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02-18-2020, 05:04 AM   #1
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Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?



We are now looking at under 1M annual volume for all makers together.

Look at how many models there are and you are looking at small production runs - in tens of thousands per model.

The decline has many reasons - the smartphone being the #1 - but I am sure that the utter wastage of that huge sensor by not doing even half decent videos (in most cases) is just consigning DSLR makers to the grave a lot sooner than would otherwise be the case.

People find all kinds of excuses for cameras not supporting video properly. Yes, battery life is one, but if you don't shoot video at the time it won't be affected. Looking at camera firmware I just see really poor software development, where most seem to start with a developer kit from Sony (who make the sensor) and then they hack a crude user interface around it. This has also been a problem with action cams (gopro etc) which have suffered from similarly crude user interfaces, and due to not having any real OS they have required very expensive ultra fast SD cards to record in 4K when the average data rate is perhaps 1/10 of the card's speed.

02-18-2020, 06:02 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote

We are now looking at under 1M annual volume for all makers together.

Look at how many models there are and you are looking at small production runs - in tens of thousands per model.

The decline has many reasons - the smartphone being the #1 - but I am sure that the utter wastage of that huge sensor by not doing even half decent videos (in most cases) is just consigning DSLR makers to the grave a lot sooner than would otherwise be the case.

People find all kinds of excuses for cameras not supporting video properly. Yes, battery life is one, but if you don't shoot video at the time it won't be affected. Looking at camera firmware I just see really poor software development, where most seem to start with a developer kit from Sony (who make the sensor) and then they hack a crude user interface around it. This has also been a problem with action cams (gopro etc) which have suffered from similarly crude user interfaces, and due to not having any real OS they have required very expensive ultra fast SD cards to record in 4K when the average data rate is perhaps 1/10 of the card's speed.
DSC = DSLR? Are you sure?

"We are now looking at under 1M annual volume for all makers together." I'm seeing 1,001,398 for the month of January 2019, according to the posted graphic.
02-18-2020, 06:40 AM   #3
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Whoops you are right about the numbers!

The decline is still there however.
02-18-2020, 07:07 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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If you read the CIPA stats careful, you'll find that "Total DSC" (Digital Still Cameras) includes built-in lens cameras, MILCs, and DSLRs. So this data is about the decline in standalone cameras, not DSLRs.

Most people are fine with the pictures they get from their smartphones. They see no reason to buy and carry a separate camera.

02-18-2020, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You want a specific OS on thos2 cameras. A specific OS for a product you just told us has only tenth of thousends sales per iteration.
This is a huge amount of work you demand. Many years back I build a "linux from scratch". I used to write a few lines of code that are running in the kernel now. Both of this was around an existing kernel and a huge amount of work already. Building an OS is too much work for the benefit. Maybe utilizing something existing is possible when they use standard arm cpus.
02-18-2020, 07:30 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?
I can't help but wonder what impression this thread title will give to "other brand" users when it turns up in their web searches. With respect, I don't think we Pentaxians help ourselves or the brand at times

Still, it's out there now, so I'll take a stab at answering it...

There is a real but - if these forums are broadly representative (as I believe they are) - fairly small portion of Pentax owners who care about serious video capability. Of those, an even smaller portion would appear to find it essential to their future patronage of the brand. There's no doubt better video would help Pentax sales to some extent, but I don't believe that extent would be significant. Most members here are stills photographers first and foremost, that's what they expect from Pentax, that's the brand's reputation and anyone staying with or switching to Pentax knows this. No excuses - it's just the way it is, for now (who knows what the future will bring?).

Pentax's early demise has been discussed for years, yet here it still is - occupying its own little niche and surviving in a challenging market. We all play a role in that survival by contributing to the general perception of the brand...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-18-2020 at 04:27 PM.
02-18-2020, 07:33 AM   #7
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The reason my Samsung S7 can shoot 4K at 30fps with the cheapest slowest possible 256GB SD card is because it has an OS which does all that for you: android i.e. "unix". Nobody would develop an OS from scratch.

Then you get other benefits e.g. proper wifi, not the virtually useless wifi we get on our DSLRs, especially Pentax whose wifi is incredibly slow. You could have high speed sync to your phone, so no more taking a pic with the DSLR and then taking another one with the phone to send to somebody

It is really hard to grow a product in the direction of modern functionality unless one can leverage (see, I am making good use of the corporate bull***t generator) a proper OS. With android, or linux, most of the hard work is done for you. You can be a network client on a wifi network. You can have wifi or bluetooth auto sync to a phone....

Unfortunately the "few people have asked for it" line doesn't work. It just allows one to keep selling the same old product to the same old people. But to grow you need to expose completely new strata of users. Nikon and Canon can fight a battle between themselves for what is left of the market, but Pentax has to get some new customers.

In reality people do pay for convergence. A $1200 phone is identical to a $600 phone - except for the camera. People are willing to pay for that.

Last edited by peterh337; 02-18-2020 at 07:39 AM.
02-18-2020, 07:46 AM - 1 Like   #8
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If the camera has connectivity and is build on Android it needs regular security updates.
This is a can of worms.

02-18-2020, 07:47 AM   #9
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Security is an issue only if you have an internet connection, and run a browser or an email client (that's 99.9% of it, anyway).

If you were running say a dropbox client, that can be adequately firewalled.

The main attack vectors are via browsing, email, and general support for downloading objects.

Last edited by peterh337; 02-18-2020 at 07:54 AM.
02-18-2020, 07:52 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
The reason my Samsung S7 can shoot 4K at 30fps with the cheapest slowest possible 256GB SD card is because it has an OS which does all that for you: android i.e. "unix". Nobody would develop an OS from scratch.

Then you get other benefits e.g. proper wifi, not the virtually useless wifi we get on our DSLRs, especially Pentax whose wifi is incredibly slow. You could have high speed sync to your phone, so no more taking a pic with the DSLR and then taking another one with the phone to send to somebody

It is really hard to grow a product in the direction of modern functionality unless one can leverage (see, I am making good use of the corporate bull***t generator) a proper OS. With android, or linux, most of the hard work is done for you. You can be a network client on a wifi network. You can have wifi or bluetooth auto sync to a phone....

Unfortunately the "few people have asked for it" line doesn't work. It just allows one to keep selling the same old product to the same old people. But to grow you need to expose completely new strata of users. Nikon and Canon can fight a battle between themselves for what is left of the market, but Pentax has to get some new customers.

In reality people do pay for convergence. A $1200 phone is identical to a $600 phone - except for the camera. People are willing to pay for that.
Anything anyone says in this thread - from your original post to any and all responses - can be nothing more than opinion, speculation and/or conjecture. None of us can say what will happen and why. To that end, rather than engage in yet another "what Pentax should do" debate (and we've had so many, including those related to video), I'll simply revise my original response to the thread question:
Q: Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?

A: No, I don't for one moment believe that it is
Perhaps the thread might have been better as a yes/no poll...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-18-2020 at 08:01 AM.
02-18-2020, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Security is an issue only if you have an internet connection, and run a browser or an email client (that's 99.9% of it, anyway).

If you were running say a dropbox client, that can be adequately firewalled.

The main attack vectors are via browsing, email, and general support for downloading objects.
I highly disagree. The attack vectors against iot grew to our major concern with customers network security today.

Edit: Also: if you run Android the next logical step is opening up for network services. Post to twitter, flickr, put into cloud xyz or use stone age technices like sftp which than needs tls validation which needs regular updates.
In the end you habe a device vulnerable via wifi, bluetooth, internet connections and storage (sd or cf cards).
I prefer a "dump" firmware which also implements a bit of security by obscurity.

Last edited by WorksAsIntended; 02-18-2020 at 08:08 AM.
02-18-2020, 08:10 AM - 1 Like   #12
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To answer the original question, "Is the poor video support in DSLRs going to ensure their early demise?"


No.


Sales of MILC - which generally seem to be better suited for video than DSLR - have also been decreasing. People are happy with the convenience, form factor, and quality of smartphones. People are happy with their current ILC. And the used market for ILC & lenses seems to be robust, which further decreases new camera sales.
02-18-2020, 08:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
if you run Android the next logical step is opening up for network services. Post to twitter, flickr, put into cloud xyz or use stone age technices like sftp which than needs tls validation which needs regular updates.
In the end you habe a device vulnerable via wifi, bluetooth, internet connections and storage (sd or cf cards).
That's true but you don't have to implement that stuff. If you give people a function which auto generates downsized jpegs, say 1MB, and copies them to an app on the phone which drops them into the Gallery, then people can do all that junk with their phone. It has a proper user interface, too

Currently, a DSLR is a total dead end if you are on a trip. You get back home, to a hotel, etc, and have to either USB-connect to a laptop (phones don't recognise a K1 as a USB slave... why is that??) or pull out the SD card and insert that into the laptop. Then mess about, then send some pics to people.

You could implement auto sync to dropbox, google drive, onedrive, suitably firewalled. This could be done straight out of the camera (wifi) or to an app on the phone (wifi or bluetooth) which does the upload. The latter would sidestep security issues because the camera mfg controls both ends. It also sidesteps UI issues because all the config is done on the phone, and stuff like dropbox auth will be already configured there.

The IOT security issue is an issue partly because the chinese could never write even half decent software (all the IT gear whose nontrivial sw was written out there is ridden with bugs) and are rapidly getting worse because anybody with more than half a brain is constantly looking for their next job, and because "everybody" wants remote control of their fridge, toaster, oven, heating, etc, over the internet, which is ridiculous. Most people can't even set up a webcam on an open port, with a password other than "admin" Here we are not talking about remote control of your K1, over TCP.

But, yeah, even the mighty Sony cannot write a usable phone app. Their PlayMemories app for their action cams, now called Imaging Edge Mobile, is junk. Crippled by some usability committee. But that doesn't mean it cannot be done well.

Last edited by peterh337; 02-18-2020 at 08:37 AM.
02-18-2020, 08:45 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
The reason my Samsung S7 can shoot 4K at 30fps with the cheapest slowest possible 256GB SD card is because it has an OS which does all that for you: android i.e. "unix". Nobody would develop an OS from scratch.
That says more about Samsung than it does about Android. Samsung sells about 300 million phones a year and plows almost 10% of revenues into R&D. It's not the OS that's doing this, it's Samsung's deep pockets.

QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
In reality people do pay for convergence. A $1200 phone is identical to a $600 phone - except for the camera. People are willing to pay for that.
Right, and the reason those cameras double the price of the phone is that the phone's maker literally spent billions in R&D to "properly support" video and image processing functionality.

Sure, Android "supports video." But it's at the same level that the Milbeaut chip inside all Pentax cameras "supports video." The off-the-shelf functionality is rudimentary, not leading-edge competitive.
02-18-2020, 09:10 AM   #15
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Sure, I think poor video support is a factor in the declining sales of DSLRs, but I don't think it's the primary factor. That said, Pentax's lack of support for video recently forced me to buy a non-Pentax camera body for the first time in about 20 years. Really, I think declining sales is just a sign of the times. DSLRs are just one of many things that younger folks no longer spend a lot of money on. For example, they don't buy expensive stereos as often and fewer of them are taking up golf. So I suspect sales are going to continue to decline for quite some time.
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