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Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes video

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by CSBC, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. CSBC

    CSBC RIP (News Editor)

  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    I think it is wrong to see a sort of war between the single lens reflex camera and the interchangeable lens non reflex camera.
    A similar war took place in the late 50's between the then popular rangefinder camera and the new reflex cameras... some of each had interchangeable lenses and some fixed lenses... there was also a similar battle going on between the twin lens reflex and the medium format single lens cameras. though this was far less decisive.

    We all have seen, that except for niche markets, the SLR won both battles for market share,as well as for the professional and serious amateur market.

    Even though single lens camera became dominated by focal plane shutters and their necessarily limited flash synchronisation speeds. Only a few professional cameras hung on to the between lens shutters, with their greater adaptability in this area.

    SLR cameras won because of their greater choice of lenses and their ease of adaptability for special purposes.

    To day there is a choice of how such a versatile camera can show the image in the viewfinder. That choice is between the Mirror reflex and the unlinked display screen.
    The mirror now holds no aces but hangs on to a a few preferences.
    It has lost the quality of the view in poor light battle.
    It is on the cusp of losing the speed of focus and predictive follow focus.
    It has lost the battle for the separation of viewing and control with other devices.

    The view finder/ focussing issue is the only remaining separation between the SLR and compact styles of camera. Every other issue has reached parity as the same technology is now universal.

    It seems only Fuji has seen the advantage of having a single lens mount, shared between all of its interchangeable lens cameras, what ever their outward form, rangefinder or reflex style.

    Perhaps the real distinction is between "Analogue Mechanical view finder" and "Digitally Enhanced View finder"
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  3. Scphoto

    Scphoto Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    Still trying to see what benefit a CSC would have over my Eos 6D. They are a little smaller, but not pocketable so why bother if you have a DSLR.

    I'm happy to be enlightened to the benefits.......
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    And I think your assessment is also wrong. EVFs are unusable for me, and I'm sure I'm not alone; they may get to the point where they don't make me feel physically sick, but none of them are there yet. And me aside, I've yet to see any serious commentator claim that any EvF can actually match a reflex finder for quality.

    As to your Fuji point, what have Olympus and Panasonic been doing for some time?

    Oh, and historically, the battle between rangefinders and SLRs was really in the 60s.

    I think the truth is not what you have said, nor the claim from some industry "experts" that it's simply down to consumers not getting the message (which smacks of the comment that politicians make before losing an election that it's not their policies that are unpopular, they're simply not getting the message across); no, people are actually buying what makes sense for them - a camera that will do the job at a price they're prepared to pay. CSCs simply offer no advantages over a DSLR at the same price point, other than being smaller; in fact they're generally inferior in terms of image quality, AF speed and everything except size. No wonder people aren't buying them!
  5. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    I only bought CSC's as they were an inexpensive way of extending my hobby (All the CSC's I've purchased have been on offers, sometimes very special offers).
    I use my DSLR's on manual ISO but all the CSCs are left on auto-ISO. If I want to be serious about a photo, it's a DSLR every time.

    The point in the article about different manufatcurers using different terminology to refer to their CSC products must surely also work against CSC's. If you are unfamiliar, you are going to walk into a shop and ask for a what? (CSC, MILC, compact thingy with a lens that comes off) .. or a DSLR.
  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    Yup we disagree... However that was my opinion too a couple of years ago. They not only match but surpass a mirror for quality in very poor light.

    They use both 4/3 and micro 4/3 mounts. with two ranges of lens.

    It started in the 50's in the circles I moved in.

    People will vote with their feet when the price advantage and bulk and weight problem becomes more obvious to them. though it will take some time for the mirror systems to loses their exclusive "professional " image.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  7. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    I am not really surprised that sales of CSCs have fallen dramatically. IMHO they are trying to be "compact" but, because of the size of their lenses (with the exception of the 17mm/14mm fixed focal length lenses) they are too big, which makes them cumbersome on a small body, especially when you get into the realm of telephotos.

    As stated in other threads, I have owned two CSCs for a short time, both bought as "end-of-lines" at reasonable prices. Both cameras, an Olympus E-PL3 and Panasonic GF3, were awkward to hold and use. The Olympus I particularly didn't like because I had to extend the lens each time I switched the camera on, which slowed down its operation. What I missed most, having used SLRs extensively over the years, was the lack of an eye-level viewfinder; I found it almost impossible to hold the cameras still, even with the standard 14-42mm zoom supplied as standard. God knows what it would have been like with the 40-150mm attached!

    The other problem with CSCs is the price. Who in their right mind is going to spend £500-1000 on a CSC when they can get a more usable SLR for those prices. IMHO, the only way CSCs are going to sell is if they compete on price with fixed lens compact cameras, having a price range of £250-£350 including a lens. I also believe that most CSC buyers never buy additional lenses or accessories, as they are much too expensive; look at the prices of accessory viewfinders, essential to get the SLR experience with a CSC.

    The whole exercise, to me, is utterly ridiculous. What I believe photographers wishing for smaller cameras really want is a fixed lens compact with a decent sized sensor. After all, 35mm film compacts were reasonably sized and had a full frame "sensor"; the manufacturer who brings a large-sensored 5x zoom compact to the market at a reasonable price, say £250-£350 will make a mint.

    I won't hold my breath, though.......
  8. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    For me, a small pocketable compact has always complemented a two (or more) SLR body film outfit, hence: OM1 + OM2n + XA. In the digital era, as soon as I had the E-1 (and still only the one lens), a small-ish digi-compact in the form of a Panasonic LX2 was added to the outfit. If the SLR camera kit was not being carried, I would always try to ensure I had the compact with me. On occasions, I would carry both or have them in the car with me.

    In both eras, if you will, there was no competition from a cell phone with a camera.

    That has now changed and markedly so. In that new situation, a normal, sane, intelligent person would expect manufacturers to slow up on the frantic introduction of new compact models and to concentrate on refining existing ones, only adding types of digi-compact that complemented the existing range such as the Canon A-series viewfinder models into that particular maker's portfolio.

    That hasn't been the case. With the 'phone competition writing not just on the wall but on the floor & ceiling, too, the camera makers keep bringing out new digi-compacts and offering a bewildering number of alphanumerics, features & prices to any consumer brave enough to try & decode what's on offer. I think that profusion & confusion is also a deterrent to sales.

    Sadly, the camera makers, far from learning lessons from it, now seem to be applying the same destructive tendencies to their CSCs.
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    Untrue, at least for me; noise makes them utterly unusable.

    No they don't - they used to use 4/3, but both OM-D and Pen, and G and GF/GX cameras all use MFT, despite their differing shapes. Sony have done something similar with the E mount, too, making cameras of different body styles for that mount, although retaining the A mount as well. Pentax use the K mount for both a CSC and their DSLRs, for that matter; there's substantially LESS difference between the X mount cameras than Pentax, as they are all CSCs of one shape or another, but there's certainly nothing new in what Fuji are doing - in fact they're the last to do it of those currently offering more than one style of CSC.

    But it didn't really get serious until the 60s.



    I still believe that CSCs will continue to be a fairly popular niche (and enjoy using a couple myself, but without a dreadful EVF), but that rumours of the death of the DSLR are as exagerated as they are ill-informed.
  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    If you want an example of how not to design & build & extend (CSC) camera systems, you only have to look at Fuji. :rolleyes:
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    For the vast majority of users sensor size is an uninteresting detail.
    The size of picture they will ever make, can be encompassed by just about any size sensor.

    My little X20 has a fairly small sensor, but in realistic terms is "Good enough"
    perhaps a 1" sensor would be "better", but at the expense of a much larger lens for a similar specification. A 4/3 would be an even greater compromise.

    It is all about compromise..... and where you want to draw your own line, or lines.
    In film work I drew the line at 5X7 cut film for studio work; and 6x6 for hand cameras. For happy snaps 35mm was perfect.
    Now I am retired anything that can produce an excellent A4 is just about right. I no longer see full frame or larger, as desirable.

    I am sure Jo public is just plain confused.

    I rather like the Fuji X series cameras and lenses, and the new XT1 seems to tick most of my boxes. However I would like to see the same advances included in the Xpro1 replacement, as I prefer the rangefinder handling and style.

    I could then be rid of my canon DSLR.
  12. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    Agreed. Especially when few, if any, will make a print of any size, viewing & exhibiting most of their output electronically.

    On your last point in my edit of your post, I wonder whether there could be a business school thesis for a Masters degree in that. I learnt when doing a few weddings as an amateur/early pro that if I gave the couple over a hundred proofs, the album and print order took much longer to be made by them. Eventually I realised that for a 30 shot album, a proof selection of about 50 was just right. If they wanted a larger album I could scale up what I offered them but it was by no means proportional.

    Having a range of ten digi-compacts, various Bridge cameras, three different current CSCs with various permutations of lenses plus the recently discontinued models available in a dealership must leave the potential customer completely baffled when they go in and say, "My photographers friend says Olympus always make very good cameras - I'm thinking about a new camera."

    More so when, after half an hour of looking & talking, the salesman says "Have you thought about a Canon or Fuji or Panasonic at all?"
  13. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    A very interesting article, appreciated the video, thanks AP it feels like a lot of work went in to this one :) (not that a lot of work doesn't usually go into AP ;))
  14. hard_as_snails

    hard_as_snails New Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    The first nine months of 2013 were tough for the photo sector. This was then exacerbated by an even more negative Q4, where there was a 29% decline in value compared to Q4 2012.
    Superzoom cameras (fixed lens cameras) with more that 10x optical zoom) and bridge cameras declined by 45% and 38% respectively in value year on year.
    As for changeable lens, CSC (compact system cameras) fell by 35% in value, whereas DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras) declining by 28% in value compared to Q4 2013."*

    so DSLRs fell by 28% in value
    and CSCs fell by 35% in value
    and bridge cameras fell by 38% in value
    and superzoom compacts fell by 45% in value

    GfK aand Panasonic also confirmed that CSCs sales have risen in 2014
  15. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    wot already in 7 weeks....:confused:
  16. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    I think that publishing "value" figures as opposed to "numbers of units" can be misleading. Cameras, as with all electronic goods, fall in value from the initial recommended price to the normal price after the item has been on the market for a few months. Are the "number of units" figures available?
  17. filmlover

    filmlover Well-Known Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    Too right the public is confused...In a well established photo store recently, a young woman came in, somewhat disillousioned her well known brand digi compact wasn't working. She mentioned she'd had it about 9 months. She was informed the cost of repair would exceed the value of the camera.
    My feeling that digital was money poured down a bottomless pit, was reinforced. Some time ago I picked up, secondhand in mint condition a delightfully compact Minolta Hi-Matic F. ...for £25.!..A rangefinder film camera from the 1970's, and still working perfectly, with a superb fixed 38mm f2.7 Minolta Rokkor lens. ..How many of today's digi's will still be working in 40 years time??......Of course with a film camera, the technology is all in your head and takes some learning, but your brain is free, you just have to excercise it.
    A well known dealer told me that they were experiencing a gradual rise in demand for s/h film cameras, and some makes were becoming difficult to obtain. Can it be, like the aforementioned disillousioned lady, some photographers are starting to realise fim cameras offer real value and longevity, against the expense and built in obsolesence of digital?
  18. BOB-R

    BOB-R Member

    Re: Compact system camera sales crash: Special report includes v

    Having always used Nikon SLR's (film & digital), I kidded myself that I would benefit by going over to a CSC, mostly encouraged by the impressive review of the Fuji X-E1 in AP, and the promise of a much smaller and more convenient camera to carry about. Having purchased the X-E1, I found that it did indeed take superb quality images, which more than satisfied my needs. However it didn't really prove to be much easier to carry, being quite fiddly to handle, with an on/off switch that was far too easy to accidentally switch to "on", and although I liked the retro design and build quality, I found it rather a backward step as far as intuitive operating was concerned.

    With my previous Nikon D7000, I had a camera that was just about capable of any photographic requirement, with a vast choice of lenses and accessories. This gave me a very satisfying feeling of confidence, but I simply didn't find this to be the case with the CSC. Focussing was slower, limited choice of expensive lenses, and still not a compact camera, so I've gone back to a D7100, and my only regret is the cost of the exercise! The fact is, if you're serious about photography, you have to be prepared to carry the kit about.

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