I was out in Dingle yesterday - one of the top tourist spots in Ireland (had a photo job for a guest house). Dingle is crawling with tourists most of the year, even more so in summer.
A large % of them are American, as this seems to be one of their top locations to visit.
Wandering through the town, for some time there are some clear patterns being revealed.
A: 95% of people are not using cameras anymore - at all. Most are using their phones. It's not even remotely the same as 10 years ago where you would see lot of people using some kind of camera. These are what I would call the average Joe non enthusiast user, they used to buy 35mm film compacts, and digital compacts/superzooms maybe, some maybe an entry DSLR
B: The few cameras I did see almost all of them are "old". By that I mean Canon 5d (MkI) - yes the golden oldie FF body. A 5dMkII was spotted, few entry Rebels, and the odd Nikon D7000, and a D300. There were not that many, of course I didn't see everyone but out of hundreds of people I passed, I would say under 5% were using any kind of a camera. No compacts spotted, one hipster dude was using an A5000. I also saw an A57 in there and no Pentax cameras and very few other makers mostly Canon then Nikon. It's not a scientific test by any means, but it shows how much the market has changed.
My thoughts are simply this, and I did speak to a few people who had the cameras. The resounding response to my question about why they are using xyz is simple. They bought it they want to use it, they like using a camera and don't see a need to "upgrade" bodies/lenses etc. My gear it hardly current, but comparing it to most of what I saw it's quite up to date - many of these cameras were 10 years old and some even older
If you mix in the CIPA figures: (next months figures should be out soon)
I think the industry is in terminal decline. I will also say that mirrorless isn't going to make any difference at all in sales
Someone buys an EOS R, are they doing to ditch their EOS mount lenses and re-buy them on the new mount? I would say that most will not. I'm sure some enthusiasts are buying gear, but there are a lot less of them around.
Also the big financial crunch which happened just before the sales started to drop rapidly. I really do think that the effects of this are present still for many. Price up a new system pick E mount or any other mount on mirrorless. You'd want some serious cash outlay to build even a semi decent system from scratch. You can mix in some third party lenses to ease the pain. But my prediction about many mirrorless users "cheaping out" and using adapters I think happens more often than many assume.
I kept my lens price chart from years ago, adjusted the lens prices to inflation, and estimate most modern mirorless lenses are 30-40% above what they should be, even making some leeway for r&d and new tech etc. In short photography "new gear" has never been more expensive, we have older models which have not dropped in price nearly as much as they used to (my old photo mags reveal the price falls were big even 12 months after release - not happening now)
Grim stuff any way out of this? I think the price hikes only damage the uptake of new gear even more. It's almost a self defeating strategy. Most people just ignore it, the best camera they have with them is their phone. I think 3-4 makers are going to be pushed out of the market over the next 5-10 years. Not enough pie to go around...
If anything longer term mirrorless might hurt makers even more, they can't lock you into their mount as well as they used to
The cameras as such go to the section of professional photographers. And prices naturally rise for this technique, almost manual production is expensive. Without mirror, with mirror - this is all the lot of professionals or very strong photo lovers. I had a similar experience in South Korea two years ago. Even part of the pro. filming was done on the phones! With cameras there were few among thousands of people. Phones Huawei today already have optical zoom with Leiсa lenses, and very advanced built-in software for photo processing (it's one of the reason why they in big trouble). The massive introduction of "zoom" phones will finally kill the consumer camera market.
I think what we see now, is the effects of decline for many years. Particularly last 4-5 years, potential budget ILC buyer who has not bought a camera, is not there to buy a mid or higher level body, or other lenses.
The new optical zoom/processing for low light on latest phones is pretty good, for most people.
There will always be people who want to use cameras, just way less than there were. And the dreaded "good enough" factor comes into play - further reducing demand for new gear. I do think higher prices also lead to losing some of those "maybe" buyers who have some interest. Low demand should mean lower prices, high demand usually translates to higher prices. Don't think you can buck that trend.
What surprised me is just how old the cameras are, I saw out and about. A real lack of newer stuff - no doubt a few area buying, there are not that many of them!
Still if I had a choice between this and a new Z50 (which costs more than the FF camera)
I'd run a mile from the Z mount camera.
This is affordable and probably good enough for most users. For some reason the camera industry thinks they can charge a premium for mirrorless cameras, that cost less to make! £699 is a great price for such a camera. I'd skip APS-C entirely
So nope I wouldn't jump ship and invest in Nikon, when I did have Nikon cameras there were things I liked (leaving the QC issues aside), but the lack of body IS is a huge downside for the type of shooting I do. As I have 4 A mount cameras (plus the film ones and 5d's) I'm not moving to any system, down the road if I need to replace anything prices only heading one way down even more. Still I'm sure a few people grabbed a genuinely affordable FF body, something they need to do more often.
I doubt I'll ever buy another new camera or lens again, and I'll probably pass the Fuji X10 to my mother - days of buying compacts even premium ones are over for me, shame Fuji never ran with that one. I'm def not paying Sony RX prices for a compact
https://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/well-t ... emands-it/
Economies of scale isn't it, the new systems open the door to higher prices on new lenses (a lot higher check out the RF mount 70-200mm F2.8 ), lower production costs on bodies (less parts/quicker assembly).
The problem is how many are going to bite, not with bodies but with mirrorless lenses. Even the Korean stuff isn't cheap anymore, let alone native lens cost. The one fly in the ointment is people re-using lenses with adapters (evidently the Z Mount is the most adaptable for flange distance - you can even fit E Mount lenses to it). Is it too late though? The market seems a lot less interested in cameras than it was even 7-8 years ago. It remains to be seen if Sony throw a bone to A mount users with a much better adapter, I think most would find the 79point AF system to be a reasonable step up. 15 points isn't cutting it esp on full frame.
Post pandemic, whenever that is - will be quite revealing about where things are heading
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