How do you know that the "non-pro, photo-enthusiasts segment of the market" are "the guys who buy by far the largest share of higher-end, high-margin lenses and speedlites." I'm curious is you have any statistics that backs up your claim, or if it's pure speculation. If I interpret your statement correctly, then it sounds like you think that it's hobbyists that purchase expensive L-series lenses and accessories in the greatest quantities? Because photo-enthusiast hobbyists vastly out number working pros by a zillion to one?
Even a tiny fraction of hobbyists buying L lenses would exceed the total number of working pros. The exceptions *might* be the extremely long L primes (400, 600, etc), but even there, there exists a huge number of non-pro nature photographers that use these regularly.
I agree that there is a vast majority of hobbyists compared to working pro's, but how many hobbyists have the budget to spend on such a camera and or L lenses? Unless they have large chunks of disposable income, and or are neuro, then most stick to their budgets (i.e. whatever they can buy at costco/best buy). But if you guys find any data backing your idea up that hobbyiests in large numbers are buying $2000+ cameras and or lenses, or even have $2000+ invested total in camera gear, it would be interesting to see.
no need to back up things that are obvious with statistics. But you are more than welcome to do some digging.
Me, well currently I own Canon gear that cost me a total of exactly Euro (not USD) € 7782,60.
7D, BG-E7, 10-22, 17-55, 60 Macro, 50/1.4, 100/2.0, 70-200/2.8 II, Extender 1.4x II, 2x 430EX II, 580EX II, ST-E2, couple of LP-E6 batteries, Canon remote Control, and some other Canon accessories. I am a pure hobbyist and have earned any money with photography in my life. I regularly meet with other hobbyists and my kit is about middle of the road - there are lots of other amateurs I personally know, who have spent way more money on photo gear than I did. And I know, there are millions of us out there, without being abvle to gibve you an exact number. It does not matter. We definitely outnumber Pros by at least 10.000 to 1.
And a lot of us will switch to Nikon if Canon continues to fuck us up with incremental improvements rather than true innovation. And if Canon thinks, they can stuff their unwanted and unneeded video crap down our throats, they are dead wrong. We do not have the time nor the creative talent or funds to produce "quality video" worthwile watching. And for cheap youtube crap we just use our iPhones like everybody else, rather than a DSLR. It is as simple as that.
We would happily buy a 5D3 at Euro 3200, if the bloody thing had the D800 sensor and electronics in it and an amazing 2012 version of Canon's Eye Control Focus on top. But none of us will shell out 3200 Euro for a 5D3 that is inferior in every way to a Nikon D800 at 2.900 Euro or even to a D600 at Euro 1500 or so. Rest assured, the D600 will come! Nikon will use the opportunity to really win big time market share from this sorry, fat, self-content company Canon has turned into under its bloody geriatric top management.