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    BTW, I think a smaller company like Blackmagic Design or ARRI have a much better chance of survival than the Japanese giants. Just an opinion.

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      Originally posted by DLD View Post
      BTW, I think a smaller company like Blackmagic Design or ARRI have a much better chance of survival than the Japanese giants. Just an opinion.
      Because they don't appear to cripple, but rather serve their client base.

      BTW, I still think there is a demand for standalone cameras, not as huge as once was, but still there. One reason is ergonomics. Form factor is relevant. Unless we travel far into the future and acquire NorBro's magic cubes.

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        There is definitely a demand now and probably will be for another century, but these kind of products could disappear like other things in our lives if enough time passes with newer humans using them less or using something else.

        There could be a day in which picking up a Panasonic mirrorless would be similar to picking up a Bolex 16mm right now. Most people kind of don't know what a Bolex is and definitely don't know how to use it unless they lived through the time or were trained.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Basically...year 2210:

        "What's this, Bob?"

        "Oh, that was my great grandfather's. I think it's a camera."

        "Really? This thing? Who's Panasonic?"

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          One thing I miss is typing on a BlackBerry phone...I can't be the only one, can I?

          [They are actually releasing a new one, believe it or not, ha.]

          Comment


            Panasonic will be around - well, let's say, should be around - as they're moving into the electric cars and batteries and, more importantly, adopting an American style management structure. Whether the company will hold onto their camera manufacturing is questionable and I'd lean toward "no". Much like Samsung, they're too big to worry about small things. If one gives them 8% of the $4,000,000,000 (is that enough zeroes?) global revenues, then the Lumix is bringing in a little over $300M. That's small fries for a $70B company, with the fry being one half of one percent.

            As to the demand for stand-alone cameras, it's around 15M units, IIRC - 5 for the ILC's and 10 for the P&S. Perhaps, as importantly, the global market penetration for the stand-alone cameras is around 20%. My take is that, within 5-7 years, it'll be mostly pros with the ILC's; the rest will be more than happy with their smartphones.

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              Originally posted by stoneinapond View Post

              My question is, will companies at some point stop making cameras altogether?
              IMO, this only happens if a phone camera becomes better than a real camera, and even the pros are only using phones. And I think the only way that would happen is if the computational/algorithmic side of the processing became so good and so time-saving that it gave a decisive edge to the computer company (Apple) making phones. But pros will usually want to do their own processing anyway... My guess is a firm no.
              www.VideoAbe.com

              "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

              Comment


                Originally posted by DLD View Post
                And, more importantly, unless one pixel peeps, the quality of stills is already beyond the "good enough" threshold.
                The issue here IMO is that most smartphone photographers are taking easy shots. Posed/staged/repeatable. I'm sure there are exceptions. But the reason I keep comparing real cameras to race cars and sports cars is because we require a degree of handling/control/speed/performance that you don't require of a daily driver. For daily driver tasks, all the extra power of a race car is wasted.
                www.VideoAbe.com

                "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

                Comment


                  Originally posted by NorBro View Post
                  There is definitely a demand now and probably will be for another century, but these kind of products could disappear like other things in our lives if enough time passes with newer humans using them less or using something else.

                  There could be a day in which picking up a Panasonic mirrorless would be similar to picking up a Bolex 16mm right now. Most people kind of don't know what a Bolex is and definitely don't know how to use it unless they lived through the time or were trained.
                  But that's almost an upside from the POV of a freelancer. I've met many wedding photographers who advertise on the basis that they shoot with film. (Typically they bring along a medium format or 35MM camera and do about 25% of the shooting on it.) The fact that their clients don't know how to use it is almost a good thing.

                  Or look at the propensity of clients and laymen to judge the quality of a camera by its size. One guy shows up with a phone and one guy shows up with a bazooka. That's curb appeal
                  www.VideoAbe.com

                  "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

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                    Most smartphone "photographers" don't care about the "pro quality", as long as they got something reasonable into the frame.

                    Side story - on Facebook, I click on the various ads that claim something like "20 greatest photographs of Marylin Monroe" or "Studio 54 in its glory". It'll be too difficult to dismiss them as "click bait" because some shots are quite well known, while others are well taken, at least from a photography buff POV. And some, such as "the most hilarious photos taken at Walmart" are actually quite hilarious. And quite a few are series of photos taken by the top photographers of the era, from Slim Aarons to Barry Feinstein and so on. And when one looks at those taken by the top pros, it's pretty easy to pick up on the idea of the proper/preferred angles, the composition within the frame, etc. And sometimes I'll make a copy of these shots and post them on the various groups' pages. The same pages where people with artistic inclinations post their own artwork and personal photos, with most photos being taken on smartphones. And where everything that one could have learned from the photography masters gets tossed out of the window.

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                      Meanwhile Leica just announced a $9,000 M11 Rangefinder.....

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by ahalpert View Post

                        But that's almost an upside from the POV of a freelancer. I've met many wedding photographers who advertise on the basis that they shoot with film. (Typically they bring along a medium format or 35MM camera and do about 25% of the shooting on it.) The fact that their clients don't know how to use it is almost a good thing.

                        Or look at the propensity of clients and laymen to judge the quality of a camera by its size. One guy shows up with a phone and one guy shows up with a bazooka. That's curb appeal
                        It's a fun gimmick and makes great sense to try and separate yourself with something unique, but I don't know if anyone really cares.

                        The size of the camera does impress, and I actually just said that in another thread yesterday, but that's only for now because people who lived through that are still alive.

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                          The couples who hire the film photogs seem to be into it. Periodically you also have gen z celebs popularizing throwbacks to film photography, vinyl records, Camus' The Stranger... as long as there is a theory of superiority (deserved, in my opinion), there is the potential for revival. Wet plate still bounces around the same way, but it's far more difficult and costly to do

                          Re:camera size - come on, man. Size comparison/bias is primal
                          www.VideoAbe.com

                          "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

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                            It's good on them for spending the energy and doing it (I don't foresee any revival happening but it's cool).

                            ___

                            It is primal, for sure, but not always with technology, electronics; things shrink and change, and people forget about yesteryear sizes, gadgets.

                            If enough time passes for new people to live lives without seeing big cameras being used then they won't have formed a mental image that a bigger camera is a better camera.

                            But if that doesn't happen then it's never going to change and bigger will always be better.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by stoneinapond View Post
                              Meanwhile Leica just announced a $9,000 M11 Rangefinder.....
                              Another company that is likely to survive. Leitz is there for its lenses. Electronics is a nice side business for the top pros and people with $100,000 (how many zeroes is that?) cars.

                              Comment


                                5a95d32caae60519008b45d8?width=1136&format=jpeg.jpg

                                When I look at a chart like this all I really care about is the light blue part which are the higher end cameras. Look at how sad the sales were in 2003. This reflects my own experience when I went to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Very few people I went to school with had their own cameras. They were there to use the gear at the school. This was in 1997. Myself and one other film student had our own cameras. Mine was crappy and his was a Sony 3 chip DV camera that was the envy of all of us. The next year I bought a Canon XL1 and a lot of classmates used my camera so they didn't have to rent gear from the school.

                                Some of the photography students had their own cameras that shot stills only.

                                Clearly the dark blue section saw a spike and then a dip again. To me that matches with the industry at the time. 2009 is when the 7D and GH1 came out. Both of which completely changed how people could shoot video. Before that there was the 5D but it wasn't as affordable. The couple of years before that is when we finally started to see affordable Canon camcorders able to shoot 24p video. Before that it was the higher end HDV cameras capable of that and out of reach of budding film makers. 24p started the spark of indie film making and the 7D, GH1 and similar cameras exploded it. It was also around that time that people started actually finding a use for video cameras. Americas Funniest Home Video and eventually YouTube. Before that video cameras were something families occasionally used for vacations and sports. They never did much with the video after shooting it. Most people did not buy editing systems and learn hoe to edit video. They hooked the camera up to their TV and sometimes watched the video. Most had no way to share the video with others.

                                Online video changed that and that helped the spike of bottom feeder cameras. Then yes Smartphones started to kill that market almost as fast as it started.

                                Realistically however it just returned back to where it was before. I know that goes against the mantra of corporate greed but we really have to look at charts like this from multiple perspectives and not just the sky is falling. DSLR sales are much better than they were a few decades ago. The bottom feeder camera sales are down but those were the crappy $100 and $200 point and shoot cameras and little camcorders. I say good riddance to those cameras. They had zero use for us pros and without a doubt Smartphones have replaced the occasional use of those type of cameras. None of us will miss that market at all. Manufacturers should be happy to not have to produce such garbage to suck in a few dollars of profit per unit.

                                Which brings up another point. This chart is about units shipped and not profit of each company. Selling a dozen or more bottom feeder cameras to make up the profit margin of a pro camera really skews what this chart really means.

                                We also have to factor in another massive cultural shift that started around 2012. Cinema cameras that were affordable. A lot of those that jump started the massive DSLR film making era got a taste of cinematic and wanted more. When BMD came out wit their first cinema camera in 2012 the shift started slowly but kept picking up speed. Eventually RED, ARRI, BMD and other independent cinema camera companies took away a good portion of those that made the DSLR era a big hit. I know A lot of GH5 users that switched to a P4K and will likely never look back. For a lot of film makers cinema cameras is where they always wanted to be. The 24p camcorders and DSLRS were the stepping stones to get there. Cinema cameras are here to stay and we have forever lost a chunk of that market to those cameras. Has nothing to do with smartphones but those moving to better options.

                                The thing with this chart is I don't think it factors in BMD and others. I don't think it includes RED or ARRI either. Thats a pretty good chunk of the market to ignore. Especially as more of us move to cinema cameras. They don't paint a full picture at all and can be interpreted in a very skewed way.

                                I see five video markets going forward.

                                1. Bottom feeders - that market is dead. Give up and move on. Smartphones won here and the rightly should. Being able to always have a camera in our pocket and instantly share on social media will mean 100000x more value than anything else.

                                2. Video producers - The ones that were using the 3 chip 1/3" and 1/2" video cameras to produce real life video like seminars, sports, weddings, corporate video and so forth. They will always be around. Some moved to DSLRs and found a way to make them work. They will likely never move to cinema cameras.

                                3. Broadcast - The big expensive cameras typically made by either Sony or Panasonic. The ones used for pro sports, TV studio productions and so forth. Should Sony be the only player in the game if Panasonic gives up? Will the BMD broadcast cameras finally take off in this market? We shall see. Thing about this market is it doesn't invest very often. TV stations would buy cameras and use them for many years. They were expensive but didn't sell every year.

                                4. Film makers - Many have moved on to cinema cameras where they should be. The Traditional camera companies are going to have to do a lot more to compete with cinema cameras. Like a true raw cinema camera with accurate AF and IBIS would actually appeal to many over the BMD cameras. Panasonic is getting closer but still not 100% there. They try too hard to appeal to a hybrid market and perhaps that is flawed now. Forget external raw and record raw directly to a SSD like BMD does. Panasonic can learn from why the P4k killed the GH5S. Give film makers what they want and more.

                                5. The Hybrids - People like me that shoot pro stills and pro video. Part of why hybrids also saw some success. Some photographers finally started dipping into video production and some video producers started dipping into photography. Camcorders, broadcast and cinema will never make sense here.

                                I think the #2, #3, #5 and #5 are big enough for Panasonic to make affordable cameras that work for a lot of different users. #5 is a bit tricky because photographers do want more MP and sensitivity at the same time. M43 will never really be great at doing both together. But they can totally nail #2, $3 and #4 and still appeal to some #5's. Some nature photographers do actually prefer m43 for the extra reach and compact telephoto lenses. Thats where OM sees a lot of its success since very few buy it for video.
                                Last edited by Thomas Smet; 01-13-2022, 09:40 AM.

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