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Author Topic: Will Sony Make a Digital Back?  (Read 14290 times)
EricWHiss
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 12:45:50 PM »
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FredGGG,
Did you hear in the interview where the CEO of Phase says that 2012 was their best year ever in terms of sales and profit?  You can go back and edit all those posts of yours now.   Roll Eyes
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fredjeang2
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2013, 01:11:45 PM »
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Hey,

I didn't know that cul de sac was used in english lenguage.

Do you realise that the litteral translation in french is bag's ass ? (but means the same: a dead-end road)
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amsp
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2013, 01:22:39 PM »
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FredGGG,
Did you hear in the interview where the CEO of Phase says that 2012 was their best year ever in terms of sales and profit?  You can go back and edit all those posts of yours now.   Roll Eyes


Come now Eric, fighting Fred with facts and logic? That's like trying to make water stick to teflon  Roll Eyes
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2013, 01:50:05 PM »
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FredGGG,
Did you hear in the interview where the CEO of Phase says that 2012 was their best year ever in terms of sales and profit?  You can go back and edit all those posts of yours now.   Roll Eyes



Wait for it -

"Oh, but I can't imagine why Phase One wouldn't make all their sales figures public so as to reassure their customers that the end was not near".


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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2013, 06:13:37 PM »
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LOL. Fred, you are a hoot. Don't give up your day job.

Yes Stuck. Just look at reality.
Hasselblad and it's investors made a desperate attempt to get into smaller formats and it was a colossal failure.

Phase One purposely chose to not try to enter such a market. Smarter choice. But the reality is that they are "stuck" in the MFD market.
Phase One has made the smart choice to enter somewhat into other formats through it's software.
They also snapped up Leaf and Mamiya because that is the world they are in.

Another important aspect is brand recognition in the market outside of MF. Both Hasselblad and Phase One
really do not have the type of brand recognition that could carry them into other formats.

The way the gear is marketed is also a determining factor. Canon's and Nikon's etc sell on the highstreet
and sell based on reputations and the shinny logos hanging around millions of people necks.
MFD is sold in a very different manner. Specialized dealers that market the living daylights out of the stuff
and mainly to immediate buyer candidates. This is what is needed to sell this stuff. However this type of
business model is not conducive to growing a brand and expanding into other fields.

Then there is the R+D difference. Giants like Nikon and Canon due to their huge resources put much more development
into products and the manufacturing process. They already work on technology that is maybe two three product generations
away. For this reason they know what the possibilities are and as a result see no reason for entering the MF arena.
Not only do these companies make their own sensors ... they make the type of utra high end equipment that makes sensors.

MFD is in a sense a dead end road. There are two ways it can go. Turn into a dead end back ally or be a posh and high quality Cul de Sac.

Phase is in the high quality Cul de Sac, Hasselblad almost blew it buy building a small Wallmart in it's Cul De Sac and thought that hiring
a fancy shop window decorator could save them.

Just look at the direction of technology.
Phase One comea out with a new back. IQ2 series. Through some endogenous tinkering they have improved long exposure.
Canon on the other hand demonstrated ultra high sensitivity sensor technology, yes still prototype, but technologically
a huge leap.

Then there is the synergy that both Nikon and Canon can get from their growing motion picture products.
Canon will benefit enormously as far as optical design goes with it's ultra high end motion picture lens designs where
lenses sell for $ 30,000 and have waiting lists. We are already seeing Canon lenses being used in front of MF sensors due to their
high quality.

In the past a Nikon or a Canon might have wanted to get into MF for prestige reasons, but that is not the case any more because their is no
longer the quality gap that there used to be between the formats. Also I think the Lunar project has pretty much killed the glory of MF as a noble
group of MF manufactures. I think it is safe to say that it has also pretty much killed off venture capital interest in MFD.



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FredBGG
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2013, 07:51:16 PM »
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LOL. Fred, you are a hoot. Don't give up your day job.


Glad to be of entertainment....
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eronald
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2013, 09:19:16 PM »
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Hasselblad will get a Sony sensor as a reward for doing the Loonycam.

Edmund
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FredBGG
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2013, 09:27:40 PM »
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Hasselblad will get a Sony sensor as a reward for doing the Loonycam.

Edmund

Lunar... AKA Loonycam.... I think that put an end to any real collaboration between Hasselblad and Sony.
The Lunar.. fruit of Hasselblad's  "New Business Development Manager" whose previous experience was
product manager of De Longhi kitchen appliances. It's not very reassuring when the manager of new buisness development
of a high tech digital camera manufacturer comes from a small kitchen appliance company.
 
Also Fuji already makes much of the Hasselblad and is a sensor designer and manufacturer ... might be a more probable source for a sensor.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 09:30:42 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2013, 09:46:02 PM »
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LOL.

This is like saying the only reason a successful Bespoke Suit Maker continues to make suits by hand is because he is stuck without the resources to produce 10,000 suits a year on large industrial machines. That's true, but it misses the point. He does it because it makes the best fitting suit; not everyone can afford to buy it and that is ok with him.

Or that the only reason a high-end wedding photographer who charges $10k per wedding only shoots 12 weddings a year is because he is stuck without the (time) resources to shoot more weddings. That's true, but it misses the point. He does it because he can offer 100% of his time/energy to each wedding and give them the best possible experience. Not everyone can afford to him, and that is ok with him.

I guess in a technical sense it is not false. Phase One would have a hard time competing in the Canikon dSLR market. But it misses the point. Some companies purposely position themselves to provide solutions only to a small % of the market. Not everyone wants to go the route of competing in a commodity market where considerable debate is had over whether the R+D department can use a $5 part in a new product when a $4 part would be 80% as good.

"stuck" -  Grin

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/is_mf_dead.shtml

many companies serve specialized markets. It's interesting that a photography and electronics giant like Sony does choose to serve several very high end and
niche markets like digital cinema. Very expensive items with high margins.

For example the $ 65,000 4K cine alta



Very high end pro equipment, not made in the 100s of thousands.

Yet they choose to stay away from MFD.

Dough's analogyies with a suit maker or a wedding photographer have nothing to do with this. Neither the photographer or the suit maker
are in the high end electronics business where huge R+D is astronomical.
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JV
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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2013, 09:51:17 PM »
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I think that put an end to any real collaboration between Hasselblad and Sony.

Not what the rumors say but who knows...:

Rumor has it that Hasselblad could be the first to announce a new medium format SLT digital slr type camera,  with a new Sony medium format Sensor.
The fixed  mirror of the SLT design would help increase image sharpness by eliminating mirror bounce from a much larger medium format mirror.
Rumor has a new camera possibly being announced in the 2nd quarter of 2013. A Sony version is rumored to come later.

http://ccvicfstop.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/sony-hasselblad-rumoured-to-be-working-on-a-new-medium-format-slt-digital-slr-camera/
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FredBGG
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2013, 04:31:43 AM »
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Not what the rumors say but who knows...:

Rumor has it that Hasselblad could be the first to announce a new medium format SLT digital slr type camera,  with a new Sony medium format Sensor.
The fixed  mirror of the SLT design would help increase image sharpness by eliminating mirror bounce from a much larger medium format mirror.
Rumor has a new camera possibly being announced in the 2nd quarter of 2013. A Sony version is rumored to come later.

http://ccvicfstop.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/sony-hasselblad-rumoured-to-be-working-on-a-new-medium-format-slt-digital-slr-camera/

Rather interesting that the "rumor" refered to big investments made by Sony in CMOS production.
That did happen. About $1 Billion, but for the manufacture of stacked CMOS sensors for smart phones.
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torger
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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2013, 05:03:59 AM »
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Uhh... it would be nice if we for once could discuss MFD with some mild criticism, dreams hopes and guesses rather than take on the "MF must/will die" approach Smiley

The worst case for MFD I think is that it will stay as is, i e a 10,000 unit a year marginally small product which due to its extremely high prices may become even more marginalized to special applications like repro/industrial/cartography and being a luxury accessory for photography-interested millionaires.

If the "best year ever" simply is because the millionaire amateur market has more than compensated the loss in the independent pro market I think it is an unfortunate development.

What I think will happen in the coming 3 year period is that Canon will enter the high mp game and with a new sensor process get closer to what Sony/Nikon can do in terms of low ISO image quality. They will also upgrade their 45 and 90mm TS-E lenses. Then we'll have a reasonably flexible DSLR "tech camera" that can deliver essentially equivalent quality as a MF tech camera equipped with a P45+. We'll see more 135 lenses designed for high resolution sensors. Previous MFD users will start using high res 135 and with the growing user base the workflows will be further developed so we'll see an improvement in skin tone handling and other factors where MF is traditionally superior.

The problem is that 135 system will be able to reach so far in image quality that the willingness to pay a huge amount of extra money to get a bit better may go down drastically in many pro segments. If the response to this is to do nothing concerning pricing I think MFD could become a very narrow specialized niche product.

I do feel that we see a shift in marketing focus, it's now more about "being different" than having superior quality, and the reason for this I think is that many feel today that 135 systems are good enough for almost any type of use.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 05:50:39 AM by torger » Logged
torger
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2013, 06:04:33 AM »
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Rather interesting that the "rumor" refered to big investments made by Sony in CMOS production.
That did happen. About $1 Billion, but for the manufacture of stacked CMOS sensors for smart phones.

CMOS will happen for MF. I don't think the CEO from Phase One would dare to lie about that, and he indicated very clearly in the interview that it is coming. I would guess that Sony will not be the maker of it though, and that the first incarnations won't really reach Sony's quality per pixel. In a few years time we'll probably have CMOS and live view wireless to a tablet. It will be cool. It will also make it possible for a great revival of the view camera, as every ground-glass-challenged person can used it then, woohoo! Unless it's a color cast disaster...
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2013, 06:22:28 AM »
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Uhh... it would be nice if we for once could discuss MFD with some mild criticism, dreams hopes and guesses rather than take on the "MF must/will die" approach Smiley

The worst case for MFD I think is that it will stay as is, i e a 10,000 unit a year marginally small product which due to its extremely high prices may become even more marginalized to special applications like repro/industrial/cartography and being a luxury accessory for photography-interested millionaires.

If the "best year ever" simply is because the millionaire amateur market has more than compensated the loss in the independent pro market I think it is an unfortunate development.

What I think will happen in the coming 3 year period is that Canon will enter the high mp game and with a new sensor process get closer to what Sony/Nikon can do in terms of low ISO image quality. They will also upgrade their 45 and 90mm TS-E lenses. Then we'll have a reasonably flexible DSLR "tech camera" that can deliver essentially equivalent quality as a MF tech camera equipped with a P45+. We'll see more 135 lenses designed for high resolution sensors. Previous MFD users will start using high res 135 and with the growing user base the workflows will be further developed so we'll see an improvement in skin tone handling and other factors where MF is traditionally superior.

The problem is that 135 system will be able to reach so far in image quality that the willingness to pay a huge amount of extra money to get a bit better may go down drastically in many pro segments. If the response to this is to do nothing concerning pricing I think MFD could become a very narrow specialized niche product.

I do feel that we see a shift in marketing focus, it's now more about "being different" than having superior quality, and the reason for this I think is that many feel today that 135 systems are good enough for almost any type of use.

I find it interesting that we keep on missing one of the great things about MF, different systems.  Lets face it, from a camera stand point Canon and Nikon are the same thing.  Yes there is the sensor and lens argument, but they have the same look, feel, function, they even work the same.  

For MF we have Alpa, Arca, Cambo, Hassy, Mamiya, Linhof, Sinar, ...

They are all different, work differently.  For me the Canon TS lenses are horrible, dealing with shift and turn, such a pain in the ass.  But having two independent x and y movements flows so much better.  And you can do multiple exposures with MF, not to mention access to the sharpest lenses in the world with no sacrifice to quality (like designing around a mirror box).

But maybe you are right.  I am young, but I am also strange for most photographers my age.  No photographers my age that I have ran into know how to balance color on location with gels, they do not know what window gels are, many use no lights and know nothing about the different properties of different types of light (for instance the discontinuous light spectrum of fluorescents which makes it impossible to render color correctly).  I hear that many colleges do not require their students to take a course on the 4x5 camera any more or work with a color light meter.  Friends of mine who went to school for photography (I went to school for mathematics) did not know what a center filter was when I brought it up or the difference between a leaf and focal plain shutter

So maybe MF will die, but not because of budgets, because of laziness.  
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 06:24:41 AM by JoeKitchen » Logged

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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2013, 06:29:45 AM »
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On a side note, I always find it amusing when someone used the phrase "good enough."  Like Canon or Nikon are good enough.  I often wonder how these same photographers would feel if a Art Buyer looked at there work and said "well, he is good enough for this assignment."  I know I would not be very proud after hearing that. 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
"Try not to be just better than your rivals and contemporaries, try to be better than yourself."  William Faulkner
yaya
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« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2013, 06:48:20 AM »
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If the "best year ever" simply is because the millionaire amateur market has more than compensated the loss in the independent pro market I think it is an unfortunate development.

2012 also saw many pros that already had an older MF back from 3-4-5 yrs ago and that have decided to re-invest in their business and to buy a new one (either by trading the old one in or as a new purchase).

At the same time we saw many pros who took the DSLR route 3-4-5 yrs ago after many years of shooting MF/ LF film and who for a host of reasons have decided to go back to MF/LF cameras with a new digital back

The "millionaire amateurs" are a welcome addition obviously but they cannot take the place of the core business of commercial studios & shooters.

Other areas such as cultural heritage, aerial and other industrial applications are all on the up and are fast becoming much more than small niches.

No offence to anyone here but 5-10 regular LL posters do not represent the current market, buy any stretch...

As Henrik suggested in the interview, the money that comes in is routed back into R&D and drives innovation and new projects and helps them materialise faster. This does not mean that the product must become a commodity or available at a cost of smaller/ cheaper products.

Yair
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torger
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« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2013, 06:57:53 AM »
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On a side note, I always find it amusing when someone used the phrase "good enough."  Like Canon or Nikon are good enough.  I often wonder how these same photographers would feel if a Art Buyer looked at there work and said "well, he is good enough for this assignment."  I know I would not be very proud after hearing that. 

It's in the sense that people used 4x5" instead of 8x10" because it was "good enough" for the print sizes and uses that was targeted, i e no-one would care about the difference so it was wiser to use the smaller, cheaper and more practical format. As I see it, 135 format is now approaching what 4x5" film could do in terms of resolution and image quality and thus starts to embrace many of the uses that 4x5" was sufficient for.

I e, it will be tougher and tougher for MF to sell on image quality advantage alone. People will start to ask themselves, if I make my 32" fine art print at 400 ppi instead of 200 ppi does it really matter, and am I prepared to pay 10 times the price for that?
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BJL
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« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2013, 07:48:26 AM »
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That link is no evidence of a rumor: it is just someone speculating (really just "wishing") on a blog, using some absurdly irrational (sorry, "optimistic") arguments. In addition to the many reasons already stated, lens sales are still an important part of the profitability of a cameras system, and there are already more than enough lens and body systems competing in the very small high end market for digital formats larger than 36x24mm, so I do not expect Sony (or Canon, or Nikon) to enter that market.

Since luxury car analogies keep coming up, expecting the Japanese camera industry giants to get into formats larger than 36x24 is like expecting Japanese car industry giants to start making cars to compete with high end niche makers like Bugatti or Lamborghini ... or arguing that companies like Toyota or Honda need to do so for fear of losing sales to those high end niche brands.


P. S. Not to say that one or two of those high end niche brands cannot thrive in that niche: I am no Fred. I rather expect a niche sensor designer like CMOSIS or Dalsa to provide them with good CMOS sensors someday, in the way that CMOSIS has already done so for the new Leica M.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 07:56:35 AM by BJL » Logged
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2013, 08:01:08 AM »
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It's in the sense that people used 4x5" instead of 8x10" because it was "good enough" for the print sizes and uses that was targeted, i e no-one would care about the difference so it was wiser to use the smaller, cheaper and more practical format. As I see it, 135 format is now approaching what 4x5" film could do in terms of resolution and image quality and thus starts to embrace many of the uses that 4x5" was sufficient for.

I e, it will be tougher and tougher for MF to sell on image quality advantage alone. People will start to ask themselves, if I make my 32" fine art print at 400 ppi instead of 200 ppi does it really matter, and am I prepared to pay 10 times the price for that?

I'd argue the premise that 35mm DSLR's are close to 4X5". It's more than just PPI, so much more more. If it was just PPI then the Nokia 808 = the D800e for printing. It's one incredible phone but it ain't a FF DSLR. You can scan 35mm film to match the resolution of a 4X5 scan but it won't match it, or even close. Rendition, tonality, colour, feel, these are all as important for photographers (as opposed to pixel peepers) as the pure lines per mm. Then again I don't believe that our Aptus II-8  comes close to a 4X5 frame even cheaply scanned, for tonality and rendition. Cheesy

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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2013, 08:17:49 AM »
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many companies serve specialized markets. It's interesting that a photography and electronics giant like Sony does choose to serve several very high end and



A F65 (or other Fs) isn't necesarly the queen in the niche market you mentionned. In fact it is not at all. The Aaton and similar beasts rule the very high-end motion production, not the still photography crowd shooting a bunch of rather low budget commercials. Sony might be a component provider for them. If my memory's correct, Aaton sensor is provided by Dalsa. It's french tech, DNG raw and proxies in DNxHD, they work very well in Hollywood, small company, same as Angénieux, small company located in the middle of a red-neck area in France. They do good stuff and they sell ww. Or Cooke lenses. The list is long.

I'm thinking of Grass Valley for example, wich is in fact a small company compared to Sony or Panasonic, they inundated the ww market with their 100.000 euros Elite cameras. There are more Grass Valley thomson bodies here in Teevees than all the sony and Panasonic together, because that's what want the high-end users for serious live coverage. The cost of those systems are out of range for a still imagery based production. Grass Valley makes profit, and they aren't Sony giant, but they make the profits within a very limited but very demanding niche market, same as Aaton. Sony is into this market but isn't ruling it, in fact they are more active and interested in the middle and low-end productions (not talking about low-end in terms of artistical value here but in terms of budget) because for a company like Sony they focus where the max profits are but in the very high-end the marketplace is much more fragmentated a a truth space exists for small companies.

The Cuantel Pablo's facilities are closing and how streange (how strange really) that a year ago, you had to put 15.000 bucks on the table to get a Smoke license, and suddenly, as by magic, the 2013 version, more powerfull, is sold at less than 4.000. What were those 11.000 then? Those 11.000 were because they could, now they can't anymore.

If a small company gives the tools the pros want, pros will continue to buy them. Grass Valley survives and makes profit selling cameras much more expensive than Sony, because there is a market that want thoses cameras, and in general (no, in general no, in absolute) those are highly trained and skilled operators who work where the real money is but not where the real profits are for a big company.  I'm sure there will always be a market different than the standardized mass productions as soon as they know how to spot their user needs, and within this market, price is not an issue.

Analogicaly, one can say, and would be right, that there are some japanese cars technologically more advanced, powerfull, cheaper and faster than Ferraris, so why buying Ferrari then? The thing is that Ferrari buyers want to drive a Ferrari, not a plastic electronic asiatic car that sounds like a vacuum cleaner, and they are ready to pay what Ferrari is asking them for having this experience. It's as simple.










  

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 10:52:44 AM by fredjeang2 » Logged
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