finally ONE manufacturer has seen the writing on the wall

Discussion in 'Australia Photography' started by k, May 29, 2006.

  1. k

    k Guest

    "Friday's edition of The International Herald Tribune has a very
    interesting discussion between three experts in Japanese equities
    regarding the stock market, the global competitiveness of Japanese
    companies, and trends to watch. The follow is an excerpt relevant to
    the changing photographic industry. Though Pentax specifically is
    mention, it really is about the changing nature of the entire
    digital camera business.

    "Abe: Let me discuss Pentax, of which we hold 21 percent. Pentax is
    an optical technology company that is known for making single-reflex
    lenses. Japanese camera makers have their roots in lens making and
    optical technology. Leveraging its technological strength, Pentax
    has diversified into endoscopy, an area that Japanese companies
    monopolize (......)

    The mistake that Pentax and other camera manufacturers made was in
    digital cameras, which as a business are not like cameras but more
    like home electronics, with short product cycles. It's not an
    efficient business for camera manufacturers to be in. We have been
    in talks with the Pentax management and have been suggesting that
    they exit from digital camera manufacturing. (......)

    Musha: One needs to understand that competitive Japanese companies
    are not built on the "Silicon Valley model." Taiwan and Korean
    manufacturers in principle follow this model, where you make use of
    the basic prototype of the business, the technology and the
    equipment, and you pour in capital and rapidly achieve a certain
    scale. Your competitors can play catch-up very easily. Japanese
    semiconductor companies were typical [in how they lost to the
    competition] and the digital camera business falls in the same
    category. It's a winner-take-all game where unless you become the
    winner, you lose all your profits in the process of competition.
    Japanese firms that have been in those types of businesses have all
    been destroyed."

    I hope it isn't too late for at least THIS camera manufacturer.. Many
    others have already fallen - and it's been their own fault.

    When they should have been promoting their traditional products and
    marketing the strengths, they instead chose to promote effectively a
    competitors product - the digital camera

    It'll be interesting to see how and more importantly, IF any attempts to
    re-market a product they abandoned as old fashioned and obsolete will be
    successful ..or if all the camera makers we know today cease to exist in the
    near future as Nokia and Samsung fill the void

    I wish them luck and curse their initial greed and shortsightedness

    k, May 29, 2006
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  2. k

    Noons Guest

    Bingo! The thing these folks have to realise is that the traditional
    SLR camera model does not fit nicely into the digital camera
    cost frame, timing and market positioning.

    If they want to stay on, they MUST adapt the SLR design: it cannot
    be based on the traditional camera design with just a sensor slapped on
    the back.

    I said this before here, and the facts are starting to confirm it:
    dslr cameras as they are now - copies of film slrs - are not practical
    nor profitable!

    Why on earth don't they just make a slr box with a clamp-on back with
    the sensor and electronics, then replace the back when the technology
    evolves? Just an example of a better design that doesn't mean one has
    throw out stock and gear everytime the pixel game goes up another mega!

    But no: we all have to follow the digital model of fast replacement of
    out of fashion items, with a device that has an initial cost two orders
    magnitude HIGHER than the typical consumer el-cheapo digital
    throw-away device. Helloooooo, anyone home????

    About time some sense is thrown back into the camera business,
    if it has to be at the expense of just about every manufacturer other
    than Canon or Sony, then so be it! A pity, but it'll happen.
    Noons, May 30, 2006
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