I consistently read two comments on this site that I'm not so sure I agree with.
1) People say that camera companies must upgrade their models every year because consumers want the latest and greatest; and
2) Many of these same folks insist that the average consumer equates more megapixels with better.
I'm just not sure either one is correct and I'd love to see some marketing research to support these viewpoints. My questions: How many average consumers even know what year a particular model of camera is released and what evidence is there that they care? It's not like Canon has ever tagged their products as "Rebels 2000." As long as the camera has features that are competitive with similar models in the store, do consumers really care? Yes, it gives salespeople a selling point, but they would just pivot to another selling point if that were not available. Again, I'm not saying this is not the case, I'm just questioning whether this is backed up by any hard evidence or if it's just internet legend.
Similarly, yes, megapixels are a handy indicator of how "powerful" a camera is. But, if that were the deciding factor, Nikon would never sell another consumer DSLR. Actually, however, my point here is maybe a bit more nuanced, as I wonder at what point camera manufacturers will face blowback from consumers for having "too many megapixels."
We all know that most consumer images today are destined for Facebook or other social media sites. Or, they can end up in a printed souvenir book using one of the many awful, corny graphic designs that are so popular among new parents, couples getting married, etc. etc.
In both cases, the size of the file is fast reaching a point where it can be a detriment to quick uploads for sharing or printing. Many of the photographers on this site have complained about the way large files hog space on their computers. What makes us think that the average consumer doesn't face this problem as well, along with the frustration of uploading large megapixel images.
While many of the users here know to downsize a file for the web, I suspect that many consumers aren't even aware of that option. I just wonder if we won't reach a point where consumers will start to complain because their 24 (or 30, or 40 or 50) megapixel images take forever to load onto Facebook and cause their computer to crash.
Just a few thoughts to encourage people to think a bit outside the box when making assumptions about consumer preferences without any solid research.