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Author Topic: Worldwide medium format market  (Read 16104 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2013, 02:56:03 AM »
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It strikes me that lens design might be best left to lens designers. Tell them what you want and they'll give you what they can.

http://youtu.be/UOaUoMC6VZY

Rob C
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fredjeang2
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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2013, 04:42:05 AM »
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I don't really understand this disapointment
Expressed in this conversation On the fact that
their lenses are made in Japan by Fijinon.

It seems that people associate it with lack of
Quality.

First, Japan is not China nor Corea.
But more seriously, maybe some should have
A look at what Fijinon has Been able to produce
For the motion and broadcast industry. They might be surprised.
And the technology involved as the component
Quality go far beyond the requirements of the
Technical sheets for still imagery.

The fact that Fujinon is making their lenses
Is rather a good news.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 04:44:25 AM by fredjeang2 » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2013, 03:17:17 PM »
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$99,800.00



$160,700.00

Fuji knows a thing or two about lenses....
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fredjeang2
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« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2013, 03:20:44 PM »
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$99,800.00



$160,700.00

Fuji knows a thing or two about lenses....

My point exactly.

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DennisWilliams
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« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2013, 09:12:44 PM »
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A year ago Calumet in Los Angeles had both H4D and Mamiya on display. In numbers. Last Friday no display no stock. No Pentax 645D.  I had cash and credit cards and I walked out. If the MF market is falling it is the store's fault.  Mercedes is having a record year. It's not a money issue.   
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BJL
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« Reply #45 on: May 14, 2013, 09:37:01 PM »
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A year ago Calumet in Los Angeles had both H4D and Mamiya on display. In numbers. Last Friday no display no stock. No Pentax 645D. ... If the MF market is falling it is the store's fault.
I think you are confusing cause with effect: if a camera store drops multiple products in a category, it is likely caused by declining sales, not the cause of the decline. Though maybe the decline is at least in part due to the move to buying online, sometimes after customers have exploited stores as uncompensated display centers.

P. S. This is part of why I support the proposed law requiring online vendors to collect the sales tax that customers are legally required to pay anyway but often do not: I want actual actual "bricks and mortar" specialist stores for products like cameras to have some chance of surviving.


And on other topics: I agree that Fujifilm has greater credentials as a lens designer than Hasselblad, and Hasselblad is wide to continue what it has always done: working with expert lens design and manufacturing companies, rather than following the common internet forum dogma that it is always better to do evertything in-house.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 09:40:55 PM by BJL » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2013, 03:18:22 AM »
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P. S. This is part of why I support the proposed law requiring online vendors to collect the sales tax that customers are legally required to pay anyway but often do not: I want actual actual "bricks and mortar" specialist stores for products like cameras to have some chance of surviving.



Couldn't agree more: nothing can replace a real shop with knowledgeable staff. I've felt the chill ever since my island wholesaler was pulled out by Big Daddy ARPI in Barcelona.

In that case, I wouldn't put it down to buying online: chat and visual observation there showed that when film and associated supplies became redundant, so did a wholesaler on the island. Thank you, digital.

Babies, bathwater.

Rob C
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eronald
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« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2013, 05:15:31 AM »
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I think the whole MF industry are now fossils. Look at Blackmagic's and Red's speed of innovation, making boxes on which one can screw lenses, then look at what the MF guys are doing to avoid any sense that their product is not a "camera", the MF guys are as bad as Leica. Their historical design template masks the fact that the basic component, the sensor, is now fairly cheap. 

Edmund
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JerryReed
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« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2013, 05:53:38 AM »
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Eronald,

More elaboration please on your observation, "fairly cheap."

Jerry
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torger
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« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2013, 06:49:29 AM »
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Sensors are expensive, but not that expensive. I don't know what the official pricing is these days though. If we look at the "historic" press release of the KAF-51000 50 megapixel sensor in 2008 it was $3,500 in volume to manufacturers, which ended up in the $22,000 H3DII-50.

It's mainly the low volumes (and expensive sales channels?) that makes the gear ultra-expensive rather than just expensive.
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heinrichvoelkel
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« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2013, 07:00:05 AM »
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 ARPI in Barcelona

Rob C

the ARPI experience, hahahaha, this shop is living prooof to what's wrong in Catalonia and maybe even explains why Spain is in trouble. Good example of boiling down world economics to a level I understand.

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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2013, 09:29:50 AM »
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Sensors are expensive, but not that expensive. I don't know what the official pricing is these days though. If we look at the "historic" press release of the KAF-51000 50 megapixel sensor in 2008 it was $3,500 in volume to manufacturers, which ended up in the $22,000 H3DII-50.

It's mainly the low volumes (and expensive sales channels?) that makes the gear ultra-expensive rather than just expensive.


I think it's important (and more relevant) to consider the ratio of total component costs to selling price, rather than focusing on the base numerical difference.

I will also say that the sales channel cost is drastically overrated. In fact, sales channel may contribute a savings when you factor in the higher sales as a result and the technical support easement that occurs. If MFD manufacturers had to handle all technical and product support, they would be overwhelmed.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
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Steve Hendrix
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MFDB: Phase One/Leaf-Mamiya/Hasselblad/Leica/Sinar
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torger
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« Reply #52 on: May 15, 2013, 10:07:29 AM »
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I think it's important (and more relevant) to consider the ratio of total component costs to selling price, rather than focusing on the base numerical difference.

I will also say that the sales channel cost is drastically overrated. In fact, sales channel may contribute a savings when you factor in the higher sales as a result and the technical support easement that occurs. If MFD manufacturers had to handle all technical and product support, they would be overwhelmed.

I did not put a number on the sales channel, but you're probably right. As most low volume products MFD is a bit 'hackish' compared to mass-market products, meaning that early releases can be support-intensive. If you look at my main interest -- tech cameras -- it's also quite complicated, lens cast, integration issues etc, so they will also generate support.

A more integrated well-tested product, easier to use, and made easier to buy so you could be read reviews on the net, put-in-basket in a web shop, just like any DSLR could make it possible to increase volumes. But you would need a strong financial backing to make such a structural change, because it's risky and it's going to cost.

The 645D is something like that, and it costs $7K, about the same price as a Canon 1DX.

Concerning ratio I've heard that entry-level full-frame DSLRs have about 70% of the manufacturing cost buried in the sensor. I would guess that the $7K 645D and the $8K Aptus-II 5 has a much different ratio than the IQ180. Someone's gotta pay for the development costs though, and with low volumes it's going to be a big chunk.
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2013, 10:23:46 AM »
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I did not put a number on the sales channel, but you're probably right. As most low volume products MFD is a bit 'hackish' compared to mass-market products, meaning that early releases can be support-intensive. If you look at my main interest -- tech cameras -- it's also quite complicated, lens cast, integration issues etc, so they will also generate support.

A more integrated well-tested product, easier to use, and made easier to buy so you could be read reviews on the net, put-in-basket in a web shop, just like any DSLR could make it possible to increase volumes. But you would need a strong financial backing to make such a structural change, because it's risky and it's going to cost.

The 645D is something like that, and it costs $7K, about the same price as a Canon 1DX.

Concerning ratio I've heard that entry-level full-frame DSLRs have about 70% of the manufacturing cost buried in the sensor. I would guess that the $7K 645D and the $8K Aptus-II 5 has a much different ratio than the IQ180. Someone's gotta pay for the development costs though, and with low volumes it's going to be a big chunk.


As an example, the difference in our margin on Pentax 645D (which we just picked up) and Hasselblad is 5%, yet there is a 150% difference in price. I don't know that Pentax is actually making any money on the 645D.

Yes, and my point was that there are more components than just the sensor, but even the total of all components is almost always a fraction of the actual selling cost - often 1/3 to 1/5 - with many manufacturers.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
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Steve Hendrix
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MFDB: Phase One/Leaf-Mamiya/Hasselblad/Leica/Sinar
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2013, 11:00:10 AM »
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Hi,

I guess that Pentax can recycle a lot of R&D from the APS-C DSLRs. Also I have seen a suggestion that Pentax may have bought a large numbers of Kodak sensors in a single batch, thus getting a good price.

Best regards
Erik


As an example, the difference in our margin on Pentax 645D (which we just picked up) and Hasselblad is 5%, yet there is a 150% difference in price. I don't know that Pentax is actually making any money on the 645D.

Yes, and my point was that there are more components than just the sensor, but even the total of all components is almost always a fraction of the actual selling cost - often 1/3 to 1/5 - with many manufacturers.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #55 on: May 15, 2013, 11:31:30 AM »
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I think the whole MF industry are now fossils. Look at Blackmagic's and Red's speed of innovation, making boxes on which one can screw lenses, then look at what the MF guys are doing to avoid any sense that their product is not a "camera", the MF guys are as bad as Leica. Their historical design template masks the fact that the basic component, the sensor, is now fairly cheap. 

Edmund

Sometimes its easier to start from scratch and make one product with all the latest technology.   Hasselblad is still supporting all this old stuff and was even making it (V) up until recently. They have all kinds of things keeping them busy.  It's hard to know if they had more design and engineering staff available than say Black Magic anyhow, but its easy to think that they would.  Not sure its the case.  

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FredBGG
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« Reply #56 on: May 15, 2013, 11:58:13 AM »
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If MFD manufacturers had to handle all technical and product support, they would be overwhelmed.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration

That says a lot about MFD. IF the manufacturer can't handle support there has to be something
somewhat unsatisfactory about their product. If reliability and usability is such that support issues are overwhelming
then it becomes essential for the manufacturers to to price the gear and repairs in such a way to
leave sufficient margin to attract specialized dealers that will generally be studio equipment suppliers
rather than general photography stores.

There is also the issue of how much of a salesman pitch is needed for certain items to sell.

A retail store has a line of clients to deal with and cannot be chasing down clients on forums, direct mailing, local trade shows etc etc

The cost of dealer channel in MFD is to a certain extent like car sales. The price drops significantly just by driving the car off the lot.

Just get an estimate from an MF dealer and then compare it to the price for the same gear from a volume
dealer like BH. Different, but it is an indication of the margins. I have also found that in general doing a lot of negotiation
when buying non retail store pro gear can lead to getting prices significantly lowered, even years ago before the digital revolution.
This because manufacturers want dealers to have a significant monetary incentive to sell their products.
Shifting support to their dealers is a second way to give them an incentive. When a 5 year VA warranty is sold I'm sure the dealer gets a fair share of it.

As volumes go down prices have to go up so as to maintain the manufacturing costs, the dealers and to be able to supply the product to the diminishing or simply small market.

When a camera offering goes from 12MP to 36MP with only a moderate price difference (both launch prices) it sells by itself
and they fly off the shelves. On the other hand the relatively diminishing IQ advantage of MF requires more of the skills of the salesman
to keep sales going for those sales to photographers that are not printing 60x40in.

While there is a diminishing IQ advantage there is still an advantage..... sort of like HiFi and out eyes are far more refined than our ears.
So in saying there is a diminishing IQ difference I mean no disrespect to those that require it or simply enjoy it.
However the reality in the  market is that there are simply fewer and fewer prolific publishing formats that require more
quality than is produced by much cheaper cameras and motion image is getting more and more prolific, even if it isn't story telling
buy simply motion  photography illustrating and creating a mood. Actually very fun and liberating for a photographer.

Going back to support it is important to have it. IF equipment is hellishly expensive it is even more important.
With far less expensive gear it is less important because a back up cameras would cost about the same as a repair job on an MF back.



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FredBGG
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« Reply #57 on: May 15, 2013, 12:06:17 PM »
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Sometimes its easier to start from scratch and make one product with all the latest technology.   Hasselblad is still supporting all this old stuff and was even making it (V) up until recently. They have all kinds of things keeping them busy.  It's hard to know if they had more design and engineering staff available than say Black Magic anyhow, but its easy to think that they would.  Not sure its the case.  



I think it's more about Black magic being in the business of micro electronics and following/leading in that trend while Hasselblad is in the business
of trying to stay in business figuring how to scale up micro electronics to fill their image circle with  a sensor.

Leica on the other hand designed an MFish camera from the ground up, but despite it being absolutely delightful
it is far from being a huge success and reliability has not been close to Leica standards.

Also Hasselblad while not being innovative at all has been closing up it's system more and more. New backs are not compatible with previous
cameras models in the same line, despite having the same old sensor....
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torger
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« Reply #58 on: May 15, 2013, 12:30:55 PM »
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When it comes to as complicated things like electronics and software a mass-market product is generally higher quality (less bugs and quirks) than low volume products. The development cost of the mass-market product is likely much higher, as it must be fool-proof or support would be overwhelmed with the numbers it's expected to sell, and there's more custom electronics parts - expensive to develop but reduces unit cost in mass-production.

Phase One uses programmable FPGAs in their backs, which means that they can fix bugs in their hardware with firmware updates. It increases unit costs though, for mass-production it's better to make a hardwired custom circuit really test it extremely well and then mass-produce.

Making a low volume digital back as well-tested and with as much custom components as a typical mass-market DSLR would lead to unreasonable high development costs leading to astromical end customer prices. I just find it natural and no wrong in that digital backs should not be expected to be as reliable or bug-free as the typical pro DSLR, at least the first releases. Support must be there to handle it.

So what you would have to do is to have the financial backing to really invest in a product that can survive mass-market handling, and then sell it at an attractive price and get the volume up. I think this is all possible, and I think we've seen this in the video market, but the current MF players probably don't have the strength required, or are simply happy with status quo..
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #59 on: May 15, 2013, 12:54:00 PM »
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That says a lot about MFD. IF the manufacturer can't handle support there has to be something
somewhat unsatisfactory about their product. If reliability and usability is such that support issues are overwhelming
then it becomes essential for the manufacturers to to price the gear and repairs in such a way to
leave sufficient margin to attract specialized dealers that will generally be studio equipment suppliers
rather than general photography stores.

There is also the issue of how much of a salesman pitch is needed for certain items to sell.

A retail store has a line of clients to deal with and cannot be chasing down clients on forums, direct mailing, local trade shows etc etc

The cost of dealer channel in MFD is to a certain extent like car sales. The price drops significantly just by driving the car off the lot.

Just get an estimate from an MF dealer and then compare it to the price for the same gear from a volume
dealer like BH. Different, but it is an indication of the margins. I have also found that in general doing a lot of negotiation
when buying non retail store pro gear can lead to getting prices significantly lowered, even years ago before the digital revolution.
This because manufacturers want dealers to have a significant monetary incentive to sell their products.
Shifting support to their dealers is a second way to give them an incentive. When a 5 year VA warranty is sold I'm sure the dealer gets a fair share of it.







Nice argument on support, but it is flawed.  Should a company provide support for its own products or rely on dealers to do so?  In terms of a moral answer, that is up in the air.  In terms of a business model, it is much better for the company to rely on dealers for the support.  It requires them to employ less people since they only need enough "sales staff" to talk with a very limited amount of clients (the dealers) in the world market.  Likewise, having no support staff also gives them the ability to keep employment cost low.  They also do not need to create a large complicated network of sales persons throughout the world.  This does put the burden on the dealers, but it is much safer for the manufacturer, in what ever industry.  And just to expanded, I know of no one who bought a Nikon D800e directly from Nikon.  Even you Fred, I am sure walked into your local camera store (or went online) and ordered it from a company independent from Nikon.  

This is true with cars; no car company sells cars to the public.  They sell them to the dealer, which sell them to the public.  The dealer may use the name of the car company in their name, but they are still a separate entity.  And when you take your car to the dealer to be serviced, the mechanics do not work for the car companies, but for the dealer.  Yes, there is a good amount of training they may be required to go through for the right to work there, and I am sure the dealers are put through annual tests to keep the right to sell cars, but Phase probably puts their dealers through the same thing.  Of course there are exceptions to this, like BMW.  You can visit the factory if you want and drive out your car.  Watch it being finalized and ask the company questions about driving it for "no extra charge."  But what does that mean?  It means you are paying for it, it is already baked in the cake.  

If Phase provided support as opposed to the dealers, I am sure that backs would be more expensive since it is easier for a small company to service their specific geography that a single company providing service to the entire world.  If you do not believe me, talk to some facilities managers of national businesses about why they are in charge of handling the smaller construction projects (<$1M) at their locations than the main office.  It is just more cost effective.  

Insofar as B&H is concerned, I stopped shopping there in college.  After determining that the main criteria for becoming employed there was to be that community (no predigest, just a fact), not camera experience, I gave up on them.  Try getting costumer service/support from them.  Most of who works there only knows as much about the products as what is said on the packaging.  And lets nor forget that the main reason they exist to provide financial backing to that family's diamond business, the real cash cow of the owners.  
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 12:59:48 PM by JoeKitchen » Logged

Joe Kitchen
www.josephmkitchen.com

"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
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