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Author Topic: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places  (Read 10069 times)

roguewave

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2012, 11:12:54 AM »
Again, they are a business, not a photographers' aid society.  They have to recover their investment and make a profit, the sooner the better.  Grossing 15% more on a hot product is hardly the definition of greed.  What you call "greed" is what others call smart business.  The penalty of doing otherwise is pretty severe.  Compare Canon, Apple, etc. vs. Bronica, Contax, Kodak, Polaroid, etc.

I don't think any of has any factual basis to state what the price of the 5DIII "should" have been.  We can only guess.  Sure, camera technology matures, but there is constant research and development.  How much did the new AF system cost?  Or the new sensor?  Or the new mirror system?  We don't have a clue.  Should it automatically be cheaper because it's 4 years later?  Not necessarily.  The cost of manufacture 3 months ago vs. now is not really relevant when there are several years worth of investment to recover, not to mention the costs of investing in products yet to be developed.

It's not surprising for a technology company to lower prices over time.  It's the same if you're buying this year's newest model television vs. last year's about to be discontinued model television.  Certainly last year's will be discounted vs. the newest.

I don't see how people "overpay" due to a lack of alternatives.  There are so many alternatives, including the alternative of not buying.  On the one hand, who is so desperately in need of a product that doesn't exist yet that they have no alternative but to "overpay" when it finally comes into existence?  On the other hand, if a new product offers such compelling advantages to a photographer that it is worth an immediate purchase, then why not pay the introductory price?  Did a photographer overpay for the 5DIII by $500, or did having the camera earlier reward him by at least that much?  That's a calculation for each photographer to make, based on their needs and budget.

I understand your points, but I also think we are running in circles, so let me try to simplify and go back to my original example of the current 3 full-frame dslr players:

Nikon:
D700 launch: $3000
D800 launch: $3000
D800 current: $3000

Sony:
A900 launch: $3000
A99 launch: $2800
A99 current: $2800

Canon:
5DII launch: $2700
5DIII launch: $3500
5DIII current: ~$3000

How do you explain the discrepancy:
a) Nikon and Sony are photographer's aid societies, because they kept or even reduced the next generation camera prices. Canon recently decided to join them by currently selling the camera at a loss.

or

b) Canon inflated the launch price by $800 to milk the people willing to pay that price, before dropping it to more competitive levels under market pressure.

Which one do you think is correct :)?
If b), do you approve of such strategy? I mean, even if you personally don't mind overpaying, why can't other people expect a fair price from the beginning?

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2012, 11:12:54 AM »

dlleno

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2012, 01:10:16 PM »
I pick door #3:  These companies operate independantly and their respective marketing departments came up with different pricing models to fit their own company goals, given their own market assesments, research, expected profitabiilty, support and sustainability goals.

its capitalism.  thats what companies do.  Canon can charge whatever they want without our approval,  and we can choose whether or not to buy without theirs.   language such as "fair" or "overpaying" are distractions -- if you dont want the puppy in the window for the displayed price then don't buy it.  If you want to wait until the price of the puppy goes down, then wait.  or go next door and buy a different puppy!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 01:18:46 PM by dlleno »

roguewave

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2012, 02:23:03 PM »
I certainly agree that Canon may make their marketing decisions independently. However, the customers have the right to be unhappy about their pricing - and that's my whole point.

In your example, of course I would rather not deal with a company involved in price gauging, and move on the the next window. However, it's not as simple. It's more like that: the puppy is only compatible with pet food sold at the same store. After you already bought the puppy, the store doubles the dog food prices compared with other stores and without any justification. You can choose not to buy and let the puppy starve. But in reality, most people would keep buying and be frustrated.


It's not a single purchase, but a long term relationship. Because we are locked into their proprietary system, we have certain expectations for the future. For example, if Canon for whatever reason decided to transition their system to a new mount and thus render your expensive lens collection obsolete, would that be legal in a capitalist economy? Yes. Would you be unhappy about it? I would.

dlleno

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2012, 03:16:50 PM »
well, first of all, unhappy customers vote with their wallets, not with their dreams of social equality among photographers.

and yes, for those who have been around long enough to remember, Canon DID change the FD lens mount to the present EF  mount, and a great many photographers, including some that I know, were impacted.  one even left the business (rather accelerated his retirement) because of the large investment and because he knew his old equipment could not keep up with the competition for very long.  But I didn't see any letters to the UN demanding that Canon preserve a long term relationship with him or make EF backwards compatible with FD.

I'm not trying to be difficult here, but you keep bringing up terms like "gouging" and "long term relationship", as if Canon has some social obligation.  They don't.  Canon doesn't have a relationship with anyone except their suppliers and key product champions, sponsored photographers, or whatever they need to accomplish their profitability goals.  the rest of us make investment versus risk choices.  nothing prevents one from taking advantage of the relatively strong used market prices and switch brands. you can shift the risk to someone else. 

and, if by experience you worry that canon will increase the price of puppy chow, then you can choose not to continue investing in their proprietary system and take the risk of investing in someone else's proprietary system.  I'm not saying thats easy for all, but it is what it is. 

There's no question that in order to remain profitable, Canon has to listen, but I bet their #1 corporate objective is profit, not listening, nor is it  arguing about the morality of a 10% fluctuation in price.

roguewave

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2012, 07:40:23 PM »
well, first of all, unhappy customers vote with their wallets, not with their dreams of social equality among photographers.

and yes, for those who have been around long enough to remember, Canon DID change the FD lens mount to the present EF  mount, and a great many photographers, including some that I know, were impacted.  one even left the business (rather accelerated his retirement) because of the large investment and because he knew his old equipment could not keep up with the competition for very long.  But I didn't see any letters to the UN demanding that Canon preserve a long term relationship with him or make EF backwards compatible with FD.

I'm not trying to be difficult here, but you keep bringing up terms like "gouging" and "long term relationship", as if Canon has some social obligation.  They don't.  Canon doesn't have a relationship with anyone except their suppliers and key product champions, sponsored photographers, or whatever they need to accomplish their profitability goals.  the rest of us make investment versus risk choices.  nothing prevents one from taking advantage of the relatively strong used market prices and switch brands. you can shift the risk to someone else. 

and, if by experience you worry that canon will increase the price of puppy chow, then you can choose not to continue investing in their proprietary system and take the risk of investing in someone else's proprietary system.  I'm not saying thats easy for all, but it is what it is. 

There's no question that in order to remain profitable, Canon has to listen, but I bet their #1 corporate objective is profit, not listening, nor is it  arguing about the morality of a 10% fluctuation in price.

Lol, don't label me a socialist just because I am unhappy with the recent price increases from Canon (including their lenses) :-). My point was simply that the camera was initially overpriced and the significant price drops only months after introduction confirm my observation.

I didn't really mean to go where our conversation is leading, but since we are there... I do believe customers can have expectations. I'm sure you expect your new 5D Mark III to work well beyong the 1 year warranty, even though that's not explicitly promised. Assuming it starts falling apart due to cheap components Canon used to boost their bottom line, is it your problem, because Canon does not owe you anything? On the flip side, if you shoot weddings, do you try to make your customers happy? Or do you do a sloppy bare-minimum job, telling the couple to go somewhere else next time, if they don't like it :-)?

Now, I don't imply that companies should satisfy the (reasonable) expectations because they have social obligations or because of sheer kindness. No, they do that to stay competitive, because a bad reputation would kill the profits in the long run. As you said, unhappy customers vote with their wallets, at least in theory.

In practice it's not so straightforward. The wedding photographer's profit may not be affected, whether the newly-wed couple is happy or not. In Canon's case, it would take a lot of price increases before they outweigh the cost and hassle of switching systems. Until then, all customers can do is complain :-). I bet your friend, who lost his business, did complain, even if he did not write letters to the UN. Is Canon going to listen to us - probably not. But you seem to indicate that we have no rights even to complain and must put up with any crap that Canon chooses to throw our way, because it's OK that they only care about their profit and not about their customers.

On a side note, it's more than a 10% increase. It's a hefty 30% over the initial price of 5DII ($3500 vs $2700). At that rate, Mark V is going to cost close to $6000.

Don't get me wrong, I am not penny-pinching. I overpaid a couple of hundred more than once, when I needed the lens right away. I had no regrets and I did not complain. But that was different. It was a market fluctuation, while this seems like a strategy from Canon to boost its profits at the expense of their customers.

dlleno

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2012, 12:08:34 PM »
Lol, don't label me a socialist just because I am unhappy with the recent price increases from Canon (including their lenses) :-). My point was simply that the camera was initially overpriced and the significant price drops only months after introduction confirm my observation.

no socialist label intended.  your comments just sounded like you thought Canon played dirty, photgrapher-milking unfair price gouging because they decided to keep selling the 5D2 and price the 5D3 higher.  I don't like the price or that strategy either, and we've already seen endless speculations on Canon's thinking, but it is what it is.  Canon plays the laws of supply and demand, and it appears that sales figures bear out the fact that they played it right, from the corporate profit perspective anyway.  On the other hand, expecting Canon to level the playing field and regulate the price to the same figure for all customers throughout the sales cycle, and to acheive price parity or equality with competitors is just not the way corporations (or supply and demand) work. 

<epistle on pricing, field failures,  impact on clients, etc.>
Quote
...Now, I don't imply that companies should satisfy the (reasonable) expectations because they have social obligations or because of sheer kindness. No, they do that to stay competitive, because a bad reputation would kill the profits in the long run. As you said, unhappy customers vote with their wallets, at least in theory.
bingo. I really don't think you and I are far apart on these points. 
Quote
... But you seem to indicate that we have no rights even to complain and must put up with any crap that Canon chooses to throw our way, because it's OK that they only care about their profit and not about their customers.
I"m not saying we don't have the rights to complain;  I am saying it won't be individually effective and that Canon has the right to do choose what they  listen too.  Unfortunately, to a large degree yes we are at the mercy of the market and Canon's interpretation of it.   Thank goodness for internet forums, to be sure, to the extent that they help Canon read and react to the market, and allow Canon to more clearly see defects and other customer issues, details, etc.  For example, I suspect the f/8 AF fix was a reaction to market demand, and that their original strategy was to push the market towards more expensive glass.  just my opinon of course, but it looks like competition and information from real photographers was an influence, for which I am thrilled. 
Quote

On a side note, it's more than a 10% increase. It's a hefty 30% over the initial price of 5DII ($3500 vs $2700). At that rate, Mark V is going to cost close to $6000.
I think we're talking about Canon here and not the grey market or retailers' trimming their own markups.  Displayed prices for the 5D3 have been reduced on the order of 10% in recent months.  Current price from the best known retailers is down about 15%.  That flash-in-the-pan $2700 abberation is fascinating, to be sure, and I agree that a great many folks wish they had played that game.   
Quote
Don't get me wrong, I am not penny-pinching. I overpaid a couple of hundred more than once, when I needed the lens right away. I had no regrets and I did not complain. But that was different. It was a market fluctuation, while this seems like a strategy from Canon to boost its profits at the expense of their customers.

yea -- similar to your experience I paid 15% more for my 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, compared to today's prices,   because I had a need.  did I overpay or was Canon's introduction price unfair?  Is the current price driven by market fluctuation or was it a strategy of Canon to boost profits early on and then stop doing that after some period of time?   it doesn't matter;  canon had supply and I had demand;  the value of a product is defined by what people are willing to pay for it.    I agree Canon is pretty good at playing that game, and time will tell how sustainable their current strategy is. 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 12:20:29 PM by dlleno »

roguewave

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2012, 07:49:18 PM »
I think our opinions have converged quite close :-). I appreciate you sharing your points and arguments!

I might have created the impression of being a Canon hater... it's not true. I am glad to give them praise where it's deserved. In this case, all I wanted to say is that Canon failed to meet my expectations for fair pricing (however subjective they may be), especially in comparison to their competitors. I don't have illusions that Canon is going to listen to my opinion, but that does not mean I would silently swallow my frustration.

As for the 30% increase, I was not comparing the intro and current price of 5DIII, but rather the launch prices of 5DII and 5DIII. I could probably even dismiss that increase as a fluke, if such or even larger increases were not becoming a rule with Canon's recent lens pricing as well. As you said, they are good at playing that game, but I hope that the new offerings from Sigma and Tamron will help rein in Canon's prices at least as far as lenses are concerned.

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2012, 07:49:18 PM »

Hydrogen

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2013, 09:00:57 PM »
On a side note, it's more than a 10% increase. It's a hefty 30% over the initial price of 5DII ($3500 vs $2700). At that rate, Mark V is going to cost close to $6000.

Don't get me wrong, I am not penny-pinching. I overpaid a couple of hundred more than once, when I needed the lens right away. I had no regrets and I did not complain. But that was different. It was a market fluctuation, while this seems like a strategy from Canon to boost its profits at the expense of their customers.


I haven't seen currency exchange rates mentioned on this thread (or I apologize if I missed it)...  On October 1, 2008 the Yen to US Dollar exchange rate was 105:1 or 105 Japanese Yen gave you $1 US Dollar.  At the time of the Canon 5D Mark III's release the exchange rate was 81:1; meaning the US Dollar *lost* value against the Yen over the 3.5 -year period.

Therefore, if we "level the playing field" the exchange rate at time of the 5DM3 release... 81:1, the list price of USD $3,500 equated to 285,090 Yen.  At the time of the 5DM2 release... 105:1, the list price of USD $2,700 equated to 283,117 Yen.  Practically the same VALUE exchanged...

I think we need to face the reality that our US Dollar is maybe not "worthless" but is definitely worth-less and the TRUE mark-up of the 5DM3 with exchange rates factored in is ONLY 0.7%.  You are not seeing things...  It is truly less than 1%.

Now lets ask ourselves if the camera is worth the price?  If we had placed USD $2,700 of our savings in 2008 and invested in the Yen and held it there, today we would have almost $3,500 to purchase the 5DM3 today.

So now my dilema and asking for your advice...

I purchased a brand-new 5DM2 from one of the top-two online dealers for only $1,499 three weeks ago.  It was fresh inventory as the battery date stamp was Nov '11.  I subsequently purchased the 5DM3 for $2,899 from the same dealer.  Not as fresh - battery date stamp is June '11 on the 5DM3 and a bit upset that the product box has some nicks and creases in it (minor, I know).  www.EOSCount.com said it had zero actuations, so it was a fresh copy, or so I believe.

I am likely to return the 5DM2 because I am clearly getting more spot-on exposures with the 5DM3, but the price difference is obviously huge.  It's tempting to keep the 5DM2, return the 5DM3 and use the M2 for six to twelve months and wait for the 5DM3 to drop further, but I think I got a good deal @ $2,899 and the M3 copy while it has some hot pixels on long exposures, the M2 copy has fewer but they are much brighter...

Your thoughts?  Thanks...
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 09:15:57 PM by Hydrogen »
5D Mark III | 1D Mark III | 20D | 17-40L | 24-105L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 28 f/1.8 | 35 f/1.4L | 50 f/1.4 | 85 f/1.8 | 580ex | 430ex | 420ex

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Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2013, 09:00:57 PM »