Which will die first, the DSLR or the dedicated consumer video camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RichA, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    My partner went out on Saturday to buy a new iPhone 4S and came back
    with a box containing the new phone. What my partner failed to tell
    me is that there was a sensational offer on the iPhone 4, so that is
    what it is. The previous phone was an iPhone 3G so apparently a
    decision was made that the iPhone 4 was enough of an upgrade and the
    deal was too good to turn down. Plus, as you rightly say, there would
    have been a wait for the iPhone 4S.

    So I'm sorry, it isn't an iPhone 4S, just an plain vanilla iPhone 4.

    Apologies for the confusion! ;-)
    Bruce, Oct 11, 2011
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  2. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Thanks. Now I understand what you meant. But I don't think that your
    analysis is correct, because the majority of CSCs sold so far have
    sensors that are in most respects identical to the ones that are
    available now. In the case of Olympus they *are* identical, and in
    the case of Panasonic, some of them still are.

    So I don't think obsolescence is the cause. I think the cause is that
    CSCs are overpriced, in some cases ridiculously so.

    I'm a firm believer that the used value of an item is near to its true
    value, and that means that the true value of CSCs is a lot lower than
    the prices people pay for new ones. The same is not true of DSLRs
    which still hold their value better than CSCs.

    The industry is on tenterhooks waiting to see what Canon will do. The
    most credible rumours in 2010 were of an "EIS System" whose 12 x 18mm
    sensor had approximately the same area as a Four Thirds sensor but
    with an aspect ratio of 3:2. I have no idea whether the rumours were
    true, but they seemed reasonably well documented with references to
    patents (see link below).

    So as with Nikon's 1 System, we will just have to wait and see.

    Bruce, Oct 11, 2011
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  3. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    I can see your logic. But the Canon XS and kit lens are made of cheap
    materials and mass produced in very large quantities. I would expect
    the mirrorless camera with fixed zoom lens to be a high quality item
    that would sell at a premium to a plastic DSLR.

    But if it sold well, there would be an opportunity to make a cheaper
    plastic version, and I see no reason why it could not eventually
    compete on price with a plastic DSLR.
    Bruce, Oct 11, 2011
  4. []
    I think that CSCs are not "mature", as the introduction of the new Nikons
    and perhaps new Canon shows. It's not just the sensor. Look at the
    variability in size and shape compared to to the variability in P&S
    cameras or DSLR cameras. The difference between new price and used price
    perhaps also reflects product immaturity, in that the manufacturers are
    milking them for all they can get to recoup development costs.

    Perhaps not a good time to buy new, unless you really have the need!

    I do wish Nikon had gone for an APS-C sized sensor, although I agree with
    you why they did not. They could still have sold their existing lens
    range, though.

    David J Taylor, Oct 12, 2011
  5. RichA

    John A. Guest

    Your friend should have bought two. Then he would have a couple iPhone
    4s. :)
    John A., Oct 12, 2011
  6. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Bruce, Oct 12, 2011
  7. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    But the variability is not a symptom of "immaturity", which is what
    David wishes us to believe. It is merely an attempt to cover a range
    of possible customer preferences.

    The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 was the first of the mirrorless CSCs. It
    has been around for three years now. It has been slightly updated
    twice, but the current G3 is still very closely related to the
    original G1. It has the same shape, it is just slightly smaller.

    Olympus were the second company to some out with a mirrorless CSC. The
    PEN E-P1 was introduced in June 2009, two years and four months ago.
    It has been slightly updated twice, but the current E-P3 is still very
    closely related to the original E-P1. It has the same shape, the same
    size and even the same 12 MP sensor.

    Both companies have made cheaper versions, and versions that more
    closely resemble point and shoot digicams. Those versions have also
    evolved. The Panasonic LUMIX GF-1 has become the GF-3, but the
    principle is still the same. There has been an Olympus E-PL1 which
    has evolved into the E-PL3. The latest models are so similar to the
    originals that it is difficult to tell them apart.

    None of this suggests an immature market. In fact, it suggests the
    precise opposite.

    David cited my remark about the difference between the new prices of
    CSCs and their value on the used market as evidence of market
    immaturity. But the similarity of the new and older CSCs within the
    Panasonic and, especially, Olympus ranges contradicts that. The real
    reason for the disparity between new prices and used values is that
    the new prices are set far too high.

    When you can buy an entry-level DSLR and kit lens for around $500, a
    CSC which lacks the complication and expense of a reflex mirror,
    pentaprism, exposure metering and phase-detect AF systems should cost
    substantially less. But most CSCs cost substantially more. yet when
    you compare used values for entry level DSLRs and CSCs, the DSLRs hold
    their value better, with CSC used values coming down quickly to equal
    DSLR used values.

    That proves that CSCs are overpriced in relation to DSLRs. It is
    probably also the reason why the USA, which has perhaps one of the
    most price-sensitive markets for photo equipment anywhere in the
    world, has one of the lowest market shares for CSCs. They are just
    too expensive.

    That will have to change, and I'm sure it will. Samsung has already
    announced steep price reductions for some of its CSCs. The rest of
    the manufacturers will surely follow. They simply have to.
    Bruce, Oct 14, 2011
  8. []
    In other words, an immature market where one style hasn't won out to
    dominate. Customer preferences haven't yet matured.

    Compared to P&S, where it's very difficult to see the difference between
    many of the models (yes, there are several defined styles such as bridge,
    compact and travel P&S, but multiple manufacturers competing in those
    styles), or compared to DSLRs where all are broadly of the same design,
    albeit with substantial differences in size, cost and quality with, again,
    multiple manufacturers competing with very similar styles.

    It's not a big issue, though, and obviously some folk here appreciate the
    range of offerings. I couldn't agree more that the price is too high
    (although people have argued that DSLR products lines are already paid
    for, mature, and therefore relatively lower cost).

    David J Taylor, Oct 15, 2011
  9. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    You just won't let it go, will you? ;-)
    Bruce, Oct 15, 2011
  10. So you choose to attack the messenger....

    Can we not have different opinions, without personal attacks?
    David J Taylor, Oct 15, 2011
  11. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    If you don't want your opinions questioned, don't post them!

    If you think I'm attacking you personally, you're paranoid. I am
    questioning your opinion, that's all. I quite admire you for sticking
    to your guns, even though I think you're quite wrong. ;-)
    Bruce, Oct 15, 2011
  12. It comes across as an attack, Bruce. "You just won't let it go, will
    you?" is hardly producing a reasoned argument, and neither is "you're

    Can we not simply agree to differ?

    But what I do now think from the comments made is that the market is now
    less immature than it was, but I would still not be surprised if one of
    the current CSC style variations dropped out. From what little I've seen
    and read, likely the Nikon.

    David J Taylor, Oct 15, 2011
  13. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    I thought we had. ;-)

    There we can agree. On the retail side, we are all mystified by
    Nikon's 1 System. I hope the customers will flock in and buy them,
    but I have my doubts.

    What will decide the future direction of the market will be its
    reaction to the Nikon, Fujifilm and Canon CSCs. If Canon brings out
    another small-sensor CSC, similar to the Nikon 1 System, paradoxically
    Nikon may do quite well, because small sensors might be taken more

    But if Canon's sensor is APS-C, Nikon may have a problem on its hands.
    Rather than being a mass market product, Nikon 1 will be competing for
    market share with Fujifilm and Pentax.

    So far, I can't see anything to prevent NEX from taking the #1 spot.
    Bruce, Oct 15, 2011
  14. []
    NEX would be what I would consider, the absence of a Nikon DX mount

    David J Taylor, Oct 16, 2011
  15. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    That's exactly my view, which is why I have an NEX-7 on order. The
    ability to mount off-brand lenses on a camera with a 24 MP sensor,
    albeit only with manual focus, is very welcome.

    The $64,000 question is what will Canon do?
    Bruce, Oct 16, 2011
  16. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    That depends.

    If Canon is really going to make the "EIS" system with a 12 x 18mm
    sensor that was leaked in 2010, they may be getting worried.

    Canon and Nikon have something in common - a line of DSLRs that is
    immensely profitable. Neither company wants to put that at risk.

    On the other hand, Panasonic, Olympus and Sony have DSLR lines that
    are respectively dead, on its deathbed and dying. They aren't worried
    about losing DSLR sales that they don't have, or which are rapidly
    dwindling towards zero. They can afford to have their CSCs compete
    with DSLRs because they will be taking sales off Nikon, Canon and

    So it would not surprise me if Canon's CSC offering is more like
    Nikon's than Sony's, to help protect its entry-level DSLRs.
    Bruce, Oct 17, 2011
  17. []
    A disappointment I share. Nikon and Canon could start by selling lenses
    for u4/3, likely quite profitably, and if that takes off add u4/3 bodies
    to their ranges.

    David J Taylor, Oct 17, 2011
  18. RichA

    J. Clarke Guest

    Somebody's going to have to show that there's a real market there first.
    Olympus certainly isn't doing it.
    J. Clarke, Oct 17, 2011
  19. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    There were some rumours published last year. They seemed reasonably
    credible because they were consistent with Canon's patent applications
    and the whole idea was worked up in some detail.

    Of course it could be just a very clever hoax, but the Canon watchers
    seemed to be of the opinion that this had been leaked to get some
    reaction from consumers, and that it could well be genuine:


    Exactly. Just because there is a gap doesn't mean that it must be
    filled, nor that filling it would be profitable.

    It was easy to join Four Thirds, and not many did. Kodak left Four
    Thirds and Sigma's involvement only extended to making a small number
    of existing lenses available with the Four Thirds mount. So that left
    Olympus and Panasonic, and Panasonic soon dropped out in favour of
    Micro Four Thirds.

    I understand that it isn't quite as easy to join Micro Four Thirds,
    which isn't quite the open standard that Four Thirds was. This may
    have deterred other manufacturers from joining up. There is also the
    problem that there is only one manufacturer of (Micro) Four Thirds
    Bruce, Oct 17, 2011
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