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These 4 Ingredients Can Stop Alzheimer's?

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MANIFESTO GLEITZEIT 2015

BY STELLY RIESLING

Featured below is another original art work of mine in homage to THE PIONEER OF INVISIBLE ART — PAUL JAISINI. Forget all the copycats that came after him — Master Paul Jaisini was the *FIRST* of a totally original concept and the *BEST*. My favorite thing about him is that he’s a voice, not an echo, which is quite rare.

DISCLAIMER: This is for anyone who is a hater OR wishes to better understand me, what I’m all about, so you can decide whether I’m weird or normal enough for you — a kind of very loose manifesto, rushed and unrevised, full of raw uncut emotion that I don’t like to be evident in my writing as lately I prefer a more professional, formal style, so we can consider this a rough draft of the more polished writing to come when I have extra time. I might return to this text later and clean it up or break it into separate parts. Right now it’s a long-winded hot mess, so if you manage to make any sense of it, BIG PROPS TO YOU. lol …and if you manage to read it ALL, you have my solemn respect!!! in a day when reading has been reduced to just catchy headliners and short captions of images once in a while. The consequence of this one-liner internet culture is non-linear, tunnel thinking, which is baaaaaad.

There lives among us a most enigmatic and charismatic creature named Paul Jaisini who led me into the wonderful world of art, not personally, but through descriptions of his artworks in essays written and published online by his friend, which painted the most fascinating images in my mind. Early on as a kiddo, I experimented with photography, simple point and shoot whatever looked attractive to me. Digital manipulation of my photographs with computer software followed… and somehow I learned useful drawing techniques along the way to combine existing elements with nonexistent ones, which allowed me to elevate the context for my ideas. Later, I started creating my own digital art from scratch for my friends and family as a favorite pastime. They would shower me with praise and repeatedly encouraged me to share my “different” vision with the rest of the world… it took a while and wasn’t easy to overcome the insecurity of not being good enough along with a gripping fear of being harshly criticized, but one day I woman-ed up and started publishing my work on the web, reminding myself that my livelihood didn’t depend on a positive reception.

Paul Jaisini’s role in all this has been to not disgrace myself, even if what I do is just a hobby. And I would never do him and other genius artists the disservice of calling myself a professional because I know I’ll never be as good as any of the GIANTS of pre-modern history. Be the best or be nothing, no middle ground.

People’s jealousy in the past, future and present over my obsessive love of Paul Jaisini, which they are well aware is purely plutonic, has caused them to despise the man and has made many relationships/friendships impossible for me. I refuse to have such people in my life because by harboring any negativity towards Paul, they unknowingly feel that way about me and express it to me. It’s their own problem for not realizing this. Paul’s new art movement, Gleitzeit, shaped me into the allegedly awesome girl I am today, giving my art more edge, more “sexy” because it refined my vision of the world and propelled me to attain the skills necessary to not dishonor my family name through tenacious pursuit of perfection. Since the beginning of my life, I attempted to depict what I saw in visual, musical and literal forms, but continuously failed without adequate training and determination. Paul Jaisini’s Gleitzeit was the answer to my prayers. Who I am today I owe mostly to him and his selfless ideals of the artverse that I’ve given unconditional loyalty to (he has this cool ability for hyper-vision to see whole universes, not itty bitty worlds, hence I call it an artverse instead of art world, with him in mind). So again, anyone who hates Paul Jaisini hates ME because, regardless of what he means to you, he is the most important person in my life for making me ME. The way a famous actor, dancer or singer inspires others to act, dance or sing, Paul inspired me to become a better artist, better writer, better everything. More people would understand if he was a household name because they’re wired to in society. But we’re inspiring each other all the time in our own little communities without being famous, so if someone has the ability to change even ONE person’s life immensely with creativity, it is a massive achievement. And passionate folks like myself are compelled to scream it from the cyber rooftops. So here I am. It’s whatever.

Furthermore, I’d like to address here a few pressing matters in light of some recent drama brought on by both strangers and former friends. To start, I never judge the passions, interests or likes of others, which are often in my face all over the place, so likewise they have no right to judge any of mine. It is quite unfortunate and frustrating how very little understanding and education the majority of people have or want to have. Their logic is as primitive as a chipmunk when it comes to promotion of fine art on the web: “spamming, advertising, report!” It’s their own problem that they fail to understand what it’s about due to the distorted lens through which they see the world or inability to think for themselves; an inherent lack of perception or inquisitiveness. Well, guess what? Every single image, every animation, every video, every post dedicated to Mr. Paul Jaisini and “Gleitziet” (to elaborate: a revolutionary new art movement Paul founded with his partner in crime and personal friend, EYKG, who discovered him and believed in him more than anyone) has an important purpose. Every one of those things you run across is a piece of a puzzle, a move in a game, an inch down a rabbit hole; the deeper you go, the more interesting it gets; the more levels you pass, the more clues unfold, the greater the suspense and nearer the conclusion (yet further). You earn awesome rewards like enlightenment, spiritual revelations, truths, knowledge, wisdom and the most profound reward of all: the drive to improve yourself to the absolute maximum, so an unending, unshakable drive. People often make a wrong turn in this cyber game and go back a few levels or get stuck. Those that keep on pushing, however, will come to find the effort has been worth it. And what awaits you in the end of it all? The greatest challenge to beating the game: YOUR OWN MIND. You will be forced to let go of every belief you held before you had reached the last level, to completely alter your mindset and perception of the world, of life, of yourself. But by the time you’ve gotten to that point, it will be as easy as falling off a cliff! (It is a kind of suicide after all — death and rebirth of spirit.)

Paul Jaisini does NOT, *I repeat* does NOT use mystery and obscurity to his advantage as a clever marketing ploy, no, he’s too next level for that with a consciousness so rich, he should wear a radioactive warning sign (he’ll melt your brain, best wear a tinfoil hat in his presence as I certainly would.) The statement he makes is loud and clear, hidden in plain site for those who take the time to connect the dots and have enough curiosity to fuel their journey into unknown territory (an open mind and flexible perception helps a lot). Actually, anyone with an IQ above 90 is sure to figure it out sooner or later. Hint: You don’t have to SEE an extraordinary thing with your eyes to know it exists, to understand it and realize its greatness — you can only feel it in your bone marrow, your spinal fluid, your heart and soul. The moment you do figure it out, as the skeleton key of the human soul, it will unlock the greatness and massive potential buried deep within, changing the doomed direction humanity is undoubtedly headed. I don’t speak in riddles, I speak in a clear direct way that intelligent humans will understand, so I’m counting on them.

GIG is an international group of artists and writers that support Paul Jaisini’s Gleitzeit. We started off as an unofficial fan club of Jaisini in 1996, comprised of only 6 individuals spanning 3 countries, and eventually escalated in status to an official fan group across the entire globe. A decade later it had grown to hundreds of fans. Nearly another decade later, there are thousands. Let’s not leave out another delightful group of vicious haters that have been around for nearly as long as us since the late 90s and have also grown in impressive numbers. Now, for the record (and please write this one down because I’m sick of repeating myself), Paul Jaisini himself is not part of our group and has nothing to do with us. He loves and hates us equally for butchering his name and making him appear as a narcissistic nut-job in his own words. He casts hexes on us for the blinding flash we layer over the art that members contribute to GIG — “disgusting-police-lights, seizure-inducing-laser-lightshow, bourgeois-myspace-effects retarded-raver shit” in Paul’s words. Ahh, how we love his sweet-talking us. In a desperate attempt to please him, those among us who make the art and animations have spent countless hours and sleepless nights trying to solve a crazy-complex quantum-physics type of equation = how to not create tacky or tasteless content. He does fancy some of it now, we got better, that’s something! In the reason stated below, our mission just got out of hand at some point.

What little is known about Paul Jaisini, even in all this time, is he’s a horrible perfectionist who slaughtered hundreds of innocent babies — I mean — artworks of remarkable beauty created by his own right hand (mostly paintings, some watercolors and drawings). He’s a fierce recluse who wants nothing to do with anyone or anything in life. But those few of us who know of an incredible talent he possesses (one could go as far as calling it a superpower), could not allow him to live his life without the recognition he FUCKING DESERVES more than any artist out there living today and, arguably, yesterday. We use whatever means necessary to reach more people, lots of flash and razzle-dazzle to lure them into our sinister trap of a higher awareness. Mwahaha! The visual boom you’ve witnessed in both cyber and real worlds, that is GIG’s doing — two damn decades of spreading an art virus — IVA. InVisibleArtitis… or a drug as in Intravenous Art. It’s whatever you want it to be, honey.

Our Gleitzeit International Group (GIG) started off innocently enough and gradually spiraled out of control to fight the haters, annoying the hell out of them as much as humanly possible. They don’t like what we do? WE DO MORE AND MORE OF IT. But never without purpose, without a carefully executed plan in mind collectively. If we have to tolerate an endless tidal wave of everyone’s vomit — e.g., idiotic memes and comics; dumbed-down one-liner quotes; selfies; so-called “art photography” passed through one-click app filters; mindless scribbles or random splatters by regular folks who have the nerve to call themselves serious/pro artists; primitive images of pets, babies, landscapes, random objects, etc… then people sure as shit are gonna tolerate what we put out, our animated and non-animated visual art designed for our beloved master, Paul Jaisini, who has shown us the light, the right path to follow, taught us great things and done so much for us — and so in our appreciation of him, we stamp his name on everything, for the sacrifices he has made in the name of art, to save our art verse, he’s a goddamn hero. There’s a book being written in his dedication where little will be left to the imagination about him.

If Paul Jaisini was as famous as Koons or Hirst, for example, people would know it’s not him posting stuff online with his name on it but fans creating fanart like myself among others. But noooooo, such a thing is unfathomable to most people - the promotion of another artist. Like, what’s in it for us? Uhh, nothing?? This is all NON-PROFIT bitches, the way art should be. It’s a passion FIRST, a commodity/commercial product/marketable item LAST and least. Its been that way for us since the early 90s to this day. Not a single member of GIG has sold an art work (neither has Paul Jaisini who’s a true professional) and we want to keep it that way. We do it for reasons far beyond ego. So advertising? Really? How the hell do you advertise or sell thin air, you know, invisible paintings, invisible anything? Ha ha, very funny indeed. The idea here is so simple, your neighbor’s dog can grasp it. Our motives: replace fast food for the mind with fine art, actual fine art. You know, creativity? Conscious thought? Talent? Skill? Knowledge? All that good stuff rolled into one to bring viewers more than a momentary ooohand aaahh reaction. Replace the recycled images ad nauseum; repetitious, worn-out ideas; disposable, gimmicky, money-driven fast art for simpletons. Stick with the highest of ideals and save the whole bloody planet.

Fine art is often confused with craft-making. This often creates bad blood between classically trained artists who put out paintings that leave a lasting impression, that make strong conversation pieces, that are thought-provoking and deep… and trained craftspeople whose skills are adequate to create decorative pieces for homely environments — landscapes, still lifes, animals, pretty fairies, common things of fantasy, and other simplicity. Skills alone are not enough for high art, you need a vision, a purpose, the ability to tell a story with every stroke of your brush that will both fascinate and terrify the viewers, arousing powerful emotions, illuminating. I have yet to see a visible painting in my generation that does anything at all for me, other than evoke sheer outrage and disgust. What a terrible waste of space and valuable resources it all is.

Paul Jaisini leads, we follow. He wishes to remain unknown - so do most of us. I’m next in line, slipping into recluse mode, no longer wanting to attach my face, my human image to my art stuff. I wish to be a nameless, faceless artist as well, invisible like P.J., and in his footsteps I too have destroyed thousands of my own artistic photography and digital art made with tedious, labor-intensive handwork. The whole point of this destruction is achieving the finest results possible by letting go of the imperfect, purging it on a regular basis, to make way for the perfect. I love what I do so it doesn’t matter, I know I’ll keep producing as much as I’m discarding, keeping the balance. Hoarding is an enemy of progress, especially the digital kind as there’s absolutely no limit to it. It’s like carrying a load of bricks on your back you’ll never use or need.

The watering down of creativity that digital pack ratting has caused as observed over the years is most tragic. For the creative individual, relying on terabytes of stock photos or OSFAP as I call them (Once Size Fits All Photos) instead of making your own as you used to when you had no choice, being 100% original, is a splinter in the conscience. It’s not evil to use stock of, say, things you don’t have access to (outer space, deep sea, Antarctica, etc.), but many digital artists I know today can’t take their own shot of a pencil ‘cause they “ain’t got no time for that!” How did they have time before? Did time get so compressed in only a decade?

Ohhhhh, and the edits, textures, filters, plug-ins and what-have-you available out there to everyone and their cats… are responsible for the tidal wave of rubbish that eclipses the magnificent light of the real talents.

I can tell you with utmost sincerity there is no better feeling on earth than knowing your creation is ALL yours, every pixel and dot, from the first to the last. It’s not always possible to make it so, but definitely the most rewarding endeavor. I’m most proud of myself when I can accomplish that.

Back to Paul Jaisini, from the start there have been a number of theories floating around on what his real story is. One of my own theories is that he stands for the unknowns of the world who can’t get representation, can’t get exhibited at a decent gallery because highly gifted/trained artists aren’t good enough - those kind of establishments prefer bananas, balloon dogs, feces, gigantic dicks/cunts, and all kinds of what-the-fucks…

So again, you don’t get the Paul Jaisini thing? That’s your problem. Don’t hate others for getting it. People are good, very good, at making baseless assumptions and impulsively spewing it as truth. They criticize and judge as if they’re high authorities on the subject yet they clearly lack education in fine art or art history and possess little to no talent or skill to back up their bullshit. My little “credibility radar” never fails. When they say I know this or I know that, I reply don’t say “I know” or state things as fact as a general rule of thumb - instead say “I assume/believe” and state the reasons you feel thus to appear less immature, especially about a controversial topic like invisible art. I have zero respect or tolerance for egomaniacs who think they know it all and act accordingly like arrogant pricks. Who can stand those, right? Once again, a good example would be: I, Stelly Riesling, believe everything I’ve written in this little manifesto to be correct based on personal experience and observation from multiple angles, thorough research and sufficient data collected from verifiable sources (and don’t go copying-pasting my own words back at me, be original). Just because you or I say so doesn’t make it so. Just because you or me think or believe so doesn’t make it true or right. I only ask that my opinions are regarded respectfully and whoever opposes them does so in a mature, civilized manner. We should only be entitled to opinions that don’t bring out the worst in us.

I don’t normally take such a position, but the time has come to stand up for what I believe in! It’s quite amusing and comical how haters think calling me names, attacking me or my interests or members of the project I’m part of for years is going to change something. It only makes more evident the importance of what I’m doing so I push on harder still.

Words of advise to those who can identify with me, with my frustrations over people’s reluctance to change their miserable ways, with our declining art world…

DON’T waste time on people who sweat the small stuff, whose actions are consistently inconsistent with their words. DO waste time on people who always keep their eye on the ball—the bigger picture of life.

Paul Jaisini’s invisible paintings are more than hype, more than your lame assumptions. Here’s one I got that’s pure gold: a cult! It started out as A JOKE OF MINE that was used against me. I told a then-good friend that he should come join our little “art cult” in a clearly lighthearted manner, and later he takes this idea I put in his head first and accuses me of being in an (imaginary) cult—the jokes on me eh?. But wait, aren’t cults religious? Our group consists of people around the world of different faiths (or none at all) so how could that ever work? If religion was about making fine (non-pop) art mainstream and bringing awesome, fresh, futuristic concepts to the collective consciousness, the world would not be so fucked up today because talent, creativity, originality and individuality would be the main focus, not superficial poppycock; those things would be praised and encouraged and supported in society by all institutions, not demonized and stigmatized.

Here is one thing I CAN state as solid fact: only one person close to Paul Jaisini knows the TRUE story, or at least some of it: EYKG. Everything else that has ever been said about him is myth, legend, gossip, speculation, the worst of which is said by jealous non-artists (wannabes, clones, posers, hang-ons, unoriginal ppl in general) and anti-artists (religious psychos, squares, losers and -duh- stupid ppl). Sadly, people are unable to see the bigger picture by letting their egos run their lives or repeating after others as parrots.

Commercial art, consumerism, and ignorance of the masses truly makes me want to curl up in a ball, not eat or drink or move until I die, just die in my sleep while dreaming of a better world, a world where real fine artists rule it with real fine art as they used to and life is beautiful once again….

Well I hope that settled THAT for now, or perhaps inadvertently made matters worse. I hope I didn’t sound too pissed from all these issues that keep popping up like penises on ChatRoulette… just got to me already! Can you tell? I had to put my foot down, stomp ‘em all!

To be continued, still lots more ignorance and pettiness to battle… Till then peace out my bambini. MWAH!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MANIFESTO GLEITZEIT 2015

PROLOGUE

Paul Jaisini was like a messiah, as you wish, who saw/understood the impending end and complete degeneration of Fine art or Art become and investment nothing more than that. He predicted the bubble pops art when everybody would eventually become an artist, including dogs cats and horses, because they as kids followed the main rule: express yourself without skills or knowledge or any aesthetic concerns. J. Pollack started pouring paints onto canvases; Julian Schnabel, former cab driver from NY, suddenly decided he could do better than what he saw displayed in galleries, so he started gluing dishes on canvases; A.Warhol, an industrial artist who made commercial silk-screen for the factories he worked in, started to exhibit "Campbell's soup" used for commercial adds... and later the thing that made him an "American Idol": by copying and pasting Hollywood celebrities (same type of posters he made before for movie theaters).

When Paul Jaisini stood out against the Me culture in the US by burning all of his own 120 brilliant paintings (according to the then-new director of Fort Worth MoMa Museum, who offered hin an exhibition of his art in 1992, and later the Metropolitan Museum curator, Phillippe de Montebello, in 1994).Paul probably assumed all fellow true fine artists would join him or stand by him against corruption of the art world.

And after 20 years of his stand-off...the time has finally come today. Many artists and humanitarians around the world took a place beside him. His invisible Paintings became a synonym for the future reincarnation of fine art and long lost harmony. The establishment is in panic! The "moneybags" (as Paul Jaisini named them) are in panic, because they invested BILLIONS of dollars in real crap made by craftsmen. Now they realize that the reputation of American legends of expressionism was nothing but a copy of Russian avant-garde" Kazimir Malevich, Vasiliy Kandinsky and tens of others from France and Germany.. US tycoon investors were spending billions on "Me more original, than you". "Artist Shit" is a 1061 artwork by the Italian artist Piero Manzoni. The work consists of 90 tin cans, filled with feces. A tin can was sold for £124,000, 180,000 at Sothebys, 2007.

EPILOGUE

Before I resume promoting and admiring a very important art persona on today's international art arena, I'd like to clear up some BIG questions; people ask continuously and subconsciously, directly & indirectly: "Why does the name Paul Jaisini, flood the Internet in such "obnoxious" quantities that it's started suppressing some other activities that my friends might share with the rest of the Internet's Ego Me only Me www society? I can't just answer this... so I'll try to explain why I'm writing this: Jaisini's followers keep posting art and info about,

He IMHO the only hope in quickly decomposing visual fine art. "Paul Jaisini realized many years ago, in 1994, when he declared (at that time to himself only) the start of a New era, a New vision, that he is trying to redirect from the rat race, started by an establishment in post-war New York, long before the Internet culture.

Sub related information: Adolf Gottlieb, Mart Rothko, etc (after visiting Paris France in 1933):

"We must forget analytical art, we must express ourselves, as a 5 year old child would, without a developed consciousness. Forget about results - do what you feel, EXPRESS yourself with your own unique style"

With this statement Mark Rothko starts to teach his students, degeneration of fine art begins, and the generation of war of styles took a start signal of the material race, greatly rewarded by establishment "individual" - eccentric craftsmen - show business clowns.

Sub related Information: In the summer of 1936, Adolf Gottlieb painted more than 800 paintings, which was 20X more than he created in his whole art career as a painter, starting from the time of Gottlieb becomes a founding member of "The Ten" group in NYC "Group of Ten" was a very peculiar, enigmatic group... Based on a religious point of view;(where a human figure was prohibited from being created)

GLOSSARY

IN 1997, Paul Jaisini's best friend Ellen Y.K.Gottlieb started a cyber campaign by promoting on a very young Internet, back then, Paul Jaisini's burned paintings as Invisible Paintings, visible only through poetic essays. She and a handful of people saw his originals and were devastated that nobody could ever see them again. "We, his fans, believe that someday Paul will recreate his 120 burned paintings if he has any decency and moral obligation to his fans, who have dedicated decades to make it happen, for their Phoenix to rise from the ashes and the whole world will witness that all these years we spent to get him back to re-paint the Visuals again were not in vain," - said E.Y.K.Gottlieb in 2014 during the 20th anniversary celebration of Invisible Paintings to GIGroup in NYCity. So now, hopefully, this clears up why I and others do what we do - our "cyber terrorism" of good art, dedicated to Paul Jaisini's return, which is & and was our mission & our goal. We post good art to fight "troll art" which is worthless pics, after being passed through 1-click filters of free web apps. We are, in fact, against this www pops pollution, done with "bubble art" by the out of control masses with 5 billon pics a day: Pics of cats, memes, quotes,national geographic sunsets and waterfalls, not counting their own daily "selfies: and whatever self-indulging Me-ego-Me affairs, sponsored happily by photo gadget companies like Canon, Nikon, Sony...who churn out higher quality madness tools at lower cost.

This way Government taking away attention from the real world crisis of lowest morality & economical devastation. The masses are too easily re-engineered/manipulated by the Establishment PopsStyle delivered to them by pop music and Hollywood "super" stars. In 1992 Paul Jaisini's Gleitzeit theory predict such a massive, pops self-entertain madness, following technological explosion, but not in illusive scales.

Uber Aless @2015 NYC USA

NOTE Date's numbers and events can be slightly inaccurate.

#gleitzeit #paul-jaisini #invisible #painting #art #futurism #art-news,

 

Dear Bill Major,

As I wrote earlier today: I re-listened, this time to some of the FIM (Frankfurt’s Indeterminables Musiqwesen) CDRs. This out-put of CDRs on the print-on-demand-label recout (here a remained selection) were launched in 1995 through my production of the CD "Endlos / Endless" – a memento "50 years after WWII" for an exhibition in Poland, for which I invited the FIM trio Parallelaktion, plus singer Corinna Mayer.

 

What I auditioned today was "Hot Deals" by "Imperial Hot" (Christoph Korn – gt, Bertram Ritter – dr, A23H – reeds, tp, and Casio). I do not want to describe the music. I just love the feel of these 15 year old recordings. There is also "Rent Art Quest" by the "Stern4et" (Daniel Franke – as, cl, comp, Micha Daniels – kb, Bertram Ritter – dr, A23H on bari sax, bcl and ts, comp) from some years later – a lovely birthday present those talented younger musicians gave me. It was recorded during a "Jazzferien" session I had set up at a castle in the Spessart mountains in 1999, with Micha Daniels – kb, Bertram Ritter – dr, and A23H – ts. There is another beautiful session made in a Frankfurt bunker in 2000, "House of Thee". Together with Christoph Korn I had a duo "Canada dry & 20" recorded in 1992-1994 with drummer Vladimir Tarasov as a guest. Of course there is more from that period I could tell you about. For today I'll finish by mentioning "Cassini", a nine-piece band which I assembled in 1998 with members from my bands "Hale Peat", "Imperial Hoot" and the theater ensemble I put together for my Frankfurt-am-Main production of West Side Story (Harry Petersen- as, cl, Stefan Lottermann – tb, Martin Lejeune – gt, Christoph Korn – gt, Marcel Daemgen – sound system, Peter Antony – kb, Bülent Ates – dr, Günter Bozem – dr, and A23H – ts, bcl, arr). This recording sounds to me like an early version of Otomo Yoshihide’s orchestra ONJO, in which I was a member, as you know, during 2005-7.

 

Alfred 23 Harth / Lindsay Cooper / Phil Minton – the three musicians on "Trio Trabant a Roma" – appeared at festivals in Moscow & Volgograd prior to this recording as members of Lindsay’s "Oh Moscow" (we hope to do a new recording in 2010). Especially for Lindsay and me, the impressions from this journey were so deeply strange that even after returning to "the West", we felt like we were still in another mental state – the "State of Volgograd." I formed this trio at the invitation of the Budapest Festival in 1990, called "et all ways Budapest." It's been twenty years now since The Wall came down. In those days, we were just beginning to see the odd spectacle of cars coming from the East mixing into traffic in Western cities. One East German car was called the "Trabant". I liked that name, since trabant also means a planet orbiting a star, so I called the new trio "Trabant A Roma". Earth was under a new "orbital tent" after the Iron Curtain had come down. It was funny to see those strange cars from the East making long distance journeys through Western Europe – finally "all ways lead to Rome!" The fourth title refers to a festival in Strasbourg where we performed (see CDR Le Cadran Bleu). At that time I also played the Farfisa organ, Casio keyboard, and other miscellaneous stuff, all part of the search to express the strange by-products of technology emerging at that time. The trio didn't last long – "Oh Moscow" played its final concert at the London Jazz festival in 1993 due to Lindsay’s worsening illness (which I didn't know of until 1998, when Sally Potter confirmed the facts concerning Lindsay’s declining health).

It was the brief period of time after the Sovjet Union collapsed in 1991, when all of us were curious about Eastern cultures – the curiosity was mutual among those in the former Soviet bloc. Moscow TV offered to produce a filmed portrait about me in February 1992; this led to my appearance at the "Open Mind" festival in St. Petersburg alongside members of the Russian musical avant-garde. The film's title "Balance Action" is taken from the name of a famous saxophone from the early Cold War years. It also refers to the "balance action" that finally led to the breakdown of the Communist regimes. In old Leningrad (freshly rechristened St. Petersburg again) I met Vladimir Tarasov. He told me that before the Wall fell, he and his compatriots were forced to smuggle my records through a narrow, secret tunnel. He also claimed that, in the old CCCP avant-garde circles, I was a celebrity on the order of Michael Jackson (probably a Russian exaggeration). In fact, I did receive one of my very first fan letters from Moscow, in 1970 – somebody who loved the "Just Music" LP (ECM 1002). With Tarasov I formed the Quasar Quartet in 1992 with Simon Nabatov (Russia) and Vitold Rek (Poland); we performed together with Dmitri Prigov. But, just as fast as it arose, this cultural exchange period ended – astonishingly quickly, compared to the decades-long span of the Cold War, which had threatened the entire globe with doom.

Because my group "Just Music" played in Prague in 1970 I knew how serious audiences loved what we brought to our music from the West – they had witnessed the disappointing Prague Spring revolution two years before and heard reflections of those heady times in our music. After 1972 I had numerous opportunities to reach audiences throughout Eastern Europe – Dresden, Leipzig, East Berlin, Krakow, etc. Last year another listener from Prague told me how important it was for them to hear "Cassiber" in 1984. With that in mind, it is a bit sad that 7K Oaks cancelled its October tour which would have brought us to the Wroclaw festival (where I had played with "Just Music" in 1972 and with "Gestalt et Jive" in 1986(?)).

Now I am patiently waiting at the border of Stalinist North Korea to play my music beyond the split – my heart is already there. Who knows what the ongoing imperialist wars within the holy Sufi countries will bring in context of the metastasis of capitalistic asymmetries and Western weapons mass-production…

 

Alfred 23 Harth, in September 2009

 

Model: Kelsey

Body: Canon T2i

Lens: 50mm f/1.8

Lighting: Natty

Editing: Lightroom 3

 

I finally got the chance to work with this talented young lady! I have had this pose in my head for months now just waiting for our shoot to come around. Funny thing is, I didn't even have to tell her to pose this way. She did it naturally and I couldn't be happier with the result!

 

I recently purchased a domain name for my portfolio and decided to give a new watermark a try. I figure it's less bulky than the last, it directs viewers straight to my work, and it blends in well with my photos. What are your thoughts on it?

 

Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope all of you enjoyed your night and continue to enjoy your year. I'm going to try to be more active on here because I feel like I need to branch out more in the photographer community. Drop me a comment, fave, or send me a message! I'd love to get to know some of you.

 

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The coming death of Nikon 9

 

A few weeks back, when the miserable Nikon financial result (although it was nothing to do with their camera business as I reported a month ago) was reported over the usual internet camera related sites, many many Nikon fanatics usually gathering at the trashy sites like Nikon Rumors and Photo Rumors requested Nikon to keep the venerable F mount even for the their future upcoming MILC system.

 

I was really shocked to see that and I thought the real problem of companies like Nikon is that they are too sincere(more like naive?) to listen to the old (usually over 50) fanatics who are only interested in discussing about cameras and debating over it at these camera fora but actually still holding on to their beloved ancient D800.

 

These fanatics are usually stingy and not buying many new cameras(definitely not something uses non-F mount lenses) but just whine whatever the camera their favored maker comes up with. So Nikon or any one else should ignore them.

Instead, Nikon should listen to the Young who actually know why the dedicated cameras are no longer appealing to the majority of buyers.

The F mount will severely restrict Nikon in lens design and also in hybrid camera design, and they should not go with it.....

Oh well but it seems to be what the core Nikon fans want or prefer it over any kind of new mount.....

 

"Whats the point of a Nikon FF camera without Nikon legacy mount? Why anybody should prefer that new born with uncertain future thing to the well received A7 series? "

"the 24-70 Sony GM is bigger and heavier than the Nikon's and Canon's. In this case, the small size body is actually a disadvantage."

"The small size is required only by casual photographers. It reminds me when it was cool to have a small phone (Nokia vs Ericsson ). Then the Samsung Phablet came and people were making fun of the iPhone because it was "too small"l!! And look what we have now!"

 

Hearing this kind of ignorant comments all the time at shops and camera fora, I really wonder if they are really thinking about the smaller size is the only one advantage of the Sony, the Fuji and the other mirrorless systems, or they just pretending not to see the other merits of the Sony system over the Nikon venerable mechanical mount?

"Size advantage is not the only reason for mirroless.In fact, it is the least important one. One day SLRs will pretty much go to the Nikon Tokyo camera museum and all cameras will be mirroless. But working professionals(PJ, Event and Wild life guys) with large glass are not going to want dinky cameras, they will want large grips and good ergonomics. So personally I think Nikon should keep f mount for those. That also means they don't have to catch up on lenses. Plus, they could use the space that is left by the mirror for lens design. The trouble with small mirrorless like the Sony E and the Fuji X is the very small flange has left no room for inverting back into the camera for wide angle lens design as rangefinders used to do. Nikon could potentially create ultra compact wide angle lenses for a F mount mirrorless, and include a small notch so it won't mount on SLRs similar to their non Ai /Ai-S lens issue. They should jump into the mirrorless market with a huge selection of the F lenses rather then just a couple of new mount lenses. Removing their legacy would be dangerous I think."

 

If it was about 6 months ago, I may have agreed with the above comment, but now I think if Nikon chooses the F mount for its new FX or DX mirrorless system, that means Nikon is shooting itself on the foot by killing hybrid functionality and all associated benefits come with that new fully electronic mount design..If they use the ancient mechanical F mount, their new mirrorless system will suffer from very slow LV and very slow and imprecise aperture control system that all their latest D-SLRs just show, and that means it won't sell well.

Actually,the short flange distance let them put the rear lens elements much closer to the image sensor without having to put things deep into the body like in the old days, 50 years ago when seriously wide angle lenses often required mirror lock up and an optical finder on the hot shoe! Thank Sony, Zeiss and Fuji, we don't have to put up with such nonsense any more! All Sony E mount wide angle lenses are superb, sharp across the FF and it is mostly because of the freedom of lens design created by the short flange back design.

With a short flange distance as with most of mirrorless mount, you can then add a converter to use traditional lenses. But you can also use much smaller lenses designed for the short flange distance, such as the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8, compare that amazing Zeiss glass to the typical D-SLR lens of this class, say the Milvus 21mm f2.8 ZF2, you will see my point. The new Coshina Voiklander 10mm f5.6 is even more amazing lens and that kind of design is only possible with the very short flange distance design of the E mount.

If Nikon goes larger format mirrorless and keeps the F mount exactly like it is, they will fade into irrelevance as SLRs fade away into the mirrorless future. That said, they also have to provide full featured mirrorless to F mount adapters for a future serious mirrorless camera. Ideally one that has a screw drive motor in it for all those older AF lenses although I think it is difficult for them to do now. In fact, realistically Nikon can only fully utilize their E series lenses nothing else for the future mirrorless system.

So even if they decided to keep the F mount for the future upcoming mirrorless system that may be announced in this June (in the fastest case), there would be only a few really usable lenses in the current F mount line up, namely the E series and possibly the P series lenses.

Another serious issue for Nikon now is that they might have too little resources to design a completely new lens line in a very short time........as the below customer questions.....

"the dilemma for Nikon should be starting "fresh" means that they are in last place, even behind competitors like Olympus and Panasonic, but is it still better than the venerable F mount for the next coming decade? As you can see in Nikon DX lens line up, Nikon's proclivity to see any non-FX DSLR as something more for convenience means they won't make competitive lenses any time soon for that "fresh" start. And so it will surely fail, and they should keep the F mount."

"As far as I'm concerned, lens adapters like that are like Linus' blanket: it's a security thing. Having it means you can pretend to keep using your lenses.

But frankly, looking around at people shooting with the A7, other than videographers I'm not seeing a lot of folk running adapters all the time on them."

 

Well this is a really difficult question........indeed a very tough one to answer correctly.

I personally dislike the adapter for technical mount precision reason too, but I also know that many many of A7 and Fuji shooters are using that and that is the biggest contributor to their success in the rapidly declining market.

And now video is the most important aspect of any good hybrid camera, and therefore, it is the most important area that Nikon or any new comer in this market should focus all their effort into.

 

So Nikon must go with a wide new mount with very short flange distance design or it will definitely fail, but the real question here is : Can they really afford it ? and even if they can, will they be able to keep up with the speed of Sony and Fuji on lenses?

When some rational people pointing out Nikon really need to react very fast to Fuji and Sony with a completely NEW mount, many avid Nikon fanboys at NR and Photo Rumors belittle Sony and Fuji system all the time like below:

" Sony has no lens or Fuji system is no where near complete. Micro 43 is only just now reaching the point where you can buy almost any piece of glass you need, Fuji and Sony are getting there but its a long road."

 

Well, but then, how many lenses do you really need or able to buy? The reality is Sony and Fuji both have a great lens line up and the quality of their lenses are far better than that of Nikon equivalents. The Zeiss 85mm f1.8 Batis is an incredible lens, sharp across FF even at wide open and relatively cheap for that kind of quality. The Fuji 90 mm f2 is a portrait shooter's dream, a fantastic portrait lens that also does landscape very very well. Honestly, there is no better lens than the Fuji 90mm f2 in under 35mm class. The Sony FE24-70mm f2.8GM is a fantastic lens that comfortably beats the huge Nikon 24-70mm f2.8VR, and in facts the Sony GM zoom beats all Nikon primes in its range. It is that sharp.

The Sony FE 90mm f2.8G is like a Mini Otus, it is the sharpest Sony E mount lens and probably the best corrected AF lens ever made in any mount. The most amazing thing about the FE90 mm f2.8G macro lens is that it has no CA to speak of, I mean literally!

The Zeiss Loxia 21mm f2.8, while I am not a fan of its focal length, is amazingly sharp and it is extremely well made, a Leica-like lens priced like a Tamron or Sigma. The 25mm Batis is also great, the FE16-35mm f4 is also a better lens than the Nikon AF-S16-35mm f4 VR, which I hated for the terrible fish-eye like distortion at 16mm. The FE55mm f1.8 Z is also fantastic a Mini-Otus like lens and it is already a legend, and it is the sharpest AF capable 50-ish lens, only the Otus 55mm f1.4 comes close to its amazing resolving power! Some may say the Sigma art is as good as the Sony FE 55. But,IMHO, there is no contest, the Sony is a much better lens in terms of CA, flare resistance, bokeh, over all look, etc. The Sigma may be just as sharp as the Sony but that does not mean it is just as optically well corrected as the Sony FE 55mm f1.8Z.

Even the cheap FE lenses like FE24-70mm f4, FE 35mm f2.8, FE28mm f2 are not too bad. The 24-70mm f4 is arguably the worst FE lens, and is a bit worse than the similar Canon, but at least as good as the Nikon AF-S24-120mm f4 VR and the Sony is a lot smaller with better built barrel I have owned all of these and tested all myself and I only kept the Sony and sold the Canon and Nikon 24-XXX f4 zooms. The most hard-core Nikon lovers at the Photo Rumors site never admit it but the Sony FE24-70mm f4 Z is actually not as bad as many chart shooting obsessed useless review sites like Photozone tend to make it out to be, really it is a very versatile lens.

The Sony FE28mm f2 is much more compact than the similar Nikon AF-S28mm f1.8G.

The FE35mm f2.8 Z is a bit dim lens but it is an extremely sharp lens with amazing flare resistance, just a bit dim, but most of times, the IBIS compensates that. The Fuji XF16-50 f2.8 is also an amazing lens, if not the very best std zoom ever made by anyone. The Fuji XF23mm f1.4 is also a stellar lens, I could not find any flaw in this lens at all no matter how hard I look for it, it is that good. Nikon has no lens like the amazing Fuji 23mm f1.4 or Zeiss Batis 25mm f2..

Oh I almost forgot to mention,but the Fuji XF50-140mm f2.8 is probably the best portrait zoom ever made by any one, and it is also a great concert event lens, and again, Nikon has nothing like it. The new Coshina Voiklander 10mm f5.6, 12mm f5.6 super wide primes are only possible with the short mount registration distance. The Voiklander 40mm f1.2 is also a quite small lens and it is very very sharp even at f1.2, I am sure it will become an instant hit for Coshina.

So unless you need very specific super tele or fish eye or TS lenses, they both already have almost any lens most of us ever need with generally better IQ than similar Nikon or Canon lenses. And in case of TS or some short macro lens, we can just adapt Canon lenses or Leica glass, so again no issue here.

 

I think their already having almost complete lens line respectively at this stage of this game is a huge advantage over hypothetical Nikon big sensor mirrorless system.

I guess it is very difficult for Nikon to catch up with Fuji or Sony or both, and even before that, they cannot afford to start a completely new mount system as Nikon is a tiny rapidly contracting company. They simply don't have the resources to invent an entirely new range of lenses for mirrorless when they still don't have a convincing DX range and the only CX lenses they ever announce are versions of the ones that already exist. Just think about how many years they actually needed to complete the current FX F mount line up, almost 10 years since 2007 and still missing a set of PC-E lenses that rival the quality of the Canon TS-E lenses. Well there is a new 19mm f4 PC-E but it is super overpriced and not as wide as the Canon TS-E17mm f4L, which was released in 2009.

So, I think, there are only three realistic options left for Nikon now. These area:

1 to Join in the E mount(most realistic option but I am not sure Sony allows Nikon to do so since Nikon has nothing Sony does not have in-house).

2 to Join in the X or EOS M mount if Fuji or Canon allows that.

3 or to become a third party lens maker for Sony, Fuji and Canon.

As video and legacy lens adaptability are the 2 most important aspects of all future mirrorless cameras, Nikon must go fully electronic FX mount for its rumored prosumer mirrorless system something like Nikon's version of the Fuji X-Pro 2, or Nikon will have to join in the E mount or the X mount or become a third party lens company for Sony, Fuji and Canon. I really hope they can afford the new mount option but I do not think they can do it under the current really obtuse management team. I think my dad and his generation of people will cry when they see Nikon finally becomes a third-party lens manufacture like Sigma to Sony, Canon and Fuji.

But I think it is the future only realistic future left for Nikon.

Finally, it is really sad to see too many folk argue solely from a size perspective when it comes to mirrorless vs D-SLR, Mirrorless cameras have several advantages nothing to do with size. I miss my EVF and all its plus points when I use my Nikon D-SLR much more than I miss the OVF when I use my Sony, Fuji and Panasonic. In fact, I would be delighted if Nikon makes an external EVF for my D-SLRs.

IMO, the main advantages of using mirrorless cameras are:

1 better VF with much more usable info display.

2 better Manual focus-ability with focus peaking and zeburra.

3 superb S-AF speeds at least on par with the very best DSLR, with much better focus accuracy.

4 much better utility for video, with excellent EVF. D-SLRs cannot use the finder during video shooting.

5 more simple, more durable body. On average my mirrorless cameras last much longer than my D-SLRs. My ancient NEX5n is still going very strong without any issue. It has been really abused under torrential rain, extremely intense snow,etc but never broke.

6 much faster much usable LV AF with much better keeper rate, this is very usable when shooting some event at very crowded venue.

7 AI based much more accurate metering system directly off the sensor.

So, as opposed to many D-SLR lovers believe, I think once we go mirrorless it is hard to go back to the D-SLR with antique 1950th style OVF.

I mean I did not like Sony, Fuji,etc and tried to go back to Nikon many times, but once re-used the OVF, I was quickly disillusioned and came back to the reality. And I realize why I ditched my D810 at the very first place for the A7R because I hated the thickness of the D810 body plus the terrible anachronistic OVF.............. I have been shooting mirrorless since 2009 and even before that I was using EVF on my video cameras and I prefer even the most primitive EVF I had on my Minolta A2(in 2005) to any of the best D-SLR OVFs. Now, I have collected at least 24 mirrorless cameras and it is really hard for me to go back to Nikon or Pentax, not because I hate them or their cameras IQ, but the terrible LV AF performance and even more terrible video features they offer really scare me away.

And I actually think the slow 2009 LV AF speed of the Nikon 2016 cameras is the main issue why Nikon is dying out, it is quickly becoming an irrelevant player in this game. All our iPhone generation boys expect any camera to do LV better than the best Nikon can do it.

 

Sony and Fuji both admitted that the main advantage of MILC is nothing do with the potential size or weight reduction, but reading out the chip info directly off the sensor chip itself without funny extra AF sensors/processors combo intervening the process of the main processor processing the sensor distance data.

Honestly I found the "real advantage of mirrorless" bullet interesting because it's a complete redirect from the whole notion of a size advantage, which was particularly misleading in the case of full frame. It becomes even less relevant when we realize that manufacturers will be organizing their line-ups to push enthusiast buyers up-market to larger sensor cameras.

This new tact about "direct information," however, is equally misleading because any feature that can be incorporated onto a sensor, can work within a mirrored camera as easily as a mirrorless one. But some of us who are already extremely used to shooting with an EVF camera do not want to go back to the OVF........the real reason why some of us need mirrorless is the EVF and the amount of info that the EVF can show us while shooting through the finder............any OVF even the best one like the A900 or the K1 finder cannot do that.

So I am sure the mirrorless will become bigger and bigger each generation as the GH5, EM1MK2, A7R2,etc already show us that trend.

Finally, the main difference between Nikon 1 and EOS-M is the evolution potential. The 1 can´t go further, there are better 1´ sensors, but not that much better, and all the lenses are constructed for this size of sensor, so you can´t get something much more powerful in there in the future. But by contrast, Canon can get their most potent APS-C sensor inside, all EF/EF-S lenses can be used with the same crop factor as with their DSLR´s via adapter, and it's all about their will to invest into this system. If they choose, they can make a powerful EOS-M - Nikon can´t do anything more with their CX system, they will have to begin from the scratch when they want to offer their own competitive MILC system. The EOS-M has some potential, and it´s only about Canon if they want to take it further. But it´s definitely not dead like the Nikon One...

After the EOS M5 launch, Canon has actually announced that they now own 23.5 percent of world wide MILC market, and they are already no2 in that market.

However, it is still not too late for Nikon, Nikon just should develop a Fully compatible new electronic mount with short registration distance and fully compatible F mount adapter with automated electronic aperture.

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

Now Canon's main customer is Honda, who buys a billion of small high

ISO capable 4k sensors for their cars.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE3: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 4: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE5:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE6: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

The coming death of Nikon as a camera company 3

  

I went to Yufuin Onsen(hot spring complex) area of Oita prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I think I went to Yufuin,Beppu, Oita, which is the captial city of Oita pref, Kuju(volcano complex), and Aso(volcano complex near Kumamoto).

After this short academic trip to North East Kyushu I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than we once thought; it is not time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLRs or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular innovative camera currently available according to many silly online camera forums, other than my self in any of the 5 places I visited in this trip.

I met a couple of American researchers from UC something, and one of them climbed a middle sized mountain together with me and he had 2 m43( GX80 and EM5MK2) and Fuji X-Pro2.

 

I think the noisy puny Sony cameras I have are not very well suited for both urban documentary of my academic travels and mountain hiking climbing........Most of photographers I met in Volcanic complex areas of Oita prefecture had a Canon 5D something or a m43 or a Fuji. My coworker said ," it was really surprising but no one other than us had a Sony, how come?"

Well it is nothing surprising since I know Sony Alpha 7 series cameras are not selling well in real world outside of camera forums. They are only popular among those camera fanatic forum denizens like us...........

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon shooter is that no one seems to be shooting Nikon any more and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near Oita station no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter, or Nikon may have to die soon.

 

Now the D5600 is out and I have tested it at a trade show here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than the D500 or anything from Nikon since 2011, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest mirrorless champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

  

It seems to me that the "pure camera makers" of old are being slowly challenged by electronics companies. From what I remember Sony's latest results were not all that grim. In the past film days it must have been cheaper to make a camera - it was really a light tight box with a light meter and a shutter. Now, we are looking at sensors, which take big dollars and big factories to make along with software which has to be updated and all types of micro-processors that never existed before. I would expect that big electronics companies like Sony,Samsung, Panasonic, Canon, and Apple would ultimately have some kind of home field advantage - especially in the mass market.

 

While there will likely be niche markets for purists who want to stick with the old names with 1950th analogue finder technology with loud slapping mirror just like there are people who still buy very expensive high end fountain pens like my father and grandpa , I think the average people who just want to take a good photo will slowly drift into the electronics company camp. Sony did buy Minolta camera business(not Minolta itself as opposed to what many camera forum experts always say in many fora) and slowly transitioned it to a pretty innovative camera maker. So maybe, Nikon will ultimately meet the same kind of fate. I guess time will tell, there is a long lasting rumor Canon is interested in picking up Nikon camera division, but I doubt it is true since Canon already has much bigger and stable camera division than that of Nikon and so Canon will gain nothing from buying Nikon camera division.

So that alone gives a decent reason for Samsung to stay in the business, and I do believe if they stay in this game a bit longer and grow the tech inside of the NX1 further, they may be able to become one of three dominant players in this game with Sony and Canon. So I think Samsung has just decided it is not a big enough market for them, not they cannot compete with the rest.

 

That said though, Sony's camera results were kind of vague, so it's hard to determine exactly how well stills camera sales/profits are doing. Their camera division includes "broadcast and professional use products like my FS7MK2" and "flow cytometers", and they don't report how many cameras were sold.

Sony will face the same sales decline problem in few years after they will make a perfect camera lineup when there`s nothing reasonable to upgrade(I think they are already at that point now). It is unavoidable.The last few years, every single new generation Sony camera gets better AF, better viewfinder, better video, ergonomics, etc., and so we Sony users had to keep up with that. I think Fuji people were in the same situation and they were also following every major Fuji camera update.

But sadly as Sony and Fuji once make everything just right, they`ll face the same problems as other camera manufacturers do face now. The original A7X series bodies were just too flawed, rushed-out products and so most of us upgraded to the A7X2. I think the Fuji XT1 original was also a terrible experimental camera that never get matured, so when the X-PRo2/ the X-T2 came out all my Fuji friends got either of these or both. But this cannot continue forever.

Do you think they keep upgrading forever even after the A6300, the A6500, the X-P2, the X-T2 generation? I am not very sure if I sell my A6300 and A6500 when something slightly new and better comes out in next April.

I`m not a Fuji and Sony hater (on the contrary I love using their cameras and have recommended them to many people). This is just sad reality for over-saturated market: product is good enough, no reason to upgrade ever so often, plus strong competition from a cheaper accessible devices (older generation cameras are hugely discounted).

Actually, we many of camera dealers deep into this industry think Sony has already faced this market saturation issue. Their sales were down last year, total camera units down- from 8.5 million down to 6.1 million - yes that includes P&S as well, however, Sony very carefully does not break it out any further - unlike just about every other camera company.

You have to wonder what they are actually hiding. They used to brag about their overall market share and their gains with that(until 2012). Now they only brag about how much they rip off their user base with high valued overpriced products like the A7R2, the A99MK2, and the A6500, which is nothing better than the already excellent A6300 in most of use cases.

When you charge the different prices for the A7R2 from the A7M2 and also the A7S2, and your parts,etc are nearly identical, you can be sure you are making a ton of profit on limited sales numbers. I suspect that the A7R2 and A7S2 are nearly pure profit for Sony. Do people actually think that sensor costs Sony 1500 per unit more to manufacturer than the sensor in the A7R? Are people that naive? The body price of the A7R2 and A7S are probably exactly the same as the A7M2, so that alone tells you how much overpriced the A7R2 and A7S2 are compared to the modest but reliable the A7M2 or the A7R.

While the Sony fangirls and fanboys are loving it, they sadly aren't seeing the big picture, Sony's market share is contracting with respect to the overall market. What will happen when Sony starts hitting diminishing returns on it's camera bodies? Right now, people are upgrading aggressively like they did with DSLR's 6+ years ago. Will someone with the A7R2 or the A6500 feel as strong of a need to upgrade to the A7R3 or the A6700? Sooner or later Sony will exhaust it's user base. Honestly I cannot even imagine what camera will force me to displace my A7M2, A7R2,A6500, and A6300 cameras. (I think this simple logic also apply to Fuji system, it is hard for them to get the X-Pro2 and the XT2 users keep changing their cameras every single iteration from the already pretty matured excellent APS-C bodies.)

In actuality, Sony is probably in more of a teetering stage than most. Canon for the most part has it's unit counts stabilized which means it gained market share. Nikon is contracting with the market and so is Sony. However Nikon has a far wider audience and potential customers that can / may upgrade to a new camera if they wake up soon enough to make a F mount mirrorless system that takes all the lens advantage of the new Nikon E series lenses(almost all the new E series FX lenses are superb).

What's funny though is that the DSLR market is not contracting as much as some think it is, partly because Sony has stopped shipping mass shelf stuffing amounts of DSLT cameras. That distorted the shipments, and is never really taken into account.

We are also seeing a fairly dramatic MILC shift as well, as more and more units are being shipped to "Asia" not including Japan and China. Asia now accounts for the majority of mirrorless camera units. However with those, it's the discount units and the lower cost units that are being shipped there, not the high end units. So we are seeing a significant amount of what appears to be mirrorless inventory dumping which also sniffs like all is not right in this camera world, even in the world of mirrorless.

So Sony, Fuji and other mirrorless manufactures, especially Olympus will face really really serious financial issues as their mount systems get really matured. Their real enemies are not smartphones but unsold inventory and the market saturation. Just face the reality that normal or average camera users with a decent big sensor camera cannot justify upgrading to new camera at full price any more unless they are fanatic about IQ, or crazy picky of the latest features, or interested in at least 4k quality video.

Sony Canon Fuji fanboys talk about the Nikon financial crisis as though it is "Nikon only issue", but in reality they will also face the same issue.

Maybe Samsung was the only one smart enough to quit this ever sinking business before the ship actually sink into the deep hell just like IBM in the PC market a few years back?

 

In conclusion:

My present view on Sony is this... They're for the camera techies and early adopters. Those who are willing to be "crash test dummies" and actually kind of enjoy that process(like myself), and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Sony is NOT for the average person, at least right now, IMHO. The original A7R was a complete experimentation of the high resolution FF sensor in a compact body at the all cost of usability concept, and it was kind of received well, some hated it but many odd people like myself loved it. The A7S was also an experimental concept camera to see if the majority of FF buyers accept very low resolution but very high ISO capable almost ultimate lowlight hybrid camera even at the big cost of resolution and basic usability in still photography. I am not sure this concept model was well received or not, but I personally do not care for it, I much prefer the normal A7M2 and the original A7R(still my favorite a7X as I am mainly a tripod shooter).

What does this necessarily do to the cost of entry into the system or a particular piece of gear? Well, there's this thing called economics. And if you don't understand (at least very basic of it) economics, you can't possibly understand the cost of goods sold. You also need to know a little about how camera businesses operate specifically, and generally. You need to understand the difference in product lineups and cost to the consumer between a market leader and a recent entrant into a market.

Without a basic understanding of these types of things (and you don't need to be able to define them or even know specifically what they are - you just kind of need to know about them), you can't even have any serious view about the current consumer camera market.

Most people either don't get this stuff, or don't consider it due to personal bias. I actually know most of people actually get it but do not accept or want to even see how it works, especially in the case of this controversial Sony A7X series and in the case of the Fuji X line products.

In the case of what Sony hopes is a class leading 70-200 f/2.8 zoom... well... they're going to sell a LOT less of them than say, Canon or Nikon, but their development costs and potentially their manufacturing costs, are likely much higher. So they won't be able to spread out their R&D and manufacturing costs over a large number of units thus, the units will be more expensive than the competition if they wish to maintain their profit margins. And I am sure they are all after high profit margin stuff now and this is actually what has made Sony successful in this sinking market, even in very short time.

So, yeah... the lens is already substantially more expensive than the competition- the slightly better optics of Canon and Nikon now, and I actually expect it will be more expensive than the CN offerings for a few more years at least.

This is why, at least foreseeable future-maybe at least 3 -5 more years, until the size of market share for the Sony system increases, everything Sony will release in the A7 and FE line will be more expensive than the same class Canon , Nikon or m43.

But I think Sony market share may actually increase steadily, as Sony consolidates their offerings as a whole system and more people come to appreciate what's on offer.

But again it takes some time to get there, and all of the above what I've just said about Sony also applies to Fuji X system.

All in all, IMO, the disadvantages and risks of innovation are now firmly outweighed by the benefits........ and this will become more obvious with time because most of people are getting really tired of Nikon for their complete lack of innovation, let alone invention.

So like I said in the very first part of this write up, Sony and Canon will probably win over Nikon and Nikon will probably go bankrupt as it is mainly a camera company-about 75 percent of their total income comes from camera sells.

The DL is already aborted even before it gets actually out......Nikon is really domed.

  

UPDATE: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their mediocre so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their imaging division and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. None one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features...

  

UPDATE2: Nikon's response to digital cinema surprises me, especially if they trying to grow your market share. After all it is the only one area that is consistently growing in digital camera market.

 

Nikon is the only major camera company that had no territory to protect. No high end, limited at the medium, not much on the low end, so unlike Canon or Sony, Nikon didn't have to worry about making a whiz bang combination camera that would do high quality stills and motion at almost any price point and cannibalizing other cameras in Nikon DXXX line.

 

Also considering that prior to Canon, everyone in the cinema/motion biz used Nikon Lenses if they used still camera lenses. You could (still can) go to Century and get a Nikon mounted on any film camera, from 16mm Beaulieu to 75mm Panavision, because in the film days, everybody knew that most Nikon lenses were matched in contrast and color, in a very specific way. So Nikon had a foothold in the industry.

 

Of course unless you're on the management side of any of these companies, I doubt we know the whole story.

 

So I'm just wondering, but I have this feeling that when Sony sells sensors, Sony might have Nikon or any one sign a contract that says, yeah you guys can make a video cam, but it can't have ______ fill in the blanks.

 

Of course I could be wrong, but in case of Nikon its very odd corporate decision to be very low-profile in the motion industry does not make much strategic sense , given Nikon's historic name and ability to make excellent cameras and lenses.

 

I strongly think it is the case, and therefore , Nikon has been seeking for a new sensor fab that produces sensor for Nikon as Nikon designed.

 

Nikon has been patenting many many new types of sensor designs that are fully capable of 6k video and Olympus is also working on its own sensor designs, and the EM1MK2 sensor is the first Olympus designed sensor and it is said to be fabbed by TowerJazz or Panasonic(not by Sony).

 

Looks like now everybody is dumping Sony, and maybe Sony is the biggest loser in this game besides Pentax?

 

I have strong feeling Sony may become the next Samsung since Sony cannot keep up running the wide range of its camera business intact without sensor income from Nikon and Olympus.

 

Sensor is rapidly becoming a commodity product and so Sony no longer has any advantage over others. Now any one can design a great sensor, Tamron has just proved it.

 

Oh and the best rated Red Helium sensor is designed by Tower Jazz, not Sony.

  

UPDATE: Nikon Df2 is coming soon and it will house a 24mp sensor but a newer generation chip that Nikon designed or developed and produced by Renasus electronics.

It basically has the feature set of the D750 but in smaller more compact body with the classic camera style controls, which I hate. I am not sure about video feature of it yet but it sounds like getting FHD video at 25, 30, 60 p and i , nothing special.

It will also have the best OVF in any digital era camera with new focus screen.....but it is really too anachronistic now and I think Nikon needs to put a decent EVF, rather than an amazing OVF from film era. The price will be a bit more expensive than the current Df was when it was announced in 2014, and I heard that it will be about 25 percent more expensive than the D810 was at its launch price.

So I think it will be over 3k. So it looks like Nikon still does not get it right; they should understand a camera like the Df 2 really needs a decent EVF and fast LV AF to entice the target market for this type of retro minded compact FF camera.

The potential buyers of this type of cameras are often old with bad eye sight, this means they need pixel peaking to nail the focus really right...so they need a good EVF not the best film era OVF.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE4: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 5: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE6:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

Now selling many Sony E mount lenses and cameras to free myself from the annoying mount tie, I am also debating if I continue to invest more money into Sony system or just move to Fuji. I never realized this before selling just a couple of A7X bodies plus a several lenses made me more than enough money to buy another camera system, I might just want to try the Fuji system for serious real life apps for a month or two to decide what I do with it and my Sony kit.

 

I have sold my A7R2(1), A7M2(2), A6300(1), A6000(2), and FE35mm f2.8, Loxia 35mm f2, Sony FE90mm f2.8G, Sony FE70-200mm f2.8GM, Sony FE70-200mm f4G, Loxia 21mm f2.8, etc, etc, and I will sell more.

 

I decided to keep my cheap A7R Original and a 55mm, 85mm , 16-35mm Sony lenses and Voiklander 15mm and 12mm primes, and I will test more different brand systems.

  

The coming death of Nikon 3

 

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Tokyo and Tsukuba area of Ibaraki prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I visited Asakusa, Kitasenju, Ginza , Nihonbashi, Kasumigaseki, Shiba, and Shinjuku areas of Tokyo, and snapped around many things there with my Sony A7R, A7R2 and A6500.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kanto I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is really not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this rapidly shrinking industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

 

Every where we go together, now we are wondering why no one we meet here shoots any Sony ILC, is Sony really profitable in this business?

 

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting any Nikon any more any where and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Kitasenju station(North East Tokyo) no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player here in Japan , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may lose all the pro PJ shooters and concert photographers to Sony, Fuji or Canon..

 

Now the D7500 is announced and we have had some lucky chance to test it through at a big camera dealers meeting here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

It seems to me that the "pure camera makers" of old are being slowly challenged by electronics companies. From what I remember Sony's latest results were not all that grim. In the past film days it must have been cheaper to make a camera - it was really a light tight box with a light meter and a shutter. Now, we are looking at sensors, which take big dollars and big factories to make along with software which has to be updated and all types of micro-processors that never existed before. I would expect that big electronics companies like Sony,Samsung, Panasonic, Canon, and Apple would ultimately have some kind of home field advantage - especially in the mass market.

 

While there will likely be niche markets for purists who want to stick with the old names with 1950th analogue finder technology with loud slapping mirror just like there are people who still buy very expensive high end fountain pens like my father and grandpa , I think the average people who just want to take a good photo will slowly drift into the electronics company camp. Sony did buy Minolta camera business(not Minolta itself as opposed to what many camera forum experts always say in many fora) and slowly transitioned it to a pretty innovative camera maker. So maybe, Nikon will ultimately meet the same kind of fate. I guess time will tell, there is a long lasting rumor Canon is interested in picking up Nikon camera division, but I doubt it is true since Canon already has much bigger and stable camera division than that of Nikon and so Canon will gain nothing from buying Nikon camera division.

So that alone gives a decent reason for Samsung to stay in the business, and I do believe if they stay in this game a bit longer and grow the tech inside of the NX1 further, they may be able to become one of three dominant players in this game with Sony and Canon. So I think Samsung has just decided it is not a big enough market for them, not they cannot compete with the rest.

 

That said though, Sony's camera results were kind of vague, so it's hard to determine exactly how well stills camera sales/profits are doing. Their camera division includes "broadcast and professional use products like my FS7MK2" and "flow cytometers", and they don't report how many cameras were sold.

Sony will face the same sales decline problem in few years after they will make a perfect camera lineup when there`s nothing reasonable to upgrade(I think they are already at that point now). It is unavoidable.The last few years, every single new generation Sony camera gets better AF, better viewfinder, better video, ergonomics, etc., and so we Sony users had to keep up with that. I think Fuji people were in the same situation and they were also following every major Fuji camera update.

But sadly as Sony and Fuji once make everything just right, they`ll face the same problems as other camera manufacturers do face now. The original A7X series bodies were just too flawed, rushed-out products and so most of us upgraded to the A7X2. I think the Fuji XT1 original was also a terrible experimental camera that never get matured, so when the X-PRo2/ the X-T2 came out all my Fuji friends got either of these or both. But this cannot continue forever.

Do you think they keep upgrading forever even after the A6300, the A6500, the X-P2, the X-T2 generation? I am not very sure if I sell my A6300 and A6500 when something slightly new and better comes out in next April.

I`m not a Fuji and Sony hater (on the contrary I love using their cameras and have recommended them to many people). This is just sad reality for over-saturated market: product is good enough, no reason to upgrade ever so often, plus strong competition from a cheaper accessible devices (older generation cameras are hugely discounted).

Actually, we many of camera dealers deep into this industry think Sony has already faced this market saturation issue. Their sales were down last year, total camera units down- from 8.5 million down to 6.1 million - yes that includes P&S as well, however, Sony very carefully does not break it out any further - unlike just about every other camera company.

You have to wonder what they are actually hiding. They used to brag about their overall market share and their gains with that(until 2012). Now they only brag about how much they rip off their user base with high valued overpriced products like the A7R2, the A99MK2, and the A6500, which is nothing better than the already excellent A6300 in most of use cases.

When you charge the different prices for the A7R2 from the A7M2 and also the A7S2, and your parts,etc are nearly identical, you can be sure you are making a ton of profit on limited sales numbers. I suspect that the A7R2 and A7S2 are nearly pure profit for Sony. Do people actually think that sensor costs Sony 1500 per unit more to manufacturer than the sensor in the A7R? Are people that naive? The body price of the A7R2 and A7S are probably exactly the same as the A7M2, so that alone tells you how much overpriced the A7R2 and A7S2 are compared to the modest but reliable the A7M2 or the A7R.

While the Sony fangirls and fanboys are loving it, they sadly aren't seeing the big picture, Sony's market share is contracting with respect to the overall market. What will happen when Sony starts hitting diminishing returns on it's camera bodies? Right now, people are upgrading aggressively like they did with DSLR's 6+ years ago. Will someone with the A7R2 or the A6500 feel as strong of a need to upgrade to the A7R3 or the A6700? Sooner or later Sony will exhaust it's user base. Honestly I cannot even imagine what camera will force me to displace my A7M2, A7R2,A6500, and A6300 cameras. (I think this simple logic also apply to Fuji system, it is hard for them to get the X-Pro2 and the XT2 users keep changing their cameras every single iteration from the already pretty matured excellent APS-C bodies.)

In actuality, Sony is probably in more of a teetering stage than most. Canon for the most part has it's unit counts stabilized which means it gained market share. Nikon is contracting with the market and so is Sony. However Nikon has a far wider audience and potential customers that can / may upgrade to a new camera if they wake up soon enough to make a F mount mirrorless system that takes all the lens advantage of the new Nikon E series lenses(almost all the new E series FX lenses are superb).

What's funny though is that the DSLR market is not contracting as much as some think it is, partly because Sony has stopped shipping mass shelf stuffing amounts of DSLT cameras. That distorted the shipments, and is never really taken into account.

We are also seeing a fairly dramatic MILC shift as well, as more and more units are being shipped to "Asia" not including Japan and China. Asia now accounts for the majority of mirrorless camera units. However with those, it's the discount units and the lower cost units that are being shipped there, not the high end units. So we are seeing a significant amount of what appears to be mirrorless inventory dumping which also sniffs like all is not right in this camera world, even in the world of mirrorless.

So Sony, Fuji and other mirrorless manufactures, especially Olympus will face really really serious financial issues as their mount systems get really matured. Their real enemies are not smartphones but unsold inventory and the market saturation. Just face the reality that normal or average camera users with a decent big sensor camera cannot justify upgrading to new camera at full price any more unless they are fanatic about IQ, or crazy picky of the latest features, or interested in at least 4k quality video.

Sony Canon Fuji fanboys talk about the Nikon financial crisis as though it is "Nikon only issue", but in reality they will also face the same issue.

Maybe Samsung was the only one smart enough to quit this ever sinking business before the ship actually sink into the deep hell just like IBM in the PC market a few years back?

 

In conclusion:

My present view on Sony is this... They're for the camera techies and early adopters. Those who are willing to be "crash test dummies" and actually kind of enjoy that process(like myself), and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Sony is NOT for the average person, at least right now, IMHO. The original A7R was a complete experimentation of the high resolution FF sensor in a compact body at the all cost of usability concept, and it was kind of received well, some hated it but many odd people like myself loved it. The A7S was also an experimental concept camera to see if the majority of FF buyers accept very low resolution but very high ISO capable almost ultimate lowlight hybrid camera even at the big cost of resolution and basic usability in still photography. I am not sure this concept model was well received or not, but I personally do not care for it, I much prefer the normal A7M2 and the original A7R(still my favorite a7X as I am mainly a tripod shooter).

What does this necessarily do to the cost of entry into the system or a particular piece of gear? Well, there's this thing called economics. And if you don't understand (at least very basic of it) economics, you can't possibly understand the cost of goods sold. You also need to know a little about how camera businesses operate specifically, and generally. You need to understand the difference in product lineups and cost to the consumer between a market leader and a recent entrant into a market.

Without a basic understanding of these types of things (and you don't need to be able to define them or even know specifically what they are - you just kind of need to know about them), you can't even have any serious view about the current consumer camera market.

Most people either don't get this stuff, or don't consider it due to personal bias. I actually know most of people actually get it but do not accept or want to even see how it works, especially in the case of this controversial Sony A7X series and in the case of the Fuji X line products.

In the case of what Sony hopes is a class leading 70-200 f/2.8 zoom... well... they're going to sell a LOT less of them than say, Canon or Nikon, but their development costs and potentially their manufacturing costs, are likely much higher. So they won't be able to spread out their R&D and manufacturing costs over a large number of units thus, the units will be more expensive than the competition if they wish to maintain their profit margins. And I am sure they are all after high profit margin stuff now and this is actually what has made Sony successful in this sinking market, even in very short time.

So, yeah... the lens is already substantially more expensive than the competition- the slightly better optics of Canon and Nikon now, and I actually expect it will be more expensive than the CN offerings for a few more years at least.

This is why, at least foreseeable future-maybe at least 3 -5 more years, until the size of market share for the Sony system increases, everything Sony will release in the A7 and FE line will be more expensive than the same class Canon , Nikon or m43.

But I think Sony market share may actually increase steadily, as Sony consolidates their offerings as a whole system and more people come to appreciate what's on offer.

But again it takes some time to get there, and all of the above what I've just said about Sony also applies to Fuji X system.

All in all, IMO, the disadvantages and risks of innovation are now firmly outweighed by the benefits........ and this will become more obvious with time because most of people are getting really tired of Nikon for their complete lack of innovation, let alone invention.

So like I said in the very first part of this write up, Sony and Canon will probably win over Nikon and Nikon will probably go bankrupt as it is mainly a camera company-about 75 percent of their total income comes from camera sells.

The DL is already aborted even before it gets actually out......Nikon is really domed.

  

UPDATE: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their mediocre so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their imaging division and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. None one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features...

  

UPDATE2: Nikon's response to digital cinema surprises me, especially if they trying to grow your market share. After all it is the only one area that is consistently growing in digital camera market.

 

Nikon is the only major camera company that had no territory to protect. No high end, limited at the medium, not much on the low end, so unlike Canon or Sony, Nikon didn't have to worry about making a whiz bang combination camera that would do high quality stills and motion at almost any price point and cannibalizing other cameras in Nikon DXXX line.

 

Also considering that prior to Canon, everyone in the cinema/motion biz used Nikon Lenses if they used still camera lenses. You could (still can) go to Century and get a Nikon mounted on any film camera, from 16mm Beaulieu to 75mm Panavision, because in the film days, everybody knew that most Nikon lenses were matched in contrast and color, in a very specific way. So Nikon had a foothold in the industry.

 

Of course unless you're on the management side of any of these companies, I doubt we know the whole story.

 

So I'm just wondering, but I have this feeling that when Sony sells sensors, Sony might have Nikon or any one sign a contract that says, yeah you guys can make a video cam, but it can't have ______ fill in the blanks.

 

Of course I could be wrong, but in case of Nikon its very odd corporate decision to be very low-profile in the motion industry does not make much strategic sense , given Nikon's historic name and ability to make excellent cameras and lenses.

 

I strongly think it is the case, and therefore , Nikon has been seeking for a new sensor fab that produces sensor for Nikon as Nikon designed.

 

Nikon has been patenting many many new types of sensor designs that are fully capable of 6k video and Olympus is also working on its own sensor designs, and the EM1MK2 sensor is the first Olympus designed sensor and it is said to be fabbed by TowerJazz or Panasonic(not by Sony).

 

Looks like now everybody is dumping Sony, and maybe Sony is the biggest loser in this game besides Pentax?

 

I have strong feeling Sony may become the next Samsung since Sony cannot keep up running the wide range of its camera business intact without sensor income from Nikon and Olympus.

 

Sensor is rapidly becoming a commodity product and so Sony no longer has any advantage over others. Now any one can design a great sensor, Tamron has just proved it.

 

Oh and the best rated Red Helium sensor is designed by Tower Jazz, not Sony.

  

UPDATE: Nikon Df2 is coming soon and it will house a 24mp sensor but a newer generation chip that Nikon designed or developed and produced by Renasus electronics.

It basically has the feature set of the D750 but in smaller more compact body with the classic camera style controls, which I hate. I am not sure about video feature of it yet but it sounds like getting FHD video at 25, 30, 60 p and i , nothing special.

It will also have the best OVF in any digital era camera with new focus screen.....but it is really too anachronistic now and I think Nikon needs to put a decent EVF, rather than an amazing OVF from film era. The price will be a bit more expensive than the current Df was when it was announced in 2014, and I heard that it will be about 25 percent more expensive than the D810 was at its launch price.

So I think it will be over 3k. So it looks like Nikon still does not get it right; they should understand a camera like the Df 2 really needs a decent EVF and fast LV AF to entice the target market for this type of retro minded compact FF camera.

The potential buyers of this type of cameras are often old with bad eye sight, this means they need pixel peaking to nail the focus really right...so they need a good EVF not the best film era OVF.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE4: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 5: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE6:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE7: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

UPDATE7: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

   

I picked up the Lensbaby Fisheye Optic at Imaging USA this year. Initially I thought I would have pretty limited reasons to use it. I might pull it out for the occasional odd portrait or something but a true 180° fisheye is most often used in rap videos and at skate parks, neither of which do I often photography.

 

But, I am finding it a lot more useful than I originally imagined. Human vision is a funny thing. We are aware, via peripheral vision, of almost 180° of the world but we only have good focus on about 10° of out vision. Our eyes and brain see a lot but we only focus on a small sliver of that. As distorted and odd as these round images look, there is something familiar to them just because they do show the world as we see it… sort of. On a full-frame sensor camera, like the Canon 5D MKII, a 12mm fisheye like this Lensbaby optic produces a round image and much of the sensor never sees any light. The view is so wide that you have to be careful that you don’t get your feet, camera strap or elbow in the shot.

 

In spite of all the distortion that the lens gives, it provides a very deep depth of field even when focused very close and shot at f/4 like (the aperture I used on these shots).

There are a few drawbacks to the Lensbaby fisheye when you use it in their Composer rig. First, you have to be very careful that the image is centered properly or you end up with some of the elegant sphere getting cut off. It is also manual focus and because everything looks so small through the viewfinder, you really have to shift to Live View and digitally zoom in to focus properly. This is not a big deal if you have a little time to compose your shot but tends to preclude and “on the fly shooting.”

 

Anyway, it’s a fun addition to the arsenal of obscure lenses that I seem to love and fawn over. It is also a good bit cheaper than the Canon EF 8-1fmm lens f/4 L USM (which will set you back $1,400 and only stops down to f/4 while the lens baby goes to f/2). I am sure that the Auto Focus of the Canon would take a lot of the leg-work out of using an extreme fisheye and that the optics are cleaner, but I have heard reports that the clarity, when stopped down and used properly are not worth the price difference.

 

But, enough camera geek talk. I hope you enjoy this somewhat unusual view of Louisiana and Mississippi during the winter that I photographed yesterday on my ride back from Lake Bruin. I’m looking forward to putting this lens to more remunerative use on my next portrait assignment. All in all, highly recommended.

 

Check out more at my blog, for lots of photos, recipes, tech talk, travel writing and other ramblings. I appreciate any feedback but, please do not post graphic awards or invitations in the comments, I'm just not crazy about them. Also, if you want to use any of my Commercial Commons licensed photos please link the attribution back to my blog (listed above) and use my full name, Frank McMains. Thanks! Sorry, but you have to pay to use fully copyright protected photos.

I tried to shoot it without any people around it but it was impossible, it was a busy night and Kobe was very crowded until 12am Midnight or even till the next morning.

I went back to my hotel at 12AM.

 

Kobe seems to have recovered from the devastating earthquake very well. It was the same as the before 1995 era. It was like a forever lasting nightmare, I actually experienced the Kobe great earthquake myself in 1995 in Kobe city and it was a really devastating disaster that completely destroyed the entire city area of Kobe and West part of Osaka city. So I was really happy to see Kobe city has completely recovered from the great(actually the greatest) earthquake ever occurred in Japan. To me Fukushima is not an important city at all, actually I have never been to Fukushima. But Kobe is a very important city to me and so I guess I will never forget the day we had the huge earthquake that did not just destroy the city but my heart.

 

The coming death of Nikon 3(updated)

 

I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

So who will be the next Samsung?

  

It seems to me that the "pure camera makers" of old are being slowly challenged by electronics companies. From what I remember Sony's latest results were not all that grim. In the past film days it must have been cheaper to make a camera - it was really a light tight box with a light meter and a shutter. Now, we are looking at sensors, which take big dollars and big factories to make along with software which has to be updated and all types of micro-processors that never existed before. I would expect that big electronics companies like Sony,Samsung, Panasonic, Canon, and Apple would ultimately have some kind of home field advantage - especially in the mass market.

 

While there will likely be niche markets for purists who want to stick with the old names with 1950th analogue finder technology with loud slapping mirror just like there are people who still buy very expensive high end fountain pens like my father and grandpa , I think the average people who just want to take a good photo will slowly drift into the electronics company camp. Sony did buy Minolta camera business(not Minolta itself as opposed to what many camera forum experts always say in many fora) and slowly transitioned it to a pretty innovative camera maker. So maybe, Nikon will ultimately meet the same kind of fate. I guess time will tell, there is a long lasting rumor Canon is interested in picking up Nikon camera division, but I doubt it is true since Canon already has much bigger and stable camera division than that of Nikon and so Canon will gain nothing from buying Nikon camera division.

So that alone gives a decent reason for Samsung to stay in the business, and I do believe if they stay in this game a bit longer and grow the tech inside of the NX1 further, they may be able to become one of three dominant players in this game with Sony and Canon. So I think Samsung has just decided it is not a big enough market for them, not they cannot compete with the rest.

 

That said though, Sony's camera results were kind of vague, so it's hard to determine exactly how well stills camera sales/profits are doing. Their camera division includes "broadcast and professional use products like my FS7MK2" and "flow cytometers", and they don't report how many cameras were sold.

Sony will face the same sales decline problem in few years after they will make a perfect camera lineup when there`s nothing reasonable to upgrade(I think they are already at that point now). It is unavoidable.The last few years, every single new generation Sony camera gets better AF, better viewfinder, better video, ergonomics, etc., and so we Sony users had to keep up with that. I think Fuji people were in the same situation and they were also following every major Fuji camera update.

But sadly as Sony and Fuji once make everything just right, they`ll face the same problems as other camera manufacturers do face now. The original A7X series bodies were just too flawed, rushed-out products and so most of us upgraded to the A7X2. I think the Fuji XT1 original was also a terrible experimental camera that never get matured, so when the X-PRo2/ the X-T2 came out all my Fuji friends got either of these or both. But this cannot continue forever.

Do you think they keep upgrading forever even after the A6300, the A6500, the X-P2, the X-T2 generation? I am not very sure if I sell my A6300 and A6500 when something slightly new and better comes out in next April.

I`m not a Fuji and Sony hater (on the contrary I love using their cameras and have recommended them to many people). This is just sad reality for over-saturated market: product is good enough, no reason to upgrade ever so often, plus strong competition from a cheaper accessible devices (older generation cameras are hugely discounted).

Actually, we many of camera dealers deep into this industry think Sony has already faced this market saturation issue. Their sales were down last year, total camera units down- from 8.5 million down to 6.1 million - yes that includes P&S as well, however, Sony very carefully does not break it out any further - unlike just about every other camera company.

You have to wonder what they are actually hiding. They used to brag about their overall market share and their gains with that(until 2012). Now they only brag about how much they rip off their user base with high valued overpriced products like the A7R2, the A99MK2, and the A6500, which is nothing better than the already excellent A6300 in most of use cases.

When you charge the different prices for the A7R2 from the A7M2 and also the A7S2, and your parts,etc are nearly identical, you can be sure you are making a ton of profit on limited sales numbers. I suspect that the A7R2 and A7S2 are nearly pure profit for Sony. Do people actually think that sensor costs Sony 1500 per unit more to manufacturer than the sensor in the A7R? Are people that naive? The body price of the A7R2 and A7S are probably exactly the same as the A7M2, so that alone tells you how much overpriced the A7R2 and A7S2 are compared to the modest but reliable the A7M2 or the A7R.

While the Sony fangirls and fanboys are loving it, they sadly aren't seeing the big picture, Sony's market share is contracting with respect to the overall market. What will happen when Sony starts hitting diminishing returns on it's camera bodies? Right now, people are upgrading aggressively like they did with DSLR's 6+ years ago. Will someone with the A7R2 or the A6500 feel as strong of a need to upgrade to the A7R3 or the A6700? Sooner or later Sony will exhaust it's user base. Honestly I cannot even imagine what camera will force me to displace my A7M2, A7R2,A6500, and A6300 cameras. (I think this simple logic also apply to Fuji system, it is hard for them to get the X-Pro2 and the XT2 users keep changing their cameras every single iteration from the already pretty matured excellent APS-C bodies.)

In actuality, Sony is probably in more of a teetering stage than most. Canon for the most part has it's unit counts stabilized which means it gained market share. Nikon is contracting with the market and so is Sony. However Nikon has a far wider audience and potential customers that can / may upgrade to a new camera if they wake up soon enough to make a F mount mirrorless system that takes all the lens advantage of the new Nikon E series lenses(almost all the new E series FX lenses are superb).

What's funny though is that the DSLR market is not contracting as much as some think it is, partly because Sony has stopped shipping mass shelf stuffing amounts of DSLT cameras. That distorted the shipments, and is never really taken into account.

We are also seeing a fairly dramatic MILC shift as well, as more and more units are being shipped to "Asia" not including Japan and China. Asia now accounts for the majority of mirrorless camera units. However with those, it's the discount units and the lower cost units that are being shipped there, not the high end units. So we are seeing a significant amount of what appears to be mirrorless inventory dumping which also sniffs like all is not right in this camera world, even in the world of mirrorless.

So Sony, Fuji and other mirrorless manufactures, especially Olympus will face really really serious financial issues as their mount systems get really matured. Their real enemies are not smartphones but unsold inventory and the market saturation. Just face the reality that normal or average camera users with a decent big sensor camera cannot justify upgrading to new camera at full price any more unless they are fanatic about IQ, or crazy picky of the latest features, or interested in at least 4k quality video.

Sony Canon Fuji fanboys talk about the Nikon financial crisis as though it is "Nikon only issue", but in reality they will also face the same issue.

Maybe Samsung was the only one smart enough to quit this ever sinking business before the ship actually sink into the deep hell just like IBM in the PC market a few years back?

 

In conclusion:

My present view on Sony is this... They're for the camera techies and early adopters. Those who are willing to be "crash test dummies" and actually kind of enjoy that process(like myself), and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Sony is NOT for the average person, at least right now, IMHO. The original A7R was a complete experimentation of the high resolution FF sensor in a compact body at the all cost of usability concept, and it was kind of received well, some hated it but many odd people like myself loved it. The A7S was also an experimental concept camera to see if the majority of FF buyers accept very low resolution but very high ISO capable almost ultimate lowlight hybrid camera even at the big cost of resolution and basic usability in still photography. I am not sure this concept model was well received or not, but I personally do not care for it, I much prefer the normal A7M2 and the original A7R(still my favorite a7X as I am mainly a tripod shooter).

What does this necessarily do to the cost of entry into the system or a particular piece of gear? Well, there's this thing called economics. And if you don't understand (at least very basic of it) economics, you can't possibly understand the cost of goods sold. You also need to know a little about how camera businesses operate specifically, and generally. You need to understand the difference in product lineups and cost to the consumer between a market leader and a recent entrant into a market.

Without a basic understanding of these types of things (and you don't need to be able to define them or even know specifically what they are - you just kind of need to know about them), you can't even have any serious view about the current consumer camera market.

Most people either don't get this stuff, or don't consider it due to personal bias. I actually know most of people actually get it but do not accept or want to even see how it works, especially in the case of this controversial Sony A7X series and in the case of the Fuji X line products.

In the case of what Sony hopes is a class leading 70-200 f/2.8 zoom... well... they're going to sell a LOT less of them than say, Canon or Nikon, but their development costs and potentially their manufacturing costs, are likely much higher. So they won't be able to spread out their R&D and manufacturing costs over a large number of units thus, the units will be more expensive than the competition if they wish to maintain their profit margins. And I am sure they are all after high profit margin stuff now and this is actually what has made Sony successful in this sinking market, even in very short time.

So, yeah... the lens is already substantially more expensive than the competition- the slightly better optics of Canon and Nikon now, and I actually expect it will be more expensive than the CN offerings for a few more years at least.

This is why, at least foreseeable future-maybe at least 3 -5 more years, until the size of market share for the Sony system increases, everything Sony will release in the A7 and FE line will be more expensive than the same class Canon , Nikon or m43.

But I think Sony market share may actually increase steadily, as Sony consolidates their offerings as a whole system and more people come to appreciate what's on offer.

But again it takes some time to get there, and all of the above what I've just said about Sony also applies to Fuji X system.

All in all, IMO, the disadvantages and risks of innovation are now firmly outweighed by the benefits........ and this will become more obvious with time because most of people are getting really tired of Nikon for their complete lack of innovation, let alone invention.

So like I said in the very first part of this write up, Sony and Canon will probably win over Nikon and Nikon will probably go bankrupt as it is mainly a camera company-about 75 percent of their total income comes from camera sells.

The DL is already aborted even before it gets actually out......Nikon is really domed.

  

UPDATE: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE2: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

  

UPDATE3: Recently, I decided to sell some of my Sony, Nikon, and Fuji gear and the results were really surprising.

 

I sold a couple of Fuji X-T2, a Sony A6500, a A6300, a A7R, a A7R2, three A7MK2. I also sold my Nikon D800E, D750, and D810.

 

The most expensive camera by far of the list was the A7R2, but surprisingly I got about identical amount of money for it to what I got for my much cheaper(as a brand new) D810. I paid about 3200 USD for my A7R2 in 2015 and shockingly it was devalued a lot more than I thought, I could only get about 1750 USD for it.

I must say it was a terrible loss.

I paid around 2000 US for my D810 in 2016, and got back about 1800 US for it in May 2017.

 

I got about 123000 yen for my X-T2, and I must say the resell value of this camera is great, I think Fuji has been controlling the price of this camera quite well. I just lost about 5000 yen on this camera and I have used it for more than 7 months, so it was a great deal. Renting it over 5 months and paid only 45 US or less, is an amazing deal.

 

I got offered only 72000 for my A7R and it was really pity, so I did not sell it.

 

I got only 64000 yen for my A6300, but I expected this so it was not really shocking, still it was a bad value camera, though. But it was replaced by the A6500, so I did not expect too much for this one.......

 

I got about 75000 yen for my A6500 and it was quite shocking, I expected to get more for that since I paid 118000 yen for it in last Oct.

 

I got 95000 yen for my A7MK2, it was quite sad, deplorable since it is a FF and cheaper than the X-T2 in the used camera market here.

I got about 134000 yen for my 2 year old D750, and it was a positive surprise. I did not expect to get this much of money for it since I paid only about 158000 yen for it in 2014.

 

So I realized Sony cameras seem to hold the worst resell value (by far) in Japan and my Thai friend told me in Thailand too.

I was about to sell my second A7R2, but I decided to keep it just for my FE16-35mm f4 and Voiklander 15mm f4.5 and Sony 85mm f1.8...

 

But the shocking loss by far this time was the Batis 85mm f1.8 or the Batis 18mm f2.8, I have lost a lot of money on those 2 lenses, and I did not expect this.....I thought I might get about 900 US for my Batis 85, but I got only about 630 US for it.

The 18mm Batis was even worse, I paid about 168000 yen for it in 2016..... and now I could get only about 98000 yen for it, it was the most shocking and the biggest loss by far, I never thought the resale value of the Batis 18mm f2.8 this bad.

  

So now I decided never buy any more Batis series lenses, I have lost too much on this terribly built so-called Zeiss(actually Tamron made) lenses.

  

UPDATE4: I am now in the process of replacing all my Sony E mount lenses(except a few) with Canon EF mount lenses.

I hated adapters, but after I tried the Sigma MC11, I changed my mind and I think it is much safer to use my Sony bodies with Canon lenses since Canon EF mount is the safest long term future proven mount, and the resell value of the super expensive Sony GM and so-called Sony Zeiss are too bad, the Batis line is even worse. So I think by selling off all expensive Sony E mount lenses that cannot be reused in any other mount system in the near future, I will be more secured and adding the Sigma adapter expand the possible AF lens selection for my FE bodies. After all, I realized that Sony FE zooms are all mediocre , even the most expensive GM ones.

 

I will replace my FE16-35mm f4 Z with a Canon EF16-35mm f4 L IS, I have compared ten copies of each and I am 100 percent sure the Canon is the better lens and cheaper one. In fact, the adapter plus the lens price is the same as the Sony FE16-35mm f4 Z alone. And another benefit of this lens over the FE16-35mm f4 Z is that the Canon lens does not extend its length when it zooms out or in.

 

I will also replace the FE24-70mm f4 with the EF24-70mm f4 LIS.

I will get the 40mm f2.8 STM, which is a surprisingly good lens for the modest size and price.

 

I will also add Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art, which is the sharpest lens ever produced by any one according to Photozone,de.

 

I also add Canon EF70-300mm f4-5.6IS MK2 lens, which is really cheap and for me it is a worth lens since I am not a serious telephoto shooter and so I do not want to invest over 100000 yen for a lens like FE70-300mm f4-5.6G, which is clearly overpriced.

 

I also add Tamron 35mm f1.8VC to replace my Sony FE 35mm f2.8 and Loxia 35mm f2, both of which I actually detest for the terrible corner quality and terrible coma(in case of the Loxia).

 

I may also add the amazing Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC G2, which is about half the price of the Sony FE70-200mmf2.8GM, and in my experience, the Tamron is the sharper lens(I compared 4 copies of each once at my shop).

 

I will keep my FE85mm f1.8, which is one of the best 85mm primes ever made and I much prefer this to the overpriced oversized GM and my plastic coated cheap looking Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8E lens.

 

I will also keep my Voiktlander 15mm f4.5 and 12mm f5.6.

  

UPDATE5: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

   

Now selling many Sony E mount lenses and cameras to free myself from the annoying mount tie, I am also debating if I continue to invest more money into Sony system or just move to Fuji. I never realized this before selling just a couple of A7X bodies plus a several lenses made me more than enough money to buy another camera system, I might just want to try the Fuji system for serious real life apps for a month or two to decide what I do with it and my Sony kit.

 

I have sold my A7R2(1), A7M2(2), A6300(1), A6000(2), and FE35mm f2.8, Loxia 35mm f2, Sony FE90mm f2.8G, Sony FE70-200mm f2.8GM, Sony FE70-200mm f4G, Loxia 21mm f2.8, etc, etc, and I will sell more.

 

I decided to keep my cheap A7R Original and a 55mm, 85mm , 16-35mm Sony lenses and Voiklander 15mm and 12mm primes, and I will test more different brand systems.

  

The coming death of Nikon 3

 

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Tokyo and Tsukuba area of Ibaraki prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I visited Asakusa, Kitasenju, Ginza , Nihonbashi, Kasumigaseki, Shiba, and Shinjuku areas of Tokyo, and snapped around many things there with my Sony A7R, A7R2 and A6500.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kanto I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is really not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this rapidly shrinking industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

 

Every where we go together, now we are wondering why no one we meet here shoots any Sony ILC, is Sony really profitable in this business?

 

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting any Nikon any more any where and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Kitasenju station(North East Tokyo) no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player here in Japan , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may lose all the pro PJ shooters and concert photographers to Sony, Fuji or Canon..

 

Now the D7500 is announced and we have had some lucky chance to test it through at a big camera dealers meeting here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

It seems to me that the "pure camera makers" of old are being slowly challenged by electronics companies. From what I remember Sony's latest results were not all that grim. In the past film days it must have been cheaper to make a camera - it was really a light tight box with a light meter and a shutter. Now, we are looking at sensors, which take big dollars and big factories to make along with software which has to be updated and all types of micro-processors that never existed before. I would expect that big electronics companies like Sony,Samsung, Panasonic, Canon, and Apple would ultimately have some kind of home field advantage - especially in the mass market.

 

While there will likely be niche markets for purists who want to stick with the old names with 1950th analogue finder technology with loud slapping mirror just like there are people who still buy very expensive high end fountain pens like my father and grandpa , I think the average people who just want to take a good photo will slowly drift into the electronics company camp. Sony did buy Minolta camera business(not Minolta itself as opposed to what many camera forum experts always say in many fora) and slowly transitioned it to a pretty innovative camera maker. So maybe, Nikon will ultimately meet the same kind of fate. I guess time will tell, there is a long lasting rumor Canon is interested in picking up Nikon camera division, but I doubt it is true since Canon already has much bigger and stable camera division than that of Nikon and so Canon will gain nothing from buying Nikon camera division.

So that alone gives a decent reason for Samsung to stay in the business, and I do believe if they stay in this game a bit longer and grow the tech inside of the NX1 further, they may be able to become one of three dominant players in this game with Sony and Canon. So I think Samsung has just decided it is not a big enough market for them, not they cannot compete with the rest.

 

That said though, Sony's camera results were kind of vague, so it's hard to determine exactly how well stills camera sales/profits are doing. Their camera division includes "broadcast and professional use products like my FS7MK2" and "flow cytometers", and they don't report how many cameras were sold.

Sony will face the same sales decline problem in few years after they will make a perfect camera lineup when there`s nothing reasonable to upgrade(I think they are already at that point now). It is unavoidable.The last few years, every single new generation Sony camera gets better AF, better viewfinder, better video, ergonomics, etc., and so we Sony users had to keep up with that. I think Fuji people were in the same situation and they were also following every major Fuji camera update.

But sadly as Sony and Fuji once make everything just right, they`ll face the same problems as other camera manufacturers do face now. The original A7X series bodies were just too flawed, rushed-out products and so most of us upgraded to the A7X2. I think the Fuji XT1 original was also a terrible experimental camera that never get matured, so when the X-PRo2/ the X-T2 came out all my Fuji friends got either of these or both. But this cannot continue forever.

Do you think they keep upgrading forever even after the A6300, the A6500, the X-P2, the X-T2 generation? I am not very sure if I sell my A6300 and A6500 when something slightly new and better comes out in next April.

I`m not a Fuji and Sony hater (on the contrary I love using their cameras and have recommended them to many people). This is just sad reality for over-saturated market: product is good enough, no reason to upgrade ever so often, plus strong competition from a cheaper accessible devices (older generation cameras are hugely discounted).

Actually, we many of camera dealers deep into this industry think Sony has already faced this market saturation issue. Their sales were down last year, total camera units down- from 8.5 million down to 6.1 million - yes that includes P&S as well, however, Sony very carefully does not break it out any further - unlike just about every other camera company.

You have to wonder what they are actually hiding. They used to brag about their overall market share and their gains with that(until 2012). Now they only brag about how much they rip off their user base with high valued overpriced products like the A7R2, the A99MK2, and the A6500, which is nothing better than the already excellent A6300 in most of use cases.

When you charge the different prices for the A7R2 from the A7M2 and also the A7S2, and your parts,etc are nearly identical, you can be sure you are making a ton of profit on limited sales numbers. I suspect that the A7R2 and A7S2 are nearly pure profit for Sony. Do people actually think that sensor costs Sony 1500 per unit more to manufacturer than the sensor in the A7R? Are people that naive? The body price of the A7R2 and A7S are probably exactly the same as the A7M2, so that alone tells you how much overpriced the A7R2 and A7S2 are compared to the modest but reliable the A7M2 or the A7R.

While the Sony fangirls and fanboys are loving it, they sadly aren't seeing the big picture, Sony's market share is contracting with respect to the overall market. What will happen when Sony starts hitting diminishing returns on it's camera bodies? Right now, people are upgrading aggressively like they did with DSLR's 6+ years ago. Will someone with the A7R2 or the A6500 feel as strong of a need to upgrade to the A7R3 or the A6700? Sooner or later Sony will exhaust it's user base. Honestly I cannot even imagine what camera will force me to displace my A7M2, A7R2,A6500, and A6300 cameras. (I think this simple logic also apply to Fuji system, it is hard for them to get the X-Pro2 and the XT2 users keep changing their cameras every single iteration from the already pretty matured excellent APS-C bodies.)

In actuality, Sony is probably in more of a teetering stage than most. Canon for the most part has it's unit counts stabilized which means it gained market share. Nikon is contracting with the market and so is Sony. However Nikon has a far wider audience and potential customers that can / may upgrade to a new camera if they wake up soon enough to make a F mount mirrorless system that takes all the lens advantage of the new Nikon E series lenses(almost all the new E series FX lenses are superb).

What's funny though is that the DSLR market is not contracting as much as some think it is, partly because Sony has stopped shipping mass shelf stuffing amounts of DSLT cameras. That distorted the shipments, and is never really taken into account.

We are also seeing a fairly dramatic MILC shift as well, as more and more units are being shipped to "Asia" not including Japan and China. Asia now accounts for the majority of mirrorless camera units. However with those, it's the discount units and the lower cost units that are being shipped there, not the high end units. So we are seeing a significant amount of what appears to be mirrorless inventory dumping which also sniffs like all is not right in this camera world, even in the world of mirrorless.

So Sony, Fuji and other mirrorless manufactures, especially Olympus will face really really serious financial issues as their mount systems get really matured. Their real enemies are not smartphones but unsold inventory and the market saturation. Just face the reality that normal or average camera users with a decent big sensor camera cannot justify upgrading to new camera at full price any more unless they are fanatic about IQ, or crazy picky of the latest features, or interested in at least 4k quality video.

Sony Canon Fuji fanboys talk about the Nikon financial crisis as though it is "Nikon only issue", but in reality they will also face the same issue.

Maybe Samsung was the only one smart enough to quit this ever sinking business before the ship actually sink into the deep hell just like IBM in the PC market a few years back?

 

In conclusion:

My present view on Sony is this... They're for the camera techies and early adopters. Those who are willing to be "crash test dummies" and actually kind of enjoy that process(like myself), and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Sony is NOT for the average person, at least right now, IMHO. The original A7R was a complete experimentation of the high resolution FF sensor in a compact body at the all cost of usability concept, and it was kind of received well, some hated it but many odd people like myself loved it. The A7S was also an experimental concept camera to see if the majority of FF buyers accept very low resolution but very high ISO capable almost ultimate lowlight hybrid camera even at the big cost of resolution and basic usability in still photography. I am not sure this concept model was well received or not, but I personally do not care for it, I much prefer the normal A7M2 and the original A7R(still my favorite a7X as I am mainly a tripod shooter).

What does this necessarily do to the cost of entry into the system or a particular piece of gear? Well, there's this thing called economics. And if you don't understand (at least very basic of it) economics, you can't possibly understand the cost of goods sold. You also need to know a little about how camera businesses operate specifically, and generally. You need to understand the difference in product lineups and cost to the consumer between a market leader and a recent entrant into a market.

Without a basic understanding of these types of things (and you don't need to be able to define them or even know specifically what they are - you just kind of need to know about them), you can't even have any serious view about the current consumer camera market.

Most people either don't get this stuff, or don't consider it due to personal bias. I actually know most of people actually get it but do not accept or want to even see how it works, especially in the case of this controversial Sony A7X series and in the case of the Fuji X line products.

In the case of what Sony hopes is a class leading 70-200 f/2.8 zoom... well... they're going to sell a LOT less of them than say, Canon or Nikon, but their development costs and potentially their manufacturing costs, are likely much higher. So they won't be able to spread out their R&D and manufacturing costs over a large number of units thus, the units will be more expensive than the competition if they wish to maintain their profit margins. And I am sure they are all after high profit margin stuff now and this is actually what has made Sony successful in this sinking market, even in very short time.

So, yeah... the lens is already substantially more expensive than the competition- the slightly better optics of Canon and Nikon now, and I actually expect it will be more expensive than the CN offerings for a few more years at least.

This is why, at least foreseeable future-maybe at least 3 -5 more years, until the size of market share for the Sony system increases, everything Sony will release in the A7 and FE line will be more expensive than the same class Canon , Nikon or m43.

But I think Sony market share may actually increase steadily, as Sony consolidates their offerings as a whole system and more people come to appreciate what's on offer.

But again it takes some time to get there, and all of the above what I've just said about Sony also applies to Fuji X system.

All in all, IMO, the disadvantages and risks of innovation are now firmly outweighed by the benefits........ and this will become more obvious with time because most of people are getting really tired of Nikon for their complete lack of innovation, let alone invention.

So like I said in the very first part of this write up, Sony and Canon will probably win over Nikon and Nikon will probably go bankrupt as it is mainly a camera company-about 75 percent of their total income comes from camera sells.

The DL is already aborted even before it gets actually out......Nikon is really domed.

  

UPDATE: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their mediocre so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their imaging division and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. None one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features...

  

UPDATE2: Nikon's response to digital cinema surprises me, especially if they trying to grow your market share. After all it is the only one area that is consistently growing in digital camera market.

 

Nikon is the only major camera company that had no territory to protect. No high end, limited at the medium, not much on the low end, so unlike Canon or Sony, Nikon didn't have to worry about making a whiz bang combination camera that would do high quality stills and motion at almost any price point and cannibalizing other cameras in Nikon DXXX line.

 

Also considering that prior to Canon, everyone in the cinema/motion biz used Nikon Lenses if they used still camera lenses. You could (still can) go to Century and get a Nikon mounted on any film camera, from 16mm Beaulieu to 75mm Panavision, because in the film days, everybody knew that most Nikon lenses were matched in contrast and color, in a very specific way. So Nikon had a foothold in the industry.

 

Of course unless you're on the management side of any of these companies, I doubt we know the whole story.

 

So I'm just wondering, but I have this feeling that when Sony sells sensors, Sony might have Nikon or any one sign a contract that says, yeah you guys can make a video cam, but it can't have ______ fill in the blanks.

 

Of course I could be wrong, but in case of Nikon its very odd corporate decision to be very low-profile in the motion industry does not make much strategic sense , given Nikon's historic name and ability to make excellent cameras and lenses.

 

I strongly think it is the case, and therefore , Nikon has been seeking for a new sensor fab that produces sensor for Nikon as Nikon designed.

 

Nikon has been patenting many many new types of sensor designs that are fully capable of 6k video and Olympus is also working on its own sensor designs, and the EM1MK2 sensor is the first Olympus designed sensor and it is said to be fabbed by TowerJazz or Panasonic(not by Sony).

 

Looks like now everybody is dumping Sony, and maybe Sony is the biggest loser in this game besides Pentax?

 

I have strong feeling Sony may become the next Samsung since Sony cannot keep up running the wide range of its camera business intact without sensor income from Nikon and Olympus.

 

Sensor is rapidly becoming a commodity product and so Sony no longer has any advantage over others. Now any one can design a great sensor, Tamron has just proved it.

 

Oh and the best rated Red Helium sensor is designed by Tower Jazz, not Sony.

  

UPDATE: Nikon Df2 is coming soon and it will house a 24mp sensor but a newer generation chip that Nikon designed or developed and produced by Renasus electronics.

It basically has the feature set of the D750 but in smaller more compact body with the classic camera style controls, which I hate. I am not sure about video feature of it yet but it sounds like getting FHD video at 25, 30, 60 p and i , nothing special.

It will also have the best OVF in any digital era camera with new focus screen.....but it is really too anachronistic now and I think Nikon needs to put a decent EVF, rather than an amazing OVF from film era. The price will be a bit more expensive than the current Df was when it was announced in 2014, and I heard that it will be about 25 percent more expensive than the D810 was at its launch price.

So I think it will be over 3k. So it looks like Nikon still does not get it right; they should understand a camera like the Df 2 really needs a decent EVF and fast LV AF to entice the target market for this type of retro minded compact FF camera.

The potential buyers of this type of cameras are often old with bad eye sight, this means they need pixel peaking to nail the focus really right...so they need a good EVF not the best film era OVF.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE4: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 5: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE6:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE7: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

UPDATE7: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

   

It's really funny almost all Asian tourists come here have some kind of Canon FF cameras, rarely they carry a Nikon D750 class body but seldom see anything better than the D750, or any of the highend Fuji mirrorless cameras.

 

The coming death of Nikon as a camera brand 2(updated)

 

I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs PhotographyLife.

I think Mr.Hogan is a rare exception case here because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

To me it is really shocking that no one shooting any of highend Nikon cameras any more in any where in Japan, it is really hard to spot any one with Nikon product here, and I think it is getting worse these days.

 

Now the D7500 is announced and we have had some chance to test it through at a big camera dealers meeting here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

    

When Nikon D800 and E were the greatest cameras among those armchair experts online and those avid Nikon lovers(Canon haters) all predicted the death of Canon and trashed all Canon cameras for a bit less DR at base ISO..........but did the D800E actually become a big commercial success for Nikon?

All those Nikon lovers made the sensor DR at very base ISO a huge issue and trashed all those having lesser DR at base ISO than their beloved Nikon as though they were all useless junks for any application without realizing their beloved a gen older Nikons all had lesser DR and resolution than the rival Canon and Sony back then.

Many Nikon avid fans make the D800 series a huge deal, but besides the sensor what has been so appealing to non Nikon users or even Nikon users who are not interested in a cheap landscape or a budget studio work camera set up under 10K USD range?

Often Thom Hogan and PhotographyLife,etc repeat in their review of any camera(either a mirrorless or a D-SLR).

"The D810 is overall still the best camera body to date even without the class leading sensor and the great F mount lens line for the FX , It was definitely the best DSLR on the market in this segment. So reducing a D810 to its sensor is an over simplification and stupid."

And he claims himself an unbiased Nikon shooter........Really? To me he seems like one of the biggest pro Nikon avid Nikon fanboy reviewer in the world. He may be trying to be neutral but it is obvious that he is not a neutral but a pro Nikon person.

Just imagine there was a Nikon D810b with the Canon 5D3 sensor, which would have been a slow, clumsy body with limited lens selection, poor live view, a slow frame rate, a weaker AF system than the 5D3 and no immense IQ advantage over the competition. It was the Exmor which got the D800 off the ground, prior to the D810's refinements. Without it, it would have gotten nowhere, but another boring 1970 style crappy retro camera offering. Bear in mind that, in 2012, Canon practically owned the high-resolution/low ISO crowd, since the 5D2 had such a huge resolution advantage over the D700 (which was, in every other way, a better stills camera). It's really a testament to the strength of the Exmor - and Canon's stagnation at the time - that the D800/D810 were able to get many those people who were obsessed with the base ISO DR thing to ditch their Canon setup and move to the Nikon system.

But it was just a very short time trend-until the A7R was out. The A7R was a terrible body ,but for those who loved the also terrible D800 series body, it was not a serious issue since their intended use of those high resolution so-called FF was on tripod-serious static thing shooting just like I do use my A7R or my old D800E.....the biggest attraction of the Sony over the Nikon for a Canon shooter was that they did not have to change the lenses they already owned, just buying adapter let you use the Sony sensor with your own Canon lenses.

Even back in 2012 when the D800E thing was the hottest and greatest ever, Nikon was losing sells to Canon and Sony, to a lesser extent to m43.

Nikon lost about 15 percent of its market share in 2012 from its peak in 2008(when the D3 was the hottest camera) despite of the crazy D800E hype generated online.

If the so-called amazing DR was so important to most and even besides that the camera was the best D-SLR ever, then why haven't those amazing Nikon D800 series been commercially successful for Nikon but rather money losing products?

This year Nikon has lost even more sales; sales down 20%, Income down 30%, disastrous Coolpix, Nikon1 performance and non-existent DL cameras all paint a dismal picture, and with no mirrorless or video/motion presence worth speaking of, an even worse outlook. The only area that made up for the loss in imaging was the successful Precision semiconductor group.Bottom line is the balance sheet doesn't lie. And this poor results of Nikon prove that no one outside of the internet camera forums really care about so called amazing DR at base ISO, or what Nikon call amazing pro AF, but more sophisticated overall hybrid functionality, with a bit more like universal mount design.

In fact, those do care about the base ISO DR or obsessed with it actually prefer it in a mirrorless body combined with the amazing Sony EPSON EVF used in the XT2 and A7R2 and thus the temporal switchers from Canon to Nikon for the D800 all moved to or moving to Sony for the A7R series. No one really cares about so-called pro AF in their very high DR high resolution camera since they are not intended to use handheld but on a solid tripod.

Those just needed a bit better DR with very good AF, fast performance, and pro class ergonomics all moved back to Canon for the 5D4 for its better LV and video performance compared to the poor Nikon way of LV in the D800E/D810.

So despite of the all crazy hype for the D8XX, Nikon has been losing serious amount of money to Sony Canon and now to Fuji and Olympus.

Internet is consisted of full of lies and disinfos or ones' wishful thinking, those who do not know anything about the actual sells speak about it as though they knew all with access to the real sells numbers of each camera company. So the D800, the D810, the D500, and the A7R are all huge hits in all camera forums online, but they haven't performed very well commercially......In fact, the one which has stabilized current Sony's market position in this market as the solid no2 player is the A6000, A6300, not the much more hyped A7R series. And the original A7 is the still best selling of the A7X series cameras.

And the all time best selling FF camera is still the Canon 6D, and the saddest reality for Nikon is the 6D alone simply outsells the all the Nikon FX sells combined.

Many Nikon fans never realize it but Nikon is a tiny company, in fact, it is even smaller than Olympus or Ricoh, who Nikon fans usually dismiss or mock as a tiny player, or as an irrelevant player.

Olympus is at least 4 times bigger than Nikon is in terms of total revenue and income in this year.

And there is rumor that Fuji will take over Nikon and produce Nikon branded endscopes soon.

Many Nikon fans still believe Nikon has all the mirrorless and video tech needed in house, but is it really true?

Nikon has no background in digital video and their supporting hardware is likely quite underdeveloped compared to Sony or Canon in catering to video. This is quite evident in their still cameras, which underperform video-wise compared to Canon, Sony, Panasonic or even Olympus and now Fuji still cameras. Doing so would also carry the same risk as their current offering - the complete lack of control over their sensor supply - while not really diversifying their market.

Digital video is a game for electronics companies (Sony, Panasonic, and Canon), not companies whose main strength is optics and who outsource their electronics. Nikon's best bet is just to build lenses for everyone else's video cameras, not to make them themselves.

So in that sense, Nikon's main rivals are Zeiss, Fuji, and Samyong.

So I am guessing if Nikon cannot design a decent F mount mirrorless hybrid system camera in the next 3 years, before the Tokyo Olympics, they will have to become a third-party lens manufacture designing and producing cheap lenses for the camera video manufactures such as Canon, Sony and m43- just like Samyong or Sigma. They cannot try to sell highend optics to labs or broadcast industry like Zeiss, Leica, Canon, or Fuji since Nikon does not have the luxurious name of Zeiss, Leica, Canon, Fujinon, etc.

I think this is why Nikon has tried to sue Sigma for a several times or so. They know that their real rivals are Sigma, Tamron, and Samyong , and they cannot produce better lens designs than those cheap off-brand manufactures.

So to me,it is sad to face, but the coming death of Nikon as a camera maker seems quite obvious and unavoidable.

  

UPDATE: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE2: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

  

UPDATE3: Recently, I decided to sell some of my Sony, Nikon, and Fuji gear and the results were really surprising.

 

I sold a couple of Fuji X-T2, a Sony A6500, a A6300, a A7R, a A7R2, three A7MK2. I also sold my Nikon D800E, D750, and D810.

 

The most expensive camera by far of the list was the A7R2, but surprisingly I got about identical amount of money for it to what I got for my much cheaper(as a brand new) D810. I paid about 3200 USD for my A7R2 in 2015 and shockingly it was devalued a lot more than I thought, I could only get about 1750 USD for it.

I must say it was a terrible loss.

I paid around 2000 US for my D810 in 2016, and got back about 1800 US for it in May 2017.

 

I got about 123000 yen for my X-T2, and I must say the resell value of this camera is great, I think Fuji has been controlling the price of this camera quite well. I just lost about 5000 yen on this camera and I have used it for more than 7 months, so it was a great deal. Renting it over 5 months and paid only 45 US or less, is an amazing deal.

 

I got offered only 72000 for my A7R and it was really pity, so I did not sell it.

 

I got only 64000 yen for my A6300, but I expected this so it was not really shocking, still it was a bad value camera, though. But it was replaced by the A6500, so I did not expect too much for this one.......

 

I got about 75000 yen for my A6500 and it was quite shocking, I expected to get more for that since I paid 118000 yen for it in last Oct.

 

I got 95000 yen for my A7MK2, it was quite sad, deplorable since it is a FF and cheaper than the X-T2 in the used camera market here.

I got about 134000 yen for my 2 year old D750, and it was a positive surprise. I did not expect to get this much of money for it since I paid only about 158000 yen for it in 2014.

 

So I realized Sony cameras seem to hold the worst resell value (by far) in Japan and my Thai friend told me in Thailand too.

I was about to sell my second A7R2, but I decided to keep it just for my FE16-35mm f4 and Voiklander 15mm f4.5 and Sony 85mm f1.8...

 

But the shocking loss by far this time was the Batis 85mm f1.8 or the Batis 18mm f2.8, I have lost a lot of money on those 2 lenses, and I did not expect this.....I thought I might get about 900 US for my Batis 85, but I got only about 630 US for it.

The 18mm Batis was even worse, I paid about 168000 yen for it in 2016..... and now I could get only about 98000 yen for it, it was the most shocking and the biggest loss by far, I never thought the resale value of the Batis 18mm f2.8 this bad.

  

So now I decided never buy any more Batis series lenses, I have lost too much on this terribly built so-called Zeiss(actually Tamron made) lenses.

  

UPDATE4: I am now in the process of replacing all my Sony E mount lenses(except a few) with Canon EF mount lenses.

I hated adapters, but after I tried the Sigma MC11, I changed my mind and I think it is much safer to use my Sony bodies with Canon lenses since Canon EF mount is the safest long term future proven mount, and the resell value of the super expensive Sony GM and so-called Sony Zeiss are too bad, the Batis line is even worse. So I think by selling off all expensive Sony E mount lenses that cannot be reused in any other mount system in the near future, I will be more secured and adding the Sigma adapter expand the possible AF lens selection for my FE bodies. After all, I realized that Sony FE zooms are all mediocre , even the most expensive GM ones.

 

I will replace my FE16-35mm f4 Z with a Canon EF16-35mm f4 L IS, I have compared ten copies of each and I am 100 percent sure the Canon is the better lens and cheaper one. In fact, the adapter plus the lens price is the same as the Sony FE16-35mm f4 Z alone. And another benefit of this lens over the FE16-35mm f4 Z is that the Canon lens does not extend its length when it zooms out or in.

 

I will also replace the FE24-70mm f4 with the EF24-70mm f4 LIS.

I will get the 40mm f2.8 STM, which is a surprisingly good lens for the modest size and price.

 

I will also add Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art, which is the sharpest lens ever produced by any one according to Photozone,de.

 

I also add Canon EF70-300mm f4-5.6IS MK2 lens, which is really cheap and for me it is a worth lens since I am not a serious telephoto shooter and so I do not want to invest over 100000 yen for a lens like FE70-300mm f4-5.6G, which is clearly overpriced.

 

I also add Tamron 35mm f1.8VC to replace my Sony FE 35mm f2.8 and Loxia 35mm f2, both of which I actually detest for the terrible corner quality and terrible coma(in case of the Loxia).

 

I may also add the amazing Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC G2, which is about half the price of the Sony FE70-200mmf2.8GM, and in my experience, the Tamron is the sharper lens(I compared 4 copies of each once at my shop).

 

I will keep my FE85mm f1.8, which is one of the best 85mm primes ever made and I much prefer this to the overpriced oversized GM and my plastic coated cheap looking Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8E lens.

 

I will also keep my Voiklander 15mm f4.5 and 12mm f5.6.

 

UPDATE5:Now I have been testing the new Sony FE85mm f1.8E, I bought 3 copies of that lens. I have compared it to my 2 copies of Batis 85mm f1.8E many times now.

And now I know much more about these 2 lenses than a month ago when I first wrote about the FE85mm f1.8E.

 

The Batis 85mm f1.8E has a serious distortion issue, about -2.74 percent pincushion distortion which is a very high value for a 85mm. The Sony FE85mm f1.8E has about -1.74percent of pincushion distortion and which is already quite high for a mid tele prime.

The FE85mm f1.8 is , as DXO says, a tiny bit sharper wide open and continues to be sharper until f4 or f4.5.

From f4.5 or F4, the Batis becomes a tiny bit sharper than the FE, but after f7.1 or so, the FE becomes sharper again.

The Batis vignettes a bit more throughout the available f stops. But the Batis has noticeably better flare performance, with a bit better contrast.

To me the biggest difference between the 2 budget 85mm E mount primes is the color difference. The Batis produces quite a bit warmer tone, and for portrait many people prefer that. Personally, I do not shoot portrait with my Sony any more, so it is not a big issue, but if I do it still, then I probably choose the Batis(this lens) over the new FE85mm f1.8E since people I shoot prefer the color of it.

 

For landscape or flower shots I think the Batis still produces a bit better colors, especially red and blue channels.

But if resolution is the most important or distortion control is the most important aspect of a lens IQ to you , then the Sony FE85mm f1.8E is slightly but noticeably better than the Zeiss Batis.

 

But since I have 2 copies of Batis already and I will lose a lot of money selling them, so I think I will return the FE85mm f1.8E. But if I were buying now, then it's easy, I will get the cheap FE85mmf1.8 Sony.

   

The coming death of Nikon 3:Electronics vs camera company.

  

In last week, I went up to Tsukuba university in Ibaraki prefecture for work and academic conference held at Epochal Tsukuba.

I attended a social study conference for 3 days there and I traveled there after that for 3 days. I think I went to Tokyo, Tsukuba, Tsuchiura, and Mito, which is the capital city of Ibaraki prefecture.

After this short academic trip to North East Kanto, Japan I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than we once thought. It was really bad, I think it is not the right time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLRs or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular innovative camera currently available according to many silly online camera forums. It seemed as though I was the only one person in Tsukuba area of Ibaraki shooting a Sony A7R series body.......to me it was really shocking.

I met a couple of American researchers from UC something at Tsukuba university, and one of them climbed a middle sized mountain together with me and he had 2 m43( GX80 and EM5MK2) and Fuji X-Pro2. And he let me try his new Panasonic G80, I actually liked it, found it very intuitive.

 

I think the puny Sony cameras I have are not very well suited for both urban documentary of my academic travels and mountain hiking climbing........Most of photographers I met in Tsukuba mountain complex area of Tsukuba had either a Canon 5D something or a m43 or a Fuji. My coworker said ," it was really surprising but no one other than us had a Sony, how come?"

Well it is nothing surprising since I know Sony Alpha 7 series cameras are not selling well in real world outside of camera forums. They are only popular among those camera fanatic forum denizens like us...........

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon shooter is that no one seems to be shooting Nikon any more and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near Kasumigaseki station no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many many guys shooting the demo told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or even angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player here in Japan , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter, or Nikon may have to go bankrupt very very soon.

 

Now the D5600 is out and I have tested it at a trade show here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than the D500 or anything from Nikon since 2011, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest mirrorless champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

    

It seems to me that the "pure camera makers" of old are being slowly challenged by electronics companies. From what I remember Sony's latest results were not all that grim. In the past film days it must have been cheaper to make a camera - it was really a light tight box with a light meter and a shutter. Now, we are looking at sensors, which take big dollars and big factories to make along with software which has to be updated and all types of micro-processors that never existed before. I would expect that big electronics companies like Sony,Samsung, Panasonic, Canon, and Apple would ultimately have some kind of home field advantage - especially in the mass market.

 

While there will likely be niche markets for purists who want to stick with the old names with 1950th analogue finder technology with loud slapping mirror just like there are people who still buy very expensive high end fountain pens like my father and grandpa , I think the average people who just want to take a good photo will slowly drift into the electronics company camp. Sony did buy Minolta camera business(not Minolta itself as opposed to what many camera forum experts always say in many fora) and slowly transitioned it to a pretty innovative camera maker. So maybe, Nikon will ultimately meet the same kind of fate. I guess time will tell, there is a long lasting rumor Canon is interested in picking up Nikon camera division, but I doubt it is true since Canon already has much bigger and stable camera division than that of Nikon and so Canon will gain nothing from buying Nikon camera division.

So that alone gives a decent reason for Samsung to stay in the business, and I do believe if they stay in this game a bit longer and grow the tech inside of the NX1 further, they may be able to become one of three dominant players in this game with Sony and Canon. So I think Samsung has just decided it is not a big enough market for them, not they cannot compete with the rest.

 

That said though, Sony's camera results were kind of vague, so it's hard to determine exactly how well stills camera sales/profits are doing. Their camera division includes "broadcast and professional use products like my FS7MK2" and "flow cytometers", and they don't report how many cameras were sold.

Sony will face the same sales decline problem in few years after they will make a perfect camera lineup when there`s nothing reasonable to upgrade(I think they are already at that point now). It is unavoidable.The last few years, every single new generation Sony camera gets better AF, better viewfinder, better video, ergonomics, etc., and so we Sony users had to keep up with that. I think Fuji people were in the same situation and they were also following every major Fuji camera update.

But sadly as Sony and Fuji once make everything just right, they`ll face the same problems as other camera manufacturers do face now. The original A7X series bodies were just too flawed, rushed-out products and so most of us upgraded to the A7X2. I think the Fuji XT1 original was also a terrible experimental camera that never get matured, so when the X-PRo2/ the X-T2 came out all my Fuji friends got either of these or both. But this cannot continue forever.

Do you think they keep upgrading forever even after the A6300, the A6500, the X-P2, the X-T2 generation? I am not very sure if I sell my A6300 and A6500 when something slightly new and better comes out in next April.

I`m not a Fuji and Sony hater (on the contrary I love using their cameras and have recommended them to many people). This is just sad reality for over-saturated market: product is good enough, no reason to upgrade ever so often, plus strong competition from a cheaper accessible devices (older generation cameras are hugely discounted).

Actually, we many of camera dealers deep into this industry think Sony has already faced this market saturation issue. Their sales were down last year, total camera units down- from 8.5 million down to 6.1 million - yes that includes P&S as well, however, Sony very carefully does not break it out any further - unlike just about every other camera company.

You have to wonder what they are actually hiding. They used to brag about their overall market share and their gains with that(until 2012). Now they only brag about how much they rip off their user base with high valued overpriced products like the A7R2, the A99MK2, and the A6500, which is nothing better than the already excellent A6300 in most of use cases.

When you charge the different prices for the A7R2 from the A7M2 and also the A7S2, and your parts,etc are nearly identical, you can be sure you are making a ton of profit on limited sales numbers. I suspect that the A7R2 and A7S2 are nearly pure profit for Sony. Do people actually think that sensor costs Sony 1500 per unit more to manufacturer than the sensor in the A7R? Are people that naive? The body price of the A7R2 and A7S are probably exactly the same as the A7M2, so that alone tells you how much overpriced the A7R2 and A7S2 are compared to the modest but reliable the A7M2 or the A7R.

While the Sony fangirls and fanboys are loving it, they sadly aren't seeing the big picture, Sony's market share is contracting with respect to the overall market. What will happen when Sony starts hitting diminishing returns on it's camera bodies? Right now, people are upgrading aggressively like they did with DSLR's 6+ years ago. Will someone with the A7R2 or the A6500 feel as strong of a need to upgrade to the A7R3 or the A6700? Sooner or later Sony will exhaust it's user base. Honestly I cannot even imagine what camera will force me to displace my A7M2, A7R2,A6500, and A6300 cameras. (I think this simple logic also apply to Fuji system, it is hard for them to get the X-Pro2 and the XT2 users keep changing their cameras every single iteration from the already pretty matured excellent APS-C bodies.)

In actuality, Sony is probably in more of a teetering stage than most. Canon for the most part has it's unit counts stabilized which means it gained market share. Nikon is contracting with the market and so is Sony. However Nikon has a far wider audience and potential customers that can / may upgrade to a new camera if they wake up soon enough to make a F mount mirrorless system that takes all the lens advantage of the new Nikon E series lenses(almost all the new E series FX lenses are superb).

What's funny though is that the DSLR market is not contracting as much as some think it is, partly because Sony has stopped shipping mass shelf stuffing amounts of DSLT cameras. That distorted the shipments, and is never really taken into account.

We are also seeing a fairly dramatic MILC shift as well, as more and more units are being shipped to "Asia" not including Japan and China. Asia now accounts for the majority of mirrorless camera units. However with those, it's the discount units and the lower cost units that are being shipped there, not the high end units. So we are seeing a significant amount of what appears to be mirrorless inventory dumping which also sniffs like all is not right in this camera world, even in the world of mirrorless.

So Sony, Fuji and other mirrorless manufactures, especially Olympus will face really really serious financial issues as their mount systems get really matured. Their real enemies are not smartphones but unsold inventory and the market saturation. Just face the reality that normal or average camera users with a decent big sensor camera cannot justify upgrading to new camera at full price any more unless they are fanatic about IQ, or crazy picky of the latest features, or interested in at least 4k quality video.

Sony Canon Fuji fanboys talk about the Nikon financial crisis as though it is "Nikon only issue", but in reality they will also face the same issue.

Maybe Samsung was the only one smart enough to quit this ever sinking business before the ship actually sink into the deep hell just like IBM in the PC market a few years back?

 

In conclusion:

My present view on Sony is this... They're for the camera techies and early adopters. Those who are willing to be "crash test dummies" and actually kind of enjoy that process(like myself), and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Sony is NOT for the average person, at least right now, IMHO. The original A7R was a complete experimentation of the high resolution FF sensor in a compact body at the all cost of usability concept, and it was kind of received well, some hated it but many odd people like myself loved it. The A7S was also an experimental concept camera to see if the majority of FF buyers accept very low resolution but very high ISO capable almost ultimate lowlight hybrid camera even at the big cost of resolution and basic usability in still photography. I am not sure this concept model was well received or not, but I personally do not care for it, I much prefer the normal A7M2 and the original A7R(still my favorite a7X as I am mainly a tripod shooter).

What does this necessarily do to the cost of entry into the system or a particular piece of gear? Well, there's this thing called economics. And if you don't understand (at least very basic of it) economics, you can't possibly understand the cost of goods sold. You also need to know a little about how camera businesses operate specifically, and generally. You need to understand the difference in product lineups and cost to the consumer between a market leader and a recent entrant into a market.

Without a basic understanding of these types of things (and you don't need to be able to define them or even know specifically what they are - you just kind of need to know about them), you can't even have any serious view about the current consumer camera market.

Most people either don't get this stuff, or don't consider it due to personal bias. I actually know most of people actually get it but do not accept or want to even see how it works, especially in the case of this controversial Sony A7X series and in the case of the Fuji X line products.

In the case of what Sony hopes is a class leading 70-200 f/2.8 zoom... well... they're going to sell a LOT less of them than say, Canon or Nikon, but their development costs and potentially their manufacturing costs, are likely much higher. So they won't be able to spread out their R&D and manufacturing costs over a large number of units thus, the units will be more expensive than the competition if they wish to maintain their profit margins. And I am sure they are all after high profit margin stuff now and this is actually what has made Sony successful in this sinking market, even in very short time.

So, yeah... the lens is already substantially more expensive than the competition- the slightly better optics of Canon and Nikon now, and I actually expect it will be more expensive than the CN offerings for a few more years at least.

This is why, at least foreseeable future-maybe at least 3 -5 more years, until the size of market share for the Sony system increases, everything Sony will release in the A7 and FE line will be more expensive than the same class Canon , Nikon or m43.

But I think Sony market share may actually increase steadily, as Sony consolidates their offerings as a whole system and more people come to appreciate what's on offer.

But again it takes some time to get there, and all of the above what I've just said about Sony also applies to Fuji X system.

All in all, IMO, the disadvantages and risks of innovation are now firmly outweighed by the benefits........ and this will become more obvious with time because most of people are getting really tired of Nikon for their complete lack of innovation, let alone invention.

So like I said in the very first part of this write up, Sony and Canon will probably win over Nikon and Nikon will probably go bankrupt as it is mainly a camera company-about 75 percent of their total income comes from camera sells.

The DL is already aborted even before it gets actually out......Nikon is really domed.

  

UPDATE: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their mediocre so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their imaging division and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. None one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features...

  

UPDATE2: Nikon's response to digital cinema surprises me, especially if they trying to grow your market share. After all it is the only one area that is consistently growing in digital camera market.

 

Nikon is the only major camera company that had no territory to protect. No high end, limited at the medium, not much on the low end, so unlike Canon or Sony, Nikon didn't have to worry about making a whiz bang combination camera that would do high quality stills and motion at almost any price point and cannibalizing other cameras in Nikon DXXX line.

 

Also considering that prior to Canon, everyone in the cinema/motion biz used Nikon Lenses if they used still camera lenses. You could (still can) go to Century and get a Nikon mounted on any film camera, from 16mm Beaulieu to 75mm Panavision, because in the film days, everybody knew that most Nikon lenses were matched in contrast and color, in a very specific way. So Nikon had a foothold in the industry.

 

Of course unless you're on the management side of any of these companies, I doubt we know the whole story.

 

So I'm just wondering, but I have this feeling that when Sony sells sensors, Sony might have Nikon or any one sign a contract that says, yeah you guys can make a video cam, but it can't have ______ fill in the blanks.

 

Of course I could be wrong, but in case of Nikon its very odd corporate decision to be very low-profile in the motion industry does not make much strategic sense , given Nikon's historic name and ability to make excellent cameras and lenses.

 

I strongly think it is the case, and therefore , Nikon has been seeking for a new sensor fab that produces sensor for Nikon as Nikon designed.

 

Nikon has been patenting many many new types of sensor designs that are fully capable of 6k video and Olympus is also working on its own sensor designs, and the EM1MK2 sensor is the first Olympus designed sensor and it is said to be fabbed by TowerJazz or Panasonic(not by Sony).

 

Looks like now everybody is dumping Sony, and maybe Sony is the biggest loser in this game besides Pentax?

 

I have strong feeling Sony may become the next Samsung since Sony cannot keep up running the wide range of its camera business intact without sensor income from Nikon and Olympus.

 

Sensor is rapidly becoming a commodity product and so Sony no longer has any advantage over others. Now any one can design a great sensor, Tamron has just proved it.

 

Oh and the best rated Red Helium sensor is designed by Tower Jazz, not Sony.

 

UPDATE3: Nikon Df2 is coming soon and it will house 24mp sensor but a newer generation chip that Nikon designed or developed and produced by Renasus electronics.

It basically has the feature set of the D750 but in smaller more compact body with the classic camera style controls, which I hate. I am not sure about video feature but it sounds like getting FHD video at 25, 30, 60 p and i , nothing special.

It will also have the best OVF in any digital era camera with new focus screen.....but it is really too anachronistic now and I think Nikon needs to put a decent EVF, rather than an amazing OVF from film era. The price will be a bit more expensive than the current Df was when it was announced in 2014, and I heard that it will be about 25 percent more expensive than the D810 was at its launch price.

So I think it will be over 3k.

 

UPDATE4: Now Nikon dealers association has just announced the release date for the much delayed DL series.

It seems to be finally out on March 17th or March 22nd.

 

Personally I think it is too late, they should abort it and try a new series.......there are already too many similar cameras from Canon, Panasonic, and Sony.

   

The coming death of Nikon 3(updated)

 

I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

So who will be the next Samsung?

  

It seems to me that the "pure camera makers" of old are being slowly challenged by electronics companies. From what I remember Sony's latest results were not all that grim. In the past film days it must have been cheaper to make a camera - it was really a light tight box with a light meter and a shutter. Now, we are looking at sensors, which take big dollars and big factories to make along with software which has to be updated and all types of micro-processors that never existed before. I would expect that big electronics companies like Sony,Samsung, Panasonic, Canon, and Apple would ultimately have some kind of home field advantage - especially in the mass market.

 

While there will likely be niche markets for purists who want to stick with the old names with 1950th analogue finder technology with loud slapping mirror just like there are people who still buy very expensive high end fountain pens like my father and grandpa , I think the average people who just want to take a good photo will slowly drift into the electronics company camp. Sony did buy Minolta camera business(not Minolta itself as opposed to what many camera forum experts always say in many fora) and slowly transitioned it to a pretty innovative camera maker. So maybe, Nikon will ultimately meet the same kind of fate. I guess time will tell, there is a long lasting rumor Canon is interested in picking up Nikon camera division, but I doubt it is true since Canon already has much bigger and stable camera division than that of Nikon and so Canon will gain nothing from buying Nikon camera division.

So that alone gives a decent reason for Samsung to stay in the business, and I do believe if they stay in this game a bit longer and grow the tech inside of the NX1 further, they may be able to become one of three dominant players in this game with Sony and Canon. So I think Samsung has just decided it is not a big enough market for them, not they cannot compete with the rest.

 

That said though, Sony's camera results were kind of vague, so it's hard to determine exactly how well stills camera sales/profits are doing. Their camera division includes "broadcast and professional use products like my FS7MK2" and "flow cytometers", and they don't report how many cameras were sold.

Sony will face the same sales decline problem in few years after they will make a perfect camera lineup when there`s nothing reasonable to upgrade(I think they are already at that point now). It is unavoidable.The last few years, every single new generation Sony camera gets better AF, better viewfinder, better video, ergonomics, etc., and so we Sony users had to keep up with that. I think Fuji people were in the same situation and they were also following every major Fuji camera update.

But sadly as Sony and Fuji once make everything just right, they`ll face the same problems as other camera manufacturers do face now. The original A7X series bodies were just too flawed, rushed-out products and so most of us upgraded to the A7X2. I think the Fuji XT1 original was also a terrible experimental camera that never get matured, so when the X-PRo2/ the X-T2 came out all my Fuji friends got either of these or both. But this cannot continue forever.

Do you think they keep upgrading forever even after the A6300, the A6500, the X-P2, the X-T2 generation? I am not very sure if I sell my A6300 and A6500 when something slightly new and better comes out in next April.

I`m not a Fuji and Sony hater (on the contrary I love using their cameras and have recommended them to many people). This is just sad reality for over-saturated market: product is good enough, no reason to upgrade ever so often, plus strong competition from a cheaper accessible devices (older generation cameras are hugely discounted).

Actually, we many of camera dealers deep into this industry think Sony has already faced this market saturation issue. Their sales were down last year, total camera units down- from 8.5 million down to 6.1 million - yes that includes P&S as well, however, Sony very carefully does not break it out any further - unlike just about every other camera company.

You have to wonder what they are actually hiding. They used to brag about their overall market share and their gains with that(until 2012). Now they only brag about how much they rip off their user base with high valued overpriced products like the A7R2, the A99MK2, and the A6500, which is nothing better than the already excellent A6300 in most of use cases.

When you charge the different prices for the A7R2 from the A7M2 and also the A7S2, and your parts,etc are nearly identical, you can be sure you are making a ton of profit on limited sales numbers. I suspect that the A7R2 and A7S2 are nearly pure profit for Sony. Do people actually think that sensor costs Sony 1500 per unit more to manufacturer than the sensor in the A7R? Are people that naive? The body price of the A7R2 and A7S are probably exactly the same as the A7M2, so that alone tells you how much overpriced the A7R2 and A7S2 are compared to the modest but reliable the A7M2 or the A7R.

While the Sony fangirls and fanboys are loving it, they sadly aren't seeing the big picture, Sony's market share is contracting with respect to the overall market. What will happen when Sony starts hitting diminishing returns on it's camera bodies? Right now, people are upgrading aggressively like they did with DSLR's 6+ years ago. Will someone with the A7R2 or the A6500 feel as strong of a need to upgrade to the A7R3 or the A6700? Sooner or later Sony will exhaust it's user base. Honestly I cannot even imagine what camera will force me to displace my A7M2, A7R2,A6500, and A6300 cameras. (I think this simple logic also apply to Fuji system, it is hard for them to get the X-Pro2 and the XT2 users keep changing their cameras every single iteration from the already pretty matured excellent APS-C bodies.)

In actuality, Sony is probably in more of a teetering stage than most. Canon for the most part has it's unit counts stabilized which means it gained market share. Nikon is contracting with the market and so is Sony. However Nikon has a far wider audience and potential customers that can / may upgrade to a new camera if they wake up soon enough to make a F mount mirrorless system that takes all the lens advantage of the new Nikon E series lenses(almost all the new E series FX lenses are superb).

What's funny though is that the DSLR market is not contracting as much as some think it is, partly because Sony has stopped shipping mass shelf stuffing amounts of DSLT cameras. That distorted the shipments, and is never really taken into account.

We are also seeing a fairly dramatic MILC shift as well, as more and more units are being shipped to "Asia" not including Japan and China. Asia now accounts for the majority of mirrorless camera units. However with those, it's the discount units and the lower cost units that are being shipped there, not the high end units. So we are seeing a significant amount of what appears to be mirrorless inventory dumping which also sniffs like all is not right in this camera world, even in the world of mirrorless.

So Sony, Fuji and other mirrorless manufactures, especially Olympus will face really really serious financial issues as their mount systems get really matured. Their real enemies are not smartphones but unsold inventory and the market saturation. Just face the reality that normal or average camera users with a decent big sensor camera cannot justify upgrading to new camera at full price any more unless they are fanatic about IQ, or crazy picky of the latest features, or interested in at least 4k quality video.

Sony Canon Fuji fanboys talk about the Nikon financial crisis as though it is "Nikon only issue", but in reality they will also face the same issue.

Maybe Samsung was the only one smart enough to quit this ever sinking business before the ship actually sink into the deep hell just like IBM in the PC market a few years back?

 

In conclusion:

My present view on Sony is this... They're for the camera techies and early adopters. Those who are willing to be "crash test dummies" and actually kind of enjoy that process(like myself), and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Sony is NOT for the average person, at least right now, IMHO. The original A7R was a complete experimentation of the high resolution FF sensor in a compact body at the all cost of usability concept, and it was kind of received well, some hated it but many odd people like myself loved it. The A7S was also an experimental concept camera to see if the majority of FF buyers accept very low resolution but very high ISO capable almost ultimate lowlight hybrid camera even at the big cost of resolution and basic usability in still photography. I am not sure this concept model was well received or not, but I personally do not care for it, I much prefer the normal A7M2 and the original A7R(still my favorite a7X as I am mainly a tripod shooter).

What does this necessarily do to the cost of entry into the system or a particular piece of gear? Well, there's this thing called economics. And if you don't understand (at least very basic of it) economics, you can't possibly understand the cost of goods sold. You also need to know a little about how camera businesses operate specifically, and generally. You need to understand the difference in product lineups and cost to the consumer between a market leader and a recent entrant into a market.

Without a basic understanding of these types of things (and you don't need to be able to define them or even know specifically what they are - you just kind of need to know about them), you can't even have any serious view about the current consumer camera market.

Most people either don't get this stuff, or don't consider it due to personal bias. I actually know most of people actually get it but do not accept or want to even see how it works, especially in the case of this controversial Sony A7X series and in the case of the Fuji X line products.

In the case of what Sony hopes is a class leading 70-200 f/2.8 zoom... well... they're going to sell a LOT less of them than say, Canon or Nikon, but their development costs and potentially their manufacturing costs, are likely much higher. So they won't be able to spread out their R&D and manufacturing costs over a large number of units thus, the units will be more expensive than the competition if they wish to maintain their profit margins. And I am sure they are all after high profit margin stuff now and this is actually what has made Sony successful in this sinking market, even in very short time.

So, yeah... the lens is already substantially more expensive than the competition- the slightly better optics of Canon and Nikon now, and I actually expect it will be more expensive than the CN offerings for a few more years at least.

This is why, at least foreseeable future-maybe at least 3 -5 more years, until the size of market share for the Sony system increases, everything Sony will release in the A7 and FE line will be more expensive than the same class Canon , Nikon or m43.

But I think Sony market share may actually increase steadily, as Sony consolidates their offerings as a whole system and more people come to appreciate what's on offer.

But again it takes some time to get there, and all of the above what I've just said about Sony also applies to Fuji X system.

All in all, IMO, the disadvantages and risks of innovation are now firmly outweighed by the benefits........ and this will become more obvious with time because most of people are getting really tired of Nikon for their complete lack of innovation, let alone invention.

So like I said in the very first part of this write up, Sony and Canon will probably win over Nikon and Nikon will probably go bankrupt as it is mainly a camera company-about 75 percent of their total income comes from camera sells.

The DL is already aborted even before it gets actually out......Nikon is really domed.

  

UPDATE: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE2: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

  

UPDATE3: Recently, I decided to sell some of my Sony, Nikon, and Fuji gear and the results were really surprising.

 

I sold a couple of Fuji X-T2, a Sony A6500, a A6300, a A7R, a A7R2, three A7MK2. I also sold my Nikon D800E, D750, and D810.

 

The most expensive camera by far of the list was the A7R2, but surprisingly I got about identical amount of money for it to what I got for my much cheaper(as a brand new) D810. I paid about 3200 USD for my A7R2 in 2015 and shockingly it was devalued a lot more than I thought, I could only get about 1750 USD for it.

I must say it was a terrible loss.

I paid around 2000 US for my D810 in 2016, and got back about 1800 US for it in May 2017.

 

I got about 123000 yen for my X-T2, and I must say the resell value of this camera is great, I think Fuji has been controlling the price of this camera quite well. I just lost about 5000 yen on this camera and I have used it for more than 7 months, so it was a great deal. Renting it over 5 months and paid only 45 US or less, is an amazing deal.

 

I got offered only 72000 for my A7R and it was really pity, so I did not sell it.

 

I got only 64000 yen for my A6300, but I expected this so it was not really shocking, still it was a bad value camera, though. But it was replaced by the A6500, so I did not expect too much for this one.......

 

I got about 75000 yen for my A6500 and it was quite shocking, I expected to get more for that since I paid 118000 yen for it in last Oct.

 

I got 95000 yen for my A7MK2, it was quite sad, deplorable since it is a FF and cheaper than the X-T2 in the used camera market here.

I got about 134000 yen for my 2 year old D750, and it was a positive surprise. I did not expect to get this much of money for it since I paid only about 158000 yen for it in 2014.

 

So I realized Sony cameras seem to hold the worst resell value (by far) in Japan and my Thai friend told me in Thailand too.

I was about to sell my second A7R2, but I decided to keep it just for my FE16-35mm f4 and Voiklander 15mm f4.5 and Sony 85mm f1.8...

 

But the shocking loss by far this time was the Batis 85mm f1.8 or the Batis 18mm f2.8, I have lost a lot of money on those 2 lenses, and I did not expect this.....I thought I might get about 900 US for my Batis 85, but I got only about 630 US for it.

The 18mm Batis was even worse, I paid about 168000 yen for it in 2016..... and now I could get only about 98000 yen for it, it was the most shocking and the biggest loss by far, I never thought the resale value of the Batis 18mm f2.8 this bad.

  

So now I decided never buy any more Batis series lenses, I have lost too much on this terribly built so-called Zeiss(actually Tamron made) lenses.

  

UPDATE4: I am now in the process of replacing all my Sony E mount lenses(except a few) with Canon EF mount lenses.

I hated adapters, but after I tried the Sigma MC11, I changed my mind and I think it is much safer to use my Sony bodies with Canon lenses since Canon EF mount is the safest long term future proven mount, and the resell value of the super expensive Sony GM and so-called Sony Zeiss are too bad, the Batis line is even worse. So I think by selling off all expensive Sony E mount lenses that cannot be reused in any other mount system in the near future, I will be more secured and adding the Sigma adapter expand the possible AF lens selection for my FE bodies. After all, I realized that Sony FE zooms are all mediocre , even the most expensive GM ones.

 

I will replace my FE16-35mm f4 Z with a Canon EF16-35mm f4 L IS, I have compared ten copies of each and I am 100 percent sure the Canon is the better lens and cheaper one. In fact, the adapter plus the lens price is the same as the Sony FE16-35mm f4 Z alone. And another benefit of this lens over the FE16-35mm f4 Z is that the Canon lens does not extend its length when it zooms out or in.

 

I will also replace the FE24-70mm f4 with the EF24-70mm f4 LIS.

I will get the 40mm f2.8 STM, which is a surprisingly good lens for the modest size and price.

 

I will also add Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art, which is the sharpest lens ever produced by any one according to Photozone,de.

 

I also add Canon EF70-300mm f4-5.6IS MK2 lens, which is really cheap and for me it is a worth lens since I am not a serious telephoto shooter and so I do not want to invest over 100000 yen for a lens like FE70-300mm f4-5.6G, which is clearly overpriced.

 

I also add Tamron 35mm f1.8VC to replace my Sony FE 35mm f2.8 and Loxia 35mm f2, both of which I actually detest for the terrible corner quality and terrible coma(in case of the Loxia).

 

I may also add the amazing Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC G2, which is about half the price of the Sony FE70-200mmf2.8GM, and in my experience, the Tamron is the sharper lens(I compared 4 copies of each once at my shop).

 

I will keep my FE85mm f1.8, which is one of the best 85mm primes ever made and I much prefer this to the overpriced oversized GM and my plastic coated cheap looking Zeiss Batis 85mm f1.8E lens.

 

I will also keep my Voiktlander 15mm f4.5 and 12mm f5.6.

  

UPDATE5: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

   

Now selling many Sony E mount lenses and cameras to free myself from the annoying mount tie, I am also debating if I continue to invest more money into Sony system or just move to Fuji. I never realized this before selling just a couple of A7X bodies plus a several lenses made me more than enough money to buy another camera system, I might just want to try the Fuji system for serious real life apps for a month or two to decide what I do with it and my Sony kit.

 

I have sold my A7R2(1), A7M2(2), A6300(1), A6000(2), and FE35mm f2.8, Loxia 35mm f2, Sony FE90mm f2.8G, Sony FE70-200mm f2.8GM, Sony FE70-200mm f4G, Loxia 21mm f2.8, etc, etc, and I will sell more.

 

I decided to keep my cheap A7R Original and a 55mm, 85mm , 16-35mm Sony lenses and Voiklander 15mm and 12mm primes, and I will test more different brand systems.

  

The coming death of Nikon 3

 

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Tony Northrup, Kevin Raber, and the guy runs Photography Life.

I think Mr.Hogan is an exception because he is more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore he sees it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

I went to Tokyo and Tsukuba area of Ibaraki prefecture for work and academic conference held in there.

I attended a social study conference for a couple of days there and I traveled there after that for 2 days. I visited Asakusa, Kitasenju, Ginza , Nihonbashi, Kasumigaseki, Shiba, and Shinjuku areas of Tokyo, and snapped around many things there with my Sony A7R, A7R2 and A6500.

 

After this short academic trip to North East Kanto I realized the death of consumer camera market issue is more serious than I once thought; it is really not the time to discuss mirrorless vs DSLR or iPhone, but it is really the time to discuss how to save this rapidly shrinking industry at any cost...........anyway to my surprise, I did not see or meet any one with a Sony A7X camera, which is supposed to be the most popular game-changing camera currently available according to many self-proclaimed camera experts. I honestly almost never met any one shooting a Sony A7X or A6XXX other than my co-worker who bought his first ILC camera from me.

 

Every where we go together, now we are wondering why no one we meet here shoots any Sony ILC, is Sony really profitable in this business?

 

But the maybe more shocking reality to those of us long time Nikon users is that no one seems to be shooting any Nikon any more any where and even in a big anti Nuclear demo I encountered near JR Kitasenju station(North East Tokyo) no one using Nikon due to the poor LV and video performance of all Nikon FX bodies. Also many guys told me the excessively loud shutter sound of Nikon DSLRs would make the cops really irritated or angry.

I guess Nikon is rapidly becoming kind of an irrelevant player here in Japan , no longer a rival of Canon but seems really like a rival of Ricoh Pentax.......Nikon really needs serious Fullframe or APS-C mirrorless system with silent shutter very soon, or Nikon may lose all the pro PJ shooters and concert photographers to Sony, Fuji or Canon..

 

Now the D7500 is announced and we have had some lucky chance to test it through at a big camera dealers meeting here, and I confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Olympus EM1 MK2.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

  

It seems to me that the "pure camera makers" of old are being slowly challenged by electronics companies. From what I remember Sony's latest results were not all that grim. In the past film days it must have been cheaper to make a camera - it was really a light tight box with a light meter and a shutter. Now, we are looking at sensors, which take big dollars and big factories to make along with software which has to be updated and all types of micro-processors that never existed before. I would expect that big electronics companies like Sony,Samsung, Panasonic, Canon, and Apple would ultimately have some kind of home field advantage - especially in the mass market.

 

While there will likely be niche markets for purists who want to stick with the old names with 1950th analogue finder technology with loud slapping mirror just like there are people who still buy very expensive high end fountain pens like my father and grandpa , I think the average people who just want to take a good photo will slowly drift into the electronics company camp. Sony did buy Minolta camera business(not Minolta itself as opposed to what many camera forum experts always say in many fora) and slowly transitioned it to a pretty innovative camera maker. So maybe, Nikon will ultimately meet the same kind of fate. I guess time will tell, there is a long lasting rumor Canon is interested in picking up Nikon camera division, but I doubt it is true since Canon already has much bigger and stable camera division than that of Nikon and so Canon will gain nothing from buying Nikon camera division.

So that alone gives a decent reason for Samsung to stay in the business, and I do believe if they stay in this game a bit longer and grow the tech inside of the NX1 further, they may be able to become one of three dominant players in this game with Sony and Canon. So I think Samsung has just decided it is not a big enough market for them, not they cannot compete with the rest.

 

That said though, Sony's camera results were kind of vague, so it's hard to determine exactly how well stills camera sales/profits are doing. Their camera division includes "broadcast and professional use products like my FS7MK2" and "flow cytometers", and they don't report how many cameras were sold.

Sony will face the same sales decline problem in few years after they will make a perfect camera lineup when there`s nothing reasonable to upgrade(I think they are already at that point now). It is unavoidable.The last few years, every single new generation Sony camera gets better AF, better viewfinder, better video, ergonomics, etc., and so we Sony users had to keep up with that. I think Fuji people were in the same situation and they were also following every major Fuji camera update.

But sadly as Sony and Fuji once make everything just right, they`ll face the same problems as other camera manufacturers do face now. The original A7X series bodies were just too flawed, rushed-out products and so most of us upgraded to the A7X2. I think the Fuji XT1 original was also a terrible experimental camera that never get matured, so when the X-PRo2/ the X-T2 came out all my Fuji friends got either of these or both. But this cannot continue forever.

Do you think they keep upgrading forever even after the A6300, the A6500, the X-P2, the X-T2 generation? I am not very sure if I sell my A6300 and A6500 when something slightly new and better comes out in next April.

I`m not a Fuji and Sony hater (on the contrary I love using their cameras and have recommended them to many people). This is just sad reality for over-saturated market: product is good enough, no reason to upgrade ever so often, plus strong competition from a cheaper accessible devices (older generation cameras are hugely discounted).

Actually, we many of camera dealers deep into this industry think Sony has already faced this market saturation issue. Their sales were down last year, total camera units down- from 8.5 million down to 6.1 million - yes that includes P&S as well, however, Sony very carefully does not break it out any further - unlike just about every other camera company.

You have to wonder what they are actually hiding. They used to brag about their overall market share and their gains with that(until 2012). Now they only brag about how much they rip off their user base with high valued overpriced products like the A7R2, the A99MK2, and the A6500, which is nothing better than the already excellent A6300 in most of use cases.

When you charge the different prices for the A7R2 from the A7M2 and also the A7S2, and your parts,etc are nearly identical, you can be sure you are making a ton of profit on limited sales numbers. I suspect that the A7R2 and A7S2 are nearly pure profit for Sony. Do people actually think that sensor costs Sony 1500 per unit more to manufacturer than the sensor in the A7R? Are people that naive? The body price of the A7R2 and A7S are probably exactly the same as the A7M2, so that alone tells you how much overpriced the A7R2 and A7S2 are compared to the modest but reliable the A7M2 or the A7R.

While the Sony fangirls and fanboys are loving it, they sadly aren't seeing the big picture, Sony's market share is contracting with respect to the overall market. What will happen when Sony starts hitting diminishing returns on it's camera bodies? Right now, people are upgrading aggressively like they did with DSLR's 6+ years ago. Will someone with the A7R2 or the A6500 feel as strong of a need to upgrade to the A7R3 or the A6700? Sooner or later Sony will exhaust it's user base. Honestly I cannot even imagine what camera will force me to displace my A7M2, A7R2,A6500, and A6300 cameras. (I think this simple logic also apply to Fuji system, it is hard for them to get the X-Pro2 and the XT2 users keep changing their cameras every single iteration from the already pretty matured excellent APS-C bodies.)

In actuality, Sony is probably in more of a teetering stage than most. Canon for the most part has it's unit counts stabilized which means it gained market share. Nikon is contracting with the market and so is Sony. However Nikon has a far wider audience and potential customers that can / may upgrade to a new camera if they wake up soon enough to make a F mount mirrorless system that takes all the lens advantage of the new Nikon E series lenses(almost all the new E series FX lenses are superb).

What's funny though is that the DSLR market is not contracting as much as some think it is, partly because Sony has stopped shipping mass shelf stuffing amounts of DSLT cameras. That distorted the shipments, and is never really taken into account.

We are also seeing a fairly dramatic MILC shift as well, as more and more units are being shipped to "Asia" not including Japan and China. Asia now accounts for the majority of mirrorless camera units. However with those, it's the discount units and the lower cost units that are being shipped there, not the high end units. So we are seeing a significant amount of what appears to be mirrorless inventory dumping which also sniffs like all is not right in this camera world, even in the world of mirrorless.

So Sony, Fuji and other mirrorless manufactures, especially Olympus will face really really serious financial issues as their mount systems get really matured. Their real enemies are not smartphones but unsold inventory and the market saturation. Just face the reality that normal or average camera users with a decent big sensor camera cannot justify upgrading to new camera at full price any more unless they are fanatic about IQ, or crazy picky of the latest features, or interested in at least 4k quality video.

Sony Canon Fuji fanboys talk about the Nikon financial crisis as though it is "Nikon only issue", but in reality they will also face the same issue.

Maybe Samsung was the only one smart enough to quit this ever sinking business before the ship actually sink into the deep hell just like IBM in the PC market a few years back?

 

In conclusion:

My present view on Sony is this... They're for the camera techies and early adopters. Those who are willing to be "crash test dummies" and actually kind of enjoy that process(like myself), and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege. Sony is NOT for the average person, at least right now, IMHO. The original A7R was a complete experimentation of the high resolution FF sensor in a compact body at the all cost of usability concept, and it was kind of received well, some hated it but many odd people like myself loved it. The A7S was also an experimental concept camera to see if the majority of FF buyers accept very low resolution but very high ISO capable almost ultimate lowlight hybrid camera even at the big cost of resolution and basic usability in still photography. I am not sure this concept model was well received or not, but I personally do not care for it, I much prefer the normal A7M2 and the original A7R(still my favorite a7X as I am mainly a tripod shooter).

What does this necessarily do to the cost of entry into the system or a particular piece of gear? Well, there's this thing called economics. And if you don't understand (at least very basic of it) economics, you can't possibly understand the cost of goods sold. You also need to know a little about how camera businesses operate specifically, and generally. You need to understand the difference in product lineups and cost to the consumer between a market leader and a recent entrant into a market.

Without a basic understanding of these types of things (and you don't need to be able to define them or even know specifically what they are - you just kind of need to know about them), you can't even have any serious view about the current consumer camera market.

Most people either don't get this stuff, or don't consider it due to personal bias. I actually know most of people actually get it but do not accept or want to even see how it works, especially in the case of this controversial Sony A7X series and in the case of the Fuji X line products.

In the case of what Sony hopes is a class leading 70-200 f/2.8 zoom... well... they're going to sell a LOT less of them than say, Canon or Nikon, but their development costs and potentially their manufacturing costs, are likely much higher. So they won't be able to spread out their R&D and manufacturing costs over a large number of units thus, the units will be more expensive than the competition if they wish to maintain their profit margins. And I am sure they are all after high profit margin stuff now and this is actually what has made Sony successful in this sinking market, even in very short time.

So, yeah... the lens is already substantially more expensive than the competition- the slightly better optics of Canon and Nikon now, and I actually expect it will be more expensive than the CN offerings for a few more years at least.

This is why, at least foreseeable future-maybe at least 3 -5 more years, until the size of market share for the Sony system increases, everything Sony will release in the A7 and FE line will be more expensive than the same class Canon , Nikon or m43.

But I think Sony market share may actually increase steadily, as Sony consolidates their offerings as a whole system and more people come to appreciate what's on offer.

But again it takes some time to get there, and all of the above what I've just said about Sony also applies to Fuji X system.

All in all, IMO, the disadvantages and risks of innovation are now firmly outweighed by the benefits........ and this will become more obvious with time because most of people are getting really tired of Nikon for their complete lack of innovation, let alone invention.

So like I said in the very first part of this write up, Sony and Canon will probably win over Nikon and Nikon will probably go bankrupt as it is mainly a camera company-about 75 percent of their total income comes from camera sells.

The DL is already aborted even before it gets actually out......Nikon is really domed.

  

UPDATE: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their mediocre so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their imaging division and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. None one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features...

  

UPDATE2: Nikon's response to digital cinema surprises me, especially if they trying to grow your market share. After all it is the only one area that is consistently growing in digital camera market.

 

Nikon is the only major camera company that had no territory to protect. No high end, limited at the medium, not much on the low end, so unlike Canon or Sony, Nikon didn't have to worry about making a whiz bang combination camera that would do high quality stills and motion at almost any price point and cannibalizing other cameras in Nikon DXXX line.

 

Also considering that prior to Canon, everyone in the cinema/motion biz used Nikon Lenses if they used still camera lenses. You could (still can) go to Century and get a Nikon mounted on any film camera, from 16mm Beaulieu to 75mm Panavision, because in the film days, everybody knew that most Nikon lenses were matched in contrast and color, in a very specific way. So Nikon had a foothold in the industry.

 

Of course unless you're on the management side of any of these companies, I doubt we know the whole story.

 

So I'm just wondering, but I have this feeling that when Sony sells sensors, Sony might have Nikon or any one sign a contract that says, yeah you guys can make a video cam, but it can't have ______ fill in the blanks.

 

Of course I could be wrong, but in case of Nikon its very odd corporate decision to be very low-profile in the motion industry does not make much strategic sense , given Nikon's historic name and ability to make excellent cameras and lenses.

 

I strongly think it is the case, and therefore , Nikon has been seeking for a new sensor fab that produces sensor for Nikon as Nikon designed.

 

Nikon has been patenting many many new types of sensor designs that are fully capable of 6k video and Olympus is also working on its own sensor designs, and the EM1MK2 sensor is the first Olympus designed sensor and it is said to be fabbed by TowerJazz or Panasonic(not by Sony).

 

Looks like now everybody is dumping Sony, and maybe Sony is the biggest loser in this game besides Pentax?

 

I have strong feeling Sony may become the next Samsung since Sony cannot keep up running the wide range of its camera business intact without sensor income from Nikon and Olympus.

 

Sensor is rapidly becoming a commodity product and so Sony no longer has any advantage over others. Now any one can design a great sensor, Tamron has just proved it.

 

Oh and the best rated Red Helium sensor is designed by Tower Jazz, not Sony.

  

UPDATE: Nikon Df2 is coming soon and it will house a 24mp sensor but a newer generation chip that Nikon designed or developed and produced by Renasus electronics.

It basically has the feature set of the D750 but in smaller more compact body with the classic camera style controls, which I hate. I am not sure about video feature of it yet but it sounds like getting FHD video at 25, 30, 60 p and i , nothing special.

It will also have the best OVF in any digital era camera with new focus screen.....but it is really too anachronistic now and I think Nikon needs to put a decent EVF, rather than an amazing OVF from film era. The price will be a bit more expensive than the current Df was when it was announced in 2014, and I heard that it will be about 25 percent more expensive than the D810 was at its launch price.

So I think it will be over 3k. So it looks like Nikon still does not get it right; they should understand a camera like the Df 2 really needs a decent EVF and fast LV AF to entice the target market for this type of retro minded compact FF camera.

The potential buyers of this type of cameras are often old with bad eye sight, this means they need pixel peaking to nail the focus really right...so they need a good EVF not the best film era OVF.

  

UPDATE2: I interviewed many NORMAL camera buyers in my area at our camera shop and asked them to tell us about what was the main reason they did not buy so-called mirrorless any more, and why they think the market share of these mirrorless decreasing at least in the Western world and the already developed part of Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea , Singapore and HK.

They answered to these questions carefully as we paid some $$ and I think we found out a few interesting things about the NORMAL camera buyers' perception/opinion about ILC cameras and the culture surrounding the camera business:

 

1 to them, if it requires a bag even a tiny one, it's really not important what kind of camera system it is; a mirrorless or a D-SLR, a m43 or a FF, it is just too big and simply too annoying to carry around. So they use their cellphone more even though many of them already have some sort of One cameras or cheap ILCs.

2 To most of NORMAL camera buying people here it really does not matter FF or m43 or APS-C or MF because they are all too difficult to operate and actually really not much different to each other in real life use(at least to them).

This means maybe the small sensor camera systems like the m43 and the Nikon One will all fail since there is no market for them. Not many average camera buyers are interested in ILC systems but fixed lens all around cameras with good one button wireless connection to their phones. And not many the fanatics get interested in these cause most of them are obsessed with the best IQ possible they can get out of a camera system. Thus Olympus, Nikon and Panasonic will definitely need a bigger sensor system to entice them.

3 they do not want a lens like Zeiss Otus or Sigma Art even if it is selling for $50 or less. In fact, any kind of lens interchangeability is not important to them, in fact it is really annoying, and if it is an all around just fixed lens camera like the Sony RX10MK3 , it is actually a better camera system than any type of ILC with a set of primes that most of camera forum denizens want. They should realize they are not the majority of camera buyers and making and selling exactly what they want does not actually help any of these camera makers........

To them a set of great dedicated APS-C primes may be an important part of a good camera system, but to most of NORMAL people it is just not an important or an alluring feature at all.

So as opposed to what Tony , Thom, and many other self-proclaimed experts in many camera forums think, a great set of APS-C dedicated primes will NOT help Nikon or Sony. In fact, outside of the forums most of people actually prefer ZOOMS.

4 To NORMAL people all interchangeable lens cameras are big and quite intimidating.

This means that the very common camera forum trend to get mirrorless for being less conspicuous in the public reason is a silly idea , no one actually cares about if it is a mirroless or a D-SLR, to them all interchangeable lens cameras are annoying and intimidating to most of non-photographers.......so if they really want to be less conspicuous they should try one of the One inch sensor fixed lens cameras.

 

So as I already pointed out, the camera makers should focus on developing fixed multi lenses multi sensored computational cameras with easy one-button wireless connectivity to the phones. The software must be intuitive and 21st century design rather than the current 1980 design, I think it should be user programmable and as Thom points out open the source code to the smart kids and then some of them will develop some good apps for them for free.

Remember why the 5DMK2 and the Panasonic GH2 became such huge hits? Because of the hacked firmwares, I think it is the key.

  

UPDATE4: Now Nikon rumors and the others are getting really paranoid about the new Sony sensor marketing strategy that Nikon rumors and IR widely reported as a kind of fact a few days back.

I know and I have read the original Japanese text and I know their translation is totally wrong. Sony has never said they won't sell the best sensors they have to Nikon or hold back every latest techs they have in house. But they said they will not sell the best FF sensor for hybrid use and the A7R2 sensor is one of that kind....This means if it is not hybrid or video (high speed read-out) sensors Sony will more than willing to sell it to Nikon, so the stills focused 36, 46, and 54 mp sensors are all available to Nikon and the APS-C or so-called MF sensors are also widely available to whoever want to buy one of these.

Remember Sony Semi is not a part of Sony corporation but an independent company and so is the imaging group of Sony...........this means Sony imaging is just one of many many customers of the Semiconductor company of Sony, and the 42.4mp chip was designed for the standards of Sony imaging corp.

Therefore, they will sell any ordinary sensors to Nikon , especially the stills focused ones and smaller than 35mm FF sensors.

However in the long run, it is a big problem for Nikon since Sony Semi's main business is selling automobile sensors, cellphone sensor units and industrial sensors, so Nikon may become a very unimportant customer to their future business plan....

I have heard that the A9 sensors are kept for in-house use only and Nikon will have no access to it.

For now it is not a very serious issue, but Nikon will have to find the real long term solution for their long term sensor plan.

I think they will have to start sensor fabricating themselves with help from Ricoh, Fuji, TowerJazz , and I know many actually think it has already started working in this direction.

 

UPDATE 5: now IR posted the corrected version of the Sony interview with some corroboration from the Sony officials from Sony corporation (not the people originally interviewed from Sony DI).

 

www.imaging-resource.com/news/2017/03/26/sony-thailand-fa...

 

Now IR again proved itself a very sincere and respectable source of info, as opposed to Photorumors and other junk sites.

And this new IR article proved that I was correct on this one and the all PhotoRumors and Nikon Rumors are all wrong on this issue.

 

UPDATE6:Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation designs some sensors "on spec" for sale to all comers, like the ones listed at www.sony-semicon.co.jp/products_en/IS/sensor2/products/in... However it also collaborates with some large customers to design and produce sensors that are exclusive to that customer, either permanently or for a period of exclusivity. Nikon and Sony have partnered like this a number of times going back to the CCD era; more recently this has been done with Sony Imaging, Phase One, and Fujifilm (the last only customizing CFAs and micro-lenses, not the electronic part).

So all the paranoid rumors sites are wrong on this issue and they all proved that they've got no clue at all.

  

UPDATE7: Now the rumored A9 is announced and I was wrong on the name, I said it Alpha One, but everything else I predicted about it was right.

It was, after all, a very highspeed FF camera that designed to kill the D5 and 1DX2. It is incredibly fast and very good hybrid shooter and for 4500USD, it is a big bargain.

However, it was kind of a big disappointment to me since I do prefer the 42.4mp sensor or the 36.7 mp sensor and I am too used to it.........the 24.3mp resolution feels like old now, and being 24mp means it cannot be updated to shoot 8k when it finally gets available for consumer cameras.

So while it is an incredibly versatile FF camera, I prefer my A7R2 any day to this highend A9 camera even if it is cheaper than my 2 year old A7R2.

 

But one thing we are very sure about now is DSLR is finally dead , and Nikon's future is very bleak........

  

UPDATE7: I heard that the A9 might not be the long rumored Sony flagship model, but it is the flagship consumer model.

And this means that there will be the ultimate FF or MF Sony camera coming and it will be called Alpha One.

   

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