So your belief is that if brand A can make a camera at $2000 and brand B can make an camera at least as good at $1495, the majority of prior brand A customers will stick to brand A?Simple fact of the matter is, #1 is not nearly as important as #2 so long as the majority of your customers are still willing to pay for your products, regardless of their price.I'd prefer a return to the 1D / 1Ds arrangement than downgrading a high pixel camera to "second grade". Never understood why Canon abandoned the traditional 1Ds customers.I guess there are at least two main concerns:
1. What can we make, at least as good as our competitors, and at least as cheap to us?
2. What does our customers (current and future ones) want?
We tend to forget about 1 and only think about 2.
#2 is more important than #1.
Why? Due to existing investement (perhaps only a heavily invested minority), or due to being brainwashed?
I like to think that there is at least some "rationalism" in the market, where people choose the supplier that has the best price/performance ratio.
Well, for one, you are assuming Brand B makes a camera "at least as good". Consumer sentiment would indicate otherwise. Brand B certainly has a better image sensor...but its camera has a variety of issues, say, with white balance, LCD screen rendition, AF system, buffer unload rate, etc. Brand B has great glass, but it is not as good as Brand A. Brand B's camera is phenomenal for some things, but Brand A's camera is phenomenal for just about everything, with a few caveats at really low ISO...
So...IS it really true that Brand B makes a camera "at least as good" as Brand A? Technologically speaking, they certainly have an edge. Overall, consumer sentiment seems to indicate Brand A still makes a better camera. And that sentiment has nothing to do with brainwashing or existing gear or anything like that (we've seen plenty of cases of switchers here on CR, where people have literally dumped their entire Canon kit and switched to Nikon or vice versa.)
As for price/performance...the D800 does have a phenomenal sensor. However that camera is clearly not as viable in as many use cases as the 5D III. Its gargantuan file sizes has turned more than a majority of wedding photographers off. It's lackluster frame rate without spending additional money on a battery grip (which normalizes the price gap and offers a size/weight ratio benefit to the competition). The poor full buffer clear rate of the D800 creates a lag in your ability to keep shooting, where as Canon cameras just keep on plugging away.
If you consider sensor the singular factor that affects a camera's competitiveness, and it actually turns out that sensor is indeed the primary thing that affects IQ for the kind of photography you do (I can think of one case where that is probably always true...landscape photography), and you are completely unwilling to wait and see what Canon does...then dumping your kit and jumping ships, or straddling both the Canon and Nikon ships, is probably the solution to your problem. Does that mean you are getting a better price/performance ratio? Well, if you do not yet currently own Nikon, and do own Canon, your price point for the D800 for better low ISO IQ (and ONLY better low ISO IQ) is a hell of a lot higher...you need at least one comparable lens. If you just pick up the competing Canon camera, even though the single-item price point is potentially higher (depends on whether you actually get that battery grip for the D800 or not), the total cost to upgrade and not jump ship puts you at a better price/performance ratio.
Rationalism isn't as cut and dry it might seem when one only factors image sensor into the basis of image quality and bang for the buck. I'd say the market is pretty rational already, and that photographers already are purchasing the camera with the best price/performance ratio for the kind of work they do. If the D800, D600, etc. were hands down far better cameras than the Canon alternatives, consumers would be buying Nikon.