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Wednesday, 05 October 2016


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My wife and I did a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks two years ago. Every tourist with a DSLR had a Canon. The only Nikons spotted were in the buses of Japanese tourists where the ratio was about 80% Canon, 20% Nikon. Distressingly, I didn't see a view camera the entire trip.

While hardly scientific, and Canon *was* a sponsor of the event, I seemed to see a lot more Canon's around the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta than Nikons.

Of course many of those could have been borrowed since Canon was letting you check out cameras for the day. They were out of 5DIV's when I went by the tent.

The recent slump in camera sales might be accounted for by a shortage in image sensors following a natural disaster, so for the first time since 2011 next year is probably going to improve the balance for most camera manufacturers. I am quite astonished by the calm waters in the photographic milieu following this forced recession. Perhaps many of us have failed to realize just how complete the machinery we already own really is. Innovation seems to focus on increasingly exotic uses and is highly valued by few.

As to the mount battle, I believe about 28% of the interchangeable lens cameras sold worldwide in 2015 were mirrorless. This is a hefty proportion, but the 72% of the market still dominated by DSLRs indicate relatively good health for Canon and Nikon. Do not underestimate the good old mount loyalty. It tends to slow down changes considerably.

I think you ment to say Nikon and canon dominated their data. Out of the 50 listed camera (that you can change lenses), only 6 are not cannon or Nikon. Of the 6, fuji came in 28 and olympus Em1 came in #44. The other 4, were sony.

I don't really understand why we are so collectively interested in the state of the camera companies. I would never invest in any imaging companies stock (far too risky for me), but I have "invested" in their products – which inevitably results in big financial losses, and a big happiness ROI. All we need to know is that somehow, someone will keep making the products we want, even if almost no one else is buying them – film comes to mind as an example.

It sounds like you are going to buy the least popular camera. So where is that list?

Personally I will enjoy the "space race" to end, or at least slow down. It was distracting to enjoy the craft or art or job by the distractions of all the new models of all levels and all the new technology. I remembered that my first camera was a NikonF2 all and it took many years, maybe even a decade for the F3 to step up. Then a while more time with the introduction of the F4. Now I enjoy taking my Photographs.....or images, or whatever and watching the new diluted new techno stuff pass by. The two big advances were Digital, the lack of the big expense of presenting an image,

I am not sure I understand this sentence: "it's apparent that most photographers are still using DSLRs even if they're largely happy with the ones they already have and aren't in as big a hurry to upgrade,..."

It seems self answering - if you are happy with what you have, it stands to reason you'll keep using it, perhaps up to the point when "new gadget-itis" consumes you.

With the huge volume of lenses and cameras out there that are really good, "Canikon" just continues winning based on familiarity and momentum (if you already have 4 lenses, then what is cost of a 5th compared to totally starting over?).

Mirrorless is a "revolution" and "evolution" that doesn't take down the leaders overnight but will eventually unless the leaders join in.

Very interesting. I would think that the iPhone/Android would be the most used camera for uploaded photos by a wide margin. Was this only a survey on non-phone cameras?

"I'm considering changing cameras again..."

I know you're possibly looking at options that provide image stabilization, Mike, but if you could see your way to just trying the Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4, your issues would be addressed. I admit to being mystified as to why you will try the rental zoom with D7200 or the Panny 12-35, but not the Fuji 18-55. It is a better lens than the ubiquitous Canon 24-105/4 referenced above.

If you change brands, I really doubt you're going to find something that creates B&W photographs better than your Fuji X-T1.

Unless that is, you got an X-Pro2 or X-T2 and used the sublime Acros B&W film preset.

Acros. Ah, be still my heart.

Seeing the rapidly diminishing sales numbers in the graph got me thinking down the path of "good enough" technology. But then I realized we are really at the point of "great enough". I still marvel at some of the files I get from my now obsolete XPro-1. My K-3 gets little enough use now that while tempted by the full-frame K-1, I doubt that I will go there. That leaves me looking for a new lens now and again but short of theft or breakdown, highly unlikely to purchase a new body or system for a while. Until there is a significant advance in interface, file transfer capabilities or image quality, I'll be out there shooting with what I've got and happy with the results.

Going over to ExploreCams website, I thought to try it out with "Pentax K-1" as search criteria.
It found a total of eight (8) images.

Gosh, really? ;-P

Whilst the explorecams data is interesting it is probably seriously flawed. They state on their website the info will help you to choose a new camera, what a laugh, the popularity of a particular camera or any other item says next to nothing in terms of what might be suitable for you as a consumer.
More significantly the folk who post stuff to 500px and other similar sites are a very limited subset of photographers, most general shooters do not post to theses sites nor do most pros, largely I would suggest they are probably keen but traditional shooters with a fair amount of experience behind them, the popularity of DSLRs and Canon in particular is probably closely related to the traditional mindset of this group of users.

Currently I am on holidays in Italy and Spain, both countries are currently crawling with camera weilding tourists and being an educator in the photography area I always take an interest in what gear I see folk toting around.

Well obviously the iPhone and Android models kill everything else stone cold dead for numbers but interstingly mirrorless models seem to be pretty much as popular as DSLRs especially amoung Asian tourists, heavy DSLRs like 5Ds etc are well and truly in the minority and generally seem to be the weapon of choice for old white guys and Japanese males in the 25 plus bracket.

Of the Mirrorless models, the Sony NEX /Alpha cams seem to be very popular, in fact rather oddly there seems to be an awful lot of NEX 5n, r and t bodies being used.

Basically it seems to boil down to this, for people on the street actually taking pics, DSLRs are still popular, particularly for American tourists but they are by no means the dominant camera any more, and every year as I travel I see the balance shifting towards Mirrorless. I must also point out that most of the DSLRs I see are not new, generally 2 to 3 yrs old or more.

Anyhow if we were going to make a decision on what camera to buy based on popularity there would be no contest, the iPhone 6, 6 plus would win hands down, funny thing my wife and I were in the Barcelona Apple store today, there was probably 30 or more people just playing around with the iPhones on the bench there, I have never seen 30 folk gathered around the Canon DSLRs counter in a camera store, not even in B and H New York.

your graph is not labelled....

My main digital camera is EOS 6D and I use the EF 24-105 f/4 L lens (along with other canon EF L lenses I've had for a long time). Not surprising that this lens is the most popular since it comes as a bundle with a relatively significant price break (at least with the 6D it did). As for the month-by-month sales data I'm mostly surprised by the December drop off but maybe Christmas purchases are in advance a bit because of high costs. (side note: my main digital capture device in terms of quantity is my iphone). As always, FWIW. Paul

Amazon Best Sellers, updated hourly. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Electronics-Digital-Cameras/zgbs/electronics/281052 Also linked from that page: Hot New Releases, Top Rated and Most Wished For. All lists are Top 100. About as up-to-date as expected, from the worlds largest retailer.

Results of the ExploreCams site, are probably skewed due to their use of Flickr, 500px and other sites that cater to photo-enthusiasts. How much different would the stats be if they included social media sites?

Actual camera sales are dominated by Canon Rebels and Nikon Dxxxx cameras with 18-55mm kit zooms. Not 5D3 with 24-70 lenses. There seems to be a disconnect here.

"I'm considering changing cameras again...". Yes, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus will make a fine "best camera is the one that's with you" and 12MB DNG files will more than suffice for making reasonably sized, good prints on your Epson P600. "Backup" camera is the one you use with a tripod (aka stabilization) called the Fuji GFX. Backup = everything else above 12MB just 'cause or your client, art gallery, or lover firmly believe bigger MB is makes for a better "VO." VO = visual orgasim. Likely the iPhone 7 Plus does that just fine in proper hands.

Curiously, for the most popular cameras, only three included a macro lens in the most used lens list: Canon 7D Mark II had the EF 100 mm F2.8L, Sony 7RII had the FE 90mm F2.8, and the Olympus E-M1 had the Ed 60mm F2.8.

The article also shows that zooms are much in favor of primes. People generally use one or two zooms before considering a prime.

According to flickr, the most popular camera brands are Apple and Samsung :)


On an August trip to Poland, I was surprised to see how many tourists were using DSLR cameras. The visitors were both Europeans and Asians. To me, it looked like a much higher proportion of DSLR users compared to what you would see at a popular USA tourist destination, were most visitors would be using their phones. Sadly, I saw almost no film photographers , but I used my Rolleiflex.

There are three charts at the CIPA page. The one you show is total DSC. There are separate charts for interchangeable lens and fixed-lens. The interchangeable lens chart is much closer to stable, but the fixed-lens one looks more dire. That's what smartphones are eating up. What really matters is which were more profitable, there's a lot more R&D cost in the interchangeable lens cameras.

Nikon certainly is at much more risk than Canon, being a much less diversified company. Nikon is pretty much cameras and semiconductor and LCD production equipment. The semiconductor business is very much a boom-and-bust business, extremely cyclical demand.

We, users of cameras, are becoming an endangered species. Just like dinosaurs.

back to Pentax with the K-1 ands its 5 stop 5-axis image stabilization?

curious.... :)

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