Konica Minolta withdraw from camera business

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by David J Taylor, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. David J Taylor, Jan 19, 2006
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  2. David J Taylor

    Jasen Guest

    "David J Taylor"
    So the next DSLR to fit my system will be a Sony huh! Hmmmmm, I hear Nikon
    and Canon are nice. I never thought I'd see the end of it. They should
    still badge it as a KM! Heck, Minolta still should have stuck with the same
    name too. Damn corporations! wwwwaaaahhhh!!!!!!
    Jasen, Jan 19, 2006
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  3. David J Taylor

    burnsdavidj Guest

    Wow. My condolances to Alan Browne...

    Both the 5D and 7Ds were good DSLRs; clearly KM couldn't market them in
    North America to save their lives.

    Maybe the Sony acquisition of the intellectual property is a good
    thing...Sony has more leverage market place wise, although for the last
    4-5 years they've really lost their innovative touch.
    burnsdavidj, Jan 19, 2006
  4. David J Taylor

    ink Guest


    Tiny correction:
    "Both the the 5D and 7Ds _ARE_ good DSLRs..."

    ink, Jan 19, 2006
  5. David J Taylor

    burnsdavidj Guest

    Valid point.

    In fact, if you're satisfied with the lenses and gear available today,
    someone could probably build a really good kit in the coming months
    while KM equipment goes on firesale.

    Long term though, you'll be the Amiga enthusiast in a world of
    Microsoft and Apple. If you like Amigas, then you're set. :)
    burnsdavidj, Jan 19, 2006
  6. I'm not surprised to see this happen. The 5D and 7D were good
    products, but consumers flocked to Canon and to a lesser degree Nikon

    I think ultimately this is a great move for consumers. Sony is a
    serious player in the digicam market, and some of their higher-end
    products have pushed very close to the DSLR market, and the acquisition
    of K-M's assets give it the technology and SLR credibility it was

    A real Sony DSLR would be the first truly formidable competitor to
    Canon and Nikon.
    Albert Nurick, Jan 19, 2006
  7. David J Taylor

    Tony Polson Guest

    No surprise there. I predicted this several months ago, based on
    detailed information I received from contacts in Japan. It is merely
    bowing to the inevitable.

    The future of what remains of the Konica Minolta DSLR line lies with
    Sony in Japan, so may the Good Lord help Minolta owners.

    I discussed this with my friendly appointed Konica Minolta dealer this
    morning. He was very sanguine about it.

    For many months now, he has been trying to sell the same Konica
    Minolta Dynax (Maxxum) 7D body he bought when it was first announced.
    It is still in his shop window, with a price ticket 60% less than the
    original price, and even with an 18-70mm Konica Minolta lens, a Konica
    Minolta battery grip and a Konica Minolta dedicated flash gun thrown
    in for free, there has not been one single person who expressed any
    genuine interest in buying it.

    He has sold three 5D bodies, but had to discount all of them below the
    price he paid for them.

    Sony will need a lot of luck to make any kind of success out of the
    K-M DSLRs. As I have said before, Sony is no stronger than Konica
    Minolta, and the chances of real success must be very slim indeed.
    Tony Polson, Jan 19, 2006
  8. David J Taylor

    Tony Polson Guest

    The 5D and 7D were thoroughly mediocre products. The image quality
    was inferior to other camera brands using the same 6.1 MP Sony CCD.
    The anti-shake system was vastly inferior to Canon's IS and Nikon's
    VR. The cameras were expensive for what they were.

    It is a good idea to have anti-shake in camera, but not if it
    struggles to perform to the extent that the Konica Minolta system

    The latest Nikon VR is worth 4 stops in shutter speed. Canon's VR is
    worth 3 stops. Konica Minolta's anti-shake struggles to do much
    better than 1 stop, and certainly cannot achieve 2. Yet it adds so
    much cost to the camera bodies that Konica Minolta was rumoured to be
    selling every 5D and 7D body at a loss. The result? Minolta owners
    deserted Konica Minolta in droves and bought other brands instead.

    There will be some bargains in Konica Minolta 5D and 7D bodies over
    the next few months. At last, they will be selling for what they are
    really worth.
    Tony Polson, Jan 19, 2006
  9. David J Taylor

    Gormless Guest

    Gormless, Jan 19, 2006
  10. Statistically, it's nearly a pure Microsoft world with Apple a tiny satellite
    going around in circles. Apple has its virtues, but market-share and low
    price are hardly among them.

    In the DSLR world, perhaps Pentax's market share is similar to that of Apple
    in the PC world, but at least Pentax gives fantastic value at a low price.
    Charles Gillen, Jan 19, 2006
  11. Some of us don't spend all day in DP Review, Helen. I tend to be
    triggered by postings here that there is something worth looking at on DP
    Review, and others may have missed the cross-posted message.

    I don't know whether to feel sorry or not for K-M users. If they are
    lucky, their DSLR line may well continue, albeit with a different brand
    name. I do hope the in-camera image stabilisation technology stays -
    unique selling point if ever there was one.

    David J Taylor, Jan 19, 2006
  12. David J Taylor

    Tony Polson Guest

    Don't. They had plenty of opportunities to get out of K-M over the
    last few months. It has been obvious since the merger of Konica and
    Minolta that two weak companies combined to make an even weaker one do
    not have a bright future ahead.

    At the time f the DSLR collaboration with Sony was announced, it was
    abundantly clear to any intelligent person that this was an act of
    complete desperation. This was pointed out at the time by me and
    others on here. Anyone who couldn't see that the writing was on the
    wall for Konica Minolta's photo division must have been wilfully
    If you read the press releases, Konica Minolta has made it clear that
    the DSLR line has been transferred to Sony. Note that Sony will also
    be responsible for all service and repair of Konica Minolta equipment,
    past, present and future. Konica Minolta have cut and run and
    basically washed their hands of everything.
    Nice idea, but ineffectual. It struggled to achieve two stops'
    improvement. When all Canon's IS lenses comfortably manage 3 stops,
    and Nikon's latest VR manages 4 stops, a system that couldn't even
    produce 2 stops consistently was never going to be a selling point,
    except to Minolta owners who were too "loyal" to consider any other
    brand - and they were just fools.
    Tony Polson, Jan 19, 2006
  13. David J Taylor

    lugh-clyde Guest

    Do you have ANYTHING to back ANY of that up? Everything I have read
    contradicts EVERYTHING you have said here. I take that back, they are
    6.1 MP Sony CCD chips.

    My KM AS camera will handle 2 stops improvement all the time and 3
    stops most of the time.

    lugh-clyde, Jan 19, 2006
  14. I can see avoiding going into K-M due to the rumors; but why should
    people have gotten *out*? Would they have benefited in some way? As
    it is, they can potentially take advantage of fire-sale prices from
    the company to expand their equipment collection.
    True. Sony having gotten themselves on so many people's blacklists by
    now, for various forms of bad behavior (for me it's memory sticks and
    malware on music CDs).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jan 19, 2006
  15. David J Taylor

    lugh-clyde Guest

    That does make me wonder a lot...

    Newsgroups are a dangerous place to get the truth about anything.
    Evangelical advocates tend to flood these forums and everyone thinks
    his tool is the best. The small minority are there to bash. There isn't
    much reasonable middle ground.

    It makes me wonder about why KM failed. Was it really the marketing?
    Could it have been the product? This group is a bad place to find out.
    The average person here is a camera techie. We think of ourselves as
    above average photographers and may actually be.

    It seems that the view today is that a lot of people are decrying the
    possible death of a technical photographer's camera as it moves from KM
    to Sony. I wonder how big of a market we really are?

    The digital Rebel XT (or whatever) sells a lot more than the KM 5D. Is
    that just due to marketing or has that cleaner design and
    hide-most-of-the-goodies-in-menu philosphy one that actually sells

    The example above just may mean that all the technical camera buffs who
    like the KM dSLR camera may buy from the Web. The only people going
    into that camera store (and others) may be the average amateur who
    doesn't know what he wants.

    Well, we are probably going to find out. Sony does know how to market.
    They may or may not chuck a lot of things that are dear to us techies.
    I think they will try to market what KM has already. Hey, they are
    going to be using KM's design and manufacturing teams - at first.

    Just remember, that Sony isn't not in business to make cameras; they
    are in business to make MONEY. If they can make money with KM products,
    they will. If not, they will change course. They had better. Maybe this
    is a lesson that KM did not get right.

    Well, I don't know the market very well at all. It will be interesting
    to watch. I love my KM camera and will keep using it. If it dies and
    can't be fixed, I will buy the best available camera for me and keep
    taking pictures. There will always be something I can take good
    pictures with.

    lugh-clyde, Jan 19, 2006
  16. David J Taylor

    Jasen Guest

    Gee, news to me....mine works fine even on a 400mm lens handheld at 1/125 @
    Saved myself OODLES of cash to boot.
    Jasen, Jan 19, 2006
  17. I have the 7D and did a few tests - 2 stops in any case, 3 stops
    most of the time. Quite possibly Canon and Nikon can do more
    (the system can be tuned for the particular lens), surely they
    have nice features such as panning mode - but also for much more
    money that _I_ am willing to pay (YMMV). I simply can't justify
    paying EUR 1000 more for a 70-200 f2.8 to get one stop more of IS.

    I see another problem with the moving sensor - the image circle
    needs to cover not only the sensor area, but the whole area where
    the sensor can move. That probably means that there will never
    be a full-frame DSLR using this technology.

    I don't like Sony behaviour either, but my carry-around P&S is
    a Sony DSC-W1 and it is a fine piece of hardware, doing the
    job for what I bought it just fine.

    My hope is that the Sony will want to enter the DSLR market,
    actually they have announced it. Then the logical choice is to
    use the K-M mount and get all folks owning K-M lenses
    and considering a DSLR as potential customers. For a serious
    amateur / prosumer not needing the absolute top the AS in body
    can well be a unique selling point.
    Stanislav Meduna, Jan 20, 2006
  18. David J Taylor

    Jan Böhme Guest

    There are two selling points. One is about economy. If you want some
    image stabilisation generally without having to pay a fortune for it,
    AS is a good choice - at least if it woeks as well with long teles as
    for more modest focal lengths. (I have never seen a test of the AS
    system with a focal length of more than 400mm.)

    But the other is about extending low-light capabilities. There is no
    image-stabilised SLR lens in the normal zoom range from anybody which
    is faster than f3.5.
    (There is _one_ image-stabilised lens with f.2.8, but it is not a
    normal zoom, and it costs like £1 K.) Compare this to a f1.4 normal,
    and you lose out the better part of the image stabilisation just from
    the lens being two and a half stops slower.

    Now, if you stick an f1.4 lens, which can be had for not all that much
    money if it is a 50mm lens, or even an f1.7 lens, which costs four
    times nothing, as the French say, if it's 50mm, onto a dSLR body whith
    AS, you get considerably lower available-light capacities for the AS
    system than you will ever get for any existing system based on
    IS/VR/OS/OIS. For example, for someone who wants to take photograhs of
    pastels or watercolours in a museum which hangs them under preservative
    lighting, and doesn't allow tripods, a Dynax 7D or 5D is the obviuos
    camera of choice. No other camera/lens system will come close. At f1.4,
    1/15 and ISO 800, you can expose properly at EV 2, if i did my maths
    correctly. Jack the sensitivity up to ISO 3200, and you can expose for
    EV 0.

    That's a level of available light that's simply not accessible for any
    other camera system handheld.

    Maybe Canon or Nikon will stick IS/VR into some of their fast primes in
    the future. Maybe they never will, for technical or commercial reasons.
    But anyway nothing in this line is available now. For reasonably still
    subjects in available light, a Dynax 7D or 5D with a fast prime
    currently s the best system available.

    Jan Böhme
    Jan Böhme, Jan 20, 2006
  19. @g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

    I have a Bigma 50~500 for my 7D, I haven't done any scientifical testing but
    my results after a year of using it for my favorite subject (aviation
    photography) is that I get a better percentage of sharp shots at an
    effective focal length of 750mm with the 7D and AS than I used to with my
    9xi's and a Sigma 400mm w/o any IS. And this with a bad back that affects
    my stability a fair bit...

    I ~would~ like a panning mode like some of the other folks' IS lenses,

    Bob ^,,^
    Bob Harrington, Jan 21, 2006
  20. David J Taylor

    Alan Browne Guest

    Bullshit. You have no such sources.
    Alan Browne, Jan 21, 2006
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