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01-19-2014, 03:39 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Digital cameras of all sorts are still selling MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better than film cameras. I am not quite sure why the doom and gloom stories perpetuated in digital photography websites, such as this one too, as people there have no clue in what volumes original cameras (film cameras) were selling through decades. And no one ever cried there so loud in the days of film!

Digital cameras market practically exploded well beyond any common sense, and now is contracting. Ricoh Imaging is ready for it. However, the contraction will never reach levels of sales of film cameras which will always be lower in number than digital, even with smartphone market flourishing.

But what will certainly change, is the belief in illusions. One is the attitude of all the wannabes who believed that a digital DSLR can transform them overnight into a pro-photographer. And the other are the illusions of digital photography websites that relinquish reality for imaginary trips for dream cameras rooted in fantasy scenarios about their manufacture, and sales. I never saw a mindset so widely separated from any reality and common sense than the photography camera online community and some of their manufacturers.

The whole digital photography balloon was inflated way, way above its capacity to contain such an amount of nonsense. It is now deflating, all coming back to normal, so to speak, and thank God, we may finally see some sense and steady imaging vision instead of this market's madness! Some good values and paradigms of the film camera imaging times may even come back again!

I mean, seriously, in one year now, Canon alone outsells its own decade worth of production of film cameras! So, goodness, it may mean that we won't see insane number of camera models issued every season thanks to 'crisis', but rather ... once in few years? So we won't see Rebels numbered in double digits this year?

Well, good riddance! Indeed, who is greedy there, who is unrealistic, and who cries foul and doom of gloom of digital cameras and for what an end?! I'm at least glad that Ricoh Imaging understands this, at least to some extent it is visible from the interview, and that the situation most likely works in favour for them in some respects they already are small yet still cannot meet demand for their products albeit they don't boast about it in such a way.
I believe that what is happening is that DSRL are starting to lowering their sales. Just two years ago we were reading in reports that digital point and shot were getting to a low, and DSRL were the next profitable market. But now we read that only lenses sales are going up, after the market for DSRL has been saturated in less than 24 months. My impression is that every players knows that smartphone are taking the larger part of photographic market and DSRL are going to be what they where some years ago, big tools for amateurs and pro but not for the soccer mors. DSRL appeal for most of the market was the near absence of shutter lag and fast AF, things you couldn't have on a compact cameras. Now that these things are coming on smarthpones, thge market for DSRL shrinks. That, I believe, is why Ricoh seems to put a lot of importante in the connection to smartphone even in this interview. I think the legacy of the GXR will be in "lensor" modules that will hang not to a camera body, but to smartphones and tablets, like the Sony things but with larger sensor and better lenses.

01-19-2014, 03:43 AM   #32
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Thanks for the update, it's nice to have a bit of direction.
01-19-2014, 04:38 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
I think the legacy of the GXR will be in "lensor" modules that will hang not to a camera body, but to smartphones and tablets, like the Sony things but with larger sensor and better lenses.
It make sence
01-19-2014, 05:22 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Digital cameras of all sorts are still selling MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better than film cameras. I am not quite sure why the doom and gloom stories perpetuated in digital photography websites, such as this one too, as people there have no clue in what volumes original cameras (film cameras) were selling through decades. And no one ever cried there so loud in the days of film!

Digital cameras market practically exploded well beyond any common sense, and now is contracting. Ricoh Imaging is ready for it. However, the contraction will never reach levels of sales of film cameras which will always be lower in number than digital, even with smartphone market flourishing.

But what will certainly change, is the belief in illusions. One is the attitude of all the wannabes who believed that a digital DSLR can transform them overnight into a pro-photographer. And the other are the illusions of digital photography websites that relinquish reality for imaginary trips for dream cameras rooted in fantasy scenarios about their manufacture, and sales. I never saw a mindset so widely separated from any reality and common sense than the photography camera online community and some of their manufacturers.

The whole digital photography balloon was inflated way, way above its capacity to contain such an amount of nonsense. It is now deflating, all coming back to normal, so to speak, and thank God, we may finally see some sense and steady imaging vision instead of this market's madness! Some good values and paradigms of the film camera imaging times may even come back again!

I mean, seriously, in one year now, Canon alone outsells its own decade worth of production of film cameras! So, goodness, it may mean that we won't see insane number of camera models issued every season thanks to 'crisis', but rather ... once in few years? So we won't see Rebels numbered in double digits this year?

Well, good riddance! Indeed, who is greedy there, who is unrealistic, and who cries foul and doom of gloom of digital cameras and for what an end?! I'm at least glad that Ricoh Imaging understands this, at least to some extent it is visible from the interview, and that the situation most likely works in favour for them in some respects — they already are small yet still cannot meet demand for their products — albeit they don't boast about it in such a way.
I think the economics of scale pushing production to masses making small revenues on sales per camera unit makes it very hard to go down in businessscale without going out off business. It is not only the photography that changed, but the bases of earning money in this internet economy changed. Ricoh (with Pentax) has kept a small and divers productionsystem based on working on products in batches. For that you can alter your productionsystem very fast even wenn you sales would drop. To keep production on the same level or growing, Ricoh needs to increase their marketshare in a shrinking market and that is a hard task, but duable.

So it's not the gloom and doom that is the basis for the article, but looking at the market in a realistic perspective.

I also don't think that the average teenager will keep making a thousend images with their smartphone each month for the coming decade, since you have no serious audience for those images on the long run. Social media sites are overwelmed with number off images and there will be a point that making less images and not sharing your breakfast images will be cooler then sharing them.

01-19-2014, 05:36 AM   #35
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The 10% FF market share today is not so much the important figure as the expectation of FF market share in 5 and 10 years. I wonder what Ricoh thinks those are.
01-19-2014, 05:51 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
Do they really think that 10% of market is low??????
The 10 % is a good marketshare, but devided between a lot off models, current on sale in The Netherlands:
  • Canon has 1Dx, 5d III, 6D
  • Nikon has D800, D800E, D600, D610, Df and D4
  • Sony has SLT-A99, Alpha A7 and A7r and Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 and DSC-RX1R
  • Leica has M and M-E
So that are 16 camera's deviding the 10 % marketshare, but true that marketshare is growing.

QuoteOriginally posted by eurostar Quote
Maybe the expectancy of being the 3% of the 10% of the whole market IS low.
QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
The 10% FF market share today is not so much the important figure as the expectation of FF market share in 5 and 10 years. I wonder what Ricoh thinks those are.
We talkt about numbers, but to be real that is like speculating based on thin air. So we all seen the numbers for the best selling dslr-models where the first 20 best selling are listed. On the bottom there is a model with a marketshare off about 1,2 % and that is probably way out of reach for a Pentax full frame offering as the market is in the current situation. The question for Ricoh is what are the numbers that needs to be in production to keep a new FF camera in shops selling with a profit at a productionline that run's at full speed. If they can match those things then we will see a new ff camera.
01-19-2014, 06:20 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I think the economics of scale pushing production to masses making small revenues on sales per camera unit makes it very hard to go down in businessscale without going out off business. It is not only the photography that changed, but the bases of earning money in this internet economy changed. Ricoh (with Pentax) has kept a small and divers productionsystem based on working on products in batches. For that you can alter your productionsystem very fast even wenn you sales would drop. To keep production on the same level or growing, Ricoh needs to increase their marketshare in a shrinking market and that is a hard task, but duable.

So it's not the gloom and doom that is the basis for the article, but looking at the market in a realistic perspective.

I also don't think that the average teenager will keep making a thousend images with their smartphone each month for the coming decade, since you have no serious audience for those images on the long run. Social media sites are overwelmed with number off images and there will be a point that making less images and not sharing your breakfast images will be cooler then sharing them.
Thank you for sharing this interesting interview with us Ron.
Did you take the initiative for it ?

imho for sure, "paste-phones" (as opposed to "original" Black-berry that i still prefer for SMS and regular e-mailing use) and tablets will not shrink the photog market for ever...
The two or 3 last years where the "transition years" for the "not-really-enough-enthusiast" and very occasional point-and-shooters that moreover are "frequent social nextworkers" more than the rest of users.
So it is some kind of consolidation that we experience, and i am convinced this tendency will slow down and even end soon.
01-19-2014, 06:36 AM   #38
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Ron, thank you for taking the time and effort to write this detailed and very informative report. And, my Dutch being what it is, thank you Eric for the translation into English.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kenn100D Quote
(...)

Now i'm thinking fwd, is their a chance a modular camera with Q-mount lens from Ricoh much better than Sony QX10 a replacement from Ricoh GXR?
Could be. This will depend on the success of Sony QX10 and QX100 and their "clones" (Kodak PixPro Smart Lens SL5, SL10 and SL25 and Vivitar VivCam IU680). But these add-ons for smartphone could very quick turn into mass-market, cheap products sourced from China with very little room for high-end products such as those RIcoh would be able to propose and make money from.

01-19-2014, 06:43 AM - 2 Likes   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Digital cameras of all sorts are still selling MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better than film cameras. I am not quite sure why the doom and gloom stories perpetuated in digital photography websites, such as this one too, as people there have no clue in what volumes original cameras (film cameras) were selling through decades. And no one ever cried there so loud in the days of film!

Digital cameras market practically exploded well beyond any common sense, and now is contracting. Ricoh Imaging is ready for it. However, the contraction will never reach levels of sales of film cameras which will always be lower in number than digital, even with smartphone market flourishing.

(...)

The whole digital photography balloon was inflated way, way above its capacity to contain such an amount of nonsense. It is now deflating, all coming back to normal, so to speak, and thank God, we may finally see some sense and steady imaging vision instead of this market's madness! Some good values and paradigms of the film camera imaging times may even come back again!

(...).
Indeed, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of still cameras sold over the years, followed by a sharp decline over the last three years, as shown in the following graph:



Source: CIPA data http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/common/cr200.pdf

The phenomenon is the same, albeit less pronounced, for cameras with interchangeable lens as shown below:



Source: CIPA data http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/common/cr400.pdf and http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/common/cr300.pdf

As for film cameras with focal plane shutter, which, according to CIPA, are "almost exclusively SLRs", one sees a steady rise from the '50s (not shown above) until 1982 (6.6 million cameras shipped) followed by a steady decline until 1993 (2.7 million cameras shipped) probably caused by market saturation, then back to growth until 1999 (4.4 million cameras shipped), may be linked to autofocus cameras replacing manual focus ones, and finally a progressive decline leading to their disappearance from the statistics in 2007.

Digital cameras with interchangeable lens enjoyed a booming market over a decade but experienced a 15 per cent. decrease last year.

Last edited by Mistral75; 01-19-2014 at 06:58 AM.
01-19-2014, 06:56 AM   #40
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In my opinion, there are two directions in DSLR market where Pentax must expand. Video oriented cameras, and FF. Personally, I don't feel the need for an FF, but for a camera manufacturer, is a must, even that new small sensors has very good performance.
01-19-2014, 07:00 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistral75 Quote
Ron, thank you for taking the time and effort to write this detailed and very informative report. And, my Dutch being what it is, thank you Eric for the translation into English.



Could be. This will depend on the success of Sony QX10 and QX100 and their "clones" (Kodak PixPro Smart Lens SL5, SL10 and SL25 and Vivitar VivCam IU680). But these add-ons for smartphone could very quick turn into mass-market, cheap products sourced from China with very little room for high-end products such as those RIcoh would be able to propose and make money from.
It will depend on ergonomics, maybe. A "lensor" in which to slide in the iPhone, but with phisical shutter button and some control, optional EVF... could be of interest for a segment of users which see the usefulness of keeping their smartphone as the hub of their digital life but wouldn't depend on just touch commands for their shooting... Basically the smartphone would be the processor and monitor of the cameras... it's not triviali... a retina display would be miles better of any camera monitor, and app-interfaces could be developed for different use... B&W shooting, macro, landscapes... with different sets of commands, filters... the cheap China sourced product will repliche the basic P&S, but the advanced P&S or even mirroroless sector could be the room for Ricoh to play.
01-19-2014, 08:04 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
The 10 % is a good marketshare, but devided between a lot off models, current on sale in The Netherlands:
  • Canon has 1Dx, 5d III, 6D
  • Nikon has D800, D800E, D600, D610, Df and D4
  • Sony has SLT-A99, Alpha A7 and A7r and Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 and DSC-RX1R
  • Leica has M and M-E
Some of Pentax cameras has approx. 1% of marketshare and it's very good result.
I think it's not hard task to offer such camera.
01-19-2014, 08:21 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I also don't think that the average teenager will keep making a thousend images with their smartphone each month for the coming decade, since you have no serious audience for those images on the long run. Social media sites are overwelmed with number off images and there will be a point that making less images and not sharing your breakfast images will be cooler then sharing them.
In ten years today's teenagers will be married with two children. Who can say what today's 5-year old will be obsessed about? Odds are it won't be a Smartphone. Don't forget the iPhone was first released only 6 1/2 years ago in the US and 4 years ago in China, which skews the rapid growth chart toward 1st adoption.

Also don't forget the real disruptive technology was the iPod, which was released in 2001. That device locked teenagers into Apple devices 12 years ago. I've always thought of the iPhone as an iPod with connectivity. The first thing my children did with their iPhones was transfer their Playlists. At the time of the iPod Pentax and Contax were feeling the effects of the failed Phillips image sensor.

A tablet just doesn't work for any kind of image capture unless in desperation.

Instagram and Vines are necessary utilities to support camera phones and virtually free connectivity are a part of why the technology works. Given recent FCC and Court rulings in the USA which will allow content providers and internet backbone service providers MUCH MORE control over the access to and cost for their products and services, there is a very real possibility that the cost structure of Internet access for image transfer rises sharply and abruptly, changing the entire utility of portable camera devices (and Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime content access).

It could well be that connected imaging is in its speculative bubble phase right now, which would dramatically change the camera market yet again. This is why I contend that Ricoh really doesn't know when they will release a FF camera. They surely have the technology and much of the supplier agreements in place - but they just can't cost it out since they really don't know how many units they would sell.
01-19-2014, 09:29 AM   #44
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I think it very unlikely that the form factor of Sony's qx10 experiment will last more than a generation or two, the idea however is clearly important. The ergonomics of it just do not work, its hard enough to take a good picture with a big clumsy smartphone let alone adding a big lens velcroed to the back. I just don't see people carrying around a new device that does nothing on its own and has to be removed from a case, attached to the phone, start the app, then take a photo. Too many steps, half the reason people bought dslr's over point and shoot cameras was the time from off to shooting. Connectivity is important, and as the market matures the differentiator between products will be the usability of the design. The shape of the camera isn't going to change overnight. Even something like the NEX series, is a bit of a novelty that sells because its new and small and exciting. But it isn't really all that easy to use, and ultimately may even turn people off to the more serious camera market in favor of the simplicity of a smartphone. My bet is on several years of market decline followed by a consolidation of products into essentially the same form factors we've had for 30 years; the enthusiast/pro SLR, the rangefinder/milc, and the pocket camera. Only big difference coming is a return to the norms of the film days with sensors nearing an even playing field, and lenses being the difference.(obviously different formats will still have advantages/disadvantages)
If you use a smartphone then you probably carrying around less stuff(watches,notepads,address books,etc) and have more opportunity to bring a good camera than ever before.
01-19-2014, 11:47 AM - 1 Like   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Digital cameras of all sorts are still selling MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better than film cameras. I am not quite sure why the doom and gloom stories perpetuated in digital photography websites, such as this one too, as people there have no clue in what volumes original cameras (film cameras) were selling through decades. And no one ever cried there so loud in the days of film!

Digital cameras market practically exploded well beyond any common sense, and now is contracting. Ricoh Imaging is ready for it. However, the contraction will never reach levels of sales of film cameras which will always be lower in number than digital, even with smartphone market flourishing.

But what will certainly change, is the belief in illusions. One is the attitude of all the wannabes who believed that a digital DSLR can transform them overnight into a pro-photographer. And the other are the illusions of digital photography websites that relinquish reality for imaginary trips for dream cameras rooted in fantasy scenarios about their manufacture, and sales. I never saw a mindset so widely separated from any reality and common sense than the photography camera online community and some of their manufacturers.

The whole digital photography balloon was inflated way, way above its capacity to contain such an amount of nonsense. It is now deflating, all coming back to normal, so to speak, and thank God, we may finally see some sense and steady imaging vision instead of this market's madness! Some good values and paradigms of the film camera imaging times may even come back again!

I mean, seriously, in one year now, Canon alone outsells its own decade worth of production of film cameras! So, goodness, it may mean that we won't see insane number of camera models issued every season thanks to 'crisis', but rather ... once in few years? So we won't see Rebels numbered in double digits this year?

Well, good riddance! Indeed, who is greedy there, who is unrealistic, and who cries foul and doom of gloom of digital cameras and for what an end?! I'm at least glad that Ricoh Imaging understands this, at least to some extent it is visible from the interview, and that the situation most likely works in favour for them in some respects they already are small yet still cannot meet demand for their products albeit they don't boast about it in such a way.
Agreed. The profusion of professional photographers reminds me of the profusion of Desktop Publishers in it's day. Technology was made available at relatively low cost, and it rattled the industry. As time went on, those able to monetize the endeavor survived.

I know how much money I require to spend a few hours doing what I do for a living, and I can't imagine anyone paying me an equivalent for the hours I spend that results in a nice photograph. It is a very nice hobby, and the techniques, equipment are available to me as an enthusiast to get very nice shots. How to monetize it? Someone is, I seem to be sending out absurd amounts of cash to sustain the addiction.
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