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Author Topic: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong  (Read 18279 times)

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Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:38:57 PM »
This is an interesting article that Kai Wong (the Chinese dude who speaks in English accent on DigitalrevTV youtube channel) ... this is only meant as an interesting read, not to bash Canon or Nikon ... disagreements are welcome, but kindly refrain from hate posts please. Thanks

As published in http://www.digitalrev.com/article/canon-and-nikon-past-their/MTc3MzU1MDAz
22 Dec 2013 by Kai Wong

Fancy dress parties are hateful. It's not the taking part that irks me, it's the having to see other people take so much pleasure from lazily dressing-up in attire that adheres to a stereotype of what it's supposed to represent. It makes me feel a little sad for the people who go to those 1970s disco nights wearing an off-the-shelf kit consisting of: big 'fro, shiny flares, big collars and big sunglasses. It makes you wish the 70s was an object just so that you could punch it in anger, but the fact of the matter is that the 70s was actually pretty cool. Kind of.

That brings me neatly to Nikon's fancy dress disaster: the Df. What a shambles. In a nutshell, it's a D610, with a Nikon FM - a classic SLR from the 70s - costume on and not a very good one at that. Nikon designed the Df to be a cool blend of digital sensibilities fused with a nostalgic nod to the charming classic minimalism of a film camera that was once used by the masses decades ago. The trouble with the execution, however, is that it has ended up being not so much a tribute to the FM as it is a parody. If you wanted to satisfy your nostalgic desires or wanted a DSLR that works like a fully manual SLR then you'll be severely disappointed with the Df.

Outside of the pro market, I sometimes wonder if Nikon is getting a bit fuddy-duddy. Canon too. Nikon and Canon are having a bit of an identity crisis (or is that mid-life crisis?). They can both produce pro-grade products well, with higher end DSLRs that continue to sell well. So well that they don’t want to make any of their lower end stuff anywhere near as good for fear of harming the sales of the top end stuff. They're also incredibly cautious when it comes to their entry into the mirrorless camera market. Although they are aware that mirrorless is a threat to entry-level DSLR sales, they have no choice but to enter this segment but while still trying to get people to buy their DSLRs. Canon, like Nikon, still don’t seem to get it either.

The Canon EOS M2 was announced recently, which is more or less the same camera as the EOS M albeit with wifi and faster autofocus speed. But, frankly, you couldn’t have gotten any slower than the autofocus speed of the EOS M, so the only way was up. Not that this product announcement is really relevant anyway as it seems like Canon will be keeping this camera as an Asia-only release, if reports on the net are to be believed. No crying shame there mind you, as the EOS M2 is about as tantalising as a used bar of soap (the EOS M2 is seemingly designed to look like one too).

When Canon and Nikon try to be cool and different the result is somewhat lame. It’s like listening to an Uncle try to drop some words he found on urban dictionary into a conversation - it’s embarrassing. Although they seem to understand that there is a market for people who like mirrorless cameras or stylish cameras, their efforts lack substance. It feels like they think that it’s enough to produce something that is all about the superficial qualities and without any real depth to the product. Sony is quite the opposite: they have made some interesting products recently - a7 & a7R, RX1, QX10 - with cool tech albeit encased in something as bland looking as one of their TV remotes. The game is changing, and props must go to Sony for realising that life outside of DSLRs isn’t just a load of fancy dress.
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Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:38:57 PM »

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 08:04:31 PM »
I can feel the "heat" from this topic already ;)

My 2cents: There are two diff. markets, Pro and everyday shooter. The Pro will cont. with DSLR and wonderful L lenses. Where everyday shooters want something simple and compact, but doesn't want to give up FF IQ - this option doesn't exist until Sony shows up.

For me, I rather enjoy both worlds.



« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 08:15:32 PM by Dylan777 »
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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 08:15:39 PM »
Generally, the consumers are the ultimate voter on which products meet their needs or expectations. 
 
In spite of Sony's innovations, when it takes a company 3 months to repair a product, they are not really serious about being in the market long term.  Another factor is the different expectations in Asia compared to the US and Europe.  Camera manufacturers have to cover both markets, and rather than make one product fit all, they should more directly aim at a given market.  Canon had originally stated that the "M" was aimed at the typical Japanese female photographer (whatever that means).   If so, then its no wonder that they are struggling to sell in the US/Europe but doing much better in Asia.

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 03:54:23 AM »
I agree, these are 2 different markets.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to sell my FF DSLR's, but this is what I think:
The mirrorless market is eating more and more in to the entry level DSLR's for people who want to upgrade from advanced point & shoot or "bridge" cameras (which is a very big market) ... but once the beginners become a bit more advanced, they realize that the upgrade path basically does not exist (i.e. better/faster lenses for action, especially when they want reach) ... so the only choice of upgrade, for the foreseeable future, is Pro DSLRs like 5D MK III/D800 and upwards (or 7D MK II / D400 if and when they are released).
But what I don't understand about Canon and Nikon is their growth received a significant steroid boost after the Rebel line of cameras were introduced, now that segament is getting eaten away by the mirrorless crowd ... so why don't they (Canon/Nikon) want to make better mirrorless cameras? ... its not like they lack the technological know how ... if Sony, Fuji, Olympus can make it, I am sure Canon & Nikon with their vastly superior experience & resources can make truly awesome mirrorless cameras. Surely, making better EOS-M or the V/J series cameras will not discourage pros and advanced hobbyists from buying into bigger better DSLRs & lenses. I would rather buy a good FF or APSC mirrorless camera from Canon or Nikon instead of Sony, Fuji or Olympus ... but unfortunately, Canon and Nikon don't seem to be interested despite the stats showing significant growth in mirrorless segament ... even the third party manufacturers (like Sigma, Tamron etc) have realized the potential market in the mirrorless segment and have also introduced lenses for them.
Appreciate your thoughts ... and a request to keep it civil without spreading personal attacks and grief. :)
Peace 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 04:03:05 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 05:14:48 AM »
but unfortunately, Canon and Nikon don't seem to be interested despite the stats showing significant growth in mirrorless segment ...
Well, as you can see in another thread in this forum, mirrorless isn't growing all that much, so I think CaNikon are just biding their time. At least Canon could just slap the M into an SL1 body with M-mount and EVF and go from there easily.

So, they release products just to have a presence at the market, ready to ramp up when the masses drops entry DSLRs for Mirrorless.

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 05:32:28 AM »
The key problem is differentiation.

Every manufacturer tries to have something special. Canon has the f/1.2 primes for example, Sony now has the a7, Zeiss has the Otus series, Sigma has great affordable primes and the USB dock... Nikon tried with the Df. Typical case of good idea, poor execution. They had the 36MPix body, but then the a7r stole their monopoly and maybe they were pushed to release something peculiar. The Nikon 1 AW is a great idea, but at least here in EU it is sold only as a kit with the 18-55 and you have to buy the 10/2.8 separately. Like, seriously, who wants to shoot f/5.6 on a 1" sensor underwater? The ridiculous mandatory purchase of the 18-55 is what put me off from buying it.

And BTW, Nikon doesn't seem too bad at pimping lower end bodies. The D3300, D5300 and D7100 have a quite respectable set of features. Canon wasn't really in the club before the 70D.

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 06:07:48 AM »
The bottom line in all camera companies is this: profit. Which companies have the biggest market shares worldwide? I'm afraid it's still Canon and Nikon. Sony has been trying very hard, releasing one product after another... but their market shares have not changed an iota over the years. I agree the RX100 and A7 series are fantastic.... but just check out how well these cameras are selling on Amazon (USA) and BCNRanking (Japan)... Clearly, the market isn't embracing these cameras.

So, are Nikon and Canon past their prime? Don't think so. Sure, they have misfires like the Df and EOS M/M2... but who cares about these products when their target market is very small in the first place? Remember, the ratio of DSLR:EVIL camera sold is 9:1 in both N. America and Europe... it's been like that for years.

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 06:07:48 AM »

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 06:17:10 AM »
but unfortunately, Canon and Nikon don't seem to be interested despite the stats showing significant growth in mirrorless segment ...
Well, as you can see in another thread in this forum, mirrorless isn't growing all that much, so I think CaNikon are just biding their time. At least Canon could just slap the M into an SL1 body with M-mount and EVF and go from there easily.

So, they release products just to have a presence at the market, ready to ramp up when the masses drops entry DSLRs for Mirrorless.
According to Business Insider, the mirrorless camera sales from JAN to OCT 2013 were 85.9 million (refer to the below pie chart from Business Insider), I'm assuming those figures have gone up to at least 100 million by 31 DEC 2013 (taking into the lucrative holiday season, discounts etc), ... Although it is still only 20% of DLSR sales volume, there are 100 million mirrorless cameras being sold in 1 year and assuming the average price being US$500 each, that's a 50 Billion dollar industry for a mirrorless camera+kit lens (excluding additional lenses). If Canon/Nikon make good quality mirrorless camers, I think they can easily dominate 50% of that market. Keep in mind that recently (in 2013) Canon & Nikon cut their profit forcasts ... so, surely they can make do with a cool 25 billion dollars of the mirrorless market share if they tried to make good quality mirrorless camers ... not to mention their strength in making awesome lenses, with will only add to their bottom line.
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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 06:28:43 AM »
The bottom line in all camera companies is this: profit. Which companies have the biggest market shares worldwide? I'm afraid it's still Canon and Nikon. Sony has been trying very hard, releasing one product after another... but their market shares have not changed an iota over the years. I agree the RX100 and A7 series are fantastic.... but just check out how well these cameras are selling on Amazon (USA) and BCNRanking (Japan)... Clearly, the market isn't embracing these cameras.

So, are Nikon and Canon past their prime? Don't think so. Sure, they have misfires like the Df and EOS M/M2... but who cares about these products when their target market is very small in the first place? Remember, the ratio of DSLR:EVIL camera sold is 9:1 in both N. America and Europe... it's been like that for years.
I do not believe Canon and Nikon are "past their prime", it was just the title used by Kai and I merely copy pasted it.
I do understand that bottom line is profit, but with Canon and Nikon's recent cut in their profit forecast, I am sure they can make do with some profits in what seems like an industry that is worth 50 billion american dollars (not counting lenses) by producing good quality mirrorless camers, which I think will only enhance their lens sales as well and add to their shrinking profits. Lets be frank here, weren't we all excited when we first heard the rumor about Canon's mirrorless camers (at that time we did not know the specs, but we all speculated that it would trounce the other manufacturers) but pretty much all of us were disappointed when it eventually come out at the price point that it did and the specs that it carried ... majority of us only bought the EOS-M when its price went down by over 50% ... I think if Canon and Nikon had made only 1 awesome mirrorless camera (which I still think they are capable of), they would have stolen the top 2 spots in the mirrorless camera industry. In my opinion the reason 9:1 ratio exists in US & Europe is because people there trust Canon and Nikon (rightly so) for their awesome products and fantastic customer service, and if they had made a great mirrorless camera, they would have been a run away hit. I still think there was a huge window of opportunity for Canon & Nikon, but for some reason, they don't seem to be interested, despite cuts in their profit forecasts.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 06:36:25 AM by Rienzphotoz »
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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 06:55:53 AM »
I can feel the "heat" from this topic already ;)

My 2cents: There are two diff. markets, Pro and everyday shooter. The Pro will cont. with DSLR and wonderful L lenses. Where everyday shooters want something simple and compact, but doesn't want to give up FF IQ - this option doesn't exist until Sony shows up.

For me, I rather enjoy both worlds.
Would be true, if it wasn't for the fact that the A7R trumps the 5D3 and 1DX in FF IQ, while still being small, simple, wifi/smartphone-connectable, e.t.c.. It is without a doubt the best camera available for my dear L-lenses.. Like Kai said, the game is changing.

EDIT: Oops, I just saw that you mentioned Sony. Never mind. :)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 06:59:26 AM by Ricku »

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2014, 07:22:39 AM »
Hi,
    IMHO, don't need to worry for Canon... they already had the technology to come out a good mirrorless camera anytime... the big question is when?? If you ask me, my guess is this year or next year you'll see a higher end mirrorless camera from Canon.

    Anyway, mirrorless camera is not for everyone especially for wildlife photographer when many of them like to use their super telephoto lens as a scope...  ;D Battery will use up very fast on a mirrorless camera if use this way.

   Have a nice day.

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 08:08:09 AM »
I can feel the "heat" from this topic already ;)

My 2cents: There are two diff. markets, Pro and everyday shooter. The Pro will cont. with DSLR and wonderful L lenses. Where everyday shooters want something simple and compact, but doesn't want to give up FF IQ - this option doesn't exist until Sony shows up.

For me, I rather enjoy both worlds.
Would be true, if it wasn't for the fact that the A7R trumps the 5D3 and 1DX in FF IQ, while still being small, simple, wifi/smartphone-connectable, e.t.c.. It is without a doubt the best camera available for my dear L-lenses.. Like Kai said, the game is changing.

EDIT: Oops, I just saw that you mentioned Sony. Never mind. :)

At the risk of stating the obvious, doesn't it rather depend what you intend doing with the combination? I wouldn't want to try shooting birds handheld with a tiny body on a big lens. For some applications, like this, autofocus speed/accuracy and ergonomics trump absolute image quality (even assuming your assertion was correct; I make no comment on that). And wifi isn't much use outside of the house, especially away from urban areas (though I'd be happy to see it in every camera, for those occasions when it is useful).
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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 09:25:35 AM »
Returning to differentiation, the challenge for Canon and Nikon is to be relevant in the days of camera phones.

Impact on the high market is close to zero - tho some pros are giving courses on iPhonology and producing interesting work. 

Impact on low end dSLR and P&S market is large.

Time for the big boys to get creative and produce innovative products that will appeal to the masses, not to those of us are a "photographers" but to those who take snapshots

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 09:25:35 AM »

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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2014, 09:26:12 AM »
I don't want to discount his column, but Kai isn't exactly impartial here given that he is a big camera retailer, and is always looking to drive traffic to his site with some controversial comments/videos.  His videos are pretty entertaining, and he isn't necessarily wrong with what he says, but as others have pointed out, there is a bigger picture if you're an established company.  As fans, we always want more, but as he's pointing out with the Nikon Df, bad decisions can be costly.  I'd rather have solid, less exciting products from a company that will still be in business 10+ years from now, than bleeding edge buggy gear (read Blackmagic) from a company that may or may not survive a dud product.  What the big guys like to do is to let the smaller, more agile guys  (read Blackmagic, again) take the risks and push them (the big guys) to innovate while keeping their stability. 

Yes, that sounds boring, but if you look at the 5DIII and Magic Lantern, it looks like Canon's giving the customers the best of both worlds.
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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 10:16:07 AM »
I can feel the "heat" from this topic already ;)

My 2cents: There are two diff. markets, Pro and everyday shooter. The Pro will cont. with DSLR and wonderful L lenses. Where everyday shooters want something simple and compact, but doesn't want to give up FF IQ - this option doesn't exist until Sony shows up.

For me, I rather enjoy both worlds.
Would be true, if it wasn't for the fact that the A7R trumps the 5D3 and 1DX in FF IQ, while still being small, simple, wifi/smartphone-connectable, e.t.c.. It is without a doubt the best camera available for my dear L-lenses.. Like Kai said, the game is changing.

EDIT: Oops, I just saw that you mentioned Sony. Never mind. :)

I'm not DR guy. Be able to shoot at higher ISO is what I'm really after in FF world. The reason I purchased A7 is compact - for travel oversea and just taking picture of my kids on short trip . I'm interested to add 2-3 Zeiss FE lenses to this compact system(55mm, UWA, 85 or 135 depends on lens size).

I just don't see myself attaching 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 100-400 f4, 300mm, or 400mm on this compact body. 5D III/1D X feels so much better with big lenses - not to mention AF tracking on DSLR is something current mirrorless can't keep up.

I do agree with you on IQ/sensor stuff
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Re: Canon and Nikon - Past Their Prime? by Kai Wong
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 10:16:07 AM »