November 20, 2014, 04:38:17 PM

Author Topic: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]  (Read 14559 times)

Richard8971

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2014, 09:56:53 PM »
I think one of the problems with Canon's DSLR lineup is that they have too many models on the market. It is not really economical to support future development of all of them.

I believe that that is one of Canon's biggest problems right now. I also believe that Canon, for years, have continued to set the bar of performance for DSLR's.

1) The 5D was the first "compact" full frame DSLR, it was in a class all on it's own. (Nikon didn't follow until about 3 years later with the D700)

2) Even though the Nikon D90 was first, Canon raised the bar by putting video into the 5D2, a camera that was ahead of it's time and far superior to the D90 (at twice the price) in many ways. To this day, it's a very popular camera.

3) The 7D was loaded with features and speed and showed what a high performance crop body could do. A test bed for a lot of the technology that is found in today's Canon bodies.

4) The 5D3 integrated affordable speed and fantastic full frame image quality into a compact DSLR body (compared to dual-grip bodies), not to mention many other great features.

5) The 1DX stands king of speed and image quality. It was smart for Canon to blend the 1Ds and 1D lines in favor of this new powerhouse and sales proves it.

I think a lot of people got used to Canon always leading the way and lately it seems like the semi-professional APS-C segment (I.E. 7D line) has been largely ignored. The 70D is a very nice camera, but it's no "7D". Maybe it's on par with the 7D but certainly not "class-leading".

Something else to consider that didn't necessary exist a few years ago is now we have a market flooded with tons of awesome used camera equipment for dirt cheap. I mean, the 40D was $1600 new and now you can get bodies for $250-$300. It's a powerhouse of a camera and still takes fantastic images. It's getting harder and harder for the companies to "impress" the people with REAL usable features. There will always be the useless features that look good on paper but I'm not too concerned with those. Not to mention the fact that DSLR's are still expensive and not everyone has a grand laying around to just buy new equipment each time a new body comes out.

One more thing is that not everyone shoots video, I don't. My 7D takes video and I have never taken a video with it. I am a still shooter so I don't look at DSLR's from a video point of view and I am sure there are plenty of people out there who feel the same way as I do. I think Canon is starting to forget that people still take still photos. Seems like more attention is being placed on video features than photography features. From a still photography point of view, just about all of the APS-C bodies from Canon over the past 3-4 years have been pretty much the same, just my opinion...

I always figured that when they released the T5i (at 5fps) they would integrate the xD line into the xxD line. Well, the 70D came out and I suppose with 2 entry level cameras under the Rebel line, it is still possible, but I thought they would get rid of the xxD in favor of a 7D replacement rather than the other way around. The fact that Canon has been mum on any news regarding any kind of 7D replacement adding to the V2.0 firmware update unlocking many new cool features to the 7D makes me wonder if they will even go down that road. Again, Nikon does not have a "7D" and they may feel the D7100 is sufficient enough competition to the 7D that they don't need to make a higher performance crop sensor body. The 70D is pretty close to the 7D in terms of features that I believe that a lot of people will buy the 70D on the fact alone that it is simply a newer camera body than the 7D.

D
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 12:27:25 AM by Richard8971 »
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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2014, 09:56:53 PM »

pedro

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2014, 02:29:55 AM »


Something else to consider that didn't necessary exist a few years ago is now we have a market flooded with tons of awesome used camera equipment for dirt cheap. I mean, the 40D was $1600 new and now you can get bodies for $250-$300. It's a powerhouse of a camera and still takes fantastic images. It's getting harder and harder for the companies to "impress" the people with REAL usable features. There will always be the useless features that look good on paper but I'm not too concerned with those. Not to mention the fact that DSLR's are still expensive and not everyone has a grand laying around to just buy new equipment each time a new body comes out.



And today, not even a decade later, with the 6D you get an excellent ultra high ISO FF body at the same price of the former 40D. Canon gear improved quite a bit in the past years.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 02:31:44 AM by pedro »
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scottburgess

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2014, 12:41:45 PM »
I think one of the problems with Canon's DSLR lineup is that they have too many models on the market. It is not really economical to support future development of all of them.

I believe that that is one of Canon's biggest problems right now.

Perhaps it's a feature, not a bug:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/03/too-many-product-choices-in-supermarkets/index.htm

In terms of development, the big research costs for sensors, autofocus systems, lower power consumption, and so on are spread across all sales.  The development costs for an individual camera model from that technology base are evidently quite small, which is one reason why there are still so many SLR manufacturers.  Canon is shrewd enough to realize that when confronted with store displays of 1-3 models of a competitor versus 8-9 models of Canon, the consumer will tend to gravitate toward Canon.  Having more choices allows the consumer potentially to get the mix of features they want at an acceptable price. 

To extend the argument you're making to a related product: consider lenses.  Is it really better to have fewer lenses in your line-up?  After all, each one of those does require developing a new lens formula.  So if the "fewer choices means more profits" argument were correct, Canon would not have two 100mm macros plus a 100mm f/2, or four different 50mm lenses.  In reality, if developing a lens design costs $500k and you expect to sell 50k units in the next five years, you're looking at an amortized development cost of $10/unit which is negligible.  Those amortized startup costs could be worse for competitors who expect lower unit sales per lens model.

That doesn't mean that consumers always deal well with choice overload, as the article cited above points out.  But it is a proven mechanism for increasing market dominance which Canon appears willing to use. 

Here some consumers are probably losing track of all the factors to consider and buying on lowest price, or lightest weight, or good movies, or best autofocus system, or WiFi, or best lens lineup, etc... because choosing based on one or two attributes simplifies the choice.  Since Canon has many combinations of features, many consumers will end up buying a Canon as their first SLR.  And Canon may be able to afford lower profits on intro bodies with the expectation of profits from step-up bodies and lenses. 

Sigma may be changing those profit projections now and actually forcing Canon to push more body lines out the door.  Still, if I were a competitor of Canon's with lower unit sales, what Sigma is doing might scare me more than it scares Canon because it might suck all profits out of my lens sales and force me to be profitable almost entirely on sales of camera bodies.  If we are entering an "Era of Mergers" as I questioned in another thread, this might be a tipping point.  [Or not.  It's hard to predict without hard numbers.  But it's fun to think about.]



dgatwood

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2014, 12:54:53 AM »
I think one of the problems with Canon's DSLR lineup is that they have too many models on the market. It is not really economical to support future development of all of them.

I've been saying that for a long time.  Ignoring the mirrorless segment for the moment, the right number of DSLR models is 4:

  • Consumer crop-body DSLR (based on the 70D)
  • Pro crop-body DSLR (7DMk2)
  • Consumer full-frame DSLR (6D)
  • Pro full-frame DSLR (1D-???)

I could possibly accept 5, but only if it's because they continue to sell one older model of consumer crop-body cameras to hit a price point.  Any more models than that, and your products are cannibalizing each other's market share way too badly.

What this means is that they need to merge the 1D and 5D lines and price them where the 5D line is currently.  They also need to kill the Rebel line and rebrand the 70D as the Rebel T6i.  There really is no good reason to have two consumer crop body lines that are barely differentiated, much less two professional full-frame body lines that each have some features and not others.

Also, the high-end model should always be a strict superset of the low-end model.  Having features in the 6D and 70D that the 7D, 5D, and 1D don't have is absurd.

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2014, 01:20:56 AM »
The 7D, 5D3 and 1DX are all older models than the 70D and 6D, yo!

If you can bang out 4 or 5 new dSLR designs to suit these different target audiences and put them all into production and distribution by Springtime, go for it ;)

Also, I really do wonder how many of these 60D/70D "haters" have ever even touched the things... Mag Alloy for a 1.6x crop seems like overkill to me - the 70D is only really missing the Spot AF for birders, it has its MFA back and 7fps, decent weather sealing... It's a nifty 1.6x extender alongside my 5D3 IMO, I wouldn't personally want a crop cam  as my number 1 shooter so bring on the lightweight 70D or buy a proper FF camera ;)
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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #50 on: February 23, 2014, 01:46:25 AM »
I think one of the problems with Canon's DSLR lineup is that they have too many models on the market. It is not really economical to support future development of all of them.

I've been saying that for a long time.  Ignoring the mirrorless segment for the moment, the right number of DSLR models is 4:

  • Consumer crop-body DSLR (based on the 70D)
  • Pro crop-body DSLR (7DMk2)
  • Consumer full-frame DSLR (6D)
  • Pro full-frame DSLR (1D-???)

I could possibly accept 5, but only if it's because they continue to sell one older model of consumer crop-body cameras to hit a price point.  Any more models than that, and your products are cannibalizing each other's market share way too badly.

What this means is that they need to merge the 1D and 5D lines and price them where the 5D line is currently.  They also need to kill the Rebel line and rebrand the 70D as the Rebel T6i.  There really is no good reason to have two consumer crop body lines that are barely differentiated, much less two professional full-frame body lines that each have some features and not others.

Also, the high-end model should always be a strict superset of the low-end model.  Having features in the 6D and 70D that the 7D, 5D, and 1D don't have is absurd.

Hmmmm .... I disagree with what you said about 2 FF bodies. The current system is pretty good in my opinion. One low cost, one mid level and one high end. By merging the 1D and 5D I presume the body would be 1D shape? That would annoy a lot of journalists and wedding togs for sure. The 5D range is the bread and butter for a lot of folk. The 6D is targeted for a different kind of photographer. It seems more travel and casual stuff. Maybe first time FF buyers etc. also a one camera does it all top end model would be very pricey. The jump between 6D and 1D is really high.
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scottburgess

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2014, 06:58:28 PM »
I could possibly accept 5, but only if it's because they continue to sell one older model of consumer crop-body cameras to hit a price point.  Any more models than that, and your products are cannibalizing each other's market share way too badly.
If you really couldn't accept >5 models, you might sell your Canon gear and hang out in the Sony forums.  Canon will care about your position if you and others like you vote with your feet.

Note what I said earlier about the start-up costs of model lines--they probably aren't significant if you have the technology base and decent sales.  And if tech products have taught us anything, it's that you must cannibalize your own products with still more innovative products or risk losing market share.  If you don't push forward, like Apple is now struggling to, there's always a Samsung ready to take the lead.

There really is no good reason to have two consumer crop body lines that are barely differentiated, much less two professional full-frame body lines that each have some features and not others.
Really?  Have you been to a grocery store lately?  11 flavors of Cheerios, 25 types of Head and Shoulders, 74 flavors of Campbell's soup... with more than a dozen versions of vegetable soup.  Crest and Colgate produce 52 varieties of toothpaste.  The "good reason" you're struggling to find is called profits.  Whether or not the different flavors of camera are all useful to you is irrelevant to Canon when they increase profitability.  Visual store impact, consumer psychology, and marketing data are transforming the way dominant companies push products to consumers, with the result being an explosion within product lines that feeds profit margins.

Even if you watched here the last couple weeks, you'd have noted all the excitement generated by the merest hint that new Canon bodies would come to market.  Excitement -> sales -> profits.
Also, the high-end model should always be a strict superset of the low-end model.  Having features in the 6D and 70D that the 7D, 5D, and 1D don't have is absurd.
I think it would be absurd to wait 8 years for a product to get a feature available today: 5-7 years for the next couple top end bodies to acquire it, and then a couple more for the latest amateur version.  Canon, to it's credit, has been willing to try new features on lower-end cameras to see if they drive sales, then push them upward if the feature is successful.  Like eye-controlled focus in the 90's, or internal WiFi and GPS today.  If you look at the Digital EOS SLR Timeline, you'll see that the 1Ds line has never introduced an image processor; instead, they are introduced below and the software perfected before being moved up.  Besides, a pro can always add on the latest external GPS unit or Wireless File Transmitter, with a better quality feature likely resulting (along with possible future upgrades).

If a Canon rep stood before you today and heard your complaints, he'd probably apologize that making profits is sometimes untidy.  But he'd likely argue that consumers like choices, and he'd also proudly note you're still holding a Canon.

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2014, 06:58:28 PM »

tron

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #52 on: February 23, 2014, 07:08:30 PM »
I think one of the problems with Canon's DSLR lineup is that they have too many models on the market. It is not really economical to support future development of all of them.

I've been saying that for a long time.  Ignoring the mirrorless segment for the moment, the right number of DSLR models is 4:

  • Consumer crop-body DSLR (based on the 70D)
  • Pro crop-body DSLR (7DMk2)
  • Consumer full-frame DSLR (6D)
  • Pro full-frame DSLR (1D-???)

I could possibly accept 5, but only if it's because they continue to sell one older model of consumer crop-body cameras to hit a price point.  Any more models than that, and your products are cannibalizing each other's market share way too badly.

What this means is that they need to merge the 1D and 5D lines and price them where the 5D line is currently.  They also need to kill the Rebel line and rebrand the 70D as the Rebel T6i.  There really is no good reason to have two consumer crop body lines that are barely differentiated, much less two professional full-frame body lines that each have some features and not others.

Also, the high-end model should always be a strict superset of the low-end model.  Having features in the 6D and 70D that the 7D, 5D, and 1D don't have is absurd.
Well the number remains 4 if you remove the FICTIONAL 7DII and put the REAL AND EXCELLENT 5DIII ...  :)

dgatwood

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #53 on: February 23, 2014, 09:50:10 PM »
Note what I said earlier about the start-up costs of model lines--they probably aren't significant if you have the technology base and decent sales.  And if tech products have taught us anything, it's that you must cannibalize your own products with still more innovative products or risk losing market share.  If you don't push forward, like Apple is now struggling to, there's always a Samsung ready to take the lead.

Sure, but it's bad when your consumer models cannibalize your pro models to the brink of irrelevance because you haven't updated your pro crop body in well over four years.  Products should predominantly cannibalize sales of previous models in the same general line, and possibly previous models in higher lines, but if they cannibalize current models in higher lines, you pretty much have two choices: rev the higher line very quickly or put the handful of extra features into the lower line and drop the higher line entirely.  Then, optionally introduce a lower line.


There really is no good reason to have two consumer crop body lines that are barely differentiated, much less two professional full-frame body lines that each have some features and not others.
Really?  Have you been to a grocery store lately?  11 flavors of Cheerios, 25 types of Head and Shoulders, 74 flavors of Campbell's soup... with more than a dozen versions of vegetable soup.  Crest and Colgate produce 52 varieties of toothpaste.

The big difference is economies of scale.  It doesn't take much R&D to release a new cereal flavor, at least when compared with designing a new camera.  And the sales are many orders of magnitude higher for the cereal, so it covers the R&D costs very quickly.  In the electronics industry, where the R&D costs are high and the sales volume is low, that approach leads to John Sculley's Apple, where there were hundreds of products differentiated only in tiny ways, leading to consumer confusion, poor sales, and massive financial bleeding.  No surprise that the person who screwed up Apple so badly came from a company (PepsiCo) that made just the sorts of products you're talking about.

One of the best things Steve Jobs did when he came back to Apple was slash the number of models.  Repeatedly.  By the time he passed away, there was one size of MacBook, two (maybe three) sizes of MacBook Pro, the Mac Mini, the Mac Pro, and the iMac.  One consumer laptop, a couple of pro laptops, one consumer desktop, one pro desktop, and one all-in-one desktop.  There were several configurations that let you change various options (hard drive and RAM sizes, CPU speed, etc.), but as far as actual designs go, there were only a very few.


Also, the high-end model should always be a strict superset of the low-end model.  Having features in the 6D and 70D that the 7D, 5D, and 1D don't have is absurd.
I think it would be absurd to wait 8 years for a product to get a feature available today: 5-7 years for the next couple top end bodies to acquire it, and then a couple more for the latest amateur version.  Canon, to it's credit, has been willing to try new features on lower-end cameras to see if they drive sales, then push them upward if the feature is successful.  Like eye-controlled focus in the 90's, or internal WiFi and GPS today.  If you look at the Digital EOS SLR Timeline, you'll see that the 1Ds line has never introduced an image processor; instead, they are introduced below and the software perfected before being moved up.  Besides, a pro can always add on the latest external GPS unit or Wireless File Transmitter, with a better quality feature likely resulting (along with possible future upgrades).
a Canon.

The "introduce in low-end hardware and let it bubble up" excuse just doesn't match reality.  Well, it does, but only over nearly geologic time scales.  Canon first tried GPS on consumer bodies back in 2011, and they were incredibly late to the party even then, having been preceded by dozens of other cameras dating back as far as 2007.  The fact that it still isn't built-in across the board in their pro line in 2014—some seven years after you could get cheap point-and-shoot cameras with built-in GPS—means that Canon's rate of DSLR upgrades can only be described as "glacial".

And part of the reason for that slow upgrade speed is that they have to cover their R&D costs before they introduce a new model.  The more models they sell (to what is mostly a fixed-size market, give or take), the longer each model has to be on the market before they can upgrade it again.  Right now, there are three pro bodies by my count—the 1D-X, the 1D-C, and the 5D Mark III.  That's an insane amount of R&D for devices that don't sell very many units.  And you can bet the cost difference in the hardware among those three is orders of magnitude less than the price difference.  So Canon could drastically reduce their R&D costs by folding them into one.  Or, if you'd rather have two different body sizes, use the same guts in different enclosures, and update them both at the same time, every time.

Actually, I'd go so far as to say that Canon's biggest problem is that they're afraid to let their low-end products cannibalize their high-end gear, so they artificially limit the features of their low-end products.  If they stopped doing that, they would lose sales of their high-end gear, because there would be less reason for people to spend twelve grand on a 1D-C, but on the other hand, the only reason those cost twelve grand is that so few people buy them, so they're distributing R&D costs over a tiny niche market.  If they had only one unified 1D/5D model, they could almost certainly make just as much money selling it at less than the 5D's price, and still significantly increase their rate of updates.

scottburgess

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2014, 02:19:43 AM »
The big difference is economies of scale.  It doesn't take much R&D to release a new cereal flavor, at least when compared with designing a new camera.  And the sales are many orders of magnitude higher for the cereal, so it covers the R&D costs very quickly.
By the numbers, it looks like Canon shipped around 15 million SLR bodies over the last two years.  And 5Diii's are a top selling model--look at the best sellers on Amazon.  There's plenty of scale.  Again, research costs are not borne by individual camera models but across all their SLRs.  Development costs and setting up the manufacturing line are not that costly on a per unit basis.
In the electronics industry, where the R&D costs are high and the sales volume is low, that approach leads to John Sculley's Apple, where there were hundreds of products differentiated only in tiny ways, leading to consumer confusion, poor sales, and massive financial bleeding.  No surprise that the person who screwed up Apple so badly came from a company (PepsiCo) that made just the sorts of products you're talking about.
Sculley's sin was turning away from the culture of innovation at Apple, alienating the star developers and driving many out.  He is still recognized today as a marketing guru, and everyone agrees his Pepsi-style sales campaigns helped build the Mac market--though I would agree that the sales structure for Macs during his CEO tenure was controversial.  He just didn't understand how the tech world differed from standard products and wasn't great as the CEO of a technology company.  What Jobs did to turn the company around was to return to an engineer-centric culture where ideas and highly-refined products mattered.  Does Apple have too many products today?  Not really, but their culture of refined technology is again weakening.
The "introduce in low-end hardware and let it bubble up" excuse just doesn't match reality.  Well, it does, but only over nearly geologic time scales.  Canon first tried GPS on consumer bodies back in 2011, and they were incredibly late to the party even then, having been preceded by dozens of other cameras dating back as far as 2007.  The fact that it still isn't built-in across the board in their pro line in 2014—some seven years after you could get cheap point-and-shoot cameras with built-in GPS—means that Canon's rate of DSLR upgrades can only be described as "glacial".
An alternative and arguably more realistic interpretation is that Canon is savvy enough in their marketing research to know what the public will pay for the GPS feature.  Just because you want it doesn't mean that there is sufficient demand at this time to put GPS in every product.  GPS also has to navigate difficult regulatory structures which reduce its value in a product.
And part of the reason for that slow upgrade speed is that they have to cover their R&D costs before they introduce a new model.  The more models they sell (to what is mostly a fixed-size market, give or take), the longer each model has to be on the market before they can upgrade it again.  Right now, there are three pro bodies by my count—the 1D-X, the 1D-C, and the 5D Mark III.  That's an insane amount of R&D for devices that don't sell very many units.  And you can bet the cost difference in the hardware among those three is orders of magnitude less than the price difference.  So Canon could drastically reduce their R&D costs by folding them into one.  Or, if you'd rather have two different body sizes, use the same guts in different enclosures, and update them both at the same time, every time.
Again, most of the expensive parts are shared technology.  Canon cannot stop designing processors, sensors, AF technology, etc... just because they package them into fewer models.  Pricing is done in part based on expected sales and market profile, as you note in your next paragraph, which undermines your argument here.  The paper and layout of a college textbook doesn't differ much from a similar mass-market book, but the low unit sales establish the higher price.  Canon moved into the security camera market precisely because it means selling still more camera models off of largely the same technology base (and it may become a larger market, too). 

And again, this ignores the economics of creating additional product lines when your company is in a dominant position.  Canon can leverage its technology to increase market share via additional products; it is not clear yet how many models the market can bear (though with the recent addition of yet another, the Rebel SL1, Canon clearly believes the limit hasn't been reached based on their sales data).  Essentially your argument boils down to that you are more of a marketing genius than those stupid folks at Canon, Colgate, Campbell's, and so on.  I haven't seen any evidence to support this.  Your precise argument was that "There really is no good reason to have two consumer crop body lines that are barely differentiated."  I have clearly explained reasons why, with numerous examples from contemporary companies (including the lens market), yet you keep insisting this is wrong based on your superior knowledge of Canon's R&D costs and unit sales.  I doubt this is true.  If you do know, then state clearly what the R&D costs and unit sales are for individual Canon camera lines.
Actually, I'd go so far as to say that Canon's biggest problem is that they're afraid to let their low-end products cannibalize their high-end gear, so they artificially limit the features of their low-end products.  If they stopped doing that, they would lose sales of their high-end gear, because there would be less reason for people to spend twelve grand on a 1D-C, but on the other hand, the only reason those cost twelve grand is that so few people buy them, so they're distributing R&D costs over a tiny niche market. 
They do have to pay for staying ahead technologically, so creating high end product lines makes sense.  Again, this just fails to understand how markets work.  Of course Canon wants higher end products--they have much higher profit margins.  So does a Gucci handbag relative to one from Ross's.  By your reckoning, Canon should give up the higher profit margins that some folks will pay per camera in order to turn out pro cameras with 7D pricing.  But you failed to explain why a company should walk away from substantial profits.  Canon might sell a few more camera bodies at first, but Canon's long term profitability would be hurt.

Sigma wants to produce high end lenses for the same basic reason Canon has high end bodies.  Leica makes a living in a boutique niche market and profits at Leica have done well under the new management.  Nikon has 7 active SLR models, with three of those high end.  Funny how everyone must be wrong...

Your argument might make better sense if every major maker had a sub-$2k body that did what a 5Diii did.  They don't.  But if you think the grass is so much greener elsewhere and that Canon has doomed itself by producing a wide product line, reason dictates you should sell your Canon gear while you can still get a decent price on it and go.  I'm staying in part because I am betting Canon will probably be the market leader for years--and I put my money where my mouth is.

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2014, 06:39:21 AM »
The big difference is economies of scale.  It doesn't take much R&D to release a new cereal flavor, at least when compared with designing a new camera.  And the sales are many orders of magnitude higher for the cereal, so it covers the R&D costs very quickly.
By the numbers, it looks like Canon shipped around 15 million SLR bodies over the last two years.  And 5Diii's are a top selling model--look at the best sellers on Amazon.  There's plenty of scale.  Again, research costs are not borne by individual camera models but across all their SLRs.  Development costs and setting up the manufacturing line are not that costly on a per unit basis.
In the electronics industry, where the R&D costs are high and the sales volume is low, that approach leads to John Sculley's Apple, where there were hundreds of products differentiated only in tiny ways, leading to consumer confusion, poor sales, and massive financial bleeding.  No surprise that the person who screwed up Apple so badly came from a company (PepsiCo) that made just the sorts of products you're talking about.
Sculley's sin was turning away from the culture of innovation at Apple, alienating the star developers and driving many out.  He is still recognized today as a marketing guru, and everyone agrees his Pepsi-style sales campaigns helped build the Mac market--though I would agree that the sales structure for Macs during his CEO tenure was controversial.  He just didn't understand how the tech world differed from standard products and wasn't great as the CEO of a technology company.  What Jobs did to turn the company around was to return to an engineer-centric culture where ideas and highly-refined products mattered.  Does Apple have too many products today?  Not really, but their culture of refined technology is again weakening.
The "introduce in low-end hardware and let it bubble up" excuse just doesn't match reality.  Well, it does, but only over nearly geologic time scales.  Canon first tried GPS on consumer bodies back in 2011, and they were incredibly late to the party even then, having been preceded by dozens of other cameras dating back as far as 2007.  The fact that it still isn't built-in across the board in their pro line in 2014—some seven years after you could get cheap point-and-shoot cameras with built-in GPS—means that Canon's rate of DSLR upgrades can only be described as "glacial".
An alternative and arguably more realistic interpretation is that Canon is savvy enough in their marketing research to know what the public will pay for the GPS feature.  Just because you want it doesn't mean that there is sufficient demand at this time to put GPS in every product.  GPS also has to navigate difficult regulatory structures which reduce its value in a product.
And part of the reason for that slow upgrade speed is that they have to cover their R&D costs before they introduce a new model.  The more models they sell (to what is mostly a fixed-size market, give or take), the longer each model has to be on the market before they can upgrade it again.  Right now, there are three pro bodies by my count—the 1D-X, the 1D-C, and the 5D Mark III.  That's an insane amount of R&D for devices that don't sell very many units.  And you can bet the cost difference in the hardware among those three is orders of magnitude less than the price difference.  So Canon could drastically reduce their R&D costs by folding them into one.  Or, if you'd rather have two different body sizes, use the same guts in different enclosures, and update them both at the same time, every time.
Again, most of the expensive parts are shared technology.  Canon cannot stop designing processors, sensors, AF technology, etc... just because they package them into fewer models.  Pricing is done in part based on expected sales and market profile, as you note in your next paragraph, which undermines your argument here.  The paper and layout of a college textbook doesn't differ much from a similar mass-market book, but the low unit sales establish the higher price.  Canon moved into the security camera market precisely because it means selling still more camera models off of largely the same technology base (and it may become a larger market, too). 

And again, this ignores the economics of creating additional product lines when your company is in a dominant position.  Canon can leverage its technology to increase market share via additional products; it is not clear yet how many models the market can bear (though with the recent addition of yet another, the Rebel SL1, Canon clearly believes the limit hasn't been reached based on their sales data).  Essentially your argument boils down to that you are more of a marketing genius than those stupid folks at Canon, Colgate, Campbell's, and so on.  I haven't seen any evidence to support this.  Your precise argument was that "There really is no good reason to have two consumer crop body lines that are barely differentiated."  I have clearly explained reasons why, with numerous examples from contemporary companies (including the lens market), yet you keep insisting this is wrong based on your superior knowledge of Canon's R&D costs and unit sales.  I doubt this is true.  If you do know, then state clearly what the R&D costs and unit sales are for individual Canon camera lines.
Actually, I'd go so far as to say that Canon's biggest problem is that they're afraid to let their low-end products cannibalize their high-end gear, so they artificially limit the features of their low-end products.  If they stopped doing that, they would lose sales of their high-end gear, because there would be less reason for people to spend twelve grand on a 1D-C, but on the other hand, the only reason those cost twelve grand is that so few people buy them, so they're distributing R&D costs over a tiny niche market. 
They do have to pay for staying ahead technologically, so creating high end product lines makes sense.  Again, this just fails to understand how markets work.  Of course Canon wants higher end products--they have much higher profit margins.  So does a Gucci handbag relative to one from Ross's.  By your reckoning, Canon should give up the higher profit margins that some folks will pay per camera in order to turn out pro cameras with 7D pricing.  But you failed to explain why a company should walk away from substantial profits.  Canon might sell a few more camera bodies at first, but Canon's long term profitability would be hurt.

Sigma wants to produce high end lenses for the same basic reason Canon has high end bodies.  Leica makes a living in a boutique niche market and profits at Leica have done well under the new management.  Nikon has 7 active SLR models, with three of those high end.  Funny how everyone must be wrong...

Your argument might make better sense if every major maker had a sub-$2k body that did what a 5Diii did.  They don't.  But if you think the grass is so much greener elsewhere and that Canon has doomed itself by producing a wide product line, reason dictates you should sell your Canon gear while you can still get a decent price on it and go.  I'm staying in part because I am betting Canon will probably be the market leader for years--and I put my money where my mouth is.
Yes, but your whole argument falls apart in the light of one simple fact......

We people in the forum are so smart that we can can make a far better decision than Canon can, even though it is based on biased and partial information.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2014, 07:34:43 AM »
We people in the forum are so smart that we can can make a far better decision than Canon can, even though it is based on biased and partial information.

Indeed.  "We" decided long ago that Canon must address their poor sensor IQ.

 ;D

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2014, 07:40:43 PM »
We people in the forum are so smart that we can can make a far better decision than Canon can, even though it is based on biased and partial information.

Indeed.  "We" decided long ago that Canon must address their poor sensor IQ.

 ;D

Oh screw that.  I want a camera that fixes my lousy compositions!  :D

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2014, 07:40:43 PM »

slclick

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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2014, 07:56:06 PM »
We people in the forum are so smart that we can can make a far better decision than Canon can, even though it is based on biased and partial information.

Indeed.  "We" decided long ago that Canon must address their poor sensor IQ.

 ;D
I need a spirit level in my forehead

Oh screw that.  I want a camera that fixes my lousy compositions!  :D
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Re: Canon DSLR Announcement in March? [CR1]
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2014, 07:56:06 PM »