What people are buying.
Kindle Paperwhite. The latest, now highly refined version of Amazon's back-illuminated low-eyestrain e-reader. Now with Amazon's new customized typeface as one of the font choices. In case you don't know, addiction can be slow to take, but a person can get hooked on e-readers. $119.
Sony A6300. Vying for the title of world's best-selling premium ILC (interchangeable-lens camera). $998. Its nominal predecessor, the A6000, is also still a hot seller near the top of the charts at $548.
VPI Classic. Best selling U.S.-made high-end (although mid-priced) vinyl-record turntable. Made in New Jersey. It's rumored that sales have outpaced production for its entire product lifespan so far. $3,295 without cartridge (shown is the excellent, inexpensive Ortofon 2M Red [$100]).
Best selling toy of all time: Rubik's Cube, with 355 million sold. Inventor Ernő Rubik lists M.C. Escher among his influences.
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Best selling photo tech book among people using TOP's links in the last 30 days. $16.06.
Number of Harry Potter books sold
since 1997: 470 million
Total of all books of all types sold worldwide
in 2013: 500 million
Wealthiest author in history: J.K. Rowling
Second-wealthiest woman in the U.K.: J.K. Rowling
Wealthiest woman in the U.K.: Queen Elizabeth II
Porsche's no. 1 best-selling vehicle is an SUV named after an unpleasant pepper, a fact the World Ecumenical Council's 911th Temple of the Stickshift has certified as a sure sign of impending Apocalypse. Color shown is "UPS," considered natty on trucks. Although Porsche's bestseller, it is only around the 65th most popular SUV. $60,000–$160,000.
Also "selling like hotcakes" according to a leading Fuji site. In the X-Pro2, Fuji took a camera that had already earned an inspired following and worked very hard on refining every aspect of it with input from leading photographers. With the lens shown, which was made for it (currently the 11th best-selling digital camera lens, by the way—$399), it's what Henri Cartier-Bresson might be shooting with were he with us and in his prime today. $1,699.
The current no. 1 bestselling book in Amazon's "Science and Mathematics" category: The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by...wait, what? Who? Arianna Huffington? You mean...she sleeps?!? $13.
Here's the current bestseller among books of photographs by individual photographers. You saw him here first. A book which proves two things simultaneously: not everything has been photographed yet, and yes, there are more original ways left to help satiate the world's insatiable affection for pets. Congrats to Seth Casteel. Oh, and if you think cats deserve equal time, here's something for cat...um, lovers?! Ahem. (Note the demonic laugh in the URL, too.) $12.
The best-selling gaming console of all time, although it sort of depends how you count, is the Sony PlayStation 2. My son had one. Current bestselling games for the PlayStation 4 are Ratchet & Clank, Final Fantasy XV Deluxe Edition, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
Bestselling digital camera lens: the Canon EF 50mm ƒ/1.8 STM. $125. The EF-S (APS-C only) 24mm ƒ/2.8 STM ($149) is on the bestseller list too, a little further down. That and a Rebel SL1 ($400) will set you free, saith oracular Oren*.
Not the best
And finally, as an antidote to all the "best" brags, check out the boast on this concert poster by alt-country godfathers Uncle Tupelo, from 1994:
Any other favorite bestsellers? Have a nice Sunday!
*What Oren actually said: "I know y'all are into new-fangled things like EVFs, but for a bit of bargain-basement goodness in an old-fogey DSLR, try an EOS SL1 with the EF-S 24/2.8 STM pancake sometime. It's resolutely trailing-edge—and tiny, simple, and basically delightful. Serious value for money."
"Open Mike" is the open-topic, anything-goes editorial page of TOP, when Mike gets to do anything he wants, which is different from every other day...how?
P.S. Sorry to all you who drive Cayennes. Just makin' meself laugh.
Original contents copyright 2016 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Richard: "I have the Canon 24mm pancake lens. There is something very magical about it. I suspect the fact that it is a prime lens, and designed for a crop sensor, has a lot to do with that. The nifty fifty is also nice on my Rebel, but does not have the same magic, I believe because it was designed for FF coverage. I wish Canon would make some more primes for crop sensors."
psu: "$3200 for a turntable is only 'mid-priced' in the weird fantasy land of high end audiophilia. Normal people stop paying attention at about $300–$500, and any value greater than $1000 is basically the same as ∞.
"That said I've always considered getting one of those VPI machines, just because they are pretty. But the newer ones look too fiddly."
Mike replies: What you say about the VPI is a common viewpoint that I often find rather odd. People will pay the same amount for an A7rII camera body, arguably a much shorter-term investment. They'll pay $160,000 for a Porsche SUV. Why are those things not a "weird fantasy" when you can get an SL1 for $399 and a Camry (best-selling car in the world, apropos the topic) for $23k? And those aren't even very outlandish examples.
The VPI is right in line with its competition and the (free, need I mention?) market supports numerous models well above that price point, from VPI and many other makers. Why does anyone spend $80 for a T-shirt or $200 for a belt? Moreover, why does hardly anyone think that's weird? Just because there are plenty of examples of silly prices in audio doesn't mean all audio prices are silly.
So it goes I guess. I used to charge $100 for an 8x10 portrait print (two prints were included in the sitting price, which topped out at $675. These were hand-processed B&W prints on premium fiber-base paper). I had one prospect dress me down but good because he could get an 8x10 at the drugstore for $9. Were my prices weird fantasy prices for photography in the '80s? I doubt many professionals here would answer yes to that.
P.S. The Classic is a very un-fiddly turntable, and easy to set up (reportedly—I've never seen one), which might be part of the reason it's popular.
psu answers Mike: "I don't really disagree with anything you said. But I still think saying that a $3200 turntable is 'mid-priced' is a little bit odd. I guess have no hard justification for this opinion. I mean I realize that you can buy products that do the same thing that cost ten times more. But I think those prices are even weirder. Enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts will always evaluate pricing and value differently and whether they seem right or not really depends on whose value system lines up with your own, I think. I would of course have paid the $600 for what I assume would have been an excellent portrait, since I'm not a barbarian. I guess I'm feeling really relativistic this morning."
Mike responds: I will admit, six or eight years ago (or maybe ten) I deliberately weaned myself off the stereo magazines I used to read every month—Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, and What Hi-Fi?, mainly—after Stereophile reviewed, in the same issue, two different components that each had list prices of $45,000. I think one was a preamp and the other was a pair of mono power amps meant to be used together for stereo amplification. I just thought, what has this got to do with me? I'm a reviewer myself, and I realized they were just never going to reach a point where skepticism about prices began to weigh into their considerations. (If I were to review a $45,000 preamp, my scorn and sarcasm would wither not only that manufacturer, but anything else in the same vicinity, like a nuclear blast.) The British magazines are better about this, but with them there's a different kind of frustration, namely that they cover products either not available or not supported in the U.S. So I kind of agree with you, too. I still like stereo stuff, and I'm as much a fan of music as I ever was, but I've left "audiophilia" behind...or vice-versa!
But while I'd never buy a $3,300 turntable, I don't think that price is outrageous, in today's dollars, for a well-built, well-designed premium product made in small numbers with onshore U.S. of A. manufacturing costs.
DavidB (partial comment): "I saw a presentation by Seth Casteel last spring (Sedona PhotoFest) where he presented his amazing images. Prior to that day I had never heard of him. So glad that I attended."
Dogman: "Couldn't agree more about ebooks being addictive. I bought a Kindle Keyboard years ago and still use it. I bought the Keyboard model because it has built in 3G and I didn't have Wi-Fi at my home at the time I purchased it. 'Course that was then and these days I couldn't live without all the electronic devices we use in the home. I now read ebooks on my iPhone, iPad and Kindle Fire tablet as well as that original Kindle. Many of the hardbacks and paperbacks in my home library have been replaced by ebooks and the paper books were donated to a local university. But I remain dedicated to paper for photography books despite the space they take up and the dust they accumulate on the shelves."
Ernest Zarate: [Re the underwater dogs being something that hasn't been photographed before... —Ed.] "From Time magazine, 1966."
ST: "I think Oren's camera advice may have just changed my entire outlook on photography. I have spent the last few hours seriously considering selling everything I own and going with a base level Canon and two cheap primes. Plus maybe a cheap longish zoom for kids' sport. Freedom...."
Mike replies: It's quite a viable strategy. It's inherent in the OC/OL/OY idea for one thing. A friend-I've-never-met just wrote a long email to me about possibly ditching his huge collection of cameras for a pair of older RX1's. He doesn't even like the newer version, for specific reasons. He hasn't used anything but RX1's for a year now, so he's thinking that since he hasn't missed any of his other equipment over that year, maybe he'll never miss it.