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Another Reason To Stick With Nikon and Canon

November 24th, 2008

When new real estate photographer ask me for DSLR recommendations I always recommend Nikon or Canon. I notice that the same thing usually goes on, in the PFRE flickr discusion group. The usual reason is that with Nikon and Canon you have more choices of lenses.

Now days there is another reason to stick with the big two camera manufacturers. It is as Thom Hogan says in his 2009 predictions, “the worldwide econopanicolypse“. The problem we may to face is there may be some camera manufacturers that don’t survive the worldwide economic stress we are undergoing. Here is what’s happening:

  1. Because everyone is reducing their spending, sales of compact cameras and DSLRs have slowed significantly in 2008. It’s hard to believe it will change much in 2009.
  2. The Yen has been strengthening against the US dollar and the Euro, making cameras more expensive in a large portion of the world. Most of the camera manufacturering is in Japan. This is probably why Canon did the price increase of the 5D Mk II before it was released.
  3. As we have been seeing in other industries, falling sales an tight credit are driving all but the healthiest companies out of business. Camera manufacturers are not immune from this economic stress.

I’m not as bold as Thom, who is predicting which companies are going under, but I think if you are thinking about purchasing a DSLR system soon, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the potential downside of owning a defunct system that’s difficult to get support for. I’m not saying you should switch systems, I just think it’s not a good time to be making a new commitment to a non-Nikon or Canon system. Some of these systems may not make it through the economic hard times.

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9 Responses to “Another Reason To Stick With Nikon and Canon”

  • I agree that the camera industry is not immune to the crisis. I’ll bet we’ll see the number of camera models be cut down, especially in the consumer models. Even in the DSLR, there are far too many. I find it confusing to select a secondary lower priced camera as a stand-by unit. Thank goodness the full sized chip cameras are not that numerous.
    Why have pro-photogs not cried out against all the lenses with barrel distortion?

  • “This is probably why Canon did the price increase of the 5D Mk II before it was released.”

    Wow, you had me worried. I had to go to the Canon site to reaffirm the US selling price of $2,699.00 for the 5D MkII. I hope to have mine next week from my local dealer. I’m # 2 on his list.
    A happy Thanksgiving to all. Even in these troubled times there is still a lot to be thankful for.

    Best Regards,
    Ron

  • Can´t follow your argumentation.
    Other players like Sony and Panasonic are even bigger than Canon and Nikon.
    But big doesent mean they cant get bankrupt. See Worldcom, Enron, Lehman and many more.

  • Sabrinus- In this kind of market it isn’t always the whole company failing that’s the problem. These are the times that companies withdraw from the market because they aren’t selling enough to make money and they can’t afford to continue operating at a loss. Companies like Pentax or Olympus are the ones the article I cite suggests are in the most danger.

  • Larry: FYI Thom Hogan’s predictions are seldom on the mark. Just as anyone else’s.

  • I guess the fact that the best camera for RE is actually an Olympus 4/3 DSLR – along with either of the 3 wide angle lenses actually make a lot more sense than either the Canon or Nikon offerings are totally irrelavent to you.

    Let me explain: nearly all RE sites show photos as an 800×600 image which happens to be a 4:3 ratio. Olympus actually has a sensor that is 4:3 sized. Everything else has a 2:3 sized sensor, and to get back to a 4:3 ratio image for display you have to crop – which means getting a wider lens than you originally thought necessary just to get the same as an Olympus.

    You can go into this market with an E520 and a 9-18mm lens, a good tripod, 2 Fl50 flashes and pay less than the cost of a 5DII. Yes, a complete outfit that is capable of taking 100% of your photos for not a big outlay, and certainly what I would recommend to anyone starting out with nothing.

    Olympus as a company is not just into making cameras and very unlikely to go broke! They, along with Panasonic are in fact opening up a whole new world with their micro 4/3 offerings early next year which will see a massive improvement to their bottom line overall and further solidifying them in the Camera space.

  • Paul- The issue I raise is not a technical one, it’s a economic/business one. Everyone needs to balance all the factors before committing to a system. I only raise this issue because it’s a consideration that none of us have ever faced in our life time… it’s a totally new factor that is going to effect all of us in the future in many areas… this also may be a factor to consider in the area of what brand of car you purchase too.

  • I am an Olympus shooter, using an E-510 for some time now. I am not getting into the holy war about 4/3 vs. the other sensor sizes, because that end doesn’t matter much to me. What is bothering me about my choice of going down the Olympus road is what feels like a lack of innovation (micro 4/3 notwithstanding) on the part of Olympus. I bought the 510 because it had in camera IS when IS wasn’t even being offered in the other two brands. I thought they would keep up with the innovation. But in the last year, while Oly released the 520 with marginal upgrades to the 510, Nikon has been destroying the competition with superb image quality at high ISO’s. They both have substantially increased the pixel count of their sensors, added incredible AF systems, and in general continue to raise the bar. What has Oly done? Released the E30, which kind of bridges the gap between the E5x0 and the E3. The E3 is pretty old by relative standards, and they haven’t done anything to update that. Heck, they haven’t even been able to do an update to the E5x0 firmware to let me do exposure bracketing with more than 3 images at 1 stop intervals. They are losing my interest rapidly as I continue to look at being VERY serious about my photography and the gear I use.

  • Yea – I love what Nikon and Canon have done with high ISO and low noise…but, not to many shooters need to cash a check pushing 3200 ISO.

    Most professional photographs are lit at f8 and f11 with ISO ranging between 100-400.

    I will probably stick with Olympus – as “old” as the E-3 is, it still makes a gorgeous picture. Regardless of the camp you are in, be careful of getting in the trap of supporting Nikon and Canon by buying into their technology every 2-3 years.

    I don’t buy cameras to alleviate boredom, just to make good images.

    Give me an Olympus 410 and a Zukio 10-20 MM, a little light and I will produce a great, professional, image.

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