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05-26-2012, 08:41 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Unless, of course, the label on the camera is something like Zeiss, Voigtlander, or Leica (or Fuji?).
Don't tell ME there's a market -- tell the corporate beancounters at Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, who don't make such. Notice that the makers of minimal cams also have minimal market share. And their minimal cams ain't cheap. A major rationale for a minimal cam is that it would have a low price tag. But low pricing depends on volume production and sales. I'll have to go into politics or televangelism or dentistry to be able to afford a Leica.

We know about Godwin's Rule in online fora. I'd invoke a similar Leica Rule in camera fora -- once we mention Leica when discussing commercial photographic manufacturing, the discussion has dead-ended. Leica is a vanity enterprise, not a commercial camera maker.

Interestingly, no-frills film cameras of very high quality are still made in 35mm, medium, and large format and the makers are in no danger of going out of business.
Film cameras are rather less complex than digicams. I'll say again: if the major digicam makers thought they'd make money here, they'd produce them. It's like water-witching for precious metals and petroleum -- if it worked, those greedy corporate capitalists wouldn't have to hire expensive geologists.

I doubt there's an organized conspiracy to avoid minimal digicams. I think the majors have just done their market research, crunched numbers, and concluded that it's not a worthwhile line of business. That could change. Numbers can be re-crunched. Focus groups can change focus. But hold not thy breath.

05-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I think the majors have just done their market research
The majors are targeting the masses, not the enthusiasts.

I don't know who said that a minimalist dSLR would have to be cheap. I would expect the entry ticket to be about $1500 (similar to the Fuji X-Pro 1) with system components priced appropriately. Enthusiasts (and pros) are generally willing to pay a premium to get what they want/need. That is why I mentioned the various makers of film cameras. Case in point would be those that are willing to pay the price for an Ebony view camera. Low tech, extreme quality, extreme price. As for the Leica comment. Delete Leica and insert Fuji. Are we talking real yet? In regards to film vs. digital. The components are "off-the-shelf" for all the critical pieces that would be needed for a minimalist cam, with the possible exception of the image processor. Remove the film transport mechanism and associated development and manufacturing costs and insert sensor, memory, and image processor. License the tech and pass the cost on to the buyer.


(BTW...Leica are cheap compared to most MF and LF pro kit out there. Leica may well be a cult and definitely not good value, but the brand hardly defines the upper end of the price range for photographic equipment.)
05-27-2012, 08:11 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I don't know who said that a minimalist dSLR would have to be cheap.
I recall seeing that hope expressed many times here. "Leave off all the fancy stuff and it shouldn't cost much." But it doesn't seem to work that way. Those who want minimal features can just tape-off or otherwise ignore the feature they don't want. Just glue the Mode dial to M and you have a manual dSLR, no problem.

Just what features differentiate maximal from minimal dSLRs? Here's a possible list of exclusions:

* SR - Learn to hold still.
* AF - We don't need those F-FA-DA lenses.
* LCD screen - To chimp (review+adjust) is so decadent.
* Continuous drive - single-shot is good enough.
* Video - I don't need that anyway. Usually.
* Face recognition - I *really* don't need that.
* Tethering - Minimal cam isn't for studio work, eh?
* P, Av, TAv - Tv was good enough for K1000.
* User mode - Who needs to save custom settings?
* Sharpness-contrast-saturation-etc controls - Tweak those in PP.
* Digital filters - Buy glass, keep Hoya and Tiffen in business.

OK, some of those are rather extreme. What would YOU exclude from a camera?

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