- Sep 26, 2021
This might not be what many photography enthusiasts want to hear, but I suspect what Czardoom has stated above is the truth.I think the popularity of the M series - and the continued popularity of the lowest end DSLRs - shows that the camera industry is not driven by innovation and creativity for the vast majority of camera buyers. As so often happens, forum users think they represent the majority of camera buyers. But it is not so, they are a small minority and can't seem to come to grips with that.
I think, quite frankly, for the camera industry to survive in the next 10 to 15 years, they will have to accept the fact that innovation and creativity will reach a point of diminishing returns. We are seeing a spurt of innovation as camera makers are still producing early generations of mirrorless cameras - DSLRs had already reached a point where each new generation was really just a minor upgrade. The same thing will happen to mirrorless. Will more FPS really be a pro rather than a con once you have reached 30 FPS as we are reaching now? DR is already at a point where there have been no really noticeable improvements in 4 or 5 years. Tracking with eye AF has gotten to a point where birders are getting over 90% of shots in focus. Can't get much higher I'm afraid.
Yes, there will always be a segment of buyers who will want the greatest and the latest, but the popularity of the M series and the entry-level DSLRs - despite the dominance of smart phones - seems to tell us that price, ease of use and simplicity of the system or device are still the main selling points. As smart phones continue to improve that may change, but the vast majority of people can not afford - nor will think that it is money well spent, to buy a camera costing more than, let's say, $800, and more lenses that cover the focal range they need. I consider myself to be a serious enthusiast who has made some sales with my photography - and even I would never consider buying a prime lens, for example, when I have all the focal lengths I need covered with my 3 zoom lenses. While I am not an M owner now, when I was, the 11-22mm and the 18-150mm were all I needed. I think most M users would also see no need to buy any more than 2 or maybe 3 lenses. So, why in the world would Canon make more lenses for a system that very few consumers would want? Just to please forum dweller and reviewers and show them the system is "alive?"
It looks like most camera sales are at the lower end of the market. Entry level DSLRs and mirrorless cameras which are popular with beginners, social media fans and vloggers looking for something better than smartphones for photos and video.
A whole lot more people in the past would have simply bought cheap point-and-shoot cameras, which have been displaced to a greater extent by smartphone cameras. That's most likely the explanation for the 90% reduction or whatever the figure is in the camera market.
Professionals are like tradesmen, they usually use the tools of their trade for quite a while, buy new tools when they need them, and upgrade if there is an obvious cost-benefit advantage to their business.
The internet influencers, vloggers and forums may give a false impression of who is driving the market. Passion doesn't equate to actual market numbers necessarily. The enthusiasts worldwide buy expensive gear often, seeking the latest and greatest, but they're a subset of the photography world, which is a subset of the whole population.
From Hobbies & interests in the United States 2021 | Statista - https://www.statista.com/forecasts/997050/hobbies-and-interests-in-the-us it appears that 20% of people surveyed in the US identified photography as their hobby, and it ranks 13th, below gardening, which is 11th in the list.
What percentage of this 20% are using smartphones, entry-level cameras, mid-tier prosumer gear or top-tier professional gear?
Of the portion using mid-tier prosumer gear or top-tier professional gear, what percentage are using Sony, Nikon or Canon?
If we slice the pie each time, to an ever thinner slice, that last Canon slice represents the group that we're a smaller subset of, because not all (probably very few) pro photogs using Canon gear would be on internet forums. If we used Set Theory to represent this as a Venn diagram, I suspect that Canon users across all forums collectively wouldn't represent a large percentage of the market.