Change is a constant in our lives. I’ll be turning 60 next year and in my life I remember two television channels, a milkman delivering to our house with a horse and carriage, rotary phones, flash bulbs for cameras, abacus, slide rulers, etc., etc.
In business and in life you adapt or you become irrelevant. Camera manufacturers like Canon and Nikon, two of the largest in the world are teetering on the brink. It was only ten or twelve years ago that everybody had a camera and or a video camera. Those were two items that almost every family had.
Camera manufacturers are where newspapers were thirteen years ago. The internet was still in it’s infancy. Classified ads were the bread and butter of the papers and they lost one of their largest revenue producers to something that didn’t exist twenty years ago. Websites like Kijiji here in Canada are where people go today to buy or sell items. Why place an expensive ad in a newspaper that almost nobody reads when you can go online for free? Over the last two years I have been selling off all my Canon gear. Not once did I think to put it in the newspaper.
Where does that leave companies like Canon and Nikon? Smartphones are doing to still and video cameras what the internet did to newspapers. In what seems to me to be the ultimate in either stupidity or not listening to their customers Canon for example seems more interested in producing high end video cameras. All of the major manufacturers are losing sight of what their customers want and are losing customers.
When I bought my latest camera body it came with all kinds of stuff that I will never in my lifetime use. That raised the price of the body significantly I would guess. I don’t want the ability to shoot video but I am forced to pay for that feature if I want the body and sensor that comes with it.
The first thing I did when unboxing my new camera body was to crack open the four hundred page manual to figure out how to use only the features that I wanted. All the others will go unused yet I paid for them.
That’s only camera bodies. Lenses are a whole other story.
Samyang is killing Nikon and Canon with their lenses. My $400 lens is better wide open than what Nikon and Canon offer for five times the cost. Sure the build quality is better but I haven’t had any problems with the two Samyangs that I have. They also don’t have auto focus and for me that isn’t a problem. Why don’t Canon or Nikon cater to the growing number of shooters who could care less about auto focus and want to shoot wide open. Zeiss recently released a $4000 lens that is supposedly the best lens of its kind but the difference between that and a lens for a quarter of the cost is not noticeable to most.
Camera manufacturers start listening to your customers. If you don’t you will go the way of newspapers and horse drawn carriages. I want a SIMPLE camera with a great image quality. I want a SIMPLE lens with great image quality. Did you notice what the constant was in those two sentences? Image quality. That’s what it’s all about.