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Friday, 28 October 2022


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The Olympus XA had 4 iterations. Here is the list taken from the XA Wikipedia page:
Olympus XA: small rangefinder with aperture priority 35mm f/2.8 lens
Olympus XA1: simple mechanical camera with a selenium meter
Olympus XA2: scale focus camera, automatic shutter 35mm f/3.5 lens
Olympus XA3: Same as XA2 with "DX" automatic film speed recognition
Olympus XA4: distance focus camera, 28mm wide macro lens
I own the XA and the XA4, both great cameras. Maitani was a genius!

[Here we have another of those gray areas. Because I'd consider the restyled "Olympus Stylus Epic" to be a further iteration of the XA line and a continuation of the XA4. Same lens, same functions, same purpose. Or does the new look + new name just put it too far away from the old XA series for people to be comfortable linking them together?

Also, were the XA and XA1 different, or are those different ways of referring to the same camera? Because if they're different, then you've listed five models not including the Stylus Epic. --Mike]

And Mike you also forget to mention the even worse, confusing disaster that was Leica model numbering during the digital M era (in between the Leica M9 and M10 and all their variants):

- M-240 (standard)
- M-240 (M-P)


How about the Canon G series pocket camera?
I have a G12 somewhere.
Was there really 12 versions?

With film the 4x5 Linhof Technika has at least Nine different models from 1946 to now.

Well, the last Super Bowl number was LVI. Sony has a way to go. :)
For cameras, the complicating factor is firmware upgrades. It's now normative for a given camera to be much improved at the end of its life than when it's first introduced. A Canon R5 should only have to become a Mark II when the hardware is improved.

I would think the popular large and medium format field and studio cameras would be even more long-lived/confusing through iterations. And in most cases one can say that both film and digital versions are fundamentally the same camera (for that matter, the different film sizes as well).

Well, this new Sony looks good on paper, doesn't it? A huge viewfinder, a multidirectional screen ...
I won't buy it at the moment, though. I am still angry that Sony abandoned the A mount.

I have a camera called the iPhone 14.

Yes, the Canon G might be the winner. I remember being very happy when the PTA bought a G3 for the school newspaper that I taught and advised. Worked like a charm too.

The Sony RX100 might have 7.5 iterations if you count the VA as a partial upgrade of the V.

If a camera might be defined by it’s sensor, how about all those based on one of Sony’s versions?

I wonder how many iterations the Kodak Brownie went thru.

Sure it's a great camera (like every other camera today). $3900 worth of great. I see it's 61mp and shoots a range of video formats I don't even know what they are. Impressive. But....

I just finished downloading to Lightroom the shots I did yesterday. Nikon D700 using an old 35/2.8 Nikkor-S manual focus lens. The finished photo is B&W and looks beautiful.

Yesterday, I was using a Nikon D200 that I bought at KEH for $73. Same lens. B&W. Love the grain (noise) from the CCD sensor.

While the whole world is either going to mo-betta digital or flocking to expensive film, I'm going to retro digital with cheap old cameras and lenses.

Nobody ever said photography is a cheap hobby. But thank God for chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Everyone can have their favorite flavor.

For the Olympus C-2000 series, I count the C-5050 as the last, as it was the final one to use AA batteries, though some would include the Lithium-Ion powered C-5060 and C-7070.
The C-5000, C-5500, And C-7000 are even further outliers. With the C-7000 being named the C-70 in Europe, Europeans would probably consider its ancestors the C-60 and C-50, but only Canada and the US got a C-40, whereas that was named D-40 in Europe, so how does that work?
Where was I? Oh yes... C-2000 to C-5050 was ten.

The Barnack Leicas went through Model A, Model B (Compur shutter), Model C (or I), Model D (or II), Model E (AKA Standard), Model F (or III), Model G (or IIIa), Model G-1938 (or IIIb), Ic, IIc, IIIc, If, IIf, IIIf, Ig and IIIg. I think that works out to 16 varieties.

Mike, you may or may not have noticed that inflation is rampant at the moment globally, production and supply costs have gone up a lot, so I seriously doubt that the price increase represents a higher profit margin.

Aaron’s “La Grande Bellezza” rings many bells. Nice site, folks, go visit. The city, too.

35mm Exakta SLRs: I, II, Varex/VX, VX-IIa, VX-IIb, VX-1000, VX-500.

That's seven, over a 40+ year lifespan.

Yet the yen this year has slipped more than 20% under the dollar.

That would imply the higher price of version V includes not just the nominal dollar difference, but an even higher margin to Japan than the nominal dollar difference shows.

Just some "background" and "context" regarding the release of the new Sony (or any new "product" for that matter).

Regarding Mike's question: "The cynical might wonder—do they jack up the price to cover the improvements, or do they contrive the improvements to justify jacking up the price? Maybe a little of each.

The (sales) price is primarily driven by the 1) cost of the R&D, 2) the cost of the process development (which is NOT the same as the cost of the R&D), and 3) the cost of the manufacturing, including the costs of new manufacturing processes, tooling, components, sub-assemblies, as well as developing, and validating, the manufacturing, the QC, and the QA (not the same as QC) protocols and procedures.

There is also the cost of the new product development process as a whole, which includes paying the R&D staff to move the product through the various stages (assuming Sony uses a standard "stage-gate" product development process).

The normal stages for this are: DTI (Decision to Investigate), DTC (Design to Commercialize, which can include the R&D phase), SDC (Start Development Checkpoint), SMC (Start Manufacturing Checkpoint) and finally, PRC (Product Release Checkpoint), which includes the development of all the sales, marketing and product release and support materials and documentation.

In addition to this, the manufacturing group needs to be sure that, once the product is released, the product manufacturing can be kept in statistical control with respect to Manufacturing, and that the overall "pricess capability" (i.e., Cp/Cpk) is high enough to ensure a profit and lose money due to COPQ (Cost of Poor Quality).

Given that, it's not as simple as "cover the improvements, or contriving the improvements to justify jacking up the price?"

You just don't "flip a switch" and start crankin' out new SKUs that are as complex of a TOTL 100 megapixel digital camera. It's a whole lot more complex than that.

This process, depending on the product and/or it's iteration, typically can take between 3-5 years, on average.

All the factors I've covered above, plus additional factors I've not mentioned, are what drive the final MSRP so as to ensure that once launched, the product can provide a reasonable profit for the company.

Just a dose of reality for folks who may not familiar with just how much hard work this really is.


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