« on: September 21, 2014, 11:53:11 AM »
You're right - markets and players change. What remains true however is that money and commitment are more important than skill. Now, gazing into my cloudy crystal ball, I'll offer these predictions.
Sony will be like a comet - blazing across the photographic sky and burning out. The corporation is in financial
limbo - old product lines like television are struggling, new product lines like cameras and computers are at best
"moderate" successes. It wouldn't surprise me to see Sony sell their camera division to concentrate on other
products. Potential buyers - a Chinese supplier, a money manager who knows little of photography (who bought Hasselblad?), or a darkhorse in Zeiss (or more likely Cosina) as a supplier of branded bodies or even Nikon.
Canon will roll along and continue to coast on an ever diminishing lead in the marketplace. It will milk DSLR
technology until the profits shrink and their position contracts. Reluctantly introducing new technology and
protecting their "advantage" until some newcomer forces them to make radical change. Think IBM of the
nineties and like IBM, Canon will be forced into radical change, but not until they lose market leadership.
Mamiya and Hasselblad will be merged into oblivion - think Pentax/Ricoh or disappear completely as overpriced
alternatives to large megapixel full frame offerings (aps-c vrs full frame forum discussions will now be full frame vs. medium format). Pentax, Casio, and a host of others will be replaced by cell phone manufacturers in the
"casual" photo market and Leica will limp along until their aging fanboys all die (think Cadillac!).
That leaves who's left - Olympus will be acquired by Panasonic and continue the M4/3 product line competing against cell phone makers - possibly buying Red One and making it in the quality video market. The two
future powerhouse companies - Fuji and Samsung - will each experience fantastic growth, but for different
reasons. Fuji has the backing and the talent to do it right, and Samsung has the financial backing to do it wrong. Both have the money, the engineering design skills, the manufacturing capacity and supposedly the
desire to succeed in the photo marketplace, but neither currently has the marketing or distribution chain to
support success. Ricoh has the money and the talent to add to this list, but their program with Pentax casts a dark shadow on their corporate will to play. But, as Fuji and Samsung get their acts together and their product line expanded - watch out Canon.