic projects too-low after-market sales to ramp up production for overseas. Distribution is brutally expensive unless you have volume and Panasonic is known as a company that protects its margins. Oly has been more focused. They own the 43 system patents and need a broad base to make it pay. They'll put out loss leaders and risk cannibalization by frequent model releases to gain market share traction. They have to. The APS-C mirrorless train is about to increase its presence dramatically in the next 24 months.

Samsung has one advantage: it has a substantially large, nationalistic base for sales in S. Korea. Seoul is a giant, loyal test market with substantial purchasing power, the same way Tokyo has been for 50 years. I would never count Samsung out. It is a very, very large, patient, and successful conglomerate. The NX system looks well thought-out overall.

QuoteOriginally posted by juu Quote
But he does make a good point, surely it is a route Canikon can take.
They'll take a few routes. Sony may have shown the way, but I have no doubt Canikon have APS-C NEX-equivalents in the wings for 2011 release. Nikon and Pentax may even have a small sensor variant lurking. The biggest manufacturer issue is not design nor getting bodies/sensors/processors out, it's lenses.
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