Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Exciting times (or not?)

Photokina 2010 is coming up. This year it seems everybody or at least every reasonably big player in this game is making an announcement and introducing new products. Canon 60D, Nikon D7000, Olympus E-5, Sony E-55, Pentax K-r to name a few. I am deliberately not giving any links as the web is full of them and whatever I might give you might not fancy.

The question that I'd like to discuss here is that of comparison. Does it make sense to compare these announcements and if so, how to do it best. So let us get started.

Every manufacturer has their own marketing outlook. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Say, Pentax has rather narrow set of options and they don't offer a full frame(*) camera to compete with likes of Canon 5D Mk2 or Nikon D700, however they seem to be building up on the success of their K-x model that was greatly praised for its high ISO performance and won some acclaim for colorful marketing. Sony made very interesting announcement of the camera with semi-transparent mirror and hence 10fps rapid fire rate. Nikon seems to have outdone everyone so far by offering a camera that has mechanical aperture coupling thereby giving a mid-level camera the compatibility of its higher level siblings. The list goes on.

As you can see, there is no direct comparison between all these points. Everyone is moving in their own direction that they think is the correct one from their technical and marketing perspective.

Here is the idea for you to consider: it makes no sense to compare camera bodies across the brands. Let us consider an example. On paper Olympus E-5 (labeled professional by Olympus themselves) is almost everything that Pentax K-7 has been a year go. Obviously people who are busy making cross-brand comparisons would say that Olympus sky has already fallen. People who for whatever reason choose Olympus system to shoot would have none of this nonsense. I am with the latter.

Unless you are sitting on a fence considering switching systems or starting in photography, it really makes very little sense (in my opinion, of course) to do these comparisons.

(*) Some call it "fool frame", but I digress.

1 comment:

fRANK d said...

there is no sense in comparing. I'm sure people with d90 are disappointed they didn't wait for d7000 as are the people who bought a k7 some are coveting the kr.
In the end it doesn't really matter. Its business and when everything is the same its what makes them different that really makes or breaks the competition. As I see Nikon is already on top, its a lot harder to stay there because someone is always trying to knock you down. Pentax is at the bottom with no real aspiration of being king of the mountain and that is good as they can do their own thing and still be competitive. I give it a few years but eventually canon and nikon will start offering colored versions of their low end cameras.